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October 2015

Taylor-made for you & Ole Blue Eyes

Sleep in Elizabeth Taylor's bed...or play in Frank Sinatra's pool

Well-heeled tourists who want to experience the glamour and style of Hollywood can now rent the former homes of some of the biggest stars...including Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra.

Taylor-made for you & Ole Blue Eyes

Andy Warhol's portrait of Elizabeth Taylor dominates the room

Their swanky holiday villas in Palm Springs, California’s upmarket neighbourhood, have all the star studded extras you would expect and are near to the former homes of other A-list stars including Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin.

Elizabeth Taylor's gated holiday home, which sleeps eight and is available for £360 a night, is set at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains and has four big bedrooms as well as a large outdoor pool with waterfalls and a spa. Inside are some of the Oscar winning actresses former possessions, including a portrait painted by Andy Warhol and original works of art painted by Taylor herself.

Nearby on the Twin Peaks Estate is the house that was built in 1947 for Frank Sinatra and his first wife Nancy Barbato. This Palm Springs architectural gem features period furnishing and the famous piano-shaped swimming pool.

Taylor-made for you & Ole Blue Eyes

Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms villa with grand piano shaped pool

This legendary residence hosted some of the Valley's most glamorous parties with Tinsel Town's brightest stars of the day. The home was also witness to some of Sinatra's famous outbursts including the time when he threw then-wife Ava Gardner's possessions onto the driveway after she turned up to catch him with Lana Turner.

We have other stunning villas available in Palm Springs but as their celebrity owners are still very much alive and kicking we’re not allowed to name names!

Non-stop fun at the top stopovers

Our favourite stopover airports with five star facilities

If you're planning a long haul holiday and aren't sure which airport to choose for a stopover or change of planes, here are five of our favourites that offer five star facilities and guarantee an exciting time while you wait to complete your journey.

Non-stop fun at the top stopovers

The Enchanted Garden in Terminal 2 at Singapore airport

Singapore: The world's favourite airport is almost a destination in its own right and until March 31 Singapore Airlines passengers get a £20 voucher to spend on lounge access, dining or duty free. At Terminal 1 you'll find the pool (£7.50, with towel provided) and the rooftop cactus garden while at Terminal 2 you can check out the orchid gardens as well as free films and Xbox games at the Entertainment Deck. Terminal 3 has the butterfly garden, another free cinema and the helter-skelter - one ride for every £4.60 spent in the airport. If you have six hours until your connecting flight you can join the free Heritage Tour which departs seven times a day or one of two City Lights Tours.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong International airport is the only airport in the world where you can play a round of golf without leaving the terminal. The Green Live Links at Terminal 2 is a vast computer generated course comprising booths where you can play nine or 18 holes. Also at the same terminal you will find a giant Imax cinema showing the latest blockbuster movies from £11. No visa is required for British passport holders and the Airport Express gets you into Kowloon in 24 minutes for £15 return.

Dubai: Few stopovers offer enough time to head into the city, but this being Dubai, there's a five star hotel airside and it rents out accommodation by the hour. Otherwise two hours in a double Snoozecube - similar to a Japanese capsule hotel - costs £35 and for £24 you can get access to the pool, gym, sauna and steam complex on the top floor. A 45 minute massage at the Timeless Spa, also at the hotel, costs £57.

Abu Dhabi: The airport is near to the city so if you have eight hours to kill go and visit. Grab a free transit visa at immigration and in three hours you can be visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (free) or for £26 be playing a round of golf on the nine hole course at Yas LInks. Otherwise, visit the fascinating Ferrari World Theme Park where the cost is £43 for adults and £35 for children.

Doha: If you have time before your next flight take the Qatar Airways city tour which lasts around two and a half hours and visit the Museum of Islamic Art, the Katara Cultural Village, the Pearl-Qatar and the Souq Waqif and both the tour and the transit visa are free. If you have to stay at the terminal there is the Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre at the airport hotel. For a cost of £85 you can stay at the hotel and use all the facilities including pool, whirlpools, gym, spa and squash courts.

My best holiday ever

England Ashes hero Stuart Broad is bowled over by New Zealand

How often do you travel?
Pretty much for the entire year. I spend around 200 nights a year in hotels when I'm playing both at home and abroad.

What do you need for a perfect holiday?
A beach or pool and plenty of sunshine. Holidays are a time for me to unwind but I may get persuaded to explore the area. I generally go on holiday to countries where cricket isn't a big sport.

