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12 Sep

Rules of Civility

By Amor Towles This novel, set in 1930s Manhattan, is lots of fun. Shopping at Bendel's, gin martinis at a debutante mansion and jazz bands that play until 3 am - Rules of Civility is a perfect vacation read. The prose is witty and colourful. Evie Ross is the daughter of a wealthy Russian immigrant and Katey Kontent is her roommate. They both fall for the banker bachelor Tinker Grey. A car crash brings an interesting turn of events that lead Katey from a low level secretarial job into the executive suite at Conde Nast publications...
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28 Aug

The Evora Trilogy: The Secret Child

I love shining a light on regional designers, hotels, and authors - so *drum roll* here is a book by Kuwaiti Dana Al Jouder! She's an artist, interior design aficionado, and she writes fantastical books - a true creative force to keep on your radar. Exclusively for Holidays in Heels, she presents in her own words her novel The Evora Trilogy: The Secret Child. "We write continents apart; Nicole is in Los Angeles, and Dana is in Kuwait. Our story unifies African, Arab, Brazilian, and Portuguese folktales into one – the Evora trilogy. Our story begins with a beckoning lure and the arrival of vast ships onto Evora’s shores. It all happens on the night of the pink moon, an event that marks the birth of...
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25 Aug

W Singapore

When I asked South African concert pianist extraordinaire, Malika Omar, about one of her favourite hotels in the world, she came back to me with the W Singapore Sentosa Cove and I can see why it resonates with her. Just like Malika, the W Singapore is quirky, full of class, and it stands out in the crowd. Hello beautiful Malika! The W Singapore Sentosa Cove is an exclusive address, located on its very own island, a short drive away from shopping and nightlife in the heart of southern Singapore. Like all W hotels, this one takes 5 star luxury up a notch with an out-of-this-world take on design and a serious attention to detail. Always...
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21 Aug

Kozma and Kozma Salon

Sometimes, when you can't get away but you desperately need a holiday, there's nothing like a day of pampering. We are pretty spoiled in Dubai with a zillion world class hotel spas and salons to choose from, so I expected Kozma and Kozma, a new beauty salon on Al Wasl Road, to be just another great spa. My jaw actually dropped when I walked in to the villa and saw a spiral staircase, a colourful chandelier and rows of candy jars on the wall. I have officially entered Willy Wonka's dream fantasy for all things girly! (The hot pink branding should have given it away :D)   Get the Party Started After 'checking in' at the reception, we were lead to the sunken...
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16 Aug

Hotel Virgilio

I love to get the inside track on favourite hotels directly from the locals. It doesn't get more local than chatting to the editor of The Local, an English-language news site on all things Italy. My longtime friend, the inimitable Angela Giuffrida, shares exclusively with Holidays in Heels a review of Hotel Virgilio in Orvieto, Umbria :) Hi Angela! <3 Orvieto is a charming hilltop town perched on a cliff of red volcanic rock in Umbria, Italy. The town is full of good two and three-star hotels, usually family-run businesses which have been nurtured over the years with tender care - Hotel Virgilio is one of them. The three-star boutique hotel is the only one in the medieval town located on Piazza...
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11 Aug

Waldorf Astoria RAK

One day, when I get my dream summer home, this is what I want it to look like. This airy, lightweight feeling is mastered throughout the regal Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, the shining star of hotels in the seaside emirate. I've always loved staycations that mean no airport queues or jet lag, so the one hour drive to RAK from Dubai was a perfect escape. We actually drove by camels on the way - very Arabian nights!   The Welcome Once we reached, the valet area was all high ceilings, marble finishing, valet attendants in taupe and a few Bentleys thrown in for good measure. We had arrived. I began clapping when I saw the lobby. It's actually my second time here, and yes,...
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8 Aug

Jumeirah Carlton Tower

Location, location, location. Steps away from Hyde Park, Harrods and trendy Sloane Street, the five star Jumeirah Carlton Tower is an elegant hideaway in Knightsbridge that is fit for a modern day princess. It's the first hotel that sprang to mind when I consulted the gorgeous UAE-based fashion designer and social media star Tamara Al Gabbani about her favourite hotel in London. Like her, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower is all about luxury, class and warmth. Sweet Suite That park view terrace really steals hearts. It's one of the reasons Tamara loves this city hotel. You can get the same view from your bedroom window if you book early enough to nab a park view room. The interiors are all cream and brown leather...
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3 Aug

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal

Meet Luxembourg's Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal: a five star playground for design aficionados. Places like Greece and Spain have always been holiday hotspots during the summer months (hello, Mykonos and Ibiza!), but check out this hidden gem for a fresh taste of European flavour. What do you think of when you hear Luxembourg? I think money and castles - and a quick Google search shows that I'm right. I took it a step further to get the inside track from Lena Baraka, a beautiful British-Sudanese dentist who lived there for years with her husband and son. These idyllic surroundings helped inspire her to start the popular Creme de la Creme Facebook page about all things lifestyle for women. She recommends Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal as one of her...
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