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St Regis opens “curated mansion” in Hong Kong

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
St Regis opens “curated mansion” in Hong Kong

Renowned interior designer André Fu completes his latest project, St Regis Hong Kong, located in the vibrant district of Wan Chai…

An ode to the cultural diversity and timeless elegance of Hong Kong, The St. Regis Hong Kong has opened and is described as a curated mansion which has been realised through the masterful lens of designer, André Fu.

Design elements throughout the hotel seamlessly combine classic luxury with modern sophistication, incorporating signature details which pay homage to Hong Kong’s rich culture and heritage.

“Hong Kong has always been one of the most attractive destinations for global luxury travelers, and the St. Regis brand is synonymous with timeless luxury and impeccable standards of hospitality,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director, Greater China, Marriott International. “We are very glad to add The St. Regis Hong Kong to Marriott International’s strong luxury portfolio in the market. The St. Regis Hong Kong represents the very best of the St. Regis brand, with its distinctive design, exquisite fine dining and truly exceptional service.”

Designed for business travellers and culture seekers alike, the 27-storey property boasts 129 appointed guestrooms and suites featuring warm and inviting touches throughout. A residentially-inspired retreat in the heart of Wan Chai, guestrooms at The St. Regis Hong Kong feature wood flooring and accents infused with understated Asian sensibility, deep soaking bathtubs and expansive windows with sweeping views of the harbour and city. The hotel is also home to a heated swimming pool and poolside bar, as well as a health club with a spa treatment room and other luxury amenities.

Image credit: Marriott International/St St Regis

The St. Regis Hong Kong also introduces two exceptional dining concepts to the region with L’Envol and Rùn, each spearheaded by award-winning chefs. At L’Envol, guests can indulge in French Haute cuisine created by chef Olivier Elzer who has accrued a remarkable 18 Michelin stars throughout his career to date. The hotel’s signature Cantonese restaurant, Rùn, is led by renowned chef and winner of the Silver Award in the 2012 Best of the Best Culinary Awards, Hung Chi-Kwong. Famed for his contemporary interpretations of Cantonese cuisine, Chi-Kwong’s restaurant will serve innovative takes on traditional Cantonese fare.

The Drawing Room is an all-day eatery with views of the Terrace. Meanwhile, the St. Regis Bar is a contemporary bar for after-hours digestifs.

The St. Regis Hong Kong is also an all-encompassing events destination with approximately 12,000 sq. ft. of event space across five venues. The sophisticated Astor Ballroom, with its cathedral high ceiling design, is perfectly suited for grand-scale events; while the Rockefeller Room is a versatile space for corporate meetings or more intimate affairs.

The hotel’s opening follows Marriott’s plans to open more than 30 luxury properties this year.

Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

W Bali – Ubud is set to bring a new level of W’s bold design to the cultural heart of Bali…

W Hotels Worldwide has announced the signing of W Bali – Ubud, the brand’s newest W Escape, which is being developed in partnership with Indonesia’s Ruang Teknik Group.

The expansion into Ubud marks the second W Hotel in Indonesia, following the opening of W Bali – Seminyak in 2010.

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

Positioned on a hilltop, deliberately oriented toward the morning sun rising in the east, and southwards over stunning, unobstructed views of the Tanggayuda Valley, W Bali – Ubud is expected to reinvent the dreamy Ubud experience with eclectic, surprising art and design set amongst a versatile vibe that is at once laid back and social.

“Ubud is a hidden destination like no other, where legends and nature intertwine with everyday life to create a magical sense of adventure,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “W Bali – Ubud is an exciting next step for us. We are applying a unique, vibrant sensibility to this hotel, one that has not been seen before on the island. W Bali – Ubud will combine the brand’s boundary-breaking approach to design with the rich cultural, spiritual and artistic influences of Ubud to show off the best of this incredible locale and all we’ve learned in the decade since W debuted in Indonesia.”

The hotel’s design will redefine modern luxury in the destination, taking inspiration from social, historical and physical insights and embedding elements of each into the rooms and public spaces. Upon entering the hotel, guests will be immersed in modern interpretations of traditional Balinese art styles with works from local artists, that lead to breath-taking lounges perfect for soaking in spectacular jungle sunsets as sounds of cool beats drift through the air. The hotel will offer 100 inspired guestrooms, including 10 villas with private swimming pools and an EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite).

As the brand’s newest W Escape, W Bali – Ubud will bring a bold new take on international cuisine with a Balinese twist to multiple on-site bars and restaurants. Traditional Asian flavors intertwine with international influences at the stylish all-day dining restaurant Morinda. Meanwhile, Synn, a specialty restaurant featuring the finest of Balinese and world cuisines will be an underground sensation, literally. The new restaurant is partially underground, opening towards a jungle cliff.

“Bali’s hotel market continues to see strong growth and it remains a major destination in Marriott International’s footprint,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We look forward to partnering with Ruang Teknik Group in introducing W Bali Ubud, the second W-branded hotel in this market.”

W Bali – Ubud is slated to join the brand’s robust portfolio of more than 50 hotels around the globe, including the recently opened W Dubai – The Palm (February 2019), as well as the soon-to-open W Aspen, W Ibiza and W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island following Marriott announcing that it will add 30 new luxury hotels to its thriving portfolio this year.

Main image credit: Marriott International/W Hotels

Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

The Japanese retailer, Muji, opens its first hotel in Japan, Muji Hotel Ginza – and it’s a minimalist’s dream…

Spread over six floors, the 79-key Muji Hotel Ginza designed by UDS has opened as the brand’s first hotel in Japan following the successful openings in Beijing and Shenzhen last year.

Muji Hotel Ginza’s thoughtful design is true to the company’s sustainable principles, using upcycled materials such as flagstone of Tokyo’s tramway from 50 years ago and even the waste materials from ships.

The 79 guestrooms all vary in size and are presented in nine categories. Designed to fill a gap in the market between luxury and mid-scale, the hotel’s interiors are true-to-form minimalist.

Minimalist interiors - writing desk

Image credit: Muji Hotels

The interiors convey an atmosphere typical of Muji; natural materials, alongside upcycled products with a small number of rooms including traditional Japanese textiles. Fuji Hotel’s pricing structure remains the same throughout the year, regardless of seasons and holidays, which supports the brand’s commitment to fairness and affordable living as the hotel aims to become a base for visitors to enjoy a deeper immersion in Ginza and Japanese culture.

“Great care has been taken to ensure that the room will restore travelers in body and spirit alike,” the hotel’s website states. The mattresses have been designed informed by posture research, while the lighting designed in order to aid sleep quality.

The hotel opens together with the global flagship store Muji Ginza as the “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap” alternative hotel.

Main image credit: Muji Hotels

 

 

Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

Kimpton Da An Hotel has opened its doors in Taipei, marking its entrance into Asia…

Kimpton Da An Hotel brings a new luxury hotel offering to modern Taipei (Taiwan). With its unique location in the heart of the Da’an District and an elevated, sophisticated design, the hotel opens as an urban sanctuary for the laid-back luxury traveller.

Kimpton Da An is ideally located in the heart of Taipei city, allowing guests easy

access to local cafes, boutiques and galleries, while providing a welcoming environment decorated with artwork from local artisans. The hotel features 129 rooms and has been designed by Neri & Hu, the winner of MASION&OBJET Asia in 2015, a prestigious design accolade. Once guests enter the hotel, the lush greenery and sophisticated water installation, coupled with custom lighting, immediately offers guests a sense of calm.

Kimpton Da An will enjoy Kimpton’s signature perks such as in-room yoga mats and a Morning Kick-Starter, as well as tea and coffee served in the lobby living room to energize guests. Guests can also take part in wellness morning yoga on the rooftop, free fitness and wellness classes or explore the city with complimentary bicycles.

Home to The Tavernist restaurant, its culinary experience provides diners with contemporary dishes coupled with local touches and innovative cooking methods. The Tavernist embraces Taiwan’s organic movement and works closely with local farmers and food producers. The restaurant is led by Chef James Sharman, who has travelled to countless countries with his team and has sought inspiration from local cuisine around the world. To him, The Tavernist offers a place where guests can discover something new while feeling at home.

“As the world’s largest operator of lifestyle hotels, the luxury lifestyle hotel segment is a key IHG focus,” said Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG Greater China. “We’re delighted to bring the Kimpton brand to Taiwan, one of the most renowned destinations in Asia. Today’s opening marks another milestone for the brand, as it pushes the boundaries to bring design-led hotels and heartfelt, human service to more guests around the world.”

IHG currently has 6 hotels operating under four brands in the Taiwan market including, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Express, with another 6 hotels in the pipeline. In the next few years, Kimpton is slated to open new hotels in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali.

The brand, which currently operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants and bars across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean is also due to open a further five properties in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali. Last November, the Kimpton Fitzroy became the first UK opening in London, with more in the pipeline.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels

Rosewood Hotels arrives in Hong Kong

800 528 Hamish Kilburn

A new global icon for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is established at the most distinguished address in its home city of Hong Kong…

Rosewood Hong Kong has opened as a magnificent new ultra-luxury property in the heart of the Victoria Dockside district on the shores of Victoria Harbour. Situated on one of Hong Kong’s most significant waterfront locations in Tsim Sha Tsui – Kowloon’s dynamic, culturally compelling heart – the property is set to become a grand icon for the city, celebrating the area’s role as Hong Kong’s new creative and cultural epicentre.

The opening of Rosewood Hong Kong is a defining milestone for the group, solidifying its stature as one of the world’s most dynamic hotel brands and a leader in global style.  This showpiece of the brand’s highest aspirations epitomises Rosewood’s essence and represents the complete manifestation of a differentiated and modern expression of ultra-luxury hospitality.

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

From the brand’s inception 40 years ago as a fine private home that opened its doors to guests, each Rosewood hotel continues to be guided by A Sense of Place® philosophy and the concept of the hotel as a living canvas celebrating artistry in all its forms.  This spirit reaches its zenith at Rosewood Hong Kong.  Guests can experience the first urban outpost of the brand’s pioneering wellness concept; gastronomic innovation showcasing locally grown and artisanal ingredients; masterworks by the world’s most highly acclaimed artists; and supremely stylish, residentially natured gathering and living spaces – all within a masterfully designed and meticulously curated journey in architecturally bold environs commanding the harbour.

“The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910.”

Rosewood’s opening in Hong Kong marks the evolution of another meaningful historic legacy.  The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910, which subsequently became New World Centre, a lifestyle magnet for the city in the 1980s, which holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of local residents as a place of discovery and wonderment.  New World Centre – a proud expression of Hong Kong’s evolution – was the creation of Dr. Cheng Yu-tung and Dr. Henry Cheng, the grandfather and father (respectively) of Rosewood Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer, Sonia Cheng.

“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial centre to become a true global cultural capital, I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future,” says Cheng. “New World Centre was conceived as my grandfather’s ultimate gift to Hong Kong, a celebration of its progress, vibrancy and spirit.  I hope that Rosewood Hong Kong enhances this legacy and helps fulfill his and my father’s vision for the city that they loved. Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture. Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.” 

The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, 65-storey exterior pays homage to the city’s impressive verticality.  Renowned hospitality designer who designed the London property Tony Chi of New York studio tonychi has created an immersive experience for a new age of elevated residential hotel living. An homage to Rosewood’s origins as an aristocratic manor, Chi has conceived the entire hotel as a “vertical estate” which incorporates significant green spaces and outdoor areas throughout.

“More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas.”

Masterful and important art throughout the property includes works by internationally acclaimed artists Henry MooreDamien Hirst and Bharti Kerr, as well as China’s Wang Keping and homegrown Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh. Significant works are juxtaposed with an eclectic, whimsical approach to decorative arts throughout the hotel.

More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas, with the remainder featuring verdant Kowloon Peak views overlooking the fabled Lion Rock and scenic mountains. Generous “salons” on each guestroom floor from the 24th level up feature carefully selected objets that reflects Hong Kong’s richly layered past.

“For me, Rosewood Hong Kong is the majestic ‘estate on the harbour’ that pays reverent homage to the great founding family that built and operates it, and also the legacy of its surrounding community,” says designer Tony Chi. “Having designed Rosewood London — an elegant mansion in a royal city — and being in the process of refreshing The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, in New York, an iconic residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side; there’s a remarkably rich and overarching sense of continuity and a sense of place that binds all these properties together.”

Generous space and residential luxury are the hallmarks of Rosewood’s 322 light-filled guestrooms, which start at 53 square metres and include the Grand Harbourview Rooms, boasting panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. Elevated homely comforts include curated interior details, considered amenities, generous marble bathrooms with a freestanding soaking bath, separate, freestanding vanities and twin showers, as well as spacious walk-in closets.

Rosewood Hong Kong is home to the highest number of suites of any Hong Kong luxury hotel and also some of the largest.  The 91 suites, starting from 92 square metres, offer carefully curated stays, bespoke services, and inspired interiors. Suite guests enjoy exclusive services including access to Rosewood’s Manor Club executive lounge, personal butler service, monogrammed pillow cases and robes, and personalised amenities from arrival to departure. On each floor, the 123-square-metre Grand Harbour Corner Suites offer glittering panoramic harbour views from every vantage point.

Rosewood Hotels Cafe

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

In addition, Rosewood Hong Kong features 18 of the most outstanding signature suites in the metropolis, each with its own unique character. The crowning jewel amongst them, the 1,000-square-metre Harbour House boasts spectacular views from private sky terraces on the 57th level and unique décor and design. Enhancing the lavish interiors, a garden oasis features harbour view sun decks and private lap pools.  Located on the same floor, the Harbour House and Garden House can be combined, offering an entirely private five-bedroom retreat complete with state-of-the-art private gym.

Extended stays will be catered to by 186 exclusive Rosewood Residences, set to launch this Spring.  Uniquely designed for longer-term stays, the Rosewood Residences will offer a separate private entrance and dedicated club facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and private fitness centre, along with a host of special services and amenities for guests.

 

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

The Luxury Collection debuts in Armenia

800 550 Hamish Kilburn

The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel becomes the first international luxury hotel in Armenia…

Following plans to open 30 new luxury hotels this year, Marriott International has annoucned the opening of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Owned by Tsupani CJSC., the hotel proudly brings The Luxury Collection’s rare, indigenous and captivating experiences to the capital of Armenia – one of the world’s oldest cities and a noted historical intersection between the East and West. As the country’s first internationally-branded luxury hotel, The Alexander joins a portfolio of more than 100 Luxury Collection hotels around the world. The brand’s new footprint in Yerevan also further cements the hotel group’s strategy to meet the growing demand for experiential luxury in emerging markets.

“Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, which has until now remained a mostly unchartered destination for our Global Travelers” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The Alexander will allow our guests to connect with the fascinating capital city of Yerevan, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks such as the Matenadaran library, and truly engage in the authentic traditions of Armenia.”

“Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes.”

Set in an enviable location in the heart of Armenia’s capital, The Alexander is mere moments away from the city’s famous Republic Square, and is a brief stroll to numerous landmarks and cultural sights. The striking hotel reflects the city’s distinctive architecture, cleverly incorporating an 18th century façade at its entrance to hint at the indigenous charms found within. Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes that bring to life the history and modernity of the destination within the property’s opulent public spaces.

Roof top restaurant

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“Shaped by rich traditions, coveted treasures and a storied history, the city of Yerevan truly encapsulates the spirit of The Luxury Collection,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “The Alexander will provide sophisticated, independently-minded global explorers and locals alike with an unparalleled level of luxury in this fascinating destination. The unique destination experiences offered by The Luxury Collection, combined with Armenian hospitality, is also the perfect way to introduce our luxury portfolio to the region.”

The Alexander offers 114 guestrooms and suites, many of which include private balconies. The magnificent Presidential Suite is celebrated as a standout highlight of the property, occupying an entire floor and spanning over 1,700 square feet. An equally alluring feature is the Alexander Spa by Anne Semonin, providing guests with an inviting haven of wellness experiences and personalized treatments designed to relax, heal and rejuvenate. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a full-service beauty salon, and the city’s first indoor pool, which boasts breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw/Marriott International

MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

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MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

Opened late last year, Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton, with all its unique design qualities, is a mere shadow of the stereotypical chain hotel you would expect check in to. Editor Hamish Kilburn dives deeper into its Chinese design story to uncover how the boutique 104-key hotel came to be… 

As a boutique hotel, the concept of a ‘floating city on the sea’ can be seen throughout the hotel design of Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton. Combining the local cultural elements of Minnan with urban design techniques, the hotel narrates the historical changes of “the fishing village” that it neighbours. Tasked to merge architecture with interior design was Hong Kong-based design firm CCD (CHENG CHUNG DESIGN).

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

Surrounded by mountains and seas, with the Dongping Mountain in the North, and the coastline of Huandao Road in the South, the hotel enjoys the best of both worlds. The villages in Zengcuoan are divided by walls, and the houses in the villages are scattered around. The floor plan of the hotel follows the arrangement of the villages, as different zones are divided by walls and intersected by landscapes between different areas. Look down from the above; each area is like a box, representing a household with different personalities and designs. Guests enter the hotel as if they are on a village tour, complete with alleys, walls and landscapes.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The entrance of the hotel incorporates the local culture of ‘brick wall’, which is a very unique way of building a wall in Minnan architecture that uses stones and bricks of different shapes to overlay and build simple and beautiful walls.

According to the legend in the end of the Ming Dynasty that, there was a major earthquake occurred in the Southern part of Minnan region. After the earthquake, the native people used the local materials such as bricks, stones, tiles and gravels collapsed from the natural disaster to build the unique wall. And thereby, this way of wall-building has been widely practiced and followed in the region.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The designer also used the mansion method to design the hotel lobby. The first sight of the guest after they get off from the drop-off area and enter the hotel is not the hotel lobby, but a door that is several meters wide, and if they are entering a mansion house. Then they will see the brick wall, followed by cultural exhibition area, then other landscapes and finally the lobby bar and reception.

“Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.”

The design concept of “Floating City on the Sea” is expressed through the subtle design method.The façade of the wall is constructed with boxes, and it transforms from empty to solid, presenting a feeling of ‘floating’, the orderly change of the gradient also presents a sense of rhythm swinging with the current. A corner of the reception desk floats into the air, becoming a warm chandelier, floating on the sea, and the entire hotel is like a floating city on the sea.

In comparison to the hotel, every box in the space is the composition of the hotel as a floating city. Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.

“The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home.”

The design incorporates natural comfort and childhood memories, vintage chandeliers, metal-trimmed glass doors, wooden tables and chairs; it brings guests back to the restaurant where they used to go with their parents. Here, the curious people walk into the old days of Xiamen.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home. Meanwhile, it also tries to open the space as much as possible as to form a transparent visual experience. Getting rid of the traditional framework, and strengthen the interaction of spatial functions through subtle design, so that each area can be used alone and connected.

After the entrance is the cloakroom and the luggage rack, which is designed to make the walkway more functional and to make the largest use of space. In detail, it also closely follows the concept of floating city, as the wash table and the bed are suspended from the ground.

The city view and beach outside the window is one of the hotel’s business cards. The wash table, mini bar and operating desk form a small living room, so that guest can sit in the living room and enjoy the scenery with tea, just like the local residents. The texture of the old buildings in the city is projected onto the walls of the guestrooms, and the patterns of the old buildings in Gulangyu are carved into ceramic tiles, which become time fragments to record the traces of the years.

Main image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Avani Hotels & Resorts to enter Cambodia

800 400 Hamish Kilburn

Following the opening a hotel in Koh Sumui, Avani Hotels & Resorts prepares to open its first hotel in Cambodia… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced its entry into the Cambodian market with the launch of ‘FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani’. Following an extensive seven million USD renovation which includes the addition of 60 new rooms, the hotel is set to reopen its doors in the second quarter of 2019. The FCC Angkor is one of Cambodia’s best-known hotels and features authentic French colonial architecture intrinsic to the historic and cultural fabric of Siem Reap. FCC Angkor creates an inspiring ambience for remarkable experiences and unforgettable stories in the heart of Siem Reap.

“Avani Hotels & Resorts’ first entry into Cambodia signals our ongoing commitment to offering an upscale experience to all intrepid travellers,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, the parent company of Avani Hotels & Resorts. “We believe FCC Angkor will be home to the intrepid traveller seeking an authentic experience in the social hub of Siem Reap.”

Located across from the Royal Independence Gardens and Royal Residence, FCC Angkor evokes the timelessness of Siem Reap for guests who want authentic experiences during their journey. The property centres around the former ‘Mansion’ of the French colonial governor, which became the renowned Foreign Correspondence Club and a popular meeting place for local and international journalists, celebrities, and travellers from around the world seeking to explore Siem Reap. Their stories echo and permeate every corner of the FCC Angkor, encouraging visitors to embrace their inner global adventurer.

“We are excited to be working with Avani Hotels & Resorts as they are exceptional operators of lifestyle hotels, and well aligned to promote and position the FCC Angkor and FCC Collection brand. The new FCC will also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, joining us in the commitment to deliver extraordinary, engaging and unique experiences to our global guests,” said Susan Devine, Owner’s Representative, FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani.

The hotel enhancements have perfectly blended the colonial structures with contemporary designs inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty and Khmer culture, which extend across the pedestrian bridge to the newly built extension. Throughout the property, the exotic environment of verdant gardens, Khmerinspired contemporary art, and exclusive European design accents create a sophisticated, residential feel, a signature concept for the heritage property.

Main image credit: Avani Hotels & Resorts

In Conversation With: COO and Partner of luxury hotel group LHM

800 548 Hamish Kilburn

Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Hans Joerg Meier the COO and Partner of LHM to discuss regional differences, design ethos’ and the challenges that come with setting up a new luxury hotel group…

With a new hotel about to open just over the horizon, which will add to the LHM (Legian Hotel Management) portfolio, the luxe hotel group is starting to find its bare-foot luxury feet in the international hotel design sands. Currently based in Indonesia with plans to expand across the globe, its ambition to “raise expectations of what a holiday can be” has been set in stone by the COO and co-founder Hans Joerg Meier. As its next hotel, The Legian Sire, Lombok, prepares for a Q1 2019 Launch, we caught up with Joerg Meier to find out  what the future for the hotel group looks like.

Hamish Kilburn: What has LHM identified as differences in markets between Indonesia and Europe?
Hans Joerg Meier: Travellers from Europe are seeking an authentic Indonesian/Balinese cultural experience – the warm and sincere service/hospitality. Furthermore, European guests want to travel around the island, visiting temples, renowned rice paddies, tasting local cuisine and attending cooking classes. Many are also keen to attend/participate in a local ceremony. Our regular guests from the local Indonesian market are very familiar with Bali/Seminyak where The Legian is located, and most seek a getaway to relax in the hotel from the pressures of their working lifestyle. They come to wine and dine and visit friends. This pattern is also similar with our regional markets from Hong Kong and Singapore. Both European and Indonesian markets are very interested in our wellness programs and following this we have recently launched a new wellness concept ‘Wellness by the Legian’ which will be available in all LHM hotels.

HK: There seems to be a lot of emphasis on experiences when it comes to luxury travel. Is the experience more important than the product these days? 
HJM: I am of the opinion that both are equally important. A good product is imperative and superior guest experiences personifies the product and vice versa. They synergize each other and are essential for the luxury traveller.

Image caption: Legian Seminyak, Bali

HK: Can you explain the design ethos of LHM properties?
HJM: Each LHM property is/will be exquisitely crafted by renowned architects and interior designers as well as legendary local artisans. This will reflect the sophisticated taste of our refined clientele who will feel right at home within LHM’s exceptional natural timeless surroundings, each one tastefully and utterly unique in their style.

HK: What are the main challenges for a new hotel group in today’s hotel landscape?
HJM: The main challenges include coming up with unique selling/marketing ideas which clearly differentiate the brand from the many competitors. It is also important to have a clear strategy in place and stick to it, not to follow every single trend, but rather create a bespoke experience. New hotel groups need to have a solid structure in place which allows the brand to expand on firm grounds without becoming too corporate. The key element is to form a strong team and nurture talents to take on more responsibility and to fully embrace the culture of the company. It is important that the team truly understands and is passionate about the brand so the company can successfully expand in the right direction. People are key in our industry as every guest interaction is vital.

