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James Wilkinson

James Wilkinson

Articles (45)

16 Vegas bachelor party ideas to plan the most epic trip ever

16 Vegas bachelor party ideas to plan the most epic trip ever

“Vegas bachelor party”—need we say anything more? Before the groom walks down the aisle, there needs to be a bachelor party and there's no better adult playground than Sin City. Las Vegas was already a wildly popular option for out-of-town bachelor party groups, but the international success of The Hangover film series took things to another level, as evidenced by the steady stream of bachelor groups roaming around the strip, easily identifiable by their matching outfits, on any given weekend. The best bachelor party ideas in Las Vegas run the gamut from helicopter rides and skydiving to bottle service at the at a luxe pool—basically everything you need to bid farewell to the single life. If yours is not an all-out party crew, rest assured—you don’t need to go all-out with booze and other R-rated thrills, there are plenty of other activities like hiking Red Rock Canyon, catching a show or checking out the Neon Museum. Need more options? Book a crazy room at one of the many Las Vegas hotels; bet big at the best Las Vegas casinos, or get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Aventador. And don't forget to save our list of the best buffets in Las Vegas—you're going to need something to prevent and/or cure that hangover. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Las Vegas 

The best airports (and worst airports) in America

The best airports (and worst airports) in America

“Airport.” Is there a more dread-inducing word in the English language? Just the thought of all those queues, all that bland food and all that delayed-passenger-grumpiness can be enough to make you commit to road trips for life—no matter how far the journey. But not all airports are equal, or equally bad. In fact, some aren’t so bad at all. Some of the best airports in America are the kinds of places in which you might hope to get stuck—luxury malls that just happen have runways attached, where you can down a celebrated craft beer between a spot of yoga and browse through some of the best books of the year at a quirky local store. Here we pay tribute to the best airports in America for their efficiency (yes, a TSA line can take less than 10 minutes) and their amenities. And we scold those worst airports while we’re at it for managing to get it so wrong.

London’s trendiest hotels

London’s trendiest hotels

Set across five Victorian townhouses around the corner from the Notting Hill Gate tube, and named after Rhaune Laslett, the founder of the Notting Hill Festival (now the Carnival), the 51-room Laslett rocked onto the London scene in August. With vintage British artworks and designer furnishings by Pinch and Race, the hotel boasts a curated lobby library and gallery, spacious bedrooms, and bathrooms loaded up with Neal’s Yard Remedies. Off the lobby, the Henderson is a bar, restaurant, gallery, coffee shop and boutique store in one. Notting Hill has been crying out for a design-driven property for decades and now the Laslett is delivering.   The 173-room London Edition, a collaboration between the godfather of boutique hotels, Ian Schrager, and American powerhouse Marriott, is the digs of choice for fashion designers, rock stars and travellers with an eye for design. The lobby doubles as a happening bar, with rum cocktails served up for guests on tufted sofas or by the snooker table, while next door gun chef Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern excels for its mod-British bistro cuisine. Hidden away is Punch Room, where concoctions are served in vintage glassware in a venue that’s reminiscent of a members’ club from the 1950s. Upstairs, guests in the hotel’s signature suites are given a do-it-yourself cocktail kit on a vintage drinks trolley, while the design of all the rooms evokes the feel of a luxury ski lodge.   The banks of the Thames next to Blackfriars Bridge and the Tate M

Romantic luxury escapes from Melbourne

Romantic luxury escapes from Melbourne

Whether you're trying to impress your significant other or if you've gone all the way and are planning your honeymoon, these are the best romantic getaway destinations for couples. Start booking those holidays! How about a staycation? Closer to home, here the best spas and bathhouses in Melbourne and if you've only got the weekend, here are ten of the best weekend getaways from Melbourne. 

