BRITISH AIRWAYS & MIAMI

BRITISH AIRWAYS & MIAMI

Travelling in style with British Airways First-Class Travel to The Eden Roc Miami Beach…

 

The Journey

When I received an email from British Airways asking me to join a press trip to Miami to review their First-Class cabins with improved onboard products and service as part of a £6.5bn investment for customers, I didn’t need to check my calendar. 

I travelled First Class to New York last year, so I was interested to see how they could improve on this already impreccable service. And I’d never visited Miami before, so how could I refuse?! 

The finest experience

“First is British Airways most luxurious way to experience flight. From your own stylish suite, to exclusive access to spa treatments, fast-track security, and excellent service, it’s the finest way to travel.”

What to expect

  • Exceptional, elegant British service
  • Your own private, spacious suite where you can work in peace, watch a film, or stretch out and fall asleep
  • A fully flat bed with a foam and microfibre mattress topper and 400 thread count bedding
  • Delicious, indulgent fine dining with exclusively designed crockery, cutlery and glassware from the finest British designers
  • Exclusively designed Temperley London loungewear and slippers and an amenity bag containing Elemis products
  • Access to luxurious lounges and spa treatments
  • A full restaurant experience at 35,000 feet
  • Luxury meals, including a new delicious à la carte menu, plus a range of lighter options that focus on fresh seasonal ingredients of British provenance
  • A new signature afternoon tea service, showcasing the great British tradition of high tea
  • A wide selection of Champagnes, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks with flexibility to order whenever you like
  • Exclusive and dedicated service 

Hours of entertainment

You can lose yourself in a gripping series with the huge library of new releases, including music, eBooks and games, which means you can enjoy the 1,000 hours of programmes available on the in-flight entertainment channels.

All seats come with a 15in screen, with ports to connect up your own devices and high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones for minimal disturbance.

Space to prepare and relax

If you arrive at the airport early, you can take time out in an elegant departure lounge before flying. Modern and luxurious with quality wines, drinks and food, plus a range of business facilities for when you need to work.

On arrival into London Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5, you can stop by the Arrivals Lounge to freshen up, and enjoy more delicious dining options, showers and a clothes-pressing service.

The Concorde Room

You’re also invited to the Concorde Room – BA’s most luxurious lounge. It’s exclusive to London Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK Terminal 7, with discreet booths, full waiter service, private cabanas and a state-of-the-art business suite.

Elemis Travel Spa

Indulge in a luxury complimentary massage or facial treatment with acclaimed British spa and skincare brand Elemis. The Elemis spa is in London Heathrow Terminal 3 and 5 or New York JFK Terminal 7.

First is faster

Flying First lets you skip the queues, with dedicated check-in desks and fast-track security at various airports.

The First Wing

Available in London Heathrow Terminal 5, the exclusive First Wing gets you through the airport quickly and smoothly. It’s a dedicated space for First, Executive Club Gold, and Oneworld Emerald flyers; offers a private check-in area, two of its own security lanes and a direct walkway into the Galleries First Lounge and Concorde Room.

Freedom to pack what you like

There’s no need to compromise when packing, with a generous number of bags allowed in First. Bring both a cabin bag and laptop or handbag on board as well as up to three bags in the hold. 

Verdict

Apart from a slight delay on our flight from Manchester to London, the check-in was seamless and most definitely faster. Our dedicated cabin crew warmly welcomed us with a glass of Champagne and snacks, hung our coats in the wardrobe, and handed us our Temperley PJs, slippers and washbag.

I’d had a busy month, so it was my intention to order my meal, choose a series, and sleep as much as I could on our nine-and-a-half-hour journey to Miami.

I ordered Loch Fyne Kinglas salmon with Granny Smith apple and fennel mayonnaise to start, followed by seared fillet of aged Herefordshire beef with smoked bone marrow butter, Bolney Lychgate jus and wild mushroom duxelles with roasted baby carrots, spring greens and dauphinoise potato. For dessert, I had rhubarb and ginger timbale. It was as delicious as its description. You certainly don’t go hungry in a First-Class cabin. 

