Viva's Holiday hotspots

Need ideas for your next trip? Don’t stress. Our fab VIVA ambassadors have done the hard work for you. Here are their favourite getaways
Simone Heng, TV presenter, Virgin radio Dj and Dubai 101
© Simone Heng, TV presenter, Virgin radio Dj and Dubai 101
Simone Heng, TV presenter, Virgin radio Dj and Dubai 101
Samara Punjabi, Buyer and Owner of Bauhaus and Manolo Blahnik
© Samara Punjabi, Buyer and Owner of Bauhaus and Manolo Blahnik
Samara Punjabi, Buyer and Owner of Bauhaus and Manolo Blahnik
Rozan Ahmed, Public relations consultant in Baahrain
© Rozan Ahmed, Public relations consultant in Baahrain
Rozan Ahmed, Public relations consultant in Baahrain
Nasim Tabatabei, Events manager
© Nasim Tabatabei, Events manager
Nasim Tabatabei, Events manager
Punam Verma, Journalist and hosts Dubai One’s Out & About
© Punam Verma, Journalist and hosts Dubai One’s Out & About
Punam Verma, Journalist and hosts Dubai One’s Out & About

Simone Heng
TV presenter, Virgin radio dj and Dubai 101
Holiday hotspot: Margaret River, Australia
I go to Margaret River, in Western Australia, when I need to wind down.
To stay: I love the Injidup Spa Retreat (injidupsparetreat.com.au). It’s popular with celebrities like champion Aussie surfer Taj Burrows and it has full spa services, access to the beach, individual private heated pools and fantastic breakfast hampers.
Eat at: Winos (winos.com.au) is the place to go. It serves the most delicious chorizo and olives and has a huge variety of affordable local drinks.
Party at: Come summer (September to April) the whole region is bursting with surf tourists. But if you’re not the biggest party girl, like me, you should try the Margaret River Discovery Tour (margaretriverdiscovery.com.au). We went canoeing, wine tasting and honey tasting.
Shop at: You have to visit the Natural Olive Oil Soap Factory (oliveoilsoapfactory.com.au). This place is packed with gifts for the whole family.
Insider tip: Definitely make time for a trip to Ngilgi Cave. It’s often overlooked, but I think it’s the most interesting of all the caves there.

Samara Punjabi
Buyer and owner of Bauhaus and Manolo Blahnik
Holiday hotspot: New York, USA
My favourite holiday spot is New York. I’ve had some of the best times there. The choice of food is mind-blowing and the shopping is phenomenal.
Stay at: When in New York, I either stay at W hotel (starwoodhotels.com/whotels) on Lexington Avenue or New York Palace (newyorkpalace.com). It’s conveniently located on Madison Avenue. I love staying there because of its fantastic location and excellent service.
Eat at: Ah, there are so many choices. For vegetarian, try Pure Food & Wine (oneluckyduck.com/purefoodandwine). For brunch, you have to try Yerba Buena (ybnyc.com).
Party at: You have to visit Tenjune (tenjunenyc.com). Lindsay Lohan and Sienna Miller have both been spotted here.
Shop at: My favourite places to shop are located in Soho. I love Pas de Deux and Scoop.
Insider tip: My secret place is Amarcord (amarcordvintagefashion.com). It’s a vintage shop that houses the best dresses. Oh and I always stop by Dylan’s Candy Bar and grab some yummy sweets (dylanscandybar.com).

Rozan Ahmed
Public relations consultant in bahrain
Holiday hotspot: Los Angeles, USA
One of my favourite places for a holiday has to be Los Angeles. It’s a nice mix of beach and city and, while I’m not much of a shopper, you’ve got the world’s hottest designers at your fingertips.
Stay at: We often book a villa at the Sunset Marquis (sunsetmarquis.com). The outdoor restaurant is fabulous, there’s a great bar and the facials are superb.
Eat at: LA has so many gorgeous food options, but Katsuya is a big favourite of mine (sbe.com/katsuya). They serve an amazing fusion of maki  sushi.
Party at: LA is only really happening during awards season. But West Hollywood is nice for a more up tempo bar/lounge vibe. Voyeur (voyeur7969.com) is a lovely new addition to the mix. It’s small, sexy and always packed.
Shop at: I’m not a huge shopping fan, but, if I had to choose, The Beverly Center (beverlycenter.com) does it for me, it’s a one-stop shop for everything.
Insider tip: If it’s your first time, get a lifestyle concierge (quintessentially.com). LA is all about who you know and sometimes you have to pay for your inside knowledge.

Nasim Tabatabei
Events manager
Holiday hotspot: lbiza, Spain
I love going to Ibiza, especially the old part of Ibiza Town. It’s a magical place to party, or to chill out. The weather is the perfect antidote to the hot summers in Dubai.
stay at: I always stay at a private villa close to Ibiza Town, internationalvillas.net has a great selection. Summer is the busiest time to go, but you can get some great deals later in the season.
Eat at: I love KM5 Lounge (km5-lounge.com). They do gorgeous homemade pastas and the seafood is so fresh.
Party at: Blue Marlin in Cala Jondal is the place to be (bluemarlinibiza.com). The music, the beach and the atmosphere create an amazing vibe.
Shop at: Ibiza Town is full of small, quirky boutiques. Check out white-ibiza.com for ideas on the hottest new places to try.
Insider tip: Take the 45-minute ferry ride to Formentera island (Baleària.com). The water is so clear and there are some lovely places to eat in the town.

Punam Verma
Journalist and hosts Dubai One’s Out & About
Holiday hotspot: Amalfi Coast, ltaly
The Amalfi Coast in Italy is beautiful. There are some gorgeous little boutiques and don’t get me started on the ice cream!
Stay at: I always stay at the Hotel Delfino (hoteldelfino.com). The sea views are stunning.
Eat At: Forget eating out, it’s all about the ice cream for me. Check out Bougainvillea (bougainvillea.it). It’s handmade daily according to a family recipe.
Party at: Head to Fauno Bar (faunobar.it) in Sorrento for great Mediterranean cuisine.
Shop at: You can go for a walk and explore all the shops and stalls along Corso Italia, the main shopping street in Sorrento. Then hire a car and drive along the coast, stopping off at all the small towns, like Positano. It is without a doubt the most beautiful coastline I’ve ever seen.
Insider tip: Get a boat across to Ischia island and take a dip in the hot springs. Once you swim in them, you feel completely relaxed. It was very hard to drag myself out.