Here in the News section we like to keep you up to date on all things new in the world of luxury travel. We especially love news that is quirky and fun. If you hear of anything we miss send us an email and it might just get a write up!
Harrods opens first discount outlet
Reserve that British Airways flight for whenever we are allowed to travel again because Harrods is discounting. Their first luxury outlet store opened on Friday at Westfield London with average discounts in the range of 40 – 60 percent.
Shepherd’s Bush is the home to the new store which covers 80,000 square feet – a tad smaller than Knightsbridge’s one million square foot store.
Only 365 customers are allowed in the two floors at one time and will be controlled by customer counting technology.
The bad news is that the outlet is an extended pop up with a lease only until December 31. However it may be extended if the concept takes off.
If you have friends and family in London who owe you a favour ask them nicely to visit to purchase you something from one of over 100 fashion and accessory brands including brands not featured before which include Stella McCartney, Chloe, Vetements, Zimmerman, and Missoni.
I’ve got my fingers crossed for an extension.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book the best in local luxury contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Relais & Chateaux’ Maslina Wellness Resort to open in August
Maslina Resort, a brand-new Relais & Chateaux property and mindful luxury resort with wellness at its core has been selected to become a member of eco and sustainable tourism company, Green Pearls. The chic, five-star resort located on the island of Hvar, Croatia, surpassed the criteria to join Green Pearls ®, which selects its members based on their sustainable initiatives, social commitment and preservation and protection to the environment.
Maslina Resort will open on Maslinica Bay, Hvar, Croatia in August 2020. Mindful luxury and wellness underpin the central values of Maslina Resort’s ethos and its dedication to being in harmony with nature and the surrounding natural environment. The resort purposefully blends in with the nearby olive groves, and the furnishings in the rooms have been made from local and regional materials.
The holistic approach focuses on a natural, mindful and healthy way of life which is felt everywhere in the hotel, including the kitchen. The produce is grown in Maslina Resort’s organic garden and is prepared by former two-Michelin star chef, Patricia Yeo.
The modern wellness area sets its focus on natural oils, fragrances and herbs. The distinctive garden to skin concept is key to Maslina Resort and in line with the property’s culture. The herbs and oils in the spa therapy products are specially developed and cultivated directly from hotel’s organic beach garden.
Maslina Resort aims to promote a positive change in the world, by collaborating and offering a wide array of wellness, adventure and culinary experiences that are ecologically friendly, whilst providing an inspiring atmosphere, promoting mindfulness and sustainable philosophy.
Surrounded by olive groves and terraced vineyards, Maslina Resort has 50 rooms and three villas and stretches across two hectares of lush pine forest overlooking the crystalline Adriatic Sea with wellbeing, family, culture and authenticity at its heart.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book the best in local luxury contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Travel down the Humpback Highway with Go Whale Watching and TravelManagers
Sometimes luxury is about the experience and not just about the bells and whistles. We have discovered a fabulous whale of an adventure with Go Whale Watching. There’s no better time to hit the Humpback Highway off Sydney with a wild winter adventure than now. Whilst you are sharing the boat with up to fifty people, Go Whale Watching has the knack of getting up close to these intelligent creatures. Onboard photographer, Rachelle Mackintosh has captured incredible shots for passengers to remember the experience.
Sydney Whale Season
The annual humpback whale migration occurs in Sydney between May and November, with the whales passing the city on their way to the tropics (where they breed) from Antarctica (where they feed), then back again. This year it’s estimated that between 30,000-38,000 whales will pass the Harbour City on the way to the Sunshine State’s breeding grounds.
Simon and Jessica Millar are a young couple from the South Coast who run Sydney whale watching trip during May to November. They are based in Merimbula, where the summer bushfires all but destroyed their summer cruise business on the South Coast.
Bringing their expertise to Sydney each season, they are now running three boats from Darling Harbour (Bubbles, Explorer and True Blue). On each trip you exit Sydney Heads and into the open ocean to find the whales, spotting them and tracking them via their blows.
Go Whale Watching is just one of the winter adventures TravelManagers’ personal travel managers can organise for you.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book the best in local luxury contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
The Robots have arrived in Tokyo
Tokyo is going beyond their practice of excellent general hygiene with a number of quirky and thought services to keep you feeling safe.
Robots are now providing some services at a selection of hotels in Tokyo. Harry the room service robot a the Shinagawa Prince Hotel N Tower delivers various items to your room for a fee including nightgowns, wine openers and minibar items such as beer, soft drinks and snacks.
Over at the Henn na Hotel you can meet up with the Unibo robot concierge who will give you a variety of facial expressions as well as tourist information.
Automated Taxi Doors
For a first-time visitor to Japan catching a taxi and having the door self-open and close is a wonderful novelty. Introduced for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, it’s perfect for 2020 as there is one less thing to touch when touring around.
This was first designed for celebrities not wanting to eat in public but now it is available for all. Ramen Ichiran has 19 shops in Tokyo with speciality “Flavour Concentration Booths” for private diners. Safe and clean, you can slurp to your ramen without worrying about who may be around.
Restroom “Throne Service”- This aptly named service by Tokyo’s Daimaru Department store is a real time Online Restroom Availability Service so instead of making your way to the restroom location and forming a queue you can find restrooms in the store which are available. One catch – you need to speak Japanese. However the Japanese must be the most hospitable country on earth so just ask a passing local and no doubt they will translate for you.
Michelin Starred Take Away
Fine dining is an art form in Tokyo and eating out is very much a way of life for Tokyoites. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant many restaurants have added home delivery services. Tokyo has more than 220 Michelin Starred restaurants, more than any other city in the world and a lot of these are now accessible via home delivery.
The NT Opens
The NT Borders will open on July 17 along with the reintroduction of Jetstar flights from Sydney and Melbourne. The Ayers Rock Resort will open on August 1.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has completed a $50M refurbishment of Ayers Rock Resort including upgrades to the five-star Sails in the Desert including all guest rooms and suites, the lobby, pool and restaurant.
The 50,000 stems of Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation awaits along with dining under the stars at Sounds of Silence. Free activities are on offer which include guided garden walks, didgeridoo workshops and traditional bush yarns.
To celebrate the resort’s re-opening, Voyages will extend special offers for stays of 2, 3 and 4 or more nights with discounts of up to 50%.The vast landscape of Central Australia already lends itself to social distancing but for the additional safety of guests and staff, Ayers Rock Resort will be implementing strict hygiene measures such as:
- Regular deep cleaning of rooms and public spaces using hospital grade cleaning materials;
- Additional screening of guests arriving into the airport;
- Isolation/quarantine areas on site which can be activated as needed;
- Reduced tour group sizes and agreed health safety programs with all on-site transport and touring companies;
- Comprehensive safety and hygiene training for all staff including mandatory infection control training for COVID-19;
- Enhanced food preparation standards with mandatory PPE requirements for employees; 24/7 in-room dining available at some hotels.
Information on additional safety measures is available on the Ayers Rock Resort website. www.ayersrockresort.com.au/coronavirus-faqs
Voyages is also communicating regularly with Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Mutitjulu management to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect the local Indigenous community, located some 30km from the resort.
News from the West
Quokka Selfies are Back
We all love a selfie and who better to photobomb your insta photo than a cute little quokka from Rottnest Island. Rottnest is welcoming visitors from the West again with accommodation providers now taking bookings, and most of the eateries and activities open for business. The world-famous quokkas are ready to greet their guests with a smile.
First Five Star Hotel for Margaret River
It might be some time before we get to visit our cousins over in the West but hopefully by mid 2023 we will be enjoying their hospitality which will conincide with the opening of Margaret river’s first five star hotel As the first five-star resort in the region, the Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa will be located on the southern headland of Gnarabup Beach – offering pristine views over the Indian Ocean and direct access to the Cape to Cape Walk. The hotel will include 120 guest rooms, onsite dining venues, and meeting and event spaces.
The Season for Black Truffles is here
Winter is the season for black truffles in the Southern Forests region of WA’s South West. Lovers of this foodie delicacy will be pleased to hear that Australian Truffle Traders has commenced its annual truffle hunts for the season. Visitors to the region can follow along with highly trained truffle dogs as they sniff their way through orchards in search of the famous black truffle. At $60 per person, the private truffle hunts are available on Saturday and Sundays during the months of June, July and August. And if you’re looking to purchase fresh WA truffle for your next culinary adventure, Australian Truffle Traders and The Truffle and Wine Co. are now offering online orders of freshly harvested Perigord Truffles, available for delivery throughout Australia. Australian Truffle Traders is also supplying freshly unearthed truffles for purchase at European Foods Marketplace in Osborne Park from June 18. WA’s Southern Forests region is the largest producer of black truffles in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef has been upgraded
Luxury eco-retreat Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef has received an upgrade over the summer months, and is ready to welcome guests from July 1, 2020. Additions include a new lodge area featuring local art; new beach furniture and pathways; and new luxury vehicles and golf buggies for guest transfers. As an opening season special, all guests who book a two or three night stay before June 30, will receive a complimentary night’s stay. The season for 2020 has also been extended to mid-November for the first time.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book the best in local luxury contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Crooked Compass launches luxury New Zealand holidays with Classe
Crooked Compass’s luxe brand Classe has launched with three exclusive itineraries for travellers visiting New Zealand in 2021. The curated excursions offer exclusive wilderness accessed by helicopter and private boat, age-old Maori practices and luxury lodges.
Those who like to mingle with the finest wine makers will love the Myths and Mountains itinerary which entwines storytelling, indigenous culture with food and wine. Kayaking through millennia old caverns with glow worms lighting your way.
This ten day itinerary is available on its own or can be added with The Land Before Time which explores New Zealand’s South Island. Discover Fiordland via helicopter and private boat and spot a wild kiwi on a beach at Steward Island. Age old Maori cultural practices will give you a deeper connection to the life of this land.
These are group tours with a maximum of eight per departure.
In response to COVID-19, Crooked Compass is offering piece-of-mind on bookings made in 2020, honouring pricing and waiving change fees for bookings postponed as a result of COVID-19. Additional health and safety measures will be implemented on all departures, in line with government regulations.
Full itineraries available https://www.crooked-compass.com/tour/myths-mountains-nz-north/
Crooked Compass is a boutique tour operator uncovering the world’s best kept secrets through small group touring and customised itineraries. Created to inspire and educate through culturally immersive experiences and the power of storytelling, itineraries offer travellers a new perspective on a deeply personal level. Crooked Compass strategically and sensitively integrates local communities, aligning with their values and protecting the authenticity of their culture
Your Personal TravelManager can organise a ten or twenty day itinerary including flights and transfers.
Hamilton island opens from August 1, 2020
For those needing a dose of winter sun, get your bikini ready because Hamilton Island is reopening.
Since closing in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Hamilton Island team has been busy rejuvenating the island including extensive cleaning, painting and upgrading and refurbishing the all important main pool areas.
A new ‘Stay Well’ program to protect guests will be introduced such as thermal scanning, enhanced cleaning measures Island wide, and a soon to be cash free environment.
Hamilton Island’s popular events will be organised in line with the new venue capabilities, which allow for social distancing requirements and adhere to government guidelines. Hamilton Island will continue to host both small and larger business events, with venues being able to accommodate up to 250 delegates.
Hamilton Island Race Week, will also go ahead in August but with a limited on-shore schedule. Given the necessary precautions to protect sailors and guests, the focus of the event will be on the on-water racing. The Hamilton Island Triathlon and Ocean Swim weekend will also continue on November 21/22 this year.
Both direct flight and ferry services will resume to Hamilton Island from August 1.
Hamilton Island is located off the coast of Queensland in Australia, within the Whitsunday Islands at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Here visitors can experience everything that is great about Australia – natural landscapes, calm turquoise waters, secluded beaches, beautiful weather, fascinating coral reefs, diverse flora and fauna. Hamilton Island offers a wide range of accommodation options, not to mention over 60 activities and all within a short direct flight from major Eastern seaboard capital cities.
Geelong and the Bellarine use local talent to tempt visitors
Victoria, along with NSW and the ACT are currently the only states with their borders open. Geelong and the Bellarine has taken advantage of this by promoting some of the passionate tourism businesses in the area.
Accessible by car, train, ferry and soon to be air, the region is synonymous with world-class food and wine, big city regional feels, small coastal villages, a burgeoning cultural scene, water everywhere you look, wildlife, adventure and nature-based activities, all within a short distance of each other.
Here are some of our top picks:
This cellar door offers a tasting room and a café in the Bellarine Distillery, set on seven glorious acres. They produce Teddy and the Fox gin and we cannot wait for their own whisky to mature soon. Also available are local wines, beer and ciders along with guided tours and tastings.
Jack Rabbit Vineyard
This vineyard wins the award for best views with a panorama that includes the bay to Geelong, the You Yangs and Melbourne. Jack Rabbit’s cool climate wine range includes Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Shiraz Cabernet.
An a la carte restaurant comes with the wine tasting and with scenery like this you’ll want to take your time to indulge.
Flying Brick Cider
This cider house offers a tasting paddle of ciders made from 100 percent fresh fruit unlike the majority of ciders which are nothing more than synthetic carbonated water. A solid selection of beers are on offer along with Friday night live music. Usually open seven days for lunch and tastings. Also open Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner from 6:00pm. Enjoy roots and live music on a Friday night.
Geelong Bollard Trail
This walk along the Geelong Waterfront is peppered with 100 painted bollards which take you back a century. Meet these painted characters who played a part in Geelong’s history from the original Indigenous inhabitants to some more contemporary characters. Artist Jan Mitchell was commissioned to transform these reclaimed timber piers into the current works of art.
Kangaroo Island’s top tipples
Although the borders are still not open in South Australia, when they are Kangaroo Island will be well and truly be back to rejuvenating.
Often referred to as a zoo without fences, KI as the locals call it is a sanctuary for wildlife. There are encounters with some of the friendly native animals at every corner. See Sea Lions frolicking on the beach at Seal Bay Conservation Park, snorkel with dolphins, see kangaroos snoozing under trees and spot the koalas dozing in the Eucalypts.
Other activities include sandboarding at Little Sahara sand dunes and some incredible wines to taste from wineries such as the Islander winery, Shoal Bay and Dudleys wines. (The Islander’s So far so good shiraz is one of the best drops you can buy at under $30 per bottle.) Australia’s first boutique gin distillery KI Spirits offers tastings or call into the KI Brewery for a beer.
Sea link ferries are offering a range of packages which include taking your car over on the ferry for a self drive stay.
But you will want to leave the car behind and spend a day tasting. Most of the wines are vegan.
Bay of Shoals
North of Kingscote and with a killer view of the Bay of Shoals, this cellar door has some excellent rosés and late harvest Rieslings.The vines are hand pruned and the grapes, handpicked.
Relax on the deck and indulge in a platter of produce whilst tasting a drop from one of the island’s original wineries.
The Islander Estate
Jacques Lurton, a renowned Bordeaux winewaker, offers some French style wines made in Australia located in Cyngnet River. Are we allowed to have a favourite? Definitely worth the trip.
False Cape Wines
Another deck. Another idyllic Australian setting. False Cape’s deck looks onto the Terra Rosa soils of limestone on the banks of the Wilson River flat. The vineyard is the largest on KI and offers a cellar door with minimal intervention wines.
There are three boutique wineries on the island:Hazyblur Wines which produces Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris planted in 2001.
Lathami planted Shiraz vines in 2000, followed by southern Italian white variety Fiano, planted in 2009.
Snow Dragon Wines is a new label for a 25-year-old vineyard, formerly known as Cape d’Estaing. Premium red wines are made from grapes grown exclusively on Kangaroo Island.
Other alcoholic merchants offer the following
Kangaroo Island Spirits – six liqueurs, three vodkas and a premium gin
Kangaroo Island Ciders – alcoholic ciders and a non alcoholic sparkling apple juice (cellar door at Emu Ridge Eucalyptus)
Kangaroo Island Brewery offers KI craft beers while the Drunken Drone Brewery’s Honey Wheat Ale is available at Clifford’s Honey Farm.
Cabarita’s Halcyon House has become even more exclusive
Halcyon House on NSW’s North Coast is set to become even more exclusive when it reopens on July 2, 2020. The divine Paper Daisy restaurant will only serve in house guests for breakfast and lunch although it will be open to the public for dinner.
An added bonus to your stay is the inclusion of a four course dinner at Paper Daisy each night.
With winter starting, a stay at one of Australia’s most instagrammable locations, set beachside in Cabarita is a perfect break for those wishing for some sun. And unlike Queensland, NSW borders are open.
“COVID-19 has impacted greatly on the tourism and hospitality industry, so with the help of Tourism Australia’s #HolidayHereThisYear campaign, we are hopeful and optimistic that many Australians will choose to support our industry and regional communities. We would love to welcome guests to our slice of paradise at Cabarita Beach,” said General Manager, Mauro De Riso.
There are several additional measures in place, including stringent cleaning that allow Halcyon House to offer an increased level of service and attentiveness where guests can feel safe.
Monaco to hold three Grand Prix in April 2021
Celebrity junkies and racing fanatics will not be able to resist the irresistible pull that 2021’s Monaco Grand Prix will exert. Following the cancellation of the 2020 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and the 2020 Monaco Historic Grand Prix three Grand Prix will be organised within the space of one month.
The 12th edition of Monaco Historic Grand Prix, initially planned for 8-10th May 2020, will now be organised from 23-25 April 2021. This will be followed by the 4thMonaco E-Prix (8th May 2021), and the 78thMonaco Formula 1 Grand Prix (20-23 May 2021).
This is a huge logistical challenge for the team and staff at Automobile Club de Monaco, for all major players and authorities of the Principality of Monaco, as well as for the 3,000 volunteers – among them 650 stewards and track marshals – whose role will be crucial for the success of these three events.
A visit to the Grand Prix is not complete without the following VVIP experiences:
- Party with the Stars at Jimmy’z
Situated in Monte Carlo, Jimmy’z is the place for the uber rich and the royal so make sure you are dressed in your best bling for the chance to swing it with stars like Bieber, DeCaprio, Bono and more.
- Book the Ultimate VIP Table at the Grand Prix
The Amber Lounge offers the most expensive and extravagant F1 lounge in the world. Be at the heart of the action whether that is watching the race or rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. Prices can be anywhere between $8000 to $30,000 (approx.).
- Drive An F1 Car
For around $5500 the ultimate driving experience is yours. Test your skills on a real mono-post, around a circuit in France and then on the streets of Monaco. You will be trained and coached for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Banyan Tree launches the SafeSanctuary program
The Banyan Tree Group, known for pioneering wellbeing for guests and associates, is rolling out an Organisational Wellbeing index to assess and respond to associates’ wellbeing, as well as a regional Tele-therapy service to help support emotional and mental health. Self-care, mindfulness and resilience modules are already available for both associates and guests.
Within the SafeSanctuary programme, additional global standards will focus on deep rest through sleep, activities emphasising the connection to Nature, and culinary offerings emphasising plant-forward menus and ingredient integrity.
Other highlights of the program include rigorous cleaning and distancing protocols focusing on high-traffic public areas as well as high-touch areas in-room with EPA-approved and recommended cleaning agents. There will be limited capacity quotas in enclosed areas and for group activities. Guest amenities, linens and bedding will be thoroughly steamed and arrive fully protected in-room, ensuring a pristine and comfortable night of sleep.
The company will be going contactless as much as possible with in-room directories and restaurant menus being replaced with digital options for convenient access on personal devices. Check-in and check-out processes and experiences such as personal health and fitness classes, cooking sessions or wellbeing consultations, may be conducted in-room to enable a vacation prioritising privacy.
Banyan Tree Group’s primary mission is to create sanctuaries to live well, and is dedicating all efforts to ensure a Safe Sanctuary for guests’ return.
Has the most opulent villa in Australia surfaced?
Paradise has been found in a hidden town known as Gleniffer, 12 minutes from Bellingen at the Hermes Estate Luxury Retreat. This divine oasis offers complimentary Dom Perignon, a library with an 1867 first edition Charles Dickens and a personal butler and chef at the ready.
Your personal butler will chauffeur you to any local tours outside of the property from private surfing lessons to hot air ballooning. While your private chef will offer you a vacation or a wellness menu with local organic produce sourced from the Bellingen area. Of course one would expect no less than being served on Villeroy and Boch plates and sipping from Waterford crystal.
This estate set on five acres has had a six million dollar transformation which includes a French-inspired décor, and Russian artworks by Ladovsky’s pieces adorning the walls.
This is a couples’ wonderland where you are the only guest on site. The estate is nestled into the fertile, mossy banks of the fresh, pristine Never Never River. As the Estate’s guest, you have 500m of private riverfront to yourself.
A cool, canopied oasis, surrounded by lush rainforest, the river area is a true escape from the rest of the world. One can absorb the sound of the water trickling over the smooth, cool rocks and feel your worries floating away with it as you sip your bubbles and wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Wellness guests can indulge in a myriad of wholesome activities on site, keeping them focused on a healthier lifestyle, reinforcing new neurological patterns of behaviour.
The elegant property is available all year round, for more information visit www.HermesEstate.com
Be tempted with the best of Australia via live streaming
Travel will be back on the cards hopefully within the next month or two. So while we are all making plans to burst out of our homes, Tourism Australia will be transporting the country’s incredible tourism offerings into our living rooms with a curated live program of virtual travel experiences.
Live From Aus is set to kick off on Friday 15 May with a special one-hour broadcast at 7:30pm on Network Ten. ‘The Love Australia Project’, proudly supported by Tourism Australia, will be headlined by some of the nation’s favourite tourism and entertainment personalities who will help shine a spotlight on our unparalleled offerings.
For the entire weekend of May 16 and 17, Tourism Australia will be going live with exclusive travel experiences, broadcasting on the hour, every hour. There will be a dance party with The Wiggles, workouts in Byron Bay and golfing lessons with a pro.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison said “Even though demand for travel is currently on hold and the timing of the recovery is still uncertain, it’s important that we don’t go quiet as a destination. While people can’t travel right now, they can certainly dream and plan for those holidays to come,” she said.
The full weekend schedule and updates to the ongoing program will be available on Tourism Australia’s Facebook Live From Aus Event page.
Be the envy of your zoom meeting with these backgrounds from the Lion city
Forget tidying up your office, study or bedroom. You can now make like you are at Raffles, Marina Bay or Jewel Changi Airport with a mix of backgrounds you can download during t your next Zoom meeting.
Keep the spirit of travel alive by incorporating one of these backgrounds into your next video conference. You can download the backgrounds on the Visit Singapore website here.
Before joining a meeting:
- Download the Zoom app for Mac or Windows
- Open the app and sign in.
- Click your profile picture, then click on Settings.
- In the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab (if you don’t see this tab, log in to the Zoom website, go to Settings and toggle on Virtual Background).
- In the Virtual Background tab, select one of Zoom’s defaults or upload your own image.
- If you have a green screen set-up, you can select that option.
- To add your own image or video, click the + icon to upload from your computer.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book a holiday to SIngapore contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
How to chat with Robert the Bruce’s descendant Lord Bruce about whisky
Away from the Ordinary can organise, through your Personal TravelManager, money can’t buy experiences, including private cask tastings in distilleries that are literally away from the ordinary. Tastings of rare bottlings or those crafted to your personal needs or perhaps wants can all be found via a video call with Robert the Bruce’s descendant Lord Bruce if you enquire about a booking in 2021.
And if you’d like to taste a fine whisky before then why not try an individualised digital whisky tasting.
The tastings are led by Away From The Ordinary founder, and whisky expert, Aeneas O’Hara, who talks through the malts via Zoom. Participants are sent a link to a website where they can order the five carefully curated malt whiskies, 10 days ahead of the tastings. The group then chat through the whiskies over a one to two hour digital session. Participants can either arrange an individual tasting for themselves and their friends and colleagues or choose to join one of the pre-arranged tastings, which usually run on regional themes. The next of which are on the 14th and 28th of May.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Michael Reybier Private Homes a perfect place for social distancing
If you are dreaming of France, put Michael Reybier on your list for 2021. The private homes offer the most exquisite in terms of luxury abodes whether it be in a Haussmann-style Parisian apartment, a contemporary villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, a Mediterranean house on the French Riviera, or a family property in the middle of the Bordeaux vineyards. Each “Michel Reybier Private Homes” offers far more than a mere standard rental. A stay with Michael Reybier Private Homes means a dedicated butler, concierge, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” housekeeper, home chef, security service who are all dedicated to ensuring their guests’ well-being in each property.
An added bonus is their Michelin-starred chefs, all passionate masters of their craft, each developing a unique signature based on experiences, travels, cultural heritage and a vision of the world. They seek to revive forgotten sensations and rediscover new tastes. With “Michel Reybier Private Homes”, our guests are able to enjoy the refined cuisine of our chefs, who become their very own for the duration of their stay
LA RÉSERVE RAMATUELLE Villas Chemin de la Quessine FR-83350 Ramatuelle The 14 rental villas offer an elegant and welcoming home from home, with huge Mediterranean gardens sloping down towards the sea and dotted with pine trees, private swimming pools whose blue shades blend with those of sea and sky, along with contemporary architecture.
LA RÉSERVE PARIS Apartments 10 Place du Trocadéro FR-75116 Paris 10 apartments comprising one to six bedrooms. Distinguished by spacious volumes and contemporary interior design, each apartment offers the freedom of enjoying a second home in complete confidentiality. Surrounded by your loved ones, you can experience the capital like a true Parisian.
