The Luxury Travel Bible - NEWS

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

NEWS Ritz Carlton creates luxury afloat

The Ritz-Carlton is the first luxury hotel brand to offer bespoke yacht experiences. Setting sail in 2019, custom-built luxury yachts will bring the luxury hotel brand’s service and style to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and making Marriott International the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea. “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. The specially designed 190-metre vessels will accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-metre lavish duplex penthouse suites, with interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. Itineraries are currently being created. www.ritzcalton.com

 
NEWS Mandarin Oriental heads for Melbourne

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has signed a management contract for a new luxury hotel and branded residences to be developed in Melbourne, Australia. The project is expected to open in 2023, and is the Group’s first announced property in Australia. The hotel and residences will be located on Collins Street, in an iconic, mixed-use 185-metre tower designed  by the late award-winning architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, will become a landmark in the city.   Mandarin Oriental, Melbourne will feature 196 guestrooms and suites designed to reflect local culture, together with features inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s oriental heritage. The Group will also manage 148 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, located on the tower’s upper floors.  There will also be an all-day dining restaurant and a bar with a landscaped roof terrace. A Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer the Group’s well known wellness facilities, while further leisure options include a comprehensive fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool. The project is being developed by Melbourne-based property developer, Landream. www.mandarinoriental.com


NEWS Shangri-La's new Melbourne hotel

It is official, after much speculation shangri-La has been annonced as the official hotel operator for the planned new luxurydevelopment in Melbourne's CBD.  Located at 308 Exhibition Street, the Cox and Fender Katsalidis-designed two-tower development overlooking Melbourne’s World Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens is currently under consideration for planning approval. When it is completed in 2022, it is expected the luxury five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Melbourne will feature an estimated 500 guest rooms with three levels of amenities for guests to enjoy, including a sky lobby, restaurants, spa, fitness centre, pool and a state of the art ballroom. ,The second tower will include some 300 luxury residential apartments as well as office space.  A sky bridge will connect the two towers, and retail space will occupy the lower levels of the development. Shangri-La Asia’s Chief Executive Officer Mr LIM Beng Chee said, “Shangri-La is privileged to be selected as the hotel operator for this world-class S P Setia development, which will be an architectural masterpiece and an iconic part of Melbourne’s skyline for decades to come. www.shangrila.com

NEWS ILTM expands in Asia

The expansion of the successful ILTM luxury travel market continues with ILTM Asia becoming ILTM Asia Pacific and moving to Singapore in 2018, (21 – 24 May ) to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  A brand new event, ILTM China, will take place in Shanghai in October 2018, to be re-focused for buyers and planners of outbound luxury travel from China.  The changes were announced at the ILTM Asia 2017 Opening Forum in Shanghai last night. “Research amongst our clients shows that the luxury outbound market is growing so fast that many companies [now] focus on China and Asia as two independent opportunities. ILTM has listened and is responding with two dynamic events dedicated to their own audiences.” Said ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore.  “ILTM Asia Pacific will be re-positioned to represent the whole of Asia, bringing more international buyers… We will create a show as international as ILTM Cannes, with the same ambiance, story and stature”. Asia Pacific surpassed North America for the first time in 2016 to become the region with the largest amount of high net worth wealth (World Wealth Report 2016).   While the latest Cap Gemini World Wealth Report (2016) shows that high net-worth population leapt by 16.2% in China, the largest gain of any country.  www.iltm.com

