The Luxury Travel Bible - NEWS

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

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

NEWS 25Hours Hotel opens in Switzerland.

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

NEWS Sirena sails in Australian waters

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

NEWS Luxury Taylor River lodge opens in June

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

NEWS A jazz hotel opens in the heart of Melbourne

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

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort To Launch In April

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


NEWS Art Series Hotel’s new artistic designer robes

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

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


NEWS Vail Resorts to acquire Stowe Mountain

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

NEWS A cool new hotel with Gangnam style

From the crew behind Seoul’s fashionable club D.Bridge, comes the new multilevel dining and entertainment concept that is GLAD LIVE GANGNAM,  the sister hotel of GLAD Hotel Yeouido and the latest Design Hotels™ member in the region.South Korea is definitely on the cool list with Korean design, aesthetics, and K-pop achieving worldwide cult-like status, the global gaze is on Seoul.  Standing proud in the heart of Gangnam, GLAD LIVE GANGNAM  has  210 rooms, and – our favourite feature -  in-suite plunge pools. There is also a gym, and round-the-clock wine and dine concepts. The restaurant, bar, and lounge are deliberately layered on top of one another in an open, flowing design over three stories. We love a good chandelier  and they don’t get much better than the one hanging cente stage in this hotel.  The extraordinary 180-bulb four-meter-tall chandelier houses hidden speakers and blends with an orchestrated coloured lighting design.  The hotel’s main restaurant Flint serves up modern European food in elegant surroundings, defined by gold accents and marble furniture, while Powerplant is a more casual brunch and bar area, specializing in burgers, pizza, and tacos. www.designhotels.com

NEWS Lizard Island's perfect lovers' package

  Lizard Island, Queenland has a new Pavilion Perfection package, which is perfect for lovers who want to be alone. Positioned on a cliff, high above the Coral Sea, on the point of Sunset Bay, The Pavilion is the definition of lovers’ luxury,  combining complete privacy with a spectacular 270-degree panorama of Anchor Bay, Osprey Island and Sunset Beach. Designed by the Melbourne based studio Hecker Guthrie, the interiors offer a neutral palette with touches of colour inspired by the reef. The lounge, w opens onto the expansive deck   there is a plunge pool and secluded outdoor seating for outdoor canoodling. The package is valid between now and 31 March 2018, (minimum four-night stay )  priced from $5,644 per night. This includes three gourmet meals daily, a mini bar with champagne and canapés daily, non-motorised water sports and motorised dinghies, a Full day Fascination Charter for fishing & diving and a personalised 2 -hour in-room spa treatment each as well as a range of other options. www.lizardisland.com.au

 
NEWS First spa carriage aboard Belmond trains

Luxury trains are a treat, luxury spas aboard luxury trains are even better. Belmond is launching the first  spa carriage to feature aboard its  portfolio of luxury trains. The new spa will be aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman, joining the rake on 17th April, the start of the 2017 season. The Bamford Haybarn Spa  features bespoke Bamford treatments for passengers travelling on overnight rail journeys throughout Scotland and Great Britain. British wellness brand Bamford was established in 2006 and is inspired by nature, with botanical skincare collections and holistic treatments made using organic ingredients. Its Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint Botanical collection has also been selected by Belmond as the amenity range for each cabin.  Individually crafted wellbeing treatments are devoted to connecting the mind, body and soul with the natural world. The Bamford Bespoke Facial is a 55-minute ritual that aims to restore, rejuvenate and repair the skin. The treatment features facial reflexology, lymphatic drainage, stimulating lifting and ancient yogic breathing. Treatments on offer include the Bamford De-Stress Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, as well as manicures and pedicures using eco- natural Kure Bazaar nail polishes. And the Bamford Bespoke Facial; a 55-minute ritual that aims to restore, rejuvenate and repair the skin.  The Haybarn Spa has been designed using sustainable wood from Scotland and the Cotswolds, and features two relaxing single treatment rooms with picture windows looking out onto the beautiful Scottish countryside. www.belmond.com

