Chinese New Year is almost with us again - but there is still enough time to plan a celebratory trip, even if you want to fly out to China itself. How to do it? Read on...
An insider's guide to the top things to do in London, including the best London museums, art galleries, sightseeing spots and free places to visit, as well as insider tips for top London attractions from the Tate Modern to the London Eye – and the best hotels within walking distance, in Westminster, the City, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, St Paul's, South Kensington and on the South Bank.
Little can describe the joy walkers feel after stomping for hours through drizzly, sheep-dotted fields, over heather-brushed moors, or along a wind-battered clifftop only to find the pub of their wildest Welsh dreams. Medieval coaching inns, boutique-chic country boltholes and riverside boozers hide down single-track roads and up slopes all over the country, from the bald peaks of the Brecons to the delightful Pembrokeshire coast and Snowdonia’s sweeping mountains. Some tempt with region-driven food, real ales and log fires, others with uplifting views, and almost all with a warm Welsh croeso (welcome). Here's our pick of the best inns and pubs with rooms in Wales.
When chefs tire of London, they could sure do worse than slipping away to rural Wales for a bigger kitchen and a slice of the good life. From Georgian coaching inns with boutique edge to bright-and-breezy coastal boltholes with dreamy sea views and former drovers’ cottages full of rustic charm in the Brecon Beacons, each of the country’s restaurants with rooms reveals its own distinctive character. Some impress with family-run bistros playing up garden-grown and foraged ingredients, others with fancier Michelin-starred menus, but nearly all take pride in local sourcing thanks to the bounty of excellent produce right on the doorstep. Here's our pick of the best restaurants with rooms in Wales.
Some of the world's best bars can be found in London's hotels – not to mention some truly spectacular cocktails. Here's our guide to where to go and what to order, whether you're celebrating London Cocktail Week (October 4-13), a special occasion of your own or simply fancy a truly top-notch tipple. With insider tips on historic classics to order off the menu, this list is for the adventurous. Think everything from the city's strongest martini, and Neil Armstrong's first drink after returning from the moon, to 'minimalist' cocktails. Chin chin!
Romantic and Yorkshire are two words that work beautifully together. The weather might be wet and the breeze stiffening when you visit, but find a lovely restaurant with rooms somewhere in the Dales, or a stately manor hotel wrapped in wooded parkland and you'll get to experience the cosy, heartwarming side to this magnificent county. It’s no surprise that some of the area’s most romantic hotels are in heart-tugging locations – like quiet villages with mesmerising views or right in the heart of the city, surrounded by fancy restaurants and lively nightlife – while some seduce with the quality of their food and others just ooze head-turning looks. This is not a place that has to rely on hot tubs and fancy gizmos to get the pulses racing… Here's our pick of the most romantic hotels in Yorkshire.
Unlike the huge Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando has grown up in more piecemeal fashion over 29-plus years, which means there is less structure to the areas around it. In short, it’s a hodge-podge. Nearby International Drive has fostered a proliferation of budget-minded hotels to serve the theme parks, but Universal’s tie-up with Loews hotels and the presence of the nearby Convention Center help to redress the balance and ensure there are some hotels that provide a distinguished, upscale experience. From spawling megaplexes with splashy waterparks, to boutique-style dwellings with fancy restaurants, here's our pick of the nine best hotels near Universal Orlando.
Gone are the days of dull, corporate hotels with drab interiors, little or no atmosphere, and limited amenities. New York is home to a host of innovative properties promising more than cosy beds and free Wi-Fi. From spacious, well-designed lobbies-cum-workspaces to celebrity chef-driven restaurants, not to mention ultra-convenient addresses merely a skip to the office, these New York City hotels offer savvy business travellers excellent reasons to work and mingle in the city that never sleeps.
Staying in the capital doesn't have to mean splashing out, nor should you have to compromise on quality. You can find cheap hotels in London that don't scrimp on stylish comforts in our round up of the city's best budget boltholes – priced at less than £150 per night – with everything from rooftop terraces and pools, to comfortable bedrooms and proximity to central London. Locations include Bloomsbury, The City, Shoreditch and Wimbledon.
After seven years on our television screens playing Eva Price in ITV’s Coronation Street, last year Catherine Tyldesley fox trotted her way through six weeks of Strictly Come Dancing.
A few decades ago couchettes connected Calais with Nice, Plymouth with Edinburgh, and even London with Milford Haven via Cardiff and Swansea. Low-cost airlines ruined such routes, as did rail strikes and a generally shoddy service. It seemed Europe’s sleeper trains had reached their final destination.
London does Grande Dame hotels better than perhaps any other great capital (though Paris would demur) and they have never been on better form, all of them now having been either comprehensively restored (such as The Savoy and The Connaught) or thoroughly embellished and brought up to date. Only one (The Goring) is still in the hands of the same family that opened it, but all these hotels retain, if not all, then a great deal of the personality that defined them when they first opened their doors in Victorian and Edwardian days, when these flamboyant palaces first made their mark in society and the life of London. Here's our pick of the best luxury hotels in London.
The heel and spur of the Italian boot is a region of extremes, of verdant valleys and windswept plains, of gentle hills and plunging ravines. Its 500-mile-long coastline is by turns rocky, marshy, sandy; its three seas turquoise, indigo, green. Equally varied are Puglia’s boutique hotels – intimate, exclusive, often family-run places that range from medieval castles and convents to contemporary design hotels, and from hacienda-style farms to Baroque palaces and elegant historic homes. The only constant is the warmth of southern-Italian hospitality. Here's our pick of the best boutique hotels in Italy.
