Travel agenda: From hostel apps and Italian retreats to an Amsterdam hotel in a former newspaper building
Where to go and what to know
Saturday 28 June 2014
1. Exotic escape
On Tuesday, a hotel opens on Tetiaroa, the Polynesian atoll formerly owned by Marlon Brando. Appropriately named The Brando, it features private villas set on a beach facing the Pacific, with two restaurants – one manned by Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin – and a Polynesian spa.
2. Due south
Western & Oriental has launched a new Deep South portfolio of holidays in Louis- iana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. Options include visits to plantation homes, Mississippi steamboat cruises and stops in historic music cities, such as Nashville and Memphis.
3. Culture club
The Volkshotel opened yesterday in Amsterdam. Housed in a former newspaper building, it hides a 170-room hotel, café, club, exhibition space, restaurant and rooftop cocktail bar, complete with hot tubs, over five jam-packed floors. Accessible lead-in rates start at €69 per double.
4. Sea more
Mandarin Oriental launches its first resort in Europe on 7 July close to the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Rooms will feature sundecks, terraces, private gardens and infinity pools, all facing out towards the Aegean. Six restaurants and bars, a 135-seat ballroom and a 10-room spa make this a sizeable addition to the region.
5. Mex appeal
Matlali Hotel has opened on Mexico's Pacific Coast, north of Puerto Vallarta. Overlooking the Bahía de Banderas, it has 40 villas, tucked into a fold of tropical greenery, with a Makawe Spa in a series of Asian-style pavilions, a beach club and the Mexican-inspired Raixes restaurant.
6. Top table
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons has a range of new cookery courses for summer. Options include the alfresco Barbeque Course (6/20 August; £415pp), Wine Master Classes (September; £75pp) and Let's Cook (24/31 July and 6 August; £365pp) for the perfect three-course meal.
7. Peak retreat
Italy welcomes a new retreat this week in the form of the Mountain Lodge. Opening on Thursday, it stands in the heart of the Dolomites, with 12 wooden chalets, modelled on traditional mountain huts. Fireplaces, a sun terrace, infinity pool and spa offer spaces for all seasons.
8. Connect more
Hallways is a new social network for hostels that connects backpackers with fellow guests during their stay. Newly launched across Europe, it offers users the chance to connect through the Hallways website, check out who else is at their hostel, create events and invite other guests to join.
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