Apr 18, 2016

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10 incredibly glamorous grand old world hotels

10 incredibly glamorous grand old world hotels

Every day, somewhere, a boutique resort opens, or a swanky steel-and-glass tower for business travellers, or some hipster-friendly hostel. But some of us prefer that tiny elite of unique, stylish, time-honoured hotels that outlive fashions, trends and passing tastes. Why these glamorous old-timers survive is hard to pin down. It might be the building, VIPs who ate and slept there or a novel penned in the bar. For travellers after historical romance – or indeed the honeymoon variety – this short, shimmering selection of hotels should make up a bucket list. All have been lavishly upgraded in recent times, some have changed names, some owners; none have lost their timeless allure, writes Chris Moss. 1. For the ultimate high-rise highball: Park Hyatt, Tokyo Suits: Barflies, world-weary businessmen, night hawks, film buffs How much? Doubles from £459, including breakfast Yes, Park Hyatt, Tokyo is the one you saw in Lost in Translation, with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson rendezvousing high up in the Tokyo night sky in an attempt to cure their insomnia. Rooms are sober-hued, spacious and sumptuous. The 52nd-floor New York Bar hosts jazz gigs every night and is as moodily lit and suave as it looks in the film; the nearby New York Grill serves steaks of superlative kobe beef. Stay over if you can, but if you can’t, do blow some yen on a cocktail or two. Book flights to Tokyo 2. A home-from-home for high living: Hôtel de Vendôme, Paris Suits: Low-profile luxury-seekers, antique-hunters, fashionistas, honeymooners How much? Doubles from £302, including breakfast The ideal place to stay in in Paris? Say oui to a suite in a private mansion, ideally with an arty, cultured feel and proximity to the opera, the Louvre and the finest boutiques. The Hôtel de Vendôme, on the elegant Place Vendôme, is all these things and, at the same time, a quiet, intimate space where service is ultra-personalised. Built in 1723 by Armand-Claude Mollet (also the architect of the Palais de l’Élysée), it has been a private palace and the embassy of the Republic of Texas. Rooms are graciously appointed; the suites are regal. Brittany-born chef Josselin Marie does wonders in the exclusive in-house restaurant (tasting menu £70). Compare flights to Paris 3. Tango-era grand dame in a fashion-hungry city: Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires Suits:...

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Apr 11, 2016

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8 of the best record-breaking city attractions

8 of the best record-breaking city attractions

If you’ve ever wanted to be lifted 450 feet into the air in a giant glass doughnut, your dreams could finally come true this summer. That’s because Brighton’s newest attraction, the British Airways i360 tower, will become the world’s first moving observation tower when it opens later this year. A what you ask? Well, the concept is simple. A lift-like platform, connected to a narrow metal tube, will shuttle thrill-seeking tourists up to jaw-dropping vistas of the south coast. And, even before it’s opened, the attraction has managed to be awarded a Guinness World Record for being the most slender tower in the world. So, to celebrate the achievement, we take a look at some of the world’s best record breaking city attractions. 1. Burj Khalifa: The world’s tallest building Where? Dubai While Brighton’s new tower is the most slender building in the world, the Burj Khalifa building (1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd; +9714 8888888) in Dubai already lays claim to the record for the world’s tallest building. At a vertigo-inducing 828 metres (2,716 ft 6 in) tall, the Burj Khalifa is almost 17 times taller than the British Airways i360 tower. Not that the i360’s designers should feel too disheartened, after all, the folks in Dubai know a thing or two about breaking records: The Burj Khalifa tower itself is the proud holder of the world’s highest observation platform record too. Compare cheap flights to Dubai 2. A Symphony of Lights: The world’s largest permanent light and sound show Where? Hong Kong Like Dubai, Hong Kong is a place where the mantra “go big or go home” might as well be a way of life. And nothing reflects this better than A Symphony of Lights. Every night the skies above the famous Victoria Harbour are illuminated with lasers, spotlights and coloured lights in a synchronised light show that is supposed to depict the energy of the city. Accompanied by classical music, the show lasts for around 13 minutes and recruits the services of 40 buildings to host the lights. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s slightly insane, but then, you don’t break records by worrying about your energy bill. Compare cheap flights to Hong Kong 3. The High Roller: The world’s largest observation (Ferris) wheel Where? Las Vegas Las Vegas is known for its audacious approach to...

