Benefitting from a glorious natural surf break 500m offshore producing waves like something from an eau de cologne campaign, Shanti Maurice has one of the best views on Mauritius. The surf break has the added advantage of warding off cruise ships and megayachts - which for you and me, spells a blissfully quiet stay.
I'm on my way to the British Virgin Islands, BVI for short, East of Puerto Rico, part of an archipelago which also includes the US and Spanish Virgin Islands. It's a British Overseas Territory and consists of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, plus 50 other smaller islands and cays.
I've tried many facials in the past and it's been pretty much the same procedure as it would be for a female clientele. The main difference with some male grooming spa menus is that they swap the natural aromatherapy products for musky scented creams and potions. I guess this swap is supposed to make us feel more masculine - in reality it can be somewhat overbearing.
It's the attention to detail that makes Cowley Manor stand out. The rack of Hunter wellies at the door, to wear while you stroll around the exquisite Grade II listed gardens. The golden triple cooked chips that compliment the club sandwich. The funky, Scando-style rugs and throws. From the service to the salt cellars, everything feels like it's been carefully and lovingly thought out.
Situated on a long beach in Hua Hin district, this holiday resort-come-health spa makes you acknowledge your surroundings, live in the present, slow down and smell the lotus flowers. Be prepared to abandon your mobile, disown your laptop and shun your camera. Even tablets and kindles are kindly forbidden in communal areas, so I had been warned.
Overlooking the terraced forests in the cooler central region of Ubud in Bali, Como Shambhala Estate sits within one of the most serene locations I have ever experienced. With forest noises ranging from an evening frog chorus from the lily ponds to the robust chattering of the larger variety of gecko...
Dubbed 'The Millionaire's Playground', it's a playground where you need quite a few of those millions before the government will even let you live here. So it comes as no surprise then that as I walked past the Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys parked along the hotel's cypress lined avenue, I assumed I would get kicked out for wearing a pair of Havaianas and a bank balance that cowered in shame...
Sure enough, as I step foot inside Daios Cove the wow factor hits. Nestled in a tranquil private sandy bay, a short ride from the bustling town of Agios Nikolaos, a wall of floor to ceiling windows creates a stunning elevated panoramic of the crystal clear turquoise waters and rugged cliffs that don the bay.
When you ask for directions to your hotel and the reply is: "Turn left at the fountain and head straight for the grand entrance", you get the sense that something pretty spectacular lies at the end of the driveway. Sure enough, Cliveden House - a majestic neoclassical country house, perched within 376 acres of National Trust parkland - is no let-down.