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World’s Top 100 Most Luxurious Hotel Experiences 2018

World’s top 100 most luxurious hotel experiences 2018

Hotel Openings to Watch Out for in 2018

Some of the world’s most iconic hotels have gone through extensive renovations and after a much-anticipated wait, the properties are ready to re-open this year, while new properties will change the landscape at some of the most popular tourist destinations.

Hotel openings to watch out for in 2018

Hotel Lutetia, Paris
After going through a major facelift in 2014, Hotel Lutetia is ready to reopen next spring. All 184 rooms, including 47 suites and two penthouses will be updated with contemporary designs. Originally built as a luxury sister property to Paris’s oldest department store, Le Bon Marché in 1910, the hotel boasts a fabled past with clients that include Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Josephine Baker. The Lutetia Brasserie will also reopen under the supervision of three Michelin-starred chef Gerald Passedat.

The NoMad, Los Angeles
When New York’s buzzy NoMad hotel opens in January, it will bring in a huge culinary talent: chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park fame (the restaurant currently occupies the top spot in the influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 ranking). All 241 rooms, including 31 suites are designed by Jacques Garcia and draw inspiration from the lobby’s fully restored gold and blue Italianate ceiling. The hotel will also add another rooftop pool destination and gathering space to the city’s booming downtown renaissance.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s signature tourist attractions that is set to open its first on-site luxury hotel in April 2018, which will offer its guests a more exclusive and private spa experience. Built into an 800-year-old lava flow, all 62 rooms at The Retreat will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, offering sweeping views of the geothermally-heated, milky-blue, mineral-rich waters and Iceland’s dramatic landscape and ever-changing skies. Guests will also have access to a new subterranean spa, and seven-course dining destination that will serve Icelandic cuisine with local ingredients.

Raffles Singapore
Declared a National Monument by the Singapore government a century after its opening in 1887, the iconic Raffles Singapore will re-open with new suite categories for short and long stays, modernised amenities, and refreshed dining concepts and meeting spaces. The hotel will also offer a range of new experiential packages that include master classes on how to make Singapore Sling cocktail (Singapore’s national drink), epicurean classes, wine workshops and wellness classes. The Raffles Singapore is slated to re-open in the second half of 2018.

Bulgari Icons and Eternity of Rome in Jumeirah, Dubai

Bulgari Icons and Eternity of Rome in Jumeirah, Dubai

Located in the popular central area of Jumeira, the district is a highly sought-after destination especially for tourists. Just a few miles away from many of the city’s attractions, guests from the newly opened Bulgari Resort & Hotel can travel out and wind their ways through the avenue and experience the city’s flavours, culture and diverse hotspots, such as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood along Dub towards northai Creek, Downtown, Dubai Marina as well as Jumeirah Beach Residence.

With the opening of The Bulgari Resort & Hotel, it takes on a new benchmark for Dubai; every design detail of the strikingly facade of the building is diligently crafted to a pure Italian style, in partnership with renowned Italian architect firm, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. While, inside the interior, each room is furnished with outstanding luxury Italian furniture brands, and each piece was either designed or chosen by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and often tailor-made for the property.

Drawing attention to the facade, the architect considered a beautiful style surrounding the idea of a fine jewel, which is synonymous to the Roman luxury brand, Bulgari. Having styled with rare, raw materials according to their colour, texture and feel, sculpting them to shine, beautify and endure, the Bulgari Resort in Dubai embraced what is calls “a peerless example of luxury hospital.”

“From travertine marble to shining onyx, The Bulgari Resort Dubai relied on the extensive use of fine materials and finishes to establish the durability and timelessness incarnated by its home country.” – Issued in a statement by Bulgari Resort & Hotel Dubai

Jumeira’s very own Italian interpretation of luxury

As outlined by the “layers superior quality materials” with tasteful Bulgari touches, the exterior structure carries an “incarnating bold contrasts, clean, regal lines, and the ubiquity of spaciousness, the property maintains an impeccable elegance, creating a continuity that permeates the property’s every detail.”

At The Bulgari Resort Dubai, service is key and providing a supreme hotel guest experience is paramount. Both creation and comfort are of utmost importance too. To echo the same unequivocal luxury as the iconic jewellery brand, Bvlgari, the Bulgari resort “replicates the eternity of its homeland by investing in premium materials.”

Designed to coral texture characterised by the two main buildings of the hotel

Created on the overlay of the horizontal lining, “the lively shadow pattern of coral-like sunscreens, shiny and light like porcelain” provides an eye-catching centrepiece, though different from the white marble richly veined with back and gold arabesques of the walls you will soon come across at the hotel podium.

“A fine oak wood surface, with long and thin planks, recalls the deck of a ship and clad the interior surfaces”, according to the source. “The transparency of the facade, with its almost invisible large sliding doors, completes the perfect readability of this building.”

Stepping in to the resort, guests will be greeted by a truly exceptional setting bathed by the warm, polished woods and exceptional hand-selected marble, and superior textiles.

Officially opened on December 7, the Bulgari Resort & Hotel is set to attract travellers and tourists to enjoy and experience the resort’s shining, pastel grandeur.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to Open First Resort in India

Led by a team of conservation experts to preserve and protect the original fort structure, the 5.5-acre site is encircled by an imposing 5-foot (1.5 meter) thick rock wall that rises up to 20 feet (6 meters) in some sections. 

Situated 110 km southeast of Jaipur, the first Six Senses Fort Barwara slated to open in 2018 in Rajasthan, India will feature 48 suites, two restaurants, a banquet space and a retail boutique as well as facilities comprising of bar and lounge, 2,800 sqm spa and fitness centre, two swimming pools and kids club.

The project team aims to achieve a five-star green rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) certification for Fort Barwara, which is known as the highest classification of national sustainable design ratings in India.

Perched on top of a 700-year-old fort, in the village of Chauth ka Barwara, Fort Barwara sits directly opposite the temple, Chauth ka Barwara Mandir. In fact, the property was owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family. With a rich history dating back to the 14th century where the Barwara Fort now sits, was constructed by the Chauhans (Indian Rajput caste) in 1734, and was conquered by the Rajawat Dynasty from the Hadas.

