Category Archives: Hotels

Barcelona Brief: The Stylishly Sumptuous Hotel Majestic

If you’re keen to hold convenient court in Barcelona’s elegant and central Eixample district (yet never realise it as long as the door to your room’s terrace is kept shut to not allow even a decibel of noise to seep in from the streets), then this five star hotel’s location is for you. Within easy reach of Las Ramblas; loads of upscale shops; Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, La Pedrera (Casa Milà) and Sagrada Familia; and the Barri Gòtic, it’s a fine location for sightseeing. The hotel is also only a minute’s stroll from Passeig de Gràcia station, where you can hope a train to the airport and be there in about a half hour. Continue reading

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Clearing up the Mystery of Blogging with the HMA at 17 June at Royal Garden Hotel

Aimed at an audience of bloggers, social media specialists, hospitality marketers and operators “who understand the importance of social media in matters relating to reputation management, promotion, consumer purchasing behaviour and the evolving service culture,” the seminar’s focus will be “experiences, case studies, pitfalls, best practice and how best to develop relationships for your specific marketing needs.” Following the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity to network. Continue reading

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Barcelona Brief: Ah-Inspiring Hotel Arts

The highest building in Barcelona? It’s the five-star, 43-storey Hotel Arts. At the top floor of this seaside beacon of luxury is 43 The Spa. For rarefied pampering with a view to match, the spa’s signature 43 Sea Experience allows the body to unwind while the mind and spirit soar. That guests can have a gorgeous al fresco lunch several floors down just minutes after … or a stroll the beach … or hit the far humbler but nonetheless inviting neighbourhood bars in nearby Barceloneta … or hop the Metro/hail a cab for more decidedly Barcelonan delights adds dreamy depth to such splendorous me-time. Continue reading

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Barcelona Brief: High on Generator

For my first of only two nights in Barcelona, I stayed at Generator … in the 8th floor penthouse … and absolutely loved it! If you hanker for a bit of luxury and a chance to spread out when in Barcelona (while still holding on to more than a few spare euros in your pocket), this suite is hard to beat. But whatever you might hope to achieve when booking a budget conscious visit to this bodacious city, you’d be smart to keep in mind Generator’s rather broad spectrum of possible overnight arrangements. Continue reading

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Barcelona Brief: Too Brief but Brilliant!

Just back from far too few but still wonderfully rejuvenating days in Barcelona, it’s easy to proclaim it as the ideal getaway. So ideal, I can’t stop thinking about what it might be like to get way there for good! No matter your “thing” – art, food, beach, luxury, street life, shopping, history … etc etc ad nauseum – or whether you’re one to zealously guard a small budget or magnificently blow a big one, you can do so with flying colours in this captivating Catalan capital. And if you’re like me and want the best of it all in maximum dosage, then keep an eye out for upcoming posts in my Barcelona Brief. Continue reading

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Le Vie della Zagara: Palazzo Adriano

Okay. I’ve covered the citrus side of my Sicilian excursion – with bits about Ciaculli mandarins, Ribera oranges, blood oranges, Interdonato lemons and Syracuse lemons – and now I want to talk about some of the other equally fruitful aspects of my trip. So in the next few posts of my Le Vie della Zagara series I’m going to highlight a handful of the more remarkable sights encountered while touring Sicily. First up is the quaint and scenic mountain village of Palazzo Adriano. Continue reading

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La Vie en Rose Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel London St James

On now and running throughout May is a new floral-inspired La Vie en Rose afternoon tea at the Rose Lounge at the Sofitel London St James hotel. I got a taste of this limited run luxury a couple of weeks back and very much enjoyed it. Here’s a waft of what made it such a treat for me. Continue reading

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Le Vie della Zagara: Limone di Siracusa

A fertile coastal plain stretching between the mountains and the sea with plenty of sea air and consistent year-round sunlight make conditions right for growing Limone di Siracusa, aka Syracuse lemons – some of the juiciest and zestiest on the market. Such conditions add up to a gorgeous place to visit too. The last of the low hanging PGI fruits picked along my journey across Sicily, here’s why I’m a sucker for the aroma and flavour of this mighty if diminutive squirt! Continue reading

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Le Vie della Zagara: Sicily’s Beautiful Blood Oranges

The three varietals of Sicilian blood oranges include the deeply crimson Moro, the Tarocco (a great all rounder and Italy’s most popular orange), and the sweet and succulent Sanguinello. During my time travelling Le Vie della Zagara, I got a taste of all three blood oranges (and more – keep reading!) while visiting two places involved in the production of aranchia rossa: the lavish San Giorgio Estate with its upscale luxury Aranjaya villa and the more pragmatic but nonetheless impressive processing facilities of Pannitteri & C. Both are located in the eastern area of Sicily within the province of Catania and bestowed with jaw-dropper views of smoking and snow-capped Mount Etna. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Foodie Safari in Sabi Sabi (City AM)

