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ANOUSKA HEMPEL knows a thing or two about looking good - but when you're born looking like that, you can hardly help it. The Franklin hotel is Hempel in hotel form, 'refined and ravishing' in equal measure. Tucked away in the heart of Kensington this hotel's junior suite with glamorous amenities, palatial bathrooms and huge comfortable beds provide the perfect base for a romantic city break in Britain's capital.

Taking a cue from its sister hotel Blakes, The Franklin throws its cap at foreign lands, in this case Italy. You cannot fault the taffetaand-velvet-bedecked dining room, the glittering bar, or the ravishing rooms and their fancy sandstone bathroom. One thing that is traditionally English, is the setting. Set in the heart of Kensington in central London you are simply steps away from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Egerton Gardens and some of the city's best bits are on your doorstep.

This glam hotel was reopened in 2016 after an extensive refurbishment, each room is air conditioned, fitted with a flat screen TV, seating area, and a signature bed with premium lines and a pillow menu - yes you read that right! Worth getting out of bed for however is South Kensington's cultural scene and Knightsbridge's boutiques. Local restaurants nearby worth checking include Apero, an all-day Mediterranean inspired brasserie tucked away in the basement of the Ampersand Hotel (worth lingering at for afternoon tea too). For bars, The Franklin continues with its longing-for-Italy theme at Vini Italiani, a smashing Italian wine bar on Old Brompton Road that serves cheese and charcuterie worthy of a Roman emperor.


TUCKED away on one of Indonesia's most unexplored islands, Nihi Sumba Island hotel is a luxury resort with a conscience. Almost entirely preserved from urban development, Sumba's spectacular landscape is the setting for those seeking a truly romantic escape.

Right on the cliff edge, Marangga villas have jaw-dropping ocean see views and an outdoor bale where guests can sleep overnight. Built in the style of a Sumbanese house, Kanatar Sumba villas have an upstairs bedroom with a modern terrace and bathroom amongst the trees. The villas are crowned with distinctive thatch roofs made from local Alang Alang grass and the rooms encourage breeze cooled outdoor living. In a sheltered creek framed by pandanus trees this villa has it's very own open air spa, which looks out over the beach and crashing waves.

Worthy of its name, one of the luxury treatments you can enjoy is the the Sumbanese Dream treatment, which includes a mineral rich foot bath, relaxing massage, lavender scented scrub and aloe infused body mask.

For an out-of-this-world experience holidays goers at this resort can embark on the Nihi Oka spa Safari, a journey to a secluded valley where four bamboo-clad couples treatment rooms await. Pick one of the homemade aromatic oils and indulge in a stress busting massage with views of peaceful paddy fields. In the evenings take a stroll down to the on-site restaurant set right on the sand, tables are romantically lit for two and the head chef makes the most of the garden's organic produce and island's line caught fish, perfect for getting a proper taste of Indonesia.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 14, 2018
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