Tag Archives: luxury hotel

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.

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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 sq ft), 139 1-bedroom (30 to 58 sq ft), and 47 2-bedroom apartments (70 to 98 sq ft). The serviced residences will be managed by Oakwood, as one of the 28 properties in its portfolio.

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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.

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Belmond Villa San Michele Launches Inferno tour

Belmond Villa San Michele is launching an immersive Inferno tour of Florence, Italy, as the premiere of the film draws closer. If you’ve always wanted a starring role in a conspiracy theory film set against the breathtaking backdrop of Tuscany and Florence, this looks a good bet. Hotel guests are be able to experience the adventures of the movie’s main characters – Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) and Sienna Brooks (played by Felicity Jones) – firsthand.

The tour will have you go around the city unraveling mysteries and interpreting hidden meanings in works of art. Through secret passageways, palazzi, galleries, and landmarks you will search for clues to solve the mystery. Meanwhile, you can also do what everyone else does and be astonished at the exquisite Florentine architecture, including Badia Florentina, where the movie’s story begins. Your journey will continue to the Palazo Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens, and the Baptistery of Saint John.

The ‘Inferno tour’ aims to intrigue travellers who want to discover the city and its protagonists of the past, like Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Giorgio Vasari. The three-hour guided tour is priced at $393, excluding museum tickets.

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Set in the hillside of Tuscany, Belmond Villa San Michele is a calm sanctuary above the bustling city below. The building is a restored 15th century monastery, decorated with frescos, ancient carvings and a façade attributed to Michelangelo. Rich history aside, the hotel also has a panoramic outdoor swimming pool with a view of the city of Florence, terraced Italian gardens, and an award-winning Italian cooking school.

For more information on Belmond Villa San Michele, visit www.belmond.com/villa-san-michele-florence.

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Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

6 Luxury Hotels Opening 2016

With numerous hotels set to welcome guests as we venture into the tail end of 2016, we thought we would bring you up to date with a round up of six establishments everyone is anticipating, starting with the most obvious of course.

Trump International HotelTrump International Hotel, Washington DC

The Republican presidential candidate opened his latest hotel earlier this week in Washington DC. The Trump International Hotel sits on what was the Old Post Office Pavilion that is considered a historical landmark. The $200 million hotel is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is connected to the White House and the United States Capitol. While the hotel was originally slated to be completed in 2018, it seems that developers have been pushing the project ahead to be ready in time for the US election in November.

Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc Miami Beach

With actor Robert De Niro as his partner, chef Nobu Matsuhisa will open the doors to his third hotel later this week. Located at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort, the hotel was designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. Boasting 206 guest rooms and suites, the interior design was inspired by natural materials that bring to mind a Japanese beach house in the middle of Miami. Nobu Hospitality also operates Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Nobu Hotel City of Dreams in Manila, Philippines.

Four Seasons Hotel New York DowntownGuest room at the Four Seasons New York Downtown

This will be the second Four Seasons hotel in the Tribeca district and is dubbed the little sister to the flagship New York property in Midtown. The hotel will open in the Tribeca district, a short stroll from the new World Trade Center, Wall Street and the Soho neighborhood and serve as a dual residential and hotel property. The 185 rooms are designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Dinner will be served by Wolfgang Puck and his CUT steakhouse restaurant and bar.

L’Hotel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel

The French hotel group is set to open a five-star ski chalet in the French Alps. Featuring 42 alpine-inspired rooms that are made of wood and stone, the accommodation promises luxury. Located in the heart of the Trois Vallées, the largest ski domain in the world, the hotel will also feature a cinema, spa and Fouquet’s brasserie, modeled after the iconic restaurant on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Fouquet’s is also part of the Barrière group.

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at VoavahFour Seasons Private Island Maldives

Located on a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in Baa Atoll, Maldives, this luxury hotel and resort is one for those who prefer an ultra-secluded and exclusive private island getaway. The reserve is home to one of the largest groups of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean and to a globally significant biodiversity. The property, which opens at the end of this year, spans five acres and can accommodate just 22 people in the seven-bedroom beach house. It also comes with a dive center, spa and 62-foot superyacht.

Hilton Bali Resort

Bali is set to get a new sprawling luxury resort destination under the Hilton brand. Perched on a 40-meter high cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Hilton Bali Resort will feature 408 suites and villas, a secluded beach with designated surf area, spa and nail salon, seven restaurants including Japanese, Balinese and Italian cuisines, indoor tennis courts, and open-air amphitheater, gardens, conference centers and chapel for destination weddings.

