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Luxury Travel News
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Easter at London's Athenaeum
London's Athenaeum has plans in place to keep the Little Luxies entertained during the Easter weekend. Dedicated nannies will be hosting an Easter egg hunt in Green Park followed by a 'Children's High Tea' in the hotel's 'Easter Bunnies Playroom'. A themed menu will include Easter treats such as hot cross buns and chocolate cupcakes topped with mini eggs. The hunt will also include prizes for the whole family including afternoon tea vouchers and beauty treatments in the newly re-opened spa for mothers and daughters. At the end of the day guests will receive a gift from the Athenaeum, a bespoke Easter egg made by Rococo chocolates ( TLTB can firmly say they are both beautiful and delicious). Nannies will also be available for complimentary babysitting of up to five hours in the evenings allowing parents to sneak out to enjoy all that London has to offer. www.athenaeumhotel.com
Posted 11/4/11
Aman founder to be awarded
The Luxury Travel Bible will be there in Shanghai cheering the loudest when the formidable Adrian Zecha, founder and chairman of one of the world's most luxurious travel brands, Aman resorts is presented with a lifetime achievement award at ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) Asia 2011. The award ceremony will take place at the close of ILTM Asia's Ultratravel Forum on Monday 13 June at 5pm in the Shanghai Theatre, Portman Ritz-Carlton. Zecha changed the face of luxury resorts and inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs to give us the very best in luxury, yet Amanresorts still only has 23 properties and fewer than 900 rooms worldwide, TLTB loves Amanresorts staff-to-guest ratio of six to one. The first Amanresort, Amanpuri (Place of Peace) was founded in 1987 in Thailand by Indonesian born Zecha,at a time when the concept of small boutique resorts was still in its infancy. Then followed resorts such as Amanpulo in the Philippines and the more recent Amanfayun in China - and the rest is luxury legend.
Now in its fifth year, ILTM Asia invites a select group of those offering definitive luxury experiences and prestigious luxury travel products in the Asia Pacific region to meet with 400 of the most discerning buyers of luxury travel and a handful of editors of worldwide luxury magazines and websites (including TLTB of course).
Posted 8/4/11
Planting a Legacy
The Dorchester's 80th Anniversary celebrations have kicked off in an environmentally aware fashion. Throughout 2011, in collaboration with international charity Trees for Cities, the hotel will be planting 80 new 'Future Great Trees' in London. Fifteen trees will be planted in Mayfair and St. James's to form 'The Dorchester Anniversary Walk'. A further 65 trees will be planted across London in areas to be identified by Trees for Cities. Perhaps one day these trees will be one day rival the listed plane tree that has marked the entrance to the hotel since it opened its doors in 1931 and that was named as one of the Great Trees of London in 1997.
Over the next few months the hotel will unveil more 80th Anniversary celebrations including on its official birthday (18 April 2011) a commemorative 1930's cocktail called ' Dorchester of London' . Sounds perfect to to toast the hotel with.
The hotel's official anniversary website features many images from its glittering history and past guests including Louis Armstrong, Aristotle Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and The Beatles. www.thedorchester.com/celebrate www.treesforcities.org
Posted 7/4/10
Scent of the savannah
Anyone who has been around a lion after its lunch will know the scent of Africa isn';t always fragrant. However, in the case of luxury lodge Londolozi's new signature scent and body range, 1926, it can be. Shan Varty, Londolozi's owner and creator of the range says, "In spring the Wild Basil (Ocimum canum) puts out bursts of little fragrant flowers which attract throngs of bees and hundreds of bright bushveld butterflies. It's the opulence of this annual floral spectacular which inspired the creation of a body range that would capture the magical and evocative place called Londolozi." The scent is created with pure essential oils and is reminiscent of an old fashioned cologne, and we are told it has 'a citrus aroma and earthy undertones that are both calming and uplifting" We can't want to get back to the bush and dab it on. Londolozi is after all one of TLTB's favourite places. As befits londolozi's comittment to the environment the range comes in amber glass vials, which are fully recyclable.
Posted 6/4/11
Born again Virgin
Virgin Atlantic's first Airbus A330 aircraft flew from Manchester to Orlando yesterday signaling the arrival of Virgins new $2.2bn fleet of 10 planes. Its maiden A330 aircraft, named 'Beauty Queen' is Virgin Atlantic's first long range twin engined aircraft. The new plane will use 15% less fuel per seat than the airline's A340-300s, higfhlighting Richard Branson's commitment to flying a lower carbon fleet. Virgin Atlantic's first two A330 aircraft will operate on leisure routes and with Premium Economy seats and Economy seats. The remaining A330-300s will also have Upper Class. in typical Virgin style the A330 aircraft have a revolutionary new Panasonic. touch screen entertainment system with over 300 hours of content. Coming later this year - inflight emails on Blackberries and other mobile devices. look out for more news from the skies in The Luxury Travel Bible's new airline section coming soon.
Posted 5/4/11
Botox by boat
Now you can de-wrinkle while you de-stress at sea and come back from a cruise crows feet free. P&O Cruises has introduced a Medi-Spa onboard its Sydney-based ship, Pacific Jewel. The new Medi-Spa offers a range of cosmetic medical treatments, including targeted wrinkle treatments and instant skin plump-up procedures. Cruisers can also book a free one-on-one consultation with a spa physician who will assess their skin and recommend a treatment plan. And when friends say you're looking extra youthful - just tell them it's the result of all that fresh sea air.
Posted 4/4/11
Hotels with a Heart - update
Last year we told you about two hotels that were doing their bit for charity. The Cranley Hotel and The Royal Park Hotel were raising funds for children in the UK and abroad during January. The hotels were charging a flat rate and then guests were asked to pay what they believe the stay is actually worth. Any money received over the £50 (+VAT) rate at The Cranley will be donated to Ndoro Children's Charity. Money raised at The Royal Park will be donated to the NSPCC.
We have now heard back from the hotels' Director of Sales, Lina Stahl, who told TLTB; " The recent charity promotions held at both The Royal Park and The Cranley Hotels during January raised much needed funds for both Ndoro Children's Charities and the NSPCC. The campaign also generated awareness of the two charities along with their aims and goals. Many guests' who were unable to book the discounted rate, donated directly to the charities." www.thecranley.com/ , www.theroyalpark.com/
Posted 4/4/11
Highest hotel in the world
The world's highest hotel opens today in Hong Kong. The new Ritz-Carlton reaches for the sky at the very top of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Hong Kong. Occupying floors 102 to 118, with dizzy death-defying views of the surrounding harbour and all those little insignificant tower blocks laughingly called skyscrapers way below it. Ritz Carlton describes the hotel as 'the very pinnacle of luxury ' but avoids other height-est puns. We love the name of the hotel's bar/restaurant ,Ozone, up in the rarefied air on the 118th floor. The hotel is the newest addition to the brand's growing global luxury portfolio of 75 properties and its 16th hotel in Asia. See more pictures and birds-eye video here.
Posted 30/3/11

Lanesborough luxury writ large

Some people don't care about the royal wedding mayhem. The Lanesborough Hotel, London is opening its ultra-swish new £14,000 a night suite two days after the royal wedding -on 1May The four bedroom suite , overlooking Green Park will cover a humungous 4,000 square-foot, making it one of London's largest, most luxurious and most expensive suites. (a Top Ten on London suites coming shortly). Those who book in for the suite life will also get a complimentary chauffeur driven Rolls Royce Phantom to roll around London in, a 24 hour butler and also those Mac Minis in the room that The Lanesborough are famous for

