page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100

Island life Setting sail around the Caribbean island of St Lucia? Make sure you head to the finest spots 38 Aboard ashore Discover the Maldive islands aboard the Sultans way yachts42 City guide Chinese and western culture combine in the intriguingly cosmopolitan Hong Kong48 2I sea& iIAUTUMN 2009 Contents AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI39 F lying over St Lucia - the view largely consisting of rainforest - you may be forgiven for thinking that the island is simply a mass of trees. But skulking under this verdant blanket is a tropical island paradise, home to numerous volcanic and white sand beaches, hot springs, pretty coves, scented jasmine and wild orchids. One of the most naturally beautiful islands in the Caribbean, St Lucia also makes way for idyllic resorts. Sailing around the island gives you a chance to step ashore and discover both the natural wonders and the man- made variety, and you'll be in fine seafaring company. Over the years, St Lucia has attracted sailors of all types, from pirates nestling in the safety of the hurricane hole at Marigot Bay to French and English military in centuries past, to today's superyachts cruising the Caribbean's Windward Islands chain. NATURAL APPEAL Due to its volcanic origins, St Lucia has breathtaking mountains and a fabulous underwater world. As such it has great appeal for hikers, divers and nature lovers. From the rugged terrain of the south to the flatter, less volcanic north, the island has something for everyone. With the mountains comes rain, and thus lush rainforests where tropical birds find refuge among the acres of designated rainforest reserve. Towering here are the soaring Piton mountains, which have become a symbol of the nation. The twin volcanic peaks dominate the southwest of the island and appear more dramatic than they actually are due to the fact that they rise up from the sea in sheer, spectacular ascent. Gros Piton provides wonderful opportunities for ahike, while those with a greater head for heights can zip- wire through the rainforest or take the aerial tram that rides over the tree tops and provides spectacular views of the rainforest. Nearby Soufrière is the oldest town on the island. Named by the French, it is most famous for its stunning natural surroundings, including the sulphur springs which lend it its name. The town used to be the island's capital and it still has some original Creole wooden buildings. But for a real taste of St Lucia's past, the 19th century Fond Doux Estate has acres of orchards, cocoa trees, banana, coconut, coffee, nutmeg and cinnamon plantations, along with old sugar works and herb gardens. To the north lies Pigeon Island, a 44- acre national park that was formerly only accessible by sea but is now connected by a man- made causeway. Once the home of indigenous Amerindians, and then pirates, the island today abounds with walking trails and historic remnants of its service as a military base. One such example is an 18th century fort that was built as a lookout to spy on French ships during numerous conflicts over the island. During that century the island changed hands 14 times between the British and the French, and, although it is now English- speaking, remnants of its time under French rule are reflected in the place names, Creole cuisine and French patois that many of the islanders still speak. Alongside Pigeon Island is Rodney Bay, St Lucia's main resort area. A bustling hub of shops, restaurants and bars sits alongside the long sandy Reduit Beach and Rodney Bay Marina which, along with Marigot Bay, is one of the main yachting destinations on the island. South of Pigeon Island and Rodney Bay is the island's capital, Castries. Its market is a bustling meeting place, especially on Fridays. Castries Port is a day stopover for many of the large cruise liners and is devoted to duty free shopping, for which there are two options at either end of the port: La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine - great places to head if you need some retail therapy, but to be avoided if you desire peace. THE BIG BLUE The island is surrounded by waters that are rich in marine life. The warm waves also play host to migratory whales during the winter months and are the main home for stunning underwater life year round. Soufrière Marine Park is perfect for snorkelling, as is the coral around Anse Chastanet. Just north, you can swim with turtles at Anse Cochon, while the east coast and Grand Anse are the best places for turtle watching. REST EASY Described as being the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean by author James Michener, Marigot Bay has provided shelter to mariners for centuries. The bay has been a favourite of yachties for years, and even starred in the original Doctor Dolittlefilm. Today it houses the Discovery at Marigot Bay resort, which includes a marina, spa, fitness centre, restaurants, shopping and 57 suites overlooking the docks. Combining sustainable, low- impact design, the suites are built on the hillside over-looking the bay, and are terraced so that every suite has a view from the private balconies. The resort's main pool is surrounded by lush vegetation and blends into the scenic backdrop of the hillside. A winding boardwalk links the suites, pools, ? Opposite page: although much