OUR OPINION

We like to take a view on what's hot and what's not in our industry. From the latest spa trends, to how hotels are attracting new guests, to airlines changing their service style on the ground and in the air, we'll give you a flavour of what's in and out of style, before it actually happens.

Upgrades all round…

There are encouraging signs that the travel and leisure economy is improving after several years treading water. The recent round of luxury shows, ILTM Americas, World Travel Market and PURE, have been highly optimistic, with tour operators, private travel designers and agents all reporting that they have been busier than ever, especially during August, a traditionally quiet summer lull. This isn't just pie in the sky; the numbers seem to prove that consumers are returning and spending more than ever per head on the trip of a lifetime or an adventure to remember. There are also more destinations and new hotels/villas to choose from – as investors pile back in to a sector that keeps on innovating and offering the latest "experience." 2014 promises to bring much-needed rays of sunshine to guests and travel providers alike. 

   

Gwyneth Paltrow harks back to Nantucket Island

In a recent interview with Stylist Magazine, A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow reminisced on idyllic childhood holidays spent at the White Elephant, Nantucket. Asked if she associates fragrance with certain memories, she said: “For me when I was growing up, some of the happiest times were when we went to a small island called Nantucket off Massachusetts. And we would stay in a in a hotel called the White Elephant and they had box hedging everywhere. It’s such a specific mix of summer and box hedge and whenever I smell that, I’m seven years old again. It’s incredible, it’s a very extreme way of going back in time.”

 

Read the full article at www.stylist.co.uk

 

To find out more about the White Elephant visit www.whiteelephanthotel.com

   

Face-to-face with a Komodo dragon

They tell you to never walk alone on Komodo Island. 9 people have been eaten alive over the years by the unique Komodo Dragons - weird, prehistoric creatures that live off the smell of other animal's, or people's, blood. There are 2,800 dragons scattered across the island. They can move faster than a horse and, when they die, they eat each other. Standing just two metres away from these dragons, you feel highly vulnerable and quite nervous – yet a visit is a must. Staying on Alila Purnama or Tiger Blue is the easiest way to get to the island, combined with a tour of some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the eastern Indonesia archipelago.

   

Botanique Hotel & Spa – the authentic Brazilian retreat

Check out Botanique Hotel & Spa – the authentic Brazilian retreat in Campos do Jordao...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5921_xlByeY

   

Bubbling up from South America

Nestling amid the mangroves near Cancun during this week's ILTM Americas conference, it's easy to think all is well in the travel industry. Yet, there are some huge changes taking place. The number of European travellers appears to be declining, especially from Italy and Spain, due to the economic crisis. Encouragingly, the gap is starting to be filled by a new breed of eager guests from the likes of Brazil and Mexico. Residents from these fast-growing markets are seeking new adventures beyond their continent, staying in the innovative hotels of Asia, Africa and Europe. Tourism boards, hoteliers, airlines and cruise operators need to tap into this wave of money quickly – there is a real desire for citizens from south America to travel and spend their new wealth. That means new products need to be introduced to attract this group – for example Tequila bars in hotels, Mexican food on menus etc etc. With Europe's economic hole likely to take some time to fill, the new markets look very exciting indeed.

Quoted from: Paul Charles
   

The biggest factory in the world...

They don't often make them like this – the Airbus A380 factory in Toulouse has got to be the biggest factory in the world. A380 part after part is lined up for assembly. They currently make over 2 planes per month here but aim to make it 4 or 5 a month when production is in full swing. Eight airlines around the world, Malaysia Airlines being the latest, now fly what's dubbed the most efficient aircraft ever. It certainly helps airlines to cut their fuel bills and provide an even better experience for us travellers – there is so much more space and the windows are huge. The question is – what on earth will ever be able to beat this superjumbo of the skies? I suspect we have a long time to wait.

