Hong Kong guidebook publisher Luxe City Guides has just released 25 apps, which can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play and used either online or offline. Destinations range (alphabetically) from Amsterdam and Bali to Tokyo and Venice. Each app costs HK$78 but you can download a free preview version that contains enough content to let you decide if the app is fit for purpose. Listings are fairly comprehensive and location-specific information and regular updates make the most of the format. You can find further details, and a polished but fairly pointless introductory video, at luxecityguides.com/apps.
In 1913, a once well-known bon vivant and pioneer aviator called James Radley and his business manager, Reginald Hope, took part in the Österreichische Alpenfahrt, one of the earliest motor rallies. They drove from London to Vienna, via Paris, the Alps and the Dolomites. Choosing the best available car of the day, Radley and Hope made the arduous but spectacular voyage - part driving holiday, part competition - in a grand Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. In 2013, the car's current owner, John Kennedy, celebrated the centenary of the seven-day journey by recreating it as closely as he could, taking many photos along the way from the exact spots where Hope, a keen amateur photographer, had set up his more cumbersome equipment. Published this month, records both trips with comparative images in a handsome, hardback volume that celebrates the vintage Rolls-Royce and the pleasures and freedom of the open road. is available from amazon.co.uk for £19.99 (HK$245).
The Palace Hotel Tokyo (above) has added two more offerings to its portfolio of "Palatial Pursuits", which offer guests an insider look at various aspects of Japanese culture. Sensationally Sumo includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo-wrestling stadium and tickets to one of three annual tournaments held there, in the company of a former sumo broadcaster and writer. As these events only take place in June, May and September, an off-season package is also offered, including a visit to the wrestlers "stable" and a lunch of traditional , a stew they gobble down to bulk up. Package prices include two nights' hotel accommodation and transport, and start from 500,000 yen (HK$31,500) and 627,000 yen, respectively. The second package, called Unmasking Tokyo, includes tickets to a traditional kabuki performance with backstage access at the recently restored Kabuki-za theatre. Prices for this starts from 458,000 yen with two nights' accommodation. The hotel offers these and several other tours in conjunction with upmarket cultural experience provider Toki, and if you are not staying at the Palace Hotel, you can browse their offerings and book directly at www.toki.tokyo. Don't expect much of a discount, though; prices are only provided after registration.
A Langkawi package on sale at Aerohkg.com starts from HK$3,550 per person, twin share, for three nights' accommodation with breakfast at the Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi. More familiar names on offer include the Andaman, Datai Bay (from HK$5,050); Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa (above; from HK$5,190) and the Four Seasons Resort, which tops the list, with prices starting from a hefty HK$11,590 - although a fourth free night is offered. Also included in these prices, which will be available until the end of August, are round-trip, economy-class flights via Kuala Lumpur (with a free optional stopover) with Malaysia Airlines, and airport transfers to and from the resorts. For reservations, and a downloadable list of other hotels and resorts available, go to www.aerohkg.com click the Air + Hotel Package link and select Langkawi from the dropdown menu.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: TRAVELLERS' CHECKS