What’s hot: July 2014

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

HOT

 

Marrakech
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Marrakech is never out of the limelight for long but right now the Red City is hotter than ever thanks to the arrival of an array of new boutiques, designers, musicians, museums and tours.
Morrocco’s Imperial city is proving popular with celebs too: British socialite and model, Poppy Delevingne, recentlycelebrated her marriage to James Cook, in Marrakech in front of the A list likes of  Alexa Chung, Princess Beatrice, Sienna Miller, Georgia May Jagger and Dynasty icon Joan Collins. And Ewan McGregor has also been in the city filming the adaption of John Le Carre’s novel Our Kind of Traitor.

Making a beeline for The St Ermin’s Hotel
London’s first bee hotel has arrived in the shape of The St Ermin’s Hotel in London’s St James’s Park. Designed and created by expert beekeeper, Camilla Goddard, the new bee hotel on the third floor provides a welcome home for a wide variety of visiting bee species. Peaceful bamboo nesting areas and condominiums (modern block or traditional log style) are for solitary bees such as the leaf cutter bee, whilst the bijou boxes are for social bees such as the tree bumble bee.

Medical tourism
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As millions of Brits start jetting off on their holidays, others will be travelling overseas for a very different reason this summer; overseas procedures have more than doubled (109 per cent) in the past two years alone, according to new research by private healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com. Thailand has proven a hotspot for dentures while the Czech Republic ranks highly with those seeking new noses!.Meanwhile  Poland is popular for  breast implants and Turkey has become a new hot spot for Kim Kardashian style butt lifts. Who knew?!

County retreat close to the capital
Good news for adrenaline loving Londoners: Center Parcs has opened its new resort just 45 minutes from the capital. Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire opened its doors on 6 June and the 362 acre site can accommpdate thousands of guests who can enoy activities such as Segway riding, laser clay shooting and canoeing. “We knew we wanted to build a new park and looking on the map, it made sense to do it here next to London,” said Martin Dalby – chief executive of Center Parcs.

Orlando
mickeyminnie
World-famous for killer whale shows, fast rides and Disney World, Orlando was by far the most-popular choice for Brits this summer – according to momondo.co.uk. (The website analysed its UK flight search data from the last three months, for travel during the UK summer holiday period, with a departure date between June and August 2014.) The message? The theme-park capital of the world is still a sought-after stay.

Dining out in locals homes
Want to enjoy dinner in a local home when are your hols? Enter new website EatWith (think Airbnb meets Come Dine With Me) which allows you to do just that. And fussy eaters need not fret: hosts are checked for food quality and hygiene by the EatWith team and must provide a photo gallery (so that guests have a good idea what to expect). Book dinner at Eatwith.com

 

NOT
Passport chaos
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Holiday season is almost upon us but thousands of Brits risk delayed trips as Passport Office staff face an overwhelming backlog in processing passport applications. The crisis can be partly attributed to Passport Office’s failure to prepare for the burden of procesing 350,000 expat Britons’ passports annually – something that was handled, until January, by the Foreign Office centres.
An extra 200 staff have been drafted in to help process passports and almost 1,000 employees – almost three times the usual number – are staffing a Passport Office telephone helpline, which is operating extended hours, seven days a week.

The Caribbean
Caribbean islands including the Dominican Republic are facing an epidemic of Chikungunya (the mosquito-borne virus). There have been 55,000 cases across the region since December 2013 – according to the Pan American Health Organisation – and the worry is that the virus has spread to Florida. Four cases have been recorded in the sunshine state to date.

Dating in London
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London maybe the world’s greatest city but it’s the also the most expensive one in the world. It has been estinated that the avergae date in the capital costs £72 compared to £15 in Bangalore (India). The high costs in the capital is due largely to cinema tickets so our advice would be: skip the cinema.

Elephant rides in Asia
Intrepid Travel has joined STA Travel in banning the sale of elephant rides on Asian holidays. The ban by both tour operators comes after the World Society for Proetction of Animals announced that elephant rides were harmful to elephants’ well being.

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