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Andrew Forbes

Since graduating in Film & Media in 1991, Andrew has worked in Marketing Communications & PR. He is an established writer and blogger, specialising in travel, lifestyle and hotels.

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recent published articles

30/08/2019 09:56

Travel

The insider guide to Havana

STAY: Residencia Santa Clara Authentic 'casa particular' close to Havana's harbour and within walking distance of the sights of Old Havana. Talented carpenter Alexis and his sister Marisol have created a stylish, family-run guesthouse with grou

29/08/2019 20:27

Travel

Havana turns 500

Powder blue, bright pink, vivid green; these were just some of the exaggerated, vibrant, 'candy colours' of the vintage cars lined up outside my Havana hotel. They conveyed an optimistic, although somewhat 'theme-park', tone to this crumbling Caribbe

31/07/2019 21:58

Travel

The wine road trip insider guide

Cáceres STAY: Hotel NH Collection Cáceres Palacio de Oquendo This modern hotel retains features of the 16th-century Palacio de Oquendo, including the original façade, historic internal patio courtyard and vaulted ceilings, complemented with sim

28/06/2019 13:55

Travel

The Russian visa - a travel obstacle

Saint Petersburg is repeatedly recognised as one of the world's leading cultural city destinations, yet there remains an obstacle for many leisure and business travels - the need for a visa in order to legally enter the Russian Federation. Although t

28/06/2019 13:46

Travel

I'll meet you in Saint Petersburg

Before travelling to Russia's 'northern Venice' I have to admit that I was concerned about my trip. Media reports of aggressive nationalism, racism and anti-LGBT incidents in Saint Petersburg and across the Russian Federation in the recent years had

28/06/2019 13:46

Travel

The Insider Guide: Saint Petersburg

STAY: Nevsky Forum Nevsky Forum is a good option for those looking for a simple place to stay. Its location, on the Nevsky Prospect, the most central thoroughfare in this huge city, is excellent. From here everything is accessible either by f

21/06/2019 19:24

Travel

The Directory: The Balearics

MALLORCA: OD Port Portals OD Hotels is renowned for its comprehensive calendar of cultural, culinary and social events for guests and locals alike - and OD Port Portals certainly shares that commitment to help guests connect with their destinat

21/06/2019 19:09

Travel

Balearic bliss

This archipelago of islands off the east coast of Spain is a perennial favourite for Spaniards and international visitors alike. Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera are diverse islands offering distinct experiences for visitors, yet still remain

03/05/2019 19:42

Travel

Reinventing the all-inclusive

Using both hands, our host broke open the large, elongated pod, revealing the white flesh of the fruit inside. From the sticky pulp, he pulled out oval seeds a few centimetres in length and held them in the lined and callused palm of his hand. The hu

03/05/2019 19:42

Travel

The Directory: Caribbean all-inclusive resorts

Costa Mujeres (Mexico) TRS Coral Hotel Costa Mujeres is a few hours south east of the bohemian coastal enclave of Holbox, and about 30 minutes drive north from Cancún on Mexico's Caribbean coast. It's a more tranquil alternative to Cancún's Hotel

05/04/2019 15:47

Travel

Under the spell of San Miguel de Allende

At this time of year, the light in the central highlands of Mexico is clear and intense. It's reminiscent of the seductive spectrum of Tarifa or Tangier, yet instead of bouncing off Atlantic blues, here it illuminates a warm palate of earthy tones an

29/03/2019 17:08

Travel

San Miguel de Allende, the insider guide

This Unesco World Heritage city, in Mexico's central highlands, is the American Capital of Culture for 2019. STAY: Hotel Matilda Hotel Matilda is a boutique property that fuses the colonial colour of San Miguel's past with the contemporary c

28/01/2019 18:30

Travel

Onwards to San Diego

The classic Pacific Coast Highway road trip is best enjoyed southbound, so it makes sense to fly into San Francisco, and fly home from Los Angeles. This way (since you'll be driving on the right) you'll be hugging the coast most of the way, enjoying

28/01/2019 13:34

Travel

On the road in California's Big Sur

The forest felt enchanted. Looking up, the bright Californian sunlight was penetrating the forest canopy, tens of metres above, creating filtered shards of light that pooled on the ground. The towering coastal redwoods, among the tallest trees in the

25/01/2019 13:30

Travel

Big Sur, the insider guide

Home to wild mountains, enchanting redwoods and a magnificent coastline, Big Sur is the essential stop on California State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway. STAY: Tickle Pink Inn This 35-room property, set among Monterey pines on the craggy c

14/12/2018 16:47

Travel

Ten of the best winter escapes

December is already knocking at the door, promising not only festive fun but also the shorter days of winter. One way to beat the winter blues is to plan a travel escapade. To whet your appetite, I've pulled together ten ideas from home and away.

