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Surrey Pennyhill Park, a spa hotel in Bagshot, 40 miles from London, has opened a new suite with what it claims is the UK’s first “horizontal shower”. Users lie on a raised, heated surface while water from six jets pours down on them, changing in temperature and intensity. Three different programmes offer to “balance, energise or de-stress”. The Acacia suite costs from £395 per night, including a bottle of English sparkling wine, served in the bathroom.
Dubai Emirates already offers first-class cabins featuring onboard showers and individual “suites” with sliding doors but the airline believes there is growing demand for even more exclusive travel. Its response is Emirates Executive, a private jet service that is now taking bookings. It will initially use one Airbus 319 configured to accommodate just 19 passengers (as opposed to around 130 in conventional airline use). The aircraft, which will be based in Dubai, also offers a large dining/lounge area, as well as live TV, high-speed internet and video-conferencing facilities. It can fly for eight to nine hours between refuelling stops, which makes most points in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia accessible non-stop from Dubai. No specimen prices have been released.
Edinburgh Little Red, the UK domestic service launched by Virgin Atlantic earlier this year, is to stage live onboard comedy shows during the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Several as yet unnamed comedians will perform on flights before appearing at the festival, which continues until August 26. The comedy shows will be followed by onboard music performances in September. Five live shows are planned but the airline says the concept will be “rolled out further if successful”. Details of the performers will be released via social media but flight times will be kept secret.
Netherlands A Dutch internet start-up is attempting to blend social and traditional media by creating personalised maps for travellers on city breaks. Customers log on to a website and select restaurants and attractions that have been previously collated from those most mentioned and recommended on social media sites. The selected locations are then plotted on a map, which can be downloaded for free at A4 size, or printed at A3 size and posted to the user for $10. Meanwhile Ordnance Survey, the UK government’s mapping agency, has upgraded its personalised maps. It now offers maps centred on any UK location, printed on its regular quality paper, with a cover photo and text submitted online by the customer. The OS says the maps, costing £16.99, are proving popular for wedding venues and among dog walkers.