These are the islands on the edge of the world. You may see porpoises, basking sharks or dolphins. Or perchance a peregrine falcon or sea eagle. You'll pass rivers of moss and mushroom colours of plaid, and bens and glens cloaked in bracken and tradition. 'It's the last great wilderness,' declares our ship's chief purser, Charles Carroll. It's as if we are lost in time. Welcome to the Hebridean Islands.
House & Garden, January 2014
The Week 'A secret Greek island'
It has been attracting attention from the rich and famous lately, but the lush and beautiful Greek island of Meganisi is still "firmly off the tourist radar", says Caroline Phillips in The Times. Part of the Ionian archipelago, just off the country's west coast, it feels lost in time, with patchy mobile reception and a population of just 1200, none of whom locks their house or car.
The Week, 22/02/2014
Out of this world
People say one of two things when I tell them I'm going to Bhutan. Either: "Where the hell's that?" Or: "oooh, you're so lucky, I've aways wanted to go there." To the first, the answer is: it's a kingdom in the Himalayas between India and the Tibetan plateau. To the second: yes, very lucky - it is one of the most magical and beautful places on Earth where truly you travel back in time.
Scotland on Sunday, 05/01/2014
The world's best family hotels - Anassa, Cyprus
Cyprus is gloriously hot at Easter and autumn half-term, but its trump card for those travelling with under fours is that it's less than five hours on a plane from London, saving you the hell of long-haul. And luckily, the nannies from Scott Dunn (English-speaking, young, smiley) are on hand to absolve you of a moment's guilt about disentangling yourself for a few hours (or 9.30am-5.30pm, if you prefer).
Condé Nast Traveller, April 2014
My other house is a village
There are thought to be some 15,000 abandoned villages across Italy. Alberta Ferretti has bagged one; the Ferragamo family have snapped up two; Daniele "the Saviour of Santo Stefano" Kihlgren nine. A really des village res is one that's fortified with ancient city walls.
Vanity Fair, February 2013
A voyage worth singing about
As we sail away from the medieval coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro, all ancient walls and 12th-century churches, with a dramatic backdrop of mountains, the warm breeze is filled with the sound of altos and baritones. One minute they're singing Bellini, the next it's Bizet. There's a piano on deck too.
The Times, 15.09.2012
Land of the lotus trail
Once the holiday preserve of toiling backpackers, Vietnam is now attracting a more grown-up breed of traveler, drawn by its unspoilt mix of natural and cultural treasures. Caroline Phillips takes a heady trip from the hectic streets of Hanoi's French Quarter to a stylish eco-resort nestled on remote tropical shores.
Harper’s Bazaar, 01.11.2010
The heel's had a reboot
A Jesus lookalike is sitting in his shop sanding poplar wood. Handmade wooden marionettes and tambourines hang from the ceiling. He has covered his walls with leftist newspaper cuttings. "This street's full of fascists," he confides. "I'm the only true Communist here." His shop doesn't have a name, although it's been here 36 years. "Just call it 'the shop by the cathedral'."
The Independent, 21.04.2012
Bangkok without the bang
I'm not ordinarily a fan of Bangkok - too much heat, too many knockoffs - but then there's the Sukhotai hotel. Yes it's surrounded by high-rise buildings in one of the noisiest and most traffic-choked cities in the world. But stop a while - inside, it's pure orchid filled Zen and The Art of Hotel Living. Plus it offers something that's as rare as a paragliding saffron-robed monk: it's a resort hotel set calmly in the centre of the city.
Spear's, Summer 2012
Is this the most expensive hut in the world?
The Gstaad Palace, Switzerland, is full of European royals, Greek ship owners and tuxedo-clad waiters. Liz Taylor loved it and so does Valentino. But when people with kingdoms and Ferraris tire of socialising, dancing and the spa of all spas, they can pay a princely sum to stay in a mountain hut with an outside lavatory.
The Times, 16.06.2012
Heat, holy men and chanting at dawn: are you tough enough for an ashram?
We pull up at the ashram. A bare-chested man in a dhoti walks past as monkeys and peacocks wander around. "I've been here before," I say, startled. "In another life," replies a distant cousin, Alan Lawrence. No, two years ago, en route to Kerala. I visited for nanoseconds and thought: "Golly, how could anyone stay here? So boring and uncomfortable." Now I'm here for two weeks.
The Times, 03.09.2011
If you're going to pay a flying visit to the hotspots of East Africa, then by golly do it in a helicopter.
Spears, Summer 2010
Sugar and spice
We were sleeping 40 ft off the ground, atop red flame trees, in a magical treehouse reached by a gangway. It had stupendous views over coffee plantations and a tree growing through our bedroom. At night, fireflies sparkled like fairy dust and we nodded off to the sound of cicadas. “Beware! With the coffee ripening, monkeys are on the prowl,” read a bedside notice. “Don’t be alarmed if you hear strange noises on your roof.”
Saturday Guardian, 30.01.2010
A postcard from Naibor Camp, Kenya
In the Masai Mara the animals are so used to people that they pose for photos. Find something exciting like a kill, and you'll have to share the experience with a fleet of four wheel drives. So it's a pleasure to stay in Ol Seki - a luxury tented camp situated idyllically in the heart of Eastern Koiyaki - on the edges of the Mara. It's where the animals are timid and humans scarce. At night, guards with poison darts patrol the camp's perimeters, ready to defend against marauding buffalo and hungry lions; and guests sleep, safe and sound, inside the tents with hot water- bottles.
Falling for Ste Foy
First, I have a confession to make. I ski in the manner of Bridget Jones: bottom out, legs akimbo, terror on my face. I don’t like heights, I dislike the cold and I find the idea of tearing down a mountain with a pair of skis strapped to my feet deeply unsettling.
In contrast, my husband, Adrian, likes nothing more than to hurtle down a black run at 150 miles an hour with a broad smile on his face and our nine and 12-year-old daughters, Ella and Anya, overtaking him.
Daily Mail, 17.11.07
Kaleidoscopic impressions of India
A cow is aborting at the side of the road. Nearby sits a man with a sawn-off arm and no hands. He is covered in flies, and his body is bent from the waist so his face rests on the tarmac. The next day both man and animal are in the same positions. They are in a street in which a woman buckets out the contents of an open sewer and piles it by the side of the road, then a dog starts to eat it.
We’re staying in a rose sandstone Umaid Bhawan Palace amid the splendour in which the maharajah still lives, with Art Deco suites and tigers’ heads on the walls.
E.S. Magazine, 05.01.93
The lentil touch
They are crawling around in the dark on all fours making animal noises. Among them Bearded Bernie, a Liverpudlian solicitor, a translator and a girl who cycled here from Barcelona.
The scene: a lovely Greek farmhouse. The aim: to find your partner for the co-listening exercise, hold hands, listen intently to what he says, and then feed him back his words.
Welcome to the Guardian readers’ Butlins.
The Evening Standard, 04.06.90
“ Caroline is extremely professional and a joy to work with. Our hotels are always so delighted when we send her to cover their properties and we absolutely love working with her. ”
“I have long been an admirer of Caroline Phillips’ journalism. She invariably has something worthwhile to say, a clever angle. And warmth. A good combination.”
“Maurice [Saatchi] thinks yours was far and away the best interview”