14/12/2018 16:29

Travel

Winter breaks, the insider guide

ANDALUCÍA: El Lodge - Sierra Nevada, Granada This time of year means the beginning of the winter sports season. Opening today for the 2018/19 season, El Lodge is the chic place to stay in the Europe's southernmost ski resort. Expect cool design,

16/11/2018 17:03

Travel

The Insider Guide: Guernsey and Alderney

STAY: Duke of Richmond - Guernsey Ideal base for 'film tourists' and 'set-jetters' visiting the island to see the places and scenery that inspired The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society novel and film. This award-winning hotel is in charmi

16/11/2018 17:00

Travel

The islands of Guernsey

Chefs often endeavour to tell a story through their menus, and dinner at Guernsey's best hotel was no exception. The dishes were inspired by the novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; each a creative reminder of a remarkable piece o

05/10/2018 11:04

Travel

A balcony over Edinburgh

With some effort I slide open the heavy floor-to-ceiling glass doors, and I step out onto the terrace which was still damp from the light rain earlier in the day. The sky had cleared and before me was one of the most impressive urban landscapes in Sc

05/10/2018 11:04

Travel

Edinburgh, the insider guide

STAY: Nira Caledonia Experience the splendour of Edinburgh's 18th-century New Town, at the elegant four-star Nira Caledonia. This boutique property is found within two adjacent neo-classical Georgian townhouse mansions in Stockbridge. Guest rooms

31/08/2018 18:10

Travel

Fez, the insider guide

The former capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, and one of the oldest Muslim imperial cities in the world, Fès (as it is known in French) makes for a compelling destination. Its old town, the UNESCO World Heritage medieval medina, is spellbinding. ST

31/08/2018 18:10

Travel

Fez, authentically Moroccan

Driving down into the valley I was confronted by the rich texture of the city spreading out before me. Surrounded by fields, and framed by the Middle Atlas mountains beyond, the urban cityscape was a mass of clustered buildings of warm sandstone, wit

03/08/2018 16:01

Travel

Castles and gardens; the hidden Amsterdam

Ferdinand Bol called this place home. It's on Keizersgracht, the Emperor's Canal, in the centre of Amsterdam's historic district. A pupil and prodigy of Rembrandt, this 17th-century artist had made so much money selling his art to the Dutch ultra-ric

03/08/2018 16:01

Travel

Amsterdam and region - the insider guide

STAY: Mr. Jordaan Hotel - Amsterdam Cosy, friendly and stylish hotel in Amsterdam's Unesco World Heritage canal district. This renovated 17th-century canal house offers on-trend accommodation with some rooms in the loft, others with canal views.

03/07/2018 13:50

Travel

The Turkish Riviera revisited

The rough-hewn table, crafted from thick cedar, was laden with food; a generous breakfast meze so colourful and appealing that it could have enticed even the sleepiest of night owls to embrace the morning. Baskets of Bazlama flat bread were set out,

03/07/2018 13:50

Travel

The Turkish Riviera

Also known as the Turquoise Coast, this enchanting stretch of shoreline from Antalya in the south, up to Çesme in the northwest is the Mediterranean of blue voyage cruises; unspoilt nature; remarkable ancient ruins; picturesque villages; sparkling re

04/06/2018 14:57

Travel

A taste of Menorca

My host for the morning, Antonio of 'Cómete Menorca' sees me take a break, as I plant myself in a bright red director's chair on one of the café terraces outside Ciutadella's 19th-century fish market. It was the ideal place to take a short breather f

04/06/2018 14:56

Travel

Menorca: The Insider Guide

STAY: Torralbenc Hotel & Vineyards Forget manic sightseeing and instead immerse yourself in Menorcan island life at this traditional 19th-century farmstead, now reimagined as a characterful rural hotel with gourmet restaurant, spa, and now a bo

07/05/2018 17:58

Travel

Hidden Cyprus

They fluttered and swayed in the warm Mediterranean breeze like giant feathers; movement that flowed across the hillside in an almost otherworldly way; as if the trees were dancing. This fairy-tale sight greeted me as I passed through the renowned Ce

07/05/2018 17:55

Travel

Southern Cyprus, the insider guide

STAY: Elysium Hotel Striking Byzantine-inspired landmark hotel, adjacent to the Tombs of Kings, and a short walk from the harbour of Paphos. Recently completely remodelled, the Elysium is now an exceptional family resort hotel. Guest rooms all

