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Updated daily, except weekends (unless we find something really, really good)

NEWS Hilton's new Vivid light suite

Hilton Sydney is gving Vivid fans the chance to immerse themselves in light and sound even after the city lights are turned off.  This year Hilton will introduce the city’s first ever Vivid-inspired suite, bringing the festival of light to life inside the hotel walls. In partnership with lighting gurus, Philips Hue 2.0, the Relaxation Suite will be transformed into a Vivid hotspot featuring Hue bulbs, Hue Go and light strips. Hue 2.0 will allow guests to create in-room light shows with a synchronized music play list.  The lighting is so sophisticated guests can change the mood from flamboyant and bright, to relaxing and sensuous, with one touch of the in-room iPad.  “Vivid has inspired us to bring the festival of light into the hotel. Located at the heart of the festival’s key attractions, from the moment guests’ step into the lobby of Hilton Sydney they will be in the perfect place to experience the festival like never before,” says Ronald van Weezel, general manager Hilton Sydney. The hotel's package also offers suitably colourful Marble Bar cocktails and Caffe Cino high tea cuisine. Priced from $759 the package can be booked for stays throughout Vivid festival (26th May – 17th June) at www.hiltonsydney.com.au.

NEWS Tower Wing Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore unveiled

The new-look  Tower Wing at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has been unveiled. There is a 'refreshed'lobby, brand new rooms and suites, three new restaurant concepts, and a revitalised club lounge. The aim is to be more urban rsort that mere hotel.  The iconic Tower Wing’s guestrooms and suites are completely refurbished with a luxurious Guests may choose to stay in any of the 360 Tower Wing Deluxe Rooms, 79 Horizon Club Deluxe Rooms, soon to open family-themed rooms and suites, as well as five One-Bedroom Suites and the newly added 250 square metre Grand Suite. WE love the food and beverage concepts opening in the Tower Wing Lobby Lounge, bringing street food into a five star setting. Singapore favourites, including six signature dishes of Fish Head Bee Hoon Soup, Prawn Noodle Soup, Bak Chor Mee, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Katong Laksa, and Chili Crab with Mantou will all be available. These have been selected with the help of local food writer Dr. Leslie Tay, who helms the blog ieatishootipost.sg and perfected by Shangri-La’s culinary team in collaboration with the best local hawkers of each dish. www.shangrila.com

NEWS A new chapter for The Library Koh Samui

The Library resort has kept its crown as king of Koh Samui cool, despite celebrating its tenth birthday this year. Famous for its red pool, its pure aesthetic and of course its library of 2500 books the resort is now set to write a new chapter. “The Library has always been about stories and unique experiences, and the beauty of a good story is that there is always so much more to tell” says owner  Kasemtham Sornsong  The new story is a collection of ultra-luxurious Secret Pool Villas now scheduled to open in November this year .The villas are pitched at couples and the theme is “space”, ‘privacy” and, intriguingly,” mystery”. Each of the 17 villas will have secrets and surprises hidden within the villa for guests to uncover.  Some secret can be revealed- that there is a custom-made 11 foot wide (3.3metres) bed for example as well as a private swimming pool, jacuzzi and tandem rain shower. These villas have ‘honeymoon’ written all over them. Knowing the genius of designer Tirawan Songsawat we’re sure guests are going to fall in lust, if not with each other, then with the villas. Clearly the next chapter is a love story. www.thelibrarysamui.com

NEWS Astra Lodge's new luxury look

Astra Lodge in Falls Creek, Victoria has unveiled its new look. Voted Australia’s Best Boutique Ski Lodge 2016 at the World Ski Awards, this season the lodge is even more luxurious. The newly renovated ski-in, ski-out lodge has panoramic mountain views, heated magnesium mineral pool and fine-dining restaurant. Grant Amon Architects has achieved a European Euro-alpine-meets-Australia look with leather, timber, stone and tiles all locally sourced and eco-friendly. Interiors include luxury furnishings that have been hand-sourced from around the world (we love the huskie dog cushions).The lodge includes an Italian fine-dining restaurant helmed by hatted chef, Emma Handley. The day spa barber offers gents a dram of whisky with their haircut and women a glass of champagne , or vice vera if they prefer - nice touch. Skiers will also be thrilled to know that renowned Skimetric Director, Adalbert Leibetseder calls Astra Lodge his Southern-Hemisphere winter home and is taking bookings for his personalised, ski programme and boot fittings during the Australian ski season. Astra Lodge will open 10 June for the 2017 ski season. www.astralodge.com.au

