Torel 1884


In February this year, the Torel Group opened the doors to its latest hotel venture. A boutique hotel with a history and a design that are worth discovering before paying it a visit. 


Located right in the centre of Porto, a few metres away from renowned Avenida dos Aliados and the riverside quarter of the Ribeira. Torel 1884 is comprised of two buildings—a magnificent 19th-century palace where the hotel is and a nearby building where the apartments are found. 



The concept for Torel 1884 dates back to the cultural discoveries made by the Portuguese in their voyages to Africa, America and Asia. This is why each of Torel 1884’s suites and apartments is named after the materials, substances or items that the adventurers brought back to Portugal, which are now part of everyday life. 


On the ground floor, you can find the entrance and the lobby with works by artists Joao Pedro Rodrigues and Jorge Curval. It is also on this floor where you’ll find the restaurant Bartolomeu Wine Bistro—a great place to enjoy good food and company. 
There are two rooms on this floor which look out to the interior garden and which allude to the African continent as they are named “Suleiman” and “Malagueta” (chili pepper). 
If you go up to the first floor, which is called “America”, you can find the rooms called “Exotic Wood”, “Exotic Bird”, “Coffee”, “Sugarcane” and “Tobacco”—each of which is exquisitely decorated using materials such as wood and cane, where the colours green, turquoise, brown and black predominate.
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The second floor, which takes its inspiration from Asia, is where you’ll find “Tea”, “Porcelain”, “Silk”, “Tapestry” and “Spices”. Earth colors, an oriental-themed screen and raffia carpets give a subtly piquant feel to the “Spices” room, while the “Tea” room transports us to leafy green plantations, featuring colorful cotton and linen, banana-leaf wallpaper and a raffia carpet as a final touch. The “Porcelain”, “Silk” and “Tapestry” rooms are richer, reflecting Asian luxury.



All rooms are very spacious with large windows and high ceilings that make the most of the architecture of this iconic 19th-century building. 



The 11 apartments – “Ginger”, “Saffron”, “Paprika”, “Coriander”, “Mustard”, “Basil”, “Clove”,
“Turmeric”, “Cardamom”, “Pepper” and “Cinnamon” – are located in the Rua das Flores building and are split into 5 categories that follow the same concept as the 1884 rooms.



For more information: www.torel1884.com


PORTO: WHEN CREATIVITY AND TRADITION OPENS TO THE SEA

PORTO: WHEN CREATIVITY AND TRADITION OPENS TO THE SEA

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On a brief visit to Porto, there are some places that cannot be missed. This city has something mystical that is difficult to describe and which varies according to the place, time of day and light.Whatever it is, it certainly has to do with its people, known to be generous and easy-going, as well as the River Douro and its heritage on both banks, with its bridges and monuments, the tiles, the flowering balconies and the shopping streets. The historic centre of Porto and the River Douro on the Gaia side, where the Port Wine lodges are located, are classified as World Heritage.


S. Bento Station, with its atrium lined with tiles, is an ideal starting point. Just ahead is the Cathedral, not to be missed, whose precinct offers the first view of the river, the cascading houses and the opposite bank. From there you descend by steps and mediaeval streets to Ribeira, with its café terraces and picturesque corners. It's worth staying a little to get a flavour of the atmosphere and take in the river with the D. Luís Bridge and the opposite bank, before going on a cruise under Porto’s six bridges. Once you’ve seen the outline of the cascading houses and church towers, you will want to see the gilt interior of the Church of S. Francisco. Nearby, you can see more tile-fronted churches and monuments, and visit the Palácio da Bolsa (former Stock Exchange palace). The tram leaves from next to the river for a trip that goes to Foz (the mouth of the Douro), where you can take a stroll and fill your lungs with the sea air. Avenida da Boavista starts here, and not far away is Serralves, with its gardens to stroll or rest in and its contemporary art exhibitions. The museum is the work of Álvaro Siza Vieira, one of the foremost architects of the Porto School of Architecture, and winner of the Pritzker Prize.
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The architecturally imposing Casa da Música, with its full programme of cultural events, is on Rotunda da Boavista, an area that is good for shopping. There are also good shops to be found around Avenida dos Aliados. In between are the Crystal Palace gardens, with another panoramic view of the river, and the Soares dos Reis Museum. Another garden, full of sculptures, is Cordoaria, surrounded by churches and other monuments. It’s worth climbing the Clérigos Tower for a different view of Porto. Immediately nearby is the Lello bookshop that inspired some of the Harry Potter stories. Continue walking towards Aliados, past the shops and art nouveau buildings. After exploring this broad avenue, it’s worth strolling along the pedestrians-only Rua de Santa Catarina for more shopping. Then pop in to the Café Majestic for a break.
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There‘s still a visit to be made to the south bank of the river to go to a Port Wine lodge and taste some Port in its unique setting. From Ribeira, cross the D. Luís foot bridge and you’ll see them. One of the most beautiful views over Porto can be had from Gaia. And you can also take the chairlift, which follows this side of the river.

