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Street protests by Bali environmentalists have persuaded the provincial government to order a halt to excavations of the mangrove forest by the Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Benoa toll way project while a new environmental impact study is carried out. The environment is also in the news with WALHI calling asking for controls on water usage by hotels and villas in Bali.
Development news brings a warning from an academic that Bali is destroying its reputation and its future through a lack of planning and zoning controls. Meanwhile, Denpasar tourism officials say local inns and Melati Hotels in the capital are shutting down in the face of competition from new City Hotels. And, a Bali academic suggests satellite mapping systems are needed to keep track of Bali hotels, villas and other tourism industries.
Just a few miles beyond the world-famous lagoon of Oludeniz and its popular tourist beaches lies a section of Turkey’s Lycian Coast that remains gloriously unspoilt, and it is here, amidst the wooded hillsides of Faralya, that one of the country’s most exclusive retreats can be found – the delightful Mandarin Boutique Hotel. Comprising just eight luxuriously appointed and supremely spacious guestrooms, most with super-kingsize four-poster beds and double Jacuzzis, Mandarin will suit discerning travellers who value an intimate ambience and a personal welcome, and its wonderfully peaceful setting – combined with the favourable climate in this part of Turkey – makes this a haven of complete relaxation.
And yet Mandarin is just as well suited to more active holidaymakers: those who wish to explore the legacy of Turkey’s rich history will find numerous well-preserved archaeological site within easy striking distance, whilst those who enjoy more physical pursuits can take their pick from a range of activities in the surrounding area, from scuba-diving in the Gulf of Fethiye to paragliding from the summit of majestic Mount Babadag. Keen walkers will find some wonderful trails starting right on their doorstep, whilst for those keen to explore further afield we can assist with booking transportation and guides to suit their individual interests.
Patates Cig Köfte – Raw Potato Kofte
6 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled
2 cups of bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch spring onions
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
In a large pan, soak the bulgur wheat in the boiling water until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Chop the parsley and spring onion, setting some aside for decoration. Crush the garlic.
Mix all the ingredients together and blend to a puree.
Take tablespoon-size amounts of the mixture, squeeze in your hands to remove any excess moisture and shape into kofte. Place on a tray or serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Serve cold.
Baked Leeks with Minced Meat
1 Kg leeks
300 g minced beef or lamb
25 g butter or margarine
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups grated cheese
1 dessert spoon red pepper sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Finely chop the onions and leeks.
Heat the butter/margarine in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until golden. Add the minced meat and fry until browned, then add the red pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Finally add the chopped leaks, reduce the heat and continue frying until the leaks are softened.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and some salt to taste.
Place the leak/meat mixture in an oiled baking tray, evenly pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake in the oven at 200C or until the mixture has set and the cheese has browned.
There are a few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located – and none more so than Raffles in Singapore.
Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, Raffles was built 125 years ago, more than a decade before the turn of the nineteenth century. It soon became the haunt of business tycoons, the great and good, rogues and adventurers, politicians, movie stars, authors and journalists.
Visiting writers included Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and Noel Coward, a host of foreign correspondents – all of whom fed in the stories and legends, fact and fiction, which have clung to the hotel ever since. Through their stories, the Long Bar, the Palm Court and the Billiard Room with its tiger, became familiar to people who had never even been to Singapore. Today these stories remain and are relished – but time has not been allowed to stand still at Raffles.
Today, Raffles Hotel Singapore is the proud flagship of the eight strong Raffles Hotels & Resorts, with sister hotels in Paris, Dubai, Cambodia, the Seychelles, Beijing and the Holy City of Makkah. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in Manila, Istanbul, Jakarta and Hainan in China, over the next two years.
by Subhasish Chakraborty
Adelaide is one Australian city where anyone who loves enjoying the good life in style, will uncover secrets to take away, taste and treasure. What impressed me most was the fact that within 90 minutes travel from the city, you could be scaling a spectacular coastline or exploring an island wildlife haven…. bungy jumping, hot air balooning over the vineyards or even sailing in the midst of sand dunes and even better – discovering the caves and rocks of this amazingly varied landscape.
