Chenot Palace

The Chenot Palace in Azerbaijan is the perfect getaway from our busy lives in Dubai dominated by skyscrapers, laptops and buzzing cell phones. There’s something magical about this hideaway, just 2.5 hours away from Dubai, that is not yet overrun by tourists. It has that same lush greenery and cooler climes that have beckoned travelers to popular parts of Asia. We’re in for a real treat as we discover Azerbaijan’s natural beauty with the gorgeous luxury blogger Amanda Rushforth of The Bikini Society!


The Welcome

There amid the greenery stands a modern hotel where, upon entering, you’re greeted with wooden design features and the scent of burning logs that stir up memories of Christmas.



The interior is sleek and a beautiful complement to the nature outside. Amanda says: “Both Russian and Arabic influences are clear, though there’s a hint of Europe, too.”



Sweet Suite

There are 72 rooms and three villas that make up this lovely hideaway. The villas are like standalone cabins that are ideal for someone who wants to get away from it all but not feel like they are in a completely remote location.  The same peaceful wood and stone design features are present, as well as floor to ceiling glass to make the most out of the view. And with that private pool, could you wish for a more Instagram-worthy place to stay for a few nights?



While the three bedroom villas are ideal for groups of friends or families, the hotel is ideal for solo travellers seeking a unique wellness experience as well. The rooms are also spacious and relaxing – it’s all the wood, the cream coloured furniture, and thoughtful lighting!





Yes, you say you’re into wellness and health, but the food at this resort really takes it to another level. With light meals made from fresh local ingredients, the staff here make it a mission to care for your diet. For breakfast, think less pain au chocolat and more spelt porridge and fruit, which Amanda said was absolutely delicious. For lunch, meals are nutritious and surprisingly filling, with the likes of zucchini spaghetti and plenty of fruits and nuts.


Tastes as fresh as it looks!



Saved the best for last. This resort doesn’t just have your typical massage menu. You start with a diagnostic to measure your BMI, weight to muscle ratio, collagen and full body element checks. There’s even an option to take a blood test to measure things like iron count.


Then, the fun begins! A bio-energetic doctor used a Chinese form of energy balancing to clear Amanda’s body of any blockages. What followed were cupping treatments, massages with electric waves and deep cleansing facials. Post treatments, Amanda says she felt more rejuvenated than ever and highly recommends trying the Jacuzzi.


Looks like a performance art piece, doesn’t it? Amanda says nothing she tried was painful. Rather, one of the treatments was so peaceful she fell into a deep sleep. Prefer an old fashioned massage? They have lovely treatment rooms for those, too.


For those looking for a more relaxed approach to wellness, laps in the beautiful indoor swimming pool are just what the doctor ordered.




Amanda Rushforth’s style is colourful and feminine. Rock your yoga poses with sartorial inspiration from the travel blogger in this ensemble that is equal parts stylish and comfortable!


Chenot Palace Azerbaijan


Sweaty Betty activewear top
275 AED –

Yoga activewear
240 AED –

Workout shirt
88 AED –

Sanuk shoes
55 AED –

Casall Yoga Mat Position 4mm
185 AED –
Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

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