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach Wants to Welcome You

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is finally ready for business. The latest hotel from actor Robert De Niro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa has officially started taking online reservations ahead of its September 16 opening. In a somewhat underwhelming move though, the hotel has timed this announcement to clash with Apple’s latest product reveals.

Situated at Eden Roc Miami Beach, the new Nobu hotel complements rather than replaces the existing Nobu Miami Beach restaurant that has been drawing in food obsessives for nearly two decades. The hotel will offer 206 guest rooms including 36 junior suites and three penthouse suites, plus four pools, a spa and 24-hour in-room dinning. We’re not sure if that in-room dining option is via the famed restaurant’s kitchens.

Of the new venture, also backed by film producer Meir Teper and Australian businessman James Packer, chef Nobu Matsuhisa said: “Since opening my restaurant in Miami Beach 16 years ago, I have felt a connection to this city and the people. Now with the Nobu Hotel, I feel like I have a new home.”

To make a reservation, visit the hotel’s website which is now officially online. Somewhat confusingly, there are actually two hotels here, the Nobu Hotel and also Eden Roc Resort.

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

Robert De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. © Erik Kabik

 

Nobu Hotel Miami, 4525 Collins Avenue Miami Beach FL 33140 

NYC Landmark Returns to Life as The Beekman Hotel

The Temple Court complex has returned to life as The Beekman hotel and it is more luxurious than ever. One of the earliest skyscrapers in the Big Apple (it has nine stories which was pretty impressive back in the 1800s), the building has been returned to its former glory much as it was in 1881. Having been a regular office building for most of its existence, this revamp sees the landmark located between the East and Hudson Rivers become a new luxury hotel and dining destination. Beekman-hotel-new-york-3

Step through the doors and guests are greeted by a soaring nine-story Victorian atrium and pyramidal skylight; this atrium was Temple Court’s claim to fame when it opened and remains impressive today. Another ode to its Victorian-era past are cast iron railings, balustrades and dragon-shaped cast iron brackets. The 287 rooms within the hotel are decorated with vintage furnishings from around the world, sourced from antique dealers. Custom-designed oak beds will welcome guests along with a bathroom that is tiled in Carrara marble.Beekman-hotel-new-york-2

Apart from luxurious amenities for guests from out of town, the hotel also boasts a two dining options. The first is Fowler & Wells by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio that serves up modern American dishes such as lobster Thermidor and beef Wellington that pay tribute to cuisine of turn-of-the-century New York City. The second is a brasserie-style restaurant, Augustine, by Keith McNally. Featuring French classics, a special rotisserie and grillades section for meat, fish and poultry, it is set to be a treat for those choosing to dine here.

The Upper House, Hong Kong: Top of the World

Located at the heart of Hong Kong’s business district is Swire Hotel’s luxury hotelThe Upper House. Sitting atop Pacific Place, The Upper House is equipped with 117 hotel rooms (including 21 suites and 2 penthouses), and also premiere lounges and facilities. Designed by renowned Hong-Kong based architect Andre Fu, The Upper House is as calming as it is contemporary. The breath-taking views of the harbour, Kowloon and the surrounding hills that can be seen from the rooms add to this relaxing and luxurious experience.

The Upper House Hong Kong

Entrance Doors

Another notable feature about The Upper House is its size. These spacious rooms, ranging from 730sqf to 1,960sqf, are not commonly found in Hong Kong, where compact living is the norm, and is the perfect haven for whether you’re in town for work or play, to re-charge and breathe before you take on the city again.

The Upper House Hong Kong

Main Dining Hall

Then there’s Café Gray Deluxe, arguably the best thing about The Upper House. Located on the 49th floor, Café Gray Deluxe is a grand café and restaurant that serves signature European dishes by Chef Gray Kunz, and offers a glorious view of the Victoria Harbour. Its bar is stocked with some of the best wines in the world, and serves amazing cocktails to boot. So whether you’re looking to dine exquisitely, or wine down feeling like a king, Café Gray Deluxe is the place to be.

The Upper House Hong Kong

Studio with Harbour View

Now art lovers listen up: The Upper House is also a home to a collection of contemporary artworks and installation on display. Both local and international artists such as Mang Fung Yi (Hong Kong), Armen Agop (Egypt) and Hiroshiwata Sawada (Japan) to name a few, have their works showcased around the hotel lobby and in the suites. In addition, The Upper House is located a stone’s throw from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) where Art Basel Hong Kong is held every year. And just a little bit further is the Central District, where most of Hong Kong’s best art galleries are located.

