Travellers' checks

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

The time has come

The Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo, the brand's first in Japan, opened on Monday at the fung shui-appointed time of 10.15am. Near Tokyo Station, the 202-room five-star hotel occupies the top 11 of Marunouchi Trust Tower's 37 floors and features an Italian restaurant; an eatery called Nadaman, which specialises in kaiseki cuisine; a lobby lounge and a Chi the Spa at Shangri-La.

Park drive

New York's Hotel Plaza Athenee has teamed up with the Central Park Conservancy to offer private tours of the 341-hectare Manhattan centrepiece (left), led by the conservation body's official photographer and historian, Sara Cedar Miller. Dubbed the 'Insider's view of Central Park', the tours will be conducted in a hybrid sport utility vehicle and tailor made; highlights can include the Shakespeare Garden and Turtle Pond, the Conservatory Garden and other 'hidden gems'. Each tour includes a night in a Superior King room and a signed copy of Miller's book, Central Park, an American Masterpiece. Tours cost US$1,045 for one hour, mid-week, and US$2,045 for three hours on a weekend, from next month until June. For reservations, e-mail:

Deal of the week

One of Bangkok's funkiest hotels is offering a package to coincide with Thailand's New Year celebrations, next month. The Songkram package - valid between April 10 and April 20 - offered by the Metropolitan Bangkok includes three nights' accommodation for the price of two in a large, Metropolitan Room, a festive dinner in the hotel's Glow restaurant and dis-counts on treatments and products at the Como Shambhala Urban Escape, an in-house day spa. The package costs US$185 per night, per room and includes an arrival herbal tea, daily fruit platters and a yoga or stretch class at the spa. Visit for more details.