A lemon and ginger tea arrived, just in time for me to settle down and watch the first episode of Cheat, but it wasn’t long before the cabin crew made my bed, dimmed the lights, and I was sleeping. Waking in just enough time to have a cup of tea and freshen up before landing.

All in all, a five-star service and a luxurious way to travel. How can I ever turn right again?

British Airways flies from London to Miami twice a dayFirst fares from £2070 return including taxes/fees/carrier charges, are available to book on ba.com/Miami or call 0844 493 0787. Connecting flights are available from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and Scotland.

 

Welcome to Miami… 

If you are going to be in Miami for just two nights, then British Airways First Class is the way to go. The nine and a half hour flight from London Heathrow flies by once you settle down with a glass (or two!) of Champagne. 

After a short transfer, I arrived at the Eden Roc Miami Beach hotel. The Eden Roc is in the heart of the city, at the edge of the sea. My spacious room included an oversized balcony overlooking the ocean, and Nobu Hotel was to the left. I didn’t realise until the morning, but I was right across the road from a myriad of yachts and Millionaires Row.

Dining options are plentiful. Malibu Farm delivers simple farm-to-table freshness overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It comes with an amazing story of its creator, Swedish Chef Helene Henderson, and the food is something you will want to recreate on your return, so make sure you buy the Malibu Farm Cookery book before you leave.

Nobu Miami offers world-famous Japanese cuisine and features some of the best food and drink on Miami Beach. You can order the perfect cocktail at the Nobu lobby bar, which is a focal point of the hotel and hosts live entertainment at the weekend, or whilst you are soaking up the sun, at the Aquatica beachside bar. If you prefer to stay in, room service is available 24 hours a day. 

Holistic wellness is key to the Eden Roc Miami Beach experience. Esencia Wellness features a spa and fitness centre to inspire personalised renewal, deep relaxation and refined treatments for the mind, body and spirit. The spa and fitness programs have been specially designed to offer a reprieve from the hot Miami sun, with specialised treatments that focus on anti-aging, after-sun care, dry skin, and more. Daily Spa passes can be bought for $25.

WHERE TO GO

MAGIC CITY ADVENTURES

Our private Miami City Tour was a four-hour VIP experience, which included the districts of Wynwood, Design District, Art Deco, Downtown, Brickell, Coral Gables and Little Havana. A must do on a first trip to Miami. magiccitya.com 

BAL HARBOUR

Bal Harbour is known as a get-away for the rich and famous with ultra-chic shopping, deluxe ocean-front hotels, five-star restaurants and pristine beaches. Bal Harbour Shops is an exquisite collection of designer boutiques and restaurants in a tropical setting – a favourite playground for socialites, celebrities and fashionistas. balharbourflorida.com 

LINCOLN ROAD

This mile-long, pedestrian-friendly promenade is home to dozens of restaurants and umbrella-shaded sidewalk cafes, and a great place to people-watch, see dogs dressed better than their owners and watch street performers.

Shopping is the main draw here, with major national and international stores (complete with exclusives not offered in other cities), art galleries, souvenir and cigar shops. It is conveniently located for the beach, so expect to see people dressed in anything from swimsuits to cocktail attire. lincolnroad.com

 

DESIGN DISTRICT

The Design District is known for its sleek, modern architecture, upscale interior design stores and art galleries. Luxury fashion and jewellery boutiques, cafes and celebrity-chef restaurants draw an affluent crowd. Public art dotting the area includes the Fly’s Eye Dome, a geodesic dome designed by inventor Buckminster Fuller.

miamidesigndistrict.net 

DINING OUT 

ESPANOLA WAY

This was the first commercial development in Miami in the early 1920s, Today, this pedestrianised, South Beach street is home to some of South Florida’s most renowned restaurants and sidewalk cafes. You can dine al fresco under the Miami sky, with choices ranging from local and traditional Spanish and Italian dishes to the day’s fresh catches. We’re told this street is buzzing in the evening. I’ll remember Espanola Way for my first ever Mojito-to-go! visitespanolaway.com 

TIME OUT MARKET

Time Out Market is one block away from Lincoln Road Mall, a few blocks away from the powdery, sandy South Beach and surrounded by the best hotels.