Image caption: The site at Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: How did the management team come together?
HJM: Our first property, The Legian, Seminyak Bali has been owned by the Djohan’s family since the opening in 1996. Irma Djohan, The youngest daughter of Robby and Nanan Djohan, has a career in banking and at the same time was mentored by her father to eventually become a partner at LHM. Ralf Ohletz von Plattenberg was working for Adrain Zecha at Aman and GHM for over 30 years and was part of the team who setup The Legian. As for myself, I was working with GHM, who managed The Legian, for 15 years. Therefore, Irma, Ralf and myself knew each other. When the late Robby Djohan decided to start his own management company, he brought the 3 of us together help him form LHM, based on our diversified backgrounds.

Image credit: Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: The team clearly has a lot of experience in luxury. What key elements have you taken from Como, Peninsula and Aman to make LHM truly luxurious?
HJM: The LHM team have utilised their experience to create LHM’s own bespoke luxury key elements. LHM balances authentic unsurpassed service within captivating environments of exquisite craftsmanship reflecting the sophisticated lifestyle and intellectual curiosity of our guests. Every LHM property reflects its location, culture and people and does not wish to be a ‘cookie cutter’ brand. The one main key element I have taken from all my experience is that the people are key to creating a truly memorable and luxurious experience.

HK: How important is location when expanding a luxury hotel portfolio?
HJM: Location is important not just for each individual property but expansion should be based on a strategic plan. Some destinations may complement each other which can be of great advantage to boost occupancy. LHM’s 5 year business plan focussed on Indonesia and South East Asia which allows us to streamline efforts and keep operations efficient.

Avani Hotels & Resorts unveils sharp interiors in upscale resort in Koh Samui

Hamish Kilburn

The new upscale hotel in Thailand’s Koh Samui opens as Avani Hotels and Resorts’ 24th property, with a further 15 currently in the pipeline… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts is expanding its portfolio in Thailand with the launch of AVANI+ Samui, an upscale resort situated by Taling Ngam Bay on Koh Samui.

The new seaside hideaway features 25 guestrooms, 27 private pool villas and six beachfront pool villas, which are all situated steps away from an untouched, secluded bay. Each room and suite has been designed to be spacious, with nature-inspired yet vibrant interiors complete with ample natural lighting that floods each room.

Sunset view over the bay

“We are excited to confirm the Avani+ Samui opening, the second addition to our Avani+ portfolio, providing guests with our signature Avani+ experience for their beach getaway,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels, owning company of AVANI Hotels & Resorts. “An exclusive upscale resort offering all the Avani+ extras at one of the hottest island destinations in Thailand, Avani+ Samui also embraces an eco-friendly culture to help Samui maintain its natural beauty for future generations such as no plastic straws, bio-degradable materials and locally sourced ingredients.”

Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island, has long been a major island destination for local and international travellers. With its untouched beaches and easy access to the rest of the island, Taling Ngam Bay, on the southwest coast, is ideally situated to capture a wide consumer demographic.

Avani currently operates 24 hotels and resorts in 15 countries worldwide. The opening of Avani + Samui follows the brand recently debuting properties in Australia, New Zealand, and Laos – and Avani currently has a further 15 new hotels in the pipeline, including a recent signings in Dubai, Bangkok, and Busan.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour prepares for Asia Week

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As Hotel Designs continues to focus the Spotlight On Art and Photography, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour launches exhibition from November 5 – 9, celebrating the influence, culture and creativity of Asia…

East meets west as Asia Week arrives at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The exhibition, in association with Asian Art in London, is a multi-dimensional exhibition that will run from 5 until 9 November 2018. Attracting top designers, architects, international collectors, art-lovers and style-seekers, it will celebrate the influence of Asian art, culture and creativity from across the region.

Featuring seven galleries showcasing the work of artists from China, Korea, Japan, The Philippines and Nepal, Asia Week at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour will explore the enduring appeal of the Asian aesthetic and why it resonates today. Artistic interpretations of the history, philosophy and culture of individual countries will offer a unique perspective to the work on show.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s famous architecture will provide a dazzling space for an impressive rollcall of emerging and established names. Work by Japanese artists will be represented by Kamal Bakhshi. These include those by the grande dame of Japanese printmaking Toko Shinoda; painter, printmaker and multi-media artist Daniel Kelly (his work can be found in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum) and renowned printmakers Morimura Rei and Yoshitoshi Mori who specialized in ‘kappazuri’ stencil prints.

ArtChina, which represents Chinese printmakers and contemporary artists, will show a selection of artworks, prints and ceramics that combine traditional techniques with a modern aesthetic. They include woodblock prints by Wang Chao, screenprints by emerging artist, actor and producer Kelly Mi and lithographic prints by Wei Jia, a representative of artists born in the 1970s. From Korea will be ceramic pieces from The Han Collection including those by pottery painter Oh Man-Chu.

The selling exhibition will include work by South East Asian artists, represented by Singapore Art Garret Gallery (SAGG), such as those by Singaporean watercolourists Ng Woon Lam and Don Low, renowned glass sculptor Ramon Orlina from The Philippines and Indonesian painters Indra Dodi and Hari Gita. The October Gallery will showcase contemporary work by Nepalese artist Govinda Sah, Chinese artist Tian Wei and celebrated Japanese artist Kenji Yoshida. Genrokuart will explore female beauty and the history of pre-modern Japan.

Previously unseen in the UK, visitors can also view the Hugentobler Collection of Modern Vietnamese Art, featuring paintings and drawings by two Vietnamese modernist masters, Bùi Xuân Phái and Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm. It belongs to a private collector who discovered Hanoi’s hidden art scene when he travelled to Vietnam in the early 1990s as the country was opening up. The work is not for sale but has come from its current home in Switzerland, especially for the exhibition.

The inclusion of the NIO EP9 supercar will quicken the pulse of design lovers and automotive collectors alike. The fastest electric car in the world, carbon fibre is coupled with advanced technology in the design of this high-performance vehicle from China-founded EV company NIO. With its futuristic aesthetic, the EP9 has the looks to match its performance.

Generating a deeper understanding of design from both cultures is at the heart of the events programme, bringing a connection in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. From talks, workshops ad masterclasses and discovery tours, they will explore the crossover between East and West.

 

WATG unveils five-star Ayana Komodo Resort in Asia

Hamish Kilburn
Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel resort is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea…

Design firm WATG has opened the doors to its brand-new contemporary hotel in Indonesia, The Ayana Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach, marking the third Ayana property across Asia. Located in Labuan Bajo, on Flores Island, the hotel is the latest five-star offering in the Indonesian Archipelago, boasting 192 rooms and 13 suites.

Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea. “The site’s amazing location on the edge of the sea forms a destination and gateway to the Sunda Islands archipelago,” said Bill Reed, Vice President of architecture at WATG. “This is the first world-class destination in the area and it will serve as a benchmark for future development. We designed the Ayana Komodo Resort to reflect the relaxed aesthetic of the Komodo Islands, with a feeling of spontaneity and subtle sophistication.”

The area’s cultural and ecological landscape has shaped WATG’s design for the resort; named after the Komodo dragon the resort’s guest wing has a curving shape and rough textured roof that emulates the form of the reptile.

 

Meanwhile, the architecture also draws inspiration from the Manggarai Mountain range, and a collection of local materials and traditional Batik patterns to create an informed identity for the hotel.

On site, guests can also take advantage of the two large pools, six restaurants and bars, and a 420 square-meter spa.

Luxury brand Anantara prepares to open all-villa hotel in Vietnam

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The luxurious Anantara Quy Nhon comprises of 26 one- and two-bedroom villas…

Luxury hotel brand Anantara, with more than 35 properties around the world, has announced that it will open an all-villa resort that is said to redefine luxury in the area this November.

Located in a secluded bay in south central Vietnam, known for its impossibly wide beaches and emerald waters, Anantara Quy Nhon comprises 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas ensconced amidst 7.2 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens. The resort is designed to seamlessly blend into the natural environment: locally-sourced materials, traditional craftsmanship and regional influences are discretely incorporated into its contemporary design. The spacious villas boast sleek timber and granite sundecks, oversized bathtubs, private lap pools and extended low overhanging roofs, giving them a fresh, contemporary feel. Vietnamese blue stone keeps the look of the common areas vernacular while granite and marble elements introduce a touch of modernity.

A destination in its own right, the dining outlets at Anantara Quy Nhon celebrates the abundant local seafood and regional flavours with a variety of dining restaruants, all of which boast striking views over the bay.

Perched high on the hillside overlooking a serene bay, Anantara Spa is a wellbeing paradise hidden amongst the lush tropical foliage. Nature-inspired treatment suites boast double massage beds and oversized bathtubs for nourishing coconut milk soaks, while breezy cliffside pavilions bring the art of relaxation to new heights.

The soft opening of the resort is scheduled for late November 2018 and fully opened by January 2019.

 

Large modern guestroom

W Hotels debuts in Malaysia

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The hotel brand has brought its vibrant style to Malaysia with the opening of the 150-key W Kuala Lumper… 

In the shadow of the iconic buildings, the Petronas Towers, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, Inc., has announced the opening of W Kuala Lumpur, marking the iconic brand’s first-ever hotel in Malaysia. Owned by Tropicana Corporation Berhad, W Kuala Lumpur opens its doors in the heart of the capital, steps from the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. Through bold, innovative design, W Kuala Lumpur immerses guests in the city’s wildly lush greenery, globally renowned cuisine, centuries-old history and growing appetite for playful luxury.

Known locally as the Southeast Asian jungle city, the new modern luxury hotel is nestled between the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Kuala Lumpur itself boasts a sunny tropical climate, flourishing jungle, soaring buildings and traditional Malaysian architecture – a meeting of old and new, nature and humankind, on every street. Even within the city centre, nature is juxtaposed against architecture with towering skyscrapers emerging from the canopy of green. Beyond the city’s juxtapositions, Kuala Lumpur is home to a multicultural mix of world-class cuisine and creativity, the perfect spot for the brand’s debut in Malaysia.

“W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle.”

“Kuala Lumpur is one of the most modern cities in Asia. Skyrocketing from its humble heritage as a mining town to a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers, it’s clear that, like W, the city has a passion for embracing what’s new and next in the world – a natural fit for the W Hotels brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We are blown away by how the city is moving towards the future while still maintaining its traditional and cultural roots. It’s a precise balancing act that we have brought to the intricate, vibrant design of W Kuala Lumpur to show guests from across the globe all the magic this city has to offer.”

Exterior render of the hotel

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle and combines an inexhaustible mix of old and new colours, aromas and sounds that blend effortlessly together in a cultural festival for the senses. A distinct design feature at W Kuala Lumpur is the pixel – or dot. It is cleverly integrated throughout the hotel and is used to create a bigger picture inspired by a broader multicultural Malaysia made up of many ethnicities. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by larger-than-life traditional batik motifs, a nod to ancient artwork of the region, blended with sleek metal accents. The city’s abundant plant life is pulled into the space via bamboo-inspired chandeliers set against an ever-changing wall of lights, a representation of the new technology that is enhancing the cityscape. At the Welcome area, guests check in among modern nods to the jungle. Streaming LED lights hang from above, playfully mimicking waterfalls, spotlights alternate along the floor like a flowing river while the ceiling patterns depict an artistic interpretation of Kuala Lumpur’s topography, and chandeliers show off the shapes of spinning Malay toys known throughout the country.

Extending from the Living Room, the hotel’s grand staircase plays with light and space in a towering geometric cascade of steel-mirrored panels. Reflecting the vibrant colours and native designs found throughout the room and floors above, the staircase shifts each guests’ view of both colour and spacial dynamics as they move through the creatively extroverted mirroring.

W Kuala Lumpur features 150 stylish guest rooms and suites, including two WOW suites and the lavish Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite). With a living space of over 520 square metres, the Extreme WOW Suite brings a new level of eclectic luxury to the city. All W Kuala Lumpur rooms and suites embody both the traditional and modern elements of the Jungle City, teaming W essentials like signature W beds with traditional accents like indigenous “Wau” tassels commonly featured on Malaysian kites and pixelated versions of batik designs.

Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

 

Waldolf Astoria Bangkok prepares for ‘Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings this year’

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The anticipated opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, designed by the award-winning André Fu is said to evolve the hotel landscape in Southeast Asia…

The end of August will see the opening of what is said to be Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings of 2018. The grand Waldorf Astoria in Bangkok, meticulously designed by, André Fu, from AFSO who was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia in 2016, captures the brand’s iconic image in the vibrant Thai capital.

All areas of thew hotel will open to reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of Fu and his design studio

In tribute to the owners of the property, Magnolia Finest Corporation Limited, the building, which is perched near the city’s Royal Bangkok Sports Club and Ratchaprasong Intersection, has been designed to give the effect of springing from the ground like a Magnolia flower. Towering above the city, the dazzling sculptural appearance of the property cuts a dramatic profile in the skyline of Bangkok, in the heart of the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection.

Large, spacious and modern guestroom

Image credit: Waldrof Astoria Bangkok

The hotel will boast 171 spacious guestrooms and suites, which start at 50 square metres, offer more space than the average hotel room size and are designed to as ‘home-from homes’. All areas of thew hotel will open to reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of Fu and his design studio. Globally recognised for high-profile luxury fashion and retail projects, such as his recent work with luxury brand Louis Vuitton, the studio has been involved in curating an holistic hotel experience that brings together the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition.

The hotel, which stands as a milestone for the Hilton brand as it will be Southeast Asia’s first Waldorf Astoria, is expected to become the new skyline gem of Bangkok, and promises to live up to high expectations of locals and diserning travellers.

 

 

Opposites attract at Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay

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Nestled behind vibrant streets, where thousands of Gap-Year backpackers find shelter in cheap hostels, rises a luxury hotel with personality, style and unmatched ocean views. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to the Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay to see for himself how opposites in South East Asia can attract after all…

Perched on a hilltop facing south, with Phuket’s Patong Beach to the left, Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay’s location was certainly not compromised when local architect Rachapuk Sungkhaphunt from Greenity Co. Ltd designed the foundations of what was said to be ‘a new kind of luxury’ away from the wild, bustling and polluted streets behind Patong Beach.

Exterior of the hotel

Image caption: Exterior of the hotel

Opened in December 2016, the hotel offers 214 elegantly appointed guestrooms and private villas as well as large public areas throughout. The hotel’s structure was thoughtfully designed using the natural landscape as a tool to stagger the individual blocks so that from all corners of the hotel, guests can marvel over the sweeping ocean vistas that extend over the Andaman Sea.

Guestroom image with stunning ocean views

Image caption: The hotel has been designed to capture striking views of the A Sea

Approachable by design, simplicity, minimalism and copious amount of space, interior designer Voravee Puranasamriddhi from Bangkok-based firm 1328 Pt Ltd led the interiors throughout the hotel. Vast emptiness and unused space captured my first impressions of the public areas. That’s because at first there is little to see, as the finest areas are rightfully to be enjoyed by guests only, and clearly detached from the loud streets across the bay.

Tall floor-to-ceiling glass doors open into a refined, elegant space

Designed to reflect more of a terminal than a lobby, the first building guests walk into when checking in on the ground floor is bare and offers just enough facilities for a member of staff to tick you off the list and direct you on. It shelters a constant flow of traffic and once guests have been filtered through this system they are picked up by a car and driven to the main lobby, which is situated three floors above the first terminal.

Unlike the main entrance, the lobby is striking with a strong, solid check-in desk sat in the middle of a modern, light and airy room. Tall floor-to-ceiling glass doors open into a refined and elegant space, while intricate wallcoverings, designed to replicate corral, burst with personality. The furniture is simple yet comfortable with under-seat lighting reflecting off the ceramic flooring.

Image caption: Lobby area

All guestrooms and suites are Asian-inspired with a modern touch. Wooden floors, warm colours and floor-to-ceiling windows create a blissful sanctuary allowing guests to unwind and take in the jaw-dropping views.

A control panel next to the large bed allows guests to personalise the ambiance to suit every mood

Offering by far, though, the most luxurious experience is the Luxury Private Pool Villa Panoramic Ocean View, which sit in the middle of the complex. Designed to blend Asian decor with Western, modern, spacious living – complete with a private infinity pool and decking – the abode allows you to enjoy the panoramic vistas of the bay from a premium perspective – whether that be on the balcony or on the edge of your own infinity pool, accessible from the decking, the living room and the large bathroom.

Image caption:  Luxury Private Pool Villa Panoramic Ocean View

Each of the resort’s 152 pool villas, the most in the Kalim-Patong area, feature a private outdoor sundeck and a six- or nine-metre infinity pools overlooking the ocean, providing guests checking in with privacy and seclusion as well as ultimate comfort and relaxation.

The lighting in the room is tasteful and well-designed. A control panel next to the large bed allows guests to personalise the ambiance to suit every mood. In addition to spotlight lighting, two pendants hang from the ceiling either side of the large bed. This, I believe, adds another dimension to the minimalist setup.

The bathrooms are large and again offer unmatched views through floor-to-ceiling windows that open completely so that the panoramic view is never sacrificed. A large twin tub sits above the infinity pool. Next to it is the walk-in rainfall shower. Above the large twin sink is an oversized mirror that reflects a spacious home-away-from-home feel.

Outside seating area at L'atitude 98 restaurant

Image caption: Outside seating area at L’atitude 98 restaurant

Dining at Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay has been designed to capture a multisensorial experience with two restaurants serving authentic Thai cuisine and international favourites amidst breathtaking sea views.

What I respect most about this hotel is that it may be a stones throw away from provocative streets of Patong Beach, but it is worlds away from the ‘in your face’ attitude that’s evident across the bay.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts now has more than 9,000 properties worldwide. Recently, Hotel Designs sat down with the new Managing Director (EMEA) to discover what the next chapter for the hotel group looks like.

 

King terrace suite

Malaysia’s First DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Opens in Penang

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DoubleTree by Hilton has opened its first resort-style property in Malaysia: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang, and also marks the 50th DoubleTree by Hilton property in the Asia Pacific region.

Located in the vibrant beach area on Penang’s north coast, overlooking the Indian Ocean, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang is a family-friendly resort with exceptional facilities for all ages.

Overlooking Malaysia’s Miami Beach, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang features a distinctive design concept that blends contemporary style with classical Peranakan motifs. The 316 rooms and suites are all equipped with walk-in rain showers, 40-inch LED TVs and Wi-Fi. Families can opt for two inter-connected rooms, linked by a hallway door to create a private sanctuary, complete with double and twin bedrooms and separate bathrooms.

Large lobby area

“Blessed with a rich history, diverse culture and tropical scenery, Penang is a truly enchanting destination. As the first DoubleTree resort in Malaysia, we are delighted to bring the brand’s warmth and genuine hospitality to the country, as epitomized by the welcome cookie we offer to all our guests,” commented Jamie Mead, Regional General Manager, Hilton Malaysia.

Linda Giebing, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang’s General Manager, added: “We have experienced strong demand since the hotel started operating in January, with high occupancy and interest from the events sector. I am confident that all guests will be captivated by our comprehensive range of facilities and renowned standards of hospitality.”

The upscale resort also features a state-of-the-art conference area, including three flexible meeting rooms for events of between 12 and 120 delegates.

The new resort is also part of Hilton Honors, an award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct brands.

Andaz Singapore

Miniview: Andaz Singapore – Andre Fu’s design

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Conceived as a contemporary lifestyle destination that embraces the energy of Singapore’s urban spirit, architect Andre Fu and his design studio AFSO seek to capture the city’s eclectic shop-house experience of dining at Andaz Singapore.

Working within the framework of the modernist Duo development by German architect Ole Scheeren, Fu has fashioned a multi layered journey that conveys relaxed luxury yet captures the vibrant atmosphere of local areas such as Kampong Glam and Bras Basah Bugis.

As guests explore the hotel, they will experience a strong sense of discovery – an experience that is quintessential to Singapore itself.

THE ARRIVAL & PANDAN
The Andaz journey begins with a dramatic 8m high lobby where guests encounter an abstract interpretation of the traditional Singaporean shop-house façades which is a recurring theme throughout the hotel. The arrival experience also introduces the concept of a Pandan where guests are enticed by a spectrum of Pandan chiffon cakes and a selection of sweet and savoury soft buns to enjoy.

Andaz SingaporeALLEY ON 25
Conceived as the hub of the hotel, Alley on 25 brings the spirit of the local neighbourhood into a matrix of seven distinct shop-house experiences. Sunroom is an airy timber pavilion with an intricate checkered grid ceiling that has drawn inspirations from the works of modernist architect Schindler. Hanging ferns and greeneries are suspended from the ceiling to entice the guests with a sense of urban retreat. Icehaus , which is crafted in monolithic white Carrera marble has an open kitchen and views to a terrace of frangipani and guests can view live cooking preparations.

Aunties Wok & Steam is an eatery dedicated to the art of steam and wok cooking and has been designed to evoke a lively market dining experience. Decked with tilted metallic windows and timber furniture upholstered in olive green and lemon yellow, this intimately-proportioned dining room offers panoramic views of the city and exemplifies a genuine street-dining spirit. Other shop-houses guest can visit are Bar Square, Smoke & Pepper, Plancha’Lah! and The Green Oven.

Andaz SingaporeTHE GUEST ROOM EXPERIENCE
In-keeping with the alley concept, the experience of the guestroom also embraces the neighborhood spirit. Conceived as a contemporary bungalow, Fu has introduced whimsical moments throughout the room – from the entrance doorbell that is housed in a bespoke post-box, the shop-house doors in bold mango yellow to the floor-to-ceiling ivory paneling. The room experience is also punctuated with ethnic touches in aubergine and mustard yellow to celebrate Singapore as a city.

Andaz SingaporeMR STORK
Nestled high above the hotel is Mr Stork – the destination rooftop bar set within a lush tropical landscape and cobbled paving. At the heart of Mr Stork is a free-standing bronze pavilion, designed as an installation with radial tilted fins reminiscent of a classic wind-mill. The journey is also layered with a series of private tents where guests are invited to escape into a rural dreamscape. The exposed aggregate and tropical landscape reinforce the idea of an urban yet rustic al-fresco experience.

singapore.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home

Shangri-La Jinan

Shangri-La Hotel, Jinan – opening in the heart of ‘Spring City’

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Shangri La Hotels and Resorts announced Shangri-La Hotel, Jinan, its third hotel in Shangdong Province, will soft open on 13 December; considered to be one of the origins of Chinese civilization, Shandong has emerged as one of the biggest industrial producers and among the top manufacturing provinces in China since its storied history began over 5,000 years ago.

Located within Jinan”s central business district, the 20-storey Shangri-La Hotel, Jinan is part of a multi-use complex opening in Q1 of 2018 that will feature an office tower and shopping mall offering guests refreshing and redefined experiences for work and life. Beyond the hotel, guests can explore Jinan”s natural beauty which has earned the city the reputation of a “Spring City”. With no less than 72 artesian springs, the Baotu Spring is revered as the “Number One Spring under the Heaven” and a short walk from Shangri-La Hotel, Jinan.

Other popular attractions nearby include the Five-Dragon Pond, Black Tiger Spring, Daming Lake and shopping at Kuan Hou Li. The Jinan Station and Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport is 20 minutes and 40 minutes away by car respectively.

Known for creating a sense of place, Shangri-La drew design inspiration for the hotel from the Baotou Spring Park to illustrate the times when Jinan city developed around the lake and surrounding gardens, infusing public spaces with a blend of traditional elements and modern Chinese architecture.

A total of 364 rooms and 32 serviced apartments overlook Jinan”s landmark Quancheng Square or the Daming Lake. All guestrooms are adorned with impressions of the lotus flower – the symbolic flower of Jinan – and equipped with an air purification system, complimentary Wi-Fi, a pillow menu, and a deluxe bathroom with luxury amenities. Each apartment is fully furnished with a kitchen.

Jumeirah to launch new lifestyle brand in 2018

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The new year hasn’t yet arrived, but it’s already stacking up to be a consequential one for the hospitality industry, with a number of large hotel companies dedicating resources to the launch of new lifestyle brands and other initiatives.

One such example of this is Jumeirah Group, which is launching a new brand that it hopes can stand out to consumers as a lifestyle option that appeals to the “millennial minded,” the companies interim CEO Marc Dardenne has said. This new brand is slated to launch in early 2018, and when it does it will have smaller rooms but locations in key desirable areas, while also retaining a strong focus on food and beverage services. Dardenne has also said that the new brand, which has not yet been named or fully revealed, currently has three to five new projects that have already signed on to be a part of it.

