with Nicholas Walton
Situated 10 kilometres from its nearest neighbour and a 75-minute high-speed cruise from the local airport, one of the Maldives' 'greenest' resorts has just opened. Accommodation at the Alila Villas Hadahaa (www.alilahotels.com/hadahaa), on Huvadhu atoll, features rainwater harvesting and internal waste treatment, high roofs and cross ventilation. Huvadhu is the biggest atoll in the Maldives and has the deepest lagoon, at 90 metres, offering unique diving experiences for resort guests.
Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com) has revamped its free transit tours for passengers passing through Istanbul, to offer more flexibility and better itineraries. Six-hour (for business-class travellers) and nine-hour (for economy class) excursions take in some of the ancient city's top attractions, including Hagia Sophia, the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet (below), the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Turkish Airways has a direct service to Istanbul from Hong Kong.
In an effort to bring back shades of a bygone era to Shanghai's Bund, the newly opened Langham Yangtze Boutique hotel (www.yangtzeboutique.langhamhotels.com) is offering adrenaline-pumping tours of the city by replica 1930s BMW motorcycle and sidecar. The hotel's Destination Deco package - 1,700 yuan (HK$1,930) per night, twin share - includes a tailored two-hour adventure through the city's traffic in a gleaming sidecar (one each for a couple), with stops at leading markets, museums and galleries. Up to eight sidecars are available for groups looking to explore Shanghai in style.
Deal of the week
Farrington American Express Travel (www.amextravel.com.hk) has a three-day, two-night Take a Break package to Penang, with departures before November 30. It includes two night accommodation in the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, with daily breakfast and return economy flights with Cathay Pacific from HK$2,980 per person, twin share. Added benefits include a buffet dinner for two at the Spice Market Cafe, HK$440 in food & beverage credit and wireless internet access in the lobby. Air-ticket surcharges and levies may apply.