New in town
Starwood's high-end St Regis brand is due to open its first property in the Thai capital, on April 1, on Rajadamri Road, next to the Four Seasons and opposite the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The St Regis Bangkok comprises 176 rooms and 51 suites in the mid-section of a new 47-floor tower block (left). The hotel promises to set 'a new standard for luxury' in a city that already has more than its fair share of fine hotels. The hotel is offering one night's accommodation, with a room upgrade, breakfast or a two-course dinner for two, a 1,000 baht (HK$250) spa voucher and free internet use, for 7,300 baht (plus 17.7 per cent tax) between April 1 and June 30. For reservations and a virtual tour, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis.
Tokyo's newest five-star hotel, the Capitol Hotel Tokyu, is offering a substantial discount on rooms until the end of April. Deluxe King rooms (right), which usually cost 65,000 yen (HK$6,100), are being offered online for 30,000 yen, with a second night free, which works out at 15,000 yen per night. To get this deal, go to www.preferredhotels.com/capitolhotel and select two consecutive nights in the reservations field. The two-for-one offer will be listed as your first option.
Boeing has launched a new model of the 747, the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (above). Quieter and more environmentally friendly than earlier versions (the aircraft was first flown commercially in 1970), the latest design is not as large as the Airbus A380 Superjumbo but, at more than 76 metres in length, it takes over from the Airbus A340-600 as the world's longest airliner. It also packs in 51 more seats than its predecessor - the now out-of-production 747-400 - to carry 467 passengers, who will enjoy more personal space and larger windows. So far only two airlines - Lufthansa and Korean Air - have ordered the aircraft, which should be in the skies by early next year.
Pack a good book if you're visiting Bali next weekend, as the festival of Nyepi falls on Saturday. Known as the Day of Silence, this is the quietest day of the year on the island, which shuts down for 24 hours from sunrise. Hotels and resorts operate more or less as usual but tourists are advised to remain on the premises and anyone straying outside is likely to be asked to return. There's little point in going out anyway as everything is closed, including the airport.
Deal of the week
A business-class package to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, for April is open for reservations at Farrington American Express Travel. Prices, which include round-trip business-class flights on Dragonair, start from a reasonable HK$6,590 for two nights, with daily breakfast, at the Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai (www.nexusresort.com), the Magellan Sutera Resort (www.suteraharbour.com) and Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa (above; www.shangri-la.com). Upgrades on rooms and suites are available at all three properties for between HK$200 and HK$600. Rates are offered per person, twin-share and include airport transfers and travel insurance. Easter surcharges will apply to the Shangri-La and Magellan Sutera resorts from April 21 to 27. For reservations, call 3121 3121, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting package ID L2011BKIZ058.