Passion Points: Family
At the end of 2010, we quizzed members, contributors and staff about their favorite discoveries this year. Read more Best-of-2010 Interviews.
From Elena Bowes, Indagare contributor, London, UK
What was your favorite trip this year and why?
My favorite trip this year was easily the Maldives at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. I was a bit anxious because the last time I went to the Maldives was on my honeymoon in 1987, and I’m now single. But I needn’t have worried. After the direct British Airways flight from London to Male, we took a sea plane ride to Landaa Giraavaru, one of the thousands of small islands that comprise the Maldives. The ride itself is a visual aphrodisiac with an endless stretch of the shimmering sea dotted with pint-sized islands.
Landaa Girvaaru is an oasis for the senses. Beyond its supreme physical beauty, the resort has an Aruyvedic Spa that became my home. Heal, relax, smile, unwind. That’s about all I did for a week. Add a daily sunset swim, some sublime snorkeling and casual but delicious restaurant hopping and I was truly content. It helped that I was with my family and some close friends, so everyone had a buddy. And the resort offers a wide range of activities to please all different personalities. It caters to the sun-worshipping couch potato, the serenity seeker and the zealous athlete with equanimity. Bottom line: this time I’m not waiting 23 years to come back.
What is one thing you learned while on the road?
Always buy the relatively cheap speedy boarding option on Easyjet. You get a special check-in line at the airport, as well as the best seats on the flight. Virgin Atlantic has economy seats with extra legroom, which you can buy at the airport. Also, if possible, always check out a villa before renting it. I didn’t in Porto Ercole (big mistake!) but did in Soto Grande, and we had a lovely vacation in a terrific villa.
Where are you dying to go next year?
I’d love to visit northern India by luxury train, stopping off to see Jaipur, Agra and the Taj Mahal. Closer to home I’d like to check out the design capitals of Europe, namely Amsterdam and Stockholm, or experience buzzy Berlin where the art scene and night life are going gangbusters. I’d like to visit the Caribbean sister islands of Nevis and St Kitts to see if the reality lives up to the chat. Damascus, Beirut and Jordan are also on my list for 2011 and, for a real escape, Pantelleria off the southern coast of Italy.
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