of the island is lush and green, there's plenty of space for stunning white sand beaches ( right) st lucia St Lucia is so desirable the British and French fought for possession of it 14 times in the 18th century. Today, the only haggling going on is in the local markets. sea& iexplores this Caribbean idyll By Miriam Cain 38Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 Heaven- saint AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI43 furtherafield All 1,200 of the Maldives islands are gems, but it pays to know which ones have been polished up to sparkle the most By Miriam Cain Nature's way Adrift in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives landmass totals just 300 square kilometres ( 115 square miles), while the ocean area is over 107,500 square kilometres ( 41,500 square miles). Step ashore and you are, in fact, walking on the coral- encrusted summit of a range of submerged volcanoes. Over thousands of years since the undersea volcanoes formed, coral grew and, on breaking the surface of the ocean it gathered sand, creating thousands of atolls. Within these atolls, which were protected from the breakwaters of the outer reefs, more sand drifted until white dunes pushed up into the air. The Maldives' picture- per-fect palm trees came from coconuts drifting on the monsoon winds from Africa and anchoring on the sand. Sparkling seas ? T oday's overcrowded world makes it tricky to locate even one remote island paradise, so it comes as something of a shock to discover that when you head to the Maldives, the dilemma comes not in finding a remote island but singling just one out from the 1,200 on offer. The testing choice is slightly eased when you take into account that only 200 of them are inhabited; it is made almost easy when you then learn that, of these, 85 are crowned with luxury resorts. Well, perhaps not exactly easy. Each resort vies with each other for best/ latest/ most divine facilities and experiences, making a firm decision almost impossible. You simply have to set aside the next 80 odd years to visit each one, or - far more preferable - boat- hop between several in one trip. 42Isea& iIAUTUMN 2008 maldives Above left: the west side of Victoria Harbour Above: the Mandarin Oriental hotel fine China hong kong AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI49 Little surprise that China was itching to reclaim its gilded island in 1997; Hong Kong, appropriately located at the mouth of the Pearl River, is a valued jewel in any nation's crown By Kate Rigby 48Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 A strip of sparkling metropolis slung low on the base of the heaving mass of China, Hong Kong has always been a bit different; a bit special. Ingrained with 5,000 years of Chinese tradition and polished off with more than 150 years of British colonialism, Hong Kong is a law unto itself; a heady mêlée of stately colonial grandeur, furious- paced finance and glittering Oriental glamour mingling together to delicious effect. The question was, would Hong Kong continue to dazzle once it returned to the Chinese fold in 1997? The answer, resoundingly, is yes. Xianggang as it is now officially named, still plays as hard as it works, and it works as hard as it can to preen and proffer its countless attractions. On a whistle- stop stay in the city, headline your trip with the following attractions. PILLOW TALK For a city with such an electric nightlife, it would seem that having somewhere to rest your head should be merely a formality, but Hong Kong does nothing by halves. Honouring its grand colonial upbringing, the city continues to think big when it comes to hospitality. The trusty clan of leading hotel chains are here along with a healthy string of gems from the boutique clique. Among the big- hitters are the recently redesigned Mandarin Oriental, the Excelsior ( reserve a harbour- front room as they all have a sofa by the bay window so you can city- gaze in comfort), The Langham, which is encircled by designer boutiques, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental with the largest rooms of any hotel in Hong Kong, the harbour- front Four Seasons, and The Peninsula: the legendary Grande Dameof the Far East. A recent addition to check out is the Harbour Grand Hong Kong, opened just a few months ago. Situated on the waterfront, it has 828 rooms, including 86 luxury suites, and is five- star opulence itself. Smaller, hipper and boutique inspired is the stylish, award- winning Hotel LKF by Rhombus in Lan Kwai Fong. TOP TABLE East and West get whisked together to delicious effect in Hong Kong's culinary scene. With a gut- busting 9,000 restaurants you can guarantee Asian fare of all varieties, along with a very wide repertoire of gourmet international offerings. As well as booking a table at the well- established, lauded gourmet establishments, simply wandering along the Yun Ping Road, Kai Chiu Road, Pak Sha Road, Lan Fong Road, Hysan Avenue, Hoi Ping Road and Yiu Wa Street offers up a veritable feast of ? sea& inews The latest from CNI and the world of luxury yachting10 Charter choice On board Silver Angel22 Captain's view Will Kaye gives the inside picture on Big Aron24 Where in the world.? A look at what's new in global travel26 Glam femme From make- up to jewels, aqua makes a statement32 Top five Sample the world's finest sky- high cocktail venues34