Quoted from: Paul Charles
   

A technological break…

I've recently returned from a trip to Raja Ampat in North East Indonesia on the Phinisi sailing yacht, Tiger Blue.  A land quite literally that time forgot that is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in the world. To get there was no mean feat – we flew from London via Dubai to Jakarta and from there to Makassar in South Sulawesi and to Sorong in Northern Papua. From there we boarded our spectacular steed – an authentic 'liveaboard' that sleeps 10 with a Dutch skipper and superb Indonesian crew. It wasn't just the sensational marine life – the most extensive of any in the world – or the dramatic beauty of the islands that we visited. Or even the innocence and friendliness of the people that we encountered or the freedom of plotting an itinerary as we went along, dropping anchor one night here to catch a sunset or travelling in the early morning to see the turtles on a northerly island. It was quadrupled in value for me, being able to enjoy it without the non-stop yapping intrusion of a mobile phone or watching the gradual downloading of emails that insist on being answered. This must be one of the few places left in the world that you cannot get wifi nor mobile phone signal and for 5 whole days and nights, it was total silent bliss. It was a chance to simply enjoy and actually ignore the outside world rather than taking a sneeky view on news websites for even soundbites of info on what the world is doing. In Raja Ampat, it simply didn’t matter and after 48 hours we all stopped to even care. This was pure unadulterated, innocent and uncomplicated enjoyment. Tiger Blue, you are possibly the most superb medicine from everyday life and a reminder that sometimes the simpler life is, the better.

Quoted from: Julia Perowne
   

Jude Law at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Jude Law and Dior shoot at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. He's quite the ambassador… http://www.dior.com/beauty/fra/fr/minisite/fragrance/dhs_2012/tf561-2.html

   

Full steam ahead – HS2 gets a green light

The government's decision to expand the UK's high-speed rail network is a costly one, but it does makes sense. At £32 billion, this won't be the cheapest train set but it will shave journey times between London and Birmingham initially, and then Manchester and Leeds. Yes, environmental concerns need to be listened to but high-speed lines do boost regional economies and improve the country's infrastructure – badly needed in the UK. France, Spain and Germany have railways to be proud of because they have invested in high-speed rail. For travellers, it makes for better, more reliable journeys too. The only problem is it's such a long way off – 2026 at the earliest!

Quoted from: Paul Charles
   

Booking with confidence

The dramatic collapse in confidence for Thomas Cook highlighted the changing world for tour operators and travel agents. Consumers are turning their backs on high-street outlets and booking directly with their own iPads and smartphones. Consumers research their own hotels and airlines these days and then think they can book their whole holiday. This may work in some cases but it can be a dangerous game. Tour operators, especially niche players who are highly-focused on their target market, come into their own during major incidents such as the ash cloud crisis – when they can quickly and efficiently switch customers onto other flights or into different hotels. There will also always be a need for a tour operator who can manage a more complicated booking, such as for a group or for a special occasion. So, while the giants of the industry will need to shake-up their operations and restructure to survive, there will always be a place for the smaller operator who can be nimble and flexible, and offer great service when we most need it in times of trouble.

Quoted from: Paul Charles
   

NEWS

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Scott Dunn remains on acquisition trail after reporting profits increase for 2013
Scott Dunn saw revenues and profits increase sharply last year as it focused on expanding the range and quality of holidays.   
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Take to the High Seas in 2014
From a new ship in the Russian Far East to the launch of a new glamorous yacht club to expeditions into unknown parts of Indonesia - here's a glimpse of what's hot on the water for 2014.  
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New Andaz Peninsula Papagayo creates waves by unveiling the ultimate Costa Rican Surf Adventure
The new package allows keen surfers to hit the waves at the surfing mecca of Witch's Rock 
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Two of ITC Hotels' flagship restaurants recognised in Asia's '50 Best Restaurants' 2014
The much-coveted S. Pellegrino 'Asia's 50 Best Restaurants' winners were revealed last week in Singapore. 
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Powder White launches Easter Chalet exclusive from £69 per night
Skiers and boarders looking for a short Easter getaway can now book fully catered chalets on a per night per room basis. 
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Malaysia Airlines unveils new in-flight menu from Chef Richard Corrigan
Malaysia Airlines has partnered with Chef Richard Corrigan to create a limited edition in-flight menu launching this month. 
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PCC is now working with Hotel Arts Barcelona 
A leader in design, service and style as well as the place to stay for well-heeled travellers, the iconic Hotel Arts Barcelona celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014.
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Scott Dunn launches new Sweden portfolio 
New winter and summer itineraries in Sweden range from authentic ice experiences to unique Swedish safari adventures and are perfect for families, friends and couples.
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Andaz Peninsula Papagayo unveils 'Onda' Spa
New 11,000 square-foot Spa is elevated above the lush forest canopy looking out onto the Culebra Bay and features nine spacious treatment rooms. 
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The Arts Club is to open its own hotel in late 2014
The Arts Club, the private members' club established in 1863, is to add 16 beautifully designed hotel rooms and suites to its impressive Mayfair townhouse in late 2014. 
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Scott Dunn expands popular explorers clubs programme 
Since the launch in 2010, Scott Dunn's Explorers clubs have soared in popularity with a devoted following of families looking for the ultimate in holiday childcare. 
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Escape the crowds and get quirky across Asia this year with Ampersand Travel
Toboggan down the Great Wall of China, practice sunrise yoga in a deserted Indian city or go horse riding in Burma... 
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Malaysia Airlines cracks breakfast market with new first class menu
Freshly cooked eggs is the latest First Class breakfast menu option to be hatched by Malaysia Airlines.  
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Add some Olympic flavour to your Winter Holiday
From ski racing to bobsleighing, channel your inner Olympian this season as Winter Games fever takes hold. 
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Luxury Lodges of New Zealand 2014
Check out the newest luxury lodges in New Zealand from The Lodge at the Hills which is best for golfers to Minaret Station, New Zealand's first luxury tented lodge. 

