Category Archives: Travel

Enjoy 5-Star Hospitality in the French Alps with Consensio Chalet

Ever dreamed of 5-star hospitality in the middle of the French Alps? Consensio Chalet has truly defined what luxury stands for. Feel pampered at their award-winning Ski Chalets and luxurious serviced apartments right in the middle of the French Alps.

They bring the best of French Hospitality right to you with award-winning hospitality coupled with some of the best amenities you can enjoy. This hotel offers ski packages not only for bachelors but for families as well. The chalets provided boasts a unique interior design which is truly in harmony with the French Alps.

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That’s not all, the views of the mountains in the background are breathtaking – making Consensio Chalet one of the very best. It has a warm water pool, a London Restaurant, Ski package counter, etc. among a host of other award-winning amenities.

The hotel is packed to the brim during winter when the French Alps receive their magnificent snowfall. They also offer exciting packages during festive seasons and all throughout the year.

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One of the most highly regarded Ski Operators out there, Consensio Chalet will continue to provide its customers with the very best of experiences. If you are planning to visit the French Alps, you know where you must stay. Come visit Consensio Chalet and get blown away by the best in industry hospitality and of course, bask in the glory of the majestic French Alps.

 

Fasano Hotel – Rio de Janeiro

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Located smack bang in the middle of Ipaname beach Rio de Janeiro’s Fasano Hotel is the capital’s premiere destination for the young and happening crowd.

The luxury hotel has a boutique feel with a curated selection of 89 rooms (including 10 suites) but still offers the big facilities of any larger chain but with added warmth and character which makes Brazil so special. French designer Philippe Starck is responsible for the stylish decor of the hotel which uses wood, glass and marble  as its key materials, inspired by the golden age of 1960s Bossa Nova.

Fasano is not only popular with Brazilians but a global clientele which includes several A listers: Madonna, Lady GaGa, One Direction and David Beckham to name but a few, when we paid the hotel a visit Jared Leto was a guest, with fans of the Oscar winner and Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman waiting outside for a glimpse of the star, in town for 2 nights at Rio’s  Fundição Progresso venue.

Gastronomy is also at the heart of the hotel which houses its own restaurant, Al Mare. The restaurant is regarded as one of the best in the city and offers guests breakfast, lunch and dinner dining options and a beautiful setting.  Its menu is inspired by Italian cuisine  with dishes like seared tuna with baked endive and a fish-based lasagne.

If its a drink you fancy then pay a visit to its bar Baretto Londra is named after the owner’s favourite city, London. As well as the signature Brazilian caipirinha a vast selection of drinks and cocktails are available in a setting decorated with leather chairs, aged Argentine red brick, low-lighting and Union Flags.

To keep you looking you best during your holiday then a fitness centre and spa, offering  guests personal trainers and a selection of facials and massages to make your stay even more special.

The highlight of the hotel is the heated marble infinity pool on the roof overlooking Ipanema Beach, the rooftop space also has a bar with staff there to look after your every need. Though the pool is on the smaller side it’s really the views that are the main draw, with sugarloaf mountain in sight it makes the perfect spot to watch the sunset.  Loungers surround the pool, the serene setting a great spot to top up your tan in-between swims. If you fancy beach action then the hotel has a designated private section of Ipanema for its guests.

Fasano is still family owned and operate 4 hotels, 3 in Brazil and a further one in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

The Fasano is truly stunning, a beautifully designed space with top notch staff and what has to be the best view in the city from its rooftop. Unlike its neighbour Copacabana which can be a bit of a tourist trap and busy, Ipanema is the perfect setting for those wanting a relaxing break, filled with Rio’s best bars, restaurants and boutiques.  A definite must stay.

Current rates and availability are available on www.fasano.com.br

 

Row NYC

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Affordable accommodation in NYC? May sound like a fantasy but with the launch of the brand new Row NYC Hotel that dream may just have arrived to the capital.

Launched earlier this year the $140 million development took two years to complete and is located in a perfect location for visitors, a mere stone’s throw from the lights of Times Square (and across the road from Shake Shack),

The stylish new player to the competitive NY hotel scene comprises of 1,331 rooms, with each room offering high end and sleek specs without the over inflated price tag.

