Check In: Autumn openings, divine Dubrovnik and Rio grand

Joan Scales and Jo Linehan round up this week’s travel news and deals

South-East Spraoi:
Make your way to Ireland's oldest city this weekend, where Waterford's annual Spraoi takes place. The festival is a full-on family affair, featuring street arts, food markets, Viking tours and historical events aplenty. Full programme at

Timely tome: Top of our reading list this month is a new tome celebrating all things Rio. In The Spirit of Rio (€45, by Bruno Astuto, Assouline, captures the energy of the Brazilian metropolis through a series of photographs, from the astounding natural beauty of its beaches to the top of Corcovado mountain, the colonial churches, parades, parties and vivacious people. Just the kind of inspiration needed before the Olympics kick off in the city later this month.

Extra Expedia: Travel site Expedia is to become the first online travel agency to add a rail component to its offering. This autumn, the website will launch its rail booking service, allowing customers to purchase rail travel throughout Britain. Travellers are hoping it starts a trend, marking the end of convoluted train journeys once and for all.


Mercer in Sevilla:
The hotly-anticipated Mercer Hotel Sevilla (below) opens its elegant, 19th-century doors this September. Expect ancient architecture and a luxurious boutique hotel experience in the Andalusian capital.

Six Senses in St Lucia: Perched at the foot of two volcanic spires and private beach access, the 73 pool villas and pool suites here all boast dramatic views of the turquoise Caribbean ocean.

Soho House in Spain: This private club/hotel group opens its first Barcelona property later this year, a 19th-century townhouse with 60 rooms around a central glass atrium, plus a rooftop swimming pool.



Dubrovnik is top of our destination wishlist this month, thanks to its authentic, untouristy charm. Spring for a stay in the 5-star Hotel Bellevue and let the team ensure you see all the city has to offer. Get to know your temporary abode with Croatia's ultimate resident guide Aljosac, who will guarantee the best show-around; indulge in oyster delicacies in the Pelješac Peninsula; take a boat to the nearby Elaphite Islands, and do it before the word gets out about this treasure trove.


This app helps you find local hosts, in over 150 cities worldwide, who want to cook you a memorable meal while you visit their neighbourhood.


See the Northern Lights and visit the volcanic Blue Lagoon on a 6-day escorted trip with Sunway from €1,974pp. Includes flights, transfers, accommodations, meals and tours.

BRITAIN: Sale with Stena Line on a summer deal for €119 for a car and two people, on any night sailing from Tuesday to Thursday on Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard routes. Book by August 2nd, travel up to December 16th.