LA CHARTREUSE DE COS D’ESTOURNEL Château Cos d’Estournel FR -33180 Saint-Estèphe An ultimate haven of refinement and elegance, the Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel is located in the heart of the Cos d’Estournel vineyards. This family home is reserved exclusively for you to experience the estate as if you were its owner. Two suites • Six bedrooms • Living room Dining room • Tasting room • Steamro om Indoor and outdoor swimming pools. 14 villas comprising three to six bedrooms.
LA RÉSERVE GENÈVE Villa 301 Route de Lausanne CH-1293 Bellevue-Genève Adjacent to the grounds of La Réserve Genève, the contemporary glass Villa du Lac benefits from all the facilities of the five-star resort.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Alaska at your fingertips
Take a ride through an Alaskan forest in the snow or float down the Chena River – all from your own armchair
Virtual vacations are the new thing and with many of us on home why not go on vacation? Fairbanks Alaska is offering five brand new virtual experiences which include a dog sled ride through a snowy forest, a float down the Chena River or the Northern lights. Who cares what season we are in? Mix and match your favourites.
Explore Fairbanks’ immersive 360-degree stills and videos have the power to virtually transport you to Alaska’s Golden Heart and actively explore like never before. Further experiences include a visit to Eagle Summit where the sun never dips below the horizon on June 21 (Summer Solstice), a captivating aurora show, the iconic downtown Fairbanks antler arch and more.
How well researched we will all be when we go and visit in person. Perhaps you cheechakos can even learn some of the local lingo.
More information at www.explorefairbanks.com
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.
Crystalbrook Collection launches At Home with Crystalbrook
Would you like to brew the perfect kombucha or make a killer pumpkin hummus? Australian hospitality company Crystalbrook Collection is opening up their secrets on their At Home with Crystalbrook hub to inspire eager travellers to be whilst they wait for the ban to lift.
Five Star Experience are what you will find at Crystalbrook’s Collection and also include poolside yoga set in their Cairns resort to rainforest walks from their Byron Bay resort The Byron at Byron. Resident chef Minh is hosting virtual cooking classes to instruct on making a kombucha or a sourdough. Or for a Queensland flavour Rileys restaurants in Cairns will let you in on their secret to a killer pumpkin hummus or a Pad Ka Pro.
The children are catered for with Crystalbrook’s Earth Kids which shows how to build a bee hotel or make a healthy picnic lunch – perfect timing for Mother’s Day.
The At Home With Crystalbrook hub can be found at crystalbrookcollection.com/at-home-with-crystalbrook while Crystalbrook Earth Kids can be found at crystalbrookcollection.com/earth-kids. Both will be added to each week.
Take Crystalbrook Home
Those taking part at home will have the chance to win a Crystalbrook Care Kit filled with some of the hotels’ signature amenities, valued at over $180. Simply snap a pic and share to Facebook or Instagram, tagging @crystalbrookcollection and #AtHomeWithCrystalbrook. A new winner will be announced each Friday.
Coming soon: Great Barrier Reef Wellness Expeditions
Australia’s pioneering expedition cruise company, Coral Expeditions has announced the introduction of a new seven-night Revitalise on the Reef wellness expedition. The expedition will be located none other than the iconic Outer Great Barrier Reef and is set to commence in 2021.
Guests travelling aboard the expedition ship Coral Discoverer, will soon be able to take part in a specially developed program, which has been artfully designed to include the latest wellness practices and to incorporate strong bonds between the cultural and natural environment of the region alongside ancient Indigenous traditions. Where better to indulge in wellness than against the backdrop of extraordinary marine life, and two of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage icons – the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
Wellness expert Kris Abbey has curated the program combining wellness with natural attractions, enhancing the overall health and vitality for the mind, body and soul.
Abbey continues: “Wellness and the Great Barrier Reef are the perfect synergy. Wellness isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise, it’s also about nurturing yourself in natural surroundings and enjoying new experiences to create whole body happiness.”
Wendy Jones and Sue Pope from Yoga Soul Sisters are set to conduct yoga classes in unique locations on the islands and cays of the Great Barrier Reef. Guests can expect to be spoilt for choice in wellness practices, such as Qi Gong classes, relaxation and fitness sessions, and daily nutrition or wellness workshops.
New destinations include the Daintree Rainforest, Hope Island and remote Osprey Reef.
Revitalise on the Reef expeditions highlights:
- Sunrise Yoga on the beaches of Sudbury Cay and uninhabited Hope Island, along with daily Qigong and Yoga classes onboard
- Guided meditation classes and Thai yoga massage lead by expert wellness practitioners
- One-on-one consultations with Wellness Expert Kris Abbey
- Nutritionally focused menus collaboratively developed by professional chefs and a wellbeing nutritionist
- A ‘welcome to country’ and explanation of traditional healing methods conducted by Indigenous elders at Cooktown
- A hike on Lizard Island to the historic Cooks Look, drift snorkelling over giant clam gardens and yoga on the beach followed by sunset drinks
- Coral Sea dive and snorkel activities at the remote outer Ribbon Reefs along with Osprey and Escape Reefs
The seven-night Revitalise on the Reef expeditions depart Cairns on 15 and 22 September 2021, with prices from AU $5,590 per person twin share.
One&Only Mandarina is now taking bookings
One&Only Mandarina is the newest addition to the brands growing collection of ultra-luxe resorts. It is set to introduce guests to a new level of luxury along a stunning section, previously undeveloped, of the Riviera Nayarit.
Set amongst the dramatic vistas of one of Mexico’s most breathtaking coastal rainforests in Riveria Nayarit, One&Only Mandarina will be a haven of luxury.
The all-villa resort, boasts 104 standalone treehouse and clifftop villas. The treehouse and clifftop villas are designed to celebrate the destination with a blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces, private pools, expansive terraces, and private butler service. The clifftop villas
Guests can unwind at one of the six enclosed treatment rooms at the One&Only Spa, which is situated beneath a canopy of large higuera trees. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the jungle rainforest, the spa offers privacy and serenity to guests.
One&Only Mandarina offers plenty of adventures and experiences both on land and in the water. Water activities embark from the resort’s private jetty, where guests can access a variety of water sports including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, sailing, yacht excursions, and whale watching.
There are also miles of nature trails at The Flatlands and surrounding rainforest waiting to be explored. Guest can embark on mountain biking trails, ATV off-roading through volcanic shelves, and horseback riding tours and lessons at Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club (scheduled to open in late 2020).
The resort will open on 1st June 2020 and is now taking reservations.
Kamalaya Koh Samui Launches 21-Day Wellbeing Sabbatical
Guests of Kamalaya Koh Samui will be able to try the new customised wellness program, focused on stress reduction and wellness practices. Since opening in 2005, Kamalaya has gained an excellent reputation based on their award-winning wellness programs. Continuing to create innovative and exceptional wellness programs, Kamalaya has designed a 12-Day Wellbeing Sabbatical, which was recently named by Global Wellness Summit as one of the top 10 global wellness trends for 2020.
Guests participating in the wellness sabbatical will be encouraged to replenish and heal their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies. The program guides guests to experience this in their own time and their own way. The wellness program aims to give guests the freedom to co-create an enriching experience, rather than to offer a regimented program.
“Our long-stay guests are driven by different reasons and how they spend their time varies, but the common denominator is that they integrate wellness with a specific creative, inspirational or personal pursuit,” says Karina Stewart, Kamalaya co-founder and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine. “They benefit from having their wellness needs taken care of in a beautiful and naturally inspiring environment that nourishes them on every level. Being removed from their regular environment and limiting distractions allows for new inspiration, ideas and perspectives to emerge.”
The program includes restorative and revitalising treatments to rebalance the nervous system, including Royal Ayurvedic Massage and Shirodhara. Guests will also experience healing modalities, such as Kamalaya’s signature Vital Essence Oil Massage and Tension Relief Massage. There will be access to a physiotherapist who can assess postural or structural imbalances for those in need. Ensuring the program covers all guests’ wellbeing needs, nutritional guidance and opportunities to explore stress management, meditation, pranayama and holistic movement practices such as yoga and qi gong will also be offered, alongside, weekly Personal Mentoring sessions are included to support guests through reflections of their wellness experience.
Kamalaya was founded by John and Karina Stewart, and it is located amid a tropical landscape on the southern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand. The resort offers a holistic wellness experience that integrates healing therapies from East and West, healthy cuisine, holistic fitness practices and customised wellness program, including the latest 21 Day Wellbeing Sabbatical program.
Prices for the Wellbeing Sabbatical Program start from 297,211 Thai Baht (AU$14,138) for a twin share, including accommodation, transfers, meals, treatments and specialist sessions for 21 days. The program is bookable from 1st May, 2020.
Bawah Reserve’s Ultra-Exclusive Sister Property set to Open in May
Bawah Reserve is one of Indonesia’s most exclusive resorts. There are six Bawah Reserve islands to be developed, and Elang and the Elang Private Residence will be the second in the growing collection.
Elang Private Residence will follow the eco-conscious design and focus of Bawah Reserve. Developed as the owner’s residence with a small village to accommodate family and friends, Elang offers an island experience for travellers seeking privacy. Elang features six cliffside lodges, each with personal butler service. Elang Private Residence can be booked as a single lodge stay or a full island experience.
Mirroring Bawah Reserve’s ‘barefoot luxury’ style, the lodges on Elang are also constructed using products like bamboo, driftwood, glass and hand-cut stone. The lodges feature six-metre high ceilings, separate living areas, balconies and stunning ocean views that are sure to have guests wanting to stay forever. Each lodge has been carefully positioned to offer both privacy and views of the sea and lagoons.
Elang also offers a guest-only clubhouse with dining room and bar, the Beach House restaurant, salt water infinity pool with slide and Kayu Spa. In addition, guests are free to enjoy the restaurants and amenities of Bawah’s main island, located just three minutes away by boat. Although Elang Residence guests can visit Bawah, guests on Bawah cannot visit Elang. This showcases the level exclusivity and privacy guests will experience on Elang.
Inspired by tribal communal houses in Indonesia, the guest-only Clubhouse provides a gathering space with a two-storey open-air dining room, an ocean view bar and a saltwater infinity pool that was formed from a natural hollow.
The Kayu Spa is in a restored joglo, a traditional Javanese house. The restored joglo was gifted to the owner and sent on a barge to be reused on Elang, further promoting the eco-aware design without compromising on luxury.
Prices start from $3,280 USD per night for a one bedroom lodge and is inclusive of all meals, private butler service, non-alcoholic beverages, yoga, pilates and meditation classes, one spa treatment per person per night, non-motorised water activities, laundry service and wifi.
Embark on a Secret Cherry Blossom Experience in Regional Japan
With the winter snow starting to melt, and spring on the way, Japan will soon be celebrating its coveted cherry blossom, or sakura, season. Although many flock to the main cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka to view one of the world’s most beloved floral spectacles, there are some off-the-beaten-path locations travellers can experience the magic of sakura season without the crowds.
One such place, is Kinosaki-Onsen, Japan’s Best Hot Spring Town. From a tropical beach escape to seeing the blossoms in a historic castle town, here are five experiences to help you make the most of Japan’s sakura season.
An authentic experience
One great place to see the sakura both during the day and at night is in Kinosaki Onsen. Found along Kiyamachi Street near Ichino Yu, one of the town’s seven public onsen, the Sakura line the small canal. The soft pink canopy stretches for nearly one kilometre.
Under the night sky experience
If you just can’t get enough, return to Kinosaki Onsen’s idyllic Kiyamachi Street at night for an equally magical experience. Seeing the blossoms by night, is like watching at pink lanterns softly glowing. It is incredibly romantic and the perfect setting for an evening stroll between onsen and shop visits.
A traditional experience
When travelling, it’s often a good idea to do as the locals do. In the case of sakura, the locals love to relax on a blanket under the cherry blossom trees. Enjoying the flowers while eating a packed lunch is a traditional pastime in Japan called hanami or “flower viewing”. One excellent place to partake in this hanami tradition is in Izushi, a traditional castle town nearby Kinosaki Onsen.
Cherry blossoms by the seaside… could there be anything more beautiful? For a truly unique experience, head to Takeno, a quiet village with many blossom trees. The village isn’t far from Kinosaki Onsen. Travel for five minutes on the JR train and walk 20 minutes from Takeno Station to the beach. There you can witness the pinks of the sakura against the striking blue Japan Sea. Hike up to the top of Mt. Jajayama to see a view of the town and the ocean bordered by cherry blossoms.
Travellers to Kinosaki Onsen can take their blossom experience to a whole new level. Immerse yourself among the sakura with a yukata rental and/or a professional photoshoot. Although most ryokans in town offer their own yukata included in a guest’s stay, there is a yukata shop & rental in town, IROHA. This shop offers a greater variety of colours and designs than most hotels, and travellers can choose from a wide selection of stylish models.
It is currently predicted that the cherry blossoms in Kinosaki Onsen will begin to bloom on March 31st and will reach full bloom on April 4th.
Crown Towers Sydney Set to Open Three Months Ahead of Schedule
Questions as to whether the new Crown Towers Sydney will live up to the hype have finally been answered following the release of a series of never-before-seen renders. And the answer is a resounding – YES. Set to open in Barangaroo in December 2020, three months ahead of schedule, the Crown Towers Sydney will deliver a level of luxury unparalleled in Australia.
With award-winning architect, Wilkinson Eyre at the helm, backed an internationally renowned team of the world’s best designers, the Crown Towers Sydney is nothing short of an architectural masterpiece. The hotel stands at 275 metres high, making the hotel the tallest in Sydney. Overlaid with a façade comprising of more than 8,000 glass panels, all individually cut, the Crown Towers Sydney’s unique structure sees it twist as it rises in a petal-like formation. This hotel’s shape has created an innovative design opportunity, creating unique floors at each level and framing the views of Sydney’s most iconic harbour side landmarks. The concentric nature of the building means that every one of the rooms has a distinctive configuration.
“Crown Towers Sydney will stand amongst the finest hotels in world. We have worked with leading international design teams to create something truly unique for Sydney. International in feel, but celebrating the beauty of Sydney and its surrounds in its execution,” said Crown Sydney Chief Operating Officer, Peter Crinis.
Featuring 349 guest rooms including 20 villas and two premium villas, the top villa will span an extraordinary 820 metres across two levels and will be the highest habitable space in any hotel in Sydney.
The interiors were designed by Meyer Davis, and showcase refined luxury with coastal hues. The design was inspired by the hotel’s waterfront location, with 50 custom-made crystal light pieces along with a chandelier that is close to eight metres long on display. The guest bathrooms will feature Ella Blue Marble walls, Nero Marquina floors and custom-made baths, Jacuzzis in the villas and bespoke fittings by Apaiser and Hansgrohe, while Balinese inspired landscaping is seen throughout the hotel.
Blainey North, an Australian architecture and interior design firm that specialises in luxury environments, created a Sydney Harbour inspired design for the Crown Spa. Crown’s touch-screen technology, from 24 hour in-room dining and concierge services to media streaming, will make the guest rooms a personalised experience.
“Our main focus when designing the hotel rooms for Crown Sydney was to emphasise the curvaceous, sensual shape of the building and to enhance the guest’s experience,” said Will Meyer, Co-Founder at Meyer Davis. “When we visited Sydney for the first time we were taken aback by Sydney’s ethereal light and we wanted to select materials that reflected this. Our colour palette was silver, white, and grey highlighted by brass, polished black and nickel.”
The Crown Spa Sydney will offer two specialty treatments beds, ‘Quartz Plassmo’ and ‘Spa Wave’, designed to elevate Crown’s wellness offering, as well as a private fitness studio adorned with TechnoGym’s exclusive ‘Artis’ equipment and an open-air tennis court. On the third level, sits an expansive infinity pool and terrace that has been designed to connect with the panoramic harbour views. There are cabanas and day beds for guests to relax on while overlooking the beauty of Sydney’s harbour.
Luxury Four-Level Treehouse Opens in South Africa
Luxury travel company andBeyond is known for their innovative, luxurious accommodations. The already ultra-luxe andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, welcomes a new accommodation addition and exciting way to experience the wild allure of South Africa. The Ngala Treehouse is a remote overnight retreat for guests who are after an experience under the stars.
Nestled between the trees, the four-level treehouse offers guests a choice of two sleeping areas – an enclosed and weatherproof bedroom with a king-sized bed and bathroom on the third level or an elevated sleep-out platform set beneath a retractable awning on the rooftop.
The Ngala Treehouse is designed for short overnight wilderness experiences to accompany a stay at one of the reserve’s two permanent lodges – andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge or andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp. The Ngala Treehouse hosts a maximum of two adults and two children (aged 10-16) in the two sleeping areas.
Depending on guest preference, they can arrive at the Treehouse after their late afternoon game drive or before sunset. A tapas-style picnic dinner will welcome guests where they can toast to the sunset, the surrounding wildlife, and the incredible and unique setting.
Guests will spend the night in the Treehouse alone. Although, a radio and mobile phone are on hand in case of emergencies. The Treehouse is solar-powered so guests won’t need to worry about not having access to charging facilities and other appliances.
The Treehouse doesn’t offer a full kitchen, but for midnight snackers and breakfast lovers, there is a well-stocked selection of goods, as well as coffee.
andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve shares unfenced boarders with South Africa’s famous wilderness area, Kruger National Park. This prime position means a variety of wildlife species, including the Big Five, call this area home. There are several prides of lion and packs of the endangered African wild dog wandering through the reserve. The best way to experience the wildlife is during one of the exclusive game drives or guided bushwalks.
The Ngala Treehouse Experience is now taking bookings.
Get Ready to Seas the Day with Kingfisher Bay Resort’s New Eco Marine Cruise
Fraser Island is one of the most stunning Australian islands. And now, thanks to Kingfisher Bay Resort, guests can discover a new side to Fraser Island. Kingfisher Bay Resort has launched its latest tour offering – Sea Explorer.
The Sea Explorer features state-of-the-art design and innovation, connecting guests with the magnificent island scenery, and one of the most unique marine habitats in the world. The Sea Explorer will travel daily up the remote north western coast, revealing the secrets of Fraser Island. Bask in the pristine white sands, turquoise waters and surrounding islands within the Great Sandy National Park. The boat will visit locations such as the idyllic Pelican Banks, Moon Point and a series of secluded, crystal clear creeks.
Once a previously inaccessible part of Fraser Island, the rugged and untamed beauty of the island can be explored, for the first time, directly from Kingfisher Bay Resort. Guests will have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, kayak and walk the velvet sand coastline.The Great Sandy Region was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO in 2009, placing it in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, Central Amazon, the Everglades, and Uluru. The area plays host to a variety of habitats including seagrass, sandflats, mangroves, coral reefs, salt marsh and rocky shores.
This unique habitat also attracts one of the world’s most inconspicuous yet intriguing marine species – the dugong.
“We’re host to one of the largest dugong populations in the world. Between welcoming these remarkable species to our shores and to now be officially named a Whale Heritage Site just reinforces how valuable this ecosystem is to our marine life” says Kingfisher Bay Resort Ranger, Cassie Duncan.
With a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science, animal ecologist Cassie is one of the 7-strong team of Ranger guides that accompany Sea Explorer’s expert local skipper on its daily eco cruise, offering interpretation and showcasing the various natural sights and wildlife along the way.
Although sightings of dugong are rare, these mysterious and majestic creatures know how to draw a crowd… even if they’re not around to see it. Between August and October, guests will have the opportunity to scout one of the least inconspicuous creates, the majestic humpback whale. Thousands of these ocean giants migrate through the region each year.
In addition to daily cruises, Sea Explorer operates sunset sessions along the island’s western bay. The experience features an onboard bar with a complimentary beverage and canapes.
Luxurious Island Escape Opens off the Coast of Phuket
Just off the coast of Phuket, Thailand a new five-star resort has opened offering a epic ocean views, stunning waterfalls, lush gardens and not one, but three private beaches. The resort, Island Escape by Burasari, is on the tropical island of Koh Maphrao (or ‘Coconut Island’).
“Island Escape by Burasari is designed for spontaneous romance and happiness. It’s one of only two resorts on the island, and the first of its kind to combine luxury with a ‘‘feel at home’’ concept” says Simon Douthett, General Manager.
Koh Maphrao has approximately 1,000 residents living on the island, and is just a five-minute long-tail boat ride from Phuket. From Koh Maphrao’s main pier, Island Escape by Burasari’s private speedboat will transfer guests to the resort on the southwestern shore of the island.
Island Escape by Burasari features a mix of one- to four-bedroom private villas. With each villa designed using natural materials to create a sustainably yet luxurious space.
The resort has four separate areas, which interconnect at easily accessible points. Guests, including children can enjoy the resort’s pools and beaches, lush gardens, spa and wellness programs and adventure excursions. Couples on a romantic getaway can indulge in privacy and intimacy at the adults-only cascading Lagoon.
SO/ Auckland Debuts Indulgent New Fashion Package
Situated in the heart of the city, the boutique SO/ Auckland hotel is a short drive from some of Auckland’s best shopping streets. The hotel is just steps away from Britomart – home to some of New Zealand’s most revered brands including Kiwi fashion innovator WORLD (who partnered with the hotel as its signature designer). As part of the hotel’s new SO Fashion package guests can take a ride in SO/ Auckland’s Bentley or luxury corporate car to visit top shopping locations such as Ponsonby and Newmarket.
After some retail therapy, guests can return to the hotel to refresh before continuing their luxury SO Fashion package with a cocktail at the rooftop bar HI-SO which overlooks the Waitemata Harbour. Following rooftop cocktails, is an indulgent three-course dinner at the SO/ restaurant, Harbour Society. Completing the SO Fashion package to perfection, is a one hour facial or massage treatment at SO/ SPA.
SO Fashion Package includes (one – two adults):
- A two-night stay in a SO COMFY Room
- Buffet Breakfast
- 60-Mins Spa Facial or Massage Treatment
- A three-course SO Good Dinner
- Bentley Car or luxury car transfers to Auckland’s best fashion destinations
The package is starts from NZ$950 for two nights, and is subject to availability.
See the Northern Lights from a Hot Air Balloon with Off The Map Travel’s New Magical Swedish Lapland Experience
To ‘see the Northern Lights‘ is at the top of most people’s bucket list, but with Off The Map Travel, those hoping to see this glorious natural light display will soon be able to take a hot air balloon into the night skies of the Swedish Lapland. This new hot air balloon concept, created by the founders of the Aurora Safari Camp, will be the most magical way to date to see the Northern Lights.
“This is a first,” says Jonathan Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel and Arctic Travel expert. “We’ve never heard of anything like this before and everything is pointing to this being the region’s next big highlight Aurora experience.”
The aurora flights will commence in December 2020 through to April 2021. Booking will open in May 2020, and with a unique experience like this, it is sure to book out quickly. So, don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime experience. The balloon will ascend 40 metres into the sky, where it will hover over the arctic ice below.
“To experience the Northern Lights from the tranquility of the balloon in a remote wilderness region of Northern Sweden is a very special experience and one that will serve as a highlight for any luxury Arctic adventure,” Off the Map Travel’s Jonathan Cooper said. “Although the Aurora is never guaranteed, what better place to hunt for it than by ascending into the stars yourself.”
The 4-day 3-night (full board) Aurora in the Sky itinerary starts from AUD $4,500 per person, not including flights. The price includes meals, private transfers, accommodation at the Outpost and Aurora Safari Camp, snowmobile adventure with lunch on the Arctic circle, Aurora Hot Air Balloon experience and a snowmobile adventure to a “meet the locals” experience.
The Lapland Ballooning experience is available for groups of up to six people. As flights are weather dependent, it’s recommended that the experience be included as part of a multi-day stay, allowing guests flexibility for their flight.
New Year, New Look for Singita Castleton
Singita Castleton is surrounded by 45,00-acres of wilderness in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve. The area is one of the most sought after locations for game viewing based on its untouched nature and exclusivity. Singita Castleton, once the home of the grandfather of Singita’s Founder, Luke Bailes, offers a prestigious stay. Entering the next decade with a bang, Singita Castleton has undergone a refreshing new design concept to continue in its goal of providing one of the most luxurious and comfort-focused stays in the African bush to its guests.
Everything at Singita Castleton, from the main homestead to the six guest cottage, has been updated with lighter interiors creating a more open design concept. Many antiques and furnishings of the original homestead have been refashioned for added authenticity in the decor of the living spaces, a new yoga pavilion with a state-of-the-art fitness centre has been added to the private-use villa, and the property’s wine cellar has been expanded and is now located adjacent to the dining room and lounge.
As part of Singita’s Private Villa Collection, guests at Castleton can enjoy the comforts of a private game-viewing vehicle. They will be offered a full staff complement, including a Field Guide, private chef and host. The reserve’s wildlife is protected by the Singita Lowveld Trust, an independent non-profit fund.
Singita Castleton offers the perfect location for a bush escape for families and groups of friends, with numerous opportunities for activities, including boules, tennis, cricket and a private pool. The main house boasts comfortable, beautifully designed communal living spaces, and cottages accommodating a maximum of 12 guests.
Rates for Singita Castleton start from R256,160 per night (1-8 guests) in Off-Peak Season. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), a private game-viewing vehicle/s and Field Guide, twice-daily game drives, house manager, private chef, dedicated host/butler and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the lodge.
