Monthly Archives: November 2014

Visit These: 5 Sun-Soaked European Hotspots for Fall

Summer might be over but it doesn’t mean your vacation has to come to an end too. While the mercury has begun falling in some parts of the world, these European destinations are still enjoying some early fall sun. Yes, this means perfect water temperatures, cool autumn breezes and above all, cheaper off-peak tickets. Here, we bring you five hotspots you have to visit before winter descends.

Crete, Greece crete-greeceA white and blue church on the Greek island of Crete.

One of the most southerly destinations in Europe, Crete is perhaps most well-known for its magical tapestry of sun-drenched beaches, dynamic city life and quaint villages. As fall takes over, the Greek island offers one of the most ideal temperatures – between 23 and 25ºC – for a dip in Mediterranean waters. If exploring the island is on your itinerary, renting a car would be highly recommended – trundle quiet roads less traveled to discover Heraklion’s wineries, Greek ruins, orthodox monasteries and even hike to the cave where Zeus was born. Crete’s off-peak season runs from November to March, so those seeking better value can enjoy more affordable prices.

Malta (main picture)

If otherworldly landscapes are your thing, Malta should be your destination of choice this year. The archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and North African coast is widely known for its historic sites, hidden coves and limestone cliffs. With waters at temperatures from 25 to 27ºC in October, and dropping no lesser than 20ºC in November, dips in the pristine waters would certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. However, winds are also expected at that time of the year. The smallest country in Europe also sees equally scenic islands such as Gozo, while history enthusiasts can expect a fruitful trip to Valetta, Mdina and hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in the small town of Paola.

Sardinia, Italy sardinia-italySpiaggia del Principe on the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

Another Mediterranean option on the list, this Italian island captivates with some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find in Europe. Activities there include frolicking in emerald waters, which would fall around 20ºC on the mercury right up till the end of October. If you’re up for some adventure, Sardinia’s wild landscapes – from La Maddalena’s granite islands to the coves of Golfo di Orosei – promise to satisfy that wanderlust. Trekking enthusiasts will also enjoy a trip to Gola Su Gorropu (nicknamed “Europe’s Grand Canyon”).

Puglia, Italy puglia-italyPolignano a Mare, in Puglia, Southern Italy

It might be fall, but the sun continues to light up the Puglia region (also called Apulia) in Italy. Bordering the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the area enjoys pleasant temperatures following months of stifling heat during the summer. Visit the historic vineyards of Poligano a Mare, Lecce, Vieste and Bari while you’re there, or take a stroll along one of the many beaches Puglia has to offer. Wineries and olive groves during harvesting season are also key activities you need to participate in for an authentic Italian escapade.

Faro and The Algarve, Portugal portugal-vicentine-coastCastelejo and Cordoama beaches on the Vicentine coast, Portugal

While highly popular during the summer season between July and August, the Portuguese region celebrates cool Atlantic waters at places such as Cascais. Besides a stunning marina, Faro also boasts well-maintained plazas, historic towns and plenty of alluring lagoons. September and October also sees temperatures that remain above 25ºC, so you can take in the picturesque views, minus the autumnal chill. While you’re there, head to the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, a preserved stretch of European coastline that’s not only home to unique species of wildlife, but also has a tremendous variety of beaches that are untouched and uninhabited.

Chanel Expands Coco Crush Jewelry Collection

Chanel’s “Coco Crush” Jewelry collection is welcoming a few new pieces to the range. The designs – partially paved with diamond ‘constellations’ – will be made available at Chanel Jewelry boutiques later this month to help expand the range for Fall 2016.

The campaign for the expanding collection features Keira Knightley as the new face of “Coco Crush”. Shot by Mario Testino, the campaign adds to the actress’s portfolio with the brand, having fronted the “Coco Mademoiselle” fragrance and the “Rouge Coco” lipstick campaigns. “Thanks to her natural elegance and freedom, she perfectly embodies this resolutely modern fine jewelry collection,” said Chanel back in June.bague_coco_crush-chanel

Even further back, in April 2015, Chanel introduced the first creations that featured the iconic quilted motifs to honor Gabrielle Chanel’s love for all things equestrian. The new additions drew on the creativity, brand symbols and chic designs that helped propel the simple pattern into the brand’s signature symbol. First seen in Chanel’s couture collection in 1920, the Matelassé design can also be found in other iconic colelctions by the brand, such as the 2.55 bag.manchette_coco-crush-chanel

Joining the existing range are rings and cuffs that will not only feature the quilted pattern in finely engraved gold but also paved with diamond constellations. Another symbol featured in the update that was dear to its founder, is the lion. The majestic beast is seen on diamond cuffs in white and yellow gold.

