Spa & Wellness

Alessa BarbosaAlessa BarbosaMarch 20, 2018
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3min107180

If luxurious skin care routines are your thing, and you want to help the environment by using eco-friendly products, Skin Care brand Christopher Courtney is the brand to use! Whether your a Spa or you are a DIY kind of person, you will still get a luxurious, authentic, and therapeutic experience.

Christopher Courtney London is an award – winning luxury skincare brand committed to developing effective and high performance all-natural, toxin-free, eco friendly and aromatherapy professional skincare products and treatments for salons, spas and home use for healthy, beautiful, glowing skin.

Harnessing mother nature’s purest gifts, the brand has expertly combined those ingredients with science to achieve innovative, health enhancing and result driven products. They use genuine natural and organic exotic butters, vitamins, oils rich in omegas 3,6,7 & 9, potent botanical extracts,  restorative aromatherapy, clinically proven marine extracts and anti-oxidants, which are ethically sourced from around the world. The brand also does not use harmful ingredients like petrochemical derivatives, synthetic colours or fragrances, harsh detergents, mineral oils, or Parabens and they do not test on animals!
Christopher Courtney has also announced a new and exciting partnership with the 4th annual National Film Awards, where they have acquired naming rights for Best ScreenPlay category, whose nominees are Francis Lee (God’s Own Country), Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Simon Amstell (Carnage: Swallowing the Past), Shakirah Bourne (A Caribbean Dream), and Oliver Veysey (Access All Areas). All winners will be announced at the prestigious National Film Awards on the 28th of March in London!
For more information on Christopher Courtney, go to: christophercourtney.co.uk


Klaudia BaloghKlaudia BaloghOctober 24, 2017
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4min36700

Klaudia Balogh reviews the luxurious Limoz Logli Hair & Beauty Salon in Chelsea

A hairdryer for most women is an inevitable item in their bathroom. Me? Not so much. Although my hair is long, it’s quite curly, so it doesn’t behave too well under the blow of a hairdryer. Or at least not when I operate it. It gets frizzy, unorganized, and overall a disaster.

Even hair stylists struggle sometimes. Not once had I gone home and washed my hair only after having it done by a professional.

So, when I set foot at Limoz Logli Hair & Beauty salon in Chelsea just off Kings Road, I was rather worried. “Is this experience going to be disappointing or a pleasant surprise?” I was wondering.

There have only been three stylists in my 27 years who’ve got it right. One of them has been managing my hair for nearly two decades.

Luckily to me — and to my hair — Limoz Logli, the creative director of the salon, is now one of them.

I asked for a beach wavy style, which turned out to be his signature blow dry — loose soft waves with a slight volume on top.

I loved it. Besides the blow dry, my nails were getting some attention as well. While Limoz was drying my hair, Kristina Sablauskaite, the in-house manicurist, was filing my nails, tidying up the cuticles and finishing up with a classy dark red Shellac.

The salon’s ambiance is what makes it glamorous. It’s not one of those places where stylists rush through the wash and the blow dry, so they can be onto the next client. Here, they take time and don’t settle for less than perfect.

It’s a lovely atmosphere, very intimate and friendly where clients know they receive an exclusive treatment.

Limoz began his hair styling career in big salons then moved on to taking private appointments and lots of weddings. Although, he still does weddings, he’s been more focused on the daily appointments since opening the salon in December 2014.

He told me most of his clients are locals and regulars, too — I can see why.

Although it was a Friday afternoon and I had no evening plans, it felt refreshing to be pampered and to find a salon where I can trust to return to.

And I did. So soon as hardly a week later I was back for another blow dry to look the part for an event I was attending.

Because Limoz was all booked up, I sat under the hands of a senior stylist, Tatjana, and she did an equally great job.

Whether it’s the hair products they use or their expertise and experience, it’s reassuring to know there’s a salon in London where I can walk in with an idea of how I want my hair to look like and walk out with exactly that.

Blow dry with Limoz, £45

Signature manicure, £25

Limoz Logli Hair & Beauty Salon in Chelsea. For more info visit their website by clicking here


Jordan KensingtonJordan KensingtonJuly 28, 2017
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21min470280

When you think of Ibiza.. you think the mecca of dance music.. sunset beaches and strip full of Brits having the time of their life off their head on who knows what? Dancing to some genre of music simply coined EDM or to the connoisseurs amongst you Electronic Dance Music. Yep, the 90’s gave birth to a decade in which this small Spanish Island reigned supreme with Carl Cox showing us how to Pete Tong a dance floor and Guetta and his missus asking everyone to fxxk them because they were famous… Well, he wasn’t that famous yet!! Well, not outside the isles… until the Destiny’s Child – Kelly Rowland took the child that is Guetta all around the world showing what really happens when love takes over. I digress! These days… the boys and girls who were 18 in their 90’s are full grown men and women now with beards, responsibilities, a lot of cash to burn and a much more refined palette which could lead to a tricky situation..? What happens, when putting your hands up in the air and waving them side by side every night like you just don’t care… isn’t quite sufficient….?? You adapt, grow and like a chameleon assimilate. Well, that’s just what Ibiza has done.. and returning back each year.. I can see the progress.. However, for the uninitiated who are at this point wondering where the heavens Ibiza is ?… Well.. there is always one.. So, briefly.. Ibiza is one of the Balearic islands, an archipelago of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s well known for the lively nightlife in Ibiza Town and San Antonio, where major European nightclubs have their summer outposts. It’s also home to quiet villages, yoga retreats and beaches, from Platja d’en Bossa, lined with hotels, bars and shops, to quieter sandy coves backed by pine-clad hills found all around the coast.