A concept that was created in Portugal in 2014 by the 50-year-old publishing company of the same name, Time Out follows one simple rule – if it’s good, it goes in the magazine; if it’s great, it goes in the market. So, you are ultimately getting the best talent that Miami has to offer – a hand-selected sample of everything you’ll want to eat, drink and see. Literally Miami on a plate! timeoutmarket.com/miami

CHOTTO MATTE

Chotto Matte brings the artistic energy of underground Tokyo and modern sophistication of London’s Soho to the west end of Lincoln Road. 

Blending authentic Nikkei cuisine with its dramatic contemporary environment, Chotto Matte Miami is a Lincoln Road destination restaurant that you won’t want to miss. Fresh ingredients, bold aromas and mouth-watering taste sensations. Japanese-Peruvian cuisine is best enjoyed as small sharing plates. You begin with cold, light flavoured dishes before moving gradually on to hotter, more robust tastes. chotto-matte.com/miami

RED, THE STEAKHOUSE SOUTH BEACH

Featuring only the finest Certified Angus Beef Prime on and off the bone, Red’s menu is a hybrid of classic cuisine and the freshest seasonal ingredients. Everything from the sauces to garnishes are prepared from scratch. Red, The Steakhouse has recently been named ‘Innovator of the Year’ by the National Beef Association. redthesteakhouse.com

 

VERDICT

A fabulous stay and one I’d like to repeat very soon. Everything was perfect; from the impressive Nobu lobby bar, my room, the pool, the beach to the food, Malibu Farm, the spa, the bar and the staff. 

The Eden Roc Miami Beachis ideally located across the road from Millionaires’ Row, and chartered yacht excursions are available from the marina, and all of the places listed in this article are within easy reach.

And with a temperature of 30 degrees or more, what’s not to like?

For more information, go to: edenrochotelmiami.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAGICAL MARRAKECH

MAGICAL MARRAKECH

Be mesmerised by the magic of Marrakech: soak up the souks, devour fresh mint tea and explore the Atlas Mountains. Jill Nash reports from Le Riad, an exclusive Moroccan retreat close to the centre of Marrakech.

 

Stay

A less than four-hour flight from the UK will land you in this exotic North African destination. Marrakech is culturally far enough to feel you have landed somewhere far flung, but close enough to dip your toe in for a long weekend, or longer if you can manage the time. There’s a myriad of accommodation options for a variety of budgets and tastes, September/October being the optimum time to visit after the summer heat and the crowds have subsided.

Set in Morocco’s oldest palm grove is the exclusive space Le Riad, a perfect sanctuary for an all-inclusive holiday with all the trimmings. Le Riad is five kilometres from Marrakech and easily reachable by taxi, so you can explore the buzzing Jemaa el-Fna Square by day or night at your leisure.

The grand entrance with ornate doors leads into a private concierge area with mint tea permanently on tap. The swimming pool and private poolside bar are exclusive to guests of Le Riad, yet you can enjoy the rest of the facilities and entertainment around the Club Med village if you want to venture out. This being particularly beneficial to families, as there’s children’s entertainment, a fabulous mini-club, archery, golf and trapeze, where you can learn to swing high.

Le Riad accommodation is more than just a room. The delightful interconnecting terrace suites make it feel like a private villa, with tremendous sun terraces where you can opt for sundown cocktails and a tray of dates. The bathrooms are sumptuously decorated with ornate tiling, stone sinks, lovely soap amenities and the mini-bar is constantly filled (free of charge).

Staying in Le Riad you can benefit from private poolside service, and they host a private BBQ lunch once a week and an evening dinner of authentic Moroccan dishes. Each evening, there is a raft of canapés from 6pm, accompanied by cocktails and champagne and preparing you for dinner in one of the restaurants.

A few steps away from Le Riad is the Cinq Mondes spa, designed like a Moorish villa, with an ornate water feature and sun loungers scattered around a tranquil, luscious pond. There is a truly authentic marble Turkish bath, where you can opt for a scrub down to cleanse the skin – a memorable experience. Children over eight years can also experience the spa and enjoy children’s mini treatments and massages. Visit clubmed.co.uk or clubmed.co.uk/r/Marrakech-La-Palmeraie for more information.