During the second world war, Raja Man Singh who came from a noble family of Barwara along with Jaipur State Armed Forces, fought together alongside the British. The former was conferred the title of Rao Bahadur for his service and now his grandson, Prithviraj Singh, is restoring the fort to its previous glory in tandem with Espire Group.

The new Fort Barwara is designed to bring out the reinterpreted experience of the gracious and regal ambiance of the Rajasthan’s royal forts and palaces.

“The historic quinta (wine estate) in Portugal has a rich history dating back to 1464 and we are taking a similar approach with the beautiful Fort Barwara project.” – Six Senses President Bernhard Bohnenberger

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to open first resort in India

Nestled in locations of incredible natural beauty, the landscapes of the beautiful Fort Barwara have been designed to depict the rich history of the fort, featuring the traditional gardens with water features, and Shekhavati artworks are added to the hotel as well. At the Six Senses Spa, located in the original women’s palace, will offer various ayurveda programmes such as meditation, Six Senses Integrated Wellness programmes and Sleep with Six Senses.

Other attractions include a daily safari drive to the Ranthambhore National Park, which is famous for its tiger population. Just thirty minutes away from Fort Barwara, the 1,400 sq km park is home to a variety of wildlife including a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles.

Six Senses President Bernhard Bohnenberger added that they are very excited to be working with their partner, Espire Group on this wonderful project, which is a perfect complement to other successful resort portfolio and successful properties in China, Maldives, Oman, Portugal, Seychelles, Thailand and Vietnam. Six Senses Fort Barwara marks the second heritage property that Six Senses will manage.


Aman’s Luxury Penthouse is coming to NY Town

Commercial Real Estate Development, Aman has brought lux living to Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the famous New York City, offering hotel suites and 20 private apartments across 26 floors, topped by Five-Level Penthouse with Central Park Views, is set to be a hot spot for the newest Crown building.

Most of Aman’s properties are designed to fit in a natural setting to instill a sense of peace and belonging. Among some of the firm’s portfolio, which mostly consist of hotels and resorts, Aman started from building its first retreat on Phuket’s west coast and named it Amanpuri, meaning “a place of peace”. Henceforth, Aman was born.

Today, Aman takes care of 31 resorts, hotels, and private residences in 20 countries and it aims to continue finding ways to transform experiences through the offerings of awe-inspiring locations around the world.

Built by Russian developer Vladislav Doronin to neoclassical Beaux-Arts structure, when project Crown building comes to fruition in 2020, Aman New York will be an ultra-luxury hotel plus residences reborn in the very heart of Manhattan, overlooking Central Park.

Within the gilded grandeur of the Crown Building are 83 rooms and suites and 20 private Aman Residences to provide prospective homeowners a lovely sanctuary to rest and socialise. Each room will feature more than 754 sq ft designed with innovative lighting fixtures, a revolving door and a fireplace. Future Aman’s residents can also enjoy unlimited access to every hotel and Aman Club experience.

Aman New York, which abounded with sociable spaces for dining, drinking and relaxing, guests and homeowners get to luxuriate in a world of refined tastes, from the Garden Terrace with Central Park views and Piano Bar to Cigar Bar, and Wine Library as well as the subterranean Jazz Club.

Also, the one-of-a-kind five-storey luxury penthouse (rumoured to be worth $100 million) will encompass swimming pools indoor and outdoor, with a wraparound terrace and an activated cupola with an unparalleled view.


Where the heart of the city is, the soul of Aman will be.

One&Only Kéa Island Resort Greece, an upcoming vibrant and lifestyle Resort

Featuring The Palace Pool Bar Esplanade in Royal Mirage, Dubai – One of One&Only Properties

Sprawling over 65-hectare and located on the west side of Kea island of the Cyclades, The One&Only Kéa Island resort in Greece is currently under development after Kerzner International Holdings Limited entered into a partnership with Dolphin Capital Partners and Dolphin Capital Investors.

“Our goal is to create another world class asset, which together with Amanzoe, will rank as two of the top resorts in the Mediterranean and elevate further the image of the Greek hospitality market.” – Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts

When the Resort is ready, this wondrous destination will include 75 resort villas and One&Only Private Homes for purchase. It is the ultimate luxury experience for discerning guests to “discover this unspoilt island and celebrate its traditional Cycladic character,” said Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer of One&Only Resorts.

Inspired by the azure ocean waters, One&Only resort on Kea “is expected to set a new standard of ultra-luxury resorts in the Cyclades,” commented Miltos Kambourides, Founder and Managing Partner of Dolphin Capital Partners.

One&Only Kéa Island will provide the ultimate hideaway and private residential villas that are perfect for couples or large families to bask in the luxe and glamourous environment as well as immerse in the rich culture and traditions of Greece and the Cyclades.

The modish resort will include modern spa therapies, a cutting-edge fitness centre as part of the lifestyle offering at the dynamic One&Only Kéa Island.

For guests who are into culinary adventure, can hop over for a day of indulgence at the restaurants and bars; each defined by the ethos, energy, design and flavour of Greece. In addition, a Greek piazza will also be offering fresh cuisine, barbecue as well as fresh ocean catch.

And the vibrant location where the iconic international beach club nestles, will provide a stimulating oasis for guests and residents alike to linger at the water’s edge for hours to enjoy the awe-inspiring natural landscapes.

Other enchanting escapes and hip happenings include a private luxury yacht trip, or through the exclusive resort helicopter, the ultimate haven to lounge, socialise or play under the Greek sun.

From awe-inspiring natural landscapes to state-of-the-art facilities for sports, wellness, diving, art, cooking and more, One&Only Kéa Island will offer a memorable stay and relish the stunning surrounds as you get absorbed in mindful and creative pursuits.


