The road to St Tropez Le Yaca's claim to be the oldest hotel in St Tropez suddenly rings hollow this month with the reopening of the Hotel de Paris, more than 20 years after it closed down. Le Yaca opened in 1948 as the Aioli, whose guests included Orson Welles, Greta Garbo and Errol Flynn. It was joined in the mid-1960s by the better-known celebrity haunt Le Byblos. But the Hotel de Paris had been catering to the first wave of modern tourists, from the 30s onwards. The town's emergence as a fashionable tourist resort is usually linked with Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim (both above), whose film … And God Created Woman brought the port village, and Bardot, to boggle-eyed international attention in 1957. In fact, St Tropez had already been spoiled for some by the 30s, when resident French writer Colette moved out because of what her husband described as "a hive of tourists. On the wharves a double row of cars hid the view of the port. The yachts had chased away the old boats, the bars had become dance-halls where every imaginable couple stayed on until the first light." Such minor inconveniences can only be yearned for today. The Hotel de Paris was originally scheduled to re-open in 2003, two years after it was acquired by businessman Claude Dray. Legal wrangles were still preventing an opening in 2011, when Dray was murdered in Paris. The revitalised hotel has a new website at www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com, but the site run by Preferred Hotels & Resorts (preferredhotelgroup.com/preferred), of which Hotel de Paris is a member, is more user friendly.
High times Stewardesses, air hostesses, flight attendants, cabin crew - call them what you will - have often been the subject of salacious paperback observation, most of it self-inflicted. Coffee Tea Or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses, first published in 1967 and a bestseller, was reprinted in 2003 on the heels of Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of a Flight Attendant, and Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet. Several others, notably Air Babylon, followed. Despite its sensational title (and amateurish cover design) The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon takes a more serious look at the American female flight attendant, exploring how "business strategy, advertising, race, sexuality, and cold war politics … cultivated an image of the stewardess that reflected America's vision of itself, from the wholesome girl-next-door of the 1940s to the cosmopolitan glamour girl of the Jet Age to the sexy play-mate of the 1960s." The Jet Sex by Victoria Vantoch (not to be confused with a steamy 1964 pulp-fiction novel of the same name) will be published on April 1, and is available for pre-order from Amazon.
Greek to me TLX Travel is running a cheap package to Athens and a couple of Greek islands if you can commit to a booking by the end of this month, for travel between April 10 and October 20. The package is priced from HK$10,730 to HK$15,080 per person, twin share, depending on the class of hotel you book and your period of travel, and for this (plus airport taxes and fuel surcharges) you will receive: round-trip flights to Athens via Doha on Qatar Airways; three nights' hotel accommodation in Athens; two nights on Mykonos and two nights on Santorini (above); ferry transfers to and from the islands; a speedboat from Mykonos to Santorini; airport and seaport hotel transfers; breakfast; and a half-day Athens sightseeing tour with an English-speaking guide. For a full list of hotels and other details, look for the Romantic Aegean Sea Greece Islands link at www.tlxtravel.com in the What's Hot/Europe section. Similarly priced packages with different itineraries, including a cruise, are also listed.
Deal of the week Cathay Pacific Holidays' Ho Chi Minh City Business Class Special includes round-trip, business-class flights, and two nights at the New World Hotel Saigon (right) from HK$4,810 per person, twin share. Other hotels available include the Caravelle, from HK$5,420, and the Park Hyatt, from HK$7,420. Tax and fuel surcharges add another HK$760 to these prices, which will be available until mid-April. For more hotels and online reservations, visit www.cxholidays.com.