Tag Archives: luxury hotel

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.



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.


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.


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


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.


Banyan Tree Phuket at Phuket, Thailand


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.


Banyan Tree Lang Co at Lang Co, Vietnam


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.


Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum at Luang Prabang, Laos


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.


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