So-ooo .luxurious , worthy of royalty even... which leads us to think...is The Lanesborough really so immune to royalty or could there be a honeymoon night reason why the suite is opening just after the regal wedding? Just a thought , we have no hard evidence what so ever but.... www.lanesborough.com
Posted 28/3/11
Dubai delay for Kempinski
The 250 -plus room Kempinski Hotel Palm Jumeirah will now not open until 2013. The luxury hotel group has delayed the Dubai opening due to the economic situation in the region, although the attached residences will open as planned in July. Residents will have access to the gym and large 1,200sqm pool. The complex also features 500 metres of private beach.
Posted 25/3/11
Campaign to save historical house
Any Anglo-Franco rivalry has been set aside in the campaign to save Napoleon Bonaparte's exile residence on the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena. Longwood House on this Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom is where Napoleon spent his final years and is now the focus of an international restoration appeal. Some sections of the Longwood House are "in a perilous condition" and it is estimated that the necessary work will cost ?1.5 million. It is hoped that fifty per cent of this will come from public sources.
As well as the historical importance the house is also of significant to St Helena tourism which despite its remote location continues to draw visitors each year. It took Napoleon 10 weeks to reach the island, which is located 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa, aboard the HMS Northumberland. Visitors today still arrive by sea but in a much more comfortable fashion via the RMS St Helena, cruise ships or yachts.
For more information on the appeal and to make a donation visit www.napoleon.org/en/fondation/partner/sthelena.aspx
www.sthelenatourism.com , www.rms-st-helena.com
Posted 24/3/11
A Grown-up Alternative to the Easter Egg Hunt
Of course, The Luxury Travel Bible hopes the Easter Bunny leaves us with some chocolate delights but we are much more interested in grown-up alternatives to the traditional Easter Egg hunt. Tswau Kalahari lodge is offering guests the opportunity to go on the hunt for 'elusive desert gold' Kalahari truffles this Easter holidays. Guests can search for, dig up, cook and taste the sought-after truffle, of which a bumper season is expected, following a period of excellent rainfall. Guests will have the use of a private vehicle, personal guide and tracker for the truffle which is known locally as Inabas. Though finding truffles cannot be guaranteed the hunt will be a lot more memorable than the usual boring Easter egg hunt.
Tswalu Kalahari is set in South Africa's largest private game reserve, a vast expanse of malaria-free wilderness covering 100,000 hectares, yet it caters for just 30 guests in two exclusive lodges. www.tswalu.com, www.bridgeandwickers.co.uk
Posted 24/3/11
A bath with a view
Anantara Kihavah Villas, on Baa Atoll in the Maldives is now open. The resort is just 35 minutes by seaplane from Male airport. All its villas and residences have private pool and a Villa host on 24 hour call but what The Luxury Travel Bible really loves are the very cool sunken glass bottom bathtubs in the overwater bungalows, that has to be the ultimate bath with a view. Click here for pictures of the new resort.
Posted 23/3/11
Lizard gets a makeover
Lizard Island, on Australia's Great Barrier Reef has unveiled a new look in suitably watery blues and golden hues; just what you need on an idyllic island resort. It is what they call in the trade a ' soft refurbishment' - the equivalent of hotel botox rather than a full-on facelift you might say - and Lizard is looking good on it. Interior architects Pike Withers designed a fresh look for the Lodge Bar and Osprey's Restaurant, plus new furnishings for the Anchor Bay Suites and Sunset Point Villas. Take a peek at the new look here.
Posted 22/3/11
Peninsula Hotels help
Following our article on Japan on Friday we've been contacted by a number of hotels and luxury groups who are also organising appeals to support victims of the quake and tsunamis. Sadly we can't mention all of them but worth acknowledging is Peninsula Hotels' 'Hope for Japan', launched today, which will run in Peninsula properties across Asia and the US. Peninsula is famous for its afternoon tea so it is fitting that a special Japanese-themed tea will help raise funds for the region. Another initiative is The Tree of 1,000 Cranes; the bird is a favourite subject for the Japanese art of origami, representing healing and hope. Each Peninsula hotel will display a Crane Tree in the Lobby, and guests can make a donation to receive an origami crane to hang on the tree, or, if they wish, to fold their own with Peninsula staff to assist. Peninsula Hotels will also make a donation for each guest stay and guests wishing to make an additional contribution can request to have the amount added to their credit card at check-out.
Posted 21/3/11
Thinking of Japan
Following the recent devastation that has hit the Asia-Pacific region in both Japan and New Zealand, we've had a note from Lucioles (which ran Blossom Japan) saying how much it helps our luxury partners in Japan to know we are thinking of them. So no news today, just a message to say we are thinking of them all, indeed everyone in the region. We understand the Westin Sendai, Japan has been a major refuge for so many during the difficult hours of the tsunami proving we are an industry of people who touch so many lives on a daily basis. For more information on making a donation click here.
Posted 18/3/11
August re-opening for Hayman
Hayman in the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland has annnounced it will re-open on 1 August . The luxury resort (a The Luxury Travel Bible favourite) had to close for repairs following damage caused by tropical cyclones Anthony and Yasi. The island is accepting reseravtions now for August and beyond and we wish this enduring and elegant resort well during this difficult period.
Posted 15/3/11
St Pancras Renaissance to welcome guests from today
London's latest hotel, St Pancras Renaissance will welcome its first invited guests from today (14 March). The impressive Grade I-listed building is located next to St Pancras International train station, from where trains depart to the UK and Europe from. The new hotel plays on the romance of train travel and honours its location and history; the Booking Office Bar was originally just thatand some of the rooms overlook the Eurostar trains departing to Paris. Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, who already has a restaurant at The Berkeley, will open The Gilbert Scott restaurant at the hotel in May.
During a six year, £150 million refurbishment architects worked with the V&A museum and English Heritage to ensure that all was authentic to the Victorian design. The building, originally the Midland Grand Hotel, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and opened by Queen Victoria in 1873.
It was once feared that as London became more modern this gothic building was "too beautiful and romantic to survive". Luckily it did survive and has now been resorted to its full glory.
From today (14 March) invited guests will be welcomed by the hotel, from 21 March the hotel will be open to public bookings. The official opening ceremony will be held 5 May which is 138 years since the original hotel opened.www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/lonpr-st-pancras
Posted 14/3/11
Cruise movie makes a splash
Thankfully these days' promotional films are beginning to look more like Hollywood blockbusters. So far this year we have already seen W London-Leicester Square's 'Away we Stay' short film to promote its Valentine's Day opening. Now - in an innovative first for the cruise industry - Royal Caribbean International have enlisted Hollywood actors Jenny McCarthy and Josh Brolin to direct and star in the 'Ocean Views' digital film series, designed to showcase their newest ship, Allure of the Seas. See our movie preview here.
Posted 13/3/11
From New York to Sydney for The Great Gatsby
Once again acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann is using his homeland as a backdrop for his films. In what could prove to be a controversial move for fans of the original Luhrmann is to film his version of The Great Gatsby in Australia. The action is moving from New York to Sydney when the Moulin Rouge and Australia director begins filming his 3D adaptation. Pre-production is due to begin next month with stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Carey Mulligan beginning filming in August. With this news the team at The Luxury Travel Bible's Sydney office will be on the lookout for one of our favourite movie stars around the city. We'll keep you updated...
Posted 11/3/11
Take Man's Best Friend on Holiday
April is National Pet Month in the UK and to celebrate Titchwell Manor, Norfolk will be welcoming dogs (plus their masters) with open arms. When pet owners make a two-night booking their dogs can stay for free and they will receive a free beach towel, dog blanket, drinking bowl and biscuits plus map marked with the best dog walks from the hotel. The nearby beach for a run and swim or a walk on a lead along the paths in the nearby RSPB Titchwell Marsh reserve will no doubt satisfy all. When Man's Best Friend is exhausted and dreaming of chasing sticks their owners will be able to relax in the former Victorian farmhouse, experience one of the holistic treatments and dine in the two AA Rosette Conservatory Restaurant.
During National Pet Month the usual dog charge of £8 per night will be waived. Dogs are welcome in the bar area of the Eating Rooms, lounges, sea view terrace and gardens. There are ten dog-friendly ground floor rooms with direct outside access and a kennel in the paddock. www.titchwellmanor.com
Posted 11/3/11
Chiva-Som Spa Luxury at Home
Thailand's award-winning Chiva-Som Health Resort has released a new collection of 24 spa products for use in the home. Each product has been developed using the latest technology, the years of experience of the resort's therapists and incorporating unique insights into traditional Asian healing practices. The range reflects the resort's ongoing commitment to the environment by using natural products, recycled packaging and no animal-derived ingredients, artificial colours or fragrances. Chiva-Som Retail and Product Development Manager, Anne-Claude Tora says "Spa lovers can now use the highest quality product range in their own home".
Chiva-Som's new website contains full information on each of the 24 products including ingredients, description and user benefits, as well as a list of which Chiva-Som treatments use each product. www.chivasomproducts.com , www.chivasom.com
Posted 10/3/11
Suite Dreams from Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas and Bulgari have launched 'The Suite Dreams Shopping Experience at The Ritz-Carlton' experience. Guests will stay for one night at the hotel and will be transported to the the newly opened Bulgari boutique at the NorthPark Center. As well as receiving Bulgari concierge shopping assistance guests will receive a Bulgari gift during their visit to the boutique - either a bottle from the brand's perfume collection or a copy of the Bulgari coffee-table book written by Sotheby jewellery experts Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi.
One very lucky Suite Dreams guest each month will discover a complimentary Bulgari Carbon Gold Limited Edition Watch which will be placed under their pillow as part of the evening turn-down service.
Priced from $399 per night in a Deluxe Suite with breakfast for two in-room or at Fearing's Restaurant, available between 9 March - 5 September 2011. www.ritzcarlton.com
Posted 9/3/11
World's most expensive painting goes on display
Art lovers in London will be heading to the Tate Modern to view the most expensive painting ever sold which is now on display in the gallery's new Pablo Picasso room. Picasso's 1932 'Work, Green Leaves and Bust' fetched $106.5 million (£65.5 million) when it was sold at auction last year in New York. The painting, featuring Picasso's sometimes mistress Marie-Therese Walter, is on loan to the Tate Modern from the anonymous owner. A major exhibition of Picasso's work will open at Tate Britain next year. www.tate.org.uk
Posted 9/3/11
First Nobu hotel to open in Las Vegas
The world's first Nobu Hotel is set to open in Las Vegas at Ceasar's Palace. The team behind the restaurant chain Nobu, actor Robert De Niro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and Tom Jenkin, President, Western Division of Caesar's Entertainment announced the creation of the hotel which will take open in the existing Centurion Tower which will be renovated and redecorated. The hotel will follow the style of Nobu restaurants with minimalist Japanese decor.
A new Nobu restaurant will also open at the base of the tower, joining the other Las Vegas Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel. As yet no opening date has been revealed, The Luxury Travel Bible will keep you updated. http://www.noburestaurants.com/
Posted 8/3/11
El Questro set to re-open

El Questro Wilderness Park is preparing to re-open in April for its 20th season. In the Kimberley region of north Western Australia El Questro is spread out across a million acres and there are waterfalls, gorges, ravines and cascades that have remained undiscovered for years. April marks the official end of the annual wet, when the landscape starts to dry out. During this time the landscape starts to bloom and April marks the start of the breeding season for the black-necked stork or Jabiru.

