velvet | Luxury Holidays
fairmont-pacific-rim-lobby-lounge-photo

Cool glitz and a phenomenal view

The doormen opened the doors with a smile and a “Good Afternoon” as I entered the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. As the doors opened, I found myself in a cavernous lobby with a shining marble floor and an impressive marble wall which ran the length of the lobby. I made my way to […]

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shangri-la-hotel-vancouver-photo

A Shangri-La in downtown Vancouver

The Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver is something of an anomaly in this vibrant Canadian city, at least, that’s what I soon discovered. Located in an impressive 62-storey tower of glass and steel, British Columbia’s tallest building, the Shangri-La Hotel may look daunting from afar but once you step through its doors, a completely different experience awaits. […]

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Close-up of grains of sand from St. Gilles in La Réunion.

The diversity of the Indian Ocean islands

The Indian Ocean is home to some of the most spectacular islands in the world. From the Maldives archipelago just off the Indian sub-continent to the large island of Madagascar off the coast of Eastern Africa and the islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and La Réunion in between, these islands are beautiful gems in a vast […]

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My first ever solo trip, at age 14, from Sydney to Melbourne. This photo was taken in Canberra.

My favourite travel memories

I was bitten by the travel bug at a very young age. My first overseas trip was at age 7 (to Hong Kong) and the tally now stands at 85 countries across six continents. That equals quite a few terabytes of memory I guess! The breadth and depth of the travel memories I’ve amassed through […]

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house-of-blackheads-riga-photo

Ten things to do in Riga

Riga (map) is the capital city of Latvia, one of the three Baltic nations in northern Europe. Situated on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava River, Riga can trace its roots back to the 2nd century A.D. when it was settled by the Livs, an ancient Finnish tribe. It quickly grew […]

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An artist painting the scenery of Calella de Palafrugell.

Velvet moments: Calella de Palafrugell

Calella de Palafrugell is a lovely coastal town in Costa Brava about a two-hour drive north of Barcelona. Calella is a perennial favourite amongst both locals and foreign visitors as a summer destination due to its beautiful beaches and picturesque surroundings. It’s also located on the Camins de Ronda (coastal paths) which winds its way […]

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blue-houses-heeren-street-melaka-photo

A weekend in Malacca

Malacca (or ‘Melaka’ in Malay) is a state with a capital city of the same name situated about a two-hour drive south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Often called the ‘historic state’ of Malaysia, Malacca can trace its history back to the 15th century when Parameswara, a prince from Temasek (present-day Singapore) settled in the area […]

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train-canadian-rockies-mt-robson-photo

The diversity of Canada in photos

Canada, the second largest country in the world, is a land of great diversity; from the icy emptiness of the Arctic north to the vibrant metropolises of Toronto and Montréal, and from the vast expanse of the Prairies to the impressive peaks of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been to six Canadian provinces/territories: Ontario, Quebéc, British […]

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Belmond

Luxury Myanmar river cruise – and the art of giving back

I met Janice and George Mucalov, two travel writers, on an Alaska cruise in 2011 and we’ve stayed in touch ever since, following each other’s travels via social media. Janice, George and I enjoy travelling in the same manner, i.e. comfortably, or rather… the ‘velvet’ way, so when Janice approached me with an idea for […]

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phinda-cheetahs-photo

The magic of Phinda

We’d just passed the main gates of the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve when we spotted something moving stealthily through the tall grasses. Someone in the van yelled “STOP” and the driver hit the brakes. We trained our eyes on the patches of tall grass that lined the road, alert for any movement. Several moments […]

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