Charlie Chaplin (pictured above in 1952 with wife Oona) was one of a number of celebrities who have posed for the press atop the Savoy Hotel in London over the years, enjoying the magnificent view of the River Thames. On June 2 and 3 this year, the hotel will be taking advantage of perhaps the grandest spectacle ever to wend its way up the river, as 1,000 patriotically bedecked vessels of every shape and size, including the Royal Barge carrying Queen Elizabeth, sail past the property for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The Savoy's Diamond Jubilee package includes two nights' accommodation with full English breakfast, plus a four-course Diamond Jubilee dinner for two, with front-row seats and specially selected wines in the River Restaurant, on Sunday, June 3. Various types of room are available, and rates start from GBP1,230 for two nights, with extra nights from GBP495. For further details and reservations visit www.fairmont.com/savoy and click the Package Finder link.
Former Hong Kong hotelier Marcello Pigozzo has launched a luxury hotel brand called the Salviatino Collection. Pigozzo, formerly the Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific president for Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, opened the Renaissance villa Il Salviatino (www.salviatino.com), near Florence, Italy, about three years ago. The opening of his property near Verona last month, the Palazzo Victoria (formerly the Hotel Victoria), is the reason behind the creation of the brand, which doesn't yet seem to have its own website. Salviatino Collection hotels are also in the pipeline for Provence and Barbuda. For opening rates at the new hotel, visit www.palazzovictoria.com.
A couple of new scheduled flight destinations are opening up courtesy of Dragonair this summer. The first will be Jeju Island (pictured top left) in South Korea, which comes online on May 1 with three flights per week - the only scheduled non-stop service to the island. Dragonair's flights to Chiang Mai will be the only non-stop route to the northern Thai city from Hong Kong when they commence on July 1. Chiang Mai has long been an on-again-off-again scheduled destination for airlines serving Hong Kong, and true to form, Dragonair's four weekly flights will only be in operation until the end of September, so - assuming the severe haze covering the region has cleared by July - you might want to make the most of this occasional window.
Deal of the week
Farrington American Express Travel's two-night Phuket package starts from just HK$2,950, the kind of price level that would usually involve skipping through several lists of low- to mid-range hotels before finding somewhere worth staying at. This price, however, will get you into a Deluxe Garden View Room at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa (pictured - www.hilton.com) on Karon Beach, which, while not the most luxurious resort on the island, is among the best of the larger resorts. Further up the price scale, the choices include The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa (www.westin.com/siraybayresort) for HK$3,250 and the Sala Phuket Resort & Spa (www.sala resorts.com/phuket) for HK$3,950. These prices, quoted per person, twin share, include economy-class flights with Dragonair, daily breakfast and travel insurance, and will be available until the end of June, but with some surcharges over the Easter period. For reservations and further information visit www.amex travel.com.hk or call 3121 3121, and quote Package ID: L2012HKTA099.