Where to go

🚂 Malaysia by train | 🇳🇱 Dordrecht | 🏝️ Marvellous Maui

10 May 2024


Belmond’s lavish Eastern & Oriental Express has returned after a four-year break with a new three-night route from Singapore to Penang, says the FT. The exquisitely renovated locomotive offers a “deeply alluring combination of cosiness and grandeur”: cabins have plush armchairs and beckoning, plump beds, while a large observation deck at the rear gives guests a perfect view of misty paddy fields and dense jungle. Two dining cars serve dinner each night “amid a small forest of chinking, winking crystal”, while the piano bar promises jazz and cocktails after sunset. Belmond’s three-night “Wild Malaysia” itinerary starts at £3,042 per person, Belmond.com


For a taste of the laird life, head to Dabton House in Dumfries and Galloway, says The Times. The handsome pink sandstone manor was built for the Duke of Buccleuch in 1820 but has recently reopened as a lavish 11-bedroom holiday let. The stylish interior “retains the feel of a family home”, and shooting, fishing and traditional sports are all on offer on the nearby Queensberry Estate. Guests can self-cater with the well-equipped kitchen or have meals cooked by the in-house chef. Dabton House sleeps 24 people and costs from £2,000 per night self-catering, and from £5,500 per night full board, dabtonhouse.co.uk 


While the throng of tourists often makes Amsterdam unbearable, the nearby city of Dordrecht offers a “tranquil alternative”, says the I newspaper. The historic centre is utterly charming – and delightfully crowd-free – with small waterways snaking towards the historic harbour lined with tall-masted ships and houseboats. The 1.2km Voorstraat is Holland’s longest shopping street, home to antique shops, galleries, chocolatiers and bookshops. Eurostar operates trains from London St Pancras to Rotterdam Centraal, where you can connect to NS trains to Dordrecht, Eurostar.com 

Long haul

Maui is “the Goldilocks island”, says The New York Times: neither too big nor too small, and its “perfect year-round temperature, rainbow-splashed volcanic summits and sugary beaches” are just right. Nine months on from the wildfires that reduced the historic town of Lahaina to ash, the Hawaiian island is ready to greet tourists again. Highlights include a sunrise hike to the 10,000ft summit of Haleakalā National Park, which promises “volcanic vistas” and some of the planet’s rarest plants and birds; indulging in fresh seafood and old-fashioned hospitality at Mama’s Fish House; and exploring indigenous art exhibits at the Hale Hō‘ike‘ike museum. For more information, visit gohawaii.com 

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