The Luxury Travel Bible - NEWS

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

NEWS: Sleep with the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

Airbnb is partnering with the Musée du Louvre to celebrate 30 years of its iconic Pyramid. You will discover the museum like never before, through unexpected experiences. For one night only on April 30 a winner and their guest will be able to sleep beneath the glittering glass Pyramid looking up at the stars in the heart of Paris. wake up with a Parisian breakfast.   The winner will also share an apéritif in front of the Mona Lisa as you relax and unwind in her pop-up living room, in the heart of the Louvre. There is also the chance to sit down to dinner with the Venus of Milo, while a personal chef  prepares a menu inspired by love and beauty, in honour of the divine goddess. As the evening unfolds, the lucky winners will relax in Napoleon III’s opulent apartments during an intimate acoustic concert. From May until the end of the year a series of other exclusive visits and intimate gigs will also be bookable on Airbnb. Enter the competition before April 12 here:

NEWS: Velaa Private Island's New Jewellery collections

Velaa Private Island has launched two new jewellery collections, inspired by the colours and style of the luxury location.
Owners Radka and Jiri Smejc worked with renowned artist Frédéric Béziat of Maison Atelier Loréedubois to create the exclusively designed collections that pair high-end jewellery with the beauty of the Maldives.
The first limited-edition collection captures the distinctive white sands and cerulean sea, and consists of just 10 designs including a bespoke, one of a kind. Pieces include the Ocean Lagoon Blue Ring crafted with tanzanite, diamonds and 18 carat white gold, Parrot Earrings with pear dropped diamonds and the Tropical Garden Bracelet created with emeralds and tsavorites, 18 carat white gold, ebony and eight round cut diamonds.
The second collection, ‘The Turtle Anniversary Collection’ is an ongoing collection that is available for guests to purchase on the island. Inspired by the sea turtles that flock each year to Velaa Private Island to nest and hatch, the signature line is designed around the shape of a turtle as a signature motif.

NEWS: X2 opens new pool villas

Southeast Asia boutique hospitality brand, X2 Resorts, is opening the first all-pool villa resort in Bang Saray on Thailand’s east coast. X2 Pattaya Oceanphere is just 450 sandy metres from the shoreline. The boutique resort will offer 59 one-bedroom pool villas and spacious two-bedroom duplex pool villas, all designed in a unique, geometric style that resembles rice terraces gently cascading towards the seafront. Each of these contemporary villas comes fully equipped with tropical living spaces, bathrooms, a kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor sala, terrace and private pool. The resort’s spectacular rooftop pool is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset cocktail, while the second-level Ocean Bistro specialises in modern Thai and fusion cuisine. With its unspoilt stretches of sand, Bang Saray is an idyllic destination for beach lovers and its seafront restaurants serve up the “catch of the day” at local prices. Bang Saray Walking Street Market sells authentic Thai products, rather than the usual tourist titbits.

NEWS Singapore Airlines and COMO Shambala partner

Wellness in the air as well as on the ground is becoming incresingly important for frequent travellers. Singapore Airlines and Singapore-based wellness brand COMO Shambhala (part of the COMO Group), are taking wellness to new heights with a new parntership. The initial phase of the partnership will see COMO Shambhala’s award-winning wellness cuisine introduced on selected Singapore Airlines flights departing Singapore in the second half of this year, using seasonal and sustainable ingredients each with their own nutrition profile, this style of cooking aims to inspire the palate with memorable and delicious flavours, marrying healthy eating with pleasurable gastronomy. The inclusion of co-developed wellness dishes will progressively be made available in SIA’s Book the Cook service. In addition, a new wellness menu featuring specially curated dishes will be introduced. Future collaborations may also extend to on-board amenities, as well as in-flight entertainment content relating to wellness, among others.
“It’s an exciting moment for the COMO Group, as this collaboration marks the coming together of the world's most awarded airline and COMO’s passion for holistic wellness and nutritious cuisine that has been at the heart of our brand offering since the beginning of COMO Shambhala and COMO Hotels and Resorts” added Mr Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. ,