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Habitat First Group welcomes initial planning permission approval for Silverlake in Dorset
Habitat First Group has warmly welcomed council approval for its plans to create sustainable holiday accommodation near Crossways in Dorset. 

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Head for the heights with Scott Dunn
While there has been a welcome return of the white stuff to the Alps, Scott Dunn holds the golden 'snow-sure' ticket for keen skiers still wishing to hit the slopes this month. 

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Scott Dunn adds three stunning new villas to their Mallorca portfolio for summer 2014
Scott Dunn villas come in all shapes and sizes from spacious traditional farmhouse to stylish townhouses.

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Alila Manggis launches coral conservation project
Alila Manggis has teamed up with conservation organisation, Yayasan Alam Indonesian Lestair (LINI) to develop the 'Coral Conservation Programme'. 

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Iniala Beach House in Phuket to open this week 
A 10-suite retreat mixing design, gastronomy and art from some of the world's most impressive creatives. 

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Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali wins 'Best Dressed Hotel' at Smith Hotel Awards
Triple win of celebrations with Alila Villas Uluwatu also runner up for 'Best Smith Hotel' and Alila Villas Soori voted 5th in 'Sexiest Hotel Room' category. 

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New Zealand world's largest pop-up book 
As movie fans await the imminent release of the second film of The Hobbit Triology, New Zealand has taken a cue from Hollywood by unveiling a giant pop-up book of New Zealand to Hollywood.  

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Alila Hotels & Resorts set to unveil 3 new properties in 2014 
Alila Hotels & Resorts, a leading Asian boutique hotelier, is to add three new properties to its lifestyle collection in 2014 - Alila Jabal Akhdar, Alila Seminyak and Alila Fort Bishangarh. 

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New Zealand named 'Favourite Country' at 2013 Telegraph Travel Awards
New Zealand has once again triumphed at the UK's prestigious Telegraph Travel Awards, beating off global competition to take the title of 'Favourite Country' for the second year running. 

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Andaz Peninsula Papagayo reveals 'Cultural Insiders' & Resort Team Stylist 
Marking the debut of the Andaz brand in Latin America when it launches this Decmeber, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo is to further work with a unique team of Cultural Insiders.  

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Malaysia Airlines partners with Chef Richard Corrigan
Malaysia Airlines has partnered with Chef Richard Corrigan, one of the UK and Ireland's most esteemed chefs and restaurateurs, to create and launch a limited edition in-flight menu from February 2014.   

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Kids ski free this half term with Powder White
Powder White is offering free lift passes for children this February Half Term, offering families great savings in the top snow sure resorts of Courchevel, Val d'Isere, Meribel, Verbier and St Anton.  

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A feast of world-class chefs
PCC (Perowne Charles Communications) is launching its Food & Drink division with a string of chefs and restaurants which are influencing the growing fashion for food around the world.  

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Introducing Cape View Clifton, Cape Town 
Cape Town's most enchanting new luxury guest house with spectacular views of the Atlantic coastline, Twelve Apostles and the city's iconic beaches 

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Channel your inner champion with Powder White's new ski-racing package
With the Winter Olympics set to take place in February 2014, Powder White has launched a new 'ski-racing' package. 

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Banish the winter blues with the 'Diwa by Design' package at Alila Diwa Goa
Alila Diwa Goa is offering those suffering from winter blues the perfect escape with its new 'Diwa by Design' package. 

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Extend the European summer festival season in the Southern Hemisphere
New Zealand offers a vibrant festival scene for UK travellers ranging from Rhythm & Vine to Big Day Out.

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Grow your family, and your portfolio, in the Cotswolds at Lower Mill Estate
Nestled in 550 acres of Cotswolds countryside, Lower Mill Estate is the award-winning vacation home community that is the perfect spot in which to invest in future generations. 