If variety is “the spice of life”, then Adelaide must be the most happening destination. So many different experiences awaits you and the best part is that you can walk to most of them from your accommodation and what choice there is! Everything from 5 Star extravagance to the comfort and warmth of a B&B, international hostel or a laidback cabin on the beach.
The city offers food, wine and arts, which the world comes to celebrate ….a 30 Kms. long clean sandy coastline spread with stories, water sports and space to relax….the undulating hills where the wines, wildlife, crafts and country charms wait to welcome the jaded traveler.
The Cultural Scene:
Adelaide prides itself on style, elegance and high-energy arts. With just over one million residents, it stages an arts festival which the world agrees is among the top three – and the best by far in Australia. The city is also the nation’s largest selection of quality performance spaces and specialist venues.
The most grand of Adelaide’s major thoroughfares is the North Terrace. This is the cultural heart of the city and a “must do” on your tour itinerary. It’s a trip through some of the best treasures and stories of the world – and a way of quickly getting to know this amazing place. North Terrace is exactly 1 mile (1.6 Kms) long and can be walked easily, but there will be plenty of diversions.
This wide leafy promenade has the State’s main galleries, museums, hotels, two university campuses and its finest library and Botanic garden. Either side is the main shopping precinct, the arts center and the River Torrens. Take your time and take it all.
For the connoisseurs of art, the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design Centre welcomes visitors to tour its studios which produce artworks, fashion, furniture and gifts in metal, glass, wood and ceramics. Ever seen glassblowing – the red hot blob being transformed into a thing of beauty ? Now is your chance. The excellent retail gallery is a must visit site.
Like in India, the contemporary dance performance and classical music is particularly strong here – being home to the Australian Dance Theatre and Leigh Warren and Dancers, plus the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, Australian String Quartet and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra among others.
The Street Scene in Adelaide:
Adelaide’s historic East End is the city’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan precinct. Transformed over the past decade from its historic function as Adelaide’s wholesale fruit and vegetable markets, the East End blends blends this heritage with a dynamic café and dining culture, united with unique retail shops, mainstream Art House and IMAX cinemas, hotels, offices, multimedia centers and a burgeoning inner city residential population.
Hutt Street is another great café quarter with a relaxed and friendly village style setting, which blends history into the contemporary. I quite liked the easy sophistication and luxurious atmosphere without being snooty. Pavement breakfasts and casual coffees are popular – with tasty lunches in between. Dining under leafy verandahs is one experience I will never forget. The famous dining focal points are the Citrus Café and Nediz Tu, icons of modern Australian cuisine.
Hutt Street is conspicuous by its colonial era stone buildings and quaint, quiet, cottagey sidestreets that are a real bonus.
The Gouger Street is a wonderful meeting of venues, cultures and cuisines. The market is admired worldwide for its unique qualities and character. The street is renowned for fresh produce and gourmet foods are irresistible – and so are its cafes, coffee shops and noodle bars where the whole of Adelaide passes through.
Politicians, painters, musicians, tourists and office workers dine and do their shopping along with chefs, lawyers, storeowners, writers and families. Its also the place where chefs buy their special clogs. Just outside the main market is the principal dining strip with a great spread of world cuisines including classical French to Argentinean, Vietnamese and Thai. It also ha sits share of seafood restaurants and cafes.
The scene is set as you climb the hill with your back to the city. Fine grand mansions, prestigious apartments and well kept cottages nestle among the well established trees and gardens of this up market suburb.
Al fresco dining is popular along this classy precinct of more than 40 restaurants, wine bars and cafes. Lunch is a sunny courtyard overlooking the city….pavement dining under old iron lacework verandahs….or amid the bustle of a Mediterranean style bistro. The Oxford and Royal Oak hotel deliver award winning food and wine in very attractive settings.
