Is Today’s Feminism Irrelevant?

Gloria Steinem

SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Feminism has been stirring up more controversy as International Women’s Day approached last month. The feminist movement started in the late 1960’s, shedding light on domestic violence, sexual harassment and gender inequality against women, especially of colour. Early marches were lead by Gloria Steinem, the first nationally recognised feminist, who created a stepping stone for other feminists to follow in her footsteps. The hope was that the message would transcend globally to change the system of inequality for women, everywhere. Particularly, those without freedom of choice.

Today, there are different waves of feminism with different ideologies – some more extreme than others. Since before the US presidential campaign last year, feminists came out advocating for women’s rights stronger than ever in support of the first woman to run for president of the United States. It didn’t help that the man who ran against her was considered sexist – someone who degrades women and thinks it’s okay to grope them if he feels like it. Women everywhere came out to rally against him, passionately voicing their dislikes of our sexist society. Yet shockingly, he won the election. This outraged many feminists who became angry and hostile. Their viewpoint became radical and spread like wild fire, leaving trails of bitter words and hostility amongst those who disagreed with them. This made the topic of feminism, one you would want to avoid.

It was once liberating and empowering to be a feminist because it showed strength to stand up for what you believe in, but the extremity of the issue has got us questioning if feminism today is still empowering women?

Some Women Have Rejected the New Version of Feminism

The new version of feminism has become slightly radicalised. Many women today believe in women’s rights and the importance of gender equality in our society, but don’t necessarily agree with the extreme views that blame men for women’s oppression. As stated by Milo Yiannopoulos, a British public speaker who became a YouTube sensation for stirring the pot by speaking out and painting a not-so-great picture on controversial topics like racism and feminism. During his presentations, he builds interesting, yet arguable facts supporting theories that make it difficult to dispute his claims.

Milo’s opinionated and sharp-tongued response against those issues have gotten him a huge following. In his recent video on feminism, a black feminist and current president of the NAACP asked him: “During your entire presentation, you failed to mention that feminism is the belief that men and women are equal. So, do you not think this? He replied:

“Women don’t agree with you. Fewer than 1 in 5 women in America describe themselves as feminists, even though 85 percent of them believe in equality between the sexes. Why? Because they believe feminism has become something different now. They know the feminism you’re talking about is very convenient, isn’t it? Treat men like sh** and when people say I am not a feminist, you say, oh, but feminism is about equality.” He continued: “That’s what feminism has become, it’s not what feminism used to be. Feminism is a mean, vindictive, spiteful, nasty, man-hating philosophy. It has very little to do with the sexes, and a lot to do with man-hating. And the way you know that is women are abandoning it in the millions. Women don’t want it anymore, they have rejected your version completely, they don’t agree with you. In the U.K. the numbers are even worse, just 7 percent of women describe themselves as feminists, despite the fact that 92 percent of women believe in equality of the sexes. It’s clear what’s been happening, they don’t believe that those two mean the same, because if they did, they’d give the polls the same answers to both those questions. Women know that feminists say one thing and do another. Women know that the primary purpose of feminism these days isn’t to promote equality, it is to beat down men.”

As much as we might want to dislike what he has to say, it made some sense. True, many women today have rejected the new version of feminism, but we must not forget that there are also many feminists today who continue to advocate in women’s rights, to empower women.

How Feminism Has Empowered Women

The belief in feminism has made many women stronger. It has given us strength to stand up and voice change in an unfair system, and fight to have opportunities equivalent to men at home, school, military and the workplace. We are now facing many challenges amidst uncertainty in our government, so it’s paramount to believe in something for the greater good. It’s okay to have different beliefs on an issue, but if we speak out peacefully, in such a way that it makes sense for others to listen, it’s empowering.

Feminism Today
Emma Watson for Vanity Fair

Yes, there are some with irrational viewpoints that may make us question our stance, but ultimately, even the few who speak out positively, can empower thousands of others to follow in their blazing trail to stand up and demand change! Take Emma Watson, an actress in recent Disney’s film “Beauty and the Beast”, and one of today’s leading young feminists, recently told off critics who called her a hypocrite for a photo in Vanity fair where she appeared almost topless, covered only by a white crocheted capelet. The haters were quick to dismiss her long list of advocacy for women’s rights. But in an interview with Reuters regarding the photos, she stood her ground and fired back with this statement:

“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is.” She continued: “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing.”

