In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • New york hotel

    1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

    New York views from new hotel

    about 20 hours ago

    Guests are promised views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty from most rooms at a hotel just opened on the New York waterfront. Work on the 194 room property, called 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, was disrupted when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the US easy coast in 2012. Subsequent changes in planning requirements forced a massive redesign. The ten storey hotel is on Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85 acre ‘beautification project’ that stretches for 1.3 miles along the East River. Among its eco credentials are wind power and construction using reclaimed materials including pine beams from a former sugar factory. Marbles showers have hourglass timers to remind guests to conserve water.

  • E grand tour courtesy

    E-Grand Tour - courtesy

    Electric car tour set for launch

    2 days ago

    Switzerland is to launch the world’s first road trip entirely accessible to drivers of electric cars. Around 200 rapid charging stations will be available along the 1000 mile route from April – at hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. The itinerary is the same as follows that of the current Grand Tour of Switzerland.. The development will face a significant test in June when the WAVE (World Advanced Vehicle Expedition) electric vehicle rally will follow the route.

  • Ryanair2


    Edinburgh to get huge budget flight expansion

    3 days ago

    Ryanair plan a huge increase in flights from Edinburgh next winter. The low cost airline will fly to new fewer than 13 new destinations: Baden, Budapest, Eindhoven, Carcassonne, Eindhoven, Hamburg, Nantes, Prague, Toulouse, Venice and to Szczecin, Katowice and Wroclaw in Poland. It will also start services from Glasgow to Krakow and Madrid.

  • Palazzo grillo

    Hotel Palazzo Grillo

    Genoa palazzo opens as hotel

    6 days ago

    After three years of painstaking work costing over € millions, a 16th century mansion in the north west Italian city of Genoa opened at the weekend as a spectacular luxury hotel. Palazzo Grillo’s 25 rooms and suites – and other areas – are rich in frescoes by Bergamasco and paintings by Giovanni Pattista Castello and Domenicp Piola. Also open to sightseers, the hotel overlooks the Piazza delle Vigne.

  • Emil nolde

    Emil Nolde's portrait of painter Schmidt-Rottlluff (1906)

    Leipzig: expressionists go on show

    7 days ago

    A major new art exhibition has opened this week in the German city of Leipzig – already a fascinating and still relatively unsung short break destination. A total of 150 paintings, drawings and prints by the expressionist group Die Brucke will go on show at the German city’s Museum of Fine Arts. The group, which included Ernst Kirchner and Karl Schmidt Rottluff, coalesced around Emil Nolde with his characteristic ‘colour storms’. The exhibition runs from until 5 June.

  • Schiphol trial

    Biometric boarding

    Biometric boarding goes on trial

    8 days ago

    Passengers boarding aircraft are being checked by facial recognition in a voluntary trial at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. If it proves successful the technology could replace the customary passport and boarding pass checks. If they want to participate, travellers must first register at the gate selected for the trial. Their passports, boarding passes and faces are then scanned. The trial, which will take at least three months, is being conducted with the cooperation of KLM. The airport’s management says all personal information is deleted automatically after boarding. In a trial we reported earlier, Schiphol is also testing a scanner that allows passengers to leave laptops and liquids in their cabin baggage.

  • Norwegian


    New Edinburgh – US flights planned

    9 days ago

    Low cost airline Norwegian will announce flights to the US from Edinburgh ‘in the coming weeks’. Details of destinations are as yet unavailable but will form part of a major expansion by the carrier at the Scottish airport. This will include a tripling of services to Copenhagen – from two a week to six, a doubling of flights to Oslo – from three a week to six and a third weekly flight to Stockholm.

  • Wow

    WOW air

    WOW air to offer extra legroom

    10 days ago

    Icelandic airline WOW is to introduce extra legroom seats on its long haul routes such as those to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The low cost carrier markets these flight6s with connecting services from UK airports. The seats, which will be available in a new cabin on Airbus A330 aircraft from 1 June, will provide 37in of legroom – roughly matching premium economy on major international airlines – compared with the 30in generally on offer.

  • Honduras courtesy www.honduras

    Honduras - courtesy

    Honduras holidays launched

    13 days ago

    Honduras, according to Journey Latin America,“is quietly upgrading its infrastructure and slowly revealing its charms”. So with guided excursions to a coffee plantation and an archipelago of unpopulated coral islets, the specialist tour company is to operate its first holidays focusing exclusively on the Central American country. The eleven day packages include visits to Mayan ruins, a stay at Pico Bonito – a lodge in a rainforest – and three days on the Caribbean island of Roatan, once the lair of the notorious pirate Henry Morgan. They cost £2101. Including B&B accommodation but excluding international flights.

  • Rila monastery where boris's heart is buried

    Rila Monastery

    Ride on the tracks of King Boris

    14 days ago

    Steam excursions on the Royal Train of King Boris III – the former Bulgarian Tsar– have been launched by rail holiday specialist Ffestiniog Travel. They form part of a nine day, escorted exploration of Bulgaria using historic carriages from the train that carried Boris, who dies in 1943. During his reign the country entered the Second World War on he Axis side. Boris resisted Hitler’s demand that his country’s Jews be deported and helped thousands from Slovakia on their way to Palestine, though some 11,000 in Bulgarian administered Macedonia and Thrace were sent to death camps. The rail holiday itinerary includes a visit to Rila Monastery, where his heart is buried. It departs on 11 May and costs from £3,750 for each of two sharing, including flights from Heathrow, B&B and dinners.

