Return to Hiroshima Dragonair suspended flights to Hiroshima during the Sars outbreak, in April 2003, but will be making a return to what was its first Japanese destination in August, with two weekly afternoon flights. The first departure is scheduled for August 16, which is, unfortunately, 10 days too late for the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, an extremely moving event that attracts visitors from all over the world. Dragonair says the new route is subject to government approval, but tickets are already on sale at www.cathaypacific.com.
New rooms Zoku is a new European hotel brand chasing the "millennial traveller" market with a different kind of guest room (below). Whereas in many other hotel rooms the bed is the focal point, often taking up at least half the floor space, Zoku rooms will be centred on a dining table, which can seat up to four people "to work, dine and entertain, or just hang out", with the bed hidden up stowable steps behind a sliding door. Not surprisingly for a brand that promotes "living large in a small space", its name is Japanese. " Zoku" means "family", "tribe" or "clan". The first Zoku property will open in Amsterdam sometime in the autumn, with bookings available from July. Hotels in London, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin and Barcelona are expected to follow. For more information, including an introductory video, visit livezoku.com.
Hot property The Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden (below) opened this month in the German Bavarian Alps, in a property occupied until last month by the InterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort. Much controversy surrounded the opening of the original resort back in 2005, as it was built on the site of Adolf Hitler's former holiday home, which was demolished in 1952. Jewish human rights organisation The Simon Wiesenthal Center tried to stop the development, and wrote to Intercontinental Hotels Group's then-chairman David Webster to remind him that Berchtesgaden "was the seat of evil, where Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi leadership took most of the decisions that cost the world 70 million lives". Naturally enough, no mention of the past is made on the new hotel website, nor in the opening press release, which announces that the hotel has been "reborn as an Alpine lifestyle resort, merging unpretentious design with rustic Bavarian flair", which includes "oversized lampshades and a mounted stag's head, exuding warm Alpine hospitality". Opening offers can be found at www.kempinski.com/en/berchtesgaden.
Capital savings Travellers heading to Paris can save up to 80 per cent on the cost of getting into the city from Charles de Gaulle Airport with the new EasyBus service. Operated by the same company that owns EasyJet, the EasyBus will take passengers from any airline into central Paris from only €2 (HK$17) per person, depending on travel times and how far in advance tickets are purchased at www.easybus.co.uk. Tomorrow, incidentally, sees the publication of Michelin's latest Green Guide to Paris, which is arguably the best guidebook to the city available, unless you prefer a larger dose of history, art and architecture, in which case a new edition of the venerable Blue Guide will be out at the end of next month.
Deal of the week Tiglion Travel is offering free nights at a couple of hotels with its latest two-night package to Hanoi, in Vietnam. Two nights at the Pullman Hanoi (below) cost from HK$2,890 per person, twin share, with a third free night, while a similar deal is offered at the Sofitel Plaza from HK$3,290. Both of these deals are for stays up to the end of September and include flights with Dragonair and daily breakfast. For further details and reservations, go to www.tiglion.com.