As 11-year-old schoolgirls, Jacquie Elliott and I went on our first Christmas shopping trip to the local Woolworth’s to buy Lily of the Valley bath cubes and soap for our favourite aunts. Once we had Saturday jobs our finances improved so we progressed to choosing vinyl records and Brut aftershave for our boyfriends.
You make memories at hotels. And each is haunted in its way. Every time I walk into One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, the dark woodwork of the curving staircase leading up to all that ornate stained glass from the late 19th century makes me feel like I’ve wandered into the opening paragraphs of James Joyce’s The Dead. It is handsome, grand and suits an afternoon of fresh snow and hanging fog.
For history fans, there's plenty to see you and do in Berlin – after all, it was at the heart of much of the turbulent 20th century. The city is also a welcoming destination for families thanks to a wealth of green spaces, sparkling lakes and a generally child-friendly infrastructure. But for a bit of light relief, you can't beat a sumptuous soak in a five-star spa. It was only recently, with the opening of the Vabali Spa, that Berlin really got the wellness temple it deserved. In the meantime though, the city’s hotels have been filling in the gap with a slew of luxurious spas spanning pools, steam rooms and saunas, and a swathe of cosmetic treatments. Here's our pick of the best spa hotels in Berlin.
Staying safe when skiing or snowboarding in the mountains is crucial – an important part of that is being aware of the risk of avalanche where you are, being prepared when heading off piste, and knowing what to do should an avalanche happen.
Sydney has a reputation for being beautiful yet shallow, but scratch the surface a little and you'll see that Sydney has a lot more going for it than just the way it looks. Beaches that bedazzle, windswept coastal walks overlooking whale-dotted waters, hole-in-the-wall bars, weekend farmers' markets and a thriving food and wine scene are among the drawcards that keep the locals happy and the visitors flocking.
Stuck for somewhere to see in the New Year? Look no further than these four hotels, in the world capitals of fun...
High on the ski area, more than 1,000m above the Austrian resorts of Kitzbühel and Kirchberg, conditions were grim. Snow was falling, but it was wet and sticky; and visibility was so poor, anyone unfamiliar with the mountains was reduced to following other skiers in the hope that they knew where they were going. It was the sort of day when you just want to get off the mountain and do something else. So that’s what I did.
Imagine. You are in one of the world’s great ski resorts. It’s the last day in November but the season is about to start. It has been snowing steadily for three weeks and there is already a deep base in the resort and higher up the mountain. As you wake up and your eyes begin to focus, you can see that it is going to be a clear blue day. The snow is luminous in the early light and the tip of the highest peak is already burnished with gold as it catches the first rays of the rising sun.
New Orleans’s reputation as a party town, thanks largely to the annual celebration of Mardi Gras, looms large. Bourbon Street, plastic beads and bawdy revellers sum up many people’s image of the city. As anyone who has been here knows, though, this is only a tiny part of life here. Its historical influences are celebrated daily: this American city is also part European, part Caribbean and part African. Music, food and culture here developed like nowhere else in the United States, and gave us jazz, Cajun and Creole cuisine and publicly celebrated traditions that you won’t find anywhere else in the country. Add to this one of America’s most historic and evocative neighbourhoods in the shape of the French Quarter and a liberal attitude to living and entertaining, and you have a city that’s primed to seduce its many visitors, even when it’s not Mardi Gras season.
Norfolk's vast sandy beaches are its chief draw for visitors: even on the busiest summer day there is always space for games, kite-flying or a family picnic in the dunes. Boating, crabbing, digging for cockles and wading in creeks provides hours of entertainment for all.
A new English Heritage exhibition, Your Stonehenge, showcases almost 150 years of photography by visitors to the famous monument.
EasyJet will fly to Tunisia next year for the first time since the Sousse terror attack in 2015 that left 38 people dead.
Half-term week on the slopes is one of the busiest of the season, especially in big name European ski resorts. The key week when most UK pupils will be on holiday in 2020 is from Saturday, February 15. A few areas have half term the following week, but the majority of school children will be off from February 17-21.
Amsterdam is its canals: a cobweb-shape of waterways, lined by gabled houses, cut through by side streets crammed with little shops and cafés. It’s a cobweb that has trapped some of the world’s greatest art, starred chefs, zany designers, and a ragbag of folk who respond to the city’s adventurous, creative spirit. A hotel in the Canal Belt, with a waterside view, takes you to the heart of Amsterdam. From the quietly elegant or showily grand, to the cosily homely or engagingly quirky, here's our pick of the best canal hotels in Amsterdam.
Curious tales from three of the city’s most storied public houses, all of which remain open to drinkers.
Anyone heading to Rio for whom a beachfront location in Ipanema or Copacabana is not essential will be rewarded with hip hotel options in interesting neighbourhoods filled with great restaurants, bars and nightlife. Lapa is one such spot, an easy enough drive from Copacabana but on the doorstep of Centro’s rich cultural bounty and a rootsy samba scene, where a stay in cool Selina or more family-friendly Villa Galé – complete with a large pool – will offer far more than sandy toes and sun tans. Here's our pick of the best budget hotels in Rio, for an affordable stay that doesn't compromise on culture.
Boutique hotels are almost a novelty in Bangkok, a city better known for its colossal high-end stays. But in recent years, travellers have increasingly been looking for rooms that are destinations in their own right. Several restored heritage properties, including a former tax collector’s Italian designed mansion that’s only accessible by boat, can be found along the Chao Phraya River and in Chinatown. Visitors who like things über-modern, can take their pick from several brash and trendy downtown stays with minimalist or retro-fitted rooms. Here's our pick of the best boutique hotels in Bangkok.
With King Tut’s riches on display in London and Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile hitting the big screen next October, Egyptomania is in full swing and cruising the world’s longest river is back in vogue. No wonder. As Ms Christie’s cast of suspects found, a Nile cruise is the easiest – and most comfortable – way to explore Egypt’s treasures.
Prague’s penchant for slick design has been on show for some time now, visible in everything from its contemporary architecture to its slew of furniture and home design stores – and, of course, its hotels. Spots like the Emblem and Boho Hotels have pushed out the boat, with jaw-dropping, art-filled interiors and slick rooms custom-designed to impress. Others offer a more traditional aesthetic, with timbered ceilings and period furnishings along with personalised service and intimacy, while proto-boutiques still offer low-key minimalism. From stylish rooms and rootop terraces to cool bars, spas and tasty breakfasts, here's our pick of the best boutique hotels in Prague.
Curious tales from three of the city’s most storied establishments, all of which remain open to diners.
It’s too far. Doesn’t it get really cold there? Why go all that way for a week when you could just go to the Alps? Just some of the comments and questions that came up whenever I said I wanted to ski in Canada.
Discovering an authentic mountain village with easy access to superb slopes, a hidden gem that hasn't yet hit the mainstream, is the dream of many a dedicated skier and snowboarder.
Amid the chaos of Delhi airport security, my phone vibrated. “You’ve arrived in India!” a text from my network provider stated, before informing me that I’d be charged £3 per MB of internet usage while there.
A military plane with 38 passengers on board has gone missing on its way to Antarctica, after losing radio contact with Chile’s air force on Monday evening.