NEWS Regent Seven Seas' Woman's Day announcement

Congratulations to Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the leading luxury ocean cruise line,which  today (International Women's Day) announced that Captain Serena Melani will helm the cruise line’s newest ship, Seven Seas SplendorTM, making her the first woman in cruise industry history to captain a new cruise ship at launch.  Captain Melani, 45, began her nautical career at age 16 as a cadet while attending school working on cargo ships in her hometown of Livorno, Italy, along the Tirrenian Sea in the Tuscany region. After graduating from Nautical College in 1993, she was one of only a few females to hold roles of increasing responsibilities on oil tankers, cargo and container vessels. She became the company’s first female Master Captain in 2016 and has led Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator during her tenure. “Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “She is an international role model and admired by our guests and crew. We are proud to appoint Captain Melani as the industry’s first female captain to deliver a new cruise ship and look forward to her many future successes leading Seven Seas Splendor in the years ahead.”“There is a growing number of very talented female captains emerging in our industry, and we’re proud to be pioneers for those women who aspire to lead the Bridge,” Captain Melani said. “Exploring the world and leading ship teams has been a love of mine. I’ve always believed in the motto that the cure for everything resides in salt water -- sweat, tears and the sea.”

NEWS Soneva spreads the word on World Book Day

Congratulations to Soneva, who are spreading the word on World Book Day (7th March 2019,) by donating a collection of 100 educational books and classic children’s literature to the Baa Atoll Education Centre and the Bahiyya Pre-School as part of their Blackwell Community Libraries Project. Soneva Fushi’s Barefoot Bookseller will travel across the sea from the resort, in a boat full of books to Eydhafushi, the capital of the Baa Atoll, to celebrate the event with local students and teachers. There will be games, literary workshops, guided reading, and much more as the Barefoot Bookseller installs the selected books, chosen and donated by Ultimate Library.  Through the Ultimate Library Soneva Fushi now has its own Barefoot Bookseller on the island who oversees the book collection. The Bookseller also provides a range of experiences for guests centred around literature. These include Creative Writing Classes; Bibliotherapy, where guests are introduced to books that expand their reading horizons; Academic Tutoring for ages 9-18; and The Barefoot Bookseller’s Literary Lecture, a presentation on the philosophy of fiction, imagination and artistic empathy which comes with a complimentary drink.

NEWS Nine suite Palazzo opens

In an era defined by excess, an invitation to embrace absence becomes an intoxicating proposition. And it’s this principle that guides the concept of Palazzo Daniele, a nine-suite property housed in the 150-year-old former family palazzo of art philanthropist Francesco Petrucci. Set in the village of Gagliano del Capo and opening April 15th, the residence has returned to its core essentials, where exposed walls bear the cracks of time and monastic beds take centre stage, augmenting the grandeur of the original ceiling frescoes and mosaic flooring. The sister property of G-Rough in Rome, Palazzo Daniele is a tangible embodiment of the spirit of Gabriele Salini’s GS Collection of hotels, merging the very best of Italian art, design, and gastronomy in an authentic, organic setting.

NEWS The new resort raising the bar in the Maldives

Opening today (February 1) is a resort which will redefine what we expect from the Maldives. No traditional grass roofed bures here - just sophistication and style.  LUX* North Male Atoll blends super-yacht panache with a South Beach pulse. There are 67 over-sized double-storey, penthouse residences each with private pool created by Singaporean design house Miaja inspired by the curves and finish of a luxury boat and its sails. It has taken years to perfect this resort on Olhahali, a six-hectare island fringed by white-sandy beaches but the results are worth it.  Each of the residences sits right on the beach or over the water with living areas that are at least 350 sqm. These breezy, spacious villas feature rooftop relaxing areas, large sun terraces and stylish interiors with wide windows.
Restaurant choices include Barium, the secluded private dining room with underwater fish tank and INTI restaurant where Chef Gaston, the Maldives’ only Peruvian chef, prepares smoked guacamole, ceviche and aged meats, GLO showcases the best of European classics,  Beach Rouge and Josper charcoal grill have views over the infinity pool — all sound-tracked by a live DJ. An over-the-lagoon spa has water treatments inspired by dolphins.  There is also a spectacular reef right off the beach, a PADI dive centre and all manner of watersports.  Put this one on your 2019 wish list -  now.

NEWS Resort helps you play tennis like Nadal

Sani Resort and Rafa Nadal have announced Greece’s first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre, operational when the hotel opens for the season this April. Guests of all ages and levels can learn to play tennis like a pro on one of eight brand new clay courts, with expert coaches on hand to provide tailormade programmes, crafted and developed by Rafa Nadal and his coaching staff. Knowledge is power and Sani Resort is determined to provide the highest training standards possible. Each tennis coach has been through extensive training at the Rafa Nadal Training Academy in Mallorca, promising the training that is passed on to guests is worthy of a Grand Slam title. The tennis programmes will cover everything from Nadal’s technical skills and physical preparation, to his personal values and mental training, based on Nadal’s professional tennis experience over the past 15 years. Talking of the new partnership, Rafa Nadal says: “I’m very happy that we are officially announcing the opening of a new Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Greece as it consolidates the Academy’s global expansion project. I’m sure this partnership will be a success, particularly for tennis fans, who I would like to invite to come and enjoy this wonderful facility, starting from April”.  The new tennis development will enhance Sani Resort’s already exceptional sports facilities, which to date include: a partnership with Chelsea FC Foundation launched in 2018; a recently added KTM bike club; a water-ski academy taught by instructors certified by British Water Ski & Wakeboard; and a sailing academy which offers intensive nine-hour courses with professional instructors.

