The readers of Ultratravel,The Telegraph’s luxury travel magazine, are invited to reveal their favourite hotels, airlines, destinations and more each year. Last night, the results for The ULTRAS 2017 awards were finally revealed at a reception and ceremony at London’s Savoy hotel. As ever, the event was attended by senior members of the luxury travel industry all keen to know if they were among those commended by our well-travelled voters - these are some of the most prestigious and well-regarded awards in the industry.
It is one of the perennial bug-bears of modern air travel: You are one of the last people to board your flight – and once you finally climb the steps, the luggage bins are stuffed with wheelie-suitcases, winter coats and plastic carriers of duty-free produce. A storage space that fits underneath the plane seat in front. As with many intriguing inventions, the Private Stowage Compartment (PSC) is so simple that you wonder why it wasn’t dreamed up sooner.
Higher air fares, less choice and possibly even a return to 1970s air charter days to get around flight restrictions: a leading UK airline boss has told The Independent what could await British travellers if the present “open skies” arrangements end after Brexit. Andrew Swaffield, chief executive of Monarch, said: “Fares will gradually go up and there will be less competition.” He said the remarkable choice and low fares currently available to British travellers are due to European liberalisation.
In this modern era of social media, Instagram feeds and endless smartphone connectivity – when so many of us are so very visible online – the places where we stay are learning to use what they know about us, and convert it into a welcome which is designed to make us feel very much at home. Where will this end?
Plane food: universally terrible and unlikely to improve. The food served up there is produced in huge quantities hours before your flight takes off and is reheated in convection ovens by the cabin crew. Hence why first and business class passengers are served better fare.
Whether you are on the Big One at Blackpool, the Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi or the Rock and Roller Coaster at various Disney parks, if you open your eyes long enough all you are likely to see is the occasional glimpse of flat terrain. Fforest Coaster, located just north of Betws-y-Coed in North Wales, and just outside the Snowdonia National Park, is different. The main appeal of the UK’s first “Alpine Coaster” or “Mountain Coaster” is the terrain: a steep, wooded hillside on the east side of the River Conwy, with a track that twists through the trees.
My journey to Obuse came as I followed in the footsteps of Hokusai, who is perhaps Japan’s most famous cultural export, influencing Western artists, from Monet to Degas. As comfortable sketching the dynamic curves of a sumo wrestler’s torso as he was painting the delicate petals of a chrysanthemum, Hokusai excelled at a range of techniques and subjects.
Ryanair has been accused of deliberately assigning passengers who choose not to pay for reserved seating to middle seats – and separating couples and groups. Travellers say the budget airline has abruptly changed its policy. Previously when passengers were travelling together but preferred not to pay for specific seats, they were generally allocated seats together.
An entire planeload of passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Dubai to London Heathrow has been evacuated from the aircraft following a bomb threat. After boarding the flight, passengers were told to exit the plane and head back to the gate following the captain’s admission that a bomb threat had been received by the airline. “Our customers travelling on the VS401 from Dubai to London Heathrow have temporarily disembarked the aircraft for additional security checks,” a Virgin spokesperson told The Independent.
An expert guide to the best boutique hotels in Devon, featuring the top places to stay for Georgian mansions, charming interiors, period features, cocktails bars and seaside views, in locations including Exeter, Salcombe, Tavistock and Dartmoor. Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England
A bloated bluebottle is floating in my Blue Sky Daiquiri, his sticky wings twitching in silent resignation. This is my second night at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. After 48 hours at the Rio, my liver is filing for divorce.
More than a third of Britain’s beaches are safe to bathe in, according to the Blue Flag awards, which has deemed 68 of Britain's beaches to be up to standard this year. The annual status, awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, bestows a mark of quality on our shores and indicates that visitors can expect beaches with a flag to not only be clean, but also safe, meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the most stringent standards for international bathing water. Just 12 English beaches achieved a Blue Flag in 1987, when the scheme began.