The Bulgari Resort and Hotel Dubai

The Bulgari Resort and Hotel Dubai

Located at the pristine Jumeira area in the centre of Dubai, the resort and hotel is just a short drive from many of the city’s hotspots. With 101 hotel rooms and suites and 20 hotel villas, all the rooms and suites are complemented by the large balconies, offering guests expansive views of the Dubai skyline.

Bulgari Suite Bathroom – Sunset View

The interiors and exteriors of the hotel rooms have been created to emulate the colour, texture and feel of  the luxury jewel brand Bulgari. Styled with European inspiration, the customised design details extend from the marble bathtubs and the sculpted door handles to the Italian furniture.

The furnishings in each hotel room are carefully selected and incorporated into the living space to form a unified, seamless fashion that echo the best of both Italian design and lifestyle culture.

Hotel amenities include the 1,700 sqm Bvlgari Spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre with Workshop Gymnasium and 25 m indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the sea, giving guests the sense of ‘relaxing on the beach’ which can be quite a feast for the soul.

The Bulgari Resort & Residences Dubai is another milestone for the Bulgari Hotels and Resorts Collection and represents a tribute to the importance of the Middle East market for the Bulgari brand” – Jean-Christophe Babin, Chief Executive Officer of Bulgari

Il Bar

II Ristorante

For an epicurean feast, indulge in the Italian simplicity and flavours with sumptuous offerings prepared by Bulgari Hotels & Resorts’ own Michelin starred Italian chef. There is the Il Bar located on the same level, serving a myriad of signature beverages, and the outdoor terrace of the bar has a sweeping view of the Arabian Gulf.

Beach Villa-Night View

For corporate events, intimate family gatherings or lavish weddings, the resort consists a 360 sqm BVLGARI Ballroom located in the Yacht Club with a magnificent sea view. For guests who relish luxuriating in a private country garden-style space with the charm of old Italy can hop over to the secret lemon-tree garden located at the Resort, La Limonaia.

BVLGARI Il Cioccolato boutique

Finally, hotel guests can also shop for gifts in The BVLGARI Il Cioccolato boutique such as Bulgari Le Gemme perfume collection and items by international designers to complete the Resort experience.


First Andaz Hotel Opens its Doors in Singapore

DUO building designed by German architect Ole Scheeren housing also the new Andaz Singapore Hotel

Andaz Singapore is housed in DUO, a striking pair of concave skyscrapers, comprising of residences, retail spaces, offices and the new Andaz Singapore hotel.

The façade treatment of the towers are further enhanced by the beautiful latticework of hexagonal windows, indeed one of the most unique features that will certainly capture major eyeballs.

Designed by multi-award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren, the hotel is located in the Ophir-Rochor district and is a close proximity away from the lively surroundings and alleyways, leading to the shop houses.

DUO skyline at sunset

Hotel guests can immerse in the discovery of the local culture and indigenous experiences of Singapore. Featuring 342-guestrooms, the hotel provides unrivalled views overseeing the city from level 26 and up.

“We are extremely excited to open Andaz Singapore and to bring the inspirational and creative Andaz brand to Southeast Asia.” – General Manager Olivier Lenoir of Andaz Singapore

Managed by Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Andaz Singapore is the first Andaz hotel to open in Southeast Asia, making it the seventeenth property to join Andaz’s chain of hotels.

To form the concept for Andaz Singapore, the hotel draws inspiration from the local lifestyle and ethnic heritage, and weaves the same ambience into the hotel to offer guests fresh perspectives of the city.

Adding to the delight of the dynamic spaces of Andaz Singapore are some remarkable artworks, such as the colour-saturated pieces by Brazilian sculptor André Mendes, also featuring art pieces by local Singaporean artist Ahmad Abu Bakar, New York-based Filipina artist Monica Delgado and Malaysian artist Fauzulyusri Mohd Yusof.

Alley on 25

To create a sense of plaza, Andaz Singapore collaborated  with famed interior designer Andre Fu of AFSO to create a dreamscape of passageways and incorporated subtle decorative details, furniture, art and fabric into the hotel.

The hotel facilities also include a mini bar for in-house guests, free Wi-Fi access and all-day refreshments at Sunroom, as well as access to the Andaz Lounge, serving up wines and Andaz Pale Ale.

Glass House

Andaz offers seven alleyway “shop houses”.  Alley on 25, brings Singapore street dining to hotel guests serving up a wide variety of food and beverages, including a platter of barbecued snacks, Smoke & Pepper, a steaming bowl of noodles from Auntie’s Wok & Steam and a refreshing shaved ice from Icehaus; 665°F.

There’s also a rooftop bar, Mr Stork, offering teepee-hut seating and patrons can enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree view of the city in that relaxing space.

Andaz also features four event spaces for event organisers where the Garden Studio has an adjoining outdoor terrace, and two of the studios are meant for smaller gatherings.

For more information on Andaz Singapore, please visit andazsingapore.com

The Best of akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok

An angled shot featuring a Luxury Studio in akyra Thonglor Bangkok, inspired by the glamorous sophistication of the decadent 1920s aesthetic

With the recent openings of akyra Beach Club Phuket and akyra Thonglor Bangkok, featuring 148 studios and one- to three-bedroom suites nestled in one of Bangkok’s most fashionable districts, the new akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok, an upscale boutique hotel will launch in December 2017.

Akaryn Hotel Group also manages a diverse collection of luxury hotels and resorts within Thailand and owns and manages small luxury resorts in Southeast Asia such as Aleenta Phuket-PhangNga, Aleenta HuaHin-Pranburi and akyra Manor Chiang Mai.

“Our two akyra properties offer distinct urban experiences, but each one is also defined by the strong sense of style and independence that sets the akyra brand apart from other hotels.” – Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Founder and Managing Director of Akaryn Hotel Group

The akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok consists of 50 rooms and the 30-60 sqm luxury accommodation, featuring the main living spaces partitioned with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to create a transition between the interiors and the balconies for enhanced city views. Extending materials like natural woods add accents to the modern-retro theme, displayed in the furnishings and the room’s artworks and complemented by a range of interior touches, will lend a unique identity to the urban property.

As akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok emphasises on lifestyle travel with an overarching theme of “All Time Experience”, the hotel facilities also include a stylish pool bar with sun loungers and cabanas to provide a soulful relaxation for in-house guests, as well as a sophisticated rooftop lounge with a bar to keep guests entertained with live music. The rooftop includes also a multi-purpose function room to host event, private dinners and VIP receptions.

On the ground floor, guests can experience a casual dining experience within the mellow, stylish surroundings. The kitchen serves up signature akyra gourmet breakfast, featuring a wide array of authentic Thai dishes such as salads, pastas and delectable desserts.

Once the upscale boutique hotel opens at the end of this year, hotel guests at akyra will enjoy far more than a pleasant stay and get to indulge in the best of overall Bangkok experience too. Located on Sukhumvit Soi 20, one of tourist’s busiest and lively zone, the boutique hotel is also surrounded by fine restaurants, chic lifestyle malls with spas and green recreation spaces as well as the offer of a vibrant nightlife spot for party goers.

For more information on Akaryn Hotel Group, please visit www.akaryngroup.com.

World’s Most Luxurious Hotel The 13 Macau is a Baroque-inspired $1.5 Billion Palace fighting off Financial Issues


The one-bedroom Villa du Comte at The 13 Hotel Macau is considered entry level. At 2,000 square feet, the split-level Villa du Comte guest room is considered the smallest villa relative to the 30,000 square feet Villa de Stephen (named for one of the company's Joint Chairmen). The largest villa is expected to cost at least US$100,000 a night

The one-bedroom Villa du Comte at The 13 Hotel Macau is considered entry level. At 2,000 square feet, the split-level Villa du Comte guest room is considered the smallest villa relative to the 30,000 square feet Villa de Stephen (named for one of the company’s Joint Chairmen). The largest villa is expected to cost at least US$100,000 a night

The world’s most luxurious hotel exists and it is based in Macau. The 13 Hotel is a Baroque-inspired ultra-luxurious hotel built at a cost of US$1.4 billion dollars. Really a series of connected villas rather than a hotel in the traditional sense, The 13 Hotel Macau is an ‘all-villa’ hotel with 200 suites, each with its own 24-hour butler, measuring 2000 to 30,000 square feet. So exclusive is The 13 Hotel touted to be that it even boasts the only outpost of L’Ambroisie, a three-Michelin star restaurant in Paris.

Considered to be one of the most expensive hotels ever built, guests of The 13 Hotel Macau can expect to arrive in a manner of pure swank and opulence, ferried by one of the thirty Rolls-Royce Phantoms owned by the hotel, a nice personal touch complementary to the ultra-luxe environment considering that each villa features a marble Roman bath set under a vaulted Baroque ceiling supported by and a crystal chandelier. Guests can even use the Rolls-Royce Phantoms where available to visit any of Macau’s fine dining establishments, casinos or simply appear at business meetings in pure class. BUT, beneath the glitz and glamour, lies troubling drama emblematic of the greater financial woes faced by the luxury industry.

The Villa du Comte at The 13 Hotel features an expansive ensuite marble Roman bath, under a vaulted Baroque ceiling supported by neo-classical columns and a crystal chandelier.

The Villa du Comte at The 13 Hotel features an expansive ensuite marble Roman bath, under a vaulted Baroque ceiling supported by neo-classical columns and a crystal chandelier.

World’s Most Luxurious Hotel The 13 Macau is a Baroque-inspired $1.5 Billion Palace fighting off Financial Issues especially if loan extensions are not granted.

On 28 June, The 13 Holdings Limited (formerly known as Louis XIII Holdings) reported audited consolidated earnings results for the full year ended March 31, 2017. Though their revenue for the period was only down 10% from that of last year due to fewer hospitality, entertainment, and construction businesses contracts awarded (HKD 6,127,109,000 compared to HKD 6,811,519,000), the biggest warning signs were signaled by loss per basic and diluted share was 4.9 cents compared to 21.7 cents per share a year ago and total debt ratio which vastly exceeded available cash reserves.

According to Bloomberg, this was the fourth straight year of net losses for 13 Holdings. The company now total debt of about HK$4.5 billion, more than 10 times its bank balances and cash of HK$323.6 million, according to its filing. Meanwhile 13 Holdings is trying to change conditions of its loans as the company struggles to get the licenses necessary to run The 13 Hotel in Macau’s Cotai Strip.

The villas of The 13 Hotel are conceptualised and decorated with by Hung and his artists.

The villas of The 13 Hotel are conceptualised and decorated with by Hung and his artists.

As one can tell, the former investment banker and now joint Chairman of 13 Holdings Stephen Hung has tastes which run to the glaringly opulent

As one can tell, the former investment banker and now joint Chairman of 13 Holdings Stephen Hung has tastes which run to the glaringly opulent


It was first slated to open December 2016 but when the month arrived, it was pushed back to “the first quarter of 2017”, as the first quarter rolled around, The 13 Holding Limited announced another push back to “end of July 2017”. This news comes amid a delay in occupation permit issuance by the Macau government projected for end 2016 but only issued on 29 March 2017 and now the company is now in the process of obtaining necessary licences for the operation and pre-opening preparation of The 13 Hotel.

While bankruptcy is not on the cards yet, failure to re-negotiate or extend loan especially with a bank loan of HK$3 billion outstanding “requires the opening of the group’s hotel in Macau to be no later than July 31”. Additionally, The 13 Holdings group is also negotiating with a lender for the extension of a maturity date on a borrowing of HK$300 million outstanding as of March 31, which falls due on July 12. Though the company is confident that the unidentified lender will approve an extension for repayment up to 1 April 2018, this is only open to approval if The 13 Holdings can secure additional funding. This is a multi-billion dollar bet made on many variables beyond the control of key executives at The 13 Holdings, if nothing goes to plan and all lenders refuse to extend deadlines on outstanding loans… you get the idea.

