Travellers' checks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 12:00am

At your service

Following the Fairmont Peace Hotel's reopening in Shanghai last month and the much-anticipated arrival of the new Waldorf Astoria further along the Bund next month, Langham Hotels International will soon be setting up shop just across the Huangpu River with The Langham, Xintiandi (left). The shopping, dining and entertainment area is a fashionably historic corner of Shanghai but the 357-room, 24-storey hotel itself is decidedly modern. Reservations are being taken for October 1 check-in and beyond. Opening offers, according to the hotel's website, include a night in a grand room or studio for 2,145 yuan or 2,548 yuan, respectively, including tax, airport limousine pick-up, breakfast for two, 200 yuan dining credit and free internet connections. For details and reservations, visit

Bags of style

As painfully evidenced by an ever-increasing number of travellers, the retro approach to travelling in style takes a bit more than a fake Panama hat and baggy shorts. One useful and appropriate accessory for anyone with a nostalgic yearning for the golden age of travel, however, is the Globe-Trotter suitcase. First manufactured in Germany in 1897, and then in England from 1901, this simple but attractive brand was taken by Queen Elizabeth II on her honeymoon and by Edmund Hillary as far as the first base camp on his 1951 ascent of Mount Everest. Globe-Trotter luggage is still made on Victorian-era machinery, with wooden frames, leather trim and Vulcan Fibre, which is essentially reinforced paper, for the main body. (Flimsy as it sounds, this material combines lightness and strength that was unique in its day.) Sets come in suitably named series such as Safari and Orient but one nod to modernity is the addition to a number of models of fairly inconspicuous wheels. Lane Crawford stocks a limited range of Globe-Trotter luggage, with prices starting at HK$10,500 for a medium-sized suitcase. To see the full range, visit

National holiday

The Mandarin Oriental hotel, Sanya, on Hainan Island (right), is marking China's National Day with a package running from September 28 to October 15. With a starting price of 2,488 yuan (HK$2,840; plus 15 per cent service charge and excluding flights) per night, for a minimum three-night stay in a terrace or ocean view room, the deal includes round-trip airport transfers, breakfast for two adults and two children, dinner for two at the resort's Chinese restaurant or a luxury 80-minute body treatment for one at the Spa Village, a 200 yuan spa voucher and complimentary tai chi and qigong sessions with a Shaolin kung fu master. For further details and bookings, e-mail or visit

Deal of the week

Westminster Travel is offering a three-night package to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, from HK$4,550 per person (twin-share) with round-trip, economy-class flights on Cathay Pacific. Accommodation at this price is at the Grand Oriental Hotel (until October 31), which opened in 1875 and is one of the city's oldest. The hotel gets mixed reviews, so you could consider an upgrade to its better-kept contemporary, the Galle Face Hotel (available through September), which is going for a package price of HK$5,700. Both prices include daily breakfast and travel insurance, and for those on a budget the agent is offering the same hotels for HK$3,850 and HK$5,000, respectively, if you fly Singapore Airlines (with a stopover in Singapore). As most of Sri Lanka's attractions are outside Colombo, it's worth staying on a while to explore more of the country. The Experience Sri Lanka website ( will help you plan in advance. For further details and reservations, call 2313 9800 or visit