Travel desk: News, deals and holiday inspiration
Lufthansa is increasing its flights into and out of Dublin airport
The Alhambra in Granada: 60-second city guide
The Taj Mahal is getting a facelift
Lufthansa flying high at Dublin airport
Dublin Airport has welcomed Lufthansa’s announcement that it will continue its Dublin-Munich service throughout the winter. The service will operate three times a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) from November to March and reduce to twice-weekly between December and February (Wednesday and Sunday). Lufthansa had its most successful year ever in Dublin Airport in 2013, carrying just under 370,000 passengers on its Frankfurt and Munich routes, a 7 per cent increase on 2012. If you’re arriving into Munich during the World Cup, all of the matches are being shown on a large screen at the airport. Meanwhile, the Bavarian capital is gearing up for the Munich Opera Festival, which runs for a month from June 21st. Highlights of Germany’s second-largest opera festival after Bayreuth (which runs from late July) include Rossini’s William Tell and Monteverdi’s Orfeo. See bayerische.staatsoper.de.
Five places to stay in London
Wimbledon fortnight kicks off on June 23rd, bringing tens of thousands to the quiet southern suburb. Here are five places to stay in London:
Aster House (3 Sumner Place, SW7; asterhouse.com; rooms €170-€365) Award-winning B&B in South Kensington with gorgeous rooms and a plant-filled Orangerie (for the excellent breakfast).
Citizen M (20 Lavington St, SE1; citizenm.com/london-bankside; rooms from €140) High-tech hotel that is all about tablet technology – which is used to check you in as you sit in the lobby and which you use to operate everything in the room, save the bed.
Hoxton Hotel (81 Great Eastern St, EC2; hoxtonhotels.com; rooms around €75) This sleek hotel in Shoreditch has £1 room offers every three months or so. But even its rack rates are terrific, and what you get is a smallish but comfortable room.
No 10 Manchester Street (10 Manchester St, W1; tenmanchesterstreethotel.com; rooms from €240) A boutique hotel in Marylebone that features a well-stocked humidor.
York & Albany (127-129 Parkway, NW1; gordonramsay.com/yorkandalbany; rooms from €230) A boutique hotel just by Regent’s Park and only a few minutes’ from Camden. Period antiques and rich fabrics give it an air of decadent luxury.
Spot the star
Dog owners are encouraged to bring them to the Lake District as five hotels are offering a two-night break that includes a 20-minute canine photoshoot. The Kings Arms, Queens Hotel and Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick, plus the Lodore Falls Hotel and Borrowdale Hotel in the Borrowdale Valley are offering the deal, which costs from £97.50 (€121) each and runs July 6th-7th; see lakedistricthotels.net.
Spa treatment for the Taj Mahal
India’s most famous building is to get a mud-pack to help restore its lustre. Nothing quite damages marble like smoke from a nearby oil refinery and the industrial smog that comes from Agra, so archaeologists have been preparing a cleaning treatment based on a traditional recipe used by Indian women to help restore natural glow to their faces. It is the fourth time the Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, has been given this treatment in the past 20 years. The Travel Department (traveldepartment.ie) has a 10-night holiday to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in September (€1,299), by which time the Taj Mahal will have recovered its lustre.