 

Drink + Dine

Being an all-inclusive property, guests can enjoy eating and drinking literally all day since breakfast, lunch and evening meal are included in the price. As the sun sets, the chef wheels out trays of afternoon tea treats, which are almost an entire meal in themselves. Room service is complimentary should you decide to have an early night and watch a film, and you can still take advantage of the free beers and snacks.

Each day there are varied themes, gourmet barbeques (serving lobster to your heart’s content), so there is always a wonderful variety for everyone. Guests mainly eat in the international dining room at La Palmeraie, which is a buffet-style affair, where you can help yourself to the salad bar, pizzas and sumptuous local delicacies. The Moroccan-themed night is probably one of the best evenings, where they bring the local bazaar from Marrakech to the resort; you can pick up a pair of leather slippers and enjoy taking a photo with one of the resident camels. Evening entertainment is what Club Med does best and each evening, there is a host of different shows from We Will Rock You (rock ballad classics) to the trapeze spectacular stunt show or the mesmerising snake charmers and Moroccan dancers. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure.

Enjoying Moroccan hospitality and specialities at the El Kebir restaurant is an absolute must. Choose from a variety of tagines and couscous dishes and be served at your table in a cosy dining room with a roaring fireplace. El Kebir is included in the price, but a table must be booked in advance.

There are several places you can stop for a drink that are included in the price. The cheerfully stylish Le Pacha is ideal for afternoon tea or drinks before dinner, and its poolside bar perfect for a relaxing aperitif after a day of swimming. The bar du Riad is exclusive for residents at Le Riad, warmly and elegantly decorated, secluded and providing an intimate ambience by day. In the evening, the piano is playing, and the fires are lit as it can sometimes get chilly in the evenings in Marrakech.

Finally, the adult-only Zen Zone is the place to be if you don’t have the children – grab a drink by the quiet pool and head for a snooze on a sun lounger.

 

Explore

There is plenty within the resort to keep you busy for a few days; challenge your friends at the driving range, practice your drop shots on the clay tennis courts or reach for the stars swinging on the flying trapeze – all with expert tuition and included within the price.

Outside the resort, discovering the souks of Marrakech is undoubtedly one of the highlights for any first-time visitor. The resort offers a free shuttle to the main square several times per day; alternatively, you can easily grab a taxi. Wandering through Jemaa el-Fna is a treat for the senses; indulge in freshly squeezed orange juice and dates and inhale the fresh scents of mint tea and spices on offer in the markets. Haggle to your heart’s content for leather goods, sparkling jewellery and sequined kaftans. At night, the souks come alive with entertainment, including snake charmers, fire-eaters and music – it’s simply not to be missed.

For something more tranquil, head over to the three acres of botanical gardens and artists’ landscape known as the ‘Jardin Majorelle’, which was created by French Orientalist artist Jacques Majorelle. This is one of the most visited sites in Morocco and a spectacular work of artistry, and you can explore the space with a horse-drawn carriage, which makes the trip even more special.

A day spent on a 4×4 discovering the Atlas Mountains is a thrilling experience, you can organise this directly from Le Riad and take a day to enjoy the vast, impressive scenery and meet with the Berber population before enjoying a mint tea and Moroccan lunch.

For something more low key, and if you are tight on time and/or have children, take a camel ride for a morning. The resort boasts resident camels and expert guides, so you can head out of the resort in their company and are guaranteed lots of fun.

Whatever you are looking for – a short blast of autumn sunshine or a thrill-seeking weekend away – Marrakech has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable trip. Le Riad is affordable for families looking for that special getaway without breaking the bank.

Book:

For a family room (occupancy four: two adults, 8-year-old child and four-year-old child), prices start from £3,000 (seven-night stay, November and December 2019, Saturday or Sunday departure). Includes flights from Manchester and airport-resort transfers. Kids under six stay free. Visit clubmed.co.ukfor more details.

 

 

KING STREET TOWNHOUSE

KING STREET TOWNHOUSE

A baby grand hotel, rich in history…

We’ve visited the stylish King Street Tavern bar and restaurant many times, but on this particular trip to Manchester’s small adaptation of a grand hotel, we were treated to an overnight stay, plus all the luxury add-ons they had to offer.