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The 2K14 Forecast to What's Hot in India 
With an incredible new ship setting sail on the Ganges, India's first truly mobile luxury camp extending their calender for the year ahead, there has never been a more exciting time to visit India. 

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Fly for free with Powder White
Leading independent ski specialist Powder White is offering its guests the chance to fly for free to the Alps this winter when they book a seven-night chalet holiday before 20th October 2013. 

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Scott Dunn - Ready, Steady, Snow, Ski 
Scott Dunn is kicking off their 2013/14 by extending their chalet portfolio. 

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Go Off Grid with 'Powder White Pure' 
Add a pure mountain escape to your holiday this season with new 24 hour ski touring packages including overnight in a traditional refuge.  

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23 Months to Work and Play in New Zealand 

New Zealand remains a dream Gap Year destination boasting the coolest festivals, most adrenalin-tastic experiences, world-class ‘silver screen’ locations and stunning natural beauty and wildlife.

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Scott Dunn Explorers Club to open in Thailand
Adding to existing clubs in Crete, Sicily, the Algarve, Cyprus and Courchevel, leading luxury tour operator Scott Dunn will open a new 'Intrepid Explorers Club' at Soneva Kiri in Thailand in October. 

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Powder White marks 10th anniversary with 10 new chalets
Leading independent ski-holiday provider, Powder White will mark a decade in the ski business with an expanded chalet programme and a tailored selection of 'hotel plus' experiences. 

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750 jobs to be created with the development of Silverlake
Up to 750 direct jobs are expected to be created if planning permission is given to an application for high-quality holiday accommodation on the site of Warmwell Quarry in Crossways. 

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UK visitor numbers increase to New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand says UK visitor numbers in the first half of 2013 were up 3.3%. Globally, there has been an increase in international visitor arrivals. 

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Brits Defy the Heatwave in Search of the Slope...

Whilst the UK basked in sunshine during the July heatwave, leading ski specialists Scott Dunn bucked the trend by witnessing a surge in ski enquiries for the forthcoming 2013/14 ski season. 

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TNZ launches first mobile app 'Essential New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has made a significant addition to its suite of digital marketing channels, with the launch of its first mobile app - 'Essential New Zealand'. 

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Iconic Three-Michelin Star Chef, Eric Frechon, To Bring His Signature Dishes to London

Eric Frechon, the award-winning three-Michelin star chef at Le Bristol Paris, is to bring his signature dishes to London for three days only this October. 

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Scott Dunn joins forces with Imagine Travel
Scott Dunn, one of the longest-established tour operators in the luxury travel sector, is to join forces with Imagine Travel after making a significant investment in the business. 

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Very Tasty - PCC to open Food and Drink Division led by former Wall Street Journal Europe columnist Bruce Palling

Bruce Palling, the Wall Street Journal Europe’s highly-respected food columnist, is joining PCC – Perowne Charles Communications to set up the consultancy’s new Food and Drink Division.

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Scott Dunn Adds Two New Ski Chalets in Val d'Isère
This December, leading UK ski operator Scott Dunn will unveil two new chalets in Val d'Isère for the 2013/14 ski season, increasing their portfolio within the resort to 10 properties.  

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New management appointment at Bivouac at Druid's Temple
Sam and Beth Hardwick and The Swinton Estate - the founding partners at the award winning Bivouac at Druid's Temple - have announced the appointment of a new management team. 

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A new masterpiece hotel joins Oetker Collection
Oetker Collection, one of the most prestigious luxury hotel companies, is pleased to announce its newest property: Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles.

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This Summer I will...
When it comes to chartering yachts to unique and exciting destinations Edmiston can consistently outperform the competition.

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The Alila Spa Brand goes global 
Alila Hotels & Resorts has launched Shop Alila making the Balinese inspired, community driven Alila Living Spa product range available for purchase online for the first time.

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Kia Ora - PCC is now working with Tourism New Zealand 

Possibly the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand's diverse and dramatic landscapes offer visitors every holiday they could ever want in one destination. 

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Silversea Announces World Cruise 2015

Leading cruise operator Silversea, renowned for its ultra-luxurious ships and exotic destinations, has announced that it will start 2015, with an exceptional voyage.

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The Art of Living to Eat

India specialist Ampersand announces the ultimate culinary journey through the culturally diverse north, east, south and west of India. 

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Christina O, the legendary superyacht goes up for sale for €25million through specialists Edmiston

Christina O, the iconic superyacht where John F Kennedy first met Winston Churchill, has been put up for sale for €25million via Edmiston, one of the leading specialists in the yacht sector.

