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Laos

The hotel's swimming pool in the shelter of an ancient banyan tree

Avani + Luang Prabang opens in Laos

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

AVANI+Luang Prabang in Laos, imagined by Pascal Trahan, evolved around an ancient Banyan tree, which now shelters the 25m pool…

AVANI Hotels & Resorts’ latest 53-key boutique hotel has opened in Luang Prabang, within the pulsing centre of Laos. AVANI+ Luang Prabang, set amongst picturesque streets and artisanal stores, is just steps away from the city’s most fascinating sights such as the Mekong River, Royal Palace, and Night Market.

Maintaining the authenticity of the UNESCO Heritage Town, the hotel is converted from a bungalow built for the French military brass in 1914. It now shelters a 53-key hotel that features a cosy pleasure dome with its roofline, wraparound balconies and façade quietly merging into the surrounding streetscape of colonial architecture. Inspired by the Laotian aesthetic, the hotel incorporates hand-stitched and waxed batik into the rooms as well as cement tiles and local timber.

The hotel in Laos features large beds with French-styled louvered wooden doors

Architect and interior designer Pascal Trahan from Trahan Architects built the hotel around an ancient Banyan tree that dates back hundreds of years. Stretched out under the shade of this tree is the hotel’s 25m pool, creating a contemporary yet balanced look and feel.

The property has retained its French history while embracing traditional Laotian design elements. The influence of France is felt in the hotel’s contemporary French neo-classical architecture which is integrated into the guest spaces with French-styled louvered wooden doors and an intimate, open-plan feel.

Guests in search of relaxation can find an oasis from the bustling activity of Luang Prabang at the hotel’s AVANISPA, or rest in the shade of the ancient Banyan tree which is rooted by the swimming pool. The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Bistro, is the perfect opportunity for visitors to get a taste of local Laotian cuisine. Heavily focused on sustainable dining, the restaurants ingredients are often sourced from local farmers that use the most traditional and organic of farming and fishing techniques.

This individually crafted AVANI+ blend continues through to reimagined dining concepts with specialty restaurants and rooftop or al fresco bar concepts.

AVANI+ Luang Prabang is the first property of the AVANI+ brand extension and demonstrates this through an unflinching dedication to culture and modern design aesthetics and promises to offer all that millennial-minded travellers would expect when visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos.

 

New hotel openings in 2017

Exciting hotel openings in 2017

900 450 Daniel Fountain

For the luxury traveller, this year is playing host to the opening of a plethora of exciting and truly spectacular openings, with hotels going to even greater lengths to cater for the ever-growing needs of the discerning holidaymaker.

From a former Presidential Palace in the hot destination of Vientiane, Laos to a stunning new spa destination in the ancient forests of Langkawi – here are some of the hottest hotels opening in 2017…

President by AKARYN, Laos – opening March
Rather than refer to the property as the group’s first hotel in Laos, the team at AKARYN prefer to describe it as Laos’ first hotel. An aura of timeless style and elegance pervades each of the 32 guest rooms and suites with an individual butler to be called upon whenever guests require assistance.

New hotel openings in 2017

The President by AKARYN has also been selected by the United Nations-led ASIA Geographical Indication (GI) programme as its main partner. In line with its sustainable approach to business growth and destination development, AKARYN Hotel Group will give back to local communities through sustainable sources of local income to promote sustainable living and tourism.

The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi – opening July
Marking The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi as a new spa destination, the spa will have the only overwater treatment rooms with a Hammam on the island. As part of the launch, the resort will be launching a comprehensive wellness/lifestyle programme, inviting guests to relax and indulge in their locally inspired treatments, which have thoughtfully been created to draw upon the rich cultural elements of Langkawi.

New hotel openings in 2017

With white sandy beaches stretching between the Andaman Sea and a million-year old rainforest as a backdrop, The Ritz -Carlton, Langkawi blends in beautifully with its surroundings. It was designed to reflect a traditional kampong village with 90 guest rooms and 30 villas, three swimming pools, a locally inspired spa, international restaurants and three meeting and wedding venues.

Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection – Opens March
Sister hotel to the legendary Domes of Elounda, the Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection is an 83 room and suites, adults-only, beachfront boutique hotel. This brand new Exactly Like Nothing Else experiential hotel in Chania, complete with a buzzy atmosphere, is a must visit destination for all likeminded travellers, who crave relaxation, a fun environment, in a chic, ultra-stylish surrounding.

