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NEW Villa D'Este reopens
Villa D'Este opens for it's 141st season this week, on March 6 as usual Danilo Zucchetti, Managing Director of Villa d'Este Hotels has issued a charming personal invite to past guest to return again this year how could we refuse? Poised and serene, the incomparable Villa d'Este - arguably the most beautiful hotel in the world, and easily one of the most romantic - reclines on the shores of the south-western arm of Lake Como on 25 hectares of exquisitely manicured parkland on the outskirts of the charming village of Cernobbio.http://www.villadeste.it
Posted 4/3/13
NEW Free wi-fi the most desired hotel innovation in 2013
Hotels offering free Wi-Fi and good coffee are on the top of the global travellers wish lists according to a new survey carried out by online booking service Hotels.com. The survey looked at the complimentary services travellers would most like from hotels. Free Wi-Fi I was the number one priority when choosing a hotel according to 34 per cent of respondents staying for leisure and fifty-six per cent of travellers staying in hotels for business .
The survey found that 66 per cent of all global travellers wished free Wi-Fi would become standard in hotels in 2013. The desire for free Wi-Fi was seen as more important than either complimentary breakfast or free parking. Fifteen per cent also wanted in-room tablets to access their free Wi-Fi. While 20 per cent of those surveyed said they were keen to have a wired room with amenities controlled by a single remote.
Good coffee thing high on the wishlist , with 23 per cent of respondents saying that said that high-end coffee makers are their most desired modern amenity in a hotel room. Guests also rated complimentary bottled water high on their list with 43 per cent choosing water as their most appreciated simple amenity.A free breakfast was the favourite non-tech item that 31 per cent of guests most want in 2013. www.Hotels.com
Posted 1/3/13
NEW Rosewood opens a historic London hotel
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will open Rosewood London in October 2013. Following a US$130 million renovation of after a $130 million facelift Chancery Court Hotelwill become the newest rose to bloom in the impressive Rosewood portfolio. Built in 1914 the historic Edwardian hotel on High Holborn will be allowed to let its period features shine. Much will be made of the carriageway entrance and courtyard, the marble columns in the lobby and the grand seven floors high Pavonazzo marble staircase. The façade and the dark mahogany and rare marble inside will all be will be carefully preserved ,as will the original ballroom.
"Rosewood London will be a milestone addition to our portfolio, not only as it is in a major European capital, but because the legacy of the historic building itself is a true representation of our 'A Sense of Place' philosophy," says Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.
Posted 28/2/13
NEW Kristin Chenoweth's new role
Emmy and Tony award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, is adding yet another accolade to her impressive resume: godmother to Royal Caribbean International's new  cruise ship , Quantum of the Seas. Read More
Posted 27/2/13
 Michelin stars for Le Royal Monceau
Congratulations to Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris which has been awarded its first two Michelin stars: only two years aftert its grand re-opening. One was awarded to the hotel's French restaurant La Cuisine, the other to its Italian restaurant, Il Carpaccio -, making it he only Italian restaurant in Paris to have a Michelin star.
"These two stars are a well-deserved recognition for the talent and consistency of Executive Chef Laurent André and his team," comments Ömer Acar, General Manager, Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris. "We could not be more proud to share their good news.
La Cuisine offers a contemporary take on traditional French cuisine. Guests are able to watch Gabriel Grapin's open kitchen, Il Carpaccio gives its guests a very personal interpretation of Italian cuisine, taking constant inspiration from traditional family recipes which have been created by generations across Italy. Both restaurants also serve original Pierre Hermé pastries and desserts . Pierre Hermé, was dubbed the "Picasso of Pastry" by Vogue. www.raffles.com/paris
Posted 25/2/13
  Hôtel Plaza Athénée gears up for celebrations
Opened on April 20,1913, Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris is gearing up for its centennial celebrations. The Dorchester Collection property, is partnering with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (also celebrating its centennial ) and Baccarat for the occasion, so expect many sparkling events.
Hotel guests will be able to attend performances  of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," which made its world premiere  at the Théâtre in 1913. Bar manager Thierry Hernandez has also created a new signature cocktail called Harcourt Baccarat  which combines  a variety of berries with Cognac, passion fruit and Champagne in a Baccarat Harcout crystal glass and will be available in the hotel bar all year.
Other events include; a series of Bavarian dinners in homage to the original founder, German Emil Armbruster, the  burial of an hotel  time capsule and the planting of 100 trees in the grounds of Versailles .
www.dorchestercollection.com
Posted 22/2/13
Windstar's new small ships
Two of our favourite small ship luxury cruise lines have come to an interesting arrangement. Boutique cruise line, Windstar, has reached an agreement with Seabourn to purchase their three small ships: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend, and Seabourn Spirit.  Effectively this means that under the new project name Global Windstar, Windstar Cruises will become the market leader in small-ship cruising.  ?Windstar Cruises has experienced four straight years of growth. This expansion is the perfect way to build on momentum following our recent fleet-wide renovation, providing us with the much needed capacity to match the accelerating demand for our intimate style of yacht cruising,? said Andy Todd, chief executive officer of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Windstar?s owner.  ?Global Windstar enables us to extend our unique small-ship experience throughout the world.?

Windstar?s possession of the three all-suite ships, will roll out over the next two years. The Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to enter  the luxury fleet in April 2014.  Following a Windstar-branded renovation, with  it a new name and a new look, the Pride will set sail a month later in the Mediterranean in May 2014. Voyages are expected to go on sale in May of this year.  Windstar will take possession of Seabourn Legend in April 2015 and Seabourn Spirit in May 2015, and the yachts will start sailing in May of 2015 . Watch this space.
www.traveltheworld.com.au   www.traveltheworld.com
Posted 21/2/13

Four Seasons new meeting suites
Cross a meeting room with a luxury suite and you have a whole new concept ?the meeting suite. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is redefining the way guests meet, offering a home-style approach with the launch of four  new residential meeting suites. Created by award-winning designer Michael McCann, the Hotel has transformed the entire level two space overlooking the atrium lobby into four new suites ? Studio One, Studio Two, Studio Three and The Residential Suite.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney  aim is to has set itself apart from traditional hotel meeting rooms with a focus on creating a ?stylish yet relaxed and homely environment,? Menus have also been redesigned to offer home-style cuisine.

In keeping with the residential feel, the Studios feature a collection of original ceramic, stone and porcelain artworks designed by top artists from the UK including Richard Godfrey, Craig Underhill and Peter Beard; representing one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.  In addition, the Hotel has transformed the former Café into a lounge area available exclusively for guests using the Studios and Residential Suite.  All of which could make long meetings almost tolerable.
www.fourseasons.com
Posted 13/2/13

ICEHOTEL in 23rd year
After two months of construction the 23rd ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland is now complete. Since November 2012, selected artists from around the world have gathered in the village of Jukkasjärvi to create this exclusive ice art exhibition. Read More
Manet in London
Another day, another hotel/art gallery partnership but today's focuses on London.

The athenaeum is partnering with the Royal Academy of Arts for the Manet: Portraying Life exhibition. This will be the first major exhibition in the UK to showcase Edouard Manetʼs portraiture work.

The Manet experience at The athenaeum is available until 14 April 2013 and gives guests a night in a superior room, breakfast and two open tickets to Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Manet: Portraying Life will examine the relationship between Manetʼs portrait painting and his scenes of modern life. Including over 50 paintings, among them will be portraits of Manetʼs wife Suzanne Leenhoff and luminaries of the period including Antonin Proust, Émile Zola and Stéphane Mallarmé. Alongside the paintings will be a selection of pastels and contemporary photographs brought together from public and private collections from across Europe, Asia and the USA. www.athenaeumhotel.com www.royalacademy.org.uk
Posted 29/1/13
Turner in Adelaide
InterContinental Adelaide has launched their 'Turner Art Package' and will be available from February 2013. The hotel is the official partner for the Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master exhibition celebrating the work of iconic British artist J.M.W. Turner.

The hotel is only a short walk from the exhibition and the Turner Art Package includes overnight accommodation, two complimentary exhibition tickets, breakfast for two and a late check-out at 2pm. VIP guided tours of the Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master exhibition can also be arranged for InterContinental Adelaide guests.

Turner from the Tate is being held at the Art Gallery of South Australia from February 8 to May 19, 2013. The first major Australian exhibition of the work of iconic British artist J.M.W. Turner in almost 20 years, the exhibition includes over 100 of the artist's most well-known oil paintings and water colours as well as works that have never been previously exhibited in Australia. www.icadelaide.com.au
Posted 28/1/13
Waldorf Astoria Berlin opens
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts' second European hotel is now open. The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is now welcoming guests and features 232 luxury guestrooms and suites designed by renowned German architect, Professor Christoph Mäckler.

The hotel's numerous dining and drinking options include a restaurant run by world-renowned French chef, Pierre Gagnaire who has 12 Michelin stars at restaurants across the globe.

The hotel's spa will use acclaimed French beauty specialists, Guerlain (the first time the trendsetting brand brings its innovative range of treatments to Germany).

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts currently includes more than 20 landmark destinations around the world, with European properties including: London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel; Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel; Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; and The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is due to open its doors to guests next year and Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is expected to open in early 2014. www.waldorfastoriaberlin.com/
Posted 24/1/13

Gallery in the Air

Virgin Atlantic will launch a commercial art gallery at 35,000ft, offering Upper Class passengers flying between London and New York the opportunity to view, and purchase, a series of one-of-a-kind paintings by renowned British artist, Ben Eine, all from the comfort of their seat.

The canvases will be on display across the London Heathrow, JFK and Newark Clubhouses and, as passengers take their seats, they can take a virtual tour of the Gallery in the Air, look behind-the-scenes at the making of the Virgin Atlantic artworks by Eine in his studio and buy the unique pieces of art for themselves in exactly the same way as they would a duty-free shopping purchase.

Ten bespoke works of art priced between £2,500 and £15,000 (approximately AUD$3700 - AUD$22650) in Ben Eine's trademark typography style will be featured. Each piece has been inspired by the adventurous and innovative spirit of Virgin Atlantic, its entrepreneurial owner Richard Branson, and the iconic transatlantic cities of London and New York.

Sir Richard Branson said: 'I am a huge fan of Ben's work and like us, he does things differently and doesn't follow the crowd. We're delighted to be working with him, mixing things up a bit and having a bit of fun along the way'.

The Gallery in the Air, a world first, will take place between 1 to 28 February 2013. www.virgin-atlantic.com
Posted 22/1/13
  Royal Warrant for The Goring
Congratulations to one of TLTB's favourite hotels, The Goring, which has received a Royal Warrant of appointment to HM The Queen for Hospitality Services.

Jeremy Goring, Cheif Executive of the hotel said: "We are hugely honoured to have been appointed a Royal Warrant holder by The Queen. To be able to display Her Majesty's coat of arms is something that the staff will be enormously proud of. Without doubt this is the most important recognition their work could ever receive. It is made all the more special for us because I believe this is the first Royal Warrant The Queen has ever granted to an hotel."

The Goring family has run the hotel for 103 after Jeremy's great grandfather built it in 1910. Ever since it has provided the higHest level of service to all guests including British and foreign royalty and Kate Middleton famously stayed at the hotel the night before her wedding in 2011. www.thegoring.com
Posted 21/1/13

Insp ired by Celebrity Travel

The last couple of months it seems that there has been a stream of ' smoasts ' (the trend of social media boasting) from celebrities as they soaked up the sun in exotic destinations.

It seems that many travellers are influenced by this as British Airways have revealed that there has been a spike in bookings to celebrity-favourite destinations since the holidays.

Bookings to Barbados and St Lucia have increased by at least 130 per cent compared to last year. Barbados welcomed Simon Cowell and Rihanna while St Lucia was the choice for Gwyneth Paltrow who posted pictures of her family during their holiday.

Mexico is also proving popular and Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt and Jessica Alba were all spotted their enjoying romantic breaks with their significant others.

British Airways has also seen a record rise in bookings to Hawaii (up by 100 per cent in the past year). Katy Perry and John Mayer, Jude Law and President Barack Obama all vacationed on the islands recently. www.ba.com

Posted 18/1/13
I Heart MHG
Morgans Hotel Group have launched a new curated city guide program called 'I Heart MHG'. Notable influencers across various industries will be on hand to enhance guests' experience of the city they are visiting.
The group, including famed fashion designer Robert Rodriguez, acclaimed interior designer Tom Dixon and author of Accidental Billionaires, Ben Mezrich, will provide exclusive insight and reveal hidden gems for dining, culture, nightlife and shopping. The "I Heart MHG" package is available now through March 30, 2013. www.morganshotelgroup.com
Posted 17/1/13
Ground breaking for Trump
Ivanka and Eric Trump have attended the ground breaking ceremony of the latest Trump venture. Work has started on The Trump Tower Punta del Este, Uruguay and the Executive Vice Presidents of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization were present to oversee proceedings.

This will be the only property in South America to bear the Trump name and will offer 129 exclusive residences. Located on the sands of Playa Brava the impressive cylindrical tower will have ocean-view residences and duplex-style residences in a variety of floor-plan options.

Posted 15/1/13
Four Seasons opens in St Petersburg
In April stay in a revived Russian imperial palace' when Four seasons Lion Palace opens in the former 19th century Lobanov-Rostovsky residence in the historic Admiralteysky district of St Petersburg two blocks from the Hermitage Museum and close to Nevsky Prospekt. Guarded by two marble lions, (hence the name) the hotel will have 177 guest rooms, including 26 suites with views of Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Alexandrovksy Garden and the landmark Admiralty. We particularly like the idea of the glass-topped spa. www.fourseasons.com
Posted 10/1/13
A paradise in Nicaragua
Eco-warriors who like their little luxuries should look out for Mukul (meaning "secret" in a Mayan dialect) which is due to open in febraury (2013) . the green resort will include a beach club, restaurant, spa and 37 private villas. The hotel is part of Guacalito de la Isla, a 1,670 acre eco-sensitive resort development on a long stretch untouched Pacific on what has become known as the Emerald Coast in in Nicaragua. Ityis owned and built by Carlos Pellas, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Central America whose family have been a name in the region for five generations.
Posted 9/1/13
The perfume of Per Aquum
OK, we know we're only just over new year but Per AQUUM are already planning Valentine's Day. The divine Huvafen fushi has collaborated with perfumers Nicolas Maillebiau and his daughter Isabelle Maillebiau to create a special guest experience from February 11th - 14th 2013. As one of the world's most legendary noses, Nicolas was Head Perfumer to Nina Ricci for twenty years, a Paris Court Expert in Perfumery and perfumer to numerous royal families. Following in her father's footsteps, Isabelle has created perfumes for leading houses Boucheron, Céline, Dior, Guerlain, Lalique and for luxury hotels George V and Plaza Athénée. The Maillebiau family will be conducting an exclusive three day workshop exploring the history of perfume and uncovering secrets behind the creation of a perfume. At the end of the workshop, guests will work together with Nicolas and Isabelle in creating their own Per Fumum Ex bespoke perfume.
Posted 7/1/13
Armani: wear it, live in it
Armani isn't just about clothes any more ... or hotels. With the signing of yet another agreement to have the Armani name on a sky high luxury residential complex, Armani is now officially about residences too.
Giorgio Armani SpA has signed with Indian real estate company Supertech for the development of a 100 unit ARMANI TOWER in Mumbai. (luxe fact: Supertech also developed the new Sofitel Hotel opened in the city's Noida district last year).
The Armani Tower in Supertech's luxury project Supernova, and have ultra-luxurious interiors and furniture designed by Armani.
The new deal comes only a year after the first Armani project in Mumbai, The World Towers, developed by the Lodha Group, which is currently under construction.
Posted 4/1/13
Hotel Bernini Bristol joins SLH
Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome is now a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. SINA Fine Italian Hotels have announced that on January 1st the luxury hotel joined the group that comprises of over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries.
Hotel Bernini Bristol joins other SINA hotels, The Gray in Milan, Palazzo San'Angelo and Centurion Place in Venice are already members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. www.slh.com/ www.sinahotels.com
Posted 3/1/13
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz' Sound Journey

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland has introduced a 'Sound Journey' treatment to their spa menu. Using singing bowls, the 75 minute treatment hails from ancient Himalayan times, traditionally used for healing. The treatment recognises that most of us are 'out of tune' with our bodies and are suffering physical and emotional tension and pain. 'Sound Journey' calls upon positive vibrations of soothing sounds to achieve a sense of euphony through the body.

During the treatment Singing bowls will be placed on the body and made to gently vibrate by contact with a mallet. The resulting resonance penetrates through the whole body and makes mind and soul 'pulsate' leading to deep relaxation, as sound appeals to a persons? sense of trust and induces a willingness to 'let go'. www.resortragaz.ch
Posted 20/12/12
Four Seasons' Latest Luxury Resort
The secret is out! Turkey's elite have known for years, and now Four Seasons are revealing the beautiful area to the wider world.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have announced plans for a new resort property in Cesme, near Alaçati, Turkey. The Aegan town, on the coast of Turkey's Izmir province, has long been a favourite of the Turkish elite drawn to the area's rich culture, cuisine, vineyards and therapeutic thermal springs.
President and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Kathleen Taylor said: 'At Four Seasons we always strive to bring our guests the best, most remarkable experiences, and we feel privileged to do so with the addition of this unique luxury resort to the region'.