The streets of Mayfair may seem a world away from the remote South African bush, but for discerning gourmet travellers the metaphorical – if not physical – distance between the two has just become smaller. A new initiative at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve invites some of the world’s top chefs into the kitchen at the area’s renowned Earth Lodge. The partnership was launched in February, with Michelin-starred Eric Chavot making the inaugural visit, taking a week-long break from his eponymous Mayfair brasserie (at The Westbury on Conduit Street) to share his experience with the cooks at Earth Lodge. Continue reading

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Taking it Easy with an Overnight Spa Break in Bath

Easter week, Kemey and I made a quick overnight trip to Bath for a bit of rest and relaxation with a dash of history and scaled down but nonetheless urban ease. Both of us had been to Bath before but ages ago and not together. We had so much fun during our brief stay in this compact and attractive city. It’s a great place for couples and super easy to get to from London. Of course, more time to explore Bath and the bucolic countryside nearby would have been ideal, but our overnight visit proved to be an amply replenishing pause before having to head back to the London grind. Continue reading

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Lunch at The Pig

Oozing with ye olde English shabby chic charm without coming across as twee, the look and feel of this “restaurant with rooms” very much did it for me. I could have staged a “you-can’t-make-me-leave” sit-in at the hotel’s ultra cosy lobby bar; I got a mini recharge from my brief amble through the kitchen garden and surrounding grounds; I would have loved to try a post-lunch treatment at the spa across the pond in the garden or maybe an expert-led forage in the forest for wild mushrooms.
Continue reading

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How to Pick the Right Hotel in London (OneTravel)

Someone who works in the hotel industry here in London recently explained to me that there are more than 80 luxury hotels within a 15 minute walk of each other in Central London. Expand the range a little, throw in … Continue reading

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Preview: Bompas & Parr Dine with the Dead and Toast with a Human Skull

Over my years writing about the London dining scene one thing’s proved a certain constant: any email landing in my inbox from the jellymongering of Bompas & Parr is a must-read missive. The latest announcement of foodie frivolity (this time with a slightly darkened tinge) is no exception with an invitation to “a magnificent feasting occasion offering guests the ultimate tribute to departed Londoners in a spectacular environment.” Continue reading

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New Fangled Old Fashioneds with Woodford Reserve

The Old Fashioned is pretty much my go-to cocktail these days. And if it’s made with Woodford Reserve, well then all the better. So an invitation to attend an Old Fashioned masterclass hosted by Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Tom Vernon at South Place Hotel’s SPIES Society bar and to enter a Classic American Cocktail competition based on my takeaway from the event was greatly appreciated. Continue reading

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STK London’s 777 Bar Menu, 5pm to 7pm

STK London has recently launched new “777” menu featuring seven small plates and seven drinks priced at £7 each offered at its bar between 5pm to 7pm Monday to Friday and presents a no fuss opportunity to have a night out with going overboard. Continue reading

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Skip the Hippest Lines in Stockholm with the Berns Hotel VIP Wristband (OneTravel)

If you’re only going to be in Stockholm for a short spell but keen to be immersed in the local scene ASAP, booking the Berns would prove an especially wise move. Set in the heart of historic Stockholm, the 150 … Continue reading

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Fine Dining with a View to Match at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Park Lane

Twenty-eight storeys up, the Michelin star shines brightly (and rightly) from Galvin at Windows restaurant atop the London Hilton Park Lane where diners are just as likely to ooh and ah over the food and drink as they are about the panoramic views of the city. Continue reading

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Glam Rock Afternoon Tea at the K West Hotel

The new Glam Rock Afternoon Tea at the K West Hotel is an effortless combination of two seemingly diverse British delicacies: Ziggy Stardust and Finger Sandwiches. Continue reading

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Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge Added to National Geographic’s Top List of Lodges (OneTravel)

I’m just back from a few days of luxury safari at Earth Lodge in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Yes, I was only there for a four nights. To be sure, I would have been delighted … Continue reading

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Sabi Sabi Safari

Making eye contact with a lion metres away from my seat in a topless Land Cruiser … lounging in a private plunge pool in the buff while smoking a Cuban and staring off into the unfenced and utterly vast savannah … losing track of how many rhinos and elephants I’d seen in the span of a couple of hours … having a multi course feast prepared by a Michelin starred chef and paired with some of the best South African wines available … getting one to most relaxing massages I’ve had in too long awhile … Sabi Sabi turned me into a blathering mess of wow. Continue reading

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New Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental London Park Lane? It’s a Guiltless Pleasure.