NEWS MS Amadeus Provence introduces a dedicated pool deck

We love a good floating pool  and it looks like the new MS Amadeus Provence, the latest premium vessel in the elegant Amadeus river cruising fleet will be the first in the fleet  to boast a dedicated pool deck.  There will be eight spacious suites with walk-out exterior balconies and 62 staterooms, most with adjustable panoramic windows, with all rooms featuring luxurious bathrooms, premium amenities and offering a choice in bed configuration. Amadeus Provence’s superb pool deck will feature a tranquil infinity plunge-style pool and Lido Bar, the ideal spot to enjoy a refreshing cocktail while watching the stunning scenery effortlessly pass by.The countdown is on ahead of the maiden voyage of MS Amadeus Provence on the iconic Rhône and Saône rivers in Europe. The maiden voyage in April 2017 will be the 8-day Treasures of Burgundy & Provence journey from Lyon to Lyon, taking in iconic sights from medieval market squares to the lavender fields of Provence and the wine region of Beaujolais, with a 10 per cent earlybird discount available for all 2017 bookings made by 28 February 2017.With a total of 19 departures in 2017, guests of the AMADEUS Provence can experience an 8-day journey of discovery, visiting Avignon and Arles, and getting to experience world-famous sights, such as the Pont du Gard, Gorges de l´Ardèche, the Camargue and the Beaujolais region.  “While on board Amadeus Provence, guests will enjoy our expert chefs’ lively cooking demonstrations, featuring locally-inspired cuisine as well as daily musical performances in the Panorama Bar and fascinating folklore shows, as well as schooling up on upcoming destinations through a series of intriguing on-board lectures designed to bring every port to life,” said Gil McLachlan, CEO, McLachlan Travel Group.

NEWS Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square Opens

In what could be the most exciting new London hotel opening of the year (and so early in the year too) one of the most iconic buildings in the City of London, Ten Trinity Square, has been transformed into a Four Seasons hotel. The landmark grade II listed building, designed by architect Sir Edwin Cooper., opened in 1922 as the headquarters of the Port of London Authority. The luxury hotel is the third Four Seasons Hotel London (adding to the two existing hotels at Park Lane and Canary Wharf).It occupies the lower ground to the third levels, with 100 guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, bars, meeting salons and spa.  TLTB readers will love the signature suites featuring the historic building's ornate architecture and the custom Four Seasons Bed. There are also 41 spacious private residences on floors three to seven with views of the Square Mile, Tower of London and the River Thames. The restaurants include La Dame de Pic from acclaimed three Michelin-starred French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, and a second flagship Asian restaurant serving contemporary Japanese and Chinese cuisine, open later in 2017. The Rotunda, which sits at the heart of the hotel, houses a bar and all-day dining room under the original domed ceiling - beautifully restored after heavy bombing during World War II. The project also includes a private club with a wine store and Chateau Latour Room. www.fourseasons.com

NEWS Celebrity Cruises’ new design ambassador

Celebrity Cruises has announced an exclusive partnership with design icon Nate Berkus, naming him Design Ambassador for the brand’s newest class of ships – Edge Class. Berkus established his award-winning interior design firm at the age of 24, showcasing an approachable design philosophy that has transformed countless interiors around the world for more than 20 years. TV personality and designer Berkus has been featured in many US publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, VOGUE, InStyle, O Magazine, People and ELLE DÉCOR, which included him on their “A-List” of the world’s top designers. “Nate Berkus embodies modern luxury, and evokes a global aesthetic with his forward-thinking style, which is admired by the design world and the world at large,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “When we first sat down with Nate, we knew this was going to be an incredible partnership. Design is in our DNA, as well as Nate’s, plus we share a love for the same things: modern luxury, one-of-a-kind design, and global travel. We couldn’t think of a better person to collaborate with on the truly transformational Edge Class. Edge Class is Celebrity’s first new ship class in nearly a decade, succeeding the brand’s revolutionary Solstice Class. The company expects delivery of Celebrity Edge in Fall 2018. Celebrity Beyond is scheduled for delivery in Spring 2020, and the third and fourth Edge Class ships in Autumn 2021 and Autumn 2022. www.celebritycruises.com , www.celebritycruises.com.au