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This time, our mission in Ibiza was to explore the Island and what it offered in terms of a much more refined luxurious experience. Enter, Surf Air – our very own private jet on hand waiting for us at London Luton Airport to fly us to the land of 24/7 partying. Surf Air is a California-based airline that offers unlimited, “all-you-can-fly” service for a fixed monthly fee. It charges $1,950 per month plus a $1,000 signup fee. The company uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Sudhin Shahani is the CEO. The airline’s inaugural service in early 2013 offered West Coast flights between Silicon Valley (San Carlos Airport) and the Los Angeles area (Burbank Airport). It added Los Angeles area service to Santa Barbara Airport in July 2013 and Hawthorne Municipal Airport in December 2013. Truckee Airport, near Lake Tahoe, was added as a destination in May 2014 and flights to Carlsbad and Oakland, California began in late 2014. Service to San Jose International Airport was added in April 2016. Weekend service to Las Vegas began in June 2017.
In July 2017, Surf Air started operations in Europe, debuting its maiden trip from London to Ibiza and yes, i can now go down in the history books as having boarded their first flight in London. Surf Air will start connecting London to Zurich during the week and Ibiza in Spain at weekends. It has plans to add routes to Cannes, Munich and Milan. Surf Air Europe Chief Executive Simon Talling-Smith said Surf Air in Europe will operate under the same subscription model where customers pay a 1,750 pound ($2,180) monthly fee for unlimited travel. Surf Air will start connecting London to Zurich during the week and Ibiza in Spain at weekends. It currently has one Embraer Phenom 300 private jet in its arsenal in Europe. The company plans to feature dozens more aircraft within the next three to five years. The flight with Surf Air was champagne fuelled and caviar driven just how you want to fly to Ibiza. We arrived Ibiza with an an arsenal of cars at our disposal waiting to whisk us off to our hotel. No check in’s, strip search, no security.. no questions asked.

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We arrived at the Hotel Playasol Bossa Flow. This property is 4 minutes walk from the beach. Situated only 250 yards from Playa d’en Bossa beach and only 1.9 miles from Ibiza town centre, this hotel resort is the perfect place to enjoy a tranquil setting and the lively Ibiza nightlife. Free WiFi is available. Relax around the hotel’s swimming pool, equipped with sun loungers, or take a dip in the pool to cool off in the hot Ibiza sunshine. From Hotel Playasol Bossa Flow, you can stroll to the centre of Ibiza town or the stunning beaches and hidden coves of the area. You can also go on boat excursions from the port of Ibiza town to the nearby island of Formentera.
The hotel is ideally located to enjoy the fantastic nightlife on offer in Ibiza town. The famous clubs of Space and Bora-Bora are only a short walk from the hotel.

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After a quick dip in the swimming pool.. as you do, we were ready for dinner at STK Ibiza. If you remember, we reviewed STK Ibiza last year and it was great to go back to see whether the quality in service , steak and general ambience had been kept at the same level as the previous year. I was not disappointed. If you are familiar with STK in Las Vegas and London you will be excited to see that STK Ibiza is living up to the brand legacy. Top tip.. try their twist on the normal Bellini with the Icing sugar and the mini- burgers – the sauce is amazing & when it comes to Steak.. it goes without saying. There is no place in Ibiza that can now compete with STK on the steak department. Say no more!!

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The one issue you might encounter with STK is that the menu is so good it will be hard to choose a favorite. The dancers add to the brilliant atmosphere… yes… you can join the party and get dancing too.. that is, if ‘confidence’ happens to be your middle name. After a brilliant first night and dinner at STK, you will think we will go out and party our heads off.. No, pace yourselves.. it was only Friday and it was the warm up night for us and in typical grownup style we eased our way back to the hotel for some well needed ‘keep’ to be up the next morning at 9.30am for a Yoga class.. yes you heard right… Yoga in Ibiza… courtesy of The Wellness Source Ibiza followed by 30 mins of massage therapies. The list of therapies available were endless from Indian Head Massage, Reflexology for feet, Reiki is a healing therapy and Therapeutic Massage.

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We left feeling more balanced than a drunken monk dancing to funk on a tight rope.. Circus over! my mind, body and soul was ready to party.. Yes, all these years we had been partying the wrong way round. First, you get to know thy self.. then you are prepared for your mind, soul and body to hit that dance floor… So, what better dance floor than the Ocean Beach Club which is located a 15-minute walk from the centre of San Antonio. Ocean beach club opened in June 2012, Ocean Beach Ibiza was instantly popular, successfully filling a gap in the market for San Antonio outdoor party venues by offering the kind of carefree, poolside fun the west of the island had previously been lacking. It’s delivered stylish, decadent pool parties on a daily basis ever since and as a result has become a ‘must-visit’ for anyone wanting to pop open the champagne, down the Grey Goose and recline on a VIP bed, all while soaking up the mid-afternoon, Balearic sun. Enjoy anything from day to night time fiestas, fine dining, fashion shows, acrobatics, live performances, massages and private events and it was perfect timing as it was celebrating it’s 5th anniversary.

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Aerial performances from sax queen, Lovely Laura, VIP beds, swimming pool shenanigans, dancers, dancers, and more dancers. What more can you ask for?
Well, an Active Ibiza Sunset walk. Yes, i must admit at first i was a bit apprehensive . Just couldn’t fathom a day party and active sunset walk going hand in hand. However, I strongly recommend using Active Ibiza to explore what Ibiza has to offer… the beauty of Sans Agnes with a sunset walk through Puertes de Cielo. This rekindled the balance from the yoga..a perfect end to an amazing afternoon as we discovered Ibiza by walking around the whole island! Getting active and connecting with nature and the beautiful sights and sounds. You can’t go wrong!!