Located within the upper King Street Conservation Area, King Street Townhouse is an impressive Italian renaissance building, designed by architect Edward Salomons and originally built in 1872.

After being welcomed in from the rain (it’s summer in Manchester – standard!) by a charming doorman and a receptionist who could not have been friendlier, we were shown to our Luxe Junior Suite, located on the 2nd floor. The space is luxurious yet still manages to stay warm and inviting – a home away from home. The suite is tastefully decorated and boasts a spacious open-plan bedroom with intimate lounge area filled with elegant furnishings, books, flat screen TV and bespoke furniture.

 

We sipped on our welcome drinks (chilled glasses of the Champagne cocktail Kir Royale) and nibbled on our welcome confectionary platter (brownies, lemon macaroons, blackberries and buttercream) as we admired the super king bed with double pocket sprung mattress and luxury goose down pillows (like sleeping on a cloud, by the way), freestanding bath and flat screen LED TV with Sky box, including Sky Sports. The bathroom, beautifully painted in duck egg blue and withmosaic floor tiles, is home to double sinks and a glorious walk-in rain shower.

After relaxing in the mini living room, we headed down to the on-site King Street Tavern for a spot of dinner. We enjoyed starters of asparagus with (perfectly) poached eggs and, luckily, we managed to bag the last serving of delicious goat’s cheese, sweet potato and chilli jam tart. For mains, we tucked in to a bowl of juicy king prawn tagliatelle with chilli and tomatoes, and their signature King Street Beef Burger – a yummy tower consisting of two beef patties, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, burger sauce, cheese and fries.

The Tavern’s central location is ideal for hitting the town for after dinner drinks – the hotel is just down the road from Lily’s Bar and in proximity of the centre’s nightlife.

The Gym Infinity Spa Pool, steam room and relaxation area open at 7am, meaning we could delight in a morning steam and dip in the breath-taking rooftop pool, which overlooks the magnificent clock tower and spires of Manchester Town Hall, before heading back down to the room to enjoy a continental breakfast in bed prior to check out.

The night staff Brad and Nick were exceptionally helpful with a situation that arose, and Guest Relations ManagerTom was also brilliant – just another example of the great service at King Street Townhouse. We’re not at all surprised it was the TripAdvisor Top 25 Travellers’ Choice Award Winner 2017, or that it featured on CondéNast’s Hot List 2016 Best Hotels in The World.

King Street Townhouse oozes luxury and high class without a pretentious atmosphere – the only problem was that we couldn’t stay longer!

 

King Street Townhouse, 10 Booth Street, Upper King Street, M2 4AW

0161 667 0707 / [email protected]

eclectichotels.co.uk

 

ASCOTT OPENS SOUTHEAST ASIA’S LARGEST COLIVING PROPERTY LYF FUNAN SINGAPORE

ASCOTT OPENS SOUTHEAST ASIA’S LARGEST COLIVING PROPERTY LYF FUNAN SINGAPORE

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), one of the leading international lodging owner-operators, with 1,300 units in the UK, has opened lyf Funan Singapore, the largest co-living property in Southeast Asia.

It is also the world’s first property under Ascott’s new ‘lyf’ coliving brand that is managed by millennials for the millennials and millennial-minded. lyf Funan Singapore is the first of Ascott’s record-breaking property openings in Singapore this year and will join Ascott’s expanding portfolio which spans more than 170 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.

Located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic & Cultural District, lyf Funan Singapore is at the epicentre of the city-state’s buzzing retail, commercial, social and cultural belt. Spanning about 121,000 square feet in gross floor area, lyf Funan Singapore houses 412 rooms across 279 apartments. The nine-storey coliving property will have easy access, via a sheltered underground walkway, to the City Hall Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange that is well-connected to the rest of the city.

lyf Funan Singapore is an integral part of CapitaLand’s Funan integrated development, which also comprises two office blocks and a mall offering cutting-edge retail concepts, coworking spaces, urban farm, theatre, cinema, artisan shops, craft workshops, gymnasium, rock climbing, and futsal facility. Guests of lyf Funan Singapore can enjoy convenience with the plethora of recreational, retail, dining and commercial options right at their doorstep at Funan as well as surrounding landmarks such as CapitaLand’s iconic integrated development Raffles City Singapore and the National Gallery Singapore. Catering to both short and long stays, lyf Funan Singapore is ideal for leisure and business travellers, expatriates, global assignees as well as digital nomads.