The best craft beer breweries in America

The best craft beer breweries in America

Next time you’re getting your buzz/sweat on at your favorite beer garden and thinking, Hmmm, this frothy thing in my hand is pretty goddamned good, take a close look at the bottle or the tap from which it came: That craft brewery could change your life. Knowing the breweries behind your favorite craft beer arms you with the information you need to ensure your drinking is always quality, even as you stray from your usual path. Fond of the ubiquitous Allagash White? Seek out the harder-to-find saison next time you’re at your favorite beer bar. Of course, you can always just go to the source: those kettle-filled breweries where beardy men will pour you glasses of golden joy while the next batch is being brewed behind them. You might even score a tour. Ladies and gentlemen, below we have gathered the best craft breweries in America, focusing on those widely available across the country. 

A whale watcher's guide to Maui

A whale watcher's guide to Maui

With the stereotype of dorky floral shirts, tiki mugs and packed beaches, it's easy to think of Maui as just another place where tourists come to let their skin sizzle. But there's so much more to this Hawaiian paradise than meets the eye, especially if you like whales, kayaking and ahi poke tacos. For more travel inspo, check out our guides to San Diego, Wellington and (for something closer to home) the Whitsundays. 

Five of the best hotel pools for a night swim

Five of the best hotel pools for a night swim

Sure blue skies and clear waters are always a good time, but diving in when the sun's not out is a highly underrated activity. For starters, you don't get burned. From glittering skyline views to big, bright starscapes, these hotel pools deliver after dark. Want to try it at home? Check out our favourite places to swim in Sydney. 

Five of the best hotel pools for a night swim

Five of the best hotel pools for a night swim

Sure blue skies and clear waters are always a good time, but diving in when the sun's not out is a highly underrated activity. For starters, you don't get burned. From glittering skyline views to big, bright starscapes, these hotel pools deliver after dark. Want to try it at home? Check out our favourite places to swim in Sydney. 

A whale watcher's guide to Maui

A whale watcher's guide to Maui

With the stereotype of dorky floral shirts, tiki mugs and packed beaches, it's easy to think of Maui as just another place where tourists come to let their skin sizzle. But there's so much more to this Hawaiian paradise than meets the eye, especially if you like whales, kayaking and ahi poke tacos. For more travel inspo, check out our guides to San Diego, Wellington and (for something closer to home) the Whitsundays. 

Neighbourhoods to watch in 2017

Neighbourhoods to watch in 2017

From new bar openings to avant-garde galleries; hip hotels to nearby nature these five neighborhoods have more than their fair share going on this year. Stay and play in one on your next big overseas trip.  

Listings and reviews (1)

Lyall Hotel and Spa

Lyall Hotel and Spa

The Lyall is temporarily closed until its reopening in the first week of April 2022.  Melbourne’s laneways are home to some top city boutiques, but for the real authentic shopping experience, Chapel Street and Toorak Road in South Yarra is where it’s at. So, if you’re heading to Melbourne for a shopping experience, don’t just hit the boutiques for a new pair of boots – arrange a boutique stay at The Lyall Hotel.  Nestled on leafy Murphy Street, The Lyall rates high on the Time Out radar for its classical rooms, award-winning day spa and intimate bar, where a gin and tonic gets the evening started in a grand way. Perfect for romantic weekends away or naughty mid-week stays, The Lyall takes comfort to great heights thanks to some of the best designed and most stylish suites in the city.

News (10)

A four-step guide to scoring an airline upgrade

A four-step guide to scoring an airline upgrade

Though it often seems like an impossible goal, it is still possible to nab an airline upgrade these days. Here are four tried and tested ways to get bumped up to business class.  1. Bid to upgrade A ‘bid to upgrade’ system is now offered on Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. You’ll be invited to bid for the upgrade by the airline, then will have to select your offer, and you’ll be told if it is a good or bad bid. Sometimes the entry-level offer will work, but offer a little more and you should be successful. 2. Use points to upgrade One of the best value Qantas upgrades right now is from Flexible Economy to Premium Economy between Sydney and Los Angeles for only 18,000 points one-way – that’s a tad more than a Sydney-Melbourne economy reward seat. Tip: select the option for also being upgraded at the gate, as there is always a chance of a ‘no show’. 3. Pay to upgrade at the airport In some instances, the cost of the jump to a seat in business can be as little as one tenth the cost of what the seat is selling for. British Airways, Fiji Airways and Hawaiian Airlines are three airlines that offer this to and from Australia – so get to the airport early. 4. Score a free upgrade  Those with status on the airline will be selected first. Even without, it’s possible: for the best chance have a fully flexible airfare, don’t have any unusual meal requests and of course, dress well and be polite.  Didn't make it to busines

