All posts tagged: holiday

Banyan Tree Lang Co., Vietnam - The Spa Man

Review: Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam

Banyan Tree Lang Co is situated in a quiet, remote stretch of coastline in central Vietnam about an hour north of Danang. Isolated and peaceful the all-pool villa resort is a tranquil retreat from the crazy daily life in Vietnam’s main cities and tourist hot spots. It provides the perfect getaway for a few days or even longer. There’s plenty to do for the active traveller, with watersports, cycling and day trips to the imperial city of Hue and the heritage town of Hoi an. For a more leisurely break you can laze by the main pool, sun bathe on the beach or retreat to your private pool villa for total harmony. Take a cooking class, yoga, archery or more, there are over 140 activities on site available, or take some time out in the spa. With the sister property, Angsana just next door, it increases the choices for food and daily activities. The service is friendly, warm and attentive and remains faithful to the Banyan Tree concept. The main buildings are modern and a little …

Galgorm Resort and Spa - the Spa Man

Review: Galgorm Resort and Spa, Northern Ireland

Galgorm Resort and Spa is just over half an hour from Belfast and is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated by the gorgeous river Maine, and set within 163 acres of lush parkland it’s billed as Northern Ireland’s premier luxury hotel and spa. You will most certainly be greeted with a warm welcome and attentive service, it’s a big property with a big heart and passionate staff. It’s recent expansion and the launch of the Thermal Village has added an additional 48 guest rooms but at no point do you feel crowded or over run with people. Three restaurants and two bars (including a gin and champagne bar) means there are plenty of options for dining and drinking. The River Room offers a classy menu with refined service, Gillies has more hearty fare and Fratelli Restaurante has an Italian menu featuring pasta and pizza. Countryside walks or day trips to the north coast are within easy reach or you could simply lounge in the spa day in day out. …

LUX* Le Morne Le Brabant, Mauritius - The Spa Man

Review: LUX* Le Morne, Mauritius

LUX* Le Morne is a relaxing resort tucked away in a quiet corner of Mauritius. Hugging the coast with a stretch of private beach, it’s tranquil lagoon setting ensures a chilled vibe and relaxed atmosphere for spa fans and beach lovers. It has the most dramatic setting of any property on the island, backed by the dramatic peak of Le Morne Brabant, a breath taking UNESCO World Heritage site and makes for a picturesque stay in this magical corner of Mauritius. Landscaped gardens, four pools and 600 metres of white sandy beaches give LUX* Le Morne a true sense of a tropical escape. All rooms are sea facing with a mix of superior rooms and suites are just a few steps away from the beach. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. The boat house offers everything from paddle boarding to water skiing or you can head out to sea to go swimming with the Dolphins in the early morning sunshine. The food at all three restaurants is fabulous and in particular the Thai …

Postcard from Istanbul

Istanbul is many things to many people. And the cliches ring true.  In a city where East meets West, there is a convergence of cultures where two continents meet at the Bosphorus. Its a surprising city, steeped in history, yet vibrant, modern, hip and happening. And its busy. With over 14 million inhabitants and the heavy traffic that goes with it, you can find glimpses of old and new at almost every turn. The key tourist sights (of which they are many) are grouped around the old part of the city, notably the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar give a flavour of old. But its the new wave of restaurants, the flourishing art scene and growing coffee culture that demonstrates its confidence. It’s definitely going places. The luxury hotel market continues to grow each year, with Raffles making Istanbul its home in September 2014. It’s why I’m here – to review the spa (more of that to follow). For jaw-dropping views and magnificent memories. I heartily recommend you visit Istanbul.   Related …