NEWS See Vivid Sydney in luxury

vid light show is one of the most colour events in the Sydney calendar. Where better to view it than from a luxury hotel? Spectacular harbour views, glowing cocktails and illuminated Dom Pérignon Champagne are just the beginning of the Vivid Sydney experience at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney this year (26 May t- 17 June). The luxury hotel, right beside the Vivid Light Walk and harbour light projections, is offering a Dom Pérignon Luminous Champagne pop-up bar, and a special Vivid Sydney Package including overnight accommodation, buffet breakfast for two and a complimentary cocktail in Grain bar, starting from AU$380 per night. They also have a pink Vivia Violetta cocktail that just begs to be sipped. www.fourseasons.com/sydney


NEWS Viking Cruises' new sun god

Viking Cruises today announced the launch of their new ship, Viking Ra with guests setting sail on a new Egypt itinerary, Pharaohs & Pyramids in March 2018. The all-suite Viking Ra has 24 suites and accommodating 48 guests, reflecting Viking’s award-winning Scandinavian design and intimate sailing experience.  Viking Ra, named in honour of the Egyptian sun god Ra, will feature three suite stateroom categories, as well as an onboard spa, two Jacuzzis and an outdoor pool. Designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, the ship combines elegant Scandinavian design with local design influences, including geometric Arabic patterns and terrazzo floors. The onboard dining, bar and lounge will include both regional and international cuisine, with Viking’s Culture Curriculum available onboard including: world-class lectures on history and art, informative port talks and enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians."We are excited to announce our new ship, Viking Ra, in Egypt”. With her introduction, we will be the first and only Western company to own and operate a ship on the Nile, with Viking staff to guarantee the delivery of our award-winning service”, said Michelle Black, Managing Director of Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand. “As we continue to grow our river fleet and provide new itineraries, we look forward to providing our guests with even more choice to explore the world in ‘the Viking way’.” www.viking.com

NEWS SIX Senses Yao Noi 's refurbished retreat

The Retreat, the ultimate villa, at Six Senses Yao Noi has been refurbished and is now available for guest stays. Ideal for families or two couples, this premium accommodation provides an abode of comfort, privacy and space.The newly defined Retreat features two bedrooms with a spacious communal living room and expansive infinity pool and sun deck. With panoramic views overlooking the Phang Nga Bay and direct access to the beach, the resort’s specialty villa provides the ideal accommodations for a Thai tropical holiday. The duplex villa features two bedrooms, one each on the upper and lower levels, allowing those who seek intimacy, yet privacy, the ideal set up. "Based on the popularity of the resort's larger villas and the need to cater to multiple couples and multigenerational families travelling together, we decided to upgrade and enhance the Retreat for guests. With premium views across to the Phang Nga Bays, limestone karsts and expansive living spaces, the Retreat is an incredible experience to enjoy the best that Six Senses Yao Noi has to offer,”" commented Graham Grant, General Manager of Six Senses Yao Noi.. Couples travelling together or extended families and friends can also consider reserving the interconnecting Ocean Deluxe Pool Villa, which creates a three-bedroom complex offering luxurious comfort in space and facilities. www.sixsenses.com