Her message shut the haters down, sending a stark message that we must be strong, speak up and stand our ground for what we believe in. By doing so, many others saw past her personal choice, and spoke out positively on her behalf. I’d have to say, as a woman, that’s pretty empowering.

Meditation: Happier, Wiser, Younger and Thinner?

erika lemay

MILAN, Italy — For years I have been flirting with meditation practices; trying and quitting numerous times, always with that bitter taste of failure. I would drink a litre of the most horrendous liquid every morning of my life, if I knew it would improve my performance as an athlete and a human being.

Something difficult or unpleasant never scared me, I am quite turned on by challenges especially when they come with key benefits. I can, however, claim with confidence that my try at meditation practice has so far been pure torture. While I assume it should bring me peace, focus and wellbeing, every single time, instead it brings only discomfort, boredom and the feeling of wasting my time. In addition I experience anxiety and frustration, and after repetitive failures, even the thought of it makes me want to scream and throw plates at the wall.

Does that sound familiar to you?

I often read that the harder something is, the more you probably need it. Extending my research, I found what I have experienced is actually “normal”. Although meditation is a process of learning for everyone, many over-doer, high achiever, so-called type A personalities are in the same situation and find it particularly difficult to overcome.

The truth is, meditation is probably the hardest thing I have tried to master these past few years, and it is precisely for this reason that I have decided to dissect the subject and dive fully into it, from medical literature to pop culture gossips and understand why mediation is the solution to make you healthier, happier, smarter, younger and even thinner.

meditation erika lemay
Achieving the unachievable starts with a state of mind

The studies and benefits

The scientifically validated reasons to meditate are just too many to mention. I will state a few that caught my attention:

HEALTHIER: Meditation enhances your immune function

Several scientific studies such as “Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation” show that meditation boosts antibodies, therefore helping you to remain healthy. Another UCLA study “Mindfulness meditation boosts the immune system” concluded that HIV positive patients who practice mindful meditation slow down the reduction of their CD-4 cell count. These are the immune cells that are associated with keeping the virus from propagating. Several findings also show that chronic disorders like type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure are reduced through meditation.

HAPPIER: A proven cure for the most common mental illness worldwide?

We often hear about the well-being effects of meditation on mood and depressive states but has it been officially and medically validated? Researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry conducted the first large-scale study to compare the treatment of chronic depression with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and anti-depressants. The results show little difference in the outcomes except for the absence of side effects in the meditative solution. Could it be the end of the big Pharma for the most common mental illness worldwide?

SMARTER: Meditation has been shown to structurally change your brain

Something that is most fascinating to me is the ability of the brain to modify (called plasticity). In fact, the adult nervous system has the capacity for plasticity, and the structure of the brain can change in response to training such as meditation.

Meditation has been shown to actually change your brain. A team of scientists at Harvard found that only eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction increases thickness in the hippocampus; the learning and memory centre of your brain, as well as in other areas that play roles in emotion regulation. On the other hand, it would reduce brain cells volume in areas responsible for fear, anxiety and stress.

YOUNGER: Mindfulness meditation would slow down cellular aging.

Think of it as a mix of the most expensive wrinkle reducing cream, the most unpalatable anti-oxidant drink, 100 capsules fish oil and some kind of grandmother’s secret genetic potion. Although the research on the matter is still in its early stages, it is more than promising for whoever is still searching for the fountain of youth. Mindfulness meditation could slow down cellular aging. The work of Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, a cell biologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine in 2009 for her co-discovery of an enzyme called the telomerase has made some impressive discoveries on the matter. Meditation practices may promote mitotic cell longevity both through decreasing stress hormones and oxidative stress and increasing hormones that may protect the telomere, a region that prevents your chromosomes from deteriorating.

THINNER: Look at Gisele Bündchen

Meditation has demonstrated the possibility of improving the self-control areas of your brain. A growing body of research claims that mindfulness can reduce food cravings, suppress appetite and help with portion control. Some people with an eating disorder are now being medically treated with meditation as a main remedy. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen even credits meditation with helping her lose her baby weight just two months after giving birth. A substantial news for emotional eaters as well as anyone controlling his or her weight, for health or pure vanity.

