Yokohama revisited The Japanese port city of Yokohama was once, long ago, a very popular destination for Hong Kong travellers. From the late 19th century, most ships sailing to and from Hong Kong on the transpacific route stopped there for a day or two, and it was close enough to be a viable short-term escape for Hong Kong's foreign residents. All the "best" people stayed at the Western-style Grand Hotel, which opened in August 1873, on the Yokohama Bund, beside the waterfront offices of P&O and the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. Two weeks after the hotel celebrated its 50th anniversary, it was destroyed by the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, which levelled most of Yokohama and much of Tokyo, killing, with the ensuing fires, more than 100,000 people. On and around the hotel's ruins, a tent city appeared. According to a local newspaper, each tent was "erected over a low wall, which runs round the room and serves to shut out draughts, inundations and other inconveniences. A coal stove on the centre keeps it warm. And there is no danger of anything falling on your head." The tent city soon became The Tent Hotel, to which temporary rooms were added. In December 1927, The Grand Hotel was replaced by the Hotel New Grand, which stands today as Yokohama's oldest hotel. The city never quite regained its pre-1923 popularity with Hong Kong travellers, thanks largely to the imminent arrival of regional air travel and Japanese military overtures in China in the 1930s. Anyone who fancies rediscovering this former favourite can do so with a Cathay Pacific Holidays package, with nearby Haneda Airport, in Tokyo, being the most convenient point of arrival. Some ships departing from the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will also be sailing to Yokohama this year. Go to www.cxholidays.com for details and online reservations. New to Phuket The 199-room Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort (pictured top), overlooking Kamala Bay on the west coast, officially opened last month. This property was launched in 1993 as the Kamala Bay Terrace, which closed soon after the 2004 tsunami struck. Since then there have been several announced reopenings, with Alila Hotels & Resorts and Marriott both having been slated to take over management. The beaches at Kamala are nothing to write home about but the sunset views from the resort are among Phuket's finest. For a virtual visit and opening prices, go to phuket.regency.hyatt.com . Picture perfect It's best not to be unduly awed by the artist's impressions that hotels and resorts put out prior to (and in many cases long after) their openings. But the image released by the Alila Jabal Akhdar, in Oman, ahead of its launch, expected sometime in the next three months, is mightily impressive. Even if the resort looks nothing like the one pictured (right), the location alone seems to make it a worthy contender for the next James Bond movie, with a dramatic clifftop setting evocative of Kipling at his most adventurous. Watch this space for a confirmed opening date, or check in from time to time at www.alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar . Deal of the week TLX Travel is selling a reasonably priced package to the historic town of Hoi An, near Danang, on the central Vietnam coast, which will be available until the end of March. Among the better-value properties on offer is the Palm Garden Resort and Spa, which starts from HK$3,510 per person (twin share) for two nights' accommodation, with round-trip, economy-class flights on Dragonair, airport transfers by private car, and daily breakfast. Topping the price list is the Nam Hai (pictured top), where a one-bedroom villa will set you back HK$7,200 but with a third free night (excluding the last week in March). For a full list of hotels, visit www.tlxtravel.com or call 2270 7600.