NEWS Hilton launches a new brand

Hilton Worldwide has launched a new brand, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The world's second-largest hotel company (after Marriott International intends to sign up an initial seven hotels to join the Tapestry Collection, including properties in Chicago and Nashville. Hilton will add its first hotel to the new brand in September. Tapestry Collection properties will be "original upscale hotels that cater to guests seeking reliability and value in their independent hotel choices," said a spokesperson from Hilton. This will be the fourteenth brand for Hilton Worldwide and a similar brand to the Curio group of independently-run hotels launched in 2014. Mark Nogal, global head of Hilton’s two soft brand collections, said the idea to develop Tapestry also came from Hilton’s work in building the Curio brand. “As we were putting Curio together, we had a number of properties that didn’t quite fit the Curio category,” Nogal said. “It was a business opportunity we had owners inquiring about. Our focus is on conversions.” The new brand will compete in the upscale sector, which includes brands like Choice Hotels' Ascend Collection, InterContinental Hotels Group's Hotel Indigowww.hilton.com

NEWS London’s new Biggest Fans

Sir Peter Blake, a leading figure in the art world, and often referred to as the ‘Godfather of British Pop Art’, has been commissioned to create a collage which will cover Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London’s iconic façade during part of the hotel’s comprehensive phased renovation
Our Fans, is the largest artwork Sir Peter Blake has ever created, is a collage of 100 prominent faces, from Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren to Joanna Lumley and Jenny Packham. All of whom are regular guests at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London as well as fans of the Group’s hotels around the world. 
‘Some of my first works were collages of crowds of people; this piece is in the spirit of The Beatles 1967 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album,’ said Sir Peter Blake, the artist responsible for this iconic album cover. It is therefore entirely apt that Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr should feature in the poster, during the 50th anniversary of the album.
The hotel will remain open throughout the comprehensive multimillion-pound which will be completed in Spring 2018. www.mandarinoriental.com

 
NEWS DUKES London’s luxury gift to take home

Looking for a last-minute gift for a luxe lover? This winter, guests of the five-star Mayfair hotel can purchase the DUKES LONDON by Floris London scented candle, created in partnership with the oldest English retailer of luxurious fragrances and toiletries.
DUKES and Floris London have partnered for more than a decade, with guests being welcomed by distinctive Floris London floral scent wafting through the property. Guests will see the signature candles on display throughout the public areas of the hotel, which adds to the warm and cosy ambience.
In addition to the candle, Floris London will now supply DUKES LONDON’s luxurious bathroom amenities, part of a multi-million pound refurbishment currently taking place at the London property. The British Perfumer will also be providing amenities throughout the soon-to-open DUKES DUBAI, from January 2017.
Priced at £40, the DUKES by Floris London candle is available to buy from December 2016 from DUKES or online at www.dukeshotel.com

NEWS Mercer Hoteles new offering in Seville

The Mercer Hotel Sevilla opened last wek.  And already Seville's newest boutique hotel (just hotel 12 rooms and suites ) is causing a stir. Located in Casa Palacio Castelar,  in the heart of the historic center of Seville.  Each Mercer Hoteles  project has a distinctive look and feel that is based on the location and history of the building and destination. The new hotel in Seville is a perfect example of the philosophy,  26 Calle Castelar is an historic building with a modern styling.  Our favourite example of this is the cocktail lounge which reflects the vibrant colours  of Seville: mandarin orange and russet reds with gold accents.  We're rather fond of the rooftop pool too. definitely a Pool with a View. Within minutes, guests can reach Seville's major attractions such as Torre del Oro, La Giralda, the Cathedral, Real Alcazar and Real Fábrica de Tabacos. Each Mercer Hoteles. www.mercersevilla.com

