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

NEWS Bulgari Hotels and Resorts head to Paris
Bulgari Hotels and Resorts  will  open a new  76 room hotel in Paris in 2020. This new opening will follow the ones in Beijing and Dubai in 2017, Shanghai in 2018 and Moscow in 2020, and thus bring the Bulgari Hotels and Resorts Collection to eight properties, including Milan, London and Bali. The hotel will be located at 30 Avenue George V and is being designed  around a courtyrd by the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre. Avenue George V , the Champs Elysees and the Avenue Montaigne form the famous “Triangle d’Or”, one of Paris’ most exclusive and distinctive areas offering a wealth of luxury shopping, entertainment and cultural attractions.  Jean Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari says: “We are particularly proud to have secured such an extraordinary location for the new Bulgari Hotel in Paris. The Paris Hotel, to be opened in 2020, will add the City of Lights to our Collection and we are convinced that this new addition will represent an irresistible Roman jeweller hospitality experience in the Parisian upscale hotel market.” www.bulgarihotels.com

NEWS An Epic addition to Australia's best ski pass

The mighty Vail Resorts marches on (or should we say skis on). Hot off the presses the news that Hakuba Valley, Japan has joined the Epic Australia Pass, which means  Epic Australia Pass now connects Australia, Japan, Canada and the Best of the U.S. resorts, making it one of the best season passes in the world, offering year-round skiing and snowboarding   ( Vail reckons the pass cna therefore pay for itself in under five days).  As part of the announcement, the option to lock in current pricing with only $49 upfront is available again for one week only, until Thursday, March 8, at www.epicaustraliapass.com.au. After that time, passes will remain available for purchase when paid in full for AU$839  .Beginning with the 2018-19 winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, Epic Australia Pass holders will receive five consecutive complimentary days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts. Hakuba Valley, is one of Japan's lagest resorts located in the northern part of the Nagano Prefecture at the base of Japan’s Northern Alps. 

NEWS The best new lakeside residences in Queenstown
The Rees Queenstown is one of our favourite lake side hotels with incredible service and panoramic views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountains. So it is good to know that the hotel’s long-anticipated Lakeside Residences are now open. The spacious 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom villas are positioned right on the lake with more of those magical views.  Outdoor terraces and a sizeable spa pool ensure you have every opportunity to enjoy the views in style.  The Residences are an ideal setting for gatherings of friends, families and multi-generational groups looking for private accommodation for that luxury ski holiday or Queenstown gourmet weekend away.  The Rees Residences also offer the services of your every own ‘Luxury Travel Curator’. From the moment you check availability to the moment you depart Queenstown, your personal curator will be with you every step of the way. Your personal Travel Curator meets you at the airport in a luxury vehicle which is then available for your private use throughout your stay. Your curator can organise everything from in-villa spa treatments, personal shopping and provisioning of your villa, personal trainers, jet boat transfers, heli-wine tasting tours and much more. All of which guarantees that the new Lakeside Residences offer some of the best private luxury in the region. 

NEWS Qatar Airways’ new planes

Qatar Airways has accepted delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-1000. Yesterday the airline celebrated being the global launch customer for the new Airbus at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France. The Airbus is the first of 42 on order and TLTB readers will be please to know that all will feature Qatar Airways’ Qsuite Business Class seat. Measuring nearly 74 metres from nose-to-tail, the A350-1000 is now the largest twin-engine jet Airbus has ever produced. The longest-fuselage version of Airbus' all-new family of twin-aisle, wide body jetliners and is claimed to be one of the quietest in the air. www.qatarairways.com