 “Ascott’s first lyf property, lyf Funan Singapore, is Southeast Asia’s largest co-living property that will shape the future of travel and accommodation. Millennial and millennial-minded travellers can look forward to a dynamic live-work-play experience given the collaborative spaces, social programmes and strategic location of lyf Funan Singapore. Residents can plug into the local community and form connections with like-minded trendsetters, jetsetters, business executives, technopreneurs and creatives. A social hub that offers a new way to belong, we see lyf playing a key role in bringing people together to discover new possibilities, spark creative ideas and contribute to the region’s innovation landscape. We have seven more lyf properties to be opened over the next three years. We will open lyf in Bangkok, Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Cebu and Shanghai by 2022. Besides the countries where we have lyf, we are exploring to introduce lyf, via investment, management contracts or leases, to key gateway cities in Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The booming millennial segment, which is the fastest growing travel demographic, already forms a quarter of Ascott’s customer base and is expected to grow. Our lyf properties are specially designed to cater to millennials’ craving for social connections, collaboration and cocreation. Guests of lyf properties can be assured of consistent quality in products and services given Ascott’s 35-year track record of managing award-winning properties across the globe.” – Ms Mindy Teo, Deputy Managing Director of lyf

lyf Community – A New Way to Belong

lyf Funan Singapore will offer instagrammable ‘Connect’ social zones such as coworking spaces and an arena for activities such as hackathons, innovation talks, music jamming sessions, cooking sessions, or workshops with artisans. At its ‘Bond’ social kitchen, guests can prepare home-cooked meals, take cooking classes and socialise while learning more about global cuisines from other residents. Residents can work out and have fun with quirky design and interactive elements such as a giant ball pit, a giant-sized Connect Four set and the ‘Burn’ social gymnasium with a human-sized hamster wheel, evoking lyf’s unique and fun brand personality. They can hang out at the ‘Wash & Hang’ laundromat and strike up new conversations while waiting for their laundry to be done.

A huge focus is placed on facilitating community bonding and enhancing personal and professional growth at lyf Funan Singapore. It will conduct weekly social programmes to build connections and inspire the exchange of new ideas, providing guests with the opportunity to co-organise and cocreate community programmes or take part in TED talks, craft workshops and hackathons. 

lyf Funan Singapore will be managed by lyf Guards – millennials who may be community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers, event organisers, and problem solvers all rolled into one.

Catering to the digital natives, lyf Funan Singapore provides a digital experience through its lyf app, allowing easy booking, payment and seamless access throughout the property with just a tap or swipe. As one of the pioneer hospitality apps allowing multiple destination bookings in a single transaction, the lyf app also enables communications with the lyf Guards. Guests will get to enjoy discounts at various shops at Funan by showing their mobile key.

lyf Funan Singapore offers five interchangeable apartment types ranging from 18 square metres to 105 square metres to accommodate single, dual or group bookings, with room rates beginning at S$150++. They include One of a Kind (18 sqm), a studio unit with an ensuite bathroom for individuals and couples who enjoy their own space; Two of a Kind (43 sqm), featuring two private rooms with a shared kitchenette; lyf Style (18 sqm), a gaming-themed studio unit equipped with a PlayStation console, ensuite bathroom and a pull-down sofa bed, and also the Up & Down apartments (18 sqm) which come with bunk beds. The All Together apartments (41 sqm to 105 sqm), which are ideal for groups of up to nine, are business suites featuring two to six rooms with a shared kitchen, a Samsung Flip interactive smart screen to facilitate discussions, as well as a large table that doubles up as a workspace and dining area.

Guests will enjoy the most attractive rates if they book via the lyf website (https://www.lyfbyascott.com/en/membership.html) and app. They can sign up as a lyf member to enjoy perks from Ascott Star Rewards Programme such as member-only special opening rates of S$113++ for the One of a Kind studio unit and other benefits.

