Weird and wonderful ideas for the May bank holiday weekend
Child-friendly raves, time travel and underwear exhibitions: think outside the box and take the kids somewhere unusual this bank holiday.
This summer’s best-value destinations: Where will your pound go further?
Do you want to know where your hard-earned pennies will go the furthest this summer? We’ve crunched the numbers to reveal the hottest destinations where you’ll be able to spend on tourist essentials without falling out with your bank manager.
Shakespeare’s Stratford: Walking in the footsteps of the Bard
Fancy delving in to the literary genius of Shakespeare? We tell you where you need to go in Stratford-upon-Avon .
Weird and wonderful ideas for the May bank holiday weekend...1
This summer’s best-value destinations: Where will your pound go further?...2
Shakespeare’s Stratford: Walking in the footsteps of the Bard...3
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:...Read More
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...Read More