It seems like Spring has finally arrived: our director Nikki’s wearing flip-flops, and the magnolia tree by our office is bursting into beautiful bloom.
For many of us, it’s time to book summer holidays – and where’s more enticing than Italy? The food, the reliable sunshine, the easy glamour – it’s a winner. Our destination focus this month is Liguria, recently visited by Assistant Editor Abi. Sandwiched between the French Cote d’Azur and Tuscany, it’s one of Italy’s most beautiful regions: wooded slopes tumble to a rugged coastline with pretty fishing harbours and the glittering resorts of Portofino and Santa Magherita, while the spectacular UNESCO villages of the Cinque Terre cling to cliffsides. All swarm with tourists in the summer, but we’ve found some secret hideaways, quiet beaches and glorious hiking trails. The region’s capital, Genoa, is worth a visit, too, with a revamped port, splendid palazzi and an atmospheric maze of medieval alleyways. Our first hotel in the city will be live soon; watch this space.
Our other April focus is Bali. Did you know the best season to visit is April-October? (Embarrassingly, I didn’t). Our Senior Editorial Assistant Melissa has just got back from a review trip, and says it’s hotting up beautifully. She loved the healthy-living subculture, with yoga sessions in Ubud, sustainable hotels and creative vegetarian cuisine. She also visited its lesser-known neighbour, the tiny Gili Islands archipelago. On Gili Air, colourful horse-and-carts serve as taxis, local children play in the streets, and you can snorkel alongside turtles and tropical fish, just yards from the white-sand shore. Sunsets, sundowners, yadda yadda (jealous, me?).
And talking of jealous-making, my i-escape colleagues are off on review trips and holidays to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Jordan, Copenhagen and Kerala this month. I need to jump on the bandwagon!