Timothy Barber
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Brazil’s rustic paradise
Trancoso, in Brazil’s coastal Bahia region, is a fishing village famous for its quiet, perfect beaches [right] with natural pools formed by reefs. UXUA Casa, a fashionable eco-chic hotel in the village, has recently opened its 10th villa, an old fisherman’s lodge converted into a place of rustic, romantic loveliness. Head there to relax, or to enjoy the village’s regular parties and music. Original Travel offers five nights at UXUA Casa with two nights at Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana, plus all flights and transfers from the UK, for £3,900 per person., tel: 020 7978 7333.

Gourmet fest in Val d’Isere
Pistes Gourmandes sounds like a foodies’ night out, but it’s actually a gourmet event in Val d’Isere in March. Top chefs will be on hand for demos, cookery lessons, tastings and street festivities. The festival runs from 21-24 March, and participation in all cooking lessons or wine tastings requires prior registration at the Tourist Office. For more info, visit

Dubai’s opulent new hotel
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a new ultra-luxe hotel that’s opened on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, with a huge spa, 10 restaurants, a theatre and more.