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Later, that night it was time to let our hair down, get tight not loose and finally put our hands in the air for wait….for it.. Yep.. where? where else….? It was at the legendary Pacha…Located just east of Ibiza town near the Marina, Pacha Ibiza is one of the international nightclub brand’s biggest venues, and also one of the island’s oldest …The 3000-capacity venue has five different rooms: the large Main Room for house and techno, the Funky Room for more disco flavours, the Roof Terrace for lounge and chillout, and downstairs features Sweet Pacha for retro pop. Every thursday night till the 5th of October, one of the most legendary parties on the white isle, F*** Me I’m Famous has finally dropped its 2017 lineup and from the looks of it, this season promises to be its most spectacular to date. Curated by one of the world’s greatest DJs, the inimitable David Guetta has invited an equally dazzling cast of superstar DJs to party with him at the iconic club throughout the summer. Opening on 1st June and running for 19 consecutive Thursdays through till 5th October, Guetta will be joined by Afrojack, Oliver Heldens, Bakermat, Daddy’s Groove, Glowinthedark, Jonas Blue & Kungs, and of course, master of ceremonies Robin Schulz, who will be taking the helm for the entire month of September with FMIF “Robin Schulz & Friends”. Also making regular appearances this season at FMIF this year will be Abel Ramos B2B Albert Neve, Hugel, JP Candea and Lovra.

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Now in its 16 year, for the majority of partygoers landing on Ibiza’s shores each year, a visit to F*** Me I’m Famous at Pacha is considered a rite of passage. Boasting a sensational line up and breath-taking production, David and co are guaranteed to raise the roof of Ibiza’s oldest nightspot each week – don’t miss out. After several hours of fist pumping, we retired back to the hotel to get some sleep.

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The next day was a Sunday and this was to be our final day/night in Ibiza. We ended up at Destino Ibiza – Set on a clifftop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this upscale resort is part of the Pacha nightclub franchise and 2.9 km from the club premises, and 3.2 km from Ibiza Marina.The rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screens, cascade showers and terraces, some with sea views. Junior suites add personalized minibars, buffet breakfast and Pacha nightclub entry, while some premium suites come with private pools and gardens. There’s 24-hour room service.There’s a Japanese grill and a fusion restaurant. Other amenities include an outdoor pool with a bar, as well as a hot tub, a fitness center, a yoga studio and a spa. Parking is free. We dined at the restaurant and enjoyed a birthday surprise show with a spectacular list of performers. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you. So, all i will say is … when you are next in the Island try Destino.. you would not be disappointed.

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After, a brilliant show at Destino Ibiza. It was time to check out our friends at Lio located right on the seafront in Marina Ibiza, Lío overlooks the port of Ibiza and boasts fantastic views of the old town, Dalt Vila. Formerly known as El Divino, Lío is part of the Pacha Group, and as such boasts a combination of high quality gastronomy, art, live music and clubbing.

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After, Lio , i decided to ask our driver the wonderful Ruben to recommend an alternative spot for me. He took me to Swag, an urban music club in the heart of Ibiza. With a capacity of 1000 and playing the best in R&B and urban music.

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It’s a unique offering to the mostly house, EDM driven outlets. Again, as you can see i was firmly resting on the side of balance here….and after a clear head on the back of our private Surf Air jet back to London. I had to sip a glass of champagne and admit that Ibiza has definitely matured like fine wine and the future is bright for the isle that continues to reign supreme in summer club culture.

Want to do Ibiza… the Luxury way?

Travel by Private Jet courtesy of Surf Air:
Book @ www.surfair.com

Stay at Hotel PLaya Sol Bossa Flow
Carrer de les Begònies, 30-34, 07817 Sant Jordi de ses Salines, Illes Balears, Spain
Phone: +34 971 39 90 73

Do Dinner at STK Ibiza
Carrer de s’Illa Plana, s/n, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
Phone: +34 971 50 86 67
www.stkibiza.com

Get in Touch with your Mind, Body & Soul @
www.thewellnesssource.co.uk

Enjoy the Day Party @ Ocean Beach Club
Carrer des Molí, 12-14, 07820 Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears, Spain
www.oceanbeachclubibiza.com

Take an active stroll courtesy of Active Walks Ibiza:
www.activeibiza.com

Party hard all night at Pacha:
www.pachaibiza.com

Party to Urban music @ Swag
www.swagibizaclub.com

Enjoy the club/restaurant cabaret @ Lio
www.lioibiza.com

Enjoy the show & night dinner at Destino Ibiza
Cap Martinet s/n, 07819 Talamanca, Spain
Phone: +34 971 31 74 11
www.destinoibiza.com

Want a Chauffeur to drive you in style in Ibiza?
We recommend www.cosgovip.com


Jordan KensingtonJordan KensingtonJuly 19, 2017
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6min169040

A mere 17 minutes from London Euston and 4 minutes from the M25 plays home to London’s cosmopolitan country estate. No need to escape to countryside at  The Grove. Set in 300 acres of private parkland, just 18 miles from central London, The Grove is London’s perfect alternative to a country estate. The former home of the Earls of Clarendon, the hotel is home to 215 spacious rooms, suites, three restaurants, the award-winning Sequoia Spa, an 18 hole championship golf course – Not forgetting a walled garden with outdoor swimming pool and urban beach. Perfect! The first I heard of  The Grove was when golf legend Tiger Woods won the World Golf Championship at The Grove in 2006. That was an amazing victory! Fast forward to 2017, we arrived at  The Grove to find out what it had to offer and why it was fast becoming the the top location to eat, stay, and relax for many.