Misconception: monks, marines and billionaire entrepreneurs do it

Many of us are not familiar with the concrete basics of meditation. We, as a society, carry some misconceptions if not blown out prejudices on the practice. If there is a marketing company in charge of promoting it, I’d say it’s probably the greatest failure of all time.

Meditation is not just for monks seeking enlightenment. More and more celebrities, pop idols, politicians, sport icons and billionaire Entrepreneurs claim that it is not only part of their daily routine but a key of their success.

Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Gere, Madonna, David Beckham, hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, Warren Buffet, Tiger Woods openly talk about it. It is now even becoming a common practice for US congressmen, NFL football leagues and even US Marine Corps. How weird can it be?

A few myths

Meditation is not about sitting with an empty mind as many of us think. Meditation is actually a moment you give to yourself to be and not to do. Just as anything else, it takes practice and you will not be good at it immediately. There is no failure at meditating, taking the time daily to do it will provide improvements on many levels even if you feel it was worthless.

Feeling all sorts of thoughts and anxiety is normal, especially at the beginning. You’re detoxing a place that has been polluted for decades without ever being cleansed. The good news is that it will become easier with time.

Monks that are masters at meditation and mindfulness actually are not feeling anxiety, fear and stress the way the rest of us do. They’re able to feel detached from these feelings, acknowledge their presence and wave them goodbye. Don’t worry about how you feel during the practice, notice how you feel after and throughout the rest of the day.

Even for those who are short of time, 15 minutes a day is enough to show significant improvements in a matter of days. As Mahatma Gandhi once said:

I am so busy today, that… I am going to meditate two hours instead of one.

The less time you have for yourself in life, the more you will benefit from meditation practice, you will become more efficient at everything you do.

How to start

There are many kind of meditation practices to be explored in order to find the one that suits you best: mindfulness, transcendental, compassion, mantra, Vipassana, Art of Living, breathing practices, yoga nidra, yoga, insight, loving-kindness, tai chi, etc.

Simply sitting in silence and being aware of your breathing, without forcing it, is meditating. I am personally more comfortable with guided meditation, especially for beginners. There are numerous audio programmes to find for free online.

Here are two apps I would recommend for beginners: Headspace and Calm as well as two guided meditation podcasts: Tara Brach and The Meditation Podcast.

A few days ago, I made a commitment to myself to start the next fifteen days with a short meditation practice. I intend to come back with my honest outcomes. I aim to apply it to my work as well as my personal life, on stage and off stage with precise goals in mind. I will duly report the effects of the practice through all these layers of my life especially as a physical performer but also as a business person and simply a human being.

Happier, smarter, younger anyone?

OAS1S: The Number One Green Architecture


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Is the future of city living to be blended into the forest? Shall we soon be able to live in a Treehouse Community?

The OAS1S Foundation is the number one green architecture concept, planned to create New Ultra-Green (100% Eco) cities through the design of modern tree houses imagining sustainable treescraper communities for the future.

We have had the pleasure to meet and talk with OAS1S founder, Raimond de Hullu, an experienced Dutch designer and manager in architecture whose mission is to make houses that look like forests where humans finally become one with nature.

Since the launch of the OAS1S website during the summer of 2015, it has received positive online media coverage and project proposals from many different countries all around the world.

OAS1S designers are now working on their first revolutionary projects that will start very soon. “There are OAS1S projects being prepared in the Netherlands and in other countries as well,” explains Raimond. “This year people will see the first realisation of OAS1S and people will be able to book a stay in this resort residence within the forest,” adds Raimond.

Raimond also mentions that a lot of individuals would like to build an OAS1S home and they also will be able to experience this next step in housing. As he highlights: “There are many exciting leads and this is just the start, so yes a lot of people will soon live in architecture that completely integrates with nature.”

OAS1S: Alternative Urban Architecture Concept

How do you specifically respond to an alternative urban architecture?

Raimond highlights how OAS1S is an alternative urban architecture concept that aims to improve the global urban environment: “OAS1S reshuffles existing design dogmas because with a little different organisation, you can create much better urban communities. You can combine high-density housing with a park area, an energy and recycling plant, plus an urban farming site and a resort, OAS1S is all-in-one.”

We can easily create much better cities! For example, why should we always want to park in front of our house? When we can create a park here instead, where you walk very nicely towards parking close-by.