Coastal Adelaide is conspicuous by its distinctive landscape with estuarine environments, extensive sand dunes, off shore reef system and geologically significant cliffs, will provide you with something of interest with each bend of the coastal road.
Many kilometers of continuous metropolitan beach brings all of Adelaide within easy reach of the sea. Broken into 4 distinct sections, the coast offers a maritime history, recreational fun and ecological wonders.
The St.Kilda Mangrove trail is a “must visit” site. Here you can meander through the mysterious tidal world of the mangrove forest on a 1.7 Kms boardwalk. The nearby Greenfields Wetlands covers 42 hectares of low-lying saline land and has been developed into storm water detention basin and wetlands habitat and is home to 150 species of birds.
North Heaven is where you go for a day’s sailing or simply to watch the yachts come and go. Largs Bay is the last remaining metropolitan home for the coastal colony of the Red Capped Plover and 20 indigenous species of coastal plant life and s serene spot for strolling along the sand.
Semaphore hosts an international Kite Festival on its foreshore and the miniature steam train which operates during school holidays is a favorite….not only for the kids.
In 1992 West Lakes was honored with an award as the best residential development in the world. I was fortunate to have a look myself…. marvelous.
West Beach is the closest beach to the city, only 15 minutes away. It is home to an award winning caravan park and holiday village.
Anyone who swims at Christies Beach, walks the Tjilbruke Trail, launches a boat at O’Sullivan Beach, surfs at Moana, visits the underwater trails at Port Noarlunga or simply watches the sunset over Witton Bluff will know and appreciate the value of Adelaide’s coastline.
Rolling hills with neat vineyards run beside forests of gum trees and orchards. The home of sparkling wines so good, the French premier champagne house Bollinger came to have a look and appreciated the quality. The Adelaide Hills are reckoned by many to soon become Australia’s premier wine region. It certainly has all the right ingredients of climate, soils and altitude. In fact, its like the whole of Europe in one little mountain range.
For tourists, it’s the perfect tasting territory …. Scenic drives, friendly welcome at the cellar door, lunch at the winery perhaps or nearby restaurant…. And the chance to buy what is increasingly becoming recognized overseas as some of the world’s best wines. The villages are dotted about the ranges and you can understand the character which goes into each bottle – especially if you are lucky enough to meet the winemaker themselves on a tour.
It is reported that Queen Victoria received a celebrated hock wine from the region in 1845 and exports were established from here. This wine came from Echunga – equally famous for its gold mine. Who knows if the winemaker knew he had struck a rich seam with his plantings.
Today the Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the Lenswood area are highly regarded and the Chardonnay from Chain of Ponds has helped create the up market “White Grange” Yattarna label. The whites are judged fragrant and vivid and the reds – the Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot particularly – judged fine and elegant.
The beauty is you can make your own decision during a delicious tasting session of your own.
Parks & Gardens:
Within 30 minutes from the city, you will find ancient forests…the chatter and laughter of parrots…and parks and gardens full of amazing wildlife and avian species.
At Cleland you can wonder freely among Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus and Waterfowl and meet a Koala. Enjoy a night walk or Aboriginal trail. Morialta and Para Wirra offer fabulous bushwalking and Hallett Cove offers dramatic coastal views.
As far as gardens are concerned, Adelaide is set in the middle of Parklands and its surrounding areas offer an amazing selection of experiences ….dreamily romantic rose gardens, fountains and avenues of fragrant blossoms…and even a tall rainforest are just minutes away from the city center.
The real city’s elegant Botanic Gardens with rare flowers, fountains, cool green sanctuaries and a historic Palm House offers refreshing recreational avenues for the jaded traveler. The Adelaide-Himeji Garden recreates a classical Japanese setting and a Linear Park, you can cycle or walk from the hills, through the city to the ocean…while the Open Garden Scheme presents more than 60 private gardens to the public.