The Cesme Peninsula has evolved in recent decades to become one of Turkey's most prominent centres of tourism with a number of hotels, marinas, clubs, restaurants and recreational facilities. Four Seasons Resort Cesme is expected to open in 2016. www.fourseasons.com

Posted 18/12/12
Alila Resorts new luxury sailing boat
Alila Hotels and Resorts is set for the maiden voyage this month as it launches a new luxury wooden Phinisi sailing boat which will take guests on relaxing and tranquil adventures through uncharted waters and amongst the islands of Indonesia. The boat is just like a five star hotel on water with the same style that has made Alia a TLTB favourite. There are four cabins, all air-conditioned with queen-size beds, en-suite bathrooms with shower, writing desk, separate toilet, and double wardrobes. We particularly like the master suite, designed with large, wraparound windows offering sublime views of the seascape. Its bathroom features shower, bathtub, and two washbasins; while a private balcony and large sundeck with daybed and deckchairs provide the ultimate private relaxation space.
Onboard there is also a library, lounge, bar, indoor dining area seating up to 12 people, and complimentary Wi-Fi. A crew of 16 will take care of you. Kayaking, surfing, fishing, snorkelling, diving or just visiting local islands and pearl farms are all on offer. www.alilahotels.com/purnama
Posted 13/12/12
Cheval Blanc Courchevel open for the season
Cheval Blanc Courchevel opens its doors today (12/12/12) for the season until 7 April 2013. The intimate hotel (just 36 rooms and suites) has ski-in, ski-out access to the prestigious Jardin Alpin ski area of Courchevel 1850 and direct access to the Trois Vallées, the world's largest ski domain.

New features for 2012-2013 include eight new suites, an 'After the Snow' Guerlain treatment, exclusively for The Cheval Blanc Spa that is designed to refresh and invigorate after a day on the slopes and in-house gifts including a cashmere poncho, a Cheval Blanc cashmere-lined ski hat and lambskin gloves (designed for touch-screen telephones use on the slopes).

In-house guests will be able to take part in exclusive events including an invitation only preview collections for Dior and Louis Vuitton, a peek into the world of fragrance by Guerlain and behind the scenes cooking experiences with Executive Chef, Yannick Alléno.

For children this season, a snowman kit will be left at turndown and created to give smaller guests the tools to build the perfect snowman and complete their snow-filled sojourn. In that same spirit of surprising and delighting guests, every day the team at Cheval Blanc meticulously prepares the ski equipment ; Boots are heated and skiers are offered ski maps, tasty home-made fruit delicacies and miniature hand warmers. www.chevalblanc.com/
Posted 12/12/12
Hotel Café Royal opens in London
Today (5/12/12) The Cafe Royal on London's Regent Street reopens its doors as a luxury hotel. London has been waiting anxiously for the opening of Hotel Café Royal since it missed its original scheduled opening date ahead of the summer Olympics due to 'complex and sensitive' nature of the listed building's refurbishment'.

Following a three year renovation the 159 room hotel balances modern style with the original Grade I listed 1860s and 1920s public rooms which have been beautifully preserved. The hotel will also feature an Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre (opening February 2013) and restaurants and bars.

Since first opening in 1865 The Café Royal was the meeting place for artists and intellectuals and has witnessed the likes of Oscar Wilde, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Mick Jaggger and Spike Milligan party into the night... TLTB is sure the glitterati will be spotted at the new hotel in the coming months. www.hotelcaferoyal.com/
Posted 5/12/12
Oetker Collection announces a stunning new hotel
Another hotel from the sublime Oetker Collection is always welcome news. Oetkler has unveiled plans for its first masterpiece hotel in the French Alps, designed by interior designed by India Mahdavi and Jospeh Dirand, L' Apologee will open in Courchevel on 11 December 2013 (11/12/13 - an easy sequence to make sure none of us forget the date- as if we would). The hotel will have 33 suites and 20 rooms and TLTB readers will be particularly pleased to hear that the penthouse has its own jacuzzi and private terrace with breathtaking views over Courchevel village. A private ski lift will give guests access to the hotel and the restaurant will be overseen by two-star michelin chef, Yannick Franques. If that isn't luxurious enough next to L'Apologee a five bedroom private chalet with spa and home cinema will also be on offer.
The announcement was made yesterday by the charming and witty Frank Marrenbach CEO of Oetker at one of The Collection's most beautiful hotels, the Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc during an exclusive lunch at ILTM in Cannes.
www.oetkercollection.com
Posted 4/12/12
The Woods opens its doors

The Woods, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney's adventurous new dining destination opens its doors today. The restaurant's ethos revolves around wood-fired cooking with Hamish Ingham at the helm as Restaurant Executive Chef. Hamish is supported by his restaurateur partner Rebecca Lines who is overseeing The Woods' management.

The Woods, created by award-winning designer Michael McCann, will draw in guests with its spectacular centrally located wood-fired oven and open-plan kitchen complete with wood-fired grill. Ingham sources fresh, home-grown produce which is cooked over a variety of naturally-flavoured Australian woods including apple wood, mushroom and mallee stumps.

The Woods has plenty of 'wow factor' including a live vertical herb wall which forms the backdrop to the chef's table, a hand-hewn butcher's block to display the home-made bread and butter and a dramatic black and white feature cow hide wall hanging that frames the open-plan cold kitchen. www.fourseasons.com
Posted 3/12/12
Accor's Pullman now Australia's largest five star brand
Following the re-branding Sea Temple Resort & Spa Port Douglas yesterday Accor'sPullman becomes Australai's largest five star hotel brand. The Port Douglas rebrandingIt follows hot on the heels of the re-branding to Pullman of Sea Temple Resort & Spa Palm Cove earlier this week. They join two Pullman hotels in Cairns (Reef Casino and the former Sebel) to give the Pullman brand a prime position in Tropical North Queensland. The two Far North Queensland Pullman resorts join Pullman Bunker Bay in Western Australia's Margaret River region, and Pullmans in other major resort locations such as Bali, Phuket, Pattaya, Marrakech and Cannes. The two new additions bring the Pullman network to ten in Australia. Which is rapid growth considering Pullman first debuted in Australia only four years ago.
Posted 30/1/12
ILTM Spa will bring wellness to London in 2013
International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), from Reed Travel Exhibitions ,will hold its second ILTM Spa 2013 in London next year from September 30-October 2, Following the successful launch event held in Austria this year, ILTM Spa will coincide with the annual Tatler Spa Awards seen as one of the world's international annual spa events. Alison Gilmore, ILTM Exhibition Director said, "ILTM Spa is a high-end focused event dedicated to innovators of spa and wellness travel which includes destination spas and leaders in the medical tourism sector. The decision to hold the event in London next year alongside the Tatler Spa Awards helps bring the whole industry together in one place."
Posted 29/11/12
Crystal Cruises hobbit tour
Crystal Cruises is offering an exclusive new dinner experience in 2013, on the "Hobbiton" set used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and new prequel film. The unique shoreside opportunity will be offered on the 29 January voyage through the region.
The two local cultures of New Zealand and "Middle Earth" will come together, starting with a private, after-hours, guided tour of the village movie set. From Frodo and Bilbo Baggins' Hobbit holes to the Brandywine Bridge, guests will enter buildings and stroll rolling hills, while learning about waht it took to build the site. On the grounds of the hobbit-frequented Green Dragon Inn, overlooking the lake and Mill, guests will toast the sunset in NZ wine and beer, and eat a traditional Kiwi barbeque, and other fresh fare served by wait staff in Lord of the Rings garb.
Posted 27/11/12
World's Tallest Hotel opens in Dubai
The world's tallest hotel, standing at a height of 355 metres (or 26 metres shorter than New York's Empire State Building) has officially welcomed its first guests to enjoy its sky high views. The JW Marriott Marquis is spread across two gigantic towers and will open in two phases. The soft opening of the first 804 room tower is now taking place. TLTB will keep you posted on the Grand Opening celebration in February 2013. When it finally opens the hotel will have 10 restaurants, four bars, two lounges, expansive conference facilities, and the Saray Spa and Health Club.
Posted 23/11/12
Voyager of the Seas arrives at home port
With much fanfare the biggest cruise ship to be based in Australia , Royal Caribbean International's Voyager of the Seas, arrived at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal this morning - the first ever call at her new 'home port'.
Thronging out into The Rocks over 3,000 passengers - around a third whom were from the USA and Europe - disembarked at the end of her maiden Australasian voyage.
Australia's historic first mega-liner weighs in at 137,000 GRT, is 311 metres long, is 38 metres wide and has 15 passenger decks, double the size of any ship currently based in Australia.
Luxe trivia: With 1,557 staterooms, Voyager of the Seas has twice as many bedrooms as Australia's largest hotel (the Sheraton Four Points Darling Harbour).
Posted 23/11/12
Floating heliport for Sydney
From next month jetsetters will be able to fly straight to the centre of Sydney by helicopter and land on a new Floating Heliport in Sydney Harbour .The move is long overdue because, as luxury and business travellers know every major city needs a heliport and chopper services close to the Sydney CBD area have not been available since the 1980s, when the Darling Harbour Heliport was closed.Answering the need for helicopter services in Sydney James Guest and Mitchell Campbell, Directors of Newcastle Helicopters, have developed the concept of a powered flat top vessel based on central Sydney Harbour, complete with two helipad sites and deck space to manage passenger operations.
The heliport will operate from agreed locations away from shipping channels and residential areas, and will be made available to pre-approved helicopter operators during agreed operating hours of 7am to dusk. Passengers will access the Floating Heliport by existing Harbour water taxi services and other commercial operators.
The Floating heliport means swift transfers from the international airport with the added bonus of a scenic flight over Sydney harbour on the way.
Flights, packages and gift vouchers will be available online early next month. Book early to be on the inaugural flights. www.newcastlehelicopters.com.au.
Posted 21/11/12
The historic Majestic Hotel KL re-opens
It has been much anticipated and now at last YTL Hotels will open The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 1 December 2012. Built in the 1930s, the original hotel became one of the great landmarks of KL. The hotel was The place for glamorous gatherings social and government receptions . Now it's time has come again. Set on 3.2 acres on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin the Hotel will feature 300 luxurious rooms and suites. The Majestic Wing, the fully restored original five storey Majestic Hotel, will house the Suites with Butler Service, The Colonial Café, The Bar and The Tea Lounge. Deluxe rooms are found in the new 15-storey Tower Wing.
The Majestic Spa, in a separate building(in the art nouveau style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's famous Willow Tearooms in Scotland). offers seven treatment rooms, a relaxation area, and its own swimming pool. A second two-storey building called The Smoke House will feature a bar, grooming room, cigar room, private dining area with a Chef on call, a screening room and card room.
Posted 20/11/12
Bag a St Regis tote
The Grand Tourista Bag is fashion designer jason Wu's first product created exclusively for travel and the first accessory designed for the St. Regis brand St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is delighted to unveil The Grand Tourista Bag by Jason Wu for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts inspired by today's idea of a grand tour and designed with a new generation of luxury travellers in mind. "I see St. Regis as both a classic and a modern name, which I feel is an apt description of my brand as well," says Jason Wu. "I am really excited to be part of a legacy that is rooted in impeccable style that can stand the test of time, and The Grand Tourista Bag reflects exactly that."
The bag is a shoulder tote with in a black and white houndstooth pattern on canvas and calf leather black trimming, embossed with the St Regis hallmark. Inside are two pouch pockets lined in viscose/silk grain, in Wu's signature grey, are perfect for tablets, e-books and a passport.The Grand Tourista Bag costs $1,995 at http://www.stregis.com/boutique and http://www.jasonwustudio.com beginning in early December and is available for pre-order at online luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi www.modaoperandi.com
Posted 19/11/12
ME London opens
We are loving the look of the two-floor penthouse in the turret of the new ME London. Originally scheduled for a pre-olympic opening, then September, the hotel is now due to open December 1. The 157-room hotel (including 16 suites) occupies the historic Marconi House, once the London home of BBC radio. Foster + Partners designed all of the interiors and exteriors; the project is the firm's first in the U.K. So far we're impressed. We're especially liking the look of its Radio rooftop bar with view over London and the lobby, one floor up from the street, with a giant marble pyramid and spacey video projections on the walls. Black hallways..white leather walls... this one looks set to out funk funky. We'll bring you a picture gallery soon.
Posted 16/11/12
Hotel Lindrum joins MGallery
Hotel Lindrum, one of Melbourne's best loved boutique havens has today (14 November) joined Accor's exclusive MGallery Collection of hotels.
The Luxury Travel Bible are big fans of MGallery which has a growing portfolio of stylish offerings including Vie Hotel Bangkok, Hotel Frances Santo Domingo, the Baltimore in Paris and St-Ermin's in London.
Hotel Lindrum become the fifth Australian hotel to join the collection. Other Australian members include including the recently rebranded Como Melbourne and Harbour Rocks Hotel in Sydney.
A fun luxe fact: Hotel Lindrum was named Walter A. Lindrum OBE, an acclaimed billiard player with 57 world records to his name, who used to play on the site. www.mgallery.com
Posted 14/11/12
Pure experience in Marrakech
PURE Life Experiences opens in Marrakech today. Now in its fourth year the event established by Serge Dive (who will share his thoughts on luxury experiences with us later this month) and Sarah Ball, PURE was the first show which recognised the need for a global market place catering only towards high-end Experiential Travel specialists. So many of our favourite people will be there we couldn't possibly list them but suffice to say the guest list reads like a Who's Who in the luxury travel industry. We'll be sharing some inspiration from PURE with readers over the coming days. For now here's an inspirational guide to the very best restaurants and shopping experiences in the rose red city of Marrakech. HERE
PURE Life Experiences 12 -15 November, Morocco.
Posted 12/11/12
Ritz Carlton's high end parties
The Ozone Bar at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, the tallest hotel in the world, is by definition the last word in 'high-end ' party destinations. TLTB loves their risqué Christmas Eve themed party - "Lace is the New Red", in partnership with the luxury fashion lingerie brand - La Perla. Lingerie, lights and the stunning views of the Hong Kong the skyline -what more could partygoers ask? It is not a bad place to countdown to New year either; partygoers can dance the night away 490 metres above sea level and enjoy a champagne toast at midnight. Ritz Carlton Hong Kong's one star Michelin Tin Lung Heen Restaurant will also be offering an extravagant 8-course dinner on New Year's Eve, while Tosca Restaurant will feature a 6 course New Year's Eve menu and the New Year's day brunch.
Posted 8/11/12
Nobu at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris have announced a collaboration with world-renowned Sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa, who this week takes up residence at the hotel with his team for a winter pop-up in Paris. Guests will be able to experience dishes that Nobu is renowned for such as sea urchin sushi and Otoro and chutoro tuna sashimi, to Chilean sea bass with Jalapeño pepper sauce and Kushiyaki skewers of Wagyu beef.

A wide selection of sake has been specially imported from Japan for the occasion, while the hotel's Le Bar Long has a special menu of Asian inspired cocktails for pre-dinner drinks.

Nobu will be in residence at La Cuisine each evening, for Japanese dining à la carte, or a traditional seven-course 'Omakase' Chef's Choice tasting menu. www.raffles.com/paris
Posted 8/11/12
Ferragamo is Relais & Chateaux's new ambassador
Salvatore Ferragamo, president of the wonderful Il Borro and part of the famous fashion dynasty was today named as the Relais & Chateaux Ambassador of 2013 at the 38th International R & C Congress in Turin, Italy. Our congratulations also goes to Louise Myer, co-owner of Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet, Wanaka, New Zealand, who is the 2013 winner of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux Woman of the Year Trophy. The trophy recognizes the contribution made by exceptional women to the graceful art of hospitality at properties belonging to the group. Myer was selected for her dedication to the cuisine served at Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet.
Read more on why Salvatore Ferragamo thinks that the road to success lies in "the belief in listening to what your heart is telling you, and living your dream" - HERE
Posted 7/11/12
Finnair's design flair in the air
Airline design, let's be frank , leaves a lot to be desired. If we see one more grey seat-back and white plate we'll scream. So thank goodness for Finnair. The airline has teamed up with Finnish design house Marimekko to bring some design flair to the air. From spring 2013 all Finnair aircraft will feature a Marimekko for Finnair collection of textiles and tableware, with Marimekko's classic graphic patterns. Two of Finnair's long-haul aircraft will also wear livery based on Marimekko designs. An Airbus A340 featuring Maija Isola's iconic Unikko poppy print from 1964 is already operating between Helsinki and Finnair's Asian destinations, and it there will be another aircraft in Marimekko livery in the air by spring 2013.
"Finnair has a strong design heritage, and this cooperation brings our design thinking to a new level," says Mika Vehviläinen, Finnair CEO. "Our goal is to become a design airline, and bring our customers unique experiences for all five senses. " TLTB approves.
Posted 5/11/12
The Merrion's newly designed rooms

Dublin's The Merrion Hotel, a Leading Hotels of the World member, has unveiled new rooms in both the Main House and Garden Wing. One of Ireland's finest designers and an internationally renowned weaver Alice Roden has created rooms that reflect the hotel's location and five-star charm.

In the rooms Roden has featured Irish style and traditions and was inspired by Paul Henry's Irish landscapes, one of which hangs at the foot of the hotel's main staircase.

