Rajasthan rovers “The Best Exotic Car Rally: Rajasthan or Bust” sets off from Delhi in February for two weeks of adventure and fun (and probably punctures and breakdowns) with a fleet of classic Hindustan Ambassador cars. As well as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer, the rally will take drivers and their passengers to the hotel used in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) and its 2015 sequel, and one or two other movie locations. This is the only four-wheeled expedition organised by India-based motorbike-tour company Nomadic Knights, which, despite the biker-gang name, has a reputation for running safe and successful trips. Up to 10 cars will be on the tour, and you can drive yourself alone, or take up to three other drivers or passengers in the same car. Alternatively, a driver can be supplied.
Based on the British Morris Oxford, the Ambassador was made in India from 1958 to 2014 and has long been used by everyone from taxi drivers to maharajahs. As the name of the rally suggests, there is an emphasis on fun, and participants are encouraged to “create a team or a theme, bring stickers and decorate your car, wear wigs or fancy dress”. Prices for the 14-night trip, which begins on February 13, start from US$4,330 per person in a shared car or US$5,790 for solo drivers who might want to steer clear of the car decorating, wig-wearing, fancy dressers. For an itinerary, instructions on preparation, and reservations, visit www.nomadicknights.com and scroll down from the Adventures tab.
Singapore swing The Warehouse was the biggest disco in Singapore, if not the whole of Southeast Asia, when it opened in 1986. The morning after opening night, The Straits Times newspaper noted that a thousand revellers were treated to an “electrifying” atmosphere, with the venue’s four bars, large video screen and, this being Singapore, a popcorn stand. Empty for some years now, the old warehouse buildings – built in 1895 – will be reopened as The Warehouse Hotel (above). The property is due to start taking guests in December but reservations should be open from this month. Located at Robertson Quay, the locally designed, owned and managed boutique hotel will offer just 37 rooms, unusually high ceilings and plenty of “heritage-inspired” décor. Go to www.thewarehousehotel.com for a closer look.
Persian excursion International cycle-touring company SpiceRoads has just announced its first foray into Iran, with a tour called Jewels of Persia By Bicycle. The 15-day ride covers the 650km from Shiraz to Tehran via Persepolis, Isfahan and other mystical, magical locations that few travellers have the nerve to visit these days. The first tour sets off on April 2, which should leave you enough time to get an Iranian visa organised. SpiceRoads can help with all the red tape, which becomes more tangled than usual if you have a United States, Canadian or British passport. HKSAR passport holders, and many others, can get a visa on arrival. Qatar Airways will get you into Shiraz and out of Tehran via Doha. For more information, go to www.spiceroads.com/tours/persia.
The fifth edition of the Bradt guide to Iran will be out in January, and the latest edition (2015) of Trailblazer’s Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook is also worth picking up (most of its five-page Iran section can be previewed for free at amazon.co.uk). Good online cycling information can be found at travellingtwo.com/resources/iran.
Deal of the week A two-night stay at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa (below), on the Philippine island of Cebu, is on sale at Swire Travel from HK$3,660 per person (twin share) until the end of this month. This price will get you a Main Wing Deluxe Room, but there are a few other options on the way up to an Ocean Wing Ocean Club Room, and all the executive-lounge extras that come with it, for HK$4,650. Flights with Cathay Pacific, breakfast and airport shuttle-bus transfers are included. Visit www.swiretravel.com for reservations