The inevitable question arises: What are the advantages of living in a 100% eco-friendly city? Raimond suggests that the benefits go beyond having no energy bills. For example, “You will a have car-free and completely green living environment. You will walk through parks instead of streets, where you hear birds and pick fruits, enjoy fresh air and live in tree-like homes in between trees,” Raimond tells us.

You will feel in every way that you live in balance with nature, which is a deep human need we all have.

Architecture Plans 100% Eco City

OAS1S: Urban Green Architecture for the Future

Concretely, how does OAS1S want to become the world’s best in green architecture? Raimond promptly answers: “Green building certifications as LEED do not lead to the best green architecture, for this should not be a strange game of points. Plus green architecture should not only be a technical issue, but should be green visually and should inspire the human soul. That is what OAS1S is doing, and that is what a lot of people want.”

When it comes to the future of green architecture, Raimond believes that the prospect of futuristic cities is not enough, that more down to earth plans, in terms of feasibility and experience will be required. Raimond believes that architecture should not only be more sustainable, but also should be more appealing to the public. “People do not like the modernist cities and buildings we have had since World War II, people have always lived very differently throughout history. In the future, architecture will connect nature with people, back to nature in a more modern way. Such a future is very near with OAS1S!” concludes this talented Dutch designer and visionary.

Urban Forest Neighborhoods

To Cleaner Oceans And Beyond

The CleanUp Project

NORWICH, United Kingdom — The world’s oceans are amazing gigantic spaces housing a multitude of marine life, from beautiful turquoise waters to the dark royal blue of the deepest, darkest realms where land is far far away. But take a closer look at the oceans in finer detail and you will see a litter of debris, of junk and plastic to name but a few alien objects, not only defacing the beauty of the oceans but killing marine life as we know it. However, there are several groups who are not taking this clogging up of our oceans lightly and have devised techniques and methods to counteract this destruction and hit it head-on in the battle to eliminate the debris and allow the oceans to thrive to their fullest.

Through researching these diverse methods from very different theorists, I discovered that perhaps a battle to save the oceans is upon us. To my surprise, I never actually realised that so many entrepreneurs were actively seeking a solution to this problem. They all have the same goal but are, at the same time, extremely diverse in their approach.

The Seabin Project

The Seabin Project Featuring the owners and creators

The Seabin Pty Ltd was founded by two Australians. Andrew Turton, a recognised boat builder and avid sailor/surfer conceived the Seabin concept after constantly witnessing the amount of debris that builds-up in the mouths of marinas. His partner, Pete Ceglinski, an industrial designer with injection-moulded plastic products and surfer alike. It was during 2004, when Pete Ceglinski crossed over to the yachting industry, that the collaboration with Andrew Turton on the Seabin venture started, with the assistance of a minimal investment by Australian marine technology development company, Shark Mitigation Systems Pty Ltd (SMS). This is the moment where their passion to save the seas took off. The project is designed for floating pontoons, marinas and yacht clubs.

Based in Palma Mallorca, Spain  the design centre “The Sea” is a factory space, purposely built for creative technology of The Seabin Project, hosting an office, a gallery and a workshop. The location is essential as it is the central hub of Europe’s marine industry, thus allowing quick international access. The end of 2015 saw The Seabin Project enter its final prototype phase incorporating intensive product testing in the “Real Club Nautic” marina and yacht club based in Palma Mallorca.

In November 2015, Seabin Pty Ltd launched a crowd funding campaign seeking donations to provide additional seed capital for the commercialisation of Seabin. As the masterminds behind this project explain:

The more money we can raise the better we can build the Seabins and the more efficient they will be.

The Seabins are available as a pre order through Indiegogo only. The Indiegogo price is USD$3,825.00 for a unit.

With shipping of The Seabin to start in mid to late 2016, Andrew and Pete pride themselves on making nearly everything in-house, however initial outsourcing occurs at the beginning. As Andrew and Pete state: “The first run of the Seabins we will need to outsource some components and already have suppliers here in Europe on standby to start producing when we give them the green light. We will then assemble everything locally.”

We want to build the Seabins in the most sustainable and responsible way we can afford and to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.

They passionately conclude: “Imagine building seabins from recycling our own captured plastics and materials to build more Seabins. Now that would be something!”

