Today (August 28, 2014): August luxury travel news.
Every last Friday of the month, you can read a news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel. In this issue:
- Park Hyatt opens its flagship hotel in Manhattan
- Opening of Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia by Wilderness Safaris
- Qatar Airways unveils its new business class lounge at Doha’s new airport
- Shangri-La rebrands one of Mauritius’ most luxurious resorts
- Cathay Pacific adds Boston as a new destination
- Las Vegas’ newest luxury hotel opens its doors
- Finnair reveals Airbus A350 interior
1. PARK HYATT OPENS ITS FLAGSHIP HOTEL IN MANHATTAN
Luxury brand Park Hyatt opened its new flagship hotel, the Park Hyatt New York. One of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2014, the hotel is located in the heart of midtown across from Carnegie Hall and a short stroll from Central Park. The hotel, designed by world-renowned, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, features 210 generously sized guest rooms including 92 suites, designed by Yabu Pushelberg. The state-of-the-art guest rooms are among the largest in the city, starting from 475 square feet or 44 square meters. The hotel is part of a 90-story mixed-use tower that features 94 Thomas Juul-Hansen-designed luxury spaces with breathtaking views of Central Park and the New York skyline.
Tip: If you book a room here, make use of a best rate guarantee to receive a 20% discount (when applicable).
2. OPENING OF HOANIB SKELETON COAST CAMP IN NAMIBIA
Wilderness Safaris, owner of 3 of Africa’s 10 most luxurious safari lodges, opened its Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia’s remote Kaokoveld. Located in the private Palmwag Concession straddling the Palmwag area and Skeleton Coast National Park, the camp boasts a low-impact design that is sensitive to its fragile desert environment, operating on 100 per cent solar. Exclusivity is taken a step further as camp is only accessible by light aircraft and the camp itself consists of only seven twin-bedded tents and one family unit, each comprising stylish en-suite bedrooms with shaded outdoors decks. Flanked to the east and west by rugged hills, the camp looks out over stunning, starkly beautiful scenery and offers guests all the luxuries and amenities for an unforgettable stay.
3. QATAR AIRWAYS UNVEILS ITS NEW BUSINESS LOUNGE AT DOHA’S AIRPORT
Qatar Airways has unveiled its Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, which the airline touts as “one of the largest lounges in the world”. Spanning two storeys and 10,000 square metres, it’s roughly the size of 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools and can house up to 1,000 guests at a time. Guests can enjoy a refreshing drink in the garden resort area, catch a quick nap in one of the quiet rooms, relax in one of the family rooms or simply kick back and enjoy a moment of serenity and indulgence. Designed to mirror a resort-like experience and matching Qatar Airways’ inflight experience, the Al Mourjan Business Lounge takes inspiration from sunlight, water and nature – a celebration of serenity and rejuvenation. Lounge access is for Qatar Airways and oneworld First and Business Class passengers only.
4. SHANGRI-LA REBRANDS ONE OF MAURITIUS’ MOST LUXURIOUS RESORTS
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands, signed a management contract for Le Touessrok, one of the 10 best luxury resorts in Mauritius. The group took over management of the resort this month and will reflag and launch the hotel as Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius in September 2015 following a renovation. The announcement follows the signing of a joint venture agreement between Shangri-La’s holding company, Shangri-La Asia Limited, and the resort’s owner, Sun Resorts Limited. Shangri-La Asia has taken a 26-percent stake in the property. The resort will continue to operate as Le Touessrok until it is renovated and then reflagged. It will be Shangri-La’s third resort located in the Indian Ocean, joining Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives and Shangri-La’s Hambamtota Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka, which opens summer 2015.
5. CATHAY PACIFIC ADS BOSTON AS NEW DESTINATION
Cathay Pacific, which has one of the top 10 best longhaul Business Class cabins in the world, announced it will launch new, non-stop service between Boston and Hong Kong on May 3, 2015, using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Flights will depart from Boston at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and arrive at Hong Kong at 5:35 p.m. the following day. From Hong Kong, flights will depart at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and arrive in Boston at 9:30 p.m. Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ERs are outfitted with six open suites in first class, 53 lie-flat seats in business class, 34 seats in premium economy, and 182 seats in economy class. Boston will become Cathay Pacific’s sixth destination in the United States, and its eighth in North America, after Chicago, Los Angeles, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
6. LAS VEGAS’ NEWEST LUXURY HOTEL OPENS ITS DOORS
The SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas reopened on August 23, 2014 after a $415 million renovation as part of SBE Entertainmen’s chain of SLS hotels.The luxurious hotel is a new incarnation of the iconic Sahara Hotel where legends like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley came to perform and play. In homage to the original hotel, the new carpeting just inside the valet entrance features the Sahara’s iconic logo. But beyond the old parking garage, most of the property has been gutted and rebuilt. The hotel has 1,600 rooms and 40,000 square feet of convention space, all designed by an architectural team lead by French designer Philippe Starck. It features SLS’s signature restaurants – The Bazaar by José Andrés and Katsuya by Starck – as well as a reinvention of SBE’s original nightlife concept Shelter and the brand’s first-ever casino.
7. FINNAIR REVALS AIRBUS A350 INTERIOR
In a country known for cutting-edge design, Finland’s national carrier Finnair has unveiled its interiors for the new Airbus A350-XMB. The airline is the first European customer for Airbus’ new aircraft aimed at rivalling Boeing’s revolutionary Dreamliner. The airline is promising bright and spacious cabin features, with ‘panoramic’ view windows, ambient lighting and on-board Wi-Fi.The Airbus A350 features an air filtration system that changes the air in the cabin every two to three minutes, designed to “enhance the wellbeing” of passengers and crew.Finnair’s A350s will feature a 297-seat configuration with 46 seats in business class featuring fully flat beds. Finnair plans to begin operating its first A350s in the second half of next year, initially serving Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing, with Hong Kong and Singapore A350 service to be added in 2016.
Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for Monday when we reveal a new top 10 travel list.