Opening of a New Exclusive Parisian Mansion by The Collection
Setting a new standard of luxury and service in the French capital, The Collection has opened an exclusive Parisian hotel. Featuring a small selection of contemporary and elegant guest apartments, suites and rooms, Hôtel Particulier Villeroy is the very definition of French chic. Located among the most renowned luxury fashion and jewellery houses in the world, on Rue Jean Goujon in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, Hôtel Particulier Villeroy is housed in a once a private mansion, dating back to 1908.
The newly opened intimate boutique hotel, offers guests an exclusive and refined experience. Centred around an internal atrium, there are two spacious Apartments, two Grand Premier Suites, three Premier Suites and four Premier Rooms. Each features bespoke furniture made by Italian furniture brand Promemoria, handmade Vispring beds, Rivolta Carmignani Italian linen and duvets and pillows from French brand Drouault.
Apartment L’Empyrée (meaning the highest point of Paradise) is the Penthouse suite at the Hôtel Particulier Villeroy. The Apartment L’Empyrée offers 110 square metres of pure luxury and features a king-sized bed, marble bathroom, large living space with open-plan kitchen, dining room and living room with a stunning Calacatta marble fireplace. Guests seeking privacy and space can interconnect the entire third floor of the hotel by joining the Empyrée Apartment with Premier Suite Céleste and Ardor Premier Bedroom.
The design and decor of Hôtel Particulier Villeroy isn’t the only luxury show-stopper here. A team of highly experienced butlers who act as personal assistants and concierges, offer guests an unprecedented level of service.
For a discreet and prestigious stay, The Collection’s Hôtel Particulier Villeroy offers elegance and joie de vivre in the heart of Paris.
Jungle Bubble Elephant Experience Launches in Thailand
Guests of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort will now have the chance to get up-close-and-personal with rehabilitated elephants. While staying in specially designed transparent Jungle Bubbles, guests will be able to spend the night observing Thailand’s elephants in their natural habitat.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort sits on 160 acres of Northern Thailand’s jungle region. Guests won’t just experience the majesty of the elephants here, the unique position of the resort offers views over Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Ananatara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort collaborates with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF). Together they share a goal for helping elephants affected by abuse to be rehabilitated. Although guests can experience the elephants, all activities have been designed to allow the elephant caretakers to raise the funds they need to look after the elephants without forcing the elephants into activities they might not enjoy. Essentially, the elephant comes first.
In helping raise money necessary to protect and care for the elephants’ safety, Ananatara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort have designed two Jungle Bubbles offering guests views of the elephants in their natural habitat. The Jungle Bubbles were custom designed by Eye In The Sky and are constructed with high tech polyester fabric using Precontraint Serge Ferrari technology to create a milieu in which guests can enjoy an immersive nature experience.
The bubble accommodation is fully air-conditioned, offering a well-proportioned bedroom and living space with a king bed and seating area under a transparent roof. For privacy, there is an enclosed, non-transparent en-suite shower.
Guests of the resort can purchase the Jungle Bubble experience as an optional activity with Ananatara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. They will be able to spend the night from dusk till dawn before returning to the hotel in the morning.
Prices start from 17,700 Thai Baht (approximately $850 AUD) per night for two people. The experience includes a dinner basket, a fully stocked mini bar, 24-hour in-room dining service and tea and coffee making facilities.
Marriott International set to add more than 30 luxury hotels to its portfolio in 2020
Global hotelier brand Marriott International have plans to debut more than 30 luxury hotels in established and emerging global hotspots throughout 2020. Focusing on creating a new wave in high-end travel hotels and experiences, Marriott International will expand its portfolio of distinct luxury brands with world-renowned hotels including The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St Regis Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION JW Marriott and Bvlgari.
Marriott International has more than 185 luxury properties in its signed development pipeline that could add more than 15 new countries and territories to the company’s luxury portfolio, including: Reykjavik in Iceland, Montenegro, Tokyo, Mexico City, the Philippines and Melbourne in Australia.
“Celebrating the distinct nature and individuality of our luxury brands, Marriott International offers a diverse variety of nuanced brand experiences that speak to the needs of the modern luxury traveller,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “Across our luxury brands portfolio, we will continue to incubate innovation and apply fresh thinking, both at the brand level and across our individual hotels, as we seek to be future forward, push boundaries, and continue to raise the bar by creating new, unexpected, and enriching guest experiences.”
“Our plan to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020 – an average of about three exciting new hotels per month – speaks to the remarkable momentum that brands such as St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton and EDITION have with affluent travellers, our Marriott Bonvoy members and hotel developers around the world,” said Tony Capuano, EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. “Each year, our luxury portfolio continues to grow in both quality and quantity in strategic destinations around the world.”
With their focus directed toward redesigning the future of luxury hospitality, Marriott International have collaborated with a team of trend forcasters at The Future Laboratory to better understand the attitudinal shifts of the luxurian traveler.
Through the Marriott International’s significant distribution reach, they are integral in the creation of the evolving global luxury economy, elevating its approach and inviting globally minded travellers to look at the world through a new lens.
Viking Announces Launch of Expedition Voyages
Viking has announced the exciting expansion of its destination-focused travel experiences with the launch of Viking Expeditions. This new venture will begin with Viking Octantis set to embark on its maiden voyage to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes in January 2022. Viking will showcase the newest and most modern vessel ever to explore the Great Lakes region. Following the Viking Octantis, will be Viking Polaris sailing to Antarctica and the Artic in August 2022.
“We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we launched in 1997; then we reinvented ocean cruises and became the ‘World’s Best Ocean Cruise Line’ in our first year of operation, as well as every year since then. Now, in creating ‘the thinking person’s expedition,’ we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
In developing the new expedition voyages, Viking has partnered with some of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions, including the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute. The Institute’s scientists will be able to undertake fieldwork onboard Viking expedition vessels and join voyages to share their expertise with guests. In addition to this, Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose scientists will join the Great Lakes expeditions to conduct research focused on changes in the region’s weather, climate and eco systems. Viking guests could also have to opportunity to hear from the scientists about the Great Lakes’ unique environment.
Return Viking guests and newcomers to the brand will be able to enjoy a distinctly Viking experience onboard the vessels, with the utmost care taken in the design and innovation of the vessels to promote comfort, style and luxury. Modern Scandinavian design will feature throughout, with finer details including panoramic views from any location on the ship and the Nordic Balcony. This style of balcony is a sunroom that converts to an al fresco viewing platform and a first for polar expedition vessels.
Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner’s Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.
Viking’s incredible new expedition voyages – including the new Great Lakes itineraries – are now available to the Australian and New Zealand public for booking.
Sydney Set to Welcome The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™
The countdown is on. In just 12 months, Sydney will welcome The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™ – Seven Seas Explorer. Built by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s leading luxury ocean cruise line, the Seven Seas Explorer is a masterpiece in luxury design and innovation.
Over US$450 million has been spent on constructing the exclusive, 375 suite ship, including over an acre of marble, an enviable US$7 million art collection, and one of the biggest suites at sea.
Seven Seas Explorer boasts all-suite, all-balcony accommodation featuring sublime European beds, marble bathrooms, luxury amenities from L’Occitane, Bvlgari, Guerlain and Hermès, and some of the largest verandas at sea. The crown-jewel of Seven Seas Explorer is her one-of-a-kind, 413 square-metre ‘Regent Suite’, which features two bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, 2 rare Picasso lithographs, a USD $250,000 custom Steinway piano designed by Dakota Jackson, an in-suite spa retreat – including heated tile loungers, sauna, and a hot tub on the veranda – unlimited in-suite treatments from the ship’s Serene Spa & Wellness™ and a private car with driver in every port.
“Seven Seas Explorer will truly deliver a level of luxury never seen before in the region. What sets her apart is her expansive, all-balcony and all-suite accommodation, an unrivalled personalised service provided by our dedicated staff, and extremely lavish interiors. To name but a few of these unique features, there are 473 handmade chandeliers throughout the entire vessel, some 2,500 artworks including pieces by Chagall and Picasso and over 4,262 square metres of marble. Not to mention, she has one of the highest space to guest ratios at sea and has nearly a 1 to 1 staff to guest ratio,” said Lisa Pile, Vice President and General Manager of Regent Seven Seas Cruises Australia & New Zealand.
Seven Seas Explorer will officially arrive in local waters on the 28th December 2020, where she will visit Darwin before reaching Sydney on the 6th January 2021. After stopping in Melbourne on the 9th January and Burnie on the 11th, Seven Seas Explorer will sail across the Tasman Sea, reaching Auckland on the 21st January 2021.
There are nine all-inclusive itineraries available during the inaugural sailing of the Seven Seas Explorer. From December 2020 through to April 2021, each itinerary will showcase the very best of the region, as well as iconic ports of call in Asia and the South Pacific.
Don’t settle for second best, set sail with Seven Seas Explorer – The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™.
Show your support for Australian Tourism
Australians have been battling intense and multiple bush fires for many months now. The fires have caused national devastation, wreaking havoc on the lives of people, and native animals and plants. Throughout this tumultuous time, Australia has experienced an unprecedented outpouring of international support, from Canadian firefighters to monetary donations. And while this support is incredible, there is more that can be done. By supporting Australian tourism in the areas that haven’t been affected by the fires, travellers will be able to give back to the parts of the country that have as it continues to repair and grow back.
And what is more Australian than visiting a winery? While some wineries have been impacted by the fires, there are some that remain open. So, don’t cancel that Aussie holiday just yet. If a travel itinerary is already in place, it might need a bit of tweaking, depending on cities or areas affected by bushfire movement or smoke challenges. With a country as big, beautiful and exciting as Australia, there is never a shortage of incredible things to do, including some of the famous Hunter Valley wineries, and amazing people to meet.
The Hunter Valley is about to commence its latest vintage, preparing the grapes for harvest. Making this an excellent time to sample some wine and support the local economy. Not to mention, the wide variety of concerts and festivals showcasing in the region.
A webpage has been developed in consultation with the States and Territories of Australia and is updated daily with useful links and general bushfires safety information. You can access this page here.
Show support for Australia by visiting many of the beautiful and iconic regions of Australia that have thankfully remained unaffected by the bushfires.
COMO Cocoa Island Wellness Relaunch
Does your new year resolution include ramping up your wellness practice? Luxury Maldivian resort, COMO Cocoa Island, are set to do the same. Reopening on 9th January after an extensive renovation, COMO Cocoa Island will offer a renewed focus on holistic wellness.
The renovation and facilities have been designed to maximise feelings of privacy and tranquility. There are even hammocks and swings strung from the trees to give guests a quiet place to relax (or take the perfect insta shot). A third of the private island is occupied by COMO Shambhala Retreat.
The renovations of COMO Shambhala Retreat have seen updates to the four treatment rooms, two of which have been expanded to accommodate couples. There is a new Pilates studio, and the yoga studio is set in an elevated position so guests can take in the 360-degree lagoon views while participating in their wellness practice. The hydrotherapy pool is a favourite for those visiting The Maldives, and is used for specialised water-based treatments, including joint-mobilising massage and injury-free exercise.
To complement the wellness experience, COMO Shambhala Cuisine is available on all menus, allowing guests to pursue vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nutritionally-rich and additive-free wellness diets during their stay. COMO Shambhala wellness juices, infusions and teas are also available for in-room dining.
Physical activities to complement the more meditative heart of the resort’s COMO Shambhala Retreat will continue to be available through Cocoa’s on-island, PADI-certified dive centre. Reef diving, wreck diving, UV night snorkelling and whale shark expeditions are all on offer, alongside complimentary watersports like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and snorkelling.
COMO Cocoa Island is located in the South Malé Atoll, a 40-minute speedboat ride from the international airport. For guests with their own private yacht, The Maldives is an easy access destination where luxury and wellness are the focus.
Auberge Resorts Collection set to open in Spring 2020
The new year always means new luxury hotel openings. In spring 2020, Auberge Resorts Collection will launch its first urban retreat in Austin, Texas. The Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection have drawn inspiration from old school glamour, soul and luxury to create a modern interpretation of a residential estate from yesteryear.
The Commodore Perry Estate was built in the Jazz Age in 1928. The estate was originally the country home of Commodore Edgar and Lutie Perry, and it served as a place for them to entertain family and other guests. Imagine Gatsby-esque soirées, never-ending champagne, and music that will set your soul on fire.
Keeping true to its history, guests will feel as though they’re arriving at the stately home of an old family friend.
The five bedrooms from the Perry’s original residence have been transformed into charming hotel suites. Edgar Perry’s Suite, features a safari-inspired play of patterns, reflecting a love of world travel and high culture, and the Lutie Perry’s Suite offers a softer side with a palette of pink velvet, faux fur and muted leopard print carpet.
The new cocktail bar and Solarium, with original tile floors, is found in the downstairs Living Room where guests can try some of the exceptional cocktails and have a small bite to eat. The Dining Room and Breakfast Room are dedicated to informal dining experiences throughout the day.
Adjacent to the Mansion is the Inn, a newly built three-story hotel with 42 new guest rooms and seven terrace suites. Guest rooms and suites feature private balconies, custom furnishings and regionally sourced period pieces. Inside, the guest rooms and amenities envisioned from conception by Ken Fulk offer an elevated hotel experience with an eclectic mix of mid-century Italian and 1920s Spanish pieces, a collection of vintage rugs and framed artworks.
The signature garden restaurant, lush gardens and grounds, the members club and outdoor pool are all exciting features of the resort for guests to enjoy.
Wendy Wu Tours Launches New State-of-the-Art Deluxe Cruise Ship – Victoria Mekong
Known as Australia’s number one Asia travel specialists, Wendy Wu Tours recently launched a new deluxe river cruise ship – Victoria Mekong. The ship has embarked on its maiden voyage from Can Tho, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Wendy Wu, Founder and Chairwoman, was accompanied on the maiden voyage by several distinguished and VIP guests including Gareth Ward, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Vietnam.
John Warr, Global Sales Director, Wendy Wu Tours, said “The Victoria Mekong is an incredibly exciting addition to our portfolio. The ship has all the deluxe facilities of a 5-star standard ship, with all cabins enjoying private balconies and air conditioning, all at the price of a 4-star cruise, offering the utmost in comfort for customers.”
Wendy Wu Tours have worked to ensure the Victoria Mekong is one of the greenest ships on the Mekong. The ship has been equipped with a freshwater generator which processes river water into both fresh and drinkable water. Solar energy is used to help power the ship’s operating systems whilst its innovative and high-spec power plant enables a top speed of 11 knots. The elimination of plastic from the ship, where possible, is another key environmental feature.
The 35-cabin Victoria Mekong Victoria Mekong exudes a stylish and contemporary design, fusing Asian-inspired interiors and exteriors. As such, the Victoria Mekong is already one of the most unique and exciting cruise experiences on the Mekong. State-of-the-art features include a pool with sun deck bar, contemporary Asia-themed bar and lounge with luxurious furnishings, and a signature restaurant with a locally inspired menu showcasing traditional cuisine. The ship boasts 33 spacious deluxe cabins plus two luxurious VIP suites, all with private bathrooms and private balconies.
For the first time, Wendy Wu Tours will offer six itineraries which will sail from the much quieter port at Can Tho Pier. This route allows Victoria Mekong to explore the off the beaten track areas and to experience more unique offshore excursions along the Mekong Delta.
Luxury Awaits at New Zealand’s latest five-star opening – Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa – and it comes with wine
Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is the talk of New Zealand’s iconic wine region, Central Otago. Offering twenty-four boutique villas, a landmark lodge from dining and intimate wine experiences and a private spa, Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa are setting new standards within the New Zealand luxury scene.
The lodge has been tailored to suit bike aficionados and wine lovers. With 130km of off-road biking trails on its doorstep, including a section of the iconic Queenstown Trail, bikers will certainly find their bliss here. For those who prefer to don a bathrobe rather than lycra, the Gibbston Valley Spa has you covered.
Taking cues from Central Otago’s deep history of wine production and quality, the Gibbston Valley Spa will offer vinotherapy treatments that will have you buzzing. The lodge spa acts as a health, beauty and well-being retreat for guests wanting to reconnect with themselves and nature. Treatments include: a vinotherapy face and body treatment using different parts of the grape and vine to benefit the skin, the TheraVine™ Luxurious Pinotage & Lime Salt Scrub, a full-body exfoliation that harnesses grape extracts, mineral salts and a citrus infusion to reveal silky, rejuvenated skin, and the Aromavine™ Uplifting Massage where a 100% natural blend of grapeseed, clary sage, rose and jasmine oils will leave guests feeling equal parts relaxed and invigorated.
Other signature treatments include a pampering massage using locally sourced Greenstone and Quartz, a Mud-Detox wrap where warm clay is applied in a full body envelope to draw out toxins, or a variety of tailored packages for individual or couple indulgences.
For total relaxation, guests can immerse themselves in one of two open-air hot tubs tucked into the hillside behind the Spa. The hot tubs offer an outdoor bathing experience with uninterrupted views of Central Otago’s ruggedly charismatic landscape.
Whether you’re tempted by the wine, the rides or the unquestionable luxury of Gibbston Velley Lodge & Spa, you’re sure to feel pampered during your stay at this five-star lodge.
Miami Beach welcomes famed luxury brand Aman to its shores
Aman Resorts have begun expanding their reach from their typical tranquil nature locations, to urban settings and spaces. Following the recent opening of Aman Tokyo and the announcement of Aman New York set to open in 2020 at the Crow Building in Manhattan, Aman have announced another debut. The high-end luxury hotel chain will add Miami Beach to its hotel and resort portfolio in 2023.
Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman said, “My strategy for Aman places continued focus on developing further urban destinations for the brand following the success of similar projects such as Aman Tokyo. Aman Miami will give our guests the opportunity to connect with Aman in a culturally rich urban environment, whilst also serving as a gateway to Amanera in the Dominican Republic and Amanyara in the Turks & Caicos.”
Aman Miami will be built on Collins Avenue in the ultra-cool Faena district, on the former site of the Versailles Hotel in Miami Beach. This urban sanctuary is a joint project between the OKO Group and Access Industries, the private investment firm whose holdings include the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Aman Miami will span across two buildings. The finer design details and number of rooms and suites are still to be announced, but given the brands exceptional reputation the new hotel is sure to wow.
Currently Aman has 34 resorts, hotel and private residences around the world. The luxury hotel group has also announced the Aman Private Jet with custom itineraries combining Aman properties around the world to showcase the culture and scenery associated with Aman’s destinations.
Miami has no shortage of marinas to dock yachts and super yachts. You can dock at One Island Park, Island Gardens, Sunset Harbour Yacht Club, and more.
Belmond Splendido Mare undergoes extensive renovation in preparation for summer 2020
Luxury brand, Belmond has announced a major renovation plan for the 14-room Belmond Splendido Mare. The charming guest house is found in the heart of one of Italy’s most beauty towns, Portofino. The renovation of the Splendido Mare and the Chuflay restaurant will offer unprecedented luxury along the Italian Riviera.
“We like to work on a transformation of classical space, delving into a storied past to conceptualise its future. Our work for Belmond Splendido Mare cherishes its humble beginning and a cinematic setting of Portofino. The redesign will evoke a stylish home where contemporary and vintage pieces co-exist to provide a timeless feel.” Charlotte de Tonnac, Co-Founder of FESTEN Architecture.
Near the Portofino Harbour and the Belmond Splendido Hotel, the Splendido Mare will offer guests harbour views, discrete guest rooms and suites, and luxurious allure. The new design draws inspiration from nautical traditions and the hotel’s modest past. The interiors feature natural woods, ropes and brass, accentuated by the traditional Ligurian colours of amber, sea green and terracotta. As everyone knows, the bathroom is the real test of luxury and the new design will not disappoint. The bathrooms have been designed to create a calming sanctuary for guests. Inspired by the neighbouring ‘Santa Margherita’ beach cabins, the bathroom features white and yellow geometric tiles and pure white marble flooring.
Furniture has been carefully selected, showcasing excellence in craftsmanship and Italian design. Authentic antiques including fruitwood armchairs by Paolo Buffa, and fabric from Italian producers such as Loro Piana and Rubelli will be featured throughout. The lamps are made from Italy’s iconic Murano Glass.
The Chuflay restaurant is a well-known hub of activity, a place where both local and international people gather to sample great food and enjoy the excellent company and atmosphere the restaurant promotes. Its own renovation will further encapsulate the essence of Portofino with its rustic yet refined design.
For yacht and super yacht owners, the Portofino Harbour is the perfect place to dock.
The Secret Women’s Series All-Women Adventure to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
The Secret Women’s Series have a goal – to summit the highest free-standing mountain on Earth. The 14-day, all women’s adventure of Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s ‘Seven Summits’, kicks off in August 2020.
While the adventure is sure to be challenging, and for some perhaps the biggest physical challenge they’ve faced, the sense of achievement in hiking almost six kilometres above sea level (5895m), is sure to be inspiring.
“When women travel together, there’s a special kind of support and camaraderie – it’s less competition and more teamwork,” says Sarah Hoyland, co-owner of The Classic Safari Company, explaining why she launched The Secret Women’s Series of small-group, escorted journeys for women, designed by women. “Having that mutual support and female companionship is a fun way to travel – but it also increases the chances of success when it comes to a serious challenge like climbing Kili.”
The group – which is limited to 14 – will be accompanied by a team of highly-experienced Tanzanian porters, guides and trek leaders. No to mention, Australian adventurer and photographer, Kerry Lorimer, will join the adventure.
While summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro is reward in itself, the trip also includes three days of un-planned leisure on the Spice Island of Zanzibar. With a stay at White Sands resort, adventurers can relax post climb on the pristine private beach, swim or snorkel in the warm turquoise sea or explore the fascinating laneways of Stone Town.
The 14-day Secret Women’s Series Summit to Sea adventure begins in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on 15 August 2020 and costs US$6,990. It includes three nights pre-climb and four nights post-climb hotel accommodation, tented accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro, transfers, Zanzibar flight, porterage and fees, emergency equipment and all meals on trek.
Thai Airways International Announces the Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge at SBIA Opens
The new Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is the oasis jetsetters been waiting for. Located at the Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport (SBIA) in Bangkok, the new luxury lounge is adjacent to the existing Royal Silk Business and Royal First Class Lounges.
The lounge has been modelled on an ecological green mood concept to evoke a tranquil atmosphere and block out the busy airport outside the lounge.
The Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge offers the very best of Thai hospitality. Perfect for a short transit stay or before an international flight, the relaxing lounge is set to keep you feeling fresh.
Indulge on specialty hot and cold, and made-to-order traditional Thai dishes, revitalise with coffee and cocktails, start your vacation early with a gelato, and let go of any outside stress at the spa.
The award-winning Royal Orchid Spa Lounge will massage away any worries, stress, or build up tension and send you on your holiday feeling nothing but bliss.
For premium customers travelling with children, a small play area with a selection of toys is available in the adjacent Royal Orchid Lounge.
Opera Australia to Perform Uluru Encore in 2020
Thanks to the incredible success of the inaugural Opera Australia performance at Uluru in 2019, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has announced the opera will return to Uluru in 2020. They will offer an expanded program of four uniquely intimate performances.
“This year’s performance completely sold out in just five days, and the event itself was a great success, so we knew that we needed to find a way for a bigger encore performance”, said Voyages CEO Grant Hunt.
Guests in 2020 will be able to curate their own operatic experience from the program, choosing one or multiple performances depending on their own preferences. The dates are 11-13 December 2020.
The main event is ‘Opera at Uluru’ and takes place on the Saturday evening. It will feature some of Opera Australia’s finest singers performing under the stars, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. As the sun sets over the desert backdrop, the performers will be illuminated by Field of Light Uluru. More details of the program will be announced later in the year.
Packages start from $725 per person and include accommodation at Desert Gardens Hotel (Twin share) plus entry to the Opera at Uluru Gala Concert.
Set To Open This Month: New Kapuhala Koh Samui Tropical Farm and Training Retreat
The new Kapuhala Koh Samui Tropical Farm and Training Retreat in Thailand is set to open its high-end tented villas and integrated fitness facilities on 18th December 2019. Located on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui, the retreat will offer a more holistic and life-enhancing travel experience. For health-conscious fitness enthusiasts, corporate high-achievers and eco-aware travellers, this will be more than just a holiday.
The on-site restaurant Halapua has been open since November, where day-guests have been able to indulge in the only high-end 100% plant-based dining experience Koh Samui. Their bespoke menu uses the finest locally sourced ingredients, as well as seasonal produce sourced directly from the on-site tropical farm when available.
The Accommodation and Facilities
- 5 Tented Villas, 55sqm with 50sqm private terrace
- 4 private rooms
- 100% Gourmet plant-based restaurant
- Plant-based Rooftop Mixology Lounge
- 25-meter swimming pool
- Sunrise and sunset yoga
- Indoor fitness and bike facilities
- Daily resistance, endurance and functional training group classes
- Personal training and individually tailored programs are available on request
- OCR (obstacle course running) training program
- Wellness / Massage therapies
- Natural tropical farm with produce grown on-site
Kapuhala Koh Samui Tropical Farm and Training Retreat is available now for bookings.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts launch luxury curated experiences across the world
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts are have taken ‘luxury’ to a whole new level with the launch of the Rosewood Limited Edition, a collection of one-of-a-kind travel experiences for the affluent traveler. There are 12 location-specific experiences available exclusively at Rosewood Hotels around the world. From the desert to the red carpet, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts experiences are available now, with a limited selection on offer.
