Pool at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
Tips

The Mandarin Oriental travel planner

Whether we’re talking a few hours, a weekend away or longer, we all need time out every now and again – and Mandarin Oriental has it covered. That might mean an unhurried afternoon tea, or a day pass to a show-stopping pool; unwinding in a hammam, or booking a tailor-made Time Ritual in the spa. Dreaming of a change of scene? Hop on a flight to Barcelona, make yourself at home in Paris, or decamp to a tiny, palm-fringed Caribbean island – the ultimate in remote working

Spa treatment room and garden

90 minutes – Hide out in a spectacular hammam

A steam-filled, restorative hammam session is a must in Marrakech, especially after an afternoon treasure-seeking in its souks. Retreat to the calm, soothingly opulent Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, and surrender to its hammam experience. You’ll be slathered with black soap then exfoliated with a kessa glove, before an aromatic body wrap with mineral-rich Atlas-mountains clay. Finally, there’s a top-to-toe massage with argan oil, before you drift – in a blissful daze – to sip Moroccan tea in the lounge.
Book your hammam experience

Afternoon tea laid on white table cloth

Two hours – Linger over afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is not to be rushed, so set aside two hours to be comprehensively spoilt. Settle into a gilded sofa, summon a glass of Champagne and take in the elegant, glass-domed Palm Court and tea-sipping Madrileños. The tea itself is a tour de force, from the service to the cut-crust sandwiches, which run from classic cucumber to piparra pepper-laced egg. Pace yourself, though, as there are still two tiers to go, with warm-from-the-oven scones and dainty pâtisserie, including glossy, fruit-topped tartlets and exquisite blood orange quenelles.
Make a reservation at the Palm Court

Poolside cabana in Dubai

One day – Unwind poolside in Dubai

Edged by teak decks and swaying palms, the pool complex at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is nothing short of spectacular. Beyond four turquoise, tessellating pools lies the hotel’s pristine white-sand beach, lapped by the Persian Gulf. If you’re not staying here, an MO Day Pass gets you access for the day – and includes a credit at the pool bar. Lunch waterfront on red-prawn ceviche or a stacked club sandwich, then dream the afternoon away on a parasol-shaded lounger. A Cabana Pass, meanwhile, gets you a private poolside hideaway, complete with butler service.
Buy an MO Day Pass

Dining room at Moments, Barcelona

Two days – Spend the weekend in Barcelona

For a couldn’t-be-more-central city break, check into Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona. It’s set amid Passeig de Gràcia’s upscale boutiques and architectural icons, including Gaudí’s rainbow-scaled Casa Batlló (Get a bird’s-eye view from the rooftop terrace, before your morning swim). Snack your way around La Boqueria market then wander the Barri Gòtic, or get an art fix at MACBA, whose collection includes several Basquiats. Just be back at the hotel in time for dinner; note-perfect paella at Blanc, perhaps, or Moments’ two-starred tasting menu.
Check room rates in Barcelona

Boat travels down Kerala waterway

A long weekend ­– Explore the ‘Venice of the East’ in India

If easing along serene waterways bordered by expansive rice paddies, palm-fringed riparian villages and extraordinary countryside views sounds like your idea of bliss, then The Oberoi Vrinda Luxury Kerala Cruiser is for you. Step aboard for three nights and relax in a deluxe king-size cabin, dine on international and local cuisine and sip on fragrant cardamom tea in the all-day dining room as the tranquil waters pass by outside the windows. Safely back on dry land, spend the day discovering all the Kerala region has to offer, from heritage to gastronomy.
Explore Kerala

Rooftop terrace at Parisian apartment

One week – Become an honorary Parisian

Whirlwind weekends in Paris may be headily romantic, but it’s lovelier still to take your time, with a week’s sojourn at Mandarin Oriental, Paris. It’s a chance to update your address book with some chic new addresses, like Bambino’s Italianate terrace at Palais de Tokyo, or fashion-set hangout 35-37. Naturally you’ll need a chic pied-à-terre, and the hotel has just the thing: the palatial, four-bedroom Parisian Apartment. By the time the week’s out, you’ll feel like un vrai Parisien, padding across its parquet floors, lounging in its marble tub, or dining on the jasmine-scented terrace.
Reserve your room in Paris

Gold course, Canouan

A month – Relocate to a Caribbean island

For a longer getaway, consider a complete change of scene. Your paradise destination as a home-from-home? Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, set on a tiny, ultra-exclusive Caribbean island. Its ocean-view villas and suits are ideal for remote working, while extended stays bring myriad benefits, from educational activities for the kids to your own golf buggy. (Watch out for the resident tortoises.) When you’re not tapping a laptop, hone your golf and tennis or snorkel in Tobago Cay’s turquoise shallows, before heading back for a sunset swim and poolside margarita.
Learn more about extended stays in Canouan

View of rooftop pool and Barcelona from Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

An MO guide to alternative city sights

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