New hotel openings in 2017

Akyra Beach Club Phuket, Thailand – opened December 2016
Though each resort is distinctive in its own right, Aleenta Phuket and akyra Beach Club Phuket combine to offer guests an unrivalled leisure and dining destination while also retaining the charm of a secluded beachside enclave. The location feels a world away from the well-trodden beaches of Phuket and sits comfortably between multi-million dollar private homes and local fishing communities.

New hotel openings in 2017

Custom designed to lift the spirit and calm the soul, the akyra Beach Club Phuket boasts 59 luxurious rooms and stylish stand-alone villas with generous living spaces, branded amenities and a profusion high-end inclusions. Leading edge resort facilities include a beach spa and fully equipped gym and the resort’s integrated beach club offers guests a choice of refined waterfront dining options as they recline in cushioned cabanas or laze on luxury loungers surrounding an enticing beachfront pool.

Hurawalhi – Opened December 2016
Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives, is unparalleled, extraordinary and utterly original. Environmentally innovative, a breath-taking Undersea Restaurant, a tropical Champagne Pavilion, stylish Villas and an adults-only policy – Hurawalhi offers its own take on Paradise. Just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Male’, here are a distinctive collection of superbly designed, exclusive and supremely spacious Villas strung across the glittering lagoon – perfectly positioned so that guests can enjoy exquisite sunset panoramas. And with dining options that include on the beach, over the water, and even under the water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible.

Hurawalhi Maldives

Akaryn Hotel Group announces three new hotels in Asia

1024 768 Daniel Fountain

Beachside bliss, capital chic and heritage hospitality join together to offer independent leisure and business travelers a trilogy of exceptional stays in some of Southeast Asia’s most inspiring and dynamic destinations.

Right on cue for the high season in Thailand, AKARYN Hotel Group is building on the success of its ‘instagenic’ and increasingly popular portfolio of hotels and resorts to offer guests three distinctive new hospitality experiences.

akyra Beach Club Phuket and Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa
This December the akyra Beach Club Phuket has welcomed guests to a sophisticated new oceanside destination on spectacular Natai beach in Phang-Nga province, just 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport. Situated on Thailand’s sunset facing shore with inspirational Andaman seascape views, the resort is but a stroll along the beach from its well established elegant sister property, Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa, and complements the barefoot luxury offerings next door. The hip, chilled-out experience is enhanced by a menu of top notch comfort cuisine and top shelf beverages, with live DJs, music and performances adding to the good vibrations.

Beach Club Phuket
Though each resort is distinctive in its own right, Aleenta Phuket and akyra Beach Club Phuket combine to offer guests an unrivalled leisure and dining destination while also retaining the charm of a secluded beachside enclave. The location feels a world away from the well-trodden beaches of Phuket and sits comfortably between multi-million dollar private homes and local fishing communities.

Beach Club Phuket

 

Custom designed to lift the spirit and calm the soul, The akyra Beach Club Phuket boasts 59 luxurious rooms and stylish stand-alone villas with generous living spaces, branded amenities and a profusion high-end inclusions. Leading edge resort facilities include a beach spa and fully equipped gym and the resort’s integrated beach club offers guests a choice of refined waterfront dining options as they recline in cushioned cabanas or laze on luxury loungers surrounding an enticing beachfront pool. The venue also hosts exceptional daytime and evening events, romantic weddings, regular theme parties and a sensational Sunday Brunch that’s set to set a new benchmark for foodies, mates escaping to paradise and beach believers.

“In many ways the atmosphere is akin to the coolest summer festival by the beach. It’s just a different kind of playground,” says AHG founder and managing director Anchalika Kijkanakorn. “The vision is less about unabashed hedonism, more about the epicurean lifestyle which features in all our resorts. Good food, good tunes, good vibes with extraordinary people enjoying the good things in life – and looking fabulous while doing it. That’s what we are all about.”

akyra Thonglor Bangkok
Also launched December 2016, akyra Thonglor Bangkok in the vibrant city. The second urban property in the akyra brand offers a chic metropolitan retreat through a full refurbishment programme that will quietly start this month to transform the former hotel into a unique address in the heart of urban, edgy, contemporary Bangkok – the sought after Thonglor neighbourhood.

akyra Thonglor Bangkok boasts spacious rooms and suites that provide a true sense of “living in the city”, enhanced by a full line-up of top class facilities and services including a pool bar with sparkling city views, a plush executive lounge, a choice of bright, airy meeting and function spaces, an enticing restaurant and a fully equipped fitness centre that’s open 24/7. The hotel also offers seamless access to an inimitable collection of exclusive shops and boutiques, plus a choice of outstanding bars and restaurants that are unique to the area, much-coveted and must-try.

