Oporto, Portugal gains new luxury hotel
This five-floor, sustainably-built hotel has been carved into the hillside using a terraced effect mirroring the vines of the neighbouring Douro Valley. Views (each room has a terrace) take in the Douro River and the UNESCO world heritage site of Oporto with its cobbled streets, trams and beautiful spires. Maps and artefacts, historical accounts of cork-making (a local trade) and photos and paintings that depict the region add richness and a sense of history to the hotel. There’s a heavy emphasis on wine here, with each room named after a different Portugese variety, and the spa uses vine-inspired treatments. Double rooms from €185, www.theyeatman.com.
Michelin-starred Kochhar to cook in Maldives
One of London’s most talented Indian chefs, Atul Kochhar of Benares, will be guest chef at Soneva Gili, one the Maldives’ most idyllic resorts, for a brief period at the end of March. Kolchar will cook a five course degustation menu for guests, host interactive cooking classes and will mingle among guests at a sunset cocktail party at Soneva Gili’s sandbank. Foodwise, he’ll be making a zero carbon menu using only locally sourced products – fish caught in the lagoon and vegetables, fruit and herbs grown in the resort’s organic garden. Seven nights for the price of four from £2,999 pp, incl flights with Only Exclusive Travel (0161 233 0110). Atul Kolchar experience an additional £358 per person.