In 2017, Ascott, through its serviced residence global fund with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), acquired the land from CapitaLand Mall Trust for S$90.5 million to develop the coliving component of Funan. The fund has invested an estimated S$103 million to develop lyf Funan Singapore. Set up through a 50:50 joint venture with QIA in July 2015, Ascott’s largest private equity fund has committed total equity of US$600 million. The fund’s five other properties are La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris, Citadines Islington London, Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo, Quest NewQuay Docklands Melbourne and Ascott Sudirman Jakarta. 

The demand for coliving is driven by the growing sharing economy, as buzzing startup ecosystems in vibrant cities give rise to a popular culture of living and cocreating as a community among the millennials. lyf Funan Singapore will stand to benefit from Singapore being one of the top startup ecosystems globally and the second-best Asia Pacific destination for bleisure travel.

THE OLD CHURCH HOUSES YOU SHOULD VISIT THIS HALLOWEEN

THE OLD CHURCH HOUSES YOU SHOULD VISIT THIS HALLOWEEN

Need to escape the Trick or Treaters this Halloween? Look no further than these Mulberry Cottages converted church properties.

The Old Church House, Nr Uffington, Oxfordshire

Sleeps 4

This former chapel provides a spooky serenity away from the outside world. If you wanted to join in with the Halloween celebrations then the pub is just a 10 min walk away. The property offers an open log fire, big snug beds and rustic wooden floors which will have you feeling cosy on a cold autumnal day. A small stream separates your back garden from the public pathway and bridleways that link you to the picturesque village of Uffington.

3 nights = £441.00

7 nights = £630.00

The Arches, Winchester, Hampshire

Sleeps 2

The impressive St Thomas church dates back to 1845 and had latterly been used as the council’s Records Office after falling out of religious use in 1969. This magically magnificent conversion is comprised of nine individually designed modern apartments. The property has been carefully dressed and furnished with local Winchester touches and décor to maintain the historic feel of the magnificent building.

3 nights = £424.00

7 nights = £756.80

Arcadia, Dover, Kent (available from the 1st November)

Sleeps 4+2

Arcadia is a fascinating renovation of two of High Victorian Gothic chapels, designed by Thomas Talbot Bury, a noted pupil of Pugin. They date back to around 1870 and are linked by a sheltered reception hall. The building features grand stained-glass windows and high vaulted ceiling as well as the original chapel organ. To entice Halloween fanatics further, Arcadia is to be found within Charlton cemetery, nestling beneath the impressive Dover Castle.

3 nights =  £440.00

7 nights =  £550.00

The Cotswold Chapel, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire

Sleeps 2

This converted chapel is located within the picturesque village of Upper Slaughter. The journey begins by exploring the winding roads and breath-taking countryside. Expertly renovated this former Methodist Chapel still retains some of those quirky features such as full-length windows which provide beautiful views. This Halloween haven features stunning handmade furniture surrounding a downstairs log burner. Pets are welcome on request, so you don’t need to leave your black cat at home…

3 nights = £375.00

7 nights = £700.00

The Loft at St Thomas’, Winchester, Hampshire

Sleeps 4

St Thomas’ church was originally built in 1845 but has now ceased its religious use. The developers cleverly retained the grand architecture in the renovation, so guests can appreciate the soaring ceiling space and original church windows. Bubble your witches brew in the ultra-modern kitchen equipped with an induction hob and boiling hot water tap. The Loft at St Thomas’ is just the ticket for couples or a family wanting a luxury holiday rental in Winchester. 

3 nights = £625.00

7 nights = £1,092.00

MAGICAL MAURITIUS

MAGICAL MAURITIUS

Club Med has been a beloved institution for French holidaymakers for decades, offering premium all-inclusive family and adult-only holidays across the globe. Jill Nash takes a trip to Mauritius with her family to explore what it has to offer.

Explore

One of Africa’s most loved destinations and located in the middle of the magical Indian Ocean, Mauritius seems to offer everything – from luxurious resorts and perfect white beaches to clear waters for snorkelling and feasts of fresh seafood. It also has a myriad of UNESCO World Heritage sites, world-class golf courses and mountain trekking for those who don’t want to lounge around on a beach all day.

