Top 7 luxury luggage must-haves

Luxury holidays and luxury luggage go hand-in-hand. Here is our selection of some of the finest luggage you could invest in.

Brics luxury travel trolley

Brics luxury travel trolley

1. Best hardcase holdall

The Rimowa Topas Titanium Multiwheel

This lightweight aluminium case is tough German engineering at its finest. The hard outer casing and TSA combination locks will ensure the safety of anything inside and the neat ‘add a bag’ clip mean you can combine Rimowa luggage into one item. Inside the multiple shoe, garment and laundry bags help keep clothes neatly separated.

2. Most stylish carry-on

Formal calf leather ‘country’ bag from Brunello Cucinelli

This beautiful calf leather carry on from Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli is an instant classic echoing a Hemmingway age of travelling adventurers. Beautiful, tough and endlessly useful.

3. The hippest of holdalls

Brics 30” trolley with spinners

Toted by the likes of Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston, high-end Italian luggage brand Brics is the current luggage of choice for Hollywood A-listers. This lightweight, large trolley will stylishly fit all your holiday luggage and, of course, comes with a range of matching accessories.

4. Ultimate luxury travel wallet

Noble Macmillan calfskin travel wallet

Noble Macmillan calfskin travel wallet

Noble Macmillan classic travel wallet

Available in a range of funky colours this soft calfskin leather travel wallet with a silk lining is hand made in Spain. The interior includes separate compartments marked with leather tabs for passport, travel documents etc. Noble Macmillan will even personalise it with your initials or a message of your choice.

5. Best hardcore carry-on

Victorinox Spectra extra-capacity carry-on

From the makers of the Swiss Army Knife comes the ultimate in hard case hand luggage guaranteed to keep all your possessions safe from knocks and drops at the airport. Available in a range of colours including Swiss Army red.

6. Most opulent toiletry case

Louis Vuitton Case with Mirror

There’s just something about Louis Vuitton luggage that exudes old-school glamour and this stunning, durable hard-shell case is no exception. With the traditional LV monogramed canvas and gold brass outside, and mirror and 14 bottle holder on the inside, this will keep all your lotions and creams safe for your journey and then look beautiful in your hotel bathroom throughout your holiday.

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

7. Best luxury iPad cover

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

This stylish, functional leather iPad cover from Mulberry is made to house an iPad 2 or 3. The leather case can be flipped over to create a useful display stand, perfect for watching movies or making video calls. Classically unfussy the leather case is bare apart from the Mulberry tree logo. Available in a range of colours.

Going on honeymoon

Constance sommeliers seek out France’s finest wines

Following his successful trip to VinExpo in Bordeaux last month, Constance head sommelier Jerome Faure has been meeting some of France’s finest winemakers to seek out new and exciting wines to add to the Constance wine lists.

Head Sommelier Jerome Fauré at Clos Vougeot

Castle Clos Vougeot

Jerome reveals the highlights of his tour and the exciting wines he’s bringing back with him to the cellars of Constance Hotels and Resorts:

• Domaine Mas Amiel at Rousillon Village

We visited the winemaker Nicolas for a barrel tasting of all his dry white and red wine for Cotes du Roussillon appellation and Maury Sec, followed by a tasting of his vintage red wines (1973-2000) on the Maury appellation. The sweet red wines have the same style of port wine but with more freshness, red and black fruit flavour with elegant and soft tannin. This wine will be a perfect pairing for some mild spicy food such as the deer dry curry served at the Deer Hunter Restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

• Domaine de la Grange de Pere at Aniane near Montpellier for the VDP L’Herault appellation

This is a domain which has a big reputation in the wine industry. The owner and winemaker Laurent Vaille welcomed us to his cellar. It was great to taste the white and red wines of 2011 from the barrel. Vaille believes it is one of the best vintages he has ever produced. It was a marvellous tasting wine with different grape variety (Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cournoise, Cabernet Sauvignon) and very elegant, red fruit flavour, fine tannin and beautiful freshness. Vaille also makes a very small quantity of white wine with different grape varieties (Roussanne, Marsanne and Chardonnay) which is very rare to get but you can find it on all Constance hotels’ wine lists.