Row NYC turned to renowned New York based architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates to reinvent the property’s public spaces. Inspired by the refined grittiness of New York City, Gabellini Sheppard has delivered grandeur. “The bold aesthetic speaks to the area’s unbridled spirit and engages the excitement and energy that is Times Square,” said Michael Gabellini, Partner.

Upon entering the hotel, located at 700 8th Avenue, visitors are met with a grand 24-foot high crystalline glass façade along with an artistically crafted lobby with industrial and organic materials, including stainless steel drapery, concrete and multiple wood species.

Its reception area is flanked by two light sculptures on which groundbreaking New York-based vartist Yorgo Alexopoulos projects an abstract tableau of graphic animations timed throughout the course of a New York City day. The dynamic lobby also features Iconic M, a satellite location of the cult international news retailer Soho News, as well as an expansive state-of-the-art Internet lounge. Another innovative feature of Row NYC are its time saving elevators, simply type in your room number and the screen will direct you to the next available elevator going to your floor.

The hotel also comprises of its own bar, District M, and restaurant City Kitchen, offering guests a deslicious selection of dishes and drinks.

Rooms vary from standard to penthouses, with varying price points and amenities for each.
Standards rooms are compact, with a large bed, desk, drawers and an en-suite bathroom. Every room is high on tech specs with free high-speed wireless internet included, 32 inch LCD TV, cordless phone and lots of power outlets and iHome docking station. Though a bit on the small side standard room are ideal for those visiting the city for a few days who will be out seeing the plethora of sights he city has to offer.

The real highlight of the hotel is it’s location, every imaginable food and shopping destination is walking distance, and although right by Times Square it doesn’t face it, meaning you’re sheltered away from the hustle and bustle of the masses, the double glazed windows also keep out any unwanted noise from traffic below.

Staff are helpful, although do avoid making queries around check in time as desks can get very busy. If you arrive early or need to store luggage after checking out then the concierge can hold this for you.

Row NYC offers modern and stylish interiors but at an affordable price point, right in the centre of NYC’s famous and iconic sights.

Current prices start from $159 (+tax) and you can book online at rownyc.com

The Arch London – Hotel

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Nestled a few blocks away from London’s famed Oxford Street /Marble Arch is The Arch,  a beautiful  Georgian townhouse hotel.

The five star hotel houses 82 bedrooms (11 of which are suites) and is spread out over seven Grade II listed Georgian townhouses and two mews homes, a perfectly English location for those taking a break in the capital.

Ideally located at 50 Great Cumberland Place it has the appeal of a residential setting but a mere walk to the city’s best shopping and fine dining locations, with Bond Street, Hyde Park and the West End all walking distance.

We recently visited the property for ourselves to check it out. Upon entering  guests are welcomed with  open-fireplace, perfect to nestle around in the freezing temperatures.  Interiors fuse together marble and glass with a specially selected selection of art and installation adorning the communal spaces. The Arch manages to seamlessly merge grand listed Georgian exterior but inside proves modern and stylish decor and facilities.

On our visit we stayed at the Sullivan Studio Suite, which is located on the base of the hotel.  The suite was truly beautiful offering with full height glass doors which open up to the private courtyard, a real rarity in central London hotels! The suite has a comfortable seating area which looks onto the courtyard, with photography from leading London photographer, Amy Murrell.  The king sized bed is handmade with duvets made from duck down for the perfect night’s sleep.  A stocked mini bar is supplied with a generous selection of soft drinks which come complimentary from the hotel.  A handpicked selection of classic novels can be found in the suites, while all rooms have a full Sky HD TV package, DVD Player and internet radio with over 19,000 channels for international guests.

The real highlight of the suite though is the vast en suite which comes with a walk in rain shower and a large bath, with a built in TV, a great touch.

