We’re devoting this month’s newsletter to the highly local One&Only experiences and adventures that especially allow you to interact with the unique settings, cultures and cuisines of our one-of-a-kind retreats. Starting things off, we have news about the best July and August events and festivals in our various locales and then move on to some exciting day-trip possibilities from our resorts, plus a fun guide to the wondrous wildlife many of them offer nearby. On the fashion side of things, we’re bringing you our favourite local markets and then wrapping things up with a delicious Caribbean recipe for Spicy Grilled Tamarind Grouper from One&Only Ocean Club, in the Bahamas. Reservations at One&Only resorts can be made through your preferred travel professional or online at oneandonlyresorts.com.
|Hot Happenings |
|Mark your calendars with the fun festivals and entertaining events coming to our resorts and their surroundings this July and August.|
At our globe-spanning retreats, the current season sees so many enticing local festivals and events, you'll want to attend them all. To help you prioritise, we put together this handy guide to the best of July and August's offerings. Each happening will give you a taste of local flavour and a chance to experience one of your favourite destinations at its most vibrant.
One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Weekly events in San Jose del Cabo bring guests up close and personal with the region's organic and artistic bounty. Every Saturday, there's an organic market where you'll find handmade products and art as well as produce and food, and every Thursday the art galleries in the historic centre host a well-curated evening of art, music and wine.
One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
Between 8 and 10 August, the city hosts Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week, which will feature the latest designs from both established and up-and-coming South African designers. Then, from the 24 to 31 August, the annual Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show fills the nearby hills of Clanwilliam (24 to 31 August) and Hopefield (26 to 29 August) with blossoms galore.
One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius
Kiteboarding is the name of the game next month, as the Kiteival Mauritius festival comes to various venues and some of the most luscious, limpid-blue lagoons across the island from 12 to 16 August. Open to kiteboarding enthusiast of all stripes, from novice to expert, the event will feature top-notch riding in the favourite secret spots of Mauritius locals, plus demo sessions from pro riders, parties every night and freestyle, wave and racing competitions, all with excellent prizes.
One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm, Dubai
During the holy month of Ramadan (tentatively through 9 August) guests at both of our Dubai resorts can enjoy a blend of style and tradition in some of the "coolest" settings in the city. After breaking the daytime fast with the delicious and abundant Iftar buffets at One&Only Royal Mirage's Tagine and Rotisserie restaurants and at One&Only The Palm's ZEST, you'll be invited to retire to the two Ramadan Cafés at the One&Only Royal Mirage—the first in The Palace Courtyard, and the second in the Peregrine Garden of the Arabian Court. These air-conditioned retreats will be the place to spend an evening with friends and family, relaxing in a completely comfortable environment and enjoying tasty oriental treats, coffees and teas.
The three-day festival of Eid follows directly after Ramadan, tentatively from 9 August onwards and it's during this time that the city comes alive even more than it does during Ramadan, with cultural celebrations, events and entertainment of all types for adults, children and families of all kinds.
|Indulge your inner explorer with decadent daytrips that take you beyond the resort’s walls and let you discover the wonders of the surrounding area.|
Our retreats provide such a wide array of attractive activities, exciting entertainments, tantalising spa experiences and tantalising cuisine, that it’s easy to forget that they’re also perched in some of the most interesting, engaging and beautiful settings on the planet. This little cheat-sheet will get you up to speed on a few of our favourite off-site offerings.
One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
At our Caribbean resort, it’s all about getting out on the crystal-clear, turquoise-blue water. Consider a private yacht charter to whisk you and your crew away to the largely uninhabited islands and atolls of the secluded Exumas, where you’ll be able to feed stingrays and meet turtles in their natural environments before enjoying an afternoon light lunch and secluded swimming—all in perfectly pristine privacy. This off-property adventure can be arranged through the concierge.
One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
By land or by sea, One&Only Palmilla has your off-site adventures covered. By land, it’s a quick 45-minute chauffeured car ride to Todos Santos, known as Magic Town for its charming art community, local restaurants and artisanal shopping. On the water, meanwhile, you can sail the Sea of Cortez from the comfortable decks of our One&Only yacht. While on board, cruising the inlets and bays of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll have the chance to encounter the iconic, imposing Los Cabos rock formation called The Arch, and, if you’re lucky, a group of sea lion will appear. As for the sunset, it’ll be well beyond your wildest dreams.