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We kicked off proceedings with one of ESPA’s new Mindfulness treatments which is designed to help find your inner calm and conned you with your mind, body and soul through deep relaxation.  The therapist skilfully guides you through breathing and visualisation techniques to help relax the mind and release physical or emotional anxieties. The metamorphic zones on the feet are then massaged to help rebalance and ground, before a soothing, deeply therapeutic massage is continued up through the body to promote positivity to the mind, finishing with a re-energising scalp massage using warm Rose Quartz Crystals. My massage, left me more relaxed than i expected. We all headed for the Sequoia spa to try out the therapeutic saline water vitality pool. With a black tiled indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, relaxation rooms and gym. What more can you ask for? Lunch.

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Bentox Launch @ The Grove

As hunger began to set in, we were escorted to the Garden Room to enjoy a delicious Bento Box lunch accompanied with a smoothie from the spa’s own juice bar.

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We then spent the best part of the day riding around the 300 acre space cheered on by golfers who were quite frankly having the time of their lives in this pristine environment a far cry from the hustle and bustle in London.

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We concluded the evening with dinner at The Stables. Set in the estate’s original stable block it is best known to serve  great food in a country chic atmosphere. The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at The Glasshouse. Great breakfast and an amazing send off as we concluded our stay at the Grove.

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Our Verdict: The Grove is certainly our new destination in London for relaxation . Go there to breathe, relax and re-energise. You will feel charged up and ready to power up your boardroom in no time!

The Grove is located at:
Chandler’s Cross, Watford WD3 4TG
For bookings call: 01923 296010 or visit: www.thegrove.co.uk 

 


Deborah CicurelDeborah CicurelDecember 5, 2016
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17min593

When daydreamers think of paradise, they think of the Maldives. It’s even better than what your imagination could concoct in an overoptimistic reverie: the planes soar over picturesque atolls and land smoothly on the clear sea, the pilots are beaming and shoeless, the beaches are blissful and private. Dolphins fly into the air as you eat your breakfast, sharks swim beside your balcony and a rich, unfamiliar, dazzling marine world is just a snorkel away.

It’s one of the most luxurious places on earth to escape to, and it would be hard to be disappointed with the warm Indian ocean, unrivalled service and elegant hotels that epitomise the Maldives experience. But with the variety of incredible resorts on offer, each offering the same pristine photos of white sands, clear skies and glistening seas, how do you know which one to choose? Chelsea Monthly picks four of the best…

 

Maafushivaru

 

For romantic, laid-back luxury, Maafushivaru, in the South Ari Atoll, is an idyllic and relaxed delight. You’ll kick off your shoes immediately and forget all about them for the duration of your stay: holidays here are all about strolling barefoot in the sand, gazing at baby sharks, turtles and brightly-coloured fish from the comfort of your room, and snoozing, indolent on your secluded terrace. While there are several excursions – including snorkelling trips to spot whale sharks and manta rays – to be enjoyed, if you’re feeling lazy, you’ll be perfectly contented staying on the tiny island, soaking in the sun and enjoying the friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Although the island is so small you can walk around it in minutes, it never feels overcrowded, with private beach or water villas ensuring you get your own space.

Most meals are eaten in the open-air dining room, with the plentiful all-inclusive buffet-style meals encompassing dishes from around the globe, but for a more private experience, you can head to the tiny, picturesque 135° East for sophisticated Japanese dining and teppanyaki-fuelled entertainment in an intimate setting. For a truly private experience, a night on Maafushivaru’s neighbouring baby island, Lonubo Island, is a feature not many Maldives resorts can offer. You’ll be dropped off on a dhoni to explore your very own deserted island for the evening, giving you and your partner a sense of solitude you’d never be able to feel in a normal hotel. If there ever was a time to pretend you were Robinson Crusoe, Tom Hanks in Castaway or one of the cast of Lost, this is it – but without any of the trials, tribulations and fearsome island creatures to endure, only time to bask in your beachside jacuzzi, sunbathe in true silence and watch the sun come down over the magnificent ocean.

Best of all, unlike those heroic figures stranded on a beautiful island for so many years, you don’t need to hunt for your own dinner – staff from the hotel come across to your island to cook you up a veritable feast under the stars. With bougainvillea draped artfully across the table, shimmering lanterns dotted around the sand and the giant moon hanging above the sea, it doesn’t get much more romantic than this.

 

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

 

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is a slice of paradise that’s changing the Maldives status quo. In the peaceful Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, the recently-opened Outrigger is one of only seven resorts, meaning there’s a tranquility you won’t find in beautiful but busier parts of the Maldives. Because the area is so unspoilt, with far less tourists, there’s a sense of peace and quiet without the hiss of speedboats or roaring of sea planes above. It’s also the richest atoll in terms of fish, with snorkelling and scuba diving trips providing the sorts of jaw-dropping scenes better than brochures could promise.

 

While there are regular trips to nearby islands to spot marine life, there’s really no need to leave the resort, with diving jaunts around Outrigger’s own reef resplendent with overwhelming, colourful schools of fish, adorable baby sharks and large, friendly turtles.
Beyond the sea, there’s plenty to enjoy on land too: the relaxed, easygoing vibe of the island is combined with gorgeous aesthetic qualities. Villas are huge and stylishly designed with dark wood interiors, spacious bathrooms and private pools, while the vegetation is lush, the beaches pristine and the views unrivalled.

Perhaps the resort’s greatest asset – other than the blissful views, long stretches of beach and Instagram-perfect decor, of course – is the friendliness of the staff. The moment you step off the luxury yacht that whisks you to the island, beaming hosts present you with a freshly-picked coconut to drink – and they don’t stop smiling for the duration of your stay.

 

From remembering our dietary requirements and whipping up a vegetarian feast off-menu one evening to patiently waiting for us to keep up at a 7am sunrise yoga class, the staff couldn’t do enough to make our stay special, with mealtimes in particular memorable for all the right reasons.

