What’s hot: November 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel gives you the low-down on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the travel world right now

Italian hospitality in the Maldives
It might sound a tad incongruous but that’s exactly what Baglioni Resort in the Maldives, which opened on 1 October, is serving up.

The pristine white sandy beaches, personal butlers, fantastic sea-life and over water villas are 100 per cent Maldives but the interiors are all Italian. Expect handmade bed linen and bath towels from Fretee, Insium (a anti-ageing beauty line created by Italian Francesca di Lenardo) products  in the spa and bubbles by Italian fizz producer Ferrari Trento in the bar.
For the full low-down, see baglionihotels.com

Ayada in the Maldives

Just cruisin
TV chiefs are on the hunt for globetrotters for a brand new travel reality series called Cruise Trip which will be hosted by International Tour Guide Brendan Sheerin.
The call for Cruise Trip contestants reads: “Fancy joining the UK’s favourite tour guide on on a cruise to see some of the world’s top tourist spots?
“We are looking for pairs of potential tourists.
“You can be partners, friends, family or colleagues. If you are FUN and CONFIDENT and fancy the chance to come board apply today.
“A new travel show Cruise Trip sets sail very soon.”
But you’ll need to be quick: the closing date for applications is 15 November 2019. You can apply here.

Carnival Cruise Lines. Imge – Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines.

Flying from London to Sydney in four hours
Flight times between London and Sydney could be cut to just four hours by the 2030s with the help of new technology according to the head of the UK Space Agency Graham Turnock.

Scientists at Oxford based Reaction Engines are in the process of developing the Sabre, a new engine concept designed  to propel an aircraft to twice the speed of Concorde.

With a SABRE engine, commercial flights from London to Sydney, could be reduced from 20+ hours to just four-and-a-half hours. Meanwhile flights from London to New York would take just over one hour, instead of eight.

Best book
Ready to start your Christmas shopping? For the globetrotters in your life, look to the latest lust-worthy coffee table book from HIP Hotels: Spectrum 1V. Featuring the likes of top luxury hotel groups as well as a variety of independent boutique hotels, every property featured fulfils the criteria of a ‘Highly Individual Place’ (‘HIP’). Representing a collection of over 150 hotels spanning from Italy and Switzerland to Mexico, India, Oman and the USA, HIP Hotels’ newest tome continues to introduce readers to an array of unique and characterful stays across the globe. £45; hiphotels.com

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge
One of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, Sydney Harbour Bridge, has just celebrated the 21st anniversary of members of the public scaling its steel arches soaring 440 ft above sea level.
Sydney Harbour Bridge has been the setting of countless proposals and special celebrations and welcomed a host of celebrities from Aussies Hugh Jackman and Damien Martyn (Marto) to Oprah, Ben Stiller, Will Smith, Katy Perry, Luke Evans and Gigi Hadid. bridgeclimb.com

Arial view of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Fly to the Scandinavian mountains
Scandinavian Mountains airport – located near the Norwegian-Swedish border, about 180km north-east of Oslo and 350km north-west of Stockholm – is scheduled to open next month giving skiers access to the twin resorts of Salen and Trysil for the very first time.

Scandinavian Mountains Airport (also known as Sälen-Trysil airport) will be the first airport in the world to be built without an air traffic control tower, using a virtual control tower instead. 

Heading to Hampshire
Jane Austen’s much-loved Hampshire is expecting another surge of interest thanks to an ITV adaptation of her unfinished novel, Sanditon. Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the charming and slightly wild Sidney Parker.

Hampshire was the birthplace of Jane Austen, as well as home to the people, and the society, which provided inspiration for many of her novels. 

Paying your respects to Rihanna in Barbados
RiRi who sang about her Umbrella-ella-ella and went on to have major chart and film success
before evolving into a style icon and makeup entrepreneur could soon have her own museum in her native Barbados.

The prime minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, revealed that conversations are already underway between Rihanna’s manager brother and the Barbados government.

barbados beach

Faking a vacation

Can’t afford the time/money to jet away but don’t want your social media accounts to slip? Online company, Fake A Vacation, will help you do just that. 

“Get your vacation pictures delivered in your inbox and get ready to brag to your friends on where you went. We take care of everything from providing pictures to educating you about the destination,” says the online photo editing provider. 

Ordering your set of personalised photos is simple. First, select your dream destination, then send over some pictures of yourself which are then superimposed onto other backgrounds. Once you get the images, you’re free to splash them all over social media.  Packages start at $US19 and are processed within three business days.

Raising the tourist tax in Amsterdam
Not content with having one of the highest tourist taxes in Europe, Amsterdam will be asking its visitors for even more money as of 2020.
From January, foreign visitors to the Dutch capital will be charged €3 per person, per night, to stay in a hotel. That’s on top of the  current seven per cent of the room rate. 

And if you’re staying in an Airbnb property, don’t think you’ll be exempt from the tax: tourists with Airbnb bookings will also pay an increased rate of 10 per cent per night.

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