Tokyo has the best restaurants, but there are so many I can’t pick just one as
the best. But soba noodles are definitely my favourite dish.
Tokyo, Japan (Fotolia/AP)
Favourite holiday destination?
Hawaii. I go there nearly every winter, for three or four weeks, and it’s like
a second home to me. It’s perfect because it’s pretty much sunny the whole
time I’m there. I’ve got a lot of friends who travel as well and we spend a
lot time together in Hawaii.
Have you ever been on safari?
I’ve never been on safari but it’s something I definitely want to do. I
recently got engaged and for our honeymoon, we don’t know where we will go.
Safari might be a good idea because beach holidays aren’t my thing.
Your most relaxing destination?
I don’t have one because I don’t really like relaxing. I hate relaxing, it’s
the worse thing in the world for me. It probably comes from the Formula One
world I live in, which is action-packed and fast-moving the whole time, even
when you’re out of the car. So for me to chill out is not a good thing, and
I’ve got to go somewhere that’s fun.
The Conrad Singapore because it [the Singapore Grand Prix] is such an unusual
race for us. Everything is done sort of back-to-front, staying on European
time even though we’re in Singapore. I have dinner at two o’clock in the
morning and breakfast at midday [both on Singapore time]. So the staff have
been fantastic over the years looking after at us at unusual times. They’ve
really made us very relaxed just before getting into the circuit.
The Singapore Grand Prix night race track in 2013 (Getty Images)
I do love London – it’s a great city but I don’t get to see it very often
because when I’m in the UK, I’m always at the MTC, either doing simulator or
sponsor work. But my favourite city would have to be Tokyo. I always have a
lot of fun when I’m in Tokyo, my fiancée lives there as well, so it’s a
place I love to visit.
Best city for a drive or a road trip?
Driving just outside Monaco is pretty great. If you head into Italy, you have
the Stelvio Pass, which is one of the most famous roads in the world. I also
like driving in Hakone, Japan, where the hot springs are. I drive there a
lot when I’m in Japan. This past winter when I was in Hawaii, I drove up
Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world when measured from below sea
level. We were driving above the clouds, which was pretty awesome, so if you
ever get a chance on the Big Island, you should give that a go.
Mauna Kea, Hawaii (Fotolia/AP)
Favourite city you’ve competed in?
My favourite place would have to be Monaco. There’s so much history in Monaco,
and it’s where I won the Grand Prix and where I live, so it’s very special
Worst travel experience?
Lost baggage is always the worst and you sort of know before it happens as
well – it’s such a strange feeling. But for me, one of the worst moments was
when I was trying to fly to the US from Australia with an ESTA, which is an
electronic visa. Whenever you’re flying from Australia, you always seem to
have to show a printed out version of your electronic visa, which always
really frustrates me. They always ask: “Have you got a printed copy of your
visa?” and I’m thinking: “Of course I haven’t got a printed copy – it’s an
electronic visa”. So I ended up missing my flight once and it was one of my
most frustrating times at an airport.
Are you a nervous flier?
No but I listen to everything. Having worked in motorsport for so many years,
you listen to the engine. When everything is going well you can hear it and
when suddenly it’s not, you know what’s happening. That’s the only issue
with me and flying, every time there’s a change in the engine sound, I’m
always listening to what’s going on.
Best piece of travel advice?
Don’t rush. You get so stressed if you do. Leave a little bit earlier and try
to stay relaxed.
The Maldives (Fotolia/AP)
What do you hate about holidays?
I don’t hate anything about holidays, as long as there are enough things to do
wherever I am.
I’ve never been to the Maldives but have always wanted to visit, just to
experience something very different. It’s been something I tried to save for
a special occasion. I’ve got my PADI certification as well, and it looks
like a fun place to go diving. I would probably stay on a very small island.
Jenson Button is competing in the British Grand Prix this weekend. The
Hilton summer sale across hotels in Europe is available until September 30.
For more information, see hiltonweekends.co.uk/summersale
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