100 holiday ideas for 2010: Activity

Independent on Sunday, 3 January 2010

Ice hotels are so last decade. The accommodation with real cool factor right now is a “snow hole”. At Loch Torridon, in the Scottish Highlands, you can build one yourself with a little help from winter mountain guide Chris Wilson, who runs these overnight stays in conjunction with nearby Torridon Hotel (prideofbritainhotels.com).

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/100-holiday-ideas-for-2010-activity-1855862.html


Travel trends for 2010

Independent on Sunday, 3 January 2010

We’ll still be spending on travel in 2010, albeit carefully, demanding more in every way for our budget. According to a recent report by Tourism Intelligence (tourism-intelligence.com), price-savvy Brits are leading the world in seeking the most cost-effective holidays.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/100-holiday-ideas-for-2010-trends-1855858.html

Ditch the clutch bag, the latest accessory is your own hotel

The creative director of Diesel is the latest fashion designer to open a resort. What’s the attraction, asks Sarah Barrell

These days, the must-have accessory for a fashion designer is not an oversized handbag or even an undersized supermodel muse, but a hotel. Not content with their creations dominating the high street, they want to shape our holidays, too.

And they’re all at it, either working independently or lending their names to big players in the hospitality industry. Versace owns a hotel, designed by Donatella, below, on Australia’s Gold Coast, and the bright colour-loving Italian fashion house of Missoni is set to open places this spring in Edinburgh and Kuwait. Moschino is due to throw open the doors of Maison Moschino in Milan this year, while Giorgio Armani already has branded hotels in several locations worldwide.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/ditch-the-clutch-bag-the-latest-accessory-is-your-own-hotel-1674141.html

The rise of the urban eco-hotel

Big chains and bijou boutiques across the world are saving energy without saving on style. Sarah Barrell reports on a rural idea taking root in the city.

From the Seychelles to the Mexican coast, the Ecuadorian jungle to the Scottish Highlands, eco-retreats have become part of the modern travel landscape. They are wildly diverse in style and standard, but what most have in common is that they are remote, rural, and far, far away from big cities.

However, a new generation of urban eco-hotel is bringing the concept of green-minded tourism out of the jungle. Just like their rural counterparts, these hotels vary in their efforts to shrink their carbon footprint, a challenge that seems all the more arduous in a polluting, energy-guzzling city. Yet cities can be better suited to supporting eco-hotels than remote rural settings.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/the-rise-of-the-urban-ecohotel-921460.html

Times are tight – but there’s always cash for a holiday

There may be trouble ahead but they aren’t keeping holiday-makers at home. In fact, the travel business is reporting continuing growth. Sarah Barrell explains.

Credit crunch, economic slowdown, whatever we dislike to call it, the current gloomy financial climate has not seemed to dampen British spirits as much as predicted – at least when it comes to booking our holidays.

In the past three penny-pinching months, travel is the only consumer services sector to report growth in business volume (according to a report from the Confederation of Business Industry Survey in May), revealing that holidays are valued higher than other luxury commodities even when our disposable income is under pressure.

Well and truly hidden Oman

Zighy Bay is the Oman’s latest luxury offering. But, asks Sarah Barrell, will guests get any sense of the country it’s in? 

Oman: it’s the big buzz. This sultanate on the Arabian Peninsula is the current travel hot spot, yet few people really know much about it. A trip to Six Senses Hideaway, Zighy Bay – the latest in a new generation of high-end hotels crowning Oman’s pristine northern coast – while blissful, won’t do much to enlighten you either.

This self-proclaimed “hideaway”, a two-hour dusty drive from Dubai – or five from the Omani capital, Muscat – sells itself on being remote. Sitting on the tip of the Musandam Peninsula, an exclave of Oman, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates, the hotel is further cut off from civilisation by the near-impenetrable Hajar mountains, from which guests can paraglide 1,600ft down to check in.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/middle-east/at-this-oman-hideaway-you-can-feel-cut-off-851858.html

DJ Spoony: A day on the fairways, a night on the tiles

Independent on Sunday travel section

As the US Open tees off this week, DJ Spoony explains why his love of golf has given him a passion for travelling.

I started playing golf in 2001, and though it has only been a few years, the game has enhanced my life in ways I would never have imagined. It’s given me the chance to travel to places I wouldn’t have visited and meet some really inspirational people. I’m generally a sports addict and when I was young I used to watch golf on TV, but it was only when Tiger Woods appeared that I thought, wow, I’ve got to try a bit of this.

I still love watching sports but now I get to see things live. I’m going to the Ryder Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, this year, which I’m really excited about. I’ve travelled a fair bit to see golf in South Africa. They love their golf down there and the country has produced some of the world’s highest-ranking golfers: Ernie Eels, Gary Player, Bobby Locke.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/dj-spoony-a-day-on-the-fairways-a-night-on-the-tiles-842341.html

On the Eco Trail, from Madagascar to New York

Green-minded travellers are set to enjoy some of the best holidays on offer this year. Sarah Barrell picks her favourites

Recent statistics may have warned of “green fatigue” as this country’s populace grows confused about carbon footprints and weary of natural disasters, but environmentally aware projects abound in the world of travel.

And far from being hair-shirt, they make for some of the highlights of holidaying in 2008. From expanding cycle networks to new national parks, the following ideas reveal that there’s a growing choice of ideas for the green-minded traveller.

Independent on Sunday travel section: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/on-the-eco-trail-from-madagascar-to-new-york-769837.html

The hottest holiday for mums-to-be…


Palm Springs is one of those great American anomalies: an improbable desert settlement wedged between the folds of inhospitable mountains. It’s as if someone came out here with a mind to build another Las Vegas, took a hot soak in the area’s eponymous thermal waters and thought, “Bugger it, who needs neon?”

The place is a testament to nothing, a celebration of still, somewhere to come to be far from anywhere. Between the 1930s and 1960s this desert town in back-country California became home to Hollywood on holiday, with stars such as Elvis, Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr taking part-time residence. But somehow Palm Springs remained determinedly low rise, defiantly low-key – an anti-Vegas. Even its little airport, beneath the incongruously snow-capped peaks of the San Jacinto Mountains, looks like a small luxury resort with barely a signpost to hail its entrance.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/the-hottest-holiday-for-mumstobe–a-babymoon-471251.html