Hotel of the future
If the new system of checking in means I'll no longer have to stand for 20 minutes in reception, then I'm all for it. Checking in without having to talk to the staff would be a huge advantage in some budget hotels. I've never liked the bellhop thing either and find it an irritation when staff insist on grabbing my luggage. I've carried it from the car park and up the steps to reception. Having made it that far, I won't have a problem taking it the short distance to my room.
So, people won't need to speak to one another or interact? They can all hide behind their i-Whatevers? Sounds wonderful.
I'm going to replace all the mirrors in the house with round ones to make me happier about cleaning.
Food faux pas
Delicious as papas nativas are [the potatoes grown on Chiloé Island], it's incredible that a food-based article on Chiloé managed to ignore the island's biggest culinary treat, curanto al hoyo: a wonderful mix of seafood, sausage, meat and local dumplings, cooked in a pit covered with giant gunnera leaves. It's quite an experience.
Back on the up
Having been stretchered off one of the Val d'Isere slopes in 1994 and spent three months in plaster with a broken foot, ankle and leg, I know how the writer feels. I went back a year later and had a miserable time; confidence shot to pieces and the harder I tried the worse it became. I didn't ski again until last year in Méribel-Mottaret and had a fabulous time; I'm off to Tignes for Christmas so will watch out for Trolles!
If it ain't broke …
The East Coast line is brilliant and making money. So why reprivatise it?
Merryn Somerset Webb