El Questro Wilderness Park opens from 1 April to 31 October every year. www.elquestro.com.au
Posted 7/3/11
The Spirit moves us
SIlversea is one of The Luxury Travel Bible's favourite cruise lines. The latest ship in the fleet, Silver Whisper was greeted with much fanfare in Sydney yesterday and half way through her maiden voyage we can report she is showing typical Silversea style. On board yesterday TLTB loved the art deco-inspired design. Readers will be pleased to hear the ship has the largest suites in the fleet. We also recommend the large and indulgent spa and the intimate Le Champagne wine restaurant where a tasting menu can be matched with fine wines and champagne. We have it on good authority that the sommelier has one of the finest cellars at sea. Our cruise correspondent will be on board when the ship sails and we'll bring you an in-depth report shortly.
Posted 2/3/11
Missoni and the Middle East
The newest hotel in the Missoni stable, Hotel Missoni Kuwait opened its designer doors today. Currently it is the only design hotel in Kuwait and is located in the heart of the shopping and entertainment district of Salmiya. The hotel is a joint venture between the Missoni fashion house and the Rezidor Hotel Group. Missoni already has the 136-room Hotel Missoni Edinburgh in Scotland, which opened in June 2009. The architects are Dino Georgiou & Partners, while the concept designer is Italian architect Matteo Thun in collaboration with Rosita Missoni. We'll be bringing you full report on the hotel in our March edition. www.hotelmissoni.com
Posted 1/3/11
Flying food from Zug
Stefan Meier, chef de cuisine at the Rathauskeller restaurant in Zug, has created a number of exclusive Central Swiss specialities for First and Business Class guests on SWISS International Airlines in the latest instalment of the airline's Taste of Switzerland inflight culinary programme. The meals will be available on selected flights from 2 March to the beginning of June. Meier has been heading up the kitchen of the Rathauskeller for the past 28 years and picked up a 16 point Gault Millau rating along the way;so he knows what he is doing.
Posted 28/2/11
Leading Hotels of the World's family affair
The Leading Hotels of the World are spotlighting the family-run hotels in their collection by profiling some of the great hotel dynasties in the LHW latest 2011/2012 Directory; Famlies such as the Sersales family, whose ancestral home is now the delightful Le Sirenuse in Positano or the Fiorentino family who have run the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento for 178 years. The Luxury Travel Bible likes to profile the people behind the hotels, so look out for our series on Hotel Dynasties coming later this year. www.lhw.com
Posted 26/2/11
V Australia lands in Abu Dhabi
Virgin Blue Group of Airlines launched its inaugural V Australia flight to Abu Dhabi yesterday, becoming the first Australian carrier to operate to the Middle East in 20 years. The new V Australia Abu Dhabi service is a key part of the partnership between Virgin Blue Group of Airlines and Etihad Airways which will see the airlines offer a total of 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia.
Posted 25/2/11
UPDATED Prince Harry to visit Dubai
UPDATE - Prince Harry has postponed his trip to Dubai due to unrest in the area. We will keep you updated when the charity event has been rescheduled.
H.R.H Prince Harry will visit Dubai on 19th March on his first visit to the United Arab Emirates. Throughout the day the Prince will undertake engagements and will also take part in the second Sentebale Polo Cup which will be held in association with Royal Salute. This will be the second Sentebale Polo Cup match after Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho launched the event at the Apes Hill Polo Club in Barbados in January 2010. The royal visit will wrap up a week of Polo in Dubai including the Dubai Polo Gold Cup on March 11 and the Princes' Cup Middle East which will stage the British Polo Cup to celebrate the heritage of Polo on March 18.
Posted 25/2/11
Two Queens meet in Sydney Harbour
Two ocean going queens have just docked in Sydney Harbour. Midway through her inaugural 103-night world voyage, the 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth met Queen Mary 2 outside Sydney Heads at 5.30am this morning before following her sister into Sydney Harbour with a flotilla of boats in their wake. The grand liners berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal around 7am. The Luxury Travel Bible will bring you an onboard report from the new Queen Elizabeth shortly. Including an indepth report on the delights of afternoon tea and on-deck croquet...
Posted 22/2/11
A grand makeover for Park Hyatt Sydney
TLTB was at one of the last lunches hosted by Park Hyatt Sydney before it closes its doors for the largest renovation in the hotel's 20-year history. The hotel with definitive views of Sydney's opera house closes in April and is due to re-open its doors late in October 2011. When the hotel re-opens we can look forward to three luxury rooftop suites and floor-to-ceiling glass doors for many other rooms that will open onto private balconies and make the very best of the harbourfront location and those fantastic views. The re-design of the guest rooms also includes custom designed contemporary lighting, new furniture and artwork by Australian artists. We've put a note in our diary to book in for October. www.hyatt.com
Posted 21/2/11
English elegance
The elegant Ellenborough Park country house hotel opens its doors today (18 February) set in 100 acres of parkland adjacent to Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire. The historic building which dates from the 16th century is now a luxurious hotel with 62 rooms and suites. There is also a bar, brasserie, restaurant, spa and access to the Racecourse. Ellenborough is the latest offering from Boutique hotel group Mantis who also have Casa Sur Art Hotel in Buenos Aires, Cape Estel in Nice and a number of up game reserves such as Jaci's and Shamwari in South Africa.
Posted 18/2/11
Easter at London's Athenaeum
As we finish off the Valentine's Day chocolates The Luxury Travel Bible is looking forward to the upcoming Easter Eggs. Luckily London's Athenaeum has plans in place to entertain the Little Luxies during the Easter weekend. Dedicated nannies will be hosting an Easter egg hunt in Green Park followed by a 'Children's High Tea' in the hotel's 'Easter Bunnies Playroom'. The themed menu will include Easter treats such as hot cross buns and chocolate cupcakes topped with mini eggs. The hunt will also include prizes for the whole family including afternoon tea vouchers and beauty treatments in the newly re-opened spa for mothers and daughters. At the end of the day guests will receive a gift from the Athenaeum, a bespoke Easter egg made by Rococo chocolates. Nannies will also be available for complimentary babysitting of up to four hours in the evenings. www.athenaeumhotel.com
Posted 17/2/11
Art rises above the waters
Even natural disasters can't top art. We are thrilled to see that Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art re-opens today (16 February). To celebrate, the Cultural Centre Precinct will hold a special re-opening celebration this weekend (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 February). '21st Century: Art in the First Decade', which prior to closure had attracted more than 139,000 visitors, will re-open at GoMA with all works on display and continue until Tuesday 26 April. www.visitbrisbane.com.au
Posted 16/2/11
A valentine's diamond dessert
What do you give a girl on Valentine's Day? The world's most expensive diamond encrusted dessert of course. You'll also have to book her in for a stay on exclusive Fr¨¦gate Island Private in the Seychelles. The luxury eco retreat has teamed up with South Africa Diamonds and leading diamond cutting company, Rosy Blue, to create the planet's most exclusive dessert. The chocolate tart is worth in excess of US$5 million -one diamond is worth a cool $US1million on its own before you've even picked the others out of your teeth. The one-of-a-kind confectionary by Maitre Andre Barbe, Fr¨¦gate's chef patissier, is garnished with no fewer than 929 diamonds, that's a mind boggling total of 151.92 carats - including seven individual stones of between 5.05 and 9.04 carats. Hmm... chocolate and diamonds what could be better? www.slh.com, www.fregate.com
Posted 14/2/11
So very Sofitel, so sophisticated
Sofitel So is the label given to the designer boutique hotel vision of Sofitel Luxury Hotels. The first under this brand to be officially launched is the Sofitel So Mauritius. Each Sofitel So aims to blend design with pleasure, and style with personality, to express the essence of the destination (as well as Sofitel's signature French accent). That said, the Sofitel So Mauritius has brought together the talents of Thai architect Lek Bunnag and fashion designer Kenzo Takadawho were commissioned to create a fundamentally different living space 'where purity, nature and simplicity come first'.Set in lush, natural landscape, the Sofitel So Mauritius personifies Sofitel's new vision of what contemporary luxury should be. This 'petit' resort is located in the most protected region of Mauritius on a 14 hectare domain bordering a 520-metre white sand beach. Guests can choose between 84 suites (60 square metres in size), six Beach Villas (100 square metres), and two Beaulieu Villas (200 square metres). Sofitel So joins sister label Sofitel Legend which was launched with the rebirth of the iconic Metropole Hotel in Hanoi in 2010.
The first Sofitel So in Mauritius will soon be followed by the Sofitel So Bangkok mid 2011, and later the Sofitel So Mumbai. . http://www.sofitel.com/
Posted 12/2/11
Third Bulgari hotel set to open
The new Bulgari luxury hotel in London has been a long time coming; after all Bulgari have been planning this one for nearly ten years with partners Marriott International. Last year we mooted a late 2011 opening, now it seems Bulgari have officially announced plans to open the Knightsbridge hotel by spring 2012. The hotel is designed by Antonio Citterio (whose architecture and design firm was responsible for the other two Bulgari hotels in Milan and Bali) in conjunction with London architects Squire and Partners (we love their concept designs for the flagship Art'otel Hoxton too by the way. More of that soon) .The Bulgari Knightbridge is being constructed opposite Hyde Park (on the site of the old Normandie hotel) and will have 78 rooms and seven private suites. As well as a ballroom, a private members club,cinema ( growing trend), an indoor pool, a restaurant and a bar. www.bulgarihotels.com
Posted 11/2/11
Changing of the guard in Sydney
Now we're not usually ones to mention a change of GM, not unless they are very special. However The Luxury Travel Bible is a great fan of the charming and inspirational Stephen Lewis who was General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney for 16 years and has just retired. We extend a big welcome to the new GM Vincent Hoogewijs who comes from Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, which he successfully opened in early 2009. Mr Hoogewijs is only the hotel's third GM. The hotel's founding GM (then under The Regent banner) was the legendary Ted Wright, who stayed for 29 years. Wright is the hotelier's hotelier, now President & CEO of Setai Hotels & resorts. www.fourseasons.com
Posted 9/2/11
Over-waters villas in the sun
Sun Hotels & Resorts in the Maldives have just launched six new luxury water villas with pools at Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort. The new water villas bring a new category of accommodation to the 122-room resort, putting it firmly on The Luxury Travel Bible's radar. Situated on stilts over the water, each villa has ocean views (well they would wouldn't they?) and direct access to the lagoon via a private stairway where guests can get up close and personal with the fish-life. The villas also have a large balcony with plunge pools in case climbing down the steps to the actually water to get wet is just too far for pampered guests to go. www. vilureefmaldives.com
Posted 8/2/11
The Langham opens new private terrace
Guests at The Langham, Melbourne can now enjoy exquisite garden city views from their own expansive 50 m 2 private terrace, decked out with sun lounges and an outdoor dining setting. Perched high above the city, on floors 19-21, the new Terrace rooms are an extension to the Langham's Deluxe River Rooms. The generous private balconies are the largest offered by a five-star Melbourne hotel and The Luxury Travel Bible thinks they are going to be a sure-fire hit. Inside, the Terrace Rooms you'll find Langham's signature Blissful Beds and marble bathrooms. Contemporary in-room features include all the techno-toys such as an LCD high-definition TV with Media Hub and iPod/iPhone docking station. www.langhamhotels.com
Posted 7/2/11
Pacific Pearl arrives in Sydney
Sydney has kicked off one of its busiest ever cruise periods, with the arrival of P&O Cruises' latest superliner Pacific Pearl in Sydney Harbour. Pacific Pearl's maiden visit to Sydney makes her the first of 21 different ships arriving over the 28 days of February during Sydney's biggest ever cruise season. Other maiden visits during the month will include the first Sydney call by Seabourn's ultra-luxury ship Sojourn (a The Luxury Travel Bible favourite of course) this Saturday (February 5) and the inaugural Australian visit of Cunard's new liner Queen Elizabeth which will hold a Royal Rendezvous with her big sister Queen Mary 2 on Sydney Harbour on February 22.
Look out for our on-board CRUISE REPORTS on Seabourn Sojourn, and also Silversea's Silver Spirit coming mid-February.
Posted 4/2/11
Tuscany under the Nevada sun
Whether it is the Vegas strip or Lake Las Vegas you can always rely on this part of the world to come up with an inventive copy, Venice, Paris and now...Florence.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts newest resort, Ravella opens February 11 and will be bringing a touch of Tuscany to Nevada. The resort, which features Tuscan architecture and European-style furnishings, has a collection of rooms and suites upon a three-story bridge (it is very reminiscent of Florence's famed Ponte Vecchio Bridge). The bridge spans 375 feet across the lake, and is tall enough for a 21-foot sailboat to pass beneath. Further adding to the Tuscan feel is the Medici Caf¨¦ and Terrace restaurant with views over the Florentine Garden and a fire pit from an outdoor terrace. Located on the site of the former Ritz-Carlton the resort takes its name from the coastal southern Italian town of Ravello.