Roden has also made use of Irish fabrics and in the Garden Wing rooms armchairs have been upholstered with soft LeLievre linen and cotton cordoroy. Each chair has its own Beacon Hill Paisley wool cushion and each is a true copy of the hand woven Paisley brought to Ireland from Kashmir in the 1700s. http://www.merrionhotel.com/ www.lhw.com

Posted 2/11/12
Qantas launches Movember campaign
We think it is the most debonair Boeing 737 we've ever seen; sporting a very natty moustache a Qantas plane will be flying around Australia to raise awareness about men's health and prostrate cancer all during November. The Qantas involvement is an extension of its partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The Qantas Wallabies unveiled the aircraft and its giant mo' yesterday .Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he is proud Qantas is supporting the Movember Foundation for the second year."As a survivor of prostate cancer, I am passionate about bringing greater awareness to this issue," said Mr Joyce. "We are encouraging everyone, including our team at Qantas, to get behind Movember and support two of the biggest health issues men face - prostate cancer and mental health.
We're hoping to see some of those tough Australian Rugby Union boys supporting a mo' in the next month too. At least one of our office staffers swears he'll joining them.
Posted 1/11/12
The world's most glittering haunted hotel
Happy Halloween.
The world has a lot of haunted hotels but we thought we'd pick one with a little glamour to celebrate 'spooky' this season.
Apparently at Thompson hotels' Hollywood Roosevelt you could be sharing your room with Marilyn Monroe, and ghouls don't get much more glamorous than that. Guests and staff have reported seeing a blonde staring back at them in the mirror in Monroe's namesake suite, where she lived for two years while her modelling career took off.
Rumour has it Marilyn is not the only star-studded spirit to grace the hotel's hallways; Montgomery Clift also stayed here while filming From Here To Eternity and has been 'seen' spookily rehearsing his lines in the hall outside his former room on the 9th floor. The first Oscars ceremony was held in the hotel's ballroom 1929 - maybe that's why all these movie stars just can't bring themselves to leave. Welcome to the Hotel California. http://www.hollywoodroosevelt.com
Posted 31/10/12
Sheraton and Boucheron give away diamonds
We know we've mentioned this one already but you just can't have too many diamonds so we thought we'd mention it again. So don't forget that anyone who books one of the newly refurbished Suites at Sheraton on the Park Sydney between 17 - 25 November might well find Boucheron diamonds waiting for them. Each guest who books will find a suitably shiny gift from Sheraton on the Park and two of the lucky guests will find actually diamonds. Suite rates start from $AUD 599 per room per night. The "Sparkling Nights" offer can be booked online at www.sheratonontheparksydney.com/sparkle
Posted 30/10/12
Sublime St Moritz spa
We always knew the skiing was superb but now there is another reason to head to ritzy St Moritz this ski season. The legendary Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is opening a new spa on December 14. An outdoor heated pool has panoramic views over Lake St. Moritz and the Engadine Valley. Inside there will be 13 treatment rooms , including a couple spa suite, a 20m-indoor pool area, Jacuzzi pool, relaxation room, salt grotto and Finnish sauna. Champagne and nibbles are on offer to guests. Products used include Alpienne, Plamos and NIANCE which uses the made with pure glacial waters - just the thing after a day bob-sleighing down the Cresta Run.
Interesting luxury fact: is The original owner of the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, the famous Johannes Badrutt, initiated winter holidays to the resort by laying a bet with his last departing summer guests that the local weather would be so good even in December that they could sun themselves on the hotel's terrace; if not, he would cover the cost of their vacation himself. He won the bet and within two years, the hotel was fully booked with guests staying through the winter and the luxury ski holiday was born.  www.kulmhotel-stmoritz.ch
Posted 29/10/12
A room with a (London) view
The Luxury Travel Bible has been hearing rumours for a while round around London, but now it seems a little more official. The historic Admiralty Arch, located between Trafalgar Square and The Mall is set to become London's latest luxury hotel.

The ceremony gateway, originally built as a memorial to Queen Victoria, has been leased for 99 years for more than £60 million to development company Prime Investors Capital (PIC). The group, behind London's Bulgari Hotel, plan to be transformed into a five star 100-bedroom hotel with views towards Buckingham Palace and Tragfalger Square. Plans for the Grade I listed building include royal and presidential suites, a ballroom, spa and restaurant as well as residential apartments.

However, don't start planning your check-in just yet...all plans are dependent on Westminster City Council granting planning permission.
Posted 26/10/12
Double EleXpresso anyone?
Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas' four Maldives resorts have become the first in the world to serve exclusive Black Ivory Espresso. This coffee is most expensive in the world and its price tag is the result of the rather creative process the beans go through before reaching your cup. Black Ivory Coffee is made from top-quality Thai Arabica coffee beans that have been digested and naturally refined by Thai elephants. During digestion, the elephant's enzymes break down the coffee's proteins, one of the main factors responsible for its bitterness. The beans are then ground by hand resulting in a gentle and pleasing taste, without the usual bite of regular beans. The process is also great for the elephants, as the coffee beans are beneficial for their digestive system. A percentage of all coffee sales will be donated to Anantara foundation, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) in Thailand, where the coffee is produced. The foundation, set in the grounds of Anantara Golden Triangle has rescued thirty street elephants, along with their mahouts and families, to date. The donations will help fund a specialist veterinarian, purchase medicine and build a new laboratory to further Anantara's work to preserve the species. www.anantara.com  
Posted 25/10/12
MS Oosterdam glides into the world's most scenic harbour
Holland America Line's MS Oosterdam made her entrance into Sydney Harbour this morning for her inaugural season in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region. The sleek ship's arrival marks the first time one of Holland America Line's Vista-class ships is based down-under for the entire southern cruising season. The ship's grand entrance also heralds the start of the cruising season in the world's most scenic harbour, where a swathe of luxury liners will make 265 visits to the harbour before the season ends in April with a peak of 40 ships in just 29 days in what is being termed 'Super February'.
Posted 24/10/12
Silversea Expeditions new ship
Silversea has announced the name of the second ship that will sail under the Silversea Expeditions brand: the Silver Galapagos. Not surprisingly, given the name, the ship, which will sail to the Galapagos Islands.

Silver Galapagos will be the only luxury expedition ship offering socially and environmentally responsible ecotourism to the Galápagos archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This important distinction enables Silversea to broaden its portfolio of expedition cruises tailored to tap into the rising interest in green tourism.

In true Silversea Expeditions style, guests of Silver Galapagos will enjoy full-scale exploring from an enclave of luxury at sea that includes ocean-view accommodation, gourmet cuisine, personalised butler service, a selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities.

Silversea has also revealed that it will start selling its 2013 Galápagos program in mid-November 2012 www.silversea.com
Posted 24/10/12
Pas de deux in Paradise
The Australian Ballet's 'Pas de deux in Paradise' will be performed at luxury resort qualia from 16 - 18 November. Artists will perform excerpts from some of Ballet's most loved works: After the Rain, Giselle, Manon and Stephen Baynes' brand new Swan Lake

The Pas de Deux in Paradise weekend begins Friday evening with a welcome dinner at the Long Pavilion, prepared by qualia's Executive Chef, Alastair Waddell. A Q&A session during the meal will be held with The Australian Ballet's Artistic Director David McAllister and the dancers.

On Saturday morning, guests will be treated to an exclusive viewing of the dancers warming up at 'Morning Barre', prior to a stunning, pre-dinner performance. The stage will be set by the water's edge at qualia's Pebble Beach with the beautiful Coral Sea and Whitsunday islands as a backdrop. The event will be emceed by travel presenter (and Pas de Deux in Paradise devotee), Catriona Rowntree.

2012 is not only the 50th anniversary of The Australian Ballet, it is also the 5th anniversary of this internationally acclaimed performance at qualia. The Luxury Travel Bible has attended this glittering event and can recommend it highly. www.qualia.com.au
Posted 23/10/12
The Beverly Hills Hotel's environmental promise
The Beverly Hills Hotel has just celebrated its 100th year, and as they enter a new century they are looking towards the future.

The Dorchester Collection member has adopted a range of environmentally friendly schemes to support their commitment to 'positively impacting the environment both at home and around the world'.

Included in the initiatives are participation in 'Clean the World's' soap donation programme, a recycling and composting programme (which includes E-waste items such as batteries, computers, telephones, radios and other electronic), ensuring that almost all cleaning products are environmentally friendly and energy efficient lighting upgrades. The restoration programme from the lobby to the guest rooms will further its sustainability efforts.

Staff at the iconic hotel have also supported the California Coastal Commission and have participated in Heal the Bay beach clean-ups.

Posted 23/10/12
World's best Chefs gather in Monaco
Over 200 chefs with 300 Michelin Stars between them will gather in Monaco to mark the International celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Louis XV , the Alain Ducasse restaurant in Hotel de Paris. Hosted by Monte Carlo SBM, the event from 16 -18 November will welcome some of the world's most acclaimed chefs, including Joël Robuchon, David Chang and Tetsuya Wakuda to name but a few.Ten of the 200 chefs will be invited to prepare a dish in their own style using Mediterranean produce in a live cooking event,
"The themes dearest to me are related to the Mediterranean, deeply rooted in the South... the 25th anniversary of the Louis XV then appeared to me as a unique opportunity to gather around these values the worlds' greatest culinary talents for a stroll through the "country" of taste and excellence." says Alain Ducasse.
The list of restaurants celebrating the Louis XV anniversary can be found at www.alain-ducasse.com
Posted 22/10/12
The Majestic Hotel joins Leading Hotels of the World
The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, one of Asia's legendary properties, officially became part of the Leading Hotels of the World stable this week; making it the only hotel in Kuala Lumpur to be included in LHW's luxury hotel collection following the official signing ceremony between YTL Hotels and LHW. The hotel will be officially launched in December 2012.
Philip Ho, Vice President Asia Pacific, Leading Hotels of The World said, "It is with great pleasure that I announce the inclusion of The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur as one of our member hotels. Ever since YTL Hotels has undertaken the project, we have been extremely impressed with the creation of a second renaissance for The Majestic Hotel. The historic hotel has been lovingly and authentically resorted. It is a masterpiece that is truly one-of-a kind".
Built in the 1930s, the original hotel became one of the great landmarks of Kuala Lumpur in its time. Set on over three green acres on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, in what is known as the ' historical mile 'of Kuala Lumpur, opposite the old railway station.
The hotel will have a modern wing but TLTB readers will love The Majestic Wing, the fully restored original five storey The Majestic Hotel, which will house the Suites, The Colonial Café, The Bar and The Tea Lounge.
Posted 19/10/12
More routes to Hawaii
Queensland-based TLTB readers who'd like to add a little Aloha at cocktail hour will be pleased to hear that Hawaiian Airlines will begin nonstop flights between Brisbane and Honolulu three times a week from November 28.Hawaiian is the only US carrier to fly to the Queensland capital andthe new service (which compliments daily services from Sydney) brings the airline's total number of weekly departures from Australia to ten.
Passengers flying from Brisbane can also enjoy same-day connections from Honolulu (on Oahu) to the neighbour islands of Maui, Kauai, and Hawai'iIsland. Hawaiian Airlines' schedule also makes it the quickest way for Australians to connect to the USA (with a choice of 11 mainland US cities including Los Angeles,San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York).
Even before you set foot on Hawaiian soil passenger will enjoy some traditionalHawaiian hospitality inflight and once there you can stock up on plenty of souvenirs as Hawaiian offers a very generous baggage allowance of two checked items per passenger, each weighing up to 32 kilograms. For that alone we'd like tosay ' mahalo'. http://www.hawaiianairlines.com.au/
Posted 19/10/12
 World's most expensive dress unveiled at Raffles
This Friday is the start of a dazzling weekend at Raffles Dubai. On 19 and 20 October, the hotel will showcase the world's most expensive Black Diamond dress worth an extravagant $5.65million (£3.5 million). The glittering gown, created by British fashion designer Debbie Wingham, is encrusted with 50 two carat black diamonds and weighs a staggering 13kg. The dress is the sparkling star of Wingham's Black Diamond range and will be unveiled to assembled global fashionistas and glitterati, accompanied by a Black Diamond edition of Raffles' special Fashion Afternoon Tea. Along with the classic fashion bake, there will also be a dark chocolate stiletto encrusted with sugar diamonds and other replicas from the collection. Guest who are feeling in need of a little more bling themselves will have the chance to enter a competition to win a pair of limited edition ladies DCJ Black Diamond jeans.
Posted 18/10/12
Karma's new fashion chateau
The magnificent former estate of the late British designer Laura Ashley, Le Preverger, has been purchased by Karma Royal Group. The Chateau, just 20 kilometres (13 miles) from San Tropez is one of France's finest. Set in in the medieval French village of La Garde-Frenet. on 150 acres, Le Preverger was bought by the Ashleys in 1983 from the French actress Jeanne Moreau, who entertained many celebrities there, including Orson Welles, Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso. The Ashleys themselves entertained both as Diana, Princess of Wales and Margaret Thatcher.
"Entertaining is a huge part of the vibe and experience at any Karma ...when an opportunity arose to entertain in one of the most beautiful places in the world, in a chateau that has entertained some incredible people over the years, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to expand our private residences", said John Spence, the ebullient CEO and Chairman of Karma Royal Group.
The chateau will join a portfolio of private estates within the Karma Royal Group, that also includes Karma Pelikanos, on the island of Mykonos. www.karmaroyalgroup.com
Posted 17/10/12
Qantas improves its business class
TLTB editors are fond of their in-air sleep so we like the new announcement from Qantas that a mattress will be placed over the existing Marc Newson designed skybeds to improve comfort. This is one of a number of enhancements to its international Business service that the airline has announced. Qantas will now also offer customers offered duvets instead of blankets, for extra comfort. Business flyers will also have more control over their dining experience, with 'Select on Q' , which enables customers to choose from a wider menu by selecting their meal and when they would like to dine, before they board. The service has already been trialled with good results on the Sydney to LA service. There are also new amenities kits are from Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade amenity kits.
"Our premium customers travelling in Business have told us they want greater choice and the ability to maximise their sleep. That's why we've made these changes.", says Qantas International Chief Executive Officer Simon Hickey.
The enhancements will be rolled out across the airline's international network of A380s, B747s and A330s from mid November.
Qantas' is also offering a door-to-door chauffeur service to Business and First customers on long haul flights over 12 hours, from April 2013, in connection with its proposed partnership with Emirates (which remains subject to regulatory approval).
Posted 15/10/12
Happy Birthday Trisara!

To celebrate their 8th birthday Trisara resort is offering 'Trisara's Ultimate 8th Birthday Celebration' experience for a limited period of time. Eight people will stay at in the Resort?s exclusive 4 bedroom Ocean Front Residence with your own private Chef, Butler, Limousine and Driver. The package is all inclusive with food and beverages, VIP fast-track arrival and departure with Limousine transfers, and unlimited Spa Treatments and or/Yoga. The Ultimate Experience also includes a 20 minute helicopter tour over Phuket and a full day on Phang Nga Bay on your own private yacht.

This experience of a lifetime is available from November 1, 2012 until April 30, 2013. The package costs Thai Baht 800,000 for 2 nights' accommodation for 8 people. www.trisara.com/
Posted 11/10/12
  Silver Cloud's New Look
Silver Cloud, Silversea's all-suite ship, will undergo a major refurbishment this month in time to welcome guests in November. This major stem-to-stern refurbishment will be completed during a three-week dry dock at Fincantieri's shipyard in Palermo, Italy.

Brimming with a host of new enhancements, highlights include a renewed lobby area decorated with warm earthy tones, while spa-lovers will be pleased to hear that The Spa and Beauty Salon will also get a makeover. There will also be sophisticated new decor for suites.

Dining at sea will be enhanced at Le Champagne, the Relais and Châteaux restaurant at sea, which will be completely transformed with an upgraded entrance design, of gleaming backlit wine displays, a redesigned seating layout, new wood flooring, fabrics and window treatments. La Terrazza and The Grill will also be stylishly upgraded.