In terms of gastronomy, this side of the river is a good option, but Ribeira also teems with restaurants and café terraces, as does Foz, which also has beautiful views over the sea. Portugal’s cuisine is always a winner with tourists, but this is even more true in Porto and Northern Portugal. You can be sure of a good meal, accompanied by fine wines from the Douro or the fresh Vinho Verde typical of the region, in any restaurant, from the finest to the most popular.


For further information: www.visitporto.travel / All photographs are shot by Gloria Silva exclusively for Herdes


Royal Mansour. A paradise inside the Medina

It is possibly the most exclusive hotel with the best service on the African continent. Royal Mansour was conceived as a ‘medina within a medina’ and designed by King Mohammed VI. With only 53 private riads, this fabulous hotel is the ultimate luxury experience. 

It is located on the eastern edge of the medina in the Hivernage neighbourhood and is surrounded and fortified by the same wall as the medina, ensuring utmost privacy and safety. It is a ten-minute taxi ride away from the famous square Djemaa el Fna and 15 minutes away from the airport. Staying at the Royal Mansour comes with the perk of getting picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel in a luxurious BMW. 

Once you cross the wall to enter its grounds, you’ll find a security cordon where they’ll verify your identity. After you get past this point, you’ll travel down a path meandering through its beautifully landscaped gardens until you get to a square where they’ll help you alight from the car and collect your luggage. Upon entering the hall, an open-air courtyard with columns flanking a fountain in the centre, you’ll begin to appreciate the air of peace and tranquillity permeating the Royal Mansour. 

Once you've checked in, they’ll accompany you to your riad, crossing a few small streets as if you were inside a medina amidst the majestic riads and enjoying the carefully groomed gardens.  

Each riad—whether with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms—is distributed across three floors. On the ground floor, you’ll find a small open-air courtyard, with some armchairs and a small fountain. Inside, there’s a small hall with a sofa and next to it is a sitting room with a dining table and a fireplace. On the other side, there’s a staircase, a washroom and the kitchen, where you can make yourself some tea or coffee using the Nespresso machine there.


If you go up the stairs to the first floor, you’ll find a corridor with a washroom, two dressing rooms and the entrance to the master suite. This is a spacious room with a very large bed and a dressing room at the back—all decorated and clad in carved wood. The bathroom, entirely in marble, has a huge tub and a shower. 

On the second floor, you’ll find a terrace with a private pool and a fireplace to enjoy cooler evenings. 

All the riads boast state-of-the-art digitally controlled lighting, air-conditioning and heating, and you can even use one of the many touchscreens around the room to enable do-not-disturb mode. 

You’ll never see or run across any staff of the Royal Mansour—whether inside the riad itself or out in the gardens—, as each of the riads are connected by underground tunnels which the staff navigate through to attend to your every need. This is the reason why the Royal Mansour sets the gold standard in service in its category. 

With regard to dining, there are three restaurants to choose from: La Table, which serves exquisite French cuisine; La Grand Table Marrocain, which features a blend of Moroccan and contemporary cuisine; and last but not the least, Le Jardin, which is headed by Chef Yannick Allenó and offers Asian fusion cuisine. It is perhaps one of the best restaurants in Morocco.

More info: royalmansour.com

 


Iberia is flying today the aircraft of the future

Iberia is flying today the aircraft of the future

Text by Ivan Hernández

Though flying since 1927, the Spanish airline and leading carrier from Europe to Latin America is young at heart.

Since 2014, it has been working to transform itself with improved services, more routes and new aircraft, applying the latest technologies to offer an enhanced experience from the moment the customers book their flights until they arrive to any of Iberia’s 135 destinations in 47 countries. 

The digital transformation of the airline is playing an important role in this process with services such as a chatbot on iberia.com or the Iberia skill in Alexa, Amazon’s voice device. A new service of Virtual Reality glasses is also now available on some of the airline’s routes, which complements the inflight entertainment offer available on board.

Iberia is also implementing an ambitious fleet renewal plan. Since 2013, it has ordered 60 new aircraft, 40 of them to fly long-haul routes. These airplanes are much more fuel-efficient and hence environmental-friendlier than the aircraft operated previously. 

The A350-900, the most modern and quietest plane in the world, is a good example of this strategy. Currently flying to New York and Buenos Aires, the A350-900 will soon start operating to other destinations such as Chicago. By 2023, 20 A350-900 will have joined Iberia’s fleet. 

Until then, Iberia will continue exploring new ways to improve its service with new technologies and customizing its service to its customers, as if every day was the first day.

Visit Iberia.com for more information


The London Edition

The London Edition

The King of the boutique hotels

When we talk about the Edition brand, an image of Ian Shrager, the man who revolutionised the concept of a luxury boutique hotel, immediately comes to mind. A hotel where luxury and glamour abound, embodying the “hotel as lifestyle” concept that Shrager created. His idea was to offer the very best of the place where one is staying, naturally attracting the rich, famous and beautiful.