One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
Given that July and August hold the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, now is the perfect time to engage with and learn more about Islamic culture, history and art during your time in Dubai. A trip to the Miraj Islamic Art Centre brings the region to life, with displays of priceless collections of calligraphy, painting, metalwork and pottery, as well as carpets, tapestries and textiles. Also open to the public is the landmark Jumeirah Mosque, which offers engrossing guided tours that providing a unique opportunity to learn about Emirati culture and religion in a relaxed, casual and open atmosphere.
One&Only The Palm, Dubai
Not only is the natural seawater inlet harbour of Dubai Creek the oldest and most historic area of this decadent desert city, it also houses two of its most significant markets: the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk. There, amidst a beautiful waterfront setting—where boats of all varieties, from colourful traditional dhows to state-of-the-art megayachts dock—you can browse and buy to your heart’s content, bargaining with merchants for jewellery and objets, herbs and spices. (Dubai Creek is about 40 minutes from the resort by car or an hour by water taxi; private guided tours of the area, or the city in general, can be arranged in guests’ preferred language upon request and at an additional charge).
|Where the Wild Things Are|
|Stage a safari wherever you are, on the trail of all the wild, wondrous beasts—both big and small—that call our resorts home.|
Our tropical retreats and their surrounding reaches comprise the habitats of some of the most interesting animals you’ll ever have the pleasure of encountering. We’ve put together a sampling of just some of the wildlife adventures available to you when you stay at One&Only resorts around the world.
One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa is known the world over for its Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo. But it also provides the habitat for the less-celebrated but equally beguiling Marine Big Five: Common Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals, African Penguins, Southern Right Whales and, not least of all, Great White Sharks—all of which can be seen along the False Bay Coastline, just a short distance from the resort.
There’s any number of ways to experience all of them, but for the most adventurous among you, we recommend a shark cage diving adventure, just off of Cape Point, let by our ocean-going partner, Apex Shark Expeditions. A two-and-a-half-hour boat ride brings you to the diving destination, with possible sightings of Great White, Mako and Blue sharks along the way. Once you reach the dive site, you’ll be able to go underwater with the creatures themselves—albeit safely protected by metal bars.
One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius
Thanks to our partnership with the Casela Nature & Leisure Park, our Mauritian retreat now gives you the opportunity to go on a lion safari just a short distance from the resort. During each of these incredible Lion Encounters, animal experts lead you on a guided, hour-long walk along the banks of the River du Rampart, which flows through the park’s 2,000-acre estate. As you pass under the shade of the local Coqueluche trees, you’ll watch the tamed lions play around you, jumping on rocks and climbing branches.
One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
As any expert diver will tell you, SCUBA doesn’t get any better than in the Maldives. There simply is nowhere on the planet with marine life as rich and diverse as it is here. As it happens, our private island retreat in this Indian Ocean archipelago is particularly well positioned to take advantage of these marine offerings, sitting as it does atop an atoll surrounded by underwater drop-offs and reefs that are home to one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems anywhere. Because of this, we’ve stopped at nothing to ensure our guests an ideal experience, building a best-in-show PADI-certified dive and water sports centre and staffing it with experts who make diving fun, safe and effortlessly easy. KG Hjalmarsson runs the show for us, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience diving and exploring the Maldives’ reefs and waters. He helped develop all of our programs and facilities and now manages all of our dives and undersea excursions. He knows where to bring guests, and when, to guarantee optimal SCUBA sessions and sea-life spotting, taking you right to schools of tiny Clownfish and Jack and seeking out more unusual finds like Moray Eels and Black Tip Reef Sharks, too.
|Shop like an in-the-know native at the favourite artisanal markets of One&Only fashion gurus Chantal Kerzner and Preston Schroeder.|
For many of us, browsing and buying at local markets comprises some of the greatest pleasures of travel. Lucky for us then that our resorts’ exotic destinations provide plenty of access to a variety of artisanally produced fashion décor. To get an expert take on where we should shop and what we should shop for, we turned to One&Only Vice President of Retail Chantal Kerzner and Director of Retail Preston Schroeder.