NEWS Akaryn’s new hotel will be wages war on plastic

We love hotels groups that care about the environment, then actually do something about it. So congratulations to Akaryn Hotel Group which aims to become a single-use plastic free hotel company by 2020. The Group’s newest opening, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, launching in May 2018, will be the first new hotel in Asia to launch without single-use plastic in its rooms or food and beverage outlets. An environmental and social conscience is deeply rooted in the philosophy behind Akaryn Hotel Group’s Aleenta and akyra hotel brands. Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Founder and Managing Director of Akaryn Hotel Group wants this philosophy to extend even further into the guest experience at the soon-to-open akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok. “Our eco-friendly approach in Bangkok began by sourcing glass bottles and containers, with a commitment to no single-use plastic used in the restaurants or bars. The hotel will extend the initiative for guests on the go with stylish akyra stainless steel water bottles presented on arrival that can be refilled anytime during their stay,” she explained. Self-service drinking water will be dispensed on every floor to make refills easy and guests can also take their bottles with them on excursions and shopping trip around the city. Bathroom amenities will be presented in locally manufactured “celadon” pottery containers filled with essential oil-based products. Bio-degradable bin bags will be used in all rooms and shopping bags will be available to encourage guests to refuse plastic bags when indulging in some Bangkok retail-therapy. www.ahmshotels.com

NEWS Splendid new residences for Six Senses

Six Senses Zil Pasyon, on the private island of Félicité in Seychelles, has added two three- and four-bedroom residences to meet the growing demand of groups of friends and families who want to stay together under one roof. Designed with a modern flair by architect Richard Hywel Evans of Studio RHE in London, the sleek architectural design of the new residences is in harmony with the island, embracing all the comforts and sustainable touches that define the Six Senses group’s eco-aware values.The new residences take full advantage of the breathtaking views across the Indian Ocean and are a welcome addition to the existing 30 one- and two-bedroom villas at Six Senses Zil Payson. The four-bedroom residence can host up to eight adults and four children, while the three-bedroom villa can accommodate six adults. The residences are available for guests to book now. Each of the new residences is built over two levels and has private pools. There are communal living and dining areas, kitchens for in-residence dining preparation, and sizeable outdoor space for guests to enjoy the agreeable year-round climate of Seychelles. All Six Senses Zil Pasyon services are available at the two new residences, including in-villa dining, the attention of specialised Guest Experience Makers (GEMs) and buggy service. Guests can also opt for a dedicated GEM for the duration of the stay or a personal chef to prepare meals in-residence. www.sixsenses.com 

NEWS Romance in Paris for Valentine

The Peninsula Paris offers a romantic experience to celebrate 'Le Grand Amour' during the whole month of February with a package that includes diamonds and silk underwear –what could be more Parisian? Guests are greeted with Deutz Champagne upon arrival and a bouquet of flowers. In the bathroom rose petals enhance the tub. And because you want to please your Valentine, The Peninsula Paris has partnered up with two world-renowned brands, Piaget and La Perla, and guests will be able to pre-purchase a special selection of gifts to be placed in their room on arrival. The Haute Joaillerie Maison Piaget, famous Swiss watchmaker-jeweller, offers speical rose gold and diamond jewellery and La Perla has created an embroidered silk robe or slip. Either, we suspect will guarantee a very happy Valentine’s month.

NEWS Lufthansa’s new image
On the 100th anniversary of its crane logo Lufthansa revealed its new, modernized brand image. “Lufthansa has changed and is more modern and successful than ever. From now on, this will also be visible to the public through a new design”, says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The new Lufthansa appearance gives the individual elements a new, modern quality to sharpen their impact. The designers found great importance in taking up the unique design tradition of the Lufthansa brand and leading it into the future. The crane, designed exactly 100 years ago by graphic artist Otto Firle, a distinctive icon in the sky, remains the airline's iconic symbol. In the future, it will be slimmer and fit for the digital world. A thinner ring makes the crane look more elegant, bringing it into the foreground and granting it more space The new blue specially developed for Lufthansa is darker, more elegant and is becoming the leading brand color. It stands for reliability, clarity and value. Gone is the traditional yellow but customers will still find it in the future, on every boarding pass and at every Lufthansa counter at the airport. www.lufthansa.com

NEWS Fly-fishing in the Maldives

COMO Maalifushi are offering the ultimate fly-fishing experiences in the Indian Ocean. Keen anglers and enthusiastic amateurs at COMO Maalifushi can fish the unspoilt sand flats on the fringes of this private island resort in the Maldives’ Thaa Atoll. The shallow Indian Ocean waters of Thaa Atoll are teeming with marine life including bluefin, reef, and giant trevally, bonefish, and triggerfish.
The luxury resort has partnered with Fishing Holiday Maldives - who have 30 years’ experience in the country’s marine sports and recreational fishing industry – to give guests access to professional guides and world-class fly-fishing equipment at the resort. 
COMO Maalifushi’s Fly Fishing experiences are available from January to April (weather and tide dependent). As part of COMO Hotels and Resorts’ sustainability ethos, strict catch and release rules are practiced for all fish caught on the flats.
Fly Fishing experiences at COMO Maalifushi start from US$200 for a three-hour fishing expedition by kayak, and US$500 for a three-hour fishing expedition by boat. www.comohotels.com/maalifushi