NEWS Ponant's world first undersea lounge

While other cruise ships are trying to be more like hotels, Ponant has announced an amazing new innovation that is all about the ocean - an underwater lounge that allows passengers to see and hear the passing marine life of the deep sea. The world-first multi-sensory space, Blue Eye, will debut on Le Laperouse ship next year and then be incroprated into other Ponant ships.Within the hull but beneath the water line, Blue Eye will have large windows shaped like the eyes of a whale, as well as digital screens projecting live images filmed by underwater cameras. Sounds of marine mammals will also be transmitted into the lounge via specially developed ‘hydrophones’ beneath the ship’s keel (capturing noises up to five kilometres away . Coolest of all these sounds can also be felt through your body by sittingon sofas that vibrate to the noises. Sarina Bratton, Ponant Asia Pacific chairman says "It allows all guests to indulge in the subaquatic world, not just a few passengers in a submarine or a helicopter. Expedition leader Mick Fogg said the sound experience would be a phenomenal “natural symphony” of whales and dolphins singing and even fish noisily eating on coral. https://au.ponant.com/ponant-explorers

NEWS a tile atelier for Douro Valley

Azulejos are the painted tiles that have become emblematic of Portuguese culture and heritage over the centuries. Six Senses Douro Valley is paying tribute to this beautiful art form by bringing on board internationally renowned artist, Helena Ferreira. From Lisbon, Helena ventured all over the world restoring and creating azulejo art for decades. She has clients in France, India, Japan, Australia, USA and several South American countries, and has always combined her work with teaching in ceramic art schools in her global travels.. Now it is time for the prodigal daughter to return to her roots, and so she has accepted the challenge to set up her atelier at Six Senses Douro Valley, where she will be creating lots of exciting workshops for the resort’s clients of every age, as well as carrying on her work with international commissions and restoration projects from around the world. www.sixsenses.com

NEWS Hotel Jen opens in Beijing

The 450-room Hotel Jen Beijing opens its doors this week as the city’s new, cool destination for work and play. In the centre of Beijing’s central business district (CBD), the hotel features a vibrant co-working hub, the only gastropub with its own brewery in the Guomao area, and an expansive, industrial-chic world-class gym catering to fitness enthusiasts and road warriors -kick boxing anyone?Designed by Stickman Tribe Dubai, Hotel Jen Beijing features a distinct urban environment with a playful twist and is poised to become a vibrant space for style-savvy locals and adventurous travellers alike. From the centrepiece tree sculpture and suspended porcelain leaves in the lobby to the copper beer vats laser-cut with Chinese zodiac signs in the gastropub, eye-catching works of art can be found in every corner of the hotel. Each guestroom floor showcases a unique theme such as the visual arts, nature, architecture styles or personas from around the world.   All the 450 rooms and suites have views of the city with around 100 rooms and 40 suites overlooking the iconic Rem Koolhaas-designed CCTV Headquarters.   Thisis second Hotel Jen branded property in mainland China. “We want to create a new hospitality experience where this hotel will be a modern-day playground for business and leisure travellers and the local residents of Beijing,” said Clifford Weiner, general manager of Hotel Jen Beijing. www.hoteljen.com/beijing

NEWS Hilton's new Vivid light suite

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


NEWS Tower Wing Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore unveiled

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


NEWS A new chapter for The Library Koh Samui

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


NEWS Astra Lodge's new luxury look

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

NEWS See Vivid Sydney in luxury

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

Pic:DestinationNSW

NEWS Viking Cruises' new sun god

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

NEWS SIX Senses Yao Noi 's refurbished retreat

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

NEWS Seabourn's new UNESCO World Heritage tours

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

NEWS Best of England’s Vineyard Tours & Tastings

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

     
NEWS Meeting dragons with Peninsula Hong Kong

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

NEWS Mykonos gets a new boutique hotel

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

NEWS Kerry Hotel opens in Hong Kong

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

NEWS Oddfellows On The Park opens

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


NEWS Nobu's new ryoken in Malibu

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

       

NEWS Conrad Bora Bora Nui officially open

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


NEWS Jackalope Hotel jumps into action

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

NEWS Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon opens

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

NEWS Local design for new Rwandan lodge

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

NEWS BA serves very British bubbles

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

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

 
NEWS Red Nose Day humour from British Airways

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

NEWS Lanesborough Club & Spa opens

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

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

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

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