What’s hot: September 2011, part two

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

CD Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world

HOT
Boutique Beijing

Grace Beijing, part of the expanding boutique hotel group Grace Hotels, has opened its doors in China’s dynamic capital. Situated in Beijing’s hip 798 Art district, the 30 room boutique hotel is becoming known for its Bauhaus influenced warehouses contain studios, galleries and bookshops – as well as its onsite restaurant, Yi House, which serves both Asian and Mediterranean food. More Grace Hotels are scheduled next year in the US, Panama and Argentina.

Madame Tussauds to open in Sydney
Fancy being photographed with Aussie actors such as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, when you’re down under? As of May 2012 – when Merlin Entertainments opens Madame Tussauds, Sydney – you can. The Sydney museum of wax figures is the company’s 13th to open worldwide and fourth in Asia Pacific and will be home to wax figure celebs such as Lady Gaga and Johnny Depp.

Seeing a show on Broadway
Heading to the Big Apple this autumn? Don’t miss Broadway week. The event (which is actually a generous 13 days) sees 16 of the biggest shows (step forward Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Jersey Boys et al) offer theatregoers two-for-one tickets from September 18-30. Off-Broadway week will take place from September 26-October 9 and encompasses shows such as the long running Stomp, Avenue Q and Million Dollar Quartet. Now that’s something to sing about…

British Airways
The British national carrier has been voted one of the 10 safest commercial airlines, according to a study by the Geneva based Air Transport Rating Agency. The study took into account criteria including the number of accidents that have occurred in the past 10 years, pilot training and fleet age.  KLM, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa and six US carriers also had the honour of making the list.

Rio’s on a roll
There has never been a better time to visit Brazil, as it gears up for the World Cup. BA has increased its services to Rio de Janeiro from three to six flights a week. Flights now depart for Rio every day, except Mondays. “We are experiencing a real increase in demand for Rio and by doubling the number of frequency, we are able to offer our customers more choice and greater availability,” says Neil Cottrell – BA’s head of network planning.

To boldly go
Trekkies rejoice! A Star Trek theme park is being built by Jordan’s King Abdullah who is a huge fan of the sci-fi show. In addition to a virtual reality space flight adventure, the £1 billion Red Sea Astrarium will include hotels, theatres, dining and shopping. Work on the park will start next year in Aqaba.

Sleeping in a ship
A one room hotel in the shape of a ship is being built. The unique hotel which will be situated on top of the Southbank Centre, has an en-suite double bedroom, kitchenette, library and viewing deck looking across London town from Big Ben to St Paul’s. Prices will start at £120 a night, with only one night a person permitted. The project is the inspiration of arts body Artangel, and is aimed to giving ordinary folk a chance to stay in extraordinary buildings. Work on the hotel began earlier this month and the hotel should be ship shape (sorry!) by January 1.

British Midlands International
We’re loving British Midlands International right now. Not only does BMI currently have a cracking sale but the airline has also announced the reintroduction of free hot meals and freshly baked cakes on its European short haul services. Expect to be served “handmade cakes including Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle and carrot cake” for “elevenses and afternoon tea” on all flights departing from the UK, Ireland and Hanover and hot food on all European services.

NOT
Moscow
A 50 city survey by the Hogg Robinson Group has exposed hotels in Moscow as the most expensive in the world, with a double room costing approximately £261 on average. The survey also showed that prices in two thirds of cities have risen since last year.

Olympic accommodation
It’s under a year until the Olympic Games in London. If you have managed to secure a ticket, congratulations.  If you have booked a London hotel room, an even bigger congratulations. Rooms at the likes of the Lanesborough, Park Lane, W, Meriden are already booked out, while the Hilton has “as part of [its] commitment to the winning bid” allocated most of its rooms and suites to Olympic organisers.  Grrrrr.

To keep up-to-date with what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world,CD Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world, don’t forget to read What’s hot: October, which will go live exclusively on the CD traveller website on October 1.

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