When it comes to the food at the resort, try to bring clothes with elasticated waistbands: you’ll spend an inordinate amount of time eating. At Blue Salt, the island’s main restaurant, you can enjoy regional dishes at breakfast as well as European favourites such as waffles and French toast, while two different menus for lunch and dinner offer everything from pizza and fresh salads to tuna curries and dumplings.

 

For two special dining experiences, the Nala Rah Teppan and sushi bar promises an entertaining evening feast. On the teppanyaki side of the restaurant, knives are thrown around, fires blaze and eggs are cast into the air as guests clap and cheer, while at the other side, sushi chef Rudita prepares platters of exquisite sushi, so lovingly and artfully laid out the meal almost seems too pretty to eat.

There’s a misconception about the Maldives, with people fearing there’ll be nothing to do. But there’s plenty: kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the azure lagoon, Maldivian cooking classes to pep up your culinary routine when you get home, and long, luxurious afternoons at the spa, where you can bathe in the hydrotherapy pool and enjoy a pampering, romantic couple’s massage before basking in the sunset on its private balcony.

However, of course, if you just want to flop in the sand and ignore the world with your nose in a book, that’s encouraged too. This is the Maldives, after all…

 

Amilla Fushi

 

For luxury experiences that are unique in the Maldives, head to Amilla Fushi and Finolhu, in the Baa Atoll. Dreamed up by The Small Maldives Island Co, both resorts have thrown out the Maldives rule book and dared to be different.

Amilla Fushi is as exclusive and luxurious as it gets. The name means “My Island Home” and every effort has been made to create a luxe home away from home vibe: there are no traditional thatched roof Maldivian bungalows or villas here, but flat-roofed, sophisticated and spacious houses and residences that will leave you wishing you could trade in your actual home for a life in this elegant, quiet land.

 

With even the entry level houses having enormous, open plan bathrooms, private pools, a stairway to the sea and gargantuan outdoor showers, this resort is all about space: it’s the perfect spot for families and couples looking for the ultimate in privacy. It’s the small details – like free daily laundry, movies on demand, iPads in your room and your own personal butler, or khateeb, on call – that puts Amilla Fushi head and shoulders ahead of many other Maldivian resorts, with guests feeling truly pampered from the moment they arrive till the sad moment they have to leave.

The resort has broken away from the traditional Maldives stereotype of honeymooning couples, and instead lures groups of friends and families who long for privacy, tranquility and high levels of service.

For larger groups of guests, the Amilla Beach Villa Residences are super-luxe, comfortable and stylish – and favoured by the likes of Kate Winslet and Kate Moss. With the largest residence boasting eight bedrooms, and even the smallest, with four bedrooms, offering enormous living spaces, a gigantic pool right by the beach and your very own staff, the homes are palatial and spacious, but somehow manage to be cosy too, so that whether you’re with your kids or a group of colleagues, you’ll settle right in.

 

The enormous, Miami-style six-bedroom Amilla Villa Estate is perhaps the most beautiful property on the island of Amilla, with an enormous pool, sleek, trendy interior design, tasteful bedrooms each with their own individual quirks, and its very own rooftop terrace for sunset cocktails. When you dream of the perfect place to whisk all your friends and family away to for a week of celebrating a special occasion, this is it.

Best of all, if you can’t bear the thought of ever leaving the residences and returning to reality, they are now being offered for sale as property investments, so “Your Island Home” really can become your home in every sense of the phrase.

 

Finolhu

For a stark contrast to Amilla that’s just as memorable, take a trip to Finolhu, which is just as groundbreaking in the Maldives for very different reasons.

 

With direct access either to the beach, ocean or lagoon – and your own private balcony with magical views – there would be no need to ever leave the chic villas, designed with Australian, Moorish and Asian influence in mind, but there’s plenty to do outside the confines of your own little Finolhu haven.

The buzzing, quirky, newly-opened resort attracts those who want something more than the honeymoon-perfect image of the Maldives so often painted by cheesy travel brochures: lively couples, groups of friends, active families. This resort is pumping, fun and unique, with live music, DJs, stilt walkers, flame throwers, acrobats and mermaids adding something new to the beautiful landscape. The Baa Baa Beach Club, at the heart of the resort, is alive day and night with the sound of James Brown and the Beach Boys, the clink of glasses as cocktails are prepared at the Beach Club Bar, and the splash of giant inflatable swans in the enormous pool.

The resort boasts the longest sand bank in the Maldives – a whopping 1.8 kilometres – which is also the dreamy route to the Fish & Crab Shack, where after a leisurely stroll along the white sands, you can pick up tasty seafood for lunch and enjoy it in the most picturesque of settings. The resort’s retro theme is certainly different, and a breath of fresh air: many villas have vintage phones which only call for champagne, record players so you can blast classic Aretha Franklin tunes while lounging on oversized chairs above the lagoon, and a short stroll around the resort reveals a quaint Milk Bar where you can pick up everything from brightly-coloured liquorice to garish water guns.

 

The theme is continued into the spa, where each massage room, or “Diva”, is named after an icon of the 60s, 70s or 80s, such as Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand or Dolly Parton; music fans will adore dozing to the sound of their favourite female legends during an indulgent massage.The best part of being in the Maldives is being forced to relax. There’s no feelings of guilt that you should be waking up early and sightseeing, and there’s plenty of relaxing to do here: collapse on a hammock by the shimmering lagoon, stroll to any of the island’s many restaurants for a bite to eat, or spy on a turtle just a splash away from your villa. But the great thing about Finolhu is that when you’re done relaxing, there’s always a party to be found.

