PHOTO: Monaco Harbour with The Monaco Yacht Club to the right

Monaco is the most luxurious and glamorous Principality in the world. So you want to arrive in style, right?  I was lucky enough to attend the Monaco Yacht Show this year! I started thinking about the best ways for my readers to arrive in Monaco whether it be for the Yacht Show, Grand Prix or other events.

A chauffeured Limousine is definitely a good idea! I experienced  arriving in Monaco, chauffeur driven in a beautiful Audi A8L with The Driver Company. http://thedriverco.com

Surely the ultimate in Limousine luxury! Here I am pictured below with driver Jonathan who was so professional.  The Audi A8L is the ultimate driving experience, but you can choose from a range of the best limousines.

PHOTO: Limousine A8L from The Driver Company

Monaco is small and can be difficult to navigate around and park during big events such as Monaco Yacht Show which is held every September or Monaco Grand Prix.  A luxury car and driver will take the stress out of your journey, especially with such a friendly company as The Driver Co.

PHOTO: Perfect for a big group

The Monaco Yacht show hosts the best events and parties, which means limitless Champagne and fine wine.  Another very good reason to get a car and driver, no drink driving worries!  I would love to arrive at The Monaco Yacht Show in this magnificent car next year.

PHOTO: Monaco Yacht Show 2017

Summertime is hectic all along the riviera from Monaco to Saint Tropez, so why not take a car and driver from The Driver Company.  They are friendly, really helpful and speak english.  Take a look at their website or call on +33(0)785053365

MONACO YACHT SHOW 2017:

The Monaco Yacht Show was so action packed with events and parties, I didn’t get time to take up an invitation to arrive in style by Helicopter!  That will have to wait for my next visit to the Principality and I will share with you very soon!

PHOTO: BELL 429 HELICOPTER

However, I did have time to check out the Bell 429 Helicopter brought over just for the Yacht Show.  If you are looking for a really magnificent Heli (just look at the colour!) with an amazing safety record, exceptional speed, seats 7 plus the pilot, and looks super chic then look no further.  Lets just say that if you need to ask the price, you can’t afford it as the old adage goes! http://bellhelicopter.com

 

PHOTO: Lamborghini or a Submarine?

The Monaco Yacht Show isn’t just about the most magnificent yachts in the world.  You can find so many super luxe  things to check out and even buy, if you are lucky enough!  While we are thinking about arriving in style, how about a Lamborghini or even your own Submarine!  Top that!  I really want a Lamborghini now, so much nicer and more comfortable than they were in the old days.

PHOTO: M/Y Vertige with me pretending to be Captain

How to arrive in Monte Carlo Diva style? The ultimate way to arrive next year would be to buy your own yacht!  Read my Monaco Yacht Show 2017 blog, I have chosen the best ones especially for you! Read all about M/Y Vertige pictured above on my Yacht Show blog. See you at Monaco Yacht Show next year.  Monaco Yacht Show

http://www.tankoa.it

Dates for Monaco Yacht Show 2018: 26 to 29 September 2018 http://www.monacoyachtshow.com

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IMG_1636Mirissa – Whale watching photo

Hiring a Car at the Airport

Visit Sri Lanka, Tea Trails and Southern coast. I hope you will learn from my mistake if you plan to hire a car in Sri Lanka.  It is important to book a hire car from the airport from one of the large International hire companies who will arrange a Sri Lankan driving licence and proper car insurance.  You will need to do this at least a few days before you arrive in Sri Lanka because it takes time to organise a driving licence, and an International licence does NOT suffice.

Unfortunately, we were unable to hire a car because we had not made these arrangements beforehand. Also, do not be put off driving in Sri Lanka.  One reads horror stories about driving in the country but the driving conditions are absolutely fine for anyone accustomed to driving around the world.  The biggest problem is getting lost!

Getting around in Sri Lanka:

Hiring a Car and Driver:

Many visitors choose to hire a car and driver for a week to take them around the island and show them the sites.  This is the most common way to get around and there are many companies that will organise this for you.  The Sri Lankan roads are notoriously bad although things are improving with the new highway from Colombo, the capital down south.