Among Chantal’s favourite local shopping spots is Cape Town’s Bay Harbour Market, in the city’s Hout Bay district. Launched only two years ago, the market has already achieved great success, filling its booths and stalls completely and bringing in some 6,000 shoppers every weekend—locals, visitors and celebrities among them. Bay Harbour embodies the best of South Africa’s creative energy and vibrancy, with a riot of vivacious colours, local art, stylish fashions, specialty foods and decorative items you won’t be able to resist. There’s even a performance venue, the Bay Harbor Sound Stage, that’s become a popular platform for the country’s top musicians. The vibe and the performances here are most active on Friday nights, though Chantal also love to go Saturday mornings with her kids, taking them for Belgian waffles (plus cake and organic coffee for herself). Sticking around for lunch means getting to sample all the different food stalls, whose influences span the globe from Mexico to the Middle East to Thailand and beyond. “I'm sure to always take my friends that are visiting Cape Town,” says Chantal. “It has such a good atmosphere.”
One of Chantal’s favourite stalls here is the Natural Company, best locally produced and woven throw-blankets in supersoft cotton or silky bamboo fibre, plus a mix of antiques and vintage lighting. She also loves Swing for ready-to-wear and made-to-order men’s and women’s linen clothing as well as cushions and other home accessories. (Custom pieces can be delivered in two weeks.) Her final pick is Antiques, a stall specialising in authentic vintage apparel for both men and women and spanning everything from clothing to shoes, handbags to jewellery.
As for Preston, his choice local-shopping destination is the Market of Port Louis in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis. Originally built in 1828, and frequently known simply as “the Bazaar,” the market was fully renovated just a few years ago after a fire, and today it attracts an even mix of locals and savvy visitors to its three floors of fashion, souvenirs and food. “It’s a fun place to visit,” says Preston, “the ideal spot to find many locally made products, textiles, Mauritian spices, fruits, vegetables and souvenirs such as wood sculptures, masks, scale model boats, beautifully coloured baskets and jewellery—all for rather gentle prices.” He especially loves the brightly coloured hand-woven baskets with intricate patterns—women work making these piece right in the market itself, and you can ask them to create one in a specific pattern and size just for you. Preston goes on to describe an authentic market experience, during which shoppers bend over the different stalls, touching, assessing and bargaining: “Merchants will try to attract your attention,” he says, “calling out to you to boast about the freshness of their vegetables, fruits, local products, or to convince you about the merits of their herbal tea or the medicinal plants.” It doesn’t get much more local than that.
This delicious recipe, recommended by One&Only Ocean Club’s General Manager, John Conway, makes the most of local ingredients, using toothsome Bahamian grouper, tangy tamarind fruit and spices from nearby markets to make each and every dish. (It works well with equivalent ingredients available in most areas, too, guava or mango in place of fresh tamarind, for example.) At the resort, our chefs serve it right off the grill, pairing it with chive mashed potatoes. Created under the direction of Dune Restaurant’s executive chef Alexander Powell, it’s a consummate palate pleaser.
|One&Only Recipe of the Month|
Eat like a Bahamian local by cooking up a platter of One&Only Ocean Club’s Spicy Grilled Tamarind Grouper Steaks.
Spicy Grilled Tamarind Grouper Steaks from One&Only Ocean Club
• 4 8-oz. 1-inch-thick grouper steaks
• 2 tbsp salt
• 1 tsp ground white pepper
• 2 minced bird peppers, also known as a red Thai chillis
• 2/3 cup tamarind puree (see Note)
1. Rinse the grouper steaks in cold water and dry them. Using a spice or coffee grinder, mix salt, white pepper and bird pepper until combined. Use combined spices to rub both sides of each steak to taste.
2. Coat both sides of each steak with tamarind puree and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and no more than 90 minutes.
3. Preheat grill to 350° F. Arrange grouper steaks on the grill rack and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side. (The steaks can also be grilled on the stovetop using a grill pan.)
4. Remove the grouper from the grill or stove, and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving, allowing the juices to be reabsorbed into the steaks.
Note: The puree can be made with fresh tamarind, if available, or the recipe can be made with a store-bought tamarind puree. The puree can also be made from tamarind concentrate or from processed tamarind bought in block form. As noted, you can also replace fresh tamarind with a different kind of fresh fruit.