What’s hot: March 2011
CD Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world
Virgin Atlantic cabin crew
Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendants have been voted the most attractive in a new survey of travellers. No doubt the airline’s red hot advertising campaign – featuring a bevy of beauties – helped cinch the deal but the fact of the matter is that Sir Richard Branson has always believed that the image of his crew is everything. Or as Virgin’s cabin crew recruitment pages states: “You’ll be the face of the airline. As such your grooming should always be immaculate – even after a long, tiring flight.”
Singapore Airlines took second place – despite only receiving 18 percent of the vote – while Arabic airline Etihad’s cabin crew came in third.
Barratt’s of Tn Rhyl
The small, family-run Barratt’s of Tn Rhyl in north Wales is a hotel that’s easy to love. Even so few would think about checking in for a year but that’s exactly what Australian couple, Chris and Sally Allison, have done! After a particularly warm welcome from owners David and Elvira Barratt, the Aussie duo decided to base themselves at Barratt’s for a year while they explore Europe. The two couples have become ‘like family’ – the antipodeans have even been invited to the wedding of the Barratts’ daughter next year!
This is the year that Estonia’s capital will be catapulted onto the world stage – thanks to its new title as European Capital of Culture. Every year since 1985, one (or more) European cities are awarded the title of European Capital of Culture – providing they promise to highlight the diversity and richness of European culture. As such Tallin, who shares the title with the Finnish city of Turku, will be hosting multiple art and science exhibits as well as music festivals and events throughout the city during 2011.
Vietnam’s seaside resort where travellers relax by day and party by night has been voted as one of the world’s top 10 beaches by expedia.com.au. The travel website raved about Nha Trang’s signature beach with its “golden sands and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains” and recommended the lively coastal town as the “gateway to a cluster of quieter islands which offer outstanding snorkelling and scuba diving trips”. Planning a trip to Nha Trang? Aim to watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail in Altitude – Nha Trang’s newest and highest bar (84 58 388 0000). For the more fab things to see and do, check out our travel article: http://www.cd-traveller.com/2011/02/21/beach-bliss-in-vietnam/
Kate Middleton country
Royal wedding fever is sweeping the UK – so much so that excursion company Mortons has started offering coach tours of what it describes as Kate Middleton country. Sights included in the 10 pound tour include St Andrew’s and Marlborough College (the schools she attended as a child and teenager), the church she was christened in and a look at the houses she was raised in. Adam Morton, owner of Mortons, believes the Berkshire tours will prove a hit with overseas tourists.
Affordable Abu Dhabi
Despite the release of Sex and The City 2 – a film starring Sarah Jessica Parker that was set in Abu Dhabi- prices of hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi fell in 2010. The average room cost £168 as opposed to £223 in 2009. The UAE’s capital wasn’t the only emirate to experience a fall in 2010: Dubai’s room rates fell by five percent while elsewhere in the Gulf, Doha’s prices dropped by 10 percent.
The Foreign Office is continuing to advise against ‘all but essential travel’ to Egypt’s main cities –including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez – following President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation on Friday. Right now, the Red Sea area remains unaffected but there are fears that the unrest could spread. Any CD Traveller readers planning a trip to Egypt, are advised to call the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500 from the UK or 02 2791 6000 from Egypt.
With the royal wedding just around the corner and the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the London Olympics and the Paralympics in the diary for 2012, you’d think that Visit Britain – the UK’s national tourism agency – would be adding to its staff, but you’d be wrong. Visit Britain is to cut is staff by up to 30 percent and close offices in 13 countries including the visitors centre in London’s Regent Street. Visit Britain bosses believe that they can deliver their message via smartphones and the internet.
The gap year has long been a rite of passage. Indeed this writer enjoyed 12 months of travelling (and working) to the furthest corners of the globe before embarking on university life. However in light of the recent government decision to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 per year from 2012, this year’s school leavers may have to ‘mind the gap’ if they want to avoid the fee hike..
Obtaining a permit for the Inca Trail
Planning on tackling the Inca Trail this year? Don’t be so sure… Changes to the permit system means tour operators will be allocated permits at random and cannot currently confirm permits for the high season months of June, July and August until later this month.