06/04/2018 16:48

Travel

Algarve calling

Who could have thought back in the dark days of the recent financial crisis that Portugal would emerge with such vibrancy and become one of the hottest destinations in Europe? Portugal's renaissance appears to be touching all corners of the country

02/03/2018 19:34

Travel

Miami vibe

As I walk out of the private lift, my eyes take a moment to adjust to the bright light. The polished marble floors and immaculate white walls seem to intensify the brilliant Miami sunshine that floods in through the three-and-half-metre-high floor-to

02/03/2018 19:34

Travel

Miami, the insider guide

STAY: The Meridian Hotel Close to the buzz of the iconic Ocean Drive, South Beach, yet within the authentic, quieter residential district of 'SoFi', this new budget hotel offers a cool Miami vibe with its brilliant white, mid-century architectura

31/01/2018 12:45

Travel

The insider guide to Copenhagen

Copenhagen is set to be one of the hottest European city destinations this year, so cosy up in the Danish capital this winter with our city guide. STAY: Sanders Found just steps away from the Royal Danish Theatre, this period style hotel, wit

26/01/2018 18:08

Travel

Cosy Copenhagen

I ran the last few metres towards the restaurant, as gusts of snow flurried around me. My refuge from the winter elements was a simple wooden building on the water's edge, with panoramic windows that afforded views out across Copenhagen's harbour.

12/01/2018 18:46

Travel

Bermuda

The room sparkled with refracted light, creating colourful reflections from the elegant crystal perfume bottles that filled the antique cabinets and covered the polished mahogany tables. Beside me the shelves of an alcove were laden with cobalt blue

04/01/2018 13:15

Travel

Bermuda, the insider guide

Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, is an Atlantic archipelago of sub-tropical islands famous for beaches of fine, coral-pink sand and clear azure waters - and plenty of British colonial charm. STAY: Rosedon Hotel This quintessentially Ber

24/11/2017 14:54

Travel

Yerevan, the insider guide

Home to the National Opera & Ballet Theatre and world-class museums, the Armenian capital is rich in culture. Yet this, the largest city in the country also has a small town, laid-back ambiance of casual street café restaurants making it a relaxed ci

27/10/2017 16:06

Travel

A Joshua Tree road trip

The excitement of fulfilling a long-held dream was beginning to dissipate, with nervousness taking hold. The guide told us, "In addition to the two gallons of water per person, you need to make sure you have salty snacks and energy bars. It wasn't th

27/10/2017 12:13

LifeStyle

Greater Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park

The nine 'desert cities' of Greater Palm Springs, southwestern United States, offer a remarkably diverse travel experience: from the vintage Rat Pack glamour of Palm Springs and the golf and spa resorts of Palm Desert; to the awe-inspiring nature of

02/10/2017 12:18

Travel

48 hours in modish Milan

Milan may not be chockful of Renaissance architecture that one so often associates with Italy; yet what this industrial, commercial city lacks in old-world charm it more than makes up with thanks to urban style. At this time of year, the suffocatin

14/09/2017 20:20

Travel

Mellow Marbella

It's no secret that I like to travel, to live a slightly nomadic lifestyle. Yet each time I board an aircraft to return home, it's always with a feeling of excitement to be coming back to Andalucía. Even after countless trips, each time the plane des

14/09/2017 20:20

Travel

The Insider Guide to a Marbella 'staycation'

The summer may be drawing to a close for many, yet for residents of southern Spain, the Mediterranean sun continues to shine, making it the perfect time to enjoy all the pleasures of the coast, yet without the high-season crowds. Here's some inspirat

07/08/2017 15:56

Travel

The Insider Guide: The American Riviera

Running from Summerland to Goleta, with the historic, postcard-perfect towns of Santa Barbara and Montecito at its heart, this privileged south-facing stretch of the Pacific ocean coast is the place to stay in Central California Stay: Belmond El

07/08/2017 15:54

Travel

Santa Barbara, the heart of the American Riviera

California has always been synonymous with the notion of the American Dream, and it consistently makes for a compelling holiday destination. The glitz, glamour and urban energy of Los Angeles in the south; together with the renowned openness of San F

03/07/2017 17:04

Travel

The insider guide to Venice

Once one of the wealthiest Mediterranean maritime republics, this lagoon city remains a visitor favourite thanks to its romantic gothic architecture, charming canals, and seductive Italian flair. STAY: The Gritti Palace The quintessential Ven