Sea Planes:

Now, this might seem like an extravagance but trust me it really is not!  If I return to Sri Lanka, I will definitely get around by Sea Plane.  For example, the drive from Colombo Airport to the Tea Trails takes the best part of a day and the roads are twisty, turn tracks for most of the journey.  A day is wasted because you will soon tire of driving through villages with dogs lying in the road!  I’ll give you some links to book a sea plane at the end.

Trains:

There are some delightful train journeys to take particularly inland around Kandy.  Again, only if you have plenty of time as they are slow.

This blog will cover The tea Trails and Southern Sri Lanka.

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Tea Trails at Norwood

I arranged our first trip with The Resplendent Ceylon Group.  They arranged for a comfortable 4×4 to drive us up to Tea Trails, staying at one of their bungalows on the tea plantation called Norwood.  Take a look at their website, link below, because they have a few to choose from.  We spent a few days at Tea Trails and then drove down to stay at their fabulous new hotel Cape Weligama for another few days.  This was exemplary in every way and I would recommend without hesitation, infact I may well be back to to Cape Weligama in the future!

IMG_1516Tea Trails Norwood, near Hatton

Tea Trails:

You will arrive at the bungalow, which is owned by The Resplendent Ceylon group a family run operation that also owns the tea plantations producing their famous Dilmah tea.  Welcomed by a butler and wonderfully friendly staff who will pamper you beyond belief, this is a Relais Chateau hotel so you know the standard will be perfect.

All meals are included in the price.  A chef will come and discuss what you would like to eat every day and everything is included in the price of the stay so you need not worry about running up a large bill.  We enjoyed hiking the trails and visiting the tea factory.  You can climb Adams Peak.

IMG_1524Tea pickers busy at Norwood

IMG_0492Hiking at Norwood

A trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without visiting this magical Highland area, with hillsides full of tea plantations and the workers busy picking the leaves.

Cape Weligama Hotel:

The hotel arranged for one of their drivers to collect us and we drove to Cape weligama.  This was a mistake and I would recommend splurging on a sea plane.  The drive takes 6 hours and it really is a waste of a day.  But, it was wonderful to arrive at the gorgeous Cape Weligama and be welcomed with some ice tea and meet our butler who looked after us during our stay.  The staff, and particularly the butler service make this extra special. We stayed in a beautiful residence, quietly tucked away, and it was magnificent.  Regular readers will know just how fussy I am, but this went above and beyond in every way!

IMG_1541Bedroom at Cape Weligama Residence

IMG_1542Bathroom with our own Sauna Cape Weligama

The sauna was huge and perfect and I particularly like the walk in wardrobe with enough space for diva amounts of clothes!  We shared an idyllic pool with one other residence but that was empty so we had our own pool all week!

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Private Pool Cape Weligama

We were very lazy and the butler bought our meals onto our terrace whenever we wanted.  He bought us breakfast everyday and constantly stocked our fridge with drinks and goodies.  We felt totally pampered.  He arranged our Whale watching trip at Mirissa, which was great fun.  The other boats out that day were packed with tourists but we enjoyed an enormous boat all to ourselves!

IMG_1612Dolphins spotted on our Whale watching trip

Galle is a short drive away so we took a driver to explore Galle and stopped at the Turtle hatchery along the way, driving past Koggola Lake.  Galle is worth a visit but I definitely wouldn’t want to stay there.  It is packed full of tourists and the Old town is full of expensive jewellers and tourist tat.  Go for an afternoon or evening if you are nearby but don’t make a special journey.

IMG_1551Galle

IMG_1547Galle

Galle food market is a joy to visit bursting full of every vegetable and fruit imaginable.  I stocked up on spices in the Spice Shack just outside the market.  There are some nice little restaurants dotted around the town.

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We loved Tangalle, a couple of hours drive down south from Weligama.  More about that I’m Part II.

We didn’t want to leave at the end and definitely wanted to take the butler home with us!  Actually, our trip was so perfect we went back a month later!  I’ll tell you about it next time.  Visit Sri Lanka, you won’t regret it!

Information:

We travelled on Qatar Airways from London via Doha travelling Business Class.  http:www.qatarairways.com

Stayed at http:www.resplendentceylon.com/capeweligama and http://www.resplendentceylon.com/teatrails/bungalows

Book a seaplane: http://www.cinnamonair.com

Tourism: http://www.srilanka.travel