NEWS Switzerland's world first electric car tour

We applaud a country that takes the environment seriously. Switzerland has launched the world’s first road tour for electric vehicles, the E-Grand Tour of Switzerland. The Grand Tour is the world’s first official touring route that is fully accessible to electric vehicles and bikes, where travellers will cross five Alpine passes, run alongside 22 lakes and take in 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites. And there’s an impressive infrastructure to go with this eco-friendly tour. Switzerland Tourism has announced that from April 2017, an extensive network of 200 charging stations will be available along the entire 1,600km route. The charging stations for the E-Grand Tour are all ‘smart’, meaning travellers will be able to hop online to check if the charging station is free and/or if a reservation is required. Fast charging stations (DC) with at least 22kW will be present at major attractions such as the Rheinfall where travellers will be on a short driving break while sightseeing, whereas public charging stations (AC) with at least 11kW will be found at hotels, where travellers will be staying the night.  The maximum distance between charging stations will be 100km, many will be closer together.  Powered by energy company Alpiq, the E-Grand Tour will face its first crucial test during the WAVE event (World Advanced Vehicle Expedition) in June 2017. Next year sees the seventh running of the rally, which will be held exclusively on the Grand Tour of Switzerland route from 9 – 17 June 2017. www.myswitzerland.com


NEWS Capella Hotel Group's new Bali hotel

Capella Hotel Group Asia will operate an ultra-luxury resort in Ubud, Bali. Capella Ubud is a hidden sanctuary within densely forested terrain, edged by rice fields. There are 22 luxurious tents designed by celebrated architect, Bill Bensley. Dotted along the sacred Wos River, where the Balinese regularly gather for festive processions, the resort offers a charming insight into their traditional way of life. A Capella Personal Assistant is on hand to attend to every guest's preferences from the point of reservation until departure or to curate the perfect bespoke Balinese adventure. "The Capella Experience is sensitive to our local culture and history. Inspired by early European settlers from the 1800s, Capella Ubud gives our discerning guests the chance to relive the spirit of adventure while enjoying the natural essence of Bali in luxurious comfort," said Mr. Nicholas M. Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of Capella Hotel Group Asia. "Within the next 18 months, we will introduce three distinctive Capella projects to Asia, beginning with Shanghai in Spring 2017, Ubud in Autumn 2017 and Bangkok in Spring 2018. Each Capella hotel will showcase the rich heritage of each destination, delivering the authentic experiences that our guests expect." www.capellahotelgroup.com

NEWS Rocco Forte's first Saudi Arabia hotel now open

The first Rocco Forte hotel in Sauda Arabia is now open. Occupying two towers at the centre of Jeddah’s business and shopping district. Assila Hotel is designed by Olga Polizzi, Director of Design of Rocco Forte Hotels and sister of Sir Rocco Forte.  Mrs. Polizzi has worked closely with Martin Brudnizki on a design which combines Arabic influence with a modern vibe.  There are 147 deluxe, superior deluxe and executive rooms, 63 sumptuous suites culminating in the opulent magnificence of the Royal Suiteas well as 94 fully-serviced residential suites.  For food lovers, Assila Hotel currently offers fine dining at the Twenty Four restaurant and delicious homemade Italian patisseries, ice creams and cakes at Il Caffé coffee lounge, both open 24 hours daily. Traditional Arabic mezze are served Al fresco on the terrace overlooking Tahlia Street.  A set of rooms are now available to book starting from (1,600 SAR) and reservations are now being taken for the remaining rooms, available from 1st February 2017. www.roccofortehotels.com

