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

NEWS The Lodge in Verbier turns ten

 The Lodge, Verbier is celebrating its 10th anniversary this upcoming northern hemisphere winter As The Lodge looks forward to its tenth ski season Virgin Limited Edition reveal 10 little known facts about this private mountain retreat:1.The Lodge was refurbished using timber and oak that was reclaimed from local sources. 2.There’s a secret doorway that connects the two Master suites. You’d never know as it’s hidden in a bookcase! 3. It’s not just for grownups ,a specially created bunk room complete with plasma screen TV, DVD player, games console and bean bags is ready to welcome younger guests.  4. There’s an elevator to whisk guests through the five floors of the 1,200m2 chalet; offering the perfect antidote for tired legs after a day on the slopes. 5.The Lodge is in an unrivalled location,  Views ,views ,views. 6. A dedicated team of 15 are there to ensure a stay at The Lodge lives up to expectations. 7. It’s personal The team will get to know sizes and requirements ahead of arrival and arrange for all ski gear to be delivered and fitted in the comfort of The Lodge.  8.Size does matter, particularly when it comes to chocolate, and guests can look forward to a full size Toblerone bar on their pillow at turn down.  9. The Lodge has its own spa room with a resident beauty therapist to offer relaxation and soothing treatments. It also has two Jacuzzis, a steam room and 9m heated indoor pool.  10.The food is one of the highlights of a stay. The resident chefs are passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients.
www.virginlimitededition.com

NEWS Selfridges’ new Rooftop Italian Restaurant

Il Tetto, a new all-day dining Italian restaurant will open on Selfridges’ iconic rooftop on Friday 6th October.
Selfridges has collaborated with renowned restaurateur Des McDonald to launch Il Tetto. This new modern Italian restaurant, with views across the London skyline, will take up a year-long residency on the iconic Selfridges rooftop. 
Des McDonald has worked closely with Head Chef Luca Terraneo (formerly of L’Anima) to create a menu of authentic Italian dishes, using well sourced, seasonal ingredients from across Italy. 
Inspired by the traditional Italian trattorias, Il Tetto will bring a taste of the casual, rustic neighbourhood restaurants found throughout Italy to the iconic Selfridges rooftop.  The roof has been transformed with accents of Tuscan red, burnt orange and olive green throughout and terracotta pots filled with herbs bring a sense of rural Italy to the city. 
Il Tetto opens daily at 11, serving brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner seven days a week. www.iltetto.co.uk


NEWS a Curio Collection hotel for Sydney

Curio Collection by Hilton has announced the signing of its first hotel in Sydney. Under a management agreement with M&L Hospitality, Hilton will manage the West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton. The new build hotel is due for completion by December 17. Designed by Australian Architecture firm, Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, West Hotel will have its own distinct character appealing to the curious traveller seeking an authentic Sydney experience.   “As the first Curio Collection hotel in Australia, the signing of West Hotel Sydney is an exciting achievement for us,” said, Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “Sydney has an eclectic and diverse mix of people, cultures and experiences – all of which are reflected in this property.”  The newly built West Hotel Sydney features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites, a restaurant and bar, a fully equipped gym and a private meeting/dining room. The property will attribute modern classic design elements. Deep tones and marble accents with a strong botanical theme run throughout – from the open-air central garden atrium and the white waratah flower motif in the lobby to the floral-inspired carpet design in the guest rooms. www.curiocollection.com



NEWS The Ritz Carlton Koh Samui opens

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui opened in Thailand yesterday. With 175 suites and pool villas, nestled amid 58 acres, the resort overlooks  turquoise waters with an extensive oceanfront. Built on the site of a former coconut plantation, the stunning resort with its contemporary architecture pays homage to its past with the extensive use of coconut and other natural materials such as ceramics that imbue a sense of place. .  “The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui marks another milestone of our strong partnership with Marriott International. With the opening of this resort, our portfolio together with Marriott International now encompasses nine properties across Asia-Pacific and Europe,” said Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels As befits a YTL hotel the Spa Village Koh Samui is an impressive  3,800 square metre sanctuary  featuring eight treatment suites, three massage pavilions, a yoga pavilion, health bar, and a lap pool with intimate cabanas. Guests will be able to experience the Songkran Shower, the signature pre-spa ritual inspired by the annual Songkran festival. The resort’s culinary offerings reflect the destination’s bold flavours synonymous with southern Thai soul food at with seven dining experiences available. The resort adds to YTL Hotels’ current footprint in Thailand which includes The Surin Phuket, a member of Design Hotels™, and the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express which travels from Singapore to Thailand.  www.ritzcarlton.com, www.ytlhotels.com

