Travel briefs  

Designer hotels

The first fashion designer-branded hotel suite in Hawaii, created by wedding dress guru, Vera Wang has opened in the Halekulani resort in Waikiki. The 2,135 square foot, one bedroom suite costs 4,000 US dollars a night and is one of the most expensive hotel rooms in Hawaii. State hotel and excise taxes for the suite alone are about 450 dollars a night. “It’s for a very worldly, sophisticated consumer where quality, taste, originality and comfort are the most important criteria for which they base a hospitality experience,” said Peter Shaindlin, chief operating officer of Halekulani Corp. Wang is among a growing number of big-name designers to enter the hotel industry. Giorgio Armani is teaming up with a Dubai-based company to launch a collection of luxury hotels around the world. Spanish clothing chain, Camper has a hotel in Barcelona. Bulgari has a hotel in Milan, and plans to open another next year in Bali. The Versace name is on an Australian hotel and the Ferragamo designers’ own hotels in Italy.

Water runs low in the Balearics

Water supplies on the Spanish Balearic islands are reported to be running dangerously low. Minorca is in the grip of a moderate drought, while water reservoirs in Majorca and Ibiza are also running low. Rainfall on the islands has dried up since April, and in Minorca there’s been 20 per cent less than last year. Majorca and Ibiza’s deficits are 10 and 14 per cent respectively, however the government is insisting the current situation is manageable.