A four-step guide to scoring an airline upgrade

A four-step guide to scoring an airline upgrade

Though it often seems like an impossible goal, it is still possible to nab an airline upgrade these days. Here are four tried and tested ways to get bumped up to business class.  1. Bid to upgrade A ‘bid to upgrade’ system is now offered on Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. You’ll be invited to bid for the upgrade by the airline, then will have to select your offer, and you’ll be told if it is a good or bad bid. Sometimes the entry-level offer will work, but offer a little more and you should be successful. 2. Use points to upgrade One of the best value Qantas upgrades right now is from Flexible Economy to Premium Economy between Sydney and Los Angeles for only 18,000 points one-way – that’s a tad more than a Sydney-Melbourne economy reward seat. Tip: select the option for also being upgraded at the gate, as there is always a chance of a ‘no show’. 3. Pay to upgrade at the airport In some instances, the cost of the jump to a seat in business can be as little as one-tenth the cost of what the seat is selling for. British Airways, Fiji Airways and Hawaiian Airlines (pictured) are three airlines that offer this to and from Australia – so get to the airport early. 4. Score a free upgrade  Those with loyalty status on the airline will be selected first. Even without, it’s possible: for the best chance have a fully flexible airfare, don’t have any unusual meal requests (because they won't be able to accommodate them in

Your four-point guide to scoring the best possible hotel room

Your four-point guide to scoring the best possible hotel room

Forget "shoebox with alley glimpses". Employ our tried and tested methods, and you'll always get the best room at the inn.1. Call up and book direct A good way to find the best room – not one that’s overlooking fire stairs, a main road or next to the elevators – is not by booking online, but checking for the best prices online, calling the hotel, chatting about your specific needs and asking them to match the price. This is also the best way to get an upgrade to a better category, as hotels always like direct bookings over those from online travel agents. Tip: sometimes the bigger room might not be in an ideal part of the hotel, figure out if you'd prefer a great view over more space, and be specific about your request. 2. Travel in the off season In the world’s biggest cities, particularly London and New York, hotel rates can vary dramatically from season to season. In winter in New York, you can get a five-star room for $220 that is selling for $750 during the height of summer. So if you are willing to travel in off-peak periods you can have a luxury holiday for the price of a budget stay. Further discounts will come when you book longer stays – you’ll find a lot of pay-four, stay-five night packages on offer. 3. Join the hotel chain’s rewards program Like with airlines, hotel groups want you to sign up to their membership programs like never before. That means lots of incentives and perks, even for first-time stayers. Points can rack up quite fast on stays as everything yo

Your four-point guide to scoring the best possible hotel room

Your four-point guide to scoring the best possible hotel room

Forget "shoebox with alley glimpses". Employ our tried and tested methods, and you'll always get the best room at the inn.1. Call up and book direct A good way to find the best room – not one that’s overlooking fire stairs, a main road or next to the elevators – is not by booking online, but checking for the best prices online, calling the hotel, chatting about your specific needs and asking them to match the price. This is also the best way to get an upgrade to a better category, as hotels always like direct bookings over those from online travel agents. Tip: sometimes the bigger room might not be in an ideal part of the hotel, figure out if you'd prefer a great view over more space, and be specific about your request. 2. Travel in the off season In the world’s biggest cities, particularly London and New York, hotel rates can vary dramatically from season to season. In winter in New York, you can get a five-star room for $220 that is selling for $750 during the height of summer. So if you are willing to travel in off-peak periods you can have a luxury holiday for the price of a budget stay. Further discounts will come when you book longer stays – you’ll find a lot of pay-four, stay-five night packages on offer. 3. Join the hotel chain’s rewards program Like with airlines, hotel groups want you to sign up to their membership programs like never before. That means lots of incentives and perks, even for first-time stayers. Points can rack up quite fast on stays as everything yo