Jumeirah Hotels has been around for two decades, and this recent decision to launch what will become just its second brand was inspired in part by a desire to access markets where the company already has existing properties that are under the Jumeirah name. This is far and away one of the most common motivations that large hotel companies have cited for launching additional brands, with recent examples of companies that have done this including Trump Hotels and its new Scion brand, Langham with its Langham Place brand, and Capella Hotels with Solis.

Although the lifestyle segment is becoming somewhat crowded within the global hospitality space, Jumeirah is confident that its new creation will stand out a bit from the pack, which contains many lifestyle brands that have been in this arena for 15 to 20 years old now, making them seem a bit dated to guests. Jumeirah leadership has painted its late arrival to the lifestyle segment as a great opportunity to ensure that it is able to provide some of the most modern and up to date offerings of any hotel in the space.

No star rating or category has yet been assigned to the brand, but Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts are likely above its price range, and the new brand will not be associated with Jumeirah’s loyalty program, Sirius. Leadership does, however, hope to have a little bit of association between it and the Jumeirah brand so that savvy travelers will draw a connection between the two.

www.jumeirah.com

Minor Hotels announces AVANI to debut in Oman

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Minor Hotels has signed a management agreement with Safari International Group for a new AVANI hotel to be developed in Muscat, the Omani capital.

Scheduled to open in 2020, the 250-room AVANI Musc at Hotel will be located in Seeb to the west of the city, 15 minutes’ drive from Muscat International Airport. Seeb is a prime residential area in Muscat and a key area for future development as the city grows westwards. The AVANI hotel will be connected via a sky bridge to the upcoming Al Araimi Boulevard Mall, which is currently being developed and is scheduled to open in 2018 with over 250 retail and dining outlets, a medical centre and a 10-screen cinema complex.

With a total development cost of $50 million (£37 million) by Safari International Group, the new-build hotel will open in two phases. The first phase will comprise 160 guest rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, an AVANI Pantry and a rooftop lounge. Additional facilities will include a swimming pool and health club and a 1,000 square metre ballroom and eight meeting rooms. The second phase, which will commence two years after the main hotel opens, will offer a total of 90 serviced apartments including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus two 175 square metre three-bedroom apartments.

AVANI Muscat OmanLaunched in 2011, AVANI Hotels & Resorts currently operates 21 properties in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, with the brand most recently debuting in both Australia and New Zealand. AVANI is a true lifestyle brand, imaginatively blending genuine hospitality and technology with savvy design and contemporary style. The AVANI experience is designed to satisfy important guest needs.

The future launch of the brand in Oman represents a key strategic addition to Minor Hotels’ portfolio in the country, following the launch of the group’s luxury Anantara brand in Oman in late 2016 with two new openings – Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort located on the Saiq Plateau in the north of the country and Al Baleed Salalah Resort by Anantara in the Dhofar region in the south.

Minor Hotels currently operates 13 properties in the Middle East across four of its brands – Anantara, AVANI, Tivoli and Oaks – and has a further strong pipeline in the region across these four brands. In 2018 AVANI will launch in North Africa with the opening of AVANI Les Berges du Lac Tunis Suites in the Tunisian capital, with further pipeline properties announced in 2017 including both Mauritius and the Maldives.

Andre Fu - Andaz Singapore

Q&A: Andaz Singapore designer Andre Fu

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Andre Fu gives a glimpse into the design process for the Andaz Singapore…

Q. What would you point out specifically as some of your personal design highlights of the hotel?
A. My favourite aspect of the hotel is perhaps in our vision to create a Singapore-style alleyway experience. The intricate play of intimate proportions within the alleys evoke a sense of discovery and each shophouse is given its own personality and character. I personally believe this is an experience that is unique to Andaz Singapore.

In terms of particular spaces, I am very fond of Sunroom – conceived as modernist expression of the Peranakan house, it is an airy timber-lined lounge decked with lush hanging ferns. I am also drawn to the whimsical nature of 665 for its intimacy and the way it evokes the spirit of a bespoke tailors shop. The use of tropical plants within the hotel experience and how the way the curation of plants expresses a strong feeling of outdoor throughout is also a favourite aspect for me.

Andaz SingaporeQ. How would you say, in terms of design, Andaz Singapore is a combination of what Andaz and Singapore are both known for?
A. Andaz hotels draw direct inspiration from a location’s history, culture and architecture, and by distilling the best of its locale, allow guests to truly engage with a destination and experience it authentically, rather than merely visit.The expression of culture goes beyond the superficial adaptation of local elements or decorative motifs, but to engage in an experience that captures the spirit of the city.

Andaz Singapore
Q. How has it been working with such an iconic building by Ole Scheeren? What are the most challenging bits and how did you and your team work around those challenges?

A. The distinct architecture of the DUO building has posed many challenges to the designs of the project, in particular the relationship between the imposing internal structures against the curved façade of the building. Working with the unconventional shape of the building and the constraints of a thin footprint surrounding the building’s core have prompted us to bring down the scale of the experience, enhance the notion of intimacy and making each shop-house or venue unique in its design language. The resulting effect is a hotel that fully expresses the sense of journey, a journey that is accented with colours, textures, and expressive artworks. I believe the vision to bring the scale and create more personable spaces is a good example of hospitality going forward.

Q. What was your main design inspiration for Andaz Singapore?
A. I drew inspiration from the hotel’s dynamic location and the neighbourhood’s eclectic passageways and shop-house experiences. Our goal has been to re-interpret these qualities to create a Singapore-style alleyway experience. The intention is not to replicate the experience, but finding a means to capture the spirit of it with an emphasis on modernity. The intricate play of intimate proportions within the alleys evoke a sense of discovery and each shop-house is given its own personality and character. I personally believe this is an experience that is unique to Singapore.

Andaz SingaporeIn keeping with the alley concept, the experience of the guestroom embraces the neighborhood spirit. Conceived as a contemporary bungalow, I’ve introduced whimsical moments throughout the room – from the entrance doorbell that is housed in a bespoke post-box, the slender shop-house doors in bold mango yellow to the floor-to-ceiling ivory paneling. The room experience is also punctuated with ethnic touches in aubergine to celebrate the unique palette of the shophouse experience.

Q. What does luxury mean to you?
A. Luxury to me, is having a moment of stillness and not have so much on my mind. It’s a nice feeling having time to be really focused on a particular subject with the absence of distraction.

afso.net

La Boucherie Starlight VIP Booth - LA IHG

Introducing three new luxury hotels from IHG

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies is proud to announce the opening of three new hotels – in Los Angeles, Perth Australia and Singapore.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
The recently opened InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown elevates the Los Angeles skyline at 1,100 feet and 73 storeys, making it the tallest building on the West Coast of the US. The hotel occupies floors 31 to 73 of the Wilshire Grand Centre and has 889 elegant guestrooms. The property also boasts a Club InterContinental Lounge, a swimming pool and five dining outlets including Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere on the 73rd floor with unparalleled 360-degree views of LA’s cityscape and skyline with fire pits, fountains and innovative cocktails.

InterContinental Perth City Centre
Located amongst the charming theatres, cafés and luxe boutiques of ‘The King Street Precinct’, the new InterContinental Perth City Centre is the sixth InterContinental hotel in Australia. The hotel’s 240 rooms, studios and penthouse all have a residential feel and views over Perth’s cityscape. The property also features specially commissioned sculptures, paintings, bespoke ceramics and glass works by renowned artists from Western Australia. The hotel’s stylish line up of restaurants and bars focuses on regional food producers, growers, brewers and wine-makers.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
Set amidst a vibrant neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its wide array of restaurants and art galleries, the residential-inspired InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features a 24-hour Club InterContinental Lounge, four dining options including a 389-seat Italian restaurant & bar, Publico, five meeting and event spaces, a swimming pool and a 24-hour fitness studio.

www.ihg.com/intercontinental

Rosewood Phuket

Rosewood Phuket – immersive design by Bar Studio

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Within a jungle forest on the shoreline of the Andaman Sea, Rosewood Phuket captures the essence of the island’s spirit, culture and environment, with a design inspired by the concept of a luxurious beach residence.

Renowned Melbourne-based design firm BAR Studio seamlessly blended contemporary aesthetics with the tropical surrounds to celebrate a connection between landscape, light and views. Rosewood Phuket is village-like in its layout – a series of pavilions and paths linking hilltop to beach, whose design acknowledges its international context, yet is profoundly influenced by its geographical and cultural location: raw and refined, sophisticated yet relaxed.

“Landscape is really the star of Rosewood Phuket and the resort design was focused on facilitating the guest’s immersion into it,” says Andrew Turner, managing director of Rosewood Phuket. “The fundamental experience is that of being at one with this incredible environment of tropical jungle, hilltop views and stunning coastline.”

Rosewood PhuketA balance of architectural elements, sophisticated interiors, diverse landscapes, captivating details, and a dramatic revealing of interior and exterior spaces gives Rosewood Phuket its distinctive personality. The resort continuously unfolds and engages guests with a myriad of hidden surprises, details and intimate moments. Framing is a fundamental design component here, showcasing elements that are uniquely of the place — whether that is a view, an artifact, a piece of art or a landscape.

From approach by discreet cobblestone driveway, through monumental entry gates marking arrival, to a welcome pavilion that opens up to spectacular views of the Andaman Sea, there is an immediate unfurling of Rosewood’s A Sense of Place® philosophy. BAR Studio collaborated with Bangkok landscape architects PLA to curate a journey spanning multiple eco-systems, from untamed nature to gardens and ocean shore, with meandering walkways through tropical foliage connecting all facets of the resort hamlet.

Local teak, both sustainably sourced and recycled, is used extensively in structural elements, walls, floors and ornamentation, so a uniquely Thai material is woven through the fabric of the resort, enhanced by warm sandstone wall and floor finishes. All 71 pool pavilions and villas are designed to evoke the personality of a residential beach home – the Thai equivalent of a Hamptons summer retreat. Each features a private entry experience – be it bridge or gate and courtyard – that creates a connection between internal and external environments. Through plentiful floor-to-ceiling windows, each interior space blends seamlessly with the tropical surrounds, including outlooks onto private swimming pool, gardens, courtyard and ocean.

Rather than adopting obvious Thai decorative elements in the rooms, motifs, materials and art tell a story that is at once local and subtly international. The artwork and accessories are reminiscent of an international traveler’s collection, with a uniquely Thai attitude, that has been accumulated over time with a distinctive eye and sophisticated mingling of influences.

Rosewood PhuketMai poolside bar and The Shack rustic seafood eatery both feature recycled and raw materials, mixed with accents of color and detail that create a laid-back daytime atmosphere. Mai, a stand-alone pavilion, is screened by curtains of wood beads, while timber pallets with pulleys and exposed counter-weights form screen walls in The Shack. By day these two venues operate as separate, intimate environments. By night they transform and merge with the pool terrace to create one vibrant, expansive venue with sophisticated edginess.

Ta Khai, the stand-alone Thai seafood restaurant, feels as if it has existed within a rustic fisherman’s village for generations – an impression accentuated by the layout’s deference to the sacred ficus and Banyan trees situated along the shoreline. However, in contrast to the cultural mix of Red Sauce, and the day-night transformative nature of Mai and The Shack, Ta Khai is layered. At its core are rustic open pavilions formed from carved timber posts and recycled corrugated iron. These raw structures appear to then have been updated with red fabric-sail roofs, insertions of steel and glass, and contemporary furniture and lighting. The effect is that of a series of spaces that have naturally evolved over time.

At Asaya, the inaugural integrated wellness concept from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts®, the natural environment is the dominant element. Like the resort itself, with its series of pavilions Asaya is like a village blending into the landscape. Each Asaya component has its own sense of connection to the natural world with layers of privacy depending on the function of the space: the relaxation areas are screened outdoor enclosures, the walled Wellness Atelier overlooks charming herb gardens and treatment rooms are completely internalized with their own private courtyards.

Preservation of the landscape and a focus on sustainability have been critical environmental and aesthetic considerations for the design team throughout the conception and construction of Rosewood Phuket. Passive environmental controls include large roof overhangs, green garden rooftops, shading and reflective colors, as well as the use of recycled and reclaimed materials in many parts of the resort. Photovoltaic cells hidden on rooftops create the largest solar panel system of any Phuket hotel.

The multimedia art collection at Rosewood Phuket reflects the diverse cultural influences on the island and weaves quintessential Siam sensibilities into the design. Sculpturally, the majestic elephant at the hotel entrance, a water buffalo constructed from car parts in Ta Khai’s kitchen garden, the over-sized elephant bells strategically dotted around the resort, an enormous stainless steel compass inlaid into the beach lawn, and a fluid, bronze carp installation fittingly positioned by the swimming pool, become key sculptural moments in the guest journey, creating an accumulative experience of the island through artistic statements.

“Guests will be impressed by the grandeur and scale of the resort but also feel a very personal connection to it through the sense of romance, sense of place and sense of the unexpected that intermingle in the design,” says Stewart Robertson, director of BAR Studio. “Rosewood Phuket redefines all the expected elements of a luxury resort to create something that feels absolutely right in this unique setting.”

www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/phuket

COSI Hotel Samui

Centara’s first COSI Hotel opens in Samui

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The new COSI Hotel on Samui island is now officially open and welcoming independent, tech-savvy travellers. It is as different from a traditional hotel as a new smartphone is from the mobile phones of the 90s.

Centara completely re-thought what a hotel should be for the new generation of connected, freedom loving, pricey-frill-hating travellers. The result is an innovative and affordable lifestyle hub set in the middle of the shopping, eating, social and entertainment scene on Chaweng Beach. If it feels a little more like staying at the stylish home of a friend, and that’s the whole idea.

“COSI represents a lot of new thinking about what a modern hotel can be, based on what’s important and what’s not so relevant for today’s, youthful-minded, smart travellers,” explains Harry Thaliwal, Centara’s General Manager and Corporate Director of Operations for COSI. “You can create a very fresh and unique place if you’re willing to throw out the usual conventions,” he adds.

For starters, there’s no lobby counter or check-in queues. You can check yourself in and out at the digital self-service stations. COSI is designed to play well with the smartphones in the pockets of today’s travellers. You can book with your smartphone, check in with your smartphone, and play videos or catch-up with your latest boxset on your room’s 43-inch SmartTV screen, which can mirror your phone screen. Fast and free WiFi is everywhere.

COSI Hotel SamuiThe hotel’s Hub is a 24/7 social and media playspace where guests can watch the game, grab a sip or a bite, and connect with friends. You get free daily credits to use for food and drink any time you want at the integrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Café. COSI’s 150 rooms are clean and streamlined. In addition to the hi-tech TV, they feature mega comfy king or twin beds, powerful showers, digital safes and fridges. Each room even has five USB ports so guests can recharge their devices without worrying about converters.

COSI Samui also features an 18-metre rooftop pool and all-hours laundromat. The minimalist mod look and feel of the hotel go well with the technology and service innovations. The “COSI Crew” are trained to help guests new to Samui discover its best places. Central Festival, the island’s main shopping centre, is up the street, and Samui’s airport is only 15 minutes away.

“Today’s young travellers want freedom, connections and shared experiences,” said Thirayuth Chirativat, Centara’s Chief Executive Officer. “They are interested in a simple, smart, fun lifestyle, rather than traditional or superfluous amenities. We designed COSI for them. We expect this will be the first of many.”

www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cosihotels/

Raffles Palm Jumeirah

Nakheel, AccorHotels to debut Raffles Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

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AccorHotels has signed a management agreement with leading Dubai-based master developer Nakheel for the expansion of AccorHotels’ globally-renowned luxury brand, Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

The agreement, recognised by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels at a signing ceremony at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in Cannes (France) will lead to the opening of PALM360, a spectacular two tower development on the world famous Palm Jumeirah comprising of the Raffles The Palm Dubai Hotel and Raffles Residences PALM360.

Set to open in 2021, PALM 360 will be the first beachside resort for Raffles in Dubai and the tallest structure on Palm Jumeirah. At almost 260 meters high, PALM360 will offer unobstructed views of Palm Jumeirah, the spectacular Arabian Gulf coastline and Dubai skyline. Its centrepiece will be a 155 metre long sky pool, connecting the towers 170 metres above the ground, from where guests can also enjoy these stunning, uninterrupted views from a unique vantage point.

The hotel component will offer 125 hotel rooms and suites, whilst the 359 branded residences – including 16 branded penthouses that will each have their own private infinity pool, gym and cinema – will be available for purchase.

Raffles Palm JumeirahLocated on Palm Jumeirah’s 11km crescent Boardwalk, PALM360 is close to upcoming attractions such as The Palm Promenade, The Pointe and Nakheel Mall, with Dubai’s key business and leisure hubs within easy reach. The luxury property will offer guests a distinct resort feel with direct private beach access, a specialised private beach club along with thoughtful, personal and discreet service synonymous with the Raffles brand.

PALM360 joins 16 other hotels that form part of Nakheel’s $1.3 billion (£971 million) hospitality expansion programme that is set to deliver close to 6,000 rooms and hotel apartments across Dubai. The first two hotels, at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall, opened last year, with the rest under construction or development.

Raffles The Palm Dubai and Raffles Residences PALM360 joins 11 Raffles Hotels & Resorts around the world, including Raffles Dubai. The remarkable collection of charming luxury hotels and resorts is located in many of the world’s largest cities and holiday destinations such as Paris, Istanbul and the Seychelles. Raffles properties feature distinct amenities including the Raffles Butler Service, Raffles Spa, Raffles Long Bar and Raffles Writers Bar.

www.raffles.com

Plans announced for Four Seasons Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake

Plans announced for Four Seasons Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and BRG Group, the leading private multi-sector business group in Vietnam, will open a new Four Seasons hotel in the heart of Vietnam’s capital city.

Located within the historic downtown, Four Seasons Hotel Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake will offer the latest in luxury hospitality in this important global city.

Rich with history, art and culture, Hanoi attracts visitors from across the region and internationally, and is one of Vietnam’s top leisure destinations. The new hotel will offer views of Hoan Kiem Lake and the bustling streets leading to the Old and French Quarters. The hotel will be ideally located a short walk or scooter ride from many museums and galleries, shopping, and the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

Home to a number of foreign embassies, Hanoi is a busy commercial and diplomatic centre as well as a hub for those travelling onward to nearby Halong Bay and Sapa.

Designed by international award winning firms WATG Architects and SRSS Interior Design Studio, Four Seasons Hotel Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake will draw from the French Colonial inspirations that are characteristic of Hanoi and include 95 rooms and suites as well as a spa and fitness centre, pools, and event and meeting spaces. Joining the dynamic culinary landscape in the city, Wimberly Interiors, experts in cosmopolitan design, will develop the dining and lounge offerings, including an all-day restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar.

www.fourseasons.com/hoian/

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle East

Meet the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East

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Forbes Middle East recently named its list of the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East, a group of 20 that was determined based on the status of their hotels in the region.

At the top of the list is the Swiss hospitality company, Mövenpick, which has 47 five star hotels spread throughout 10 countries in The Middle East, adding up to a total of 12,592 rooms. Mövenpick is followed by Hilton Hotels and Resorts, which has 29 hotels and 9,631 rooms spread throughout eight countries in the Middle East. In third place was Sheraton, which has a hospitality presence in 10 of the region’s countries.

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle EastForbes reports that to formulate its list, associated researchers screened more than 800 five star hotels from 190 total brands, gathering their information primarily from those hotels’ websites as well as from some of the other major travel websites within the industry. They also determined three benchmarks to use in the ranking: the number of countries that a brand is represented in, the total number of estimated hotels and rooms, and equal weights. This list, however, did not take into account the revenue numbers that were generated by each brand, and it did not calculate the average price of the rooms there. Neither of those financial concerns were factored into this study, meaning that sheer quantity of properties and their spread were the backbone of this ranking.

Of the top 20 brands that landed on Forbes’ list, there were 375 hotels and resorts that added up to a grand total of 116,454 rooms in 17 total countries, those countries being: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, and Algeria.

The three most dominant countries were no surprise, with those being Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which is home to the red hot tourism market of Dubai, one of — if not the most — popular markets in the entire world. Hotels and resorts in those three countries take up 66.4 percent of the list, adding up to 349 total properties and 71.9 percent of total rooms, with 83,711 rooms. These are numbers that are nothing to scoff at.

The other brands represented on the list include: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Blu, Le Meridien, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and Four Seasons, among others.

www.forbesmiddleeast.com

Duravit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Project Spotlight: Duravit at Louvre Abu Dhabi

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Jean Nouvel has created an architectural wonder in the desert. It includes products by Duravit, designed by Philippe Starck.

A commission that was unusual even for the French star architect and Pritzker prize winner Jean Nouvel – the creation of the first all-purpose museum in the Arab world – and the first in the twenty-first century, a building that is intended to stand as a symbol for Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was officially opened on 11 November 2017. The spectacular building on Saadiyat Island will show 300 objects on loan from thirteen leading museums in France. However, the greatest attraction is the building itself.

Duravit at Louvre Abu DhabiBetween modernity and tradition
The architecture is modern but timeless, incorporating elements from Abu Dhabi’s architectural tradition. Jean Nouvel took inspiration from an Arab medina (old town) to create a building whose domed metal roof weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower in Paris but is supported by just four columns – a technical feat that is also an aesthetic experience.

A total of fifty-five different buildings form a museum city on the island in the Gulf, covered by a huge steel roof with a diameter of 180 metres.

Passages and corridors wind their way through this cool white labyrinth, with steps up to the flat roofs of some of the building blocks to enable visitors to see the spectacular domed roof from close up. This unique design consists of almost 8,000 stars of different sizes and angles, superimposed in seven layers.

Like a roof made of overlapping palm leaves, this structure provides shade and protection from the hot desert sun. The effect is breathtaking: “It produces a poetic, almost magical rain of light,” says architect Jean Nouvel. At night the effect is reversed when the internally lit building shines like a miniature night sky.

In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: Starck 1 toilets by Philippe Starck.
Copyright: © Danica O. Kus

Nouvel, Starck and Picasso
In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: toilets by Philippe Starck, designed for Duravit. Starck was also inspired by tradition in his design of the toilet. The Starck 1 toilet recalls its historical predecessor, a bucket – interpreted in a completely new way, of course.

Jean Nouvel’s building occupies a site of almost 100,000 square metres, with 8,600 square metres of exhibition space, including 6,400 for the permanent exhibition and 2,000 for temporary exhibitions. The first exhibition will feature Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronnière”, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and works by Pablo Picasso.

Images: ©Danica O. Kus

OZO on Kata Beach, Phuket

ONYX announces new OZO hotel in Phuket’s Kata Beach

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ONYX Hospitality Group continues its portfolio expansion with the introduction of OZO Phuket in Thailand. Currently under development and scheduled to open in mid 2019, the hotel will offer 255 guest rooms and features which deliver the midscale OZO brand’s hallmarks of sleep, connectivity and exploration.

Located a short walk from the Kata beachfront on the western coast of Phuket, the hotel will offer guest rooms specifically designed for enhanced sleep, smart connectivity of personal devices in rooms and public areas, and curated destination tips by team members presented through interactive digital panels. The hotel will also feature the brand’s signature EAT all-day dining restaurant best known for energising breakfasts, the EAT2Go grab-and-go deli, TONE fitness centre and TALK meeting room. A unique highlight of OZO Phuket is its two separate pools – an activity pool designed for kids adjacent to a free-form main pool.

The brand is a smart, simple and savvy midscale hotel brand offering an enhanced sleep experience and seamless connectivity for travellers who are keen to embark on a deeper exploration of the destination. Since the opening of the first OZO in Hong Kong in 2013, the brand has generated consistently positive feedback and continues to exceed midscale accommodation expectations.

OZO is currently available in Hong Kong, Koh Samui, Colombo and Kandy, with new hotels being developed in Hoi An, Pattaya, Phuket, Johor, Penang and Xiamen.

Sherwood Suites opens as spacious new choice in Saigon

Sherwood Suites opens as spacious new choice in Saigon

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Sherwood Suites, a plush apartment-only property in a prime location near the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, aims to offer travelers luxury and flexibility as it celebrates its grand opening this month.

The new 20-storey property is positioning itself as a compelling new choice for travelers by offering five-star hotel service and amenities such as an outdoor covered pool, an international deli and restaurant and an expansive 24-hour gym with sauna and steam room alongside a range of self-contained luxury suites and apartments.

