Author Archive for Michael Edwards

Short stay: Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

Short stay: Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

Step out of time. Drop out of high-rise Dubai into a quieter almost biblical scene in Arabia’s history. Jumeirah has deconstructed the concept of the big hotel. There are ten “bayts”, traditional Arabic houses with clusters of rooms, dotted through the Al Seef heritage village to recreate the intimate hospitality of a bygone era. Altogether […]

8 reasons why you should walk with a bushman

8 reasons why you should walk with a bushman

The Khomani San were a people who forgot their identity after they had been expelled from their ancient homelands to create the South Africa’s Gemsbok National Park in 1931. By the 1990s perhaps just fifty men and women remembered their proud heritage. For over 20,000 years the tribe had lived in the red sands and […]

Short Stay: Audleys Wood Hotel, Basingstoke, UK

Short Stay: Audleys Wood Hotel, Basingstoke, UK

Oak panelling, intricately carved fireplaces, sombre portraits, vaulted ceilings and a grand staircase make the 4 star Audleys Wood Hotel a charming country retreat from the hectic 21st Century. With just 72 rooms, it’s easy to find a luxuriant leather sofa to slump into or a cosy nook in the Bar or Long Lounge. No, […]

6 luxury hotels in Mauritius

6 luxury hotels in Mauritius

Everyone wants to go to Mauritius. It is a speck of volcanic rock, covered with sugar cane and palm trees, sun-bathing in the warm Indian Ocean. Then there are the white-sand beaches gently shelving into an azure sea. “Azure” may be a travel writer’s cliché but there is no other word for the lagoon’s pools […]

Mauritius: 10 sights of the Colourful South

Mauritius: 10 sights of the Colourful South

As an idyllic dot of paradise in the warm Indian Ocean, Mauritius has much more to offer than just white-sand beaches leading into the azure seas of a warm lagoon and catamaran cruises out beyond the coral reefs in search of dolphins and whales. Although Mauritius only has a brief history of human occupation it […]

Short stay: Jumeirah Hotel, Frankfurt

Short stay: Jumeirah Hotel, Frankfurt

Ninety-nine metres of aspirational floor-to-ceiling-plate glass windows and steel soars into Frankfurt’s sky. The Jumeirah is an opulent hotel power-dressing in a dynamic city which hosts both the German Stock Exchange and the European Central Bank. Centuries-old traditions of hospitality are celebrated by Jumeirah Hotels which originate from the sands of Arabia. Chilled juices are […]

Lugano’s closer now: 8 reasons why you should visit

Lugano’s closer now: 8 reasons why you should visit

The Swiss Alps have always protected Lugano from the extremes of European weather and hordes of visitors. Movie idols Clark Gable and Sophie Loren knew they could relax and enjoy Lugano’s cafe society without being mobbed back in their day. Although a 57 km tunnel through the Alps opened in 2016, reducing the rail journey […]

Frankfurt: 10 reasons to visit this power city

Frankfurt: 10 reasons to visit this power city

You don’t get a soaring aspirational Skyscraper Skyline without earning it, without packing a punch. Nick-named Manhattan-am-Main, or Mainhattan, Frankfurt’s been at the heart of Europe for many, many centuries. Big deals are signed at the Frankfurt Book Fair – don’t even think of getting a hotel room then – and many Germans read the […]

Belgravia: 10 reasons to visit the village thriving in Central London

Belgravia: 10 reasons to visit the village thriving in Central London

Within a few miles of Oxford Circus, Paddington, Heathrow and any deafening maelstrom of London chaos you care to mention, Belgravia surprisingly has the aura of a peaceful country village from a bygone era. With artisan bakers, book shop, chocolatiers, delicatessens, jewellers, tailors and vintners on Belgravia’s cobbled streets it seems like nostalgic time-travel. In fact, […]

Aarhus: 10 reasons to visit Denmark’s 'Capital of Cool'

Aarhus: 10 reasons to visit Denmark’s ‘Capital of Cool’

In 2017, Denmark’s second city, grabbed our attention as a European Capital of Culture. Compact with a population of just 300,000, cultured and quirky Aarhus continues to pull in visitors. Aarhus is Denmark’s Oxford with students comprising 20% of the population, that gives the place a Bohemian twist but still structured with Scandinavian efficiency. Many […]

5 luxurious English country hotels

5 luxurious English country hotels

Baronial sweeping staircases, the scent of rose gardens, cucumber sandwiches, croquet lawns, stern portraits of 19th century gentry, gin-and-tonic on a terrace overlooking a lake: we all love a relaxing weekend at an English Country House. For a few short days we can play the aristocrat, luxuriating in four-poster beds and waking to the smell […]

10 reasons to visit Switzerland's Poschiavo

10 reasons to visit Switzerland’s Poschiavo

With a beautiful valley, serene lake and small-town charm Poschiavo is some package. The North – South valley, a finger of Switzerland, is surrounded by Italian mountains. Italian language, a love of pasta and risotto make Poschiavo seem a part of Italy but the people are proud of their Swiss efficiency. When the trains, running from Italy’s […]

London's secret village: Seven Dials

London’s secret village: Seven Dials

Creating an elite village in the heart of London was Sir Thomas Neale’s ambition when King William lll gave him a generous plot of land, near Covent Garden, back in 1690. Only recently has Seven Dials justified this 17th century Property Developer’s confidence. Now it is a quirky mix of 95 premises: including independent cafes, eateries […]

8 reasons why you should visit Cordoba

8 reasons why you should visit Cordoba

One thousand years ago, Cordoba was Medieval Europe’s powerhouse, its cultural leader. And the tolerant Islamic caliphate was surprisingly modern: architects recycled Roman ruins for the Mezquita, liberal thinking Caliphs had both men and women in their harems. Whilst Western European peasants worried that their wattle-and-daub might not see out the winter the Cordoba folk were […]

7 reasons to visit Geneva's free art party

7 reasons to visit Geneva’s free art party

It is one of the world’s great free arts events: a rare chance for artist and audience to meet face to face. Geneva’s Quartier des Bains, once mundanely named as its public baths were the most noteworthy feature, is now Switzerland’s stylish response to New York’s arty SoHo. Three times a year in March, May […]

8 reasons to visit Augrabies Fall National Park in South Africa

8 reasons to visit Augrabies Fall National Park in South Africa

Don’t worry about lions, hippos, rhino and scorpions. This is one National Park where you can clamber down from the bakkie and explore independently, giving you’re the opportunity to bike and hike amongst the 54,000 hectares of this diverse National Park that borders Namibia. Augrabies is 800 km from both Capetown and Johannesburg. More conveniently […]