The Upper House Hong Kong

Bathroom with night view

Recently, the Upper House announced an upcoming partnership with the luxury lifestyle store Harvey Nichols, which is also found in the Pacific Place Mall, to offer both a unique hotel-stay and shopping experience. “At The Upper House, luxury service defines an environment which is not only about a beautiful surrounding but also a service and anticipation of service. We always work hard to go beyond guest expectations and to make every guest feel at home” said Marcel Thoma, General Manager of The Upper House, Hong Kong. He added, “What sets us apart is that mastering the skill of becoming an expert observer, actively taking note of any routine or preferences your guest may have, from the bag they carry to the way they shake your hand. Each clue provides an insight on the bespoke type of service they would appreciate.”

The Upper House Hong Kong

Double Vanities

Now take all of the above and add to it a tight-knit family of some of the best service staff in the world, always there at your beck and call for your every need, no matter how small… it really doesn’t get any better than this.

The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong – +852 2918 1838

Lotte New York Palace

Top 10 ‘Pokétels’ New York City: Catch ‘Em All

Listen up Pokémon Go fans: One hotel-booking site has found one major city with a host of Pokéstops and Pokégyms that any fan of the game would be happy to hear about. Hotels.com now provides users with a list of what they call the best “Pokétels” in the US with several found in New York City.

Alright, we grant you that it is slightly unusual for us to cover a game such as Pokémon Go. Needless to say, the global phenomenon is so powerful that it has swept up major names in luxury such as The Peninsula, the Four Seasons and the St. Regis. Yes, Pokémon Go has indeed come to the rarefied world of high end living, ready or not.

With nine out of 10 New York hotels making the list, it is clear that the city is a hotspot for those looking to get their fix for their addiction to the game. Cashing in on the craze, the site reveals that the top spot is occupied by none other than The Towers at Lotte New York Palace. With 11 Pokéstops and Pokégyms within 500 feet and another 231 within a 1.25-mile radius, the area is certainly a hotspot for those looking to expand their collection.

The geo-location-based game has taken off in various locations in recent weeks, which gets players off their couches and out exploring the world. Venturing out to see the city landmarks, monuments and public spaces, the game has even gotten players considering visiting new destinations. The majority of respondents agreed they’d take free Wifi over free breakfast if they had to choose, and expressed a booking preference for hotels that are Pokéstops.

While New York is the city to beat in the US, it is in fact Paris that holds the title of home to the most Pokétels, with six out of 10 spots taken by the French capital. We bring you the full Hotels.com list of top 10 US hotels within 500 feet of Pokéstops and Pokégyms:

Wynn Palace, Macau

Wynn Palace Opens in Macau

It has been six years in the making but we will soon be able see the Wynn Palace, a highly anticipated luxury hotel, opening its doors to guests in Macau. After numerous delays, the floral themed hotel is set to make its debut next week in the casino capital of Asia.Wynn Palace, Macau

With 1,700 rooms all centered around a colorful floral theme and large-scale displays including a Ferris wheel decorated with 103,000 flowers by floral designer Preston Bailey. To ferry guests across the eight-acre lake and into the resort are air-conditioned “SkyCabs”. Within the resort, Wynn Palace features a collection of rare and contemporary art.

One piece that we would personally love to see is a painting by Jeff Koons of a bouquet of tulips. With big-spenders descending on the city possibly every day, the hotel tries to think of everything to keep them in a good mood. The Wynn Palace is even fitted with the largest spa in Macau that features an impressive menu. Luxurious facials using crushed diamonds and gold-leaf mean that it is difficult to say that one will not be pampered like a high-roller at the Wynn Palace.Wynn Palace, Macau

Top-tier Garden Villas span up to 743 square meters (8,000 square feet) and feature outdoor gardens, swimming pools, grand pianos, a 24-hour butler service and two to three master suites. With amenities by Molton Brown, the hotel also boasts audio systems by Bang & Olufsen. Ok, neither of those are particularly exclusive but all in all, these are comforts that world travelers expect to find. However, the Wynn palace isn’t just about providing guests with a comfortable stay. Instead “Wynners” can look forward to a dozen dining options such as ramen from the world’s only Michelin-starred ramen chef Yuki Onishi, who designed the menu.Wynn Palace, Macau

The Wynn Palace was originally set to open in March but delayed its debut till August 22. Factors that are said to have contributed to this include the-now famous economic slowdown in China and Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign, which resulted in a drop in gambling revenue for Macau. The Wynn Palace is the second integrated resort property by the company after Wynn Macau, which opened in 2006.