With an opulent design aesthetic that calls to mind the stately architecture in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge area, the property features a generous total of 157 apartments. Studios weigh in at 57 square meters, one bedroom units range from 61 sqm to 81 sqm while two bedroom apartments offer between 91 sqm and 118 sqm of space.

“More and more, people are looking for a home-away-from home experience when they set up for a stay overseas, whether for a night or a year,” says Janet Fitzner, General Manager of Sherwood Suites. “But you can’t quite persuade yourself that you’re having such an experience unless you’re in a spacious place.”

Sherwood Suites opens as spacious new choice in SaigonEach apartment features elegant, contemporary Italian designer furniture, luxe mattresses as well as fully-equipped kitchens, marble-clad bathrooms with rainforest showers and premium toiletries, floor-to-ceiling windows and free access to high-speed Wi-Fi.

Enticing trimmings, meanwhile, include walk-in closets, and flat screen SMART televisions as standard in both bedrooms and main living areas.

Similar attention to detail has been extended to the public areas of the property. The striking lobby, with its marble flooring, designer lighting and black and gold lines is home to a restaurant providing 65 covers. The dining component takes up the entirety of the left side of the open-plan lobby with guests able to watch as chefs craft Mediterranean and Vietnamese creations in an open kitchen.

Sherwood Suites is the latest offering from Windsor Property Management Group Corporation (WMC Group), a hospitality and property management company headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City. Its portfolio encompasses hotels and residences including some of the most prestigious addresses in the city. The new addition is virtually adjacent to Sherwood Residences, a polished 5-star property offering apartments and penthouses. Also part of the WMC family is The Reverie Saigon, an award-winning hotel acclaimed for its heightened sense of luxury.

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong completes ‘rejuvenation’

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InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong is delighted to announce the completion of its $43 million (£32.4 million) renovation project and to unveil a rejuvenating look with 572 newly refurbished guestrooms.

Possessing more than 30 years of experience and having completed almost 100 hotel projects, veteran John Chan Design Limited was appointed to create the redesign and complete the transformation of all 572 guestrooms and suites with brand new, sleek design combined with efficient technology, ensuring the most modern and user-friendly experience for guests.

When entering the newly-redesigned guest rooms, one immediately notices that the exquisite upholstery, hand-tufted carpet and curtains are carefully chosen in a warm palette of earthy tones to establish a welcoming ambience. Taking the advantage of waterfront location, over 40% of guest rooms allow guests to get an eyeful as mirror panels in-room reflect the spectacular views of Victoria Harbour alongside the ceiling-to-floor windows.

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong is delighted to announce the completion of its $43 million (£32.4 million) renovation projectThree types of suites are furnished with hardwood floors as an enhancement to its modernity. The new interior design is further adorned with the installation of LED mood lights to create a more inviting atmosphere. Discerning travelers can take advantage of the expanded work space with aplenty power outlets in addition to complimentary WiFi access.

To better appeal to the modern-day travellers and allow them to stay connected seamlessly, all rooms and suites are enriched with advanced technology including the USB ports and cutting-edge handy smartphone. The ‘Handy smartphone’ offers guests unlimited complimentary local and international calls up to 20 countries, unlimited 3G mobile Internet access as well as Wi-Fi hotspot & tethering.

www.hongkong.intercontinental.com/en

Andaz Singapore

Andaz Singapore opens as first Andaz hotel in south-east Asia

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Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of Andaz Singapore, the first Andaz hotel to open in Southeast Asia.

Andaz Singapore furthers the brand’s mission to create inspiring, indigenous experiences that immerse guests in the local culture of each unique destination. The hotel marks the seventeenth property for the brand and joins other Andaz hotels in global gateway cities and top resort destinations around the world.

Andaz SingaporeLocated at the heart of cultural crossroads, where Kampong Glam, Little India and the Bras Basah Bugis arts and entertainment hub meet, the locally inspired boutique hotel draws inspiration from its lively surroundings – intimate alleyways filled with shop houses in vibrant colours and textures – and weaves this ambience into the hotel to offer guests fresh perspectives of the city.

Andaz Singapore opens in DUO, a striking pair of concave skyscrapers, 186 and 170 metres high, clad in a latticework of hexagonal windows. Designed by multi-award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren, renowned for his works with the China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing and Prada Epicenters in New York and Los Angeles, DUO is the largest integrated development in the Ophir-Rochor district and comprises of residences, retail spaces, offices and the new Andaz Singapore hotel.

Renaissance Hotels opens doors in Dubai

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Located in the thriving Business Bay district, which was recently listed in Lonely Planet’s ‘10 of the World’s coolest neighborhoods to visit right now,’ the new Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai boasts 298 guestrooms, including 65 sprawling suites. Inspiring a sense of spontaneous discovery at every turn, the latest in the brand’s portfolio set the stage for inspiring stories that are worth retelling.

“The spectacular new Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Dubai is a highly anticipated addition to our rapidly growing portfolio in the region,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “With its artful design, vibrant and eclectic dining scene and engaging experiences, the hotel embraces the spirit of Dubai as a one-of-a-kind destination and Renaissance as a global lifestyle brand that inspires guests to discover something wonderfully new every time they travel. We are confident it will soon emerge as the newest lifestyle destination for global travelers as well as local residents.”

Raw yet Refined: Renaissance’s Dramatic Design Shows a Different Side of Dubai
Led by the renowned interior firm WA International, the hotel’s design thrives from stark contrasts created through materiality, different textures and a dynamic color palette. Inspired by the fluidity of Dubai’s iconic sand dunes, matte hues of black and gold are woven throughout the public spaces and guestrooms – seemingly in motion when seen through pebbled glass and unfinished mirrored surfaces.

Upon arrival, a metallic art installation depicting the dynamic cityscape of Dubai takes center-stage. Overhead, an impressive hand-blown glass chandelier spans the length of the lobby, enticing guests to explore further. Floor to ceiling golden chains frame unpolished concrete at check-in, while a walk through the lobby reveals natural wood finishes, exposed ironwork beams, and an unexpected warmth fueled by the open fireplace.

Inspired Accommodations Provide a License to Play
Every moment thoughtfully-designed to tell a story: installations above each corridor appear as golden waves connoting the desert as wind passes through, juxtapose the wall coverings that have a dry and cracked effect. Each of the 298 spectacular guestrooms and suites boast floor to ceiling windows, allowing natural light and creating playful shadows against hues of deep blue and pale greys. The sumptuous fabrics, sandy color leather accents and natural wood finishes complement the matte gold and metal hardware that theatrically changes throughout the day with the movement of natural light.

Guests are greeted by a close-up black and white photograph of a camel smirking; and above the bed, Pablo Picasso’s famed camel sketch is reimagined into a cheeky, 3D iron rod sculpture – both playful jests to reframe your stay.

World-Acclaimed Chefs Set the Stage for Culinary Excellence
Culinary outlets at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai – BHAR, Grounded, BASTA!, Bleu Blanc and Morimoto Dubai – are set to become highlights of the city’s prominent and bustling food scene.

  • A contemporary dining experience offering indigenous Middle Eastern cuisine and shared dining atmosphere, BHAR, the Arabic word for spice, is designed to awaken the senses and will debut as the hotel opens its doors. Alongside the opening of BHAR, Grounded will serve as the hotel’s premiere coffee shop with unique brewing methods from a variety of international beans.
  • Launching in November, BASTA! and Bleu Blanc are two new contemporary concepts by David Myers. Bleu Blanc is a Southern French farmhouse-inspired restaurant where a large, wood-fired grill area takes centre stage, offering guests the chance of an up-close and personal chef’s table experience. BASTA! transports diners to an urban interpretation of a Roman trattoria, Florentine steakhouse and Neapolitan pizzeria, reflecting David’s personal travel memories from these regions. Both venues will showcase beverage programs designed by world-renowned mixologist Sam Ross.
  • Opening in December, Morimoto Dubai will display internationally acclaimed celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto’s contemporary Japanese cuisine, infusing traditional dishes with Western ingredients and preparation methods. The restaurant’s expansive space will include three private dining rooms and terraces with undisturbed views of the Burj Khalifa.

In December, the hotel will also open the first of its kind, all-suite spa concept from renowned Six Senses. With a design rooted heritage of balancing all of the senses, Six Senses Spa will feature six treatment suites that are each dedicated to a different sense – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and intuition – to offer the perfect balance of calm and sensory experiences in the bustling downtown area.

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will feature all of the brand’s unique experiences, including Evenings at Renaissance where guests can connect, socialize, and experience the locale through nightly programming. For the true social discoverer, the hotel’s Navigators will help guests experience the neighborhood’s soul by highlighting hidden gems and handpicked local discoveries.

For more information about Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, visit www.renhotels.com/dubai and for more about the brand’s upcoming events visit www.renhotels.com/events.

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu Planned for Bali

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu planned for Indonesian island

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Just a 40-minute drive from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport lies Uluwatu ­– a rural jewel in the crown of Bali’s Bukit peninsula.

On this south-western tip of the Island, Indonesia’s first Radisson Blu resort, Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu reinterprets Balinese style for the modern travelers. Set to welcome guests from January 2018, the brand”s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is evident in every dimension of the resort’s unique character.

Bali’s best surfing beach is on the resort’s doorstep, and many more pristine shores and popular ocean-side hangouts, such as Bali Collection in Nusa Dua, are within 25 minutes reach. The majestic, 11th-century Luhur Uluwatu Temple lies 6km to the west. A Cultural Park offering myriad Balinese experiences and a state-of-the-art 18-hole golf course designed by Ronald Fream, David Dale & Kevin Ramsey are also nearby, making Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu an ideal base for the surfer, golfer, cultural explorer or serenity seeker.

Guest accommodation comprises 111 deluxe rooms in three categories, featuring private balconies on upper floors and private sundecks on lower floors, and 14 suites with stunning rooftop terraces giving guests views of the ocean, the pool or both in full panorama.

Moxy Tokyo

Marriott’s Moxy brand continues expansion with Tokyo opening

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Tokyo-based real estate developer Pacifica Capital has opened the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho, the first hotel in Japan for Marriott International’s new lifestyle brand targeted at the Millennial generation.

Already off to a great start, the hotel was fully occupied on its third night of operations.

Located in the dynamic commercial district of Kinshicho, it is walking distance to Sky Tree and Asakusa, and only 8 minutes by train to Tokyo Station.

The hotel has 205 guestrooms, 24 hour food and beverage service, a complete gym and high-tech meeting rooms.

While guests can comfortably relax in their retro-style rooms, the first floor of the hotel offers plentiful space to eat, drink, talk and play table and board games.

Showcase: EDITION launching 8 hotels in 2018

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SHANGHAI | BODRUM | TIMES SQUARE | BARCELONA | BANGKOK | ABU DHABI | WEST HOLLYWOOD

With seven new properties scheduled to launch across three continents, and many more in the pipeline, 2018 will mark a pivotal moment for EDITION.

Created through a ground-breaking partnership between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and the global hospitality powerhouse Marriott International, the EDITION brand is slated to grow exponentially from a collection of four to eleven properties by the end of 2018.

2018 is expected to see EDITION firmly positioned as the travel industry’s first truly global luxury lifestyle hotel brand. With each hotel distinctive in its own right, EDITION will continue to break new ground and take the hospitality industry into bold, uncharted areas. Its timeless design, uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service, has defined the boutique hotel category.

Following The Sanya EDITION’s launch in December 2016, EDITION’s Asian presence is scheduled to expand with two additional properties launching in Shanghai and Bangkok in 2018. In addition, the brand’s second and third European hotels are set for launch in Bodrum and Barcelona. EDITION will launch its first outpost in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, whilst EDITION’s plans to increase its US presence with two properties located in New York’s Times Square and West Hollywood.

The brand’s rapid expansion is expected to continue with the addition of nine further hotel launches planned across five continents by 2020, reaching a 20-strong property portfolio by the end of the decade and many more to come.

The Shanghai EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Shanghai EDITION, to be located at the northeast corner of Nanjing Road East and Henan Road in Puxi, West of Huangpu River and just a 5 minute walk from The Bund, is a unique combination of two separate towers featuring 147 guest rooms. The hotel’s design includes 10 levels of public space including 5 meeting studios and 2 forums, totalling to over 2,800 sq. ft. Food and beverage outlets include a signature Japanese restaurant on the 23rd floor, a Cantonese dining venue featuring 5 private dining rooms, an all-day dining venue, a lobby bar, a member’s club bar with a screening room, an indoor nightlife venue and a rooftop bar. www.editionhotels.com/shanghai

The Shanghai EDITIONThe Bodrum EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Bodrum EDITION will be located just 3 kilometers from Plamarina in Yalikavak at the western point of the Bodrum peninsula. The hotel features 99 guest rooms, suites and villas all with views of the Aegean Sea — some with private pools, balconies and gardens. The hotel’s design includes an infinity pool, garden lounge, state-of-the art spa facilities with Turkish Hammam and fitness centre, kids’ club and an exclusive beach club with jetty that houses private cabanas. Unique food and beverage outlets include a library bar, gourmet specialty grill overlooking the bay, night club, and an all-day dining venue. The hotel also has over 4,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including meeting studios, a ballroom and boardroom. www.editionhotels.com/bodrum

The Bodrum EDITIONThe Times Square EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Times Square EDITION, to be located at 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, features 457 guest rooms with four levels of public space including a 5,000 sq. ft. performance venue, a 1,900 sq. ft. meeting studio, state-of-the-art fitness centre and a lobby lounge at check in level. The hotel also boasts distinctive food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant leading out onto a 5,800 sq. ft. beer garden and event deck overlooking Times Square, and an all-day dining venue also featuring terraces with views of Times Square. www.editionhotels.com/times-square

The Barcelona EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Barcelona EDITION will be located in the Ciutat Vella District on the edge of El Born District, only 15 minutes from the beach. The hotel features 100 guest rooms, a signature restaurant, lobby bar/café., Sky bar, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre and a night club. www.editionhotels.com/barcelona

The Barcelona EDITIONThe Bangkok EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
Known as Thailand’s tallest building, The Bangkok EDITION will be located along Naratiwat Road, close to North Sathorn Road junction. The hotel features 155 guest rooms and 5 levels of public space, offering over 5,500 sq. ft. of combined meeting space including a boardroom, main function room and outdoor banquet terrace. Food and beverage outlets include two signature restaurants, a lobby bar and pool bar. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 4 treatment rooms will also be available for hotel guests. www.editionhotels.com/bangkok

The Bangkok EDITIONThe Abu Dhabi EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The Abu Dhabi EDITION will be situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina. The hotel features 244 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences. Unique food and beverage outlets include 2 signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and 3-story nightclub. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 7 treatment rooms are also available for hotel guests. The hotel also has over 107k sq. ft. of meeting and event space including several meeting studios, ballrooms and boardrooms. www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi

The West Hollywood EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The West Hollywood EDITION, to be located at 9040 West Sunset Boulevard on the east corner of West Sunset Blvd. and North Doheny Drive, features 190 guest rooms, 20 luxury residences and over 5,200 sq. ft. of meeting space. Food and beverage outlets include a signature restaurant, a lobby lounge, rooftop venue and a nightclub/bar. Also available will be a rooftop pool/pool deck and a 4-treatment room spa. http://www.editionhotels.com/west-hollywood/

www.editionhotels.com

Boutique city hotel akyra Sukhumvit to open in Bangkok

Boutique city hotel akyra Sukhumvit to open in Bangkok

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Early 2018, the iconic AKARYN Hotel Group, will further expand its diverse range of luxury hotels and resorts, with the launch of the highly anticipated akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok.

This boutique city hotel located in the happening hub of Bangkok will be made up of swanky rooms designed for admiring the city’s captivating landscape and an extensive rooftop terrace for enjoying cocktails and entertainment through the day and into the night.

The latest addition to the three akyra sister properties, akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok will offer re-imagined urban accommodation for savvy travellers in the heart of the Thai capital’s most dynamic city. The akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok is well located on Sukhumvit Soi 20, an area known for its buzzing atmosphere, green recreation spaces and fine dining. The 50-room akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok will offer guests generous accommodations with incredible cityscape views only found in Bangkok.

This downtown property will boast an upscale rooftop space, where guests can sip craft cocktails at the pool bar and relax on stylish sun loungers and cabanas, all perfectly positioned to take in dramatic panoramas of Bangkok’s modern architectural design. Open to guests and outside visitors this spacious rooftop terrace (100-person capacity) is destined to be the city’s hotspot for after work sunset drinks or a glass of bubbly before I night out on the town. The rooftop will also be available to host memorable gatherings, private dinners and VIP receptions.

This hotel aligns perfectly with the akyra brand; defined by smart technology, funk, flair, experimental approach to design, all within trendy locations where the young at heart intersect and connect. The akyra hotels are designed for travellers looking to make the most of Asia’s most diverse and culturally rich country.

Each of akyra’s four, distinct five-star hotels are founded on akyra’s brand ethos whilst reflecting unique regional tradition. Every property offers experiences and activities designed to allow guests to interact with the area’s surrounding history and culture – far from a cookie-cutter experience.

The launch of akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok at the beginning of 2018 follows the recent opening of akyra Thonglor Bangkok – another stylish property comprising 148 studios and one- to three-bedroom suites located in Thonglor, Bangkok’s fashionable district renowned for its contemporary culture and creative cuisine.

www.akarynhotelgroup.com  



Le Meridien Seoul

Le Meridien debuts in South Korea with Seoul property

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Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, today marked a milestone with the grand opening of Le Méridien Seoul, the brand’s first hotel in Korea.

Following a meticulous, multimillion-dollar transformation, Le Méridien Seoul debuts at the centre of the Gangnam district with a stunning contemporary art collection, distinct approach to design and bold ‘Destination Unlocked’ positioning.

Le Méridien Seoul draws inspiration from both the brand – born in Paris during an era of glamorous travel – and the juxtaposition between the traditional and modern aesthetic of Korean design.

Designed by award-winning architectural and interior design firm David Collins Studio, the hotel is at once grand and residential. With 336 thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites, the interiors layer natural materials, textiles and rich patterns.

Its architecture boasts a reimagined colonnade that connects the public spaces of the hotel and anchors a bold atrium accentuated by a geometric grid pattern – connoting the iconic, mid-century French department store Le Bon Marché in Paris.

Maldives

Carlson Rezidor enters the Maldives with Radisson Blu Resort Maldives

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Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the signing of a management agreement for Radisson Blu Resort Maldives with Chang Hua Holdings.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, the property is one of the most anticipated new developments in Maldives in addition to being the first Radisson Blu resort in the market.

Located on the southern part of Maldives’ Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, Radisson Blu Resort Maldives is situated 105 kilometers from Male International Airport. The hotel is accessible within a 30-minute seaplane journey or by a domestic flight from the Maamigili Airport, followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride to the resort.

Featuring 128 exclusive villas including family villas, and a premium overwater villa, the resort is set to strike a balance between stylish contemporary design and a truly Maldivian resort experience with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.

Hilton Astana

Sneak Peek: Hilton Astana launches in Kazakhstan

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Hilton has announced the opening of Hilton Astana, the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Kazakhstan. The 253-room hotel offers a wide range of amenities including unrivalled event space and a state-of-the-art spa, ideal for local and international travelers to Kazakhstan’s capital city.

Hilton Astana boasts more than 4,000-square-metres of events space, comprising nine meeting rooms and a ballroom that can host up to 900 people. The hotel is also close to the Expo’s main congress hall which can host up to 5,000 people. For guests looking to unwind, Hilton Astana features Hilton’s signature eforea spa. At over 1,900 square meters, the eforea spa at Hilton Astana is one of the city’s largest spas, featuring an indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness centre, nine treatment rooms, saunas and a Turkish bath.

The hotel offers a range of exciting dining options, including Cloud 9, the only hotel rooftop bar with a terrace in Astana. Diners can also taste traditional Kazakh dishes and European cuisine at The Park Kitchen, an all-day dining venue, or visit Axis lobby lounge for coffee, drinks and snacks.

Hilton Astana features 253 contemporary guest rooms and suites. Guests staying in executive rooms have access to the spacious Executive Lounge, which offers private meeting space, city skyline views and complimentary drinks and snacks. The Presidential Suite is over 200 square meters and features a living room, study, dining room and kitchen.

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

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The Luxury Collection has signed IRAPH SUI, a luxury hotel in Okinawa, Japan.

Owned by The Mori Trust Group and slated to open in late 2018, the new island resort will be will be located in the city of Miyakojima, in Okinawa Prefecture and will be the third Luxury Collection hotel in Japan.

The new Luxury Collection resort will be located on an elevated headland on the southwestern coastline of Irabu, a small island in the Miyako Island group, where its 57 guest rooms will enjoy stunning sea views.

In addition to nine suites with private plunge pools, the resort will also feature 10 luxurious Junior suites and one Executive suite. Amenities will include a 72-foot outdoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa. IRAPH SUI will also feature an all-day restaurant, a relaxing pool bar and beach club.

Canopy by Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Canopy by Hilton says hello to Malaysia

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Canopy by Hilton has announced the signing of Canopy by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang.

The latest signing marks the debut of the Canopy by Hilton brand in Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia. The property, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2021, will provide an energetic and comfortable stay for guests in search of thoughtful local experiences in Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Bukit Bintang district.

Set along Pudu Road within the Bukit Bintang neighbourhood, the 456-key hotel includes the Canopy Central café and bar as well as a fitness centre. The swimming pool and F&B outlet located on the 28th floor rooftop will overlook Kuala Lumpur’s city skyline.

Following the brand pillars, Canopy by Hilton Kuala Lumpur will be inspired and influenced by its local surroundings, and will be a natural extension of the neighbourhood. Guests can expect a thoughtfully-curated local food and beverage menu that will highlight the capital city’s exceptional cuisine as well as an artisanal breakfast and Wi-Fi to be included in the room rate.

canopy3.hilton.com/en/

The Athene - Bangkok

Stunning redesign for The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has announced the reopening of The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok following an extensive renovation and transformation into a Luxury Collection hotel.

The Athenee Hotel will offer global explorers a gateway to the inspiring history and culture of Bangkok through the lens of The Luxury Collection, a glittering ensemble of world-renowned hotels and resorts delivering unique, authentic experiences.

Formerly known as Plaza Athenee Bangkok, the newly restored Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok, stands on the grounds of the Kandhavas Palace, former royal residence of Princess Valaya Alongkorn. A homage to its regal lineage, the hotel’s opulent re-design is a modern take on traditional Thai design elements with a distinctly European flair. With the opening of Athenee Hotel, The Luxury Collection continues its commitment to celebrating the heritage of the world”s most iconic hotels through meticulous restoration projects that pay tribute to local indigenous charms and treasures.

Overseen by interior design firms Vekhin Interior and Bangkok Dec-Con PLC, The Luxury Collection’s multi-million dollar renovation of The Athenee Hotel will bring to life Bangkok”s roots in an authentic and indigenous way. The redesign incorporates many aspects of the Thai colonial style of the princess” lifetime, from the influence of Thai royal ceremonies in the Royal Club guestrooms and Athenee suites to the carefully selected color palettes and artwork for the interiors.

In addition to the refurbishment of common spaces and all 374 luxurious guest rooms, The Athenee Hotel’s transformation includes a newly redesigned city-lagoon styled swimming pool area. Skillfully merging the outdoor pool area with an indoor function space inspired by the timeless style of Kandhavas Palace, the designers have created a distinctly Thai venue for leisure and relaxation. Guests will also have several food and beverage options to enjoy, from the popular Smooth Curry restaurant to The Glaz bar, whose timeless neo-colonial décor celebrates the hotel’s location on the site of a former royal palace.

Bulgari Dubai resort

Bulgari Hotels & Resorts announces Dubai resort

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Bulgari Hotels & Resorts will open its Dubai Resort on Thursday 7th December 2017; an urban oasis on Jumeirah Bay.

This newest addition to the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts collection is the fifth in the group, following on from the most recently launched Bulgari Hotel Beijing, which opened in September 2017. It joins a growing portfolio of properties around the world, which began with the inaugural Bulgari Hotel Milan in 2004, Bulgari Resort Bali in 2006 and Bulgari Hotel London in 2012, and will be followed by Shanghai in early 2018, and then Moscow in 2020.

