Each week, the Travel News section in PLUME VOYAGE will inform you of news concerning luxury and boutique hotels and the travel world in general.
To continue this month of September, Travel News invites you to discover the new Raffles in Hainan, China, the reopening of the Hue Airport in Vietnam, the latest opening of the Cheval Blanc Randheli and the new Indigo Hotel in Tel Aviv. Doesn’t it make you want to get away?
This establishment in Hainan will mark the tenth opening for the Raffles group in China. The luxury resort has recently opened in Clearwater Bay, the new spot on the south-east coast of the tropical island of Hainan, considered the Riviera of China, and a rising tourist destination in the luxury market. With 299 rooms and 32 beachfront villas with private balconies and views of the ocean or the golf course, Raffles Hainan offers contemporary design, combined with touches of local inspiration. Handcrafted wooden furnishings, colourful and decorative fabrics pay homage to the traditional hill tribes of Hainan and fit perfectly into their environment. In addition, more than 1,000 works of art are spread throughout the complex, providing a panorama of contemporary creation, both Chinese and Western.
After several months of work, the Hue airport has reopened and is operational two months before the originally scheduled date. The fifth airport in Vietnam, it serves one of the top tourist destinations in the country, with undeniable charm. For the traveller, the proximity to the airport facilitates the discovery or rediscovery of the Residence, one of the pearls of Hue. This elegant Art Deco hotel built in the 1920s won the “World Luxury Spa Award” in 2013. An incredible location overlooking the Citadel and the Perfume River gives this boutique hotel a sense of harmony and absolute serenity in the heart of a historic city that is not to be missed.
A mythical place, Halong Bay has seen a large white boat known as the Emerald – a successor to the canal boats of the early twentieth century – navigating its calm waters for ten years now. To celebrate this anniversary, the president of Apple Tree Hospitality, a collection that includes several boutique properties in Southeast Asia, has compiled testimonies and documents in a book that recounts tales of human adventure, a legendary Bay and a boat straight out of the past. Over a hundred pages long, the book covers historical facts from the beginning of the French presence and the story of the family of entrepreneurs who came from these latitudes to try their luck in the East. A simple but vibrant tribute to these pioneers of tourism.
The latest super-luxury establishment in the Maldives, doors to the Cheval Blanc Randheli will be officially opened on the November 15th. Transported by a seaplane whose colors combine Cheval Blanc’s signature elegant taupe and the sunny yellow of Randheli, guests will fly over the atolls of the Maldives to Noonu. Here, all 45 spacious villas with individual private pools, housed in the heart of lush vegetation, welcome their guests for a unique interlude in the tropics. A Cheval Blanc Spa enhances the rejuvenating experience further with bespoke treatments exclusively designed by Guerlain.
By way of a partnership with Velorbis – the Danish designer of stylish bikes – the Savoy Hotel of the Rocco Forte group is offering guests staying in their suites the opportunity to discover Florence on personalized bikes, specially designed for the hotel. Whether one prefers to explore the historic center of one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, to escape to the Tuscan countryside or ride along the Arno, these bikes enable guests to discover an alternative Florence. Due to their uniqueness, the Velorbis perfectly reflect the elegance and grace of the Savoy Hotel.
For the third consecutive year, the Peninsula hotels in Asia and North America are all lending their support to raise awareness for breast cancer. Throughout the month of October, the Peninsula is “Thinking Pink” to raise funds and awareness for this disease. This program is based on the theme of pink, and a ribbon specially designed for the occasion will be worn by all hotel staff. In addition, some of the proceeds from the hotel’s famous Afternoon Teas will be donated to the association battling against this prolific from of cancer, and ‘Peninsula in Pink’ desserts will also be available in limited edition. Each hotel will be working in collaboration with a local organization.
The Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond District hotel is the first of the Intercontinental Group’s boutique hotels to open in Israel. Located in the heart of the “city that never sleeps”, a few steps from the largest diamond market in the world and a museum dedicated to the gemstone, it offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and the business district of Tel Aviv. The design of the building, its spa and 91 guestrooms was inspired by the diamond, the emblem of the city. There are also murals dedicated to some of the world’s most famous gems.
To celebrate Vogue’s Fashion Night, which transform the neighborhood of the Elysée and the Madeleine into a unique shopping experience on the 17th of September, Thierry Marx is creating a menu in the name of fashion. The Executive Chef of the Mandarin Oriental Paris has designed a “street food” menu, a selection of recipes that take you on a journey, available exclusively during Vogue’s Fashion Night. On it you will find the emblematic plates of the world capitals of fashion, such as London’s famous fish & chips and the ubiquitous New York cheeseburger. What’s more, Chef Marx has also catered to the body-conscious fashionistas and is offering another selection of dishes that are slimline as well as delicious.
To live a life of travel and writiting is not always an easy exercise. But to learn how to tell a story and transcribe the emotions experienced during your travels, luckily a course has been created specifically to aid this. “Esprit Livre” is a major literary festival tour from Quebec that also is providing courses in writing travelogues. Prior to departure, participants will receive a writing guide and reading tips to prepare themselves. During the course, accompanied by a Canadian storyteller guide, writing techniques and the procedures of writers will be explained. A unique introduction to travel writing in a traveling workshop, with the advice of a professional writer.
