November, 2010

Nov 10

Prince William’s perfect proposal


With the excitement of a Royal wedding next year, any
romantics like myself will delight in the details so I set out to learn a little bit more about the dreamy destination
where Prince William made the perfect romantic proposal to Kate Middleton.



The magical moment is said to have taken place at Cheli and Peacock’s Lewa Safari Camp on the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya.
The reserve is made up of a vast sixty-five thousand acre conservation area which
sits in the shadow of the snow-covered Mount Kenya with views over the wild Northern
Frontier district. Prince William knows the area well – the Lewa Downs are
owned by the family of his friend, Jecca Craig. The Royal family has long loved
to holiday in Kenya and the young price even spent a few months of his gap year
working (and learning Swahili) in Lewa Downs with the Craig family.


Mount Kenya

The romance factor at the complex is very high
indeed. The little luxury resort, which lodges just twenty-six guests, comes in
the shape of twelve luxury open-air “tents” arranged in the manner of a classic
safari camp. Each little jungle bungalow comes with a thatched roof, stone
veranda and full en suite bathroom. In the middle of the camp there is also a country-house
style lounge and alfresco dining area. During the day, guests can take a dip in
the pool and by night, lounge by a roaring log fire. The sunsets over the
savannah, real log fires and a Disney-like animal kingdom on your doorstep would
be enough to make any girl’s heart beat a little bit faster!


As well as romance, fun should also be a big part of any
couple’s life and Prince William had that covered too. Lewa’s guests are in the
heart of the African action and are almost guaranteed to see some, if not all,
of the Big Five. Typical days in the safari camp include 4X4 Jeep Safaris, horse and camel trekking, lion tracking and taking sundowners by the pool
whilst catching glimpses of the black rhinos, elephants, and zebras that come
to drink in the nearby lake.    



The element of surprise is the best bit about popping the
question, and the romantic royal prince is said to have taken his new fiancé, Kate Middleton, suitably
by surprise. The resort has its own private airstrip and the pilot prince is
thought to have borrowed a helicopter (as you do) and whisked his lovely bride-to-be
to a nearby lake on the slopes of Mount Kenya. At more than 12,500 feet above
sea-level, he proposed, against the perfect panorama of the Rift Valley.  

Well done Wills, we have always loved you but now that
you have shown you’re a true Byronic Man we love you a little bit more.

If you have had a perfect proposal let the Passport readers know all about it in the comments section!

Nov 10

J-Lo enjoys a Vegas room with a view

Las Vegas has more stars glittering through its cosmos than the Milky Way, and this past week it has sparkled as brightly as ever. The Latin Grammy Awards have been in town which has meant that musical superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Ricky Martin were in need of somewhere to rest their gorgeous heads following the ceremony. So where did they stay?




Las Vegas is one of the world’s best destinations for celebrity spotting and when there’s an award ceremony or a big boxing match in town, it’s practically impossible to turn around without seeing a top personality. The best places to rub shoulders with the world’s beautiful people are around the luxury hotel malls. The Caesar’s Palace Forum, The Wynn’s Esplanade and Mandalay Place are great places to catch a glimpse of stars stocking up on the kind of luxury goods we’ll all be coveting the following week. Star guests need their privacy though, so if you see a boutique that has been mysteriously closed in the middle of the afternoon, chances are there’s a celeb browsing inside. The Las Vegas club scene also makes for plenty of celebrity eye-candy with Sin City’s pool parties being this year’s hottest hang-outs.



The best guess as to where the lovely J-Lo might have stayed is with the host of the Latin Grammys, the Mandalay Bay. In the past, more than a few glitzy guests have been sighted amidst its South East Asian-inspired splendour including Fergie (the Black Eye Peas lovely, not the grumpy football manager!) and, in happier days, Sandra Bullock honeymoon here too. The Mandalay Bay itself is a fabulous five-star, but family gal J-Lo was apparently laying low in Vegas last week and, although top hotels never reveal their celebrity guest list, it is rumoured that Jen and husband Marc Anthony tucked themselves away in the serene Four Seasons instead.

Located on the 35th to the 39th floors of the Mandalay Bay tower, the Four Seasons offers its illustrious guests paparazzi-free access to their accommodation via a pretty porte-cochere and private elevators. The first thing I noticed when I entered was the hush of the lobby. There’s no casino cacophony here – slot machines are banned –  in fact the only thing to be heard is the occasional click of a Louis Vuitton clasp – it’s lovely, like an oasis of calm amidst the Vegas madness, and the perfect celebrity hideaway.

The most fabulous suites have a show-stopping one hundred and eighty degree view of the Strip, a kitchen, a dining room, a host of bedrooms, and a grand piano – perfect for an impromptu in-room performance! The spa-like bathrooms are enormous with lots of chic Italian marble, gold fittings and L’Occitane goodies. Although it’s been reported in the past that Lady J requests a jar of her favourite Creme de la Mer face cream for her bathroom amenities, as well as white sheets and furnishings, and Jo Malone candles to scent the star’s space.













The Four Season’s prides itself on its poolside pampering, and with good reason. The pool area itself is designed in the style of a verdant tropical garden with super-comfortable Daydream sunbeds (I loathe plastic pool furniture) and sweet little arbours to hide away when the wrinkle-causing midday sun gets too much.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Pool2 - photo by Sabin Orr (2).jpg










I need not have worried about the aging effects of the sun, though, as to my surprise and delight there were suncream stations positioned around the pool – how nice! And I didn’t need to worry about dehydrating myself either as it seemed that every time I started to feel like a delicate flower wilting in the sun, a pool-angel would appear to water me with ice-cold drinks, chilled fruit, sprays of Evian, cold towels, and cucumber slices for any puffiness that may have been threatening my eyes. I was already enjoying feeling so pampered but when the “Spa Tapas” came round I entered a new Zen-like level of happiness. FS pool guests can enjoy a twenty-five minute foot massage that uses cool scoops of fragrant body butters to soothe away any tension that might have been accrued from walking to and from the whirlpool baths. VIP guests can choose from green tea and lime leaf, pomegranate and cranberry, or mango and mandarin – all gorgeous! The star treatment finishes with cool towel wrap and a spritzes of neroli water.



If there’s one place that demands a bit of bling, its Vegas baby so make sure you shimmer in this fabulous Maxmara Gold Dress.









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