DARLENE SUPERVILLE

Cristiano Ronaldo spending vacation in Ibiza

Real Madrid s Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is currently on vacation in the Spanish city of Ibiza with some friends before joining his national football squad s camp in preparation for UEFA Euro 2016, which will kick off on June 10 in France. Retired player Miguel Paixao, a close friend of Cristiano since they were teammates at Sporting Lisbon, shared a photo on social media networks showing them dining at a restaurant in Ibiza, international online web media reported. Additionally, Portuguese media published on Wednesday other images in which the Portugal captain appears sunbathing on a yacht.

Both Ronaldo and Pepe have not yet joined the Portugal team, with the approval of coach Fernando Santos, because of their participation in Saturday s Champions League final. They are scheduled to join their national team on Sunday before the friendly against Estonia on June 8. Portugal will compete in Group F in the Euro along with Iceland, Austria and Hungary.

10 great adults-only beach resorts around the world

Sun, sea and sand. Can it get any better? Well, yes (especially for child-free travellers like me). Add in a serene, adults-only setting, and now you ve got the icing on the cake when it comes to a peaceful beach holiday. If these sound like the perfect ingredients for your ideal seaside escape, too, you re in luck. I ve shortlisted 10 of the best adults-only beach resorts around the globe including one I got up close and personal with.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.bluediamondrivieramaya.com

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya1

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Saving the best for last? Not on this list. This Small Luxury Hotel of the World the setting of my last getaway is, somehow, even more beautiful in person than it looks in its postcard-worthy pictures. Just minutes from the buzz of Playa del Carmen but seemingly worlds away, it s a true oasis on the Mexican Caribbean.

Imagine all the hallmarks of a luxurious Riviera Maya stay a white-sand beach, turquoise waters, airy suites, a sprawling spa, friendly staff and fresh, la carte fare and then try to envision something even better. That s Blue Diamond. Oh, and did we mention that all of this comes all-inclusive?

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.standardhotels.com/miami/spa

The Standard Spa, Miami Beach2

Miami Beach, Florida

Miami might not bring to mind visions of rest and relaxation, but there are slices of serenity to be found in this notoriously buzzing party town. Case in point: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach. Situated on its own Biscayne Bay island, just off South Beach, it s a spa hotel in the truest sense, with a pervasive sense of calm. There aren t many stilettos here, but there are a lot of bare feet. The hotel is an Andre Balazs property, which means cutting-edge design (here, a kind of reimagined mid-century). But you don t really need shoes when you ll be hanging all day in the hammam or on the bayside Lido Dock, taking yoga, sipping green juice, sampling grilled salmon al fresco and enjoying the hydrotherapy playground s Finnish sauna and waterfall Jacuzzi.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.puresaltgaronda.com

Pure Salt Garonda3

Mallorca, Spain

It doesn t get more quintessentially Mediterranean than Mallorca, and this sleek spa hotel couldn t be better positioned for experiencing the best of this sun-drenched island it boasts direct access to the sugar-white sands and crystal-clear waters of Playa de Palma s three-mile beach. This perfect location is matched by the high-end details everywhere you turn; thanks to a recent renovation, the hotel bears the distinction of being the first five-star in Playa de Palma.

Equal parts luxury and leisure, the hotel achieves its cool, urban-beach vibe courtesy of its modern spa, three gourmet restaurants and Scandi-chic rooms and suites.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.kuracostarica.com

Kura Design Villas4

Uvita, Costa Rica

In a property packed with jaw-dropping features, it s nearly impossible to play favorites. Still, the spectacular scenery might be the biggest draw in this property packed full of them. From Kura Design Villas raved-about, saltwater infinity pool, set on the face of a coastal mountain, you can look up to lush rainforest and down to the miles of Pacific Ocean receding into the horizon. The surrounding landscape is no less scenic, and it s ripe for exploring, so when you re not taking in the views or pampering yourself in the spa, you can take a boat ride to Corcovado National Park the nation s crown jewel or embark on one of the many other naturalistic excursions available in the region National Geographic called one of the most biologically intense on earth.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.kbskiathoshotel.com

KB Suites & Spa5

Skiathos, Greece

Venture beyond Mykonos and Santorini to one of the most beautiful of all the Greek Islands: Skiathos. This idyllic isle is home to Kassandra Bay Resort, whose buildings are scattered over a tree-covered hillside, which slopes gently down to the Aegean. Part of this gorgeous resort, tucked away in its own lush gardens, is the exclusive KB Suites & Spa a super-luxe hideaway made for romance. Everything here is dreamy to the max, from the whitewashed accommodations (some with an outdoor Jacuzzi or private pool) to the serene spa to the two saltwater swimming pools to the private beach. The resort even has its own speedboat, ready to whisk you away to a private picnic or sunbathing session for two.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.thepelicanbeachresort.com

Pelican Beach Resort & Spa6

Sardinia, Italy

There s more to Sardinia than the gaudy Costa Smeralda. Just a few miles away sits Pelican Beach Resort & Spa, sitting pretty and oh-so-peacefully on its own private stretch of seafront.

