Theatre fans recently marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Dubrovnik, the setting for , is getting in on the act this summer by hosting a festival dedicated to the Bard, with Hamlet the headline entertainment. The theatre is Fort Lovrijenac, a venue that "could pass as Orsino's court", says Max Davidson in The Daily Telegraph.
Built in the 11th century to defend against invading Venetians, "Shakespeare anoraks" will be able to "imagine Othello sailing past it on his way from Venice to Cyprus".
Plan your stay around the Villa Dubrovnik, a boutique hotel so stylish that even "Malvolio would hesitate to wear yellow stockings in the lobby".
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Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose expedition to the South Pole foundered 100 years ago, with the Hanseatic cruise. Well, not quite. The ship is a far cry from Endurance, which sank and stranded the British explorers. To draw any parallels would be crass, says Peter Hughes in the FT. But you can at least get a taste of the "changing and unchanging nature of the Antarctic".
Landing is not always possible. But when it is, no more than 100 visitors are taken ashore to admire the stunning scenery and wildlife including penguins, which swagger right up to you.
The Lake District is gearing up for Pottermania this July to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the creator of Peter Rabbit. The festivities have been given an added boost by the "convenient discovery" of a previously unpublished tale, Kitty-in-Boots, says Nigel Richardson in The Daily Telegraph. Not far from Beatrix Potter's former home is the "World of Beatrix Potter" in Bowness.
This "Lakeland institution" takes you on an "enchanting" path, where you come face to face with characters Jemima Puddle-Duck and Jeremy Fisher, fishing on his lily pad. The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead is putting on a special exhibition, charting the author's journey from storyteller to conservationist.The Gilpin Hotel makes for an idea base. It is "one of the Lake's great country house hotels, with a superb restaurant".
Luxury stays in the rust belt
Down doesn't necessarily mean out. At least not in America, where neglected brownfield sites in smaller urban centres are being given new leases of life as high-end luxury hotels, says Patrick Clark on Bloomberg.com.
Take Covington, a town of 40,000 in Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati. There, a defunct seven-storey department store has been given a $22m "retrofit" to turn Kentucky's first reinforced-concrete skyscraper into the kind of place tourists would flock to. Other conversions have included a tractor warehouse in Minneapolis, a fire station in Detroit and a bottling plant in Kansas City.
Two trends are driving the market in upmarket conversions, namely that consumers are shying away from big branded names, and the influx of investment capital into smaller US cities. Traditional favourites such as New York and San Francisco have become too expensive for many. But in the smaller cities, you can enjoy the same standard of luxury for far less.
Developers Aparium Hotel Group aren't alone in seeing the potential. The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance and Marriott have all moved into the market, buying up a domed Beaux Arts building and one from 1906 commissioned by Carnegie Steel partner Henry Phipps.
One boutique chain, 21c Museum Hotels, is even converting an old Ford Model T assembly plant. Aside from the tax credits on offer, transforming old buildings with character helps hotels to stand out. Who wouldn't want to stay in the former home of the Federal Reserve in Kansas City, relaxing in ornate surroundings, with the ghosts of central bankers? "Surely that has its charms, if not an infinity pool."
Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.
Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.
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