With all that Italian influence a trip to the strip may be in order to remind yourself where you actually are in the world ... on second thoughts that might lead to even more confusion. www.ravellavegas.com
Posted 3/2/11
Happy Chinese New Year 2011
Happy Chinese New Year and a happy Year of the Rabbit. Where does your Chinese zodiac sign suggest you go in the luxury travel year ahead? The Luxury Travel Bible looks at what kind of luxury traveller each sign is. Find out more.
Also; It may have been a slow shift from Communist spare to contemporary cool, but mainland China today has grabbed hold of style and spread its own take on hotels across its vast territory - from its big urban centres through its time-locked rural retreats and even, controversially, in Greater Tibet. See the leaders of this new travel revolution in Top Ten: China Chic.
Posted 3/2/11
Singapore Fling
The Singapore Girl is back. Five years after she was pensioned off ad-wise she is flying back to the forefront of Singapore Airlines' new multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. We're not entirely sure how we feel about this one; shades of trolley dollies and 'I'm Mandy fly me' spring to mind. On the other hand we love the look of the new advert, more travelogue than mere advertisement. Indeed we like it almost as much, but not quite, as the beautiful wolves-in-the-snow Shangri-La hotels branding ad launched last May.
Posted 2/2/11
A really private hotel
Have you ever wished you could have a luxury hotel ALLto yourself? Well now you can.The 20-villa Chedi Club Tanah Gajah has just launched 'Bali Confidential'. You can hire the whole luxie hotel for you and 50 of your closest friends darling, for a mere $US 88,000. for three nights. "At first blush, the price point for this package is remarkable --seemingly accessible only to celebrities or royalty," said Stefan Noll, GM of The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, "But when you do the math and break this down per person per night, you're looking at $US 587". A snip Stefan,a mere snip.
That price includes the unfettered run of the 5-hectare estate, located just a few kilometers from Ubud , All meals are included, as are spa treatments, yoga classes, a cycling tour, cooking classes, rice paddy trekking, chauffeured car service and a nightly cultural performance plus a butler attends each of the resorts 20-villas. . Well why didn't you say so? All-inclusive bar the champers, now it's all looking quite reasonable to us.
Ironically the property was built in the early 1980s as a private retreat for one of Indonesia's foremost architects and designers, Hendra Hadripana, so you could say it is going back to its origins. For more ultra-private luxury check out these villas.
Luxury Galapagos Cruising
A brand new luxury cruise vessel, M/Y Grand Odyssey, is now exploring the Galapgos. The new new yacht will combine Luxury, privacy and comfort in the extraordianry setting of the Galapagos Islands, rated by The Luxury Travel Bible as one of the world's top spots for widlife viewing. M/Y Grand Odyssey will take just 16 passengers, TLTB particularly likes the sound of the features 8 spacious Galapagos & matrimonial suites (Beats and onesuprer-luxie Odyssey Suite. For the first photos of the new yacht click here.
Posted 31/1/11
For all the romantics amongst you...

Couples who become engaged on Hayman Island during 'A Month of Love' will received a complimentary Romantic Wedding. During February 2011 the Hayman Team will work to help make your 'diamond moment' sparkle and create the Ultimate Proposal. How about a candlelit dinner, a rose-petal scattered bath, a bottle of Mumm Champagne or an escape to a private island? Although you will have to choose that all-important ring and work out what to say to your beloved yourself.

Once engaged the couple will be invited to return for their nuptials, complete with wedding celebrant, ceremony location and set-up and the assistance of a Hayman wedding planner. For something extra special, order the Perle Degustation at La Fontaine. Your loved one will be treated to a signature ʻPerleʼ dessert, handcrafted from white Valrhona chocolate draped in white gold pearl earrings.

Posted 28/1/11
The Quilon retains Michelin star
The Quilon restaurant has retained it Michelin star for the fourth year in a row. Located in central London, 100 metres from Buckingham Palace the restaurant is a fine dining restaurant of the five-star hotel, 51 Buckingham Gate and is the only Michelin starred restaurant in the world for south west coastal Indian cuisine. Chef Sriram Aylur is known for creating dishes 'from the villages of Kerala to the streets of central London' and the restaurant has received awards for its wine lists and is known for its beer matching and 50-strong whisky list.
Posted 27/1/11
Kiwi Collection's 2010 Luxury Travel Trends
Luxury booking resource Kiwi Collection has released its first-ever Top 100 Destination list. The list was compiled from analytics from their website analytics and showcases the most popular hotel and resort destinations from a combination of consumer reservations and research browsing during 2010. President and CEO Philippe Kjellgren says, "Compiling such data provides insightful information into consumer behaviour and possible trends for 2011". Key observations show that New York welcomed a larger number of visitors than expected due to a weakened dollar, Asia continues to grow and claimed four of the top ten places, Turks and Caicos has become the number one Caribbean destination and Koh Samui has overtaken Phuket as Thailand's leading luxury beach resort destination. Book your hotel with Kiwi Collection on any of our Hotel Review pages. Book here.
Kiwi Collection's Top Ten:
1. New York, 2. Dubai, 3. London, 4. Paris, 5. Singapore, 6. Bangkok, 7. Vancouver, 8. Hong Kong S.A.R. , 9. Florence,
10. Koh Samui
Posted 26/1/11
Heston takes on airplane food
2011 will be a busy year for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Not only is his new restaurant 'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' at Mandarin Oriental Hype Park has just opened J but he is now taking on airplane food. Readers in the luxe poll are currently casting their opinion on the subject and the standard of airplane food will come under scrutiny on Blumenthal's new television show, Michelin Impossible. One episode will see him preparing food on British Airways flights where he serves Shepherd's Pie as research - the dish was voted as the one most people wanted to eat up in the air. In typical Heston-style he takes a science-based approach to the food and researches how high pressure in air cabins reduces the sensitivity of taste buds. www.mandarinoriental.com/london/dining/heston_blumenthal/
Posted 25/1/11
High dining in Dubai
The world's tallest restaurant has now opened in Dubai. At.mosphere has opened at the Burj Khalifa on the 122nd floor of the tower. The restaurant is accessable via a minute-long elevator ride in a private chrome and glass lift and sits two floors below At the Top, the building's observation deck and at a height of over 442 metres (1,350 feet). At.mosphere seats 210 guests and features a main dining room as well as private dining rooms and display cooking stations. Previously the world's highest restaurant was 360 in Toronto's CN Tower. Unsurprisingly the restaurant serves only the finest food and wine but perhaps at this height do not overindulge too much on the vino.
Burj Khalifa also houses the Armani Hotel, Dubai
Posted 24/1/11
Japan Blossoms
The first ever Blossom Japan luxury travel show, which brings together the top names from the international travel industry and their counterparts in Japan, kicked off in style this week. The event, masterminded by Jay Martens one of TLTB's favourite people, has brought together names like Aman Resorts, Silversea , dmAfrica, Park Hyatt, and Sun International. We predict much luxury business will be done and Japan could be the new 'it' destinanton for 2011/2012. The Luxury Travel Bible is a media partner for the event. www.blossomjapan.com
Posted 21/1/11
A Right Royal Rendevous