NEWS Rocco Forte's grand expansion plans

Rocco Forte Hotels has announced its fifth new property following the signed agreement to acquire Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, in Palermo, Sicily. This marks a further step in the most ambitious expansion programme in the group’s history, with five new luxury properties due to open within the next two years bringing the Rocco Forte Hotelscollection from 11 to 16 properties.  four of the new properties will be located in Italy and one in China. In China, where the group will be opening the Westbund Hotel in Shanghai in 2019.
The Italy openings include: Hotel de la Ville, Rome opening in May 2019, Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia opening in May 2019, Rocco Forte House, Rome opening in September 2019, Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo, Sicily opening in 2020.
We are very excited that 2019 also sees the debut of a brand-new concept, Rocco Forte House, initially launching with 5 private suites in an 18th century palazzo opposite the Spanish Steps in Rome. Rocco Forte House will offer guests a tailored experience with all the personalized services of a luxury hotel. With 11 existing hotels in Belgium, Russia, England, Scotland, Germany, Italy and the Middle East Sir Rocco commented that “It is the first stage in a long-term strategy to have a base in key cultural centres and European capital cities.”

NEWS Art at the Summit
Ten years ago, Courchevel and Galeries Bartoux brought art and the mountains together, creating an open-air museum on the ski area. This first - surrealist exhibition was called Art at the summit and saw works by Dali taking over the slopes and the centre of the resort itself: monumental sculptures and original museum works from among the famous pieces created by the artist in the 1980s. Skiers might have come across the La Femme en Flamme at the top of les Chenus, Alice in Wonderland at the top of la Vizelle and even the famous Soft Watches around the next bend. Every year since then there has been art on the mountain. Now to celebrate the tenth anniversary, Dali returns to the mountain peaks of Courchevel , Nine works of art will be on show across the ski area and in the centre of the resort itself, huge tarps will be created by 3 contemporary street artists inspired by Dali’s work, and one of the Saulire cable car’s cabins will be totally redesigned. A 10 years of Art at the Summet retrospective exhibition will be held at La Croisette, with guided visits and live après-ski artistic performances throughout the season. Read more on Courchevel HERE 

NEWS The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort Opens

Westin Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of the brand’s first hotel in the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. Located on a coral island in the Baa Atoll, which is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, the new resort offers guests uninterrupted ocean and stunning turquoise lagoon views.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort features 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater. Each villa is shaped with an eco-friendly double roofing to create the perfect natural ventilation. Outdoor rainforest showers are a distinctive feature. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are among the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region.
Led by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability. All elements of the resort’s design take inspiration from the environment from the use of natural materials, such as unique shells to the movement and flow of marine life including sea turtles and whale sharks, providing guests with a link to the region’s exceptional enchantment.

NEWS Hotel Amigo partners with haut les coeurs for The Flower Carpet

Hotel Amigo, a Rocco Forte Hotel, has partnered with haut les coeurs, a local organic florist and Les Précieuses, a local jewellery maker, to create an unforgettable floral experience for guests. 
Located only steps from Hotel Amigo, the stunning Flower Carpet transforms the famous Grand-Place into a colourful sea of flowers. This year’s theme is devoted to Guanajuato, a Mexican region with an exceptionally rich culture and flower tradition.
Hotel Amigo has partnered with haut les coeurs to create colourful bouquets using organic Belgian flowers that are delivered to guests by bicycle. Additionally, haut les coeurs has created a limited edition collection of handmade floral brooches in collaboration with the jewellery label Les Précieuses. 
From 15th-20th August, guests of Hotel Amigo can book the Floral Experience package and receive a haut les coeurs floral arrangement, a haut les coeurs x Les Précieuses broach in their room upon arrival as well as two tickets to the best seat in Brussels to view the Flower Carpet from the City Hall balcony. At Ristorante BoCConi and Bar A, guests can discover the taste of blossoming gardens with a floral cocktail created in honour of the Flower Carpet by head barman, Filippo.

