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Sun Hunters

Vicky Hersheson

So Christmas and New Year is over, ski trips are on….but…. lets be honest; getting up and coming home in the dark is pretty darn depressing. We all know our vitamin D levels are woefully short and no one wants to be a human mole so frankly here at bb robinson we can’t think of a better reason to start thinking about my next bit of sun -  And no we don’t want to wait til the summer!! (*** stamps foot *** ) : )

 

It is a tricky one though….

With our bank accounts still a touch drained from the festive season and the odd ski weekend (!), plus wanting to keep our jobs (not sure the boss will sign off another 2-week-er – sigh…) where do you go that’s not a million miles away during the ‘non-season’ of March, April and May??!

Well, we’ve had our thinking caps on… get ready for the bb robinson top picks for sunny long weekends over the ‘non-season season’

n.b. (there are the places that wont have you on a plane for 5hrs….)

1. Marrakech:

the obvious starting point. Souks, sun and a myriad of hotels and Riads (we love the new Mandarin Oriental that they just built) to match your mood and budget. Top bbr tip while you’re there: check out our favourite restaurants (you have to go local) Le Tobsil or Dar Yacout. Traditional, romantic and very Moroccan-chic. If you do have the luxury of a bit more time (jealous!) we also recommend a night or two at Richard Branson’s place in the Atlas Mountains: Kasbah Tamadot.  Must see!

2. Essaouria:

if its cool enough for Jimi Hendrix – then its good enough for us! Here you get the sea (which is the only thing lacking with Marrakech) a laid back beachy vibe with fresh fish and yoga on offer. It has been pretty off the radar but these days there are more boutique hotels than riads. Top bbr tip: Obviously at bbr we love anything that is good for the environment and just six miles south of the town (amongst dune forests, eucalyptus, juniper, tamarisk) you’ll find hotel Baoussala – the first eco-lodge in the area.  For lunch: must visit is between the Port and Place Moulay Hassan – little wooden shacks serving salad, bread and fish so fresh that you wont believe – all for the lofty sum of around £5 ! That’ll do…

3. Malta:

great for hiking. Top bbr tip: avoid the tourist traps and head to the Northern Island of Gozo – its not a place for wild partying but is beautiful and unspoilt and a short ferry ride from the main land. Ramala Beach is the dream – lobster spaghetti and crisp white wine. For those who prefer a bit more up-tempo we like Casa Ellul in Valletta on the mainland (ask for the rooftop suite) or The Xara Palance in Mdina.

4. Cyprus:

our preferred picks are Polis Chrysochous (bbr tip: stay at the Anassa Hotel – just had a major re-fit) an unspoilt area in the West of Cyprus on the Akamas peninsula (there is a blue lagoon and just a short walk up the hill for the beautiful Holy Monastery of Chrysorrogiatissa) or the Almyra, very close to the Port. Zen, minimalist and great for couples. There is even a personal trainer on call should you want to keep in top bikini shape! Yes please!

5. Madeira:

feels like Portugal is having somewhat of a resurgence with several people now buying up homes there (they are providing some very nice incentives tax wise – worth checking out!) however, sticking to the brief –  for tres modern; we love Hotel The Vine in Funchal – rooftop pool, and very convenient location near shops/the port/churches and museums. Great spot for couples – with a focus on wine and romance, each room has a free standing bath perfect as the sun goes down and it gets a bit chilly. Top bbr tip: for those wanting a bit more traditional we also love Belmond Reid’s Palace – on the cliffs overlooking the ocean – ask them to organise a wine tasting for you – you wont regret it! *** hic *** !

6. Gran Canaria:

keeping with the rock-star vibe (see Jimi Hendrix: Essaouria for further reference…) the likes of Bruce Springsteen has graced the Grand Hotel Residencia in Maspalomas with his presence and we can see why. Its built on an ancient palm grove on a lagoon. Five minutes to the beach, colonial and beautiful classic style. Top bbr tip: go for the upper-floor villa – best views of the dunes and mountains…. Lovely.  

Of course – if you do have the luxury of a bit more time – the Middle East is the go-to – we love Ziggy Bay in Oman, but… its going to take you a bit longer to get there. Happy ‘non-season’ sun hunting!

Love

The bb robinson team x

bb robinson's guide to skiing

Vicky Hersheson

One thing you may have noticed, is that the bb robinson team are not just in to sun, sea, sand and baskets, we are in to ALL kinds of travel, wanderlust is our middle name. Red wine, roaring fires, mountain air and a good day on the piste... Nothing wrong with that...

So - here is a quick guide to bb's fave resorts and what to catch when you're there:

Top resorts for a quick weekend get-away:

1. Megeve

45 mins from Geneva (with your foot down!), chocolate box town, lovely mountain restaurants and some fabulous hotels. The Paris set's choice du jour. Think chic and understated with a touch of glam.

Top tip: for dancing on the tables (seriously) head to La Sauvageonne.

2. Verbier

Slightly further (1.5hrs) and more of a party vibe. It goes like this... To the ski-lift, to après at La Rouge to Farm club aaaand repeat. It's fast and furious on both the party and the ski (large and challenging mountain with lots to do) - you can sleep later....

