WITH a combined 40 years in football, you’d think Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs would be sick of the sight of hotels. But since retiring, these two have been United in their love of the hospitality industry. They first launched the hugely successful Hotel Football in the shadow of Old Trafford in 2015. While it caters mostly for soccer fans, their latest venture is Premier League fare. The duo have ploughed millions into refurbishing the previously derelict Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre, transforming the Edwardian building into a luxury 40-room hotel which includes a 3,500 sq ft, £1,750-a-night penthouse suite. Six years in the making, it looks good, but then it should, at around £200 a night for a double room. The welcome is warm as you enter the Stock Exchange lobby, which is small but beautifully formed. Upstairs and into the bedroom, and it is apparent that either Gary or Ryan loves cushions. The bed is huge, but it’s littered with the things.A … [Read more...] about Footie duo Neville and Giggs enter the big leagues with luxury Manchester hotel
We’ve all seen examples of bad driving – but you don’t expect to get road rage before you’ve even left the house. But that is exactly what I felt when I read over breakfast how bosses of the world’s oldest travel firm lost control, hit a brick wall and yet still walked off with millions. As someone who runs a business and a family household budget, I was gobsmacked with the appalling way Thomas Cook had been driven, especially with 22,000 people depending on it for a living. And I know what it’s like to look into the eyes of people who won’t get paid next month. It’s a big responsibility for execs and auditors, whose job it is to keep a beady eye on cashflow and respond to ever-changing markets. And Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser was paid millions to stay on top of the travel trends and customer behaviour. The sad fact is that just one in seven of us now pops into a travel agent to buy a holiday. Those who do, tend to be over 65, with … [Read more...] about Saira Khan: How do the Thomas Cook bosses manage to sleep at night?
PARASAILING is surprisingly peaceful and any reports that I shut my eyes and screamed wildly at lift-off are total lies. Dangling 200 metres above the Atlantic, the slick black coastline of Gran Canaria shimmered in the afternoon sun. But from up here, it was clear there is more to the island than 37 miles of fly and flop-friendly beaches. Get on, or above, the waves and you’ll see Gran Canaria from a new perspective. I was on the Spanish island, off the coast of Africa, for a weekend of water sports and activities at sea. I stayed at The Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel. Built directly into the volcanic cliffs, it boasts unspoiled sea views and is just a ten-minute drive (or 20-minute walk along the seafront) from the sandy shore and restaurants of Playa de Amadores and the adjacent harbour. Despite the temptation to enjoy the all-inclusive food, two pools and Thalasso spa, I dragged myself away to get back on the waves. I’m no sailor, but I do love being … [Read more...] about Discover the beauty of Gran Canaria by peacefully parasailing above the Atlantic coastline
THAILAND is where you go to find yourself. But if you already know who you are (a spice-loving boozehound), then you’ll want to find top-notch beer and curry instead. These two staples of modern British life are everywhere in Thailand — so a beer and spice tour was right up my street. The journey begins in toasty Bangkok with a cold glass of Chang, the country’s popular and widely exported lager. It tastes best supped wearing trunks at the 137 Pillars hotel, while paddling in the Thai capital’s highest infinity pool. The views are unforgettable, and glass panels stop you falling off the edge if you knock back too many brews. Sightseeing is better with some grub, so I head to the riverside Mango Tree. You can get a sweet red curry, a cool drink and cracking views of three famous Bangkok temples all for around £3. In the evening, head downtown to Cabbages and Condoms. The name isn’t a bonkers mistranslation: this is a Thai restaurant themed around … [Read more...] about Head to busy Bangkok for the best booze & curry Thailand has to offer
A GOOD ski jacket is an essential part of your holiday on the slopes. Some can persuade you that you belong in the Olympic team as you gracefully slide down the mountain, while others might make you avoid group photos for fear of being tagged on Instagram. Sadly, fashion and function don't always go hand in hand so it's essential to consider your priorities when it comes to ski-wear. A hint: style over substance almost never fares well, especially when it comes to sports. Still, feeling sexy on the slopes is a legitimate requirement (confidence is key, after all) so we've rounded up the best ski jackets that not only perform well, but look good too. It's worth remembering that your jacket has to suit the place you're heading to as well as the time of the year; a trip to Canada in November probably requires warmer gear than one to France in March. It's also worth checking out the weather conditions before you leave, as if you're set for sleet or rainy conditions, you'll want a little … [Read more...] about The best women’s ski jacket you can buy right now – including Helly Hansen, Salomon and Columbia