Luxury travel news, offers & competitions (win free trips!)

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel competitions, tips, series, or news.

1. Latest news from the luxury travel industry around the world:
  • Qatar Airways has commenced flight operations from Hamad International Airport (HIA), a historic move that will enable passengers to enjoy a comprehensive Qatar Airways’ five-star experience at the world’s newest international gateway. The move also means all commercial passenger airlines operating into Qatar will be arriving and departing from Hamad International Airport. “The move of our entire operations to HIA is a momentous occasion for Qatar Airways, and one that we have been preparing for extensively for a long time,” said Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker. “Our move to HIA heralds a new beginning for Qatar Airways, as we will now be based in a world-class hub that has been entirely designed to meet the needs and expectations of even the most discerning passengers. The airport had been expected to open in 2009 but was beset by delays. Al Baker continued: “With the capacity to handle 8,700 customers per hour, HIA will provide a seamless, hassle-free experience to our passengers, from check-in to passport control and boarding. “Qatar Airways passengers will be thrilled to enjoy the comfort and functional design of the new airport, along with the exceptional shopping and dining choices it offers.”
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced that it has entered into an agreement with Badriah Investments to develop a Hyatt-branded hotel within a 16th century castle in Baden-Baden, located in south-western Germany. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand Hyatt’s brand presence in Germany, while at the same time, restoring a local icon for the community to once again enjoy,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president, real estate and development for Hyatt in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “This hotel will add to our growing portfolio in Germany, bringing the authentic hospitality for which Hyatt is known to a beautiful region visited by high numbers of business and leisure travellers throughout the year.”   The Neues Schloss Baden-Baden, a Hyatt Hotel will be the seventh Hyatt-branded hotel in Germany, joining Grand Hyatt Berlin, Park Hyatt Hamburg, Hyatt Regency Cologne, Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf Hyatt Regency Mainz, and Andaz Munich, which is currently under development and is expected to open in 2017.
Neues Schloß Baden-Baden
  • Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands, has signed an agreement with Dubai-based real estate development company Meraas Holding for a new hotel in Dubai to be opened in 2018. The luxury property will be located on the exclusive Jumeirah Bay Island, off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road, sculpted in the shape of a titanic seahorse. The luxury marine 1.7 million sq ft. complex will be framed by lush landscaped gardens and it will be defined by 100 rooms and suites, 20 residential villas and a marina, all accompanied by a full range of luxury amenities. As the other Bvlgari properties, the hotel will be designed by Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners. The Bvlgari Hotel in Dubai will be the world’s fifth Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts property following Milan, Bali, London and Shanghai, that is due to open in 2015.

2. Our pick of the best luxury hotel deals

All these deals are weekly updated on the website as well.

  • The website Luxurylink offers auctions and packages at many luxury hotels at an impressive discount of up to 60%. In addition, this months, Luxurylink is offering an additional discount of 15% when you use the code LLAG15 at check-out. 
  • With Anantara’s special stay longer special (book before 25th August 2014 for stays before 31st August 2014 ) you can save up to an incredible 40% discount on luxury accommodation, as well as receive a complimentary daily breakfast and a 60 minute aromatherapy massage for two. Whether you want to experience exotic beach, jungle and urban destinations across Asia, the world famous paradise of the Maldives, or the majestic wonders of the Middle East, there’s never been a better time to book an escape of amazing discovery.
  • To mark its official debut, the Mandarin Oriental Taipei has two enticing opening offers. The Stay for More package includes three-nights luxurious accommodation in a spacious guestroom or suite (the third night is complimentary). The Dining Experience  package includes two-nights luxurious accommodation in a spacious guestroom or suite, signature Mandarin Oriental Breakfast for two persons, 3-couse dinner set menus for two persons, and Welcome drinks at the bar.
  • The mountain defines the summer activities at Viceroy Snowmass with incredible hiking trails, biking, and family adventures. Book your family summer getaway to the Rocky Mountains and save 15%. Reserve and pre-pay for your stay at least 14 days in advance to take advantage of the savings.
  • One&Only Resorts published several very interesting summer offers on its website, with – amonst others – savings up to 40% (One&Only Mauritius) or free nights & halfboard (One&Only Maldives).
  • Take advantage of the Discover Belmond offer to save 15% off standard rates at Belmond (formerly known as Orient Express) hotels, trains and river cruises wordwide before July 31, 2014.
  • Faimont has published discounted rates at many of its properties for members of its loyalty program President’s Club. Joining the program is free, so everybody has access to these great rates. In additon, it launched a promotion that is open to everybody with 20% discounts or free nights at many properties (or 25% discounts for President’s Club members).
  • Book a minimum of 2 nights and receive a guaranteed room upgrade with Design Hotels. The lists incudes top properties like Alila Jakarta, The Library Koh Samui, and The Mira Hong Kong.
  • Earn a complimentary fifth night when you stay at Viceroy Anguilla for a stay now through December 19, 2014. In addition, Viceroy also offers complimentary threads for bookings at its properties in Abu Dhabi, Palm Springs and Abu Dhabi.
  • Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts offers savings at many of its resorts with a “Get Away, Get More” promotion, when you stay between June 15 and September 15.
  • In celebration of their opening, the new Alila Jabar Akhdar in Oman, one of the most anticipated hotel openings in 2014, offers a special rate, called the Alila Rose package. Every 2-night stay at the brand new mountain resort will come with a welcome dinner and a guided tour to the famous rose terraces as well as a restorative rose bath for your indulgence. In addition, all guest bookings received before March 30th will enjoy a commemorative gift upon departure.
  • From June 1st until October 31th (low season), a stay at the luxurious Amanyara resort (part of the Aman resorts portfolio; read our review here) in Turks & Caicos will come with the following inclusions: daily full-board (minimum 3 night stay), one complimentary night (5 night stay), and 2 complimentary massages per person (7 night stay).
  • The Luxury Collection offers exclusive perks when you stay in a suite in their highly recommended top properties in Venice (Gritti Palace), Paris (Prince de Galles), Sevilla (Alfonso XIII) and The Hague (Hotel Des Indes).

