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Articles Written by Mark


About Mark: Mark is a former flight attendant who has worked in web and graphic design. He is devoted to finding the very best places to sleep, eat, shop and relax all over the world. He works in London for a big brand and travels whenever he can. (View Profile)


Thompson Hotels

With a number of stateside locations already, this Spring sees this luxury boutique hotel chain open their first international branch in Toronto.

Thompson Hotels are contemporary and elegant with an element of edge and surprise. At Thompson Hotels we believe there’s a place for refined, innate style in a world of overly dressed-up mega brands. We are not trendy boutique hotels. Our style is simultaneously timeless and avant-garde.

Dare we hope Europe is next? Doubles from US $219.00

Purchase Information:

Price: $219.00
Availability: Buy Thompson Hotels here

Pentax Optio H90

I love this little camera. It’s specs are perfectly competitive: 12 Megapixels, HD video recording and it’s designed to be compatible with the Eye-fi wireless memory cards which mean you can connect to your computer and upload your pictures without a cable. The best thing about it though are the colours and the styling. It’s very minimal with a distinctly Japanese look and the colours are very refreshing. Orange if you’re bold or clean black and white if you’re more conservative.

Available from February 2010 for $179.95

Purchase Information:

Price: $179.95
Availability: Buy Pentax Optio H90 here

Bamford Travel Wallet

OK, so I need a wallet for my tickets, a cover for my passport, something for my credit cards and where am I going to put all those Zambian Kwacha notes? Bamford has made something that has you covered:

Calf Leather travel set by Bamford & Sons. 3 piece set in supple calf leather with 23 cm long ticket wallet with 3 full length slots, sections for cards and holders for the passport holder and card wallet. A beautiful and well thought through set to organise your documents, money and tickets.

Great – that’s that sorted. Now to find those Zambian Kwachas.

Purchase Information:

Price: £175.00
Availability: Buy Bamford Travel Wallet here

W Barcelona and London

They made their first foray into Europe on the fringe with Istanbul. Now with Barcelona open and London due shortly, the luxury W hotel chain are clearly focussing on this previously untapped resource.

If you’re familiar with their multiple New York locations, it will come with a sigh of relief that their high quality is now available on this side of the pond.

(doubles from €199.00 plus taxes)

Purchase Information:

Price: €199.00
Availability: Buy W Barcelona and London here

Bill Amberg Jag Laptop Bag

You’re going to Geneva for 24 hours on business and you don’t want to take a trolley bag. Laptop? Check. Socks and smalls? Check. Clean shirt? Check. Toiletries? Check. Great looking bag to put them in? …Check.

The perfect size for carry-on, the Jag Laptop Bag also features reinforced corners and handles, internal pocketing for everyday essentials, and a comfortable detachable shoulder strap. The back pocket zips open to slide over the extended handle of the matching Rolls Trolley Suitcase. A change of clothes can be packed in one side whilst your laptop is strapped-in securely in the other zipped pocket.

Available in brown, black, taupe and gold.

Purchase Information:

Price: �478.00
Availability: Buy Bill Amberg Jag Laptop Bag here

Qualia – Hamilton Island, Australia

If you’re going to do Australia, do it properly. Qualia is a luxury holiday resort on Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef. With two pools, two restaurants, a gym, a spa and a library this is the ultimate place to get away from it all.

Just a stone’s throw off the Queensland coast, qualia sits in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Qualia can be reached in only a few hours by plane from international gateway cities on Australia’s east coast, truly making it a world-class destination without the journey.

Situated in the Whitsundays, qualia puts the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep. Its sun-drenched northern aspect provides the ideal location to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, surrounding you with some of the most stunning and spectacular waters to be found anywhere in the world.

I’m sold. Choose from Leeward pavillion (from 950.00 per night), Windward pavillion or Beach House accommodation.

Purchase Information:

Price: AUD950.00
Availability: Buy Qualia – Hamilton Island, Australia here

MacBook Air

While not exactly new, the MacBook Air is still the ultimate travel computer. Light enough and uber-portable yet with all the features of a fully-functioning laptop, it takes some beating. Limitations of no built-in optical drive and only one USB are quickly remedied by wireless solutions and the portable DVD/CD drive that you can buy for $99, but who buys CDs and DVDs these days anyway?

If you can afford it, go for the SSD version which really flies and more than makes up for the comparatively slow 2.13GHz processor. Truly awesome and very pretty to boot!

