Briefing: dirty hotels, travel writers shortlisted, and free first-class upgrades


NYC hotels’ dirty secret
Some hotels in New York are not changing the sheets after guests check out. Reporters from the American TV show Inside Edition used a washable paint that shows up only in ultraviolet light to spray the message “I slept here” onto sheets in nine hotels, checked out, then checked back into the same rooms. In three of them — the La Quinta Inn & Suites, near Central Park, InterContinental’s Candlewood Suites and the Marriott Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square — the message remained on the linen. Marriott apologised. InterContinental said its policy was to change the sheets every day. La Quinta said: “We expect our housekeepers to change the sheets.”

Travel writers shortlisted
Sunday Times Travel made a strong showing in two awards shortlists announced last week. Travel’s deputy editor, Martin Hemming, and chief travel writer, Chris Haslam, are on the shortlist for the prestigious Aito Travel Writer of the Year prize. Francesca Angelini is listed for young writer of the year. Liz Edwards, Alicia Miller and Alex Allen made the lists for pieces in our sister title, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. In the Travel Media Awards, Jon Holmes is shortlisted for writer of the year, and our foreign correspondent Christina Lamb is up for feature of the year for her article in Travel, Into Iran. Travel is shortlisted for newspaper travel section of the year; the Magazine is up for travel publication of the year.

Upgrade to first-class
British Airways is offering business-class passengers free one-way upgrades to first. Book before December 2 for travel before December 23.

More ski trains
Eurostar has announced additional trains to the French Alps for February half-term, with two extra outbound services from St Pancras and two more return legs from Bourg St Maurice, departing February 11-19. Seats start at £309 return, including two suitcases, hand luggage and skis or snowboards at no extra cost.

Not quite a cruise
A Hull coach company has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for exaggerating its description of a Scottish break. The five-day trip with National Holidays promised “sensational adventure exploring the sea lochs, inlets and islands, taking in the majestic scenery… in search of dolphins, minke whales, porpoises, seals and the amazing marine world life to be found around these beautiful Scottish island [sic]”. The reality was a two-hour return ferry crossing between Oban and Mull.

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