Hung specially flew to England to commission a fleet of 30 bespoke "Stephen Hung red" Rolls-Royce Phantoms for The 13 Hotel.

Hung specially flew to England to commission a fleet of 30 bespoke “Stephen Hung red” Rolls-Royce Phantoms for The 13 Hotel.

Among the key executives, Stephen Hung, a flamboyant Chinese billionaire and joint chairman of the company. The former investment banker made the news when he visited Rolls-Royce headquarters in England in 2014 to place the order for a fleet of specially bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms for use as The 13 Hotel’s limousine fleet costing US$20 million.

Macau, widely considered to be the world’s biggest gambling hub is in the middle of a three-year gambling slump which comes as China’s anti-graft campaign continues and amid globally softened markets.



The Belmond Andean Explorer offers luxury cabins to travel across the Peruvian Andes

The brand behind the iconic Simplon-Orient Express, Belmond, presents the ultimate luxury getaway in the form of snow-capped mountains and lush cabins. All aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer, a luxury sleeper train which is the first of its kind in South America. Travelling along one of the world’s highest train routes — the Peruvian Andes — the two-night journey will take guests on a journey of rest and relaxation.

Exotic Peru proves to be the prime location for this picturesque journey! The Belmond Andean Explorer is fitted with elegant different cabin choices: Double Bed Cabins, Twin Bed Cabins, and Bunk Bed Cabins able to accommodate 48 guests. Marvel at majestic lakes and towering mountains through the large picture windows on the train, providing unobstructed views to the spectacular scenery of the Andes. The interiors are dressed in vibrant colours and natural hues-notably influenced by the bustling culture of Peru and its environment.

The brand’s goal to bring wellness and tranquility to its guests is made true with the exceptional facilities available on board. With a Piano Bar perfect for unwinding with friends, a boutique and a library, the Belmond Andean Explorer is set to bring you an unforgettable luxury experience. Perhaps the highlight of the train is in its Observation Car. Boasting a marvellous outdoor terrace, this section is the best place for some fresh Andean air and views. Guests can even mingle whilst enjoying some live Latin music, while the train glides through gorgeous landscapes at 14,000 feet.

Twin Bed Cabin

The Belmond Andean Explorer also serves up tantalising dishes in its two dining cars. Concocted by Executive Chef Diego Muñoz, the Peruvian influenced menu consists of local delights such as corn with cheese, alpaca tortellini and a tantalising dessert made of lime with melted chocolate and apple custard.

Take some time along your journey to stop by this luxurious 20-room retreat—The Belmond Las Casitas. Blending seamlessly into the Peruvian landscape, the Las Casitas is nestled deep into Peru’s extensive Colca Canyon. The 20-room property basks in the tranquil nature of the Andes, providing a private location for guests looking to immerse themselves in culture, nature and wellness. Each casita, or bungalow, has a private terrace with a heated plunge pool, backed by sweeping views across the canyon. The hotel’s Samay Spa also makes use of nature’s abundance, offering nourishing products made from the hotel’s own garden.

For more information on the luxury travel and hotel experiences available, do visit Belmond.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills welcomes back glitzy glitterati in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a new destination for the rich and the famous, with the newly opened Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel located strategically at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards — the gateway to the city of the stars. It’s one of the most hotly anticipated openings on the US West Coast, thanks to the iconic Waldorf Astoria brand and the suite of features and luxury amenities.

True to its local heritage, the hotel is designed to evoke the old Hollywood glamour of the 1930s and 40s, with a contemporary Art Deco motif, hand-painted murals, cascading crystal chandeliers and Lalique installations.

The rooftop pool deck is poised to become one of the most exclusive addresses in the city, as the largest rooftop destination in Beverly Hills accessible only to hotel guests. The area features cabanas, a lounge area and swimming pool, with panoramic views of the city.

All 170 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto private balconies overlooking the Hollywood Hills, and each guest is assigned a personal concierge.

The hotel also marks chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s grand debut in California, with not one, but three venues that will bear the chef’s signature cuisine: The Jean-Georges Beverly Hills (signature restaurant); The Rooftop by JG; and Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Bar, where the menu will feature locally sourced ingredients.

In keeping with its standard of luxe, the hotel is also home to LA’s only La Prairie Spa, one of the most expensive and high-end brands in the beauty industry.

Unique hotels in Iceland: The Moss Hotel and Lava Cove set to open in the Blue Lagoon

An up and coming travel destination is the Nordic nation of Iceland. Less than an hour’s drive from the capital, Reykjavik, is the Blue Lagoon — a natural geothermal spa — that happens to be one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions. As a travel hotspot for many visitors, the site is often bustling.  However, a new luxury hotel and spa complex overlooking the lagoon will soon offer visitors a haven of tranquility among the hustle and bustle.

The Moss Hotel and Lava Cove spa will be situated on the south-west side of the Blue Lagoon. The complex will offer visitors a peaceful haven thanks to a private extension of the Blue Lagoon, called the Lava Lagoon, filled with the same beneficial waters. The development will also feature an underground spa with a lava-rock-heated steam room for sweating out toxins, plus a fire pit and a sauna. Guests can also enjoy the mesmerising sight and calming sounds of falling water trickling down a rocky wall.

The hotel will feature 62 luxurious rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views over the natural landscape. Plus, there’ll be plenty of spaces to relax and unwind, with lounge areas and a library. Guests will also be able to sample a seven-course tasting menu at the Moss Restaurant, with views over the lagoon’s milky waters, accompanied by fine vintages from a wine cellar built deep in the centuries-old lava.

The luxury hotel development responds to growing demand with high numbers of tourists now visiting the site. The hotel will be built into the volcanic landscape, boring into lava dating from 1226.

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in the south-west of the country. The site attracts crowds of visitors every year given its exceptional character and stunning scenery. Set among a lava field, tourists flock to bathe in the Blue Lagoon’s warm, milky-blue and mineral-rich waters, fed by the output of a nearby geothermal power plant. Particularly rich in silica and sulfur, the Lagoon is a hotspot for visitors in search of relaxation, and spa and wellness-based activities.

