travellers' checks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 December, 2007, 12:00am

Grand new

Shanghai's newest luxury hotel, Hyatt on the Bund, has officially opened. It has 631 rooms, including 52 suites, split between its east and west towers, which offer views of the Bund or over the Huangpu River to Pudong. Designed by the firm responsible for the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Park Hyatt Beijing (which is due to open next year), the Shanghai property aims to appeal to 'the modern business delegate as well as the trend-conscious leisure traveller' by being 'innov-ative, invigorating and inspirational'. Dining space includes the multi-level Vue Restaurant and Bar, the European-style Tea Room and Xindalu China Kitchen, for local specialities. Although not named as such, Hyatt on the Bund comes under the Grand Hyatt portfolio. Visit for more details and opening specials.

Fast talking

Lingolook Flashcards for Foreign Travel are the latest addition to a seemingly never-ending line of products aimed at facilitating communication between linguistically bewildered travellers and their overseas hosts. Designed to fan out for speedy reference and containing 450 commonly required phrases, their most notable feature is the free downloadable software for personal digital assistants, iPhones and BlackBerries that comes with each pack. Purchasers can simply visit the company website and enter the password included with the cards. Lingolook Flashcards are available for China (Putonghua), France and Japan and are priced at HK$96 from Hong Kong booksellers. Alternatively, the software alone, which includes audio samples of all words and phrases, can be bought online for US$7.99 at

Deal of the week

'Revive the spirit of the revolution in a traditional courtyard residence,' says Cathay Pacific Holidays, referring to a package featuring two nights' accommodation with breakfast and a few extras at Beijing's Red Capital Residence ( Priced from HK$4,240 per person, twin share, this deal includes round-trip airport transfers, one set dinner at the Red Capital Club and a driving tour in 'Madame Mao's limousine'. The price is available until April 30, but airfare surcharges ranging from HK$550 to HK$1,100 will be in place between now and then. Check to see how these affect your preferred dates; note that taking weekend flights during low season is the best way to avoid them. Extra nights are available for HK$430 per person. For full details and reservations, visit the website or call Cathay Pacific Holidays on 2747 4388.