Cunard Line has just announced details of an historic royal rendezvous planned for Sydney this February, when Queen Mary 2 and the new Queen Elizabeth will meet on Sydney Harbour for the first time. Now that is a seriously BIG meeting, given the size of the two grand dames in question. The RR on February 22-23 will mark Queen Elizabeth's first visit to Australia on her inaugural world voyage and the first time she and her larger sister, Queen Mary 2, have met outside QM2's homeports of Southampton and New York.

The Queens will meet off Sydney Heads shortly before 5.30am on February 22, before Queen Mary 2 leads her younger sister into the Harbour - the first time two Cunard liners have ever arrived in Sydney in tandem. Queen Elizabeth will berth at Circular Quay at around 7am, sounding her whistle to say hi to sister Mary. www.cunard.com
Posted 20/1/11
Arrive In Style At Jade Mountain, St Lucia
Jade Mountain, St Lucia's ultra-exclusive island resort, is now offering guests the chance to make their holiday even more glamorous, at least for a limited period. Now all guests staying for 5 nights or more between the 1st February and 31st March 2011 will receive a free helicopter transfer to whisk them straight from the St Lucia Hewanorra Airport to the resorts helipad in true James Bond style.
Posted 19/1/11
Three Michelin Star dining on River Cloud II
Recently voted most innovative chef of the year by the readers of Diner's Club magazine, Nils Henkel, chef de cuisine and owner of Lerbach Restaurant in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany will be on board the luxurious River Cloud II from 3 to 10 September 2011. Henkel's restaurant has three Michelin stars so while you are cruising from Passau to Budapest, via Austria and Slovakia you be treated to such culinary highlights as wine and Wachau chocolate tastings in Krems, Austria; a degustation of Viennese specialties, and an on board caviar dinner well as a caviar dinner on board . www.seacloud.com
Posted 18/1/11
Recently voted most innovative chef of the year by the readers of Diner's Club magazine, Nils Henkel, chef de cuisine and owner of Lerbach Restaurant in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany will be on board the luxurious River Cloud II from 3 to 10 September 2011. Henkel's restaurant has three Michelin stars so while you are cruising from Passau to Budapest, via Austria and Slovakia you be treated to such culinary highlights as wine and Wachau chocolate tastings in Krems, Austria; a degustation of Viennese specialties, and an on board caviar dinner well as a caviar dinner on board . www.seacloud.com
Posted 18/1/11
New lounge for Gatwick
From May the holiday can begin before you even get on the plane. No.1 Traveller will open its newest lounge at Gatwick Airport's North Terminal offering guests the chance to enjoy a pre-travel pampering session. Building on their success at the award-winning South Terminal lounge this new facility will feature a travel spa, business centre, mini-cinema, aquarium and games room to deliver the ultimate pre-flight experience. The lounge will also offers complimentary food and refreshments, newspapers, magazines, television and wi-fi. As well as the Gatwick south Terminal lounge No. 1 Traveller also operate lounges at London Stansted. The company also offer chauffeur-driven airport transfers to and from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow. Bookings can be made online for the new North Terminal lounge for dates starting from 17th May.
Posted 17/1/11
Carnival's Sydney Home
Sydney is becoming an ever more popular port for visiting liners. A point proved last week when the world's largest cruise line - Carnival Cruise Lines - announced it will base one of its cruise ships fulltime in Australia. The 88,500 tonne Carnival Spirit will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail year round from Australia when she arrives in Sydney in October 2012. Carrying 2,667 passengers, Carnival Spirit will be the first ship to be based in Sydney year round that is too tall to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 53 metres above the waterline, she is more than three metres taller than the specified clearance height for ships passing under the famous bridge so the ship will be based at Circular Quay's Overseas Passenger Terminal.
Posted 17/1/11
Fashionable Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

Award winning fashion designer Amanda Wakeley OBE will be holding a fashion show at The Dorchester during Afternoon Tea on Wednesday February 2. The Promenade at The Dorchester will be transformed with Wakeley's London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 collection. London Fashionistas at the tea will have the opportunity to view the collection from a viewpoint usually reserved for fashion press and A-listers. Guests will also have access to her exclusive personal styling service, an expert team headed by Bridget Bowen offering individually tailored shopping advice to deliver the ultimate bespoke service suited to each client. Amanda herself will also be table-hopping to solve guests' personal shopping queries and share her experiences of the fashion industry ( The Luxury Travel Bible loves a little bit of fashion talk and gossip over tea!). The ticket also includes a 10% on Amanda Wakeley purchases made between 3rd February and 31st March 2011, at the Amanda Wakeley flagship store on Fulham Road.

With expert advice and catwalk inspiration guests attending the Amanda Wakeley Fashion Week Tea are sure to have the most fashionable of holiday wardrobes.

The Amanda Wakeley Fashion Tea will take place at The Dorchester on Wednesday 2nd February. Afternoon tea will be served at two sittings, 2.15pm and 4.45pm, and is priced at £48.00 per adult including a glass of champagne.
Posted 14/1/11
A royal celebration
Despite the snow a royal-worthy celebration will be held tonight (13/1/11) in New York Harbour to celebrate the meeting of Cunard's three "Queen" ships. The newest ship of the fleet, the Queen Elizabeth sailed into her new North American port at Pier 88 Manhattan Cruise Terminal this morning. Tonight she will join Queen Mary II and the Queen Victoria and then the three Queens will sail to the harbour for the 'Royal Rendezvous' for a firework celebration in front of the Statue of Liberty. The ships will depart from their terminals at 6pm approx and the fireworks will commence at 6.40pm approx. Viewing locations include Battery Park, Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park, The Esplanade and Hudson River Park. www.cunard.co.uk/rendezvous
Posted 13/1/11
London Four Seasons Hotel to re-open

Four Seasons hotel London at Park Lane is set to re-open at the end of the month after an extensive refurbishment project. The newly renovated 192 room hotel in the heart of Mayfair includes 45 suites and a new all-glass top floor spa which will offer 360 degree views over the English capital. The hotel's new and improved interiors have been designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, who has also designed Four Seasons hotels in Europe and America.