3. Our pick of the best luxury travel competitions on the internet

These competitions are weekly updated on the website as well.

  • Win a free American Airlines upgrade from Economy to Business or Business to First class with our first Blog Giveaway. Click here to enter the competition (before June 20th).
  • Get one chance in May and in June to win a Qatar Airways pajama by subscribing to our 3-weekly newsletter. Click here for more info on how to follow us by email.
  • Win four nights and dinner for four people at the RedDoor hotel in Bali, Indonesia, with Conde Nast Johansens. Click here to enter the competition. Competition closing date: 27 June 2014.
  • For USA residents only; Win a trip to the Grand Canyon or a Caribbean Cruise, courtesy of Arnicare. Click here to enter the competition. In addition, all sweepstakes participants will receive one $2 OFF Arnicare Gel or Cream coupon. Competition closing date: 31 July 2014.
  • For USA residents only:  Forbes is sponsoring a contest where you could win a luxury trip to Boston including the following: two nights in a deluxe garden-view room at Four Seasons Hotel Boston, roundtrip airfare for two to Boston, roundtrip chauffeured airport transfers, daily American breakfast for two, $150 dining credit at The Bristol Lounge, complimentary premium internet service, complimentary drop-off service within a three mile radius, complimentary use of pool and spa facilities, and a suite upgrade (if available at the time of check-in). Click here to enter the competition. Competition closing date: 6 June 2014.
  • For USA residents only:  Luxurylink is giving away a four-night getaway at the Sparking Hill Resort in British Columbia, including wine tasting, dinners, and spa vouchers for two, as well as ound trip airfare for two. Click here to enter the competition.
  • For USA residents only: win a stay at the soon to be opened The Peninsula Paris. The prize consists of roundtrip, economy air travel from an international airport near winner’s home (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) to Paris; four days and three nights stay in a Superior Suite in the Paris Hotel; continental breakfast each day of stay (excludes alcohol); ground transportation between the Paris airport and the Paris Hotel.  Click here for more info on the competition.
  • Southern Destinations gives you a chance to win an unforgettable &Beyond Botswana Explorer Expedition valued at a totally wild US$16 000! If you’re the lucky pair, you’ll be taken on an exclusive 10-day guided luxury camping safari through Botswana’s most thrilling wildlife areas including the Okavango Delta, Savute and the Chobe National Park. End your journey at the Victoria Falls. Dine like royalty under the African stars with all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and drinks at camp. Click here to enter the competition.
  • Take a few minutes to update your newsletter preferences at Luxury Link and you could receive $250 to spend on any of our extraordinary vacation experiences
  • Win a one in a lifetime experience at the 2014 Formula-1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The price includes 2 VIP passes, 2 business class tickets to Abu Dhabi with Eithad Airways, and 4 nights at the iconic Viceroy Abu Dhabi. You have to be part of Eithad’s frequent flyer program (and spend 100 miles) to enter the competition.
  • Win a one-night stay with Business Traveller magazine is in a deluxe suite for up to two people at London St Ermin’s hotel, including full English breakfast and choice of the Suite Dreams appealing trip enhancements. Click here to enter the competition.
  • Four Seasons gives you the chance to win unforgettable Maui vacation experiences when you a book stay at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea between September 1 and November 30, 2014 (but non-guests are eligible to enter as well). Click here to enter the social media contest.
  • Win a 3 night stay at one of the Angsana Resorts. Click here to enter the photocompetition.
  • For USA residents only: win a gateway to the British Virgin Islands with Budget Travel. The price includes round-trip airfare for two, a six-night stay in an ocean-front room at Long Bay Beach Club, breakfast and dinner dail. Click here to enter the competition.
  • Win a holiday to the Seychelles worth £4,000 with UK Conde Nast Traveller Magazine. The prize includes accommodation in a Junior Suite with breakfast at 5-star Constance Lemuria, return flights from Heathrow to Mahé courtesy of Seychelles Tourism Board and transfers.  Click here to enter the competition.
  • To celebrate their new partnership with Etihad Guest (the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways), Heathrow Awards is offering you the chance to win a five star trip to Abu Dhabi, courtesy of Etihad Guest and the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, and £500 worth of vouchers to spend at Heathrow before you leave. There’s also the chance to win one of four runner-up prizes of 25,000 Etihad Guest Miles each. Click here to enter the competition.
  • Win all-expenses paid six-night luxury safari for two in Kenya with &Beyond. Click here to enter the Twitter competition.
  • Win a luxurious two-night stay in a suite at any Shangri-La hotel or resort by submitting a travel article about an unforgettable journeys. You must be member of Shangri-La’s loyalty program Golden Circle (which is free). Click here to enter the competition.
  • Subscribe to, or refer friends and family to join the Qatar Airways newsletter and you will get a chance to win 1 of 20 pairs of Economy Class tickets to a worldwide destination of your choice. Click here to enter the competition.
  • For Southeast Asia residents only: win a 3 night stay with Travel & Leisure magazine at any Small Luxury Hotel of the World (SLH) property worldwide and an exquisite bed linen set from the Hotel Luxury Collection, simply by joining The Club of SLH. Click here to enter the competition.

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