Travelife TV

Our valued partner

Our valued partner

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The two most coveted restaurant reservations in the world. And about two meals at Noma in Tokyo.

At a delicious dinner somewhere in the world
last October, living a Travelife

Wow. Even in a never-endingly eventful and delicious Travelife, I didn't think this day would come. I just got confirmed bookings for two restaurants that are considered the hardest to book in the world.

No kidding.

Actually, I have to make a correction.

THE BEST SECRET RESTAURANT IN JAPAN

One restaurant I ate in last October in Tokyo is considered the best in the city, and I really had a fantastic meal here. This is probably the hardest restaurant to book in the world.

For one thing, it's impossible to book if you don't know the chef well enough to have his mobile number as all reservations are directly to his mobile and he doesn't advertise or give business cards.

So I took this restaurant out of the running because most people will never be able to book it under ordinary circumstances.

On sale from this weekend. Scroll down to read more...



THE TWO HARDEST RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS
IN THE WORLD

Among restaurants that foodies can actually book, albeit with great difficulty, I've just booked the top two most coveted restaurants by serious foodies for two days in a row.

One of them is, of course, Noma's pop-up restaurant in Tokyo.

Noma from Copenhagen, recognised as the best restaurant in the world, is closing shop completely in Denmark for six weeks or so, to re-open in Tokyo for this period, early in 2015.

NOT IMPOSSIBLE,
BUT PRETTY DIFFICULT

Every serious foodie in the world has fallen over themselves to try and get a booking. It wasn't impossible but it was pretty difficult for most, and Noma in Tokyo is now completely booked for this six-week period.

In fact, people who got reservations all had to pay in advance or lose their seats.

-------------------------------------------

Check out TRAVELIFEMAGAZINE 
in real-time via your phone or iPad

#travelife



-------------------------------------------

THE FOODTRIP OF A LIFETIME

People are flying in from all over the world for this because Noma is #1 and Tokyo is the world's food capital right now.

This combination is just too mesmerising to resist, as this is the first time Noma is leaving its comfort zone en masse to set up a Noma elsewhere.

And the Japan market is perhaps the most exciting and most challenging foodie market in the world.



TWO BOOKINGS FOR NOMA

I actually have two reservations for Noma, and two people are nice enough to take me.

Then I have this reservation finally confirmed for another restaurant. These are just about the hardest two seats to book at a restaurant anywhere in the world.

Noma is hard to book, but at least you have a chance with the numbers because there are several tables up for grabs for each seating.

CAN'T BELIEVE I GOT IT

For this other restaurant, there's only a handful of seats and no one usually answers the phone. It's perpetually full and you actually need an introduction from an existing good customer to even stand a chance at a reservation.

They don't entertain strangers and they don't like publicity, so I can never mention the restaurant's name on this blog or write about my meal in detail.

However, if you're a serious foodie, you'll probably know which one I mean. 

-------------------------------------------------



"Best trip ever."

Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 27, 2015



------------------------------------------------

REARRANGING MY LIFE.
AND MY TRAVELIFE.

Finally I got a confirmed booking, although not for the first date I wanted.

Nevertheless, it's in my general time frame for a trip, so I'm going to rearrange my life tomorrow to make it for this most coveted restaurant reservation in the world.

It's a reservation for two, as well, so I have to decide who among my truly serious foodie friends somewhere in the world to ask along for probably one of the most amazing meals in my never-ending, and never-endingly delicious Travelife.



     

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The best new luxury hotels for 2014 includes the Beaumont in London, Cromlix House in Scotland, Cape Weligama in Sri Lanka and the Portrait in Florence



Michael Crompton, founder of Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI), an invitation-only travel intelligence community, has just released LTI's picks for the best new hotels in the world for 2014.

Some of these will hopefully make it to your travel plans for next year.

As for me, it's really hard to choose my "best of 2014," as I did stay in a pretty amazing place almost every other week. But some of my favourite hotel stays for 2014 include:

- Birkenhead, South Africa
- One & Only Cape Town, South Africa
- Royal Mansour, Marrakech
- Dar Ahlam, Morocco
- Four Seasons Marrakech
- Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, France
- Gora Kadan, Japan
- Grande Bretagne, Athens
- Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, Greece
- Sofitel Bahrain
- Asaba, Japan
- Palais Amani, Fes
- Maria Cristina, San Sebastian

On sale from this weekend. Scroll down to read more...



THE BEST NEW HOTELS IN THE WORLD 
We start with # 10 and proceed onwards from there.

# 10
CROMLIX HOUSE
Scotland



Many thought tennis star Andy Murray and his family would struggle with this venture.

But they have got most things right and thereby created a stand out country house hotel experience, enhanced by warm and caring staff, who are mostly locals. 


# 9
WALDORF ASTORIA
Amsterdam



With just 93 rooms, this is positively 'boutique' for the Waldorf Astoria brand.

We love these six 17th and 18th century townhouses splendidly converted into what is now Amsterdam's top luxury hotel. 

# 8
FOUR SEASONS
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai



Just weeks old, this is a master class lesson in how to open a luxury hotel. 

Everything is in tune, with more dining and entertainment options to follow soon. We think this is destined to become Dubai’s top luxury hotel and dining destination

-------------------------------------------------



"Best trip ever."

Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 27, 2015



------------------------------------------------


# 7
RAFFLES HOTEL
Istanbul



This caught us by surprise.

A routine stop over in Istanbul revealed an impressive new property that has so much to love: staff and management, nice design aspects, and excellent shopping.

