All of which just makes me just a typical traveller as our friends at TUI Blue have revealed in a survey of their customers.
One in five of us only read when we go on holiday getting through an average of 1.9 books each time
Mystery and thrillers top the poolside reading list, romance novels are the nation’s guilty holiday reading pleasure
8% of us admit to reading things whilst away we’d be too embarrassed to pick up in front of friends and family at home
We’re happy to be personal lending libraries with 91% willing to pass on our reads.
And all of that is a trend which TUI Blue is celebrating with the announcement of its TUI Blue Book Swap Scheme at hotels this summer the research also revealed our top poolside reads and guilty holiday reading pleasure.
We read an average of 1.9 books on our annual holiday with favourite genres including romance (45%), mysteries (41%) and thrillers (37%).
And they say women are more avid holiday readers compared to me (probably our scintillating conversation).
But across the board 30 per cent of us admit to changing it up and reading different types of books on holiday.
Share the love
We’re also avid book lenders and borrowers with 91% per cent happy to donate a book they have read and loved for someone else to enjoy.
And 73% per cent happy to hit up friends and family for some fresh reads before they go away on holiday.
And so the book swap scheme is encouraging readers to pick up a pre-loved book and share a few words of recommendation – or warning.
With a personal note saying why you loved or hated your read.
The TUI Blue Book Swap will be operating in selected hotels across Europe this summer.
We’re probably all nursing sore heads today but the good news is that this isn’t the only New Year’s Day celebration, we’ve got Wu Year’s Day to look forward to now… or Your Year’s Day around the world.
And a bunch of other New Year’s Days for those who love a good oul’ firework.
Which is where the Wu comes in with Wendy Wu all over the Chinese version.
And us all over her annual legendary get-together.
Which believe me keeps us fed and watered for an entire week.
Happy New Hare
Well, we don’t have to wait long for Chinese New Year which is on January 23 and is the year of the Water Rabbit.
Rabbits are said to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.
I’m a snake (behave)!
More of rabbits and snakes later in the month.
But what of the other new years around the world.
Because not everyone looks at the world through Western eyes.
Jewel of India
Or the skies with those on the Indian subcontinent disagreeing.
On the place of the sun and the moon in setting their calendar.
And so in India, West Bengal celebrates their New Year, or Pohela Boishakh, on April 14 or 15.
Whereas Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and few other southern states celebrate Ugadi and Puthandu on April 6.
In Maharashtra state, New Year, or Gudi Padwa, is celebrated on April 14.
We’ve always been a little jealous of those who live in the Southern Hemisphere who get to enjoy their January 1 in the sun.
All of which we were reminded of when our friends at LHW alerted us to the new intake of six hotels which have been added to their 400+ roster.
And yes for all the swish billets we’ve stayed in over the years we still have 399+ to visit…
But every journey starts with one step.
This season’s LHW collection includes four new hotel openings…
An ambitious city resort on Samarkand’s Silk Road, an architectural jewel in Milan, a mountaintop hideaway in Montafon and a vibrant dining destination in Montevideo.
And they are joined by two storied hotels…
A grand lakeside estate in Lausanne and a Roman hotspot with historical charm.
Get thee to a seminary
Portrait Milano (Milan, Italy) NEW OPENING December 2022: And there’s plenty of them in holy Italy.
LHW tell us that this is one of the oldest seminaries in Europe, dating back to the 16th century.
And only recently opened to the public for the first time.
They tell us Portrait embraces the lively Piazza del Quadrilatero.
With the elegant, vaulted colonnade animated by restaurants and bars, boutiques, a lush garden and a wellness centre.
There are 73 sophisticated rooms and suites and other accommodations will provide an oasis of privacy and peace, surrounding guests by timeless elegance.
Smooth as the Silk Road
Samarkand Regency Amir Temur (Samarkand, Republic of Uzbekistan) NEW OPENING Autumn 2022: Billing itself as the crown jewel of the Silk Road.