Posted 10/10/12
Hayman unveils von Furstenburg penthouse
Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg will unveil her personally designed DVF Penthouse on Hayman -Australia's private island destination on spectacular Great Barrier Reef - on 27 October. The two-bedroom penthouse has specially designed furniture upholstered in DVF signature fabrics, with von Furstenburg's signature vibrant colours and textures in both the fabrics and rugs. The master bedroom has an American Oak four-poster be and an en suite with a free standing stone bathtub. The penthouse has a vast balcony with sweeping views over the tropical garden landscape, Hayman Beach and the sparkling Coral Sea. The DVF Penthouse can accommodate up to four adults and naturally has full Butler service. A fashionable stay includes all meals and other special inclusions. "It was such a pleasure to work with Hayman. It is such a special destination and I hope my design will enhance the beauty of the island and give the people staying in the DVF Penthouse a memorable moment," said Diane von Furstenberg. TLTB suspects more than one memorable moment actually Diana. http://www.hayman.com.au
Posted 5/10/12
One & only pop-up swimwear
One&Only Reethi Rah has announced an exclusive collaboration with designer swimwear brand Babajaan, due to launch this November at a pop-up boutique located on One&Only Reethi Rah's stunning white beac in the Maldives. Babajaan has created exclusive, customizable items, including bikinis, kaftans and hats, to be sold at the pop-up store until April 2013 and through Babajaan's online store. One&Only has successfully partnered with several marquee designers over the years from Christian Louboutin and Missoni to Anya Hindmarch and Matthew Williamson to create exclusive one-offs for the resorts' fashion-hungry guests. This time they're taking the fashion collaboration to the next level with a stand-alone pop-up boutique. www.oneandonly.com/
Posted 27/9/12
Ferrari drive days
For one week this November, discover an Australian Ferrari Drive Day that blends exhilaration with absolute luxury starting exclusively from Bannisters on the NSW South Coast. Drive the new Ferrari 458 Italia plus a collection of three different Ferrari supercars on a 200km+ return journey from Bannisters to Braidwood via Batemans Bay and the scenic Mongo National Park Relax beside the infinity pool, soak up the breathtaking views from your balcony and enjoy a four-course dinner for two at the award winning 'Rick Stein at Bannisters'.Places are limited. http://www.prancinghorse.com.au/ .
Posted 25/9/12
Silversea's foodie expedition
Silversea is well known for its Culinary Arts Voyages featuring award winning chefs from around othe globe. In 2013 Silversea will extend the culinary voyages to include their 132 guest expedition vessel Silver Explorer. On 29 April 2013, "The Flavours of Europe" Silver Explorer sailing will make her way along the coastlines of Portugal, Spain and France stopping off to explore the epicurean delights along the way. The 14 day sailing is from Lisbon to Portsmouth. Guests will have the opportunity to discover the old port cellars of Oporto or stop for tapas in a Cantabria manor house. Onboard there will be cooking demonstrations and wine and food tastings prepared by a team of renowned chefs from Relais and Chateaux L'Ecole des Chefs and Silversea's Culinary Director, Chef Rudi Scholdis. All shore excursions are led by Director of Expeditions, Conrad Combrink, and his experienced staff or culinary experts. http://www.silversea.com
Posted 21/9/12
Andaz Amsterdam opens its doors
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht opens its doors in October. Andaz is Hyatt Hotels & resorts fivestar "Lifestyle" label. The hotel is on the site of the former public library on the Prinsengracht - Prince Canal - part of the canal ring that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010. The interior of the five-star hotel is brought to life through the vision of Dutch architect and renowned designer Marcel Wanders so expert a modern take and a few funky touches. Cehck-in is by an Andaz host using a tablet. Room rates include non-alcoholic beverages and snacks from the minibar, wireless Internet and local phone calls. The first property, Andaz Liverpool Street in London launched November 2007, followed by Andaz West Hollywood and Andaz New York Wall Street.
Posted 20/9/12
Luxury villas for Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
TLTB is liking the look of the newly restored private villas at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Villa Uma and Villa Kama have been made over with polished wooden floors, antique furniture, Persian-style carpets and Khmer artefacts. The large two-bedroom villas have a spacious drawing room and dining area, butler's kitchen, wine cellar and private terraces with sundeck chairs, day beds and private access to the largest swimming pool in the Kingdom. Despite the historic feel the villas have all the modern high-tech conveniences such as a complimentary Apple Macbook for use during stay with complimentary high speed internet, , flat screen television with satellite channels, DVD player, BOSE surround sound system with an iPod music collection, Playstation, and an in-villa library. Add to this a fully stocked bar and pantry, espresso machine, a daily champagne breakfast, massage treatments and the legendary 24-hour Raffles Butlers service and you've got a villa holiday any TLTB reader would love.
Posted 19/9/12
QT Sydney opens
It only officially opened yesterday (Monday 17 September) but already the new boutique offering, Design Hotels first in Sydney, is casuing a stir, with fashionistas and advertising media types already flocking to be seen within its stylish walls. QT Sydney remixes two of the city's most iconic 1920s buildings with a distinctly funky makeover. The hotel straddles the upper floors of the historic old Gowings department store and the heritage-listed gaudy and gorgeous Art Deco State Theatre. The luxury Travel Bible was one of the first through the door. Read the REVIEW . See the VIDEO . http://www.qtsydney.com.au
Posted 18/9/12
New COMO property opens
The newest property from COMO Hotels and Resort is now open. The 11-room Uma by COMO, Punakha is situated on a hillside in the lush Punakha Valley a five-hour drive from Paro.
The lodge is located in an important cultural region with opportunities for white-water rafting, hiking and cycling under the expert supervision of Uma's qualified guides.
Uma Punakha has been designed by Cheong Yew Kwan, a Malaysia-born, Bali-based architect who is also responsible for COMO Shambhala Estate and Uma by COMO, Ubud in Bali. Uma Punakha's open-plan restaurant and lounge bar 'Bukhari' will showcase the best local and seasonal ingredients and a Bhutanese menu as well as varied international dishes. The lodge will also have a COMO Shambhala Retreat, with one treatment room featuring a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath. Treatments will focus on massages and body therapies including the popular COMO Shambhala Massage. www.comohotels.com/umapunakha
Posted 17/9/12
Gordon Ramsay's hotel heaven
Combustible super-chef Gordon Ramsay has put his creative expertise to the test and designed one of the new Victory Suite at boutique The Keating Hotel, in downtown San Diego. We note that according to the publicity the suite is ' the exclusive Ramsay-inspired', rather than 'Ramsay -designed' and suspect that the formidable Italian design house Pininfarina, who have masterminded the look of the rest of the hotel have also had a hand in the design. The suite does look very Italian chic with dark walls, black and white prints and silvery upholstery. The Suite will be launched in collaboration with Ramsey's latest television series ' Hotel Hell'. As part of the ' Hotel Hell' episode featuring the property Ramsay made several alterations to the hotel, as well as the design of the suite this includes a complete lobby redesign and a new menu for the hotel's MerK Bistro. Although we are sure the suite will be 'hotel heaven".   www.thekeating.com www.thekeating.com www.thekeating.com
Azamara Club's sleek new look
Azamara Club Cruises has announced plans for the renovation of its two European boutique hotel-style ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. The ladies are in for a serious facelift when they enter drydock in 2012 and 2013. Shipwide renovations will include new sleek dark blue hulls and a new colour palette in public spaces "reflecting the cruise line's inviting atmosphere". there will also be new veranda furniture for suites and staterooms, new sun loungers around the pool and new luxurious mattrsses;so no excuse not to relax aboard. The Spa and fitness center will get a new steam room, showers, and state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio equipment. best of all as far as TLTB is concernedguests will soon enjoy a new caviar and champagne bar within the Aqualina restaurant on both ships. http://www.azamaradestinationimmersion.com/ , http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/
Posted 12/9/12
Peninsula Hotels new city guides
The Peninsula Hotels and the well respected LUXE City Guides have launched a new 'PenCities' travel and lifestyle portal on the Peninsula Hotels website. The site will be updated weekly with the latest news, openings and events from each of the nine Peninsula Hotel cities - Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Manila. The partnership allows Peninsula Hotel visitors and locals to benefit from the expertise and knowledge of LUXE City Guides. Grant Thatcher, publisher and Founder of LUXE City Guides also writes for The Luxury Travel Bible. We admire his expertise . www.peninsula.com/PenCities
Posted 9/9/12
Exclusive private holiday homes
A coffee farm estate in Sao Paulo, luxury a beach home in Bali, an arty lofts in New York or a chateau in France; anyone of these could be your next private holiday destination. You don't have to share and you don't have to pay per night ,you just need to be prepared to swap. HomeExchange.com celebrates the launch of its HomeExchangeGold site this month to offer 'swappers' the ultimate high end, holiday experience completely free of charge. To date, almost a thousand exclusive homes are listed in 60 destinations worldwide. The HomeExchangeGold website includes an exclusive Concierge Service to help its members arrange international and domestic exchanges between partners with similar profiles and aspirations. A Gold membership is $500 a year and allows unlimited exchanges with no per day, per fee exchanges. www.homeexchangegold.com
Posted 6/9/12
London's very own Xanadu
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a mighty pleasure dome decree" ...ok, so we're paraphrasing Coleridge here but a new hotel soon to open in London takes the poem as its inspiration. It isn't a mighty pleasure dome, more a boutique offering with just 46 double rooms and 2 executive suites. The man behind the hotel, entrepreneur Jalal Al-Yawer says "I have been fascinated with Coleridge's poem Xanadu - Kubla Khan ever since I came across it in my literature lectures and I am delighted that I have been able to capture the essence of this poem and transform it into a property which combines oriental and exotic elements with modern features". The hotel which opens mid-October is 25 minutes from Heathrow in Ealing and takes its inspiration from countries along the silk route with art, design and artefacts selected to represent the culture from each region. The Koobla (a variation on Kubla) Bar & Restaurant will also serve silk road inspired Asian food. www.hotelxanadu.com
Posted 5/9/12
Singapore slings us a new cocktail
It was 125 years ago in 1887 that Raffles Hotel Singapore first opened its doors. Since then a lot of very famous names have sat at its legendary Long Bar and imbibed its even more famous Singapore Sling (first mixed in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon). Some would say it is a sacrilege to mess with such a noble tradition but Raffles have dared to do so; In celebration of its 125 year anniversary, the hotel group has invented a new' 'Sling' . The '1887' Champagne Sling - inspired by the original Singapore Sling is the newest tipple at the iconic bar. With a base of Raffles Hotel Singapore's limited-edition Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne, the exact recipe is apparently a closely guarded secret (nothing like a secret recipe to create a buzz). However its creator, Randolf Velasco, does let slip that Gordons Gin, Cointreau and essence of orange, lemon and lime are all in the mix. Mmmmmmmm... who needs tradition anyway? Mix us another.The anniversary sling is available from this month (September) exclusively at Raffles hotels worldwide, including Singapore, Raffles Beijing Hotel, Raffles Dubai and Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris. www.raffles.com
Posted 3/9/12
Serenading the Great Southern Land
A new musical and visual collaboration celebrates Australia in style. Tourism Australia, Icehouse lead singer, Iva Davies and Qantas have created an online video clip to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Australia's unofficial anthem, Great Southern Land. "For the past 30 years Great Southern Land has been an inspirational and positive anthem for our country," says Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy. "This clip will be shared with online audiences over the world - including with Tourism Australia's 3.4 million Facebook fans - to reignite some of the passion and emotional connection that people feel towards Australia when they hear this song,". The clip features landmarks such as Uluru, Kangaroo Island, Perth's Cottesloe Beach and Rottnest Island, Parliament House in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney's Bondi Beach, Tasmania's spectacular coastline and Tropical North Queensland.
Iva Davies, frontman for Icehouse, was inspired to write the song while on a Qantas plane flying over the vast landscape of central Australia on his way to the UK for the first time in 1981."It is really humbling that so many Australians including artists that I respect, have taken the time to come together to form this amazing clip for Tourism Australia, showcasing the beautiful destinations Australia has to offer the world. As a musician, I've travelled this vast country many times and seen some awe-inspiring places but what I've learnt is that you never stop discovering the beautiful colours and changing landscapes of Australia," says Iva Davies. See the clip HERE
Posted 31/8/12
All change at The Como Melbourne
It is all change at the luxurious Como Melbourne in the city's South Yarra. Today (Thursday 30 August) The Como Melbourne becomes part of Accor's luxurious MGallery collection and it also unveils a stylish refurbishment. See the transformed hotel here
Posted 30/8/12
Ritz-Carlton opens in palatial style in Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna opened its stylish doors this week. This is the first Ritz-Carlton in Austria. The five star, 202-room hotel spans across four historic palaces which date back to the 19th century. Since the buildings are culturally protected it has been a sensitive and complex refurbishment process; combining traditional architecture with modern interior design. The rooms and suites all offer individual character and views over the city or into a serene courtyard. TLTB favourite is The Presidential Suite, the largest of the 43 Suites at 190 square metres. We also like the seventh floor Club Lounge with private check-in, food and bar, and a dedicated Club team . The hotel is located in the heart of the city on the Ring Boulevard, minutes away from major sights such as Hofburg and the Imperial Apartments, St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Viennese State Opera, Albertina Museum, and upscale shopping districts like Graben and Kohlmarkt. At the end of a hard day sightseeing we'll be heading back to the roof top bar and lounge with its spectacular views over the city of Vienna. www.ritzcarlton.com
Posted 29/8/12
Cathay Pacific Signature Chinese Dishes
Cathay Pacific has announced their new "Cathay Pacific Signature Chinese Dishes" on its inflight menus. Following authentic Chinese recipes and traditional taste, each dish has been specially created by experts to be enjoyed in the cabin environment.

The new dishes will be served to Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers on selected flights from Hong Kong to long-haul destinations. More dishes will be introduced in the coming months and the Signature Chinese Dishes will be extended to regional routes from November.

Dishes include slow cooked pork belly with preserved Hakka mustard greens, wok-fried chicken with black bean, Hong Kong-style curry prawns, braised fish with ginger, spring onion and braised minced pork with eggplant in mild chilli sauce.

To further enhance the experience, the new dishes are to be complemented by new tableware including rice served in a traditional rice bowl in Business Class and main hot entree presented in a china serving dish in Premium Economy Class. www.cathaypacific.com/
SilverKris lounges get even sleeker
Singapore Airlines is the favourite airline of the majority of the movers and shakers in the luxury travel industry that we speak to. So we know it is exceptionally good. "Many of our customers tell us that the moment they step on board a Singapore Airlines aircraft, they feel an immediate sense of 'home'. We hope to replicate that 'home away from home' experience in our lounges," said SIA's Senior Vice President Product & Services, Mr Tan Pee Teck.
All we can say is they must expect customers to have very stylish homes because the airline has appointed renowned architectural and interior design firm ONG&ONG to develop a new design concept for its lounges worldwide. The appointment is part of a more than $20 million investment programme in SilverKris Lounges to be rolled out over the next five years. The SilverKris Lounge at Sydney Airport will be the first to be fitted out with the new design concept early next year.
.Apparently 'customer engagement ' will be a part of the design process, and a mix of customers will be involved from the initial conceptualisation to theevaluation of prototypes; So frequent flyers in business and first you may well be asked for your opinion.
Singapore Airlines has 15 SilverKris Lounges at airports around the world, inclusive of new lounges at Delhi and Seoul airports. The Delhi lounge recently had its soft opening. The Seoul lounge is slated for completion by the end of this year www.singaporeairlines.com
Posted 24/8/12
Boutique river cruising in Europe
Roasted chestnuts, sugared almonds, ginger bread... too early to think of Christmas? Not really. Luxury river cruising is increasing in popularity all the time and cruises book up fast. Uniworld has a Christmas Cruise in 2013 which is already proving popular. Sail from Cologne to Basel aboard the ultra-stylish S.S Antoinette and visit Strasbourg's famous fir tree, shop at Europe's best Christmas markets and meander through medieval festivals in historic squares illuminated with hundreds of fairy lights. Best of all, at the end of the day you go back to your Riverview stateroom for that signature Uniworld service and gourmet food. Cruises depart weekly throughout December. More information online or in Uniworld's just -released 2013 Europe and Russia Boutique River Cruises brochure. www.uniworld.com , www.uniworldcruises.com.au
Posted 23/8/12
Qantas launches new travel club with Miranda Kerr

Qantas will launch its new Qantas Club campaign later this month featuring Australian supermodel and Qantas Ambassador, Miranda Kerr. The campaign will promote, to current members and potential new members, the highlights of Qantas Club for both business and leisure travellers. Highlights include WiFi connection, comfortable surrounds, priority privileges and a complimentary premium food and beverage offering. The priority privileges include additional checked baggage allowance, access to Faster, Smarter check-in and dedicated check-in at the premium service desk, priority baggage services and on- departure upgrade requests. Qantas Club membership also provides priority waitlist on fully booked flights where waitlists are available.

Miranda says, "I'm very excited to be involved in this campaign. As a frequent traveller, I know how important it is to have a space where you can relax and unwind, or stay connected until your flight departs". www.qantas.com.au
Posted 22/8/12
Polo in the desert with Per AQUUM
The Luxury Travel Bible loves a good chukka so we are delighted to see that Desert Palm (from the ultra-chic, Per AQUUM stable) are offering guests the chance to saddle up the ponies, grab the knee pads and get ready to face the hotel's chukka challenge. The boutique Dubai retreat is offering budding polo players the chance to learn polo on some of the finest pitches in the world. No previous riding experience is necessary since Desert Palm offers everything from basic mallet and ball technique to full polo lessons lasting up to 45 minutes. For the more experienced riders, there is the chance to ride in a fully competitive chukka. As well as 38 designer suites, LIME Spa and award winning restaurants, Desert Palm features extensive riding and stable facilities, for over 300 horses.
Lessons cost from US$178 for a 45 minute private Polo lesson; Stick & Ball lessons cost from US$82 . Chukkas cost from US$177, subject to an assessment by the Polo Manager. Nightly rates at Desert Palm start from US$390 room-only, twin-share.
Posted 21/8/12
Vegas goes Bollywood
Word is Caesars Palace is taking its own unique form of glitz to India. Global Living, the non-casino arm of the Las Vegas Caesars brand is planning a royal flush of luxury hotels in India. "We will be launching Caesars hotels, resorts and palaces in the upscale and luxury segments throughout India," said Neera Chanani, South Asia Head, Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The company is looking at major Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhli, and resort destinations like Goa. Caesars Global Living launched its first project last September with building underway for Caesars Palace Longmu Bay in Hainan, China. The flagship, five-star luxury resort was the first major venture for Caesars Global Living.
However, India need not fear an influx of giant gambling palaces. "Our features and amenities can be incorporated in a smaller space with right design...we will be tapping into India's rich culture," said Chanani. Caesars plans to open the first hotel in Indai in 2016.
Posted 17/8/12
Rebuilt eco-luxury for Ngala safari camp
Good to see that luxury safari operator andBeyond has reopened the Ngala Tented Camp in Kruger National Park. The camp's six refurbished safari tents blend in beautifully with the bush. The tents are all on raised platforms designed to incorporate existing tree and minimize the effect on the environment. Nevertheless each tent is suitably luxurious with an outdoor shower, deep bath and private wooden deck overlooking the Timbavati riverbed.
The tents are in a new configuration which makes then all that little bit more private. "We wanted to incorporate elements that draw on the beautiful bushveld landscape and grasslands, as well as the Shangaan culture prevalent in this region", says andBeyond Interior Designer, Nicole Merlo.
Expect lots of raw, organic materials and an interior pallet that reflects the surrounding landscape.
Posted 15/8/12
Tuk Tuks for Peninsula
TLTB loves a good limo but we're flexible so it looks like we might have a new and unusual addition to our Top Ten Cool Cars Hotels.

