Although it is indeed possible to fly half way round the world the gal decided not to, and instead alighted in England for a quick overnight at one of its best luxury hotels, Bulgari London. Now six years old, this is an 85-room – sorry, suite – beauty that just epitomises what any discerning traveller could want (GM Kostas Sfaltos says it is the only hotel he has ever run which seems so near to perfection). Gosh, you can even have shopping privileges at the big Bulgari store on New Bond Street, if you have time.
There is so much to do within the hotel I wanted to stay on, and on. I did not even have to go outside for fresh air – the French windows of end-suite 420 opened wide. I luxuriated in my oval bathtub, with Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts bath salts, a joss stick and three nightlights all lit for a soothing experience. Shower controls get ten out of ten for simplicity, and personalised business cards and, also in a gold-card folder, satin-smooth embossed stationery warrants top marks for style.
Wellness, as also enjoyed by 150 local members, is sensational. Lee Mullins’ Workshop runs the 24/7 gym – see above – and there is a 25-metre pool with a gold-tiled vitality pool, plus an ESPA, and Neville for nails and hair. Wellness also pops up in Rivea restaurant: among the breakfast choices, all à la carte, is Healthy Workshop option at £32 – sugar-free smoothie (avoado, celery, parsley and spinach), eggs with your choice of avocado, smoked salmon or spinach; coconut milk yoghurt, gluten-free oats with quinoa, gluten-free rice and sunflower bread.
Rivea is Alain Ducasse, who visits the luxury hotel four times a year. Dinner here starts with a Ducasse special. A bowl of crudités and another bowl holding home-made grissini are brought out, with a palette of eight tiny bowls of dips. An accompanying card identifies these as beetroot and horseradish, aubergine confit, chilli and bellpepper, coco beans and sage, carrot and cardamom, taggiasca olives and anchovy, yellow pepper and ginger, and, finally, fennel and grapefruit. After that, the meal continues. In the morning, after an excellent workout, I followed the Nespresso I had made in my suite’s simple-to-use machine with Rivea’s really flavourful coffee, brought by the cup, and, no, not the Workshop option but Beillevaire cow’s milk yoghurt and straightforward fried eggs. NOW SEE VIDEOs OF MY SUITE, AND THE HOTEL LOBBY, AS DAWN BREAKS