The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

Things have been a bit quiet around here, and on the writing front in general, as I’ve been on leave the past few weeks. I’m in Thailand, and while it’s not entirely a leisure trip, I made a little time for R&R in Pattaya. Why Pattaya? It’s a city about two hours’ drive from Bangkok (where I’ve been staying) that’s known as a hub of sex tourism. Ugh. Why would I head here when Thailand is famous for its many superior beaches? Essentially, because I needed a beach break that was close to Bangkok. Travelling with a newborn baby meant that the bus was out of the question, so accessibility by taxi from Bangkok was important. Fortunately, I found out about the Rabbit Resort Pattaya. In a city full of damn ugly high-rise hotels and condos, the Rabbit Resort is a delightful breath of clean air. The four acre oceanfront property on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, south of Pattaya, is made up of 49 rooms, all housed in traditional style Thai buildings. Think Jim Thompson’s House. It’s covered in lush palms and tropical flowering trees, has two gorgeous swimming pools (one for kids and families and the other for adults), and is utterly peaceful. The beach is just metres from the Chef’s Company restaurant. While Dongtan Beach isn’t the most spectacular beach in the world–the water isn’t very clear, and the high rises of Pattaya city spread out along the coastline–after living in a landlocked country, it was still a bit…

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A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A couple of weekends ago I got the chance to stay at the lovely Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, a five-star hotel in the Boudhanath neighbourhood. Aside from the luxury, I was happy to explore Boudha a little bit more, as it’s a part of the city that I haven’t spent much time in. I wrote about the weekend on Inside Himalayas. You can read the full article on the site, or an extract below. You can also read my review of the Club Oasis Spa here. “Although most visitors to Kathmandu opt to stay in Thamel—the central neighbourhood full of travel companies, hotels, souvenir shops and restaurants—a calmer alternative is Boudhanath, or Boudha for short. The area is known especially as a Tibetan enclave. The Boudhanath stupa is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist site outside of Tibet itself, and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Although the golden pinnacle was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, swift fundraising within the local and international Tibetan community meant that restoration was complete by the end of 2016. In November 2016, a grand re-consecration ceremony was held, which was an important day for Tibetan and Nepali Buddhists. While there are accommodation options in Boudha to suit all budgets, a stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel is a real treat, and worth the 5-star price tag. A great thing about this luxury hotel is that its range of facilities provide a full experience, rather than just a comfortable night’s sleep. As well as the 280 elegant,…

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Club Oasis at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu: Spa Review

I love a good massage, but I’m currently pregnant and that makes the usual therapies uncomfortable or impossible. Yes, ‘pregnancy massage’ is a thing that exists, but I haven’t found a good one in Kathmandu. So, last weekend when staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boudhanath, I opted for a couple of other treatments instead: a pedicure and a facial. I’ve been to a few spas in Kathmandu, and think they can be divided into two categories: luxury spas, and those that offer good, affordable, reliable treatments but are a little rough around the edges with the decor. Club Oasis is definitely, definitely in the luxury category. The ambience is calm with candlelight and the sound of running water, the facilities and accessories are spotless, and the staff knowledgeable and attentive. I started with a pedicure. I mentioned that I’m pregnant? Well, I can no longer reach my feet, so there’d been a bit of neglect down there (not something I’m proud to admit, considering I once boasted a 75-nail-polish strong collection). The 45-minute treatment started with removing the remnants of my old polish, a foot soak, and then exfoliation and massage, before trimming and painting my nails. The selection of polish colours was good, and I chose a sparkly pink-gold. While I enjoyed the treatment, I always feel a little put out receiving a spa treatment that I could have done myself at home. My feet felt (and looked) better afterwards, but there was no real heel scrubbing,…

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A Day in Hauz Khas Village

A Day in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi

The Indian capital is a massive city that’s impossible to see in a single visit—or even in several. If you’re short on time while visiting Delhi and don’t know how to balance competing desires to sightsee, eat well shop in the city’s best shops, then head straight to Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi. This small urban enclave has it all, and will keep you occupied for hours. Sightseeing Hauz Khas Village is centred around the Hauz Khas, or ‘royal tank’, a large pond dating back to the 13th century. Above the pond are an impressive collection of ruins of a seminary, mosque and tombs. Delhi is a city full of atmospheric old ruins from the Mughal period and earlier, hinting at the city’s many centuries of history and layered civilisations. The ruins at Hauz Khas are some of the best in the city, and are free to enter. It’s a peaceful place, even when filled with smooching students hiding between the pillars. Information boards dotted around are as informative and detailed as any museum’s. There is also the pretty Deer Park adjacent to the pond, where you can stroll through the dense woods. If you’ve just passing through Delhi, sightseeing in Hauz Khas Village will give you a great introduction to the city’s atmosphere and appeal. Shopping Hauz Khas Village has developed rapidly over the past few years from a quiet suburb into one of the city’s trendiest shopping hubs. This means that a lot of shops (as well…

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Review: The Lodhi Spa, Delhi

Review: The Lodhi Spa, Delhi

Delhi—whether you’re a first time visitor or come here often—can be exhausting. It’s massive. For much of the year it can be very hot (and the rest of the time it’s very cold). And getting around, even with the excellent metro system, can take a while. The perfect antidote to the big-city stress is an afternoon spent at The Lodhi Spa. I have been to Delhi many times, but in 2016 I visited during the monsoon for the first time. I’d spent two and a half months in the parched high-altitude desert of Ladakh, so Delhi’s thick dampness was actually welcome, despite the heat. Delhi’s lush gardens and tree-lined avenues really sparkle at this time of year. What I love most about the metropolis, and what keeps pulling me back, are the pockets of peace that can be found amid the chaos: in the shade of a fifteenth-century ruin, or walking down a flower-fringed pathway in an unknown urban park. But during this rainy-season visit I had to resign myself to the fact that I couldn’t spend all day walking around the spacious avenues and outdoor shopping areas, like I usually would, unless I wanted to get really wet. A perfect time to retreat to The Lodhi. The hammam is open for hotel guests and spa patrons to use before or after their spa treatments. It’s even hotter and steamier than the monsoon streets outside. After plenty of cooling down with air conditioning and ice-cream at lunch, I retreated to…

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