The Moss Hotel and Lava Cove spa are due to open this fall. Rooms are priced around 109,000 ISK (approx. $982) or 300,000 ISK (approx. $2,704) for a suite with private access to the Lava Lagoon.

New hotels in Asia: Discover the opulence of Saigon, Vietnam with luxury hotel The Reverie Saigon

Saigon is known to be a city chock full of contrasts. Amidst peaceful historical structures stand sparkling skyscrapers; an ancient temple alongside office buildings is The Reverie Saigon. A vision of Italian opulence, the 286-room hotel is smack dab in the prime location of Saigon’s District 1. The hotel occupies the upper and lower floors of the 39-storey Times Square tower, with each of its rooms designed to elegant perfection. Juxtaposing European accents with an Asian location, The Reverie Saigon is a treasure trove for the most luxurious. We dive into 5 reasons of why The Reverie Saigon gives other accommodations a run for their money.

1. Exquisite Décor

Step into the lobby and be awed by the magnificent marble tops and mirrors. Reminiscent of an Italian palazzo, the décor is unabashedly dripping in sparkling gems and gold accents. The décor is bold and strong, inspired by the grandeur and brilliance of European luxury. Boasting interiors that feature hints of art-deco styles seamlessly intertwined with sheer elegance. The Reverie Lounge is a microcosm of what the hotel has to offer.

The 3 metre tall Baldi Firenze clock

The space is dressed by Italian interior designer Visionnaire, with works by budding Vietnamese artists displayed around the venue. The most striking piece rests on the seventh floor lobby— a bespoke 3-metre tall Baldi Firenze clock. Embellished by hand-made mosaics in malachite and detailed in 24k gold plated accents, the clock is just one of the many extravagant pieces furnishing the hotel.

 2. Extraordinary Rooms

Uniformed rooms be gone! The Reverie Saigon has already shown its prowess in defying conformity through its décor, but what about its rooms? All 224 rooms and 62 suites in the hotel promise to add their own character. Collaborating with Italy’s leading design houses— Visionnaire, Cassina, Giorgetti, Colombostile and Polrona Frau — to provide only the top interiors, each room exudes its own personality, from the sophisticated to sheer whimsicality.

Lounge on beds covered with Frette Linen while admiring spectacular views of the Saigon River and the city skyline. The Reverie Saigon has luxury down to a tee, with bathroom amenities by Chopard in rooms as well as Hermès or Acqua di Parma for suites. The hotel’s most expensive suites —The Saigon Suite and The Reverie Suite— are done to a spectacular finish, with brocade wallpaper lining the walls and living rooms clad in marble.

3. Decadent Dining

Copyright 2016 Matthew Shaw. The Long @ Times Square

Take your pick from the hotel’s four dining venues: Café Cardinal, The Royal pavilion, R&J and The Long @ Times Square. Just like the rooms, each of these dining venues ventures to show their own unique flavour.

Perched on the sixth floor, the Café Cardinal offers delicate French cuisine along with aerial views of the city. Offering all-day dining, the predominantly French menu also accommodates Asian dishes during lunch and breakfast services. Another European influenced restaurant R&J, helms Italian cuisine. Influenced by the passionate lovers of its namesake, the subterranean restaurant is furnished with vibrant mosaics and a stunning collection of deliberately different dining chairs, reflecting youthfulness.

Despite its largely European influenced scenography, the hotel does not forget its oriental roots. Tucked away in a warren of nine private rooms, The Royal Pavilion celebrates Asian cuisine with a menu stuffed full of fine Cantonese dining. In need of a drink after a decadent meal? The Long @ Times Square is the hotel’s cafe-bar, best-suited for those who want to unwind after a day of activities.

4. Immersive Activities

Copyright 2016 Matthew Shaw

Get your adrenaline fix with The Reverie Saigon’s activities. Amidst all the glitz and glamour, the hotel has also injected a little spirit of adventure. The hotel has teamed up with Vespa Adventures to bring ‘Cruising Saigon’, a one-of-a-kind package that includes a private two-hour sunset cruise along the Saigon River.

The journey starts with a relaxing river ride along the Saigon River, topped with a picnic hamper filled with bites prepared by the hotel’s culinary team. The adventure starts as soon as the sun sets, with a city-chic journey against a purple hued backdrop — atop a vintage Vespa. The ‘Saigon After Dark’ food and festival fun will take you on a ride through the throngs of Saigon’s nightlife. The tour includes zig sagging into alleys and nooks and crannies of District 4 for authentic street food and the best coffee houses. Concluding at a lively club with a local cover band, the night is surely not one to be missed.

5.  The Spa

Dubbed Vietnam’s most exclusive city spa, The Spa at the Reverie Saigon is a state-of-the-art wellness center. Keeping with the hotel’s distinctive European setting, the spa commands in total 1,200 square meters of the sixth and seventh floors. With 10 private treatment rooms, steam and sauna facilities and four individual rooms for pampering, the genuine Vietnamese hospitality shows true in the tiptop service offered.

Moving Forward

“In a destination as exotic and far-flung as Saigon, there’s often the expectation to design a hotel that very obviously references the destination’s heritage”, said Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, the Austrian general manager whose roots in Vietnam go back to 2008. “This hotel, however, is a transcendent gesture. We’re fast-forwarding to the day when Saigon takes its rightful place as one of Asia’s leading cities, when upscale travelers will expect the very best attainable – not merely the very best in Vietnam, but the very best anywhere”.

A symbol of urban opulence, The Reverie Saigon is poised to cater to all your needs. Prices for a room start at USD 350 to USD 12,000 and 15,000 respectively for the Saigon and Reverie suites respectively.

For more information, do visit The Reverie Saigon.