NEWS The Fabulous Baker Brothers fire up the BBQ

Nothing brings people together better than a BBQ. However, Barbeques don’t have to be a summertime ritual. To celebrate its love of al fresco cooking, Four Seasons Fairways has launched ‘WinterGrill’, a campaign to encourage not only their guests, but everyone to fire up the coals on a more regular basis.
Each of the resort’s 132 private villas include fully functional kitchens and bespoke BBQ stations, and as part of ‘WinterGrill’ a set of Recipe Cards with unique recipes created by British TV Chefs Tom and Henry Herbert (The Fabulous Baker Brothers) will also be provided. To accompany these recipes Tom and Henry have also created a set of online tutorials showcasing the ingredients, techniques and method for each. 
The Fabulous Baker Brothers will also be hosting a LIVE BBQ Masterclass at Four Seasons Fairways from 20 – 23 February 2018. They will be demonstrating top tips and tricks for great BBQ technique and how to prepare the food properly ready for grilling.  
Sounds Delicious! To view the tutourials and for further information visit  www.fourseasonsfairways.com/en/winter-grill


NEWS Azamara Club Cruises announces new ship

Boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises has announced it will purchase a sister ship to Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest and take delivery in March 2018. The ship’s décor will be updated to match the brand’s  luxury look with the feel of  of a boutique hotel at sea. “We are pleased to expand our portfolio, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world through the acquisition of this sister ship,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Our loyal guests and travel partners have asked for this expansion for a long time; we are very pleased to deliver this to them.” The new addition, Azamara Pursuit, is comparable in size to the other two Azamara ships, which allows visits to unique ports that larger ships are unable to reach. Together, the three ships will support the brand’s commitment to enrich what Azamara calls “destination immersion “ around the world, by staying longer in port to allow guests to experience more.   The ship’s décor will be updated to match the brand’s luxury look with the feel of a boutique hotel at sea. Information about deployment and itineraries for Azamara Pursuit will be available in October.  www.azamara.com/pursuit 

NEWS Cunard's amazing new ship

Cunard, one of the world’s most well-known cruise brands, has announced it will build a new ship for launch in 2022.  Cunard's fourth ship, billed as  “a next-generation vessel “,  is set to be the largest in the line's fleet (based on passenger capacity). The 113,000-gross-tonne ship will carry 3,000 passengers and become the first new-build vessel for the line since Queen Elizabeth debuted in 2010.Carnival Corp.'s CEO Arnold Donald said: "We are very pleased to announce a fourth ship for our immensely popular Cunard brand, which is also one of the most legendary brands in the entire vacation industry The new ship will join the Queen Mary 2 (QM2), Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Carnival Corporation, Cunard's parent company, will build the ship at Fincantieri shipyard, in northern Italy - where ships for Viking Cruises, Seabourn and MSC Cruises are also currently under construction - and confirms Carnival’s“ambitious plans” for the future of Cunard.  In the face of competition from newer and ever more luxurious ships, the brand has alread  invested £120 million bringing two of its existing vessels up to date. The refurbishment of it flagship QM2 was the most expensive refit for any ship in Cunard’s 176-year history.  www.cunard.com

 
NEWS Rosewood's new London hotel

TLTB is a big fan of Rosewood London in High Holborn so we welcome the announcement that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed  to manage a new five star  hotel in  Grosvenor Square, Mayfair. Set to be housed in the iconic building which is currently the U.S. Embassy,. The property will offer 137  guestrooms and suites, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment spaces, including five gourmet restaurants. The property will also feature a signature spa, as well as six flagship retail spaces and a grand ballroom with space for up to 1,000 guests/ B British architect, Sir David Chipperfield will  oversee the  reimagining of  the mid-20th century listed building through elegant interior upgrades while still maintaining the integrity of the property through the preservation of the building’s original, Grade II listed façade. “We are thrilled to embark on this exciting new venture, which will bring new life to this iconic building,” says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. The hotel will be the second Rosewood property in London and will open as the sixth property in Europe. The announcement comes on the heels of the enormously successful reopening of Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, solidifying Rosewood’s expanding presence in Europe and around the globe. www.rosewood.com.au