 

4 Luxury Asian Hotels: Banyan Tree X SilkAir

Asia has a lot to offer, and if you’re planning a trip to this very diverse continent (which you shouldn’t even think of as a single place), count yourself lucky. In a partnership with SilkAir, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has rolled out a range of promotions to seven idyllic properties in four iconic Asian destinations. Think of it as less planning on your part: the package includes full-service SilkAir flights, exclusive discounts of up to 30%, complimentary upgrades, dining offers and experiences at spas and Laguna Golf Clubs.

Banyan Tree Lijiang at Lijiang, China

banyan-tree-silkair-lijiang

Luxe meets tradition in Banyan Tree Lijiang, where once can bask in China’s history while taking a retreat located 2,400 meters above sea level and framed by the majestic Snow Jade Dragon Mountain. One can pick from a Garden Suite, Mountain View Suite, or Jet Pool Villas, and indulge in activities like yoga or play tennis on outdoor courts. In fact, one is reconnected with nature in this hotel – Lijiang isn’t a UNESCO heritage site for nothing.

Rates begin at $283 per night, inclusive of breakfast. Discounts of up to 30% are offered on best available rates, spa treatments, gallery products and complimentary upgrades when presenting the boarding pass on arrival. This offer is valid until 30 March 2017.

http://www.banyantree.com/en/cn-china-lijiang

Banyan Tree Phuket at Phuket, Thailand

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Phuket has increasingly a spot on many’s travel itineraries in recent years – and rightly so. Breath-taking coastal views, pristine waters and stretches of glisteneing sand can all be found at the charming Bang Tao Bay, a stone’s throw from Banyan Tree Phuket. Opt between a variety of Pool Villas, ranging from the Banyan Lagoon Pool Villa to the Grand Two Bedroom Villa. In between dipping into pools and long, leisurely walks down the shores, one can indulge in cooking classes, golf classes, and even a turtle club for children.

Rates begin from $627 per night, inclusive of breakfast. Discounts of up to 25% are offered on F&B, best available rates, spa treatments, gallery products and golf green fees at Laguna Golf Phuket when presenting the boarding pass on arrival. This offer is valid until 20 December 2016.

http://www.banyantree.com/en/ap-thailand-phuket-resort

Banyan Tree Lang Co at Lang Co, Vietnam

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Picture dramatic vistas spread across a rugged landscape of unspoiled nature. Nestled in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage sites, eco-diverse mountains and spectacular national parks, Banyan Tree Lang Co is an all-pool villa resort. Visitors can stay in a Lagoon Pool Villa, Sanctuary Pool Villa, Beach Pool Villa and Seaview Hill Pool Villas of up to three-bedrooms in size. It is not all just pools, however; this hotel also boasts meeting rooms, a Laguna Sea Sports Centre and Marine Lab, as well as a gym and yoga pavilion. Having stayed at this location ourselves, we recommend it heartily and whole-heartedly. Although, as with all Banyan Trees, the fact that the best restaurant is the signature Saffron (Thai cuisine) is a little jarring.

Rates begin from $258 per night, inclusive of breakfast. Discounts of up to 20% are offered on best available rates, spa treatments, gallery products and golf green fees at Laguna Golf Lang Co, when presenting the boarding pass on arrival. This offer is valid for bookings until 15 August 2016 and for stays until 22 December 2016.

http://www.banyantree.com/en/ap-vietnam-lang-co

Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum at Luang Prabang, Laos

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Steeped in old-world charm, one is surrounded by breath-taking natural landscapes as they seemingly take a trip back in time. More than just vintage charm, however, the hotel also has royal origins: it once belonged to Laos’ four-time Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma. Live in classic French colonial interiors in the Garden Wing, Residence Twin to the Maison Room. Enjoy spas, al fresco dining at the Elephant Blanc restaurant and in-room dining while on stay.