London at Park Lane's Amarnato is a single dining destination consisting of three different areas - restaurant, bar and lounge - and will serve an Italian-inspired menu throughout the day. The Amarnato restaurant will offer also al fresco dining in the private garden, Amarnato bar features a glass wall of wine bottle for a social drink while Amarnato Lounge offers a casual meeting place. London at Park Lane re-opens January 31, 2011 www.fourseasons.com/london
Posted 13/1/11
'Redemption in America' at The Greenbrier
One of the greatest boxers of all time is going to The Greenbrier on January 22. The West Virginia hotel will host Evander Holyfield, the only 5-time Heavyweight Champion of the World as he takes on Sherman "Tank" Williams on his quest to regain the world heavyweight title for a 6th time. The hotel are promising a "spectacular American comeback" for Holyfield and the night will feature six other professional fights and musical performances. The hotel is offering a number of packages for this black tie event which are selling out fast. The 'Premium Executive Suite' Package includes two ringside tickets to 'Redemption in America', two nights stay in Premium Executive suite, complimentary meal at Greenbrier restaurants and a meet-and-greet with the boxers, access to workouts and sparring, weigh-ins & press conference. http://www.greenbrier.com/
Posted 13/1/11
Aiport fit for 007 opens today
The new Ian Fleming International Airport, located five miles from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, opens today (12/1/11). After having undergone a $300 million upgrade scheme the airport now features a passenger lounge, customs and international clearance, pilot briefing room and specialized services for private aircrafts. The airport is named after James Bond author Ian Fleming who wrote all 17 of his James Bond novels in Jamaica.
As The Luxury Travel Bible reported last year the airport was previously known as the Boscobel Airstrip and has been developed to accomadate the arrival of private international air crafts. The new airport is Jamaica's third international airport and will provide private aircraft travellers easy and efficient service close to popular destinations on the eastern part of the island.
Posted 12/1/11
Stapleford Park to host Senior Golf
2011 is set to be an exciting year at Stapleford Park. As The Luxury Travel Bible reported yesterday they now have a new Head Chef after the promotion of David Ellams. The hotel has now announced that following the success of last year's inaugural event the hotel will host the European Senior Tour golf tournament from June 3-5 for the second edition of the ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society), Handa Senior Masters. Last year the tournament attracted the likes of Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, who are both former Ryder Cup Captains and ISPS ambassadors. Last year's champion, Scotland's Bill Longmuir says "I love staying at the Stapleford Park Country House and the course is fantastic. I can't wait to get back there".
The ISPS Handa Senior Masters is one of five events on the 2011 Senior Tour schedule supported by ISPS. www.ispsgolf.com www.staplefordpark.com
Posted 12/1/11
Photography expedition to Antarctica
Aurora Expeditions will be hosting a photographic expedition to Antarctica where passengers will be accompanied by two professional photographers, David Burren and Martin Bailey from LuminOdyssey. This 25 day trip is available for just 27 passengers and is suitable for all levels of both film and digital photographers. Prior to the trip David and Martin will be available to advise regarding photography equipment. During the passage to Antarctica they will present classes and seminars to help prepare guests for the Peninsula & Falkland Islands, and these will continue throughout the voyage.
Beginning in Ushuaia at the Southern tip of Argentina and heading south over the Drake Passage to spend a week on the Antarctic Peninsula before cruising north. Time will be spent exploring the historic and rich wildlife at Vernadsky Station, taking in the spectacular rugged coastline from Lemaire Channel to the Gerlache Strait as you head northwards to King George Island. Expect to see fur and elephant seals as well as adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. Continuing north, passing the spectacular cliffs of the Falkland Islands, home to an abundance of breeding birds and the world's largest black browed albatross colony at Steeple Jason Island then towards Atlantic Patagonia. Following the steps of Darwin, guests will explore the wildlife, visiting Puerto Desaedo, Bahia Bustamante and the waters around Peninsula Valdes and the spectacle of orcas feeding on young sea lions at Punta Norte before sailing into the port of Mar del Plata.
For further information about this once in a lifetime expedition http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/
Posted 11/1/11
New Head Chef for Stapleford Park
Stapleford Park, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, have announced that David Ellams has been promoted to Head Chef. He brings 13 years of experience including time Overton Grange, Summer Lodge, Mortons House and 3 years at Stapleford Park as Executive Sous Chef to his new role. As part of his promotion Stapleford Park will be launching a new menu which will enhance a more relaxed dining experience at the hotel. Shuif Hussain, Managing Director, says "We are delighted to see David graduate to Head Chef. David has been a valuable member of the team over the last few years and has played a key role in building up the Stapleford Park dining reputation" http://www.staplefordpark.com/
Posted 11/1/11
Expertly chosen Cheese and Whiskey menu
British song-writer turned cheese aficionado Alex James has teamed up with The Athenaeum hotel's head chef David Marshall and resident whisky sommelier, Angelo Gobbi to create a unique Cheese and Whiskey food-pairing menu. The menu is a celebration of the hotel's whiskey bar which The Luxury Travel Bible reported on last year. In addition to the menu these food and drink experts have created the hotel's very own scotch-infused cream cheese called 'Athenaeum'.
Alex James developed his knowledge of cheese following a move to the country and building his own award-winning cheese factory. He says "The range of flavours spanned by first class cheese and whisky is so vast that matching them can be quite a tricky business. The Athenaeum team and I feel confident we have found the ultimate combinations of superlative whisky and fine cheese".
The menu can be enjoyed in the bar, which offers over 270 rare whiskies, or in the comfort of their own room. With these three experts' vast knowledge of fine food and drink TLTB expects the menu to be nothing less than mouth-watering. http://www.athenaeumhotel.com/
Posted 10/1/11
One for the Junior Luxies ...
The Luxury Travel Bible knows that theme parks are not everyone's idea of fun but we also know the Junior Luxies sometimes think differently from their parents. That's why we think they will enjoy this Harry Potter story out of Florida. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida has sold its millionth Butterbeer, proving it to be the drink of choice for all trainee wizards. Butterbeer, which was taste-tested by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, is a non-alcoholic, frothy drink reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch and is served either cold or frozen. There has been much speculation since the park's June 18 2010 opening about Butterbeer's secret ingredients - but Universal Orlando will not share the closely guarded recipe, even implementing special security procedures to protect the recipe! To celebrate selling its millionth Butterbeer 1,000 complimentary Butterbeers were served to guests within the park on the streets of Hogsmeade.
Inspired by the Harry Potter books and movies The Wizarding World of Harry Potter brings the wonder, excitement and adventure of Harry Potter to life. www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/
Posted 7/1/11
Rainforest Spa opens
St Lucia resort The Jalousie Plantation has opened its new Rainforest Spa. The spa lives up to its name with seven tree house treatment rooms tucked amid the lush vegetation and cathedral buttressed trees on and a stream, warmed by the nearby volcano, weaves its way below the treatment rooms. To mark the opening the resort is including a complimentary Rainforest Spa signature Bamboo massage, and manicure or pedicure per booking to give guests the opportunity to experience the all new Rainforest Spa with its tree house treatment rooms and Amerindian steam room. http://www.thejalousieplantation.com/
Posted 6/1/11
Monarch launch new flights
Monarch airline is celebrating the New Year with the launch of a new scheduled flight to Paphos, on the island of Cyprus. Starting from May 4th this new flight we will operate twice per week from Birmingham and Manchester. Monarch already carries over 300,000 passengers a year to Cyprus since the launch of flights to Larnaca in 2007. Monarch operates flights from four airports in England to Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Cyprus and Turkey. The Luxury Travel Bible recently flew from Gibraltar to London and was impressed with Monarch's friendly, efficient service and the extra-legroom seats (which offer up to six inches of extra space - OK it isn't first class but still..). A big thank you must also be say to the crew, in particular Colleen who was extremely helpful when there was a mix-up with TLTB's pre-booked lunch. The issue was solved immediately with a friendly smile - all we could ask for (well, that and knives that aren't plastic...) It made flying back from the sun to snowy London a little bit easier. http://www.monarch.co.uk/
Posted 6/1/11
Ritz-Carlton opens first hotel of 2011
The Ritz-Carlton hotel group are kicking off 2011 with their first opening of the year. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre will welcome guests from January 12. The hotel located in the financial district, stands 14 storeys high and its limestone facade and art deco style will grace the skyline alongside Dubai's skyscrapers. The hotel has eight water features, include a 10-story outdoor waterfall which cascades down the building into the courtyard opposite the lobby. The water features play on the feng shui belief that water signifies wealth and prosperity. The hotel will also feature Dubai's only chocolate and champagne experience in The Lobby Lounge & Terrace.
The 341-room hotel, which has 124 executive residences, will be the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and the sixth in the region. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/
Posted 5/1/11
Korean Air's Business Only Deck
Korean Air is the latest airline to announce that it is adding an Airbus A380 service. The Korean Air A380?s entire upper deck will be completely devoted to their business-class passengers. The Prestige Class will offer 94 flat sleeper beds to business travellers with extra-large seat partitions. Korean Air?s A380s will feature 12 seats in first class, 94 in Prestige and 301 in economy - 407 seats in total. The airline has ordered 10 A380, with the first five delivered by the end of 2011 and the additional five to be delivered by 2014. The A380S will fly short haul routes to Japan and East Asia from May and then U.S and European routes will be added in August. http://www.koreanair.com/
Posted 5/1/11
Casa de Campo joins Leading Hotels of the World
Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic has been announced as a new member of "Leading Hotels of the World". Located alongside the warm Caribbean Sea, on the southeast coast, the resort is known for offering a sophisticated, diverse range of activities for those wanting action, adventure or relaxation. The recently redesigned resort has a marina and yacht club, beaches, shooting range, three golf courses designed by Pete Dye, including the famous Teeth of the Dog field, an equestrian centre, polo club and the Cygalle Healing Spa. Casa de Campo recently also won "Best World Golf Resorts" award at the 17th World Travel Awards in London.
Posted 4/1/11
Federer and Nadal walk on water
Rain didn't stop play but there was always a risk of a flooded court. As they gear up for another tennis year rivals Rodger Federer and Rafael Nadal took part in a tennis match in Qatar. The only difference to their usual thrilling on-court encounters is that this took place on a specially made court on a floating platform on a lagoon in Doha Bay. The meeting between the Swiss and Spanish tennis legends was to promote the city, one day before the start of the Qatar Open tournament where they are the top two seeds.
Of course, Federer is no stranger to unusual tennis courts. In 2005 he famously took on Andre Agassi in an exhibition match 700ft off the ground on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in 2005. To see the photos from the Qatar match click here.
Posted 3/1/11
Westwood's first golf academy outside UK
World Number One golfer Lee Westwood is to open his first overseas junior golf academy next summer at the Spainish five-star La Manga Club resort. Already a popular resort for active families this latest facility will allow junior luxies to follow in the footsteps of one of the world's best golfers. The academy will operate between August 1-5 and also 8-12 will follow a programme designed by Westwood, teaching children all aspects of the game. The academy will run for two hours each day and will be open to boys and girls aged between seven to 11 and 12-16 years. Westwood said: "I am delighted to be working with La Manga Club on my first academy outside of the UK. I hope that the principles that have helped me to rise to the top of the game will be a source of great benefit and encouragement to young players both on and off the golf course." www.lamangaclub.com
Posted 22/12/10
World Number One golfer Lee Westwood is to open his first overseas junior golf academy next summer at the Spainish five-star La Manga Club resort. Already a popular resort for active families this latest facility will allow junior luxies to follow in the footsteps of one of the world's best golfers. The academy will operate between August 1-5 and also 8-12 will follow a programme designed by Westwood, teaching children all aspects of the game. The academy will run for two hours each day and will be open to boys and girls aged between seven to 11 and 12-16 years. Westwood said: "I am delighted to be working with La Manga Club on my first academy outside of the UK. I hope that the principles that have helped me to rise to the top of the game will be a source of great benefit and encouragement to young players both on and off the golf course." www.lamangaclub.com
Posted 22/12/10
Sleep like a King

Part of the Palace of Versailles, once the setting for French state affairs, popular tourist destination and symbol of French decadence, is set to accommodate guests from late 2011. Belgian company, Ivy International SA, is to turn The Hotel du Grand Controle, traditionally home to the palace's treasurers, into a luxury 23-bedroom hotel. The 5.5 million euro (7.3 million US dollars) renovation of the 1,700 square-metre building, which was built in the 1680s by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, will be led by Frederic Didier, chief architect for historic monuments. The company will lease the building for 30 years and pay back rent each year to the Chateau de Versailles. This fee will be used to complete necessary renovation work to the building.

