What’s hot: March 2014

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month it’s good news for The Shard and Sochi but bad news for Bangkok and anyone planning a trip to the Kingdom of Bling


Crew Calendar

Nok Air has launched the first cabin crew calendar starring… six packs. Yes the low cost Thai airline’s offering features men and can be bought on Nok Air flights. But before you all rush to book a flight with Nok Air in the hope of meeting model cabin crew member, be warned: the airline used models as opposed to airline staff for its calendar.

Sleeping at the Shard

The launch date for Shangri La’s luxury hotel at the Shard in London has finally been set… huzzah. The hotel, which occupies floors 34-52, will open on May 6 with room ratings starting at £450. If you fancy a night at the Shard, make a note of March 17 – this is the date that booking opens.

Food with a view

Staying in London it seems that Londoners have developed a taste for skyscraper dining: dining rooms in Skyscrapers dominated the top places in Squaremeal’s league table of the most visited restaurants in 2013. The Oblix Grill (on the 32nd floor of the Shard) was the most popular followed by Aqua Shard (on the 31st floor of the Shard). Hutong (on the 33rd floor of the Shard) claimed sixth place while the high rise Oxo Tower Restaurant was eighth.

This time last month, not many people had heard of Sochi. Fast forward four short weeks and Sochi is firmly on the travel map having successfully hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Next up Sochi is staging Russia’s first winter Formula 1 Grand Prix, followed by the Fifa World Cup in 2018. Four major sporting events in as many years? Sochi will soon be in the headlines for all the right reasons.

Backpacking in Europe made easy

Attention anyone planning a backpacking trip around Europe. New website Goeuro.com compares rail, coach and air fares all across Europe and suggests the best route for backpackers based on travel time, price and ease. Bottom line? Backpackers now only need to visit one website to plan their adventures. Result.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

We can’t wait for Wes Anderson’s latest film – The Grand Budapest Hotel – which hits the silver screen on 7 March. The film tells the story of a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) at a famous European hotel between the wars, who is framed for the murder of a guest. A superb supporting cast (take a bow Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson and Jude Law) and fabulously flamboyant 1930s costumes designed by Oscar winning designer Milena Canonero help make this March’s must-see movie.


David Gest – the American producer and TV personality best known for his marriage to Liza Minnelli – is rumoured to be buying a home in the historic city of York. The former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! star is on record as saying: “York is the most beautiful city in the UK. It is where I find serenity and peace within myself. When the time comes, I want to be buried here.” A case of Guest knows best?


Cruise line Crystal Cruises has cancelled visits to Bangkok until spring 2015 owing to the Thai capital’s “unpredictable and growing violence.”


Looking to start a new life abroad? You might want to hink twice before relocating to China. A survey by GlobalVisas.com has revealed that 56 per cent of expatriates who emigrate to China are unhappy citing “cultural differences” as the biggest challenge. The best place to choose? Canada. The survey showed that 87 per cent of expats are happy in China. Dubai, New Zealand Norway and Australia also ranked well in the happiness index.


Planning a trip to the Kingdom of Bling in search of the three Ss – that’s sun, sand and shopping? You’d better go soon if you want to avoid being hit by a tourist tax. From 31 March 2014 the ambitious emirate is introducing a tax (between approximately £1.17 to £3.33 a night) to fund infrastructure projects it needs to develop ahead of hosting the World Expo in 2020.

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