One of the key aspects for families is that, despite the rather long flight (which can be broken up by a stop-over in Dubai), there is only a three-hour time difference between Mauritius and the UK, which makes adjusting easy for children. There are also plenty of educational aspects, as Mauritius has a rich and varied history, mixed Creole heritage and a natural environment to explore.

Club Med La Plantation D’Albion offers children the opportunity to try scuba diving, paddle boarding and daily island sightseeing on a speed boat. There are also plenty of other exciting activities for children to try, such as the expertly run trapeze school and archery, meaning that they will never be bored. The resort is perfect for parents seeking R+R whilst their children are kept active and busy in the kids’ club, learning French as they go. If you want to explore with your children, there are plenty of excursions offered (there is an on-site office to help you plan), including an organised family boat trip on which you can swim with wild dolphins, or a glass-bottomed boat ride, which runs twice daily at 12noon and 4.30pm. It’s an island of discovery under the sea and great for spotting and learning about the local marine life, which includes clown fish, trigger fish and snappers – the whole family will love it.

The resort itself is set is a lush 21-hectare resort and feels more like a nature reserve than a hotel resort. Wonderful wildlife and exotic vegetation shape the landscape, and the natural beach spots with swirling riverbeds change the scenery every hour with the tide. The stunning infinity pools (there are separate ones for families and adults) offer the relaxing spots where you can enjoy a cocktail – why not, it’s all-inclusive after all.

If you manage to get time by yourself, the Zen-like Cinq Mondes Spa is world-class. The expert therapists offer a comprehensive spa menu in treatment rooms with stunning sea-views. The relaxation area is perched on the cliff over the Indian Ocean, serving teas and fresh fruit… post-treatment, you won’t want to move.

Sleep

All the rooms and suites have a balcony or a terrace, but if you are with little ones, make sure you request for interconnecting. The Club Deluxe rooms are generously sized and include a useful sitting area and ginormous bathrooms, the latter complete with freestanding roll-top baths and double sinks. The design has a traditional Mauritian feel – natural wooden floors, brightly decorated textiles and large floor-to-ceiling glass doors looking onto the gardens or sea. Nice additions include the complimentary minibar, fluffy bathrobes and turn-down service. You probably won’t be spending much time in your room, but if you do prefer some privacy, there is room service for breakfast (complimentary), which makes it easier than rushing out to the restaurant first thing in the morning when the children are hungry, and there’s a good choice of movies on demand for when it’s time to wind down.

Drink & Dine

The Le Banian Bar (located in the main building) is where you will probably spend most evenings before and after dinner. They serve complimentarydrinks throughout the day, and after 6pm, they serve chilled Champagne. The bar is next to the main swimming pool and the La Distillerie restaurant, where you can enjoy a variety of themed dinners, from Italian to sushi. This service is buffet style, which makes it easy to select food for picky eaters, and the variety and quality is outstanding. If you have the children, make sure you get a table near the tempting buffet itself, as you’ll be up and down every minute.

Every evening there is a theme, so make sure you pack a variety of outfits to join in the fun (but if you forget, there is always an on-site boutique to help you with those last-minute panic buys). Typically, there is White Night and a Mauritian Night, where the children do get costumes and dance around the restaurant. The children will love the themed entertainment, from the poolside fire shows to the Michael Jackson Thriller tribute. The most popular is the trapeze show, where the highly trained trapeze artists show off their skills on the high ropes.

There is no shortage of eccentric evening entertainment, but if its peace and quiet you are looking for, you can opt to dine at Le Phare restaurant, where there’s table service and an à la carte menu – still included in your package. Although it caters for children, this restaurant is quieter and specialises in local Mauritian cuisine and Asian dishes. The views are stunning, but make sure you book in advance, as it’s very popular.

To unwind at the end of the day, head to the beach bar, where you can grab a sundown drink with sand in your toes, sitting in the tropical paradise.

If you are looking for all-inclusive, hassle-free yet adventurous family escape, La Plantation D’Albion Club Med scores highly. The best part is the quality of holiday, which offers exceptional value for money.

For more information visit:


Website: clubmed.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/clubmeduk

Twitter: twitter.com/ClubMeduk

Instagram: instagram.com/clubmed

Youtube: youtube.com/user/CLUBMEDOFFICIEL

Call: 020 3892 8030

Rates: from £1,105pp

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