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

NEWS A private villa in Prague

FOUR Seasons Hotel Prague is offering guests the chance to stay in a 16th-century Baroque villa on the bank of the Vltava River offers an unparalleled location in the heart of Prague. Redesigned  in Baroque style, the villa is part of the hotel’s four buildings and its residential floor includes the Royal Suite, Superior and Deluxe rooms, and Baroque Suite with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living rooms, pantry, and dining area. The main living room features a fireplace and piano, and the master bedroom offers picture-perfect views of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. The dining area and pantry offer opportunities for private dinners or celebrations. 'This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience Prague while having the entire residential floor of a historic villa all for yourself' said Stanislav Málek, Concierge. The riverside Villa is priced at EUR 7,000 per night (based on a two-night minimum) www.fourseasons.com/prague

NEWS Small Luxury Hotels of the World rewards heroes

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has announced its 500 nominated winners of its global campaign #SLHFORHEROES, rewarding 1,000 room nights to those on the frontline who have supported their communities through the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. The #SLHFORHEROES campaign recognised those that went above and beyond to help others during the Coronavirus outbreak. Whether in heathcare , charities or volunteering. Winners have each been rewarded with a two-night stay at one of the 520 Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties. In addition to the two nights, winners will further unlock additional hidden extras once their reservation is confirmed at a participating hotel. These extras, generously donated by SLH hotels in support of the campaign, include spa treatments, airport transfers, surfing lessons, private tours, dinners and extra nights. “We are immensely heartened by the stories told by members of the public on behalf of their nominees. There really is an enormous sense of gratitude for those around the world who have worked tirelessly in the face of the pandemic”, says Richard Hyde, Managing Director of SLH. www.slh.com

NEWS Lights, Camera, Actions... QM2

Luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2 is the setting for a new film by Oscar winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, Traffic and Behind the Candelabra) and an Oscar and Emmy award winning cast and crew. 
The movie, “Let Them All Talk” (a working title) will feature the Queen Mary 2 on the iconic Transatlantic Crossing and was filmed over a seven-day east bound voyage from New York to Southampton last month. 
HBO Max has acquired rights to the film which stars Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Gemma Chan, Lucas Hedges and Dianne Wiest. gQueen Mary 2 guests had the exciting opportunity to appear in the film as extras.
“There is only one way to cross the Atlantic in style and that’s on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2,” said Simon Palethorpe, President of Cunard. “We were delighted to host Steven Soderbergh, Meryl Streep and a star-studded cast on our flagship for what will be an incredible movie”. 
Cunard has a long history of hosting stars of stage and screen on board their iconic ships. Luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Wes Anderson, and Tilda Swinton have all sailed with the luxury travel brand. Sting performed a set in Queen Mary 2’s Royal Court Theatre; Ed Sheeran wrote part of his last album on a Crossing; and Francis Ford Coppola sailed recently to work on his book while at sea. In December 2017, Queen Mary 2 hosted the global premiere with a star-studded event for 20th Century Fox's "The Greatest Showman" starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. www.cunard.co.uk

NEWS Rocco Forte opens in Rome

We’ve been waiting for this one and finally the day has arrived.  Forte Hotels unveiled their second hotel in Rome yesterday. The 104-room Hotel de la Ville is in a renovated historical 18-century palazzo in the heart of Rome, right atop the Spanish Steps with sweeping views of the Eternal City. Designer Tommaso Ziffer, in collaboration with Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, was inspired by The Grand Tour of the 18th century when English and German nobles collected pieces of art during their cultural journeys to European cities. Ziffer has recreated a contemporary retrospective of The Grand Tour by working with local artisans, recreating the opulence of the 18th century through handmade wallpaper from local designers Rubelli and Dedar, rich Italian fabrics and historic tapestries from Zardi & Zardi.  At the heart of the hotel is the e courtyard, fusing three buildings into one, the courtyard design has been lifted by George Carter, a designer who specializes in creating gardens inspired by the simple geometry of 17th and 18th centuries. To keep within the Grand Tour concept, obelisks and black and gold touches bestow romantic feel. TLTB readers will love the magnificent Suite de la Ville accessed by a private elevator; the hotel's crown jewel is furnished with a curated collection of contemporary and antique furniture and its own collection of art, it boasts two panoramic terraces. See Forte's other new italian hotel HERE.  www.roccofortehotels.com 