The suite’s location means it’s sheltered from any outside noises and you are on the same floor as the hotel’s gym so perfect if you want to catch a workout during your stay.  The

The Arch also has its own restaurant, Hunter 486, the unusual name derived from the 1950s dialing code for Marylebone. The spacious restaurant is located on the ground floor and
offers a ‘Best of British’ inspired menu carefully curated by Head Chef Gary Durrant.  Light flows into the restaurants thanks to its large windows with table and booth seating available as well as an open plan kitchen so guests can see the skilled staff at work.  On our visit for lunch we opted for the Heritage beetroot and orange salad (£8), light and tasty, followed by their famous Hunter burger (£18), the generously sized burger comes served in a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, onion marmalade, homemade ketchup and hand cut chips.

If you space for dessert then I recommend the hazelnut and apple tart with cinnamon custard (£6.50) , a perfect comforting dish for these chilly months.  If you just fancy a drink then the bar offers a comprehensive selection of drinks and cocktails while sat in original designer chairs by designer Tom Dixon. Cocktails are priced at £12.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and highly recommend you pay a visit. The Arch manages to combine a stylish boutique hotel feel but offering all the latest mod cons and facilities offered by much larger chains. Staff are helpful and friendly and rooms are beautifully decorated making them a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city centre.

Prices start from £350 for a Deluxe Room and from £420 for a Suite.

The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FDFor reservations, please call: 020 7724 4700 or www.thearchlondon.com

Casa San Agustin – Cartagena, Colombia

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Cartagena has become a must visit destination in Colombia, with its beautiful beaches, stunning architecture and warm people aplenty.  A visit to the city isn’t one to be missed, neither is a stay at the  Hotel Casa San Agustín, has been voted top hotel in the city and for good reason, housed within the walls of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The luxury boutique hotel features 20 guestrooms and 10 spacious suites across three restored XVII century whitewashed Colonial-era homes.

A short taxi ride from the local airport will have you within the walls of the old city and upon first walking into the hotel you are met by a beautiful lobby high wood-beamed ceilings, elegant tile accents all evoking 17th century Spanish designs.

An L shaped pool lies at the centre of the hotel,  with sun loungers and seating surrounding it. Sunlight flows into the space thanks to an open top, perfect to top up your sun tan before hitting the local beaches. If you want to venture out further afield then the helpful staff at reception can also help you organise excursions and tours.

Rooms fuse the hotel’s Colonial past and contemporary touches, spacious with a huge comfortable king size bed, living area and a small patio for some private outdoor space.
The rooms, like the hotel itself, offers a great secluded getaway from the sometimes lively city. A library room also offers tranquil space during your stay in the hotel, with snacks and drinks available.

Though the city offers many great restaurants, included the amazing Candé nearby (recommended by staff) the hotel’s own Alma Restaurant is a great choice, Headed  by
Chef Heberto Eljach, one of the most celebrated chefs in Colombia. The menu fuses Colombian flavours with an international twist and is set a stunning courtyard setting, and if you go on certain days during the week the live music will be on show.

Though the hotel is beautiful, we do recommend exploring the surrounding area, guests can see varied architecture, from Colonial homes draped in bougainvillea, to the church and Plaza San Pedro Claver, the first saint of the new world for his work with slaves. Another point of interest is Cathedral of Cartagena de Indias, one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the Americas. Late at night horse carriage tours are available and very well priced, which give you a ride around the main areas of interest within the walled city.

Though small the hotels offers plenty, with top notch service by a warm and helpful staff. Very highly recommended to anyone thinking of visiting the city, with friends, family or as a lone traveller.

For full information and current rates visit here

 

Belmond Copacabana Palace – Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro’s famed Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel has become the premier choice for those looking to get the Brazilian luxury experience during their stay. Since opening in 1923 the Art Deco inspired hotel has hosted A-listers including Tom Cruise,  Miley Cyrus and Madonna to Hollywood icons Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire in the process making it not only one of the most luxurious hotels in the country but the world.

The vast white building is located on the world famous Copacabana beach and houses 139 Rooms, 93 Suites and 7 Penthouse Suites as well as restaurants, bars, a pool, spa and gym. Its location makes it ideal to explore the nearby beaches of Ipanema and Leblon and landmarks including Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and Botanical Gardens.

