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Holiday Escapes from Cities, Private Islands to Cultural Capitals: Make 2020 Your Year of Discovery



It’s that time of the year again when we start looking at our trips for the upcoming year. Some hotels and resorts are so exclusive and iconic that they become a destination in themselves, and some countries are so steeped in culture and tradition that it’s worth exploring to fully discover the treasures that await. We’ve compiled a list of five of the most attractive escapes ranging from big cities to private islands all the way from Dubai, Bahrain, Maldives, Paris and Cambodia





Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai

Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, situated on the west crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, is an architectural masterpiece created with unrestrained splendour. This resort is a 100,000 square metre Palace that has been designed for the privileged few to enjoy all the facilities of a modern-day luxury hotel at their fingertips. For families looking for a private luxurious residential experience, the collection of stand-alone four-bedroom villas are fitted with their private rooftop pool, Jacuzzi and spa. They feature a large living area, dining room and fully equipped kitchen, making them the perfect choice for larger families or groups of friends seeking privacy and elegance.





The hotel’s 3000 square metre wellness sanctuary, the  Cinq Mondes Spa and Wellness Centre is truly stunning.  The Spa boasts one of the largest swimming pools in the city, and includes 23 treatment rooms, 4 traditional deep soaking Japanese wooden bathtubs, a 24-hour wellness centre where personal training is available upon prior booking, a sauna, a yoga studio and separate hammams for men and women.





Velaa Private Island is one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious hideaway nestled within Noonu Atoll in the Maldives where each guest can feel that they are on their own private, and ultra-exclusive paradise island. The resort comprises of 47 private villas and residences. In addition to lounging in the sun-soaked days of relaxation at their secluded pool villa or beach, there is also magnificent snorkelling and diving at the coral reef where sometimes snorkelers might spot dolphins or baby sharks. For the water sports lovers, there is also plenty of water-skiing, kayaking, wakeboarding and kite surfing, as well as a sea bob and a semi submarine.

For those looking for complete rejuvenation, the Spa can create a personalised programme during the guest’s stay, while embracing a holistic wellness programme that will fully uplift each person on a physical, emotional and mental level. The Spa also offers a range of Asian-inspired therapies including Ayurveda, yoga and meditation to enhance wellness.





Avani FCC Ankor

Cambodia is fast becoming an attractive destination for the adventure seekers from the GCC. Avani FCC Angkor is the ideal hotel for travellers from the region as the hotel maintains its position as a landmark in Siem Reap and the new stylish and modern accommodations provide an excellent base for Angkor temples and city exploration. Heritage design meets Cambodian nature in this base for travellers looking to discover the city. The hotel, sitting on a riverside location has 80 colonial style rooms and suites, and is a short walk to the city centre and an easy 20 minutes’ drive from Siem Reap International Airport.

Guests can also enjoy the The Mansion restaurant which is at the heart of FCC Angkor. Executive Chef Philippe L’obry’s creative menu draws upon the essence of traditional Khmer dishes, however, he has given each dish a fresh twist, enhancing the flavour and showcasing local ingredients. L’obry works with local farmers to obtain the best seasonal produce in order to craft his fresh, flavoursome dishes. 





The Merchant House, Bahrain

The Merchant House, situated within Manama’s old town and the only five-star boutique hotel in Bahrain, has 46 luxury suites each of which has an open-plan sitting room, a kitchen and dining area, and a spacious bedroom. With the Bab Al Bahrain souk on its doorstep, the hotel is positioned a short distance from the capital’s diplomatic quarter and its financial district and makes it an ideal, centrally situated property for guests to fully enjoy their stay in the city.





Every aspect of this boutique hotel has been designed under the expert eye of Gordon Campbell Gray. Vibrant touches of colour and beautiful fabrics energise the hotel’s interior spaces, with exquisite artwork from very well established, as well as up and coming Bahraini and international artists, another Campbell Gray Hotels’ hallmark, can be seen all over the hotel. Another unique trait of this hotel, so steeped in the Bahraini culture, is its library of over a thousand books where guests can lounge over classic Afternoon Tea while browsing books delving deep into the country’s history and traditions. 





Mandarin Oriental, Paris

For guests looking for ultra-luxury in the most romantic city in the world, The Mandarin Hotel Paris will surpass every expectation. Sprawling across an entire floor and covering 4,629 square feet of indoor space, plus another 2,476 square feet of outdoor space, The Parisian Apartment is one of Paris’ largest—and most impressive—hotel suites. With four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two reception areas laid out on a single level, calling this simply a suite is an understatement: This is truly a Parisian residence, a place to enjoy France in style.

The Mandarin Hotel Paris also offers stunning one to two bedroom suites, with spacious dining area, living room and kitchenette. Some of the larger suites also have dressing rooms and terraces where guests can enjoy some relaxing evenings under the stars with stunning views over the city.






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DUNES  magazine is  the Middle East luxury lifestyle magazine covering local, regional and international fashion news  in addition to articles from our editorial team about fashion, lifestyle, health & fitness, watches & jewellery, beauty,  travel & hospitality, interviews and many more features.

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