The construction of this new hotel was made possible by a 2009 agreement between the French Culture Ministry and the Tourism Department that was intended to boost the economic development of French historical and cultural landmarks.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre has named the Palace of Versailles as one of the greatest achievements of 18th-century French art. en.chateauversailles.fr
Posted 21/12/10
Asia's first 'Snow Polo'
The recently opened Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club ("Metropolitan Polo Club"), with the largest facilities in China, will host Asia's first 'Snow Polo' tournament from February 15th to 20th 2011. The tournament, which follows the Chinese New Year holidays, will have an Alpine village and ice sculptures as its backdrop. This prestigious competition will be played between six teams from the world's leading polo playing nations: England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and China. Two matches will be played daily in a league format, 14 goal open, during the week-long event.
Posted 20/12/10
O' Christmas Tree, how luxurious are your branches
What is thought to be the world's most expensive Christmas tree has been unveiled by Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi. Located in the hotel's lobby the 13-metre fake tree is decorated with silver and gold bows, ornaments and fairy lights. So far, so normal. What takes this tree into the luxury sphere is the diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones necklaces, earrings and other jewellery draped over the branches. The estimated value of the decorations is over $US11million. The hotel plan to contact the Guinness Book of Records about the tree, which will remain in the hotel lobby until the end of the year, to see if it qualifies.
We have come to expect nothing less from the hotel that introduced a vending machine that dispenses gold bars (in weights of 1 gram, 5 gram and 10 gram gold bar as well as gold coins) in March.
Posted 16/12/10
Skypoint Observation Deck Relaunched
The Luxury Travel Bible enjoyed a heavenly evening at the relaunch of the new Skypoint Observation Deck, Q1's top attraction, last night. The highlight was watching winged angels pour Champagne from above a sparkling ensemble of guests who included Australian motorcycle legend and local Mick Doohan. Donned in flowing white drapery and blue mood lighting the deck lounge provided a magical cloud-like setting to watch a dramatic sunset over the glittering Gold Coast. TLTB anticipates this will quickly become one of the GC's hottest spots to party on Friday and Saturday nights - with a DJ providing the sky tunes from 8pm. http://www.q1.com.au/
Posted 15/12/10
'Ice' on the Cake

Eco retreat Fr¨¦gate Island Private, in the Seychelles have created the world's most exclusive dessert. Teaming up with diamond cutting company, Rosy Blue, the diamond-studded dessert is worth in excess of US$5 million. This one-of-a-kind chocolate tart was created by Maitre Andre Barbe, Fr¨¦gate's chef patissier and is decorated with no fewer than 929 diamonds, totalling 151.92 carats - including seven individual stones of between 5.05 and 9.04 carats. The dessert also comes with two First Class Emirates tickets to the Seychelles from any destination in the world and one week stay for two at the retreat. The dessert's purchaser can choose which private location on the retreat to present the dessert. The Luxury Travel Bible can't think of any better 'frosting' for dessert on Valentine's day (or any other day for that matter).

The diamonds, independently certified by the Gemological Institute of America, include one worth over US$1million on its own - an 8.04 carat, internally flawless Round Brilliant stone colour graded D. A further two internally flawless stones weigh 7.05 and 6.63 carats respectively, while the largest of the diamonds, at 9.04 carats, is graded VVS1 for clarity. www.fregate.com
Posted 15/12/10
Q1's QDeck to be unveiled
Gold Coast icon Q1 and its top attraction will hit the spotlight again tonight when the million-dollar makeover of the QDeck is unveiled. VIP guests attending the party in the sky at the new Skypoint Observation Deck will enjoy unrivalled views of the coast from Australia's highest altitude bar - accompanied by signature cocktails and canap¨¦s and music by rising star DJ Havanna Brown.
While a sophisticated cocktail lounge by night, by day visitors to the deck will also be able to learn more about the Gold Coast's iconic surf history and view some exclusive memorabilia at the brand new Surf World as well as check out the brand new theatrette with "Icons of the Gold Coast" paying homage to the people that have shaped this glittering city.The Observation Deck is the newest attraction for Ardent Leisure which owns the Gold Coast's popular Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks. http://www.q1.com.au/
Posted 14/12/10
Lufthansa adds A380 to JFK-Frankfurt route
Another airline is adding the A380 on a route into New York's JFK airport. Lufthansa will begin flying an A380 route into JFK from February 18 next year, operating a twice-weekly service to Frankfurt. The airline will increase the service on the JFK-Frankfurt route building up to a daily service by mid-April. Lufthansa will become the third airline to fly A380 to JFK, following Emirates and Air France. JFK will become Lufthansa's fourth A380 destination joining Beijing, Johannesburg and Tokyo. http://www.lufthansa.com/
Posted 14/12/10
Relais Santa Croce joins Relais & Châteaux
Relais Santa Croce, the Florentine property of the Baglioni Hotels Collection, has been announced as the latest member of the Relais & Châteaux association. This historic hotel sits in the heart of Florence and is housed in a palace built by the Marquis Baldinucci in 1700. Since its recent restoration great care has been taken to preserve the furnishings, fabrics and original frescoes. The 24 individual rooms are all decorated with antiques and furniture by Italian designers. Relais Santa Croce is part of the Baglioni Hotels Collection , which has 11 properties, including Luna Hotel Baglioni.
Posted 13/12/10
Etihad Airways open new premium lounge
Etihad Airways have opened its latest premium lounge in Manchester Airport's Terminal 1. Continuing the airlines commitment to the North West of England the Etihad Pearl Business class guests were the first to experience the lounge following the official opening by Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) manager, Roberto Mancini; Garry Cook, MCFC Chief Executive; and Mike Summerbee, MCFC ambassador.
The lounge features include five-star dining facilities, business centre, family room for the junior luxies, relaxation area, prayer room and expansive views over the airport's runway. The lounge will also feature a specially designed gallery showcasing memorabilia of Manchester City Football Club, which Etihad has sponsored since 2009.
Posted 10/12/10
Let's go to the Movies

As the official hotel partner for Sydney, Australia's St. George OpenAir cinema, InterContinental Sydney is offering the ultimate VIP pre- and post-cinema experience. Sydney's open air cinema allows movie-goers to experience a movie under the stars against the stunning Sydney Harbour backdrop. Sydney InterContinental's Open Air Cinema package includes overnight accommodation at InterContinental Sydney, valet parking and two adult tickets to St George Open Air Cinema, located just minutes from the hotel in the Royal Botanic Gardens. To complete the VIP experience guest can upgrade to a Club InterContinental guest room and gain access to the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge featuring an outdoor terrace and breathtaking views over the harbour. The lounge includes deluxe breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, and extensive pre-cinema drinks and canap¨¦s.

