Early 1980s Blackpool

The idea of the great British beach holiday has largely gone the way of the VHS recorder, as cheap flights meant easy trips to guaranteed sun in the south Med. But this collection of images of Blackpool from the early 1980s is worth seeing. If only as a reminder of the simple charms and very…

Travel: Tokyo

Tokyo has long been one of the most exciting cities on the planet, and while globalisation is smoothing off some of the rough edges and adding touches of familarity, there are still few places like the Japanese capital. You’ll still be blown away by the neon and buzz of Shinjuku and Shibuya, while those seeking…

The Burj Al Arab’s seven-star myth

So is the Burj Al Arab really a seven-star hotel? Short answer, no, there is no such thing as an official seven-star rating. The Burj Al Arab is formally known as a “five-star deluxe hotel” on the standard rating system. And we should point out that Jumeirah themselves have never claimed that the hotel has…

Will super-sonic travel ever return?

It seems strange that technology has progressed in almost every field, but in supersonic travel things have seemingly regressed. Concorde was flying people faster than the speed of sound back in 1976, but since its retirement in 2003 there has been no commercial supersonic flight. Why not, and please can we have it back? The…

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel Singapore

It opened in 1887 and was named after Singapore’s English founder, Sir Stamford Raffles; 125 years later it’s still one of the finest hotels this side of the world. Described in 1905 by a London newspaper as “The Savoy of the East” it has remained a bastion of aged refinement. Raffles Singapore started as a…

The Peninsula

The grand old dame of Hong Kong and “the best hotel east of the Suez”. When The Peninsula first opened in 1928, it was the culmination of a plan by the Hong Kong Hotel Company to build “the best hotel East of the Suez”. Today it still stands as the grand old dame of Hong…