Each week, the Travel News section in PLUME VOYAGE will inform you of news concerning luxury, boutique hotels, luxury hotels, charming places and the travel world and light journey in general.
To round-up the month of December, Travel News highlights the new OpenSkies wine menu, the largest fireworks display in the world in Dubai, the new Ritz-Carton in Israel and the designer gondolas of the W Paris-Opéra. Is it giving you some ideas for your next getaway ?!
The Paris-New York French airline is renewing its wine list for 2014 and is giving passengers of the three daily flights a preview. Carefully considered to accompany the dishes served on board, this new menu consists of the best French wines: Château Baret 2004 (Pessac-Léognan), Château Le Cros 2008 (Saint-Emilion Grand Cru), Domaine des Chenevières 2011 (Mâcon), Château de Corton André 2011 (Saint-Veran) and Billecart-Salmon champagne. The wines were selected because of their quality, but also to meet the demands of the passengers.
On December 31st, the skyline of Dubai will be illuminated by an impressive fireworks display and in the process will compete for the title of the “biggest fireworks display in the world”. The most famous buildings in the city, such as the Burj Khalifa tower, the Burj Al Arab, The Palm Jumeriah and The Palm Atlantis resort will be at the heart of the festivities. Since its inauguration in 2010, the Burj Khalifa fireworks display, the tallest tower in the world, has been watched by audiences all around the world. This year, the fireworks show is set to be one of the finest. Scheduled shortly before midnight for a period of twenty minutes, the show promises to be the highlight of the year.
The hotel group’s first hotel in Israel, the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya is located above the marina in Tel Aviv, facing the Mediterranean. Bordered by long beaches and the most beautiful properties in the region, Herzliya is one of the most popular destinations in the country. The hotel has 115 luxurious rooms and 82 residential suites with all amenities by British luxury brand Asprey, a Shiseido spa and a rooftop pool. For dining, Chef Yonatan Roshfeld revisits the classics dishes of popular chef Herbert Samuel in a contemporary setting with spectacular views of the marina.
During this season, the W Paris-Opéra is going in the direction of the pistes in collaboration with three artists who have each customized the inside of a gondola. Gaëlle Constantini, stylist and director of this ephemeral terrace, called upon the skils of illustrator and one half of DJ duo Meow Mix Naomi Ferst, and the electro artist Jackson and his computer band, to create a quirky journey. A tribute to nature and fashion on the oneside, a floral display on the other, or even the electro world in black and red – the three designers had free rein of their imagination to reinvent these gondolas which transform, depending on the hour, into a tea room for four people, an afterwork bar or an area for a private party. On the shakers, head bartender Aurélie Panhelleux revisits traditional mulled wine with unexpected twists.
Inspired by her recent collections, the British designer decorated the Brown’s Christmas tree and added her glamour and festive touches throughout the hotel. True to her favorite references, Lulu Guinness chose to decorate the Christmas tree with her signature “Daliesque” lips, which also decorate various other areas of the hotel. To fully enjoy the magic of Christmas in the heart of London, the Rocco Forte group has also organised a special offer for families: the second room for children at half price. Guests can go ice-skating at Somerset House, one of the most spectacular arenas in the capital before returning for tea-time whilst re-reading The Jungle Book, which was written in one of the suites of the hotel.
To put together its Christmas decorations, the hotel of princes appealed to the youngest French luxury house, the trunk maker Pinel & Pinel. In association with Arthur Simony, the house is known for having a measure of excess. Three trees with original shapes, leather-wrapped in the manner of a trunk, decorate the hotel. The first, in arch form, welcomes guests. Under the rotunda, a “toppled” tree is the centerpiece of this installation. 4 meters high, it displays the artistic installation by Arthur Simony, which is made up of keys. And finally, the third tree stands proudly in the La Bauhinia restaurant.
The palace of Avenue Hoche asked French artist Sylvie Maréchal to create a light sculpture. Entirely handcrafted and requiring more than six months of work, this “haute couture” piece is the result of both contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship skills coming together. Suspended from the ceiling by 221 wires, this Christmas tree is made up of more than 600 pieces including 420 in the form of birds and stars, handmade in the porcelain workshop of Pierre Arquié in Limoges. Thanks to the biscuit, this matte white porcelain is reminiscent of snow, the LED’s inside each piece lend a soft and warm light to the hotel’s lobby.