The beach may be small, but it s all yours, and there s plenty of space for lounging on the grass just above (no sand in your face, either). The water is so clear, you can see fish darting from behind the rocks and right down to the sea floor. Elsewhere, there s a teardrop-shaped pool, a rooftop fitness terrace and a chic new spa, but really, why would you want to leave a private beach with your name on it?

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.cocoshotel.com

COCOS Hotel7

Valley Church Estate, Antigua

Rustic relaxation reigns supreme at this gorgeous Caribbean hideaway, comprised of thirty individual cottages perched atop an ocean bluff. There are breathtaking sea views as far as the eye can see, and the island architecture and lush landscape blend so seamlessly, you ll wonder whether this boutique hotel simply sprouted up alongside the surrounding palms. But it s not just the setting that makes this place so special. This romantic gem is also all-inclusive rare for a hotel of its boutique size. And you ll be able to satisfy more than just your palate, since a complimentary massage, nightly entertainment three times a week, yoga and pilates classes and kayaks and snorkeling equipment are all part of the deal.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.marquisloscabos.com

Marquis Los Cabos All Inclusive Resort & Spa8

Los Cabos, Mexico

Equally suited to relaxing and living it up, this five-star resort on the Sea of Cortez makes it easy to do a beach escape your way. Here, the water is always warm, the minibar is always full and fun events, from tequila tastings to Spanish lessons to dances on the beach, are always unfolding. Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa promises all of this, plus poolside cocktails, in-room dining and meals at a handful of high-end restaurants or caf s.

This all-suites resort pretty much has it all, and gives it to you all-inclusive. And lest you worry it compromises quality for quantity, rest assured that it also happens to be quite prestigious, with four AAA diamonds, plus a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and Leading Hotels of the World designation plus a Michelin pedigree for the executive chef.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.x2resorts.com

X2 Samui All Spa Inclusive Resort9

Koh Samui, Thailand

Okay, perhaps it is possible to improve upon the adults-only-beach-Discount Holidays © holiday theme. The proof: this peaceful haven, where unlimited spa treatments are included in your stay. But even without this incredible perk the first of its kind offered in Thailand you d have no trouble reaching R&R bliss here. Tucked away in a quiet area of Koh Samui, with just 26 villas and only a few high-end residential villas sharing its gorgeous beach, this dreamy resort makes you feel like the center of attention. True to its heaven-on-Earth vibes, this high-design boutique retreat melds perfectly with the lush surroundings the views over the Gulf of Thailand are stunning but banish any notions of a rustic-style retreat. This sleek bolthole is packed full of luxury.

10 Great Adults-only Beach Resorts Around The World

Photograph: www.sonesta.com/oceanpoint/

Sonesta Ocean Point Resort10

St. Maarten, Caribbean

Think that if you ve seen one Caribbean all-inclusive resort, you ve seen them all? Guess again.

This strikingly designed luxury hotel stands apart from the crowd in the best way possible it s been called the most unique hotel on St. Maarten. Perched above the sea on the westernmost point of the island, in sought-after Maho Village, it s a serious architectural stunner. But it will take your breath away in more ways than one. Its stellar position affords nightly opportunities to take in postcard-perfect sunsets, while every suite is spacious retreat with a private balcony, stunning views and custom designer furnishings. And if you want to take the relaxing elsewhere? No problem.

The long list of perks includes an all-access pass to two sister resorts.

Click here11 to join Secret Escapes and save up to 70% on luxury hotels and holidays.

Follow our blog with Bloglovin12

References

  1. ^ Blue Diamond Riviera Maya (www.bluediamondrivieramaya.com)
  2. ^ The Standard Spa, Miami Beach (www.standardhotels.com)
  3. ^ Pure Salt Garonda (www.puresaltgaronda.com)
  4. ^ Kura Design Villas (www.kuracostarica.com)
  5. ^ KB Suites & Spa (www.kbskiathoshotel.com)
  6. ^ Pelican Beach Resort & Spa (www.thepelicanbeachresort.it)
  7. ^ COCOS Hotel (www.cocoshotel.com)
  8. ^ Marquis Los Cabos All Inclusive Resort & Spa (www.marquisloscabos.com)
  9. ^ X2 Samui All Spa Inclusive Resort (x2resorts.com)
  10. ^ Sonesta Ocean Point Resort (www.sonesta.com)
  11. ^ here (www.secretescapes.com)
  12. ^ Follow our blog with Bloglovin (www.bloglovin.com)

Inside Rapha: is it just branding or a British success story?

Is Rapha a triumph of branding or one of Britain s greatest cycling success stories? Cycling Weekly headed to north London to find out…

Inside Rapha: Is It Just Branding Or A British Success Story?

One of the first things that catches your eye on entering Rapha HQ are the race numbers located around employees desks.

When you join Rapha, every employee gets a silk race number, explains head of R&D, Simon Huntsman. It shows how long you have been here. Huntsman is number eight and proudly proclaims that he is the longest standing employee after founder Simon Mottram No.1 naturally.

Inside Rapha: Is It Just Branding Or A British Success Story?

All employees are issued with a number. Photo: Chris Catchpole

Head of central marketing James Fairbank, who joined the company in 2010, is number 47 and in his time has seen the company s annual turnover grow from 2 million to 40 million. But, he notes, I have friends who work for Nike and they are like number 87,000 or something.

>>> This is how you can tell you ve become addicted to riding in Richmond Park1

Rapha may be a cycling success story with an ever-growing presence out on the roads but the company, started in 2004, is not operating out of a gold-plated skyscraper yet. HQ titled the Imperial Works is actually a former abattoir somewhere around the back of Kings Cross Station. The vibe inside is typical of a creative 21st century start-up: post-industrial and open-plan with walls festooned with cycling memorabilia.

Team spirit

Inside Rapha: Is It Just Branding Or A British Success Story?

Employee number 47, James Fairbank. Photo: Chris Catchpole

The brand inevitably has it detractors, who say that Rapha s cycling apparel is too expensive and for poseurs. Even Fairbank admits, Before I worked for Rapha, I couldn t afford to buy much of the stuff.

>>> Rapha becomes more affordable with new Core range2

But he believes the business has been successful precisely because it s focused on a particular part of the market rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Some people think we are a bunch of marketers trying to make as much money as possible, but if they could come down and visit us and take a look around, nothing could be further from the truth, he says. We are just cyclists. And we are passionate about it.

>>> London s new East-West Cycle Superhighway expected to open on April 303

Indeed, the bike racks downstairs are full and it s estimated that at least 90 per cent of the staff regularly travel to work by bike. It s not just commuting either: Wednesday is company ride day when staff are encouraged to ride, even if they re busy. Having staff that ride is important to Rapha. All the product team ride and that knowledge gets extracted and put back into the products, claims Huntsman.

Inside Rapha: Is It Just Branding Or A British Success Story?

Longstanding member of staff Simon Huntsman. Photo: Chris Catchpole

For instance the O-ring zip pullers that have become synonymous with Rapha products came from needing to locate your zip puller really easily when overheating on a climb. Huntsman also cites Rapha s gloves, which feature two different tried and tested pads on the back of the thumbs for wiping away sweat and snot. It s not the stuff of fluffy blue-sky, white-board brainstorming, and Huntsman notes: Things like that only come directly from rider insight.

If Rapha was already getting plenty of insight in-house, they gained a whole load more when they took over from Adidas as kit supplier to Team Sky4 at the beginning of 2013.

Although the relationship will end after this season5, they ve found that working with a core group of team riders who are particularly interested in their kit has reaped rewards.

We get so much insight from those guys as to what their priorities are and what they think is important, says Huntsman. Some things we think are important, they couldn t really care
less about.

>>> Nine of the best moments in the Rapha/Team Sky partnership6

But even in these instances, Rapha has a mission of Zero Distraction . If we ask riders how was it, and the riders say that they didn t notice, then we consider it job done. Fairbank adds: A huge amount of effort goes into making sure the fit is right. Psychologically the riders like putting something on where there is no wrinkling, no gathering, and no excess fabric.

And when it comes to matters of personal preference, chamois type and leg length on shorts is entirely up to the rider.

A way of life

Inside Rapha: Is It Just Branding Or A British Success Story?

Most employees ride to work. Photo: Chris Catchpole

Working with the team is not always at the cutting edge. Remember that mesh jersey that gave Chris Froome sunburn7? It came from Sky that they wanted an open mesh, Huntsman explains.

This is a good example where we can say, You asked for that but we can actually give you better solutions that keep you cooler and also protect you from the sun. It s from Huntsman s R&D department that new products, some including technologies borrowed from other industries, are devised and prototyped.

Working with a long-term focus, they ve recently been researching yarn technology for crash protection, wearable tech and biometric data.

>>> Rapha launches Spring Summer 2016 collection8

We are actually looking at heating elements and lighting in garments too, explains an excited Huntsman. There are, he notes, other companies working on some of these things but they want to do it the Rapha way .

It is not hyperbole, says Fairbank of the company s passion for cycling. We believe this is the greatest sport in the world and that should inform every aspect of people s life from the food you eat, to the coffee you drink, to the friends you keep the whole lot.

References

  1. ^ >>> This is how you can tell you ve become addicted to riding in Richmond Park (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Rapha becomes more affordable with new Core range (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ >>> London s new East-West Cycle Superhighway expected to open on April 30 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Although the relationship will end after this season (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ >>> Nine of the best moments in the Rapha/Team Sky partnership (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ mesh jersey that gave Chris Froome sunburn (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ >>> Rapha launches Spring Summer 2016 collection (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)