NEWS Royal Yacht Britannia’s new floating hotel

The company responsible for the Royal Yacht Britannia   is opening Scotland’s first luxury static floating hotel around Easter 2018. The former Northern Lighthouse Board tender, MV Fingal, is being converted into a 23 bedroom hotel, berthed permanently at the Prince of Wales Dock in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith next to the Royal Yacht Britannia.  Interiors are Art Deco-inspired, with glass pillars, curvaceous wooden wall panels and gold ceilings. The design plans feature a strong maritime flavour, with lighthouse lenses in the lift, doors with original portholes. Designed by Alan Pedley and Stephen Flanagan, the 23 rooms will be named after lighthouses constructed by the famous Scottish civil engineer Robert Stevenson. The hotel is a stroll away from two Michelin-starred restaurants.  The 237ft long ship will also be home to a double height ballroom, able to seat 80 guests and featuring a moveable skylight. www.fingal.co.uk , www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

NEWS The Setai Tel Aviv, Israel opens

The Setai brand’s third offering opens in Tel Aviv this month (January 2018) . It is located on the historic Jaffa coastline close to the popular Clock Square. at the historic site known as the "Kishle. The building once housed Turkish prisoners awaiting deportation , hence the wrought-iron bars outside the windows, but don’t let that put you off. The Setai is all about luxury. Its 120 rooms have Ottoman doors and the courtyard houses a centuries-old fountain. London-based ara Design and Israeli-based Feigin Architects managed to preserve the stonework of the 13th-century building and have also added a new wing and a bar surrounded by reclaimed timber from the original roof.  The hotel will be a member of Leading Hotels of the World. www.thesetaihotel.co.il

NEWS Baillie Lodges’ new luxury resort

Baillie Lodges has announced it will create a luxury wilderness retreat on Tasmania’s rugged southeast coast. Remarkable Lodge will be located on the picturesque Tasman Peninsula, around 75 minutes’ drive from Hobart and close to the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur historic site.  
Owners James and Hayley Baillie and their four young sons were joined by Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman on the lodge site at Crescent Bay to make the announcement.  The $20million Remarkable Lodge will be the fourth property in the Baillie Lodges collection of Australian luxury lodges upon its completion in 2020.  
The 43-hectare privately-owned property adjoins the Tasman National Park, promising a diverse range of adventures for guests. The Park is home to an abundance of wildlife including hundreds of seals, migrating whales, dolphins and sea birds.
Owner James Baillie said the philosophy behind the Baillie Lodges guest experience was to create a real sense of place in each of the destinations in which they operated.  Mr Baillie said,
“After many years in the planning, Hayley and I are very excited to be adding the remarkable Tasman Peninsula to our collection of unique wilderness destinations around Australia”. www.baillielodges.com.au 

NEWS Rosewood’s innovative new hotel brand

Rosewood Hotel Group has launched a new hotel brand -- KHOS-- an innovative concept for business hotels with a distinct lifestyle orientation inspired by “the energy, art, innovation, creativity, style and dynamism of modern-day Asia”.  KHOS aims to turn the traditional notion of a business hotel on its head -- designed for the modern business traveller who doesn’t want to sacrifice style, inspiration, socialising and wellness for the functionality of a traditional business hotel. Derived from the Mongolian word meaning ‘pair’ , KHOS symbolises how this new brand of upscale hotels will blend work and play, people and ideas, East with West.  KHOS will establish a global footprint, with the first hotels to be announced and opened in 2018. "We have created KHOS to serve the needs of the new generation of business travellers, individuals who are constantly on the move and crave places to stay that understand, mirror and support their dynamic personas," says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.  "Hotels have not kept pace with the evolution of this group of travellers and KHOS reflects a new age in hospitality in which business travel is inseparable from lifestyle." www.rosewoodhotels.com