NEWS Girl’s Night In at the Great Northern Hotel with Desmond & Dempsey

We love a good night in! London’s Great Northern Hotel has created the ultimate grown-up sleepover to celebrate with your BFF.
A Girl’s Night In includes a one-night stay for two friends where guests can choose from Desmond & Dempsey’s luxurious 100% cotton sleepwear range. The beautiful range of PJ’s has been inspired by the classic men’s shirt and reimagined for the bedroom and tailored for women. Guests can also take advantage of a free monogramming service to personalise their pyjamas (perfect as a memento of the stay!).
The stylish sleepover also includes two signature cocktails each, created by the GNH Bar for guests to enjoy in their room, and a selection of delicious sweet and savoury snacks to share. GNH also offers the latest movie releases to watch, and the guest Pantry on every floor is fully stocked with home-made cakes, teas, Nespresso coffee, newspapers and magazines all at no extra charge. 
The luxury continues in the morning at Plum + Spilt Milk, the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant.  A delicious Champagne brunch for two will be served, which includes a selection of light first courses and small dishes, eggs and refined main dishes, plus a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne to share and coffee to finish.   
A Girl’s Night In is priced from £280 per person based on two people www.gnhlondon.com 


NEWS The Bloomsbury hotel blooms

The Bloomsbury, a 1928 Sir Edwin Lutyens, Grade-II listed building on Great Russell Street in London  is about to get a serious make over. Luckily the redesign is in the hands of The Doyle Collection, the privately owned and managed group of luxury hotels in Ireland, the UK and US which include The Westbury  and The Croke Park in Dublin.  Following the successful relaunch of The Kensington in 2016, The Bloomsbury redesign will be completed in November 2017. The hotel will be transformed following a multimillion-pound investment programme led by Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – the internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design studio.  The transformation of The Bloomsbury has been a long-term focus for Gallagher, whose vision for the brand is to create a group of hotels at the forefront of cool design and product innovation with superb service, that are deeply rooted to their local area.  www.doylecollection.com

NEWS Louvre set to open in Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its doors to the public on 11 November 2017. It is the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: a universal museum that focuses on shared human stories across civilisations and cultures. The opening celebrations will include a wide range of public programmes, including symposiums, performances, concerts, dance, and visual arts by renowned contemporary and classical artists.  Located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a museum city (Arab medina) under a vast silvery dome. Visitors can walk through the promenades overlooking the sea beneath the museum’s 180-metre dome, comprised of almost 8,000 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern . On display will be the museum’s important collection of artworks, artefacts and loans from France’s top museums. These span the entirety of human existence:  from prehistorical objects to commissioned contemporary artworks, highlighting universal themes and ideas and marking a departure from traditional museography that often separates according to origin. In addition to the galleries, the museum will include exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique and a café.

NEWS VIceroy Group's second ski hotel

We’re fans of the Viceroy Snowmass. So it is good news that the Viceroy Hotel Group is scheduled to launch its second ski resort in 2018 ,  a ski in/ski out, 120- room hotel in Kopaonik Serbia, the largest ski resort in Serbia. 
Design is from WATG and Wimberly Interiors (who have previously leant their design touch to Anantara, Shangri-La, Four Seasons and W)  and will draw on the local Suvo Rudiste architectural styles and the surrounding  natural landscape. Key design elements will include dark natural timber, white accents, abundant windows and open-air environments.
There will be four F&B options at the resort, including an apres-ski lounge with what promises to be stunning  views of the mountaintops.
Those looking to rejuvenate after a day on the slopes will enjoy a six-treatment room spa complete with beauty lab, indoor vitality pool and hammam/scrub room.. There will also be a covered pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, boutique and children’s club will also be installed.
Best of all they’ll be a ski valet to great you at the end of a hard skiing day.  www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