Rates begin from $120 per night, inclusive of breakfast. Discounts of up to 30% are offered on best available rates, spa treatments and gallery products, plus a complimentary traditional Laos set menu dinner with a minimum stay of two nights). This offer is valid for bookings until 31 August 2016 and for stays until 23 December 2016.

http://www.angsana.com/en/ap-laos-maison-souvannaphoum

Terms and conditions apply.

Connaught Bar Named World’s Best 2016

The Connaught Hotel in London might just boast one of the finest penthouses in the city, which makes it the ultimate dream accommodation for travelers, but definitely has the best watering hole, the Connaught Bar. Over the weekend the hotel’s bar helped cement its status in the world of luxury hotels, having been named the world’s best bar 2016. Seriously, the bar is so famous that it is just called the Connaught Bar, with nary a thought for the hotel that hosts it.

As part of the “Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award”, the event saw 100 industry experts’ award winners in five main categories. With finalists from America and around the world, the awards recognized the efforts of mixologists, cocktail menus and bars. The event also saw the Connaught Bar walk away with the award for best international hotel bar.connaught_bar_drinks

Located in one of London’s most desirable and fashionable neighborhoods, the bar boasts a luxurious interior and a carefully concocted menu. The bar was designed by David Collins, the man responsible for the interiors of restaurants such as Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing, The Wolseley and Gordon Ramsey. Apart from restaurants, the interior designer has also been the creative mastermind behind retail interiors such as Jimmy Choo and Harrods as well as Madonna’s New York and London apartments.

At the Connaught Bar, guests can look forward to plush leather seats amidst 1920s inspired décor as they sip their cocktails. Yes, because people with class sip… Surrounded by silver leaf walls decorated in pink, pistachio and lilac, bartenders in spiffy suits, white-gloves, crisp white shirts and black vests serve up some interesting concoctions. From the Mulata Daisy, made of eight-year-old rum, creme de cacao and fennel seeds to the Sakura that is created with Pear Williams EDV, cherry blossom liquor and plum wine, the cocktails promise to give you that tingly feeling.connaught_bar_bartenders

Other winners include:

Best American Restaurant Bar: Saxon + Parole (New York)

American Bartender of the Year: Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common (Portland)

Best American Cocktail Bar: Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)

Best American Hotel Bar: The Elephant Bar at The NoMad (New York)

Best New American Cocktail Bar: Sweet Liberty (Miami Beach)

Best International Bar Team:American Bar at the Savoy (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar: Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London)

International Bartender of the Year: Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five (Tokyo)

Best International Cocktail Bar: Happiness Forgets (London)

Le Roch Hotel & Spa Now Open

France welcomes another luxury hotel and spa to its stylish capital, with the opening of Le Roch Hotel & Spa earlier this week. Located on a prime plot of real estate, the 37-room hotel is just steps away from iconic Paris locations such as the Place Vendôme, the Opéra Garnier and the world famous art gallery: the Louvre.Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-suite

The spanking new hotel is housed in a heritage structure in the 1st arrondissement that dates back to the 19th century, which adds to its charm where sophistication meets modern design. The talented individuals behind the interior of the hotel are none other than interior designer Sarah Lavoine and architect Vincent Bastie. With amenities such as a sun-lit courtyard, a library a restaurant and an exclusive spa, Le Roch is a slice of Parisian heaven.Le-Roch-hotel-and-Spa-bathroom

The aesthetics of the hotel reflect the vibe of the neighborhood, while boasting colors such as sage, chartreuse and milky green. Furniture and fixtures are anything but boring, proving that the designer has a keen eye for detail. From pieces designed by Lavoine herself and crafted by Cassina, to the Carrera marble, solid walnut wood flooring right down to the bathtubs and basins by Kaldewei, each element blends together to create a stylish living space.Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-hammam-shower

If a spacious en-suite wasn’t enough, Le Roch provides a private hamman steam bath in each suite — perfect for resting those tired muscles after a day of travel. Complementing the bath are cosmetics from Codage that are specially commissioned for the hotel and spa. To be truly well rested and ready for the real world once again, the hotel provides guest with a 75-minute top-to-toe facial and body massage. To ensure that guests make the most of the signature in-house treatment, they are given a one-month supply of Codage’s ready-to-wear skincare line that combats jetlag and the effects of travel (Score!)Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-dining-rooms

France being an international culinary hub means that the hotel has a restaurant steeped in world-class gastronomy. In the capable hands of chef Arnaud Faye, the restaurant provides guests with a menu that is anything but traditional French fare. Instead, the dishes use vegetables and botany for a truly gastronomic experience. While the meals are designed to be shared, we certainly wouldn’t complain about having a plate all to ourselves.