Purchase Information:

Price: $1,799.00
Availability: Buy MacBook Air here

The Wolseley – London

Practically an institution and winner of best breakfast in London for several years, the Wolseley is my favourite restaurant in London. Located on Piccadilly next to the Ritz, this bistro restaurant has actually only been running since 2003 but has quickly acquired a stellar reputation.

Built in a former Wolseley car showroom, hence the name, the restaurant offers classic bistro dishes which along with the vintage styling and very proper staff help create the appearance that this place has been around for ages. Seven years on the occasional celebrity can always be spotted and the place is always buzzing. Refreshingly they always have non-bookable tables and you can almost always get seated.

Want Les Essentiels de la Vie – Kansai Computer Portfolio

If you have a super-sexy ultra thin laptop like a MacBook Air or Dell Adamo XPS you’re going to need a super-sexy case to put it in. Want Les Essentiels de la Vie obliges with their Kansai computer portfolio.

Available in Black, White, Grey, Dark Brown, Green, Macintosh Red or, my favourite, Burnt Henna.

Purchase Information:

Price: $450.00
Available from: Want Les Essentiels

Globetrotter 110 Air Cabin case

OK, so it’s a little pricey but if you want the ultimate luggage then you’re going to have to pay, my friend.

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Globe-Trotter, this exclusive black Carbon Fibre/Kevlar-weave travel bag of the future is stronger than steel, lighter than air, black like coal, and as innovative as tomorrow. At 21″ x 15″ x 7.5″ (53 cm x 38 cm x 20 cm) and weighing just 3 lbs (1.35 kg), this edition is the ultimate carry on piece traveling with any airline.

Thankfully it’s available in two finishes: matte or glossy.

Purchase Information:

Price: $3,525.00
Availability: Buy Globetrotter 110 Air Cabin case here

Posada La Sacristia – Tarifa, Spain

In an idyllic corner of Spain, about as far removed from the concrete skyscrapers of the Costa del Sol as you can imagine, lies this endearing Posada. Tarifa, just west of Gibraltar is an old port city, the closest in Europe to Morocco. Not far away is a National Park with beautiful wild, windy beaches and sharp, rugged hills. This small guesthouse-like accommodation is situated in the centre of the city. From here you can take the ferry to Ceuta, the Spanish African enclave or straight to Morocco. Alternatively you can walk round the ancient fortress town or be in Kite-Surfing beach paradise in 20 minutes. The posada also offers a spa ‘wellness’ programme, boutique accessories and a good restaurant.

Purchase Information:

Price: €from 115
Availability: Buy Posada La Sacristia – Tarifa, Spain here

Brenner Grill Munich

This is a great restaurant in Munich should you find yourself there. It’s located just off Maximilianstrasse, the main shopping street. If you’ve ever been to the Wolseley in London, the atmosphere here is equally busy and buzzy.

Tall white arches supported by Doric columns, vast windows, globe lights, banquettes, and black wood chairs provide the classic setting for one of the hottest places in town. And when this place says “Grill” it really means grill: Centre stage is a cluster of open fires, one group for broiling, the other, gas flames for preparing pasta. The extreme open kitchen conceit would be irritating if it added tens of euros to the check, but this place is very reasonable, which no doubt explains its mass appeal.

Book early to avoid disappointment! Here is a menu in English.


More information:

View Brenner Grill Munich here

Source: Via

Want Les Essentiels de la Vie 

This is a really nice bag. Canadian luxury goods company Want Les Essentiels de la Vie offer modern takes on classic leather goods. Named after famous airports, their range includes 24hr, 48hr and 72hr overnight bags, wallets, laptop bags and iPod cases.

Inspired by Timeless, functional design classics, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie was conceived out of a want for premium quality leather goods to house the essential professional and personal products that we use in our modern everyday lives. It aims to create a balance between a traditional style and a modern compatibility. The brand’s core value, identified on its products by its ubiquitous gold and silver zipper, is to achieve unity through contrast.

The smallest overnight bag, Malpensa 24hr, is perfect for a night away and is available in six leather colours. It is made from 100% organic leather in Italy.

Purchase Information:

Price: $1,495.00
Availability: Buy Want Les Essentiels de la Vie  here

Hospes Hoteles

Here’s a stylish Spanish boutique hotel chain with properties in major Spanish cities and Paris.

The Hospes group takes classically beautiful older buildings and adds their unique contemporary makeover to make gorgeous hotels. To the mix they add high quality furnishings, spas and swimming pools, Korres products and the latest in-room technology.

Take a look if you’re visiting one of the following cities: Seville, Alicante, Mallorca, Madrid, Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Ibiza, Puigcerdà and Paris.

More information:

View Hospes Hoteles here