For Christmas, the magic of Snow White is entering the palace of Courchevel 1850. An interior embroidered in fairy tale colours, with an enchanted pine forest in the lobby of the hotel, automata and a carousel on the terrace that will delight the little ones. In the morning of December 25th, the Father Christmas of Airelles, aboard his Hermès carriage, will be making an appearance, equipped with a sack full of personalized gifts for the hotel’s young residents.
The legendary hotel of the Catalan capital, the Majestic Hotel & Spa has become a model of reference due to its elegant and timeless style. Located in the heart of Paseo de Gracia – the neighborhood home to all the major fashion and jewelry boutiques in Barcelona – the hotel has been completely renovated. Its new décor is the work of designer Antonio Obrador, who has managed to maintain the soul of this establishment, in business since 1918. And the spa, on the top floor of the hotel, has obtained a SpaExcellence quality certification for the second consecutive year.
During the last World Travel Awards, the Raffles Praslin in the Seychelles won the coveted title of “best hotel of luxury villas in the world”. Selected from thousands of other villa hotels, Raffles Praslin was awarded for its outstanding facilities, faultless service and the quality of their in-house experiences. A fantastic accolade for the hotel that also won the title of “best hotel in Seychelles” at the ceremony.
For lovers of travel and photography, Accorhotels.com is organizing a competition on Facebook around the theme of “the emotion of the journey”. To participate, simply ‘like’ the Accorhotels.com page on the social networking site and upload an image of a rare moment, a strong emotion in a portrait, a landscape, a scene of life…Geotag the photo, add a title and a caption of 140 characters and rally your friends to get the most votes to participate in the public prize. A professional jury will also elect a picture for the jury prize. Up for grabs in terms of prizes: dream holidays in Accor hotels, B&You phone packages, and photography books.
At the heart of a Buddhist archaeological site of 4200 temples of Bagan, Myanmar, the Bagan Lodge Hotel, recently opened with 85 rooms and 3 suites erected in large tents, offers an exceptional experience. This boutique hotel offers direct access to sanctuaries – masterpieces of Burmese architecture. The design of the hotel combines Burmese style red brick – like the temples of Bagan – and contemporary influences with colonial style furniture. An integrated travel agency provides counseling for various activities to do in the village of Bagan: a private dinner held in a temple, fishing in the Irrawaddy River, hot air balloon rides over the temples…
The Parisian palace is offering its guests and patrons the chance to experience mountain living close to the Place Vendôme: a private table in the heart of a mountain chalet on the terrace of the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme to enjoy a raclette. For this transalpine dinner, Chef Jean-François Rouquette has selected the best products and devised an exceptional meal, served in total intimacy: only six guests at a time can enjoy this magical and very chic raclette.
Located on the peninsula of Phuket, the latest address from the Como group is nestled on the Cape Yamu. The Point Yamu overlooks Phang Nga Bay, a World Heritage Site by Unesco and the Andaman Sea. The first resort designed by Italian designer Paola Navone, the hotel has 106 rooms and private villas of a clean design and contemporary style that combines an electric and colorful touch. To discover the villages and plantations, Camu Point offers bicycle tours, getaways on remote islands and deep sea diving, all accompanied by expert guides.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates is launching an original service: in-flight child care for families. Identifiable by the bright orange aprons they were, the Nannies of the Air are at hand to help families and unaccompanied minors. Three hundred crew members have thus undergone extensive training for this role and five hundred nannies will be working for the company by the end of the year. Crafts, simple magic tricks, quizzes, special snacks, and plenty of attention should allow families to quietly enjoy their trip.
Epernay, the capital of champagne, is getting set to take the stage for the fourteenth edition of Habits de Lumière. For three days, troops of artists from all horizons will take over the streets of the city to present their shows. Auto enthusiasts also gather here for the big parade that brings hundreds of collectible vehicles together for the Concours d’Elegance. But the real star of the festivities remains the Avenue de Champagne: the big houses that line the street are lit each night and open their courtyards to the public. Champagne lovers can also enjoy winery tours and special tastings, while chefs from Epernay and the surrounding region are going all out to impress at this event.
13, 14 and 15 December