NEWS Seabourn's new UNESCO World Heritage tours

Seabourn has announced some impressive new UNESCO Partner Tours at World Heritage Sites across Europe over the cruise season ahead, as part of its exclusive partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).The tours will offer guests privileged access, guide-led exploration, and remarkable experiences, as with all such offerings since the partnership began in 2014. “Our partnership with UNESCO keeps rewarding our guests, providing them with opportunities to experience World Heritage Sites in Europe as few travellers can,” Seabourn President Rick Meadows said. Available on select scheduled Seabourn cruises starting this summer, each UNESCO Partner Tour focuses on individual UNESCO World Heritage Sites selected – and protected – for their cultural, historical, scientific or other significance to humankind.  Offerings include private tours of Stone3henge , and the The Silk Exchange, Valencia and Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Barcelona. www.seabourn.com

NEWS Best of England’s Vineyard Tours & Tastings

English sparkling wines have won nine trophies for Best International Sparkling Wine and six for Best Sparkling Rosé in global competitions in recent years so there’s no better time to now experience them for yourself! 
Best of England are staunch supporters of English wine. They have launched new Vineyard tours and tastings in Sussex and Kent at 20 vineyards across the South of England including the likes of Rathfinny, Bluebell, Bolney & Ridgeview. 
During the Full Day Tour (from £179pp) guests will learn about the variety of grape up close and about the history behind the vines, the wine producer and the story of the local wine as a whole. Learn about the production process from grape to bottle and some of the equipment involved. You’ll also learn about the differences between Sussex wines and some of the international competitors before the all important tastings.
Best of England has also negotiated special discounts with their vineyard partners when purchasing wine - you’ll even have the option of your purchases being posted to you to save carrying bottles home! You’ll also not need to worry about transport, Best of England will arrange transfers from the train station and from one vineyard to another, taking the scenic route so you can enjoy the stunning English countryside. www.bestofengland.com/tours

NEWS Meeting dragons with Peninsula Hong Kong

Peninsula Hong Kong is offering guests a chance to experience, and be involved in, one of the most celebrated events in Chinese culture, the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival takes place on 30th May i with Hong Kong being one of the standout cities in the world to celebrate this occasion. The Peninsula Hong Kong is offering an exclusive experience to guests during this time, with a customised trip to the famous village of Tai O to witness the festival in a way that very few visitors or locals get to see. On the day guests will be transported to the underwater village, known as the 'Venice of Hong Kong' where they will have an impressive vantage point to view the Dragon Boat race. This is followed by a tour of the village’s oldest temples and famous houses. www.peninsula.com

NEWS Mykonos gets a new boutique hotel

Opening today the Myconian Kyma is the modern definition of a Grecian paradise. Perched above Mykonos Town the 81-room hotel is just far enough away from the buzz below. Lebanese architect Galal Mahmoud has allowed for retreat-like areas where guests can simply sit and admire the views. The hotel marries the beauty of the island with a modern touch. Bright whites and soothing beiges are matched with bold pink or teal-blue furnishings. Taking filoxenia—the Greek concept of hospitality—to heart are owners  Marios and Vangelis Daktylides ,whose father built the first private hotel on the island 40 years ago.  The hotel’s Kalypso Restaurant dotted with bright fuchsia chairs, spills into the poolside sheltered alcove bar, George’s, named after the patriarch himself. The hotel’s Satori Thalasso spa has five therapeutic poolsa sauna, and treatments that  that revitalize the spirit and nurture  the body. All this and a party island outside , what more could we wish for.

NEWS Kerry Hotel opens in Hong Kong

The new 546-room Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong has opened its doors on Friday. Billing itself as the city’s first urban resort, the debut of the hotel is an important milestone for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as it marks its fourth property in the city and the new flagship hotel of the Kerry brand. Conceived by internationally renowned interior designer André Fu and award winning architect Rocco Design, the new build 16-storey hotel is the first to open on the Kowloon waterfront since 1995. Providing guests with uninterrupted views over Victoria Harbour, the hotel’s multi-level podium design with extensive outdoor landscaped gardens connect the hotel seamlessly to public areas and physically embodies the hotel’s approach to “More Room For Life” and relaxed luxury. www.shangri-la.com

NEWS Oddfellows On The Park opens

Set in over 100 acres of Enligsh countryside, a new Design Hotels Member, Oddfellows On The Park is now open. Following a meticulous renovation of Bruntwood Hall, and appears at first glance to be the archetypal English manor house idyll surrounded by mature oak trees, ponds, and woodlands. 
The 22 rooms and suites all offer views of Bruntwood Park, and many boast original features, such as exposed beams, fireplaces, and architraves, the classical frames of doors and windows.
Located just 15 kilometers from the centre of Manchester, the hotel is a gateway to one of the UK’s most exciting arts and music scenes.