NEWS Oetker tops ten with new resort

Oetker Collection is expanding its presence in the Caribbean with the announcement that Jumby Bay Island will be the next masterpiece property in the hospitality brand's portfolio. The 300-acre resort, on a private island off the northeast coast of Antigua, is slated to re-open on October 9. As the new operator of Jumby Bay, Oetker Collection will manage the island's 40-room resort, as well as villa and estate home rentals. With this addition, Oetker Collection expands its portfolio to ten properties; Jumby Bay joins Eden Rock – St Barths as the brand's second in the Caribbean. Additional resort features include three beaches, three restaurants, spa and fitness facilities, watersports, two pools and five tennis courts.  "We have grown our hotel portfolio with carefully chosen resorts and city hotels, each deserving of the 'Masterpiece' title," said Frank Marrenbach, CEO. "As of Oct 9, guests will experience the highest standards of quality service to which they are accustomed. Our team of hoteliers will offer them a unique sense of place."  www.oetker.com

NEWS Gourmet indulgence on Kangaroo Island

We’re impressed with a new Kangaroo Island tour which allows guests to spend three days indulging every sense and sampling the best of the Island’s fresh produce and wines. Kangaroo Island Odysseys (KIO) new luxury three-day ‘Kangaroo Island Food & Wine Tours’ starting on selected dates from September 2017. Guests explore the island with a private tour guide in luxury, 4x4 vehicles with accommodation at the opulent Lifetime Private Retreats or Sea Dragon Lodge. TLTB readers will love the spectacular Life Time Private Retreats, on the North Coast, with four spectacular holiday houses (The Sky House, The Cliff House, The Settlers Homestead and Sheoaks) with a stunning unspoilt coastal. Lifetime Private Retreats catering partners, ‘Hannaford and Sachs’, showcase Kangaroo Island’s best seasonal food in a range of outdoor locations around Snelling Beach and the Beach House Taverna. Another highlight is dining at the Enchanted Fig Tree underneath the boughs and leaves of a massive, ancient tree planted by the early settlers more than 100 years ago. All seasonal KIO Food & Wine tours are fully inclusive, including return flights from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and all Adelaide airport transfers. www.kangarooislandodysseys.com.au

NEWS Niyama's private surf break

A luxury resort with its own private surf break? we're there. Niyama Private Islands has recently launched its own surfing break, the only luxury resort in the Maldives where surf actually breaks on its own shore at Vodi surf point.  Suitable for beginners right through to advance, guests can learn to surf with Australian surfer Zac Zocher, who discovered has surfed at some of the world’s best surf spots.  Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy the ultimate luxury surf experience - a private seaplane at surfers’ disposal to discover and surf secret spots. The seaplane allows surfers to jump in directly behind the waves anywhere on the ocean, and swim back to the plane for the scenic short journey back to the resort. Niyama's dual islands - Play and Chill-  are perfect for famiy getaways of all kinds, with activities for adventurers on Play and a more relaxed, slower stay on Chill.www.niyama.com

 
NEWS Hotel Indigo's first resort opens in Bali

The world’s first Hotel Indigo in a resort location has opened on Bali’s Seminyak Beach nd the early reports are good. We’re a fan of the Indigo brand, masters at tapping in to the culture and vibe of whatever city the hotel is in city vibe. So so it’s interesting to see what they do with more space and a beach location, all be it buzzy Seminyak.   The new 289-room hotel on Mesari Beach also draws inspiration from the flavours, culture and character of its surrounding local neighbourhood, the vibrant and lively Seminyak district — and Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach promises an authentic fusion of enchanting Balinese culture and contemporary creativity. Extending across 4.7 hectares of lush, landscaped grounds, including exotic plantings and beautiful vertical gardens.  Every guestroom is fitted with daybeds and spa-inspired bathrooms. TLTB readers will love the 19 villas with private outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools and marble bathrooms – all inspired by the Tri Hita Karana philosophy (one’s relationship with Gods, living beings and the earth). Each villa is planned like a Balinese house, consisting of three main areas: Nista Mandala, a space for residents to embrace the Gods; Madya Mandala, a space to be at one with nature; and Utama Mandala a space for ‘interpersonal relations’. There are also seven ldining offerings  helmed by the resort’s Executive Chef Mads Wolff.Salon Bali is the signature dining restaurant and the menu  features the island’s traditional delicacy – babi guling, or suckling pig, served as part of an 8- or 12-course menu. WE also  ike the vibe of SugarSand the new beachfront bar and restaurant due to open later this year. www.hotelindigo.com