As with all Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, the hotel was designed by renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. Both the interiors and exteriors have been created with the same detail and precision of a Bulgari jewel: pairing rare, raw materials according to colour, texture and feel, and sculpting them into objects of enduring beauty. Styled with European inspired boulevards, illuminated gardens and pools, it blends Mediterranean landscaping with the natural surroundings of the shores of the Arabian Gulf.

Embracing a maritime theme, customising the resort to echo its unique island home, luscious Italian marble has been used along with coral inspired exteriors to truly epitomise the ocean surroundings. Meanwhile, in the spirit of integral designs dating back to the 1930s, the architects hand-selected or custom-designed every element for consistency, comfort and purity, allowing the hotel’s design to maintain an uncompromisingly Italian style, while simultaneously incorporating the uniqueness of its destination, exuding timeless glamour. Each piece, from the marble bathtubs to the sculpted door handles, hail from the finest quality materials and is incorporated in a unified, seamless fashion.

The resort includes 101 hotel rooms and suites and 20 hotel villas, all exquisitely furnished with the highest quality Italian luxury furniture brands such as Maxalto, Flos, Fexform and others, in an expression of the quality of ‘Made in Italy’. All rooms and suites have expansive views over the breathtaking Dubai skyline or the Arabian Gulf, with large balconies to truly soak up the magnificent scenery.

Far East Hospitality to open three new hotels in Sentosa, Singapore

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Far East Hospitality, Singapore’s leading operator of hotels and serviced residences, has signed a term sheet with Fontaine Investment to operate three new properties – Village Hotel Sentosa, The Outpost Sentosa and a third hotel whose name will be confirmed at a later stage.

The hotels, located at Artillery Avenue in the Palawan area of Sentosa, are targeted to open in mid-2019. As the hotel operator, Far East Hospitality will be responsible for the overall management of these three hotels with a total room inventory of 839 rooms. Its responsibilities will include hotel operations and sales & marketing functions

Village Hotel Sentosa is an expansion of the Village brand. The property, with 606 keys, targets the mid-tier market. This includes travellers from regional and international markets and Singaporeans looking for a family weekend getaway.

Far East Hospitality to open three new hotels in Sentosa, Singapore
Village Hotel Sentosa will also be an ideal location for business meetings, networking events, as well as company retreats, with team-bonding activities such as cooking and fitness classes available. The brand seeks to deliver memorable experiences that enable guests to eat, play, and explore like a local.

The Outpost is a new brand under Far East Hospitality’s portfolio. With 193 keys, The Outpost Sentosa caters to young couples who prefer exclusivity. A third hotel with 40 keys is designed to appeal to guests in the upscale market. Both properties will take on a stylish interpretation of the colonial black and white suite look and feel, accentuated with wood and natural blends. Hotel guests can look forward to fun activities such as aqua-based fitness classes, outdoor movie screenings, kids carnival and pool games.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Deluxe Room

Anantara Siam Bangkok unveils new guestrooms

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Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has unveiled its new contemporary Thai inspired guestrooms, offering discerning leisure and business travellers even more luxurious style at the brand’s Thai flagship property.

Designed by Jeffrey A. Wilkes of LTW Designworks, who is recognised for his ability to blend cosmopolitan influences with tradition, the new interiors of the Deluxe and Premier guestrooms inject a fresh sense of luxury by infusing a more contemporary aesthetic, greeting guests with a subtle Thai character remaining true to the ethos of the Anantara brand.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Deluxe View Room
Using elegant regional undertones, typical Asian details were eschewed with the design instead paying homage to Thai palaces that have been constructed with European influences. Thai silk has been used as wall panels to give a simple and elegant finish, a refined reflection of Thailand, and an antique map of Bangkok in the Deluxe rooms provides an interesting conversation piece.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Premier View Room
The 307 new 42 square metre Deluxe and Premier guestrooms in one king size bed or two double beds configurations can accommodate up to three adults or two adults and a child, and feature an en-suite marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate glass enclosed shower.

Four room categories are available: Deluxe Room; Deluxe View Room; Premier Room; and Premier View Room. The View category rooms’ expansive windows reveal the hotel’s magnificent tropical gardens; swimming pool; or the immaculate private golf course of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic capital cities.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Premier View RoomIdeal for business travellers, some of the Deluxe and Premier guestrooms are located on the hotel’s exclusive Kasara Floor where, at a daily fee, guests are afforded access to the Kasara Executive Lounge with all-day dining; dedicated Concierge and business services; and private meeting facilities.

The addition of a complimentary Handy smartphone in every room allows guests to keep in touch with family and friends with unlimited international calls and texts to 25 countries, and 4G and preloaded popular apps to explore Bangkok with ease.

The refurbishment of its Deluxe and Premier guestrooms completes a THB 470 million project that also saw the upgrade of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel’s suites and public spaces.

siam-bangkok.anantara.com

Kimpton expanding into Asia

Kimpton Hotels expands into Asia

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InterContinental Hotels Group has signed three management contracts to introduce its luxury boutique hotel brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Asia. Announced at the 2017 Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), the first Kimpton properties in the region will be located in prime markets in Southeast Asia and Greater China.

These new signings extend the global footprint of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Asia, following its expansion to Europe, with the opening of Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam and the signing of Kimpton Paris, earlier this year.

Acquired by IHG in January 2015, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, is renowned for its innovative and playful design and personal approach to guest service, using thoughtful perks and amenities, bound together with a sense of delight and discovery. The brand’s understated approach to luxury inspires travellers with touches like in-room yoga mats, a hosted evening Social Hour, complementary bike rentals and other local flourishes.

Kimpton is also recognised for its award-winning portfolio of unique restaurants and bars led by talented chefs and bartenders. Common cornerstones of each restaurant and bar include heartfelt care; chef-crafted, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors; and striking interiors with vibrant style and design.

A luxury and lifestyle sanctuary on the island of the gods, Bali
The first Kimpton located in Southeast Asia, Kimpton Bali, opening in 2019, will feature 50 luxurious villas and sits on the picturesque Nusa Dua coast. The new designed hotel blends with the local Balinese culture delivering guests a genuine, personalised experience that is both authentic and reflective of the ancient culture.

An immersion where history meets luxury in the heart of Shanghai
Poised to open in 2021, the Kimpton Shanghai Jing’an will feature 150 guest rooms and 120 villas that originally belonged to the British-American Concession. Similar to the villas, that were mostly developed between 1910 and 1930, the hotel’s common areas will be housed in a historically reserved building.

A premium haven for travellers with discerning tastes in Sanya (Main Image)
Situated in one of the most premium travel destinations in China – Haitang Bay in Sanya, Hainan Province, this well-appointed 251-room, luxurious Kimpton Resort Sanya Haitang Bay has direct beach access and is scheduled to open in 2021.

www.kimptonhotels.com

Four Seasons Mecca

Four Seasons to open hotel in Mecca

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Jabal Omar Development Company (JODC), a leading developer in the Middle East, have announced plans for a new Four Seasons hotel in the Holy City of Mecca as part of the Jabal Omar integrated real estate development.

Four Seasons Hotel Mecca will be the company’s second location in Saudi Arabia, joining Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre in offering the most luxurious accommodations and personalised service in the region.

Award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners was chosen following an international design competition for this prestigious project. Impressive in appearance and deeply thoughtful in its concept, the multi-towered building atop a retail podium cascades down toward the Grand Mosque, seamlessly integrating its public spaces into the Haram. An innovative design allows clear views of the Kaaba from every guest room and suite, each of which will feature one or more private prayer rooms. In total, there will be approximately 375 guest rooms and suites, plus approximately 90 Four Seasons Private Residences.

Additional features of the Hotel include three restaurants and lounges, a ballroom and meeting rooms, and a spa and fitness centre. The Hotel will also offer special facilities and programs for families.

Anantara Angkor Resort unveils two presidential suites

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Following an extensive renovation that transformed Anantara Angkor Resort into a premier all-suite retreat, the 39-key boutique resort is delighted to unveil Siem Reap’s plushest presidential suites, the Henri Mouhot and Anantara Explorer Suites.

The two-bedroom, 235 square metre Henri Mouhot Suite pays tribute to the French naturalist and explorer who alerted the West to the ruins of Angkor, capital of the ancient Khmer civilisation of Cambodia, in 1860. The suite accommodates up to six guests.

The one-bedroom Anantara Explorer Suite offers 178 square metres of living space inspired by another intrepid explorer, Jim Thompson, and founder of the world renowned Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. The suite accommodates up to three guests.

Anantara Angkor Resort Unveils Two Presidential SuitesMeticulously designed to accommodate the requirements of the most discerning clientele, the two new suites are reminiscent of a Khmer summer home and are the epitome of richness and old world sophistication with imported Thai silk and fabrics overflowing throughout, draping the furniture in bold colours and lustrous appeal.

With ample indoor and outdoor living spaces to comfortably accommodate families or small groups, both suites feature a lounge and bar area complete with a wine humidor; two dining areas; marble bathrooms with double vanity, bathtub and oversized rain shower; dressing room; a private spa room with a Jacuzzi bath tub, deep plunge and massage area; and a plunge pool in an enclosed private garden.

Anantara Angkor ResortFor Thai designers Abacus Design the glamourised bygone era of exhilarating discovery by Western explorers of the largest religious monument in the world during the nineteenth century inspired both suites’ interiors, abiding by the award winning designers’ objective to surprise and delight whilst providing convenient functions with the comfort of home.

In the Henri Mouhot Suite, a beautiful sandstone relief reflects the nearby ruins of Angkor amidst a colonial backdrop of tongue and groove ceilings, while wall panelling with a rectangular motive that is reminiscent of this distinctive feature in the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok separates the master bedroom and lounge in the Anantara Explorer Suite.

In both suites bold colours and luxurious silk and fabrics from the coveted Jim Thompson’s Leo De Janeiro collection unfold – from the ruby coloured abstract Pomare design on the wall coverings to give the spaces a cosy feel; to the intricate Chinese lacquer coloured Ming Ming decoration on the headboards that mirrors the regal, floral motifs that adorn traditional Asian ceramics for an oriental touch; and seat covers in pewter coloured bold Marquise cut velvet fabric for luxurious eye catching beauty.

Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa reopens after extensive refurbishment

Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa reopens after extensive refurbishment

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Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, the luxury hotel group with eight properties in Mauritius, has announced the reopening of Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. French interior designers, Paule de Romeuf and Amélie Montocchio, worked together to ensure that after several months Canonnier’s doors have reopened to reveal a completely transformed resort.

Canonnier boasts commanding views over the northern islands and sparkling Indian Ocean and the Beachcomber team has successfully blended these breathtaking surroundings with the resort’s interiors.

Guests staying at the revamped Canonnier Golf Resort & Spa will enjoy the new rooms draped in soft linen with the natural feel of rattan, wood and raffia that echoes the vegetation and gardens of the resort’s grounds. New lighting in all the rooms reflect Beachcomber’s desire to create harmony between the exterior and interior of the resort, which plays an essential role in creating the resort’s peaceful and serene atmosphere. Guests can rest assured that top quality materials were carefully selected for all aspects of the hotel to respect nature and the environment, as well as ensuring complete comfort and luxury.

At Canonnier there is plenty to explore once guests have settled in to their luxurious rooms. A unique feature of the resort is its wellness centre built in the branches of a 100-year-old banyan tree where therapists soothe both body and mind. Evoking a small tree house, Canonnier’s spa provides an authentic tropical hideaway for guests wishing to escape the stresses of daily life. This haven of peace and relaxation now features a new low stone wall that recalls the lighthouse that once stood in the resort’s tropical gardens, whilst the spa now also includes a sauna, hammam and fitness room. The resort’s swimming pool has also been refurbished to feature mosaic tiles that create a lagoon effect where the water shimmers a sparkling blue-green. For guests seeking a more active holiday, there is a wide range of land and water sports available. From tennis, volleyball and mountain biking to diving and snorkelling, there is something for everyone. The only golf course in the north of the island is also just 700 metres away and offers a very special welcome to hotel guests.

Cannonier’s fantastic transformation reflects the combination of experience and careful thought that has gone into creating a resort that is perfectly balanced between luxury and comfort. With all of these exciting new improvements guests will need to get in quickly to be among the first to experience the revamped resort and to enjoy their own Beachcomber holiday filled with relaxation, indulgence and spectacular surroundings.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

YTL Hotels introduces The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui in Thailand

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YTL Hotels is delighted to announce the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui in Thailand. The resort’s opening has been highly-anticipated and its debut on the eastern coast of Thailand marks the beginning of the discovery of inspiring and quintessential experiences.

Koh Samui has long been renowned for its breathtaking tropical charms and pristine natural beauty on the Gulf of Thailand and is a much sought-after destination by luxury travellers from around the world. The distinguished and personalised Ritz-Carlton service and legendary Thai hospitality are interwoven to create unique treasured moments.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

“The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui marks another milestone of our strong partnership with Marriott International. With the opening of this resort, our portfolio together with Marriott International now encompasses nine properties across Asia-Pacific and Europe,” said Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels. The opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui affirms the long-standing relationship between Marriott International and YTL Hotels. The resort adds to YTL Hotels’ current footprint in Thailand which includes The Surin Phuket, a member of Design Hotels™, and the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express which travels from Singapore to Thailand.

Ritz-Carlton Koh SamuiWith 175 suites and pool villas, nestled amid 58 acres, the resort overlooks the turquoise waters with an extensive oceanfront. Built on the site of a former coconut plantation, the stunning resort with its contemporary architecture pays homage to its past with the extensive use of coconut and other natural materials such as ceramics that imbue a sense of place.

Chapman Taylor Mui Dinh Eco-Resort Hotels

Mui Dinh eco-resort masterplan wins approval

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Chapman Taylor is pleased to report that the 1,100,000m² master plan design for the Mui Dinh Eco-Resort in Vietnam has received approval from the Vietnamese government.

Set on a beautiful site on the east coast of Vietnam, Mui Dinh Eco-Resort is designed to reflect the key elements of the surrounding environment – sand, sea, salt and sun. Intended as an unrivalled hospitality-led mixed-use development in Asia, the development is inspired by the rich local history of Mui Dinh, particularly that of the Cham tribal culture and architecture as well as the lost world of the last dynasty.

Mui Dinh eco-resort Vietnam
Six resort hotels and a boutique hotel provide a total of 7,000 rooms. 500 ocean-facing villas are also available, with all residents served by a leisure offering including a theme park, a casino, a beach club and a mountain clubhouse.

Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok studio is responsible for the design master plan for this striking coastal resort.

Director Oscar Martinez said: “We are delighted that the Vietnamese government has given its full support to our master plan and this ambitious and unique eco-development, which will transform this beautiful coastal area into a new exciting sustainable destination and give an economic boost to this region of eastern Vietnam.”

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

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YOTEL Singapore, the first YOTEL in Asia, opened its doors to guests on 1 October 2017, offering 610 rooms known as ‘cabins’ across 30 floors.

By integrating the elements of luxury hotels into smartly designed spaces, YOTEL aims to provide a seamless and intuitive guest experience by giving guests everything they need and nothing they don’t.

With a wide variety of cabins on offer from a Premium Queen Cabin to a VIP View Suite, we have something to suit every budget and every traveller’s needs.

The cabins are equipped with signature YOTEL features such as the adjustable SmartBed™ with super comfortable Serta Gel mattresses as well as a Technowall with mood lighting and smart TVs for easy connectivity to your own devices. There will also be access to complimentary super-strength WiFi throughout the hotel.

Like other YOTELs worldwide, YOTEL Singapore is placed in a central and convenient location that offers guests easy access to the city’s main attractions.

Wimberly Interiors - Orient Express

Wimberly Interiors reveal Orient Express designs

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Wimberly Interiors is delighted to unveil the design of three ultra-luxurious private ‘Grand Suites’ aboard the seminal Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Adorned with opulent marquetry, the sumptuous ‘Grand Suites’ offer guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to be transported to the golden era of travel in suitably contemporary luxury, from March 2018.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express brings to life the romance and nostalgia of the golden age of travel with its luxurious 1920s and 1930s carriages. Drawing inspiration from the romance, adventure and style of each of the destinations the train weaves through; Paris, Venice and Istanbul, Wimberly Interiors has used ornate detailing, hand-beaded embroidery and lavish fabrics to reflect each city’s unique character. Wimberly Interiors worked closely with Belmond to retain the carriage’s intrinsic features and enrich the original bespoke details, celebrating the original décor of the Roaring Twenties in every stylistic detail.

Throughout the season, the train journeys through a mobile-tapestry of changing landscapes, connecting three of Europe’s most exciting and culturally rich cities. The resplendent décor embraces and enhances the carriage’s history, creating an exceptional and genuine experience for the discerning traveller.

“It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes,” comments Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors. “We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

The Paris Suite
Taking inspiration from Paris’ historic love affair with the Art Deco movement, Wimberly Interiors has adorned the suite with exquisite decorative touches and a light and crisp colour palette. The city’s haute couture and gastronomic excellence is channelled through elegant furnishings, delicate fabrics, crystal barware and Lalique crystal panels.

Wimberly Interiors - Orient ExpressThe Venice Suite
Wimberly Interiors has interwoven the grandeur of Venice into the space using damask silks, blue and silver hues and bespoke Murano Glass Chandeliers which reflect the city’s baroque and renaissance heritage. Celebrating local craftsmanship, decorative elements include traditional Venetian mirrors and an antique tapestry sourced from Venice, which evoke an authentic sense of the city.

The Istanbul Suite (Main Image)
This suite has been influenced by the rich patterning of the Topkapi Palace, traditional Ottoman design and Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar. Hand carved timber and marquetry panel borders accented with mother of pearl recall the opulence and romance of the destination while amber crystal ware, embossed leather and exaggerated metal details honour the city’s unique heritage.

“One of the key design elements in each suite is the extravagant, high gloss marquetry, which blends the unique rich traditional patterns of each city with the Art Deco design of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carriages.” Sophie Deeley, Project Designer, Wimberly Interiors.

“This is a one of a kind restoration project; we are going to completely transform the individual classic cabins into three exceptional suites. The designs are sensitive to the original history of the carriages and each cabin is inspired by the city it represents.” Comments Gary Franklin, Managing Director, Trains & Cruises for Belmond.

Dernier & Hamlyn Four Seasons

Project Spotlight: Dernier & Hamlyn checks in at Four Seasons again

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Dernier & Hamlyn recently completed its third project for luxury hotel brand Four Seasons following successful commissions in London and Baku.

In partnership with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, the London-based bespoke lighting specialists manufactured unique antique brass chandeliers for public areas throughout the Four Seasons Hampshire hotel that utilised a range of a range of its artisans’ skills.

Nine 12-arm pendants 1m high and some 1.2m across were produced for the hotel’s drawing room and five chandeliers hand wrapped in rope were produced for the hotel’s lounge and reception areas requiring painstaking attention to detail to achieve the desired effect.

Dernier & Hamlyn also updated and rewired many of the hotel’s existing light fittings to bring them in line with modern standards and wired vintage lighting that had been sourced by the MBDS team too.

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio said: “We’ve used Dernier & Hamlyn for a number of MBDS’ projects from small restaurants to extremely large hotels. We are always impressed by their knowledge and their expertise and their ability to problem solve rather than just deliver lighting. This was demonstrated again for Four Seasons Hampshire where they balanced the requirements of our design concepts with practicality, aesthetic beauty and affordability.”

Photo Credit: James McDonald

www.dernier-hamlyn.com
+44 (0) 20 87 60 09 00
info@dernier-hamlyn.com

Dorsett Shanghai Welcomes V JR

Technology Focus: Dorsett Hospitality welcomes first robotic guest service

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They are fun, informative and interactive. They are helpful and engaging. Meet Dorsett’s very first robots – V Jr. at Dorsett Shanghai.

The first hotel within Dorsett Hospitality International has welcomed two high-tech additions into the hotel’s guest service team, V Jr. offers guests the options to integrate business with pleasure.

V Jr. is equipped with voice and touch screen inquiry on hotel facilities and is able to provide local information from dining, shopping to exercise information; assist with catering events including sending invitations, guest registration, and even entertains during event break time with song and dance performances.

V Jr. is a delightful addition to Dorsett Shanghai and radiates Dorsett’s brand elements of being fun, playful, thoughtful, passionate, dynamic and flexible.

Robot V Jr. is manufactured by Tami Intelligence Technology (Beijing) and will be part of Dorsett Shanghai’s guest service team for the next two years.

Hilton Brings Unforgettable Waldorf Astoria Experience to the Maldives

Hilton to bring Waldorf Astoria experience to the Maldives

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Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of a management agreement with Ithaafushi Investments for the brand’s first new-build resort in the Maldives. Located on the exclusive South Male Atoll, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives will be the second hotel in the Maldives for Hilton, adding to a total of 11 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts properties open or under development in Asia Pacific.

“Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts continues to deliver on its mission to be the world’s fastest growing, most innovative luxury hotel brand, expanding its global footprint with landmark signings in iconic destinations,” said John Vanderslice, global head, luxury and lifestyle brands, Hilton.

“Waldorf Astoria Maldives will set a new standard for Maldivian luxury, offering global travellers first class accommodations in a unique and inspirational environment where they can experience our bespoke True Waldorf Service, while enjoying an unforgettable getaway in the Indian Ocean.”

Hilton Brings Unforgettable Waldorf Astoria Experience to the MaldivesSpanning three islands in the South Male Atoll, approximately 23 kilometres from Velana International Airport, about 20 minutes away from the Maldivian capital of Male, Waldorf Astoria Maldives will offer the best of both worlds – an exclusive, charming escape with easy access to the mainland. The resort will boast 10 dining outlets, including nine specialty restaurants, providing guests with a selection of unique experiences.

“We are thrilled to continue our luxury expansion in Asia by introducing Waldorf Astoria in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. With magnificent natural beauty and an amazing underwater world, the Maldives remains an inspirational choice for world travellers today,” said Guy Phillips, senior vice president of development – Asia & Australasia, Hilton.

The Maldives is famous for its natural beauty and world-renowned dive sites. Consisting of approximately 1,190 islands and sandbanks, encircled by a lagoon of crystal clear water, it is home to exclusive and spectacular underwater life. In addition to the extensive range of water-based adventure sport available, other activities, include exploring island villages, sourcing local handicrafts, visiting the National Museum and watching cultural performances. With its unspoiled beauty and rich and vibrant culture, the Maldives is a perfect getaway.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul property

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Room Mate Hotels, the Spanish global company founded and chaired by Kike Sarasola, has increased its portfolio with a new opening in the heart of the exotic city of Istanbul.

Room Mate Emir contributes to the international expansion of the company, which plans to inaugurate in the following year new hotels in cities like Rotterdam, Madrid and Paris.

Room Mate Hotels is an innovative company which is based on the idea that the best way to travel is by visiting friends all around the world. Every Room Mate Hotel has a person’s name and a completely different personality. In this case, Emir is elegant, classic and adventurous, the perfect travelling companion to know in depth the marvelous Istanbul.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property
Room Mate Emir has also a spectacular interior design. In this case, the project bears the signature of the acclaimed designer Lázaro Rosa Violán. Emir is the perfect blend of avante-garde furnishings set in a classical building, making it all the more striking. Lázaro Rosa Violán chose to keep the building’s history alive through a distinctive combination of modern day elements, designer furniture, and different materials, all enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Room Mate Emir offers large and spacious suites with everything that everyone would need for a perfect stay.

Its founder and president, Kike Sarasola, is one of the best known and recognised entrepreneurs in the hotelier sector. After succeeding as an Olympic equestrian and working in different business sectors, Sarasola is currently a reference of innovation and creativity in the hotel industry.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul PropertyIn Sarasola’s own words: “Room Mate Hotels are located in the centre of the most emblematic and cosmopolitan cities in the world and Istanbul is one of them. A place where exoticism and culture merge to offer a unique travel experience. We are completely in love with Istanbul. For this reason, we are very proud to increase our portfolio with Emir, our new elegant, modern and stylish new friend. A really special hotel that will bring our guests closer to the wonders of Turkey”.

Room Mate Hotels was born in 2005 with Room Mate Mario as its first establishment in Madrid and currently has 21 more with presence in Milan, Florence, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Mexico City, Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Malaga, Granada and now Istanbul. Last year, Room Mate Hotels increased revenues by 32% and hopes to continue with this positive tendency in 2017.

