Hitch hotels Big international hotels were a regular feature in the films of Alfred Hitchcock for about half a century. Among the more famous were New York's Plaza Hotel (North by Northwest, 1959), the nearby St Regis and the Hotel Theresa, in Harlem (both featured in Topaz, 1969). La Mamounia, in Marrakech, Morroco, was a prominent location in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), a year after the Carlton in Cannes was used as a backdrop for several scenes in the Riviera-based To Catch a Thief. Paul Newman and Julie Andrews stayed at the grand Hotel d'Angleterre, in Copenhagen, in Torn Curtain (1966) and, when Hitchcock finally returned to his native England to make Frenzy (1972), he filmed in and around the slightly seedy Coburg Hotel, in Bayswater (now the Hilton London Hyde Park Hotel). San Francisco's York Hotel (formerly the Empire) was renamed the Hotel Vertigo in 2008 after the 1958 thriller that made it famous but, less well known, and considerably more modest, is a hotel named after the Master of Suspense himself. Located in his birthplace, Leytonstone, in east London, the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel contains 25 rooms, an "old world style" pub and an open fire. On the edge of Epping Forest, it sits more or less in the middle of TripAdvisor's London hotels, with mostly "Excellent" or "Very Good" ratings. About 20 minutes from central London by Tube, it looks like an interesting, fairly cheap and convenient place to stay for Hitchcock fans. Visit www.thehitchcockhotel.com for a look around.
Money bags Crowdfunding helped luggage designers get some very innovative carry-on suitcases off the ground last year. The most notable were Bluesmart, which can be remotely locked, unlocked and tracked, log your mileage, charge your phone up to six times and weigh itself with built-in scales, and Trunkster, which offers similar features and comes with a rollerblind-style lid. There is, however, still plenty of space in the market for new carry-on baggage, if the fundraising success of one of the latest offerings is anything to go by. Although it's not scheduled to be ready for delivery until October, the G-RO (above) has set a record at Kickstarter, by raising more than US$3.7 million. Quite a feat for a bag whose unique selling point seems to be big wheels. The G-RO's retail price is US$599 but you can get a 33 per cent discount for ordering in advance at www.kickstarter.com. Click the "Pre-Order Now" button for full details and a video.
Deal of the week Charlotte Travel is selling a Tokyo package that starts from HK$3,450 per person (twin share) for flights with Japan Airlines and two nights' accommodation. The entry-level hotel is the Hotel Wing International Shinjuku, which gets favourable online reviews. Also in Shinjuku, but more upmarket, the Hyatt Regency (below) is priced from HK$4,550. Top Tokyo hotels on offer include the Imperial, in Chiyoda, close to the Imperial Palace (from HK$5,890), the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi Hills (from HK$5,990) and The Peninsula in Marunouchi district (from HK$6,590). These prices will be available until the end of March, with small surcharges applicable for certain dates. For full details and a list of other hotels on offer, go to www.charlottetravel.com.hk.