Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Conrad Maldives, a perfect vision of paradise

Conrad Maldives, a perfect vision of paradise

When you travel, sometimes the place you visit is so beautiful and interesting that, no matter where you’re staying, it will be memorable (ie: Paris, Venice, Bhutan). Some others, the hotel itself is so amazing, that no matter where it is placed, it will make your journey unforgettable.

I visited the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort in december 2009, and I can assure that both aspects match in such way that they become a perfect vision of paradise. Twice voted “Best Hotel in the World”, this barefoot resort spreads across two private islands, surrounded by idyllic white sand beach and a vibrant coral reef and lagoon.

We spent one week enjoying romantic dining experiences with its fine cuisine and stunning dining venues (undersea restaurant, dreamy sunset at a private beach…), indulging in the two spas, diving in one of the world’s most remarkable waters or just reading a book and doing absolutely nothing while we enjoyed the sunset at our overwater villa’s jacuzzi 🙂

Perfect place for honeymooners and sybarites.

To learn more about Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, visit their website

Photos by Pedro Sagüés

Click on images to enlarge

 

Udaipur: the city of lakes, palaces and love

Lake Palace. Udaipur. Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Udaipur: the city of lakes, palaces and love

I have just arrived from Udaipur, a captivating city in the heart of the Rajasthan -India- (“Land of Kings” in Hindi). Named in 2008 as the No.1 city to visit in the World’s best awards by Travel + Leisure magazine. Udaipur is often called the “White City” (getting its name from the hue of the buildings) or the “Venice of the east” for its romantic lakes and palaces that create a sense of aestheticism with their spiritual ecstasy. The city was founded and named in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II (Udaipur, means “City of Udai”).

In my opinion, the best places to visit in Udaipur are:

City Palace: Located on the banks of Lake Pichola and built entirely in granite and marble, this palace is the second largest in India (600m from side to side). It is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of both, the lake and the old city. The palace attracts thousands of visitors every day that also enjoy its Hindu architecture, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils, with no Muslim influence as it has never been conquered.

Boat ride on Lake Pichola:
Take a boat and get a close look at Lake Pichola’s wonderful palaces and havelis (rich merchant families’ private houses), many of which have been converted into hotels. I recommend taking the sunset boat that has an extra touch of romanticism. From time to time, during drought conditions because of lower rainfall and degradation of the catchment, the lake becomes dry.

Walk through the market:
You discover the “real” India when you meet people in the streets, buy at the local markets, get your hand henna-painted while to chat with the artist or enjoy a tea at the multiple tea shops… If you want to feel this, Delhi Gate area is the place to go.

Hotels: There are multiple amazing palaces converted into hotels.

  • The most renowned is the Lake Palace, built in 1743 by Maharana Jagat Singh II as his royal summer palace, it is made of marble and is situated on Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola. The palace is now a luxury 5 Star hotel (listed in the top 10 best hotels in Asia) and was a central feature in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. The views from the hotel are amazing, especially from the restaurant at the roof. Only guests are allowed in the hotel.
  • A more affordable option is the Jaiwana Haveli, a small hotel located in the old city that offers great views of Lake Pichola. It’s clean and has very nice bathrooms.

Restaurants: I would suggest three restaurants:

  • Rajbagh: Good international/Indian buffet, great views of the lake and low price
  • Jag Mandir Island: Located in an 18th century palace, the restaurant serves good Indian food for 2500rp/pax (55$) while you enjoy great views of the City Palace and the Lake Palace Hotel
  • Sashi’s Cooking Classes: I haven’t been there but it has awesome reviews in Trip Advisor. It seems to be a fun evening with Sashi.

Shopping: The specialties in Udaipur are textiles, silver and paintings.

  • Textiles: I recommend visiting Royal Arts & Crafts, a warehouse full of beautiful textile. Located at Hathipole Gate
  • Silver: In multiple markets and stores you will find lots of artcraphs. The best knowned shops are Gem Arts Emporium and Silver Art Palace.
  • Miniature paintings: Brahma Arts, at the Lake Palace Road.

If you need a guide, contact Bholendra Singh. Great knowledge and excellent client service. Email: bholendrasingh (at) hotmail.com

Am I missing anything in this list of the “Best places in Udaipur”:

If so, please let me know. I’ll be happy to update my post.

Click on images to enlarge


Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Best restaurants in Sydney

Australian Heritage Hotel

Best restaurants in Sydney

After graduating from Law School in Madrid I spent a week in Sydney after visiting Australia for 3 weeks. I had the chance to eat in great restaurants, most of them recommended by my local friends.