What has made the hotel so renowned and loved is its high standards of customer service which is evident as soon as you step you foot off your taxi, with a friendly porter helping you with your luggage and warm receptionist waiting to check you in.

Staying in a sea view suite will get you a spaces home away from home, with decor veering towards the more classic than modern though flat screen TVs and IPod docks do come as standard.  King or twin options are available with an ultra comfortable bed in crisp white bedding. The large en suite has both a shower and large bathtub in luxurious marble. A separate living room makes a great space to wind down or entertain guests with a fully stocked mini bar. All guests are given free  standard wifi access with higher speed connection available for an additional fee.

The most striking feature of the palace is its Half-Olympic size heated swimming pool, the perfect setting for an instagram snap. You can take a dip or just sit back and relax while topping up your tan while waiters are on hand for any request you may have with the bar offering a comprehensive selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, including the tasty watermelon juice.

The hotel also has its own designated section of the beach (a mere walk across the street away), providing complimentary loungers, towels and bottled water for all its guests.

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3 restaurants are available to guests, Pérgula which specialises in Brazilian and international cuisine, Cipriani which offers Northern Italian cuisine and finally the MEE with its Pan-Asian menu.

The MEE kitchen is lead by celebrity chef Ken Hom and recently one of the first restaurants in South America to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star. Launching in 2014 the 92 seater restaurant offers diners a exotic gastronomic journey through Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, China and Japan.

Under the direction of Hom, MEE’s chefs travelled to Bangkok to perfect their cooking techniques. The comprehensive menu features several sushi and sashimi options as well at hot mains.  As a starter the Kobe Beef Tataki cannot be beaten, the tender Japanese Wagyu beef comes in Ponzu sauce and Momiiji Oroshi and makes for a delicious yet light start to the meal. Mains include prawn, beef and duck dishes (as well as a vegetarian pad thai) but we opted for the Tonkatsu Onsen Tamagô, Japanese steamed pork belly and deep fried served with egg and bok choy which we teamed up with the tasty special fried rice. Those with a sweet tooth will be more than happy with the dessert option which include classic chocolate cake as well as more experimental options, including the Mango Yuzu Raviolli a Mango raviolli stuffed with Yuzu cream, crunchy Sembei and citric sorbet.

The MEE also has Rio’s only sake stewardess is on hand to pair each dish with over 25 varieties specially imported from Japan as well as 18 cocktail varieties

A stay at the Belmond Copacabana Palace is truly a magical experience, a beautiful building with prestige interiors and top notch service with dedicated and warm staff on hand to make your stay memorable.

Belmond Copacabana Palace
Avenida Atlântica 1702
Rio de Janeiro
CEP 22021 001
Brazil

Prices for a stay at the Belmond Copacabana Palace start from £248 per room, per night based on a stay  in a Superior  City View room  and includes breakfast. To book or for further information visit belmond.com or call 0845 077 2222.

The Courthouse Hotel, London

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Famed hangout of the likes of Oscar Wilde, Mick Jagger and John Lennon, The Courthouse Hotel is one of the capital’s premier 5 star resorts.

Located across the road from shopping  hot spot, Carnaby street the hotel offers visitors an ideal base to explore the city with Regent, bond and oxford streets all mere minutes away.

Housed in the former Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, with many of the original interiors still on display (including a huge vault) in the striking Grade II listed Georgian building.

116 rooms are on offer varying in sizes and style from standard to luxury suites, each providing all the mod cons needed for a perfect break away.

The hotel manages to be deceiving from the outside as the smart exterior hides the vast size of the hotel one inside. A large lobby awaits with huge L shaped sofas and ornate Oyster shell inspired seats, with their iridescent shimmer glowing in the light.

On our visit we stayed in one of the Magistrate Suites, a beautifully decorated room offering a grand King size bed, Italian-sourced Bathroom interiors and separate living room area for entertaining. One of the best features of the suite was its view, looking over Carnaby street and the Liberty London’s famous Tudor inspired facade. the suite comes with a desk working area, large flat screen TV’s with satellite channels, luxurious soft furnishing and free high speed internet throughout so you’ll always be connected.