“Thonglor is my favourite part of Bangkok. I live in the neighbourhood and there is a good reason why those in the know choose to spend most of their leisure and business time there,” explains Ms. Kijkanakorn. “Thonglor is exciting, arty, cutting edge, full of design inspiration and art galleries. It’s also local in the sense that even though many expats live there, it’s the long term residents that choose Thonglor for the unique sense of belonging and diverse, always happening feel.”

President by AKARYN – Vientiane, Laos
Last but by no means least, AKARYN Hotel Group’s first foray beyond Thai borders is also opening to host guests during the coming peak tourist season. Nestled in a gentle curve of the Mekong River in Vientiane Laos, President by AKARYN transports travelers into the heart of a timeless, gracious and often overlooked city. Formerly known as the ‘Walled City of Sandalwood’, Vientiane is as serene as its name suggests, where peace and quiet pervades, aromas of freshly- baked French bread and freshly-brewed coffee mingle with aromatic noodles, and echoes of the past whisper from colonial mansions on tree-lined avenues.

Rather than refer to the property as the group’s first hotel in Laos, the team at AKARYN prefer to describe it as Laos’ first hotel. An aura of timeless style and elegance pervades each of the 32 guest rooms and suites with an individual butler to be called upon whenever guests need assistance.

“The hotel’s location and the design are peerless with a prime position on the city’s first thoroughfare, Setthathirath Road, with Parliament House and Haw Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, as neighbours. President by AKARYN will become the landmark of Vientiane. A place where diplomats come to meet and deals are done. A place where travellers, not tourists, travel back in time and experience the past and future of Laos’ Golden Age.”

president-by-akaryn-ps2-bed-997x614

The President by AKARYN has also been selected by the United Nations-led ASIA Geographical Indication (GI) programme as its main partner. In line with its sustainable approach to business growth and destination development, AKARYN Hotel Group will give back to local communities through sustainable sources of local income to promote sustainable living and tourism.

Luang Prabang Sofitel

Sofitel: History, heritage and French hospitality in Laos

1000 649 Daniel Fountain

Expansion in Asia continues with the launch of the latest flagship from Sofitel in the World heritage city of Luang Prabang in April. This century-year-old former governor’s mansion, protected by UNESCO, has now been restored to its full grandeur and majesty.

Heritage and modern comfort
Set in a lush tropical garden, the highly exclusive Sofitel Luang Prabang offers 25 clay-roofed suites, ranging from 46 to 120 square metres, each with a private garden, oversized bathtub or plunge pool.

Luang Prabang Sofitel
Shuttered windows, hand-carved poster bed frames and exquisite Lao artefacts create a sense of old-world nostalgia. Each room is furnished with the latest amenities such as flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi and the signature plush Sofitel ‘MyBed’. The hotel also houses a gallery of Indochinese art and a magnificent library with one of Luang Prabang’s largest book collections.

“What guests will find most captivating at Sofitel Luang Prabang is the fusion that occurs on so many levels,” says General Manager Pablo Barruti. “Heritage is married with modern comfort. And the enduring tranquillity, both within the verdant gardens and just outside in the serene residential quarter, will appeal to guests in search of refuge in this age of sensory overload.”

Luang Prabang Sofitel
Serenity and relaxation

The beautiful SoSPA offers treatments blending ancient Lao healing techniques with local organic products and advanced skin care.

As part of the hotel’s sustainable development initiatives, the spa offers ‘Blind Massages’ by disabled therapists, slightly more vigorous and intense than usual due to their heightened senses. Guests can also opt for yoga and pilates classes, take a dip in the 25-metre mosaic-tiled pool, or work out on the TechnoGym at the Fitness Centre.

Luang Prabang Sofitel
The Governor’s Grill proposes a delicious blend of fine western gastronomy and authentic Lao specialities. Guests can dine indoors or al fresco in a colonial-style tent overlooking the garden. The hotel Concierge can also arrange lunch at the award-winning 3 Nagas Restaurant at its recently renovated sister property in the city, 3 Nagas, MGallery by Sofitel.