My Best Holiday Ever - Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad fell in love with New Zealand

Best holiday ever
My two weeks in Mauritius last September when I was recovering from knee surgery. It was my first proper holiday in nine years and I stayed in a villa on the beach and swam with dolphins.

Most scenic place you have visited
The Queenstown Events Centre in New Zealand. The ground overlooks the Remarkables, which is a stunning mountain range. The Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town, with Table Mountain in the background, is also extraordinary.

Favourite restaurant
The Lone Star restaurant in Barbados. It is right on the beach and you can watch the sunset over the sea while enjoying incredible food.

What do you hate about holidays
Coming home. I love looking forward to them and being there.

Most remote place you have been to
We once toured in Sri Lanka and went to a town called Dambulla, which is about a four hour drive from the capital Colombo. The hotel was in the middle of the jungle and monkeys would open our balcony doors and come in to eat our food.

Best piece of travel advice
Take a lot of sun cream. The England team uses white zinc. And a pack of cards is handy for killing a few hours.

To read the full interview visit www.telegraph.co.uk

Travel Gossip

This winter’s best value. Why Melbourne is cool and BA’s new route

Why economy passengers could soon become high flyers

For just a moment we thought it was a joke... In a week when a lobby group asked the US government to set minimum widths for aircraft seats which seem to keep getting narrower the airline industry has come up with yet another ingenious way to cram in more passengers. This time it’s Airbus which has spotted some space above your head and patented a new split-level seating design which would see passengers stacked on top of each other. You have been warned.

Why economy passengers could soon become high fliers

New design to pack planes more tightly than cans of sardines

Have a Yen for travel this winter?

The land of the Rising Sun has become the land of the Falling Yen. It has been named the best long haul destination with an exchange rate which has halved since 2013. Bali was found to be the cheapest long haul destination followed by Cape Town both of which have recently lost 15% against the pound. Australia and Malaysia are both cheaper together with Phuket, Hoi An and Seoul. Closer to home the Turkish Lira dropped by 31% making holidays there cheaper while Costa Rica became more expensive during the year.

Fly direct to Lima

British Airways is to start the first non-stop flights from Britain to Peru from May next year. Daytime flights to the capital Lima will depart from Gatwick throughout the summer months on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and from October the service will be reduced to two flights a week. There has been no direct air link to Peru since 1982 when the country showed its support for Argentina during the Falklands War.

Wanted: A chatty hermit!

A Catalan shrine is advertising for a new hermit. In return for board and lodging and a stipend of £730, the successful applicant will spend a year at Our Lady of the Rock, a remote clifftop sanctuary outside Mont-roig del Camp, near Tarragona. Curiously for a hermit post, the winning candidate will require good communication skills and being nice to visitors is one of the job requirements.

Capital of Cool

Melbourne has again been voted the world's most liveable city. Described as Australia's undisputed 'cool kid' the capital of Victoria is recommended for its great restaurants and coffee shops, galleries, independent bookshops and iconic music venues and great sporting opportunities. And with the Great Ocean Road on its doorstep you don't have to spend all your time in the city.

Give up the cigarettes in style

Quit smoking in style at a luxury retreat near Marbella. The Healthouse Las Dunas is offering an anti tobacco programme which includes sessions with acupuncturists, dietary consultants, blood analysis and oxygen therapy. In addition, you can enjoy a sauna, Turkish steam-bath, snow cabin, salt cabin and hydrotherapy pools. You’ll need to cough up £2060 for seven days, the equivalent of 228 packets of fags. But after that you’re quids in.

Terror risk warning

The Foreign Office has warned tourists of a heightened terror threat in Morocco. The Government has updated its advice for British travellers after local authorities indicated an increased threat from Moroccans sympathising with or having links to international terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya. Although the majority of tourist visits are trouble free, the Foreign Office say visitors should be vigilant at all times.

Dishing dirt on plane germs

Germophobes take heed...the dirtiest part of a plane is right under your nose. While most people assume that the lavatory is the grubbiest spot on an aircraft, a new study has suggested that it could be the humble tray table. Microbiologists boarded four flights to evaluate the number of germs lurking of surfaces that can make people ill and found that the tray table contained far more harmful bacteria than the flush button in the loo.

