Today (March 27, 2015): March 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:
- Airline promotion of the month: Qatar Airways Business Class sale
- St Regis Istanbul opens
- JW Marriott Venice opens
- Raffles Jakarta opens
- Park Hyatt Zanzibar opens
- The world’s most luxurious hotel brand opens its 28th property
- Stunning turnaround: Qantas is profitable again
- Six Senses Bali announced
- Nicole Kidman stars in Etihad global ad campaign
- Two new Jumeirah resorts announced
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1. AIRLINE PROMOTION OF THE MONTH: QATAR AIRWAYS BUSINESS CLASS SALE
Qatar Airways starts flying from Amsterdam to Doha from June 16th. This is a new route and will be served by a Boeing 787 featuring the latest impressive business class seating which I reviewed here and which is pictured below. To kick off the service, Qatar is offering some very attractive, almost ridiculously low launch fares based on two people travelling together. Some examples (quoted fares are, per person):
- Dubai €1010
- Bangkok €1070
- Phuket €1195
- Maldives €1895
- Bali €1625
- Hong Kong €1340
- Singapore €1670
- Tokyo €1470
- Kuala Lumpur €1465
Other destinations are also available. Note that this is the average price for two people traveling. If you search for one person you will not see this pricing. The deadline for booking is tomorrow, 28th March. Click here to access the sale.
2. ST REGIS ISTANBUL OPENS
Nestled in the heart of Nisantasi, the St. Regis Istanbul is surrounded by the exclusive district’s shops, dining, art, and entertainment. Mere steps away are such destinations as Macka Park, the convention center, the city center, and the Bosporus. The property has two signature restaurants: an intimate rooftop terrace venue and an eclectic French brasserie. The hotel’s 118 sumptuous accommodations boast a unique identity of discrete luxury, timeless elegance, and compelling grace. Guests of the 10 suites—one designed by Bentley—enjoy the elevated level of bespoke service of the St. Regis Butler.
3. JW MARRIOTT VENICE OPENS
The JW Marriott brand’s first hotel in Italy is a world-class addition to its global portfolio of 59 luxury properties. The resort is located on a private island in the Venetian lagoon, just a 20-minute ride across the Lagoon to central St. Mark’s Square by complimentary shuttle service. The resort features 250 contemporary-styled rooms and suites designed by the architect Matteo Thun, in addition to 4 restaurants, the largest Spa in Venice, a romantic Church for events and private ceremonies, and a rooftop lounge area with pool offering a dramatic 360° view over Venice.
4. RAFFLES JAKARTA OPENS
Raffles Jakarta stands at the heart of the central business district, in Ciputra World Jakarta, a prestigious new development with luxury boutiques and office buildings. The hotel is exclusively linked to the new Ciputra Artpreneur Centre, dedicated to the celebration of art and theatre. Like its sister hotels, the stylish Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris and the stunning Raffles Istanbul, Raffles Jakarta is a celebration of artistry – and in particular an homage to the iconic Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan. The hotel features 173 exquisitely designed rooms and suites, some of the largest in the city.
5. PARK HYATT ZANZIBAR OPENS
Seated majestically on the beachfront in Stone Town, the historical centre of the city and a designated UNESCO Heritage site, Park Hyatt Zanzibar’s architecture reflects its Swahili culture with a unique blend of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. Reminiscent of an exclusive Omani residence, the hotel features 67 spacious guest rooms including 11 suites, brilliantly combing contemporary style and timeless regional accents. Standard guest rooms range in size from 45 square metres to 50 square metres, and ocean front rooms feature spectacular, picturesque views of dhows, the harbour and the Indian Ocean.
6. AMANDAYAN OPENS
Lijiang is a fabled city – tucked into the northwestern corner of China’s Yunnan Province. Renowned as one of the most beautiful places in China, it is often favourably compared to the mythical Shangri-La of Himalayan lore. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and home to a harmonious fusion of cultures, the city’s Old Town was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, and is now home to Amandayan, the 28th Amanresort, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand. Situated atop Lion Hill with panoramic views of Lijiang and the region’s majestic mountain ranges on the horizon, Amandayan is Aman’s third resort in China, joining Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing and Amanfayun in Hangzhou.
7. STUNNING TURNAROUND: QANTAS IS PROFITABLE AGAIN
Emerging just a year after perhaps the bleakest financial period in its history, Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas has rebounded in dramatic fashion. This month, Australia’s national carrier announced an after-tax interim profit of A$206 million (US$161 million) for the second of half of 2014. The airline group “is now targeting A$675 million of transformation benefits in financial year 2015, up from the previous target of A$600 million,” according to a Qantas statement. The fast turnaround at “The Flying Kangaroo” comes as a surprise. In August 2014, the airline posted a shocking net loss of A$2.8 billion for the first half of 2014, the worst annual loss in its history.
8. SIX SENSES BALI ANNOUNCED
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced that it will develop a ultraluxurious resort in the southwest of Bali at Uluwatu, a 35-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. The resort is set atop a rugged cliff, sharing the spectacular ocean views with the island’s famed Uluwatu Temple. True to Six Senses inimitable style, Six Senses Bali will include 28 sky villas, 62 one-bedroom villas and seven two-bedroom villas that draw upon the local culture, embrace nature and offer every creature comfort. Six Senses Bali is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.
9. NICOLE KIDMAN STARS IN ETIHAD GLOBAL AD CAMPAIGN
Etihad Airways has launched its new global brand campaign with the worldwide premiere of a new television commercial in Abu Dhabi, attended by Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman, representatives of the global media and hundreds of specially invited guests. Nicole Kidman is both star and narrator of the captivating feature, which is shown on global TV stations and social media in both 60 and 30 second formats, with still versions of the campaign appearing in print, digital and on outdoor channels. The ad was shot on-board Etihad Airways’ new flagship Airbus A380 and in locations around the world, including various landmarks in Abu Dhabi.
10. TWO NEW JUMEIRAH RESORTS ANNOUNCED
If you are a regular visitor to Jumeirah hotels and resorts (and they are spreading rapidly from their Middle East heartland), there are two bits of news to whet you appetite. Opening in no short order is a (possibly emergency) takeover of the Golden Savoy resort in Bodrum, Turkey, which opened last year, and will become Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Resort. It is an extravagantly designed luxury hotel consisting of 135 rooms made up of generous suites, luxuriously appointed villas and a six-bedroom Palace. Longer term, a deal has been signed for a resort on Sa’adiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. The 294 room Jumeirah Sa’adiyat Island Resort will open in 2017.
- Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Resort: Hotel website