NEWS Nobu's new ryoken in Malibu

The first offering in Nobu Hospitality's Ryokan Collection opens on  the Californian coast on April 28. Located next to Nobu Restaurant Malibu alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, perched above Carbon Beach Nobu Ryokan Malibu is a modern hideaway with Japanese-inspired style. Transformed from a 1950's vintage beach motel into an exclusive destination retreat. The property offers panoramic views and an ocean-facing courtyard with a lush garden full of native California plants and draws on the feeling of Omotenashi, the Japanese art of hospitality.  A neutral colour palette and organic materials are used alongside teak, bronze and limestone, channelling the minimalist aesthetic of traditional Japanese inns while evoking the laid-back Californian spirit. Each of the 16 guest room has California views and Japanese design elements such as tatami mats, sand-coloured limestone walls and hand-crafted teak soaking tubs.   There is also outdoor lap pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, access to Carbon Beach, a fitness room, and access to Malibu Racquet Club. It goes without saying that, since this is a Nobu enterprise the dining experience will be superb.  www.noburyokanmalibu.com


NEWS Conrad Bora Bora Nui officially open

Conrad Bora Bora Nui is offically open. Conrad’s first property in French Polynesia  (morphing out of what was once a Hilton) is located in a private cove on Motu To’opua, a small islet off the coast of Bora Bora. The new Presidential Villas ae Bora Bora’s only two-storey overwater bungalows, boasting an upstairs sunning deck and whirlpool, three bathrooms, two dressing rooms and a living room. The design of the resort (created by BLINK Design Group and Bangkok-based iP49 Design) blend Tahitian history with a distinctly modern vibe including an overwater lounge and swim-up pool bar.  Each of the 86 renovated Overwater Villas and 28 Garden Villas feature king beds with a customisable pillow menu, Nespresso coffee machines, and a selection of complimentary beverages. Bathrooms offer sleek double vanities, a rain shower, and an oversized soaking tub. Each villa also features a wall-to-wall sliding door that leads to an expansive viewing deck with sweeping ocean views. Overwater Villa decks have the added comfort of catamaran nets for lounging directly over the water, with select suites also offering an infinity plunge pool. Perched on a tropical hillside Hina Spa has seven indoor treatment rooms and one open-air space overlooking the lagoon. The resort also features an expansive infinity pool, Kids Club, mini-golf course, fitness centre and complimentary activities such as kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding and sight-seeing boat tours. The exclusive private islet of Motu Tapu, located a short boat ride away, is ideal for intimate events and romantic dinners for two.  “Our remote location in a private cove offers a truly special setting for Conrad’s debut in the South Pacific,” said Jean Duc, general manager, Conrad Bora Bora Nui. www.conradhotels.com

NEWS Jackalope Hotel jumps into action

Opening tomorrow (April 1) in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula wine region, Jackalope Hotel has been conceived in collaboration with a roll call of Australia's best creatives and artists with art installations and innovative design everywhere .The 46-room hotel is a personal project of 29-year-old Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Louis Li, who moved to Melbourne in 2006 to study filmmaking. Rather than tell stories through film, hotel design is now the creative platform. .A seven-metre-tall namesake Jackalope sculpted by Melbourne artist, Emily Floyd sets the mood at the entrance to the hotel. In addition to luxury accommodation and vineyard views, Jackalope invites guests on a sensory journey which the hotel describes as, “a delicate interplay between the ideal and the surreal”. Who can resist a description like that?  Architectural and design firm, Carr Design Group created the hotel's bold and contemporary look; Fabio Ongarato Design conceived the brand's identity; and Melbourne furniture makers, Zuster, crafted much of the hotel's statement furnishings. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect guests to the rural surrounds. Outside there’s  a black 30-metre infinity pool, inside bathrooms have black Japanese tubs . We love the fact that amenities from Melbourne's Hunter Lab include a pinot grape skin and seed bath soak and body scrub, made using grapes from the hotel's vineyard. There are two restaurants under the culinary direction of Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway and the hotel's bar, Flaggerdoot “delights in the alchemic process of distillation”. Art commissions and installations from the likes of Peninsula local, Andrew Hazewinkel, and international icon, Rick Owens,” create a sense of curated cool”.  www.jackalopehotels.com

