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Living it up, but not at The Ritz: Raffles London at The Old War Office has been restored to full baroque Edwardian elegance.

Crazy rich Asian hotels open in London – think £25,000 a night

You can even live permanently at the newly minted Peninsula or the lavish Raffles. But can they compete with city icons like The Ritz or The Dorchester?

  • Hans van Leeuwen

This Month

Todd Sampson, pictured in Siberia.

Qantas brand guru Todd Sampson given ISS reprieve

This is why proxy advisers send everyone batty. And if Qantas’ in-house sentiment guru doesn’t deserve to walk the plank, who does?

  • Myriam Robin
The Ribbon, which houses the new IMAX cinema, has been built between two arms of the Western Distributor.

What it’s like to stay at the new W Sydney between two expressways

After construction dramas then the pandemic, the $1 billion Ribbon built for the glamorous hotel has opened. Life & Leisure stayed on opening night.

  • Philippa Coates
W Sydney brings the bling to Darling Harbour.

Sydney’s new $1b hotel starts at $700 a room, with (Darling) harbour views

The largest W hotel in the world also has a 30-metre open-air infinity pool, a 2am desert bar and a distinctive curved building.

  • Fiona Carruthers

From women’s prison to unmissable one-off boutique hotel

A WWII-era jail in Berlin has been liberated to create accommodation that’s a monument to heroines, a luxury urban retreat – and a home for modern art.

  • Ben Fajzullin

Yoga with the Central Himalayas as backdrop? Watch out for Ramani

A hiking, yoga and meditation luxury lodge being built at serious altitude by family-owned Shakti will be a no-nonsense eco retreat.

  • Fiona Carruthers
Heritage Line’s luxurious Anouvong cruises the upper Mekong between Luang Prabang and the Thai border.

Unwind on a Mekong River cruise: an ex-monk will show you how

Leave Western cares behind on this voyage into Asia’s lush Golden Triangle in Laos. Downing home-made whisky with a village elder is optional.

  • Trudy Harris
Vanessa Hudson has succeeded Alan Joyce as CEO of Qantas.

Vanessa Hudson back in business (class)

The Qantas CEO is back where she belongs. That is, at the pointy end of the plane.

  • Myriam Robin

Richard Branson goes big on cruise with three $1b ships and counting

This cruise around the Greek islands invites guests to go the whole A-lister hog – from throwing tantrums to demanding of staff: “Don’t you know who I am?”

  • Tony Davis
Church in Oia (Santorini, Greece).

What to expect on your first Greek Islands cruise

When cruising aboard Resilient Lady in a RockStar Suite, there’s only one way to spend your daytime shore excursions: like a rock star, in dark glasses and a cap.

  • Tony Davis
Seabourn puts the fun in a caviar picnic.

Where should you dine at sea?

From fresh-baked Danish pastries to caviar silver service and gin-and-tonic scones, here’s an amuse-bouche of options.

  • Jill Dupleix
Scenic Eclipse II’s executive chef, Tom Goetter, dials up the flavour while working hard to eliminate food wastage.

This cruise chef has his own herb garden at sea

This chef is on a mission to plate up the freshest, healthiest produce that pays homage to origin.

  • Fiona Carruthers
Motu Mahana

How to see the best of Tahiti over 11 days from $12,620

For a taste of France in the South Pacific and to experience the allure of Tahiti in all its natural beauty, step aboard the newly renovated Le Paul Gauguin.

  • Joanna Bates

Lithuania’s secret UNESCO heritage-listed weapon

The most populous of the three Baltic states, Lithuania has some fascinating pockets that northern European holidaymakers have been enjoying for centuries.

  • Chris Wright
Persian Garden on Celebrity Eclipse

Floating day spas with caviar and champagne? Yes, it’s a thing

Get spoiled at sea with bath butlers who ensure there’s champagne next to your soap, charcoal saunas, and al fresco massages.

  • Brian Johnston
Silver Nova’s Marquee restaurant has an elegant al fresco feel.

Fancy a Four Seasons at sea? Silversea has turned ships into hotels

Silversea’s Silver Nova – the first in its new Nova class of vessels – is a game changer, with its revolutionary design that ensures a spectacular outlook.

  • Jane Knight
Josephine McKenna Generic Swim, Greek Sporades

Avoid holiday crowds: Swim your way around Greece

A swim safari in mid-July around the Sporades archipelago – 130 kilometres north of Athens – is surprisingly uncrowded, despite taking in where Mamma Mia was filmed.

  • Josephine McKenna
Young man contemplating the famous Taj Mahal at sunrise

Yes, you need a top guide in India - especially to jump queues

From navigating a 150-year-old fish market to skipping the crowds at the Taj Mahal and knowing the best restaurants, a local tour guide is worth it.

  • Paul Bailey

Who let the dogs on? The only ship that welcomes pets

Hundreds of pampered four-legged fur babies cruise the trans-Atlantic route between New York and Southampton each year.

  • Fiona Carruthers
Viking Torgil on the Douro River in Porto, Portugal.

Nervous about going on tour? Here’s how to survive a group holiday

Fiercely independent travellers never like the sound of groups, let alone cruises. You can enjoy both – while hanging onto your adventurous spirit.

  • Jeff Allan