NEWS Nobu opens two new hotels in Europe

Today Nobu Hospitality opens not one hotel but two. Yes, there are two European openings coming our way from the group founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper.  You can now check into brand new Nobu Hotels in both London and Ibiza. Nobu Hotel in London’s increasingly trendy Shoreditch offers 148-guest rooms and suites, special event and meeting space and London's newest Nobu Restaurant and Bar.  Keeping pse with the energy of the area, the new Nobu Hotel and Restaurant draws from Shoreditch’s creative and industrial vibe.  Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is like nowhere else in Ibiza.  On the shores of Talamanca Bay, the resort offers 152-rooms and suites, two private seafront pools, the new Nobu Restaurant Ibiza, in addition to other restaurants, spa, and boutique shopping.  The design channels barefoot luxury  in a reaxed and stylish surroundings,  crafted for couples and families alike. "We are very proud to open the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch and Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, each with partners who have great vision and passion to create something different and special," said Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer of Nobu Hospitality.  "With London and Ibiza opening, we are continuing our European growth”. Watch this space for more announcements from Nobu soon. www.nobuhospitality.com

NEWS Sydney Opera House lights up again

Sydney Opera House is bathed in coloured light again. Tonight, the Sydney Opera House launches Badu Gili. Every evening the building’s famous sails will light up in celebration of the rich history and contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s First Nations culture.  Bennelong Point has been a gathering place for community, ceremony and storytelling for thousands of years. Badu Gili – meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the site’s traditional owners, the Gadigal people – will explore ancient stories in a spectacularly contemporary seven-minute animation, illuminating the eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sunset and 7pm. 


NEWS Ritz Carlton creates luxury afloat

The Ritz-Carlton is the first luxury hotel brand to offer bespoke yacht experiences. Setting sail in 2019, custom-built luxury yachts will bring the luxury hotel brand’s service and style to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and making Marriott International the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea. “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. The specially designed 190-metre vessels will accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-metre lavish duplex penthouse suites, with interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. Itineraries are currently being created. www.ritzcalton.com

 
NEWS Mandarin Oriental heads for Melbourne

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has signed a management contract for a new luxury hotel and branded residences to be developed in Melbourne, Australia. The project is expected to open in 2023, and is the Group’s first announced property in Australia. The hotel and residences will be located on Collins Street, in an iconic, mixed-use 185-metre tower designed  by the late award-winning architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, will become a landmark in the city.   Mandarin Oriental, Melbourne will feature 196 guestrooms and suites designed to reflect local culture, together with features inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s oriental heritage. The Group will also manage 148 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, located on the tower’s upper floors.  There will also be an all-day dining restaurant and a bar with a landscaped roof terrace. A Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer the Group’s well known wellness facilities, while further leisure options include a comprehensive fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool. The project is being developed by Melbourne-based property developer, Landream. www.mandarinoriental.com


NEWS Shangri-La's new Melbourne hotel

It is official, after much speculation shangri-La has been annonced as the official hotel operator for the planned new luxurydevelopment in Melbourne's CBD.  Located at 308 Exhibition Street, the Cox and Fender Katsalidis-designed two-tower development overlooking Melbourne’s World Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens is currently under consideration for planning approval. When it is completed in 2022, it is expected the luxury five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Melbourne will feature an estimated 500 guest rooms with three levels of amenities for guests to enjoy, including a sky lobby, restaurants, spa, fitness centre, pool and a state of the art ballroom. ,The second tower will include some 300 luxury residential apartments as well as office space.  A sky bridge will connect the two towers, and retail space will occupy the lower levels of the development. Shangri-La Asia’s Chief Executive Officer Mr LIM Beng Chee said, “Shangri-La is privileged to be selected as the hotel operator for this world-class S P Setia development, which will be an architectural masterpiece and an iconic part of Melbourne’s skyline for decades to come. www.shangrila.com

NEWS ILTM expands in Asia

The expansion of the successful ILTM luxury travel market continues with ILTM Asia becoming ILTM Asia Pacific and moving to Singapore in 2018, (21 – 24 May ) to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  A brand new event, ILTM China, will take place in Shanghai in October 2018, to be re-focused for buyers and planners of outbound luxury travel from China.  The changes were announced at the ILTM Asia 2017 Opening Forum in Shanghai last night. “Research amongst our clients shows that the luxury outbound market is growing so fast that many companies [now] focus on China and Asia as two independent opportunities. ILTM has listened and is responding with two dynamic events dedicated to their own audiences.” Said ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore.  “ILTM Asia Pacific will be re-positioned to represent the whole of Asia, bringing more international buyers… We will create a show as international as ILTM Cannes, with the same ambiance, story and stature”. Asia Pacific surpassed North America for the first time in 2016 to become the region with the largest amount of high net worth wealth (World Wealth Report 2016).   While the latest Cap Gemini World Wealth Report (2016) shows that high net-worth population leapt by 16.2% in China, the largest gain of any country.  www.iltm.com