NEWS Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon opens

The Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon is now open, we’ve been waiting for this one since the opening of the resort last October. The resort is located on the private island of Félicité, the fifth largest island in Seychelles and the spectacular Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon is spread over 19,000 square feet (1,765 square metres) of the island’s rugged environment.  It is designed to be an integral part of the island’s ecosystem by the Six Senses Architecture and Design team and Richard Hywel Evans of Studio RHE in London  to mirror the existing landscape. The spa is completely immersed in the private island’s natural beauty of towering rocks, granitic boulders, lush jungle and the Indian Ocean.Three of the resort villas are located next to the spa and provide convenient access to guests following personalized spa programs. Our favourite is the Rock Villa; a glass palace situated between large granite boulders .Anna Bjurstam, vice president, Six Senses Spas said, “At Six Senses Zil Pasyon we felt that nature was so dramatic that we could not tame it, instead we wanted nature to tame us. We looked at how nature could guide us in our design, and consequently we have treatment villas situated between rocks, on top of rocks and floating above the ocean. Even the yoga pavilion and wet area are not built inside a building - they are built on top of the rocks amongst lush foliage and the infinity-edge pool offers expansive sea views” book us in. www.sixsenses.com

NEWS Local design for new Rwandan lodge

Rwandan fashion entrepreneur and founder of Inzuki Designs, Teta Isibo (named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs for 2017), has been appointed by Wilderness Safaris to source locally-produced items to bring a Rwandan flair to the interior design of Bisate Lodge, due to open on 1 June 2017.   Inzuki Designs is a Rwandan brand specialising in home décor and accessories . “We are thrilled to have Teta as part of our design team for this pioneering project, which will not only offer guests something completely unique to the Rwandan landscape but a lodge that is steeped in local design, culture and traditional architecture", said Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris COO. Isibo will be working closely with Artichok, the lead interior designers on this project). The overall design concept for Bisate Lodge is based on the principle that ‘Purpose’ is the new luxury. “Our aim is to create a world-class venture that will make a far-reaching positive impact on more the mountain gorilla. While minimising our environmental impact during the construction of Bisate, we have also begun an ambitious reforestation project, which will provide a haven for a wide array of life endemic to the Albertine Rift – from mammals to butterflies.”Woodrow concluded.

NEWS BA serves very British bubbles

British Airways has introduced its first-ever English sparkling white wine to its First class menu.  if that doesn't immediately thrill first class flyers,let us not be too hasty to judge, British wine has come a long way. This smooth and full-bodied Vintage Blanc de Blancs comes from the West Sussex-based winery Bolney Wine Estate. British Airways already serves a still wine from Bolney Estate; the airline first introduced the Pinot Gris to the wine list in 2015. The English sparkling wine will join Laurent-Perrier Grande Siècle and Jacquart Mosaique Rose NV on the Champagne and Sparkling Wine menu. We are assured that the new addition to the airline’s celebrated wine list – the Vintage Blanc de Blancs -  not only works well as an aperitif, it also complements dishes served in First this month  (March) suchas the Loch Fyne Kinglas smoked salmon with tartar sauce, watercress panna cotta and Oscietra caviar. The wine also works well with the fresh seasonal salad with the optional blue cheese dressing.   Sam Linter, managing director and lead master wine maker at Bolney Wine Estate said: “We are absolutely delighted that British Airways considers our Blanc de Blancs one of the finest wines available. It is such a privilege that it will be sampled by British as well as international flyers. We feel this partnership shows the strength of the English wine industry".