Five of the best premium economy cabins going round

Five of the best premium economy cabins going round

We're just going to say it: there's really no need to dish out dollars on an upgraded ticket when you can get a business class-style experience in Premium Economy these days. Get your fancy fix on these top airlines.  1. Air New Zealand In Premium Economy, expect comfortable leather seats that are 49cm wide, recline up to 23cm and have a pitch (ie distance between seats) of 104cm. The dining experience is on par with Business Class. 2. British Airways BA flights to Singapore and London from Sydney all feature the latest World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabin. Seats have a pitch of 96cm and are 47cm wide, and you’ll get a 27cm touchscreen TV and noise-cancelling headphones. 3. Qantas The new Qantas Premium features a seat that’s ten per cent wider than before, 25 percent larger high-definition TVs, five storage compartments, and a business class-style food and wine experience. 4. Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines’ premium dining experience has the ‘book the cook’ offering where you can choose your meal up to 24 hours before flying and match your dishes with top quality wines. 5. Virgin Australia On the Boeing 777-300ERs that service Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, there’s a greater recline than before, along with 104.1cm seat pitch (one of the largest in the sky) and a full-plated meal service in the style of Business Class, with dishes from chef Luke Mangan. Try them out on your way to five of the world's hottest neighbourhoods.

Five of the best premium economy cabins going round

Five of the best premium economy cabins going round

We're just going to say it: there's really no need to dish out dollars on an upgraded ticket when you can get a business class-style experience in Premium Economy these days. Get your fancy fix on these top airlines.  1. Air New Zealand In Premium Economy, expect comfortable leather seats that are 49cm wide, recline up to 23cm and have a pitch (ie distance between seats) of 104cm. The dining experience is on par with Business Class. 2. British Airways BA flights to Singapore and London from Sydney all feature the latest World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabin. Seats have a pitch of 96cm and are 47cm wide, and you’ll get a 27cm touchscreen TV and noise-cancelling headphones. 3. Qantas The new Qantas Premium features a seat that’s ten per cent wider than before, 25 percent larger high-definition TVs, five storage compartments, and a business class-style food and wine experience. 4. Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines’ premium dining experience has the ‘book the cook’ offering where you can choose your meal up to 24 hours before flying and match your dishes with top quality wines. 5. Virgin Australia On the Boeing 777-300ERs that service Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, there’s a greater recline than before, along with 104.1cm seat pitch (one of the largest in the sky) and a full-plated meal service in the style of Business Class, with dishes from chef Luke Mangan. Try them out on your way to five of the world's hottest neighbourhoods.

What's on in travel this month?

What's on in travel this month?

Time Out's travel editor gives his top four tips for August. 1. Flying Hawaiian airlines Expect an aloha in the form of South Pacific-inspired cuisine, craft beer from Maui, leading American wines, spirits and entertainment on demand and two bags of 32kg per person complimentary. If you book an Extra Comfort seat in economy, it’s about extra legroom, an amenity kit and priority check-in and boarding.  2. Staying at South Congress, Austin The 83-room South Congress Hotel is one of the USA’s best new establishments. Located in the heart of a thriving ’hood, its rooms have hardwood floors, custom designed furniture, mini bars stocked with local produce, large walk-in showers and balconies overlooking downtown Austin. 3. Eating at Oaken, Auckland In Auckland’s thriving Britomart district, Oaken serves up 63.5° eggs on sourdough with house-smoked butter for breakfast, Wagyu bresaola sandwiches for lunch and housemade pork and fig sausages for dinner alongside Te Matuku Bay oysters from Waiheke Island. Local whites and reds dominate the wine list. 4. Touring Heart Reef, Whitsundays  A short flight by helicopter or seaplane or boat ride from Hamilton Island and you’ll find Heart Reef, a gem of the Great Barrier Reef you can snorkel around. Along the way you’ll pass Whitehaven Beach and if it’s mid-year, spot migrating whales. Looking for a short haul trip? Check out our guide to a weekend in Wellington or how to do the snow on the cheap in Victoria.

What's hot in travel this month?

What's hot in travel this month?

