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News

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!

February:

Wine, resorts and residences

Image courtesy of The Four Seasons

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

Image courtesy of Forbes

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

Image courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

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

Image courtesy of star registration

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

Image courtesy of World Monuments Fund

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

Image courtesy of Visit Peru

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.

January:

Branson’s done it again

Image courtesy of Virgin Voyages

With a name like the Scarlett 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.

Underwater camping 

Image courtesy of The Inertia

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

Image courtesy of Fine Dining Lovers

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

image courtesy of Aprilli

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

Image courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton

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

Image courtesy 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

Image courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels

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

Image courtesy of Guide Me Malta

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.

December:

Ovolo it…

Image courtesy of Ovolo The Valley

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.

Ski VIP

Image courtesy of Bomber Ski

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

Image courtesy of Virgin Galactic

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

Image courtesy of Under

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

All aboard the Glacier Express

Image courtesy of Leger Holidays

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.

Beauty Queen

Image courtesy of Seatrade Cruise News

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

Image courtesy of Marriott Rewards

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

November:

The Parisian Bear

Image courtesy of Sortir à Paris

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

Image courtesy of RT

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

Once in a Life Time Musical Experience

Image courtesy of Sydney Opera House

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

Double Digits

Image courtesy of Myconian Ambassador

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

A Billionaire’s Hideaway

Image courtesy of Caldera House

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

A Partnership in Luxury

Image courtesy of The Urban Developer

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

Glamping in the Galapagos

Image courtesy of Seatrade Cruise

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

October:

The Newest Dedications to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy

Image courtesy of Eua Island Tonga

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

Yoga and The Mindful Traveller

Image courtesy of Hurawalhi Island Resort

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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

Necker Island’s New Look

Image courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

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 

Image courtesy of National Geographic

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

 

Image courtesy of Marriott

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

Image courtesy of Top Ski Resort

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

Image courtesy of Tom Dixon

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

Image courtesy of Tompkins Conservation

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

Image courtesy of Sailing Whitsundays Australia

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.

September:

American Airlines emBarks on a new journey

Image courtesy of 9news

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

Image courtesy of Six Senses 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.

Insta Famous

Image courtesy of Anantara Kihavah Maldives

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

Image courtesy of Great Walks of Australia

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.

August:

Image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton

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?

July 2018:

Bentley Celebrates

Image courtesy of GTspirit

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

Image courtesy of La Reserve

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.

@leaseguier

www.lareserve.com

A Five-Star Flight Experience for $280?

Image courtesy of Fly Aura

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.

June 2018:

Just a Wee Dram

Image courtesy of the Daily Record

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

Image courtesy of Cerodosbe

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

Image courtesy of The Independent UK

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

Image courtesy of The Australian

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.

May 2018:

Sleep with the Fishes…

Image courtesy of Uncrate

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…

Architectural Innovation

Image courtesy of CCHE

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

Image courtesy of the Greek City Times

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.

April 2018:

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

*Prices vary

“Room with a Brew”

Image courtesy of Business Insider

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!

Image courtesy of Forbes

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.

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