THE GURU • April 2021
Holidays are back on the horizon, and this time we’re going large. If you, like many, are nurturing a hefty appetite for ‘revenge travel’ after months spent in lockdown, writer Jenny Southan knows all the fanciest ways to make your next trip bigger and better than ever before...
There’s nothing like a cold glass of Champagne and plump day bed to steer off the pre-flight jitters – and both can be found across the 600 independent lounges available to British Airways customers, courtesy of Lounge Pass. So even if you’re not flying Club World, or if you’re not quite Silver Tier yet, revel in these exclusive spaces spread across 350 airports worldwide (like in Washington DC – lounge pictured) and more than 45 here in the UK, from as little as £13.50 per person. Better still? Executive Club Members can collect five Avios for every £1 they spend.
Cabin upgrades are a perfect way to redeem some of the Avios you’ve collected in lockdown. If you’re booked in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), for instance, you can easily invest in an upgrade (with cash or Avios) to Club World (business class), where benefits include seats that recline into beds, lavish White Company amenity kits and bedding, 12 inch flatscreen entertainment systems, gourmet dining and fizz. And, on certain routes, passengers will find themselves in the pièce de résistance of in-flight privacy, the all-new Club Suite (pictured).
Keep an eye out for resorts going big on extended bookings. Marbella Club’s (pictured) ‘At Home in Andalusia’ package, for instance, gives those staying 30 days or more an array of free wellness activities and an office space, while The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives has a 28-night ‘Stowaway’ package, offering daily breakfast and 20 per cent off all other meals. Luckily, these ‘stay longer’ deals come in all shapes and forms, such as at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands, inviting guests to stay for seven nights for the price of five all year round.
Why sleep in a double when you can have a suite? Why have a suite when you can have a villa? Rocco Forte Hotels has just unveiled 20 spectacular Sicilian villas at Verdura Resort, while One&Only Resorts’ signature ‘Villa One’ concept makes its latest appearance at the brand’s new Portonovi outpost, opening 1 May (pictured). Meanwhile at The Hoxton, Southwark, there can be a difference as little as £70 between its smallest room (‘The Shoebox’) and its largest (‘The Biggy’). Failing any forethought, simply ask reception if it can accommodate an upgrade. Always worth a try.
Splashing out at the start often means sparing money worries later on – and never is this more the case than with holiday grub. Upgrading to full board at Domes of Elounda in Crete means daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the hotel’s scrummiest restaurants (check out the new Asian offering, Yaosai). Also in Greece, Ikos hotels (pictured) is known for formidable all-inclusive options, as is Carlisle Bay in Antigua and Constance Moofushi, Maldives. Or, go one further: Villa Agave in Dubrovnik will arrange your own personal chef, as will the Hummingbird Villa at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, Grenada.
It’s time to start living like a true VIP. That means plush spa days, bucket-list adventures, private tours – you name it, you earned it. Seek out transformative spa experiences (a lockdown-detox sweat ceremony at Costa Rica’s Kinkara Luxury Retreat, anyone?). Cash in your Marriott Bonvoy points and land yourself a Miami and Fort Lauderdale helicopter tour or a moonlight walking tour of the US capital’s historic monuments (pictured). For glamour by sea, yacht it up: The Gritti Palace in Venice, Pulitzer hotel in Amsterdam and Sani Resort in Halkidiki all have private boats.
Months of plating up the same five meals on rotation have left us hankering for star-quality slap-ups. In the Spanish countryside near Barcelona, L’Antic Molí in El Castell dishes up rustic Michelin-starred gastro tapas with remarkably democratic prices while, closer to home, The Coach pub in Marlow (pictured) from British Airways’ very own Tom Kerridge serves a breath-taking rotisserie quail with wild mushrooms and bacon, just over an hour from London. In Singapore, you’ll find the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred street food, a must-try for those who want world-revered flavour at a snip.
There’s nothing like strolling through the airport on your way back from (or on your way to) a life-enhancing getaway and being met by the sight of your name inscribed on a premium placard. Luxury transfers do away with the ordeal of airport parking and public transport and ensure you arrive at your destination blissfully reposed. Best in the business Addison Lee’s airport transfers provide a secure and seamless experience, where the driver will track your flight alongside traffic updates to plan the optimum route, giving you more time exactly where you want to be.