Luxury resorts and spas: 3 Aman Wellness Destinations from Venice to Turks & Caicos designed by Jean-Michel Gathy


Jean-Michel Gathy and his team at Denniston International architects are the masterminds behind a list of state of the art hotels. The renowned architect and his team have put together yet another architectural feat: The Aman Wellness Destinations. Made up of not one, but three locations all across the world, these resorts offer top-notch luxury wellness tourism. The rise of exclusive wellness retreats and stylish spas has spearheaded this venture, accumulating in the Aman Sveti Stefan, Amanyara Providenciales Turks & Caico, and Aman Italy, Venice. We take a look at Gathy’s inspiration for three of these sanctuaries.

First of three destinations: Aman Venice— Italy. Housed in the 16th Century Palazzo Papadopoli, the avant-garde décor was integrated with sculpted marbles, moldings and frescoes to create a scenography of opulence. Boosted by the magnificence of the Grand Canal and framed with ancient Murano crystal chandeliers, the hotel offers relaxation with a view to boot.

The Aman Sveti Stefan is located on a private beach, surrounded by the tranquillity of the Adriatic Sea. Set with a breath-taking view over the most coveted bay in Montenegro, the resort was inspired by historical features and contemporary interpretations. Keeping in mind the historical value of the 15th Century fortress that the resort is constructed out of, Gathy and team retained its heritage elements. They dressed the interior in cream and neutral tones, blending the resort seamlessly into the naturality of its location. It is clear that a recurring theme amongst these locations is that they are steeped in historical value , with its classic timelessness captured by the team.

Lastly, the team presented Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. The resorts earned its name from the Sanskrit words ‘aman’ (peace) and ‘yara’ (place), promising serenity. Gathy was drawn to the lush greenery that backed the location as well as the serenity that it provided, leaving the décor contemporary chic and minimalistic to accompany the natural materials in the resort. Fronted by the resort’s volcanic rock swimming pool, the hotel’s 40 pavilions promise panoramic views of the sparkling ocean.

It is evident that Jean-Michel Gathy and his team take pride in the seclusion and historical grandeur that these locations have to offer. As seen from their track record of Aman Summer Place in Beijing, and the Marina Bay Sands Singapore amongst many others, Denniston is a front-runner in innovative and exquisite hotel designs with no signs of stopping soon.

Visit www.denniston.com.my for more information on Denniston and Principal Designer Jean-Michel Gathy.

New hotel opening: Mandarin Oriental unveils plans for Mana’olana Place in Honolulu, Hawaii

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has recently unveiled its plans to open a new luxury hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. The hotel group, known for its luxury establishments in prime global locations, has announced that it has its eyes set on an early 2020 release. This marks a new venture for the group that has not set up new properties since the Kahala Hotel and Resort was rebranded as an independent property.

Honolulu presents itself as a great opportunity for the Asian group to establish deeper roots across the ocean, having already an extensive list of establishments in locations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris. Named Mana’olana Place, the building will stand at 36 storeys high and will consist of both a hotel and private residences. The group’s first Hawaiian hotel will have 125 rooms and suites. Visitors in search of higher-end luxury will even have the option of checking into the private residence managed by the Mandarin Oriental, located on the higher floors of the Mana’olan tower.

Just a few minutes’ walk from Waikiki Beach — one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii — guests can soak in the scenery right from the comforts of their own home. Alternatively, they can also head to Ala Moana Beach, three kilometers from Waikiki for a quiet lounging. The Honolulu Mandarin Oriental will have a spa, including eight treatment rooms, an outdoor pool and a fitness center. Coupled with a rooftop restaurant and bar with views over Diamond Head, the famous Hawaiian volcano, the hotel promises an exquisite luxury experience.

“We are delighted with this opportunity to open a hotel in Honolulu and look forward to bringing Mandarin Oriental’s legendary hospitality back to Hawaii,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental.

Where to stay in Paris: A romantic getaway on Valentine’s Day at five-star Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris

Paris, is undeniably the dream destination for romantics. For decades, lovers have been heading to the French City of Lights with their significant other, aspiring to prove their love and faith – eventually by attaching a lock to the famed Pont des Arts. The bridge may now be gone, but the romantic spirit lives on in the numerous other establishments around the city and we take a look at one hotel that fits the bill: Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris.

Paris has much to offer visitors and each hotel in the city has its own magic spin that will lure you in. Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris, a boutique hotel located near the Faubourg St Honoré neighbourhood, joins the list of exclusive locations that one might turn to, to bring their loved one to. Situated in the same neighbourhood as haute couture Maisons such as Dior and Chanel, the exclusive hotel is a charming alternative to the luxury chain hotels around the city.

Buddha Bar Sunset party hotel paris

Sunset Party at Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Christophe Madamour)

From the outside, the Buddha-Bar Hotel looks as it did in days gone by. The historic building, which was once owned by Augustin Blondel de Gagny, art collector and treasurer to King Louis XV, was constructed in 1734 and has stood tall through the many changes over the centuries. Transformed in a luxury travel establishment 20 years ago, it has maintained the magnificence while going through an assertive revamp. Inside, the French art de vivre meets the calm of an Asian temple. Aiming to be a phantasmagoric representation of 1930s Shanghai, the hotel, established around a paved inner courtyard, merges traditional architecture with a surprisingly modern decoration, that evokes a sense of wanderlust and inner peace.


Grande Suite Historique, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

The most luxurious suite of the hotel, La Suite de Gagny, which is named after the historical owner of the hotel, stands out from the rest of the establishment with its look. Frescoes and original mouldings have been restored to preserve the 18th-century aspect and pink granite fireplaces and crystal chandeliers add to the Parisian atmosphere. The rest of the furniture, though are contemporary and suit the Asian spirit brought to life by Buddha-Bar Hotel concept creator Raymond Visan.

With two bedrooms, and of a total182m², the suite is noticeably large. One has to admit it is rare to find such a space in Paris. And, because it is tempting to stay inside when the cold seizes Paris during the winter, the suite has the perfect escape with a golden bath that sits proudly as the centrepiece of the 30 square metre bathroom.

