with Nicholas Walton
Asiana Airlines (www. flyasiana.com) has become the fifth Asian carrier - joining Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific - to be named airline of the world by industry monthly Air Transport World. To win, an airline must be a leader in service, safety and the introduction of new technology. Financial performance is also taken into consideration.
Exotissimo Travel's latest culinary journey through the kitchens and markets of Vietnam examines both the local cuisine's origins and its modern interpretations. Trips are available year round, on request, and typically start in Ho Chi Minh City and last 12 days. Cooking classes are mixed with visits to trendy restaurants and street-side stalls. Highlights include a tour of Ho Chi Minh's produce markets and fusion cooking lessons from French master Didier Corlou. The US$7,460 tour includes meals, classes, tours, accommodation and domestic flights. Visit luxurytravel.exotissimo.com/vietnam for details.
Welcome to Europe
Lufthansa has opened the Welcome Lounge at Frankfurt Airport. The 1,200 square metre lounge designed to help in-bound travellers ease into their day after a long-haul flight, is free for business and first-class customers as well as those on loyalty schemes or those who have a lot of air miles. Inside there are two floors with quiet zones for relaxation, a bistro serving light meals, wireless internet connections and showers. The lounge is behind the baggage reclaim area in arrivals area B and is open from 5.30am until noon.
Celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay of Britain and Nobuyuki 'Nobu' Matsuhisa of Japan will have signature restaurants at South Africa's One&Only Cape Town resort, which is due to open on April 4. The 131-room resort, on the city's Victoria & Alfred waterfront, will be home to Ramsay's Maze eatery, which will serve traditional South African dishes, including local game, and feature an 'American broiler', which cooks steaks at 650 degrees Celsius. Nobu will combine local seafood and spices with Japanese techniques to create dishes such as rock shrimp and scallops in yuzu sauce. Visit www.oneandonlyresorts.com/capetown/ for details.
Deal of the week
To celebrate the opening of the Mandarin Oriental Sanya, guests staying before September 30 will be entitled to an extra night when booking two or more consecutive nights. The 297-room resort, near the shopping and entertainment district of Dadonghai, has 1.2km of private beach in Coral Bay, 11 restaurants, an extensive 'spa village' and a large recreation area with children's facilities. For more details and reservations, visit www. mandarinoriental.com/sanya.