My idea with this blog is to recommend the places that I’ve been to. However, in this case I’ve done an exception asking my friends Lucía (who lived there for 9 months) and Gonzalo and Sue, who both live in Sydney and whose opinion I totally trust, to help me prepare this list of the most recommended restaurants in Sydney. For further information, visit my article of the best bars in Sydney and the best places to visit in Sydney:

  • Italian: Pendolino or go to Bill & Toni’s, (a Sydney institution) for classic and affordable schnitzel.
  • Thai: For the best Thai food go to Thairrific
  • Ribs: Hurricane’s in Darling Harbour or Bondi Beach
  • Pizza: The Australian Heritage Hotel in the Rocks. They have kangaroo, crocodile and emu pizza, and over 100 beers. Another recommended Pizza place is Hugo’s Bar Pizza, considered in 2006 the best pizza in Australia. It is located in King Cross. An elegant setting for a perfect dinner. Normal prices of pizzas are $18, quite expensive. However, Sundays and Thursdays, you can take advantage of the $5 pizzas deal!
  • BrasilianBraza, the best Brazilian churrasqueria in the antipodes
  • IndianDarbar in Glebe Point Road, in an converted church, old bricks and windows still there, amazing food and quiet intimate atmosphere
  • Egyptian: Radio Cairo in Cremorne
  • Mexican: Baja Cantina or Flying Fajita Sistas in Glebe
  • Vegetarian: Govinda’s in Darlinghurst, have a meal and then go upstairs for a movie on beanbags!
  • Degustation: Tetsuya’s in the city, one of the best (and most expensive) restaurants in the world; more affordable options: Oscillate Wildly in Newtown or Atelier in Glebe
  • Lebanese: Arabella. Lebanese cuisine in Newtown. There is a cushion room for those who really want to live a Lebanese experience. With belly dancers on weekends. Amazing dips, falafel, tabouli and very recommended the kafta skewers (lamb).

Your opinion about this list of the best restaurants in Sydney

Is there a place that should definitely be listed in this post? Have you got any suggestion to improve this blog? If so, please place a comment

Best restaurants in San Sebastian

Restaurante Branka. San Sebastian. Photo: www.promowebsite.net

Best restaurants in San Sebastian

This is the second part of my previous post about the best Pintxos in San Sebastian. As I said, San Sebastian has multiple Michelin Star Restaurants: Arzak, Akelarre, Martín Berasategui and Mugaritz (all with 3 stars)…. Besides these restaurants, in this post I want to talk about those that haven’t got a Michelin star but are still amazing restaurants… and not that expensive.

  • UROLA: Traditional food since 1948. 45 € avg. price. c/Fermín Calbetón, 20. +34 943 423 424
  • BETI – JAI: Means “Always party” in Basque. Specialty in sea food. Avg price: 40 €. c/ Fermín Calbetón, 22. 943 427 737
  • EGOSARI: Bar and restaurant with good food. Avg price: 35 €. c/Fermín Calbetón, 15. 943 428 210
  • ALDANONDO: Great meat (“chuletón” in Spanish). Avg price: 40 €. Daily menu: 28€. c/Euskal herria, 6. 943 422 852
  • ASTELENA: Excellent food, specially the foie. Avg. price: 40 €. Daily menu: 22€. c/Euskalherria, 3. 943 425 867
  • GANDARIAS: Excellent food and wine list. Definitely a top restaurant in Donosti (San Sebastian in Basque). Great pintxos aswell. c/31 de agosto, 23. 943-426362
  • UREPEL: Great food but quite expensive. Avg price: 70 €. Menu: 50€. Pº Salamanca, 3, 943 424 040
  • BRANKA: A classic with nice views of the bay (check the webcam). Avg. price: 50€. It’s a nice walk to get there. c/Eduardo Chillida, 11. +34 943 317 096
  • BERNARDO: Excellent sea food. c/Puerto, 7, 943 422 055

Update: Lucía, a reader of this blog, suggests two more places. THANK YOU Lucía!!:

  • ZUBEROA: Located in Oiartzun, 10 km away from San Sebastian. In my opinion it’s one of the best restaurants to eat good modern basque food
  • ASADOR PORTUETXE: a much more traditional restaurant than the previous one. Awesome fish and meat. It is usually overcrowded so it’s recommended to book a table in advance

Did I miss any special place?

Is there any place that should definitely be listed in this post? Have you got any suggestion to improve this blog? If so, please place a comment 🙂

Map with the best restaurants in San Sebastian

View Best restaurants in San Sebastian (Spain) in a bigger map