Self Drive Tours:
Self Drive tours are increasingly being preferred by the discerning international traveler. It is easy to hire a car and follow the suggested itineraries in the publication – “Adelaide Self Drive Touring Itineraries and Map, From the Hills to the Sea”. It includes map-referenced and themed itineraries, including adventure, antique, arts, food and wine, heritage, parks and gardens.
Barossa Valley Wine Tour:
This being my first visit to Australia and the fact that I am a wine buff, I was advised by the Tourist Information Center at Adelaide to embark on a 190 Kms. drive that would take me through the best parts of the Barossa and Eden Valleys. And I must tell you….this is wine buff heaven! Points of interest enroute included the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha, the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, the Collingrove Homestead and the Bethany Art & Craft Gallery in Angaston. And of course the cellar doors beckoned everywhere.
There is another equally enchanting Self Drive option vis-à-vis the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Peninsula Tour.
McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Peninsula Tour:
This is a lovely drive of just under 290 Kms. from Adelaide to McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek wine regions, and the very best Fleurieu coastal scenery. Highlights include the historic hills township of Hahndorf, picture perfect Strathalbyn, the popular coastal resort of Victor Harbor and the more than forty-five welcoming cellar doors of McLaren Vale.
Traveler’s Fact File:
Daily international services fly direct into Adelaide International Airport, while direct domestic flights are very frequent. Typical flight times to Adelaide are 1 hour from Melbourne, 90 minutes from Sydney direct. There are also indirect services which fly to Adelaide via other cities.
Driving from Sydney:
From Sydney its 1632 Kms. to Adelaide via the national capital, Canberra and the historic towns of the Murray River. This route can be driven comfortably in three days.
Then there is the wine route to Adelaide, a 1486 Kms drive taking in the magnificent Blue Mountains, the wine regions of New South Wales and Victoria and then the nation’s premier wine center – the Barossa Valley.
A third drive is the 1670 Kms outback journey via Broken Hill. However, its important to make careful preparations for this route.
Driving from Melbourne:
Here’s your opportunity to take one of the world’s great coastal drives, The Great Ocean Road. Offering some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Australia, this two day 1160 Kms trip from Melbourne brings you into Adelaide via the Coorong, the lower reaches of the River Murray and the wine country of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
An alternative route of 1040 Kms takes you through the historic gold rush country of Victoria and into Adelaide via the towns of the River Murray. It can be driven comfortably in a full day.
A little shorter is the 850 Kms drive via Bordertown, Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge.
The Indian Pacific:
The Indian Pacific is one of the world’s great train journeys. It spans the continent, 4352 Kms. from Sydney to Perth and you can climb aboard and travel to Adelaide from either city in the luxury of a sleeping cabin.
Sydney to Adelaide takes 24 hours offering a Blue Mountain sunset, an outback dawn near Broken Hill and the beautiful mid-north of South Australia. Perth to Sydney is a 11/2 day adventure across the awesome Nullarbor Plain.
The original Overland pioneered the concept of the straight-through intercapital rail journey in Australia last century. Today’s stylish train offers sleeping cabins or aircraft-style seats for the overnight journey of 774 Kms. from Melbourne to Adelaide.
If only 5 Star will do, Adelaide’s international hotels can check you into anything from a penthouse to a first class suite or room equal of anything in the world.
Motel accommodation is plentiful or you can try an inner city serviced apartment complete with its own self-catering kitchen.
Adelaide’s backpacker and youth hostels are of a very high standard and extremely popular, while caravan parks, many with luxury on-suite cabins are a great family alternative.
Staying by the Sea:
Adelaide’s long stretch of suburban beaches is well endowed with seaside stays, from 5 star hotel rooms to budget motels, from flats and apartments to guest houses and welcoming bed and breakfast accommodation in private homes.