Rosewood Limited Edition:
- The Va Va Vroom experience at Hôtel de Crillon in Paris offers the opportunity to meet and work with celebrated designer, Tristan Auer to customise a vintage Jaguar E-Type Cabriolet. While working with Tristan Auer on the design, including luxury finishes, spend two-nights in the signature Duc de Crillon Suite and dine with up to 11 other guests in the hotel’s La Cave d’Exception. Price from €255,500.
- The Bigger’n Texas experience redefines southern hospitality and fashion with a three-night stay at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, a private jet to the west Texas art colony of Marfa, a private tour of the Chianti Foundation, the iconic Prada Marfa store, access to a private butler and personal photographer. Price from US $197,580
- Be Fashion Forward in Bangkok with exclusive designer Vatanika, who will create a bespoke ladies outfit and women’s Frank Muller timepiece. Between fittings, stay at Rosewood’s Nara or Thara House for seven nights, enjoy dinner for two at Nan Bei, cocktails at Lennon’s, two treatments at Rosewood Spa, Sense, and two first class plane tickets to Geneva. Price available on request.
- Experience the Ultimate Arabian Night in Abu Dhabi. Sleep under the stars in the Arabian desert in a five-star domed tent with tailored furniture and textiles, luxurious amenities and butler service. Price from US $15,000.
- The Design… In a Bag experience will take you on a jet between London and Tuscany to create your own line of bags for Métier London. Stay at the Rosewood London for three-nights and Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco for one-night and, upon completion of your design, attend a promotional photoshoot for the new line. Price from £95,000.
- The Rolling in the Deep four-night experience takes place on Rosewood Baha Mar mega-yacht eternity where you can embark on an underwater treasure hunt for a Ulysse Nardin 42mm diving watch. On-land, stay at the Rosewood Baha Mar Penthouse Suite. Price available on request.
- When Past Meets Future at Rosewood Yangon will see you experience three-nights of accommodation at one of Yangon Heritage Trust’s projects, Rosewood Yangon. Indulge in afternoon tea at the Living Room and dinner at NOVA. Price from US$6,500.
- Strike a Chord at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel with two-nights of accommodation and choose between, recording your own track with Steinway Label Producer Jon Feidner or take a private tour of the company’s New York factory to see how the instruments are built. Price from US $195,000.
- The Master Pairings experience at Rosewood Beijing offers two-nights in the Beijing House Presidential Suite, one-night at Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel’s Duc de Crillon Suite, one-night at Château de Chanteloup, and the rare opportunity to curate your own collection of cognacs. Prices from US $165,000.
- The Paradise Found experience offers three-nights of accommodation at Rosewood Phuket where you can collaborate with scientists at Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, explore the reef and create a sustainable fashion piece. A portion of the experience price will be donated to assist reef and ocean restoration of this region. Price available on request.
- The A Star is Born experience will see you walk the Red Carpet at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Montecito, California. Indulge in a three-night stay at Rosewood Miramar Beach and dinner at Causo’s. Price from US $50,715.
- The Life Behind the Lens experience will help you discover the essence of Hong Kong through a two-night stay at Rosewood Hong Kong, daily breakfast at Holt’s Café, afternoon tea for two at The Butterfly Room, drinks at DarkSide, a bespoke dinner for two by Chef Sandro, and a half-day photoshoot in Hong Kong with a takeaway personalised Leica M10. Prices from US $35,000
The 3rd Presidents Cup Golf Tournament at Las Hadas by Brisas Hotel
This year’s 3rd Presidents Cup Golf Tournament is being held at luxury beachside hotel Las Hadas by Brisas. The competition runs from 28th – 30th November and is offering an exclusive award for anyone who scores a hole-in-one on hole two – a 2019 Nissan Versa. Entrance into the competition costs US $200 and includes three days of golfing, attendance to the celebratory dinner and access to amazing prizes and raffles.
For a luxurious stay during the competition, La Hadas offers 232 guest rooms and suites, three restaurants and three bars, as well as their iconic 18-hole championship golf course designed by well-known golf course designers Pete and Roy Dye.
Outside the competition, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s onsite P.A.D.I. school, snorkel, kayak, pedal boat, or simply relax on the beach or by the pool. If there are any stiff muscles post-golfing, head to the hotel’s dedicated spa for a sumptuous treatment.
The Brisas Marina is located next to the hotel, providing up to 70 slips for yacht charters.
Wellness seekers flock to the first Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside
Canyon Ranch has debuted its new signature concept – an immersive wellness experience at the recently opened Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside, in California. Canyon Ranch have been leaders in the wellness industry for over four decades. And their latest concept is sure to have wellness seekers flocking to the 6.5 hectares property.
The property aims to provide guests with a nature-infused, restorative experience. The Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside offers two Signature Retreat programs, alongside a series of Guest Speaker Retreats. The two Signature Retreats on offer are, RECHARGE and CONNECT. The RECHARGE program assists guests harness their inner resilience and practice good self-care techniques. The CONNECT program takes a more nature-focus perspective, with guests invited to practice mindfulness, immerse themselves in nature, and reconnect with place, person and self.
Formerly Stillheart Institute, Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside features 14 rooms in the main lodge and 24 rooms in stand-alone luxury tree houses, which sit high among the towering redwood trees found on the property. The retreat houses a spa with five treatment rooms, an indoor saline pool and whirlpool, and a fitness studio overlooking the forest surrounds. Guests can partake in fitness classes, meditation sessions, nature walks, creative expression courses, wellness talks and a variety of other modern therapies and wellness practices.
Recharge your mind, body and soul at Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside.
Prices for Signature Retreats start at US $899 per person per night.
New Karma spa treatments designed to heal from within
The Karma Group is renowned within the luxury industry for its exceptional resorts, and most importantly its dedication to wellbeing. Across its three Indonesian resorts, the Karma Group are expanding the restorative and innovative treatments on offer at the Karma Spa.
Drawing inspiration from the global wellbeing movement, Karma Spa are set to incorporate three new treatment options: sound bath, detox retreat, and fitness tracker. Each, focusing on healing different aspects of the body and spirit.
“Sound is the new massage” explains Judy Chapman, Karma’s Spa & Wellness Curator. And for those not willing to give up their massages, the sound bath is the perfect accompaniment. Sound baths are now offered on the resort’s treatment list, with massage and the monthly Full Moon Yoga (at Uluwatu’s Karma Kandara) as suggested pairings. Following this addition, Balinese Reiki, tarot readings and acupuncture will soon be available to guests as well.
Guests after something more intensive can try the four-day detox retreat at Karma Jimbaran. The retreat aims to declutter the mind and body though the combination of specialised yoga, massage, and deep tissue and IV infusion therapies.
Those seeking a more physical treatment can experience the ‘Train Like an Athlete’, ambassador-led workouts at Karma Kandra. The program encourages guests to walk up and down the 350 steps to Karma Beach twice a week, Yin Yoga and Seaside Sound Baths led by DJ Vanessa Holiday, Karma Yoga Facial and more.
Take your rejuvenation holiday to a whole new level with Indonesia’s Karma Resorts’ spa treatments.
New Mauritius Hotel Opening + Le Chaland Beach = Bliss
If your perfect getaway doesn’t involve Le Chaland Beach as the backdrop, then you might need to rethink your definition of perfection. Nestled on the south-eastern coast of Mauritius is the latest paradise debut, Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas.
Anantara Iko Mauritius offers 164 guest rooms, each featuring a terrace or balcony with a daybed for ultimate relaxation. The designers, award-winning Ground Kent Architects (Australia) and Abacus Design (Thailand), have collaborated to perfectly blend luxury, history and culture together. Using natural sources like volcanic stone and artisan crafted drift woods, to create a sanctuary.
The resort offers guests a range of therapeutic treatments, yoga, meditation, chakra healing and other wellness therapy options. Guests can indulge their souls at the spa, and their stomachs at the restaurants. Inspired by the Indian, French, Dutch, Creole and Chinese influence on Mauritius, the resort cuisine is nothing short of a fusion flavour explosion.
Anyone needing to work off the foodie indulgence, can dive, snorkel, kite surf, paddle board, or water ski. Just be sure to wait 30 minutes after eating.
Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas is a haven for beach-seeking travellers.
Secluded Aman Forest Retreat Opening in Kyoto
Following two successful destination resorts in Japan, Aman Resorts have unveiled a new ryokan-inspired resort in the heart of a 32-hectare forest near Kyoto. This secluded forest resort could be Aman’s best opening yet. Surrounded by lush green forest, winding footpaths and gentle streams, Aman Kyoto is sure to send visitors into a state of pure Zen.
The resort offers only 26 guest rooms, and has been positioned within a hidden valley for optimal privacy. Breathe in the fresh air and delicate scent of the Japanese cedar, cypress, camellia and Japanese maple trees.
In keeping with the design ethos of Aman Tokyo, this resort blends with its surroundings, and brings the outside in. Nature is at the centre of the resort design. The design follows a minimalistic, and contemporary style. The colour palette is neutral and enhanced delicately with local artisan crafts and decor.
There are six room categories. The two ‘presidential suites’, which are found at the highest, and most secluded points of the property, offer guests unparalleled views, en-suite bedrooms, separate living and dining areas, a kitchen and tatami room.
No Aman Resort would be complete without a spa. The Aman Spa utilises all the wisdom and traditions of Japanese wellness to give guests an experience unlike anywhere else. With the addition of natural springs, access to yoga and Zazen meditation, and acupuncture, guests will walk in and float out (or they’ll stay forever).
Found a one-hour drive from Osaka International Airport, a two-hour drive from Kansai International Airport, or a 30-minute drive from Kyoto Station, Aman Kyoto is paradise come to life.
New Helicopter Experience at Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
Christmas is coming early to the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz. From the beginning of December through to end of March, guests of the hotel can indulge in a new Helicopter Experience.
Guests will enjoy panoramic views as they soar over the snow-capped Alps and valleys below. They will experience Piz Palü, Piz Badile, the Maljoa Pass and Piz Bernina, the highest mountain of the Eastern Alps, before stopping on Hüfifirn Glacier for a hot drink (or whatever they fancy).
Discover the magic of nature surrounded by a winter wonderland. And be sure to have a camera on hand to capture this breathtaking experience.
The exclusive flight departs from Samedan, Europe’s highest airport, and lasts 45-minutes.
After the flight, guests can enjoy exceptional winter sports, rejuvenate with a spa treatment, or relax with a cocktail. Find perfection at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz.
December 6th, 2019 – March 28th, 2020.
Prices start at CHF 2880 per suite.
Ovolo Group Heads to Bali with Latest Resort
Ovolo, the Hong Kong based boutique hotel group, have expanded to Bali. With properties currently in Hong Kong and across Australia, and now the addition of Bali in Indonesia, the Ovolo Group’s ethical boutique hotel portfolio is growing fast.
Their first foray into Indonesia is in the former 4-star Citadines Kuta Beach Bali. The new resort will have 194-rooms, of which 182 are studio hotel rooms, nine are one-bedroom villas, and three are two bedroom suites. Guest will have access to an all-day restaurant, rooftop pool and bar, fitness centre and conference facilities.
In early 2020, Ovolo will announce its plans for the property including refurbishment and rebranding in-line with the Ovolo philosophy.
Ovolo Group officially took over Citadines Kuta Beach on November 1, 2019.
World-Renowned Wellness Resort Brand, Chiva-Som, Launches New Wellness Resort in Qatar
Chiva-Som International Health Resort has announced the launch of a new wellness resort in partnership with Msheireb Propertities, in Qatar. Zulal Wellness Resort will be the Middle East’s first full-immersion wellness resort. The resort, slated to open mid-2020 will holds the prestige of being the world’s first centre for Traditional Arabic Integrative Medicine (TAIM).
Named Zulal Wellness Resort, with “Zulal” meaning “purified water”, the resort aims to capture the history and culture of Qatar and the peoples journey across land and sea in search of water.
The resort will cater for individuals and couples with adults-only offers, as well as families, promoting the philosophy that wellness is for everyone. A dedicate Family Wellness Resort will welcome guests of all ages, with 120 guest rooms and suites available. The adjacent Wellness Resort will cater for individuals, couples, and groups of adults across 60 adults-only suites and villas.
The resort has designed a specially curated menu featuring Arabic and Mediterranean wellness cuisine.
Chiva-Som is known to operate sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, which will be part of the ongoing operation and philosophy at Zulal Wellness Resort.
Stay in Luxury Mirrored Pods in New Zealand with The Lindis
Following its opening in November 2018, luxury New Zealand lodge The Lindis has stepped up their game with the launch of their mirrored glass Lindis Pods. The Lindis Pods are nestled in the Ahuriri Valley in North Otago on New Zealand’s South Island.
There are three Pods available, for up to two guests each. The Pods are heated for comfort and offer the utmost privacy for guests. Mirrored on three sides, with the one-way glass walls offering 180 degrees of uninterrupted views, the Lindis Pods offer an unparalleled experience. Each Pod is equipped with a king size bed, en-suite, private outdoor bathtub, and outdoor sitting area. Guests will experience sustainable luxury amenities throughout their stay.
Star gazers will be in paradise staying in the Lindis Pods which have been designed to give guests unprecedented views of the night sky.
New Zealand is quickly becoming a renowned eco-luxe destination. And for those especially interested in a sustainable stay, The Lindis and Lindis Pods offer excellence in that field.
Prices for the Lindis Pods start at NZD $2000 per night.
St. Regis Debuts New Hotel on Venice’s Grand Canal
The new St. Regis Venice is steps away from Piazza San Marco and boasts the largest water-frontage in Venice. From its idyllic location at the mouth of the Grand Canal, guests will experience some of the most picturesque views of Venice, including views of some of the city’s most remarkable landmarks. The St. Regis Venice, formerly the Grand Hotel Britannia, has seen two years of full-scale renovations to restore it to its former glory.
There are 129 stylishly appointed guest rooms and 40 luxurious suites. Many of the rooms and suites are equipped with a private terrace or a romantic Juliet balcony. Each room has been furnished to savour the artistic and cultural heritage of the building with elements of modern glamour; seamlessly balanced.
The hotel’s restaurants offer exceptional Italian dining (with a modern twist). The use of seasonal and fresh ingredients, combined in a gorgeous canal-side setting, will make a meal to remember. The hotel’s intimate Arts Bar “is a journey for the senses”. Guests will experience the true art of cocktail making with the bar’s selection of art-inspired modern and classic cocktails.
For ultimate relaxation, the St. Regis Venice has designed the Spa Suites, in partnership with Carita Paris.
Bespoke Cuba Travel announce luxury New Year’s Eve journey benefiting Cuban people
New Year’s Eve is the biggest party in the world. Every country, city, and town celebrates. But not all countries celebrate the same way Cuba’s New Year’s Eve celebrations can be somewhat of an enigma. For some, celebrations occur on January 1st, the anniversary of when Castro’s revolution victoriously marched into La Habana. Other Cubans hope the new year will liberate them from the product of the same revolution. But despite personal political persuasions, Cubans come alive for New Year’s celebrations, dancing, drinking rum and celebrate their love for their country. Why not join in the celebrations with Bespoke Travel New Year’s Eve 2020 in Havana Cuba.
With Bespoke Travel, experience New Year’s Eve like a local with celebrates lasting days. The 5-day luxury tour offers you an experiential New Year’s Eve in Cuba expedition that also Support the Cuban People. Travellers can volunteer at an NGO, gift a hospital medical equipment, teach English to young students and donate art supplies to children with special needs.
From 14,500 AUD pp (double occupancy), travellers will fly first class from Sydney, stay in luxurious suite accommodations, have access to a private multilingual guide, enjoy all meals with evening wine pairings, and indulge in a New Year’s Eve 10-course gourmet dinner including a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne for each guest. Plus, take a ride in a 1950’s convertible with a private chauffeur to anywhere in Havana whenever they wish, and a Cuba Travel Visa.
Dates: December 29, 2019 to January 2, 2020 (trip extensions are available).
The Unstoppable Richard Branson’s Latest Innovation Involves Champagne on Demand… Yes Please!
Virgin Voyages has announced it’s latest (and possibly greatest) innovation. Guests (known as ‘Sailors’) will be able to request champagne, anywhere on the ship, the Scarlet Lady, just by shaking their phone.
Here’s what you do to get champagne on demand:
- Download the Virgin Voyages Sailor App
- Shake the Virgin Voyages Sailor App to reveal a secret Virgin Voyages Champagne button
- Push the button and a bottle of Möet Chandon Impérial will be delivered no matter where you are on the boat
- Drink and enjoy!
“There’s nothing more luxurious than having champagne at your beck and call or even a shake. We are committed to creating the world’s most irresistible travel brand, so we thought long and hard about how to help our Sailors effortlessly get a sip of bubbly during their voyage, and presto Shake for Champagne was conjured up!” Nathan Rosenberg, CMO for Virgin Voyages, said in a statement.
Shake for Champagne is a concept we can all get behind. Pure genius.
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor Has Reopened
After an extensive six-month restoration, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, in Siem Reap, has reopened more glamorous than ever. The hotel, fondly known as La Grande Dame de Angkor, was first opened in 1932. For over eighty years, the hotel has welcomed the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama, to the historic heart of Cambodia.
Each of the 119 rooms and suites have been expertly updated with modern amenities, while retaining its old-world French colonial charm. Warm, hardwood floors, lighter and brighter interiors, Segafredo coffee machines, USB charging stations, and Simmons pillow-top mattresses are new features added to complement traditional ceiling fans and brass rotary telephones. The bathrooms have been extensively renovated with new Italian tiling and rain showers. With some bathrooms featuring a grand claw-foot tub and views over Cambodia’s most iconic swimming pool.
The original teak and wrought iron cage elevator has been carefully preserved as part of the original architecture to ferry guests up and down the heritage building. Another new addition to the hotel is the Sugar Palm Club, designed to nurture the spirit of adventure for any children staying at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.
Named after the year that Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor first opened, ‘1932′ is the hotel’s new signature restaurant, which blends traditional ingredients and progressive cooking methods to create exceptional Cambodian dishes.
Discover Cambodia in style with Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.
Six Senses Announces First Galapagos Islands Resort
Luxury hotel, resort and spa chain Six Senses have announced, in 2021 it will open the first resort in the Galapagos Islands. Located on the north-eastern coast of San Crisobal Island in Cerro Verde, Six Senses Galapagos will be a stay steeped in tranquillity, relaxation and reconnecting with nature. San Cristobal is considered the quietest main island in the archipelago. And the perfect place to de-stress.
UNESCO recognised the Galapagos Islands as a World Heritage Sit in 1978 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1985. The final plans for the accommodations are still being finalised but Six Senses personal views and emphasis on sustainability, as well as Galapagos Islands focus and strict laws regarding development, are ensuring an economic and environmental project is being carried out.
Six Senses Galapagos have plans underway for an Earth Lab and Experience Centre. The Earth Lab is set to showcase the project’s sustainability efforts, and the Experience Centre to host research and educational activities by well-respected academics and NGOs already engaged in the Galápagos.
The almost zero light pollution ensures night skies are some of the most spectacular on earth, and an Observation Post will offer the perfect combination of stargazing and fine dining.
Sustainability does not mean guests will go without luxury. Six Senses are notorious for their ultra-luxe spas. And Six Senses Galapagos has been designed to feature a luxury spa, fitness centre, yoga studio, Alchemy bar. Guests can experience wellness programs, and local healing and herbalist treatments.
Guests will also have to chance to swim close to sea lions, manta rays and turtles, as well as snorkelling and diving to the extraordinary underwater ecosystems around the island.
With the resort slated to open in 2021, it’s time to start planning for a Galapagos Islands holiday with Six Senses.
The Moulin Rouge celebrates its 130th anniversary with a Sound and Light Show!
On October 6, 1889, at 8pm, the Moulin Rouge opened its doors for the very first time. And on October 6, 2019, at 8pm the Moulin Rouge celebrates its 130th birthday with a new Sound and Light Show projected on its legendary façade.
The 10-minute Sound and Light Show projection, which is open to the public, celebrates the creation, glamour, allure, success and history of the Moulin Rouge. Depicting the shows original opening in 1889 through to the current Féerie show, the projection maps out the history of the Moulin Rouge.
In an extravagance and style, that only the Moulin Rouge can master, onlookers will be treated to 60 performers dancing the iconic French Cancan at the foot of the Moulin Rouge. And a spectacular display of fireworks.
The Moulin Rouge is the most famous cabaret show in the world. For 130 years, the Moulin Rouge has captivated audiences, inspired artists and provided a platform for creativity.
Read about First Class Magazine’s ‘A Night at the Moulin Rouge’ here.
Exclusive Moveable North Pole Igloo Hotel Open for One Month Only in 2020
Travellers a taste for adventure better start packing their bags, because the new North Pole Igloo Hotel in the North Pole will be open exclusively for the month of April in 2020. The hotel is considered the northernmost hotel of the world and is fully operated by Luxury Action, leading private travel company in Arctic & Nordic regions.
Guests will stay in the moveable heated glass-enclosed igloos for one night at the North Pole and two nights in Svalbard, a town between Norway and the North Pole. The hotel is totally movable, and pending weather conditions, can be moved to the safest places around the arctic glacier. The igloos are sustainable and have been tested in extreme arctic weather conditions. They are heated and have their own facilities, as well as a glass ceiling roof and wall so guests can experience nature and witness the stunning Northern Lights.
The experience will set you back a cool €95,000 per person, which includes a two-night stay in Svalbard, flights and logistic from/to Svalbard to/from North Pole, a night at the North Pole, all meals, security and guiding.
With only one month of the year safe enough to travel to the North Pole and just ten igloos available, this is an incredibly exclusive experience for a limited number of people. Don’t miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay at North Pole Igloo Hotel with Luxury Action.
Scenic Expands Egypt and Jordan 2020/21 Program to Include New Emerging Travel Destinations: Israel and Oman
“The emerging destination of Oman is one of intriguing cultures, stunning natural beauty and a history dating back centuries”, said Lisa Bolton, General Manager Product, Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. “When combined with Israel, guests get mystical, spiritual, complex, and contradictory tours like no other.
Scenic has designed their program tours and activities to showcase the distinctive qualities and on-of-a-kind experiences that make these destinations unique. In Jerusalem, Scenic will offer a tour of the city with two guides – one Jewish Israeli and one Palestinian.
“Guests get to witness the revered sites of the Old City through their eyes, consider recent tensions, and ponder the city’s future. Guests get to stand before the famous ‘Wailing Wall’ and soak in the aura of the holiest of Jerusalem’s Jewish sites; go 4WD driving through the undulating dunes of Oman’s Wahiba Desert, stopping at Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater filled with shimmering blue green water.” Bolton said.
Program highlights include the following tours:
- 12 Day Tour & Cruise, Treasures of Egypt, from Cairo to Cairo, starting at $8,995 per person
- 14 Day Tour & Cruise, Egypt in Depth, from Cairo to Cairo, starting at $9,695 per person
New and exclusive to Scenic are combination land tours taking in the wonders of Oman and Israel. Highlights include:
- 26 Day Tour and Cruise, A Journey through Antiquity, Cairo to Jerusalem, starting from $25,775pp
- 26 Day Tour & Cruise, Wonders of the Nile Jordan and Oman, starting from $25,290pp
Bookings made before 28 February 2020 can take advantage of the Scenic Earlybird Offers, which include:
- Flights included when booking select Ultimate Journeys
- Companion flights included when booking any Egypt, Jordan, Israel or Oman tour of 14 days or less
- Fly Business Class from only $2,995 per person when booking select Ultimate Journeys
The Oberoi, Marrakech Set to Open 1st December
Luxury hotelier, The Oberoi Group, have announced the opening of The Oberoi, Marrakech. From December 1st, guests will be able to enjoy twenty-eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, citrus orchards, olive grove and spectacular views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, all from the comfort and luxury of The Oberoi, Marrakech.
The Oberoi, Marrakech is just twenty-five minutes from the Djema el-Fna square and the ancient walled city. The design of this luxury resort has been inspired by the magnificent history of Moroccan architecture. There are 84 stylishly appointed rooms, suites and villas to choose from, 76 of which have large private pools and private gardens.
The Oberoi Spa and its indoor pool offer an oasis of peace and tranquillity for guests wishing to relax. The spa is located on a natural water body and is surrounded by orchards. Guests can also experience the private therapy suites offering authentic Moroccan and Ayurvedic treatments, and experience the Hammam and herbal therapies.
The Palm House – Vanuatu’s Newest Luxury Boutique Resort
The Palm House (TPH) is Vanuatu’s newest luxury boutique resort. After 15-years as a privately-owned property, TPH underwent extensive renovations and upgrades, celebrating its opening in June 2019.
TPH is Vanuatu’s first agro-tourism resort, with 3,800 hectares of organic farmland. And the resort itself is situated on the pristine north-west coastline of Efate Island.
Guests can book a villa or the whole house. The villas are decorated in a colonial style, inspired by the islands history and traditional style. Each villa has a private veranda with ocean views and a beautiful day bed, perfect for lazily island life.
