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July 19, 2013 6:39 pm
Paris Onefinestay, a pioneering home-rental business set up in London in 2009, has announced it is to launch in Paris in September, and Los Angeles this autumn. Unlike other web-based homestay companies, onefinestay sends a team of staff into the property before each rental to guarantee standards. As well as cleaning and tidying away personal items, they equip beds with hotel-standard linen and bathrooms with fluffy white towels and upmarket toiletries. Guests are given an iPhone that includes recommendations for “living like a local”. The Paris launch follows a successful expansion into New York last year, and will initially comprise around 25 properties across the city. www.onefinestay.com
Singapore The Yotel group, which runs hotels in Europe and the US inspired by Japanese “capsule hotels”, plans to export the concept back to Asia. A 600-room Yotel is due to open on Orchard Road, Singapore, in 2018, and the company says the property will act as a “springboard” into the continent. Yotel was founded by Simon Woodroffe, who established the Yo! Sushi restaurant chain in 1997. The first hotels opened at Britain’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports in 2007; a 669-room property opened just off Times Square, New York, in 2011. Woodroffe says the hotels were inspired not just by the tiny Japanese capsule hotels but by first-class airline cabins, which offer luxury despite the limited space. www.yotel.com
Greece Specialist wine travel company Arblaster & Clarke is to mark the 20th anniversary of its first “wine cruise” with a special departure on a historic square-rigger. The Sea Cloud, which has four masts supporting up to 29 sails, was built as a private yacht in 1931. The eight-night wine cruise will carry a maximum of 50 guests in 29 cabins, some of which boast marble fireplaces and antique furniture. It departs Venice on August 6 next year, calling at Susak and Korcula in Croatia, then Puglia, before exploring the Greek islands en route to Athens. As well as vineyard visits, there will be talks and tutored wine tastings on board. From £5,849 per person. www.winetours.co.uk
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