NEWS The Newest Place to be SEEN in Bangkok

Bangkok’s newest rooftop playground has opened on the 26th Floor of Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel. With stunning views over the skyline, gourmet food, innovative mixology and great music, SEEN Restaurant & Bar is already making an impact on Bangkok’s nightlife scene.
The globally inspired menu, led by Executive Chef Alexandre Castaldi, features dishes such as hand rolled, black truffle infused sushi and tomahawk steak. Award-winning Head Mixologist Mochammad Fadli curates a wide range of cocktails, wines and Champagnes.
The best time is to arrive at sunset to catch unrivalled views of the Chao Phraya and then to stay after dark to party to beats spun by a roster of jet-setting DJs selected by Music Director, Scotty B.
Originating in Sao Paolo then Lisbon, SEEN Bangkok is the third SEEN Restaurant & Bar from Portuguese celebrity chef, Olivier da Costa.

NEWS QT expands in Australia
 A new QT Hotel in Newcastle has been annouced today. This is one of four new hotels being developed for  QT as the innovative brand contniues its march across Australia and New Zealand. QT Newcastle will be a creative place to stay and play and a hallmark destination for the NSW Government’s Revitalising Newcastle progra. Property Owners Iris Capital will partner with Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited (EVENT)EVENT to convert the former historic David Jones building, retaining the landmark building’s heritage features, fused with the quirky charm QT is renowned for.  Similar to the transformation of Sydney’s iconic department store Gowings to create QT Sydney, the former David Jones site will work well with the design-led QT experience. QT Newcastle will sit amongst the new urban village perfectly located in the heart of Newcastle’s Hunter Street Mall on the corner of Perkins Street. The hotel will reflect QT’s popular luxurious and quirky flair, featuring 106 character-filled rooms, a boutique rooftop bar, and an intimate QT signature dining concept and bar.  QT Newcastle will be located within a short walking distance to Newcastle’s stunning Harbour and renowned surf beaches. Event Hospitality and Entertainment CEO Jane Hastings said: “Over the past 12 months we have secured four new QT locations, each unique to ensure we create the QT point of difference.  Newcastle is Australia’s largest regional centre and with the $700m Iris investment, combined with the $650m NSW government investment, the city is being revitalised and QT will be at the heart of this precinct.” “QT Newcastle will be a result of transforming the heritage David Jones building into a 106 room hotel with a boutique roof top bar and signature dining experience, all true to QT style.”  www.QThotelsndresorts.com

NEWS Hyatt returns to Queensland

Hyatt announced today plans for the first ever Hyatt hotel in the Brisbane area, marking the return of a Hyatt branded hotel to Queensland. Located in the Woolloongabba suburb, the Hyatt Place hotel is expected to open in 2023 at the internationally award-winning and state-of-the-art $700M million South City Square precinct. Hyatt Place Brisbane South City Square hotel is expected to feature 170 rooms and provide guests with a stylish and seamless experience, including a rooftop pool and bar, a 24-hour grab-and-go food market, as well as a café, lobby lounge and fitness centre.   David Udell, Hyatt’s group president, Asia Pacific, signed the agreement with Pellicano and Perri Projects – the joint-venture development partners behind South City Square – at Grand Hyatt Melbourne on Tuesday, 30 April, ahead of the Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition.  "We’re proud to work with Pellicano and Perri Projects to bring the Hyatt Place brand to Brisbane for the first time, marking Hyatt’s return to the Queensland market and into a dynamic and fast-emerging community,” said Mr. Udell. “Woolloongabba is a hotspot for major sporting, entertainment, tourism, commercial and medical areas in Brisbane, and we look forward to giving professionals and leisure travellers a relaxed, high-quality hotel experience within South City Square’s vibrant, inner-city lifestyle hub.”   South City Square will also be home to 850 architecturally designed apartments. www.hyatt.com

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. www.velaaisland.com

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. www.x2resorts.com/resorts/pattaya-oceanphere

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. www.singaporeair.com , www.como.com

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.”   www.RSSC.com

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. www.designhotels.com/palazzo-daniele

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. luxresorts.com

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. www.saniresort.gr

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.” www.roccofortehotels.com

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.  www.westin.com/maldivesmiriandhoo

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. theroyalatlantisresidences.com 

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

NEWS 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 Baillie Lodges’ new luxury resort

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

NEWS Rosewood’s innovative new hotel brand

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

NEWS Finnair's new business class concept

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

NEWS American Airlines' new in-flight amenities

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

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

NEWS DUKES Hotel and Pommery Champagne partnership

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

NEWS The Rees Hotel Crowned Best New Zealand Ski Hotel 2017

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

NEWS Singapore Airlines' new super-luxe suites

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

NEWS 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 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

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