Yes, the folks at the Park Lane Intercontinental have done it again: wowed my senses in one of London’s most elegantly comfortable public settings … and with gracious and polite service to boot! This new vegetarian (without ever stating so) afternoon tea was a delight and yet another point to be added to a now rather lengthy set of reasons to recommend the hotel as an ideal destination for making the most of your time in the West End. Continue reading

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2014 – Best of the Best

Going back over of the best sights, bites and more from the past 12 months was a fun and fruitful exercise in counting my blessings and strive for more. I hope my series of Best of 2014 lists may assist you in making the most of your time in the months to come. Cheers for reading tikichris in 2014! Continue reading

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Best Restaurants in London – 2014

Most of these ‘best of lists’ I’m doing have been compiled with some degree of difficulty often leaving me feeling guilty for excluding somewhere excellent that for whatever reason was nudged out by another place. However, making a concise and definite list of my favourite few London restaurants visited over this past year was an absolute breeze as five fantastic eateries clearly did stand out from the rest with respect to quality of food and overall dining experience. Continue reading

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Best Hotels – 2014

From the inner core of downtown DC to a sparsely settled archipelago at the junction of the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea – with loads of scenery and bon vivant adventures along the way – I stayed in some fantastic hotels this year. Continue reading

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Best Bars (Everywhere Else) – 2014

A blogger walks into a bar … and has an amazing time! No joke! Here’s a quick write up of some excellent places to have a drink in a handful of awesome destinations I had the pleasure of visiting this year. Continue reading

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Best Bars in London – 2014

The options for getting one’s drink on in London continued to broaden and improve in 2014. I truly was impressed with the libations on offer at so many bars around town this year. Continue reading

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Washington DC: Where to Eat in the Political Capital of the Western World (City AM)

Over the past few years, ravenous London scenesters have been snarfing down a vast array of steaks, burgers, hot dogs, shakes, pizzas, burritos and all sorts of other full-flavoured Americana from a diverse range of restaurants, pop-ups and food trucks. US food, as our Stateside cousins would say, is hot right now. Meanwhile, denizens of US capital Washington DC have been reinvigorating the very concept of what it means to eat American, as I discovered during my recent city break there. Continue reading

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Good Stuff

Good Stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Theo Randall’s Pasta and Wine Menu (Great British Chefs)

Theo Randall at the Intercontinental is THE place to head to for an upscale dinner focused on basic quality ingredients with a no-fuss approach to bringing out the best in Italian cuisine. Continue reading

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Jerusalem City Break: Best Hotel in Town?

While in Jerusalem, I stayed at the Arthur Hotel. This fairly new 54-room boutique hotel located in a pedestrianised street near to many of the city’s most popular attractions and historical sites was at the time of my visit the top ranked Jerusalem hotel on TripAdvisor. Did it live up to all those online raves? Continue reading

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The Hunt London Features Some of My Favourite Independent Businesses in London

The HUNT Guides are city guidebooks highlighting “authentic eating, shopping and lifestyle experiences” in a range of popular destinations with listings that are all independently owned. I contributed to The Hunt London, Third Edition which came out earlier this year. It was a delight to write about some of my favourite indie enterprises in London. Continue reading

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Hotel Cafe Royal and Valrhona Team Up for Exclusive Profile 66 Chocolate

French chocolatier Valrhona has co-branded with London’s Hotle Cafe Royal to develop an exclusive new chocolate: Profile 66. Only available at the hotel, Profile 66 is the creation of Andrew Blas and a team of Valrhona tasters. Continue reading

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DC Dining? It’s a Capital Idea!

A commission for City AM had me visiting Washington DC and rural Virginia at the end of September to write a piece about the exquisite Hay-Adams hotel and its relationship with regional food and drink suppliers. I’ll be sure to do a heads up post here on the blog when that article is published, but in the meanwhile I thought I’d share some of the best bits of my trip in a quickie roundup. Continue reading

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Win Dinner for Two at Pont Street Restaurant – Courtesy of Zomato

So, a couple of weeks back I had a very agreeable Friday night dinner for two at Belgraves hotel’s Pont Street restaurant. And now – thanks to a team up with online restaurant discovery guide, Zomato – I’m offering the chance to enjoy the same delicious experience to one lucky reader. Check it out! Continue reading

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