Tasting the Rousseau at Castle Clos Vougeot

Tasting the Rousseau at Castle Clos Vougeot

• Domaine de la Vougeraie at Primeaux Prissey, Burgundy

In 1999 Domaine Vougeraie was born through the combination of five wineries. They believe in biodynamic viticulture so the first place we visited was their garden where they grow herbs for treatment in the vineyard (lemongrass, lavender etc.). After that we had a great tasting with Pierre Vincent, the director and wine maker. Seventy per cent of the production is red with a typical Burgundy style – fresh, without too much acidity and a very fine-valved tannin. The white wines give a beautiful fruity and crisp taste with a minerality, a very soft touch of cotton Charlemagne which gives an elegant taste.

• The famous Castle of Clos Vougeot

We had the great fortune to participate in the famous music and wine event at the Castle of Clos Vougeot. We were able to taste from different references of Burgundian winemakers such as Faiveley, Grivot, Meo-Camuzet, Rousseau, Dujac, Simon Bize and De Montille. After the tasting we attended a beautiful classical music concert followed by a private diner in the Clos Vougeot castle dining room with all the winemakers and the musicians.

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Wine tasting at Grange de Pere

Wine tasting at Grange de Pere

 

Mas Amiel

Mas Amiel

Top 5 music apps and accessories for travelling

If you like your holiday to be set to your own soundtrack, here are 5 essential music apps and accessories to pack or download before you go.

Relaxing at Constance Tsarabanjina

Relaxing at Constance Tsarabanjina

1. For the love of music

Spotify – At home or abroad this music-streaming app is a must-have for music lovers. Not only does it supply free music on demand streamed direct to your mobile device from its vast catalogue (for a small fee you can download music to play offline) but it also manages your existing library, syncing it with its own. The perfect way to access a huge range of music.

2. For the impromptu party
Beats Pill – So you’ve got all this music on your mobile device but what happens when you want to share it with friends?

You simply plug in your Beats Pill, a compact Bluetooth speaker from the inimitable Dr Dre. With four separate speaker drivers fitted inside its compact design the sound on this speaker is crystal clear. As always with Beats by Dre products this one is slick and comes in an choice of three colours.

3. For the music geek

Traktor DJ – For those who aren’t happy just listening to music but want to mix and and make their own, there’s the Traktor DJ for the iPad and iPhone. Mix tracks from your own iTunes library and add effects to produce a cool sound of seriously high quality. This app is sophisticated enough for professionals but simple enough to use for enthusiastic beginners – it even includes tips and teaching techniques and can suggest tunes from your library to pair up to improve your mixes.

Sunlounger on the beach at Constance Lemuria

Sunlounger on the beach at Constance Lemuria

4. For discovering new music

Shazam – You’re sitting in a bar on a foreign shore and the DJ plays the perfect song, capturing the mood of sunshine and good times.

With Shazam you can capture the moment and the song, simply press the button and the app will tell you the song title and band name, it will even connect you to iTunes so you can buy it. Other features include song tagging and a new map so you can see what music is trending around the world.

5. Best for kids

Bloom HD – From ambient musicians Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers comes this beautiful and creative app for kids combining making music and visual art.

Available for the iPad and iPhone the user simply touches the screen to create a musical sound and a corresponding circle of colour appears, they can then mix this with other sounds and other colours. As you would expect from Eno the sound is calm and chilled, there’s even a sleep mode so kids can fall asleep to their own chill out tracks.

 

Top 5 underwater cameras

Take amazing photographs whether you’re on the beach or in the water with our round-up of the top 5 underwater cameras.

Manta Rays at Constance Moofushi

Manta Rays at Constance Moofushi

1. Olympus Tough TG-2

This tough compact underwater camera creates sharp, bright underwater pictures as well as shooting HD movies and include GPS. It is 12MP, has a 4x optical zoom, a 3” display and a CMOS sensor combined with a TruePic VI image processor for beautifully clear results.

2. Panasonic Lumix FT5

This 16.1MP camera with HD video and 3” display incorporates the very latest technology including wi-fi connectivity and NFC which allows the user to transmit images by simply touching it to another NFC device. It can also be upgraded with extra apps to allow remote usage and GPS. Picture quality is great largely thanks to its optical image stabilisation and underwater mode which compensates for red tones often lost underwater.

3. Nikon Coolpix AW110

This Nikon camera is the best all-rounder and offers built-in GPS and wi-fi for sharing or uploading photos instantly as well as enabling the photographer to use the camera remotely. The 8-frames-per-second continuous shooting option is great for capturing fast moving marine life and its underwater images are crystal clear. Features include full HD video, 16MP CMOS sensor and 5 x optical zoom.

