When I first started going to Israel in the early 2000s, there was a curious gap between the food and drink scene (outstanding) and the hotels, which were… embarrassingly dated. Even in Tel Aviv, the lifestyle centre of Israel, the offerings, especially in the luxury sector, amounted to American-branded concrete behemoths lining the beach.
Sprawling on a sun lounger is all well and good, but the best way to see the Canary Islands is to explore them on foot. Here are six cruises perfect for keen hikers.
Claire Bassi wins £250 and this week’s Just Back travel writing competition for her account of immersing herself in Eid in Morocco.
The capital of Flemish style offers a cultured, fashion-conscious port stop for both ocean and river cruisers. Regular ocean cruise calls include Fred Olsen, Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Holland America Line, while Crystal River Cruises and Viking River Cruises offer regular river cruise options. The city combines the maritime heritage and regeneration of the former industrial docklands with the chocolate-box sidestreets of the medieval old town — all within a compact city centre, which is easy to explore on foot.
What do we look for in an autumn break in Britain? Warmth and cosiness, log fires, comfortable beds and beautiful views, certainly. And menus based on local, seasonal produce including mushrooms and game, as well as long, lazy afternoon teas, with papers and books and maybe a board game by the fire. And if we can find a hotel close to a sight – a garden, park, arboretum or forest, famed for its glorious autumn colours, so much the better. The following hotels answer all these requirements and more.
Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds.
Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.
Come autumn, New England is a riot of red, orange and yellow hues as the abundance of trees across these East Coast states change colours and their leaves blanket the ground. Naturally, this makes for a wonderful time to explore the great outdoors here, and so popular is this annual pilgrimage to see the autumn foliage, that it has it's very own verb – to leaf peep.
"I’m going to ask you to keep your head torches switched off,” my guide Tony stated as our little boat slowly drifted towards what I hoped, in the darkness of predawn, was a stable river bank. It was a little after 5am and the only light came from the pinpricks of the stars.
Always tired half way through your ski or snowboard holiday? The answer is to prepare your body during the weeks leading up to your trip - it will also improve performance and reduces the chance of injuries and falls.
I was, until very recently a cruise virgin. But a string of stories in the press over the last few years reporting a rise in the popularity of cruise holidays and a fall in the average age of cruise passengers meant that, in my early fifties, I fitted the cruise demographic perfectly and that it was high time to pop my cherry.
The state of New South Wales on Australia’s east coast is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches – from patrolled swimming areas (good for children) and surfer-friendly waves to ocean lap and rock pools – but we all know it takes (a little) more than a bucket and spade to have a harmonious family holiday. The following properties range from ‘fair dinkum’ outback destinations for little adventurers who aren’t afraid to get their feet dirty to high-end retreats for pampered princes and princesses. Think Junior Rangers programmes featuring archery, fossil hunting and bush survival courses, and behind-the-scenes tours at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo. Here's our pick of the best family-friendly hotels in New South Wales.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lorna Doone, a novel of passion, dark deeds and high drama set in the wilds of 17th century Exmoor.
The cover story in Sunday's print edition was about "the Downton Abbey effect" and stately home stays that capture the elegance and grandeur of that era. With this in mind, we'd like to hear about a place you have visited where the spirit of an age is palpable. It could be a belle-époque hotel, a 1920s cocktail bar, a Georgian street or a shop that evokes the swinging Sixties, say – or anywhere with a timewarp feel. The reader who sends in the best entry wins a £500 voucher.
Dreaming of an Australian adventure? With over 2.9 million square miles to explore, this vast stretch of land has a journey to suit almost everyone's travel taste.
This year’s National Pub Awards were given out last week, and one part of the country stood out: Clitheroe. It’s a small town in the Ribble Valley that, when you include the countryside within its immediate orbit, provided not only the Pub of the Year, but also the Dining Pub of the Year.
How does one start to visit a country as vast as Russia? Read on for 10 ideas, spanning from Europe to the Far-East.
I am in Provence, at mellow-stoned Crillon le Brave, gazing out of the window at a jumble of warm terracotta roof tiles. Above them, swallows flit, feeding on the wing, and beyond them, tidy rows of vines dominate the sweep of land that runs to the foot of Mont Ventoux. The hotel, which sits at the centre of the village, is formed from nine stone houses, many with grey shutters and branches hanging heavy with fragrant wisteria.
In this sprawling megatropolis of over 24 million people, home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, it appears that big is beautiful. But against this fast-paced high-rise backdrop there are some very special small packages to be found, from tiny galleries hidden in old French mansions, to speakeasies secreted in basements, to inventive boutique hotels scattered in shikumen-style back streets and out the way water villages. But, while Shanghai has its fair share of small hotels, quality and standards of service can be an issue. We've narrowed down the best of the bunch for you here.
Las Vegas shouldn’t really exist. It makes no logical sense. It springs up out of nowhere in the middle of the scorching, inhospitable Nevada desert – a shining, gaudy, neon oasis showcasing the very extremes of human excess.
Hong Kong is beautiful and exciting. With 170 years of trading under its belt, it's one of the world's most important financial centres, banking powerhouses and centres of fashion, where deals are brokered around the clock – if there's one city in the world set up for business it's this one. From the restrained elegance of well-established hotels to the string of independents, there is marked movement towards meeting the needs of the modern business traveller through workshops, events and treatments and facilities. Whether you’re a Ferragamo-footed high-flier, a suited and booted executive, a hoodie-wearing digital nomad or a cool creative customer, there's a hotel to suit your needs. Here's our pick of the best modern business hotels in Hong Kong.
Get yourself as high up as possible in this Hyde Park hotel because the panoramic views of the London skyline are nothing short of spectacular – all the landmarks in one fell swoop. Despite being a huge hotel it's independent and manages to avoid the corporate feel. Rooms are tasteful with massive beds swathed in White Company duvet covers. Later, grab either a signature afternoon tea or head for the superb award-winning Nipa Thai restaurant, then work it all off in the state-of-the-art 24/7 gym.
Tourist taxes are a “xenophobic gag reflex” to the growing popularity of a holiday hotspot and will harm a destination more than it helps, according to the head of the European Tourism Association (ETOA).