Staying in London doesn't have to mean splashing out, nor should you have to compromise on quality. Gone are the days of tired hostels: say hello to 22 of the best budget hotels in the capital – priced at less than £150 per night – with everything from rooftop terraces and pools, to comfortable bedrooms and proximity to central London. Locations include Bloomsbury, The City, Shoreditch and Wimbledon.
Did you know that Princess Eugenie has scoliosis? Before her wedding last year, I mean, when she wore that dress with a deep V at the back to show her scar. No, me neither, and nor was I expecting to react the way I did. I was speechless and thrilled, then sad. How brave, I thought, and how I wish I’d been that brave on my wedding day.
Dubrovnik isn't often associated with luxurious spa breaks – understandable really, since planning restrictions prevent hotels within the medieval fortifications from building new wellness complexes. But there are modern hotels on the Adriatic coast to the south of the Old Town which aren't so hampered – while to the north, on the Lapad peninsula, a number of large resorts offer award-winning wellness facilities. Visitors to Dubrovnik tend to come for the history and culture, certainly, but that doesn't mean forgoing a little pampering too.
Every year millions of tourists travel to Nara, Japan’s former imperial capital, to pay a visit to the sacred deer that roam its expansive park.
Sir Rocco Forte enjoys nothing more than snooping in other people’s hotels. As arguably one of the world’s most famous hoteliers, you might expect him to put his feet up on home soil at The Balmoral while in Edinburgh or at the Hotel de Russie in Rome. Yet, while he takes great pride in his 11 luxury venues around the world, he prefers to suss out the opposition when he is travelling. “I do like to have a snoop,” he admits. “You’ve got to see what your rivals are offering and make sure you can better it.”
We stop at the “drive-through” Bottlemart in Denham to pick up beer, then head off through the dusk with live commentary from an Aussie Rules football game in faraway Fremantle on the radio. “Moon’ll be coming up over there in a minute, brother,” says my companion, Dean Capewell (“Capes”), pointing across low scrubland to the east. When the moon does appear it is full-faced and wearing a bandanna of cloud.
From Roman times to the present day, visitors have flocked to Bath to bathe in its natural thermal waters. The most famous spot for wallowing is the Thermae Bath Spa complex, which is open to the general public – but many of Bath's hotels offer their own enticing spas, with indulgent treatments and thermal facilities. Whether located in the city centre or in the surrounding countryside, these are the best spa hotels in Bath.
Art and design are taken seriously in this megacapital – home to some of the most impressive art galleries in the Americas, a world-class archaeological museum, stunning contemporary architecture, and thriving nightlife. And because there are so many hotels, architects are employed to make them stand out from the crowd. A couple of the city's best boutique hotels are owned by a small local hotelier which, when they opened some two decades ago, put the residential districts of Condesa and Polanco on the tourist map; now both areas are hot spots for shopping and dining. In trendy Roma, our pick has just three rooms and is the ultimate bolthole for those who don’t want crowds – which, after a day in this city of nine million souls, might just be you.
You'll find a huge variety of things to do on a Canary Islands cruise, from water sports and hiking trails to stargazing, kayaking, golf and cycling. Here is a small selection of pursuits you could enjoy.
Do you own more than three pairs of raspberry-coloured trousers? Do you prefer the company of Labradors to that of a significant proportion of the human population? Do you recall rationing? If you answered “Yes” to all the above, good on you. The world needs cheerful legs right now and labradors have very soulful eyes.
What makes your heart sing? It was a question on the consultation form. I think I scribbled down something like: 'compliments, a good playlist, and the way the light shines through the trees on a sunny day'. Or something. But the question stuck with me as I had my treatment, went home, and then went to work. It sort of sums up bhuti[sic], the sister wellness centre to Richmond's Bingham Riverhouse, in its entirety.
I’m writing this on the balcony of my hotel room, looking out over a wooded glade and, beyond that, to the bare, rocky outline of a high ridge of the Bavarian Alps.
There’s no off-season in Edinburgh, thanks to its numerous festivals, fringe events and celebrations – not to mention the Michelin-starred restaurants, thriving café culture, and strong arts scene. It's also catnip for families, who come to explore Edinburgh Castle, the Edinburgh Dungeon, the Museum of Childhood, and the Storytelling Centre. Picking the right place to stay is important when travelling with children, so here's our expert's guide to the best family-friendly hotels in Edinburgh – including the top places to stay for family rooms, child-friendly dining, complimentary toys and games, and proximity to the sights and sounds of Scotland's vibrant capital.
Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore from your bed is what real luxury is all about – and in Spain it is very easy to make it happen. Choose a romantic boutique bolthole on a cove on the Costa Brava or a cool urban hotel on the endless beaches along the Valencian coast. Or maybe a resort-style complex right by the Mediterranean on the Costa del Sol, where you can have lunch with your feet in the sand. Just slip out of your hotel and into the warm, turquoise sea – whether you want to snorkel, surf or just float the day away. Stay at one of our top beachfront hotels on the Spanish coast to get the full moodlifting effect without even trying.
Like the painted faces of Peking opera, Beijing is an enthralling clash of personalities. Traditional but tech-forward, autocratic yet artistic, it’s a micro-managed megacity marching into the future, while striving to prune and polish the narrative of its turbulent past. And what a past. Ruling over China (on and off) since the days of Kublai Khan, Beijing is a treasure trove of Unesco World Heritage: The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, the Ming Tombs, the Grand Canal. And above it all, draped dreamily across mountains, is the Great Wall of China – more magnificent beside Beijing than anywhere along its course. Modern architecture has been outmuscling Beijing’s antique middle for decades, but, precariously, the city’s charming old hutong lanes endure. Here is where you’ll find locals gossiping around xiangqi (Chinese chess) boards, discreet boutique hotels tucked behind grey brick walls, and hip cocktail bars in hidden courtyards. And then there’s the food. From the city’s signature Peking duck to lesser-known delights from every nook of the Middle Kingdom, Beijing is a literal melting pot of Chinese gastronomy, presenting unbridled adventure for fearless foodies.
Bordeaux and Burgundy: the very words have a rich and well-rounded ring to them. Partly, it’s those initial bulbous ‘B’s. Mainly, though, it’s that, for centuries, they have lent a civilised, even spiritual, texture to fleshly pleasures. Lots of places furnish good wine and food. None other does so in the presence of quite so many châteaux and world-class abbeys. Nowhere else is good living so stamped into the DNA, both a product and a locomotive of the past. Nowhere else do you feel that being plump is a duty imposed by history.
To mark Father's Day, the cover story in Sunday's print edition was about a daughter bonding with her father on a journey through Yunnan province in China. If you have travelled with your father, either as a child or later in life, we'd like to hear your story (in 150 words or so). Where did you go? Did you enjoy the trip equally? What were the highlights and did your relationship change in any way as a result? The reader who sends in the best entry wins a £500 voucher.
If you think Wales is all drizzle and sheep-grazed hills, you need to go further west. In Cardigan Bay’s southwestern crook, Pembrokeshire is an instant heart-stealer. Here, purple-grained cliffs fall abruptly to golden bays, caves, and rock stacks lashed by the Irish Sea. There are mood-lifting views as you ramble through kissing gates, over stiles and across gorse-clad headlands on the 186-mile coastal path; and enthralling wildlife on islands where puffins, dolphins, porpoises and grey seals are often spotted.
It was the oystercatchers that gave the game away, tapping at the sand with their long orange bills. We wandered over and unearthed their seashore feast. Cockles, mussels, winkles, whelks... shellfish as far as the eye could see. Foraging bucket sufficiently full, we returned to make lunch on the boat, where the smell of frying onion and garlic was sending my taste buds into overdrive.
As the Spanish sun descended into a pink skyline fringed with palm trees, I savoured that most satisfying of sips – a cold beer when still hot from competitive sport. It tasted almost as good as the victory I’d just enjoyed in a set of tennis. I toasted the occasion with my defeated opponent – my dad. We were on our first father-daughter bonding trip, and his decision to give me a 30-0 advantage had backfired.
Last summer, adventurer Ash Bhardwaj travelled the length of Russia's European border, from the Arctic Circle to Ukraine for The Telegraph's Edgelands podcast.
The big summer movie has always been an odd idea. At a time when – as your mother said – you should be outside “making the most of the weather”, the studios want you inside, eating popcorn.
That Lyon is a sterling choice for bon vivants becomes evident within seconds of tucking into coq au vin in a jam-packed bistro, admiring fine art in a Renaissance abbey, or getting deliciously lost in a traboule (secret passageway) used by 19th-century silk weavers. It's a enthralling, richly-storied city – and will certainly be a charismatic host of the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals and final this July.
Asia comes alive during its countless festivals. Visiting during one of the region’s annual celebrations offers travellers a chance to delve deeper into the local psyche, promising richer insight into the traditions on which the country is built and an opportunity to share experiences with the locals themselves. And with demand for hotels and local transport often exceeding supply throughout the festivities, there’s no better way to go than cruising.
The identical sister ship of MSC Seaside is innovatively designed with generous outdoor spaces, so passengers can make the most of the hot Mediterranean climate in summer and the balmy warmth of South America in winter.