The OceanCleanUp

The CleanUp Project featuring the vastness of the project.

Boyan Slat is a young Dutch entepreneur and inventor who, at such a tender age, actively creates technologies to tackle global issues of sustainability. As founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, he is responsible for the overall strategy and cleanup technology development.

Already Boyan Slat has been recognised as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50), and was crowned 2014 Champion of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest environmental accolade. In 2015, HM King Harald of Norway awarded Boyan the maritime industry’s Young Entrepreneur Award.

Boyan Slat firmly states:

Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today.

The Ocean Cleanup is a company that develops technologies to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution. Its ultimate goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution by initiating the largest cleanup in history with the support of a team of over 100 people in the fields of engineering, physical oceanography, ecology, finance, maritime law, processing and recycling.

Boyan Slat explains: “The vast majority of the plastic in the garbage patch is currently locked up in large pieces of debris, but UV light is breaking it down into much more dangerous microplastics, vastly increasing the amount of microplastics over the next few decades if we don’t clean it up.”

It really is a ticking time bomb.

With the first array being an essential step towards The OceanCleanUp’s goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The array is projected to be deployed in Q2 2016. An area off the coast of Tsushima, an island located in the waters between Japan and South Korea, is currently being researched.

Spanning 2000 meters in the length, it will become the longest floating structure ever deployed in the ocean. With the operation lasting approximately two years, catching plastic pollution before it reaches the shores of the proposed deployment location of Tsushima Island. Whilst Tsushima Island is evaluating whether the plastic can be used as an alternative energy source.

The scale of the plastic pollution problem, whereby in the case of Tsushima Island, approximately one cubic meter of pollution per person is washed up each year, has led the Japanese local government to urgently seek active real-time innovative solutions to the problem.

Not happy to stop there, within five years, after a series of deployments of increasing scale, The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy a 100km-long system to clean up about half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, between Hawaii and California, and thus, creating a mission to save the oceans on a gigantic scale.

Boyan Slat explains that to further develop their cleanup technology, it is essential to know how much plastic is out there. “The Mega Expedition should answer that question for us. My sincere thanks goes out to the crews of the participating vessels for making this crazy idea a reality.” he continues.

At the end of July 2015,  The Ocean Cleanup set sail on the Mega Expedition. With a fleet of around 30 vessels departing from Honolulu, they went on a mission to gather data to find out how much plastic is floating in the Pacific Ocean. This operation is in preparation of the large-scale cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is scheduled to begin by 2020.

The fleet’s target is to cover a 1.4 million square mile area between Hawaii and the US West Coast, creating the first high-resolution map of plastic in the Pacific and enabling the Mega Expedition to collect more data in three weeks than was gathered in the last 40 years combined.

The CleanUp Project featuring actual see cleaning in process

Salesforce chairman, CEO and founder Marc Benioff concludes:

Protecting the oceans should be a priority for all of Earth’s citizens. The Ocean Cleanup is taking an innovative approach to preserving one of our most critical resources and raising visibility of this global challenge.

Adidas And Parley For The Oceans

Adidas showing Ocean Waste Sneakers

Not content with being one of the world’s famously known sportswear creators, Adidas have teamed up with Parley for the Oceans and joined the fight to rid the oceans of plastic and debris. Using the creative and technological brains, Adidas have created a world’s first shoe, a sneaker, made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.

Eric Liedtke, Head of Global Brands and Member of the Executive Board at Adidas AG, commented during a press release in 2015: “We are incredibly excited to join Parley for the Oceans as they bring the cause of the oceans to the attention of the United Nations.” He added: “Adidas has long been a leader in sustainability, but this partnership allows us to tap into new areas and create innovative materials and products for our athletes.”

We invite everyone to join us on this journey to clean up the oceans.

With the same spirit, Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans stated:

We are extremely proud that Adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool.

Eric Liedtkh and Cyrill Gutsch talked about the partnership and showcased a unique prototype product:

Adidas showing sole of Ocean Waste Sneakers

Adidas showing Ocean Waste Sneakers side view.

The concept shoe illustrates the direction Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are taking, ahead of consumer-ready ocean plastic products being revealed later this year.

