Sa Vista, a villa for 10 on the coast below Deià, Mallorca
Sa Vista, a villa for 10 on the coast below Deià, Mallorca

Mallorca The Thinking Traveller, the award-winning specialist villa company, is to expand into Mallorca for the first time, despite what founder Huw Beaugié calls “the most challenging year in our history by a very long way”. The company has seen an uptick in demand following this month’s positive vaccine news, with bookings for next year now significantly up on 2020, and so is expanding its villa portfolio in existing markets as well as launching in Mallorca. The company was founded in 2002 by Beaugié, an engineer, and his wife Rossella Beaugié, a cell biologist, after they spotted a gap in the market for upmarket villas in her native Sicily. Starting out with just seven properties, the company has grown into Puglia, the Greek islands, Corsica and now Mallorca, with 218 villas in total, all exclusive to the company. The Mallorcan properties range from a palacio in Palma’s historic old town, to Sa Vista, a villa set in 25 acres on the coast below Deià. thethinkingtraveller.com

Edinburgh Gleneagles, the grand golf resort hailed as the “Riviera in the Highlands” when it opened in 1924, is to open an outpost in the Scottish capital. Gleneagles Townhouse is due to launch in autumn 2021 in a former Bank of Scotland building in St Andrew Square, in the heart of Edinburgh. The grand sandstone building, notable for its six Corinthian columns each supporting a classical statue, will house 33 bedrooms, a restaurant and two bars, one on the roof. This week it was announced that Gleneagles’ owner, Ennismore, and 10 hotel brands owned by Accor, Europe’s largest hotel company, would be merging to form a new $1bn company. Combined, the new entity will have 73 hotels under brands including The Hoxton, Mondrian and Mama Shelter. It will be two-thirds owned by Accor and a third by Ennismore’s founder, Sharan Pasricha. gleneagles.com; ennismore.com

Rome Delta Air Lines is to launch “Covid-free” flights between Atlanta and Rome, which Italian authorities have agreed will allow arriving travellers to avoid quarantine. Starting from December 19, passengers will take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure, then a rapid test before boarding and on arrival. Combined with mask-wearing and leaving middle seats empty, the airline says the risk of infection is “nearly one in a million”. delta.com

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