World’s Second Largest Grand Hyatt Hotel to Open in Jeju, South Korea

World’s second largest Grand Hyatt Hotel to open in South Korea

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Hyatt has signed a management agreement with Lotte Tour Development for a Grand Hyatt hotel in Jeju City, South Korea. The new hotel, expected to be the second largest Grand Hyatt hotel in the world, will be Hyatt’s sixth property in the country.

The Grand Hyatt Jeju will have 1,600 rooms, 11 food and beverage outlets, approximately 1,200-square-metres of meeting space, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centre, two spas (Western and Korean) with a total of eight treatment rooms and two kids clubs.

Lotte Tour will be the lead developer of the Dream Tower Integrated Resort project in Jeju, along with Greenland Group, one of China”s largest state-run real estate developers. The project will feature two towers as well as a retail podium.

“We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with Lotte Tour for the first time. As one of South Korea”s leading multinational corporations, Lotte Tour has a deep legacy of travel and hospitality in the country,” said David Udell, Group President, Asia-Pacific at Hyatt. “We look forward to working with Lotte Tour to create a new vision of the Grand Hyatt brand in Jeju, reflective of the island”s unique environment, and providing travelers with our first-class service and hospitality.”

AVANI Fares Maldives

Avani to debut in the Maldives with development of Avani Fares Resort

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AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the development of its first resort in the Maldives. AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in Q4 2019.

This $70 million (£54 million) resort development is a joint venture partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group. Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives Resort located in North Male’ Atoll.

Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts said: “The AVANI design philosophy is interestingly relaxed and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this development, using natural textures, colours and materials that reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology and modern conveniences.” The new upscale AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of villas.

On arrival guests will immediately be welcomed by an arresting view of the Indian Ocean from the open plan lobby. This communal living space will blend reception, lounge, meeting space, all day restaurant and The Pantry, an AVANI hallmark, will serve a mix of comfort food and artisanal deli snacks around the clock.

The resort will also feature a speciality restaurant, AVANISPA, AVANI Kids Club and a large communal swimming pool and pool bar. The nearby Ahivahfushi Beyru dive site offers amazing reef diving with a plethora of sea life including Hawksbill Turtles, Reef Sharks and Manta Rays. It’s an underwater Eden for snorkellers and scuba enthusiasts.

AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in 2011 as a sister brand to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, which currently has three resorts in the Maldives, including Anantara Kihavah which is also located in the Baa Atoll . Offering all the details that matter, AVANI blends genuine hospitality and modern lifestyle features with a passion for design. The brand already has a presence in the Indian Ocean with two resorts in Sri Lanka and one in the Seychelles.

Grand Hyatt Changsha set to open in south-central China

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Grand Hyatt Changsha, the first Grand Hyatt hotel in China’s Hunan Province, has celebrated its grand opening. The 354-room hotel crowns a 61-storey tower on prestigious Xiangjiang Road, offering breathtaking views of Xiang River and the city skyline.

A riverfront landmark just steps from Changsha’s historic sites, Grand Hyatt Changsha is expected to be the destination for impressive views and unforgettable dining experiences in the heart of this cosmopolitan city.

When guests arrive in the lobby, they will feel the crimson magnificence of the autumn maple trees on Yuelu Mountain and Xiang River. The red spice of Hunan’s legendary cuisine and the city’s energetic nightlife inspire the vibrant ambience. Bold crimson tints, rich textures and a sophisticated art collection provide a poignant cultural backdrop for Changsha’s showpiece of contemporary living.

Conceived by the renowned Singapore hotel design firm LTW Designworks, the hotel’s interiors create a strong sense of locale. The design concept is inspired by two classic Chinese red-ink wash paintings: Changsha by Fu Baoshi and Ten Thousand Hills in Red by Li Keran. The hotel design makes dramatic use of the unique Chinese red shades from these traditional ink wash paintings.

The constant flow and energy of Xiang River and Chinese historical motifs are also referenced in the natural textures and an impressively curated collection of contemporary artworks and sculptures richly displayed throughout the hotel.

Grand Hyatt Changsha features 354 contemporary guestrooms, including 31 suites, located on levels 46 to 61. The spacious rooms welcome guests into a modern Asian sanctuary styled with red textured walls, ochre-leather paneling, intricate Oriental patterned carpets and streamlined bespoke furnishings. Floor-to-ceiling windows command breathtaking high-rise views of the city or Xiang River from both the bedroom and bathroom.

changsha.grand.hyatt.com

Colombo - Shangri-La

Shangri-La announces opening date for Colombo hotel

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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has announced that Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is set to open on 16 November 2017.

The hotel will begin taking bookings from 1 September 2017 for stays from 1 December 2017.

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Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be the second property in Sri Lanka for the luxury Asian hospitality group – joining Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, which opened in June 2016 – and is anticipated to be one of the most prominent hotel launches in Sri Lanka in nearly 30 years.

InterContinental Hong Kong

InterContinental Hong Kong to undergo a major renovation

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InterContinental Hong Kong is expected to close for a major renovation in the first quarter of 2019, with the entire renovation taking 12-16 months.

The hotel will undergo a spectacular transformation that will position it as one of the top hotels not only in Asia, but also as one of the world’s most iconic hotels.

InterContinental Hong KongThe total transformation will span all guest rooms and suites including bathrooms, all public areas, restaurants and event venues, as well as a redesign of the building façade with a contemporary new look.

InterContinental Hong KongThe hotel’s celebrated restaurants and event venues are anticipated to reopen in the evenings from late summer 2019. Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong’s 2-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant, will remain open for dinner throughout the renovation.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa introduces new villas

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This year, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is excited to offer families more space and couples more privacy with the launch of two new luxury villa categories, including the resort’s first two-bedroom family villas and more villas with private pools.

Since the five-star resort welcomed its first guests in 2009 it has undergone several refurbishments to offer guests the ultimate luxury Maldivian experience and this latest project, expected to finish in October 2017, is no different.

Hadahaa’s renovation work is currently underway and will take place in two phases while the stunning Maldivian resort stays open to guests. Once complete, guests will have the choice of six room categories, including the new Deluxe Park Pool Villas and 2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas. In addition to the resort’s babysitting, yoga, snorkelling and junior PADI diving already offered for children, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa will launch a brand-new family offering, including daily kids activities, new kids’ welcome packs and a complimentary babysitting service to allow parents to enjoy some quality time as a couple. These additional family offerings will compliment these new villas, which are ideal for families looking for a holiday in the Maldives.

Park Hyatt Maldives HadahaaDeluxe Park Pool Villas
With an additional 100 square metres of space, the eight new Deluxe Park Pool Villas will offer guests a more spacious and luxurious experience than Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa’s existing Park Pool Villas. Nestled within natural lush vegetation, the new 265 square-metre timber and stone villas will boast floor-to-ceiling windows and a private outdoor bathroom, with a terrazzo bathtub and rain shower. The villa’s very own plunge pool and semi submerged sunbeds will offer guests the ideal place to cool off in ultimate comfort, surrounded by peaceful and idyllic surrounds. Guests can relax and enjoy an intimate evening drink in the villa’s tranquil outdoor seating area or take advantage of the soft sandy beach with two loungers just a few steps away via a private pathway.

2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas
For the first time, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is delighted to offer families the chance to stay at the resort under the same roof, with the introduction of three new 2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas. Set within Maldivian greenery, these villas will include a second bedroom with twin beds and an additional bathroom, so families can enjoy precious time away together, without compromising on space, style, luxury or comfort. Both bedrooms are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows and the master bedroom features a king bed with an outdoor terrazzo bathtub and rain shower. The private plunge pool is perfect for children to play in, while parents can relax on the two semi submerged sunbeds or cosy up with a book in the outdoor seating area. With private beach access, fun and games in the sand and sea are only a stone’s throw away.

Park Hyatt Maldives HadahaaWith these exciting new villa options and much more planned to accommodate families, there has never been a better time to take time out for a family holiday and visit Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.

Mateus Boutique Goa

Mateus Boutique Hotel in Goa converted

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A heritage-listed Portuguese mansion built in 1879 has recently been renovated into a high-end boutique hotel in Panjim, located in the centre of Goa.

Jonathan Fernandes, a New York based architect and internationally renowned interior designer Isla Van Damme (aka Loulou), wove their magic into the building’s interiors to transform the property from its dilapidated state to its former glory, and what is now Mateus Boutique Hotel.

The Mateus Boutique hotel has nine elegantly appointed rooms. Each room is uniquely designed in keeping with an old Portuguese feel with Loulou exploiting the intrinsic beauty of the little nooks, niches and lofts that are scattered throughout the mansion. Jonathan and Loulou have kept the old-world elegance and mixed it with a splash of new and modern amenities to create a luxurious home away from home.

The mansion looks majestic from the outside with framed arched windows, ornate balconies and stucco mouldings. The inside is breathtaking with high ceilings, little niches that add character and the flooring is a combination of the old Portuguese tiles and the original timber flooring.

www.mateusgoa.com

Roxy-Pacific acquires second hotel asset in Japan

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Established property and hospitality group with an AsiaPacific focus, Roxy-Pacific Holdings, has announced the acquisition of its second hotel asset in Japan, Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka.

Launched in May 2017, the 154-room Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka is an 8-minute walk away from Tenjibashi shopping street – the longest shopping street in Japan. Nearby tourist hotspots include the Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Castle Park, as well as the famous Cherry Blossoms at the Osaka Mint Bureau.

The 9-storey hotel comprising 3,672-square-metres of total floor area will, upon completion of the acquisition in October 2017, be self-managed by the Group’s Noku Roxy hospitality management arm, which currently operates a boutique hotel in Kyoto, Japan – Noku Kyoto.

Through its furnishings and curated list of attractions and F&B offerings in the vicinity, the Noku Roxy brand aims to showcase the best version of the city, as well as hidden gems only visited by the locals. Attention to detail and personalised experiences also create a differentiated stay for guests.

Osaka received a record number of foreign visitors in 2016 exceeding 9.4 million, representing a 31% hike from 20152. The city also boasts one of the highest hotel occupancy rates of any major city in Japan.

Amongst the Noku Roxy hospitality brand asset pipeline includes a 50-villa resort in Maldives, and a separate resort in the Chalong sub-district of Phuket, Thailand, planned for launch in the last quarter of 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Waldorf Astoria Chengdu

Waldorf Astoria Chengdu opens as Hilton’s 200th Asia Pacific hotel

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Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts have announced the opening of Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, the company’s 200th hotel in Asia Pacific.

Located in Western China’s gateway city of Chengdu, the 289-room Waldorf Astoria Chengdu is housed within the high-end in99 Plaza, a 190,000-square-metre mixed-use development comprising a retail mall, office towers, and apartment towers.

A 52-storey, art deco inspired landmark that weaves classic elegance with modern luxury, Waldorf Astoria Chengdu offers guests an inspirational environment in the new financial district of Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone.

Guest rooms at the hotel start from a spacious 50 square metres, each elegantly-furnished and featuring the signature Waldorf Astoria bed, a walk-in closet, marble bathrooms with double vanities, and modern entertainment amenities. A personal concierge cabinet at the entryway of each room ensures convenience and allows for discreet service at all times.

The Okura Prestige Yangon to Open in 2020

The Okura Prestige Yangon to open in 2020

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Hotel Okura Company has announced that it will open The Okura Prestige Yangon, the first Okura Hotels & Resorts member hotel to operate in Myanmar, in 2020.

For the operation and management of The Okura Prestige Yangon, Hotel Okura expects to sign a contract in August with a local alliance comprising Fujita Corporation, Tokyo Tatemono, Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development and Yangon Technical & Trading, a subsidiary of Ayeyar Hinthar Holdings.

The Okura Prestige Yangon will be a luxury hotel offering approximately 390 rooms in downtown Yangon, a short walk from Yangon Central Railway Station and a short drive from the historic Shwedagon Pagoda. It will be situated within a large commercial complex, including office buildings and retail facilities, to be constructed on the site of the former Defense Services Museum.

The new hotel will offer banquet halls, conference rooms and diverse dining options, including an all-day dining area, a Japanese restaurant and a lounge bar. The hotel will also feature an executive lounge with views of the golden-domed Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar”s most celebrated Buddhist pagoda.

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

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Pentahotels, the neighbourhood lifestyle hotel group, has revealed its new brand message – “We don’t do normal” – introducing a fresh vision within the traditional hospitality industry, as the brand gears up for ambitious expansion plans in new premium destinations worldwide.

Expansion will begin with its second pentahotel in Hong Kong opening this week and the brand’s first hotel in Russia, in Moscow, opening next year. Pentahotels’ global brand refresh underlines the brand’s competitive advantages designed to meet the changing demands from a new generation of urban nomads. This refresh reinforces the existing brand philsophy that “Penta is not a hotel. Penta is a state of mind.”

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh
From the roll-out of new “penta PlayerPads” which feature private gamer gadgets in selected suites, to its pioneering “check in at the bar” concept, pentahotels reinforces the “We Don’t Do Normal” persona by staying innovative, approachable and constantly pushing the boundaries. As part of this brand refresh, the group will roll out a holistic brand communications campaign, focusing on digital channels including an updated web presence, a vibrant brand video, social media activations, guerrilla marketing campaigns, fresh collateral for guests, clients and investors, and a new CRM system to strengthen pentahotels’ customer engagement capabilities.


Expansion Kicks-Off in Hong Kong

The brand is also set for substantial growth with several openings scheduled for 2017, and many other developments in the pipeline. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun, which opened its doors this week, joins sister pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon and is the first international brand hotel to set anchor in the up-and-coming Tuen Mun area of the New Territories in Hong Kong. The former industrial highrise building has been completely renovated into a trendy 298-room hotel sporting the signature “penta” style throughout, with a contemporary rustic decor that seamlessly blends with whimsical local cultural references. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun promises modern technology features and uncomplicated service for stylish, independent-minded business and leisure travelers. The result is a mix of fun with functionality, comfort with creativity, and style with simplicity.

Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat Opens in 2018
Pentahotels has also finalised definitive agreements with Capital Group, one of Russia’s most respected property developers, to open pentahotels’ first Russia hotel in Moscow in time for 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the city. Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat, will be situated within one of the four famous “Book Houses” located on Novy Arbat, around one mile from the Red Square. Featuring 228 guestrooms, the hotel will feature pentahotels’ trademark offerings, including pentalounge, European-led design elements, as well as meeting space and a gym. With lifestyle features including billiards tables, digital entertainments and other non-standard services, pentahotels will bring an entirely new energy to the area, welcoming tourists and Muscovites to a stylish, comfortable and modern reflection of Moscow’s dynamic environment.

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

“Penta’s global journey has just begun,” says Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group, pentahotels’ parent company. “Pentahotels has developed a strong operational structure and highly successful, cost-efficient financial system. Today, we are excited to share our revolutionary vision and renewed brand values. We are and want to be seen as bold, different, everything but normal. With its first entry in Bangkok and Moscow, and a second hotel opening in Hong Kong, pentahotels is ready to advance its plan to extend its footprint in gateway markets worldwide.”

La Siesta Central

New La Siesta Central Hotel to light up Hanoi

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Panoramic views of Hoan Kiem Lake, a prime Old Quarter setting and an exclusive spa are just three of the many selling points at the new La Siesta Central, a 27-room boutique hotel that marks its grand opening in Hanoi on August 15th.

With its tapestry of colourful neighborhoods, colonial architecture and emerald lakes, Vietnam’s capital lacks nothing in charismatic locations. Few are quite as evocative as its central lake – for many the defining feature in the ancient city.

Although bijou, the new property – owned and operated by leading Vietnamese boutique hotel brand Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG) – makes full use of its proximity to the legendary body of water.

La Siesta Central
A total of 19 rooms have views of the lake, highly uncommon in Hanoi where high real estate prices and stiff competition in the hotel sector put a hefty premium on such a prime spot. Indeed, the property’s incredible situation makes it an ideal base from which to strike out within the Old Quarter – Hanoi’s centuries-old hub of commerce – and to nearby highlights such as the French Quarter, a charming enclave of broad avenues and majestic buildings, which is laid out just south of the central lake.

Things are equally inspiring within the hotel, whose conversion from a historic private dwelling was directed by EHG chairman Do Van Dan, a trained architect who takes a leading role in the design of all the properties under the group’s umbrella.

Thoughtful touches abound throughout the hotel. Dark wood paneling and use of intricate patterned tiling characterize stately interiors, while numerous black and white artworks in public areas and rooms enhances the classic feel of the property. Guests have access to an array of room types, all of which come with thoughtful amenities and trimmings including walk in rainforest shower and luxury toiletries from the in-house La Siesta Spa brand as standard.

Fairmont Quasar

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul now open

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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, the luxury hotel company’s first property in Turkey.

Situated on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait and overlooking the waterway’s sapphire blue waters, the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul sits at a crossroads in Istanbul, where East meets West and modernity meets centuries of eclectic history. This idiosyncratic experience is reflected in the hotel’s design, with blue leather-tufted headboards calling to mind the Bosphorus; leather-bound and studded minibars inspired by vintage travel trunks; and ensuite showers designed to resemble traditional Turkish hammams.

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul provides 209 guestrooms including 25 suites. Each has a wide panoramic view overlooking either the serene Bosphorus or the city skyline. Rooms are designed to maximize comfort and technology, with stylish flair and extra touches, plenty of space and natural light. The Royal Suite offers guests unrivalled luxury, while forty exclusive Fairmont Gold rooms create a boutique feel with unparalleled service and access to exclusive services.

The hotel’s unique concept provides a new icon for the vibrant Mecidiyeköy district, where eclectic neighbourhood bazaars and colourful side streets meet modern shopping centres with contemporary architecture and design. Set on the site of the 1930’s Robert Mallet Stevens-designed Art Deco liquor factory, Fairmont Quasar blends a sense of urban culture and industrial flair with the city’s heritage of long-held customs and traditions.

Fairmont Quasar is the fifth property of parent company AccorHotels luxury brand portfolio within Istanbul, joining sister properties Raffles Istanbul, Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Pullman Istanbul Airport and Convention Centre and The Elysium Istanbul MGallery by Sofitel. AccorHotels presently has 32 hotel and resort properties across Turkey, with an additional three hotels slated for opening in Istanbul in 2017, including Galata Hotel Istanbul MGallery by Sofitel.

Amari Galle

Amari enters Sri Lanka with beachfront resort in Galle

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ONYX Hospitality Group, one of Asia’s leading hotel management companies, has launched a brand-new Amari property in Sri Lanka’s historic southwest coastal city of Galle.

The 172-room property, located a short distance from the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort, is ONYX’s third hotel in Sri Lanka. This hotel is also the group’s third Amari opening this year, following Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Yangshuo in China.

This new beachfront hotel is prominently situated on the Colombo-Galle main road and offers easy access to nearby attractions including Galle Fort, the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by the Europeans, and Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa, popular destinations for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and kite surfing.

www.amari.com/galle-srilanka

Dhigali Maldives

Universal unveils Dhigali Maldives resort

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Dhigali, the newest island resort from Universal Resorts matches contemporary luxury with the pure natural beauty of the Maldives.

Located in the Raa Atoll, the resort brings modern minimalist design to this wonderfully remote part of the Maldives.

The resort is just a 45- minute journey by seaplane from Malé Airport; domestic flights from Ifuru/Dharavandhoo Airport, are also available and including transfer by speedboat, take just 70 minutes.

Surrounded by a pristine coral reef and crystal clear lagoon, this 5 star sanctuary invites guests to cast away in unspoilt luxury and rich Maldivian culture.

dhigali.com

Dusit - Philippines

Dusit to manage new five-star resort in the Philippines

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Thailand-based, global hospitality company Dusit International has signed a hotel management agreement with Robinsons Land Corporation, one of the Philippines’ leading real estate companies, to operate the Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, a five-star resort situated on the northern peninsula of Mactan island. This resort is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Positioned to meet the needs of leisure and business travellers alike, the new beachfront resort will comprise 271 well-appointed guest rooms divided between three buildings adjacent to RLC’s AmiSa private residences. Facilities will include a luxury spa, a fully-equipped fitness centre, a lobby lounge, three restaurants with al fresco and private dining, a large infinity pool, and over 1,200 sq m of meeting space. Dusit’s signature gracious hospitality inspired by authentic Thai values will drive the service experience.

Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu will be the third property in the Philippines to carry the Dusit Thani brand besides the Dusit Thani Manila and the upcoming Dusit Thani Residence Davao. Next year, the pioneering Dusit Hospitality Management College, a unique fully-integrated hospitality school and hotel, will also open in the capital. Other properties in the pipeline include DusitPrincess Cebu City, dusitD2 Davao and dusitD2 Resort, San Juan.

Dusit International currently operates 29 properties in key destinations around the globe with a further 51 projects already confirmed to open within the next three years. Alongside Dusit Thani, other brands in the company”s international portfolio include Dusit Devarana, dusitD2 and DusitPrincess.

Le Meridien Seoul

Le Meridien Seoul slated to open in September 2017

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Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of Le Meridien Seoul, set to be the first Le Meridien property in Korea. Owned by Cheonwon, the hotel with its distinctive European architecture intertwined with mid-century modern design is slated to open in September 2017.

Le Meridien Seoul will feature 336 chic rooms, including 109 club rooms and 29 suites with access to the Club Lounge, offering refreshments throughout the day and exclusive spaces for socialising and working. The prestigious Presidential Suite is bound to become the most stunning in the city with a distinct mix of antique and modern furniture. The hotel is also anchored by the signature Le Méridien Hub, which reinterprets the traditional hotel lobby into a social gathering place built on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture. The fitness facilities and pool area will offer a tranquil respite from the hectic pace of the city, providing a space where guests can relax.

Creative meeting and event spaces at the hotel are all set to cater to exclusive social gatherings and business events featuring the latest technology and an abundance of natural light. The Da Vinci Ballroom, housed in the lower levels of the atrium has the capacity to accommodate up to 500 guests. For further discovery of art, guests may visit M Contemporary Art Center located on the second floor of the hotel.

Located on Bongeunsa-ro, one of Gangnam’s major thoroughfares, Le Meridien Seoul is approximately 60 minutes by a car from Incheon International Airport. The hotel allows for easy access to the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, as well as the office district in Samsung-dong. It is also a great base for discovering Seoul’s rich culture and history, including UNESCO Heritage treasures and pursuing nightlife.

Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa Resort revealed in Phuket

Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa Resort revealed in Phuket

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Anayara Resorts, owned by Pacific Media Management Group Limited and Anayara Resorts Holding Limited , a Hong Kong-based adult-only ultimate luxury retreats and luxury boutique resorts brand revealed its first property Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa Resort, a beachfront retreat estate scheduled for soft opening by December 2017 and followed by its second property Anayara Luxx Panwa, a luxury boutique resort by Q1 2019.

The property  is an ultimate luxury beachfront retreat estate project undertaken by the East West Architect and Phuket’s own Padcha Sakulspitch. Positioned in the most sought-after location on the island, Anayara Retreat Panwa offers complete privacy and attention-to-detail design.

Anayara Luxury Retreat Panwa ResortThe hotel has been designed with the Boran Thai mixed with modern contemporary architecture in mind, and features 6 spacious suites with more than 100m², the intimate character, boutique style and award-winning architect design, eco-friendly innovations combine the ultimate tranquillity of a holistic retreat with a uniquely luxury retreat vibe. With its infinity beachfront pool and unique plunge pool for it main pavilion suites.

All suites have their own abundant individual living space with finest wood flooring and antique local decor and walk-thru cabinet, vast en-suite bedrooms, spacious en-suite bathroom with separate grand chromotheraphy rain showers, standing bath tub, free standard daily refill mini bar and daily exotic tropical seasonal fruit trays, branded linens, duvet from the finest Egyptian cotton 500 treads by Brooklinen, a complete Bang & Olufsen and Lutron Integration System – stylish, amenities – including Netflix and Apple iPad’s Air Control for each suite.

 

 

JW Marriott Baku - Henry Chebaane

Brit List 2017 winner awarded for lobby work at Baku property

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Henry Chebaane is 2017 winner for best Hotel Lobby/Public Areas in the Global category of the International Hotel & Property Awards.

Acclaimed international hospitality designer and conceptual artist Henry Chebaane, founder and creative director of Blue Sky Hospitality, won the awards for his 2 projects “Artscape Lobby” and “The Tea Lounge”, both in the JW Marriott Absheron Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan.

JW Marriott Baku - Henry Chebaane

Chebaane has created what might be a world’s first: a public space, formed by reception area and lobby cafe, that looks and feels like a giant immersive art gallery but performs and functions like a hotel lobby.