NEWS Finnair's new business class concept

We love it when an airline embraces its origins. Finnair has launched a new business class service concept and new Marimekko design elements celebrating its Nordic roots. At the same time an exciting collaboration with one of one the Nordic region’s top chefs will refresh onboard food. 
New cabin textiles and amenities, with simple and stylish seat covers, and pillows, blankets and chinaware with prints from the iconic Finnish design house, Marimekko, are inspired by Nordic homes and landscapes. “our aim is for our guests to be treated to a travel experience that sooths the senses and clears the mind,” said Finnair Head of Cabin Interior Development, David Kondo. 
Finnair’s new service concept offers a wider range of dining and wine options, served on-demand and at a customer’s preferred time, just as if dining in a restaurant.  The airline will also introduce the classic Finnish ‘Kahvikutsut’;  a coffee serving with seven different treats, including Carelian pies, cinnamon buns, coffee cake , for morning flights from Asia.
Top Swedish chef, Tommy Myllymäk( a nominee for Chef of the Year in Sweden and Creative Director for five Stockholm restaurants )  is now onboard to design new signature Nordic menus . “Seasonality is key for me, and I want to bring more vegetables, freshness and different textures to the meals on board.” Says Myllymäki.
The new business class service concept will start to rollout from 7 February 2018.www.finnair.com

NEWS American Airlines' new in-flight amenities

From December American Airlines will launch their new partnership with Casper in their long-haul international or transcontinental First or Business class and Premium Economy routes. Passengers will get the best sleep possible thanks to new products designed by Casper’s award-winning engineering team. The Casper line of sleep products will include a mattress pad, duvet, pillow, day blanket, lumbar pillow, pyjamas and slippers for extra comfort. 
Casper studied the travel environment for months to better understand the challenges of in-flight sleep. Casper’s sleep engineers then applied their expertise in sleep research and sleep science to design innovative products specifically for air travel and exclusively for American Airlines. www.americanairlines.com

SEE ALSO, British Airways recently launched a new partnership with The White Company to ‘Sleep Well in the Sky’ – READ MORE.

NEWS DUKES Hotel and Pommery Champagne partnership

One of TLTB’s favourite London hotels, DUKES LONDON, has announced a new partnership with Champagne brand, Pommery. Pommery Champagne will now be served to guests throughout the hotel including DUKES bar, GBR restaurant, room service and Afternoon Tea. 
To celebrate this new collaboration, GBR is launching a series of Pommery Experiences, beginning with a brand-new Christmas-themed Pommery cocktail, the Christmas Cranberry Cocktail, designed to add some sparkle and glamour to any occasion this festive season. 
Debrah Dhugga, the MD of DUKES COLLECTION, says, ‘We can’t wait to welcome guests to come in and try [the cocktail] this Christmas, a time of year which DUKES wholeheartedly embraces.’
The Cranberry Christmas cocktail is now served at GBR until 26th December 2017 and is priced at £16. www.dukeshotel.com

NEWS The Rees Hotel Crowned Best New Zealand Ski Hotel 2017

Congratulations to The Rees Hotel Queenstown who has been has been crowned Best New Zealand Ski Hotel 2017 at this year’s World Ski Awards held in Kitzbühe, Austria. The Rees was chosen from a shortlist of seven impressive properties in New Zealand, scoring the top award for the second year in a row.
Established five years ago, the World Ski Awards are ski tourism’s highest merit recognising and rewarding excellence across a spectrum of categories from departments to operators and luxury ski properties. The awards are the only worldwide initiative to celebrate ski tourism excellence as voted by both travel professionals and the public. Learn more about what makes The Rees so special HERE.  
www.therees.co.nz , www.worldskiawards.com

