Padma Coram is the managing partner at The Talent Brokers in Dubai.
I'm constantly travelling because of work, and you're likely to find me wherever there's a Four Seasons (@email:www.fourseasons.com). I like the little touches, like the way they bring your laundry. The W Hotels (www.whotels.com) are also quite a lot of fun. Where there is no Four Seasons I'll stay at a Kempinski (www.kempinski.com) or Ritz-Carlton (www.ritz-carlton.com). I like surprises, but not when it comes to accommodation, and I'll be the first to admit I love my creature comforts. I just like beautiful and clean things around me, and of course, gorgeous spas. These hotels guarantee that, as well as a sense of familiarity, which is important when you're travelling.
Speaking of travel, I recently went to Europe and to Capri. There's the most wonderful hotel there called the Capri Palace (+39 081 9780111, @email:www.capripalace.com). I highly recommended it for laid-back island living, plus the service is impeccable. For holidays, the One & Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives is fantastic. It's just the most beautiful place, with private villas, beaches and the friendliest five star service.
I have family in India so I go there too. In Bangalore I love the Cinnamon Boutique off Lavelle Road (+80 222 9794). It's a villa with coffee shops and clothes; it's a kind of lifestyle place. In Delhi, I like to eat at the city's oldest restaurant. It's called the House of Ming (+800 4 588 1 825, @email:www.tajhotels.com) and is undoubtedly the best Chinese food in the world. If you're a regular customer there you get a set of gold chopsticks with your name engraved on them.
New York is my favourite city any day. And in New York, my favourite restaurant is Tamarind (+1 212 674 7400, @email:www.tamarinde22.com), over on East 22nd. It does the most incredible Indian food outside India. Clothes-wise, I have always loved Norma Kamali (www.normacamlicollection.com) as she makes great clothes for travellers. She's a fashion icon and her store makes you feel like a film star; it's all white walls, mirrors, and rows of beautiful garments.
There are two Indian restaurants that I adore in Dubai. One is the Mumbai Chowpatty in Lamcy Plaza (+971 4 305 9419). It's inexpensive and unassuming, but it's great fast food. The second is Nina's at the Royal Mirage (+971 4 399 9999, @email:www.oneandonlyresorts.com). It's my absolute favourite. The ambience and service are really good. It's a fusion of Arab, Indian and Far Eastern food. I don't go there just on special occasions; but I feel special whenever I go there. I've also just discovered Steam Sum Dim Sum (+971 800 78326) at Dubai Festival City. They do fantastic dim sums and it's a great, quick place to go and eat.
Now, when I'm in London I stock up on Prescriptives products (@email:www.prescriptives.com). Sadly, you can't get them in the UAE yet and they're a little luxury I don't like to live without. I also miss the Hale Clinic (+44 20 7631 0156, www.haleclinic.com) for all alternative treatments from London. A must for me when I'm there.
Everyone says it, but The Ivy (+44 783 6 475, the-ivy.co.uk) in London is still the best place to eat. I'm also a member of the Groucho Club. It's still the best members club in the city.
I also really miss the vibe you get in the bookshops like Foyles (+44 20 7437 5660, @email:www.foyles.co.uk) over there; it's just not the same here. No trip is complete without a trip to the west end and bookshops. It is an absolute must.
I have to say though, that after returning from Europe I have great respect for the Mall of the Emirates (+971 4 409 9000, www.malloftheemirates.com) to have everything under one roof. It makes shopping so much more stress free. Five Green (+971 4 336 4100, www.fivegreen.com) is also good. It's not run of the mill; it's for people who are a bit "in the know". It's not a serious place, you know. I think some people take it too seriously, but I think it brings a fun element into life. The Meena Bazaar area is a lot of fun for kitsch Indian items, though my husband and son insist that I am more at Prada (www.prada.com) than anywhere else.
I did train travel properly for the first time this year. It is so much fun. We travelled from Italy to Germany on an overnight train (www.italiarail.com). We had a shower, clean towels, duvets and a full breakfast, all on the train. We loved it. I wish I had done more train travel before if it is as comfortable as the one we went on.