My Top 5 destinations for Spring 2014

As much as I love the mountains, I must confess I am much more of a Spring and Summer person. So it is only natural (and human), that I am counting the days until Spring finally arrives – and possibly all the good things that come with it.

I am taking quite a few trips this Spring (the beauty of weekends and short flights), and I am very excited about each and one of them! So here are my Top 5 destinations for Spring.



Yes, I am going back, and literally cannot wait. I loved the Maldives last year, and vowed to go back as soon as possible – and true to my word, I shall be back in late March for a long stay.

I will do something similar to what I did last year, and will split my almost 2 weeks away in 3 hotels – I am looking forward to the seaplane transfers, I must confess. A little bit of variety sounds ideal.

This pool is so calling my name!

This pool is so calling my name!

My first stop will be at the Lux South Ari (formerly Lux Maldives), which looks just wonderful. With 4 kms of beaches, I intend to inspect every single grain of sand. Many of my readers have visited this island resort and gave me really good feedback, so I am very keen to report back with my thoughts.

My second hotel will be incredibly looking Constance Halaveli – and I have to say, I am lost for words and losing sleep over it. Doesn’t it look stunning? A water villa awaits us…

I may never leave… you have been warned!

I may never leave… you have been warned!

And last, but certainly not the least, I am looking forward to the newly-opened Iru Fushi. There is something about new hotels and this particular one seems quite unique. I love knowing that I will have a stunning deluxe villa with a pool, which will be only mine and Mr. O’s. Will be a great contrast from the other two properties and a great place to end this incredible Maldivian adventure.

Hummmmm, I can see this being a very nice place...

Hummmmm, I can see this being a very nice place…

On this trip, I will be flying with Qatar Airways and I cannot wait – it will be a journey and a half, just like last time!

Abu Dhabi

This will be the background of a new series "Mrs. O in Arabia"

This will be the background of a new series “Mrs. O in Arabia”

Easter will bring something completely different. After having a little taste of the Middle East last year, I have decided it should be a destination in itself. A BBC documentary made me want to book flights to Abu Dhabi and a very lively debate with my Twitter and Facebook followers took place. I asked where I should stay, and the choices were obvious.

The Shangri-La will be my first host – and I have to say I am really looking forward to it. Not only it looks fabulous, it was the hotel my readers could not stop recommending. I know I am in for a treat.

From there, I will head to the Rosewood Abu Dhabi, which will be a complete contrast – a new hotel, very design-led and a brand I love. I recently stayed at their new London hotel and cannot recommend it enough.

A more urban experience awaits...

A more urban experience awaits…

And for the rest of my stay, there will be another place you can find me – and that will be in the desert. As it will be my birthday week (birthday month celebrations shall commence in the Maldives, obviously), I really want to end it in style. Again, a readers’ choice (and many of them!): the stunning Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort.

An oasis of peace and quiet (I hope!)

An oasis of peace and quiet (I hope!)


Paphos, Cyprus

May will also bring exciting destinations and I am particularly looking forward to Cyprus – a place I visited 10 years ago for the first time.

Yes, this is Cyprus - and I am so going to find this beach...

Yes, this is Cyprus – and I am so going to find this beach…

This time, I shall be staying at the lovely looking Columbia Beach Resort, which has some great reviews and seems like the perfect location for some exploring around the island. And we love Cypriot food, so I think we will be in for a treat.

Looking forward to some understated luxury closer to home… in Cyprus

Looking forward to some understated luxury closer to home… in Cyprus


Bordeaux, France

Later in the month, France is calling again. How can one have enough of this incredible country? I shall be spending a foodie weekend in Bouliac, which is also known as the ‘balcony of Bordeaux’, which I feel may become of one my spiritual places. The stunning Relais & Chateaux Le Saint- James will be our home away from home – and I cannot wait for those stunning views from our bedroom. And the food. And the wine.

This is what les francais call 'a room avec a view'. I say oui oui, bien-sur!

This is what les francais call ‘a room avec a view’. I say oui oui, bien-sur!


Puglia, Italy

And in June, I will be spending almost a week in a special place – Salento, in Puglia (i.e. the heel of Italy). I know the food won’t be bad (hummm) and it looks very pleasant to the eye too….

