Valentine Hotel Hotlist: 6 Sexy Places To Spend Time With A Special Someone

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, British Columbia, California, Canada, Continents, England, Europe, London, Malaysia, Mexico, Opinion, Perfect Places To Stay, South Africa, UK Staycation, United Kingdom, USA, Vancouver Island, Wishlists, Worldwide Vacation

Rose at Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Falling in love with hotels for Valentine’s Day…

A romantic weekend away for Valentine’s Day – sounds like a great idea in principle, right?

But as anyone who has tried to book even a simple night away with their partner already knows, the process of finding the perfect hotel for romance isn’t all hearts and flowers.

You’re searching for seclusion and sophistication in a Valentine hotel, but you also need that unquantifiable quality – sex appeal. And just like dating itself, there’s always the worry that hotels which look good on paper could turn out to be a let down when we meet them in person.

So I thought I’d compile a list of  the 6 sexiest places in the entire world I’ve ever stayed. These are tried and tested hotels that I would not hesitate in recommending for romance, so you can kick the research to the kerb…

Savoir There World Food Awards 2013

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Continents, Food, Opinion, Photo Journeys, South Korea, Thailand, The Gambia, Wales, Whistler, Worldwide Vacation

Keeping food simple in Siem Reap

Keeping food simple in Siem Reap

As the year drew to a close I found myself writing a post recapping my favourite travel memories of 2013 and I learned a couple of things about myself in the process – firstly that many of my favourite moments of the year involve nature and animals, and secondly that when I’m not looking for an animal-related activity, I’m basically eating.

So to celebrate and commemorate all the fantastic food that I’ve enjoyed in the last 12 months I decided to hold my own mini world food awards based on all the places I’ve travelled to and eaten in during 2013. No golden envelopes or teary speeches here, just a list of my best eats of 2013…

My 8 Essential Travel Memories of 2013 – And What They’ve Taught Me For 2014

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Canada, Continents, Holland, News, Opinion, The Gambia, Wales, Whistler, Worldwide Vacation

Gambia

Stroking a croc – one of my year’s most memorable travel moments

It’s been quite a year for me and my travels; I wrote about the best bits of the financial year in an earlier post: How To Do An End Of Year Tax Assessment Travel Blogger Style – so I decided to round up my top travel memories from the rest of 2013. They are…

Things Are Looking Up: 4 Places I’ve Truly Seen The Stars

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Alberta, Americas, Canada, Continents, Egypt, Europe, Italy, The Gambia, Worldwide Vacation

Aurora Borealis at Jasper Dark Sky Festival 2012 at Pyramid Island, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Aurora Borealis at Jasper Dark Sky Festival, Alberta, Canada by Yuichi Takasaka

If ever there was a time to call to mind a Hamlet soliloquy, I’d say mid-stargaze is that time.

Which of us doesn’t seek out beautiful night skies on our trips? Man by nature is in love with ‘this most excellent canopy the air…this brave over hanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire…this congregation of vapours.’

Yet ‘what a piece of work is a man’ indeed; the irony is that as light pollution prevents us from seeing the wonders of the night sky, we must go where men are not in order to truly see the stars.

Here are the four places I’ve ventured this year where man is wonderfully outnumbered by the stars in the sky…

In Photos – A Portrait of The Gambia

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, The Gambia

Gambia photography

This Islamic school was very happy to see some Western visitors

Of all the places in which I’ve travelled no destination has made me wish harder for the invention of the eyeball-implanted camera as The Gambia. Nearly every street scene, vendor, vehicle, market stall and school child has you reaching excitedly for your lens. Here are a selection of my favourite portraits of the Gambian people I encountered on my travels…

How I Became A Forest Chump

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Continents, The Gambia

Mandina Lodges

No trees were harmed in the taking of this photo. But my pride sure was.

Remember when Britney Spears married backing dancer Kevin Federline and the tabloids nicknamed the wannabe rapper who wooed the pop star and her millions ‘Kevin Fed-Her-A-Line’?

Well, I’m channeling Britney circa 2004 whilst in The Gambia and being fed plenty of lines during my trip, mainly from the omnipresent ‘bumsters’ – smooth-talking local lads who hang around the beaches befriending female tourists.

But despite their best efforts the most memorable line I’m fed all week turns out to be rather more literal than ‘hey beautiful lady, you’re one in a million.’…

How To Do A 10 Point End Of Tax Year Assessment – Travel Blogger Style

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Asia, Cambodia, Continents, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Opinion, The Philippines, Worldwide Vacation

Happy New Year

Chinese New Year Sign at Le Creuset, Hong Kong

This week a brand new tax year started, and those in traditional jobs have been running year-end assessments and shuffling spreadsheets left, right and centre.

So I thought I’d do some rather taxing assessments of my own and calculate the 10 best things I’ve done this financial year, and their real value – monetarily and of course in less quantifiable ways.

Here they are, my top moments of the tax year ending April 5th 2013. According to my calculations it was a good one.

My Five Favourite Places In Lanzarote

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Canary Islands, Continents, Europe, Lanzarote

Lanzarote

Lanzarote’s Playa Blanca

Let’s be honest, most of us Brits think of Lanzarote – and the Canary Islands as a whole – as a fly and flop destination, full of sun loungers and cheap beer and not much else.

But the stark volcanic landscape of Lanzarote is peppered with jaw-dropping viewpoints, black beaches perfect for surfing and alien-looking national parkland plus Bond-esque lairs designed by local architect and artist Cesar Manrique.

Find out why there’s more to the island than meets the eye with this list of my favourite places in Lanzarote

Snorkeling In Sharm El Sheikh – Choosing The Right Trip For You

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Continents, Egypt, Opinion, Worldwide Vacation

snorkeling in Sharm El Sheikh

Sunshine and snorkeling in Sharm El Sheikh

I’m the first to be picked up for today’s boat trip to go snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh, so I get chatting to the rep as we take the minibus to the next hotel.

Like the rest of the staff at Emperor Divers – and as I soon realise the clients too – my guide is a Brit. I ask him how he ended up in Egypt and the explanation that follows about why Egypt is the perfect mid-haul holiday destination is far more straightforward than I expect…