NEWS Singapore Airlines' new super-luxe suites

Singapore Airlines has unveiled its new first class at an event in Singapore today. Due to take off from December 2017 on flights to Sydney, with London to follow in March 2018 the new second-generation A380 suites are more than twice the size of the previous offerings. Singapore pioneered the idea of suites-in-the-sky but have lately been surpassed in the luxe stakes by Etihad and Emirates. These new suites are Singapore’s bid to regain the crown in the suite stakes. The Singapore Airlines' suites have sliding privacy doors, a plush swivel chair, upholstered in leather, a 32” high-definition TV screen. A separate bed area and a full-flat bed that also can recline for reading or TV-watching. When not in use, the bed can be stowed into a dividing wall to free up space. A folding ottoman-style stool can accommodate visitors for dinner or conversation. Two of the suites can be combined, allowing passengers traveling together to lower a divider that essentially creates a two-person suite with a double bed. And let’s not forget the delights of the newly unveiled business class. We are loving the fact that the middle seats directly behind each of the business class cabin's three bulkhead rows can convert into a double bed.  www.singaporeair.com

NEWS Waldorf Astoria to operate Admiralty Arch Luxury Hotel

Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts will operate the new luxury hotel is one of London’s most recognisable locations, Admiralty Arch. The Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria, London, will open in 2022, following an extensive on-going refurbishment programme which will restore and protect the iconic landmark’s architectural and historical features.
Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria will include 96 spacious and luxurious hotel rooms and suites, and three restaurants. Plans also include a rooftop bar with sweeping views across London’s skyline, private meetings and event spaces, as well as a state of the art spa. Luxury private residences and an exclusive Private Members Club and other exclusive Food and Beverage components will also feature in the hotel.
Admiralty Arch was completed in 1910 in memory of Queen Victoria, and was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who was also responsible for The Mall and main facade at Buckingham Palace. Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria will offer unmatched views down The Mall to Buckingham Palace, and commanding vistas across Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com

NEWS The Lodge in Verbier turns ten

 The Lodge, Verbier is celebrating its 10th anniversary this upcoming northern hemisphere winter As The Lodge looks forward to its tenth ski season Virgin Limited Edition reveal 10 little known facts about this private mountain retreat:1.The Lodge was refurbished using timber and oak that was reclaimed from local sources. 2.There’s a secret doorway that connects the two Master suites. You’d never know as it’s hidden in a bookcase! 3. It’s not just for grownups ,a specially created bunk room complete with plasma screen TV, DVD player, games console and bean bags is ready to welcome younger guests.  4. There’s an elevator to whisk guests through the five floors of the 1,200m2 chalet; offering the perfect antidote for tired legs after a day on the slopes. 5.The Lodge is in an unrivalled location,  Views ,views ,views. 6. A dedicated team of 15 are there to ensure a stay at The Lodge lives up to expectations. 7. It’s personal The team will get to know sizes and requirements ahead of arrival and arrange for all ski gear to be delivered and fitted in the comfort of The Lodge.  8.Size does matter, particularly when it comes to chocolate, and guests can look forward to a full size Toblerone bar on their pillow at turn down.  9. The Lodge has its own spa room with a resident beauty therapist to offer relaxation and soothing treatments. It also has two Jacuzzis, a steam room and 9m heated indoor pool.  10.The food is one of the highlights of a stay. The resident chefs are passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients.

NEWS Selfridges’ new Rooftop Italian Restaurant

Il Tetto, a new all-day dining Italian restaurant will open on Selfridges’ iconic rooftop on Friday 6th October.
Selfridges has collaborated with renowned restaurateur Des McDonald to launch Il Tetto. This new modern Italian restaurant, with views across the London skyline, will take up a year-long residency on the iconic Selfridges rooftop. 
Des McDonald has worked closely with Head Chef Luca Terraneo (formerly of L’Anima) to create a menu of authentic Italian dishes, using well sourced, seasonal ingredients from across Italy. 
Inspired by the traditional Italian trattorias, Il Tetto will bring a taste of the casual, rustic neighbourhood restaurants found throughout Italy to the iconic Selfridges rooftop.  The roof has been transformed with accents of Tuscan red, burnt orange and olive green throughout and terracotta pots filled with herbs bring a sense of rural Italy to the city. 
Il Tetto opens daily at 11, serving brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner seven days a week. www.iltetto.co.uk