Le Roch Hotel & Spa – 28 rue Saint Roch, 75001 Paris

Huus Hotel, Switzerland Opens December 2016

Some hotels may boast the finest amenities with luxurious interiors but few can truly feel like a home away from home. At the Huus Hotel in Switzerland, slated to open at the end of this year, the concept is what makes the hotel so special. Even its name stems from the Swiss-German word for ‘home’.Huus-Hotel-Switzerland-room

This hotel combines themes that focus on comfort, adventure and taste to give guests a stay that will simply have them torn between snuggling up on that oh-so-inviting bed and exploring the areas around the hotel. Situated between Schönried and Saanen, the 131-room hotel will offer views of the Alpine peaks, waterfalls and high moors. “At the heart of Huus Hotel is our sentiment “come up, slow down””, says Günter Weilguni, CEO of Huus Hotel. “Guests will find themselves back to serenity, back to an active immersion in nature, and firmly rooted in the unparalleled spectacle of the alpine mountain region.”Huus-Hotel-Switzerland-Spring

For those who love all things sporty, the luxurious retreat away from the hustle and bustle of urban living boasts numerous expertly guided outdoor activities. Adrenaline junkies can look forward to 250km of slopes and trails in the winter. Come spring to fall, The Huus Hotel entertains guests with biking, hiking and rafting. Like any perfect vacation, there are also options that allow guests to wind down and relax and the hotel does not disappoint.

Huus-Hotel-Switzerland-PoolFine restaurants, a spa that is steeped in both comfort and luxury, and adventure lounge along with a fully fledged family area ensure that the amenities cater to all. With the award-winning Swedish design firm Stylt Trampoli behind the interiors, the hotel blends nature with contemporary elements. The rich, organic tones are coupled with natural and locally sourced materials that bring that feeling of nature into each room.

Huus Hotel, Gstaad-Saanen Schönriedstrasse 74 3792 Sanen-Gstaad – +41 33 748 04 04

Greece, Italy Top Luxury Hotel List

London and Geneva may boast Europe’s highest costs of living but when it comes to luxury hotels, Italian and Greek cities are in a league of their own. According to a Luxury.Hotels.com study published Monday, the most expensive place in Europe to take a holiday this summer is southern Greece. At €1,779 a night, the Amanzo’e in Kranidi, Greece tops this year’s summer chart.

In second place is Le Dune in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy (€1,645 a night) and while the Cap Estel on the French Riviera rounds out the top three (€1,596 a night) it is the only hotel located anywhere other than in Greece or Italy to make this year’s top 10.

Beyond the top three, 12 of the top 20 hotels in this year’s list are in Italy, three can be found in Greece and a further three in France leaving just 16th place for the Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford, in the UK and 18th place for the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum, Turkey. This seems perfectly in line with what we discovered in our own story recently. We’ll be delving into the good times to be had on the Greek islands soon…

Revamped Peninsula Beijing Boasts Larger Rooms

For those who love sprawling hotel rooms with ample space for everyone’s steamers and trunks, The Peninsula Beijing may be your new home away from home. The hotel now boasts the largest luxury hotel rooms in the Chinese capital since they revamped their 525 rooms to actually create fewer rooms and suites – there are now 230. A small sacrifice really, for luxury. However, ‘small’ is definitely not the name of the game here.Peninsula-Beijing-renovations-master-bedroom

The smallest rooms start at 60 square meters (645 square feet), going against trend in the industry. That is to say, most hotels maximize space to earn as much revenue as possible by creating as many rooms as possible.

With a little inspiration from luxury yachts and a few cultural elements, guests can trust that the rooms are both comfortable and sophisticated. The rooms feature hues of cream while artworks from Chinese artists adorn the walls. Like most luxury yachts, the rooms are fitted with furnishings from luxury Italian designers and a few hand-finished pieces from local designers. Peninsula-Beijing-renovations-dining-room

The experience doesn’t stop there. Guests have full control of the lighting, temperature and can even order room service via the tablets that are found on the bedside and on room desks. The most luxurious suite in the hotel is The Loft that commands the top floors of the hotel. Spanning two stories, the suite has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breath-taking views of the city below.

The hotel has created another tier of suites by combining 17 room to create living spaces that measure up to 165 square meters (1,883 square feet). The suites also come with large living and dining spaces, dressing quarters and a master bedroom.

