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September 2008





The risk paid off for Capital Radio presenter, Johnny Vaughan, 42, when he decided to play happy families in a honeymoon paradise this year

"Taking my two kids, Tabitha, eight, and Rafferty, five, to a traditional honeymoon destination like the Seychelles could have backfired horribly. But the Labriz resort on Silhouette Island kept us all more than happy.

Arriving in style by helicopter, swooping over the lush jungle island to our hut on the beach, had the kids – and me and my wife Antonia – squealing with delight.

There was a genuinely friendly atmosphere between the staff and guests, but we never felt antisocial if we wanted to escape to the privacy of our beach hut.

Well, I say ‘hut', but it was hugely chic and stylish – the bathrooms outranked any of the restaurants and hotels in London, plus we all loved the fact we had our own private pool.

There was plenty to keep the kids occupied. The giant tortoise sanctuary was a big hit, plus there was a genuine haunted house that belonged to the old plantation owner. It was like something straight out of Scooby-Doo and the children were even read ghost stories during the visit.

I'm a real foodie and Labriz definitely gets top marks for its restaurants. It's sometimes hit or miss in resorts, where you can get bored with dodgy buffets, but we loved the Italian and sushi.

Labriz definitely had the X factor for me – and the kids can't wait to go back too."

Rooms at Labriz Silhouette start from around £316 per night. Go to for more information.





Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, 37, splashed out on a luxury trip to the Maldives last year before giving birth to her daughter Florence.

"Heaven is going from busy, noisy London to a private island in the Maldives, only accessible by seaplane, with 
no one to bother you apart from your own personal butler, chef and masseuse. That's my idea of pure bliss.

Last summer, before I found out I was pregnant with Florence, now three months old, my husband Tom and I decided to go island-hopping in the Maldives for a fortnight, including a stay at the Four Seasons Resort. But the highlight was the Rania Experience – three days on a private island with the use of an 86ft luxury speed cruiser.

It was straight out of an exotic James Bond film, complete with private lagoon! And everything revolved around us. We could eat, have 
spa treatments and explore the local islands whenever we felt like it, day or night.

With a captain and crew on call, we made the most of our "own" yacht – scuba diving and fishing in the crystal-clear blue waters. We brought our catch back to the island, where our chef prepared fresh sushi for us – I'm a massive sushi fan, so this was my dream come true.

The bathroom, with a huge Jacuzzi, was open-air, so we could soak under the stars. There was an entertainment pavilion too, stocked with all the latest gadgets. But what I loved most was the peace and quiet. I'm not into bars and clubs, so the lack of nightlife was a bonus for me.

It's a real blow-the-budget break, but no other trip compares."

The Rania Experience costs from £2,800 per night. Visit Rooms at the Four Seasons Maldives cost from £420 per night. Visit




Vip_vacation_033 DESTINATION: NEW YORK

Former G4 member Jonathan Ansell, 26, will never forget his trip 
to the Big Apple last year – not least because he had no idea he was going!

"I was sitting on the train to Heathrow airport, looking forward to a trip to Scotland to celebrate my birthday last year, when my girlfriend Debbie handed me an envelope.

I'd always dreamed of visiting New York, and in my hand were two tickets for a three-day trip to the Big Apple.

Unbelievably, she'd managed to arrange everything without me knowing. It was such a shock, my next thought was whether I'd packed enough! For the next three days, I was blown away by surprise after surprise.

We stayed at the stunning Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Our room on the 52nd floor – complete with a bottle of champagne and a birthday cake – had floor-to-ceiling windows and the most incredible view of a snowy Central Park.

I loved the energy and vibrancy of the city, which rubbed off on us as we dashed around packing as much as we could into three days.

I had to be dragged out of the Abercrombie & Fitch store in SoHo, as we were heading to Broadway to see The Pirate Queen musical.

Everything I'd seen in films and photos, like yellow cabs and the lights of Times Square, came to life – even watching smoke rising from the drain covers, which I'd always thought was a movie special effect.

I'm sure I'll have many more amazing holidays, but I don't know if anything can beat a surprise like that."

Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel ( cost from £463 per night.

Jonathan stars in The Mikado at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre from September 23-27. His album, Forever, is out on October 6.





Singer and presenter JANE MCDONALD, 45, celebrated her divorce five years ago with a trip to Venice, the city of romance – on her own!

"I truly believe all women should take time out and spoil themselves after a break-up. I really needed a pick-me-up when I split from my husband and manager Henrik Brixen in 2003, so I booked a long weekend in Venice.

It might sound strange being in a romantic city alone but it didn't bother me. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when a private water taxi whisked me from the airport to the luxury Hotel Cipriani.

My room overlooked St Mark's Square and in the street below a man was singing love songs. During my stay, I went 
to the Bridge of Sighs, had a Bellini in Harry's Bar, window-shopped at Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, and bought a beautiful red pashmina from a market stall, which still reminds me of my liberating holiday.

Dining out alone didn't worry me at all. One night, I sat in a fantastic restaurant and thought about how exciting the future was going to be – not what I'd lost.

I fell in love with Venice, but I didn't need to be with a man to go there. Now I'm dating Ed Roth from The Searchers, and I'm very happy. I don't know if I'd visit Venice with him as it holds specific memories for me. But one day I'd love to go back."

Rooms at the Hotel Cipriani cost from around £550 per night. Or enjoy a cocktail in one of its bars – a Bellini at Cip's Club is about £12. Visit Jane McDonald's new album, Jane, is out now. Visit for tour dates.