NEWS a Curio Collection hotel for Sydney

Curio Collection by Hilton has announced the signing of its first hotel in Sydney. Under a management agreement with M&L Hospitality, Hilton will manage the West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton. The new build hotel is due for completion by December 17. Designed by Australian Architecture firm, Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, West Hotel will have its own distinct character appealing to the curious traveller seeking an authentic Sydney experience.   “As the first Curio Collection hotel in Australia, the signing of West Hotel Sydney is an exciting achievement for us,” said, Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “Sydney has an eclectic and diverse mix of people, cultures and experiences – all of which are reflected in this property.”  The newly built West Hotel Sydney features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites, a restaurant and bar, a fully equipped gym and a private meeting/dining room. The property will attribute modern classic design elements. Deep tones and marble accents with a strong botanical theme run throughout – from the open-air central garden atrium and the white waratah flower motif in the lobby to the floral-inspired carpet design in the guest rooms. www.curiocollection.com

NEWS The Ritz Carlton Koh Samui opens

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui opened in Thailand yesterday. With 175 suites and pool villas, nestled amid 58 acres, the resort overlooks  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. .  “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 As befits a YTL hotel the Spa Village Koh Samui is an impressive  3,800 square metre sanctuary  featuring eight treatment suites, three massage pavilions, a yoga pavilion, health bar, and a lap pool with intimate cabanas. Guests will be able to experience the Songkran Shower, the signature pre-spa ritual inspired by the annual Songkran festival. The resort’s culinary offerings reflect the destination’s bold flavours synonymous with southern Thai soul food at with seven dining experiences available. 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.  www.ritzcarlton.com, www.ytlhotels.com

NEWS The Fabulous Baker Brothers fire up the BBQ

Nothing brings people together better than a BBQ. However, Barbeques don’t have to be a summertime ritual. To celebrate its love of al fresco cooking, Four Seasons Fairways has launched ‘WinterGrill’, a campaign to encourage not only their guests, but everyone to fire up the coals on a more regular basis.
Each of the resort’s 132 private villas include fully functional kitchens and bespoke BBQ stations, and as part of ‘WinterGrill’ a set of Recipe Cards with unique recipes created by British TV Chefs Tom and Henry Herbert (The Fabulous Baker Brothers) will also be provided. To accompany these recipes Tom and Henry have also created a set of online tutorials showcasing the ingredients, techniques and method for each. 
The Fabulous Baker Brothers will also be hosting a LIVE BBQ Masterclass at Four Seasons Fairways from 20 – 23 February 2018. They will be demonstrating top tips and tricks for great BBQ technique and how to prepare the food properly ready for grilling.  
Sounds Delicious! To view the tutourials and for further information visit  www.fourseasonsfairways.com/en/winter-grill

NEWS Azamara Club Cruises announces new ship

Boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises has announced it will purchase a sister ship to Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest and take delivery in March 2018. The ship’s décor will be updated to match the brand’s  luxury look with the feel of  of a boutique hotel at sea. “We are pleased to expand our portfolio, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world through the acquisition of this sister ship,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Our loyal guests and travel partners have asked for this expansion for a long time; we are very pleased to deliver this to them.” The new addition, Azamara Pursuit, is comparable in size to the other two Azamara ships, which allows visits to unique ports that larger ships are unable to reach. Together, the three ships will support the brand’s commitment to enrich what Azamara calls “destination immersion “ around the world, by staying longer in port to allow guests to experience more.   The ship’s décor will be updated to match the brand’s luxury look with the feel of a boutique hotel at sea. Information about deployment and itineraries for Azamara Pursuit will be available in October.  www.azamara.com/pursuit 

NEWS Cunard's amazing new ship

Cunard, one of the world’s most well-known cruise brands, has announced it will build a new ship for launch in 2022.  Cunard's fourth ship, billed as  “a next-generation vessel “,  is set to be the largest in the line's fleet (based on passenger capacity). The 113,000-gross-tonne ship will carry 3,000 passengers and become the first new-build vessel for the line since Queen Elizabeth debuted in 2010.Carnival Corp.'s CEO Arnold Donald said: "We are very pleased to announce a fourth ship for our immensely popular Cunard brand, which is also one of the most legendary brands in the entire vacation industry The new ship will join the Queen Mary 2 (QM2), Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Carnival Corporation, Cunard's parent company, will build the ship at Fincantieri shipyard, in northern Italy - where ships for Viking Cruises, Seabourn and MSC Cruises are also currently under construction - and confirms Carnival’s“ambitious plans” for the future of Cunard.  In the face of competition from newer and ever more luxurious ships, the brand has alread  invested £120 million bringing two of its existing vessels up to date. The refurbishment of it flagship QM2 was the most expensive refit for any ship in Cunard’s 176-year history.  www.cunard.com