 BA makes good wine choices, the airline took home five awards at Business Traveller’ “Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards”, including the Best Overall Wine Cellar.  www.ba.com

NEWS Red Nose Day humour from British Airways

WE love these humorous videos from British Airways launched in advance of UK Red Nose Day (Friday, 24 March). The videos star comedian  David Walliams, singer  Emma Bunton and Olympian Tom Daley dressed as British Airways staff surprising customers in support of Comic Relief – the airline’s charity partner. The final film features all three celebrities undercover in Terminal 5. There are also three separate edits of each of the celebrities having fun with customers. No stranger to playing airline characters, TV personality David Walliams assumed the role of customer service representative ‘Dave’, amusing customers at London Heathrow Terminal 5, asking them to pose seriously for security photos and at one point even kissing a passenger’s passport. Spice Girl and Heart FM presenter Emma Bunton spiced up the ‘check-in-kiosks’, mischievously assisting unsuspecting customers, asking them if they had packed any ‘sporty or ginger’ products. Meanwhile, Olympic medallist Tom Daley swapped his swimming trunks for luggage trunks, as he greeted customers in Terminal 5, even persuading some of them to perform dive moves before flying. Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director customer experience, said: “This year Red Nose Day is going back to its comedy roots, and we’re delighted to be supporting it with these great films from some of the nation’s favourite personalities working a shift at British Airways. www.rednoseday.com or www.ba.com/flyingstart

NEWS Lanesborough Club & Spa opens

The new Lanesborough Club & Spa opened yesterday at The Lanesborough hotel London and all of Knightsbridge is aflutter. The Spa is one of London’s most exclusive private members' fitness and health clubs. It introduces what it calls its ‘luxury club for life”,  a concept that offers hotel guests and club members access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness . This is what the spa calls intriguingly a ‘360  degree’ approach to wellness. We presume that means they’ve got all angles covered.  First day visitors report that the décor has a golden glow, as do guests when they emerged from its soothing interiors. www.lanesborough.com

NEWS Six Senses takes over in Turkey
Turkey’s dramatic Aegean coast alternates between rugged rocks, secluded golden beaches and undulating hills clad in wild olives and cypresses. This is the extraordinary setting for Six Senses Kaplankaya, where the resort’s world-class contemporary design will support a guest experience of serenity and well-being.  On May 1, 2017 Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas will take over the property’s management from Canyon Ranch. “Over the next year, the design, environmental and wellness operations will be enhanced to bring the blessings of Six Senses to the beaches of Kaplankaya,” said Bernhard Bohnenberger, president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.  Located near famed Aegean archaeological sites, the resort, which is owned by Capital Partners of Turkey, has a total of 141 guestrooms and suites in the main complex, plus 154 private residences located adjacent to the resort. Each guest room has been designed to complement the landscape using natural and responsibly-sourced materials.  The resort reflects the broader development at Kaplankaya, which will include residential villas, resort accommodation, a 250-berth marina and yacht club, a retail precinct plus additional dining, sport and leisure facilities. The vision is to create a high-end, environmentally-sensitive destination that will create a positive economic and social impact while also preserving the natural surroundings and wealth of history in the local area. 
NEWS Exclusive entry to Villa Sola Cabriati

Since the eighteenth century, Villa Sola Cabiati has stood out as one of the most opulent villas on Lake Como.  For centuries the villa was the sumptuous private home of one of Lombardy’s noblest families, filled with priceless art and antiques. From this season it is open exclusively for guests of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.  This partnership offers visitors the privilege of experiencing Lake Como’s magic in the style that has attracted the world’s greatest travellers since the 1700s. “Villa Sola Cabiati is an artistic masterpiece, a rare jewel of Italian art and architecture. Until recently, the magnificent villa was available for private use only, but [now] the Grand Hotel Tremezzo is overjoyed to open the doors of the noble residence exclusively to its guests. An experience inviting travellers to discover the hidden, aristocratic spirit of Lake Como, making every stay at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo even more unforgettable.” Said Paolo De Santis, owner of Grand Hotel Tremezzo. 
www.grandhoteltremezzo.com , villasolacabiati@grandhoteltremezzo.com

NEWS 25Hours Hotel opens in Switzerland.

