Sunday, August 10, 2008


Celebrity holiday favourites


The Sunday Telegraph, 10 August 2008, lists 100 celebrity holiday favourites

Here are some of them:

John Mortimer
Essaouira, on the Moroccan coast, has the most beautiful sandy beach where people still take their camels down to the sea to wash them.”

Jeremy Child
“La Mamounia (00212 24 388 600;; currently undergoing major renovation) in Marrakesh – stunning architecture and impeccable service in a breathtaking setting.”

Sandy Gall
“Hotel Villa Dubrovnik (00385 20 422933;, which is right on the sea in Croatia.”

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Venice. Everywhere you look there is such beauty and spectacle, and the Daniele (0039 041 522 6480; must be the world’s most romantic hotel.”

Cape Town area

Jeremy Vine
Cape Town. It’s a unique city, with a wonderful location and the most incredible views in the world.”

Chris Patten
Paris. I love walking about, looking at the churches and just watching the world go by.”

Lynda Bellingham
South Africa’s wineland area. It has the mountains of Scotland, the vineyards of France and the weather of South Africa.”

Marti Pellow
Mexico. The people are so warm and laid-back.”

Amanda Lamb
“In the UK, I love Sennen Cove, in Cornwall. It’s remote without being too remote and it has a little art gallery, The Roundhouse and Capstan Gallery, a coffee shop and a pub.”


Charles Kennedy “Loch Aber in the Highlands. It has Ben Nevis and the Caledonian Canal.”

Petula Clark
“I am ... a fan of Scotland’s Gleneagles Hotel (0800 389 3737; – it serves the best porridge in the world.”

William Boyd
Rio de Janeiro. I love the city’s entire beach culture which is endlessly diverting. I adore Brazilian samba, too.”

Dan Cruickshank
Calcutta. It is a city where a lot of people have very little yet there is so much spirit and kindness. It is home to one of my favourite hotels – the Fairlawn (0091 33 2252 1510;, which is run by a wonderful lady called Violet Smith.”

Malacca, Malaysia

Ruth England
Penang, Malaysia. It has a great mix of cultures: Malay, Chinese and Indian. It has great beaches and the food is wonderful.”

Katie Melua
The Black Sea in Armenia, where I was born. I go back every summer.”

Andrew Roberts
“The Oriental (0066 2 659 9000; in Bangkok. I started my honeymoon there and it has a writers’ section, where the rooms are named after famous people who have stayed there, such as Somerset Maugham.”

Sir Michael Nyman
Mexico City. It’s such a vibrant city, I feel energised whenever I visit. My favourite hotel is there, too: the Condesa DF (0052 55 5241 2600; It has a very good restaurant, run by a superb Lebanese chef.”

Nathaniel Parker
Bali – it’s simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. I love the Amandari Hotel Kedewatan (0062 361 975 333; in Ubud.”

Pelabuhan Ratu in Indonesia

Jeremy Child
“La Mamounia (00212 24 388 600;; currently undergoing major renovation) in Marrakesh – stunning architecture and impeccable service in a breathtaking setting.”

Julien McDonald
Rio, for its markets – such as Ipanema’s Hippie Fair – where you find beautiful yet unusual craftwork. My favourite hotel is the Copacabana Palace (0055 21 2548 7070; It’s always full of glamorous people.”

Glynis Barber
“Hotel Caravan Serai (00212 2430 0302; in Morocco – is a haven of tranquillity.”

(Sunday Telegraph research by York Membery, Maggie O’Sullivan and Simon Horsford.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008


It is not yet the end for budget air travel

Photo by Raboe -

The Financial Times, on 1 August 2008, had an article entitled It is not yet the end for budget air travel.

It made the following points:

1. British Airways says fares must rise sharply to reflect higher fuel costs.

2. Michael O’Leary, boss of Ryanair, says Air fares are going to fall, as part of a new price war.

3. British Airways argues that fuel now makes up 40-50 per cent of the industry’s total costs.

BA plans to reduce the number of its flights and push up prices.

4. Ryanair is the lowest-cost producer in the business. It has lots of cash and one of the strongest balance sheets. It is hoping that it will gain market share.

So long as Ryanair is the lowest-cost producer, it is likely to be 'the last man standing'.

Kevin Done (It is not yet the end for budget air travel ) writes:

"I need to get to the southern Scottish Highlands in mid-October. For weeks I have been trying to obtain one of the cut-price deals supposedly available to travel by rail on the overnight sleeper. Forget it. They are as elusive as the monster in the loch.

"On Friday morning I bought two Ryanair tickets from London Stansted to Glasgow Prestwick for £55.96, a lot less than it costs for a tank of diesel for our VW Golf. That was the total price, two people, all in, including all taxes and charges and including £16 as the credit card handling fee. Yes of course we will check in online, check in no bags, and each have only one carry-on bag weighing less than 10kg. And we will run to the plane. That is the O’Leary contract. But throw in the hire car and petrol, the train from Liverpool Street to Stansted (nearly half as much as the air fare) and there is still nothing to touch it. The return sleeper for two would have been £378."