First resort The Thai resort of Hua Hin has another new luxury property to brag about, this one just five minutes from town but still claiming the usual 'oasis of calm' credentials. AKA Hotel Resort and Spa (below) is the first property to be opened by AKA Resorts Group, the name of which was inspired by the Aka tribe, a 'deeply spiritual people with a desire for simplicity and continuity pervading their daily lives'. (They also partake in the ritual slaughter of domestic dogs, but this is understandably skirted in the promotional blurb.) The resort has 55 villas in its four-hectare grounds and each comes with a private 10-metre infinity pool, garden shower, courtyard and outdoor sunken bathtub, as well as a private pavilion for spa treatments. AKA has another Hua Hin property on the way. Both can be viewed at www.akaresorts.com , where package prices (including a chauffeured car for the two-hour drive from Bangkok) for the hotel already open start at US$890 for three nights' double occupancy, including meals. To make an online comparison with a resort of similar quality and price, take a look at the Evason Hideaway at www.sixsenses.com . Step bag in time As Cathay Pacific Airways' 60th anniversary year, 2006 is prompting some rare displays of nostalgia from the carrier. In January came the release of the first of 12 limited-edition scale models of historic Cathay planes; now there are three 'retro travel bags' to choose from. Recalling a more generous era of air travel, when these were given to passengers, the carry-on replicas are priced from $190 to $220 and represent the 1950s, 60s and 70s. You can find the bags and the models (aircraft, that is) on sale at Cathay Pacific ticketing offices and at www.cathaypacific.com . Three for two A third night is being offered free by the St Regis Shanghai (left) to guests checking in from April 28 to May 7. It is a small window, but worthwhile if you're going to be in town on those dates. The nightly rate is 1,460 yuan (plus the usual 15 per cent) for the first two nights, which includes deluxe-room accommodation, buffet breakfast for two, wireless internet access throughout the hotel, garment pressing for two items, cocktails and snacks from 5.30pm to 7pm in the executive lounge, tea and coffee served by a 24-hour butler and fresh fruit and flowers daily. For reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , quoting reservation code PK2. Deal of the week Swire Travel is selling a Northwest Airlines package to Tokyo that includes round-trip business-class flights and two nights' accommodation at a choice of hotels. The most expensive, but best value considering the hotels on offer, is the Conrad Tokyo (right; conradhotels1.hilton.com) at $6,790, followed by the Roppongi Prince ( www.princehotelsjapan.com ) at $5,530 and the Tokyo Dome Hotel ( www.tokyodome-hotels.co.jp ) at $5,430. All prices are per person, twin-share, and will be available until the end of June. Tokyo packages rarely include airport transfers from Narita and this is no exception; the limousine bus costs 3,000 yen ($200) each way, with vouchers also available from Swire Travel. For further details and reservations, call 3151 8833, or e-mail email@example.com . Cheap sleeps If you're looking for a cheap place to stay in Kuala Lumpur, try Number Eight, a converted shophouse winning praise for its stylish decor, trendy layout and inexpensive rates. Located in the city's Golden Triangle district, this 'boutique guesthouse' offers double and twin rooms from 85 ringgit ($180) to 95 ringgit a night, including continental breakfast. Visit the website, the design of which puts many international hotel group sites to shame, at www.numbereight.com.my . By the book Hot on the heels of Lonely Planet?s coffee-table-crunching The Travel Book comes another hefty hardback volume, The Cities Book, which provides words and pictures for 200 of the ?most vibrant, diverse, hypnotic and chaotic cities in the world?. As with its predecessor, the book devotes two pages to each destination, with as much emphasis on pictorial presentation as information. The Cities Book website at www.lonelyplanet.com/cities offers a preview of the contents and a vaguely engaging game that involves visitors identifying 45 iconic items and their home cities in an artfully constructed, interactive street scene. The book?s price on the Lonely Planet website is US$50 ($388). Predictably, Hong Kong bookshops have marked it up to $500 but Paddyfield.com lists it for $390 with free local delivery.