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51 BUCKINGHAM GATE RESIDENCESFive newly renovated suites are now available at the luxury residences of London's StJames. Following the £1.2 million investment, the residences will be the largest servicedsuites in the city with the conversion of two floors into an exclusive space with its own internalstaircase, which highlights one of the key benefits of the residences - privacy. Carefullyselected interior decor is combined with the finest modern amenities, presenting a freshand contemporary feel for every suite. A strong relationship with two of London's greateststores, Hamleys and Harrods, means that 51 Buckingham Gate also offers fantasticpackages, including personal shopping and privilege discount days for the family. www.51-buckinghamgate.comPalazzo HedonéThe latest addition to the portfolio of propertiesmanaged by Think Sicily is a converted boutiquehotel in Italy. Palazzo Hedoné has 11 roomsfurnished with antiques and modern designs. Allrooms are air conditioned and have solar-poweredunderfloor heating and top-of-the-range en-suitebathrooms. The swimming pool with underwatersound system and counter-current swimmingmachine also has a retractable glass roof.Up on the roof the fantastic panoramic views ofthe gardens and surrounding hills are trulybreathtaking. The hotel also has its own spa in anoriginal grotto carved into the rock, equipped withsauna, hammam and hot tub. www.thinksicily.com 34Isea&iIWINTER 2011FBiOrstR ENcEoOD iIvDeY rLeLsort in the MaldivesDivers keen on preserving the coral reefs ofthe world will be pleased to hear that theBaros Maldives has become the first EcoDiveCentre in this popular honeymoon location. Licensed Reef Check EcoDive instructorsare fully qualified to further educate visitorson ocean life in tropical coral reefs.Combining education with action ensuresvolunteers a unique first-hand experienceand role in conserving the world's reefs.Guests can also collect valuable coral reefdata using Underwater Reef Guides from theresort that help people recognise and recordwhat they have seen during their underwatersafari. www.baros.com Heston Blumenthal at London's Mandarin OrientalJanuary 2011 will see the arrival of HestonBlumenthal's first restaurant in London,overlooking Hyde Park at the MandarinOriental hotel. 'Dinner by HestonBlumenthal'will feature the chef's inimitablestyle of culinary alchemy with a menuheavily influenced by his ongoing researchand discovery of historic British gastronomy.Serving lunch, dinner and afternoon teaand headed by Ashley Palmer-Watts, whohas worked with Blumenthal at his UK-basedThe Fat Duck for nine years, the restaurant atthe Mandarin Oriental is set to be a hit.www.mandarinoriental.com

The Verta experienceThe next time you're UK-bound, steer your helicopter to London's Vertical Gateway andland at the Hotel Verta where you can literally step from the heliport into your five-starsuite or, even better, into the subterranean Spa Verta. Opened in September 2010, the hoteland spa already have a celebrity following, hardly surprising with the stylish Bar Vertilon andfine-dining Patrisey restaurant overlooking the heliport and River Thames. The hotel is perfectlysoundproofed throughout, but the real oasis is down in the spa where thermal rooms,experience showers and a hydro-vitality pool await. Particularly recommended is the AnneSémonin London-Paris two-hour treatment complete with scrub, massage and intriguingbubbling mud mask, propelling you to new heights of pure indulgence.www.hotel-verta.co.uk A small gem in the Caribbean The small private island of Petit St Vincent, or PSVto those in the know, has recently changed owner-ship, marking a fresh chapter in the island's history.The 113-acre destination, currently home to aboutique-style resort, first opened in 1968 with 22cliffside and beachfront villas. It was visited by the new owners when they weresailing through the Caribbean and they instantly fellfor its charms. Without losing the resort's appeal,the owners plan to create one of the region's mostattractive high-end destinations by upgradingexisting accommodation, building a new relaxedbeach restaurant, a spa pavilion with six treatmentrooms and a children's club. PSV will be open as usual until 30 April 2011before closing on the 1 May until 31 October 2011while the work is carried out.www.psvresort.com WINTER 2011I sea&iI35travelnewsAbu Dhabi gets gorgeousThe Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi is following theexample of the Metropole Monte Carlo,Gleneagles in the UK, and the Peninsula NewYork by opting for an ESPA oasis of tranquillityand relaxation at its property. Designed around a traditional Hammam, thespa has been conceived with Arabian architectureand features eight private treatment rooms. Divided over two floors, it is an impressivespace with separate male and female areas anda dramatic, double-height marble stairway. Treatments combine the best of ancientand modern therapies and use only the finestquality ingredients and skincare products. Thespa menu includes the likes of The UltimateHammam - an indulgent 80-minute therapywith a massage, mask and bath.www.theyashotel.com