The Peninsula Bangkok has added a popular Thai conveyance to its hotel transportation fleet, with its very own exclusive Tuk Tuk.

The three-wheeled taxi is a fast and fun way for guests get around in an authentically Thai way. Joining the hotel's fleet of ten BMW 730Lds and two Rolls-Royce Silver Spurs, the Tuk Tuk's come complete with complete with complimentary Wi-Fi (always a TLTB favourite), drinking water and cold towels.

Named for the unmistakable 'tuk-tuk-tuk' sound made by its engine, the ubiquitous Tuk Tuk was invented in Thailand over 50 years ago and is today one of the most popular modes of taxi transportation in the country. Throughout the kingdom, from busy city streets to popular beach resorts, it is common to see four or five people tucked into the open-air passenger compartment, be they students on their way home, tourists or local residents. www.peninsula.com
Posted 13/8/12
Copacabana Palace's Makeover

When the Olympic torch is handed from London to Brazil on Sunday all eyes will turn to the next host nation. Rio de Janeiro is set to be a hive of activity hosting the 2016 Games and the 2014 Football World Cup and luxury hotel, Copacabana Palace is preparing itself ahead of the floods of visitors.

The iconic Orient-Express hotel's facelift will be complete in November 2012, after six months during which 90 rooms, including Ocean View Suites, Deluxe Suites, Junior Suites, City View Suites and Deluxe Beach View Room's, on the lower floors of the main building are being upgraded. Regularly lauded as one of the most sophisticated restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Palace's Hotel Cipriani Restaurant was renovated at the end of 2011.

Since opening it's Art Deco doors in 1923 the hotel has welcomed A-list guests including from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the Rolling Stones and Nelson Mandela. www.copacabanapalace.com
Posted 10/8/12
The Langham Sydney is officially born
The Langham Hotel is now officially open in Sydney. As we flagged a couple of months back Langham Hospitality Group bought the iconic Observatory Hotel in the Rocks and yesterday the name change became official - the hotel is now The Langham, Sydney. Expect to see the distinctive pink branding of the Langham Hospitality Group displayed with pride. TLTB always looks at the Group through rose-tinted spectacles anyway and loves what they do, so we're very pleased to see them in Sydney. A refurbishment will be progressively rolled out across the hotel to give it that special Langham flair.
"We are delighted to bring The Langham's enchanting hospitality to Sydney," said Brett Butcher, Chief Executive Officer of Langham Hospitality Group.
Posted 9/8/12
Rocky Mountaineer goes coastal
The Rocky Mountaineer has launched its new Coastal Passage route, connecting major Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC to the Canadian Rockies. This is the company's fifth rail route and the first time the rail service will depart from, and arrive to, the United States.Guests on the Coastal Passage route will travel along the coastal shorelines of the Pacific Northwest, the forested landscape of British Columbia and the majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies. TLTB readers should always travel Gold Leaf class, if only for the bi-level glass domed observatory car and the private dining room. Coastal Passage will be available August 24 and 25, 2013, both northbound and southbound, with packages allowing for stays in Seattle, Vancouver, and the resort towns of Banff or Jasper.
Posted 8/8/12
A Design Hotel for Sydney
The only Sydney hotel to be a member of the exclusive Design Hotels, QT Sydney is set to open this September. The 200-room hotel will span across the upper floors of the State Theatre and the much-loved Gowings Building in the centre of the Sydney CBD. The exterior will be in keeping with the building's historic appeal but inside you can expect state of the art technology mixed with a distinctly quirky design style. See more here.
Posted 7/8/12
YTL's latest resort has opened in eco-style
The newest luxury retreat from YTL is now officially open. Fringed by a golden beach and backed by lush rainforest, Gaya Island Resort is set on an exotic island in the midst of the South China Sea. Pulau Gaya is part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Malaysia. The resort is surrounded by coral reefs for perfect for diving and snorkelling and has a real appeal for nature lovers. Despite its isolated feel it is only 8 kms from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Of course, as you'd expect from YTL, the resort also has a luxurious Spa village, an award-winning spa similar to those found in the group's other properties. This time around the spa is in a unique mangrove setting.
Accommodation-wise TLTB recommends the Suria Suite, set  on two levels, offering glorious views of the ocean and Mount Kinabalu from a large outdoor verandah. The resort also has a pool bar and lounge, outdoor pool, and yoga classes. TLTB is particularly fond of the idea of an in-house parfumeur.
Posted 6/8/12  
QM2's encore performance
Following the success of Queen Mary 2's inaugural circumnavigation of Australia this year, Cunard has announced an encore performance, Cunard have announced that the luxury cruise ship is to sail around Australia again in February 2014.
QM2 will call at eight different ports and will be in Australian waters for 33 days as she completes the circumnavigation, visiting Fremantle (Feb 12, Mar 6) Melbourne (Feb 17, Mar 12) , Sydney (Feb 19, Mar 14) , Brisbane (Feb 21, Mar 16),Whitsundays (Feb 23), Darwin (Feb 27) Bali (Mar 2) and Adelaide (Mar 10). TLTB recently took to the seas aboard the fabulous QM2 - read the review here.
Posted 2/8/12
Huvafen Fushi unveils its new look
It rare for hotel refurbishments to be early (anyone else remember how The Savoy's refurb ran years over schedule?) but on a secluded island in the Maldives they are ahead of schedule, only four days ahead but, hey, credit where it is due. After a ten week refurbishment Huvafen Fushi is ready to unveil its shiny new self. The changes include giving all its bungalows and pavilions a fresh new look, building a new outdoor lounge area over the reef at the Raw bar for sunset cocktails, a remodelled the Celsius restaurant and introducing new restaurant menus. The innovative and eco-friendly Huvafen Fushi is already a TLTB favourite so we can't wait to see the latest changes. Neil Palmer, the dynamic Chief Executive Officer of Per AQUUM says; "As the flagship Per AQUUM property, we wanted to build on the iconic design of Huvafen Fushi by complementing its visionary DNA. Now in its 8th year of operation it was important to introduce some new concepts that would not only update the property but also ensure we retain our competitive edge within the Maldives."
Posted 1/8/12
Four Seasons for Shanghai
In Shanghai for the luxurious ILTM Asia travel show back in June TLTB's editor spotted the awnings for the new Four Seasons Shanghai right next to the loft Park Hyatt in Pudong. Four Seasons is now due to open at the end of August, adding to the city's growing luxury list which includes some of the best known names worldwide - Hyatt, Langham, Fairmont, Shangri-La, Waldorf=Astoria and smaller brands such as the divine The Puli (from Urban Resort Concepts) to name but a few. Four Seasons Beijing is scheduled to open at the end of October.
Posted 31/7/12
Exercise in the comfort of your Suite

As excitement builds in the lead up to the opening of The London 2012 Olympics on Friday, Dorchester Collection's 45 Park Lane is combining travel and exercise. Fitness expert and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts has created a complimentary bespoke in-room fitness programme for hotel guests feeling inspired by The Games.

The in-room fitness channel offers guests a selection of professionally led workouts designed, demonstrated and narrated by Matt Roberts. Making use of the hotel room's furniture the workouts will ensure that your fitness regime is not broken while travelling. If guests wish to benefit further from Roberts' philosophy they can request a complimentary 'Exercise Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack' upon their departure which includes training techniques, eating plan and tips.

After all that exercise, be sure to head across the road to The Dorchester for a Deep Tissue Massage for the perfect relief for tired limbs. www.45parklane.com/
Posted 25/7/12
Stamford's new guest app
Before you cry "not another app", says the publicity for the latest hotel app, "this one is different". Ok, convince us. Stamford Hotels and Resorts new iGuest app has been designed specifically based on feedback from guests and business travellers say the hotel group. The appeal of this app is that you can "jump the queue". The key features of the iGuest app include the option to arrange meals, snacks or beverages to be waiting when you arrive or if you have any special hotel requirements they can be also be waiting ahead of time. Guests can set wake up calls, do not disturb functions, listen to voice messages and track their bill. Other benefits include access to flight arrival and departure times, contact numbers for airlines and embassies. The app is also loaded with local attraction details, transportation options and local restaurants suggestions. So far, so similar. We're not convinced this is different from other hotel apps out there - but it is a useful addition to the Stamford experience.
Posted 24/7/12
Hayman's very suite offer
All together now...'Happy Birthday Suite Sixteen'. It has been a year since the re-opening of the luxurious Hayman. To celebrate the anniversary, the Queensland island resort is inviting guests to enjoy this particular slice of island a paradise with a stay in one of their top suites at a special anniversary rate of AUD$495 a night. There are only 16 Suites available, either the Hayman Lagoon or Pool Suites, and the offer also includes breakfast. You'll also get the benefit of all the other activities Hayman has to offer including paddleskiing, windsurfing, catamaran sailing , tennis, squash, or golf putting. Not to mention use of the gym, sauna, and steam room. Or you could just relax and gaze out at the Coral Sea, go on some gentle island walks or indulge in a little light yoga.
Posted 23/7/12
Hyatt hits the Caribbean (again)
A new Park Hyatt hotel in St. Kitts is slated to open in 2015. The hotel will be in Banana Bay, a secluded area in southeast with white sand beaches and views of The Narrows, a strait separating St. Kitts and the volcanic island of Nevis. The hotel will be part of the Christophe Harbour development project which will also have a Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole championship golf course, a beach club and a 300-acre super yacht marina and marina village.
Less than 15 miles from the International Airport, Park Hyatt St. Kitts will have 200 guestrooms and 50 Park Hyatt-branded residential condominiums. The hotel will be designed by Dewan Architects.
Hyatt is pretty keen on the Caribbean. There are currently three Hyatt-branded hotels in the region: Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino and Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. There are also four other Hyatt-branded hotels under development in the Caribbean, including Park Hyatt Bermuda, Andaz Turks and Caicos, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, and Hyatt Place Bayamón and El Tropical Casino. www.hyatt.com/
Posted 20/7/12
David Larwell Art Series Hotel
The Luxury Travel Bible loves it when philanthropy and art come together. As TLTB previously has announced the late David Larwill will be the named artist for the Art Series Hotel Group's fourth in Melbourne. Set to open in December 2014 as part of stage two of the new Royal Children's Hospital Project. The 100-room hotel will provide artistic inspiration and comfort for the families of patients of the hospital (who will get booking priority), as well as visiting doctors and other health professionals.
David Larwill's vibrant works are perfect for the family focus of the new 100-room hotel. Larwill's colourful 2009 work, Remember Me, will be displayed in the hotel foyer. As with all the other Art Hotels hundreds of other prints from the artist will decorate the guest rooms and common areas.
"My family has had a 20 year association with David Larwill and he was part of the William Creek and Beyond project where the Art Series Hotel group was first conceptualized," says Art Series Hotel Group's founder and CEO, Will Deague. "His energetic and fun works made him a natural choice for the Royal Children's Hospital site. The artworks in The Larwill will reflect the hospital's commitment to recognising the importance of art in public spaces and the healing process. Both of which we applaud.
The Cullen opened in Prahran in Melbourne in 2009, followed by The Olsen and The Blackman in 2010. The Watson in Adelaide is due to open September 2013.
Posted 19/7/12
Serene new suites at Silky Oaks
Silky Oaks Lodge, the eco-lodge set in the rainforest in Far North Queensland has a new look. The jewels in the crown of the lodge's new refurbishments are two high-end Billabong Suites.
The Billabong Suites are an indulgent addition to Silky Oaks' Deluxe Treehouses and Riverhouses. Set in a prime position on the renowned Mossman River and nearby the Mossman Gorge, the spacious new suites offer serene views across the water to the oldest living rainforest on the planet. Photos here
Posted 19/7/12
Four Seasons put their best foot forward  
TLTB readers always put their best foot forward, especially during Fashion Weeks. However constantly wearing Jimmy Choos, Blahniks and Louboutins does start to take its toll, so thankfully Four Seasons hotels are on hand (or should that be foot) to help.
A new series of treatments have been unveiled by the group. Four Seasons Hotel New York is offering 'City Feet and Legs Toning Treatment' to rebalance and re-harmonise the body, feet first, after a day of show hopping. Four Seasons Hotel Milanois offering 'Express Foot Ritual', Four Seasons Hotel Milano has created an 'Express Foot Ritual',Four Seasons Hotel George V'swill be refreshing toes with their 'Fashionista Foot Soothing Treatment' and Four Seasons Hotel Londonhave the "Foot Freshener for Fashionistas" on the menu. Each of these treatments promises to leave feet feeling primed in time for the next runway show and for strutting your stuff in the sexiest of stilettos. Prices for the treatments are as follows: New York - £102 (25 minutes). Milano - £65 (30 minutes). Paris - £97 (25 minutes). London - £60 (25 minutes). www.fourseasons.com
Posted 17/7/12
Sex at 35,000 feet with Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic knows good publicity when it sees it . Hence the airline has announced that it is 'looking into' making the best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey available for passengers to enjoy as an audio book during flights. The book's sexual content has made it notorious since it first went on sale a month or two back and It has already sold over 10 million copies . This will be the first time however that the book will be available aurally at a heady 35,000ft , rather than in a well-thumbed paperback.
Virgin Atlantic's Head of PR; Fay Burgin commented, "We want to give our female passengers the chance to enjoy the book in an intimate way, away from prying eyes". Of course the airline also wants to publicise JAM - Virgin Atlantic's new Inflight Entertainment System which will feature 300 hours of entertainment including audio books. The introduction of the new on board technology follows on from the announcement that passengers can also now email, SMS and make calls from their own mobile phones whilst in the air. www.virginatlantic.com/
Posted 13/7/12
The widest beds in the sky
Malaysia Airlines will be offering the widest first class beds in the sky all the way from Sydney to London when it launches its new A380 service in late November. The inaugural MAS A380 KL-Sydney flight takes place on November 25 and from then on there will be daily A380 'all the way' flights between Sydney and London via Kuala Lumpur / The MAS A380 Airbuswill have 494 seats, using a layout similar to Qantas and Singapore Airlines (our The Experts favourite airline) - first class will be 'at the pointy end'. At the front of the main deck are eight lie-flat beds, first class seats. At nearly 102cm (40inches) the new MAS seats will be nearly 13cm (5inches) wider that than Singapore Airlines currently offers on its A380 flagships.The mass seats also have nearly 221 cm ( 87inch) of pitch (compared to 203cm 80 inches on MAS' Boeing 747), and stretch to 226cm (89 inches) in full flat bed mode. www.malaysiaairlines.com
Posted 11/7/12
A million dolllar stay at MO
Is this the ultimate luxury getaway? Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has created the opportunity for you and several hundred of your closest friends to take over the glamorous hotel in its entirety - and all for a mere $1 million for the weekend. Ok so you may have to win big at the High Roller's table to afford it but when you do all 392 rooms of the hotel will be yours, all yours. The Million Dollar Weekend delivers all 23 floors to you on a gold plate; plus all the hotel staff, the restaurants, the spa and even the very top suites, all for you and your guests' personal use. How about that for the party venue of the decade? You'll also receive a $500 gift certificate to the Crystals at City Center to spend up big, although we suspect that if you can afford the million for the weekend the voucher is small bananas. Obviously you get to pick the best room so which suite will be yours? Why the 3,000 square feet Mandarin Suite of course. It comes with little luxie extra like a sunken tub ,floor to ceiling windows, a gym and the latest high-tech whiz bang system from the Bang & Olufsen. www.mandarinoriental.com
Posted 10/7/12 via Elite Traveler magazine.
Adrian Zecha's Ahn Luh brand gets serious
Back in February the Ahn Luh brand, an upscale resort concept, was created by resort visionary Adrian Zecha(who founded Amanresorts) , GHM's Hans R. Jenni and Beijing Tourism Group chairman Duan Qiang. Now BTG and GHM have formalized the joint venture partnership together with a third investor, the Great Ocean Group (GOG). They have announced that the group's first properties will debut in the next two to three years.
On Ahn Luh's wish list are hotels in Beijing, the Pearl River Delta and Southwest China. The hotels will all be no bigger than 100 rooms. Some properties will include private villas and residences. The hotels will have a library and cigar lounge, plus a fleet of Wi-Fi-enabled cars. Each hotel will also have a suitably luxurious spa and indoor & outdoor pools. In a nod to the brands Chinese roots the resorts will have a resident Tai Chi master and an on-site Tai Chi Centre. www.ahnluh.com/
Posted 9/7/12

Europe's tallest Skyscraper opens

Europe's tallest building is now open. The Shard, on London's South Bank, stands at 1016ft tall, has 11,000 glass panels and includes 44 lifts and 306 flights of stairs.