NEWS Brown’s Hotel’s new in-house Florist

This autumn Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel, will feature its own in-house florist, Ellie Hartley. Ellie Hartley Flowers will be a standalone floral boutique within the hotel, and will be the first florist on Dover Street, Mayfair. 
Talented florist Ellie has worked with Brown’s since 2010, and has since then been responsible for the beautiful floral displays throughout the hotel.
The new floral boutique, Ellie Hartley Flowers, will be a ‘decadent emporium filled with blooms, and a glamorous space adorned with gold and marble, yet simple enough to let the flowers do the talking’. The architecture of the space is a continuation of the elegant decor seen throughout Brown’s Hotel. Working with the guests of the hotel and customers Ellie can cater to all floristry needs, designing bouquets for special occasions, large scale events, weddings or just that simple hand tied posy to celebrate the start of the weekend.  www.roccofortehotels.com , www.elliehartleyflowers.com

NEWS Alila's new hotel in India

The quest for the preservation of an ancient Indian warrior fort inspired the creation of  Alila’s newest boutique resort .  When Alila Fort Bishangarh opens near Jaipur in February 2017, Alila will be the first international hotel group to open a property in the Aravalli hills  Fort Bishangarh is thought to be one of the only warrior forts of its kind to be converted into a unique heritage resort of this stature. It has a remarkable presence, sitting up high on a granite hill with staggering 360-degree views of the Rajasthani landscape, surrounded by hills dotted with havelis, villages and temples. The imposing structure is a perfect example of the Jaipur Gharana architecture influenced by both the Mughals and the British, with two-metre thick stone walls, majestic turrets and intricate arched windows. The use of traditional materials in a contemporary manner is the basic design ethos for the hotel. The new structure – created above and outside the old fort – houses four different categories of suites with each of the 59 suites custom designed to make the most of the stunning views from  large windows.  There will also be an indoor speciality restaurant, an outdoor grill dining venue on the terrace, and a cigar/cognac turret. A library, amidst old marble pillars and Spa Alila, carved out between granite rocks both promise to be very special too. Everything a modern-day Maharaja or Maharani could wish for. www.alilahotels.com

 
NEWS Megan Hess brings her art to Oetker Collection

One of the world’s leading fashion illustrators, Megan Hess, has become Artist in Residence for Oetker Collection.  Her first illustrations of Le Bristol Paris and The Lanesborough in London were unveiled this week during the book tour promoting her latest book, ‘New York, through a fashion eye’ . The artist will be illustrating each of the Collection properties in her own delicate style. Her illustrations for the New York Times, Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair Magazine are well known, as are her drawings for the Sex and the City book. Her work has also appeared on the bottom of luxury swimming pools in Dubai and on the walls of some of fashion houses around the world. She illustrates all of her work with a bespoke Montblanc pen, which she affectionately calls Monty. All of which makes her a perfect fit with the luxurious Oetker Collection, so we can’t wait to see how Megan’s exceptional skills bring the exquisite Oetker hotels to life. “As an artist, one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me is travel, says Hess. “My work and the bespoke illustrations that I create takes me all around the world on luxury projects and it is with great excitement that I will now be sketching and staying at the world’s most beautiful masterpiece hotels with the Oetker Collection. From the incredible architecture, to the finest cuisine and of course, the world’s chicest people, I will be sketching them all at each Oetker Collection property. My aim is to bring the bespoke and unique luxury of each hotel to life in illustration”.
 Below Le Bristol (left) The Lanesborough (right).  www.meganhess.com , www.oetkercollection.com

NEWS Stunning new resort in Lake Lucerne

 can’t get over what  stunning views guests of the new Bürgenstock Resort Lucerne will have when  when it opens in  August 2017.The 500 million Swiss Francs development will see award-winning architecture, four hotels,  a 10,000m² glass-clad Alpine spa and a world-class medical centre come together in a spectacular setting, elevated 500m above the shores of Lake Lucerne. The contemporary Bürgenstock Hotel, will sit alongside the visionary Waldhotel, historic Palace Hotel and rustic Pension Taverne 1879  There will also be 12 restaurants and state of the art resort facilities which will all come together to  to create this spectacular destination. www.buergenstock.ch/en

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