NEWS Ponant's world first undersea lounge

While other cruise ships are trying to be more like hotels, Ponant has announced an amazing new innovation that is all about the ocean - an underwater lounge that allows passengers to see and hear the passing marine life of the deep sea. The world-first multi-sensory space, Blue Eye, will debut on Le Laperouse ship next year and then be incroprated into other Ponant ships.Within the hull but beneath the water line, Blue Eye will have large windows shaped like the eyes of a whale, as well as digital screens projecting live images filmed by underwater cameras. Sounds of marine mammals will also be transmitted into the lounge via specially developed ‘hydrophones’ beneath the ship’s keel (capturing noises up to five kilometres away . Coolest of all these sounds can also be felt through your body by sittingon sofas that vibrate to the noises. Sarina Bratton, Ponant Asia Pacific chairman says "It allows all guests to indulge in the subaquatic world, not just a few passengers in a submarine or a helicopter. Expedition leader Mick Fogg said the sound experience would be a phenomenal “natural symphony” of whales and dolphins singing and even fish noisily eating on coral. https://au.ponant.com/ponant-explorers

NEWS a tile atelier for Douro Valley

Azulejos are the painted tiles that have become emblematic of Portuguese culture and heritage over the centuries. Six Senses Douro Valley is paying tribute to this beautiful art form by bringing on board internationally renowned artist, Helena Ferreira. From Lisbon, Helena ventured all over the world restoring and creating azulejo art for decades. She has clients in France, India, Japan, Australia, USA and several South American countries, and has always combined her work with teaching in ceramic art schools in her global travels.. Now it is time for the prodigal daughter to return to her roots, and so she has accepted the challenge to set up her atelier at Six Senses Douro Valley, where she will be creating lots of exciting workshops for the resort’s clients of every age, as well as carrying on her work with international commissions and restoration projects from around the world. www.sixsenses.com

NEWS Hotel Jen opens in Beijing

The 450-room Hotel Jen Beijing opens its doors this week as the city’s new, cool destination for work and play. In the centre of Beijing’s central business district (CBD), the hotel features a vibrant co-working hub, the only gastropub with its own brewery in the Guomao area, and an expansive, industrial-chic world-class gym catering to fitness enthusiasts and road warriors -kick boxing anyone?Designed by Stickman Tribe Dubai, Hotel Jen Beijing features a distinct urban environment with a playful twist and is poised to become a vibrant space for style-savvy locals and adventurous travellers alike. From the centrepiece tree sculpture and suspended porcelain leaves in the lobby to the copper beer vats laser-cut with Chinese zodiac signs in the gastropub, eye-catching works of art can be found in every corner of the hotel. Each guestroom floor showcases a unique theme such as the visual arts, nature, architecture styles or personas from around the world.   All the 450 rooms and suites have views of the city with around 100 rooms and 40 suites overlooking the iconic Rem Koolhaas-designed CCTV Headquarters.   Thisis second Hotel Jen branded property in mainland China. “We want to create a new hospitality experience where this hotel will be a modern-day playground for business and leisure travellers and the local residents of Beijing,” said Clifford Weiner, general manager of Hotel Jen Beijing. www.hoteljen.com/beijing

NEWS Hilton's new Vivid light suite

Hilton Sydney is gving Vivid fans the chance to immerse themselves in light and sound even after the city lights are turned off.  This year Hilton will introduce the city’s first ever Vivid-inspired suite, bringing the festival of light to life inside the hotel walls. In partnership with lighting gurus, Philips Hue 2.0, the Relaxation Suite will be transformed into a Vivid hotspot featuring Hue bulbs, Hue Go and light strips. Hue 2.0 will allow guests to create in-room light shows with a synchronized music play list.  The lighting is so sophisticated guests can change the mood from flamboyant and bright, to relaxing and sensuous, with one touch of the in-room iPad.  “Vivid has inspired us to bring the festival of light into the hotel. Located at the heart of the festival’s key attractions, from the moment guests’ step into the lobby of Hilton Sydney they will be in the perfect place to experience the festival like never before,” says Ronald van Weezel, general manager Hilton Sydney. The hotel's package also offers suitably colourful Marble Bar cocktails and Caffe Cino high tea cuisine. Priced from $759 the package can be booked for stays throughout Vivid festival (26th May – 17th June) at www.hiltonsydney.com.au.