The house can accommodate up to 8 guests with 4 villas — each with luxury amenities, ensuite, outdoor shower & private verandas with ocean views. The Palm House has two private beaches in front of the property, with many more beaches nearby. Guests can explore over 12kms of private beaches and reef during their stay.
The Palm House is located approximately 45mins from the capital city of Port Vila. Far enough from the distractions of everyday life, but close enough to still enjoy the local entertainment and activities, TPH is an oasis to relax and unwind.
Superyacht Experience Added to Luxe Maldives Villa – Jumeirah Vittaveli
Jumeirah Vittaveli is the first resort in the Maldives where you can stay in both a unique selection of villas, and on a brand-new superyacht dubbed “MY Vittaveli”. The Azimut superyacht can sleep up to eight guests overnight, or host up to 20 guests for day-time cruises.
With 85 feet of private space, guests can spread out across three gloriously appointed decks. The vessel’s two master cabins and two twin cabins are adorned with wood joinery, cherry wood panels and Italian marble inlays. Each en-suite bathroom includes hydrosonic massage bathtubs and full-sized Hermes amenities.
Guest can enjoy four hours of complimentary cruising every day. Along with activities, such as: beach barbecue dinners, sandbank and uninhabited island explorations, and diving and snorkelling. From jet skiing to on-deck relaxation, MY Vittaveli has something for everyone.
This isn’t the first-time Jumeirah Vittaveli has been at the forefront of luxury innovation. Jumeirah Vittaveli boasts the Maldives’ first ice rink, a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, a wine library, an overwater lounge, an underground whisky and chocolate salon and a cigar lounge.
One&Only Cape Town launch destination suite – The One Above Penthouse
Following the recently developments of One&Only’s second European property in Greece, where they broke ground earlier in 2019, One&Only Cape Town have announced a new destination suite. Known as ‘The One Above‘ this suite take luxury to a whole new level.
The One Above comprises of two floors, four spacious guest suites, a library and a study, a fully equipped gym and sauna, a formal and informal dining area, a lounge room, and kitchen and scullery with a private service entrance. There are two outdoor entertainment spaces, both equipped with a private pool and barbecue facilities.
Additional luxuries include, a grand marble staircase with glass balustrade, a fireplace in the master bedroom as well as between the formal lounge and dining area, a black grand piano, state-of-the-art appliances, professional coffee machine, and a wine cellar. The temperature-controlled glass wine cellar can house over 280 bottles. One of the qualified resort sommeliers can stock the cellar with a careful selection based on your preference.
Through wall-to-ceiling windows and the outdoor terraces, guests will have unparalleled views of Robben Island, Devils Peak, Lions Head and Cape Town Harbour. The One Above is perfectly situated for city explorations including access to pristine beaches, mountains walks and views, luxury shopping, fine dining restaurants and visits to wine farms, art museums and cultural centres.
Prices start from US $13,100 per night.
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara unveils new Luxe Mobile Camping Adventures
In collaboration with travel specialist, Oman Expeditions, guests can enjoy a relaxing stay at luxury beachside resort Al Baleed Resort Salalah first and only five-star resort in Southern Oman with private pool villas, and a bespoke luxury mobile camping experience adventuring across the diverse terrain of the Dhofar province. The experience is set to take guests from the mountains to the desert to the sea in style.
Itineraries will explore the region’s rich, traditional heritage through activities and camp locations showcasing the very best the country has to offer. Guests will be afforded every comfort from travelling via luxury 4×4 vehicles to luxury camp stays.
The camps are semi permanent, mobile structures. Each tent has a private tented bathroom with showers open to the skies, comfortable mattresses, cotton sheets, Arabian rugs, candles and oil lamps. Chefs will prepare Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean dishes with fresh, local ingredients for nightly star lit dinners.
Luxe mobile camping adventures are available from late September through April. Prices start from OMR 2820. This includes two nights in a ‘One Bedroom Garden View Pool Villa’ with breakfast and dinner, as well as two nights all-inclusive luxe mobile camping.
Luxury Conservation Brand Singita Reveals Stunning New Look for Malilangwe House
Singita Malilangwe House is set in the remote Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in southeast Zimbabwe. The newly refurbished Singita Malilangwe House reopened in July 2019. The villa’s cliffside setting, perched atop a rocky outcrop, offers guests sweeping views of the reserve and dam below.
The redesign takes cues from nature and the regions local Shangaan culture. Open, spacious and welcoming, Singita Malilangwe House evokes a fluid transition between indoor and outdoor areas. The raised outdoor dining platform and interactive kitchen area seamlessly creating a sense of luxury and community. Each of the five bedrooms feature their own private deck.
The rich textures, geometric patterns, tile inlays and hammered brass interiors, draw inspiration from the rich tribal heritage of Ancient Zimbabwe.
Guests can explore the surrounding Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, and the animals who call it home. The endangered black rhino, elephants, cheetahs, lions, leopards and abundant birdlife in the area, make Singita Malilangwe House a game-viewing paradise.
Prices start from US$11,670 per villa per night, accommodating up to ten guests.
The Langham, Melbourne and renowned fashion illustrator Kerrie Hess celebrate the launch of The Residence by Kerrie Hess
The debut of The Residence by Kerrie Hess is the first designer suite at The Langham, Melbourne. The suite aims to provide a new, elevated residential experience at the hotel. It’s spacious, feminine design features parquetry floors, high ceilings, chandeliers, and plush pink furnishings which been custom-made in collaboration with Kerrie Hess.
The suite includes two bedrooms, 14 iconic illustrations by Kerrie Hess, one of which is a specially commissioned piece of a couture model dressed in a pink ball gown found in the hotels lobby, the living area is complete with cocktail cart perfect for entertaining, there is a well-equipped kitchen and dining room that seats four guests.
It’s not the first time The Langham, Melbourne and fashion illustrator Kerrie Hess have worked together. After forging their relationship back in 2013 with a Kerrie Hess art and afternoon tea series, The Langham, Melbourne and Kerrie Hess have continued to create bespoke, artistic experiences for guests.
The Residence by Kerrie Hess is available in two exclusive packages.
The Residence by Kerrie Hess Experience Package is available from AU $1650.00 per suite, per night for up to four guests. The package includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot rosé, Koko Black chocolates in couture-inspired packaging, and three bespoke Kerrie Hess postcards to send or take home. Guests will have access to valet parking and the hotel’s fitness centre, conservatory-covered pool, spa, sauna and steam room. Access to the exclusive club lounge where guests enjoy afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapés, breakfast and morning tea is also included.
The Residence by Kerrie Hess Designer Package is available from AU $2200.00 per night and includes all of the elements of the The Residence by Kerrie Hess Experience Package with the addition of fresh flowers, one pair of personalised designer pyjamas, two 60 minute treatments at Chuan Spa including the option of one of Chuan Spa’s new LED light therapy facials, and a Season’s Harvest picnic hamper (for two) that can be enjoyed in The Residence suite, by the riverside or, at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
This Summer: Australia’s First Underwater Hotel Opens
Travellers will soon be able to ‘sleep with the fishes’ at the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Reefsuites will be located on the soon-to-be-built Reefworld pontoon at the stunning Hardy Reef.
Built in partnership with Cruise Whitsundays, the project will give guests the chance to sleep overnight at the reef either above water or in one of the underwater reef suites. There are only two underwater rooms available, making this an exclusive reef experience.
The underwater rooms start at AU $749 per person. The suites feature premium bedding and floor-to-ceiling views of the Great Barrier Reef. The experience is all inclusive, with all meals and (most) beverages. A private guided snorkelling tour and semi submarine tour also available. Guests wishing to sleep above water can do son from $595 per person.
The team behind this project have worked closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure its sustainable instillation. They have also achieved the ‘largest natural coral transplant’ undertaken on the Great Barrier Reef, with over 4000 successfully removed from old moorings and replanted.
Reefsuites are set to open this summer.
New Luxury Hotel Opening on Buckingham Gate in 2020
A new purpose-built boutique hotel has been slated to open on Buckingham Gate in 2020. The Guardsman will offer an unparalleled level of luxury, discretion and privacy – just what you would expect from a hotel located right near the residence of her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth.
The property offers 53 intimate rooms, and six exclusive residencies. Guests can choose between one, two, and three bedrooms, luxurious living spaces and fully fitted kitchens. The rooms have been meticulously designed featuring bespoke furnishings and curated art throughout. There is also the option to personalise your residency stay with preferred drink brands, menu items and bathroom products.
The dining and socialising spaces are generously spread over two floors. The restaurant is open for residents and their guests only.
The hotel has based its design and philosophy on creating a tailored, personal experience with a luxury “at home” feel.
Four Seasons Hualalai Adds Exclusive Iliahi Farm and Spa Experience
The latest edition to Hawaii’s Four Seasons Hualalai ‘Only at Hualalai’ experiences draws on the knowledge of the natural healing properties of native plants and flowers found on the island.
The Iliahi Farm and Spa Experience offers guests and club members insight into the Hawaiian culture through nature and medicine. The experience has been designed in partnership with Haloa Aina, an organic and sustainable Sandalwood farm. Iliahi (or Sandlewood) is native to Hawaii. It has been used for generations as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, as well as for mental clarity.
Four Seasons guests will fly via private helicopter or luxury SUV to Haloa Aina. There they can enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by Sandalwood trees, which can be personalised to suit dietary requirements. After, guests will return to the resort and experience the Iliahi Forest Essence spa treatment. The treatment begins with a meditative sound journey, followed by an Iliahi scrub, body cocoon and massage to maximise the healing benefits.
The experience is offered from Monday – Thursday for between two to six persons. Prices start at US $2,300 per person (helicopter transfer from an additional US $1,500).
Byron at Byron Resort and Spa snapped up by Crystalbrook Collection
Just a few months after the luxury resort Byron at Byron Resort and Spa was listed for sale, Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud has secured the property, adding it to the Crystalbrook Collection family.
The 92-suite resort, set amid 45-acres of subtropical rainforest on the outskirts of the NSW coastal town of Byron Bay, reportedly sold for a cool AU $41.7 million. The addition of Byron at Byron Resort and Spa brings Crystalbrook Collection’s Australian investments operating in Cairns, Port Douglas, Crystalbrook, Byron Bay, Newcastle and Sydney to AU $1 billion.
As well as 92 luxuriously fitted suites, the beachfront resort features an infinity pool, day spa, tennis court and a one-hatted restaurant. A favourite among luxury travellers, the resort is in a prime location for nature walks and waterfalls, pristine beaches and the iconic town of Byron Bay.
Seabourn Launches Luxury Private Air Charter
Ultra-luxe cruise line, Seabourn, has announced the addition of a luxury private air charter for exclusive transportation to and from ports, and for guests wishing to embark on mid-voyage excursions.
The introduction of Seabourn Private Air has been designed for guests who enjoy luxury, privacy and convenience when they travel. Passengers can expect the highest level of service and amenity access including: access to thousands of airports serving private aviation, WIFI capability, private valet service, catering options, amenities by Seabourn’s signature fragrance partner, Molton Brown, complimentary Montaudon champagne, and so much more.
While there are other luxury cruise lines who have created a similar experience, Seabourn won’t be using a dedicated aircraft. Instead, Seabourn will utilise a global network of operators who adhere to strict international and U.S aviation standards. Based on this, Seabourn Private Air can offer a range of options for passengers and groups. The light charters can carry between 5-8 passengers, mid-size between 7-8 passengers, and heavy private jets between 9-16 passengers. The charters are considered private, meaning the entire jet must be booked and not individual seats.
Seabourn will determine cost based on itinerary and jet size.
Hamilton Island Guests Now Have Exclusive Access to Heart Island
Heart Reef lagoon is one of Australia’s most beloved reef locations, due to its adorable heart shape. But until recently, travellers could only see the iconic site on a scenic flight. Now, guests of Hamilton Island can now experience unprecedented access to Heart Reef lagoon with the launch of ‘Heart Island’.
‘Heart Island’ has been a project in development for over a decade. With more that $2 million dollars invested in creating a bespoke experience for guests to view the heart-shaped coral formation up close, this is a unique opportunity to bear witness to nature’s beauty.
Take a 30-minute scenic helicopter flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach before heading to the Great Barrier Reef. After arriving by helicopter to Heart Island, guests will board state-of-the-art glass-bottom boat, designed and customised specifically for Heart Island. From there, the next stop is Heart Reef. After exploring the Heart Reef by boat, guests can snorkel in the neighbouring lagoons.
The Heart Island boat has been designed to be ecologically sustainable and is powered by wind and solar.
Hamilton Island’s Heart Island experience is available for a maximum of 6 people aged 14 and over. The price starts from $999 per person, which includes a return scenic helicopter flight, tour of Heart Reef, snorkelling equipment and light catering.
Opening Date Announced for the Ritz-Carlton, Perth
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth will welcome guests from 15 November. Marriott International’s ultra-luxury hotel brand, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, has chosen The Elizabeth Quay precinct for this new venture. Connecting the heart of the city to the Swan River, this hotel will set change in motion for Perth’s development as a top Australian destination.
There are 205 rooms, including 18 suites on offer at the Ritz-Carlton, Perth. However, it’s the signature Ritz-Carlton Suite that is the standout. Showing guests that luxury has no bounds, the suite offers floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor balcony overlooking the city and Swan River.
For those needing to relax and rejuvenate, The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers guests access to four treatment rooms, a heated outdoor infinity pool, saunas, a private yoga studio and two outdoor heated vitality pools with massage jets.
Time for a holiday to Australia’s west coast – The Ritz-Carlton, Perth is calling.
Iconic Raffles Hotel Reopens in Singapore
Raffles Singapore embarked on a delicate three-part restoration back in February 2017. The restoration has been fronted by acclaimed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud and leading global architecture and design firm, Aedas. The iconic hotel has been restored to its former glory, with some exciting luxury additions.
With the addition of three suite options, Raffles now offers nine suite categories for guests to choose from – Studio Suites (new), State Room Suites, Courtyard Suites, Palm Court Suites, Personality Suites, Residence Suites (new), Promenade Suites (new), Grand Hotel Suites and Presidential Suites.
And it’s not just the suites that are new. The Raffles Arcade has been updated to include new bespoke retail brands, along with new bars and restaurants. Guest can also enjoy some up dated old favourites, like the popular Long Bar (serving the best Singapore Sling in, well, Singapore).
Luxury Hotelier Announces the Opening of French Ski Palace
Mademoiselle Val d’Isère will be the third property in France for luxury hotelier Airelles, following Les Airelles in Courchevel and La Bastide in Gordes. Set to open on the 19 December 2019, Mademoiselle will be the only luxury hotel in Val d’Isère to offer ski in ski out access.
The new five-star hotel sits at an altitude of 1,850m. The hotel design is inspired by the grandiose of the medieval period. Reminiscent of a medieval castle, Mademoiselle will feature nine suites and five private penthouses, each with their own dedicated butler. It will also feature the largest spa in the village, gallery of boutiques and a 70-square-metre cinema.
Loving the Langham
The Langham Hotel known for not only pampering guests but also pooches with doggy menus and divine pink velvet pillows will be opening in the much-anticipated Jewel development next year. This is the first absolute beachfront resort development on the Gold Coast in more than thirty years. It’s rumoured there will be tanning butlers and pink gladioli in all the rooms. Eat your heart out Dame Edna.
More news on the Langham front is the Curtis Bay project on the Great Barrier Reef is to open in 2022 with 58 villas and 12 wilderness tents. One billion dollars will be put into hotels in Roppongi with a roof top onsen and San Francisco with a Retro Piano designed glass tower to be opened in 2023. Jakarta will host a new Langham next year right by the stock exchange and closer to home we are looking forward to the opening of the tower in Auckland in 2021 and Kitchens on Kent on August 26. Book that doggy pedi and facial because luxury awaits (hopefully your best friend can come along too).
The Newest Addition to Sydney’s Luxury Hotel Scene
The first luxury Fullerton Hotel outside Singapore will open in Sydney on 18th of October 2019.
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney can be found at No. 1 Martin Place, right in the heart of Sydney. The five-star hotel will offer the very best in accommodation and service. There are two accommodation options guests can choose from. The first, is in the historic former General Post Office building. The second, can be found in the high-rise Tower wing.
Martin Place is a cultural hub in Sydney with its fine dining, exclusive bars and high-end retail. Less than 15 minutes from the hotel, guests can experience some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks including the Opera House and the historic Rocks area.
This stylishly designed hotel is sure to inspire your next visit to sunny Sydney.
Enjoy ‘Vineotherapy’ at New Queenstown Lodge this December
Located in the beautiful Central Otago region of New Zealand, Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa is set to welcome guests mid-December 2019. Just 20 minutes from Queenstown Airport, the 24 private villas, central lodge and spa overlook the organic vineyards and the mountains of Gibbston.
Each villa has been designed to maximise modern luxury with extreme comfort. The villas are fitted with a super king sized bed, fireplace, an oversized bathtub, complimentary bicycle use and an individually customised selection of Gibbston Valley wines based on guest preference.
Guest can explore the natural beauty of the area on foot or by bicycle and learn the secrets of the cellar with the ‘Secrets of the Somm’ wine package. For relaxation, the Gibbston Valley Spa offer a range of luxurious treatments and packages, including a ‘Vinotherapy Renewal’ spa treatment. The specialty treatment lasts three glorious hours and includes a 30-minute body scrub, 60-minute massage, and 60-minute facial.
Bee+Hive Launches Sustainable Booking Platform
Bee+Hive have launched a new booking platform changing the face of sustainable tourism. The not-for-profit association brings together luxury hotels and partners, allowing eco-minded travellers the chance to explore sustainable stays and experiences.
Bee+Hive currently has 12 properties across Australia, Brazil, Philippines, Sweden, USA and Zimbabwe. Each property focuses on Bee+Hive’s three key pillars of sustainability – preservation of the local environment and wildlife, experiences that assist in the contribution to the local economy, and experiences that help safeguard local culture and practices.
This new platform aims to continue expanding on a global scale by building a luxury network for bespoke sustainable experiences.
Floating Hotel and Spa to open in the Arctic in 2020
Guests can finally make a reservation at the highly anticipated Arctic Bath floating hotel and spa in Swedish Lapland, due to open early 2020. The hotel is part of a new wave in luxury accommodations, set to redefine the meaning of luxury in a unique and exciting way.
The hotel will integrate four main aspects of wellness into it ethos; proper nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind, and care of face & body. Guests will have access to pure and locally sourced ingredients, mindfulness and mediation practices, as well as a variety of spa treatments.
There are six detached floating cabins and six additional cabins on land along with the circular-shaped Arctic Bath houses. They include: one spa treatment room, four saunas, an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outdoor and indoor showers and two dressing rooms.
Prices start from SEK 9,600 per room.
California’s Hearst Castle Set to Host Four Exclusive Summer Pool Parties
Hearst Castle in California has not one, but two of the most luxurious pools in the world. And this summer, a select number of people will have the chance bask in their bliss as Hearst Castle hosts four exclusive summer parties.
The outdoor Neptune Pool was recently underwent renovations. The sensational pool displays 20,000 marble tiles and sculptures commissioned by Parisian artist Charles-Georges Cassou. Talk about ‘wow’ factor.
The parties will take place in the outdoor Neptune Pool on August 4, August 24, and September 21. Tickets come in at US $1,250 per person, with a maximum of 40 tickets per night up for grabs.
You can read more about the ’10 Most Luxurious Swimming Pool (you need to know about)’, including Hearst Castle’s Neptune and Roman Pool here.
Spring opening for La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich
Following in the footsteps of La Reserve Paris, Ramatuelle, A La Plage and Geneve, Zurich-based hotel, Eden au Lac, will be joining the La Reserve family this spring.
Reopening as La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich, this elegant hotel has been redesigned under the masterful eye of designer Philippe Starck. After several months of intense redesign, added contemporary flair and luxury finesse of the highest calibre, this 100-year old hotel will be transformed.
Complete with 40 luxury rooms and a destination restaurant and bar, La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich will offer unparalleled excellence to its guests, including a completely tailored experience.
La Reserve is the brainchild of entrepreneur Michel Reybier, who is helping reshape and redesign ‘luxury’ throughout the La Reserve collection.
Cunard Line returns to Alaska for full 2020 season
After making its long-awaited return to Alaska in May 2019, Cunard Line has announced its return to Alaska for a full season in 2020. The UK-based luxury cruise line will head to Alaska from June to September in 2020 on the newly-refurbished ship, Queen Elizabeth.
Featuring destinations along the Northwest Pacific coast of Alaska and British Columbia, guests can experience the narrow waterways of the Inside Passage, the Hubbard Glacier and Sawyer Glacier’s twin fjords, Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. As well as spending full days in the ports of Ketchikan, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and more.
The itineraries to Alaska aren’t the only thing that’s new with Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. The ship’s recent refurbishment includes a new spa concept, updated public spaces, bars, lounges, and suites, and an enhanced shopping experience.
InterContinental Hayman Island introduces Reef Friendly Sunscreen
In response to World Ocean Day earlier this month, InterContinental Hayman Island has announced a new initiative in its on-going pledge to protect the oceans and Great Barrier Reef.
The luxury hotel is set to open July 1, and will supply all guests with exclusive access to reef-safe sunscreens. The eco-friendly sunscreen, We Are Feel Good Inc., is proudly Australian owned. Unlike many other commercially available sunscreens, We Are Feel Good Inc. use ingredients scientifically proven to prevent harm from the Great Barrier Reef’s eco-system.
The InterContinental Hayman Island are committed to providing a luxury experience to their guests without compromising the beautiful surroundings on land and in the oceans. They have implemented a ban on single-use plastics, an on-island glass to sand crusher (creates a silicone ‘sand’ that can be used in the gardens), in-room motion-detecting thermal technology to reduce energy consumption when guests are out, reusable Hayman Island bottles for purchase and more.
There is no better way to enjoy the immense beauty of the Whitsundays than in eco-luxe style with InterContinental Hayman Island.
Airbnb takes luxury leap
Airbnb opened a door in the world of travel, where people could access budget-friendly accommodation across the globe with ease. Thanks to the recent launch of Airbnb Luxe, now there are thousands of high-end listings available for the discerning traveller.
All properties listed on Airbnb Luxe will be hand-picked by trip designers, with each property expected to pass a 300-plus criterion to qualify. Some of the expected criteria includes: elevated design elements, premium building materials, unique features and chef-grade appliances.
But what sets Airbnb Luxe apart from luxury hotels? All Airbnb Luxe properties with have 24/7 access to personalised trip designer who will ensure the stay, from the moment of booking to departure, has been tailored to the guests needs. Guests can take full advantage of the trip designer who can organise bespoke experiences and activities, coordinate any service from childcare, private chefs, personal trainers and in-house massage treatments.
Most listings average $2000 per night. However, one of the most expensive listings coming in at US $1 million per week, will take you to the lush surroundings of a private island in French Polynesia. With the help of your personal trip designer, Airbnb Luxe offer a unique experience.
Limited edition luxury pop-up designed by Ruinart and Jonathan Anderson
For the second year running, the world’s first established champagne house, Ruinart, will welcome guests to its one-bedroom residence, Hotel 1729 in Notting Hill. Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, has collaborated with Ruinart to curate an exquisite space inspired by Maison Ruinart and the relationship between the art world and the exclusive champagne house. Art pieces from Kettle’s Yard Art Gallery in Cambridge and Anderson’s personal collection of artworks, can be found throughout the hotel.
The luxury pop-up will welcome guests for a limited one night stay between 4th and 14th July. The one-bedroom hotel is for a maximum of two people per night. This means, across the ten nights the hotel will be open, only 20 people will have to opportunity to book. Talk about exclusivity.
A stay at the Hotel 1729 costs £12,000 and includes chauffeur transfers in partnership with BMW, a one-night stay, dinner, breakfast and a selection of Ruinart cuvée. For residents wishing to share the experience, they can invite up to six guests to share a dining experience at £160 per person.
Baby elephants and a free night at private game reserve
Sir Richard Branson’s Private Game Reserve, Ulusaba, just became the hottest go to luxury destination for 2019, with an exclusive offer of four nights for the price of three.
Guests booking for arrivals before the 30th June or from the 1st November to 21st December 2019, will have access to a free night’s stay when booking for four or more nights at one of the most spectacular gaming lodges in the Sabi Sand Reserve.
The lodge sits on 13,500 hectares of prime game spotting reserve. With twice-daily game drives and safari walks available, guests can see the ‘Big Five’ in their natural environment. Not to mention, the river around Ulusaba Reserve is a favourite hangout spot for the majestic elephant and their babies.
A free night at Ulusaba and baby elephants? Yes please.
Safari and Rock Lodge start | Ulusaba Reserve | From AU $1,160 per person/per night
First Six Senses Resort to Open in Central America
Six Senses has partnered with The Canyon Group to open a new luxury resort in Costa Rica. The resort will be the first Six Senses to open in Central America. Capturing the essence Costa Rica’s ‘pura vida’ (pure life) culture, Six Senses Papagayo focuses heavily on sustainability, preserving the natural surroundings and creating a unique eco luxe hotel for discerning guests.
Spanning 2,300-acres on the Papagayo Peninsula, Six Senses Papagayo is set to unveil 41 pool villas and 31 residencies in 2021. With plenty of pristine coastline to explore, from the stunning beaches to the extensive rainforests, mountains and lakes, Six Senses Paoagayo will be a haven for relaxation.
