Where the experts holiday: Lidiya De, relationship manager at The Royal Horseguards Hotel
Lidiya De, relationship manager at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, on Sweden, Sardinia and Seville
What do you like to do on holiday?
I like to soak up the sun, culture, good food and good wine.
Where did you last go?
My last trip was to Seville over Easter. It was really eye opening to see how cultures celebrate this religious holiday.
Do you know where you’re going this year?
Yes, my other half and are off to Paris and Bulgaria for friends’ weddings this summer. Then we are off to Istanbul and Bodrum - both in Turkey – for a week. Finally we are planning a two week trip to India taking in Mumbai and Kerala, towards the end of the year.
Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
I fell head over heels in love with Cuba – the drinks, the music, the cigars and the general happiness and passion for life of the people. I also really liked Sardinia and would be keen to return.
Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Wow – there are so many places! Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE definitely feature on my list. South America would also be amazing – I would absolutely love to see the Amazonas. At some point I also want to go to Burma – before it becomes too commercialised.
In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
I am from Sweden so, for me, Stockholm is a fantastic spot to discover the whole of the south of Sweden. Enjoy the cocktail culture in the city and then head to one of the hidden archipelagos to experience Sweden’s great outdoors.
How do you plan your holiday?
Guidebooks such as Frommers and Fodors are always a big help and I regularly read Conde Nast and check Tripadvisor ratings for hotels and restaurants. However, in the end I tend to trust the tips that come from friends and family who have travelled to my intended destination.
How often do you go away?
Let’s put it this way: all my holiday dates are always booked and planned before the year has even started!
Who do you travel with?
My boyfriend Victor.
Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I think London will be booming. With all the new hotels opening up, there is definitely interest in visiting the capital. I also think that Chinese, Russian, Indian and South American travellers will arrive in London in much greater numbers than they do now.