NEWS Join the club at new Soho House Amsterdam

We love a hotel that embraces its surrounding. The new Soho House Amsterdam which opens in July has 75 bike racks and a small workshop for repairs for all those who like to explore the canal city on two wheels. 79-room property in Amsterdam’s The Bungehuis building will also have the brand’s signature rooftop pool, a floor of club space, a Cecconi’s restaurant and Cowshed spa on the ground floor. Originally built in the 1930s as a trading office, and later served as a university building in 70s, The Bungehuis is a six-storey historic building characterised by bay windows on each side and Art Deco detailing throughout. Inside, the building features rustic architectural accents in bronze, stained glass, milk glass and tropical timber as well as glazed tiles of the ‘Porceleyne Fles’ in Delft. On the 5th Floor, the main members’ area overlooks the canal, with bold fabrics, antique furniture mixed with specially designed pieces, geometric rugs and a high-gloss black floor.

NEWS Coffee bliss at Sofitel Singapore City Centre

Getting a decent coffee is a number one priority on any caffeine-lovers list, so Sofitel Singapore City Centre's world-first collaboration with Nespresso is a life saver.  Now not only can you make use of the Nespresso machine in your room (or in the hotel food and beverage outlets) you can also get coffee to go. Sofitel and Nespresso has created the first of its kind ‘Coffea’ featuring Nespresso, a take-away coffee station/bar offering 23 Grand Crus. Expert baristas prepare your beverage exactly to your liking, an enticing selection of French viennoiseries, gourmet sandwiches and signature confections including a collection of affogato. For added convenience on busy mornings, you can place your order via the room service menu.  The Sofitel City Centre, which opened late last year, is proving a hit in down town Singapore in more ways than one with its state-of-the-art gym and collaboration with Virgin Active which provides yoga classes in the morning and an in-room custom-made Virgin Active fitness kit equipped with a yoga mat, a stretch band, an exercise roller and a simple exercise booklet So we’ll all be fit, fabulous and

NEWS The Middle House Shanghai is a hit

We are fans of Swire hotels (think Upper House Hong Kong, The Opposite House, Beijing)  and our Shanghai spies tell us that although just-launched The Middle House has been officially open for less than a month its green bamboo walls and sumptuous style are already a big hit in bustling HKRI Taikoo Hui. The Middle House adopts an Italian vision blended with a local twist and modern aesthetic. The spirit of modern-day Shanghai is scattered through the 111 modern studios. “Each of our properties embraces the spirit of its home city, and The Middle House exemplifies modern-day Shanghai,” said Michael Faulkner General Manager, of The Middle House at ILTM Asia Pacific recently. Architect Piero Lissoni‘s sophisticated interior design draws inspiration from the city’s rich heritage of craftsmanship and culture, marrying minimalist style with classical Shanghainese elements. 
 The Middle House is the fourth hotel in The House Collective.  

NEWS Exciting architecture of the new Morpheus Hotel

Macau has officially opened the doors to Morpheus, a sci-fi 40-storey luxury hotel that boasts the world’s first high-rise exoskeleton (a curvaceous lattice-like covering that gives the building its iconic appearance).s. The exoskeleton optimizes the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns.  Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), the ssinuous structure is the new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort and one of the last projects that architect Zaha Hadid worked on before her untimely death. TLTB thinks it is one of the most innotive hotel designs since the Burj Al Arab (Dubai) and more lately The Silo (Capetown) were built.  The buildings'design is inspired by the fluid forms found within china’s rich jade carving traditions. Located in cotai, macau, the striking building is connected to the City of Dreams via a three-storey podium, with its upper levels containing 770 guest rooms as well as various suites and sky villas. ‘Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form,’ explains viviana muscettola, ZHA’s project director. ‘the design is intriguing as it makes no reference to traditional architectural typologies. macau’s buildings have previously referenced architecture styles from around the world. morpheus has evolved from its unique environment and site conditions as a new architecture expressly of this city.’   For more photos  take a look at