Diving at Constance Moofushi

Diving at Constance Moofushi

4. Canon PowerShot D20

Large buttons make this 12MP camera easy to use underwater and the 5 x optical zoom brings marine life much closer to hand. Although the continuous shots at 1.9fps are slower than some of the other cameras its picture quality is good and the GPS and full HD movie shooting are useful.

5. Pentax WG-3

This 16 MP camera has the bonus of having six LED macros lights around the lens to illuminate objects close at hand while you’re underwater. It’s funky design and rubberised grip make it easy to use in water. Other features include a 3” screen and full HD movie recording.

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Summer 2013 holiday swimwear guide

We’ve trawled the net to bring you a round-up of the very latest guides to what’s hot in swimwear for summer 2013.

Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi

Dive in – Vogue’s guide of 45+ swimsuits for summer

This definitive guide of what’s new in swimwear from high-end designers includes the styles String Bikini, High Waist, The Maillot, Bra Top and Rash Guard. Highlights include the summery Dolce & Gabbana lemon and foulard–print string bikini, and the retro but contemporary Miu Miu swimsuit.

Net-A-Porter – The Swimwear Edit

Browse and buy from the luxury fashion site’s list of this season’s must-have items. Swimwear to die for includes Missoni’s crochet-knit swimsuits and bikinis and Hervé Léger’s bandage bandeau bikini.

Net-A-Porter – Poolside Chic

Spreading the net a little wider this is Net-A-Porter’s guide to everything from sunglasses and beach bags to cover ups and swimsuits. Everything you need to know to look gorgeous by the pool or beach this summer. The site recommends bronze and gold in the sun so use the excuse to invest in the super cool, chunky Katie brass chain-link bracelet from Marc by Marc Jacobs and a pair of Musa metallic braided leather sandals.

The Guardian discovers Pret-A-Porter MD Alison Loehnis’ top tips for summer

In an interview with The Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley, Loehnis reveals her favourite swimwear this summer is a Mara Hoffman bikini.

Top fashion bloggers

  • Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about what’s hot in high-end fashion from blogger and Japanese Vogue’s editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo
  • Get the word from the street from street-style blogger Yvan Rodic at Face Hunter

More about Constance Hotels & Resorts

 

 

Top 5 cameras to take on holiday this summer

Want to make sure you capture your holiday memories with some perfect images this summer?

Constance Halaveli, Maldives photo by Marek Kluznick

Constance Halaveli, Maldives photo by Marek Kluznick

Here’s a selection of some of the best cameras on the market as chosen by Red Magazine this month:

1. The best budget buy – Fujifilm FinePix AX350

With a price tag under £100 this is perfect for taking holiday snaps. Features include 16MP, 5x optical zoom and HD movie. It also has a simple web upload feature so you can easily share your pics on social media.

2. The best for active photography – Olympus Tough TG-310

Childproof, waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof this really is the ultimate holiday camera for anyone who likes to take pictures while on the move. With 14MP, 4x optical zoom, HD movie and 3D stills.

3. The best investment – Nikon D90

More than just a digital SLR camera, the D90 allows you to film movies in Motion Jpeg with exceptional D-SLR image quality. It has a high-resolution 3” LCD monitor and advanced retouch functions so you can take photos and edit them in the camera. Other features include 12.3MP, CMOS image sensor, 65-millisecond shutter release time lag, scene recognition with face detection.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives, photo by Ming Lok Kwok

Constance Moofushi, Maldives, photo by Ming Lok Kwok

4. Best for vintage style – Lomography DianaF+

This is a return to the golden age of analogue photography celebrating the lo-fi, colour saturated photographs of the 1960s Diana original. Lomography has kept the lightweight body, simple shutter and soft-focus lens and added a pinhole and Endless Panorama option. For photography fans, other features include colour gel filters, removable super-wide-angle and pinhole lenses and variable shutter.

5. Best for family holidays – GE DVZ

Perfect for a family holiday adventure this pocket video camera can take anything you throw at it whether that’s white water rafting or playing in the sand. Waterproof to 5m, dust proof, it’s even freeze proof. Features include 3x optical zoom, full HD movie, CMOS sensor, image stabilisation, face detection and 2.5” LCD screen.

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