Java incursion Raffles Hotels & Resorts will be opening a 173-room hotel in Jakarta on February 1. This will be the company's first foray into Indonesia, although its namesake, Sir Stamford Raffles, the "father of Singapore", made a rather less benign incursion in the early 19th century. The man who gave his name to the first Raffles hotel in Singapore was made lieutenant governor of Java during Britain's brief administration of the island from 1811 to 1814. Having played a leading role in the military ousting of Dutch and French forces, Raffles' behaviour in Java was troubling at best, and Raffles and the British Invasion of Java (2012) would be an interesting read for anyone planning to stay at the hotel. You can purchase excerpts from the book and watch an introductory video clip featuring author Tim Hannigan at www.rafflesandjava.com . For a look at what Raffles Jakarta will have to offer, and its opening rates, visit www.raffles.com/jakarta . Lanesborough rising A working hospital until the 1970s, the building that housed The Lanesborough hotel (above; reputed to be the most expensive in London) was shuttered at the end of last year. Most of the fixtures and fittings were auctioned off in 3,000 lots, and the builders have been in ever since. The Lanesborough will, however, reopen early next year under the management of the Oetker Collection, which also looks after Le Bristol Paris; Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, in the south of France; L'Apogée Courchevel, in the French Alps; and several other upmarket properties worldwide. Located in Hyde Park Corner, the renovated hotel will retain the famous Apsleys restaurant, and its original managing director, Geoffrey Gelardi, who has been with The Lanesborough since it was first opened by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 1991 (and whose grandfather was the general manager of Claridge's, in nearby Mayfair, in the 30s). Opening dates and rates for The Lanesborough should be up soon at www.oetkercollection.com . Wi-fi welcome Tokyo's Bureau of Transportation has just started offering free Wi-fi connections in more than 140 out of 179 subway stations (above) across the city, apparently for the benefit of foreign tourists. Users will get up to three hours of access with each connection, and can log in multiple times. To register for the service, download the Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi app from the App Store or Google Play before you travel. Case in point Next year looks like being a significant one for developments in modern luggage, with the upcoming multifunctional Bluesmart case, mentioned here last month, to be closely followed by Trunkster (right). Like Bluesmart, this new suitcase is being developed with the help of crowd funding, and has already achieved its target investment several times over. Expected to be ready for delivery by July, the Trunkster's main USP is its rollerblind-type lid, which makes it easy to access the contents in confined spaces. Like the Bluesmart, it also offers GPS tracking, a built-in weighing-scale and USB power charging. To find out more, and take advantage of what is left of the early adopter discounts on the carry-on and check-in models, search for Trunkster at www.kickstarter.com Paid upgrade Anyone flying out of Hong Kong in economy class with Lufthansa can try their luck at getting a cheap upgrade to Premium Economy (above) with the airline's new myOffer deal. Just click on My Bookings at www.lh.com to see if Premium Economy seats are up for auction on your flight. If they are, leave an offer and wait for confirmation (which might come as late as 24 hours before departure) that your bid has been accepted. Deal of the week Travellers fed up with the slow start to Hong Kong's winter can embrace the plunging temperatures of Scandinavia with TLX Travel's three-night package to Helsinki. Priced from HK$6,980, it includes flights with Finnair and accommodation at a choice of several hotels. The cheapest of these is the adequate Holiday Inn Helsinki West-Ruoholahti, with more expensive options including the Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa (top) and the Radisson Blu Plaza Helsinki, which are offered from HK$7,580 and HK$7,890, respectively. For further details, online reservations and a selection of deals on regional rail passes, go to www.tlxtravel.com and click through Package/Europe/Finland.