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Exodus, the adventure tour operator owned by the TUI Travel group, is launching holidays to Angola. The southern African country was once popular with tourists before decades of civil war destroyed infrastructure and left much of the population living in desperate conditions. More recently, it has become known for crazy prices: the capital Luanda frequently tops lists of the world’s most expensive cities, the result of demand from expats working in the oil industry, combined with a tiny supply of hotels, restaurants and housing.
Exodus thinks the two-week trips will appeal to people wishing to get beyond conventional tourist destinations to experience “faint sand tracks instead of roads, and sleeping under the stars”. The first trip departs on June 8, travelling overland north from Windhoek in Namibia and visiting Iona National Park, Lubango and Namibe; it costs from £3,699. exodus.co.uk
David Richards, the former chairman of Aston Martin and leader of Formula One teams Benetton and BAR, is expanding his hold on the small seaside village of St Mawes. Richards and his wife Karen bought the village’s century-old Idle Rocks hotel in 2010 and reopened it in July 2013 after a multimillion-pound renovation. The couple have now acquired a second property, the St Mawes Hotel, on the harbour, 200 yards from the Idle Rocks.
The 14-bedroom property will be overseen by Tim House (formerly of Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds) and will be renovated in time for summer. In the 1940s St Mawes, on the Roseland Peninsula, was spoken of as a British equivalent of St Tropez, and it now seems to be moving upmarket once more. The village is also home to the Hotel Tresanton, bought in 1997 by Olga Polizzi, daughter of hospitality tycoon Lord Forte. It, too, is being refurbished and is due to reopen next month. idlerocks.com, tresanton.com
Lufthansa is expanding its policy of timetabling flights at fixed hourly intervals. The idea was introduced on three domestic routes in October 2012 and the airline says it proved popular, simplifying planning for passengers and meaning those who missed a flight knew they only had an hour to wait. From March 30 the scheme will be extended to flights from Frankfurt to Vienna, London and Brussels. lufthansa.com
The Royal Victoria docks, close to the ExCeL exhibition centre, will become home to a floating hotel in March. The 120m-long Sunborn London will have 138 bedrooms over five floors, as well as a restaurant, bar, conference rooms and outside deck space. At the same time, Sunborn, a Finnish hotel and spa resort operator, will also launch a 142m-long “boatel” at Gibraltar’s Ocean Village Marina. The ship was built in 2002 and was previously moored at the Naantali Spa resort in Finland. It is currently in Amsterdam being refurbished and redesigned ahead of its relocation. The ship has no propellers but will be towed into position. Sunborn says it has plans to extend the concept, with possible sites including New York, St Petersburg and Abu Dhabi.