The Soho Sky Terrace stands as the jewel in the crown of the Courthouse Hotel,  refurbished in 20115 the terrace overlooks Great Marlborough Street, and is the perfect setting for afternoon cocktails or to grab a light bite to eat.

Also on offer are two restaurants Silk providing tasty Asian fare and The Carnaby, a modern brassiere offering lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and casual refreshments throughout the day.

If you want to rejuvenate after a hard day then also the hotel’s Sanook Spa is a must.  Located in the basement of the hotel it offers  range of luxurious spa treatments, including facials, body massages, sauna and fitness rooms. If you fancy a workout then a few lengths the heated indoor swimming pool is ideal.

overall we had a great experience staying at The Courthouse Hotel, staff were warm and accommodating with rooms spacious and tastefully decorated, overlooking one of the best locations in the city Carnaby Street.  It’s Soho locations makes it ideal to explore all of London has to offer, with numerous shopping and dining options mere minutes away.  So next tome you;re in town, book yourself a stay.

Rates start from £119 per night.

The Courthouse Hotel
19 -21 Great Marlborough Street, London,
W1F 7HL

 

K Spa – London

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Shepherd’s Bush may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about rest and relaxation but thanks to its K – Spa it should be!

Housed in the K West hotel (a stone’s throw from the famous Westfield shopping centre) K – Spa offers a range of treatments and experiences to pamper yourself.

So highly recommended that it won the Best Spa in London’ at the Good Spa Guide Awards 2015 and winner of a World Luxury Spa Award, K West’s holistic spa offers a range of exclusive treatments.  K Spa introduced the first ‘Snow Paradise’ to London, which mimics the Finnish experience of alternating between freezing and steamy environments.  The unique ‘Sun Meadow’ offers specialist light therapy to treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and the Nail Bar is the place to be pampered.  The spa also features a twinkling hydrotherapy pool, sanarium, sauna, dry flotation tank, aromatic herbal steam room and the fully equipped K Fit gymnasium.

On a recent visit we got to experience a treatment ourselves, the Men’s C+ Energy Facial (from £85). The 50 minute facial comes highly recommended by the helpful Spa staff to relax and also combat signs of ageing.

The treatment mixes together an array of ingredients including plant extracts, trace elements and vitamins, all specifically designed to meet the needs of men’s skin, often irritated by shaving and combat fine lines and wrinkles. The experience was a dream, with the beautiful designed room dimly lit for an extra lux experience, after working your face the experience ends with a neck and shoulder massage to alleviate tension.

An experience to remember K Spa offers a truly indulgent experience and a great addition to the West London beauty scene, no need to journey in central!. A beautifully designed space (not too girly) with modern facilities along with a very helpful and skilled staff.

K West Hotel & Spa
Richmond Way,
London W14 0AX

www.k-west.co.uk

STK IBIZA – A Weekend Getaway

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Global restaurant brand STK has opening its latest post in the sunny island of Ibiza, joining its other restaurants in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London.

Situated in the Ibiza Corso Hotel & Spa at Marina Botafoch in Ibiza Town, STK has already become a celebrity hot spot attracting celebrities including Eva Longoria, Nicole Scherzinger, Tinie Tempah, Alesha Dixon and Tyson Beckford since its opening in July.

In the short few months since its opening the restaurants has become one of the hottest spots in the island, offering visitors a delicious menu and live entertainment in an ultra lux and beautiful interiors.

The latest opening is the brand’s first into the Spanish market, with hospitality company The One Group teaming up with Dubai based global venture capital group, Foxhole Holding for the launch. 

Split over two floors, the restaurant can hold  250 guests with a fab catwalk stage taking centre stage, along with a  DJ booth, sexy low-lit bar and beautiful ocean view terrace –  a perfect place to enjoy the night and watch the beautiful sunset with friends and loved ones. Seating options include cool booths located right by the stage.

The restaurant is upscale but unpretentious, welcoming all its guests with a friendly and warm staff, combining top notch dining with a party fun atmosphere.  On our visit we were entertained by a troop of dancers performing throughout the night on the catwalk stage as well as costumed characters making  appearances… the perfect selfie opp!