Holidays terminated

The ban on term time holidays has caused a drop in business for two thirds of tourist firms in the West Country including holiday cottages, visitor attractions and b&bs. One in five businesses stated in a recent report that the 'Gove effect' has decreased their turnover over the past two years by more than 30 per cent. Families that take term time breaks can be fined up to £60 a day and face prosecution, a £2,500 fine and three months in prison if they don't pay up. But at least Cornwall has the Poldark effect to keep it going!

Mountain to climb

Experienced trekkers and tour operators who want to return to Mount Everest in Nepal have criticised the British Government for continuing to warn against travel to the region after April's devastating earthquake. They say that tourism is the lifeblood of the country and if the advice is not lifted travellers will be prevented from getting insurance.

Quirkiest hotel of the month

A cool escape at the brrr-illiant Ice Hotel, Sweden
A four poster bed under the starry African sky - perfect for a romantic safari escape.

Previous room designs have included this watchful polar bear

Set to open on 11th December, this year’s instalment of the magnificent Ice Hotel is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Set 120 miles into the Arctic Circle, this winter wonderland is created every year from 5000 tonnes of snow and ice from the nearby Torne River- that’s the equivalent of 700 million snowballs!

Latest plans reveal that this year’s rendition will feature 19 individually themed rooms as well as an ice bar for a cool evening cocktail. The suites have been chosen from 130 artist submissions and include ‘Elephant in the room’ by sculptor Anna Sofia Maa. The talented artist is no stranger to the Icehotel, having also created a unicorn for the main hall in 2014. Her new design will feature a 3 metre tall African elephant overlooking the ice-framed bed.

Book a 3 night package which includes a magical night in a Snow Room as well as a further 2 nights in warm hotel chalet accommodation on a BB basis from £619pp including flights and transfers. Valid for deps 3 Jan- 28 Mar 2016.

To make your stay even more magical, we can organise dog sledding adventures (£120pp), Northern Lights snowmobile tours (£158pp) and reindeer encounters (160pp).

Mailbag Update

Feedback helps us improve. Here's what people are saying...
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Fantastic service! Would highly recommend

We booked a multi city trip to the US with DialAFlight’s Noah and it was fantastic. He took the time to research the hotels and locations and created an unforgettable experience for us.

The best thing was his suggestion to stay on the Queen Mary ship in Los Angeles. We would never have chosen this as accommodation but it was so lovely. The price of the whole trip was very competitive with other deals we had seen, if not better value for money. Everything is planned including the pickup and drop off of our car rentals.

Also you get your travel itinerary via pdf and through the DialAFlight android/iOS app. That’s why we will be booking our next multi city trip with DialAFlight

LanaRoc Solutions Ltd gave DialAFlight 5 stars

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Short break to Holland

Found DialAFlight by accident on the internet while looking for a short break to Holland. Made a telephone call not expecting it to be a comparable price or particularly helpful. What a shock! The price was good and the service excellent.

The day before our flight there was a message checking if we had any problems (that’s unusual as most people can’t be bothered to leave a message). As it turned out I had injured my foot and before I had explained this assistance was booked at the airport.

We are not frequent flyers but will definitely use them again as our holiday, flights and hotel were excellent.

Martin McCormick gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

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Fantastic Service and Great Value

Russell took our call for a trip to the US firstly to land in Florida and then a week later to transfer to New York. The value for money that he managed to get was fantastic.

Obviously we did shop around but they were the cheapest by far - in fact nearly £1.5K cheaper! Russell was able to talk us through the process, and when he suggested hotels, gave us the opportunity to look at them online and read reviews too.

We went to DialAFlight on the recommendation of a friend and we too cannot recommend them highly enough. Now to plan the next trip...

Matthew Sharpe gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

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DialAFlight. The private concierge service

I was recommended to DialAFlight by a colleague and have used them for all my major trips ever since. Julie, my travel manager, has been excellent. A very personal service with reminders, quick pre-travel calls to check everything is OK and that you have everything (like ESTAs if going to US) to ensure no surprises, and wish you a safe trip. Even when Julie has not been available whoever I get is always able to help efficiently.

It's a very well staffed outfit. Prices are always competitive, often finding better connection times than on comparison sites with negligible price differences (I don't mind an extra £20 or so to reduce a stopover by 4hrs!). I have rarely paid more than flights found on comparison sites so always worth a call.

The app is also good allowing you to see your itinerary if multiple or connecting flights. If you want what is verging on a private concierge level travel service then no need to look further.

John gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

Sparkling footnote: John's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trust Pilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way to him.

Read more reviews at https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.dialaflight.com

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