Travellers' checks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 February, 2009, 12:00am

Springs cleaning

Next Sunday, Six Senses will conduct a soft opening of its resort at Jordan's Ma'in natural hot springs, reputedly a favourite bathing spot of Herod the Great, a first century BC king of Judaea. The Evason Ma'in Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa will take over maintenance of the springs and, in return, has been permitted to partition off an area for private use. Located in a rocky ravine, 264 metres below sea level and an hour's drive west of the capital, Amman, the resort boasts a spa, 97 guest rooms and views of Jerusalem from roof-top terraces. The official opening will be in April. Visit for details.

Fly flat out

Korean Airlines will use the delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in May, to introduce new seating in both business and first class. Timed to coincide with the airline's 40th anniversary, first class will benefit from more space all round; seats will be wider and larger and new tray tables will make in-flight dining and working more pleasant experiences. Personal screens will be increased to 58cm, so passengers can make the most of the audio-video on-demand system, and larger privacy screens mean no one will be peeking at your movie. In the Prestige business class section of the aircraft, the airline will install 180-degree flat seats with a 187cm pitch. The seats will be rolled out across the rest of the fleet over the course of the year.

Slimming picks

Over Easter, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat, chef at Thai wellness retreat Chiva Som, and the executive chef at Claridge's, Martyn Nail, will be making their signature dishes and giving a series of master classes in 'spa cuisine' (light, healthy, low-calorie fare) at the London hotel. Paisarn's dishes will be served in Claridge's Foyer and Reading Room restaurants from April 9 to April 17, with a gala dinner held on April 15, which costs GBP100 (HK$1,100) per person for three courses matched with wine. Classes cost GBP157.50 per person. For more information, visit

Halong trip

Trails of Indochina is offering a three-day luxury cruise through Vietnam's Halong Bay aboard the Halong Jasmine junk. With a restaurant, two bars, 21 cabins and two suites, it is a great spot from which to enjoy the limestone caves and grottos. Guests can visit floating villages by kayak, watch ancient temple rituals or cycle the national park trails of Cat Ba Island. The tour includes transfers from Hanoi, onboard meals and activities and costs from US$336 per person. Go to for details.

Crowd pleaser

The Pantai Lima, a new resort 25 minutes from Seminyak, in Bali, comprises five villas spread across 1.6 hectares. Built with extended families and groups in mind, four villas have five bed-rooms and one has six. Each has a 'mini-cinema' with a 37-inch flatscreen television and surround sound and its own pool with a separate paddling area. Guests can relax on the beach or play tennis on floodlit courts. Each villa has a private chef who will buy and prepare the food while a butler goes on a drinks run - the dining budget is set by the guests. Villas cost US$1,400 a night with a two-night minimum until February 28, when they go up to US$1,750 until July 31. Log on to for more details.