The Andaman Resort

Reviewed for Holidays in Heels by lovely beauty blogger Eileen Lee-Conner of Eileen Edit!

Traveling with an infant son was never meant to be easy. All I wanted from my post baby-delivery Christmas break was to establish our own holiday tradition where my new little family could relax and enjoy a season of “firsts”. According to nearly all my research for an affordable lush background that was kid-friendly and not too hard to get to, the Andaman got high mark for family vacations.

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It is located in the tranquil Datai Bay with beautiful Lankawi island in Malaysia and has its own coral reef surrounded by an ancient rainforest and topped with a world-class spa rated by Harper’s Bazaar. It’s also part of the Starwood Preferred (SPG) program so I could rack up points which definitely comes in handy for later trips – so what more could this first-time mom ask for?

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The Welcome

We arrived to some of the most relaxed and friendly Malaysian locals clearly proud of their natural environment and culture and excited to share it with us. The hotel was well-maintained but dated and designed to fit into this natural setting using local woods and architectural designs so all the structures wouldn’t obstruct or distract from the natural scenery all around.

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All the buildings faced the enormous lagoon pool with slides and little tree islands to give it character. Beyond that was the pristine secluded beach full of activities for young ones throughout the day like nature walks, educational coral nursery workshops cultivated on the property, games and water sports.

 

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Sweet Suite

Airy and in tune with natural surroundings, the rooms have a calming energy. Some of them open out onto private terraces or pools…

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… and some come with monkeys by the window 🙂

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How cute is this:

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Food-tastic

Food is always served with a smile and generally plentiful however some of their high-end restaurants can be mouthwatering depending on what you pick. I preferred to take most dinners at the Jala beach restaurant where we could order from built-in lounges facing the sea as well as dine at the traditional Japanese restaurant for fresh gluten and dairy-free options.

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Spa-mazing

The award-winning spa is really the crown jewel for this hotel with it’s separate treehouse-type bungalows, variety of treatments and affordable prices. Book reservations immediately or it can be difficult to get in. The views are cinematic and peaceful- I passed several monkeys playing along the path you walk along to the separate spa reception.

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Tour the Grounds

Definitely take advantage of the surrounding eco-tours since you really get close to all the millions year old flora, fauna and wildlife. I wouldn’t want to come here on a romantic weekend but this place is excellent for large families.

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Santa was even there to say hello during our Christmas holiday at The Andaman!

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#WhatToPack

Lovely inside and out, Eileen is an internationally recognized beauty expert and makeup artist whose style is effortlessly chic. When traveling, she says: “it’s best to pack beauty items that are multifunctional. Things like tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF, body oils that can be also used for hair & nails, Shampoo that doubles as body wash (I like liquid Castille soaps in lavender for this or even just using Mustela baby body shampoo for everyone), Nars Multiple sticks (in Orgasm and Laguna) are perfect if you don’t like carrying much makeup but I would deffo pack a great mascara and a waterproof sealer (my current favorite is Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes which is the BOMB and Etude House waterproof sealer makes any mascara waterproof!).”

Take sartorial cues from Eileen during a stay at The Andaman with this fun ensemble:

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Lemaire white tee
640 AED – farfetch.com

MANGO zipper shorts
145 AED – mango.com

Ancient Greek Sandals metallic shoes
555 AED – mytheresa.com

Target travel tote bag
110 AED – target.com

Bobbi brown cosmetic
170 AED – lordandtaylor.com

Charlotte Tilbury mascara
120 AED – bergdorfgoodman.com

Nars cosmetic
95 AED – narscosmetics.com

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
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.
 
Eating
 
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.
 
 
Location
 
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 www.hotel-bedford.com
 
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.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!