As founding member, Adidas also supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication efforts, as well as its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Program (A.I.R., Avoid, Intercept, and Redesign) that intends to end plastic pollution of the oceans. Since the partnership was announced in April 2015, Adidas has taken concrete immediate steps in this direction; such as removing all plastic bags from it’s stores by mid 2016. It has also eradicated the complete use of plastic in micro-beads in shower products. Adidas actively promotes its employees to take part in the removal of plastic debris from coastal areas and is now at the forefront of design in the creation of the ocean plastic sneaker, which plans to be launched into the retail market late 2016.

I am both astonished and excited; firstly, at the vast amount of plastic debris that is deliberately thrown into oceans worldwide posing serious threat to both marine life and the oceans as a whole. Secondly, I am pleased to find that there are serious entrepreneurs actively devising ways and means to find a solution to this catastrophic problem, whilst at the same time prevent it from reoccuring for generations to come. And why not, just think, for a second, what you are doing with your plastic when you are out on the ocean.  Are we all not partners in the same race?

Courtesy of: Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, The Seabin Project. Boyan Slat, The OceanCleanUp. Parley for the Oceans. | Websites: | |

Pure Arabian Luxury

All images supplied graciously by The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman
All images supplied graciously by The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman

NORWICH, United Kingdom — Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of an Arabian Prince or Princess? Well, look no further! Nestled in the mountains alongside a magnificent coastline of the Sultanate of Oman is the ultimate Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, encompassing not only one Majestic Arabian Hotel but three, all superseding the other, interlinked to become one amazing resort. All of this is hidden away like a secret Arabian Oasis of pure optimum luxury as if it has just appeared from the mountains from a bygone time.

The Sultanate of Oman is a country steeped in heritage from its beautiful scenery, exquisite architecture to the Omani people, who encompass all this amazing country has to offer with their impeccable welcoming to all nationalities, not to mention their pride and national heritage, which are highly evident from the huge modern shopping malls to the small villages nestled within the mountains, to the Bedouins with their goats and camels that reside in the desert and wadis.

Join me as we explore this Arabian Oasis that boasts the stunning example of modern luxury living alongside the deep rooted heritage of Oman, visiting each hotel and sampling their offerings.

As if in a mirage, the hotel appears in front of you nestled within the mountains. From the moment you step out of your vehicle, a luxurious journey begins with a breathtaking atmosphere and architecture that will accompany you until the end of your stay.

Al Waha Hotel – The Oasis

Al Waha Hotel is an exclusive destination for families who like to travel and holiday together without the slightest reduction in luxury or comfort in any way. This hotel really caters to every child’s dream, young and old, with a fantastic kids zone, entertainment area and an aquatic play area, including toddlers and children only pools. In other words, each child is provided with its own luxury.

Al Bandar Hotel – The Town

Al Bandar Hotel is the ideal destination for those travellers in search of leisure and business, who regard luxury and pampering to be uppermost on their checklist. With an exclusive art gallery and gift shop readily available for those who appreciate the finer graces of life and prefer to ponder upon the tasteful gift to take back home to their loved ones or work colleagues.

Al Husn Hotel – The Castle

Al Husn Hotel provides the ultimate luxury experience to the utmost highest level; you would be forgiven if you thought you were royalty. Exclusive to this hotel is a 100m private beach, infinity pool, 24hrs gym and a lounge, among others. In other words, there is nothing that you could want for and not receive at the Al Husn Hotel. Butlers, on hand to cater for your needs and desires, are just an example of the treatment you will receive upon your arrival.

The whole resort encompasses 600m of a private beach, tennis courts, SPAs featuring an opulent arabian decor that will have you mesmerised for days purely with its sheer opulence. You will have no reason whatsoever to leave the resort.

Only 15 minutes car drive away lies Muttrah Souk, nestled within the old city of Muscat, whereby you can barter with the local tradesmen and women to your hearts content and smell the Omani Frankincense as it draws you deeper into the souk. Mingle with the Omanis young and old as they laugh, gossip and sometimes argue while they go about their businesses. Watch the older Omani ladies as they carry their purchases high upon their head, sit and drink sweet Omani tea and watch the day unfold before you. Slightly further away the business district of Ruwi is alive with the accountants and business acumen of Oman. Then, as if going back in time, you can return to your hotel and watch the sunset from your room or the private beach comforted in your Arabian Luxury that absolutely knows no bounds.

All images supplied graciously by The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman
All images supplied graciously by The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman