Wanderlust – Travel Dream Team

Posted on 15 October, 2014 in Time Out Hong Kong by Cynthia Rosenfeld.

Upon learning what I do for a living, nearly everyone has a ‘great story idea’ for me. Never has an actual article originated in these often cringeworthy conversations, however a recent call with one hotel PR executive did get my creative juices flowing. I rang to let her client, the sublime Cheval Blanc Randheli resort, know I would be travelling with my Turkish friend Zeynep Sadikoglu. A quick search led the PR exec to discover that Zeynep is the co-founder of a stylish swimsuit brand worn by models, actresses and the occasional Kardashian. “Brilliant,” she said. “Who better to invite to the Maldives than your personal bikini designer?” This humorous comment sparked my imagination. Who would I really bring along if my entourage could resemble those of the celebrities who follow my travel trailblazing to the latest destinations?

Certainly, Zeynep and her sister, designer Ayca Sadikoglu of OYE Swimear (oyeswimwear.com) would lead this list. No longer do I tie on those printed triangle bikinis picked up casually in Bali or Phuket. Since meeting these talented twins, I have rethought the swimsuit as a fashion item, which makes sense considering how much time my work requires me to live in or near the ocean.

To successfully wrestle OYE’s skin hugging suits on to my body, I would add wellness experts on to my team. At the new Maalifushi by COMO (comohotels.com/maalifushi), also in the Maldives, I recently met Becca Coren. This New York trained yogi excels at teaching all levels, from beginners to longtime practitioners like me. Inside the spa’s glass box of a yoga pavilion, Becca improved my Ashtanga yoga practice in only two sessions. Finding the time and energy between early morning takeoffs and late night landings to take care of my body presents real challenges. Becca at my side would seriously improve my warrior pose while helping me keep my cool off the mat as well.

Food too is a minefield on the road. I met my longtime detox and diet guru Jennifer Thompson of Healthy Bliss (healthybliss.net) at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. To help me recover from a tropical virus, Jennifer handpicked wholesome foods and natural supplements that have comprised my diet ever since, at least when I’m at home. As a hotel guest, however, I am often the target of well-meaning but overly zealous chefs who treat each meal as my last. Having Jennifer there to block these enticing distractions from my path while leading me towards equally tempting but healthier local options would be a real treat.

French nail guru Bastien Gonzalez (bastiengonzalez.com) proved his worth to me 10 years back with the simple suggestion that I skip the vibrant varnish. My now nails look so much healthier, however keeping them gorgeously groomed when I’m regularly attempting to zip my entire life into suitcases would be considerably easier if I could pack Bastien to go too. Finally, even with this posse of experts at my side, I know that travel would still be tough on my muscles. No one unties the travel induced tension knots in my neck and shoulders like Wynton Zhai. The Mongolian-born masseur at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing (waldorfastoria.com/beijing) combines the strokes and pressure point kneading of TCM massage with crisscross movements that leave me utterly unwound and blissfully relaxed. At least until it’s time for me to fly solo yet again.

Go to Wanderlust: Travel dream team to see the original article in it’s entirety.

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