This week on My Travel Style we caught up with Kuoni travel expert Laura Daniel, who is Editor of Kuoni Explore Magazine and the Kuoni Travel Blog. Laura’s first round-the-world holiday took place at the age of five. Her passion for travel was sparked and she later became a writer on motoring magazines, driving through the Sahara, up glaciers in Iceland and…camping in Wales. She’s worked at Kuoni since 2008.
Laura, what sparked your passion for travel?
I travelled around the world at the age of five with my parents and brother, discovering Australia, America and Hawaii. I remember being in the back of an open-top Jeep in Hawaii bombing along the coast roads; and gazing up at the Big Rocking Horse in Southern Australia in amazement. Those moments must have had a big influence on me.
Where is the best hotel you have ever stayed?
It has to be Kanuhura in the Maldives. I could wake up and walk straight out of my villa onto the beach and into the lagoon. The villa was beautiful and my butler ran me a bath one day with petals, strawberries dipped in chocolate and Champagne. Heaven! The food was incredible and the resort oozed romance.
What makes The Maldives your favourite destination?
It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. The tiny islands are scattered across the Indian Ocean like jewels, each surrounded by a vibrant, turquoise lagoon. The best way to appreciate the Maldives is by seaplane, so make sure you transfer this way or book a seaplane experience during your stay. It’s a dream destination for many people, a true Robinson Crusoe experience – resorts such as Maafushivaru even offer overnight stays on a deserted sister island.
What would you suggest to see and do there?
Relax! Kick off your shoes, dip your toes in the sand and wade into the lagoon, which is so warm it’s like taking a bath! The diving and snorkelling in the Maldives are out of this world. Stay at a Four Seasons Resort in the Maldives and you have a good chance of swimming with manta rays; you can dine under the sea at Conrad Rangali Maldives; or listen to renowned DJs and performers such as Tinie Tempah at cool resorts such as NIYAMA, which has an underwater nightclub.
Do you have any favourite places to shop in the Maldives?
Shopping isn’t going to be top of the list in the Maldives. But this is THE place to show off your beach chic look. It’s great for maxi dresses, sexy swimwear and ornate flip-flops. Most of the floors are sand so I’d leave the killer heels in your wardrobe and go for the Bohemian look.
What essentials would you pack for a vacation to the Maldives?
The usual beach essentials, lip balm, suntan lotion, swimwear and a hat. I’d also pick up an underwater disposable camera and take a few snaps while you’re in the lagoon as the vibrant fish are everywhere.
Can you recommend your favourite beauty essentials you travel with?
If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you go next?!
I’d love to explore Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia in one go. It’s next on the travel wishlist!