Representing the heavy investment from Qatar for this new British landmark, the building was officially opened with a light and laser show by Britain's Prince Andrew and the Prime minister of Qatar. The building has cost £1.5bn and has been 12 years in the making.

Sure to become a tourist attractions tickets go on sale today to see the view from 800 ft above London.

As well as award-winning restaurants, offices and private residences a new Shangri-La hotel will open next year within The Shard between the 34th to 52nd floors and will have 200 rooms offering uninterrupted views of London . www.shangri-la.com/ www.the-shard.com
Posted 6/7/12
Harrods expands into hotels
Harrods, London's legendary high end department store could soon have a hotel arm as well. In 2010 Qatar Holding LLC bought the landmark store from Mohamed Al Fayed for a reported $2.3billion (1.5 billion pounds). Now Qatar Holdings, which is the investment arm of the country's sovereign-wealth fund, has announced it plans to open a Harrods hotel in London. There are also plans to build the British retailer into a global brand; taking the name to the world with long term ambitions to open Harrods hotels in Paris and New York as well as other parts of Europe and in Asia. The fund will establish a hotel-management company to seek out projects around the world . "We have already decided to build a Harrods Hotel in London, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Sardinia, Italy," Qatar Holding Vice Chairman Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla told reporters in KL yesterday. www.harrods.co.uk
Posted 5/7/12
Via:Bloomberg.com
Mandarin Oriental's red rickshaw
So just how do you avoid the crowds in London during The Olympics? Forget hopping a black cab, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park have come up with an idea that's much more fun - the hotel's resident red rickshaw. The hotel backs onto Hyde Park, venue for the Olympic marathon swimming, so you can book the rickshaw to take you to the park. Or if watching swimming in Serpentine Lake isn't your thing you can always detour to Knightsbridge and go shopping. The rickshaw service will be available from July 27 to August 12. www.mandarinoriental.com/london
Posted 4/7/12
Eco Hotel in Baja California
Design Hotels first member property in Baja California opened at the weekend. The eco-friendly Endémico features 20 cabins set across a hillside with views of the desert and lush vineyards beneath. Twenty minute from San Diego in the Valle de Guadalupe the new cabins are created to have minimum impact on the environment. Not only are they environmentally sound , they're innovative in design too -we bet you've never seen anything like these. Take a look at the pictures here.
Posted 2/7/12
Limos from Leading Hotels of the World
There's nothing like a luxury limo pick-up to start your business trip or holiday on the right note. Luckily, starting July 1, The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) will offer all its Leaders Club Unlimited members complimentary one-way transfers from airports in select locations. Your driver will meet you inside the airport terminal and whisk you seamlessly to a waiting luxury car. The private one-way transfer is available from airports located in the 10 most popular global destinations. "The destinations selected for this program correspond exactly to the top [places] our loyal Unlimited Leaders Club customers travel most often." says LHW Chief Marketing Officer, Claudia Kozma Kaplan. So what are the most popular destinations for the world's movers and shakers? They are: Barcelona (BCN), Berlin (TXL/SXF), London (LHR/LGW), Milan (MXP), Munich (MUC), New York City (JFK/ERW/LGA), Paris (CDG/ORY), Rome (FCO), Vienna (VIE) and Zurich (ZRH).
Posted 29/6/12
Banyan Tree heads for Vietnam
Banyan Tree Group is making its first foray into Vietnam with an integrated resort, Laguna Lăng Cô, to be launched on 1 November. Nestled along the coast of tranquil Central Vietnam, Laguna Lăng Cô echoes the ethos of Laguna Phuket, the company's flagship integrated resort community in southern Thailand. Framed by a three kilometre beach and lush countryside, the 280-hectares will house a banyan tree and Angsana resort, private residences and a championship golf course designed by Nick Faldo.
Posted 28/6/12
A cliff top spa in Ko Samui
InterContinental Samui BaanTaling Ngam has unveiled its new its holistic sanctuary, Baan Thai Spa. At 120-metres high, perched on the cliff-top, Baan Thai Spa has wooden balconies with views of the tropical landscape and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand below. Designed to look like an old teakwood Thai house, with a tea salon at its centre the spa is decorated in hues of blue, like the water below. It has five massage and treatment rooms, including one couples suite that offers a tub for two, rain and steam showers and side-by-side treatment tables. A nice touch is the Holistic and Ayurvedic consultation room and a Day Spa room for express and salon services including manicure, pedicure and hair salon service post-treatment. Hand-blended aromatherapy oils are used to create the spa's signature scent, created by a Phuket-based aromatherapy expert. Baan Thai Spa will celebrate its official opening on 3 July 2012. http://samui.intercontinental.com/spa-wellness
Posted 26/6/12
Raffles' Luxury Cars
TLTB loves luxury cars and it is clear that with rivalry between luxury hotels at an all-time high, clever hotels are shifting competition up a gear by adding a fleet of luxury cars to their services. The most recent luxury hotel to do this is Raffles Hotel Le Royal which has now added a fleet of BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series limousines, replacing the hotel's existing fleet of Mercedes vehicles.
To go with the new fleet and to enhance its five star service and style the hotel has also introduced a smart new chauffeur's uniform which includes pristine white hats and jackets. The arrival of the new cars is part of ongoing which included refreshing the lobby, event spaces, state rooms and suites. www.raffles.com/phnom-penh/
Posted 26/6/12
Corsica's chic new beach club
The Med's chicest beach club and boutique hotel opens In Porto-Vecchio Bay, Corsica in July. La Plage Casadelmar includes a very groovy beach club and 15-room boutique hotel, set out as three villas. Rooms are decorated in cool creams and white in stark contrast to the vivid blue of the med outside your window. "Everything in the rooms is inspired by life on the beach, " says the hotel blurb; "the mat you lie on, the sand that sticks to your feet and follows you home, the time-worn wooden beach huts, and the seashells you collect". Book us a sun-lounger on the private white sand beach - we're on our way. http://www.laplagecasadelmar.fr/
Posted 22/6/12
Feasting in Hawaii
Iron Chef Masahuru Morimoto and Australian celebrity chefs Peter Doyle (Est.) and Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya's) will join other international chefs at the second annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) in September. The four-day festival takes place on the photogenic island of O'ahu. Gourmands can expect a roster of over 50 internationally-renowned culinary personalities. Visitors will also have the chance to sample some of the best tipples from wine and spirit producers. The Festival in Honolulu and at Ko Olina Resort will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the regions bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. The festival was Co-founded by two of Hawaii's own James Beard Award-winning Chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, so expect a high standard. September 6 - 9, 2012, Waikiki, Honolulu www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com
Posted 21/6/12
One Fine Stay moves to the Big Apple

After its success in London, the 'unhotel' One Fine Stay has expanded into New York (very impressive for a company that only launched in 2010).

Luxury properties already on One Fine Stay's New York books include Upper East Side apartments, Brooklyn lofts and West Village townhouses. The company now has a portfolio of properities worth over $US1bn in London and New York.

The concept behind One Fine Stay means that guests can live as locals staying in luxury homes when the owner is out of town. Guests still have access to the amenities and services of a hotel, including high-end lines and toiletries as well as use of an iPhone to access local information and tips left by the owner. www.onefinestay.com
Posted 20/6/12
Soneva develops private residences
We always knew eco-hotelier Sonu Shivdasani had an eye for the latest luxury trend. So we are not surprised that his new Soneva Group (formed following the February 2012 decision to sell his Six Senses and Evason brands) has announced it will to focus on developing resorts with private residences. The Soneva Group will develop the private residence portfolio at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri as well as opening new privately owned resorts in the future.
The Group is also looking at other remote but accessible islands to re-create an additional resort in the Maldives with the potential to sell overwater private residences in keeping with the new strategy. Look out for new Soneva resorts planned in Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Greece. Soneva in Aqua, a new yacht experience, will be launched in the Maldives in 2013.
Soneva Gili, the only Soneva resort that currently doesn't contain private residences will be sold. www.sonevagroup.com
Posted 19/6/12
Silversea adds new expedition ship
The Silversea Group has announced today that it has purchased the upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II and Canodros S.A., an Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galapagos Islands. Silversea will add Galapagos Explorer II to its ultra-luxury fleet of six ships next year. The all-suite vessel will undergo a major refurbishment in September 2013 to bring her up to Silversea's exacting standards and will also be given a new name no doubt with suitably silvery references in line with the rest of the fleet. The 4077-ton Galapagos Explorer II offers the appearance of a mega-yacht, all of its 50 spacious suites have ocean views, and 24 include private balconies. The acquisition will enable the cruise company, chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre, to expand the Silversea Expeditions brand. Its existing expedition ship, Silver Explorer, is regularly deployed in the Polar Regions and the addition of a second vessel means Silversea will have the opportunity to offer the adventure traveller a broader portfolio of itineraries. www.silversea.com
Posted 18/6/12
The Observatory goes to Langham
 Rumours have been whispered in luxury insider circles for a while and now we can confirm that that the ink is now dry on an agreement that will see Langham Hotels take over Sydney's prestigious The Observatory Hotel. The Hotel, Sydney is scheduled to become part of the Langham group on 8 August 2012.
It is a marriage made in heaven since the classy Langham group is known for its luxury innovations and elegant interiors while The Observatory has been in its time Sydney's most luxurious hidden gem. Situated in Kent Street near The Rocks it has been an Orient Express hotel since its inception in 1992, its founding GM Patrick Griffin, retired in early 2011 after 19 years at the hotel's helm.
The Observatory has 75 deluxe rooms, 8 Junior Suites, 12 One Bedroom Suites and the Presidential Suite, the perfect size for a bijoux Langham makeover. "Strategically, this purchase signals the group's plans for long-term expansion in the Pacific region. " said Brett Butcher, Chief Executive Officer of Langham Hospitality Group.The brands include the luxurious Langham and Langham Place, the upscale Eaton Luxe, midscale Eaton Smart and the award-winning Chuan Spa. www.langhamhotels.com
Posted 13/6/12 6am
Australia's premier destinations shine in new tourism ad campaign
There's nothing like Australia. We know it and so do our TLTB readers who will recognise a few favourite luxe destinations in Tourism Australia's slick new A$250 million international media campaign.
Luxury locations and experiences to grace the big screen include iconic attractions Uluru, the Bungle Bungles in WA's Kimberley region and Sydney Harbour as well as the Great Barrier Reef's Hayman and Lizard islands, Kangaroo Island and the breathtaking Southern Ocean Lodge, Tasmania's Freycinet Peninsula and Emirate's Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, bordering the Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
' Today's savvy traveller is increasingly searching for 'best of' experiences, and that includes the physical product, which is why we have taken the new step of including inspirational examples of Australian tourism's best accommodation options and experiences within the ad, " says Nick Baker, Executive General Managing Consumer Marketing, Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said adopting a 'world's best in Australia' approach would appeal to traditional western audiences but also help target Australia's key growth markets - led by Asia - and particularly the new, rapidly expanding middle classes with money to spend and a desire to travel.

In addition to the new broadcast ad and print executions the campaign boasts a strong digital and social media focus, and will leverage the advocacy of Tourism Australia's three million Facebook fans. Other elements include a new, interactive tablet app and hub on http://www.australia.com/ , to take customers further into the stories played out in the ad and provide more information on the locations in which they are set.

The campaign will roll out in China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia initially and will be active in 18 of Tourism Australia's key markets by the end of 2012.
Posted 12/6/12
TLTB partners with Luxperience

The Luxury Travel Bible is thrilled to announce that it is to partner with Luxperience, the high-end experiential travel trade event in the Australasia and Pacific region that connects the world's most exclusive travel providers.

Luxperience CEO and Founder Rosemarie Sama said: 'We are delighted to form a strategic partnership with The Luxury Travel Bible which is fast becoming one of the most respected online travel sources. The opportunity for Luxperience to be involved in this partnership capacity will allow us to provide even greater benefits and exposure for the Luxperience event and community to this invaluable network of luxury professionals, information and resources'.

Held in Sydney  from 10 to 12 September, as well as being an exclusive forum for luxury travel ideas and news it will also lay the foundation for a Luxperience Community' connecting the crème de la crème of experiential travel experience providers worldwide.

For further information on Luxperience, visit www.luxperience. com.au/
Posted 7/6/12
Preferred Family Travel

The family owned Preferred Hotel Group has launched a new family-friendly travel website. www.PreferredFamily.com will offer families discussion on current news and travel trends, and itineraries for family adventure can make global travel relaxed, accessible, convenient, and enjoyable for the whole family.

Users will be able to search and filter by age, activities, amenities, interests, and style to plan the perfect family getaway anywhere in the world. The website also allows families to plan ahead and organise their travels with event suggestions, top 10 things to do, local activities and local dining suggestions. www.PreferredFamily.com
Posted 5/6/12

Emirates goes HD
Passengers travelling Emirates new Boeing 777 fleet in First, Business and Economy classes can now enjoy the airline's premier in-flight Ice (Information, Communication and Entertainment) system on bigger, wider and more digitally-enhanced screens. The personal TV screens measure: 27-inch in First Class, 20-inch in Business Class and 12.1 inch in Economy Class - an increase from the 10.9 inch screen-making the latter the biggest in the world. Additionally, Emirates' new screens feature high definition (HD) resolution, developed by Panasonic, to provide brighter, more vivid colour and ultra-sharp detail. Passengers can also navigate their way around the system easier with Emirates' unique GUI technology which allows users to swipe and scroll through the extensive media library with their fingertips like a tablet, as well as send SMS and email messages. The upgraded service will also be rolled out on Emirates' A380 aircraft.

