What’s hot: February 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world

HOT
Checking into The Chedi
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GHM’s latest property has hailed by award-winning European newspaper, SonntagsZeitung, as Switzerland’s  top-rated hotel. The accolade is another feather in the cap of GHM –  developer and operator of some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and resorts. Last year, the group’s flagship in Vietnam, The Nam Hai Hoi An, made Condé Nast Traveller’s prestigious ‘Gold List’ while The Chedi Muscat, GHM’s only property in the Middle East, clinched the No. 7 spot in Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards. GHM’s portfolio is set to expand again when the 34-villa Chedi Club Jimbaran opens on a secluded hillside of southern Bali in the first half of 2015.

Soaking up the sun in Palm Springs

jeep and flowers in Palm springs

Surrounded by the stunning San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains, Palm Springs stands for everything JAT loves: hot weather, fabulous sun tanned bodies and some of the some of the swankiest hotels and bars on the planet.
There’s never a bad time to visit Palm Springs – which was once home to the King of Cool, Frank Sinatra, and his Rat Pack cronies – but 12-22 February aka Modernism Week – is a particularly great time to go. The showcase event for the city’s modernist architecture (the best preserved collection in the world) is celebrating is 10th anniversary with a series of walking tours of iconic houses (including Ol’Blue Eyes who would have been 100 in 2015) and neighbourhoods.

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica triumphed big time at the recent World Travel Awards 2014 – winning a total of five awards, including the ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination’ and World’s Leading Cruise Destination’ (for the ninth consecutive year). The awards were announced at the World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony at CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla on 6 December 2014, by host Vivica A. Fox. A further two awards recognised a couple of Jamaica’s premier resorts: Fleming Villa at GoldenEye Resort was named the ‘World’s Leading Villa’ and Round Hill Hotel & Villas collected the award for the ‘World’s Leading Villa Resort.’

New year, new look for Ethiad
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Ethiad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, has unveiled its stylish new uniforms designed by Italian Ettore Bilotta. Male flight attendants will sport a chic three piece suit and burnt orange tie while women will say goodbye to the side veil and instead wear a beret style hat and neck scarves in maroon hues. Do you love or loathe Ethiad’s new uniforms? Let us know by posting a comment below!

Flying with Garuda
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Garuda – Indonesia’s national carrier – has been given a five star rating by Skytrax. The accolade – from the world’s leading airline and airport review specialist – commends consistently exceptional service and performance. Other airlines to have achieved a five star rating from Skytrax include Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Azores
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The results are in and the first ever ‘Global Sustainable Destinations Top 100’ study has revealed that the undiscovered archipelago of the Azores was the world’s most sustainable tourism destination in 2014.
The breath-taking volcanic archipelago situated in the heart of the Atlantic achieved a Global Sustainable Tourism Review (GSTR) score of 8.9 out of 10, the highest of any destination in the study and the highest combined score for measures of green tourism policy, nature, environment, society, culture and green economy. The CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Dr Randy Durband, was Special Advisor to the Global Sustainable Destinations Top 100, a joint initiative by four leading organisations in the sustainable travel arena (Vision on Sustainable Tourism, Totem Tourism, Green Destinations and Travel Mole).

Paris at pocket pleasing prices

The Eiffel Tower - an iconic symbol of Paris

Paris is a fantastic city but, let’s face it: it’s never been a cheap date with prices for accommodation in particular shockingly high. Which is why news that an eight story office block in Paris’s 10th arrondisement has been transformed – by the brand Generator -into a whopping 916 bed hostel has put a huge smile on our faces! Options range from dorms (that can accommodate upto 10 guests) to twin rooms for those seeking more privacy. Other pluses? You’ll find a bar, restaurant and a rooftop terrace boasting breathtaking views of Montmartre and Sacre Couer. See you there!

Driving away for Christmas

Will Santa bring Adrian a holiday this year?

Here at JAT headquarters we understand that not everyone is enamoured about by the thought of spending December 25 holed up at home with the relatives so we weren’t surprised by the results from hotels.com’s global survey of 8,000 people that showed that two thirds of people polled (64%) spent Christmas 2014 away from home.
Over 8,000* respondents across 28 countries were asked to reveal their travel habits over the winter season, with only 36% admitting to staying put – over a quarter (28%) even revealed they choose to stay in a hotel in their own country rather than enjoying the comforts of home. From the global study, the most popular destination to visit over Christmas and New Year was the US, followed by Japan and Thailand in second and third place respectively.  The UK came in joint ninth place with Taiwan as the most popular destination to visit.

New Zealand
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The spotlight is set to shine on the land of the long white cloud in 2015 – and not just because of Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is co-hosting (together with Australia) the ICC Cricket World Cup from 14 Feb to 29 March in cities such as Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, Auckland and Wellington. The latter will also be celebrating 150 years as a capital city with festivities planned for the duration of July. Elsewhere the Skyline Rotorua Mountain Bike Gravity Park (which opened last year) will be the first southern hemisphere venue for the Crankworx mountain biking festival, running from 25-29 March.

NOT
The Gambia
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Planning on going to The Gambia for some winter sun? Travel and tread carefully – or so says the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The British government department hasn’t warned against travelling to the West African country  but said it is keeping its travel advice ‘under constant review’ following reports of gunfire in the in the capital, Banjul, over the New Year. The FCO reports that ‘attacks on tourists are increasing’ in the Gambia and corruption in the country is “endemic at all levels.” Subsequently holidaymakers to The Gambia are advised take precautions.

 

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