Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal's austerity fears taken for a ride by national team's Euro 2012 arrangements

The Portuguese Football Federation yesterday hit back at complaints that the squad's arrangements for Euro 2012 are too lavish for the austerity-hit country.

Private practice: The Isle of Eriska Hotel Spa & Island costs £10,000 a night

Summer 2012: Money no object

Check into one of the new Tree House Suites in the grounds of country-house hotel Chewton Glen (01425 282212; chewtonglen.com) at New Milton in Hampshire.

Book of a lifetime: The Good Soldier, By Ford Madox Ford

I came across Ford Madox Ford's 'The Good Soldier: a Tale of Passion' when I was in my teens, in a box of my late grandmother's books.

Old soak: the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa

Take a break where the spa's the star

From taking the waters in Bath and Cheltenham to diamond facials, hot tubs and manicures for men, the art of pampering in the UK has come a long way

Quiet Amsterdam is a new guide by Siobhan Wall that divulges the Dutch capital's secret corners, from bookshops to parks and spas

The Big Six: Chic Moroccan retreats

Palais Namaskar, Marrakech

Travel Agenda: Brighton Festival; coolplaces.co.uk; Villa Armena

Tomorrow: Book now to be at the Brighton Festival (2-31 May). This year's event has been guest directed by Vanessa Redgrave. Highlights include a multi-sensory reworking of the music of Joy Division, the chance to watch Mariella Frostrup film The Book Show, and a talk on "the world's most mysterious continent", Antarctica, with Caroline Lucas MP. (brightonfestival.org).

Travel Agenda: Harry Potter; Viceroy resort in the Maldives; Italy's 'culture week'; Heineken Open'er Festival

Tomorrow: Harry Potter's back – but this time it's the studio wizardry of the films that takes centre stage. The Warner Studio Tour opens today in Leavesden Studios, Hertfordshire, where the movies were shot. Visitors have the chance to walk through the Great Hall at Hogwarts School, peer into the Ministry of Magic, and ... potter along Diagon Alley. Props, gowns, models, monsters and green-screen gimmickry: it's all on dazzling display. Asked at the preview day what goes into butter beer (on sale at £2.95 a glass), the tour guide said, simply: "Magic." Tickets (£28) must be bought in advance (wbstudiotour.co.uk).

Snails: New skincare product in Siberia

Trending: You should come out of your shell, you're beautiful...

In the never-ending search for eternal youth, nothing is considered too extreme or, in light of a new treatment from Siberia, too unnervingly gross. The snail facial (a Snaicial?) is said to restore weather-beaten skin to its luminescent best, thanks to an active ingredient in the snotty snail slime that beats wrinkles and helps to heal scars and burns.

Sir Paul defends free stay at spa

Sir Paul Stephenson yesterday defended the spa visit that led to his resignation. He quit as Met Commissioner after it emerged that he had accepted a free stay at Champney's while it was being promoted by former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis – who was also hired by the Met as a PR consultant.

Isle be there: The Naka Island

24-hour room service: The Naka Island, Thailand

Barefoot luxury with Thai flair

Mark Steel: As Jesus said, you're ruining it for tourists

To advance their cause, the occupiers should have taken the riot police head to lunch

Reading and relaxation: Parade Gardens in Bath. The city is hosting the 'Independent' Literature Festival

Independent Bath Literature Festival: Follow in the footsteps of Austen, Defoe and Mr Pickwick

A glittering array of writers of fiction, poetry and politics will appear at the Independent Bath Literature Festival from next Friday. John Walsh looks forward to 10 days celebrating the written word.

The Park Hotels in India have launched a stylish property in Goa

Tips and deals of the week: The Park Hotels, Kuoni and European Traveller

The Hotel

The Park Hotels in India have launched a stylish property in Goa. The 30-bedroom retreat is on Candolim Beach and has a spa.

Go to Theparkhotels.com

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
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The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

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A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project