Country & Outback Stays:
The appeal of the countryside is even more appealing when you stay in a restored cottage in an Adelaide Hills orchard or beside a vineyard in one of the state’s world famous wine regions.
You can stay on a farm, perhaps in a fully restored shearer’s quarters or you might find yourself tucked up in bed in a miner’s cottage. And what could be more evocative than a few nights in a stately country home for a glimpse of how Australia’s farming aristocracy once lived?
In the outback you can stay in 5 star comfort underground, bush cabins, wilderness lodges, self catering cabins or at campsite under the stars.
If you yearn for a river holiday, you can be your own captain aboard a luxury houseboat or cruise as a live-in passenger on a first class riverboat. Ashore there are great choices too, including riverside cabins, cottages, caravans and campsites
Thailand-based ONYX Hospitality Group has been appointed by Gulf Trading and Contracting Company (GTC) to operate a 120-room hotel in the Qatari capital, Doha. This is ONYX’s first step for expansion in the Middle East for the Amari brand more…
[News/Alerts] Starwood’s Luxury Brands Celebrate Speed And Sport, Announcing A Global Partnership With Bentley Motors
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces a global partnership between Bentley Motors and the St. Regis(r) and The Luxury Collection(r) Hotels & Resorts. The partnership underpins the heritage and excellence of the brands, creating signature experiences for guests, residents and customers with driving programs, special events, brand initiatives and house fleets at flagship hotels around the world.
As a hotel brand created for a new generation of luxury travellers, the St. Regis brand has selected Bentley as the house fleet in hotels and resorts around the world, from The St. Regis Singapore and The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi to the brand’s flagship The St. Regis(r) in New York. In October 2011, St. Regis hosted a bespoke Bentley Italian Driving Tour for model owners and guests of The St. Regis Rome and the newly opened St. Regis Florence.
Bentley models, such as The Continental Flying Spur, are the perfect fit for St. Regis as they combine exquisite design with peerless craftsmanship.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced that its global powerhouse, Sheraton Hotels, will grow its portfolio of hotel spas across Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe as the brand continues to expand its footprint in the world’s fastest growing markets. In tune with the resurgence of the economy and growing demand for luxury services, Sheraton will double its robust portfolio of Shine Spas with 23 openings in key international destinations by 2015 with 10 spa openings slated for this year.
In one of the most fashionable cities in the world, Milan Italy, Virtuoso® welcomes the Armani Hotel, (of course, designed by the iconic designer), to their rooster of top rated hotels. There is enough elegance at Armani Milano to get you through the year. And a must do is a well deserved brunch or lunch. To put it nicely, it’s an expensive treat but worth every Euro.
New Delhi, India’s renowned hotel, The Imperial, has opened a new authentic Indian food restaurant. Daniell’s is a true treasure another jewel in the crown of one of the loveliest accommodations in India. Their food is also top rated. Read more here
New Delhi’s Imperial Hotel is on the radar for travelers who appreciate the best. Not only is this the hotel of choice where royalty and celebs stay, it’s also located in the centre of this busy metropolis.
The stunning gardens and long driveway keep out the noise of the constant honking, and the rooms are equaled by the fabulous restaurants.
Merchants Bounty(Keerai Masial)
|1/4 cup shaved fennel
10 drops lemon juice
4, 8 oz portions sockeye salmon (boneless, skin on)
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1 cup assorted vegetables
8 baby potatoes (approx 2 cups)
Sprig of dill or sprouts for garnish
Mustard Olive Oil Dressing
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
|Shave fennel thinly on a mandolin and add lemon juice to avoid oxidation.
Pan-fry salmon skin-side down and finish in the oven at 350° F for eight
minutes. Sauté fresh trimmed vegetables and season. Roast baby red potatoes
in oven until cooked and season. Prepare Mustard Olive Oil dressing as a
vinaigrette and season.