Menu options are wide with fabulous seafood and vegetarian dishes available but as its name would suggest is its meant and steak options that make it shine,  with only the highest quality USDA prime meat served.  You can choose from  9 cuts including sirloin, rib eye, fillet, hanger, t-bone, New York strip and tomahawk all served with a selection of toppings, sides and sauces. The mini burgers are a must!

A definite visit when you’re on the island STK Ibiza offers a fun mix of party and fine dining, delicious food with a party going on around you but with dimly lit beautiful surroundings for that intimate feel.  Resident DJs will make sure to have you on your feet between courses, so pay them a visit before the season is over !

For more information visit www.stkibiza.com

Where to party? – Ocean Beach Club

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No visit to Ibiza is complete without the perfect party experience and with several clubs on the island you’ll certainly have no troubles finding a spot .

One these is the highly recommended Ocean Beach Ibiza, the all day venue is the perfect mix of fun and chill out spots with prime location under the Mediterranean sun.

Located on the west coast of Ibiza in San Antonio, Ocean Beach is situated along the beautiul S’Arenal waterfront, complete with ocean views by day and the iconic Balearic sunset at night.

Decorated in an eye catching orange the venue houses a large 600m2 swimming pool with guests, surrounded by booths and lounge beds and if you want to go all out VIP beds are also available for booking.

The club’s in house restaurant also serves up an all day menu of delicious treats, the sushi options in particular are delicious and perfect option for the summer heat – the rainbow roll is a must.

As day turns to night is when thing’s really heat up with the club’s resident DJ’s providing a lively soundtrack as you gaze into the sunset in the club’s very own roof garden.

For more information and bookings visit  www.oceanbeachibiza.com

Where to stay? OD Talamanca
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If you’re going for a quick weekend away or longer than we recommend the brand new OD Talamanca, the latest 5 star hotel on the island.

The location is a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the main town which means you you can truly wind down and relax with amazing views of the Mediterranean sea available from most rooms.

The hotel offers 117 rooms and suites, with a beautiful lobby and reception waiting to greet guests on arrival. Its in house restaurant offers a delicious Asian and European influenced menu which you can enjoy seated or poolside.

The beautiful interiors are thanks to architect Victor Rahola and the interior designer Mayte Matutes who created the sleek and stylish interiors and furnishings.

Materials take local building traditions of using morter-free stone walls and lime washed walls to the present using exposed concrete elements, large wooden windows, sunscreens and parquet.

The hotel is located next to a beutiful marina with all the nightlife a short drive away, getting the best of both worlds, a quiet and butiful location but within easy reach of all the night life. A must.

For further information, latest room rates  and bookings visit www.od-hotels.com

 

The London Helicopter

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If you’re looking to experience London like never before then why not take to the air for a truly unique experience.

The London Helicopter offers beautiful tours over central London, an opportunity to view the capital’s iconic landmarks like never before and are the only company offering such experiences in the city.

Flights include views of the  River Thames, looking down on Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, the financial district, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, The Shard and many more.

Three different tour options are available, all conveniently located at Battersea Heliport for easy access and you have the option of booking a seat on the 6 seater helicopter or book the whole thing for a private ride.

The London Buzz – £150 per person
The 12 minute flights glides over the Thames overlooking several sights including The London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

London Sights – £220 per person
This option gives you 18 minutes of flight times taking you and down the Thames.

London Max- £1700 for six people
If you want to go all out then this option gives you 30 minutes and 30 sights.
On our visit we got to experience the London Sights option for ourselves. After a swift registration you are given a run through of safety protocol and then you’re all set and escorted to the helicopter. There are six seats available, I recommend nabbing a spot by the window for the best views. The 18 minutes gives you ample time for magnificent views of the capital, the perfect selfie opportunity. The friendly pilot points out any landmarks as you go so you don’t miss any.

So for a truly different view (literally) of London then a ride is a must, either for yourself or as a fun gift to friends and loved ones visiting the capital, check them out!

For full list of sights and to book visit  www.thelondonhelicopter.com