Author Archive for Harriet Dedman

A freelance travel writer and photographer, Harriet has bounded through endless countries, over numerous mountain-ranges, and across some of the most deserted beaches in the world. Specialising in grass-roots and vintage luxury travel brands, Harriet is constantly on the look out for the alternative and the boutique. Happiest with big vistas, heritage hideaways, and her Nikon DSLR, you can normally find her in Hong Kong's artisan cafes, day-dreaming, booking flights or researching her next adventure.

Saturday in St Petersburg: the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

Saturday in St Petersburg: the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

The cold was abrupt and biting as we disembarked the Moscow train. It was 10.30am in Saturday’s St Petersburg, and loud, nationalistic fanfares blared out through metallic speakers at the station. Wrapped in cashmere sweaters, suede boots and thick, bright scarves, we marched out into the dry, cold weekend. St Petersburg, Peter the Great’s ‘Venice […]

History's home in Hanoi: the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel

History’s home in Hanoi: the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel

A sing-song “Bonjour Madame“caught me somewhat by surprise. This is Hanoi, Vietnam’s hectic capital, and the redolent heart of old French Indo-Chine.  And, I’m at the Metropole. Some 10 minutes later, I am wrapped up in a checked woolen blanket, drinking vin rouge by the swimming pool. Festive Christmas lights twinkle over-head.  The air is […]

Joglos in the jungle: Indonesia’s best kept secret

Joglos in the jungle: Indonesia’s best kept secret

I sit, poolside, high above the stupas and spiraling towers of Borobudur, set back on the dense, lush hillside, of this Javanese valley. Framed by volcanoes, distant mist, and undulating paddy fields: calm and spiritual silence descends. We’ve arrived, via Jakarta, to a place rich in history, drop-dead smoldering beauty and untold promise. And this is […]

Knightsbridge, window-boxes and Capital charms: a London hotel

Knightsbridge, window-boxes and Capital charms: a London hotel

Harrods. For some, the dark green and gold cascades cement their image of London.  From dawn until dusk, the hoards gather to bask in the glow of this iconic landmark, where harmonious Knightsbridge streets, visions of red brick, mellow mews’ and sleepy, (albeit, impeccably maintained) window-boxes, form her hinterland. And this is where The Capital […]

Pad Thai in paradise: Phuket’s latest über-resort

Pad Thai in paradise: Phuket’s latest über-resort

Sitting, drinking green tea, overlooking a turquoise infinity pool, crashing waves in the middle distance, the chatter of parrots, and plugged in to a bit of Jack Johnson; life feels pretty good indeed. This weekend, I am at the Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach Resort, having jettisoned in from Hong Kong on Friday evening.  Thailand is […]

Escape to Estepona: legacy luxury on the Costa del Sol

Escape to Estepona: legacy luxury on the Costa del Sol

Ah… wonderful Spain.  My affinity with this country runs deep, with part of my soul residing in beloved Madrilenian haunts, the wilds of the rich Andalusian hills and the chatter of evenings with olives. With the eyes of the world on Spain’s economic crisis, the strength (and importance) in its own identity continues to resound.  Even […]

The super-yacht, the Sofitel and mad, mad Macau

The super-yacht, the Sofitel and mad, mad Macau

Well, my arrival into Macau, on a racing yacht from Hong Kong, had set the weekend bar at a rather high level. One of the first boats over the finish line, we had plenty of time to glide up into the Macau marina (situated adjacent to one of the 34 ‘Inner Harbour’ piers), lazily enjoy […]

Luxury in Lisbon: the Altis Prime Hotel

Luxury in Lisbon: the Altis Prime Hotel

Lisbon is coming of age. Its former malaise has been dispelled by the vibrant post-Salazar generation, and the Altis Prime, Lisbon’s newest boutique aparthotel, is seeking to capitalize on the new brand of modernity emanating from Portugal’s charismatic capital. Resplendent with 78 suites (ranging from studios to the exclusive penthouse), this sizzling hot hotel, dazzles […]

Kitesurf Cayman: boarding at Barkers

Kitesurf Cayman: boarding at Barkers

It is 10.30am in Grand Cayman, and against the backdrop of sun and sand: the palm trees are starting to sashay in the fresh sea breeze. We are sitting on the glorious sands of Cayman ‘Grand Central’; the titularly boastful “Seven Mile Beach”. For many, the dazzling aquamarine waters, the lilt of wave on sand, […]

Rabbits, chutney and old oak beams: Broadgrove House, Somerset

Rabbits, chutney and old oak beams: Broadgrove House, Somerset

Nestled in sweeping green pastures, on the Somerset and Wiltshire border, Broadgrove House is chocolate-box perfect. Fresh from the grueling waters of nearby Vobster Quay, my quest for quiet, warm, comfort was complete. This is a gorgeous B&B. As we drove up the sweeping manicured drive, this old crofter’s cottage was a sight for sore, […]

Morocco made easy: the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa Hotel

Morocco made easy: the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa Hotel

Agadir’s new kid on the block, the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa, is indulgent, elegant, and oh so impressive, striking a mellow and tranquil chord against the smouldering backdrop of this dusty, Atlantic-coast city. Fresh from the exotic, piquant and chaotic haze of Agadir airport, I arrived at the cool, subtle opulence of the […]

Heritage London: a stay at The Rookery Hotel

Heritage London: a stay at The Rookery Hotel

Nestled into an unassuming corner of Clerkenwell, The Rookery is a glorious boutique London hideaway. Occupying the old houses of St Peter’s Lane, and around the corner from Old Smithfield’s Market, the Rookery is slap bang in the centre of London’s historical market heartland. The present Smithfield’s Market was established by an Act of Parliament […]

Secret London: the St James's Hotel and Club

Secret London: the St James’s Hotel and Club

Checking into the St James’s Hotel and Club is an understated affair. This is one of London’s most discrete, boutique hotels, proffering a sophisticated brand of urban luxury; utilized by a core group of discerning London regulars, and (increasingly) a dazzling resume of international dignitaries and global business scions. Condoleezza Rice stayed here last month. […]

A little luxury in Colombo, Sri Lanka

A little luxury in Colombo, Sri Lanka

“Walk down the stairs, it’s good for you”; commands the late Cyril Gardiner with refreshing disparity directed at the modern (albeit fairly antiquated, in relative terms), golden escalator cage. From an alternative placard a frank (but fair), exchange continues; with Cyril’s tart taunts against tobacco: “the ashes we find may well be yours“. A temperamental […]

Ancient Agadir: beyond the booming beach

Ancient Agadir: beyond the booming beach

Agadir is Morocco’s major south-western city, the capital of the Agadir province, and the Sous-Massa economic region. Tourism has developed in a different vein here to its popular cousin Marrakech. With a perennial climate of water, waves and sunshine, the Agadir ‘brand’ has long been associated with Northern Europeans holidaymakers, as betrayed by the concourse […]