The London Edition is the third property of the Marriott-Ritz Carlton group under the EDITION brand in cooperation with Ian Shrager.

This 19th century building was built in 1835 and is comprised of five private homes. The Berners Hotel was built later on in 1908. In 2013, it became The London Edition of today, preserving the façade’s Georgian style and turning the sumptuous interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg and I.S.C Design Studio into an interesting blend of modern and classic elements.

A stunning example of the magnificence of this hotel is its impressive lobby, with its large marble columns and a massive polished mirrored egg, the work of German lighting designer Ingo Maurer. The lobby shares space with The Lobby Bar, surrounded by a group of tables and sofas distributed in front of an impressive fireplace and snooker table. Here you can try a variety of cocktails created by Andy Shannon.

The guest rooms are the epitome of luxury, recalling the interiors of a luxury yacht with wood panelled walls, magnificent hanging lamps, tufted lounge chairs, a bed made with white sheets covered with a faux mink blanket at the foot, and a fully stocked minibar hidden inside a wooden wardrobe.

The suites have differentiated spaces with sofas and balconies where you can enjoy views of the London skyline.

The Berners Tavern.

Perhaps it’s the jewel of The London Edition or perhaps it’s simply one more excuse to visit this magnificent hotel. But for those who haven’t had the opportunity to stay at The London Edition, you really should try and see if you can have lunch at this fabulous restaurant. Just sitting at one of the tables is already an experience in itself as everything around 208 you is utterly breathtaking. It’s an opulent space with high ceilings and ornate plasterwork of incalculable beauty. The walls are covered with gilt-framed photographs and paintings, all mixed together as if they were Tetris pieces that fit perfectly. The tables are laid out in the style of cafés, with circular leather booths, round tables and wooden chairs.

With Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton at the helm, The Berners Tavern offers lively modern cuisine, blending English tradition with influences from continental Europe. Don’t miss its famous, award-winning mac and cheese!

10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London
+44 20 7781 0000
www.editionhotels.com


A Bird´s eye view

A Bird´s eye view

Written & Photographed by Gloria Silva

I arrived in India wrapped in cotton wool. It was past midnight when I landed in Mumbai. Arnaud, Enrico and Nikhil were waiting for me. It wasn’t too crowded, so I didn’t feel that first chaotic impact everybody talks about. My friend Arnaud had rented a modest apartment in Aarey Milk Colony, a small town on the east side of Gore Gaon. Nikhil lived in the same building. We convinced a taxi driver to let the four of us get into his car and we headed home. 

My new home consisted of a living-room with three mattresses on the floor, a tiny kitchen and a bathroom. I looked through the window. It was dark, so I couldn’t see anything, but I had a feeling that a wonderful landscape was hiding behind those black silhouettes. We were all very tired, so I didn’t think about it for too long. The next thing I remember is opening my eyes with the first rays of sun, looking out the window and finding the beautiful view I had imagined the night before. Our building, named Picadilly III, was in the middle of the jungle and on top of a mountain from where you could just see, far away, snippets of Gore Gaon. 

My friends’ warnings about the city scared me quite a bit. They filled my head with fears that I didn’t have before; not just about my adaptation to a new culture. Above all, I should never go anywhere alone. So I spent the first few days looking out the window, trying to assimilate the hugeness of the city standing right before my eyes. I just sat there thinking of how to escape from that apartment. And then, while I was wandering around the building, I found the rooftop terrace. 

That rooftop terrace became my room, the place where I spent most of my time. And that’s how I began to discover India, lying among the clouds, fifteen floors from the ground and from a weird angle. So far all I could see was a world of shadows. Each tick-tock was a powerful instant that announced the end of a story and the beginning of a new one. Hands, arms and torsos described infinite spaces with their movements and revealed our inner space, the one where our thoughts and our imagination live. Days passed while my life consisted of observing theirs. I lost track of time, until one day, without knowing exactly how, I decided to set foot on that unknown land. 

It wasn’t an easy ride, but, slowly but surely, the barriers started to fade away. Those barriers, which I probably erected myself, hid a wonderful country that didn’t look so hostile anymore. I started building my own vision of the people there, taking mental portraits of them. But my goal wasn’t to capture truthful images. I just wanted to reflect my own view of that unique moment I had in front of my eyes; an instant that shows a fragment of life, as true as I witnessed it, through the filter of my own personal experiences and prejudices. 

And that’s how I became more adventurous, visiting places and talking to as many people as I could. As days passed, I got more and more surprised by them –they wanted to know me as much as I wanted to know them. Time flied, and after three months I managed to get around the city perfectly. I am currently still immersed in India’s essence, continuing my adventure, very far from that window in Picadilly III. •