My Life In Travel: Kelly Rowland, recording artist and X Factor judge

'I love a nice hotel room – a place with great sheets'

 

First holiday memory?

Jamaica with friends and family when I was 16. We stayed at this nice resort where I remember eating a lot of jerk chicken, with rice, peas and plantains. I wanted to wake up at 7am every day to go down to the water because the way the sun came up was so beautiful.

Best holiday?

Mexico. I went to Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula with friends and a boyfriend at the time for New Year's Eve. It was very romantic, the cliffs were beautiful, the tequila was abundant and the food was so fresh. We took quad bikes on the beach and went fishing on a boat. At night, we danced on the tables and partied until I don't even know what time in the morning at El Squid Roe – it was fantastic.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Cardiff was really beautiful when we went down to do The X Factor auditions. The sun was out and all the seagulls were flying around. We had a hotel by the bay. It was so good.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I love a nice hotel room – a place with great sheets. But the more you experience different kinds of luxury, the more you know what you're comfortable with. I stayed in the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, where they gave us a butler. Some people love it, but it was too much for me. It just felt weird.

Ideal travelling companion?

Somebody who's adventurous, spontaneous and likes to have fun. I have a friend from LA who loves to go out when we're away. We'll lie on the beach all day, go to our rooms to freshen up, meet in the lobby, go out to dinner, followed by drinks and then a club. After, we'll go to the beach again, at which point I'll want to crash and she'll want to carry on.

Better to travel or to arrive?

It's all about the arrival. I'm one of these people who gets annoyed going through security and the whole process of waiting for the flight. When I landed in Cabo San Lucas, we stayed at the Esparanza Hotel, which was so beautiful. You walk through this little passage and look over the cliff which takes your breath away. When I was there, the whales were migrating, so you'd see all these spouts erupting out of water.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I have aspirations of being an adrenalin junkie, but something always seems to come up. I wanted to go bungee jumping in Mexico, but then it rained so we couldn't go. In South Africa, I was supposed to go shark diving, but I had to cancel it.

Greatest travel luxury?

My passport. I've heard the craziest stories of people losing them, so I keep mine stuck to my thigh. I also love my luggage – it's sturdy and the airlines seem to have taken very good care of it.

Holiday reading?

I've just picked up a book about Marvin Gaye's life called Mercy, Mercy Me, which I'll start on my next trip. But generally, I like catching up on magazines. From fashion and interiors to travel. I like the ones where they tell you the best deals: where to go and what that destination has to offer?

Where has seduced you?

The Palace of the Lost City, a beautiful hotel in Sun City, South Africa. There were monkeys outside my window, which I started feeding each day at 3.30pm (even though they told me not to). After the first time, they came knocking on the windows and trying to slide the doors open. I loved it.

The service in the hotel was amazing, too. I was sick when I arrived, but they brought a doctor in and fresh tea. I would go back there in a heartbeat.

Best hotel?

The Beverly Hills Hotel. I recently went back to LA for a quick visit to see some friends and stayed there. It's the ultimate luxury. Everything from the carpets to the sheets is just right.

Favourite drive?

From my house in Miami up to Orlando, Florida. I often take my godchildren to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios up there. There's a lot of greenery along the way and I have them in the back asking every five minutes "are we there yet?"

Best meal abroad?

Evita's – an Italian restaurant in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was the first time I had arrabiata pasta and I drank really great wine with it. The whole meal was just lovely. Also, I love the duck salad in Hakkasan's, a Chinese restaurant in Mayfair, London. If the waitresses see me one more time, they're going to get sick of me.

Dream trip?

Bora Bora in French Polynesia. I love the way the houses sit on the water and it seems so far away when I see it on TV or in movies. I'd like to go with a bunch of friends, so we could get a couple of nice villas and just have fun.

Favourite city?

Miami. I've lived there for six years and I still love the creative energy I get from being there. I'm gone so much it still feels like a vacation being home. There's a nice little Cuban restaurant called FiFi's Seafood and it's always just so good, especially the mango tuna rolls. Also, Prime One Twelve is a good place to eat. It's a steakhouse where they do things like Kobe beef with great sides.

Where next?

Possibly Africa after we wrap up The X Factor in December. I'd like to do a safari but haven't quite figured out the details yet.

Kelly Rowland is the new face of the 'Make Mine Milk' campaign. Her album Here I Am is out on 28 November

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week