Throwing the towel in

 

Let’s face it most of us have thought about putting that nice fluffy white towel or bathrobe into our bag just before checking out, not me I’m to chicken or paranoid, after all they do have my credit card details, and maybe they can track my DNA from those I’ve already used, I think I’ve been watching to many episodes of CSI!

 

Well now some hotels have invested in electronic tracking devices discreetly sewn into their linen, it’s a big business, some hotels are losing up to 20% of their linen on a monthly basis, it wasn’t all down to theft by guests, as many hotels use cleaning companies to launder their linen, these are not on site so it was difficult to track the hotels inventory.

The system works as each time the chipped linen passes through a signal at either the entrance or exit , the hoteliers are alerted that the item has left the property, it’s not like GPS as the exact location of the item is not known, but they can track back and establish which guest stayed in what room and where the linen was prior to departure or not.

 

End to Peak Season Prices?

For those of you who have no alternative but to book your holidays during school holidays there could be some good news just around the corner. In a recent study carried out by the Boston Consulting group, the majority of head teachers, who from September will be able to set their own holiday schedules intend to do so, the intention is to help families who currently have no choice but to pay the high season prices set by the travel companies, and face fines if they take children out of school during term time.Abta have responded by confirming that traditional school holiday periods will still be more expensive.

 

At Last Compensation for Delays and Cancellations

Good news for all of us who have had to suffer long delays and flight cancelations, the supreme court’s recent decision to allow passengers to claim up to £470 for delays and cancelations going back six years also includes shutting the loop hole allowing airlines not to offer compensation in the event of any technical difficulties, needless to say the airlines are not best pleased, there could be potentially billions of pounds at stake. It might also have a negative impact on the current price of airline tickets.

 

Shop till you Drop (around the world)

Shopping’s not just for girls, were not talking down your local high street or edge of town shopping mall, we mean some of the most exciting cities in the world, here are some tips on what to buy where and how to get the most of your dollars, yen, euros…

MARRAKECH

Famous for its souks, stalls containing all manner of products including spices, oils, dried fruits, ceramics, shoes, leather goods and of course carpets. Most of us tend to start at the leather goods, this way you can buy a big leather bag so you can put all your bargains in. You will need to leave your inhibitions at home, it would be a sin not to haggle, and it is expected. Generally you can half the amount the stall holder offers, although you counter offer should be a bit cheeky say at 25% of their first offer this gives plenty of wriggle room to work back up, having said that, markets that are aimed and frequented by tourists rarely offer more than a 20% reduction on the first offer. It really does pay to go to a market used by locals.

 

Marrakech is not all about souks, there are plenty of other shopping options, in Gueliz a cab ride away, there are designer goods to be had, Michele Baconnier sells beautiful things, and as its not frequented by tourists you can pretty much guarantee no one at home will have the same.00212524449178; Rue du Vieux Marrakech: www.michelebaconnier.fr

 

In this area, where the streets cross Avenue Mohammed V, you will also find e designer textile and fabric shop, run by a French textile expert, with fabulous table cloths and bedspreads on offer.(70 Rue de la Liberte; 00212524436108.www.scenes-de-lin.com. If its jewellery your after visit  33 Rue Majorelle, it’s worth noting prices are fixed here, a designer silver bracelet by Zinab Chahine costs only £25(00212524314195,www.33ruemajorelle.com

 

Accommodation.

You are spoilt for choice, you can spend a little more and stay at  Vanessa  Branson’s Riad El Fenn double room from £170B&B00212524441210/20.www.riadelfenn.com or a little less costly, but definitely value for money is Riad Tchaikana double rooms from £80 B&B 00212524385150.www.tchaikana.com

Travel

 

There are several airports and airlines who service Marrakech,Easyjet from Gatwick and Manchester, or BA,Thomson and Bmi from other airports.

 

TOKYO

It’s quite a way to go to do a bit of retail therapy, buts it’s not just about the shopping in Tokyo, it’s a whole cultural experience and then some. The best way to get around the best shopping areas is to use the JR Yamonote train service. If its department stores your after start in Shinjuku, you will find Isetan (0081333521111,www.isetan.co.jp) your chopsticks can be personally monogrammed here for a mere £14 that will impress your friend back home, the range of products at this store is  eclectic. Further down the track you will find Harajuku where all the luxury products can be found on Omotesando Boulevard.

If you’re looking for electrical bargains then the Akihabara is the quarter for this, it has a plethora of  gadget and comic stores in addition to electrical outlets, in the side streets there are plenty of discounted items available, but Yodobashi  Camera the favourite with hard core photo addicts, bartering is acceptable and you may get up to 10% off the initial asking price (0081352091010,www.yodobashi-akiba.com)

 

You will definitely want to visit Don Quijote a 24 hr. chain that carries an absurd variety of merchandise, leave your prudish British values at home when visiting this store, it stocks, fetish gear and sex toys, where back at home these would not be available in a 24 hr. chain store.

 

Accommodation

If you want a room with a view, stay at The Peninsula Hotel it overlooks the Imperial Palace, its not cheap at £375 for a double room no breakfast (0081362702888,www.peninsula.com)

Alternatively you can stay at The Hotel Claska, it also doubles as a restaurant, gallery and night club(1-3-18Chuo-cho;0081337198121,www.claska.com) doubles from £181again room only.

 

Travel

www.ba.com

www.virgin-atlantic.com

www.jal.com