Today (February 27, 2015): February 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:
- Best airline promotion of the month: the Etihad Airways global sale.
- Best luxury hotel promotion of the month: the Luxury Link auction.
- Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort, China, is now open.
- Four Seasons to manage two hotels in Bogota, Columbia.
- Iberia to re-launch flights to Cuba.
- Fly Niki to launch shortest international flight in the world.
- American to fly B787-8 Dreamliner to Beijing and Buenos Aires.
- Loews Hotels to take over the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.
- Sunrise Kempinski: the Chinese capital’s new landmark.
- One&Only to build two new luxury resorts in Mexico.
1. BEST AIRLINE PROMOTION OF THE MONTH: ETIHAD AIRWAYS GLOBAL SALE
Etihad Airways is currently offering its biggest ever seat sale for 2015, which you can access here. Book now and you get discounts of up to 30% in Economy and Business Class to a wide range of fantastic destinations across Etihad’s global network. What’s more, you will also earn double miles in Business and Economy Class for travel to all destinations. After you have made the booking, click here to register for the bonus miles offer. Etihad Airways is one of the best airlines in the world, both in terms of safety and service. We recently flew in Business Class to the Malidves aboard an Etihad Airways Airbus A330, and you can read our trip report here. This exceptional offer closes on 3 March 2015, and is valid for travel from 3 March to 12 December 2015.
2. BEST LUXURY HOTEL PROMOTION OF THE MONTH: THE LUXURY LINK AUCTION
Auctions are back for a limited time at LuxuryLink.com and you can access them here. Luxury Link is one of our preferred websites to book luxury hotels and save (lots of) money. Customers who participate in Luxury Link auctions can bid to get upscale, luxury vacations at heavily discounted prices. Auctions will only be available for one week, and are expected to go very quickly, so we recommend that you promote this great deal as soon as possible! The list includes beautiful properties and gems such as – amongst others – Cavallo Point Lodge near San Francisco, Altis Belem near Lisbon in Portugal, Mauna Lany Bay Hotel in Hawaii, Capella Ixtapa in Mexico, Essque Zalu in Zanzibar, and the new SLS Las Vegas.
3. PARK HYATT SANYA SUNNY BAY RESORT IS NOW OPEN
Park Hyatt, the luxury hotel brand of the Hyatt Hotel Group, opened a new property on the southernmost tip of Hainan Island, widely known as “the Hawaii of China”: the Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort. Sequestered on a stunning, 350,000-square-metre inlet—with an internal lake and a white-sand private beach—the resort combines exclusivity with accessibility, being a mere five-kilometre drive from popular Yalong Bay. Designed to resemble a private mansion by the sea, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort offers relaxed, personalised luxury, housing 207 sophisticated rooms and suites, the majority blessed with unadulterated, breathtaking views of the South China Sea. Elegant drinking and dining venues serve carefully crafted cuisine to stimulate the senses, using produce sourced locally and organically grown, wherever possible. In addition, guests can enjoy any of the resort’s five swimming pools or activities for all ages, with a focus on local culture and sea and environmental education.
4. FOUR SEASONS TO MANAGE TWO HOTELS IN BOGOTA, COLUMBIA
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announceD plans for the management of two hotels in Bogota. Following meticulous renovations, the historic Hotel Casa Medina Bogota will re-open as Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota and the contemporary Hotel Charleston Bogota will welcome guests as Four Seasons Hotel Bogota. Closed as of December 15, 2014 for renovations, both properties will be ready to welcome guests later in 2015. Located in the financial and commercial centre of Bogota, the Hotel Casa Medina has long been a preferred choice among luxury travellers to the city. The unique French and Spanish architectural elements of this historic property will be preserved through the renovation while being augmented by contemporary features. The renovations of Hotel Charleston Bogota will include stylishly redesigned rooms and suites, as well as a new world-class, Japanese dining experience to complement the eclectic local culinary scene.
5. IBERIA RE-LAUNCHES FLIGHTS TO CUBA
Spain’s national airline, Iberia, has announced that it is re-launching flights to Havana in Cuba after a hiatus of a few years. This is an ideal opportunity to visit before the influx of American tourists begins, which will surely change the character of the island forever. The Havana route, which was suspended two years ago, will begin to operate on 1 June, with five direct flights per week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Iberia president Luis Gallego said: “I am delighted to be able to announce Iberia’s return to Cuba. All the changes the company has made in recent months allow us to not only return to Cuba but initiate flights to new Latin American destinations such as Cali and Medellin, further shoring up Iberia’s current leadership position in the region”. The flight will be operated by new A330 aircraft, all of which include the new long-range product: seats that turn into two-metre beds, in-flight entertainment in all seats, and wi-fi.
