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CONRAD HOTEL KOH SAMUI

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Koh Samui has been a favorite travel destination in Thailand since time immemorial. We arrived in the evening, checked in Conrad and went basking under the Samui sun for three days.  I didn’t set my expectations too high since being surrounded by nature is already a gift in itself. When we arrive at The Conrad, we were immediately brought to our…

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CAVE – A HIDDEN GEM

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Cave: Noun – “a hollow in the earth, opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain”

Surely not something you’d find hidden amongst the glistening skyscrapers that fringe Sheikh Zayed Road? Think again… The Conrad Hotel is infamous as one of Dubai’s most glamourous hangouts and it’s dazzling terraces adds that special ‘je ne sais quoi’ to just about any evening. Dig a little deeper into this labyrinth of splendor however, and you may be lucky enough to stumble across one of Dubai’s best-kept secrets… Congratulations, you’ve discovered Cave.

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VANITAS – PALAZZO VERSACE

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The Vanitas restaurant is located within the Palazzo Versace Hotel, the Renaissance-styled monolith that sits waterside within Dubai Creek’s up-and-coming Harbour district. The first thing you’ll notice when you enter The House of Versace’s latest extravaganza is the intricate & impeccable hand-crafted décor throughout. Within the lobby area itself rests a sprawling floor mosaic comprised of over 2 million hand-laid, marble fragments. These form an exact replica of the rug which sits in Gianni Versace’s Milan Villa… Now that’s quite the way to make an entrance!

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This neoclassical emporium is home to a collection of stylish boutique restaurants, each boasting a different creative theme from street food to experimental concept fusion. Vanitas however, follows a similar line of styling to the hotel itself & its interior walls are lavishly adorned in hand-crafted artworks spanning the opulent, yet tasteful dining area. Following a warm welcome by the host we are taken to our table, as we walk across the room we catch the gaze of joyful couples enjoying candlelit cuisine together. To my right stands large French Doors which open out to a terraced area overlooking the Creek itself, on this occasion it was a little chilly for al fresco dining. This dimly-lit terraced area plays stage to some beautiful Italian renaissance statues that elegantly pose before a backdrop of the Versace Hotel & Creek, providing all the right ingredients for a romantic evening with a loved one.

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Upon the recommendation of the host, we decided to try a selection of cuisines specially selected by the chef himself. Our first experience from the kitchen arrived in the elegant form of pan seared octopus, brimming with bright flamboyant Mediterranean colors. We were lucky enough to be graced with the presence of Head Chef – Andrea Gaea, who came from the kitchen to introduce himself and explain the imagination and history behind the vivacious dishes on display. Within a few moments of speaking with Andrea, it’s immediately apparent that his heart & soul, along with the heritage of Versace’s Italian homeland is lovingly reflected in each dish.

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