Luxury Hotels


Well, Girlahead had a month and a half, a whirlwind of experiences. Take Copenhagen, site of the 2023 Rendezvous of Relais & Chateaux. Looking back, what are some of the memories? The friendship of all 500+ delegates. No agro, no tenure, No ‘no I can’t’. It was welcome, throughout. The leaders led the way. Relais’ Chairman, Laurent Gardinier, co-owner of LES CRAYERES in Champagne, on duty for three days straight and, at the end, he welcomed 600 to the final banquet, and had formal photos taken with them all. And the boss of the UK and Ireland delegation, Michael Caines, owner of LYMPSTONE MANOR in Devon, shepherding his charges with tender loving care.

And Copenhagen’s bicycles, a deluge, an infestation of them, oh gosh. What else about the lovely city? An airport that works. That statement can also be applied to Dubai. Wow, the memory of being welcomed at RAFFLES THE PALM DUBAI by the md, wide awake and fully dressed, at 3.50 a.m.  That’s Dubai.  Other mini-mems, the 111 Skin vitrine incongruously on display at Madinat Jumeirah’s AL QASR, on the walkway from lobby to elevators. And the Schiaparelli colours in the bedroom.

Dubai is everything. White unbreakable stemware for a poolside function at NIKKI BEACH, and more than ample chilled bottles handy in ice coolers so you never ran out.  More thoughts. Not-skinny holiday-makers in bikinis sunbathing literally within touch of city-type luncheon Portuguese-perfect eaters by the infinity pool cantilevered from an upper terrace of MANDARIN ORIENTAL DUBAI JUMEIRA BEACH.

In and out around UAE. Abu Dhabi and the ravishingly re-done EMIRATES PALACE MANDARIN ORIENTAL and Ras Al Khaimah, with its seemingly-Serengeti RITZ-CARLTON AL WADI tented camp. Thence Musandam Peninsula, for an eye-opening update on SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY.

Everywhere, so much captivating conversation, so much fab food. If anything, the one outstanding taste was the soft gaarlic icecream amuse at ONE&ONLY THE PALM. With that connoisseur of taste, Sybaritic Single (above, and read him tomorrow).