To define an experience for the guest which is deeply rooted in a sense of place, the public space is a representation of the region, its culture and nature.

For the ARTSCAPE LOBBY, the main source of inspiration was the old Persian name of the city Baku (the “wind-pounded city”) and the surrounding Absheron peninsula (“place of salty waters”) as well as the rich nature of the nearby Caucasus mountains, where the Walnut tree is one of the dominant species.

JW Marriott Baku - Henry Chebaane

The adjacent TEA LOUNGE has been designed to express the duality between heritage and innovation, permanence and transition. Conceived like a luxurious “chaikhana” (the traditional Central Asian tea house) for modern nomads, the space is anchored by a central tea studio, where the various rituals of tea-making are enacted live.

The public space of the JW Marriott Absheron aim to redefine the experience of a classic hotel lobby and lounge by immersing guests into an ancient narrative with a strong regional identity within a contemporary lifestyle.

www.blueskyhospitality.space

he groundbreaking ceremony for Arnava Hotel & Residence, Batu was held back in May, launching the development of this mixed-use property

Adonara Hotel Group announces Arnava Hotel in Batu Indonesia

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The groundbreaking ceremony for Arnava Hotel & Residence, Batu was held back in May, launching the development of this mixed-use property.

Ideally situated for easy access to all of Batu City’s attractions and less than 20 kilometres north-west of Malang, Arnava Hotel & Residence, Batu, will be developed over 7,000m2 at an investment cost of approximately £8.6 million.

Investment in the tourism sector has grown in recent years, with a projected IDR 1.8 trillion (£103 million) in investment in the region in 2016 thanks in part to regional economic stability, with the majority of investment being seen in the trading, hotel, restaurant and associated retail industries.

All investment is carefully monitored in Batu, to protect the city for both current and future growth. With growing demand being seen in the property sector, the Arnava Hotel and Residence mixed-use development, in partnership with the Adonara Group, is however well placed to meet the needs of both individual and corporate investors. The development will boast a capacity of 320 rooms—the largest in Batu City—split between private residences and hotel rooms, and offer myriad opportunities.

ADONARA HOTELS GROUP is a national hotel management company which builds iconic brands such as U Stay, Coral, Arnava, Boston and Amanuba, in partnership and collaboration with investors and regional business partners.

The Murray Hotel - Hong Kong

New luxury hotel, The Murray, to open in Hong Kong late 2017

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Niccolo Hotels, the new luxury hotel brand, is set to catapult into the limelight with the announcement of its exciting new flagship property in Hong Kong. The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong will open in late 2017, on Cotton Tree Drive in Central.

As well as being the first significant new luxury hotel to open in Hong Kong for several years, The Murray will breathe new life into one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and historic buildings. The tall white landmark structure, with its distinctive arches and unique recessed windows, was built in 1969 and has since won many awards for its ground-breaking and energy-efficient design.

World-renowned architects Foster + Partners, whose works in Hong Kong include The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank headquarters and the Hong Kong International Airport, have been engaged as designers for the project.

With its unique location in a stand-alone building positioned between the Central business district and the green oasis of Hong Kong Park, the 336-room hotel will offer a sophisticated, urban chic sanctuary in the heart of the city. Among its unique features will be a stunning rooftop bar with some of the most breathtaking views of the city. A series of signature restaurants are also being planned.

Seasoned British-born hotelier Duncan Palmer has been appointed as the hotel’s Managing Director, and will bring his many years of experience with The Savoy, The Connaught, Mandarin Oriental and Langham Hotels amongst others to create a truly world-class new hotel for Hong Kong.

“I am quietly confident this will become the preferred hotel in Hong Kong for visiting dignitaries, captains of industry and leaders in style. They will appreciate the sophisticated and international standard of hospitality that the Niccolo brand delivers.” said Mr Palmer.

The first hotel under the brand, the stylish Niccolo Chengdu opened in April 2015 and has quickly been recognised as the city’s leading centre for luxury accommodation, fine dining and events. It is superbly located as part of the International Finance Square (IFS) a mixed-use retail and commercial centre which has become the epicentre of Chengdu’s events.

www.niccolohotels.com

Sneak Peek: Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu now open

Sneak Peek: Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu now open

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The 362-room Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu opened on June 24 in the 52-storey, mixed-use Yiwu World Trade Centre, the tallest building in Zhejiang Province. The tower offers commercial space, apartments and shopping, and is located in the city”s business district and is adjacent the Yiwu International Commodity City.

The 362-room Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu opened on June 24 in the 52-story, mixed-use Yiwu World Trade Centre, the tallest building in Zhejiang Province
The hotel’s design features a sienna and walnut color palette to complement the Dongyang wood-carved screens in the public areas that evoke a sense of place and connection to the culture and history of Zhejiang province. Each guestroom features natural colors and the Chinese rose—the flower of Yiwu—that can be found engraved on wood, in paintings and embossed on panels. Other features include complimentary WiFi, a marble bathroom, an executive desk and large windows.


There are three restaurants and eight private dining rooms; an outdoor terrace is available for alfresco dining. More than 41,700-sq-ft of event space is available, including a grand ballroom than can accommodate 1,000 guests for banquets. The hotel is the first in the city to feature an elevator that is large enough to transport cars directly to the ballroom for car-centric events, according to the company.

The 362-room Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu opened on June 24 in the 52-story, mixed-use Yiwu World Trade Centre, the tallest building in Zhejiang Province
There also is a spa, gym, indoor heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates some 95 hotels in 22 countries and 73 destinations under the Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen and Traders brands.

Andaz Singapore

André Fu, AFSO continue ascent in Singapore, Hong Kong

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After the successful launch of the Kerry Hotel on Hong Kong’s waterfront, acclaimed Hong Kong-based designer and architect André Fu sees a contemporary art gallery in Tokyo completed for Galerie Perrotin, the spa at the now iconic Villa La Coste open and the VIP lounge at Pacific Place finished.

With Andaz Singapore set to open in autumn this year and the prominent Cantonese restaurant Guo Fu Lou, at the Murray Hotel, Hong Kong, launching towards years end, André Fu and AFSO continue their illustrious ascent.

Conceived as a contemporary lifestyle destination that embraces Singapore’s local urban spirit, André Fu has sought to captivate the eclectic shop-house experience at the Andaz Singapore, which will open this autumn. Working within the framework of the modernist Duo development by Ole Scheeren, Fu has conjured a layered journey of relaxed luxury.

André FuAs guests explores the hotel, a strong sense of discovery prevails, much akin to the distinct neighbourhood experience at the nearby Bugis and Kampong Glam area – an experience that is quintessential to Singapore itself.

Scheduled to open late 2017, Guo Fu Lou, at the Murray Hotel, Hong Kong, is a prominent Cantonese restaurant featuring sensuous interiors reinforced by Fu’s rigorous pursuit of new Asian sensitivities. Designed to inspire and indulge, the restaurant will be elegant and chic with authentically inspired design.

Made up of a 90-seat restaurant, with numerous private dining rooms, Guo Fu Lou is crowned with a sprawling outdoor terrace, a unique feature among Chinese restaurants in the region.

Hilton’s Curio brand debuts in Asia Pacific

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Hilton has announced the opening of Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton, the first Curio Collection property in Greater China and Asia Pacific to join the exclusive, upper upscale collection brand of more than 35 distinctive hotels and resorts around the world.

Located on the West Coast of Hainan Island’s southernmost city, Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort is only a short drive from renowned attractions to discover such as Dongtian Park, Nanshan Temple and the unique Tianya Haijiao. Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort’s 267 rooms and suites include large soaking tubs and boast panoramic views of the sea, pool or tropical gardens.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaOther amenities include a 2,000 square meter swimming pool beach access, as well as a kids’ club and game room for adults.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaSanya Yazhou Bay Resort, which is a 25-minute drive from the Sanya Phoenix International Airport and 35 km away from the Sanya city centre, offers full support for meetings and events.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaMeeting and outdoor banquet spaces, which can be configured for events of any size, make up a total of 2,000 square metres. Equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, these flexible spaces include a main 1,200 square metre meeting area and nine meeting rooms.

pentahotels

pentahotels opening Bangkok property in 2020

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pentahotels, the design-led and neighbourhood lifestyle brand, today announced a new management agreement with The Nest Property Company a subsidiary of PM Group, to open the first pentahotel in Bangkok, Thailand in 2020.

pentahotel Bangkok, Ploenchit, will be located in Lumpini in the central business area of Bangkok. The announcement marks the first official step in pentahotels’ expansion in Southeast Asia, building on the brand’s plans to open its second Hong Kong property in Summer 2017.

pentahotelsAs a new build property, tailored to pentahotels’ design standards, it will feature the brand’s hallmark design-led environment, including the signature pentalounge, a new-concept reception area that combines function with entertainment, welcoming guests to relax and socialise around a stylish bar.

The hotel will also feature 157 guestrooms, a swimming pool and gym. Located close to many large shopping outlets, high-rise offices and the Lumpini park, pentahotel Bangkok will offer business guests and leisure travellers alike the perfect window into the capital’s modern, vibrant and tropical lifestyle.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveils new water suites

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Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has unveiled their much-anticipated water villas; two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom suites and the family water villas. The new accommodations are now open for booking.

Each of the new water villas offers luxurious indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, vast wooden decks with shaded loungers, overwater hammock nets, infinity pools, direct lagoon access and lightly air-conditioned interiors featuring designs inspired by the vibrant colours of Kuda Huraa.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe Two-Bedroom Water Suite give guests the choice to choose their layout; swim towards the horizon or float adjacent to it with two different pool and deck orientations; parallel and perpendicular to the sea. The Three-Bedroom Water Suite is designed to let guests live their fantasy escape through private spa treatments and yoga in the comfort of their own ocean-view deck.

Finally, the new Family Water Villa is designed to keep everyone in the family delighted, said the resort. Guests can keep a close eye on their little ones in the gorgeous sunken children”s room located a step down from the lounge with a wall of windows framing the endless turquoise lagoon beyond.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe enchanting garden island of Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies a half-hour speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, offering 96 thatched beach and water villas. In addition to the Island Spa sanctuary located on its own private island, Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has four restaurants and two bars that are complemented by private dining options, including sandbank barbeques and private over-water gazebos.

Ritz-Carlton Astana

The Ritz-Carlton, Astana opens to mark company’s first Kazakh property

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The Ritz-Carlton, the legendary luxury hotel brand, opened the doors of its first hotel in the capital of Kazakhstan. With the capital city an emerging destination for business and leisure travelers, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana elevates the local hospitality landscape with exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and commitment to creating memorable experiences.

Located in the Talan Towers, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana, owned by Verny Capital Group, joins an elite business center and luxury shopping gallery to create the city’s first high-end, mixed-use complex, creating a new type of lifestyle and luxury experience in the region. With a unique yet graceful design, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana is also a natural extension of the square around the nearby Bayterek Tower, a monument and symbol of modern Astana.

The Ritz-Carlton, Astana features 157 guest rooms, including 32 suites, and 27 residences, all of which offer panoramic city views, thoughtful design that celebrates the beauty of the capital city, and spacious layouts. A Club Lounge on the 14th floor provides guests with an additional sanctuary, private check-in, dedicated Club Concierge, and culinary presentations throughout the day.

Three new restaurants showcase gastronomic excellence from around the world and will delight guests and local residents alike. Adjacent to the main entrance, Өzen offers the finest selection of organic produce, while Mökki, an all-day dining restaurant, offers guests a sense of comfort. The selection is completed with Selfie Astana, the newest creation of the Russian-based restaurant group White Rabbit Family, which will offer masterful cuisine to accompany the stunning city view from the 18th floor.

Ritz-Carlton AstanaA peaceful spa retreat will also offer an array of treatments and spa packages that include seasonal offerings and signature treatments, all of which are chosen for their holistic qualities. Spa amenities include a dry and steam sauna and swimming pool, with a fitness studio adjacent to the spa. Additionally, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana will help create unforgettable meetings and events by offering luxurious settings paired with exceptional cuisine and personalized service. The hotel’s 1000 square meter ballroom, well-appointed meetings rooms, and modern business and banquet amenities are well suited to accommodate a diverse range of meetings and events.

Deluxe Room Conrad Guangzhou

Conrad Guangzhou opens to the world

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts is SET to welcome guests to the new Conrad Guangzhou, the seventh Conrad property to debut in China.

Created as a stylish urban oasis in the heart of CBD Zhujiang New Town, Conrad Guangzhou boasts panoramic river views from its rooms and restaurants while offering intuitive amenities and flawless service. The hotel is ideal for leisure and business travelers alike who want to explore, do business and stay inspired.

Conrad Guangzhou offers 309 spacious guest rooms and suites in a modern 27-storey tower overlooking the Pearl River. The hotel enjoys a prime location in the midst of a new, multi-use complex, where guests can easily walk to premium shopping, entertainment and public art, or attend to business at the nearby corporate offices. Popular landmarks like the Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Opera House and Canton Tower are minutes away, as are the subway system and bus stations.

Conrad Guangzhou opens to the worldConrad Guangzhou features a variety of modern and spacious rooms and suites with panoramic river views and best-in-class amenities. Starting at a generous 48 square meters, rooms feature walk-in closets, large flat screen TVs, WiFi and wired internet access, Nespresso coffee machine, and a shoe dryer, a thoughtful amenity unique to Conrad Guangzhou to keep your shoes dry and toasty.

Conrad Guangzhou guests can stay healthy, fit and inspired while traveling with a stunning fitness center located on the sixth floor with state-of-the-art equipment, a 25-metre indoor pool and sweeping views of the city. The onsite spa offers relaxing and rejuvenating treatments.

Ideal proximity, convenience and unique services make Conrad Guangzhou the preferred choice for business travelers and conferences as well as corporate events or weddings.

Treetop Hotels - Keemala – Phuket, Thailand

Guest Blog: Why treetop hotels are growing in popularity…

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Travellers can now live the luxury treetop dream with a little help from the Hotels.com. Loved by guests awards and the millions of genuine guest reviews they’re based on, ten amazing hotels have been crowned winners in the brand new Best for Treehouse category, and they’ll be climbing straight to the top of your wish list.

Today’s travellers are aiming high and dreaming of a vacation in the sky, as the travel experts at Hotels.com saw almost a 30% increase in demand for treehouse hotels last year. With treetop luxury (33%) proving more popular than sleeping in a spaceship (28%), checking into a hotel made of gold (24%) or bedding down in an ice hotel (23%), Hotels.com reveals the best-of-the-best Loved by Guests award winners…

Arkansas Adventure
Eureka Springs Treehouses—Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Review Rating: 4.8 out of 5 on Hotels.comIf you’re looking for a secluded romantic getaway, this is the place to be. This resort is a hidden gem with quirky features and fun at every turn. The treehouses are held on cedar logs, surrounded by beautiful greenery and destination themed, so guests can stay in Venice, New York, Santa Fe and Paris. If treetop life isn’t for you then fear not, as Eureka Springs also offers stays in fairytale castles, with hidden passages and Jacuzzi towers, and guests can even check in to enchanting hobbit caves that are like magical cocoons. Rate Available upon request.


Beachside Bungalows Among the Trees

Azulik – Adults Eco-Resort & Maya Spa – Tulum, Mexico
Bring out your inner child and swing above the turquoise sea of Tulum, all from the privacy of your own villa at this luxurious beach hideaway. Azulik is a celeb spotting hotspot, but its biggest draw is the stunning villas. These wooden-crafted abodes feature spectacular water views, outdoor mosaic bathtubs and a deck with a swing and hanging Balinese bed. Guests can enjoy fine dining and entertainment with a 12 course tasting menu at the Kin Toh restaurant that’s built 12 meters above the Mayan jungle, all while watching artistic performances.

Treetop hotelsFloat Among the Clouds
Keemala – Phuket, Thailand (main picture)
Fancy taking a dip on the edge of a cliff in your own 30-meter infinity pool? You can do just that at these gorgeous Bird’s Nest treehouses on stilts, located just 40 minutes from Phuket. Keemala is an enchanting evergreen wonderland, and these unique villas feature giant monsoon showers and freestanding bathtubs that have amazing views over the rainforest. Beach luxury, spa treatments, sunset cocktails and champagne picnics are also all on the menu at Keemala.

Style in the Sky
Tree Hotel – Harads, Sweden
The Tree Hotel has upped the style stakes with its quirky, custom designed eco-treehouses. Imagine sleeping amongst the tall pine trees in a Mirror Cube, a Bird’s Nest or a UFO! Treehouses come complete with their own private giant hammock, so you can stargaze and seek out the Northern Lights. Guests can relax in the tree sauna, enjoy some authentic homemade Swedish food or zip line over Swedish Lapland and the Lule River for some exclusive and spectacular views.

Treetop hotels

Breath-Taking African views
Tsala Treetop Lodge – Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
High in the treetops, this hotel hideaway is set in the wilds of South Africa, in the heart of the Garden Route. With breath-taking views and a mystical charm, the treetop suites are pure luxury. They come complete with their own private spa bathrooms, fireplaces and even infinity pools. The hotel also offers a unique dining experience from a special dining deck suspended above the forest floor, where you can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast or a lazy lunch.

Treetop hotelsTreetop Tranquillity
Silky Oaks Lodge – Mossman, Australia
Imagine a rejuvenating spa experience in one of the world’s most ancient rainforests. Located along the Mossman River, Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef – there are rainforest walks, crystal waterholes and a billabong beach, all at your disposal at this hotel. The luxury treehouses have large verandas and hammocks, perfect for unwinding in the heart of the rainforest canopy. Guests can also enjoy dinner in their open-sided treehouse restaurant.

Treetop hotels

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Cachet Dewa Phuket

Cachet Hospitality boosts portfolio with Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket

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Cachet Hospitality Group has announced the signing of a management agreement for Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket, a conversion property owned by R&B Partners.

Located on Thailand’s largest island, the hotel marks the company’s second resort property and adds to Cachet’s expanding portfolio in Southeast Asia, following on the heels of the recently announced SAVANT Vela Hotel – Bangkok. Operations as a CHG managed property will begin May 2017, with interior renovations to be completed November 2017, helmed by Cachet Interior Design (CID).

The sprawling property will feature CHG’s signature offerings, including a premium sleep experience, rejuvenating bath amenities, a grandiose arrival area, and global culinary experiences. On-site facilities will include two distinctive dining venues, approximately 1,000 square meters of meeting and event spaces, a luxurious spa, a fully equipped fitness center, a yoga-focused wellness center, a Kids Club, and two picturesque swimming pools.

Reinterpreted by CID, Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket’s standard rooms, villas and residential suites will feature sleek, contemporary interiors with polished concrete floors, deep mahogany, black marble, coconut shell finishes, and exposed ceilings. The modern effect is balanced by incorporating classic Thai blue silk on the pillows, chairs, and beds and adorning the guestrooms with authentic Thai sculptures and artwork.

Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket will be distributed on CHG’s revolutionary technology platform and participate in the platform’s loyalty program Cachet World. The technology platform is a lifestyle community that features a search and booking engine for boutique and lifestyle hotels and high-end residences worldwide. Through the platform, guests of Cachet Resort will enjoy interactive mobility, exclusive member rates, and personalized food and beverage experiences.

Cachet Hospitality Group’s global portfolio, including properties in the pipeline, extends across China, Thailand, Mexico and the United States. With unprecedented opportunity for international growth, CHG is establishing itself as an international hospitality leader.

Poli House – experimental luxury meets Tel Aviv design

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The Poli House is a 40-room “experimental luxury” property harnessing the essence of Tel Aviv’s past, present and future and dressed with interior designs by world renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid, located in the epicentre of Tel Aviv’s cultural core.

Housed in a Bauhaus architecture-style building meticulously restored over a three-year-period by Nitza Szmuk, recipient of the prestigious Emet Prize for her extensive work on preserving and restoring buildings in Tel Aviv, was called upon to spearhead the restoration, conservation as well as execute the new design plans for this stunning architectural marvel.

The Poli House boasts warm and clean yellow, blue, green and white interiors created exclusively by world-renowned industrial designer/architect Karim Rashid. The Poli House’s homage to 1930’s Tel Aviv, tech-savvy design elements, health and style-conscious amenities and proximity to the Carmel Market and Mediterranean promenade combine for an unwavering leisure-soaked property unlike any other in the White City.

Rashid explains the rationale behind his signature motif, a fantastic melange of whimsical, futuristic interior design embodied by The Poli House as follows: “We usually only look to the past for inspiration, but the mentality of Tel Aviv is very contemporary, focusing less on the past and looking forward to the future. The Poli House embodies just that. I tried to embrace that Tel Aviv spirit, energy and love of life into the function of the hotel, turning an emotion into a tangible form through colors and graphics.

“My design for Poli House has a great duality about it. The hotel is a marriage of Bauhaus & Digital Age, form & function, crafts & fine arts, digital & organic. The simplicity of the architecture is juxtaposed with digitally-driven ornamentation and form. I imagined the Bauhaus in the 21st. Century, having a universal language that crosses borders and connects all of us. Tel Aviv is that kind of city, with every culture integrated. This pristine White City building is juxtaposed with a digipop aura, the day in which we live,” he adds.

The Galle Face Hotel will cut the ribbon on a new L’Occitane spa

Sri Lanka’s Grand Dame to unveil new luxury L’Occitane spa

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More than 153 years after first opening its doors, one of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, The Galle Face Hotel, will cut the ribbon on a new L’Occitane spa that pays tribute to the property’s glamorous association with Hollywood over the decades.

Adorned in a romantic palette of soft textures, alpine and iced teal hues, the spa’s clean and crisp interior will be accented by natural, dark ash-stained wooden floorboards, doors and window frames, recessed Oriental-style rugs, silk screens and exquisite upholstered furniture.

The Galle Face Hotel’s general manager Deni A. Dukic said the spa would stay true to L’Occitane’s traditions, including its essential oils, natural ingredients and traditional massage techniques, yet be distinct in character, inspired by the grandeur of the hotel’s historical association with some of Hollywood’s most recognizable icons.

“This is a spa that strives to transport you to an early Hollywood era, a gentler, more luxurious time when glamour reigned and time moved slower,” said Dukic. “We want to ensure that the services offered at the spa are equal to the standards guests from around the world have come to expect of The Galle Face Hotel.”

Spanning a palatial 1,115 square metres, ‘Spa L’Occitane En Provence’ will feature eight therapy rooms, including couples and Ayurveda rooms, as well as a nail spa, lavish indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, gym, steam rooms, dry saunas and Jacuzzis.

Situated adjacent to the hotel’s Pool Bar and Terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean, the spa’s lush outdoor area, replete with daybeds and tropical plants including fuchsia of rich pink bougainvillea designed to attract pockets of butterflies, will serve up a spa menu ranging from healthy snacks to specially created cocktails.

The spa will offer an ample choice of massages, facials and other treatments based on natural ingredients such as lavender from Provence in the south of France and shea butter from Burkina Faso in west Africa. First opened in 2001 in Brazil and Vietnam, L’Occitane spas are committed to socially responsible best practices, limiting water and energy use where possible as well as carefully selecting natural materials.

Both as a backdrop and as a place of respite post-filming, The Galle Face Hotel has hosted a number of stars over the last century and a half, including Laurence Olivier, David Lean, Gregory Peck, Carol Reed, Peter Finch, William Holden and Alec Guinness.

Bo Derek checked in for the shooting of Tarzan, the Ape Man in the ‘80s. In the same decade Harrison Ford was a guest when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was filmed on the island. Steven Spielberg, Roger Moore, Carrie Fisher, Jean Simmons and Scarlett Johansson also figure on a guest list that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood royalty.

Due to open mid-2017, the spa’s emergence follows a 30-month restoration completed in late 2015 that brought the hotel’s rooms and suites, restaurants and bars, and lobby and ballrooms of the North Wing back to their original grandeur.

Mandarin Oriental Bali

Mandarin Oriental real estate project taking shape in Bali

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Construction is underway on the first 22 units sold at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali, a remarkable real estate offering taking shape on a naturally accommodating clifftop where the group’s inaugural hotel in Bali is also in development.

Set within the confines of budding Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf on Bali’s southernmost tip, The Residences will eventually comprise 91 standalone villas conceptualized by acclaimed international architect Jean-Michel Gathy, who took inspiration from a traditional Balinese farming technique in imagining the layout.