BA launches new inflight amenities

Travel in BA Club World (I’m waiting for my ticket) and you will find that Elemis has introduced a new and exclusive in-flight amenities collection, one for him and one for her. I love an amenities kit and I usually have to put my own together of little sachets and sample/travel sized products to see me through a long-haul flight. Long haul it’s all about hydration. The air is dry, your skin dries out and you often knock back a few drinks and pass on the water. So this great little compact kit from Elemis solves all the problems. So if you are cashed up enough to fly Club World then look out for the  Elemis kits which will ensure your skin is fresh, revived and rehydrated during a long-haul flight.   MEN’S SHAVE: Skin Soothe Shave Gel formulated with soothing aloe vera and cooling peppermint provides the smoothest shave for even the most sensitive skins. HYDRATE:  Elemis’ hero anti-ageing Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is clinically proven to hydrate and boost firmness. REVIVE LIPS: Apply Ultra …

Seaweed harvest in the Hebrides

It’s not everyday that someone invites you to visit the Hebrides, let alone to go harvesting seaweed. Jumping at the chance, I travelled North, courtesy of new spa brand ishga (which means water in Gaelic) to the remote island of Lewis. Landing in Stornoway, I knew I was somewhere very different. The landscape is a touch barren, wildly beautiful and captured my heart in an instant.   I was given a guided tour by Malcolm Macrae and Martin Macleod, directors of ishga and lifelong residents of the islands. Visiting key sites where the natural ingredients are sourced, we stopped by the natural mineral well where the healing waters are drawn – it’s a secret location and my lips are sealed. We then headed down to one of the vast lochs to try my hand on one of the mechanical harvesters. ishga has an exclusive licence to harvest seaweed in the Hebrides signed with the Crown Estate, and does so in a sustainable method. Hand harvesting is a major part of the business too. So on …

Postcard from Frankfurt

Home to the European Central Bank, lots of skyscrapers and a cosmopolitan city, I have to admit, that Frankfurt was never top of my list to visit. That was until I got an invitation from the Steigenberger Frankurter Hof hotel and spa. Situated in the heart of the financial district, it’s a historical hotel that recently had a major makeover. More of that to come in my review. Frankfurt is a compact city that’s easy to navigate, almost everything can be done on foot. Famously positioned on the River Main – take a walk by the river or do as I did and hop on a 50 minute boat trip for a different perspective. The food is great, the people friendly and it’s a nice weekend city break. Everything is easy. The shopping’s good too. Stay: Steigenberger Frankurter Hof hotel and spa Visit: Main Tower – for views across the city Eat: Frankfurt Green Sauce – a combination of seven herbs served over eggs or braised meat Go now. It’s fun.

AA goes first class on BA

NEWS: Desired by many, experienced by few – first class is the pinnacle of air travel. Whilst most of us get to ‘enjoy’ the benefits of economy class, those up front in the first class cabin get all the treats. And now it’s even better for BA First Class passengers. Aromatherapy Associates and partner men’s line, The Refinery have created new amenity kits. Following research into what passenges actually want, the new kits will launch on the BA A380 aircraft flying to LA in October. They will roll out across the fleet around Christmas. Interestingly, the research found that practical items like deodorant are just as desirable as the obligatory toothpaste. But not stopping there, the new amenity kits will include tailored products to help passengers deal with jetlag and dehydration. In The Refinery First Class Washbag: Moisturiser, eye gel and shave gel, lip balm, deodorant stick, razor, brush and comb. Of course, there is the toothbrush, toothpaste and most brilliantly – a pen! Aromatherapy Associates First Class Washbag for women: Eye Serum, renewing moisturiser, …

How to…protect your skin on holiday

I don’t need to lecture about protecting the skin on holidays – it’s simple, it’s a fact and it will not only protect your skin from burning, but ageing and also from skin cancer. In 2010, around 100,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK. More than 12,000 of these cancers were malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Each year, around 2,200 people die from skin cancer. How to protect your skin… Sun damage doesn’t just happen when you’re on holiday in the sun. It can happen when you’re not expecting it, for example when you go for a walk or sit in your garden. Here are the SMART messages from the NHS.  GET SMART: Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm. Make sure you never burn. Aim to cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses. Remember to take extra care with children. Then use factor 15+ sunscreen. Report mole changes or unusual skin growths to your GP. Always take special care of children’s skin. The best way to do this is …