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  • Destination Inspiration from Original Travel

    As a travel journalist and co-owner of a travel company, I’ve been fortunate enough to see some pretty far flung corners of the globe, and bring back some fairly exotic goodies - from Persian rugs to Chinese silk screens – to boot. But in an age of increasingly militant baggage restrictions it’s become more and more difficult to bring British Museum’s worth of booty back to Blighty, so I’ve taken to cheating. Yup, I must confess, on occasion, to seeing something in situ and then OKAing (is that a word? Should be) it on my return. There, I feel cleansed, but to be honest it beats trying to lug a Mycenean stone urn in your hand luggage. So now it’s time to turn the (lovely Swedish style) tables and talk about the places that provided the inspiration for some of OKA’s best-sellers. 



    Let’s start with that urn, which is inspired by Mycenae in the beautiful Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. This has to be Original Travel’s hottest (in all senses of the word) new European destination, thanks to staggeringly beautiful mountain and coastal scenery, classical Greek sites to satiate the most cultured of vultures and some of the finest boutique hotels anywhere in the Mediterranean. The Kyrimai and Kinsterna hotels are perfect for a romantic getaway, the Westin Resort Costa Navarino has probably the best kids’ club in Europe and the spanking new Amanzoe is just breathtaking (albeit breathtakingly pricey as well). Island lovers should also consider Spetses, like Capri but without the crowds, and the delicious Poseidonion hotel.




    Destination du jour here at Original Travel, and the home of OKA’s iconic ikat print,  Indonesia is riding the crest of a wave at present, which is apt because this is somewhere to enjoy some of the finest surf breaks around. It’s also a diver’s heaven, with destinations such as Raja Ampat now regularly described as the finest dive destination in the world. Not a bad accolade, and the boats on which to explore Raja Ampat are not too bad either: take a bow Silolona and Tiger Blue. For a more sedate holiday, Bali, Java and other less well known islands remain home to some of the best beaches and beachfront hotels in the world, making Indonesia a perfect honeymoon destination. To highlight any of these hotels in particular is a bit unfair, but it’s hard to beat dreamy Nihiwatu.




    You may not know it by name, but you’ll certainly recognise the Camargue Chair, an OKA classic, which took its name from the Camargue region of southern France. This is a land of big skies, white horses, black bulls and extravagantly moustachioed cowboys – a world away from the glitz and glamour further along the coast. Stay at the elegant Mas de Peint for full Camargue style immersion, and visit the beautiful Roman city of Arles nearby to complete the Camargue look. And if you can’t resist the Riviera, then head east to enjoy arguably THE classic Mediterranean destination, the Cote D’Azur.


    Tom Barber is co-founder of multi-award winning Original Travel (020 7978 7333, www.originaltravel.co.uk) and Travel Editor of Esquire Magazine. Original Travel are a creative travel company who take a thoughtful approach to creating tailor-made holidays that perfectly fulfil your needs.

    The team use personal insights and exceptional knowledge of destinations worldwide to craft trips. 


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