Bodysgallen Hall – From the Mountains to the Sea

“The living need charity more than the dead” so stated the US poet George Arnold. Why am I mentioning charity whilst describing a Welsh hotel in 200 acres? Well, Bodysgallen Hall is one of three hotels that were donated to the National Trust, a charity, to ensure their long-term protection. So a stay at this…
View Post

Cartagena Dreaming

The clear liquid hit the back of my throat like a bullet, rendering me momentarily speechless. I looked up and through my watering eyes saw the smiling face of Noah, bartender at El Barón who was taking us through his rum and cigar tasting masterclass at the Santa Teresa hotel in Cartagena. ‘Strong, eh?’ he…
View Post

Heathfield House, the New Forest

England’s rural idyll has got a lot to answer for. The sweet promise of bucolia, of quaint English greens and rolling fields and sad shire horses dragging iron ploughs. Village fetes and maypoles, hay bales being slung at harvest time, damsels drinking cider from stone jugs. Is it really such paradise? Or just a big romanticised fib to…
View Post

All That Jazz – The Wellesley

At times, the mere hint of it brings a rush of emotion that could be measured somewhere on a scale between minor annoyance and sheer terror. Sometimes, it is a beacon of hope, a sign that I shall soon be whisked home, away from the clamouring hoards on the street. Other times, it simply marks…
View Post

Living the Dubai Life

Dubai is the on the way to everywhere. Just on the east of Europe, just on the west of Asia, over two-thirds of the world’s population lives within eight hours flight. It’s on its way to becoming the world’s third busiest airport, behind Beijing and Atlanta. With so much money passing through, Dubai’s rulers are…
View Post

It Gstaaded with a Kiss – The Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

Lusso’s resident priapus, Donald Twain, takes the slow train to arguably the finest Alpine resort in Switzerland and the white wet stuff gets everywhere. Etc.   Of course you’ve been skiing before. Loads, I imagine. So why bother reading about some odd-named nobody going to Switzerland and falling down a mountain? Well, because skiing done…
View Post

Back to the Island – Hotel OD Talamanca, Ibiza

Nostradamus predicted that ‘Ibiza will be the Earth’s final refuge’, because apparently even a small thing like Armageddon can’t stop the fun. And if you’re looking for an escape from the real world, Ibiza has it all: sunset sundowners and disco sunrises, lairy bar crawls and every kind of nightclub. The communal fungasm on the…
View Post

Chip Off the Gold Block – The Palazzo Versace Dubai

In the film Showgirls (1995), the heroine says she purchased her dress at “Ver-sayse”, an indication that the lowly stripper was moving up in the world, even if she couldn’t pronounce Versace correctly. Moving up in the world is now literal for anyone staying in Dubai with the opening of the five-star Palazzo Versace Dubai.…
View Post