InterContinental Sydney's Open Air package is available throughout the 36-night, 2011 season of St.George OpenAir Cinema, commencing January 12 and closing on
Posted 9/12/10
Stargazing at Ayers Rock Resort
Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park is always a spectacular location to visit however during upcoming dates in December it is even more special. Two rare astronomic events will be occurring and guests at Ayers Rock Resort, gateway to the National Park, will be able to witness the Geminids Meteor Shower which will peak on the 13 and 14 December where there may be up to 120 meterors per hour visible in the sky. On the 21 December guests will witness a rare total lunar eclipse. The famed Sounds of Silence dining experience which is served in the desert under the stars will be on offer by the resort. http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/
Posted 9/12/10
Vigilius Mountain Resort's new chef
Design Hotels member Vigilius Mountain Resort has announced Mauro Buffo as its new chef at their Restaurant 1500 from February 2011. The luxurious eco-resort's restaurant is known for its diverse menu and modern menu. Buffo will also serve gluten free dishes. Buffo will create a range of themed menus that will reflect his many stints and travels around the world but will also be paying homage to the region's culinary traditions and make use of the local ingredients from the area's farms. The wine cellar at Restaurant 1500 is very well stocked to compliment the dishes on offer. The Vigilius Mountain Resort is located at a 1,500 metres altitude and is only accessible by cable car. www.designhotels.com/vigilius
Posted 8/12/10
Much better than socks - for the person that has everything
One of the big questions this time of year is ' What do you give the person who has everything?' One option is a voucher to stay at luxury Huka Lodge, New Zealand - so much better than a pair of socks! To be used during 2011 the packages range from a three course lunch by Michelin-starred chef Michel Louws to a champagne helicopter ride over the region's spectacular mountain and lake scenery. The vouchers are also redeemable for a stay at the lodge which was designed by luxury hotels designer, Virignia Fisher.
Posted 7/12/10
Hansar Bangkok opens January 2011
Will this be one of the first hotel openings of 2011? The new 94-suite Hansar Bangkok will open its doors on 4th January 2011. Each of the 94 suites feature contemporary design by Singapore based WOHA, and wi-fi, flatscreen TVs, DVD players and iPod docking stations, blissful king-sized plus beds, rainshowers and free-standing terrazzo bathtubs. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World the hotel is part of Hansar Hotels and Resorts which opened Hansar Samui, a 74 room beachfront resort, in July. http://www.hansarbangkok.com/ http://www.slh.com/hansarbangkok
Posted 6/12/10
Reservations for Heston Blumenthal now open
Reservations will open at 9am today (1/12/2010) for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's first London restaurant 'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. This new restaurant will open its doors in January 2011 and will offer guests uninterrupted views over Hyde Park, floor to ceiling glass walls giving a glimpse into the open kitchen and a 'contemporary stainless steel pulley system modelled on a 16th century design for the Royal British Court's kitchens, the gears and cranks of which resemble the craftsmanship of an oversized watch, mechanically rotating a spit over an open fire'. Serving lunch, dinner and afternoon tea the kitchen will be headed by Ashley Palmer-Watts who has worked with Blumenthal at his 'The Fat Duck' restaurant for nine years as Group Executive Chef. With dishes such as snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream making Blumenthal famous those wishing to be one of the first to experience his novel approach to food in the capital should book quickly. www.mandarinoriental.com/london/
Posted 1/12/10
Chocolate at 57 stories high
The Club at Marina Bay Sands a brand-new executive-floor lounge located at Sands SkyPark has now officially opened to club and suite guests. Located on the top of Hotel Tower 2, at a height of 200 meters, this 218-seat lounge will offer guests views of the city skyline from dawn to dusk. Guests will have use of all-day non-alcoholic beverages, free wireless internet and use of iPads and laptops.
Between the hours of 7am to 7pm guests can enjoy their complimentary breakfast, Afternoon Tea, evening cocktails, champagne and canap¨¦s. From 8pm The Club will turn into Singapore's first Chocolate Bar. This chocolate buffet, some 57 stories high, offers 57 chocolate-themed dishes crafted by hand with Valrhona chocolate and created by executive pastry chef Alejandro Luna and his team. The Chocolate Bar will also be available to the general public. http://www.marinabaysands.com/
Posted 30/11/10
Hotels with a Heart
The Luxury Travel Bible loves a hotel with a heart. As part of the Winter promotion from the 5th to the 31st January two boutique townhouse hotels will be doing their bit for charity when they raise funds for children in the UK and abroad. Located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea The Cranley Hotel and The Royal Park Hotel, situated on the edge of Hyde Park will be charging a flat rate of £50 (subject to availability) including a continental breakfast. Guests will then be asked to pay what they believe the stay is actually worth. Any money received over the £50 (+VAT) rate at The Cranley will be donated to Ndoro Children's Charity. Money raised at The Royal Park will be donated to the NSPCC. http://www.thecranley.com/ http://www.theroyalpark.com/
Posted 30/11/10
The Savoy Grill re-opens
With a history dating back from 1889 and a rich history of stars, glamour and style it is a welcome return for The Savoy Grill. After the major refurbishment of The Savoy one of London's most iconic restaurants is reopening, as part of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, today (29/11/10). Chef Director, Stuart Gillies, alongside Head Chef Andy Cook, have created a menu that is inspired by classic British and French dishes. The Russell Sage Studio is responsible for the restoration and design of the dining room and has been careful to preserve the room's original table plan which features the regular tables of celebrated figures such as Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Art Deco inspired chandeliers, lustrous wood panelling, antique mirrors, luxurious mohair velvet coverings and gold leaf-lined faux turtle shell-clad walls will bring a new level of elegance to the room while restoring it to its former glory. The Luxury Travel Bible says ... "Welcome back". www.fairmont.com/savoy www.gordonramsay.com/thesavoygrill/
Posted 29/11/10
Wolfgang Puck to open first European restaurant
Wolfgang Puck is to open his first European restaurant in the Dorchester Collection's new hotel, 45 Park Lane, London. Scheduled to open in spring 2011, Puck will bring his popular and award winning brand to the London dining scene. 'CUT at 45 Park Lane' will be serving the steaks, seafood and a carefully crafted wine list that has brought Puck acclaim in the United States. The chef says, "With its sharp design and incomparable service, Dorchester Collection's 45 Park Lane will be the perfect address for CUT in London". The Luxury Travel Bible can't wait to try out Wolfgang Puck's innovative cusine in a new European setting.
Posted 26/11/10
W Hotels debuts in Southeast Asia
W Hotels debuts its first hotel in Southeast Asia with the newly opened W Retreat Koh Samui. An all-villa beachfront resort is located at the peak of the north short of Thailand's Samui Island. With the vibrancy and design The Luxury Travel Bible has come to expect when checking into a W Hotel this new hotel also offers panoramic sunrise and sunset view of the Gulf of Thailand and each of the 75 villas include private pools, Yamaha sound system, plasma screen, the signature W bed and W Hotel's Whatever/Whenever® service. The opening of W Koh Samui also marks another milestone as W Hotels continues to grow and are now on track to double its portfolio to more than 50 hotels by 2012. www.whotels.com/kohsamui
Posted 25/11/10
Jamaica's new airport
Jamaica will open its third international airport next month. Formally known as the Boscobel Airstrip the new Ian Flemming International Airport has been developed to accomadate the arrival of private international air crafts. Located five miles from Ocho Rios the airport features a passenger lounge, customs and international clearnacne, pilot briefing room and specialized services for private aircrafts. The Ian Flemming International Airport, according to the country's Director of Tourism will provide private aircraft travellers easy and efficient service close to popular destinations on the eastern part of the island. www.visitjamaica.com/
Posted 24/11/10
Shangri-La heads to Europe
The Luxury Travel Bible is pleased to learn that Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts new Paris hotel in the French capital's 16th arrondissement will open on the 17 December 2010. This new hotel will be the group's first hotel in Europe. Built in 1896 as the private home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's grand-nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris manages to achieve a balance between the group's signature style of hospitality and the French art de vivre. This new hotel offers 81 rooms including 27 suites, and internationally acclaimed interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has crafted each room individually and the hotel offers 40 per cent of rooms and 60 per cent of suites unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine. www.shangri‑la.com
Posted 23/11/10
Mini Cooper, Major Style
The Peninsula New York and The Peninsula Chicago have unveiled two customised Mini Cooper S Clubman vehicles for suite guests looking for complimentary transport for shopping sprees or sightseeing. Guests at the two hotels have access to the chauffeur driven cars for up to three hours a day. Tours at the Peninsula New York are available on the guest's choice of iPhone or iPad, which is available for the duration of their stay. Peninsula Chicago guests have use of an iPhone which provides directions and information for various excursions. Mini engineers have taken into consideration the hotel group and their guests' requirments to customise the cars. The Luxury Travel Bible are fans of the custom-illuminated Peninsula logo on door entry sills, the leather finishing, the signature Peninsula Green colour (to match the other vehicles in the hotel's fleet) and mini fridge with complimentary refreshments (well, all that sightseeing can be quite exhausting). www.peninsula.com
Posted 22/11/10
An Officer, a Gentleman and an Innkeeper
It seems like November is the month of Celebrity Ambassadors. Richard Gere, star of Pretty Woman, has been named the 2011 Ambassador of Relais & Châteaux. Gere was chosen as ambassador, due to being a " quintessential innkeeper whose personal journey to revive and maintain a historic property is an exceptional example of the passion that binds Relais & Châteaux together".
Gere is innkeeper of the Bedford Post, an eight-bedroom propety located about an hour north of New York City, with his wife Carey Lowell and their business partner Russell Hernandez. Gere himself notes that throughout his long career and the many challenging roles he has played none have been as hard as that of "Innkeeper". Bedford Post was taken on by Gere as an act of preservation in order to provide a gathering place for his local community. It was transformed into a club house with fine food and wine and a serene art de vivre. Bedford Post is also a new addition to the Relais & Châteaux family. http://www.relaischateaux.com/ , http://www.bedfordpostinn.com/
Posted 19/11/10
Gwinganna's a winner
At the recent AsiaSpa Awards in Hong Kong, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat was voted by 20 international judges as the Spa Retreat of the Year 2010. The only Australian among the list of winners, the award follows last month's Crystal Award for Favourite Spa in Australia by the US-based Spa Finder Reader's Choice Awards. Gwinganna has won that award three years running.
Posted 18/11/10

LAN shortens travel time from Australia
We love that we'll be able to enjoy a South American holiday sooner now that LAN has significantly cut its flight times to Lima from Australia. From January 2, new non-stop flights from Santiago, Chile (departing from 2pm every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), means arriving passengers from Australia will be able to connect to Peru's capital in two hours. Previously passengers had to wait up to eight hours. The new flights (aboard Boeing 737-300 aircraft) will also coincide with the launch of other new flights by LAN, from Lima to Iguassu, home of the spectacular Iguassu Falls, and from Lima to the Chilean territory of Easter Island.

To celebrate LAN is offering an introductory roundtrip fare of AUD $2,719 per person, including taxes and fuel surcharges, from Sydney to Lima. This fare is available for sale until November 28 November, 2010, for travel between January 1-31, 2011 http://www.lan.com/
Posted 17/11/10

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