Six Senses Papagayo is set to include an extensive wellness program, with treatments, a spa, fitness centre and other wellness inspired activities all on offer. The organic farm not only provides fruit, vegetables and herbs to inspire the chef’s menu, but will also be used in the resort’s signature spa treatments.
This anticipated new opening provides a new platform for sustainable travel and a in depth exploration of the beauty Costa Rica has to offer.
Uber is at it again with the unveiling of Uber Air
Uber recently unveiled its first foray into the world of the Great Barrier Reef with ScUber, the underwater ride sharing submarine. Now, it’s taking to the skies with Uber Air.
Melbourne, Australia is set to join Dallas and Los Angeles as the pilot cities to test Uber’s newest technology. Test flights will commence in 2020, followed by commercial operations in 2023. With a design inspired more by drones than helicopters, the newest venture in ride sharing will operate on rechargeable batteries which is expected to use 90% less energy than a helicopter and produce no direct emissions.
The ‘flying taxi’ could be the answer to escaping the on-ground traffic, especially for those notorious for running late for a flight. With a predicted flight time of 10 minutes from the CBD to the Melbourne airport, Uber Air could cut travel time down by up to an hour in peak hour traffic.
Looks like Back to the Future is finally becoming a reality… can hover boards be invented next?
Silversea celebrates 25 years of luxury on the ocean
At the time of its launch in 1994, Silversea was the world’s first all-inclusive luxury (and we do mean luxury) cruise line. Twenty-five years on, Silversea Cruises are celebrating a quarter-century of delivering innovative, luxury cruising experiences to more than half a million guests around the world.
From the days of the first cruise liner in 1994, Silver Cloud, Silversea has taken guests to the most scenic and awe-inspiring corners of the earth. Following the launch of Silverseas Expeditions in 2008, guests have been able to access some of the most exclusive experiences in the world, from the Russian Arctic to the Kimberley Coast.
This year, guests can cross the Northeast Passage from Nome, Alaska to Tromso for the first time with Silversea. Celebrate the milestone of 25-years on the ocean aboard the Silver Explorer and retrace the voyages of Nordenskiöld, Nansen, DeLong and Amundsen throughout the 25-day cruise.
Silver Explorer | Nome – Tromso | 10 August 2019 | 25-days | AU $97,600
Claridge’s London debuts Empress Eugenie Suite
Renowned for its five-star luxury, Claridge’s London have turned up the heat this summer with the unveiling of the new Empress Eugenie Suite.
Since opening in 1812, the iconic Art Deco hotel has been home to royals from all over the world, and even served as the birthplace of Yugoslavian, Crown Prince Alexander II, 1945. The suite is named after Empress Eugenie of France. Empress Eugenie spent a lot of time with Queen Victoria, who referred to the hotel as her ‘winter quarters’ – high praise coming from a queen.
The suite design has taken inspiration from their friendship, from Eugenie’s French and Victoria’s British heritage. The palette combines soft pastel pinks and greys, infused with gold embellishments. Delicate silks and an embroidered headboard, with fabric hand woven by royally commissioned weavers on a 100-year old loom, adorn the room. The room features an original marble fireplace, Louis XV style desk with gilded gold accents and overlooks Brook Mews.
Guests staying in the suite have the unique opportunity to view some of the letters passed between Queen Victoria and Empress Eugenie.
Empress Eugenie Suite | Claridge’s London | from £5,750 per night
The Ultimate Luxury Team-Up
Singita, One&Only and White Desert have teamed up to create a new partnership offering a unique itinerary. Meet the wild animals of Africa and the emperor penguins of Antarctica with the 11-night Adventure to the South itinerary.
Enjoy stays at Singita Lebombo or Sweni Lodge in Kruger National Park and the One&Only Hotel in Cape Town in South Africa, before hopping on a private jet to White Desert’s exclusive Whichaway Camp in Antarctica.
Get up-close-and-personal with the wildlife in Kruger National Park, indulge in world-class dining in Cape Town, and try your hand at ice climbing in Antartica.
Due to depart on 12 November 2019, the 12-day itinerary is set to wow. Prices start at US $67,000 per person.
Australia’s First Igloo Experience
An igloo in Australia? That’s right. Thanks to Alpine Nature Experience, you can spend a cosy night in a kitted-out igloo.
Embark on a unique adventure through the snow gums of Mount Hotham, learn to make authentic French cheese fondue, enjoy a three-course meal, and sleep in a real igloo in Australia’s first (and only) fully sustainable eco-village.
All the igloos are furnished to optimised comfort. However, for those wanting that little bit extra, can stay in a Snowdome. The Snowdome is wood-heated and has a sky view perfect for star gazing.
To really boost the luxury vibe, book the Dinner Plain Onsen package, which includes access to the Onsen warm bath, spa and sauna (yes please).
Prices start at AU $269 per person and runs Wednesday to Sunday from June 15th to September 30th.
From Farmhouse to Luxury Escape
Located on Italy’s Adriatic coast, surrounded by ancient olive groves, lies a 16th century masseria (farmhouse) with all the charm of southern Italy. Masseria Torre Maizza has undergone careful renovations to restore its natural beauty and is the newest addition to the Rocco Forte hotel collection.
Infused with rustic elegance, Masseria Torre Maizza features 40 suites with stunning views of the Apulian countryside. With a 20-metre pool, an exclusive 9-hole golf course, a private beach club and luxurious spa treatments, this luxurious farmhouse is the perfect place to relax. Witness the magic of a Puglian sunset while sipping cocktails on the rooftop bar.
Introducing the world’s first rideshare submarine – scUber. Running from May 27 to June 18, you can explore the Great Barrier Reef in a scUber submarine.
Launched in partnership between Uber and Queensland tourism, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity won’t last long. With dates (and rides) limited, scUber is set to kick off the experience off the coast of Heron Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region on the 27th May, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas followed by the Great Barrier Reef region from 9th June.
Don’t expect Uber cheap prices. And experience as amazing as this one comes with a price tag to match. The experience will cost AU $3,000 and includes pick up and drop off at your location, a scenic helicopter ride and one hour scUber submarine.
Get the VIP treatment at Bali’s hottest new beach club
Finns VIP Beach Club is the ultimate Balinese beach club. Taking ‘beach chic’ to a whole new level, Finns VIP, a new beach club in Bali, are offering guests and travellers exclusive daybed access for almost $12,000.
The prime location isn’t the only reason for the massive price tag. The daybeds themselves are far from ordinary. Designed as ‘islands’ or large circular pods, the daybeds extend from a shallow pool.
Each daybed has a lockable port to store valuables and the USB chargers will keep those devices charged and ready for all the Insta-worthy moments.
With only 16 daybeds available, they are a hot commodity and must be booked in advance.
Paper is out, iPads are in at Auckland’s Crowne Plaza
The Crowne Plaza Auckland have launched a paperless system for guests checking in and out of the hotel. Changing the traditional paper-heavy check-in and check-out process to a mounted iPad, The Crowne Plaza are focusing their efforts on sustainable tourism practices.
The iPad’s will store guest reservation details, which can be checked and signed using a stylus pen at the front desk. After guests have checked in, a billing statement will be sent electronically via email.
The Crowne Plaza expecting to eliminate approximately 500,000 sheets of A4 paper annually.
This sustainable movement follows the hotel’s ‘Greener Stay’ program where guests can opt-out of housekeeping in exchange for IHG Reward Club points, the discontinuation of plastic straws and recently, testing multi-use bathroom amenities to reduce single-use plastics.
After the perfect day? Head to CocoCay.
Royal Caribbean have launched their US $250 million private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. The Bahamas island is only open to passengers on Royal Caribbean cruises.
CocoCay features 13 waterslides including the Devil’s Peak – a 135-foot-tall waterslide – and a 1,600-foot-long zip-line course, wave pool and helium balloon for the prime island views at 450 feet.
Head to ‘Chill Island’ for a bit of R&R and enjoy the islands restaurants, cabanas, and infinity pool.
December will see even more attractions added to the exclusive access island.
Blueberry facials, activated charcoal exfoliation and wellbeing massages – sounds too good to be true? Not for your furry friends.
Located in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, The Fur Salon by Rufus and Coco is taking the pet grooming game to a whole new level. The newly opened salon offers your beloved pets the royal treatment with shampoos, trims, new hairdos, massages, pawdicures and birthday spa day treatment packages.
All products used by Rufus and Coco are high-quality, paraben, soap and sulphate free, PH balanced with a hypoallergenic fragrance.
Disney Themed Brunch coming to Melbourne
Bringing together two great loves, The Magical Brunch is the perfect combination of everyone’s favourite meal and all things Disney.
Although not an official ‘Disney’ brunch, this feast is magical. Dust off your favourite Disney costume and practice your sing-along-skills. The brunch will come to Melbourne, Australia in September 2019. Be sure to let them know any dietary requirements (vegetarian and vegan friendly) so you can enjoy maximum treats.
Prices start at AU $77.50.
A New Ship for Viking in 2020
The year is almost at its halfway point, which means new travel trends and experiences for 2020 are on everyone’s mind. With the launch of their extended 2020 program, Viking have announced a new longship joining its fleet in Egypt.
The ship, Viking Osiris, has been designed specifically for the Nile River and will host up to 82 guests across 41 staterooms. Viking Osiris is sure to delight its guests with its elegant design.
The Viking Osiris will sail from Cairo for the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids guided tour. Guests will be able to discover the secrets of modern and ancient Egypt onboard the Viking Osiris from September 2020.
The Luxury Lighthouse of La Palma
Calling all Harry Potter fans…
In preparation for International Harry Potter Day (yes, it’s a thing), Hagrid has spruced up his hut.
Inspired by the home of JK Rowling’s fictional character Hagrid, Carol Cavendish has opened the Ground Keeper’s Cottage in North Yorkshire.
This luxe version of Hagrid’s cottage cost £195,000 to build and furnish. Even with the upgrade, the cottage still has a very ‘Hagrid’ feel to it. It comprises of three interlocking circular slate-roofed buildings, two with turrets, and stained glass windows. Inside the cottage, the space has been designed to perfection with dangling baskets, ropes and lanterns. The highlight, is the free-standing copper tub and bespoke copper basin.
Prices start from £195/night
Melbourne Airport has launched a VIP chauffeur treatment in partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Guests can escape the crowded car rental desks and the trek to the carpark, luggage in tow. Instead, guests will be chauffeured away from the domestic or international terminals to their personal valet driver and Mercedes-Benz car.
This exclusive service is offered by Australia’s largest online peer-to-peer car rental service, DriveMyCar, and is available to guests arriving at Melbourne Airport. Choose from A-Class, B-Class, CLA, C-Class, X-Class and GLA vehicles.
Prices start from AU $73/day.
Rest and reset at Calile Hotel
The Goodnight Co. was established by Australian mums, Shea & Danielle. There goals is to help people fall in love with a good sleep. They have designed products from silk pillowcases to homeopathic tinctures. And now, they are taking all their combined knowledge to Calile Hotel with their latest sleep retreat.
The retreat will be held in Brisbane’s Calile Hotel from the 7th to 9th June 2019. It has been designed specifically for corporate and high frequency travellers, to help achieve a better work sleep balance.
The retreat will bring wellness and sleep education practices to attendees. A group of facilitations and experts in the field will speak about how to achieve the perfect sleep, no matter the location. And assist in helping attendees overcome issues like jetlag, late nights and busy schedules.
Throughout the three-day sleep retreat guests will be able to enjoy a two-night stay at the Calile Hotel, meals, specialised workshops, yoga and meditation.
Single AU $2,500 | Twin AU $4,500
Virgin Atlantic reveals Red Velvet
Virgin Atlantic has finally divulged the details of its new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. This long-awaited aircraft, named Red Velvet, features a new upper-class cabin with new suite and social space.
Designed in collaboration with some of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyers, the new suite offers the largest ever in-flight entertainment screen (18.5″) which can be controlled by guests’ personal devices, every seat faces the window and has deployable privacy screens and, all suites offer a seamless transition from upright to bed.
The social space, called The Loft, is the largest in the airline’s fleet. It has been stylishly designed with guests needs and wants in mind. The space offers Bluetooth headphones which connect to a 32″ screen. Guests can kick back and relax with a show or the lice tail-cam, chat with other flyers or drink and dine in The Loft.
Day dream on Daydream Island
Daydream Island Resort has reopened its doors on 15th April after a 24-month renovation following the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
The much-loved resort offers 227 stylish suites and rooms overlooking the ocean, pool or gardens. While all the newly renovated rooms are stunning, the Deluxe Room is something else. The light-filled room is made complete with its chic interior design and soothing palette. The suite has been kitted out with a rain shower and Biology amenities, an Australian brand specialising in eco-awareness and environmentally friendly products.
Guests are spoilt for choice with three new restaurants and three new bars to choose from. You can even dine overlooking the resorts signature experience, the Living Reef. The Living Reef is a massive free form coral lagoon. It’s home to over 100 species of fish, coral and invertebrates. Guests can take a guided swim through the lagoon or join the marine team in feeding the baby stingrays and learning about marine animals and ocean conservation.
A night at the museum
In celebration of 30 years of the iconic Pyramid, Airbnb and the Louvre are coming together to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
On the 30th of April, one lucky winner and a guest will be have the rare chance to explore the Louvre after hours on a bespoke art tour where guests can toast to the Mona Lisa while reclining on a Parisian lounge sofa, feast with Venus de Milo and enjoy a concert in Napoleon III’s lavish Apartments. The tour is made complete with a sleepover in the iconic Pyramid of the Louvre.
To be in the running, log onto airbnb.com/louvre before April 12, 2019, by 23:59 pm (CET) in French time or (6:59 EST time) and answer this question: Why would you be the Mona Lisa’s perfect guest?
Party like it’s 1793…
The iconic Hall of Mirrors at the palace of Versailles will host a party that would even put the Queen of France (Marie Antoinette) to shame.
Although the Château de Versailles has hosted classical music concerts, balls and cultural events in the past, this will be its first foray into the festival scene.
The event is being put together by DJ and former Daft Punk manager Busy P, and his record label, Ed Banger Records. A group of renowned DJs in the electronic scene will perform in the famous Hall of Mirrors and the gardens the adjoin the Hall will be transformed into one epic dance floor.
Those really wanting to party like the royals can upgrade to the VIP package for €160, which offers access to a private lounge, an unlimited buffet and champagne.
Fresh Austin Air
Proactive in their goal to help guests create balance through wellbeing and mindfulness, Hyatt unveiled their second Miraval Wellness Resort in Texas earlier this year.
Surrounded by the county’s live oak and cedar trees and overlooking the picturesque Lake Travis, the Miraval spa and wellness resort offers a place centre the mind, body and soul. Set on 220-arces, are 117 guest rooms and suites, a Life in Balance Spa, a 10-arce farm and ranch, and a Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen.
Aligned with the resorts wellness goals, the guestrooms and suites have been designed with a soft, neutral palate, hand-crafted accessories and sleep-enhancing amenities.
The Life in Balance Spa covers 20,000-square feet, with 30 treatment rooms, a spa pool, relaxation rooms, a salon, sauna, steam room and retail boutique. The options to unwind are endless, from body renewal rituals to combining breathing with a floating massage through Pranayama-ḍīna.
They say the kitchen is the heart of the house, and it is true tenfold at Miraval. They have healthy cooking classes and workshops with a focus on plant-based cooking and wheat-free baking.
There is a subtle theme throughout the hotel design, and that is its focus on sustainability which can be seen in the all-natural bath amenities in reusable packaging found in the suites to the Cypress Creek Farm visit offering lessons in sustainable farming practices and responsible agricultural growth.
With cruises on the rise, luxury cruise and expedition liner Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have announced that low-pollutant marine gas oil (MGO) will be used on all routes sailed by the expedition ships.
While the company has always adhered to the use of low-sulphur fuels which are mandatory throughout the Antarctic region, in the past they have also voluntarily used marine gas oil in other ocean areas such as the Artic or Kamchatka, where the fuel laws are not as strict.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have several environmental practices in place, including travelling at an average speed considered to be environmentally-friendly, having the bow thrusters and stabilisers run on environmentally-friendly bio-petroleum, and being equipped with seawater desalination technology to produce clean water.
The HANSEATIC nature, the HANSEATIC inspiration and the BREMEN will gradually make the move to exclusively using low-pollutant marine gas oil from July 2020. Followed by the HANSEATIC spirit, due to join the fleet in 2021.
Viva Las Vegas
Luxury Las Vegas resort The Venetian is ready to give you the world… The resort has launched ‘Want the World Experiences’ designed to give guests over-the-top, exclusive experiences throughout a stay in The Venetian’s ultra-luxe presidential suite.
The suite package will have you arrive on the infamous ‘Strip’ in style, first by private jet, then by Maybach vehicle. The four-night stay in the presidential suite comes complete with a private butler, fully stocked bar, monogrammed red silk pyjamas, Swarovski red crystal-encrusted magnum of Moët Champagne and “a replica of the resort’s signature armillary sphere hand-crafted from artisan chocolate, atop a cake adorned with a 2.5 total carat ruby and diamond necklace and matching 2.47 carat Burma ruby and diamond ring from Bellusso Jewellers”.
But of course, it doesn’t stop there. The package will have you pampered with a Champagne pedicure and a Diamond massage, set your taste buds alight with a four-course dinner and salsa dancing lesson and a personal photographer on hand to document the stay.
Starting at US $450, 000 – you could have the world.
A holiday that makes a difference
Set against the backdrop of northwest Rwanda, in 178-arcres of land on the edge of Volcanoes National Park lie Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House. Already known for their conservation efforts in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, this will be Singita’s first foray into Rwanda and its diverse ecosystem.
Architects and interior designers have taken great care to ensure the project observes the core messaging of Singita and the lodge by carefully selecting locally sourced and produced materials and using traditional building techniques.
There are eight suites in Kwitonda Lodge as well as the four-bedroom villa, Kataza House, each offer startling views of Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and provide a buffer between agricultural lands and that of the silverback gorillas from which the lodge takes its name.
Guests have the opportunity to go gorilla-trekking where they can meet these remarkable creatures in their own environment, as well as the opportunity to help expand the habitat through tree planting and restoration projects.
Singita’s newest sustainable luxe accommodation is due to open in August 2019. But for those eager to start their conservation holiday, bookings are now open for both Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House.
Up, up and away
Founded by Elon Musk and headed by Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX is set to test-launch the company’s first prototype rocket ship for commercial use to Mars.
The “Test Hopper” won’t be an official launch into space, but a crucial run for the hardware, and for SpaceX, to ensure the full-scale adventure will be a success.
Known as the Starship, the SpaceX rocket is designed reach orbit next year in 2020, take its first crew around the moon in 2023, and finally send star gazers to Mars in 2024.
Musk isn’t the only billionaire working on a commercial space flight, Sir Richard Branson is currently sits ahead of the race with his own test launch of Virgin Galactic late 2018.
A Suite Escape
Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris and Team Break Event have come together to create a tailor-made Escape Game. Glamorously set in one of the hotels signature suites, the life-sized escape game has guests solving riddles and puzzles based around the history of the hotel and one of its most lucrative guests, Mata Hari – WWI spy extraordinaire.
Officially launched on the 15 February 2019, the game has been designed as an interactive experience for hotel guests. A group of 2-8 people are locked in a suite, where they work to solve the riddles in only one hour. When the hour is up, it’s cocktail o’clock. While enjoying victory and a much-deserved cocktail, there’s a 30-minute briefing given by a coach based on the game.
Solve a mystery, have fun and stay at the Hotel Plaza Athénée.
Along the east coast, toward the tip of Queensland, Australia is a raw and inviting paradise. Surrounded by lush rainforests, white sand beaches and azure waters, you can’t help but feel reset; feel grounded.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland have tapped into the power of the north and are inviting Australians to re-ground themselves in 2019. Tourism Tropical North Queensland, with the help of Australian model Samantha Harris have kicked off the 2019 re-grounding campaign known as Feel Grounded, with a tour and some out-of-this-world shots of the region.
With wellness as their top priority, TTNQ are working to de-stress Australians with hiking, biking, swimming, diving and yoga, all in unbelievable locations.
The Feel Grounded campaign will show off the very best of the north including: the luxe new resort ‘Riley’ by Crystalbrook Collection in Cairns, a helicopter ride to Vlasoff Cay for picnics and swimming, Fitzroy and Dunk Island living, the food trails of the Atherton Tablelands and the secluded rock plunge pools on the outskirts of Cairns.
It’s time to #FeelGrounded in North Queensland.
View this post on Instagram
Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert. Charles Babbage, credited as the world’s first computer pioneer, designed the “Difference Engine”, of which Prince Albert had the opportunity to see a prototype in July 1843. In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention the “Analytical Engine” upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron. Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors. Elizabeth R. PHOTOS: Supplied by the Royal Archives © Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
In a move that has floored the world, Her Majesty the Queen (you know the one), uploaded her first Instagram post on Thursday the 7th March following a visit to London’s Science Museum.
Upon discovering a letter written to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from the world’s first computer engineer, Charles Babbage, The Queen felt it was only fitting to make this her first ever Instagram post as a celebration of how far technology has come.
Although the Royal Family’s Instagram has been active since 2013, this was the first post made by the Queen herself. And it seems London’s Science Museum has inspired her more than once to tap into a social platform with the Queen’s previous visit to the museum (2014) followed by her first tweet.
Spa No Detail
Warm tones, wooden and wicker furnishings and a hint of teal. The Crystalbrook Collection Hotel, Riley in Cairns, has announced the opening of Eléme Day Spa. It’s design and products are designed by the natural surroundings, and represent a space for complete relaxation.
Two of the top treatments are:
The Goddess of Infusion – a thermal facial mask using volcanic clay to deeply cleanse and hydrate the skin.
The Great Herculean (shout out to the boys) – a body scrub, massage and facial therapy inspired by your inner superhero.
There are five luxury treatment rooms to choose from. And even a spa safari, which lasts up to five hours working to relax you from your toes to your head.
The spa is a first for the Crystalbrook Collection, but certainly not the last with the incorporation of the spa brand in future openings.
A Star-Studded Stay
What do Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hughes have in common besides a rumoured love affair? The Beverly Hills Hotel of course! Well… sort of… two new luxury bungalows inspired by the stars have recently been unveiled by the Dorchester Collection hotel.
For generations, the hotel has been a favourite amongst celebrities. Of the 21 bungalows being renovated, five are inspired by some of the hotels most notable guests over the past century.
The other three bungalows are influenced by Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra (unveiled in 2016) and following later in 2019, a Charlie Chaplain inspired bungalow.
Showing off its curves, the Marilyn inspired bungalow is classic, youthful and glamourous. With a Chanel No. 5 fragrance bar, a Champagne Bubble Bath Experience and a Marilyn themed food and drinks menu on the cards, you’ll be feeling like a star in no time.
The Howard Hugh’s styled bungalow is a little more geometric with darker tones and rich wood throughout. There are model aeroplanes and an aviation themes cocktail to be enjoyed in this room.
Although unveiled, the bungalow restoration is still receiving final touches. They are both expected to be ready for guests by July 2019.
J’Adior: An afternoon tea experience
In celebration of the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, Berkeley Hotel has created an afternoon tea experience we never knew we needed. Taking Dior’s iconic designs, Berkeley Hotel’s Prêt-à-Portea has designed a menu inspired by the world of fashion.
In the form of cakes, biscuits, and other sweet treats, afternoon tea diners will be blown away by sugared versions of the 1949 Junon dress worn by Theo Graham, the classic Dior bar jacket, Lady Dior handbags made from red velvet cakes, a classic Miss Dior dress made of white chocolate mousse and a vanilla biscuit and royal icing J’Adior shoe by Maria Grazia Chiuri complete with an edible inscribed ribbon, along with many other edible designs.
The Dior inspired afternoon tea runs from 1pm to 5.30pm daily. This unique experience starts at £58 per person; £68 with a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne, or £74 per person with a glass of rosé champagne. Afternoon tea will never be the same again.
One person’s trash is another person’s ski slope
Major cities produce mass amounts of rubbish daily. But one city has found a way to turn their rubbish into an innovative and fun design.
Inside Copenhill waste treatment plant in Copenhagen, Denmark, an unlikely adventure awaits. The ‘futuristic’ building has an 85-metre-high sloping roof covered in a green material known at neverplast. Despite its green colour neverplast has been design to ski down. That’s right a green, repurposed ski field just 10 minutes from the city.
The plant, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, is just another step forward in the city’s plan to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital. It was designed for the people as something they would be happy to see in their neighbourhood.
Due to open this spring, the recycled ski field is certainly an exciting experience in an unexpected location.
Wine, resorts and residences
The awaited opening of The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is drawing near. Due to open mid to late 2019, the new resort has officially opened their books.
This new edition to The Four Seasons community, will have you relaxing in total luxury, feeling those first-class vibes and making wine like a pro – it’s North America’s wine capital after all. With an on-site vineyard, ‘vine-to-table’ restaurant and wellness spa, you can expect a holiday made in heaven.
Located at the northern end of Napa, the luxury farmhouse-style accommodations are nestled between the mountains and vineyards.
The resort has 85-guest rooms with single and two-story villas available. There are two pools (adults only and family), restaurants and wine tastings. The event barn and a grand lawn are sure to make this an up and coming hotspot for weddings.
