Travel Talk

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Great escapes: Deals and Destinations

Pól Ó Conghaile's weekly round-up of travel news, tops and deals.

Pól Ó Conghaile

Published 14/06/2014 | 02:30

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Scenic landing: Maho beach on the Caribbean island of St Maarten
St Maarten

DEPARTURES: It looks Photoshopped, but the image of a plane hanging over St Maarten's Maho Beach is absolutely real.

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Due to its short runway (7,152 feet), planes approaching Princess Juliana International Airport skim the beach and its perimeter fence to squeeze every last inch out of the asphalt.

Despite the surreal (and noisy) encounter for sunbathers below, the approach was recently voted one of the world's most scenic landings in a public poll conducted by private jet booking service, Privatefly.com. Approaches in Rio, Queenstown and LA also made the list, but you don't have to jet off to exotic climes for a spectacular landing... London City Airport and the Scottish island of Barra made the Top 10 too.

ROOM WITH A VIEW

Think Hilton, and boutique hotels don't exactly come to mind. That could be set to change with the launch of its new Curio collection. It's designed to showcase individual hotels that don't fit with brands like Conrad or Embassy Suites, offering guests a more intimate and personal experience – complete with Hilton Honors points. Its definition of 'boutique' intrigues, mind you, with one of the first hotels to sign up – the 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (pictured), set to open this August. Curiocollection.com

TRAVEL SMART

Fed up flicking between Aer Lingus and Ryanair websites to find the best fares? Going to press, Comparethefare.ie was set to launch a new website and app allowing users to compare both prices in one place. Watch this space.

For more travel tips, deals and inspiration, visit independent.ie.

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