Park Hyatt Vendôme Offers Best Value Luxury

While the term ‘affordable luxury’ may seem an oxymoron, a recent study conducted by the research firm Consultourisme has discovered which luxury hotel offers the best value out there. The 5-star Park Hyatt Vendôme was discovered to be the least expensive option out of all the ‘Palace’ hotels located in Paris.

The vaunted ‘Palace’ status is only awarded to the most prestigious hotels in the country. The city of Paris itself happens contain eight of these ‘Palaces’ – out of a total of 16. Consultourisme (which did the study for Tourmag.com) did a first comparison of rates in February for a two-night stay in a double room from April 1 to 3. A second comparison was carried out mid-May for a weeknight booking for the following day for a one-night stay in a double room with breakfast. From this, the researchers managed to check out which of the Paris ‘Palaces’ offered the best in terms of price.

In both cases, the Park Hyatt Vendôme proved the least expensive option at a rate of €1,394 for two nights booked in advance or €868.80 for a single night booked last minute. On the other hand, none of the hotels really stood out as the most expensive. The priciest two-night stay booked in advance came in at €3,167.50 at the Plaza Athénée, whereas the Royal Monceau topped the list for last-minute one-night bookings at €1,316. Of course, all this is dependent on the season and events being held in Paris, such as the popular fashion weeks. Prices are also dependent on whether it’s on a weekends or weeknights.

One of the great things about all the Paris ‘Palace’ hotels are their locations – they’re all found somewhere in the 8th and 16th arrondissements. This puts them in close proximity with the city’s major tourist sights, like the Louvre or the trendy shops set along the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. For those of you interested in visiting the City of Lights with a bit extra to splurge, you might want to consider the Park Hyatt Vendôme as the spot to check out.

Paris Ritz Reopens After Renovations, Fire

Finally, after four years of renovations and a major fire that necessitated restoration, the landmark Paris Ritz hotel will be reopening its doors to guests. The new Ritz, situated on the Place Vendome, will only have 142 rooms and suites, compared to 159 previously, and not all of them will be immediately available as the final touches are still being applied. The hotel boasts a legendary history – with names such as Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway having visited since its founding by Cesar Ritz in 1898.

Hemingway, especially, was enamored with the place, once making the statement that: “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz”. The writer famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel which had been requisitioned in June 1940 by the Nazis and occupied by German brass. However he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry martinis. The hotel was also the place where Princess Diana spent her last hours before her tragic car accident while being chased by paparazzi.

The refurbishment started in 2012, with an estimated $150 million brought together to spruce up the whole establishment. Although it was slated to re-open in March this year, a fire ravaged a section of the building and caused delays. All that is over now though and the new Ritz is ready for business, boasting a summer restaurant under a movable glass canopy, a larger ballroom and the latest technology in its rooms.

If you’re interested in finally being able to experience the atmosphere of the Paris Ritz, you can check out their website over here. Bear in mind that rooms are severely limited and demand is projected to be unreasonably high…

Unique Suites at Hotel Pitrizza, Sardinia

Overlooking the crystal-clear azure waters of Sardinia, Hotel Pitrizza (a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel) sits in its own cozy corner of Costa Smeralda in a setting of untouched natural splendor. The hotel isn’t new and our focus here is on something called the Unique Suites, which were recently completed. These suites are so-named because no two are identical of course.

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The suites are designed to blend harmoniously into the surroundings. Keeping the traditional Sardinian style in mind, Hotel Pitrizza used local materials such as wood and granite for a rustic charm. Inside, each suite features a stunning bedroom, with a spacious bathroom, living room, dining area and terrace, all boasting breath-taking views of clear skies, white sandy beaches and aquamarine waters.

Unique Suite - Taphros

Hotel Pitrizza also romances with its uncompromising 5-star services. Amenities such as your own private solarium and seawater pool, and 24-hour butler service make the posh seafront hotel your refuge away from home. Starwood Preferred Guests should take note that their privileges definitely come into play here.

Unique Suite - Sandan

While you’re there, check out the vibrant Costa Smeralda Season, which kicks off in May with the Porto Cervo Wine & Wine Festival. The extravaganza, which runs through to the end of September, focuses on the best Italian wine and food, with traditional gala dinners and glamorous concerts at the Cala di Volpe attracting international music stars the likes of Elton John and Robbie Williams.