The new year brings more hotel openings
Both the Fairmont The Palm and the newly refurbished Le Méridien Mina Seyahi are now open in Dubai. The Fairmont features 381 guestrooms and suites, four swimming pools, a 450-metre private beach and beach club, a kids' zone and spa. Its signature Chinese restaurant will open next month; other eateries will serve Brazilian cuisine and grilled seafood. A double room costs from Dh1,440, including taxes with a 20 per cent winter discount (www.fairmont.com). The 220-room Le Méridien Mina Seyahi is also open once more on Jumeirah Beach. Until January 30, this local favourite has a special "re-opening" offer, starting from Dh1,198, including taxes; valid for stays until September 30 (www.starwoodhotels.com).
A residence fit for royalty in Abu Dhabi
The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara has announced the opening of its Royal Mangroves Residence. The palatial duplex suite has up to 2,455 square metres of living space (from three to 10 king-size bedrooms), making it the largest in the capital. Highlights include a large private infinity pool, roof terrace and garden, as well as a retinue of staff. Three bedrooms cost from Dh63,800 per night, including taxes. For more information, visit www.abu-dhabi.anantara.com.
Golfing stars tee off at Jebel Ali Resort, Dubai
The UAE is set to welcome some of golf's biggest names this month. Following swiftly on the heels of next week's HSBC Golf Championship (January 17 to 20) being held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, is the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (January 28 to February 3) played at Emirates Golf Club (Majlis course). Book lunch and get the chance to watch Lee Westwood, among others, play at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Challenge Match at the Jebel Ali Resort Course on January 29. The lunch costs Dh600 per person and the Challenge Match tees off at 3pm. To book, visit www.jaresortshotels.com. Look forward to all the action with the Ultratravel Golf Special, being published with The National on January 24.
A designer destination in Penang, Malaysia
Macalister Mansion is the first member of the Design Hotels group to open in Malaysia. With eight rooms in a beautifully restored town house, the former colonial residence of the Colonel Norman Macalister, who governed the British shipping port of Georgetown, Penang, 200 years ago, is the latest hotel to open in the increasingly popular tourist destination. A double room costs from 974 Malaysian ringgits (Dh1,176) per night, including breakfast, Wi-Fi and taxes (www.designhotels.com/macalister_mansion).