NEWS Tower Wing Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore unveiled

The new-look  Tower Wing at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has been unveiled. There is a 'refreshed'lobby, brand new rooms and suites, three new restaurant concepts, and a revitalised club lounge. The aim is to be more urban rsort that mere hotel.  The iconic Tower Wing’s guestrooms and suites are completely refurbished with a luxurious Guests may choose to stay in any of the 360 Tower Wing Deluxe Rooms, 79 Horizon Club Deluxe Rooms, soon to open family-themed rooms and suites, as well as five One-Bedroom Suites and the newly added 250 square metre Grand Suite. WE love the food and beverage concepts opening in the Tower Wing Lobby Lounge, bringing street food into a five star setting. Singapore favourites, including six signature dishes of Fish Head Bee Hoon Soup, Prawn Noodle Soup, Bak Chor Mee, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Katong Laksa, and Chili Crab with Mantou will all be available. These have been selected with the help of local food writer Dr. Leslie Tay, who helms the blog ieatishootipost.sg and perfected by Shangri-La’s culinary team in collaboration with the best local hawkers of each dish. www.shangrila.com


NEWS A new chapter for The Library Koh Samui

The Library resort has kept its crown as king of Koh Samui cool, despite celebrating its tenth birthday this year. Famous for its red pool, its pure aesthetic and of course its library of 2500 books the resort is now set to write a new chapter. “The Library has always been about stories and unique experiences, and the beauty of a good story is that there is always so much more to tell” says owner  Kasemtham Sornsong  The new story is a collection of ultra-luxurious Secret Pool Villas now scheduled to open in November this year .The villas are pitched at couples and the theme is “space”, ‘privacy” and, intriguingly,” mystery”. Each of the 17 villas will have secrets and surprises hidden within the villa for guests to uncover.  Some secret can be revealed- that there is a custom-made 11 foot wide (3.3metres) bed for example as well as a private swimming pool, jacuzzi and tandem rain shower. These villas have ‘honeymoon’ written all over them. Knowing the genius of designer Tirawan Songsawat we’re sure guests are going to fall in lust, if not with each other, then with the villas. Clearly the next chapter is a love story. www.thelibrarysamui.com


NEWS Astra Lodge's new luxury look

Astra Lodge in Falls Creek, Victoria has unveiled its new look. Voted Australia’s Best Boutique Ski Lodge 2016 at the World Ski Awards, this season the lodge is even more luxurious. The newly renovated ski-in, ski-out lodge has panoramic mountain views, heated magnesium mineral pool and fine-dining restaurant. Grant Amon Architects has achieved a European Euro-alpine-meets-Australia look with leather, timber, stone and tiles all locally sourced and eco-friendly. Interiors include luxury furnishings that have been hand-sourced from around the world (we love the huskie dog cushions).The lodge includes an Italian fine-dining restaurant helmed by hatted chef, Emma Handley. The day spa barber offers gents a dram of whisky with their haircut and women a glass of champagne , or vice vera if they prefer - nice touch. Skiers will also be thrilled to know that renowned Skimetric Director, Adalbert Leibetseder calls Astra Lodge his Southern-Hemisphere winter home and is taking bookings for his personalised, ski programme and boot fittings during the Australian ski season. Astra Lodge will open 10 June for the 2017 ski season. www.astralodge.com.au

NEWS See Vivid Sydney in luxury

vid light show is one of the most colour events in the Sydney calendar. Where better to view it than from a luxury hotel? Spectacular harbour views, glowing cocktails and illuminated Dom Pérignon Champagne are just the beginning of the Vivid Sydney experience at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney this year (26 May t- 17 June). The luxury hotel, right beside the Vivid Light Walk and harbour light projections, is offering a Dom Pérignon Luminous Champagne pop-up bar, and a special Vivid Sydney Package including overnight accommodation, buffet breakfast for two and a complimentary cocktail in Grain bar, starting from AU$380 per night. They also have a pink Vivia Violetta cocktail that just begs to be sipped. www.fourseasons.com/sydney

Pic:DestinationNSW

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