Wanting to test the room service protocol I hoisted a yellow flag. Twenty minutes later a mini moke arrived and there was my perfectly made gin and tonic, just in time for me to enjoy the sun setting over the Caribbean from my little piece of paradise. A place I had wanted to visit ever since Judith Chalmers asked “Wish you were here?” I answered “yes” and 35 years later I was!Read More
It's certainly not a hop, skip and a jump to get there. In fact it took a flight to Dublin, a two and half hour drive across Ireland to a small airstrip outside of Galway and an eight minute flight in a tiny plane. But the absolute beauty of Inis Meáin is in its remoteness. You really can’t go any further west in Europe. Next stop America.
It's certainly not a hop, skip and a jump to get there. In fact it took a flight to Dublin, a two and a half hour drive across Ireland to a small airstrip outside of Galway and an eight minute flight in a tiny plane. But the absolute beauty of Inis Meáin is ts remoteness. You really can’t go any further west in Europe. Next stop America.
Inis Meáin is the quietest of the three Aran Islands and at just 5km by 3km, with a mere 160 inhabitants, it’s small. So it’s remarkable to find a place like the beautifully designed Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites which, when you first see it up close, looks totally out of place. Then you realise its design makes it sit perfectly camouflaged amidst the ornate drystone walls.Read More
After our amazing time getting up close and personal with wild animals in Kenya (read about that trip here), Julian and I flew to Zanzibar for a few days of culture before our beached out bliss.
Ever since I was young, the name Zanzibar has always sounded so exotic and conjured up images of streets filled with spice traders and intrepid adventurers arriving on dhows with billowing sails. In reality, the traders and adventurers were actually on the hunt for gold and power and Zanzibar was, at one time, East Africa’s main slave-trading port.
Today there are no slaves but the waves of Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, and Chinese traders who passed through the island over the centuries have left their cultural mark. This is most evident in Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, where elaborately carved doors, forts and ornate traders’ houses reflect layer upon layer of its past heritage, all weather beaten by the sea breeze.Read More
If I mention the Thai island of Phuket, what does it conjure up in your mind? For some it will be white sandy beaches backed by swaying palms and azure waters. For others it will be touristy resorts, boozy bars and lady boys! Yes, Phuket has certainly had its fair share of bad press thanks (mainly) to the seedy antics at its largest beach resort, Patong. And, to be honest, having travelled to the island on numerous occasions since the early 90s, I’ve certainly seen it change from an idyllic island retreat to one pandering to the “needs” of the tourist masses.
So, when I was invited to visit a new hotel on the largely undeveloped north east coast of the island, I jumped at the chance to see if I could discover a quieter Phuket, away from the crowds and the party atmosphere; one that resembled the Thai paradise I first stepped foot on 25 years ago. The question is, did I succeed?Read More