Archive For The “Outside the UK” Category

Montigo in Batam, Indonesia – travel review

Montigo in Batam, Indonesia – travel review

The name Batam refers to both an island and a municipality, the largest city in the Riau Islands, a province of Indonesia. You might not think you know where this is but if you have travelled to Singapore you would perhaps have already seen it: Batam is found across the Strait of Singapore. It is…

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Batam and Bali via Singapore Lounge Heathrow – travel review

Batam and Bali via Singapore Lounge Heathrow – travel review

These are destinations known more by Australians than Europeans, but they are more accessible to us now, with convenient flight connections via Singapore Airlines from London’s Heathrow. Any vacation should start as soon as the head of the household is safely lodged in the cattery, the central heating is set to just ticking over, you…

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Langkawi – more than beaches – travel review

Langkawi – more than beaches – travel review

This tropical gem has a deserved reputation for iconic, palm-fringed beaches, dazzling white sand and sea warm enough to call a bath. Langkawi is an island that charms and intrigues, and its story can be discovered not far from your sun-lounger. The sea is very much part of life here. It has provided a living…

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The Danna – beachside luxury – Langkawi Malaysia – hotel review

The Danna – beachside luxury – Langkawi Malaysia – hotel review

Langkawi, or to give its official title, Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah – in Malay Langkawi Permata Kedah – Is a tropical paradise. Its beaches are legendary, its skies mostly blue, and the sea is mesmerising. Nothing needed apart from a rather smart hotel. Well, who wants to sleep on a beach, however beautiful? Langkawi…

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Introducing Langkawi, Malaysia – travel review

Introducing Langkawi, Malaysia – travel review

Langkawi, or to give its official title, Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah – in Malay Langkawi Permata Kedah – is indeed a tropical paradise. Yes, that’s an oft-used term but an apt description of this floating gem. Langkawi is, in fact, an archipelago of more than 100 islands in the Andaman Sea, 30 km off…

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Rotterdam – beds, buildings and gastronomic surprises – travel review

Rotterdam – beds, buildings and gastronomic surprises – travel review

It’s attracting lots of gastronomic and architectural attention, and it does indeed offer a wealth of national and international food outlets. The new Markthal is a traditional market in Rotterdam with piles of fresh vegetables, meat and fish and, yes, cheese as well; but its attractive and striking environs are also garnished with a good…

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Rotterdam – building with new energy, treasuring old charm – travel review

Rotterdam – building with new energy, treasuring old charm – travel review

I had visited Holland once before. That was Amsterdam and many years ago. I travelled by air and the flight was quick – Holland is nearer than one might think. But a trip to Rotterdam via Stena Line ferry from Harwich made that diverse and vibrant city even more accessible. Rotterdam is the second-largest city…

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The Hague – Staying and Eating – Contemporary and Historic – travel review

The Hague – Staying and Eating – Contemporary and Historic – travel review

The Hague is indeed a ‘Royal’ city. You might even come across one of the ‘Oranges’, as they are considered perhaps the most accessible royal family in Europe. The Hague has been home to the House of Orange for more than four hundred years; first they were Stadholders and later gained the title of monarchs….

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Alentejo – Open Fires and Warm Hospitality – Where to stay – travel review

Alentejo – Open Fires and Warm Hospitality – Where to stay – travel review

Pousadas de Portugal in Alentejo is a network of quality and characterful hotels that give the guest a chance to experience unique charm. The group was started in the 1940s and now has forty-three properties. The network is mostly owned by the Portuguese government but managed by a private group, Grupo Pestana Pousadas. The first Pousada…

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Vila Vita Parc – Wining and Dining in The Algarve – travel review

Vila Vita Parc – Wining and Dining in The Algarve – travel review

We, cold souls, languish in northern Europe, longing for holidays offering bright sun and vibrant food. Look at any Mediterranean travel brochure and along with gold-fringed beaches there will be images of food. But there is an alternative to the now-crowded Med: the Atlantic. Yes, dear geographically challenged reader, that might conjure visions of grey…

