With borders reopening and travel restrictions easing, there is no excuse to stay put. From culinary delights to kids’ summer camp and wellness treatments, there is something for everyone
A taste of Mexico in Bangkok
There is no need to travel to Mexico to savour its cuisine— not when you can just pop over to The Standard, Bangkok Mahanak- hon’s new rooftop restaurant, Ojo. Located on the 76th floor, Ojo, or “eye” in Spanish, offers both spectacular views of the city and the best of Mexico courtesy of chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano. Ojo also symbolises the all-seeing eye of a higher power, the concept of “ojo de dios” (eye of god), which is deeply rooted in Mexico’s daily life, folklore and culture.
When it comes to the cuisine itself, guests can expect a journey through techniques and flavours of Mexican cuisine never before experienced in Thailand or the
region. Regarded as one of the most important figures of Mexico’s vibrant next-generation culinary scene, chef Paco trained under a slew of culinary heavyweights at notable restaurants around the world. With the opening of his first restaurant, Alcalde, in 2013 (which went on to win a number of coveted awards, including Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants) he led his home city of Guadalajara into the modern culinary era.
Chef Paco’s menu shatters all stereotypes of Mexican cuisine, such as his highly inventive snacks, ranging from Ojo guacamole with corn tostadas to Aguachile with fresh tiger prawns, and fresh coconut ceviche served with young coconut, fermented soy, coconut milk leche de tigre with yellow chili. More substantial options include chicken and green mole, fish Zarandeado with fried shallots, grilled lemon, and slow-cooked short rib birria — a traditional ancestral stew cooked with aromatic spices at low heat. Mexi- can desserts include dark chocolate tamal, his version of tres leches cake soaked in three kinds of milk — evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream — and his signature vanilla cream rice with cinnamon ice cream.
Caring for your mental health
General Hotel Management celebrates its 30th anniversary with a collection of wellness retreats for guests staying at The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah UAE; The Chedi Muscat, Oman; The Chedi Ander- matt, Switzerland; and The Chedi Hotel & Residences Lustica Bay, Montenegro.
Rejuvenate in style at The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah UAE with a holistic package that comes with daily breakfast at The Restaurant and a luxurious hour-long Balinese massage for two. Knead away exhaustion and revitalise the body with ancient techniques and acupressure for areas that require extra attention.
Escape from daily routines by immersing in three blissful days of wellness at The Chedi Muscat, Oman. The package includes accommodation in either the Deluxe Room or Chedi Club Suite, two sessions of body polish to detoxify and uplift the body, two Tibetan Ku Nye massage treatments and two private consultation sessions with the hotel’s certified trainer and Health Club Manager for either yoga or kinesis.
Looking for a digital detox? You can do that at The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland. Focus your attention on movement and meditation practices to enhance mental clarity and social interaction. This offer includes a three-night stay in the hotel’s rooms or suites, breakfast at The Chedi Grand Breakfast Buffet, access to The Spa and Health Club, a session each for yoga, meditation, Tata Harper detox body massage, and a therapeutic silent hike to soak in the beauty of the Swiss Alps.
Meanwhile, at The Chedi Hotel & Residences Lustica Bay, Montene- gro, with a minimum of two nights’ stay in one of the grand accommodation, guests can choose one of four thoughtfully curated packages that promote wellness, personal growth, nutrition and self-care.
See also: Jim Kitchen knows travel
Join the Club
Let your kids get their time in the sun at Joali Maldives with the Kids Summer Club programme that is based around fun and educational activities at the Muramas Kids Club. All experiences have been carefully curated by Joali’s expert team of resident artists, marine biologists, and chefs, providing the ideal blend of joy, creativity and learning.
Joali Maldives is the country’s first and only immersive art resort, located on the island of Muravandhoo in the unspoiled Raa Atoll, just 45 minutes away from Male by private seaplane.
Highlights at the Kids Summer Club include:
Immersive Art Activities
• Ceramics Art Class: Joali’s resident artist will be conducting paint and ceramics workshops for young guests, allowing them to channel their creativity and curiosity through a hands-on creative arts experience.
• Tropical island-themed art workshops including Tote Bag Painting; a wild-art Palm Leaves craft class; and learning to make your own Watermelon Fan.
• “Trash to Treasure” paper-beads making class: Educating young guests on the importance of recycling and reducing our waste.
• “Island of Art” treasure hunt: Allowing children to discover Joali’s immersive art pieces in a fun, age-appropriate way.
• “Make Your Own Puppet” class and a colourful Finger-Painting session.
Fun with Food
• Pizza Making in the Kids Club Kitchen: Offering a safe environment for young chefs to discover the culinary arts.
• Fruit Kebab Creation: Promoting healthy snacking in a fun and interactive way, and teaching children about different tropical fruits and their origins.
• Under the Ocean: Hosted by Joali’s Marine Biologists, this workshop aims to pro- vide children with a deeper understanding of our oceans with fun activities and a guided snorkelling trip.
• Five Senses Nature Walk: This guided nature walk allows children to use sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing to connect with Joali’s natural tropical island whilst stay- ing active.
• Yoga for Kids: Teaching children how to deal with stress in a healthy way with easy-to-learn asanas, mindful breathing exercises, colour therapy and yoga wrist bands.
• Family-favourite activities include Junior Ping-Pong tournaments, Paddle Boarding and Badminton Fun
• An early evening Beach Nature Walk and Hermit Crab Race.
• Action-packed island competitions: Including Capture the Flag and a scenic Beach Treasure Hunt.
Invest Islands has unveiled Gran Meliá Lombok, a luxury resort that is set to elevate the island’s travel and hospitality industry to spectacular new heights. The company’s co-founders, Kevin Deisser and Jack Brown, discovered a breath-taking plot of beachfront and hillside land at Torok Bay, a sheltered crescent-shaped stretch of sand overlooking the Indian Ocean and framed by emerald headlands and rippling rice fields. This stunning setting provided a beautiful blank canvas on which to produce an architectural work of art.
To do this, architect Charlie Hearn, director of Bali-based Inspiral Architecture & Design Studios, was called in to lend a hand. The master plan was to create a series of individual villages, rather than buildings being carbon copies of each other. “Different parts of Indonesia have their own unique architectural styles so we tried to incorporate elements of those. Not so much in terms of the look of the buildings themselves — we didn’t want to create a pastiche — but more in terms of the craftsmanship techniques, details and finishes,” Hearn explains.
As a result, guests and investors can choose from a collection of beautiful hill-side duplexes and one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, all fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology, luxurious interiors and private pools. As with every project co-created by Invest Islands and Inspiral, Gran Meliá Lombok will have a low carbon footprint. As well as using sustainable building materials, the design will harness sunlight and sea breezes to help heat and cool the property, and rainwater will be harvested throughout the resort. Using this approach, Hearn said he wants to “set a benchmark” for development on Lombok.
“We want to set the standard and help to raise the quality of development on the island. Lombok will have more tourism and development in the coming years, so it’s important to do it in a way that is sustainable and respectful of the local culture and environment. This is one of the reasons I love working with Invest Islands; they set up foundations, build schools, do a lot of environmental- tal projects and reinvest a lot back into their communities. I think that is fantastic,” Hearn says.