Listen to this article
The dynamic Habita Group will open its latest hotel next month, a collection of thatched beach shacks on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The Hotel Escondido will be the 13th new property in as many years for the group, which was founded in 2000 and has flourished despite Mexico’s drug wars and their impact on tourism. Rather than try to reassure visitors by making its properties look alike, as is the conventional wisdom for chains, Habita’s hotels are all unique, with bold design dictated by their location. The Escondido is due to open on December 13 near Puerto Escondido, a popular surfing resort in Oaxaca state. Its 16 guest bungalows (from $195 per night) are right on the beach and each has a private pool. grupohabita.mx
More than four decades after its maiden flight, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is about to reach the end of the line. Almost 400 of the three-engine aircraft were delivered to airlines around the globe but today, while many are used for cargo, only one passenger DC-10 remains in service. That aircraft, operated by Bangladesh Biman, is due to make its final scheduled flight on December 7, and will be used as a standby aircraft until February, when it makes a last journey from Dhaka to Birmingham in the UK, and then on to a US aviation museum. Enthusiasts are being offered the chance to buy seats on the flight from Dhaka to Birmingham, and on two hour-long round-trip scenic flights from Birmingham. Tickets will be sold on the airline’s website from January. biman-airlines.com
Heston Blumenthal, chef-proprietor of the Michelin three-star Fat Duck in Bray, is to open a new restaurant at Heathrow. The 443 sq metre restaurant will be in the new, £2.5bn Terminal 2, which is due for completion in June 2014. Blumenthal will showcase “his pride of all things British, including our much loved, familiar dishes”, according to a press release. Specialities will include pizza.
Rancho Valencia, a Relais & Châteaux spa resort in San Diego, California, is running a new year “performance camp” for cyclists. The programme, which costs $10,000 per person and runs from January 23-29, includes five days of riding with professionals Christian Vande Velde and George Hincapie, who has competed in more Tours de France than any other rider (though he has since admitted using performance-enhancing drugs). The camp, limited to a dozen riders, includes massages and dinners with the pros. ranchovalencia.com