The children's travel experience will soon be further enhanced with a complete range of new toys aimed at both pre-school and older children. Pre-school children can look forward to a range of colourful monster characters in the exclusively designed 'Fly With Me Monster' collection. For older children, Emirates will soon offer a range of new products co-designed with iconic brand Quicksilver which include a branded travel journal, wallet and playing cards. www.emirates.com
Posted 4/6/12
El Questro joins luxury lodges group
Some of the most stylish properties in Australia are members Luxury Lodges of Australia (LLoA), a great bench mark for truly special places to stay. So it is good to hear they have an exciting new member - El Questro Homestead, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia The Homestead is in the middle of the magnificent El Questro Wilderness Park, a vast landscape of a million acres comprising red rock ranges, river gorges, waterfalls and thermal springs. As it is set high on a ridge overlooking the Chamberlain River, the views are pretty special too. The homestead, owned by Delaware North, takes a maximum of eighteen guests in nine suites, including three newly opened Cliffside Retreats
."El Questro Homestead is a significant addition to the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection," said James Baillie, Chair of Luxury Lodges of Australia. "It is a truly Australian travel offering that has stood the test of time - an outstanding blend of remote regional hospitality and the exploration of the superb outback wilderness landscape of the Kimberley - one of the great icons of our amazing Australian landscape." TLTB has to agree www.luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au
Posted 29/5/12
Four Seasons Surf competition
TLTB hope to be in the Maldives when powerhouse Australian Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo prepares to defend his clean-sweep from last year's inaugural Four Seasons Maldives' Surfing Champions Trophy competition. This is t he luxury resort surfing completion. Guests will be able to watch the contest on board the luxury Four Seasons Explorer,the Maldives' ultimate surf vessel, or from the beach at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. Guests who book the Resort's all-inclusive Champions Trophy Package, available from 27 August to 2 September, will get on top of the action with competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer. Back on land, they'll get to rub shoulders with their surfing heroes or learn to ride a few waves with the Tropicsurf School and daydream about being a future contestant.
Posted 28/5/12
Camps in the Congo
TLTB is looking forward to seeing the new Odzala Camps in Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). From the Wilderness Collection. We hear the camps are on schedule for a late June opening. Lango Camp on Lango Bai has a main deck overlooking wandering buffalo, and is visited by flocks of African grey parrots. Ngaga Camp in the Ndzehi is close to the core area where three gorilla groups can be found. Take a look at the camps at www.odzala-kokoua.com
Posted 25/5/12
Turkish boutique delight
A new boutique property, Marti Hemithea has opened in Turkey, with views over the Aegean waters of quiet Hisarönü Bay. The 32 suite luxury hotel is named after the goddess Hemithea, prolonger of life. The rooms are all cool creams and white and light recycled wood. Suites have baths fit for a goddess to bath in. The hotel also has an authentic Turkish Hammam, Turkish bath, sauna and steam room, so you can indulge in the age old Turkish bath culture in style. Marti Hemithea is close to the prestigious Marti Marina, beloved of European yachtie types. Close to the Datca Peninsula, the hotel is easily accessible by car and helicopter from Dalaman airport. The Marti Hotel Group was founded 24 years ago by the Narin family. Marti Hemithea is the Group's first boutique offering
Posted 24/5/12
Whale sharks meet turtles at the inn
Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn, in Belize's coastal village of Placencia has launched a series ofWhale Shark dive packages Belize is one of the few dive spots on the planet , along with Exmouth in of Western Australia, that can boast the regular visits of the largest fish in the ocean . Whale Sharks are mostly seen during the full moon cycle, with 2 - 14 June providing the best opportunity to witness these amazing creatures. During this time, Whale Sharks will glide through the ocean giving divers and snorkelers the unmatched opportunity to share the ocean with them in close quarters. Guests dive from Turtle Inn's brand new 46-foot dive boat, Miss Ellie all dive trips are led by a PADI Divemaster or a certified PADI Instructor. A four-night scuba package, including accommodation, starts from $US1,364 per diver, twin share.. Package can be taken from 1st June - 20th November and 26th November - 19th December 2012. www.Coppolaresorts.com
Posted 23/5/12
Milan's new sublime spa
Four Seasons Hotel Milano opens its much-anticipated spa this June. Incorporating a spa into a 15th century former convent was a tricky business. Milan-based, architect and designer Patricia Urquiola got the job of adding the pampering parlour to the collection of centuries-old buildings. Our spies tell us the result is impressive. Under the original 19th century vaulted ceilings you'll find seven treatment rooms, a swimming pool and a Turkish bath with sauna and Jacuzzi, as well as state-of-the-art gym and fitness studio. La Prairie and Sodashi are the deluxe products used. It is easy to feel great after a spa treatment but look terrible so TLTB is pleased to hear Four seasons also has a new signature hair spa by Rossano Ferretti, one of Italy's most celebrated hairdressers (famous for his 'Methodo' cut). So we can leave looking good. www.fourseasons.com
Posted 22/5/12
Compagnie du Ponant name new ship
It is always good news when the luxury French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant announces a new ship. We've know about the latest addition to the fleet for a while but the company has just announced her name, Le Soléal. We are told the name is a combination of two of the company's most powerful symbols - 'le soleil' (French for sun) and the 'the one who leads the way.' Sounds good to us. Le Soléal is designed by architect Jean-Philippe Nuel, with interior reminiscent of a private yacht. The 132 staterooms are decorated in the colours of driftwood and shades of grey and white. Some of the five-star facilities include restaurants, lounges, a library, theatre and a spa. The sleek new ship will join her stylish sisters, Le Boréal and L'Austral in July 2013 and will be taking passengers to a new, rarely visited destination: the Arctic.
www.traveltheworld.com .au www. ponant.com/
Posted 21/5/12
Virgin's Clubhouse Music
Professional musician can often be spotted in Virgin Atlantic's Clubhouse at London's Heathrow Airport. Now the world's first airside professional grade recording studio has opened in the lounge for the use of music lovers and composers flying Upper Class with Virgin to/from Australia. Should inspiration strike or they need to make a last minute edit to a track they can make use of the studio while waiting for their flight.
The Virgin Atlantic Avid Edit Suite has been custom designed and built exclusively for the Clubhouse by AKA Design in London. It  will offer the industry standard professional digital and editing and mixing system Pro Tools. Finished content can be emailed or uploaded to a record company, broadcaster or producer direct from the Clubhouse.
The opening of the studio is appropriate for Virgin as founder Sir Richard Branson started his career in the music business - The Luxury Travel Bible hopes to hear many 'Travellin' Songs' being inspired by the lounge and it's surrounding. www.virgin.com
Posted 18/5/12
APT's world-class cuisine  
TLTB fans of Europe's labyrinth of waterways will be delighted to know they don't have to disembark their rivership to find excellence on aplate. Australia's family-owned APT, celebrating 85 years in the travel industry, has become the only European river cruise line to be inducted into La Chaine des Rotisseurs, one of the world's most prestigious culinary organisations. Society membership is considered an achievement of world-class culinary acumen, said APT's General Manager Marketing, Debra Fox.
It means all 10 APT-AmaWaterways co-owned Europe riverships on the water this year are members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Ms Fox said membership was a significant recognition of the culinary standards offered on APT's river cruises.'This really lifts the image of river cruise dining, and we're proud to maintain our leadership role in developing the standards for this type of holiday' she said.
APT fleet?s Executive Chef, Primus Perchtold, directs the menus on every cruise. He has won multiple awards, including three gold medals at the European Championship of Culinary Art.Chartered in the 13th century, the Chaine des Rotisseurs society thrived for hundreds of years until the French Revolution brought an end to the guild system. Reborn in Paris in 1950, today membership is by invitation only. The society has grown to include professional chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers around the world.
Ms Fox said membership was a significant recognition of the culinary standards offered on APT's river cruises.'This really lifts the image of river cruise dining, and we're proud to maintain our leadership role in developing the standards for this type of holiday' she said.
APT fleet?s Executive Chef, Primus Perchtold, directs the menus on every cruise. He has won multiple awards, including three gold medals at the European Championship of Culinary Art.Chartered in the 13th century, the Chaine des Rotisseurs society thrived for hundreds of years until the French Revolution brought an end to the guild system. Reborn in Paris in 1950, today membership is by invitation only. The society has grown to include professional chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers around the world.
Posted 17/5/12
  Britain at its best with Red Carnation Hotels
Red Carnation Hotel's award-winning collection of four- and five-star boutique UK properties aim to spoil their guests over the European summer (more than usual) by showing them the very best of Britain. From The Milestone Hotel opposite Kensington to the Summer Lodge House and Hotel Spa in Evershot, nine of Red Carnation Hotels' properties will host a variety of Best of British packages with the emphasis being placed on 'luxury' and 'British'. While located in some of London?s prime addresses, guests will not be restricted to the delights of the capital city (prime venue for this year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Olympic Games), with several Best of British packages taking guests on a tour of the British Isles, Scotland and Wales. Drive around Silverstone in an Aston Martin, fly to Scotland for a highland fling, don a designer hat and head off to Ascot or take a hot-air balloon trip above London's rooftops - these packages have something special in store whatever your bent for a top notch adventure to remember. www.redcarnationhotels.com
Posted 16/5/12
HAL's new vegetarian only menu

The Luxury Travel Bible already knows that Holland America Line offers some of the finest dining at sea . Now the luxury cruise line has launched a vegetarian-only menu, as well as 30 new vegetarian dishes to their main dining room menu, furthering their commitment to providing exceptional dining experiences for all guests

Holland America Line's award-winning Master Chef Rudi Solamin has designed an exclusive 22-dish vegetarian and vegan menu that highlights vegetables and other naturally healthy ingredients. The delicious menu is available upon request at no extra cost for lunch and dinner in the main dining room aboard all 15 ships in the fleet.

To see a selection of the dishes on the new menu (which already has TLTB's mouth watering) visit our Facebook page.
www.hollandamerica.com.au/
Posted 15/5/12
Hotel Martinez sparkles at Cannes Film festival
When the 65th Cannes Film Festival starts this Wednesday (16 May) you'll find A list stars getting ready by preening in front of a mirror with 550 crystal rock stones in the Swarovski suite at the Hotel Martinez. The suite is where the stars head to get their sparkly accessories from the luxury crystal-maker each festival. The most desired item is always the latest Star Collector bag (only the biggest stars get to clutch it). This year's extravagant offering is the 'Star Shadow' with 1900 perfectly positioned crystal rock stones. Hotel Martinez is THE hotel for luxury jewellers and fashion houses; this year you'll find Chopard, with a lounge on the top floor of the Martinez, and showrooms planned for Bulgari, Cartier, Piaget, Dior Homme, Dior Beaute, Elie Saab, Chanel, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Montblanc, Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti, Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli. If you like serious baubles Hotel Martinez, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, is definitely the place to be. Not even the popping paparazzi flashbulbs will shine brighter.
Cannes Film Festival, May 16-27.
Posted 13/5/12
Four Seasons Toronto ups and moves
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which started as one hotel in Toronto, and has now expanded to 86 hotels in 35 countries. This July sees the company's flagship and hometown property move to a new location at the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue. The 'new' Hotel will offer an immaculately designed two-story spa (a large spa is always s favourite with TLTB) , Café Boulud and dbar by restaurateur and Chef Daniel Boulud, and 259 rooms, including 42 suites.
Posted 11/5/12
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts revamp the web
We love the choice of images on the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts newly unveiled and refreshed website. Enhanced features include sharing the best of the group's photography and easier bookings. In honour of the new website Shangri-La has also launched the #LovingTheMoment Instagram initiative to encourage everyone to share photos of their location. There are already some great images to browse. Next time we're at a Shangri-La (which will be soon) TLTB will join in the fun.
"We hope the site will make it easier for our guests to explore destinations, make and manage bookings, connect and share through their social media communities, and allow travellers who have not yet stayed with us to have a beautiful entry into the world of Shangri-La"said Michael Leong, director of corporate digital marketing at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Look out for TLTB's review of the exclusive Valley Wing at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore coming in our next issue out mid-May.
Posted 10/5/11
More Luxury for Milan
One of Milan's most stylish hotels (in the heart of the city's shopping district), The Carlton Hotel Baglioni (a LHW hotel) opens seven new Exclusive Rooms. The rooms, located on the fourth and fifth floors each have sweeping views of the gothic spire of the Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala and all offer state-of-the-art comfort and technological equipment. The rooms are all decked out in an Art Deco style with cream-coloured silks and crystals ( in contrast to the hotel's classic design).
Should you need a little more luxury, the hotel also offers Ferrari Tours in conjunction with Red Travel. www.baglionihotels.com  
Posted 9/5/12
Gstaad's first new hotel for 100 years
The first luxury hotel to be built in Gstaad in 100 years will open in December. The Alpina Gstaad is set in the exculsive hill top area in Oberbort, just five minuets from the centre of Gstaad Village. The hotel, in the heart of the Benese Alps. will feature 56 rooms and suites, a bar lounge and three restaurants, a wine tasting room, cigar room, ballroom and boardroom. A 2,000 square metre spa will offer holistic treatments, energizing fitness and rejuvenation programmes, exercise facilities and a 25 metre lap pool. www.thealpinagstaad.ch/
Posted 8/5/12
Golden clothes for GoldenEye
The luxury Jamaican resort GoldenEye, Island Outpost's flagship property has teamed up with clothing line Haute Hippie to produce a clothing range , All Things Gold, inspired by the resort. The Luxury Travel Bible thinks the laid-back yet chic designs of Haute Hippie founder Trish Wescoat Pound work perfectly with the vibe rock impresario and Outpost owner Chris Blackwell has created at the recently re-opened hotel., The Haute Hippie designs will launch later this year and will be available on-site at GoldenEye and at its sister property, Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens. www.islandoutpost.com/ www.hautehippie.com
Posted 4/5/12
Shanghai hotels ready for ILTM Asia
TLTB is off to Shanghai soon for the annual ILTM Asia luxury travel conference so it is good to know that two of our top ten best hotels in Shanghai recently recieved a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award at the 2012 Shanghai Inaugural Ratings Award Ceremony. Congratulations to Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and The Peninsula Shanghai , the first hotels in mainland China to achieve the Five-Star status. The Forbes list has defined the industry's highest standard for excellence for over 50 years. The hotels join an elite group of 59 Five-Star Hotels worldwide. Our TLTB Editor in Chief, Hilary Doling will chair a seminar at this year's ITLM conference, She joins Sarah Miller from Conde Nast Traveller UK , Divia Thani from Conde Nast Traveller india and Rupert Hoogwerf Publisher of the Hurun Report - Exalted company indeed.
Posted 3/5/12
Sea Sentosa's style award
The Sea Sentosa resort Echo Beach Bali is due to open in January 2013 and already it is picking up awards. The resort has been awarded Best Apartment Indonesia and Best and Best Apartment Asia Pacific by the prestigious International Property Awards and has been selected by the judges to be in the running for Best Apartment in the World at the World's Best Property Awards in London in December. Sea Sentosa echo beach is 'sister' to the award-winning Sentosa Seminyak Private Villas and Spa and is on TLTB's list to visit when it opens. The resort will have managed apartments and penthouses, beachfront restaurants and a beach club set on 2.8 hectares of beachfront. Guests will have a choice of one or two bedroom apartments, and three bedroom penthouses. Architects Giacomo Passera and Putu Edy Semara have coupled Italian design with the local Indonesian materials to create a resort that looks as if it will be as stylish as its Seminyak sister. TLTB readers will know that Giacomo Passera's design style can be seen in the iconic Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo, he also took on a number of commissions for the late Princess Grace of Monaco. He had a long collaboration with Pierre Cardin's furniture line and has his own successful brand, Passera Design Ltd so we can't wait to see what he produces in Bali. www.seasentosa.com
Posted 2/5/12
The world's best restaurant
Wondering where to eat as you travel the world? Wonder no more. The winner of the tenth annual World's 50 best restaurants awards is Denmark's Noma, named number 1 for the third year in a row. Chef Redzepi and his team are known for the standard bearers for the New Nordic movement and Redzepi's attention to detail and innovative approach has enabled Noma to maintain its position at thet op spot of the list, widely considered to be the highlight of the global dining calendar the event was sponsored by San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Spain can claim 5 restaurants on the list including Arzak at number 8, whose joint Head Chef Elena Arzak was awarded the Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef award. The coverted Chefs' Choice award, voted for by the World's 50 Best chefs, was presented to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastian. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the UK shot straight in at number 9 to take the Highest New Entry award,.Australian Brett Graham's London eaterie, The Ledbury, rose an impressive 20 places to number 14, taking the Highest Climber award. Best Restaurant in Australasia was Quay restaurant,Sydney with a number 29 ranking over all. The Top Five:
1.Noma Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 32 96 32 97 noma.dk
2.El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain, +34 97 22 22 15 7 cellercanroca.com
3.Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain, +34 943 52 24 55 mugaritz.com
4.D.O.M. São Paolo, Brazil, +55 11 30 88 07 61 domrestaurante.com.br
5.Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy, +39 59 21 01 18 osteriafrancescana.it
Posted 1/5/12
Datai grows in luxury
A new luxury brand, Datai Hotels & Resorts has been launched by Archipelago Hotels and Resorts .The flagship of the new brand will be the legendary The Datai Langkawi which set the standard for luxury and Asian-inspired design when it first opened fifteen years ago. Franz A. Zeller, Managing Director of Archipelago Hotels and Resorts says, "With the highly acclaimed international resort The Datai Langkawi as the cornerstone, we look forward to thoughtfully growing our brand through the management of appropriate and exciting luxury iconic hotels and resorts in unique destinations around the world." First of the new luxury projects up and running will be The Datai Desaru, opening in Malaysia in September 2014. www.dataihotels.com
Posted 30/4/12
Luxury bungalows at Rayavadee
The award winning, environmentally conscious Rayavadee on the edge of Krabi's National Marine Park in the heart of the Phranang Peninsula, has just opened its new luxury pavilions. The one bedroom Terrace Pavilions are spacious two-storey villas, with a contemporary take on the traditional design and an airy ground floor living plan with glass doors that open onto a breezy terrace. The eight new pavilions are located along winding paths by the edge of the swimming pool at the western end of the resort with a dramatic backdrop of jungle-covered cliffs and swaying coconut palms. www.rayavadee.com
Posted 27/4/12
Four Season's celebrate the Jubilee
In honour of the Queen's Jubilee Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, overlooking her Majesty's palace and gardens, is offering the Diamond Weekend package which includes two nights in a deluxe room with full English breakfast for two, a Coronation Tea served in the Amaranto Lounge with a menu featuring recipes spanning the 60 years of Her Majesty's reign and spa treatments from The Royal Collection. TLTB suggests the Diamond Hydrating Facial or the Rule Britannia mani/pedi. The package is valid over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee extended weekend holiday from 1 - 6 June 2012 and starts at £995 plus VAT. For reservations please contact reservations.lon@fourseasons.com .
The Luxury Travel Bible will be exploring more Jubilee and Olympic options soon. Watch this space. www.fourseasons.com/  
Posted 26/4/12
Hotel Sezz revs up for Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is the kind of event The Luxury Travel Bible racing enthusiasts love to be part of but if you'd rather stay away from the crowds Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez is revving up for the big weekend (May 24 - 27) and hotelier Shahé Kalaidjian has pulled out all the stops to ensure that guests at Hôtel Sezz will also enjoy life in the fast lane. Just down the coast from Monaco guests can be away from the action in quit seclusion and then, when they want to see the race choose from an vast array of VIP vessels, from sailboats to motor yachts ,to get them to the action (for a fee of course). For those who don't have their sea legs getting to the race can be a chauffeur driven affair or a short helicopter ride. However you travel The Design Hotels? member will be the epitome of Cote d'Azur glamour during race weekend.
Posted 24/4/12
SAA open the gateway to Okavango Delta

South African Airways is continuing to expand its network in Africa by launching a new daily direct service between Johannesburg and Maun in Botswana on June 15. Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta, a 15,000 square-kilometre area of swamp and water that is the world's largest inland delta and also the world's largest oasis.

The schedule for the new daily Johannesburg-Maun service will see flight SA 8300 departing Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) at 11:45 am, arriving at MUB at 1:15 pm. In the other direction, flight SA 8301 will leave MUB at 2:00 pm and reach JNB at 3:40 pm. www.flysaa.com
Posted 23/4/12
Aruba's luxury hotel portfolio grows
A 310-room oceanfront Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will be the latest addition to Aruba's growing portfolio of luxury accommodation. The 75-million pound hotel is scheduled to open in 2014, just outside of Oranjestad, Aruba's capital. The new property will be built on the ruins of abandoned Bushiri Hotel, which has not been operating for nearly a decade.