Whatever they say size does matter, especially when it comes to hotel rooms. Which is why 25hours hotels have room categories that come in M L, and XL. The latest Swiss 25Hours Hotel opens in central Zurich on 1 April. Located just 700m from Zurich Central Station, 25Hours Hotel Langstrasse sees itself as a miniature cosmos, providing services for a new breed of urban nomads. Inspired by an album title by YELLO, an electropop duo from Zurich, the idea of a pocket universe became the leitmotif pervading the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse .The hotel features 170 rooms and two penthouses - the Plaza and Trainspotting Suites. All of the rooms have been designed and furnished with elements inspired by three different themes - the red light district (first three floors), Belle Époque (next two floors) and big city life (top two floors). Pets are allowed in all of the rooms for an additional cleaning fee per animal, per day. The ground floor, comprising the lobby, kiosk, Neni restaurant and Chinchona Bar and spa lovers will enjoy facilities on the top floor with views overlooking the tracks at Zurich Central Station and the mountains beyond. Extras include a fleet of MINI, available free of charge for trips and excursions. Regular guests will be given one of the legendary Freitag bag to store things like running shoes and other items. These bags will then be hoisted high up onto a steel frame and locked until their next visit. The travel bags and steel structure make for an extraordinary art installation at the reception area. www.25hours-hotels.com/zuerichwww.myswitzerland.com

NEWS Sirena sails in Australian waters

Oceania Cruises newest fleet addition, Sirena (launched last year) is in Australian waters. She set sail yesterday on a Sydney to Sydney voyage that will take in PNG, Komodo and other exciting highlights. We can report that after her US$50 million refurbishment the 684-passenger Sirena is looking good; with four gourmet restaurants, six elegant lounges and bars , 342 luxurious  suites and staterooms  (with new beds in every cabn).and ,best of all,  a Canyon Ranch SpaClub.  Commenting on Sirena’s first-time visit to Australian waters, Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said, “We’re incredibly excited to showcase Sirena’s extensive refurbishment and phenomenal culinary offerings that are specially crafted to appeal to all palates, including local cruisers.”  Oceania Cruises’ reputation has been founded on its culinary excellence and commitment to serve guests The Finest Cuisine at Sea™. So TLTB recommends trying the including new  concept Tuscan Steak, inspired by Oceania Cruises’ traditional steak house Polo Grill. TLTB readers should will also love the re-designed Owner’s and Vista Suites.  Following her Sydney-to-Sydney sailing, Sirena will set out from Sydney to Auckland on a 14-day voyage from April 9th, calling at ports including Eden, Melbourne, Burnie in Tasmania, the fjords of Milford Sound, Akaroa, Nelson, Wellington, Napier and Rotorua.  www.oceaniacruises.com

NEWS Luxury Taylor River lodge opens in June

This is Summer Camp with a luxury you’ve never known. Taylor River Lodge, the newest Colorado property by Eleven Experience, is set to open in June for its first summer season. The quintessential mountain lodge retreat, made up of a series of luxurious log cabins, is perched just above the banks of the pristine Taylor River in Taylor Canyon.  You can cast for trout directly from the cabin’s front door, relax  in the riverside Bath House or indulge in  bespoke pursuits such  as exclusive access to the area’s best fly fishing, white-water rafting, rock climbing and hiking abound at the lodge. A thirty-minute drive from Crested Butte, Taylor River Lodge is tucked away in a scenic canyon and can accommodate up to 32 guests in eight private cabins - each of which has been individually designed with rustic-chic interiors. Guests can expect a dedicated pre-arrival concierge, private guides, use of gear for all activities, gourmet farm-to-table meals and a complimentary full day accompanied by a professional photographer.   www.elevenexperience.com

