The charming old two-star Palace Hotel on the popular Croatian island of Hvar has reopened after a long renovation as the five-star Palace Elisabeth, Hvar Heritage Hotel. Recalling Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who financed its construction in the late 19th century, the hotel has had its room count lowered from 78 to 45 and been tastefully refitted and refurnished. Another former Croatian “palace” hotel, which is unlikely to be making a return, is the Haludovo Palace Hotel, further up the Adriatic coast, on the island of Krk. Opened in 1972 – when Croatia was part of communist Yugoslavia – by Penthouse magazine owner Bob Guccione, the Haludovo Palace Hotel and Penthouse Adriatic Club Casino went bankrupt the following year, though remained open as a hotel until the early 1990s. It’s a popular site for urban explorers, who like to record their exploits on social media. Croatia is, in fact, home to scores of abandoned luxury hotels, including five properties in the former seaside resort of Kupari, near Dubrovnik, which were badly damaged in the 90s during the Croatian war of independence. Another is the Hotel Marina Lucica, a coastal naturist resort that met a similar fate, as did the palatial Hotel Jadran, just to the south, and the art-nouveau Grand Hotel Miramare in Crikvenica to the north. More than 20 sad and sobering examples of what can happen to hotels and resorts when a country’s thriving tourism industry is destroyed can be found at balkanist.net (search for “The Dark Side of Croatia’s Tourism Boom”). Penguin publishes Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design Often the most interesting section of an in-flight magazine, airline route maps have been used to inspire and inform for 100 years. From simple sketches on the back of early timetables to spectacular works of art hanging on the walls of travel agents and airline offices, to blander, busier, modern graphics, they have captured the imaginations of millions of travellers. Today, they can be annoyingly difficult to find on airline websites – if they exist at all – but for the armchair traveller, a new selection of hundreds of examples – “from the rudimentary trajectory of routes to the most intricately detailed bird’s-eye views of the land to be flown over” – has just been published by Penguin. Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design , by Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts, promises to be a celebration of graphic design, cartographic skills and clever marketing, and “a visual feast that reminds us to enjoy the journey as much as the destination”. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Ovenden is also the author of Penguin’s colourful and comprehensive Transit Maps of the World: Every Urban Train Map on Earth (2015) and Great Railway Maps of the World (2015). Airline Maps will be published next month and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com . Hoshino Resorts rebrands the Nirakanai Iriomote Hotel Japan’s upmarket Hoshino Resorts will rebrand the Nirakanai Iriomote Hotel, on the southern Okinawan island of Iriomote, as the Hoshino Resorts Iriomote Hotel on October 1. This should mean a significant upgrade for the 140-room property, which will be joining established sister resort Hoshinoya Taketomi Island. Both Taketomi and Iriomote are a short ferry ride from the island of Ishigaki, which is served daily by HK Express , though that schedule will be reduced to twice-weekly for winter from late October. Details of the new resort should be available in English at hoshinoresorts.com soon. Deal of the week – two-night business-class package to Penang, Malaysia Lotus Tours is selling a two-night business-class package to Penang, Malaysia, that starts from HK$5,480 per person with accommodation at the Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang, and business-class flights with Cathay Dragon. If you’re treating yourself to business class, though, you might prefer to stay at the more comfortable Eastern & Oriental Hotel, which is offered from HK$6,570, or at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, on the north coast, which is offered from HK$6,890. For full details, click the English tab at lotustours.com.hk and select Packages from the menu bar.