Impressively the hotel will eco-friendly, sustainable energy construction elements such as reflecting roofs against the heat, systems to collect rainwater, seawater swimming pools and the use of indigenous plants that can stand Aruba's dry climate.

Aruba will also welcome a Ritz-Carlton resort in October 2013. www.aruba.com/ www.hardrockhotels.com
Posted 20/4/12
Four Seasons goes green
Congratulations to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai which has unveiled its 65 new King's Pond Eco-Crescent rooms surrounding the King's Pond pool. The new rooms helps guests reduce their carbon footprint. Innovations include refillable bath amenities, rubber sandals instead of disposable slippers, ceramic drink carafes instead of plastic bottles, a 'green linen 'programme and compact fluorescent light bulbs - all little touches, it's true, but they'll all make a difference and allow eco-warriors tp feel better about their luxury stay.
Posted 19/4/12
Next Art Series Hotel artist named
Ending months of speculation, The Art Series Hotel Group has announced that their development in Adelaide with include a hotel, apartments and commercial space. As with the other hotels in the group this new hotel will be dedicated to Indigenous painter Tommy Watson.

Other hotels in the group honour fellow prominent Australian artists, Adam Cullen, Dr John Olsen and Charles Blackman.

Each hotel features original works by their artist, an in-room art channel and an on-site arts curator to answer questions and give expert advice about art and local galleries and exhibitions.

The Watson is due to open September 2013. www.artseries.com.au
Posted 10/4/12
The Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Manila's only 5 star hotel - the Sofitel Philippine Plaza - has surged the city's chic-ometre with a re-shimmying of Imelda's former pad, The Marcos Suite, into a luxury Imperial Residence (with one main suite and four other guest rooms). Just the other night, TLTB found itself tippling (yes, we did have champagne in hand) through its dusky, mood-lit ambience on an impromptu first international media preview. To find out why it's become one of our latest Luxury Loves click here.

http://www.sofitel.com/

Posted 5/4/12

Terrific tea at the Athenaeum
Congratulations to The Athenaeum voted The Tea Guild's 'Top London Afternoon Tea 2012' The Athenaeum's Garden Room was voted as the best place in London to enjoy a traditional; afternoon tea. The Guild's awards are now in their 27th year and considered the "Oscars' of the tea world, with top London hotels and tea rooms competing for the highly coveted honour. Apparently the Garden Room gained a near perfect score; praised for its intimate style and fine furnishings, staff and, of course, the excellence of its scones, sandwiches and cakes. Make ours an Earl Grey . www.theathenaeumhotel.com/
Posted 4/4/12
  Pampering at Raffles Praslin Seychelles

Guests booking at Raffles Praslin Seychelles before 8th April will receive complimentary dinner and spa treatments each day of their stay during April and May 2012.

Hotel guests can choose to stay in either a Hillside, Ocean View or Panoramic Pool Villas and will also benefit from services including their own private butler and stunning views over the Indian Ocean.

This package includes breakfast for two, dinner (without benefits) and a 30 minute spa treatment each day. www.raffles.com/praslin
Posted 2/4/12
Hong Kong Hotel Re-launches

JIA Hong Kong, the hotel which marked Philippe Starck's hospitality design debut in Asia, is being re-launched under a new name; 'J Plus Boutique Hotel' from early May.

The hotel's new owner CSI Properties Limited is the parent company of the luxury lifestyle residential developer Couture Homes .

The hotel, famed for Philippe Starck's signature interiors (which we all know and love), has 56 guest rooms and suites and among minor changes to the new-look hotel, the top floor penthouse has been converted into conference and fitness facilities.
Posted 30/3/12
Gaya Island Resort to open in July

YTL Hotels' latest development, Gaya Island Resort in Borneo will open July 1, 2012. Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu and set on the shores of Pulau Gaya, the largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Gaya Island Resort will combine elements of Sabahan architecturewithi contemporary design complete, modern amenities and WiFi capabilities.  

Local activities such as weaving and beading classes, Rungus Tribe Storytelling and Borneo Cooking Class will be available to guests and YTL Hotels' award-winning Spa Village will offer treatments, therapies and healing practices specific to Borneo culture. www.ytlhotels.com
Posted 29/3/12
Hyatt Hotels update in-room services

Hyatt Hotels are to transform their standard in-room television into a fully connected, interactive entertainment centre and virtual concierge at its full-service properties across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Guests will soon have access to a range of interactive entertainment, hotel services and local information.

'Imagine a world where you can use your hotel room television to place your room service order, book a local tour, stream a movie from your Netflix account, and download a document to be printed at the front desk,' said Pete Sears, senior vice president of North America operations for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. 'This is the future hotel experience at Hyatt'. www.hyatt.com
Posted 23/3/12
Mini Ferraris for the Little Luxies
The world of Formula One is not normally for kids. However, the children's entertainment team at Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts are set to challenge this notion. The hotel is to launch mini Ferrari racing in the Sala Belle Arti children's play area for the little luxies. A 30 metre race track circuit, complete with starting blocks, pit stop, finish line and waving flags has been created on which children can race a fleet of pint-sized Ferrari cars.
With six electric 12V cars, each reaching maximum speeds of 7 km/h, younger hotel guests can now get a taste of life in the fast lane, in complete safety and at a discreet, comfortable distance from the grown-ups!
Mini Ferrari racing is available to children up to 7 years, free of charge when they are guests of the hotel. The activity is fully supervised by a team of qualified childminders. www.romecavalieri.com
Posted 22/3/12
BA's Olympic menus
British Airways has unveiled its Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired menus . Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal introduced the dishes which cabin crew will serve to three million British Airways customers during the Games. The dishes have been created by rising star Simon Hulstone, who spent the past year being mentored by Blumenthal as part of the BA Great Britons programme, which supports British talent in the run up to the London 2012 Games.
The creations take inspiration from the airline's menus dating back to 1948, the last time the Games were held in London. Popular ingredients from the time have been incorporated into four menus, which will be available on long-haul flights from London Heathrow from July. Working with Heston and his experimental team, Simon researched food in post war Britain, as well as the 1948 airline menus. These were the days of rationing and ingredients such as ox cheek played an important part in people's diet during the austerity years, but don't let that put you off. TLTB is sure the re-creations will be a lot tastier www.britishairways.com
Posted 16/3/12

Walking on the Clouds in HK

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is inviting their guests to 'Walk on Clouds'. The hotel is bringing Bastien Gonzalez' acclaimed treatments to the city with the launch of 'Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio'  at The Oriental Spa.

Gonzalez discovered his calling after a serious ski injury left him in physio and podiatry therapy for six months. Fascinated, he immersed himself in podiatry and moved to Paris to study the science behind it. During that time, he perfected his glamorous and unique approach to pedicures and manicures which leave hands and feet smooth, baby soft and make you feel like you are 'Walking on the Clouds'.

The new studio will open on 19 March 2012 on the fifth floor of the Spa and offer the foot virtuoso's award-winning pedicure and manicure treatments exclusively in Hong Kong. www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/spa/
Posted 14/3/12
Hotel de la Paix branches out
The grand Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap has long been the place to stay for anyone wanting to visit Angkor Wat in style. Now the Asian brand has expanded into Thailand and Laos with the launch of the Hotel de la Paix Cha Am Beach Hua Hin and Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang. Both newresorts have been creatively masterminded by Thailand architect Duangrit Bunnag so it looks as if they will have the style of the original Hotel de la Paix in Cambodia. The Luxury Travel Bible likes the sound of the new Hotel de la Paix Cha Am's rooftop reflection pool. www.hotelsdelapaixlp.com
Posted 9/312
Anantara gets streetwise
Anantara Bangkok has launched the concept of a Streetwise Guru to help you get the best out of Bangkok, a city with so many good restaurants and bargain bazaars that it is difficult to know where to start. Never fear head concierge turned street guru Chettha Khambunditkul is here. Chettha has worked at the resort for 15 years and he's developed a Bangkok gastronomy hot list that is second to none. Not to mention a knowledge of exactly where the best shopping bargains are to be found. This isn't merely a concierge by another name because Anantara guests can ask Chettha to accompany them on a tour to explore lesser-known attractions in addition to the usual famous sites www.anantara.com
Posted 8/3/12
Brad Pitt's Croatian paradise
A little bit of frivolity for the weekend, according to a Croatian news, Jutarnji source Brad Pitt is to partner with Croatian businessmen to build a luxury waterfront resort in Northern Croatia. The resort, with the working name of 'Barabriga', is reported to include hotels, villas, a golf course, a marina, and views of the Brijuni islands, Istria ( once favoured as a holiday getaway by President Tito). Far-fetched? Maybe, but apparently one of the partners on the project is actor Rade Serbedzija, who starred in 'The Land of Blood and Honey' which Angelina Jolie directed. The Jolie-Pitts were in Zagreb for the premiere last week. The resort collaboration was, it seems, nutted out at the Berlin Film Festival. No report yet as to whether there is some philanthropic element that might interest the Jolie-Pitts but who knows. Fact or fiction? Watch this space.
Posted 24/2/12
Attention all luxury queens
Is your name Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria? To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee this year Cunard are holding a special, celebratory competition. Cunard's three queens, Victoria, Mary and Elizabeth will host sixty lucky winners who share their name with each of the ships. Twenty winners on each ship will be welcomed aboard their namesake ship, tour public areas and enjoy lunch on board on 5th June 2012, in Southampton, England. Plus, three winners will be chosen to win a 2 night voyage for two in 2012 / 2013 on the ship of their name.
To enter, all you need is to share the name of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 or Queen Victoria, as shown on your passport, and be aged 18 or over. Any part of your name could qualify you to enter, and commonly accepted variants of the names are fine! Your first name might be Lizzie or Vicky. Your surname might be Victoria; your middle name could be Beth.
For further details visit www.cunard.co.uk/famousnames
Posted 21/2/12
Singita launches new private house
Without doubt the Singita Game Reserves have some of the most luxurious lodges in the whole of Africa. TLTB is a self-confessed Singita fan, naming them amongst our Top Ten safari lodges so we're thrilled to hear that a new exclusive property is being added to the vast Singita Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania. Situated on Sasakwa Hill and with the wide Serengeti plains spreading out before it Singita Serengeti House will offer guests exclusive use accommodation and access to 350,000 acres of private land. This one-time manager's house has now been transformed following on-going demand from travellers for privacy, most notably from families.. Opening on 15 June 2012, Singita Serengeti House will accommodate 8 guests and has 25m swimming pool and a private tennis court. www.singita.com
Posted 17/2/12
Seafood and Stein at Datai Langkawi
Celebrity chef Rick Stein will be a guest chef at Datai Langkawi, Malaysia for three nights April 13 -16. The Datai guests will indulge in a five course dinner prepared by Stein in collaboration with Datai 's Executive Chef Conny Andersson. Stein is known as an affable raconteur, so diners can expect some entertaining anecdotes from his global food travels during dinner. Food-wise they'll be sampling some of Stein's favourite seafood dishes, inspired by his love of Malay cuisine. And, of course, Guest chef weekends at The Datai Langkawi allow for plenty of leisure time to simply unwind by the pool and enjoy the pristine rainforest setting. The Datai was one of the first luxury resorts on the island of Langkawi and is still one of the best. www.thedatai.com.my
Posted 15/2/12

The Luxury Collection to make Australian debut

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts are to make their Australian debut with the signings of Lilianfels and Echoes. Under The Luxury Collection brand, the two hotels will become Lilianfels, A Luxury Collection Resort, Blue Mountains, Australia and Echoes, A Luxury Collection Resort, Blue Mountains, Australia. They are scheduled to debut on 13th February. Under the brand, Lilianfels and Echoes will introduce the signature Luxury Collection Concierge service, which will provide access the beautiful Blue Mountains.

The Luxury Collection brand is an ensemble of more than 75 respected and celebrated hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries.  
Posted 10/2/12

Mandarin Oriental to open in Bodrum, Turkey

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group are to open a new luxury resort and residences on the Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey. Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is due to open in 2014 and will offer panoramic views over the Aegan Sea. 82 guestrooms and 20 suites will be built on a series of levels in the resort's landscaped hillside surrounded by ancient olive groves and pine trees. Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum will have a selection of six restaurants and bars including al fresco waterside dining, a poolside bar and a signature Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop.

The development also includes 214 luxury private homes which will be branded and managed as 'Residences at Mandarin Oriental'.

www.mandarinoriental.com/

Virgin Atlantic's new, improved Upper Class
As we reported on twitter yesterday Virgin Atlantic has pledged £100million over the next three years to enhance its Upper Class. Flights from Sydney to London will take to the skies with a brand new 'fine dining' experience from 1 March, influenced say Virgin, 'by some of the best British restaurants and private members clubs'. Passengers will be sipping champagne through a shallow 'coupe' glass and afternoon tea will be served on individual mini cake stands. The launch of other new business class products will be rolled out first on Virgin's Atlantic's London Heathrow to New York JFK service: Highlights including a new upper class cabin, an enhanced seat and a futuristic bar. A new multi million pound Clubhouse at the John F Kennedy airport will be launched later this year. www.fly.virgin.com
Posted 8/2/12
Hotel Cipriani's chef to visit Sydney
He has cooked for a long list of celebrities including George Clooney, Daniel Craig and Angelina Jolie and now Hotel Cipriani's acclaimed Executive Chef, Renato Piccolotto will visit Sydney. The magic of Venice during carnival will be recreated at The Observatory Hotel between 13-18 February with a seven course degustation menu each evening at Galileo Restaurant from just $AUD 195 per person. On Valentine's Day, along with Piccolotto's seven course degustation menu, diners will be treated to 'live Italian entertainment', a long stemmed rose and the opportunity to win two nights' accommodation at The Hotel Cipriani, Venice. The Observatory's Globe Bar & Brassiere will also feature items from the Cip's club; the Hotel Cipriani's informal dining experience. Piccolotto was trained by the founder of Harry's Bar, Giuseppe Cipriani, before he moved to The Hotel Cipriani so TLTB will be reserving a table immediately. www.observatoryhotel.com.au
Posted 7/2/12
Sydney's Festival of Cruising
Australian waters are certainly busy this month and Sydney is cruise ship central. Today is the official start of the month-long Festival of Cruising with a record 26 ships making an unprecedented 33 visits to Sydney during February. Five more ships will visit for the festival than in February last year - the previous busiest cruise ship month on record in Sydney - with each ship visit representing a special event in its own right. Infact, so many cruise ships are visiting that several will have to moor mid-harbour before ferrying passengers ashore to enjoy the many attractions of the harbour city. A highlights of the Festival is the Valentine's Day arrival of Cunard's 151,400-tonne flagship, Queen Mary 2 . Sister ship Queen Elizabeth's visit on February 28. Other special festival moments include the arrival of Silversea's Silver Shadow on February 12 , the UK-based P&O Cruises ships Aurora on February 17, and Oriana on February 23 for a special celebration of P&O's 175th anniversary.
Posted 1/2/12
Minibar for the mind
Morgans Hotel Group has announced plans to soothe guests' minds as well as their bodies. The hotel group will collaborate with The School of Life on the "Minibar for the Mind", a selection of goodies that are a "midnight feast of intellect, inspirations and ideas". Minibar for the Mind will be available in five Morgans properties and cost US$56. The Conversation Menu will be available at Morgans' Hudson (New York), Ames (Boston) and Sanderson restaurants . More
Posted 30/1/12
Happy Chinese New Year
Happy Chinese New Year to all The Luxury Travel Bible readers! Today, (23 Janurary) is Chinese New Years Day and 2012 is the year of the dragon. In celebration of the New Year, find out where to travel in 2012 based upon your zodiac sign. Anyone born in the year of the dragon is somewhat of a free spirit who are confident and fearless in the face of a challenge. Dragons are a symbol of good fortune and they are almost inevitably successful so we suspect they will encounter the odd luxury destination or two.
If you are in need of further inspiration of where to travel to in China in 2012, may TLTB suggest the following... The Peninsula Shanghai,, Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, TOP TEN China Chic, Shanghai's Most Stylish, Shanghai, China, The Best of Shanghai, ON LOCATION: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Posted 23/1/12
Very Important Kids
Thinking of taking the family to the Philippines? Think The Peninsula Manila. The luxury hotel in Makati City (the upmarket business heart of the capital) has plenty of luxie treats in store for its littlest guests. As well as the Peninsula Children's Academy, where youngsters can learn to make traditional art and crafts and take cooking classes (ie. delicious Filipino desserts), the hotel is in the final stages of developing its new Peter Bear Club where members will be accorded VIK (Very Important Kid) status and be eligible for special discounts and privileges.
The hotel is also developing a line of room linens and amenities that include junior-size pillow cases with Peter Bear embroidery. www.peninsula.com
Posted 13/1/12
DUKES LONDON joins SLH
Five star boutique hotel DUKES LONDON has announced that it is to re-join Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The independently owned luxury hotel will re-join the group after 5 years and is now live on the SLH website. General manager Debrah Dhugga said 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a perfect fit for DUKES; a 'small luxury boutique hotel' being exactly what we are. We offer absolute service and style without compromising on character, something that is sometimes lost at larger properties. SLH is a fantastic brand and one with which we are delighted to be re-associated'.
Located in the heart of Mayfair, behind St James' Palace, DUKES LONDON is also home to the famous DUKES bar, the PJ champagne Lounge and Thirty Six where Nigel Mendham is head chef. www.slh.com www.dukeshotel.com/
Posted 10/1/12


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