What’s hot: May 2013

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

JustAboutTravel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month it’s all about taking a trip to Times Square,  bobbing around in the Dead Sea and schlepping to Sydney

Islington
Single and ready to mingle? Make for the London borough of Islington which has the highest ration of single people in the country according to a recent report by the Office for National Statistics. The figures show that 60 per cent – double the national average – of adults In Islington have never been married or been in a civil partnership. The figure for the rest of England and Wales is 35 per cent.

Booking accommodation in Brazil
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Heading to Brazil this summer to watch the World Cup? So is every man and his dog meaning that finding decent, available accommodation will prove problematic. Which is why we’re loving new website, Sunset Visitor. Founded by Stephane Bouvier, the site selects 60 charming places to stay both by the beach and in the city. What’s more, each and every option has been tested by Stephane so satisfaction is guaranteed. See www.sunsetvisitor.com

Swiss bliss
If mediation and massages don’t do it for you, why not give the world’s first giant singing bowl a go? Lake Lucerne’s Palace Luzern Hotel has installed a hammock above a 1.2 tonne solid bronze bowl. When struck, the bowl – which took 15 years to make – sends “1,000 frequencies through the body ensuring a state of lightness and deep relaxation.” For the full low-down, see www.palace-luzern.ch

Times Square
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Taking a trip to Time Squares in the near future? You’re not alone. New York City’s iconic square is, says stats from Forbes Traveler, the world’s most popular tourist destination. Time Square is famed for its New Year’s Eve ball drop but it’s also home to the Times Square’s Tickets Booth. It opened eight years later than planned and cost nine times as much as expected, but the discount Broadway box office’s ‘stairway to nowhere’ – 27 ruby red glass steps climbing up its back – is a spectacle worth the wait selling cut rate, same day tickets to Broadway shows.

Sydney lights up
See the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and other Aussie icons in a brand new light later this month from 23 May-9 June inclusive when Vivid Sydney will transform the aforementioned landmarks with some stunning 3D projections. But be warned: if you’re schlepping to Sydney, don’t skimp on time. Australia is a continent not a country…

A fin-tastic hotel
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Guests to the newly opened Thorpe Park Shark Hotel are greeted via the wide open jaws of a giant metal shark which should make for shark-tastic (sorry!) arrival. The new look hotel situated on the Thorpe Park Resort Island also features 90 shark themed rooms in a stunning waterfront location, only a fin away from the rides and roller-coasters. The best bit? Short break packages which include two day park tickets, start at just 39.99 pp. Book at thorpepark.com

Discovering the Dead Sea
Always wanted to bob around like a cork in the Dead Sea? Us too. Here at Just About Travel towers we’ve long been intrigued by the prospect of floating in the Dead Sea (it’s actually a lake) that’s an incredible 8.6 times saltier than the ocean! Happily getting there just got easier and quicker thanks to the DeadSeaBus. The appropriately titled bus runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and can also drop passengers off at other Dead Sea destinations including King Herod’s winter palace and the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Masada. thinkisrael.com

Andy Murray’s ace hotel
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We know him first and foremost as a tennis player, but Andy Murray is also a hotelier. The Scot bought Cromlix – a Victorian mansion, three miles from his home town of Dunblane – last year and following in the footsteps of celebs such as Clint Eastwood, Bono and The Edge, Olivia Newton John and Francis Ford Coppola, has opened a hotel. The Perthshire property compromises 10 bedrooms and five suites – all named after Scots who inspired Murray.

Smuggling squash
We’re not making it up: one mad passenger really did try to smuggle a four stone squash through customs at Birmingham airport. The bemused/confused staff also found 175lb of fish and 94,000 cigarettes on the passenger who had travelled to Birmingham but Bangladesh, It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world…

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