Are you traveling? Express your tastes on Pin.Pack.Go and the Four Seasons will do the rest. With this service on Pinterest, a site combining the concepts of social networking and sharing photos, the Four Seasons is allowing users to contact the group’s hotels to receive advice and recommendations for their future trips. To do this, simply create a board entitled Pin.Pack.Go on a Pinterest account, indicate your aspirations, tastes, desires and select the Four Seasons Hotel which is waiting to receive your advice. Original!
Nestled on Villa Berthier, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, the Armoni hotel has unveiled its elegant and chic look. The 45 rooms, some with patios, offer a comfortable and quiet intimate setting, just steps from the Etoile. The décor, designed by Oscar Ono – the designer of the Love Capsule du Five, other establishments by the group – is in rich, warm tones, with materials soft to the eye and to the touch, seductive to both men and women. These are the object of particular attention that make Armoni a bespoke hotel.
Two sessions of a “luxury retreat” at the Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman promises to awaken the senses and discover the world of mixing in a unique setting. For the first time, guests of the hotel will have the opportunity to learn how to mix their favorite tracks with private lessons. The groups are exclusive, with five students per DJ. At the same time, participants can enjoy the greatest places in Zighy Bay, housed in authentic Omani villas with private pools.
Assuming that travel and gastronomy are the favorite activities of the French, Delsey and Restopolitan have joined forces to launch a fun operation. Upon purchase of a suitcase (from certain collections), Delsey will offer a complimentary Restopolitan card that allows consumers to enjoy a free meal for two at 1200 restaurants in France for a year. From neighborhood bistros to fine dining, through all types of cuisine, there is something for everyone and every mood.
For the 2013 edition of Paris Design Week, the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is presenting a series of unprecedented events, true to its artistic vocation. In the “Art District” gallery, the palace of Avenue Hoche will present iconic pieces by contemporary furniture vendors Domeau & Peres. On the occasion of this exceptional exhibition, they will present some major pieces from their collection, numbered and signed including pieces by Matali Crasset and Marc Newson. For its part, the hotel’s cinema will host two of the biggest names in the design world: Ora Ito for the occasion of the presentation of the film by Sylvle Adigard Ora Ito et le Mamo; l’art en plein ciel and Nelly Rodi who will present « Etude sur la couleur » – a short film about the work of prospective agencies – for the first time in France.
From the 9th to 15th of September
JAT Airways and Etihad Airways are combining to create Air Serbia and to make Belgrade the central airport of the Balkans. Air Serbia will be immediately equipped with ten new Airbus A319 and aims to become the leader in the region by the end of the year. The first aircraft with the logo of the new airline will fly on October 1st.
After being fully renovated, the Constance Tsaranbajina Madagascar hotel has reopened. Twenty-five villas with sea views are now open to nature lovers, amongst lush vegetation and white sand. Tsararnbajina is, par excellence, the type of private experience in the full sense of the expression, enhanced by the soft rhythm of the sea and its natural island environment. The island is surrounded by a surprisingly quiet sea, rich in all kinds of fish. It is renowned for its diving and ideal for boat trips. Guests can wander freely, climb hills and get lost in the lush vegetation. At the end of the trail, many species of birds can be found including the Madagascan flycatcher (an emblem of the island) as well as fishing eagles. A biologist has even discovered the smallest chameleon in the world, which is just over an inch long as an adult …
Turkish Airlines, ranted the “Best Airline in Europe” for the third consecutive year, adds a new country and a new destination to its network in the Far East. Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, joins their network from September 1st and becomes the 29th destination served in this area. Flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu will be operated four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from Istanbul and on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Kathmandu. During the first six months of operation of the new line, a special offer will be offered to members of Miles & Smiles with a 25% discount on tickets in economy class and business.
A fourth establishment for the Carlson Rezidor group in Istanbul, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Pera has only just opened. This hotel sports a distinctly modern and comfortable style in the old neighborhood of Pera Taksim, an ideal place for shopping, arts, culture, dining and nightlife. With views of the city and the port that will take your breath away, the Radisson Blu Hotel of Istanbul Pera boasts a stunning location overlooking the Goden Horn. Surrounded by parks for long romantic walks, the hotel is ideally situated. An elegant “refuge” in the middle of a bustling city, the 130 rooms and suites are decorated in a bohemian style and guests can enjoy exclusive services: the Spa Botanica offers rejuvenating body treatments, a cardio gym, facials, an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, massages, saunas, and of course, an authentic Turkish hammam.
Emirates announces the launch of a high-end private jet for individual customers and businesses wishing to take advantage of travel conditions and unique benefits. Providing private charter service to most global destinations, beyond the current Emirates network, the A319 offers a new configuration for nineteen passengers with a high level of comfort and services. The aircraft’s configuration consists of two main areas. The first, in the front, is a broad executive lounge and reception area that combines work and rest. The second area includes ten private suites, each equipped with a full sleeper seat. The suites are complemented by a spacious and elegant marble spa-shower space.