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Malaysia Airlines Celebrates a Year of the A380

On 2 July Malaysia Airline celebrated the 1st anniversary of its Airbus A380 operation between London Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur.

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Introducing the new face of Costa Rican design - Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica – opening December 2013

One of Latin America’s most exciting new hotel openings will be unveiled this December on the dramatic Papagayo Peninsula on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  

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PCC sets up new sales and marketing arm to provide full PR and representation in the travel and leisure sector

Dynamic travel and leisure PR consultancy, PCC, is setting up a sales and marketing division so it can represent hotels and other clients for all of their communications and sales needs.

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Now you can paddle your own canoe – quite literally – as The Water Garden is unveiled at Lower Mill Estate

This July marks the launch of the Water Garden at the award-winning Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds – an exclusive development designed for the very best.

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Alila Villas Uluwatu partners With Bali WISE

Alila Villas Uluwatu has signed an agreement with the R.O.L.E. Foundation to provide onsite hospitality training for the students of the Bali WISE Vocational Skills Course.

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Malaysia Airlines Launches 'Down Under' Sale - Fly to Australia from £759 return

Malaysia Airlines has just launched the sale of the summer for those hoping to pick up some last minute savings for travel Down Under. 

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Edmiston Commission 57 Metre New Build

Edmiston, the leading superyacht company, has commissioned the construction of a spectacular new 57 metre Feadship.

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Award-Winning Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds unveils New Spa Weekend Breaks

Situated in the heart of one of Europe’s most significant nature reserves, Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds is bringing city chic to the countryside by unveiling a superb new weekend spa break.

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The ‘Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge’ is now open

As if anyone needed another reason to visit the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, it now introduces a glamorous new experience for it’s devoted clientele in 2013 – the ‘Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge’.

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Ampersand Travel brings you the finest selection of China

Ampersand Travel has created ‘The China Selection’, giving clients the lowdown on China with a carefully selected Little Black Book of what to do, where to avoid and of course, the very best-of-the-best places to stay.

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Copa de Cava 'bubbles under' Camino's fourth restaurant - Camino San Pablo in Black Friars Lane 

Discreetly located beneath Camino San Pablo, and built amid the brick vaults, Copa de Cava will offer the widest range of cavas in London with 28 different types. 

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A combination of speed and sophisticated elegance - the Aeroboat is launched by UK yacht designers Claydon Reeves

The Aeroboat, one of the fastest and most elegant small yachts ever produced, is perfect for anyone wanting to breakfast in St. Tropez and dine at night in Monaco.

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A380 all the way

Malaysia Airlines will commence a daily Airbus A380 service on the Kuala Lumpur - Hong Kong route effective 1 May 2013, offering UK passengers a daily A380 connection from London Heathrow through to Hong Kong.

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Island hopping the kangaroo way

Fraser, Hamilton and Dunk are all islands that are known to UK travellers but how about Lord Howe, Haggerstone and Orpheus for a spot of island hopping? Leading tour operator Scott Dunn picks out some of the lesser known Australian island experiences.

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Epic 2012 / 2013 snow season boosts ski holiday industry

Whilst the endless cold snap in the UK is starting to wear thin, it’s a different story for European ski resorts, which are benefitting from the best and most consistent snowfall in a generation.

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Camp Bagborough - the ultimate way to see Glastonbury 2013

You can enjoy the Festival with your own luxury tent in an English vineyard, tickets, interstage passes, private shuttle transport, meals, and pamper pack.

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Alila Hotels & Resorts to double portfolio over next two years

Leading boutique Asian hotelier Alila Hotels & Resorts will more than double its portfolio of boutique hotels and resorts by 2015, with ambitious plans to add up to 10 new properties in the next two years.

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Oetker Collection promotes two of its senior team to Senior Vice President roles as it continues expansion 

The Oetker Collection of masterpiece hotels has made two significant promotions to new roles within the senior leadership team, as it continues its strong expansion.

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Ski Nanny to the rescue... Easter ski with ease at the Kristiania, Lech 
The vision of an idyllic family ski holiday is often more dream than reality. Enter the Ski Nanny, the Kristiania in Lech's answer to all your family ski perils...

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Edmiston launches the E100 - one hundred of the best yachts available for charter worldwide
Superyachts specialist Edmiston has unveiled the E100 – what it believes to be the ultimate list of the 100 best yachts in the world available for charter

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Holiday like a modern day Gatsby on Nantucket Island
The May 2013 launch of the new film turns the spotlight onto the area where America’s ultra wealthy really go to play

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