Hilton shows how to make an entrance

By Anthea Gerrie and Nathan Jeffay, March 7, 2008

Two new hotels have opened in Manchester in just over a year

Considering it became a landmark within a few months of opening, it seems astonishing there has not been a Hilton in Manchester city centre until now.

But having finally arrived, this high-design hotel is set to give competitors a run for their money in a city which already has more than its fair share of stylish four and five-star lodgings.


Green just got gorgeous

By Robin Mead, December 20, 2007

Lots of hotels in Britain claim green credentials these days, then point proudly at things like notices informing guests that bed-linen and towels will no longer be changed daily to protect the environment.

But conservation-conscious Francis Young is scornful of such gestures. “They do wonders for laundry bills but very little to save the planet,” he says.


Spain: The idyll that time forgot

By Ivor Baddiel, October 10, 2007

We went off the beaten track in the Ambroz valley and were rewarded with peace and quiet

Lets be honest, venturing off the beaten track in Spain is not easy for us Brits. Weve been to and in some cases, appropriated most of it. But just when you think a country has nothing more to offer, a hidden gem pops up that delights as much as it startles. Hervas is such a jewel.


Five go down to San Sebastian

By Ivor Baddiel, February 1, 2007

When four friends and I wanted a weekend of eating, culture and, um, eating, we headed to the Spanish gastro capital

What do middle-aged Jewish men want from a weekend break? To my mind, a chance to relax, good food, beautiful surroundings, more food, a bit of culture, yet more food and indigestion tablets.

Which is precisely why myself and four friends chose the deeply Basque city of San Sebastian in Northern Spain when we jetted off for a rare opportunity to get away from our families and creditors.


The right recipe for a great break

By Jeff Barak, June 28, 2006

Not surprisingly, food -and even cooking - formed a major part of our fabulous Italian holiday in Apulia

Theres something very satisfying about eating ones own hand-made pasta in the restaurant of a top Italian hotel.

If only every meal one cooked was served by smiling, attentive waiters on a flower-laden, sun-warmed balcony and washed down with a glass of perfectly chilled white wine...


Marbella, not for adults only

By Charlotte Seligman, May 10, 2006

This exquisite tourist resort on the Costa del Sol is friendly and accessible — even if you have kids in tow

Most people have wonderful memories of their childhood holidays. Mine are of the many summers I spent on Spain’s Costa del Sol at my grandparents’ apartment in the Marbella urbanization of Guadalmina.


Top Tenerife

By Peter Moss, October 23, 2005

The Spanish holiday island proves an unexpected hit

Tenerife. It’s not really a word I’d ever uttered, except perhaps ironically, nor a destination I’d considered, except (you’ll excuse the pun), as a last resort.

A bit, you know, touristy. Frankly, I blanched at the thought; even my passport flinched. I’ve no tattoos, I don’t like beer and I’m not from Gravesend. How would I blend?


Strictly Balearic

By Louise Scodie, January 21, 2005

We go star-gazing in Majorca, largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands

Apparently, Majorca is one of the best places in the world to see the stars. And we’re not just talking celebrities from Coronation Street and Big Brother, some of whom were spotted on the island this summer.

No, cast your eyes upwards on a clear Majorcan night and admire the stunning astronomy on show — you might even spot a shooting star.


Costa lava

By John McShane, July 1, 2004

We find a volcanic corner of Andalucia that is almost untouched by tourism

It seems hard to envisage: clear blue waters lapping against a big, beautiful Spanish beach on a warm autumn day, yet no crowds to mar the peace.

Even more bizarre is to stroll over to one of the charming, slightly run-down beach-side bar-restaurants nearby and discover that it’s essential — unless you already speak Spanish — to take a phrase book.


A taste of Italy

By Helen Jacobus, May 12, 2003

We enjoy heritage, history, healthy food and heart-breaking scenery in a visit to Umbria

Throwing open the tall, shuttered windows in the morning, my eyes were dazzled by sunlight. Through the glass the countryside shimmered in a verdant haze.

Light flooded into the bedroom of the Umbrian villa where I was staying. If music had broken through the silence and credits had begun to roll revealing this was a Merchant-Ivory film, I would have been only slightly surprised.