In March last year my brother, sister and I went to the Maldives and it was the most amazing place I have ever been to. The weather wasn’t that great but due to my pale, non tanning, only burning skin I didn’t mind the lack of sunshine. We stayed at Atmosphere Kanifushi which is a resort on the island of Kanifushi. The villas are stunning with private beaches that then open up onto the large beach running down one side of the island. The staff at the resort were amazing, they will do anything for you and are constantly checking on you. We still laugh to this day about how perfect they try to make everything by even sweeping the beach.
Diving and Snorkeling is a definite must while out there. We all got our Open Water Padi Diving Qualification while out there and it was worth it compared to the few times I have been diving in Scotland. The water is amazingly clear and we saw stingrays, eagle rays, sharks and turtles, as well as all the other amazing fish on the reef. You can also just go snorkeling off the beach or pier.
The food at the resort is also delicious, they have several restaurants at either end of the island. The best places to eat are the bar at the adult only pool where you can order small plates to share or the vegetarian restaurant where you can sit outside on the deck and eat while stingrays and sharks swim under you.
In September I went for a week long trip to Los Angeles to see my brother who was working over there for a few months. We stayed in an Airbnb in the Hollywood Hills, nicknamed the Treehouse. It was one of those awesome houses on stilts and looked out over Downtown LA. Los Angeles is where I have seen some on the best sunrises and sunsets and most of them were from the view of our Treehouse.
We made sure to get the most out of our week there. On the Monday we went to Burbank and had a classic big American breakfast of pancakes and black coffee and then, after my brother had done some work, we went down to Sunset strip for dinner. On the Tuesday we went to Universal (I highly recommend getting a fastpass for any theme park) and on the Thursday we went to Disney. Wednesday was probably the best day we had there, we rented a car and drove to Malibu and sat on El Matador beach, which was stunning.
For the weekend we moved from the Treehouse down to the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica. We did the classic and cruised down the boardwalk on segways, thinking we were much cooler than we actually looked. If you are ever in Santa Monica then you need to (I would almost just go back the LA just for this) go to Sugarfish. It is the best sushi restaurant I have ever been to and probably will ever go.
I travelled to London several times last year for work. Each time we stayed in the CitizenM hotel in Shoreditch which is amazing and I highly recommend. The rooms are tiny but the views are awesome and the massive bed fills half of the room. The room is also a ‘smart’ room, so everything is controlled by an ipad; the lights, the blind and the TV. The bathroom wall also changes colour so you can set the mood or play around with it like a child!
We mainly stay in the Shoreditch area as that was where we were working so it was easy enough to go out afterwards. I highly recommend Boxpark for drinks, it is this collection of shops on the ground floor and collection of bars and food places on the top floor, all in shipping containers. My favourite shops in Boxpark have got to be Astrid & Miyu for their rings and earrings and Decorum for their amazing home stuff. Blue’s Kitchen is also great for drinks and live music, the last band we saw there were a brass band with a rapper on lead vocals. Shoreditch also has some great places to eat. Dishoom is a great Bombay Cafe that is decorated beautifully and has amazing sharing style food. Home slice is also great for some lunch with huge slices of homemade pizza for only £4 or a whole 20” pizza for only £20.
Fingers crossed that 2018 will include some travelling as well.