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21 Aug

Kozma and Kozma Salon

Sometimes, when you can't get away but you desperately need a holiday, there's nothing like a day of pampering. We are pretty spoiled in Dubai with a zillion world class hotel spas and salons to choose from, so I expected Kozma and Kozma, a new beauty salon on Al Wasl Road, to be just another great spa. My jaw actually dropped when I walked in to the villa and saw a spiral staircase, a colourful chandelier and rows of candy jars on the wall. I have officially entered Willy Wonka's dream fantasy for all things girly! (The hot pink branding should have given it away :D)   Get the Party Started After 'checking in' at the reception, we were lead to the sunken...
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16 Aug

Hotel Virgilio

I love to get the inside track on favourite hotels directly from the locals. It doesn't get more local than chatting to the editor of The Local, an English-language news site on all things Italy. My longtime friend, the inimitable Angela Giuffrida, shares exclusively with Holidays in Heels a review of Hotel Virgilio in Orvieto, Umbria :) Hi Angela! <3 Orvieto is a charming hilltop town perched on a cliff of red volcanic rock in Umbria, Italy. The town is full of good two and three-star hotels, usually family-run businesses which have been nurtured over the years with tender care - Hotel Virgilio is one of them. The three-star boutique hotel is the only one in the medieval town located on Piazza...
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11 Aug

Waldorf Astoria RAK

One day, when I get my dream summer home, this is what I want it to look like. This airy, lightweight feeling is mastered throughout the regal Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, the shining star of hotels in the seaside emirate. I've always loved staycations that mean no airport queues or jet lag, so the one hour drive to RAK from Dubai was a perfect escape. We actually drove by camels on the way - very Arabian nights!   The Welcome Once we reached, the valet area was all high ceilings, marble finishing, valet attendants in taupe and a few Bentleys thrown in for good measure. We had arrived. I began clapping when I saw the lobby. It's actually my second time here, and yes,...
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8 Aug

Jumeirah Carlton Tower

Location, location, location. Steps away from Hyde Park, Harrods and trendy Sloane Street, the five star Jumeirah Carlton Tower is an elegant hideaway in Knightsbridge that is fit for a modern day princess. It's the first hotel that sprang to mind when I consulted the gorgeous UAE-based fashion designer and social media star Tamara Al Gabbani about her favourite hotel in London. Like her, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower is all about luxury, class and warmth. Sweet Suite That park view terrace really steals hearts. It's one of the reasons Tamara loves this city hotel. You can get the same view from your bedroom window if you book early enough to nab a park view room. The interiors are all cream and brown leather...
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3 Aug

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal

Meet Luxembourg's Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal: a five star playground for design aficionados. Places like Greece and Spain have always been holiday hotspots during the summer months (hello, Mykonos and Ibiza!), but check out this hidden gem for a fresh taste of European flavour. What do you think of when you hear Luxembourg? I think money and castles - and a quick Google search shows that I'm right. I took it a step further to get the inside track from Lena Baraka, a beautiful British-Sudanese dentist who lived there for years with her husband and son. These idyllic surroundings helped inspire her to start the popular Creme de la Creme Facebook page about all things lifestyle for women. She recommends Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal as one of her...
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21 Jul

Hotel Boutique Balandret

There's something special about a boutique hotel that comes recommended by locals and fashion editors alike. This is the case with Hotel Boutique Balandret, a three star hotel located on Las Arenas Beach and its palm-tree lined promenade in Valencia, Spain. With a bright, warm decor, free WiFi and easy beach access, it's no wonder that it ranks highly on travel review sites including (9.4/10 rating) and (4.5/5 stars). This trendy beach hotel is reviewed for by Anita Quade, editor of VIVA Magazine, one of the most popular fashion & lifestyle magazines in Dubai! Is this not the cutest reception area ever? #wallpaperenvy Sweet Suite The rooms are airy and while a handful do offer a sea view,...
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15 Jul

New Aegli Hotel

In Poros, a very green island just 20 minutes by boat from Athens, New Aegli hotel is a laid-back slice of heaven. The natural beauty of this island makes this simple, four star hotel an ideal spot for a great vacation. It's like a hotel out of the seventies, but really all you need to have a blast is a terrace, a beach steps away from your room, and an iced frappe coffee to enjoy come afternoon.   There's a 180 degree view of sea and green mountains from the main terrace in the hotel. It's a beautiful spot for breakfast and for dinner. I had one of the best dinners of my life here: sardines fresh from the...
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13 Jul

Kalm Spa

Nestled in Palm Jumeirah is a little known secret that the residents of the palm like to keep to themselves: Kalm Spa. I felt like I'd finally gotten a break from the treadmill of life for a while when I followed signs that read: "Beach Club" and came upon this beauty spa that has the sea to the right and green gardens to the left. It's always a good sign when you walk in on a random Tuesday at a random hour and the place is packed. I opted for a signature massage to relieve hours of sitting in front of a computer - although the real escapism seemed to be taking place at the mani-pedi stations. You can recline in business-class style armchairs that...
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11 Jul

Beautiful Ruins

By Jess Walters In the opening paragraphs, a beautiful blonde woman in a boat approaches a secluded Italian beach with a simple hotel that is usually always empty. The hotelier, in his broken English, is excited to welcome what turns out to be an American actress who has a small role in the infamous film Cleopatra. The plot twists and turns, featuring quirky characters and even a cameo from Richard Burton, as it transports readers from Italy to the US and to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Beautiful Ruins is a beautiful beach read full of travel, suspense and a pretty moving story about holding out for love. Voted a Notable Book of the Year by NY Times Book Review, Best Novel of the...
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