Time Out's travel editor gives his top four tips for August. 1. Flying Hawaiian airlines Expect an aloha in the form of South Pacific-inspired cuisine, craft beer from Maui, leading American wines, spirits and entertainment on demand and two bags of 32kg per person complimentary. If you book an Extra Comfort seat in economy, it’s about extra legroom, an amenity kit and priority check-in and boarding.  2. Staying at South Congress, Austin The 83-room South Congress Hotel is one of the USA’s best new establishments. Located in the heart of a thriving ’hood, its rooms have hardwood floors, custom designed furniture, mini bars stocked with local produce, large walk-in showers and balconies overlooking downtown Austin. 3. Eating at Oaken, Auckland In Auckland’s thriving Britomart district, Oaken serves up 63.5° eggs on sourdough with house-smoked butter for breakfast, Wagyu bresaola sandwiches for lunch and housemade pork and fig sausages for dinner alongside Te Matuku Bay oysters from Waiheke Island. Local whites and reds dominate the wine list. 4. Touring Heart Reef, Whitsundays  A short flight by helicopter or seaplane or boat ride from Hamilton Island and you’ll find Heart Reef, a gem of the Great Barrier Reef you can snorkel around. Along the way you’ll pass Whitehaven Beach and if it’s mid-year, spot migrating whales. Looking for a short haul trip? Check out our guide to a weekend in Wellington or the best camping spots in Sydney. 

July's travel hotlist

July's travel hotlist

This month we're... Flying: United AirlinesThe Friendly Skies has come a long way, with United now featuring the newest B787 Dreamliner aircraft on Sydney and Melbourne to the US on a daily basis. It gets better onboard in BusinessFirst, with a four-course meal service (including a bespoke sundae), top American wines, amenity kits, flatbed seats, large touchscreen TVs and oversized pillow as standard. Staying at: Mayfair Hotel, AdelaideThe city’s newest boutique, five-star hotel features 170 rooms and suites, Mayflower restaurant and the Hennessy rooftop lounge in the heart of the CBD. Book a Deluxe King room, which features custom-made beds, oversized bathrooms, bespoke armchairs and a minibar stocked with South Australian produce including local wines, beers and snacks. Eating at: Kiyomi, Gold CoastYou could order dish by dish at Kiyomi, the new venue for Sokyo’s chef Chase Kojima, or you could go for the seven-course omakase menu with matching wines, which starts with a Hiramasa kingfish ceviche served with a Henschke Julius Riesling and ends with a dessert platter offered up with some Yoshinogawa gensen umeshu sake over ice.  Touring: New York by helicopterOn the 15-minute New Yorker tour by HeliNY, you’ll see Manhattan at its finest. After taking off near the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll chopper past the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson River past the new World Trade Center, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings and Central Park, before swinging down the New Jersey Coast.

10 tips for an ace trip to Las Vegas

10 tips for an ace trip to Las Vegas

If you want to plan the best bachelor send-off in Sin City, take it from one who knows. New Yorker Lee Abbamonte, 37, the youngest American to travel to every country in the world, has been to Vegas more than 50 times. His top piece of advice? Pace yourself. “Enjoy Vegas,” he says. “Don’t just spend the entire time drunk or in casinos.” Piloting a fighter plane ranks among his all-time favorite things to do in Vegas. “Sky Combat Ace is simply the best thing I’ve ever done. If you like adrenaline there’s no bigger rush,” he says. He also insists you shouldn’t leave town without throwing yourself off the highest tower in Vegas first thing in the morning—“especially with a hangover, it’ll wake you up”—or playing poker at Bellagio. “Bellagio is the home of high stakes poker. Just be careful because you never know what pro you might be sitting next to,” he says. Read on for 10 more ways you can save money, stay safe and make the most of your time.1. Don’t just book direct There are loads of specials on offer in Las Vegas, so hit up Kayak, Booking.com and Skyscanner for some of the best deals available and save a few hundred bucks that will be better spent on beers, chopper flights and limo rides. 2. Go in spring and fall Vegas offers action aplenty year-round, but in summer expect dry hot nights and winter some chilly evenings. Spring and fall are your best bets, so hit it between March and May and September and November. 3. Stay street-smart  Although prostitution is illegal, th