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Following its merger with Brazilian carrier TAM, Chile's LAN is giving its lounges a refresh - this is the first of three in South America (with Miami also planned) to get the design makeover. There look nods towards 1960s air travel glamour - when Pan Am was arguably at its peak - with lots of sophisticated dark tones mixed with neutral colours. Bathrooms (each with showers, if you need to freshen up before your flight) are in contemporary monochrome and spotless. A really welcome update to this carrier's lounges.
Think a slightly cutesy, more Californian take on Dean & Deluca - with prices to match - but a very welcome alternative to the norm of airport eateries which dollop up poorly conceived and usually equally unrewarding, overpriced meals. NFM is high concept and high prices but is performing an admirable job in raising the bar for all airport outlets. I hope they thrive. NB there's a T3 outlet coming soon, at time of posting.
The embodiment of 'Baywatch' minus the Hoff. Ocean front real estate here is much in demand by those with a few million dollars to spare. At weekends the promenade and beach are teeming with affluent families at play, with plenty of opportunities for decent places to eat nearby. Just remember to have your teeth bleached if you want to look like a local.
Affordable, accommodation and London are seldom used in the same sentence. So here's the exception. The location is fantastic: walking distance to St Pancras International and Kings Cross stations - so very handy if you have an early start or late return on the Eurostar. For culture vultures the British Museum is also nearby, with the bars, shops and restaurants of Soho and Covent Garden within 15 minutes walk. All the rooms come with basic self-catering facilities: a fridge and a microwave, which is great if you want to save on restaurant bills. Be aware that at the cheapest end of the scale, the rooms are really tiny: you'll likely have to climb over the bed to get from one side of the room to the other. Try booking one of the larger studios with a patio or balcony.
For those who like their hotel to be a bit more un-hotel, this newer arrival on the WeHo scene is worth thinking about. Though there are other apart-hotel options in the area, this one comes without the kind of nightmare duvet covers you wish Martha Stewart had been wrapped up in when she was incarcerated. Quite a Soho House kinda viba and a good fit for LA, let alone WeHo. Not cheap, but not outrageous either.
I stumbled across this place during my last visit to Athens. Having eaten out in many of the city's more touristy restaurants, I began with low expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. The location - a short stroll from Syntagma Square - is great for where I usually stay. The main dining room, with its checker board design floor, is usually packed throughout the day and evening, with much of the original 1930s charm of when the place first opened remaining to this day. The food isn't exceptional but hearty, served in generous portions and terrific value. Budget on spending around EUR 12-15 for two courses + wine. Cheerful service.
What an interesting mix of a place this is, not least stylistically. In an attempt to corner the market for all budgets, there's a wide range of room and suite types - and even a couple of cottages, if you prefer to do your own thing. Eclectic is perhaps the best word to describe the range of options. The grounds offer superb views of Lake Ullswater, with the property occupying a quarter mile stretch of the shore. While the original building dates back to the 18th Century, the place has been operating as a hotel since the 1940s. Still, a good base for a couple of nights for exploring the outstanding natural beauty of the national park.
The latest in a new-breed of one-room hotels popping up in locations around the world is this 30 square metre property in Helsinki's more offbeat neighbourhood of Kallio. The funky decor may be a bit too vivid for some.
Sleepy little Cornish village on the Lizard Peninsula which earned its place in the history books when the first transatlantic wireless signal was sent from here to Newfoundland on December 12, 1901. The focal point is a horseshoe-shaped sandy beach, which gets pretty busy during the warmer months. The surrounding cliffs provide plenty of opportunities for walks and scenic views of this part of the coast.
Living proof that loads of money doesn't buy you good taste. The rooms are palatial (and extremely comfortable), the grounds immaculate and the site vast. But the place somehow evoked a sense of emptiness (and not just in my bank account). You don't have to be a guest here to have a taste of ostentation: just visit the lobby and order one of the hotel's signature hot chocolates, sprinkled with gold leaf, and yours for $97.
This 3,000 sq ft, 3-bed holiday home is so Hollywood it hurts. A mid-century, single storey building with its own pool, hot tub and sweeping views towards downtown (when you can see it through the smog). Tastefully and minimally decorated throughout, if you're looking for an extended stay (minimum rental is a week) somewhere which feels both spacious and luxurious and your budget can extend to it, you'll be thrilled with this find. The really unique aspect is private access to a neighbouring State Park. Nearest convenience store is about five minutes' drive away, with all the other main sights of the city within 10-15 minutes' drive.
OK, so architecturally this is a gem. But I just hate the assumption that because I want to stay somewhere funky that I want thumping music in every public space. I can picture the staff here going home after a long shift, drawing the curtains and listening to white noise on noise cancelling head phones. Such a shame because everything else about it - the views, and even the prices for Manhattan - are great.
Originally a Kempinski, now run by the property conglom Soho China. Located just over an hour's drive (depending on the traffic) from downtown Beijing or the international airport and the ideal way to explore the Great Wall, without anyone else there.The place is a living tribute to the vibrancy of Asian architects even if, cynically, it was put up in the run up to the Beijing Olympics when China had something to prove. The rooms with views of the wall are everything you'd expect them to be. Just be careful with any meal and drinks extras - if you can book something inclusive before you're stay, there'll be less bill shock when you check out.
If you're looking for a homely antidote to the glamour and glitz of LA-LA Land then you'll be well suited to this friendly four-bedroom B&B at the base of the Hollywood Hills and on the edge of Beverly Hills. It's a pleasant, quiet neighbourhood - if that's what you want. Good value too.
Not just any cinema but the world's oldest - first opened in 1899 when it premiered films by the Lumière brothers. Although the building has operated as both a cinema and theatre over the years, it has been closed to the public since 1995. Now, fully restored at a cost of EUR 6 million it returns to life as a cinema.
Conceived and built in 1947 by architect John Lautner, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, this modernist gem has been lovingly restored by furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge and L.A.-based interior designer Tracy Beckmann. For every horrid, homogenised Holiday Inn-type place you've ever stayed in, you need to check in here for at least a couple of nights to heal the aesthetic soul. There are just four suites in this property which began life as the Desert Hot Springs Motel, at the northern end of the Coachella Valley. Alongside the authentic restoration are a series of more contemporary creature comforts for the post modern traveller - iPod docking stations and fancy bathroom products, to name but two. Absolutely stunning.