What’s hot: December 2013

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

CD-Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month Barbados and British Airways are in the headlines for all the right reasons but it’s bad news for residents of Stoke on Trent and Red Sea hoteliers



Chowing down in Carnaby Street
In the swinging sixties, Carnaby Street was hot property but in subsequent decades, the area has been content to live on past glories. Fast forward to December 2013 and the area is enjoying a renaissance as a gastronomic hub. Top London restaurateurs Alan Yau and Vivek Singh have both set up shop in Soho. Other recent openings include Rum Kitchen, Whyte & Brown, Rosa’s Thai Cafe and Moosh juice bar. Pack your appetite and get going.


One night in Paris

Fancy flying to the French capital but don’t want to fork out a fortune on a flight? Happily you no longer have to as Easyjet has launched a new route from London Gatwick to gay Paris. CD-Traveller checked out the Easyjet website and was delighted to find that flights often worked out cheaper than travelling by Eurostar. Easyjet has also launched new routes to Newcastle, Jersey and Brittany but for sheer romance, the City of Lights can’t be beaten.


Visiting the Inca citadel of Choquequirao
Visiting the Inca citadel of Choquequirao is about to get a whole lot easier. At present the sister site to Machu Picchu can only be reached after a two day, 20 mile hike. However come 2015, a £36m cable car – the country’s first – will carry up to 3,000 visitors a day to Peru’s archeological site in under an hour.


South Sudan

Bradt Travel Guides has published the first guide book to the world’s newest country, South Sudan which was declared as an independent country to Sudan in 2011. While the guide acknowledges that the country is unlikely to become a “tourism hotspot in the near future”, it hails Boma National Park and white water rafting as just a few of the things that adventurous travellers to South Sudan must do.


Checking into The Casa San Augustin
The Casa San Augustin in Colombia has been hailed as the most popular new hotel in the world according to TripAdvisor. The hotel review website released its inaugural list for the new hotels praised by guests and the Colombian bolt-hole topped the lost. Kura Design Villas Uvita in Costa Rica came second, while Taj Palace Marrakech in Morocco was third.


Travelling light
Hurray! British Airways’ hand baggage only fares now apply to flights departing from Heathrow and London City airports as well as Gatwick. Return flights to destinations including Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Stockholm are £20 cheaper than those that include checked baggage. If you opt for the hand baggage only fare, you’re entitled to a carry on a case measuring a maximum of 56cmx45cm in addition to a laptop bag or handbag.


Booking a Barbados holiday

The Caribbean island is handing out ip to £127 per person to anyone who books a holiday in Barbados. The Barbados Tourism Authority believes that Air Passenger Duty (APD) has deterred British tourists from visiting and hopes that the scheme – the first of its kind in the world – will halt declining visitor numbers. Sadly there are no plans to abolish APD which the Caribbean nations regard as excessive and unfair

Stoke on Trent

Stoke on Trent is officially the most miserable area in the the UK according to the latest data to emerge from David Cameron’s much-mocked Happiness Index.  Stoke scores lowly owing to its high unemployment, poor health and low life expectancy. By contrast Cornwall and Hampshire are the happiest. In the capital, the south London suburb of Croydon is the least satisfied borough. Croydon, whose most famous daughter is supermodel Kate Moss, scored an average rating of 7 followed by Barking & Dagenham on 7.06 and Hackney on 7.07. Conversely the happiest areas in the capital were the City followed by Kensington & Chelsea on 7.68 and Bromley on 7.73.


European city breaks
Planning a long weekend away in Europe? Be prepared to pay for it. Booking site, Trivago, has revealed that European hotel prices are up by as much as 24 per cent compared with 2012.
Barcelona is the worst offender but prices in Amsterdam are up by 22 per cent while prices in Florence are up by 20 per cent. Prices in Granada, Venice and Turin have risen by 17, 16 and 16 per cent respectively while London hotels are up by six per cent. For bargain breaks, make for Madrid where average prices have fallen by seven per cent..


Red Sea hotels
The future for Egypt’s Red Sea resorts looks bleak: one in three hotels has now closed while those that remain open are struggling to fill even a fifth of their rooms. Despite tour operators offering heavy discounts on holidays to the Red Sea riviera, winter bookings are down 57 per cent on last year.


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