Travel & Leisure

Travel and leisure news, including tours, guides and hotels.
  1. Unlike those who travel to a destination for dental work, to embark on an adventure or to retreat from reality on a detox, “crisis tourists” do not journey towards something, instead they head in the other direction, and, if possible, incorporate a holiday while doing so. But when the disaster being fled is a pandemic, going anywhere at all is nothing short of irresponsible.In early February, after the Indonesian government temporarily banned direct flights to and from mainland China and…
  2. The goodFounded in AD789, Fez is the oldest and best-preserved city in Morocco and was the country’s first capital. The medina, Fez el Bali, takes travellers back in time and entering is like stumbling onto a medieval movie set. Surrounded by walls that stretch for 8km, the Unesco World Heritage Site is criss-crossed by 9,500 narrow streets and 9,600 carpet shops (only joking).The call to prayer merges with cries of “Balek!” (look out!) from donkey drivers as they squeeze through the throng…
  3. There have been many losers as the spread of Covid-19 decimates economies, and the hotel industry is among the worst hit. Many properties have shut up shop while some try desperately to tempt paying customers through the door. The Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok is among the latter.Set in lush gardens in the centre of the Thai capital, the hotel is not the first to offer a quarantine deal – the Dorsett Wanchai and Park Lane, in Hong Kong, have done so, for example, as has Singapore’s…
  4. The Sunset Peak massif dominates the interior of eastern Lantau Island and its high grassy slopes make for some of the finest upland hiking in Hong Kong. There’s an expansiveness to the landscape, which seems splendidly remote from the city – making it feel like a real escape. But first, you have to get there. The most popular route follows a section of the Lantau Trail, which you might start from the western end, at Pak Kung Au, 333m (1093ft) above sea level; or at Nam Shan to the east. Nam…
  5. The weather was getting warmer, children were gearing up for summer and you were excited to bid your workplace adieu for a week or two. Now, you may be left with extra paid time off and no beach to spend it on.Whether you’re being forced to use your holiday days now to care for children who are suddenly home full-time or have to divert your Thailand trip, the coronavirus pandemic does not have to completely rob you of a holiday. World travellers Jessica Nabongo, who has been to every country in…
  6. Until recently, Airbnb encapsulated the first-world problems of living in a global “superstar” city.Over the past decade, the app that connects fly-by-night tourists and short-term renters to “cosy” lofts and five-star “experiences” morphed into a gig-economy nightmare for cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona.Booming demand fuelled an oversupply of tourists, an undersupply of housing for locals and extra strain on public infrastructure. Scammers and fraudsters prospered. Many cities began…
  7. Do you suspect you miss travelling more than your friends and family do? You could be suffering from a condition called dromomania – literally an uncontrollable urge to walk or wander, also used by psychologists to describe travel addiction. As borders close and airlines pause operations, many of us will handle the coronavirus travel lockdown with simple shrug of the shoulders and a wistful comment about waiting until this has all blown over. But how are ‘travel addicts’ adjusting to life in…
  8. At the beginning of 1920 – with the worst of the Spanish flu pandemic over and relieved tourists flocking abroad in full carpe diem mode – Hong Kong’s hotels were full. The Hongkong Hotel, the King Edward Hotel, the Palace and the Carlton were all still advertising in the papers, but vacancies were rare. “The need for hotel accommodation in Hongkong,” declared The Hongkong Daily Press on January 9, “has never been so felt as in the last two days.” The 83-strong Russian Grand Opera Company, it…
  9. Nudge a Hong Kong hotel concierge and you will get a bounty of anecdotes. Prod Louis Baleros, chief concierge at the InterContinental in Tsim Sha Tsui and he responds with a veritable archive.“We had a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family staying with us once. He had a strange habit because he only liked to go out after midnight,” Baleros recalls. “Then I was told he wanted to go to a video games arcade. This was Chinese New Year’s Eve, so I had to find a place that would agree to stay open…
  10. As a lifelong cyclist and bike traveller, the very essence of cycling for me has always been to get outside and to discover the world and its many great rides. While our future cycling trips and adventures may have been paused for the time being, it’s probably more important than ever to saddle up and go for a ride, and there are now many superb virtual cycling options available. The idea of riding on a sweaty and static bike trainer while staring at a wall might sound like self-inflicted…