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News & Advice

Travel agenda

From Heston at Heathrow to Cuba by catamaran

1. Cook's tour

Tour operator Cox & Kings has launched MasterChef Travel, a collection of escorted foodie itineraries led by former contestants of the popular television series, including last year's champion Keri Moss, who will lead the inaugural five-night trip to Marrakech in March (£1,395pp). Other participants include 2010's winner Dhruv Baker and this year's finalist Larkin Cen. mastercheftravel.com

2. Surf's up

Grupo Habita is due to open the Hotel Escondido in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on 1 December. It will offer 16 beach bungalows – all with thatched roofs, wood floors and a private pool – on an unspoiled stretch of coast, just north of Puerto Escondido. The tiny fishing port is renowned as one of the country's best surfing spots. Doubles from US$213 (£142), room only. grupohabita.mx

3. Rest stop

The flagship Plaza Premium Lounge has opened at Hong Kong airport. The facility, on Level 7 of Terminal 1, is claimed to be Asia's largest. It is open to all passengers for a fee: two hours costs US$49.40 (£33). It offers a complimentary bar, Wi-Fi, television, newspapers, and a restaurant serving tapas and local dishes. Snooze rooms, showers and spa cost extra. www.plaza-network.com

4. Art attack

Art Basel returns once again to Miami Beach from 5-8 December. If you're looking for a reason to go this year, perhaps the opening of the new Pérez Art Museum might tempt you. The $220m development, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron (who also transformed the Tate Modern), will be unveiled in the Bicentennial Park on 3 December, with an exhibition on Ai Weiwei pamm.org

5. Weight gain

Singapore Airlines is the latest long-haul carrier to raise its weight limit for checked-in baggage. Starting this weekend, economy-class passengers can check in 30kg each, up from 20kg. Business and first-class passengers are allowed 40 and 50kg respectively. The airline flies four times a day from Heathrow to Singapore, and daily from Manchester, with connections to Australasia. singaporeair.com

 6. Get wild

Steppes Travel has announced a range of unusual new tours for next year. Options include the chance to sail around the coastline of Cuba by catamaran (from £3,260pp); track wolves in Yellowstone National Park (from £2,095pp); or cruise around Canada's remote islands, pausing to spot humpback whales, dolphins and sea lions (from £3,195pp). steppestravel.co.uk

7. Heston at T2

Three-Michelin-starred chef, Heston Blumenthal, will bring his much-lauded take on gastronomy to Heathrow's rebuilt Terminal 2. The only downside is you'll have to wait until June next year to sample the new restaurant. Until then, we're promised the menu will showcase Heston's celebration of all things British, with a novel take on such traditional dishes as fish and chips. heathrowairport.com

8. Joy rides

For one more reason to visit Birmingham, how about the last passenger flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10? This aircraft is currently in passenger service only with Bangladesh Biman. The airline is retiring the jet to an American museum next February. On the way from Dhaka, it is calling at Birmingham, where a series of one-hour joyrides are planned. bit.ly/DC-10