Property Focus: Tung Shan Terrace, HK

Tung Shan Terrace offers great unobstructed views of the city and part of the Happy Valley racecourse. Open and spacious, this two-bedroom apartment with an adjacent study and a private terrace is ideal for a couple or a family with taste.Tung Shan Terrace

Lighting and wall fixtures, furnishing and fittings are in neutral colors. Large windows make every room naturally bright. The kitchen is open plan to the living and dining room comes with high-end appliances including a built-in western oven, microwave, and a large fridge.Tung Shan Terrace

The dining table is set to serve six people, as pictured above. Bathrooms have been well maintained. Sit and chat on your large terrace with friends and marvel at the beautiful views of Midlevels & Happy Valley.

Price HKD 19.8 Million ($2.55 Million)

This article was first published in Palace.

Jamaica Leads World Travel Awards Caribbean 2016

When you’re based in the tropics, getting away for winter is meaningless, unless you’re planning a ski trip, but we understand that readers in the northern hemisphere might be planning a toasty getaway right now. If so, you might want to consider Jamaica, named by the World Travel Awards 2016 as the Caribbean’s leading destination. On the high end of the scale, the Bahamas was a double-winner, as the Leading Luxury Island Destination and Leading Luxury Destination.

At a gala ceremony held over the weekend, industry leaders toasted the best of Caribbean travel as voted by major players in the industry. If you’re wondering what about the rest of the world, well this occasion focused only on the Caribbean.

As you might expect, perennial favorites Jamaica, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Antigua & Barbuda took home some of the major awards of the night.

Turks & Caicos was voted the Caribbean’s leading beach destination, while Antigua & Barbuda was named the most romantic. We wonder how the rest of the Caribbean feels about that beach award…

Still, it isn’t all humdrum and storms-in-teacups. Jamaica-bound travelers may be interested in the tourism office’s “Meet the People” program, which pairs visitors with local ambassadors who share a common profession, hobby or interest.

Ambassadors include musicians, doctors, chefs, dancers, farmers, teachers, beauticians, photographers, and artists.

Another innovative program includes volunteering opportunities that include educational, faith-based and farming programs throughout the island.

Jamaica’s Dolphin Cove was also named the region’s leading tourist attraction and the island itself named leading cruise destination.

On the luxury side, the Bahamas repeated its success from last year, where it also won the Leading Luxury Island Destination award. Accepting the award for the Bahamas in Jamaica was Giovanni Grant, general manager of Multi Destination Marketing. “I’m thrilled that the Bahamas has maintained its appeal as the leading luxury destination,” he said. “It speaks to our commitment to building on the success that we have achieved thus far. We will continue to work hard and hopefully next year we’ll be walking away with a few more awards.”

Here are some of the big winners from the Caribbean edition of the World Travel Awards 2016:

Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination: The Bahamas Leading beach destination: Turks & Caicos Leading beach resort: Four Seasons Resort Nevis Leading cruise destination: Jamaica Leading hotel: Coco Reef Resort & Spa, Tobago Leading destination: Jamaica Leading honeymoon destination: Saint Lucia Leading honeymoon resort: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Jamaica Leading luxury destination: The Bahamas Leading luxury resort: Amanyara Villas, Turks & Caicos Leading dive destination: Cayman Islands

Lucky Dior Signet Rings

While others have ventured away from signet rings, Dior has given the concept a new twist with the Lucky Dior collection. In white, rose and yellow gold, the signet rings are a perfect fit for those looking to invest in a talisman that is both symbolic yet versatile.lucky_dior_bee_.59913103008.h0

Along with a precious stone, the luxury French brand incorporates symbols that hold special meaning to the house of Dior. Take for instance the bee that represents the Christian Dior seamstresses against the deep black onyx or the lily of the valley that has long been associated with Mr Dior. Other designs that make up the collection include a clover to represent good luck that is set against amazonite as well as a star that was also important to Christian Dior against a radiant brown stone.lucky_dior_rose.3bcbc103137.h0

The oval, which reminds us of the famous armchairs laid out for guests at catwalk shows, is another symbol that has been put in ring form. In this new collection, it is combined with fluorite, which is associated with protection. The initials CD, for Christian Dior of course, are a key part of the collection, and have been set against a red coral backdrop. The rose is an important symbol for the fashion house and was therefore an obvious inclusion in the collection. In this case, the queen of flowers, which reminds us of the designer’s childhood garden in Granville, is set against a navy blue lapis.

The pairings prove to be a unique mix of the brand’s history and symbolisim that produce a radiant Lucky Dior collection that is sure to add some character to an outfit.