Salon de Bain de la suite de Gagny, BuddhaBar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

Salon de Bain de la suite de Gagny, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

For those who are not lucky enough to stay in the best suite, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris also boasts 55 other rooms which include 18 suites and three new Prestige suites, that are all available for your enjoyment. Come Valentine’s Day, the hotel will be offering a special package for guests starting from 525€ (US$ 555) for one night. The package includes a dinner for two at the Vraymonde restaurant, a small bottle of champagne, breakfast in bed, and late checkout till 3pm, amongst others.

For more information visit Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris website

Hotels opening in 2017: Check into these new accommodations in Paris, Bora Bora and more for your upcoming holidays

Park Hyatt Aviara

5 Best Presidential Suites San Diego Presented By Expedia

The city of San Diego is known for many things but for us, it is mainly a great unknown. Apart from a sterling recommendation for its zoo (reputedly one of the finest in the world), we know precious little about this port city and its famous US Navy connections. At the prompting of our friends from Expedia, we thought we’d kick off what will hopefully be a regular series (more or less, this is the Internet after all) exploring cities we’d like to visit. Here’s what we found in our research (that’s what the Internet is here for folks) on the second largest city in California so far.

For one thing, it apparently has fine food (here’s hoping Michelin/Zagat et al get here), nightlife, surfing spots and numerous golf courses that attract visitors each year. Like we said, San Diego is on our ever-growing list of travel destinations and, should it be on yours too, then we and Expedia have some advice. Like every dream location we set our sights on, we do our best to keep our eyes peeled for only the best accommodation options. It is our pleasure to present our top five luxury accommodation options in San Diego.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Spa & Golf ClubPark Hyatt Aviara

Avid golfers will fall head over heels in love with this location, thanks to its 18-hole golf course that was designed by Arnold Palmer. Joining the golf course are other recreational facilities such as a to-notch spa with 20 treatment rooms, an indoor co-ed solarium lounge, aromatic steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and a romantic couple’s suite. Boasting 327 guestrooms, of which 43 are suites, the rooms provide guests with scenic views of foothills, swimming pools, the golf course and Batiquitos Lagoon. Our top choice for suites is the Park Luxury Suite that features two large balconies, providing guests with a space to look out over the Pacific, and 1,640 square feet of room to relax in. In the master is a marble bathroom fitted with double sinks, a glass enclosed shower, a deep soaking tub (always a must) and a private water closet.

For more information, visit Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Spa & Golf Club.

Omni La Costa Resort & SpaOmni La Costa Presidential Suite

This happens to be a place that provides not only luxury accommodations and attractions close by, but also a space that specializes in holistic healing with The Chopra Center. However, what caught our attention was the Presidential Suite that boasts three bedrooms and three baths. At 3,500 square feet, the living room looks out over the golf course with floor to ceiling windows. Creating a cozy ambience is a fire place in the sitting area. In a sweet blue hue, the suite is an inviting space perfect to unwind in while on holiday. Two of the three bedrooms in the Presidential Suite also feature their very own sitting areas and private marble baths.

For more information, visit Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.

L’Auberge Del MarL'Auberge Del Mar San Diego

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean is the L’Auberge Del Mar. This family-friendly resort offers guests a luxurious spa and is situated close to scenic hiking trails such as the Torrey Pines State Reserve. As with most resorts and hotels in San Diego, this hotel also provides a space to enjoy golfing at an exclusive course. Additionally, guests at the L’Auberge Del Mar will also be able to enjoy horse races at the Del mar Racetrack in the summer. At 1,500 square feet, the Presidential Suite is the obvious choice here. The best digs in this house feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms. With an interior design by Barclay Butera, the suite is a calm and soothing area thanks to the cream colored walls and dark wood fixtures. Other highlights of the suite include a fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub.

For more information, visit L’Auberge Del Mar.

Fairmont Grand Del MarFairmont Del Mar Manchester Suite

Located on the coast of Northern San Diego is the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, just a short distance away from coastal communities such as La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. The hotel is a part of the prestigious Fairmont Group of hotels, and offers guests not the usual one Presidential Suite but two! Yes, there are two Presidential Suites here and we’re not entirely sure why but that improves our chances of actually booking one. The Mizner and Manchester Suites include working fireplaces in the living rooms as well as marble bathroom finishes complete with their own deep European-style soaking tubs, dual sinks and separate showers. While the Mizner Suite offers a view of the resort grounds, the Manchester Suite (above) boasts a view of the golf course.

For more information, visit Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

Rancho Valencia Resort & SpaRancho Valencia Hacienda Guesthouse

While this resort does not have a Presidential Suite, it does have its very own Private Guesthouse called the Hacienda that is just as luxurious. At 5,000 square feet, there is no denying that this is a spacious holiday housing option when in San Diego. Boasting three King bed suites, a garden patio, wood-burning fireplace and a deluxe private bath, the guesthouse is also equipped with a private heated pool and whirlpool spa. With an abode-style private home concept, this accommodation option is the definition of a home-away-from-home.

For more information, visit Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa.

Presented by Expedia.com.

Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore: Urban Sanctuary

OUE Limited is partnering with Oakwood Asia Pacific Ltd for Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore, the luxury serviced residences located at the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District. The development is scheduled to open mid-2017.

Designed by DP Architects, the 23-story residences are envisioned as a stylish, urban sanctuary for residents and travelers alike. It boasts 268 units: 82 studio (28 to 32 square meters), 139 1-bedroom (30 to 58 square meters), and 47 2-bedroom apartments (70 to 98 square meters). The serviced residences will be managed by Oakwood, as one of the 28 properties in its portfolio.


To make you feel like you’re truly living the high life, Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore will also be equipped with facilities and services fit for a jet setter. Private dining, swimming pool, fitness center, executive spaces, and daily housekeeping are just some of the perks of the property – all managed of course by Oakwood. 

“We are delighted to be opening an Oakwood Premier property in our home location of Singapore, and look forward to establishing this as a flagship product in our portfolio of award-winning serviced apartments,” said Dean Schreiber, managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific Ltd.

Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore is located at OUE Downtown, Singapore, an integrated mixed-use development, located at the former DBS Towers One and Two.