For those wishing to reside rather than resort, can buy a home for around $4.5 million. Homeowners have the chance to collaborate with renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown on custom wine blends and will even have exclusive access to a private wine room.
Winter is coming
We all knew this day would come. Winter has finally come. And it’s come to Replay Lincoln Park in Chicago. The bar is known for its fun pop ups, including Friends, The Office and Rick and Morty. But now there’s a new pop up in town – Game of Thrones.
With only a few months to go before the epic final season is released, Replay has tapped into some Westeroisi vibes. You can expect bulk references to the show with Ommegang Brewery’s Game of Thrones beers Arbor Gold and Fire & Blood, Dothraki themed cocktails, references to the infamous Iron Throne and of course the White Walkers all in play.
There’ll be themes events running over the pop ups duration, including a Red Wedding Feast, trivia nights and a jousting tournament. While the pop up offers free entry, for US $20 you can get the royal treatment as a VIP, just be sure you don’t lose your head, eat poison pie or get burned by a dragon.
The pop up of a lifetime will run until April 14th. So be sure to get you GoT on and may the best person win…
King Tut’s Tomb
After almost a decade of intense restoration, King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber has been restored and has been reopened to the public.
Originally discovered in 1922, the tomb has become one of the most famous tourist attractions today, with thousands of tourists flocking to see the young king and his burial site. But it is the impact of tourists exposing the tomb to carbon monoxide (breath), moisture, along with wearing away the interior through touch, that caused the restoration.
Now, in a remarkable effort of preservation the tomb is equipped with an air filtration and ventilation system, there are new barriers and viewing platforms, lighting modifications and the wall paintings have been restored.
The tomb houses some of the original artifacts from its 1922 discovery, in fact King Tut’s mummy is now on display with visitors even having viewing access to his quartzite sarcophagus.
There are loads of questions surrounding the death of 19-year-old Tutankhamun, some even believe murder. After a visit to his newly opened tomb, maybe you’ll know the answer to this mystery.
Love is in the air
Valentine’s day is just around the corner, love is in the air and a heart-shaped meteoroid went up for auction.
Known as “The Heart of Space”, a heart-shaped space rock went up for auction of 6th February and will stay online for bidding until the 14th of February. Ready to make some lucky person swoon with this unique Valentine’s gift?
The meteoroid that went up in flames as it came crashing to Earth, measures 9 inches (its widest point) and weighs about 10 kg. When the flaming space rock went over Sikhote-Alin Mountains in Siberia back in 1947, its impact wreaked havoc. While it certainly wasn’t a graceful or romantic landing with the meteoroid breaking windows, and knocking over trees, it’s hard not to think about it as a metaphor for love.
The bidding is expected to reach around US$500,000 but when love is in the mix it’s anyone’s game – a bidding war in the name of love.
A secret garden in the Forbidden City
Opening to the public for the first time, is the historic Qianlong Garden. This untouched portion of the Forbidden City is said to be one of the most “exquisitely designed interiors” of Imperial China.
Created for the retirement of China’s longest-reigning sovereign, Qianlong Emperor, who was known for his impeccable taste, the historic complex has been relatively untouched and features a unique architectural design. The complex was meticulously crafted with the best materials and skilled artists and architects of the time.
Decorated with “bamboo marquetry, white jade cartouches, trompe l’oeil paintings, and embroidered satin sitting areas”, this magnificent and well-preserved find is one to witness first hand. Although still in restoration phases, the site aims to be fully open to the public by 2020.
Wheel the World
Machu Picchu is one of the most popular destinations in the world and the heart of the Incan Empire. But until recently, it has been an inaccessible destination for people use wheelchairs. Getting to Machu Picchu is no easy feat, especially with 320 near vertical steps to tackle.
Thanks to two friends, Alvaro Silberstein, who uses a wheelchair, and Camilo Navarro, Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is now wheelchair-accessible. The Chilean duo have worked together to create Wheel the World, a company offering wheelchair accessible tours to places like Easter Island in Chile, places in Mexico and Peru, now including Machu Picchu.
The specially designed wheelchairs are made from steel and aluminium and stored on site in Peru. The first wheelchair-accessible tour of Machu Picchu is set to officially take off in March 2019.
Branson’s done it again
With a name like the Scarlet Lady, you know Richard Branson’s new Virgin Voyages cruise ship is meant to be a lot of fun… just maybe not for the whole family. The adults only cruise has recently released its “rock star suite” designs bringing a little rebellion to the definition of “luxe”.
Travellers 18 years and older will experience everything from tattoo parlours to luxury spas on board the Scarlett Lady.
Amongst the many restaurant, cuisines and the 24-hour diner, is a ‘test kitchen’. The ‘test kitchen’ gives guests the chance to have some fun. All you have to do is give a list of ingredients to the chef and you’ll be surprised with a meal made from your list.
When your stomach is full and it’s time to relax, you can hit the spa, hydro pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pool or have a spa treatment. Or if you’d rather hit the athletic centre, you could head to the outdoor training arena and boxing ring complete with ocean views.
At night, you can hit the nightclub (or maybe get that tattoo).
The maiden voyage of this rebellious beauty will be from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020, with Cuba on the list for future journeys.
As far as weird and wonderful locations to camp go, camping under the ocean has to be the winner. Yep, that’s right. The ‘Ocean Space Habitat’ tent (OSH) is the creation of National Geographic explorer Michael Lombardi and Winslow Burleson, an associate professor at New York University.
The OSH was designed to aid in diver safety, especially for those wishing to dive deeper and longer. It works as a base camp. The tent allows divers to have a safe secure mid-point where they can remove their masks, replace their tanks or even have a meal. It works to provide a resting point and a space where divers can decompress before heading back to the surface.
And it’s not just divers who could benefit from this piece of innovative technology, but for rescue missions as well.
Although the tent is still in developmental phases, Lombardi and Burleson are working in collaboration with interested partners to create an affordable commercial option for all, from explorers to recreational divers.
The Stuff Dreams are Made of
It’s like something out of a fairy tale, only if you stay here you won’t get eaten by a witch (well, hopefully not). Built inside the Musee de Sevres, under a dome of glass, is a cottage… made of almost entirely of chocolate. And up to four people can stay there.
The chocolate cottage is the stuff of Willy Wonka’s dreams. Designed my artisan chocolatier Jean-Luc Decluzeau in collaboration with Booking.com, the cottage is delectable work of art. Although everything from the flower basket outside the window to the clock on the wall is edible, guests are not allowed to eat it. But fear not, Decluzeau wouldn’t leave guests without, instead there are plenty of chocolate treats provided and breakfast and dinner served in the chocolate flower garden, next to the chocolate duck pond.
On top of all the chocolatey-goodness, guest staying can experience a chocolate making workshop, where they learn to make mini chocolate chalets.
For die-hard chocolate fans, this truly is a dream come true.
The Hotel of the Future
When it comes to innovative hotel suite designs, nothing beats this. The Autonomous Travel Suite (ATS) designed by Aprilli Design Studio is the hotel suite of the future. This tech-driven, luxury suite has been crafted with the sole purpose of carrying guests on-the-go. The suite is self-driving (which means no tag-in, tag-out system needed) and offers all the luxuries of a hotel room including a bed with memory foam mattress, a work space, kitchen, bathroom, shower and entertainment arena.
Not only that, but the ATS has panoramic smart glass windows (which can be dimmed) giving you views like no other while you’re on the move.
The ATS works by popping in your start and finish point and any stops you’d like to make on the way. And it comes in a range of sizes so all your needs will be met.
If you don’t feel like sleeping in the suite, you can have the best of both worlds and travel between hotels in the ATS then enjoy a stay at a “parent” hotel.
The ATS is still having some details finalised, but is expected to be ready by 2021. We’ll just have to wait patiently for this one, and who knows… maybe it’ll replace domestic air travel?
The Art Journey
Over 16-days, 50 travellers will experience a perfectly curated tour of art and exclusivity. Captain’s Choice have officially announced the launch of their new ‘The Art Journey’ cultural tour. The tour begins in Paris on 14th September 2019. And aims to be an immersive experience.
From Paris to Italy, respected curator Jason Smith (director of Geelong Art Gallery) will host the tour. With his expansive art knowledge, he will take you through an exclusive tour of the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, where you will have a private viewing followed by dinner at the Picasso museum. After, guests board the luxurious Venice Simplon-Orient Express, where the private viewings continue.
And it isn’t just the art and the private viewings that are sure to leave you desperate to be one of the lucky few. A private mascaraed ball will be held in Venice, you’ll experience exquisite food and of course, the luxury accommodations are enough to make you feel like royalty.
Eco Luxe at Elysian Retreat
Luxury eco resort, formally known as Paradise Bay, has reopened under a new name. After almost 12 months of renovation, the new and improve Elysian Retreat is now welcoming guests.
Located in the Whitsundays, on the southern tip of Long Island, Elysian Retreat is one of the most secluded in the area. Nestled between rainforest and reef, this resort takes luxury to a new level.
In fact, included in your nightly room cost you’ll be treated to three gourmet meals daily including a three-course dinner, all matched perfectly with Australian and New Zealand wines. There are complimentary drinks throughout the day, sunset cocktails, canapés, water sporting equipment and access to the resorts personal boat.
If you’re thinking this one sounds great for the kids, think again. This retreat is adults-only and a place to truly unwind.
A maximum of 20 guests can stay at the resort, which you can book out for an event.
As for the eco part, this is one of Australia’s most sustainable hotels. And it has the awards to prove it.
From the Penthouse Suite to Eiffel Tower Views
After nearly 18 months of renovations, the iconic hotel, Hotel Powers, celebrated its reopening on the 4th of January 2019. To celebrate the opening, the hotels name was given a revamp as well. Welcome to the Hotel Grand Powers.
The hotel, located on corner of Rue Pierre Charron and François-Ier, is now a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It was renovated in its entirety, all to ensure every luxury for its future guests. And when they said everything, they meant it. Renovations included everything from the suites and rooms to dining areas, and even the roof was given an update. Every detail, no matter how small, has been thought of by the team at Grand Powers Paris.
Over 100 years old, the 1920’s hotel has 50 renovated rooms and suites available for guests.
To evoke a soft, gentle atmosphere the colour palette includes powdered pink, blue and celadon. Which are harmoniously combined with the period mouldings and fireplaces, contemporary furnishings and striking oak flooring.
The hotel is equipped with a café open for breakfast through to cocktails, spa with a sauna, Jacuzzi and massage service and exceptional concierge and staff service.
Its location in the Parisian Golden Triangle, close to Champs-Élysées and with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, along with its recent update, makes this Paris’ new ‘it’ hotel.
The Maltese Eco-Warrior Museum
The recently opened National Museum of Fine Art in Malta signifies a new step in Malta’s museum history. The new art museum called MUŻA is housed in an historic building, located at Auberge d’Italie. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the first Malta Museum was established in 1924. Now, MUŻA showcases over 20,000 works of art.
MUŻA, which stands for Muzew Nazzjonali tal-Arti, (National Museum of Fine Arts), not only works to inspire travellers and locals alike with its engaging artworks, but the museum itself works to promote eco-awareness and sustainability.
The MUŻA project began back in 2014 with an idea. The idea, turned into a proposal which was then developed by a multi-national team with expertise in engineering and both historic and modern architectural design. With an expert team in place, the recently opened museum has been successful in its goal for self-sustainability.
It utilises high energy-efficient power consumables, with natural lighting and renewable sources such as solar panels to help reach a potential zero-carbon footprint.
Although, the word MUŻA is an acronym for Muzew Nazzjonali tal-Arti, it’s also the word for ‘inspiration’ in Maltese. And that is exactly what this museum is, an inspiration and a step forward for art galleries and museums across the globe.
New hotel Ovolo The Valley truly is “Ovolo” (all over) it when it comes to five star luxury. The hotel is the latest in luxury accommodations opening in the city of Brisbane. The hotel is in the diverse, cultural centre of Fortitude Valley.
Opening earlier in December, Ovolo The Valley has already impressed guests with its eclectic design and vibrant colour palette. The hotel might be quirky and fun, but when it comes down to the finer details in regard to luxury it has perfected them to an art form.
The boutique hotel features a roof top swimming pool, a gym and a sauna. For those in need of a boardroom for an important meeting, they have B.I.G., which as you can imagine is appropriately named. Guests can choose from five room styles: Medium, Large, Large Spa, The Valley Suites and Rockstar Suites.
The Rockstar Suites are where it’s at when it comes to luxury living. Guest can expect a king size bed, a separate lounge, bar and dining area featuring a dining table and original art pieces by Daniel R. Watkins and Gerwyn Davies.
To get away from the stock standard ‘luxury’ hotel and enjoy the same luxury with a fun quirky feel, look no further than Brisbane’s Ovolo The Valley.
Retired Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller is part of the Ski Bomber team. A company that gives avid skiers the opportunity to ski on some of the top equipment in skiing. In an effort to expand his plan to build great skis, Bode has set out on a mission to give people of all skills and ages access to elite equipment from skis to poles and jackets.
With the launch of Beyond by Bomber, a ski program providing skiers the chance to ski in some of the most remote and exclusive locations, skiers can experience trips of a lifetime.
The three memberships: Diamond, Black Diamond and Double Black Diamonds all offer and exclusive experience. The Double Black Diamonds will give members their Bomber Skis of choice, a White Glove Concierge service and private access to the Bombers’s Fifth Avenue Penthouse as well as premier access to Bomber Ski events.
Miller has designed a variety of bucket-list experiences that people would otherwise never experience. Talk about a once in a life time experience.
The Race to Space
History has been made. The latest test flight for Virgin Galactic has successfully reached the edge of space and returned to Earth welcomed by a cheering Sir Ricard Branson.
On Thursday 13th December, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Galactic team and The Spaceship Company sent the passenger rocket ship, SpaceShipTwo into space. The race to send the first fee-paying passenger ship into space between Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos is on. Thanks to Thursdays success Branson is ahead of the game.
This goal has been a long time coming. In 2008, Virgin Galactic had plans to put people in space within 18 months. But with delays and a fatal crash in 2014, the dream has taken a little longer than anticipated.
Thursdays test flight carried two pilots and a mannequin named Annie as their passenger ‘stand in’. SpaceShipTwo took off from Mojave Desert in California and travelled at 2.9 times the speed of sound as it gained height. The ship reached 82.7km.
While the firm’s rivals, SpaceX (Elon Musk) and Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos) have technically ventured further into space, neither have done so with humans on board. Both companies plan to follow in Branson’s footsteps, with crewed missions set for 2019.
More than 600 people have already bought tickets or put down a deposit for a Virgin Galactic flight in the future. The flight costs $250,000 and will last 90-minutes.
With an Ocean View
Europe’s first underwater restaurant is set to open in autumn 2019 at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline. The aptly named restaurant, ‘Under’, offers guests panoramic underwater views and a truly unique dining experience. The restaurant will sit semi-submerged at five and a half metres beneath the North Atlantic Ocean.
The company behind ‘Under’ is the Norwegian founded, international architectural and design firm, Snøhetta. Rather than the half-sunken restaurant building reflecting and aquarium in design, Snøhetta have designed the structure to be incorporated within the marine environment resting directly on the sea bed. The structure has been built to withstand pressure from varying sea conditions and offers guests jaw-dropping views through its massive acrylic windows.
The menu is on par with the magnificence of the structural design. Guests can enjoy appetisers on the mezzanine level before descending a wooden staircase to embark on a culinary journey. ‘Under’ will offer a 15-18 course set menu that will vary seasonally and source only the best local ingredients. Each dish will be paired with a matching wine (or for those not drinking alcohol there is a non-alcoholic pairing option as well).
Before the restaurant has even opened its doors, the waitlist is set for a minimum of six month. Might be time to think ahead, book some flights and make a reservation for this unforgettable dining experience.
All aboard the Glacier Express
Switzerland’s Glacier Express is known as the world’s slowest express train. The journey lasts eight hours where passengers experience panoramic views as they cross 291 bridges and go through 91 tunnels between St Moritz and Zermatt. The popularity of the train journey has taken a luxurious turn. Due to high demand the Glacier Express will offer an ‘Excellence Class’ aboard it’s two new 20-seater coaches.
Lavish in design, the ‘Excellence Class’ coaches will offer the highest level of comfort to its passengers. Each passenger is guaranteed a window seat to enjoy unobstructed views of the remarkable landscape, has access to an exclusive bar known as the Glacier Bar and have their ever need catered for by the personal concierge service on board.
As for the dining, passenger will be offered a regional five-course meal with accompanying wines throughout the journey. Champagne, aperitif, amuse-bouche, coffee, Tea Time and snacks will also be available throughout the day.
‘Excellence Class’ seats can be reserved from 9th December 2018 (with journeys starting from 2nd March 2019). A reservation deposit of CHF 450 must be made at the time of booking.
Mareel Wellness & Beauty is set to launch aboard Cunard’s newly refurbished luxury cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth. The new spa concept has been developed in partnership between Cunard and wellness visionaries, Canyon Ranch.
The new holistic spa treatments will debut aboard the Queen Elizabeth, then extend to Cunard’s other luxury vessels Queen Victoria and Queen Mary across the next twelve months.
The entire spa facility has undergone a lavish revamp to work with the new treatment menu. The spa redesign incorporates ocean hues of blue, green and coral to create an oasis for the guests. The treatment menu aboard the Queen Elizabeth will include mineral-rich seawater and marine-based experiences. Guests can enjoy, the couples’ suite for seaweed bathing rituals, a meditation room and sound therapy facilities.
The products used throughout the spa treatments are sourced and created through socially responsible techniques. The ingredients are of an organic nature and sustainably harvested.
For guests wishing to book spa treatments, this can be done approximately 60 prior to sailing. Note: bookings for spa treatments must be place seven days prior to sailing.
Canada welcomes The St. Regis Toronto
Iconic luxury hotel, St. Regis Hotel and Resorts has announced its Canadian debut, The St. Regis Toronto. The 65-storey hotel is set to have 258 guest rooms, including 124 luxury suites. Guests will experience the bespoke service and modern elegance synonymous with the St Regis name. Those experiencing the luxury suites will be offered unparalleled, customised service, including the brand’s signature butler service. The butler, in collaboration with the new eButler chat will ensure guests can stay in contact at all hours of the day.
The hotel offers guests a culinary experience, with the choice of the LOUIX LOUIS – a grand bar and restaurant on the 31st floor and the lobby-level café, Astor Lounge. The LOUIX LOUIS offers American cuisine with French technique. The interior design draws inspiration from cocktail bars in New York and Paris. The two-storey grand bar offers excellence in its beverage list, which can be enjoyed in the bar itself, an outdoor secret garden overlooking Toronto’s skyline or in a loft space available for private bookings.
To add to the luxury of this new opening, the hotel has designed a spa oasis which includes and infinity-edge lap pool and a fitness centre which offers specialised movement classes including yoga and pilates.
The Parisian Bear
Bears are taking over Parisian neighbourhood suburb, Le Gobelins, with sightings becoming more of late. The bears have been sighted on the street, in cafes and even in hotels. However, there is nothing to fear, the bears are less grizzily and more cuddly.
But where are these bears coming from? Local bookshop owner Phillipe is the man behind the bears. Phillipe has 50 teddy bears in total which he has been placing around the neighbourhood since late October in an effort to bring the community together.
It’s of surprise that now Phillipe is known by name to the whole neighbourhood. For those wanting to join in the neighbourhood fun, it’s time to book a trip to Paris. Phillipe has plans to move the bears around the community up until the La Gallette des Rois celebration on January 6th. How does a teddy bears picnic in Paris sound?
Down to Earth
The very first skyscraper to be built was ten-stories high, which by today’s standards may not seem all that impressive but in 1885 it was. Since then, our obsession with skyscrapers has only grown with each new building designed to be taller than the last – our very own industrial rainforest. However, a new hotel built in Shanghai could be the spark for change in architectural design and reshaping the connection between nature and city. Built in an abandoned quarry this ‘earthscraper’ is a world first.
The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland (also known as Shimao Quarry Hotel) has 336 rooms across 18 floors. The top two floors sit above ground while the bottom floors are completely submerged by the lake that occupies the quarry. Facilities include a restaurant, a recreation centre offering rock-climbing and bungee jumping and outdoor water sports arena in the quarry with a shopping precinct in developmental stages.
The hotel, located in the Songjiang district, has cost approximately 287.9 million to complete. The hotel has been built vertically along the cliff face of an underground, water-filled quarry and sits at 88-meters deep. Prices for the hotels suites range from $489 – 546 per night.
Once in a Life Time Musical Experience
The concept of experiencing the gritty underbelly of 1960’s New York in Sydney, Australia may seem a little unusual. However, with the combined forces of Handa Opera and acclaimed American director Francesca Zambello, audiences will be transported back to the streets of West Side Story. There is only one stage in Australia that can do a musical like this justice, and that is Opera Australia’s famous over-the-water stage.
Across eight years, Handa Opera have attracted more than 330,000 visitors from all over the world to experience its productions. The outdoor stage is nearly three times larger than any other stage in Australia and seats approximately 3000 people. Audiences can find a range of themed dining and drinking options as well as the exclusive treetop Platinum Club – a pop-up dining room, bar and lounge. In addition to the outstanding performances and dining options, audiences will be treated to nightly fireworks, adding to the magic of the night.
With the Opera House in the background, city lights in the distance and the harbour waters lapping at the edge of the stage, it really will be a once in a life-time musical experience.
Myconian Collection: Double Digits
The family owned and operated Myconian Collection in Mykonos has a strong reputation when it comes to five-star luxury. There are currently nine existing hotels within the collection spanning over three main locations in Mykonos – Elia Beach, Mykonos Town and Platis Gialos. It has recently been revealed that in 2019, nine properties will become ten.
The tenth hotel in the collection, soon to be known as Panoptis, is currently being transformed from an abandoned fisherman’s home into a luxury nine-bedroom villa near its five sister properties in Elia Beach. It will offer 360 degree views of Mykonos with each bedroom having its own private pool. The boutique hotel can be rented as a whole or individually depending on guest needs.
The current Myconian Collection hotels are part of a global hotel collective, which include affiliations with Design Hotels, Relais & Chateaux, Preferred Hotel Group and Leading Hotels of the World. President and CEO, Vangelis Daktylidis has stated that the new addition to the collection will follow the same path as its sister hotels in joining the global hotel collective.
A Billionaire’s Hideaway
Nestled at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming is a little slice of chalet heaven. The land was fortuitously snapped up six years ago, and after spending more than $100 million dollars on its development, Caldera House is the ultimate luxury chalet for the ultra-wealthy.
The person behind the project is Wesley Evans, co-founder of the Fortress Investment group, co-owner of the Milwaukee Buck and a fan of Jackson Hole. For Evans, Caldera House is not only a practical project investment wise but also serves as a passion project. He has his own winter paradise to escape to.
The suites are decadent to say the least. There are eight suites in total, each the perfect blend of Scandinavian flair and classic American craftsmanship. Whilst the suites share a great deal of similarities, the interiors were designed by different companies to create a unique experience. Half the suites are 1,500 square feet designed with two bedrooms and the other half are more than double the size at 5,000 square feet with four bedrooms. Each suite sizes are designed with a kitchen, living and dining area with all the accouterments.
The hotel opened last year with a soft launch, making this the first official winter season Caldera House will be open. And people are certainly catching on. Almost as soon as the hotels Alpine clubs was announced, memberships flew out the window.
With celebrated Chef Paulie O’Connor in charge of the kitchen and guided experiences by a National Geographic photographer on the cards, Caldera House is ticking all the boxes in design, luxury and premium experience.
A Partnership in Luxury
A partnership has been officially formed between Mercedes Benz Brisbane and the city’s new luxe hotel on James Street, Calile Hotel.
Mercedes Benz will be the hotel’s official vehicle partner where a sleek S-Class will be permanently parked under the arched porte-cochere of the luxury resort showcasing both the car and the hotel. The car will venture from it’s place of pride with James Street’s newest luxury hotel offering guests the chance to bask in a new level of hospitality with the S-Class experience. The car will be used for airport collections and drop offs around town – what better way to arrive at an evening gala than in the Mercedes Benz S-Class.
The partnership is one of mutual recognition for Mercedes Benz and the Calile Hotel, who both pride themselves on the perfect balance of traditional and contemporary design, innovation and luxury.
Glamping in the Galapagos
For an experience both refined and thrilling, Celebrity Cruises have revealed a unique experience for passengers sailing on their new luxury yacht, The Celebrity Flora. The experience will have passengers glamping at sea in the Galapagos Islands surrounded by stars and nature.
The luxury yacht features top deck cabanas by day which convert to double beds by night. However, the experience is not for everyone on board. A maximum of four passengers can book the top deck experience where they will have two private luxury cabanas – one for sleeping and the other for al fresco dining. After a night of gazing at the stars, passengers will be greeted with breakfast in bed and a glorious sunrise over the water.
The Celebrity Flora, is the first ship designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands and will be ready for service on the 26th May 2019. Guest can book both 10-day and 11-day excursions or alternatively can opt for 16-day trips that voyage around both the inner loop and the outer loop of the islands. Whatever you chose be sure to book ahead to include the Galapagos glamping experience.
The Newest Dedications to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, fondly known by fans as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are currently on their Australia and South Pacific tour. The 16-day tour is the first international tour for the newly married couple, which coincides with the Invictus Games.