More than a third of England’s beaches are safe to bathe in, according to the Blue Flag awards, which has deemed 68 of England's beaches to be up to standard this year. The annual status, awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, bestows a mark of quality on our shores and indicates that visitors can expect beaches with a flag to not only be clean, but also safe, meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the most stringent standards for international bathing water. Just 12 English beaches achieved a Blue Flag in 1987, when the scheme began.
“Wtf …” is not a subject line you expect to see in a message from the customer-service staff of one of the world’s biggest airlines. An Emirates spokesperson said the airline was “surprised by the language used in the email exchange”, adding: “This does not represent the customer friendly attitude that we pride ourselves on here at Emirates.
A guide to short breaks in Malaga, Spain, including the best bars, restaurants, hotels and things to do. With a reputed 320 days of sunshine a year and a city centre packed full of historic and artistic attractions, Malaga is the perfect sunny but stimulating getaway.
Rosie Fenning wins £200 for this tale of her exotic culinary experiences in the food markets of Taiwan. For any foodie, vegetarian or otherwise, Taiwan’s night markets are a feast of weird and wonderful cuisine, where traditional Chinese fare can be found alongside quirky local favourites, including the aptly named “stinky tofu”. With a large Buddhist population, vegetarian food is not hard to come by in Taiwan.
A giant pair of hands emerging from the water to grasp the side of a hotel that might well be sinking into the Grand Canal (Lorenzo Quinn’s Support). What modern artist would want to flaunt his or her work in a city that is, at every corner, a masterpiece in itself?
A custom-made private jet personally designed by Elvis Presley, the late American singer, complete with original interiors including red velvet seats and red shag carpet, will be sold to the highest bidder this Saturday, May 27. The 1962 Lockheed Jetstar jet, which has been privately owned for more than 35 years, became a tourist attraction where it sat on a runway in Roswell, New Mexico in the US.
An Icelandic tour company told a British customer she wasn’t eligible for one of its holidays because of the UK’s decision to exit the EU. In what the company's CEO now describes as a Brexit joke gone disastrously wrong, Jenny Skates was left unimpressed by the response she received to an enquiry on the Trollaferdir website. Using the site's messenger service, she asked about potential tours the company runs to visit an abandoned plane on the south coast of the island.
Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow could be jeopardised by a row between the airport’s owners and Transport for London (TfL). Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4 are expected to be served by the new east-west line, which is due to open between central London and the airport in May 2018. The privately funded Heathrow Express spur from the Great Western line opened in 1998.
When British skier Jamie Mullner set off down a glacier in the Swiss Alps last December the last thing he could have wanted is to end up trapped 60ft (almost 20 metres) beneath it – but Mother Nature has funny ways of surprising us, and that’s exactly what happened as he hit a crack in the surface and fell. Ironically the video, which was filmed in Saas Fee, begins with Mullner pointing out the crevasse to his friends, telling them to be aware and avoid getting too close to the deep opening in the glacial ice. “I’m always a little bit sketched out by the crevasse at the bottom of this,” he says.
Lancaster London's tea is impressively presented, and confettied with edible flowers. Also outstanding were the sweet, butter-glazed, sunflower-seeded choux buns stuffed with a wild mushroom filling that had been whipped with truffle oil and cream cheese – the kind of thing that you know is 300 calories a mouthful but doesn't count what with its earthy, wholesome Italian flavours and being the texture of a cloud.
Recently I’ve been sidestepping the problem by using Google’s new Popular Times charts. When you search for a sight, they show up in the panel on the right of the main results listings (or if you are on a smartphone, at the top of the results). It displays the typical length of time spent at the sight and, during opening hours, shows live information on whether it is unusually quiet or busy at that moment.
Exclusive reader offers: enjoy a superb deal on a seaside break in Devon, a gourmet getaway in Oxfordshire, Surrey wines or gins in Gloucestershire. Goldsborough Hall, Yorkshire
Bob Dylan is on my mind this balmy winter afternoon in Shillong – just as I’m sure he is on a million other minds all over the world. It’s just over a month since the big news about Dylan’s controversial win of the Nobel Prize for Literature, but that’s not the reason I am thinking of the man behind Mr Tambourine Man. Shillong, the capital city of the scenic northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, thrives on music.