NEWS Four Seasons Jet launches new journey

A trip on the four Season’s private jet is proving to be at the top of a lot of wish-lists. Following a record sell- out in 2018, Four Seasons has announced the addition of the World of Adventures itinerary to the 2019 Four Seasons Private Jet line- up.   World of Adventures was introduced in 2018 and has been the quickest  and most spectacular sell out since the inception of Four Seasons Private Jet. Scheduled for Autumn 2019, World of Adventures returns with an itinerary of 24 days across nine destinations which will take travellers to Seattle - Kyoto - Bali - Seychelles - Rwanda - Marrakech - Bogota - Galapagos Islands - Miami . “The success of our Private Jet program speaks to our ability to understand the needs of the modern luxury consumer and craft an end-to-end Four Seasons experience that is unmatched in the market,” said Rainer Stampfer , Area President for Hotel Operations in APAC speaking at ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore recently. “We are delivering a unique product and the demand from luxury travellers has been nothing short of remarkable”.
World of Adventures 2019 complements three other Private Jet journeys; all-encompassing itineraries that feature air travel aboard the Four Seasons Private Jet, ground transportation, planned excursions, all meals and beverages, and accommodations at Four Seasons hotels and resorts,  including Latin Escape (February 9-24, 2019), International Intrigue (March 25 - April 17, 2019) and Timeless Encounters (September 17 - October 10, 2019).
World of Adventures is available from USD 143,000 per person based on double occupancy.

NEWS Choose the colour of your hotel room

Sydney's newest and most creatively unique, hotel – The Collectionist – has officially opened, ready to change the way guests choose to stay and experience hotels.  The Camperdown situated hotel, is the first for The Collectionist Hotel brand with plans to take the unique concept to other Sydney locations and interstate. Described as a real-life “choose-your-own-adventure”, the eclectically designed hotel will set a new standard in individualised guest experiences. Opting away from standardised décor in rooms, The Collectionist commissioned the talents of 13 artists and seven designers from four leading design studios, to create 39 individually designed rooms.  The hotel invites you to think of it not so much as a collection of rooms ” but a selection of canvases…”, Instead of rooms being allocated by the hotel, guests are invited to peruse available rooms on check-in and choose their room based on the style, colour, texture and design - just as they would a work of art.  “we accept everyone is an individual and has choices.” says the hotel’s  website. “And it’s this freedom of choice, to select what suits, that our hotel is built on.”

NEWS Exclusive dining after sunset at Uluru

 Tali Wiru, Voyages Ayers Rock Resort’s exclusive evening dining in the desert, re-opens for its fifth season on 26 March 2018.  The open air gastronomic experience offers a magical evening of fine dining on a remote sand dune overlooking Uluru (Tali Wiru, means beautiful dune in the local language) and the distant domes of Kata Tjuta. This season’s menu features ancient flavours of Indigenous Australia with some exciting and unusual ingredients woven into the menu. Ray Stone, Voyages Executive GM Sales, Marketing and Distribution, says “Tali Wiru is a truly unforgettable dining experience in the spiritual heart of Australia. We aim to surprise and delight our guests with superb levels of food and beverage in a stunning setting unique in Australia and indeed the world” . Guests enjoy Champagne and canapés at sunset accompanied by the sounds of a digeridoo, followed by a four-course table d’hote menu with perfectly matched premium Australian wines. A storyteller shares tales of Indigenous culture and the southern night sky and the evening ends with a port, cognac or native wattleseed infused hot chocolate around the campfire. While in the red centre we recommend visiting the amazing Field of Light installation by artist Bruce Monroe
 Tali Wiru runs daily from 26 March to 15 October 2018 and is priced at A$360 per person which is fully inclusive of return hotel transport.  TLTB readers will be glad to know that guests can also choose to arrive in style by helicopter for their Tali Wiru experience. At $779 per person, Tali Wiru by Heli includes a half hour helicopter tour taking in Uluru and Kata Tjuta before you dine.

NEWS Heston opens Dinner in Dubai

The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will be a work of art design-wise. So it makes sense that the resort's food will be an art form too. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be the first named restaurant to open within the property in 2019. The multi award-winning restaurant, with locations in London and Melbourne, will be the third outpost of the culinary concept developed by the Michelin-star chef. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be located in the heart of the resort and  will include a dedicated bar, two outside terraces and a private dining room. The restaurant will offer contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300’s. One of the restaurant’s most iconic dishes is 'Meat Fruit', which looks exactly like a mandarin but is actually made from chicken liver parfait.“I am truly excited about opening in this incredible location,” Blumenthal said. “It is not often that an opportunity in such a perfect space comes along. The backdrop is outstanding and the views of the Dubai skyline over the Persian Gulf are quite unique.”  The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will be made up of 231 luxury apartments, and 795 hotel rooms and suites. It will be located on the crescent of The Palm next to the existing Atlantis resort. 

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

NEWS An Epic addition to Australia's best ski pass

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

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

NEWS Qatar Airways’ new planes

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

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

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

NEWS Splendid new residences for Six Senses

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

NEWS Romance in Paris for Valentine

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

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

NEWS Fly-fishing in the Maldives

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

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