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Vila Vita Parc and Herdade dos Grous – travel review

Vila Vita Parc and Herdade dos Grous – travel review

Vila Vita Parc enchants the guest with its exotic gardens; it invigorates the visitor with its pools and spa; it tempts with its food and wine. Those last two delicious elements will likely be at the very heart of your stay and they are key to the success of the company here in Portugal. This…

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Vila Vita Parc Resort Algarve Portugal – travel review

Vila Vita Parc Resort Algarve Portugal – travel review

One muses on holidays in Europe next year: perhaps France, as the south does have amazing weather and there is always the food. Perhaps a winter break to enjoy some bearable temperatures and maybe even some patches of blue sky. Spain has the ever-popular tapas as well as those vibrant cities of Barcelona and Madrid….

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JP teres at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur – hotel and restaurant review

JP teres at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur – hotel and restaurant review

Kuala Lumpur is a sometimes overlooked gem. It’s overshadowed by its glitzy cousin, Singapore, but this city has its own vibrancy and a unique character that deserves to be promoted. It’s not just a stop-over en route to some rather nice beaches, it can be an exciting and exotic destination in its own right. It’s…

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Majestic Malacca – hotel review

Majestic Malacca – hotel review

Tourists are creatures of habit. They tend to stick to the familiar and that is very much the case in Malaysia. There are fabulous beaches and the city lights of the capital, but there is charm and history waiting to be discovered in Malacca and it’s only a few hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. According…

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Park Regis Hotel, Singapore – travel review

Park Regis Hotel, Singapore – travel review

Singapore is blessed with hotels of every comfort hue. There are a few cheap and cheerful (if you are lucky) small hotels and a wealth of high-end spots to lay one’s travel-weary head. But as with property of any kind, it’s location, location, location that adds the word ‘memorable’ to ‘comfort’. Park Regis Singapore is…

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Raffles Hotel – Raffles Courtyard for a taste of Italy – restaurant review

Raffles Hotel – Raffles Courtyard for a taste of Italy – restaurant review

Tell anyone that you have just returned from Singapore and the question on their lips is bound to be ‘Did you visit Raffles?’ They don’t have to dignify that name with any appendage: everyone knows that there is only one Raffles and that’s the hotel – Raffles Hotel! One walks down Beach Road and there…

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The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore – Grand Vintage Champagne Sunday Brunch – review

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore –  Grand Vintage Champagne Sunday Brunch – review

Singapore is special in so many ways. It’s many-faceted and presents the food lover with temptations at every turn. Opportunities for vibrant casual eating abound but there are also those restaurants that present the visitor with delicious memories along with unadulterated gastronomic pampering. The Vintage Champagne Sunday Brunch at Greenhouse in The Ritz-Carlton is iconic…

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A Phoenician Kitchen Garden – travel review

A Phoenician Kitchen Garden – travel review

In truth this isn’t an ancient plot cultivated and tended by legendary Mediterranean traders, but the land does belong to the celebrated Hotel Phoenicia in Malta. All good chefs will agree that freshness is key to good dishes. That philosophy cuts across all ethnic culinary persuasions. Malta has a climate that any keen gardener would…

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The Phoenicia Hotel in Malta – review

The Phoenicia Hotel in Malta – review

What do we look for in a vacation? Some pampering – that probably isn’t like home. Sun is good – that’s different from home. Food – you won’t be doing the cooking as it’s not home. Language – mostly the same as home would be nice.  That adds up to the Phoenicia Hotel in Malta….

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Innotel Hotel Singapore – hotel review

Innotel Hotel Singapore – hotel review

Singapore is perhaps my favourite spot on the planet. At least I can say it’s the most wonderful place I have visited to date. Its climate, cuisine (that should be plural), its architecture, history and also its people make this an unmissable city vacation. It’s a shame that Singapore is so often viewed as just…

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