Thinking of visiting the Maldives? Here is what we recommend;

Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offers 7 nights on full board basis at Maafushivaru, Maldives in a beach villa, including flights with SriLankan Airlines from Heathrow and group transfers in resort. Lead-in prices for May 2017 are from £2,323 per person, based on two sharing. To book please quote: IO0625

Angelfish Travel (www.angelfish.travel or 01580 712690) offer 7 nights at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, staying at a Beach Pool Villa on a B&B basis from £2,649 per person, including return economy flights with Emirates from Gatwick, domestic flight and speedboat transfers and all service charges and taxes.

Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547 708 or abercrombiekent.co.uk) offers 7 nights at Amilla Fushi from £3,395pp based on two adults sharing an Ocean Reef House on a Half Board basis. Including international flights, seaplane transfers and a 50 minute spa experience per person.

Virgin Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk or 0344 557 3859) offers seven nights in a Lagoon Villa at Finolhu, Maldives from £2,997 per person, including scheduled Qatar Airways flights from London Heathrow, ‘Full Board Plus’ accommodation and seaplane transfers, as well as US€1000 resort credit per room per stay.


Jordan KensingtonJordan KensingtonNovember 3, 2016
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Mauritius or as the French will call it Maurice is an island steeped in tradition. Located in the Indian Ocean about 2000 kilometres off the south-East coast of the African continent. Translated, it is basically Africa at it’s finest…The island of Mauritius was visited during the middle ages by the Arabs, then by the Portuguese who named it Dina Arobi and Cirne, respectively. The island was uninhabited until the Dutch Republic established a colony in 1638, with the Dutch naming the island after Prince Maurice van Nassau. Those clever Dutch are not only known for their wacky cakes in Amsterdam… pause…. Because I think there was some wacky cake interference as the Dutch colony was abandoned in 1710, and five years later, the island became a French colony and was named Isle de France.

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The French got very excited due to its strategic position and referred to Mauritius as the “star and key” of the Indian Ocean.Well, as you might or might not know, we covered Mauritius for the Luxury Show a few years ago and you can join millions of viewers to relive the experience on our VooVix channel here. So, we decided to go back for the second time to make sure Mauritius could live up to our first journey to the Island several years ago. Our team on this trip included the perfect cast, Joanna Blyth, Laura French,Deborah Cicurel and obviously I was on hand to teach the girls swimming lessons.

A few minutes drive from the airport, we found ourselves opening the gates to paradise as we swooned into the Heritage Le Telfair. This luxurious, ocean front golf resort is a 4-minute walk from the Heritage Golf Club, 9 km from La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park and 16 km from the vibrant sand dunes at Seven Coloured Earth. Airy, refined rooms have balconies or terraces with garden, river or sea views, along with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and room service. Suites add butler service, sitting and dining areas, claw-foot tubs and 4-poster beds; some have outdoor showers. Breakfast and golf are free. There’s an outdoor pool, a gym and a spa, as well as 12 restaurants and bars. Diving and horse riding are offered; a kids’ club and babysitting services are available.

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As we settled down for lunch at Le Palmier hosted by Guillaume Lefebure we were joined by Catriona Stewart who completed the team. With jokes flying from one side of the table to the other and the perfect sea breeze emanating from the nearby beach. We kept pinching ourselves wondering what we deserved to have such difficult jobs. Sipping cocktails by the beach to the sound of waves can only be described as a terribly challenging task for a Friday afternoon. I feel your empathy!

 

 

 

 

Later that evening, after some well needed rest, we all assembled together as the ‘Made in Mauritius’ cast and made our way to Le Château de Bel Ombre . We were welcomed by Jacques Charles – Chief Operations Officer of Heritage Resorts. Now, the ‘Château’ in ‘Le Château de Bel Ombre is not simply used as a ploy to create a nostalgic ambiance. The restaurant itself is a historic mansion with a dated past as a thriving sugar plantation. Apart from the interior décor, the traditional charm, and elegance of the building. The main ‘’pierce de resistance’ is off course, the delicious menu and in the words of Jacques Charles “Le Château de Bel Ombre relies on fresh, local ingredients and puts new spins on traditional Mauritian dishes”.

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We retired back to the resort and despite myself and Laura French teaming up to encourage the Made in Mauritius cast to go out for a brief exploration of the Mauritius nightlife scene. Leader of the pack, Joanna Blyth took the sensible decision by offering us two options which made us choose the option she wanted in the first place. Reverse psychology at it’s best. Myself and French were left dumb founded wondering how she got us to agree and proceed to our villas like well behaved kids at a nursery. Blyth, you should be a politician – (move over Theresa May)… !

The next morning, we enjoyed wonderful breakfast at Annabella’s followed by a golf buggy drive to lunch at the Heritage Golf Club. The Heritage Golf Club is quite impressive to say the least and as a secret golf connoisseur like ‘moi’. I was excited to play the field a few years back and i was hoping for a repeat performance. The Heritage Golf Club, was designed by Peter Matkovich and opened for business in 2004.The golf complex which was designed by Peter Matkovich and opened in 2004, comprises an 18 hole championship golf course, a 9 hole Par 3 course, exceptional practice facilities, golf academy, clubhouse, restaurant and golf shop. With 5 teeing options on each hole, golfers of all levels are catered for. Now, I am no Tiger woods but with statistics like that, pulling off your ‘first tee’ is guaranteed to be a walk in the park. Unfortunately, due to the heavens shedding tears of joy to celebrate our happiness we had to abandon the pull cart for dry shelter at the Club house.

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Wondering what our next plan of action was? Well, there was only one feasible option after spending the whole day playing hard to get with the rain. We were escorted to the Seven Colours Spa for a 90 mins Coco Spa Ritual. To put it quite simply, words can’t describe how relaxed we all felt after what seemed like an intense spiritual massage which was obviously geared towards cleansing your mind, body and soul.We concluded our evening with dinner at Anabellas.

