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Luxury travel news this week

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. Spanish hotel’s £11.9 million Christmas tree is the world’s most expensive We’re on the clock. It’s approximately 18 sleeps till Christmas. Perhaps you and your crew have it all sorted and your living room is kitted out in the usual festive wares. Or perhaps you’re still in the tree acquisition stages and you’re fiercely debating whether this year’s tree will be freshly-cut pine or a trusty fake. Either way, one tree you can take out of the equation is the one with a multi-million pound price tag. A hotel in Spain has just decked the halls with boughs of diamonds and donned their bougiest apparel with an £11.9 million Christmas tree… [read more] Tokyo will be short an estimated 14,000 hotel rooms each day of the 2020 Olympics An estimated 10 million visitors are expected to descend on Tokyo next summer for the 2020 Olympics. But the Japanese capital might not have room for them all. The city is facing a hotel room shortage of an estimated 14,000 rooms each day of the Olympics, according to the Nikkei Asian Review, leaving the city scrambling to find alternatives to house millions of tourists… [read more] Coral dredging: ‘It’s going to cause irreversible damage’ Campaigners in the Cayman Islands say they are fighting a “David and Goliath” battle against the world’s biggest cruise lines that want to redevelop the country’s port to accommodate huge ships. “I fear that it’s going to cause some irreversible damage that we can’t ever change, take back or fix in the future,” says Michelle Lockwood, one of those opposed to the coral dredging that will be needed to enlarge the port… [read more] Why cruise lines keep cutting their ships in half A few weeks ago, John Delaney, president of Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, stood on a scaffold at a historic shipyard in Palermo, Italy, and took a blowtorch to the Star Breeze, a 30-year-old, 212-passenger motor yacht. With sparks flying, and shipyard workers and invited guests cheering him on, Delaney made the final vertical cut to chop Star Breeze in half. But he was hardly destroying the small ship—he was doing just the opposite… [read more] These are the most commonly stolen items from luxury hotels It’s a common tale — we slip a pen into our pocket or grab some extra soaps for the road when leaving a hotel. Smaller items, especially hygiene products, seem harmless and replaceable. But would you be so daring as to take a TV, a sauna bench or a grand piano? Wellness Heaven, a luxury and spa hotel guide, surveyed 1,157 four- and five-star hotels located primarily in Europe to determine the items that have been frequently stolen… [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I think we need to make a distinction between the items that are “stolen” from hotels and those that are put there to be taken as product placement.

    Obviously there’s not much doubt that mattresses, lamps and remote controls are in the “Do not steal” category. How do people think that they will get away with it when the hotel have their credit card number?

    Toiletries and pens, which are usually heavily branded are a different matter. The hotels want you to take these away as a reminder of your stay and as a talking point with people who see you using them.

    1. I travel far too much for business and stay in a lot of hotels. One of the perks is the range of toiletries I pick-up at the end of each visit.

      My bizarre New Year’s resolution was to go through the entire year without buying any soap, shampoo or conditioner. It’s a goal that I will achieve fairly easily but I’ve paid the price for being a cheapskate.

      I had to call-out a plumber as my plug had got totally jammed in the plug-hole. It was an expensive call out as the grains from a Seven Sands of the Arabian Desert soap had effectively concreted my plug in place. All the money I had saved through the year went in 20 minutes.

  2. I don’t see too many problems with meeting a deficit of accommodation for 14,000 people per day during the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

    Surely the cruise ship option is the most viable solution. With cruisers capable of taking 3,000 or 4,000 passengers you could soon make a dent in that 14,000 figure – nor would there be any unnecessary costly building. Moreover, the cruise ships would arrive with their own staff.

    The main problem would be getting the guests to the Olympic venues without overloading the rail system, that may take some careful logistical planning.

    1. That’s a pretty good idea, hadn’t thought of anything like that. I reckon you should write to the tourism board and make the suggestion for cruise liners. And maybe lots of bicycles for when the public transport grinds to a halt with too many passengers!

  3. And there I was feeling very proud of having got my Christmas tree up by December 5th until I read about the £11.9m tree in Spain.

    I think I got mine in an after Christmas sale for £9.99 back in the last millennium.

  4. I read about that ridiculously expensive Christmas tree somewhere but hadn’t seen it until I checked out that article. £11.9 million, what a cheap hotel! It does look gorgeous but you wouldn’t expect over a couple of grand, surely. The attention is obviously in the fine detail with the diamonds and 3D printed edibles. I quite like the up cycled jewellery and hand made decorations. I reckon that’s got to be the Guinness World Record now. It’s certainly done the trick by catching the headlines for the hotel’s anniversary.

  5. I’d forgot all about Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics! It seems like it was a big thing for a while ages ago and then it’s been out of the press all year. Maybe that’s partly due to the focus being all on British politics. It’s a considerable anticipated shortage. I bet you could do well if you have rooms to rent out there though.

    The article on hotel thefts made me laugh. I thought this was what strangers have stolen from guests, rather than the guests themselves stealing from hotels. The old bathroom toiletries is a common one to pinch, but a mattress?? Who does that?! Stealing batteries from a 4 or 5 star hotel seems pretty petty. Surely if you’re staying in what’s likely a pricey hotel then you can afford your own batteries. Ditto the towels. Some places must be forking out a small fortune over time because big and small thefts will add up. I’ve never stolen a thing from a hotel room, not even a mini shampoo, and I find it pretty disgraceful that some people think it’s acceptable to help themselves to whatever they fancy. Still, can’t help but laugh at this list!

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