My stunning Italian villa...

My stunning Italian villa…

I will be staying in a stunning 5 bedroom villa courtesy of Passepartout Homes, and I am really looking forward to a bit of Italy in my life (one cannot have too much Italy in one’s life, I must say). It comes with all luxury-hotel amenities and concierge services, but with all the privacy, so it should be interesting.


Spring is upon us and I cannot wait to take you on these journeys with me. And after these, well, summer awaits.. but that is a whole new story to tell!

Counting the days!


Mrs. O


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View Comments (52)


  1. Travelingpanties

    June 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Looks like someone is having a lovely spring!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Travelingpanties recently posted..A Luxe Visit to Greece–Even with Kids! Find Out Where to Go in Crete!My Profile

  2. Jessica @She Dreams of Travel

    June 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    All I can say is WOW! Those hotels look absolutely amazing and relaxing. I have never been to the Maldives, but your pictures are really tugging at my wanderlusting heart. That ocean is so blue!

    Next time you go to Puglia, you should definitely take a trip to the village of Alberobello. It’s an adorable town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique homes made with cone shaped, limestone roofs.

    Happy travels 🙂
    Jessica @She Dreams of Travel recently posted..The Pros and Cons of Spain’s Auxiliares ProgramMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      June 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Very excited about Puglia, I am sure a return will be due!

  3. Christopher

    June 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

    All incredible destinations! I think I’d enjoy the QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA the most. It looks magical.
    Christopher recently posted..New Story at Prime Number MagazineMy Profile

  4. The Travel Liz

    March 26, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

    And now you can add me to the list of people who feel jealous after reading this blog post.

    Happy travels, Mrs O!

    The Travel Liz recently posted..4 Reasons (NOT) To Visit a Cat Cafe in South KoreaMy Profile

  5. Pola (Jetting Around)

    March 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Sign me up for Cyprus and France! And I don’t say no to Italy… 😉

  6. Paul (@luxury__travel)

    March 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Looks like some fun times ahead… I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with Cyprus. The island didn’t quite live up to expectations for me…
    Paul (@luxury__travel) recently posted..Top 6 cities to enjoy in mainland EuropeMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      That is why I am going back. We liked bits when we went almost 10 years ago….

  7. the lazy travelers

    March 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    umm your spring plans sound AMAZING. i might need to hear more about your bordeaux plans 😉
    the lazy travelers recently spotter: galway girlMy Profile

  8. Savi - Bruised Passports

    March 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm


    Those are such amazing destinations. We stayed with Lux* in Mauritius and loved the experience. I am sure Maldives will be equally good. Interested to see what you report back about Paphos 🙂

    We visited 3 years ago and were on the fence about whether we liked it or not. The food and driving in Trodos mountains were our highlight.

    The next few months are going to be exciting, no doubt !
    Savi – Bruised Passports recently posted..Offbeat London – 5 Alternative Things To Do In LondonMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Savi hi! I cannot wait for the Maldives! I am very curious about Cyprus too – I went 10 years ago, had a nice experience, but never wanted to go back (or did not feel the urge). But this hotel looks lovely and I am sure the destination has changed since and I am curious to see how. Let’s see!

  9. lola

    March 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    needless to say, i’m extremely jealous of your spring vacation plans! TAKE ME WITH YOU!!
    lola recently posted..Iceland – Here We Come!My Profile

  10. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    March 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I don’t know which location to be most jealous of you about!! Nice spring & summer ahead!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Two Sides of the CoinMy Profile

  11. Kay Dougherty

    March 15, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Your advice to us about the Maldives was excellent and made it one of our best trips ever! If you’re staying at the Shangri-La in Abu Dhabi be sure to have dinner at Bord Eau – their fabulous French restaurant. Looks like you have a wonderful spring and birthday planned – enjoy!
    Kay Dougherty recently posted..Cloaked in mystery: Women’s clothing in Muslim countriesMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 15, 2014 at 9:50 am

      So pleased to hear, Kay! I’m very excited about Abu Dhabi!