NEWS Rosewood's new London hotel

TLTB is a big fan of Rosewood London in High Holborn so we welcome the announcement that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed  to manage a new five star  hotel in  Grosvenor Square, Mayfair. Set to be housed in the iconic building which is currently the U.S. Embassy,. The property will offer 137  guestrooms and suites, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment spaces, including five gourmet restaurants. The property will also feature a signature spa, as well as six flagship retail spaces and a grand ballroom with space for up to 1,000 guests/ B British architect, Sir David Chipperfield will  oversee the  reimagining of  the mid-20th century listed building through elegant interior upgrades while still maintaining the integrity of the property through the preservation of the building’s original, Grade II listed façade. “We are thrilled to embark on this exciting new venture, which will bring new life to this iconic building,” says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. The hotel will be the second Rosewood property in London and will open as the sixth property in Europe. The announcement comes on the heels of the enormously successful reopening of Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, solidifying Rosewood’s expanding presence in Europe and around the globe. www.rosewood.com.au

NEWS Girl’s Night In at the Great Northern Hotel with Desmond & Dempsey

We love a good night in! London’s Great Northern Hotel has created the ultimate grown-up sleepover to celebrate with your BFF.
A Girl’s Night In includes a one-night stay for two friends where guests can choose from Desmond & Dempsey’s luxurious 100% cotton sleepwear range. The beautiful range of PJ’s has been inspired by the classic men’s shirt and reimagined for the bedroom and tailored for women. Guests can also take advantage of a free monogramming service to personalise their pyjamas (perfect as a memento of the stay!).
The stylish sleepover also includes two signature cocktails each, created by the GNH Bar for guests to enjoy in their room, and a selection of delicious sweet and savoury snacks to share. GNH also offers the latest movie releases to watch, and the guest Pantry on every floor is fully stocked with home-made cakes, teas, Nespresso coffee, newspapers and magazines all at no extra charge. 
The luxury continues in the morning at Plum + Spilt Milk, the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant.  A delicious Champagne brunch for two will be served, which includes a selection of light first courses and small dishes, eggs and refined main dishes, plus a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne to share and coffee to finish.   
A Girl’s Night In is priced from £280 per person based on two people www.gnhlondon.com 

NEWS The Bloomsbury hotel blooms

The Bloomsbury, a 1928 Sir Edwin Lutyens, Grade-II listed building on Great Russell Street in London  is about to get a serious make over. Luckily the redesign is in the hands of The Doyle Collection, the privately owned and managed group of luxury hotels in Ireland, the UK and US which include The Westbury  and The Croke Park in Dublin.  Following the successful relaunch of The Kensington in 2016, The Bloomsbury redesign will be completed in November 2017. The hotel will be transformed following a multimillion-pound investment programme led by Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – the internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design studio.  The transformation of The Bloomsbury has been a long-term focus for Gallagher, whose vision for the brand is to create a group of hotels at the forefront of cool design and product innovation with superb service, that are deeply rooted to their local area.  www.doylecollection.com

NEWS Louvre set to open in Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its doors to the public on 11 November 2017. It is the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: a universal museum that focuses on shared human stories across civilisations and cultures. The opening celebrations will include a wide range of public programmes, including symposiums, performances, concerts, dance, and visual arts by renowned contemporary and classical artists.  Located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a museum city (Arab medina) under a vast silvery dome. Visitors can walk through the promenades overlooking the sea beneath the museum’s 180-metre dome, comprised of almost 8,000 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern . On display will be the museum’s important collection of artworks, artefacts and loans from France’s top museums. These span the entirety of human existence:  from prehistorical objects to commissioned contemporary artworks, highlighting universal themes and ideas and marking a departure from traditional museography that often separates according to origin. In addition to the galleries, the museum will include exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique and a café.

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