Frequent Flyer: Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton, writer and philosopher.


The Abama Hotel in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. I love this place. I've been going there with my family every Christmas for seven years and it's just the most charming place. It's only four hours flying from London, the weather is perfect, an uplifting dry, constantly sunny climate. I love Spanish culture and the sense of having cheated the seasons. The hotel is vast and perfect for children, who like to explore its nooks and crannies.


I love British Airways, they're so formal, uptight and kind of nostalgic in a way which is creepy and seductive. I like the sense that you're flying aboard some kind of more luxurious RAF machine. The people who work in the airline seem to love what they're doing and it shows in how they treat people.


The Verdura resort in Sicily, run by the wonderful Sir Rocco and Lady Aliai Forte. It is a vast place, but it feels like a small cosy hotel, because the owners greet one personally and there's a feeling of camaraderie. The rooms are immaculate and the whole thing is done up in Italian modern architecture which is formal and severe, in a good way.


A little Samsonite roller case. It's very light and wheels around beautifully along long corridors.



I never leave home without lots of notebooks and pens. And my bag always has the same blue shirt I wear everywhere - it prevents all need for choice. It works summer and winter. I have 25 of them.


I'm off to Uganda to do some research for a forthcoming book. It'll be way out of my comfort zone.

Alain de Botton's latest book is The News: A User's Manual (Penguin, $29.95).