Islands & Beaches

 

I'm pretty sure the cheeky grey monkey at my front door wasn't a part of the package … but considering the scene laid out around us – jungles behind, sea view before us, and the thick hum of the early morning birdsong vibrating through the air – this little guy wasn't out of place at all. We watched as he and his family rummaged around the fallen leaves, finding their breakfast, playing chase and just doing what monkeys do before they made their way back into the forest, laughing as they went. Time for the humans to come out to play, and as we made our own way down the winding hillside path towards the beach I knew those macaques were still watching, as curious and amused as we were. 

We had arrived at Gaya Island Resort on Pulau Gaya the previous afternoon, travelling by water transfer from the mainland of Kota Kinabalu, whizzing across the harbour past huge cargo ships, colourful houses on stilts and the canoes of fisherman out for the daily catch.

Cuca
 

If you're in Bali or planning a trip to Bali soon we hear there's a new restaurant that needs checking out! Opened just a month ago, Cuca serves tapas, cocktails and desserts – our style of eating! – from three distinctive spaces: an interactive and exciting food bar where wooden chairs run along one impressive teak counter; a relaxed and intimate dining room, ideal for guests to enjoy the company of each other in a comfortable and air-conditioned environment, and a chilled out cocktail bar & garden lounge, gently touched by the ocean breeze and surrounded by the undisturbed beauty of nature.

The restaurant is helmed by Chef Kevin Cherkas, who has an enviable career developed in some of the world's best restaurants such as Michelin three-star Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian, Michelin three-star El Bulli in Roses and Michelin two-star La Broche in Madrid. He also left his mark in New York City during his 2 year tenure with Daniel Boulud at the highly regarded Michelin three-star Daniel.

And where is this new beauty I hear you ask? Cuca is located just in front of Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate and Spa.

Reservations may be made by calling +62 361 708066. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 12pm to 12am.

 
 
 

Pristine beaches, jungle clad hills, dramatic cliffs, rich culture and friendly locals create the holiday gem that is Langkawi. One of Malaysia's most visited corners, this beach haven has everything you seek in a romantic holiday destination.

Heart

Whether you’re planning the perfect honeymoon, romantic holiday or long weekend getaway, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience in the Whitsundays.

With one of the top ten beaches in the world as white as any wedding, tropical islands set amongst azure waters, and a reef shaped like a heart, the Whitsundays is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and the calm waters of the Coral Sea lie the 74 tropical islands of the Whitsundays.

The wonder of the Whitsundays is not just about witnessing its visual magnificence – it’s also about a new world of experiences. From the exhilaration of a snorkel or scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef taking in thousands of coloured fish species, to the intense pinks, reds and oranges of another stunning sunset. Be swept off your feet in the wonder of this tropical paradise, and feel worlds away just a short flight from home.

Image: Norfolk Tourism / Ooxeart/Dreamstime.com

While it may never be mentioned in the same breath as Fiji, Tahiti or some of the South Pacific’s other romantic hot-spots, the kind of cosy isolation you can only find on an island by itself in the middle of an ocean shouldn’t be understated. What’s more, you won’t find it crowded with holidaymakers desperate for the perfect breakaway, in fact about the only thing you might run into on Norfolk Island are the cows who move slowly about the roadways as if they own the place (and be warned, under the quirky set of local laws they virtually do).

Most people know Norfolk Island as a nasty penal settlement from the 1800s, but what they don’t appreciate is just how beautiful the landscape is.

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