The hotel is even an integral part of an upscale shopping mall and…….. wonderful beds.

# 6
CAPE WELIGAMA
Sri Lanka



A hot ‘all villa’ property in what is currently a hot destination. 

GM Michele Giraudo is our kind of manager – always on hand and always looking to improve the guest experience. The great dining, superb location and impressive swimming pool also won us over. 

# 5
MAALIFUSHI
Maldives



It's a little isolated, compared to most of the top resorts, and on a tiny piece of atoll real estate, just 800 metres by 200 metres, thereby delivering a real Maldives experience

Wonderful island chic accommodations, a great spa and plentiful in/on water activities make this our new favourite Maldives destination. 


-------------------------------------------------




-------------------------------------------------

# 4
FOUR SEASONS
Moscow



As Four Seasons continue their prolific global expansion, it would be easy for the brand to become a little blasé. But they rarely put a foot wrong. Here, they have created a wonderful, warm and luxurious hotel in a stunning location. 

It’s a shame that they couldn’t get the spa ready in time for the opening – an oversight, which marks them down in our books. However, when it opens,  it's set to be one of the best spas in Moscow. 

# 3
LOEWS REGENCY
New York



Okay, so this is not really a new hotel – but the lengthy and well-executed refurbishment has revealed a property that is new in many regards. This iconic property still offers a superb location and some of the largest rooms and suites in the city. 

We love the lighter, cleaner lines of the décor.

-------------------------------------------------




-------------------------------------------------

# 2
PORTRAIT
Florence 



This luxury boutique hotel has unbeatable views of the Ponte Vecchio. And we love the huge rooms and suites. 

The family of couture shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo own it – and the family have poured heart, soul and money into this wonderful property. 


And our top choice for best new luxury hotel of 2014 is … 

# 1
BEAUMONT
London 



We are long-time fans of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. Their ‘dining room’ empire in London never fails to impress, so we have been well aware of their longstanding ambition to open a hotel. 

It was no surprise that the hotel opening was pushed back several times, so that everything would be perfect. And perfect it is – in fact it feels like it has been there forever, and the Art Deco inspired rooms and suites are warm and welcoming.

The Colony Grill Room is outstanding and deservedly one of the hottest reservations in town.

-------------------------------------------

Check out TRAVELIFEMAGAZINE 
in real-time via your phone or iPad

#travelife



-------------------------------------------

So now you have all the great new hotels to include in your travel plans for your never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife for 2015.


PS: Here's what we're looking forward to in 2015, by the way, as far as luxury hotels go. At the top of our list is the new Four Seasons Hotel opening soon in Johannesburg. We're going to be there sooner rather than later, on our way to a new and hot safari destination for 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The beauty of Morocco, and of this big, wonderful world. And about the philosophies behind a Travelife.

Shopping in a souvenir store in Meekness
last June, living a Travelife

Today at the Travelife Magazine office, living a Travelife, I was busy almost the entire time curating my photos of Morocco from two trips for an upcoming article in our magazine.

I was in Morocco on holiday for two happy weeks last June, you see.

With some of our Travelife Magazine readers and friends
at the lovely Palais Amani in Fes last November,
living a Travelife

And then, last November, I went on a Travelife to Morocco with a wonderful group of readers and friends. Boy, was that fun.

I really enjoyed both trips, and this second trip enabled me to see so many things I'd seen last June in an entirely different light. Plus, I'd gotten a ton of shopping done.


WHAT PHOTOGRAPHS
CAN MAKE YOU REALIZE

I took this self-portrait with the help of a mirror
at the presidential suite of the Villa des Orangers in Marrakech

Looking at my Morocco trip photos carefully for the first time, I have to say that tears welled up in my eyes as I was looking at them for several reasons.

LIVING IN THE PRESENT,
TAKING TIME TO APPRECIATE EVERYTHING

First, I felt once again what a beautiful country Morocco is.

And then it came to my mind how I almost missed this very beauty because I got caught up in other things and influences happening at the same time.

Portrait with a mirror,
also at the Villa des Orangers in Marrakech,
living a Travelife

I resolved right then and there to always be focused on the present, and on what is in front of me, and to find beauty in everything, because this is really the only way to live life and enjoy it.

Or at least, it's the way to live a Travelife, in my opinion.

Make sure you get our February-March 2015 issue with a special feature on Morocco, by the way. Or better yet, join us for a Travelife to Morocco from April 17 to 25.

-------------------------------------------------



"Best trip ever."

Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 27, 2015



------------------------------------------------


ROOM TO EXPLORE, LEARN AND GROW

Second, I realised there should be no room for jadedness in life. Or at least, not in a Travelife.

A Travelife is all about living life to the fullest with lots of appreciation and few complaints.

We live in such a big, wonderful and varied world, and no person can ever possibly grasp its depth fully. There is always room for discovery, curiosity, wonder and excitement.

SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO

I don't care how many places you've been to and what you've seen and done.

The world is way bigger than anything you and I have experienced, and I personally want to see, understand and experience as much of it as I possibly can. 

Again, that's a Travelife for you.

-------------------------------------------------


Follow us in real-time via
#Travelife

-------------------------------------------------

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

Third, I realised for the nth time just how wonderful our world is, in spite of all its complications and in spite of human frailties and problems.

The world is just waiting to be experienced and explored, so if you get a chance to do so, make sure you don't miss the opportunity.

In other words, live a Travelife, if you can, and while you can.

Shopping for ingredients to cook a tagine
with our hotel cook in Fes, last June