Any viewer of Joanna Lumley’s excellent travelogue will know all about one of the world’s oldest trade routes.
The name pays tribute to Uzbekistan’s 15th Century national hero, who made Samarkand one of the most illustrious empires.
The 233-room hotel features charcoal-grilled dining at El Sabor, 20th floor Sky Bar.
With panoramic views, and the Nephrite Spa & Wellness offering beauty and wellbeing treatments from Valmont and Thalgo alongside a hammam and pool.
Surrounded by thousands of years of history and magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The hotel is located steps from a first-of-its kind Eternal City, an entertaining and immersive ‘model city’ which was designed and created by Uzbek artist Bobur Ismoilov to honour the artistry and tradition of Uzbekistan.
Nature’s ski lodge
Falkensteiner Hotel Montafon(Montafon, Austria) NEW OPENING December 2022: And this being the mountains, then the focus is on sustainability.
The 123-room hotel is designed to blend into the surrounding mountains.
And the outdoor facilities have been harmoniously integrated into the surrounding skiing and hiking areas of the Erlebinsverg Golm.
The first certified, climate neutral ski area in Austria.
A dedicated ski shuttle connects to over 27 miles of scenic ski slopes, offering endless opportunities for skiing and winter sports.
Hotel Montevideo (Montevideo, Uruguay) NEW OPENING December 2022: Transforming an iconic corner of the city into an elegant destination for dining and design.
Hotel Montevideo taps into the vibrant energy of Uruguay’s bustling capital city.
Each room offers floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony to take in the city views.
At the hotel, savour authentic local fare created by renowned chef duo Ale Morales and Flor Coureges at Polo Bamba during the day.
And journey to the Sky Bar at Piso 10 for awe-inspiring sunsets that attract travellers and locals alike.
The recently renovated Hotel Splendide Royal Roma is situated in the heart of Rome’s most prestigious neighbourhood.
Steps away from the Via Veneto, and the extraordinary Villa Borghese Gardens, the hotel offers unparalleled access to the very best cultural, culinary and shopping experiences in Rome.
All of which you can do seamlessly and in budget.
Each of the 69 exquisitely-decorated rooms and suites effortlessly balance the old-world elegance of period furnishings, classical art, and historic details with the understated refinement of modern luxury.
Boasting award-winning dining at the signature Mirabelle Restaurant and breathtaking views at the rooftop lounge.
This is a city hot spot that is a favourite with visitors and locals alike.
All of which is leading up to you rewarding yourself by staying in one (or more) of the Leading Hotels of the World in the new year.
So all we do is go swanning about the world. Wrong, we let somebody else pilot the ship.
And that somebody would be Swan Hellenic who will show you the Arctic, Antarctic and rest of the world – from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, Norway to New Zealand, Australia to Africa, and Madagascar to the Mediterranean.
Swan Hellenic are introducing a new lady to the fleet for next year with SH Diana joining SH Minerva and SH Vega from the past two years.
So as with all things cruise let’s see the numbers.
There are 192 guests across 96 staterooms and suites, many with balconies.
Diana rules the waves
Diana’s passengers features a multifunctional room next to the observation lounge, a private dining room and two tenders.
And so the polar class 6 ice-strengthened hull plus extra-large stabilisers make the journey as smooth as silk for you to enjoy the Arctic and Antarctic.
There are new itineraries too on the roster, such as New Zealand in Depth and immerse yourself in its Maori culture and its Long White Cloud.
And talk to the animals… the elephants, buffalos, lowland gorillas and chimps. And you’ll feel good.
Before learning about the wonders of voodoo in Benin.
Deal us in
Prices range from £2,500pps to £19,000pps depending on the length and location of the expedition cruise.
That includes return regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)…
Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port, one night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a four/five star hotel or onboard, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day.
There will be a lecture programmes by Swan Hellenic’s experienced expedition team and guest speakers, Wi-Fi, onboard gratuities and port taxes.
And one selected shore excursion/expedition activity per port of call, and branded Swan Hellenic expedition parkas and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.