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The next morning, I chose to explore the surroundings and take a tour to meet the locals who make Mauritius one of the most sought after destinations in the world. The Island is a blend of cultures, with a mix of Indian, African, French and Chinese heritage. Later that evening we had an Aperitif and dinner at Gin’ja, hosted by Khurshid Vayid – Communication Executive. Khurshid Vayid is what I call the ‘game changer’.  She studied in London and is well versed on the London scene and she definitely knew where the party in Mauritius was taking place. She promised to introduce us to the real Made in Maurice cast (their version of Made in Chelsea….coming to a TV screen near you in the future). The first venue we  went to was ‘Big Willies’ which both Joanna and Laura found hilarious… I wonder why! I mean this is not a strange occurrence. Is it?? Perfectly normal. #OnlyinMauritius.

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After a few drinks and watching an unknown British singer rock her adoring audience. We had paid our dues and moved on to the real after party at the Lakaz Cascavelle . All I can say is that the Mauritians certainly know how to party and the Brits were definitely giving them a run for their money. By, the time I was ready to bring out the killer moves from my memory collection of classic moves… I heard the famous last words…. Taxi…!!!

The most sensible word you can hear on a night out… The driver said, “you will thank me later” and the next morning I understood why.I got up to find myself in a very deep state of meditation… it was so deep that I missed the next activity of the day.image-1 The girls however, took one for the team and enjoyed the Sea Kart Experience organised by MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Authority). In hindsight, when I saw pictures of how much fun was had by my fellow cast members. I put this on my to do list for next time.

 

Later that evening we were joined again by Guillaume Lefebure for dinner at Zafarani . As we enjoyed, the good food, great conversation and candid moments. Guillaume found himself agreeing to join the cast of Made in Mauritius. His job, was to weekly relay to us how the week was going via Skype to our live studio in London. Call it fantasy, we call it reality and we are sticking to it! By the time we reached our last day, everyone was well and truly addicted to this Paradise Island and the thought of boarding a plane back to Blighty was not at the top of our agendas.

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We strolled to the C Beach Club to join the Kite Surf training. Expert kite surfers the world over are well aware that the big surf and steady winds off the reef here make it one of the best spots on the planet to enjoy their sport. Alas, we were neither experts nor semi-professionals at the craft but we gave it a good go! As you do… We were later invited to play tennis with protective helmets… Tennis legends, Serena and Venus Williams apparently invented this style of playing tennis although I should say allegedly because for some reason I think this was a joke taken way out of proportion (Pause)…. We decided to press play and return back to the C Beach Club and we were right bang in the middle of a wedding taking place at the beach front. You could have felt the romance in the air from the bride, groom and attendees. It was like watching your own fly on the wall documentary of the best beach wedding with you literally being the fly on the beach.

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As the pastor asked if anyone on this beach had any reason why this couple should not be engaged in holy matrimony. I felt like shouting…. “Me… yes… me, because this is a perfect location and we are jealous in a good way…obviously. Now, you can continue” but I let it play out in my mind because Love conquers all and there was no need to make the front pages of the local Mauritius Gazette especially on our last few hours on the island… On that note, we departed Heritage Le Telfair for a short drive to the airport feeling like, we had just left our loved one sipping cocktails in the middle of the Indian ocean. Yes, because when you come to Mauritius you wouldn’t want to leave this paradise island. As we got to the airport, a gentleman who worked for the airlines literally helped upgrade us to more leg room (not quite… first class but its the gesture that counts) as if we weren’t impressed with the people of Mauritius. This was the icing on the cake to what had been a mission in relaxation and self discovery! On a serious note, with a plethora of stunning beaches, diverse culture, exciting activities and rich cuisine. If you are reading this and you are thinking of your next adventure. I am sure at this stage one sentence should spring to your mind.. “Say no more” and my response is check our fact box below for the much needed recommendations.

Thinking of travelling to Mauritius? Here is what Chelsea Monthly recommends:

Hotel

A deluxe room at Heritage Le Telfair starts from £260 per night (2 sharing) on a B&B basis

For further information call +230-266-9777 or visit www.heritageresorts.mu

Flights

British airways has flights from London Gatwick to Mauritius from £855 return, including taxes. www.britishairways.com

Tourist Information

For further information and to discover attractions on the island visit www.tourism-mauritius.mu

Sea Karting

The one hour Sea-karting experience costs MUR 5500 (approx. £100) This is per sea kart, which can fit two adults and one child between 6 and 12

For more information and to book visit: www.fun-adventure.mu/home 

Electro-Biking

Electro-bike excursion from £38.09pp for a 3 hour tour; £53.97pp for the 7 hour tour of the south.

For more information and to book visit www.electrobikemauritius.com

 


Jeff ArmstrongJeff ArmstrongOctober 15, 2016
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Innovative business is the art of taking an existing idea and adding a unique spin that makes people gasp “Why did’nt i think of that first” ? Innovation is the ingredient that drives entrepreneur, Lauren Shalson who is Managing Director of Spa by Car a company set to change the Spa industry.

Spa treatments and products, once considered beyond the means of many people, she added, are becoming more mainstream with a growing middle class.While medical care treats illness and disease, wellness is focused on prevention through a variety of healthy habits, nutritional eating, exercise and treatments.

The global spa industry generated $94 billion last year, according to the Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor report, up from $60 billion in 2007.With more than 32,000 spas, Europe had the highest revenue of $29.8 billion, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with $18.8 billion and North America with $18.3 billion.