NEWS A jazz hotel opens in the heart of Melbourne

It is music to our ears that the Jazz Corner Hotel opens in Melbourne this week (March 9). The Hotel pays homage to one of music’s greatest genres, jazz; with artwork and furniture that is a modern take on the jazz era. We love the fact that the new 150-room hotel isn’t just about accommodation, it is an experience, offering access to Melbourne's acclaimed music and entertainment venue, Bird's Basement, below the hotel on Singers Lane (which coincidently celebrates its one-year anniversary this week too).  The hotel offers bar and dining options at Sky Bird, Beer Wine and Calzone, as well as a fully equipped gymnasium, in-room kitchenettes and balconies.  Owned by musician, entrepreneur and property developer Albert Dadon AM, the Jazz Corner Hotel looks set to be the perfect addition to the vibrant Melbourne entertainment and hotel scene.  www.jazzcornerhotel.com

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort To Launch In April

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will launch the first Anantara in Europe, with Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort scheduled to welcome its first guests on 1st April 2017.
Located along southern Portugal’s picturesque Algarve coast, Europe’s first Anantara will offer a retreat overlooking the Arnold Palmer designed Oceânico golf course, close to the ocean and stunning beaches, and a five-minute drive from the glamour of Vilamoura. 
The resort will feature 280 spacious guest rooms and suites with shady verandas face golf fairways and cerulean swimming pools. The Two-Bedroom Anantara Suite will boast a huge terrace with a private dining area, Jacuzzi and sundeck. Six restaurants and bars will exemplify Anantara’s passion for local culture and traditional dining.
The rebranded Anantara Spa will offer signature Ayurveda based treatments and centuries-old Mediterranean therapies with a serene vista of golf greens. Yoga and tai chi sessions complement the wellness offering. www.vilamoura.anantara.com

NEWS Art Series Hotel’s new artistic designer robes

Why have a boring old white towelling robe, when you can have designer linen.
Art Series Hotel Group have partnered with Australia’s leading luxury sleepwear label, Masini & Chern, to create premium custom bath robes for The Johnson, the first Art Series property in Brisbane. The hotel is dedicated to celebrating renowned Australian abstract artist, Michael Johnson and the robes take inspiration from his artwork Cormorant 1 of 3, Indian Ink on Paper (1995).
The Masini & Chern x The Johnson robes will replace the usual terry towelling robes offered in most hotels around the world. They will be available in every suite, providing guests with the opportunity to lounge in something more luxe and in line with The Johnson aesthetic.
In true Art Series style, the robes will be available for purchase, providing guests with the opportunity to take a unique form of art home with them.
The new robes are another innovative way the Art Series Hotel Group continues to inspire guests to draw art into their everyday lives whilst ensuring a memorable experience and keepsake beyond their stay.

THE JOHNSON X MASINI & CHERN ROBES: RRP: $229, One Size Fits All, Unisex Garment. www.artserieshotels.com.au

NEWS Vail Resorts to acquire Stowe Mountain

The mighty Vail Resorts, the custodian of some of the world’s best ski resorts is adding Stowe Mountain Resort  to its impressive portfolio. Stowe Mountain Resort will be Vail Resorts’ first mountain resort on the East Coast of the United States. The aim is to ensure Stowe remainsthe  premier, high-end resort for skiers and snowboarders on the East Coast, and indeed gets even better. Vail Resorts, unquestionably the world’s leading mountain resort operator, is joining forces with AIG Global Real Estate (AIGGRE), real estate developer to ensure a starr-spangled resort.  “We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts. With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. We look forward to working with AIG to continue enhancing the guest experience and to ensure the resort’s long-term success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. Snow enthusiasts will be glad to know that if all goes well with the acquisition Vail Resorts  will integrate Stowe Mountain Resort into its Epic Pass and other season pass products for the 2017-18 winter season, adding the resort to the Company’s network of 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas. www.vailresorts.com

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