Premiere of this 2007 Britishmade four-parter with comedian Paul Merton; at least one Chinese official he meets thinks he’s former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin. Tuesday, 7.30pm, BBC Knowledge.
This week gung-ho French adventurer Diego Bunuel is hanging out in Iran; his would not be pleased. Wednesday, 7.30pm, Nat Geo Adventure. Conan Doyle (who mentions the hotel in one of his Sherlock Holmes books).
Meanwhile, at London’s Brown’s Hotel, the Piccadilly landmark fabulously face-lifted by designer Olga Polizzi, feels it should be de rigueur to have a copy in each guestroom of Agatha Christie’s 1965 book most of which she wrote while in residence. To horror, this Miss Marple mystery is available from amazon.com on a Kindle wireless reading device. www.london.langhamhotels.co.uk; www.brownshotel.com.
THE concept of writers-in-residence is not new but last year the Andaz Liverpool Street London, the first hotel under Hyatt’s 2007-launched Andaz ‘‘ uncomplicated luxury’’ brand, introduced a reader- in-residence service that apparently involved a pyjamaclad journalist giving readings in the bar and offering guests bibliotherapy: that is, assessing their reading deficiencies and prescribing the right books. The Andaz portfolio promotes itself as ‘‘ gimmick free’’. is valiantly popping her anti-scepticism pills. www.london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com.
GOING to bed with a good book takes on new meaning at New York’s Library Hotel, on the corner of Madison Avenue and 41st Street, where each floor represents one of the Dewey decimal categories: sciences, literature, languages, history and so forth. Each guestroom also features shelves of books appropriate to its floor’s category. The rooftop bar is called Bookmarks and if you walk a couple of blocks west you’ll come, appropriately, to the New York Public Library. www.libraryhotel.com.
AND for next convalescent cruise, she has earmarked by Boris Akunin as priority reading. ‘‘ At Port Said another passenger boarded the Leviathan,’’ it begins. ‘‘[ He] walked up the gangway, swinging his shoulder bag, while the porters sweated as they struggled under the weight of his ample baggage: expensive suitcases that squeaked, highquality pigskin travelling bags, huge bundles of books and even a folding tricycle (one large wheel, one small one and an array of gleaming tubes).’’ Irresistible.
FIND of the week: Just launched in Hong Kong are day cruises to a choice of four destinations on Aqua Luna, a hand-built red-sailed 28m Chinese junk. From $HK290 ($46) to $HK380 a person; children’s prices available. Aqua Luna also offers day and evening trips on Hong Kong Harbour. More: www.aqualuna.com.hk.
loves: Two giant pandas will arrive at Adelaide Zoo in late October but will be in quarantine until the public opening on December 14. Zoos South Australia president Heather Caddick tells that a ‘‘ huge panda-shaped clock attached to the ETSA Utilities building in Adelaide is counting down the days until Funi and Wang Wang, from Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province, make their first appearance’’.
The newcomers will be the only giant pandas on exhibit in the southern hemisphere and will reside in a multimillion-dollar purpose-built enclosure ‘‘ with a golden bamboo forest and mature elms lining the walkways’’. It’s all part of an upgrade of Adelaide Zoo that will feature a new entrance plaza facing Botanic Park and linking the zoo to the Botanic Gardens, Torrens River and the city’s cultural precinct. www.zoossa.com.au.
loathes: The thought of jetsetters travelling with a Kindle in their pocket. could think of other places to put it.
DEALS OF THE WEEK
Singapore rooms for sale; Star Flyer earlybird specials; double the value in Waikiki. These and other money-saving offers are featured in
holiday deals, updated daily: www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/dd