State of tranquillity [The Sunday Times Travel]


Beyond the chaotic tour-bus circuit is a Rajasthan still rooted in quiet rural tradition. Stanley Stewart finds peace among serpent gods and shepherds.

They call it godhulivela in Hindi. The hour of the cow dust: day’s end, when long shadows rake across the fields and shepherds herd their cattle and sheep homeward. Silhouetted against the sun, the shepherds are iconic figures with their long crooks, white robes and outlandish red turbans. I was following them home to their village, in the cooling afternoon, along a lane in Rajasthan, breathing in the aromas of the country: cattle, wood-smoke, sage. This is the rural India I have come to find, a place where days are measured by the coming and going of the cows. …Read More

Far from the madding crowd [Times LUXX]


A romantic boat for two and a new forest sanctuary from which to escape Bali’s hordes. By Susan D’Arcy.

I am in a gazebo suspended over a pristine rainforest valley. Jasmine perfumes the air and butterflies flap their lemon-coloured wings languidly in the tropical heat, coming so close that I could reach out and touch them. An ancient waterway provides the rhythm for my unplugged soundtrack, birdsong adds the melody, while somewhere way down, and well hidden, the mighty Pakerisan river plays bass. It is blissful, so please don’t listen to doom-mongers – Bali isn’t ruined. …Read More

Island Style [New York Times]


After a decade of peace, Sri Lanka is South Asia’s most daring design destination. By Stacie Stukin

Sri Lanka conjures images of heavenly sunsets, fisherman gracefully balancing on stilts and feel-good moments of Buddhist Zen. Yet for many, the devastation of the 25-year civil war and the 2004 tsunami kept the Indian Ocean island off itineraries. Now, new resorts and tourists are bringing the island (formerly Ceylon) back into focus …Read More

Seventh Heaven [Oracle Time Magazine]


Holidays should always be a time of joy, but sometimes you just need to go that extra mile and spend that extra pound to make the occasion extra-memorable. Here, we select the most fabulous, extravagant, unforgettable holiday packages in the world, so there’s no chance of you ever saying, “Where did we go again?”

As wonderful as Presidential Suites are, they just don’t compare to real life palaces. Unfortunately, royal residences are usually closed to the public. Not so with this lavish package, appropriately titled “King of the Castle”, which allows lucky guests exclusive use of three of India’s most fabled estates: the Lake Palace in Udaipur (the set of Octopussy), Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Strut around your personal palace and try not to think about the princely price tag – or about how you’ll ever go back to real life again …Read More

Vanity Fair on Travel [Vanity Fair]


“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…” Susan Sontag. Victoria Mather rounds up the best of travel in 2017.

Hurrah! Yippee! Calcutta is the city we forget when exploring India. The first hits are Delhi, Rajasthan and Mumbai, yet Calcutta is magnificent …Read More

Ibiza-style beach vibe comes to Sri Lanka [The Times]


Hip new hotels on the island's southern coast make a great base for exploring... By Louise Roddon

It’s dawn off the southern tip of Sri Lanka and I’m bobbing about in a two-tiered boat when something rather thrilling happens. Until now the Indian Ocean off Mirissa Beach has stayed calm, but as the sun rises, the silvered sea parts to the curved back of an enormous blue whale. Out is arcs, sleek and smooth, roiling the water before disappearing with a final slap from his anchor-shaped fluke …Read More

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