03/07/2017 16:53

Travel

Venice, beyond the crowds

Despite the early hour, the morning fish market stalls were almost fully set-up by the time I'd walked down to the 'Mercato del pesce', one of the Rialto city markets beside Venice's Grand Canal. Outside, in the modest Campo Beccarie square, a founta

30/05/2017 18:16

Travel

Fuerteventura for all seasons

As the Spanish would say, I'm 'inquieto'. I have a restless spirit that means that I just love to explore; and when it comes to visiting a new place, it's rewarding to discover the hidden aspects of a destination. Fuerteventura The Insider

30/05/2017 15:24

Travel

The Insider Guide: Fuerteventura

A holiday-maker's favourite and a surfer's paradise; Fuerteventura boasts some of the archipelago's finest beaches but also an interesting interior landscape and history. STAY: Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real - Corralejo To the north east of Fue

03/05/2017 15:36

Travel

Downtown Tokyo

Boarding an underground train is rarely memorable, but if it is, it's almost certainly for all the wrong reasons; a feeling of claustrophobia, chaotic pushing, a sensation of stress. Yet my first time on the Tokyo network felt like an almost poetical

31/03/2017 16:33

Travel

Madrid in springtime

There's a Spanish adage that says. 'Madrid, nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno'. Roughly translated it says that the city's weather is little more than nine months of winter and three months of hellish heat! Yet, contrary to perceived wisd

31/03/2017 14:10

Travel

Madrid

The Spanish capital has embraced 2017 with new hip hotels, cool bars, top restaurants and world-class arts exhibitions. It's time you booked your ticket to Madrid. STAY: Only You Atocha Madrid's hotel scene has never been so dynamic, and the

24/02/2017 18:30

Travel

A cultural immersion in Kyushu

Despite my best intentions, I had committed a faux pas. The inn's hostess had become slightly agitated, her warm smile had dissolved into a look of surprise - or was it shock? Japan is said to be a nation of traditions, unspoken social rules and stri

24/02/2017 18:17

Travel

Nagasaki, Kyushu

The birthplace of Japan's industrialisation; setting for the opera Madame Butterfly; and inspiration for Martin Scorsese's 2017 movie 'Silence' - Nagasaki, the international gateway to Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's main islands. STAY: Garde

30/01/2017 13:38

Travel

Snow, fire and food

Once embraced by the deep, soft fireside sofa I begin to give into to that 'good tired' feeling one experiences after time on the slopes. 70TH ANNIVERSARY This is one of the most magical times to visit Courchevel, as throughout the season the re

27/01/2017 11:16

Travel

Courchevel

The 2016/17 season sees Courchevel celebrating its 70th anniversary. From its humble beginnings in the 1940s, Courchevel is now one of the most chic ski resorts within 'Les Trois Vallées', said to be the world's largest lift-connected ski area, with

17/01/2017 10:30

Travel

Scottish Capital Gains

A grey sandstone building half-way up Edinburgh's Lothian Road, opposite the city's imposing Usher Hall, has for more than 30 years offered escapism into different worlds, through visual story-telling of intrigue, romance and fantasy. Here at Edinbur

17/01/2017 10:30

Travel

Edinburgh

STAY: Old Town Chambers For a luxury home-from-home in Scotland's capital, then take a look at the 5-star accommodation at the Old Town Chambers. Found in the city's Old Town, these upscale apartments include historical features from the 15th cen

17/01/2017 10:12

Travel

The trail less trekked

As the hours passed whilst walking the mountain trails, the peace and tranquillity became almost tangible. Without aircraft jetting overhead, and with no roads filled with cars or motorbikes, one is truly embraced by nature. Here the sound of silence

17/01/2017 09:22

Travel

The Insider Guide: Sacred Valley of the Incas

Carved through the Andes by the Urubamba River, Peru's remarkable Sacred Valley was at the heart of the Inca Empire. This fertile region lies between the city of Cusco, and the country's most iconic attraction, the imperial Inca city of Machu Picchu.

30/12/2016 10:04

Travel

Bread with oil - understanding Mallorca

Worn smooth through years of use, the immense table in the centre of the room had a softness to it that belied its obvious weight and size. Hewn from huge pieces of rock, it was once used to crush the local harvested olives before pressing, but now s

28/11/2016 18:49

Travel

The Ouirgane valley - the unspoilt base for High Atlas holidaying

Morocco is seductively exotic yet increasingly accessible. The modest airport at Marrakech is finally being expanded and low-cost routes easily connect this bohemian, cultural, and historic city with Europe and beyond. After a few days exploring th