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Apr 11, 2016

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QUIZ: Where in the world is this view?...

QUIZ: Where in the world is this view?

So, you fancy yourself as a bit of a traveller do you? Put your knowledge to the test with our inspiring picture quiz. Simply guess where these pictures were taken. How did you get on? Let us know in the comments section...

Apr 11, 2016

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Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?...

Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

No-one wants their flight to be delayed and we receive regular questions from readers about how to tackle the claims process following travel disruption. So, to help you if your flight is delayed, our handy guide simplifies your legal rights and explains what compensation you might be entitled to, as well as how you would go about claiming it. My flight is delayed – does my airline have to look after me? If you are travelling from a European...

Apr 10, 2016

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Why I’m now a holiday park convert

Why I’m now a holiday park convert

When you’re on holiday with a toddler, the simple things in life suddenly become more important:  sleep, stress-free meal times, and activities that put a smile on everyone’s face. And that’s why, for the first time in my adult life, I decided that a holiday park was the place for our family summer holiday. We’d never been on a campsite with our one-year-old before, so I was slightly nervous – but here’s why I’d recommend it. We enjoyed...

Apr 10, 2016

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11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks...

11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks

Think holiday villages are all about cramped caravans, cabaret shows and freezing cold shower blocks? Think again! Thanks to a huge makeover in 2015, Butlins Minehead resort has more in common with a luxury hotel, and here are some others which are a world away from the holiday villages of yesteryear, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. They don’t all look the same Butlins Minehead, Somerset, UK Our favourite part of the Butlins Minehead makeover last year? The rainbow-hued chalets,...

Apr 8, 2016

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9 things you probably didn’t know about Tenerife...

9 things you probably didn’t know about Tenerife

Yes Tenerife is a popular option with Brits for a year-round sunshine escape, but there’s a whole lot more to the island than beaches, bars and all-day-British-breakfasts, writes Andrea Montgomery. From above the clouds to below the ocean, there are myriad ways Tenerife will surprise you, and here are just a few of them… 1. You can dine in one of four Michelin-starred restaurants Tenerife’s foodie scene is firmly on the up, with ritzy restaurants and gourmet menus...

Apr 5, 2016

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Forget Oktoberfest! 9 of the best worldwide beer festivals...

Forget Oktoberfest! 9 of the best worldwide beer festivals

Oktoberfest is the undisputed heavyweight champion of beer festivals – there’s no denying that. But it’s not the only big beer festival in the world. Not by a long shot. Our planet is full of pale ales, pilsners, craft lagers and stouts; you just have to be willing to seek them out. Whether you missed out, went last year or just want a new location for your beer-inspired break, here are some of the biggest and best alternatives...

Apr 4, 2016

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How to book your next holiday with confidence...

How to book your next holiday with confidence

A new report released by the London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, ABTA and Get Safe Online has revealed that holidaymakers lost £11.5 million in 2015 as a result of holiday booking fraud. According to the report, the level of travel fraud has rocketed by 425% compared to 2014 – up from £2.2 million – highlighting how important it is to stay vigilant when booking holidays online. It revealed that the biggest areas for fraud included criminals hacking real...

Apr 4, 2016

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7 tips for slashing your costs on a city break...

7 tips for slashing your costs on a city break

With budget airlines offering £19.99 flights to somewhere in Europe that it would have taken our ancestors a month to reach in a horse and cart, city breaks can sound pretty tempting these days. Until, that is, you start to factor in accommodation, eating out, transport, entrance fees, spending money… suddenly it all starts to seem less affordable. The trick, though, is to stay cost-conscious throughout every stage of your journey. We’re not talking a Scrooge’s holiday here – in...