Whilst in Tonga, Harry and Meghan have dedicated two forest reserves to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy environmental initiative. The initiative, which began in 2015 has 42 of the 53 commonwealth countries in participation. The Queens’ Commonwealth Canopy is focused on uniting the commonwealth countries through a mutual want in conserving our forests for future generations.
“Planting trees and conserving forests helps us in so many ways,” Harry said. “It is a simple but effective way to restore and repair our environment, clean the air and protect habitat.”
The dedication took place at Tupou College, a high school founded in 1866 and believed to be the oldest school in the region. One dedication was made to the last remaining forest on Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu, and the other on the island of Eua.
Yoga and The Mindful Traveller
Gifts are coming early to Hurawalhi Island Resort. For the month of December, mindful travellers have the unique opportunity to experience Sunset Yoga on Hurawalhi’s private Dream Island beach. The experience is hosted by none other than Youtube fitness guru Meggan Grubb and will take you on a journey of serenity and inner peace.
Meggan teaches a simple yet effective practice which include traditional yoga poses, breathing techniques and a strong focus on the inner self and finding Zen. The modern-age guru has over one million followers on Instagram. Meggan can help you soak up the sunshine, become one with the ocean and perhaps get a snap for your own Instagram.
For those who want to feel the connective flow of the mind and body with nature, then treat yourself to an extra special gift this holiday period at Hurawalhi Island Resort.
Necker Island’s New Look
The private island of billionaire Sir Richard Branson is set to reopen later this month with a shiny new look. Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands, is famous for its white sand beaches, perfect weather and its exclusive luxury accommodations.
The current island accommodations and communal areas have been renovated and expanded to include two additional rooms in the Great House which is already home to nine bedrooms, as well as a new family friendly Bunk Room designed specifically for families. The Bunk Room will be bursting with toys, books and video games all in the name of family fun.
While the Great House will be ready to welcome guests by the end of the month, the island renovations won’t stop there. The Bali High complex will open in December with an extended pool and outdoor lounge area, and a private plunge pool which has been installed in each of the Bali Houses. Talk about an all-round luxe revamp.
For a week’s stay in a single room in the Great House prices start at US $31,675 and the Master Suite at US $51,030. For exclusive access to the whole island prices start at US $62,500 per night.
A Dynamic Duo
National Geographic and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours have banded together to launch a new line of National Geographic River Cruises. Together the duo will combine the all-inclusive luxury of Scenic cruises with National Geographic’s explorative adventurous nature.
The partnership offers several itineraries in Europe including the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers, Holland, Belgium, the Bordeaux region and Douro Valley and in Asia, on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.
While floating down the waterways of Europe and South East Asia, guests aboard the Scenic river cruise expeditions will be joined by an expert from National Geographic. With specialist knowledge, photography tips and exciting stories on offer, this partnership will give you a truly unique experience.
Stay in the Supreme Luxury at 22 Rue de Berri
Elsa Schiaparelli was a pioneer of Parisian fashion in the 1920’s and 30’s. She rubbed shoulders with the likes of Salvador Dali, Hubert de Givenchy and Gertrude Stein. In fact, her home in Paris, no. 22 Rue de Berri, was a creative hub where arts, designers and writers gathered.
Schiaparelli was deeply superstitious and thank goodness she was. Her superstitions led her to buy no. 22 Rue de Berri on the spot. Her reasons: The previous owner of 22 Rue de Berri, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte – yes, Bonaparte, the niece of the infamous Napoleon – was a distant relative of Schiaparelli and the property number was 22. Schiaparelli’s favourite number is four, if you add two and two together you get four. With signs like those she simply had to buy.
Now, 22 Rue de Berri has been turned into a 75 room, luxury hotel. The Hôtel de Berri remains authentically Parisian. Influenced by the owner and her guests, within the hotel walls are historical antiques, over 700 works of art including that of Pablo Picasso, more than 50 statues, frescos and even a Dali-inspired lips couch. In the midst of the city, lies a jungle of every shade of green imaginable. The courtyard is something truly magnificent to behold.
The hotel may be new to the hotel scene in Paris, but it remains a historically Parisian experience for those seeking authenticity, luxury and inspiration.
Stand on Top of a Cable Car and See the Alps
In a world first, skiers, hikers and sightseers alike can ride atop the Grande Motte cable car unencumbered by glass walls. Tignes Grande Motte, Savoie recently launched its exciting new venture – world’s largest cable car roof terrace – for those seeking the ultimate view of the Alps.
The cable car base station sits at 3,034m and from there goes up a further 500 over the Grand Motte glacier. The cable car will be operational during the summer and spring months where you will experience striking 360 degree views of Grande Casse and Mont Blanc on top of the roof terrace. Now, before you get too disappointed the roof terrace won’t be open in autumn and winter, just think if icy winds are smacking you in the face how could you enjoy that spectacular view? And at the end of the day the reason you have chosen to stand on top of a cable car roof at 3,500m above sea level (yikes!), is definitely to enjoy the views… and of course to snap that perfect Instagram photo to make everyone jealous back home.
Tignes Grande Motte is a unique and thrilling way to absorb the picturesque landscape.
World’s Best Bar… with a Twist
Located in London’s Southbank on the ground floor of the quirkily named Mondrian London Hotel at Sea Containers, resides the 2018 winner of the World’s Best Bar: Dandelyan.
Created by Ryan Chetiyawardana known as Mr Lyan, Dandelyan offers striking interiors designed renowned British designer Tom Dixon, botanical inspired cocktails and a unique sense of fun and flair. The current cocktail menu ‘Modern Life of Plants’ is divided into three sections: Mint, Grape and Hops. Exciting interpretations on the classics, mocktails as delicious as the cocktails and of course the Dandelyan originals will have your mind buzzing with the task of decision making. To match the moreish cocktails, the interior is something to behold. Visualise leather lavender banquettes, mirrored tables, lush green walls and a dark green marble bar with gold and brass accents – beautifully unique in every way.
All this may sound to die for, however, in a shocking turn of events, whilst Dandelyan was simultaneously named the World’s Best Bar of 2018, it also announced it would be closing its doors for good. Thankfully, there is still time. No date has been revealed as of yet, so you either have two choices: live in denial of its impending closure or get yourself to Dandelyan immediately to savour every last moment.
One of the World’s Longest Hiking Trails Opens in Chile
The highly-anticipated opening of Ruta de los Parques, one of the world’s longest hiking trails in the world, is finally here. Ruta de los Parques, or Route of Parks, is a 2800km route connecting 17 national parks across Chile. This scenic hiking trail runs all the way from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn. Home to a rich and diverse habitat of flora and fauna, stunning lakes and awe inspiring mountain ranges the Route of Parks offers breathing views in every direction.
Prior to the Route of Parks conception, three trails – Southern Way, End of the World Route and the Patagonian Channels – were already in existence in the area. Thanks to a donation of 10 million acres by the Tompkins Conservation, founded by former Patagonia CEO Kristine Tompkins and her late husband Douglas Tompkins the founder of North Face, the three existing trails have been incorporated within the Route of Parks hiking network.
The land donated by Tompkins Conservation had originally been bought in an effort to conserve the area and restore the native wildlife and natural habitat.
Route of Parks is a legacy to Douglas Tompkins and his efforts with Kristine in conservation, sustainability and ecotourism. Named as South America’s Best Destination four years running, it looks as though Chile and the Route of Parks will be making their way to the top of the travel list.
Hayman Island’s One Hundred Million Dollar Renovation
After severe damage caused by Cyclone Debbie in early 2017, Hayman Island will undergo a major 100 million-dollar refurbishment due to be completed in 2019. Mark Electr, resort manager and a man at the forefront of luxury properties and development, has revealed the refurbishment wont simply fix the damage from the cyclone but will reinvent the property.
As the only resort on the 400-hectre island, it is there to impress. There will be two new-build Residences, taking the property from 160 to 166 rooms, as well as a three-bedroom Beach House and 16 new Retreat Rooms. The resorts pools are undergoing refurbishment too, with private pools being added to the Beach House accommodations. Even with the growth and development of the renowned hotel, it will still have the same heart and retain its iconic features such as the Pacific restaurant.
Developing with the times means a new wellness concept and centre is being introduced including offers for spa and beauty treatments.
The new and improved Hayman Island hopes to draw more people to its shores, welcome the much-loved regulars back and provide an exciting experience for all.
American Airlines emBarks on a new journey
In an Australian first, American Airlines have launched the emBark program at Sydney International Airport. With help from Assistance Dogs Australia the program is aimed at providing support to people with physical disabilities, autism, post-traumatic stress and anxiety.
To graduate to an official member of Assistance Dogs Australia, it takes two years of training and approximately $35,000 per pup. This program is to be a final step in the training process for the dogs before they can graduate and are placed with those who need them in a permeant capacity.
Assistance Dogs Australia and American Airlines hope that not only will the program help those who need or want it while at the airport, but they hope it will inspire others to support the training, the work and services provided by these loveable creatures.
Although the program does focus on those who are in need or would like extra assistance, the assistance dogs are not likely to refuse a cuddle, smile or a photo. It seems everyone, including staff, are benefiting from the emBark program and the reduced stress and angst that can come with airports and travel.
Every Tuesday and Thursday the assistance dogs will make an appearance at Sydney International Airport bringing comfort, confidence and smiles to travellers. With that in mind, it looks like Tuesday and Thursday will be the new favourite day to jet off on an adventure.
The Kingdom of Bhutan
Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom, making it a mysterious and unique destination. It’s also one of the most expensive destinations in the world to visit due to the $250/day tariff which ensures sustainable tourism for the country.
Bhutan is known for being the Happiest Place on Earth and Six Senses hotels are know for their luxury, conservation efforts and community focus. Bring the two together and they are a force of happiness and luxury, unstoppable.
Six Senses hotels have announced the opening of five intimate lodges in Bhutan, due to open towards the end of 2018. The resort is spread across the landscapes of Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro, with each boasting breath-taking views.
Reflecting the heritage, culture and warmth of Bhutan, each lodge has been individually designed. In fact, with each lodge so vastly different guests are welcome to experience them all with the ultimate Six Senses Bhutan experience on their journey through this striking country.
With the rise of technology and media sharing, travel inspiration and travel envy have never been so high. Especially when social media platform Instagram is involved. The desire to capture picturesque landscapes, moments of joy and expressions of awe at the natural beauty in our world dates much further back than the smart phone. One could argue that paintings were the original Instagram. With Instagram on the mind, travellers are seeking ‘Instagrammable’ destinations more than ever before. Of course, it comes as no surprise that the world’s most Instagrammable hotel can found in the endlessly beautiful Maldives.
Guests are transferred to Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villa via seaplane costing between AUD $1450 and $20265, depending on whether you are inclined to share the plane or travel privately. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villa offers guests a picture perfect experience in its 80 private pool villas. The villas, some on stilts over water and some located backing on to a private beach, start at AUD $2120 (including breakfast).
Anantara Kihavah’s title as the “Most Instagrammable Hotel” is undeniably deserving, which is very apparent upon arrival. The jaw dropping views are enough to be the envy of all those back home, not to mention the underwater restaurant, overwater bar, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve reefs to snorkel amongst, the observatory and Sky, the night sky viewing deck are all on hand for Instagram perfection.
Luxe Eco Adventure
Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has finally announced the launch of its exciting new venture – the Three Capes Lodge Walk. As the newest addition to the Great Walks of Australia collection, the Three Cape Lodge Walk has been highly anticipated for its innovative environmental technologies and unbelievable attention to detail in preserving the natural flora and fauna of the area.
The walk itself is 46km and lasts four days. Unlike any other guided exploration of the Three Capes Track, the Tasmanian Walking Company is the only commercial operator permitted to provide private accommodations with in the Tasman National Park area. As such, the accommodation is not only focused on conservation and environmental sustainability but also on providing its guests with the finest lodgings.
The design for the lodges take inspiration from the striking surrounding landscapes. Featuring, suspended flooring ensures minimal disturbance to the ground, the roof follows the natural contours of the land and the sleeping pods are strategically positioned under the canopy. Not only that but the Tasmanian Walking Company utilises state of the art technologies including Swedish design filters for the shower systems which consume 80% less energy. The system for renewable energy ensures the safety of birds in the area by eliminating rotor tips, which can cause injury, and instead combining PV solar systems with Archimedes wind turbines.
And it’s not just the innovative technologies and striking views that will draw a crowd here. The lodge and its stunning open designs, its seasonal dishes plated using only the best locally sourced ingredients, the Relaxation Pavilion and rejuvenating spa therapist, an outdoor bath in the woodland surrounding and the private boat trip to Denman’s Cove all make the Three Capes Lodge Walk the next exciting bucket list adventure.
Puttin’ on the Ritz
The Ritz-Carlton has a new venture on the horizon and it’s not another hotel. In a world first, The Ritz-Carlton will not only rule the earth in luxury accommodation but with their fleet of luxury yachts, they will rule the sea too.
A maximum of 298 guests will reside in the terraced luxury suites aboard the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. While the Ritz-Carlton is all about luxury, for those wanting to step it up a notch there are two 1,700 sq-ft penthouse suites available, each equiped with a private whirlpool and entertainment suites.
As some of the smallest ultra-luxe yachts in the market, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are able to access smaller ports allowing for exploration. The collection has been styled, designed and kitted out with it’s guests wants, needs and desires in mind, offering a personalised experience.
With the first of three in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection due to embark on it’s maiden voyage in 2020, its time to start planning. Will it be a Mediterranean round-trip, a Caribbean voyage or a historic Baltic and Northern Europe adventure?
On July 10th 2019, Bentley will celebrate its 100th birthday with a limited edition Mulsanne W.O. edition by Mulliner. There will be a production quantity of only one hundred vehicles, making it one of the most exclusive automotive purchases in the world. The 1930’s designed personal vehicle of Bentley founder, Walter Owen Bentley, was also the last and most innovative he designed for his company. In his honour, each of the limited edition Mulsanne W.O. editions will have a piece of his original 8-Litre car. Accompanied by an inscription detailing the significance, a piece of the original 8-Litre crankshaft will be preserved within a bespoke Mulliner cocktail cabinet.
There will be a public debut at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with deliveries commencing in 2019, for those lucky enough to score one of these exclusive cars. Embodying the spirit of the Bentley 8-Litre, the Mulsanne W.O. edition by Mulliner is a worthy successor.
La Reserve named as Travel and Leisure’s best hotel in both Paris and Europe
Parisians are known for being particularly stylish and perhaps stylishly particular, thus it is little surprise that the number one hotel in Paris, La Reserve has also been named as Europe’s premier address.
La Reserve Hotel & Spa has taken this year’s first place accolades over other elegant competition. One awed reader described the hotel as being “in a class by itself.”
Lea Seguier said, “As ambassador for this incredibly chic property, it is wonderful to be able to share the news of La Reserve being recognised as the number one hotel in Europe and Paris, with Australians. Paris is such a truly incredible city, it is an honour to be considered the number one abode in the French cultural capital.”
La Reserve is located mid-way between Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, where the heart of Paris beats. Nestled in a peaceful location, slightly set back from the world’s most beautiful avenue, La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa overlooks the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon and the Concorde obelisk. Just in front, a majestic curtain of trees preserves the intimacy of this place, like an echo of the Elysée gardens nearby.
Michel Reybier’s highly distinctive urban mansion has all the elegance of a 19th century private apartment, where ultra-personalized services can be enjoyed in complete simplicity and discretion.
All around are immense spaces bathed in light, barely muted by the rich fabrics of the hangings. Scattered here and there are beautiful marble fireplaces, and everywhere the joy of vast indoor spaces, typical of Haussmann-style apartments. The noble and generous materials exude a forgotten spirit of generosity. More suites than rooms, a library reserved for guests and their friends, a 16 metre indoor pool (a rarity in Paris), wine cellars in the suites, an inner courtyard with lush greenery echoing the landscaped entrance. At La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa, you experience the quintessence of Parisian chic in the Belle Époque.
A Five-Star Flight Experience for $280?
I know what you’re thinking: there is no WAY that a five-star flight experience could possibly cost as little as $280 US. For once, being wrong won’t seem so bad.
AURA is due to launch its ultra luxe flights next year at commercial airline prices. The mission at AURA is to provide private first-class service with the affordability of commercial flights. By AURA planning to operate out of small private airports across major American cities, it will eliminate one of the most frustrating parts of commercial flying – the wait time. With AURA guests can arrive 20 minutes before the flight, no fuss, no stress.
On board there are twenty-nine seats spread over two classes – “FIRST” and “WAVE”. The term FIRST is used in reference to the passengers in the main cabin rather than the assumed meaning “first-class”. Even though FIRST may not refer to “first-class”, guests have more legroom available to them in comparison with first-class commercial fliers. For an absolute premium experience aboard AURA book the WAVE class. Only eight custom Swiss-designed seats are available in WAVE class. The zero-gravity AÏANAWAVE seats were designed in collaboration with sleep psychologists and aero-medical scientists to provide you with an unparalleled flight experience. When it comes to dining FIRST is offered Tapas from around the world and WAVE, well… WAVE class has their own chef. Need I say more?
By paying a $100 monthly Keyholder fee, flight prices will go for as little as $280 one-way. Not wanting to pay a Keyholder fee? No problem. The flight will cost anywhere from $560 one-way rather than $280. Either way, it’s a knock out deal that’s impossible to ignore.
Just a Wee Dram
The 1926 limited edition Macallan Whisky is known as the most expensive bottle of whisky in the world. As the label suggests, the bottles were originally distilled in 1926. It wasn’t until 1986 that the whisky was drained from their oak barrels and bottled.
At the time there were only forty bottles produced. The first twelve bottles, had their labels designed and hand signed by artist Sir Peter Blake, famously know for the album cover artwork of The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The next twelve had labels designed by Italian graphic artist Valerio Adami. As to what happened to the remaining sixteen bottles, supposedly two were sold without labels back in the early 2000’s, some are thought to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan and some offered by Macallan as special releases.
Of the 1926 limited edition bottles, three Peter Blake and two Valerio Adami bottles have surfaced this year after decades of nothing. Two of which were sold in auction. The first bottle was sold at 1.01 million taking it to Guinness Book of World Records status. However, that record swiftly broken by the second bottle of Macallan Whisky selling for 1.1 million dollars in auction.
If you happen to see one of these bad boys floating around, snap it up. You never know when you’ll see another 1926 limited edition Macallan Whisky again.
A Hunk of… Burning Love
A private jet owned by none other than the King of Rock and Roll, is currently up for auction. This is the only Elvis Presley jet, out of three, still owned privately – the other two are owned by The Graceland estate in Memphis. The 1962 Lockheed Jetstar 1329 has certainly seen better days, although the same could be said for Elvis in his lifetime. Despite its run down exterior and the fact it’s currently without an engine as well as some cockpit essentials, the jet has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it. The plane, being sold ‘as is’, hasn’t been restored or modified since Elvis himself added his own flair. When I say ‘flair’, I really do mean it… Red velvet seats, red shag carpet, woodwork inlays and gold-plated accents were all specifications made by Elvis. With a little imagination and a lot of money, this historical private jet could be restored to its former glory. To bid in the auction go to: IronPlanet
Ultimate Luxury Luggage Collection
Austrian born designer Marc Sadler continues to pave the wave for innovation with his new collection of luxury suitcases. Known as the Bank Collection, the aluminium and leather suitcases are designed to allow travellers to work, sleep and cook on the go. The suitcase trio each holds their own purpose. The Bank Workstation, at £4302, features a small foldout desk and work chair perfect for the business person on the go. The Bank Bedstation, comes in at a little more than the Workstation at £6,060, features a fold-out wooden frame, a sleeping bag, a pillow and even a side compartment to store belongings. While both the Workstation and the Bedstation have been released, the Cookstation is still on the way. It’s said to feature a cooking top, mini-fridge, power supply, cutlery draws and a chopping board. Unbelievably, you can have all that in a neat travel size suitcase… almost too good to be true.
A Walk in the Park
An 18-Month old former guide dog known as Mr Walker, is now the much beloved canine ambassador and Instagram star at Park Hyatt in Melbourne. Park Hyatt set out to make its 5-star luxury accommodation feel a little more residential. Deciding there is no better way to make someone feel at home, than to have a dog running around they got in contact with Guide Dogs Victoria. When Park Hyatt discovered Mr Walker was looking for a change in career they set up an interview and a few tests to make sure he was up to the task. Passing with flying colours, Mr Walker was hired. Mr Walker may still be a pup but he’s a pup who certainly knows the rules, which include the kitchen and restaurant being off limits. This canine concierge attends morning meetings, greets guests, meets with VIPs, poses for pictures and goes for walks. He lives full time at the hotel and doesn’t get reprimanded if he’s found sleeping on the job – what a life.
Remember to check out Mr Walkers Instagram for some adorable pictures.
Sleep with the Fishes…
An underwater hotel suite is opening soon in the Maldives that will put all the over water bungalows to shame. The underwater hotel suite is named The Muraka, meaning “coral” in Dhivehi (the local dialect).This is the second venture in underwater innovation and architecture by Crown Company in the Maldives, who designed the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant about thirteen years ago.
There are two-levels to this underwater paradise. The upper level features: bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bar, a dining room, a powder room, a gym and a deck. The lower room, sitting 16.4 ft below sea level, a bedroom fit for Poseidon himself, living room, bathroom and a spiral staircase leading to the upper level. The underwater room boasts 180 degree views of the Indian Ocean and ocean wildlife. The room, available at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, will cost about $50,000 a night depending on how the underwater experience is customised. The suit can accommodate up to 9 guests. I would definitely be putting my hand up to pay just so I could secure the underwater bedroom…
A new ski hotel, currently in development, will have you skiing from the hotel roof straight onto the slopes of Vallée de Joux in western Switzerland. The sloped roofing of the hotel has been styled to compliment a nearby museum, designed by the same company. Both buildings feature a spiral or zig-zag style roof reflecting the craftsmanship of Swiss watch designs. When Hôtel des Horlogers opens in 2020 it aims to feature two restaurants, a bar, a spa and a conference centre, as well as fifty guest rooms. The combination of ski park architectural influence, luxury hotel design and just a touch of whimsy is sure to draw a crowd as it takes ski accommodation to a whole new level of allure.
A World First: Non-Inflatable Floating Sofa
Greek designers Manos Tsikliotis and Vivian Paraschos are defying gravity with their undeniably innovative invention of non-inflatable floating sofas. As with all good ideas, inspiration struck whilst the pair were chatting over a cup of coffee. Now, their idea is a reality. Using fibreglass materials with marbled texture, the two-metre long sofas of the WAVES collection, are able to float on a wet surface despite weighing as much as a normal everyday sofa. The sofas can be used in the home, on sand or in water (as long as it’s secured). Tsikliotis and Paraschos’ ability to combine comfort, aesthetically pleasing designs and practical use, makes this revolutionary collection of outdoor daybeds a unique must-have product.
Luxury Wellness Spa Grand Opening
Palazzo Ducale Venturi, a five-star medieval palace in Puglia, Italy, is opening its doors. The palace has been exquisitely renovated with the assistance of the Soprintendenza of Cultural Heritage in order to maintain the historical significance of the palace and preserve the countless antique furniture within its walls. Each suite offers a slice of luxury and charm. Whether you are staying in the Ducal Suite with its glorious ceiling frescos, sinking into the comfort of the Deluxe Suite, sitting by the original fireplace in Junior Suite, opening the doors of the Classic Room onto a citrus grove or having a romantic escape to the intimacy of the Abbess Room, you’re bound to feel like Kings and Queens at Palazzo Ducal Venturi.
The grounds are equiped with a fitness and wellness spa. Slipping into the underground heated pool, with hydromassage will have you floating on clouds. You will be given the royal treatment with massages, facials and beauty treatments on offer. The palace is located near four stunning beaches and has its own filtering salt pool in the main garden.
At Palazzo Ducale Venturi you are given an exclusive opportunity to experience the perfect combination historical allure and modern luxury.
Cost: from €360*/night
“Room with a Brew”
For the beer lovers of the world, Independent craft brewer Brewdog has announced the opening of a craft beer hotel in Scotland. Set to open its doors in the first half of 2019, The Doghouse (as it will be called) is said to have beer taps in the rooms, a built-in shower beer fridge and balcony views overlooking the brewery, even rumours of a beer filled hot tub have been circling around! The hotel was completely crowd funded through the Equity for Punks crowd funding initiative which raised over 53 million pounds… not too bad! For something a little different, perhaps a trip to Scotland is in order in 2019?
Pup and Away!
Want to live the high life but can’t bear to leave your favourite furry friend at home? Life Travel in Hong Kong lets you and your pups take to the skies in a private jet. Unlike commercial flights, Life Travel won’t be putting your pup in the hold but instead you can both kick back and relax side by side on the plane. Life Travel offers more than a dozen doggy holidays letting dog lovers have the holiday they’ve always wanted. For a 5-day trip and two pups, the cost is approximately $30,000, which really is nothing compared to the memories that you and your pup will make! Although currently only flying Hong Kong to Japan, talks have already begun in an effort to expand Life Travel internationally. It’s likely to come down to paperwork; if your dog has the right documentation then off you fly. So, for all the dog lovers out there, start packing your bags and prepping your pup for the ultimate bonding holiday.