6. FLY NIKI TO LAUNCH SHORTEST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT IN THE WORLD
The Austrian low-cost carrier Fly Niki, a daughter company of Air Berlin, is to launch flights from Bratislava to Brussels and Palma in summer 2015 and to facilitate its new services, it will operate one of the shortest international flights in the world between its base in Vienna and the Slovakian capital. The 30 mile hop will take 10 minutes by plane, a journey that can take as little as an hour by car, or even less by train. The airline will begin positioning aircraft from its Vienna base to Bratislava, but is selling this as a commercial service –the shortest capital city to capital city air service in the world. At the other end of the scale, you can read here more about the world’s longest flights. The Fly Niki operation will commence on April 1, 2015 with up to six weekly flights, and the carrier plans to operate this route with Embraer E190 aircraft. Fly Niki was founded in 2003 and serves more than 50 destinations in Europe and North Africa.
7. AMERICAN TO FLY B787-8 DREAMLINER TO BEIJING AND BUENOS AIRES
American Airlines has announced the first routes its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate. The US carrier, the largest airline in the world, which took delivery of the aircraft last month, will first fly the B787-8 between Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare from May 7. The Dreamliner will then be launched internationally between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing Capital International on June 2. From June 4, American will deploy the B787-8 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Buenos Aires’ Ministro Pistarini International airport. The airline said it will announce further Dreamliner destinations for 2015 in due course, as it takes delivery of more aircraft. It has ordered 42 B787-8s and B787-9s, with the option for a further 58. American’s B787-8 is configured in two classes, with 28 fully-flat seats arranged 1-2-1 in business, 48 Main Cabin Extra (economy with an additional six inches of legroom) seats arranged 3-3-3, and 150 Main Cabin seats, also laid-out 3-3-3.
8. LOEWS HOTELS TO TAKE OVER THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL SAN FRANCISCO
Loews Hotels & Resorts announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the 158-room Mandarin Oriental San Francisco Hotel. The acquisition is expected to close in late March. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, the respected five-star hotel , which is currently managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, is situated on the top 11 floors of San Francisco’s third-tallest office building, showcasing uninterrupted views of San Francisco and its bay. The hotel features 158 guest rooms, the Brasserie S&P restaurant, over 5,000 square feet of meeting space and a new 8,000 square foot spa and fitness center. After the acquisition, Mandarin Oriental will be left with just one resort in the Western USA: the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
9. SUNRISE KEMPINSKI: THE CHINESE CAPITAL’S NEW LANDMARK
The unveiling of Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing marks the completion of Kempinski’s largest development in China. The hotel is located 60km north of Beijing’s city centre, alongside the picturesque Yanqi Lake and boasting panoramic views of Yan Mountain and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. This new hotel, managed by Kempinski, and owned by state-owned Beijing Enterprise Group, includes 595 guestrooms and suites. Leisure facilities include 14 restaurants and bars, two Kempinski The Spa, a private marina, the Yanqi Pagoda, recreational and fitness facilities, a Kids Club and beautifully-landscaped gardens. With four ballrooms and 23 meeting rooms, this new destination is designed to host high-profile government conferences and is set to become the location of choice for global summits and large-scale international meetings in the region.
10. ONE&ONLY TO BUILD 2 NEW LUXURY RESORTS IN MEXICO
Two luxury resort developments have been announced for the Mexican Pacific coast on either side of Puerto Vallarta. One&Only Resorts, one of the most exclusive hotel brands in the world, will build the One&Only Mandarina in Riviera Nayarit, about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Vallarta, and the Only&Only Santa María de Xala, about 100 kilometers to the south. Both new Mexican properties will include luxury villas and private residential properties as well as restaurants. Mandarina will have 145 villas, a retail component, a beach club, a spa and a conference center. Santa María de Xala, part of a 1,200-hectare development, is billed as an authentic hacienda resort with eight kilometers of beachfront, and will feature 75 luxury villas and suites. There are nine One&Only resorts worldwide, including Palmilla in Los Cabos (Mexico), Reethi Rah (Maldives) and Hayman Island (Australia).