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The Savoy was a favourite rendezvous for brokers, bankers, bounders and Hollywood's best. And, for a time, it was a home away from home for the artist Claude Monet, stars Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, and Sir Winston Churchill.

The Investment Column: M&C books in a 30% profits rise

INVESTORS who booked into Millennium & Copthorne when it floated nearly two years ago have had a very happy stay. In that time the shares have risen more than 80 per cent. Yesterday it showed it had been able to shake off the effects of the strong pound and the Asian crisis on the British tourist market by announcing a 32 per cent rise in 1997 pre- tax profits to pounds 50.2m, causing the shares to rise another 19p to 508.5p.

Letter: Gay hotels

The fact that so many hotels refused to accept bookings from gay couples ("Book a double room? Not if you're gay, sir", 8 February) helps us to understand why the gay publishing industry is still flourishing. There are several guides to gay hotels including Gay Times, Spartacus Worldwide, and the GAYtoZ Directory, a phone book which lists over 350 gay and gay-friendly hotels throughout Great Britain.

The Investment column: Hanover has its attractions

Hanover International, the upmarket hotel group, has been in the bid spotlight over the last few weeks. Jarvis Hotels was rumoured to be running a slide-rule over the group again, after having its original advances repelled last year.

Customer paid pounds 2,900 damages for bad-hair day at salon

A woman who was left "looking like a 70 year old" has received almost pounds 3,000 compensation after a visit to her haidressers went badly wrong,

Ladbroke joins bidding battle for Inter-Continental hotel chain

Ladbroke, the hotel and casino operator, has joined the bidding battle for Inter-Continental, the hotel chain which has been put up for sale by its Japanese owners.

The Investment Column: Jarvis hit by hotel sector woes

Last year the hotel sector flourished. Helped by a buoyant economy, occupancy and room rates were rising rapidly. Jarvis Hotels was one of a crop of companies that checked into the stock market on the wave of optimism.

They were both talking to me, really - even after I had left the bar

"Hotels? I know all about hotels. I've stayed at more hotels than I have had hot dinners," said the man at the bar. "Know what that means?"

Worried that you haven't planned for the millennium yet? You know your problem...

Last week I received a letter from a reader which raised a subject so important that I feel I ought to print it in full, and then deal with it.

Queens Moat may seek debt for equity swap

Queens Moat Houses, the debt-laden hotel group, said yesterday it was considering plans for a financial restructuring after reporting a pre-tax profit of pounds 5.2m for the six months to June compared to a loss of pounds 3.1m in the first half of last year. QMH said it was likely to seek a debt for equity swap but refused to be drawn on any timetable for the deal.

Hotels hit by bedbugs plague

A new breed of super bedbugs is plaguing small London hotels, a hotel guide out today reveals.

Greenalls sells four hotels for pounds 21m

Greenalls sells four hotels for pounds 21m

Beating the blues

DO ask someone to cut the grass and maybe do a bit of basic weeding while you're away. There is nothing more dispiriting than coming back to a semi-wilderness to tame, on top of everything else. Ditto the house plants.

Ladbroke hotel link looks a good bet

Ladbroke Group, the hotels-to-betting concern, is likely to please when it announces its interim figures on Thursday, for the six months to 30 June.

Vaux sell hotels and nursing homes

Vaux sell hotels and nursing homes

Letter: Floating in a 1950s hotel

Sir: Perhaps the Government should do with Britannia what we all do with some beloved old "banger" that really has to go - sell it to someone who'll appreciate it, in this case as a fine example of 1950s ship design and buy something that is more up to date with Her Majesty's circumstances.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'