The best hotels to network and chill in... Sydney, including complimentary happy hours, minibars and goodie bags
The feel good, revamped country inn may not be a fully-fledged hotel, but it does the same job, and the best of them make perfect weekend boltholes for the modern metropolitan. In many formerly run down country pubs, style, sophistication and good food have been liberally injected by enterprising young owners, but – crucially – not at the expense of their original charm and character. The most genuine of them attract a faithful local clientele to the bar, creating a real sense of their place in the community; others are more cosmopolitan, like mini boutique-hotels-with-beer-and-beams but just as alluring for an affordable few nights away from the city. Here's our pick of the 50 best pubs with rooms in England.
With it's knock-out skyline, sensational cuisine and blow-your-socks-off energy, even the shortest business trip to Shanghai deserves more than a cookie-cutter hotel. You'll want big city views, 24-hour amenities, food and wine which will impress the boss, and access to traditional Chinese massage treatments – and you'll find no shortage of cool hotels to fit the bill. A couple of caveats: The traffic can be choking so choose your hotel location wisely, ideally one near a subway station. And if you need to use the World Wide Web be sure to download a VPN service before you arrive in the country to circumnavigate any firewalls. Here's our pick of the best modern business hotels in Shanghai.
To stay in one of London's most romantic hotels is to be treated like royalty: the experience should be spoiling, with service that makes you feel as though you're the only one staying, flower-filled foyers that dazzle you the moment you step through the doors – held open by a white-gloved concierge who welcomes you in and takes your bags, and beautifully appointed bedrooms with sumptuous beds that entice you to cancel your plans and order room service all day.
Despite San Sebastián’s posh vibe, it houses a network of pensiónes in humble (but typically sparkling clean) surroundings. Luckily for the budget traveller, these are often in the most desirable locations, smack in the middle of the Old Town and its pintxo hubbub. Every euro saved is another one that goes towards that break-the-bank Michelin meal, so check out these hotels to make the most of your Basque Country budget.
Christmas is when hotels come into their own, when foyers are dressed in colourful wreaths and choirs sing around a beautifully decorated tree; when friends and family forget daily life and mingle over creative cocktails in wintry pop-ups or enjoy festive afternoon teas by an open fire. Extending far beyond the realms of Christmas week, the season is full of exciting activities and events, such as the unveiling of tree installations created by world-renowned designers, card-making workshops, Christmas cookery courses and even live ballet and panto shows.
Business travel used to be a luxury-lite experience, featuring trouser presses, UHT milk and conference calls in your dressing gown. However, times (and travellers' needs) are changing. The line between business and leisure has never been so blurred, and ‘bleisure’ – like the word or loathe it – is rife on the London hotel scene. From co-working spaces, round-the-clock amenities and fuss-free service, to destination restaurants and VIP transfers, here's our pick of the best business hotels in London for globetrotting worker bees looking for somewhere with style.
Be it budget-smart lifestyle venues, conference-centre crash-pads or chic five-star palaces, hotels in Paris understand how to take care of busy people on the go. For FTSE 100 CEOs, digital nomads and millennial office drones alike, a new generation of exciting business hotels in the French capital are breaking through the corporate clutter with designer co-working lounges, liberating meeting venues, healthy food and drink on tap 24/7, and creative high- and low-tech play. Here's our pick of the best business hotels in Paris that offer more than drab rooms and room service.
With a series of bold hotels tailoring to a savvy corporate crowd, Switzerland’s financial centre is clawing away from its strait-laced image to cater to the modern business traveller. From Ayurvedic spa treatments for stressed postures to sociable workspaces amid giant cow bells and bars that are among the city’s best for afterwork drinks, they’re out to please the most discerning globetrotting worker bees – and our pick of the best modern business hotels in Zurich are all within 15 minutes' reach of the business district.
There are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep children of all ages amused in Madrid, but of course you want to stay somewhere that suits your requirements too. Several of our recommended hotels for families are close to the Retiro park, where you can take a rowing boat on the lake and musicians, jugglers and magicians entertain the crowds. The newer hostels have great family rooms with bunk beds and colourful décor that children love, while our selection of aparthotels with kitchens make mealtimes a bit easier too. Here's our pick of the best family-friendly hotels in Madrid.
Winnie the Pooh once said, "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best hotels with woodland walks so you can explore windswept woods and enchanting ancient forests, including the place that inspired A.A. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood itself. These are some of Britain's best re-tree-ts, in locations including Dalby Forest, Ashdown Forest, the New Forest, Leanachan Forest, the Brecon Beacons, Galloway Forest, the Lake District and the Forest of Dean (so lush, you won’t want to leaf).
San Sebastián is a city that revels in local producers, haute cuisine’s attention to details, and family owned boutiques and shops. It has a distinct culture – Basque with a bit of refinement, thanks to influences from nearby France. Some of this panache has rubbed off in its independent hotels, which have a fascinating range of styles and are anything but cookie cutter. From old-school seaside luxury to Nordic, Kinfolk-inspired design, to hotels as modern as the Michelin-starred restaurants they house, here are San Sebastián’s most personality-filled boutique hotels.