Nestled in a quiet cul de sac at the west end of Arashiyama and basking on the banks of the Katsuma river is an oasis for one weary of the matcha ice-cream vendors and sushi shops. It’s called the Suiran.
If you feel giddy just thinking about diamond encrusted watches and VVS cufflinks (or you get a thrill from high-end window shopping), you can look forward to finding the newest addition to your collection at one of the hottest luxury fashion destinations of the world. As someone who understands the thrill of undertaking a little high-end retail therapy in a luxe setting, TravelManagers’ Catherine Rumble shares her favourite spots to shop like a tsar.
Christmas is a magical time of year. Cities across the world celebrate in their own way. But no matter how Christmas is celebrated, you’re sure to find fairylights and a festive spirit wherever you go. Whether you’re a fan of the traditional snowy Christmas or prefer to relax in the sun, it’s impossible no to get caught up in the fun. Enjoy Christmas markets, open-air ice skating, and a glass of Glühwein or two in the most festive cities in the world.
Discover our top festive cities to spend Christmas below.
Kuiadore or eat to ruin in Osaka whose visitor stats are soaring. The city has cool coffee shops, restaurants bars and boutiques along with traditional cultural and zany treasures and the address to flaunt is the St. Regis.
Growing up in the seventies for me meant switching on the TV after homework was finished to see Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, pull up in his red Karmann Ghia. That was during the week. On Saturday nights, I’d swap the Chief for M and be thrilled at the escapades of Roger Moore or Sean Connery. Thus, I’m rather partial to the trappings of the spy – the representation of one at least not the drab life of an ASIO employee. So, when I arrived at a tiny entrance in Gion, with a split green cloth fluttering in the breeze I felt a shiver of anticipation about what might actually lurk behind this understated façade.
London is one of the world’s most visited cities. History, culture, art… London has it all. From luxury hotel stays, vegan dining, and VIP experiences, we’ve explored London’s most luxurious offerings and created a list of our favourites. Discover London in style below.
Two of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities come together with the opening of a new restaurant – Sette – at the Bulgari Hotel in London. Bringing authentic Italian food from New York City’s Scarpetta restaurant family, Sette offers an exceptional dinning and social experience. Given its location within the ultra-luxe Buglari Hotel, my expectations of the restaurant are set high. And thankfully, Sette did not disappoint.
One very confused Uber driver later, I arrive at the Lanesborough Hotel London. With a sigh of relief, I walk toward the entrance clutching my scarf tightly around my neck. The doorman sees me coming. And opens the door for me with a smile. There’s a fire burning just inside. I linger for a moment, letting the heat warm me.
I’d walked passed The Lanesborough when I lived in London in my early 20’s but until now, I’d never been inside. From my position next to the fire, I cast my eyes around the lobby. Regal. It’s truly the only word to describe this hotel. I feel as though I’ve stepped through time. I half expect to see characters from a Jane Austen Novel and historical figures of the Regency period to walk around the corner. Realising I’ve lingered by the fire long enough, I approach the check-in desk.
As I walk up the steps of Green Park Station, the iconic The Ritz London hotel comes into view. There are few hotels in the world that have the capability of stopping you in your tracks. The Ritz London is one. People walk around me quickly, some even huff as they go past the woman who has decided that stopping in the middle of a busy London street is a good idea. I arch my head, looking up toward the pavilion roof and the large green copper lions that adorn it.
Finally, my feet start working. I walk between the archways and the exterior of the Ritz Club and Bar, before turning the corner to the hotel entrance. In a momentary lapse of complete cliché, I start humming ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. The doorman smiles warmly at me as I step through the revolving doors, forgetting the song and the world outside The Ritz London.
“Domo arigato,” I say to the taxi driver who smiles, bows twice and says “Hai. Hai.” I wheel my bag along a pathway by the Ooi river just over the Togetsukyo bridge heaving with crowds of tourists who clot in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. Some are in rent-a-kimino taking selfies, others are in school uniform giggling and smiling and then there’s the occasional western tourist biting into a Miffy shaped donut.
This side of the bridge is much quieter. My quest is to find the private boat ramp for the Hoshinoya Kyoto. I see the sign just ahead written in English and Japanese and stop and breathe a sigh of relief. ‘No. No. This way,’ says a Japanese man with a camera hung around his neck gesturing downstream. I smile. Perhaps I should have donned a pair of Blahniks and a flowy Camilla for this journey. “You have to be a very special Japanese person to stay at the Hoshinoya,” my taxi driver confided before he dropped me off.