  12. Traveling Ted

    March 14, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I can’t wait to read and see pictures from these places and especially the Maldives. I loved your coverage from there last year.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..The Birkie and the Great Bear Chase: Comparing two great racesMy Profile

  13. Erin at The World Wanderer

    March 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Abu Dhabi!!! I cannot wait to hear about it now that I’ll have a 12 hour layover there on my way to India. I know it will not be enough time, but I’m looking forward to the highlights of your trip, so I can at least have a small taste. 🙂
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..A Recipe for Irish Soda Bread.My Profile

  14. Mary Anne

    March 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I am sick with envy. Mostly because you live in Europe and getting most places is so much faster and easier, but also because I’ve wanted to visit the Middle East for a long time now. Have a fab trip ( I know you will )

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Well well well… Grass is always greener! But who can hop to Mexico for the weekend? 😉

  15. Malin

    March 13, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Wow, you have a lovely spring in front of you, green of envy but so much looking forward reading about your trips and getting inspired – Like always!!
    Malin recently posted..Comment on Rival by MarkMy Profile

  16. Tara

    March 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

    They are all lovely destinations and I would have a great difficulty to chose the best one. Enjoy!

  17. Brianna

    March 12, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Looks like you’ve got some great trips coming up. The Maldives and Abu Dhabi look like a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday!
    Brianna recently posted..3 Meals: Where to eat in Salzburg, AustriaMy Profile

  18. Anna Parker

    March 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Hope you like qasr al sarab as much as us, very memorable birthday venue!!

    S-L – pearls and caviar is the stand out star, will be interested how it rates against rosewood based on what we thought compared to anantara!!

    Getting out of the city is key, so few do and you really will see real desert, not hinterland bordering the city!!

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Can’t wait to get there – and thank you so much for all your help and ideas!

  19. Suzanne (Travelbunny)

    March 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    They all look superb – I wonder if you’ll have a favourite at the end of all your trips…!
    Suzanne (Travelbunny) recently posted..Touring Iceland’s Golden CircleMy Profile

  20. philatravelgirl

    March 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Happy Early Birthday – I’m excited to read and see all the gorgeous photos – with Qatar coming to Philly – Abu Dhabi and the Maldives are now more easily within reach so I’m really keen on those visits. Do you need anyone to carry your luggage, I’m available!
    philatravelgirl recently posted..Flying Asiana Airlines Business Class from Chicago (ORD) to Seoul (ICN)My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Those flights will make a huge difference – and Qatar Airways service is really very good!

  21. Jessi (@Outboundtreks)

    March 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Wow, what gorgeous places! I’m literally drooling over Maldives. It looks like pure paradise. I look forward to reading about your journeys!
    Jessi (@Outboundtreks) recently posted..Giving Back at Home and on the RoadMy Profile

  22. Lance | Trips By Lance

    March 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    What beautiful destinations and a great variety. Having quicker access to destinations like these is a main reason I’m a little envious of people based in Europe.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Five Experiences: American Conference TournamentMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 13, 2014 at 7:33 am

      The grass is always greener 😉 but I know what you mean!

  23. Laura (

    March 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Love the variety in your choices! Best birthday wishes to you and I’ll be sure to raise a few champagne toasts in your virtual direction. Cheers! Laura
    Laura ( recently posted..Surf’s Up in MunichMy Profile

  24. Leah

    March 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I’m quite interested in following along on the Abu Dhabi portion and getting your reaction. I’ve been on the fence about visiting that area for quite some time. It’s intriguing.
    Leah recently posted..Meet Maxwell Scott, My New Italian LoveMy Profile

  25. Stephanie

    March 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    We stayed at Le Saint James a couple of times. It’s really a nice place and the views are great from the modern architecture. Nice pool too. Food is delicious and the breakfast is a truly luxury affair.
    Hope you are invited to these places or have won the lottery because they represent quite a budget !

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      March 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Looking forward to all of them 🙂 it is quite a diverse list of destinations and of course budgeting and planning are a great part of any travel decision 🙂

  26. Mira

    March 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Lovely plans, lovely places. Keep writing about them and enjoy all……Bon Voyage!!

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