“The topography lends itself beautifully to a series of tiers that is really reminiscent of the terraced rice paddies you see all around Bali,” said the lead designer at Kuala Lumpur-based Denniston Architects, which has conceived many of the world’s most exclusive resorts built in the past 25 years. “So even from the villas at the very back of the complex, you have these unobstructed, 180-degree views of the ocean.”

To enhance the views for all residents and their guests, each villa will possess a flat roof dressed with an array of exotic grasses, shrubs and palm trees, a design flourish that also serves to create a seamless connection with the surrounding environment. Homage has been paid as well to the spirit of Balinese architecture, in that no villa will exceed the height of a typical coconut tree, no matter how many rooms it has.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“This is not London or Singapore or anywhere else,” said Gathy, a Belgian who has spent 35 years in Asia. “It’s Bali. We took that into account every step of the way. But we didn’t go overboard. And that’s an important distinction to make. Because sometimes designers go too far in that respect.

“I like to use the analogy of chocolate. When I have my coffee, I have it with one piece of chocolate. I don’t have it with 100 pieces. That would make me sick. It’s too much.”

Restraint has also been applied indoors, where Gathy and Indonesian interior design guru Jasin Tedjasukmana of Kiat Architects have collaborated on a style they describe as “simple elegance.”

Tasteful amounts of understated local artwork, comfortable pieces of furniture, discreet water features and low-profile, high-tech features are blended in harmonious fashion. Even the line between inside and outside is deftly blurred, thanks largely to windows that extend from floor to ceiling and glass doors that retract, such as the one between the living room and the infinity pool.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“These homes are the ultimate expression of luxury living,” said Djie Tjian An, president/director of PT Bali Ragawisata, Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf’s developer. “I’ve been here for more than three decades, and I can tell you Bali has never had anything like this.”

In addition to being part of an elite club, owners at The Residences will have access to a 2-kilometre stretch of private white sand beach and all the facilities and services associated with Mandarin Oriental, Bali. When finished in mid-2018, the 88-room hotel will include an 88-metre-long swimming pool along the edge of the clifftop, a private beach club steps from the ocean, a cantilevered gourmet restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a 1,725-square-metre spa with eight treatment rooms.

Together, the Mandarin Oriental hotel and residences will occupy approximately 5 percent of the 150-hectare piece of property that makes up Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf, which Gathy masterplanned and that will eventually include another super-luxury hotel designed by him, a Waldorf Astoria and a Swissotel.

The link between them all is Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, an 18-hole, par-3 championship-calibre golf course that opened in October 2016 as the first course of its kind in Southeast Asia.

“The routing is magnificent and the concept is brilliant,” said Gathy. “You don’t need four or five hours. You just need two.”

Blueprints also call for a 2.2-kilometre “eco trail” that runs across the cliffside and leads to three sacred Hindu temples and a new amphitheatre where traditional cultural performances are conducted on a nightly basis. Villas at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali mostly range from one to five bedrooms, but floorplans for the four largest residences could be altered to allow for more bedrooms.

moresidencesbali.com

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi An

La Siesta Resort & Spa Hoi An debuts new five-star wing

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A major expansion, refurbishment and rebrand has propelled La Siesta Resort and Spa Hoi An into the elite category of hotels in Hoi An – a UNESCO-listed ancient port famous as one of the most Vietnam’s premier tourist destinations.

The property, which is owned and operated by leading Vietnamese boutique hotel brand Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG), recently unveiled a name change – it was formerly the Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa — and its brand-new East Wing, a luxurious 37-room annexe that also encompasses a spa, saltwater pool and fine-dining venue.

Currently in its soft-opening phase, the new wing features an array of luxurious room types. Poolside suites come with deep wooden bathtubs and private Swedish saunas. Duplex suites benefit from clawfoot bathtubs and expansive balconies overlooking the pool. The Premium Terrace Suites, meanwhile, span a generous 76-sqm and are kitted out with private Jacuzzis.

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAttention to detail is at the fore throughout the new wing. Specially commissioned teak furniture was handcrafted by artisans, while flooring that combines polished wood and patterned tiling evokes an old-world charm in-keeping with the timeless aura of Hoi An itself.

“That was a real priority for us when it came to conceptualising and realising our vision for the new wing – making it as harmonious to the atmosphere in the destination as we could,” said Nguyen Cao Son, EHG Chief Operation Officer. “Not only did we want to create something that would elevate the boutique resort experience in Hoi An, we were aware of our architectural responsibility to stay true to the spirit of the place.”

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAs such, guest rooms are aligned around an extensive saltwater swimming pool in three-storey buildings, carefully designed to maintain harmony with the traditional architecture that characterises Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town. Other call outs to the destination’s incredible heritage include an on-site Confucian temple dating back to the 15th Century, which will be used in future for special event dinners and traditional lantern festivals. The resort is located in Thanh Ha village – a peaceful area famous for its ceramics – and is just a short 5-10-minute walk from the shophouses, temples, colonial buildings and iconic Vietnamese tube houses that characterise central Hoi An.

Yet while sympathy to local tradition is very much in evidence throughout the new wing, trimmings and service standards are in keeping with those of the very best modern five-stars. Inviting extras include access to a personal butler (for suites and villas), handmade toiletries from La Siesta’s own line of spa products and state of the art in-room technology such as Samsung sound-bars and espresso coffee makers.

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnOther highlights of the new wing include a luxurious spa lounge and the Temple restaurant, which serves international buffet breakfast and elevated European-influenced fare for lunch and dinner in an attractive poolside setting. The new wing blends seamlessly with the existing west section of the property, acclaimed by guests for its charming colonial-style low-rise architecture and the highly-rated Asian cuisine served at its Red Bean restaurant.

“Our mission with the new wing was to position La Siesta Hoi An at the pinnacle of the hotel offerings in Hoi An, alongside established international brand names,” said Cao Son. “However, we also wanted to maintain the Vietnamese character and warmth of service that EHG has been widely commended for. We think we’ve managed to achieve something very special.”

New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World

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This May Small Luxury Hotels of the World is welcoming five new luxury properties to its portfolio. Introducing a brand new eco-certified hotel in Cap Corsica, a newly opened palazzo turned boutique retreat in Rome, a serene forest dwelling in Izu, Japan and a sophisticated retreat wrapped up in bright botanic gardens in Puerto Vallarta.

Le Domaine Misincu: Corsica

Opening June 2017
Due to open in June 2017, set in 35 hectares of natural parks and gardens, Le Domaine Misincu will be the only five-star rated environmentally friendly and eco-certified luxury boutique hotel in the region of Cap Corsica. Highly protected, savage and unspoilt in natural beauty, Cap Corse is the last remaining “wild” part of the island and therefore nicknamed as “the island on the island” which sets its history apart from the rest of the island. Aiming for Corsican modern luxury living at its best, Le Domaine Misincu is an epitomised “barefoot casual luxury” experience with a holistic approach. Contemporary yet traditional in style, the hotel pays homage to Corsican heritage and the outstanding beauty of its natural surroundings coupled with 21st century amenities for today’s luxury leisure travellers. Whether it is the vast range of local products in the F&B outlets, Corsican fabrics, materials and woods to be used for anything interior design or the fleet of Tesla cars available for guests, any stay here is to reflect an authentic Cap Corse experience.

Casa Velas: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Found amidst blooming grounds of tropical flora, the adult-only hotel and ocean club, Casa Velas, sets the scene for a perfect romantic seaside escape. The 80 suites offer guests a private piece of luxury in the botanic gardens and the wooden beams and furniture and earthy tones are inspired by traditional Mexican designs. The hotel is just minutes from the beach, an 18-hole golf course and the buzzing boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. The treatments at Casa Velas Spa draw on ancient wisdom and local ingredients, with treatment rooms for couples and singles, a hydrotherapy area and beauty salon. The on-site restaurant, Emiliano, is an AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, headed up by one of the area’s leading chefs, serving Mexican and international cuisine. Alternatively guests can opt to take a short stroll to the Ocean Club for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails on the beachfront.

Margutta 19: Rome, Italy

Opening July 2017
This brand new Roman boutique hotel will open its doors on July 1 2017. Tucked away on Via Margutta – known locally as ‘the artist’s street’ thanks to famous prior residents such as Picasso and Stravinsky, this elegant palazzo has been given a modern make over. Despite its city location Margutta 19 provides a chic and restful escape, away from the buzz of Rome. The 16 rooms have been styled in gentle shades of sage and ivory, with parquet floors, travertine marble bathrooms, king size beds and Frette linens. Classic and deluxe suites overlook the cobbled Via Margutta and its terracotta buildings, while the Garden Suite comes with its own 43 square metre terrace. Restaurant Assaggia is courtesy of angelo Troiani who serves his own inventive spin on Roman classics, including recipes handed down through generations of the hotel owner’s family.

ABBA Resorts Izu: Izu, Japan

Situated on the stunning Jogasaki coast, ABBA resorts Izu is an intimate, 30 room retreat, featuring an indulgent Neen-spa and three world-class restaurants serving French and Japanese fare. Built in the ryokan style of a traditional inn, the luxurious Abba Resorts Izu, blends seamlessly into its ancient forest backdrop. The resort’s natural garden was created from diverse lava formations and the villas come with their own open-air bath, filled with warm, soothing mineral waters flowing in from the Ukiyama Hot Springs that Izu is known for. The rooms are designed to calm and soothe, with woven tatami straw mats and other natural touches in abundance.

São Lourenço do Barrocal: Monsaraz, Portugal

This 200 year old family run, fully working farm-come-luxury boutique retreat (main picture) seamlessly blends contemporary scandi-style décor with vintage homestead touches. Every element of the hotel celebrates its Alentejo surroundings. Guests can wander the grounds, take a seat in the wooden deck chairs amongst the orange grove, stroll through the wine and vegetable garden, take a dip in the pool or pack up a picnic and cycle to the estates lake. At night guests are invited to enjoy farm-to-table dining at the onsite restaurant, where classic Alentejo flavours are served up using home grown and locally sourced produce alongside the winemakers selection from the onsite vineyard. The 40 rooms, suites and cottages are a tasteful mix of old and new, with white fabrics, wool blankets, carefully selected vintage features and farm views. Certain suites and cottages also come with a private terrace, perfect for star-gazing. A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool, as well as a variety of treatments.

Best Western Malaysia

Best Western opens upscale hotel in Malaysia’s Genting Highlands

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts has unveiled a stunning new upscale hotel in Malaysia’s popular and scenic Genting Highlands.

The brand new Best Western Premier Ion Delemen opened on April 26 and is nestled in the lush jungle-clad hills of Pahang state, the centre of the Malay Peninsula. In addition to providing the perfect natural retreat for both Malaysian and international visitors, the new hotel is on the doorstep of Genting’s Resorts World, which features a large theme park, casino and Malaysia’s longest cable car ride. The world’s first 20th Century Fox World theme park is also a nearby attraction and is scheduled to welcome visitors later this year.

Best Western Premier Ion Delemen is operated by Ion Delemen Hospitality Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the NCT Group of Companies. It forms part of the Ion Delemen development, which is expected to fully open in 2018 and will include an international wellness centre.

Best Western Premier Ion Delemen offers a collection of 246 rooms, ranging from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, featuring separate living areas, bedrooms and kitchenettes. All rooms will offer modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, international power outlets and complimentary Wi-Fi, spacious bathrooms and large windows that overlook the lush mountains.

This brand new hotel also incorporates a vast array of amenities, including multiple restaurants and bars, many of which offer floor-to-ceiling windows and al fresco seating areas that merge seamlessly with the natural surroundings. There is also a sky garden, a heated infinity-edged swimming pool, luxurious spa, fully-equipped fitness centre, children’s play area, and extensive space for conferences and events.

Following the launch of the new hotel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts now operates three properties in Malaysia, located in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and the Genting Highlands. This exciting new hotel also marks the return of the upscale Best Western Premier hotel brand to Malaysia.

Kanuhura Maldives

Kanuhura Maldives relaunches with new design concept

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A collection of three islands within the heart of the Indian Ocean, the reimagined iconic Kanuhura resort in the Maldives has undergone a $42 million design overhaul. Kanuhura relaunches with a nautical bohemian design concept that has revitalised the resort’s identity alongside a well thought out fitness offering.

With the guests’ island experience of paramount importance, the new nautical bohemian design caters to a generation who are defined by a desire for experiencing true escapism, driven by success and appreciation for the finer things in life. The concept welcomes reimagined, lime washed villas and suites, displaying refreshing simplicity and elegant touches throughout. Each of the 80 rooms are capacious, furnished with natural materials with a touch of refinement and modernised design for larger families with teenagers and young adults in mind.

3Focusing on an active lifestyle offering, the Kokaa Spa at Kanuhura has recently been recognised as one of the world’s best spas in National Geographic’s Spa & Wellness Collection, featuring a signature Marma therapy; a therapy that concentrates on releasing the energy from 103 pressure points on the body. Kanuhura is also home to the Kanuhura Martial Arts Academy, Project South, a project led by former two-time world Muay Thai Champion Irashaad Sayed.

The unique cluster of the three islands are in a special part of the Atoll, recognised as a Maldivian sanctuary with favourable sea currents surrounded by the island’s expanse of lush vegetation. The main island of Kanuhura Maldives is home to the resort’s villas and activities while Jehunuhura Island is just a short two-minute boat ride away across translucent Indian Ocean. Located amongst the indigenous pandanus trees for a true barefoot experience Jehununhura plays host to Drift restaurant. Finally, Kanuhura’s third neighbouring island is Masleggihura, which allows guests to escape from reality with just the lapping waves, sea herons and hermit crabs for company.

Mr Hauck on the three islands says “We offer everything from total escapism and tranquillity on Masleggihura island to a 300-metre sea swim to Jehunuhura island, a 2.25km round island run on Kanuhura and soon to be launched Project South which will be the first martial arts academy in the Maldives led by two-time world Muay Thai champion, Irshaad Sayed.”

In the heart of Kanuhura Maldives guests can discover local culinary master classes at A Mano. Translating to “touched by the hand”, an ethos celebrated throughout every aspect of the island’s kitchen, all produce used on the island is free range, seasonal and sourced from small local farmers and producers honouring traditional home cooking. The design of the kitchen fully embraces all that is handmade and natural, with lime washed timbers, local stones, woven fabrics and handmade ceramics.

www.kanuhura.com/en

Dusit International to open hotel on Phu Quocational to open hotel on Phu Quoc

Dusit set to open hotel on Vietnam’s emerging destination Phu Quoc

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Thailand-based global hospitality company Dusit International will make its Vietnam debut this December with the opening of the DusitPrincess Moonrise Beach Resort on the country’s largest island, Phu Quoc.

The result of a long-term franchising arrangement with Linh Chi Limited Company, the new hotel will comprise 108 rooms in a lush location overlooking popular Bai Truong beach on the island’s west coast, only eight minutes’ drive from Phu Quoc International Airport.

Elegantly and stylishly designed, the rooms will range from 32-sq-m Deluxe rooms to 56-sq-m Grand Suites, all providing sea views, while facilities will include an all-day-dining restaurant, a spa, an outdoor pool, a lounge and pool bar, a fully-equipped conference room, and a kids’ zone.

Phu Quoc, also known as Pearl Island, is located in the south of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand. An up-and-coming tourist destination, the island is known for its long, sweeping beaches, rich coral reefs, and dense, tropical jungle. Popular attractions include Phu Quoc National Park, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve; and Dinh Cau Temple, built in 1937 to honour Thien Hau, the Goddess of the Sea.

Soori Bali

LHW introduces eight new members to its ‘curated collection’

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The Leading Hotels of the World is pleased to announce the addition of eight new members to its curated collection of over 375 luxury hotels. From the blue water and pristine white sand of Bali’s south-western coast, to the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, each new member is as authentic and vibrant as the location in which it is found.

“For over 80 years The Leading Hotels of the World has been committed to providing unforgettable and authentic travel experiences,” said Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President, Membership, The Leading Hotels of the World. “We are pleased to welcome these eight distinguished new members that will offer our guests an array of unique travel experiences and enhance our portfolio’s global offerings.”

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Croatia
With its enviable seafront location and extraordinary Mediterranean gardens, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a modern beachfront luxury resort on the Dalmatian Coast, offers understated elegance and supreme comfort. Located in Orašac, seven miles from the UNESCO World Heritage City of Dubrovnik Old Town, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik features 177 hotel guestrooms, all of which boast amazing views from a private terrace or balcony, and 231 one, two or three-bedroom fully appointed suites and residences. Resort facilities include a private beach, three freshwater pools, a world-class spa, sports center, retail shopping area, conference facilities and a broad range of gastronomic offerings in 16 restaurants and bars.

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Joins The Leading Hotels of the WorldAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can make the most of the “al fresco” way of life by renting bicycles from the resort’s sports center and discovering Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or cruising the stunning Elaphite Archipelago. If guests prefer a guided bike tour, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik can arrange specialty sightseeing excursions with a private guide.

Le K2 Altitude, Courchevel, France
Situated in an intimate village at the base of the French Alps, the exclusive Le K2 Altitude is made up of a series of eight luxurious, interconnected chalets. Each of the 14 rooms and 18 suites is unique in its own right, appointed with handcrafted furnishings from Italy, Portugal and Spain. With direct access to the Pralong slope, guests can conquer Les Trois Vallées, the kingdom of skiing with 370 miles of marked runs. In addition, the hotels plays host to incredible gourmet and Mediterranean dining options, including a two-Michelin star restaurant, a renowned spa and a kid’s club for both children and teens.

Courchevel Le Altitude K2An uncommon experience not to miss: With the hotel’s incredible location directly on Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, guests can enjoy the best of the slopes with guidance from Le K2 Altitude’s experienced concierge team. Ready to make winter wonderland dreams a reality, they will help guests suit up in their on-site ski shop and arrange private ski lessons, heli-skiing, snowmobiling excursions and much more.

Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort, Catalunya, Spain
Set in the beautiful Catalonian countryside, Hotel Camiral is less than an hour from Barcelona, and within easy reach of the beaches of the Costa Brava, and the historic town of Girona. The hotel is the ideal location for sports enthusiasts, culture lovers, foodies and their families. Panoramic views over two award-winning championship golf courses, make Hotel Camiral a golf lover’s dream vacation. For adventure seekers, Hotel Camiral can arrange everything from sky diving over Empordá to snorkeling in Costa Brava. Designed by the internationally renowned talents Lázaro Rosa-Violán, Hotel Camiral provides the perfect combination of contemporary architecture, striking urban-chic interiors, generous space, comfort and luxury. A range of dining options includes a mix of Mediterranean and international cuisine with a focus on Catalán specialties, created from locally sourced produce, and accompanied by regional wines.

PGA Catalunya - Hotel CamiraAn uncommon experience not to miss: Play golf like a Tour Pro on one of Europe’s most famous courses, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course. Guests can learn how to best approach each hole with resident expert Enric, who will guide them through the course, providing the knowledge and tools to make it the perfect round.

Soori Bali, Kerambitan, Indonesia
Located on Bali’s south-western coast, Soori Bali sits within the picturesque Tabanan Regency, where volcanic mountains perch above lush rice fields and remarkable black sand beaches. Designed, owned and operated by renowned architect Soo K. Chan, the resort features 37 mountain, beach and ocean villas, each with its own private infinity pool and sweeping vistas. Also, included within the resort’s offerings are three dining options, all of which use fresh produce from nearby farms and spices from the resort’s own garden, as well as a full-service Soori Spa, infinity pool, bar, 24-hour gym and library.

Soori BaliAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can take advantage of ‘Journeys by Soori,’ a series of customized experiences exclusively offered at the resort. Travelers can choose between half or full day bespoke experiences which focuses on spa and wellness, Balinese culture, arts and crafts or environmentally conscious excursions.

Thanda Island, Shungimbili Island, District of Mafia Island, Tanzania
Thanda Island, considered one of the most exclusive tropical getaways in the world, is located between the mainland of Tanzania and Mafia Island. Surrounded by its own coral reefs, which protect it from heavy storms, the Island features only one private villa with five suites and two rustic Tanzanian Bandas. With ample sunshine, the Island is powered by sustainable energy with no negative environmental footprint, and is a sanctuary to enjoy in complete seclusion with family and friends. On the Island, guests can rejuvenate and enjoy a variety of water sports or island activities as they explore this remarkable destination, where shades of turquoise infuse the days, and tropical spices the nights.

tHANDIAn uncommon experience not to miss: Located in Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, marine conservation is at the core of the Island’s offering. Through ongoing partnerships with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, guests are encouraged to get involved in a range of educational projects, such as marine wildlife monitoring or awareness workshops with villagers on neighboring Mafia Island.

Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Located on the banks of the Río de la Plata River, the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences is a striking, futuristic building that is a focal point of the dynamic Puerto Madero neighborhood. The hotel features 159 luxurious rooms and suites decorated in a sleek, modern style, and state-of-the-art technology. With an eye towards design, a line of contemporary furniture was developed exclusively for the hotel and the rooms are appointed with arabescato marble walls and warm-toned French and Italian fabrics. The property’s eight dining venues are a culinary enthusiast’s playground, from Sunny Yard, perfect for a relaxing breakfast set in the hotel’s garden Courtyard, to Mike & Co., a kosher dairy bar where guests can enjoy childhood- inspired treats. The property also boasts two pools, a spectacular spa & fitness center, 8 meeting rooms and two ballrooms that can accommodate up to 1,200 attendees.

An uncommon experience not to miss: It’s all about dining with a view at the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences. Start the evening with bold drinks and good music at the Crystal Bar, located on the 32nd floor of the hotel. Follow drinks with dinner at The Grand View restaurant on the 31st floor, an open-kitchen concept design with magnificent city skyline and river views from its sprawling windows.

UNICO 20°87°, Riviera Maya, Mexico
For an unmatched adults-only Mexico vacation, look no further than UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya. Set on the stunning white beaches of the Riviera Maya, it offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the region through dining, décor and activities. Five unique dining options range from elevated fine cuisine, to a casual café setting, each offering a menu inspired by ingredients sourced from nearby producers. An extensive, expertly curated selection of spirits can be found at each bar and restaurant, accented by a mixologist-driven cocktail program. Travelers can relax in modern Mexico luxury, in UNICO 20°87°’s 408 rooms and 39 suites, all designed with indigenous inspiration and handcrafted details. In addition, there are three pools; Esencia Wellness, a holistic spa offering signature treatments; a full-service beauty salon and barber shop, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Select spa treatments, golf and tours are included in the guest’s stay. Exciting pop-up events, such as mezcal tastings, art competitions and acoustic sunset jams, insert a touch of spontaneity into travelers’ experiences.

An uncommon experience not to miss: UNICO 20°87°’s rotating chef restaurant, Cueva Siete, is sure to surprise guests with exciting tastes throughout the year. Cueva Siete’s current partnership with celebrity chef Christian Bravo, a competitor on Top Chef Mexico, showcases a gourmet Mexican menu drawing inspiration from the region and local ingredients.

Soon to open:
Palácio Tangará, São Paulo, Brazil

Situated in the heart of São Paulo, adjacent to a lush tropical park, Palácio Tangará offers an unparalleled and exceptional location in the desirable Panamby Morumbi neighborhood, just minutes from some of the city’s most notable attractions. Palácio Tangará’s 141 spacious guestrooms, including 59 suites, offer beautiful views overlooking the rich flora and fauna of Burle Marx Park. Outstanding dining experiences, led by legendary chef-restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, include signature Restaurant Tangará Jean-Georges, a chef’s table, and a bar. In addition, the hotel boasts state-of-the-art recreational facilities including the Spa by Sisley Paris, heated indoor and outdoor pools and a kids’ club. Palácio Tangará will begin welcoming guests in June.

An uncommon experience not to miss: Guests at Palácio Tangará can enjoy stunning views of the famous Burle Marx Park right from the comfort of the hotel. The Park is home to a wide variety of rare tropical birds, butterflies and flora, which can be admired from Palácio Tangará’s private terraces while enjoying fine dining or simply lounging by the pool. Following some R&R, guests can take a shady stroll through The Park, to experience the flavor of Brazil’s tropical forests – look out for opossums and white tufted marmosets.

Reopening after renovations:
Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort, Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia’s Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort will re-open for the 2017 season in late May, following a complete restructuring and renovation. The EUR 5 million investment includes the 25 Luxury Rooms of the main building, the external facades, public areas, reception and bar patio, plus a new all-weather covering for the Thalasso pools of the spa.