  • Valdes peninsula argentina copyright reinhard jahn mannheim nanosmile

    Valdes Peninsula, Argentina - © Reinhard Jahn Mannheim

    Argentina hotel prices set to fall

    15 days ago

    Hotel prices for foreign visitors to Argentina are expected to start falling significantly during the next few weeks. They are now exempt from a 21% tax in stays. According to the Latin America Travel Association travellers will need to provide copies of their passports on booking to qualify for the exemption.

  • Ba shorthaul

    British Airways

    BA to launch new summer flights

    16 days ago

    British Airways is to launch flights to seven more destinations from Manchester in May. It will operate in summer only to Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza and Palma, Nice, the Greek island of Mykonos and London City Airport. All the flights will operate once a week at weekends. BA will also start new services from Stansted to Florence, Geneva and Nice. And the airline plans changes at London City Airport, with a new three times weekly summer service to another Greek island, Skiathos and the withdrawal of flights to Angers in France and Hamburg.

  • 14 0614 beauty of the chilean fjords

    Chilean fjords

    Swan Hellenic to sail again

    17 days ago

    Swan Hellenic, the cultural cruise specialist, has been given a new lease of life following the collapse of its former owner, the All Leisure Group. The brand has been acquired by adventure travel company G Adventures from All Leisure’s administrators. The deal is understood not to have included Swan Hellenic’s ship, Minerva. G Adventures, which had already taken over two other All Leisure brands – Travelsphere and Just You – plans to start restart the cruise operation next year. Itineraries will be unveiled this summer. Its vice president of global sales, John Warner, said: “Our long term aim is to re-launch Swan Hellenic and re-establish the award winning values that make it so well loved.”

  • Winter towpath courtesy canal and river trust

    Winter towpath - courtesy of Canal & River Trust

    Take to the towpath

    20 days ago

    Details of 17 winter towpath walks have been compiled by the Canal & River Trust. Routes vary from the urban – along Birmingham’s network or Lancaster’s ‘Black and White Canal’ – to the rural – on waterways including the Kennet & Avon and Oxford Canals. With historical references and information on parking and local pubs, the selection has been drawn up in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society and iFootpath. For more information visit

  • Alhambra


    South to Granada – from Gatwick

    21 days ago

    easyJet launches a new service between Gatwick and Granada on Saturday 4 February. The airline will operate three round trips a week to the southern Spanish city, home of the spectacular Moorish Alhambra and jumping off point for the Sierra Nevada. Flights depart on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.

  • Chewton glen cookery school

    Chewton Glen Cookery School

    Cookery school to open at Chewton Glen

    22 days ago

    Chewton Glen, the luxury hotel and spa in Hampshire, today opens a cookery school overseen by celebrity chef James Martin. Participation in courses will not be confined to staying guests. Marking he hotel’s 50th anniversary, the school is in the old gatehouse. It will incorporate a dining area charcuterie bar, bakery, patisserie and cooking stations overlooking the kitchen garden. James Martin once worked as a pastry chef at the hotel.

  • Spitit of scotland

    Spirit of Scotland

    New hotel barge to cruise Highlands

    23 days ago

    A new hotel barge will cruise on Scotland’s Caledonian Canal and through the lochs of the Great Glen this summer. With capacity for 12 passengers in six en suite staterooms, the three deck Spirit of Scotland will be the largest vessel in operator European Waterways’ fleet. Outside will be a covered dining area and a jacuzzi. The operator is offering a 10% discount on bookings made before the end of March.

  • Flybe3


    Cardiff’s London Docklands flights to continue

    24 days ago

    Flybe’s service between London City Airport and Cardiff, originally launched to compensate for the closure of the Severn rail tunnel while electrification was carried out, is to continue through the coming summer. Though aimed mainly at business passengers the service is also a time saver for leisure travellers points east of London to Wales – and vice versa. Summer flights will depart twice a day on weekdays (from Cardiff at 7.45am and 3.55pm – from London at 9.30am and 5.40pm) and once on Saturdays and Sundays (from Cardiff at 8am and 3.55pm respectively – westbound at 9.45am and 5.40pm).

  • Movenpick colombo hotel

    Movenpick Hotel Colombo

    Sri Lanka capital gets new luxury hotel

    27 days ago

    Colombo has a new luxury hotel – claimed to be the first five star property to open in the Sri Lankan capital for 25 years. Close to the city’s old town and the ‘Pola’ market, the 219 room, 24-storey Movenpick has views of the Indian Ocean, a rooftop bar and infinity pool, a gym and a spa.

  • Wow

    WOW air

    Low cost Bristol flights get lease of life

    28 days ago

    WOW’s flights between Bristol and Reykjavik, originally scheduled to end on 24 March, will now be reintroduced in June. Travellers can use them to connect with the airline’s services to Canada and the US at Keflavik airport. Between 13 June and 27 October it will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. WOW says the reintroduction has been prompted by the success of the Bristol flights but has yet to confirm that they will continue next winter.