Top tip: for a very funny evening; rent a sledge a head-torch and head to Chez Dany. After a lovely mountain dinner it's time to sledge down! Seriously. Funniest night we've had (disclaimer: this is at your own risk - especially after a lovely glass of two of wine!)

3. Chamonix

For the serious skiers amongst you - camelbacks and skins at the ready and race for the first lift of the day.

Top tip: make the most of your stay and get a guide for the day - this is vast and you'll find lots of undiscovered spots. Magical and burns many calories! Yaaas!

4. Lech

 it's not just about France and Switzerland - what about Austria? Lech is St Anton's chicer older brother, plus you have Lech, Zurs and Oberlech to chose from. Spoilt for choice! Fly in to Innsbruck for a shorter journey time from the airport.

Top tip: for fondue you HAVE to head to Alter Goldener Berg, but make sure you book for the 'old building' - original features, open fires.... Sigh....

For further a-field when you have a couple of extra days to spare....

5. Gstaad

The epitome of understated and old-school chic. Classic and refined with one of our favourite ski hotels ever; Le Grand Belleuve -  go and say hello to the wonderful and ever-charming owner Daniel.

Top tip: a must see is the ultimate Gstaad institution - the Palace (we recommend afternoon tea or drinks vs dinner unless you have VERY deep pockets) then head downstairs to the famous Gaucho club (if you're feeling frisky!) n.b. The Alpina (new) is however fast giving the Palace a run for it's money....

6. St Moritz

This is not just a ski resort, this is home to the infamous Cresta run (lunatics only!). Skiing, shopping, restaurants and a pretty serious scene is what it's all about. Pack your (faux) fur and make sure you befriend a member of the Dracula club... You'll thank us after : )

Top tip: sleigh ride out into the Val Fex for a lovely rustic dinner - wrap up warm!

7. Aspen

Huge mountain (three to choose from in fact), members-only mountain restaurants and the wonderful Little Nell to stay at. There is a reason the Obama's have been spotted here...

Top tip: Cloud Nine is 'the' day spot to be seen at if you want a party vibe. For the more civilised of you - get your network on and make friends with a member of Aspen Mountain Club. Chic and unique and will warm your ski boots while you dine, fabulous!

8. Park City and Deer Valley

Everything you could want all in one spot - covers all the bases. Hardcore skiing (the Winter Olympics were hosted here), all types of restaurants and powder to die for (Park City) and a quick drive over to the chic and civilised Deer Valley although worth noting snowboarders are forbidden here!

Top tip: bb robinson likes the finer things in life so we say go to Deer Valley for the 'valet ski experience alone!' (Joking.... /not joking!) actually what is really cool is you can rent skidoos and bomb around for an hour or two in beautiful forest land. Amazing!

Finally... Ok so we're not suggesting you take your bb robinson basket with you, BUT we have discovered that your bb robinson basket insert is excellent and very handy to put your gloves, goggles, ski pass and hat in at the end of the day. Be gone the days of one glove and a lost ski pass. Perfect!!

bb robinson’s guide to…. Tulum….our dream day....

Vicky Hersheson

Seems to us, that the ‘spot du jour’ for the boho-chic traveler is Tulum…. With its laid back cool, healthy vibes and endless white beaches… we can see why. At bb robinson we love sustainable, organic and eco-friendly and that is very much the vibe throughout Tulum – perfect!    

So, if you’re lucky enough to be getting your winter sun fix here – here is bb robinson’s ultimate day in Tulum:

Breakfast: our favourite place – nestled within the Sanara Tulum Hotel is The Real Coconut…. Excellent for tasty breakfast treats that wont compromise your January body goals and keep you looking in top bikini shape. Gluten, Grain, Dairy and Refined Sugar free #winning! Our favourites: the very Berry Chia Parfait and of course – no breakfast menu would be complete without - the Avocado Toast! Yum.

Lunch: Casa Malca – on the beach; light, local and totally eco friendly – what’s not to like!?  Keep it simple and go for their just caught grilled fish. You cant go wrong – any fresher and it would be still in the sea : )

Our favourite Dinner spot: Gitano: think rustic courtyard within the undergrowth and hundreds of tea-lights – the ultimate in beautiful boho chic. They cook everything either on the open fire grill or the wood burning oven. We would start with the basil guacamole and chips or ceviche and roasted cauliflower followed by the steamed fish and homemade tortillas finished off with the ultimate guava cheesecake (come on… you’re on holiday after all J )

The other must see (but very popular so book if you can) is Hartwood – down a jungle road is a place we think is the epitome of Tulum… it is all about being sustainable and eco-friendly here whilst being fabulous, delicious and the height of chic. Everything about the restaurant is sustainable, from the solar panels powering the lights and music to the organic compost that they put back in to the mangrove. All the ingredients are from the Mundo Maya and fish are properly spear hunted and the menu is different most days. A proper experience.

Finally – if you’re in the mood for music and a cocktail:

Papaya Playa – sundowners are a must here – guest DJs and soulful tunes to watch the sun go down. Bliss. For something a little more up-tempo the weekends host their famous ‘full moon’ parties once a month for those in the mood this is the spot to check out!

Enjoy! We are very jealous!

Love the bb robinson Team x