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Spa by Car, is a new concept that has been embraced by VIP’s and celebrities at the recent 6th annual National Reality TV Awards. Instead of letting the customer come to them. They have decided to go to the customers, making this the novel approach. Call it the ‘Uber’ for  anyone seeking relaxation. Launched in 2011, the company has gone from strength to strength breaking several grounds including it’s fleet of recognisable mini cars across the capital.

With over 50 different mobile beauty and spa treatments -from bronzing to make up, facials to threading – our highly qualified therapists will transform the way you feel about yourself.  And since Spa by Car comes to you, the only time you lift a finger is to have your nails polished.

On the outside you will be re-beautified. On the inside you will feel more relaxed and more like ‘you’. Be completely pampered at home, by Spa by Car, it’s Me Me Me time all the way and why not. If you work hard and play hard, you deserve to equally relax…..!

For more information on Spa by Car. Visit: www.spabycar.com 


Jordan KensingtonJordan KensingtonJune 26, 2015
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Last night saw the launch of London’s newest members club, South Kensington Club. Situated in South Kensington… obviously between Hyde Park and London’s best-known museums. The South Kensington Club is a unique concept for discerning individuals seeking a chilled out lifestyle offering for the body and soul. The club is Located in the iconic Georgian Music Hall and as i made my entry as you do…. It was clear, that the general theme of the SKC is elegance, unpretentious, and homely.. My kind of place.. Especially when overcoming the hustle and bustle of London, members are able to finally have a place to enjoy, reflect, relax and re-energise. This was re-confirmed when the beautiful and talented singer/songwriter Aluna George (who decided to take time off from the recording studio) approached me to join her table and i gladly obliged as we sat down and enjoyed the beautiful sounds of Colomboloco the house band for the night who rocked the evening with some eclectic tunes led by lead vocalist Francesco Blue Bird Fillzzola .

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VIP attendees included: Adam Garcia, Jack Fox, Chelsy Davy, Hugo Taylor, Laura Pradelska, Tom Parker-Bowles, Aluna Francis, Jack Freud, Olivia Grant, Natalie Coyle, Henry Conway, Roxie Nafousi, Noelle Reno, Zafar Rushdie, Tom Inskip, Marissa Montgomery, Daniella Helayel Issa, Lohralee & Will Astor, and Linzi & Will Stoppard

Verdict: Great Club, designed with its Members every desire in mind; from the cultural and culinary, to the physical and philosophical. That can’t be too deep for a Friday… or can it?? Well, if you want to find out more information on South Kensington Club… Click here


Annie PalmerAnnie PalmerJune 11, 2015
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She’s up daily at 2.30am, on air by 4am then running 8 miles back to her home to look after her 3 year-old-daughter for the day. As a busy Heart FM radio presenter, runner and mum, Jenni Falconer never compromises on her active lifestyle and keeping fit.

Jenni, 39, developed a strong interest in sport from an early age as a keen hockey and tennis player in school. She recently ran her 5th London Marathon in under 4 hours, after committing to a gruelling training schedule consisting of boot camp sessions and long distance running at the weekends.

Her love for running began during her time of reporting for GMTV on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in Australia. She did 6km everyday and carried on with her training once back at home.

Jenni says: “One thing I’ve learnt through running is to do a thorough warm-up and cool down to ensure I get the most out of my workouts. As part of my cool down routine, I massage my legs with Nelsons arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel directly after a run – particularly after running long distance. My daughter even helps me apply it sometimes, and it’s also great for her if she falls over or bumps her knee. She calls it ‘magic cream! ”

Following an injury in 2013, when Jenni obtained a form of shin splint due to running in ill-fitting trainers, she made a full recovery and is now fitter than ever, carrying out around five hours of exercise a week. She also really enjoys indulging in her favourite dishes, and even had a pizza named after her at her friends’ Italian restaurant.

Despite her love of food, Jenni makes sure her family regularly eats healthily.

“I’m not the best chef so there’s nothing complicated about my diet. We have tuna or salmon with mashed potatoes and broccoli. I do like a glass of wine or champagne though. I think I appreciate it more with motherhood.”

This summer, Jenni will be presenting programmes on the Blenheim Palace Triathlon and the London Triathlon, having recently taken part in the London Triathlon as part of a team running event.

Jenni Falconer is a fan and ambassador of specially formulated, Nelsons arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel which is ideal for massaging into muscles following physical exertion, or to revive tired legs after being on your feet all day. It is non-greasy and easily absorbed by the skin, combining the natural benefits of arnica with the refreshing sensation of grapefruit oil and menthol to cool and soothe the skin.


Annie PalmerAnnie PalmerNovember 17, 2014
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4min271

Are you tired of the Winter Blues? Want to switch it up a little? Well, the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi has unveiled the ultimate ‘Romantic Getaway’ package, for couples looking to reconnect and relax this winter. Designed to cultivate memories that last a lifetime, this package is available at one of the most romantic locations in the world. Loved ones can spend time together against an idyllic backdrop as they survey miles of white sand, blue skies and peaceful lush gardens.

This true secret hideaway in the heart of the Indian Ocean is located in the southernmost part of the Maldives, 400 miles from the capital of Malé. Offering complete seclusion in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, couples can go the ‘extra mile’ to the resort for the holiday of their dreams, with complimentary domestic flights for two included from Malé.

The Romantic Getaway package offers a four-night stay in a choice of luxurious water or beach-front villas, including a couple’s spa treatment at the award-winning Talise Spa and a romantic bubble bath turndown service every second night. Couples will also be treated to a customised menu, designed by their personal chef on a private island to make couples feel like they are alone in paradise.

Each of the 35 villas comes complete with a private butler, so couples can rest assured that their every wish will be catered for. The island’s diving instructors can provide a guided snorkelling tour of the reef in the crystal clear waters and afterwards couples can experience an intimate and romantic candlelit dinner on a Maldivian secluded beach.



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