Today (August 28, 2015): August luxury travel news.
Every last Friday of the month, you can read our news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel. In this issue:
- A game changing, ultra-luxurious hotel is coming to the Maldives
- British Airways to fly Airbus 380 to Vancouver
- Aman announces a new resort in Japan
- Emirates to launch the world’s longest non-stop flight
- The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach opens in the Seychelles
- Jumeirah to operate luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur
- Virgin to retire its Boeings 747-400 at Heathrow in February 2016
- LATAM Airlines Group brand to replace LAN and TAM in South America
- Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, opens in Ubud, Bali
- Banyan Tree Huangshan opens in China
1. A game changing, ultra-luxurious hotel is coming to the Maldives
The ultraluxurious Soneva Hotel Group, one of our absolute favorite hotel brands, is currently developing what will become known without any doubt as thé ultimate luxury resort in the Maldives. Expected to open in 2016, Soneva Jani will comprise 57 phenomenal villas, including 24 overwater villas with one and two bedrooms which will only be reachable by boat and which will all have an enticing choice of either a sunrise or sunset view. There will be a further 20 one-bedroom Crusoe homes on land plus a choice of 13 three bedroom villas on the beach. One third of the properties are for sale. Soneva Jani will be located on Medhufaru, a coral reef encircled island with a two-mile lagoon just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé International airport.
If you cannot wait until it opens, consider a stay at its sister resort Soneva Fushi, currently one of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives. Contact us to receive a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking.
2. British Airways to fly A380 to Vancouver
British Airways has announced that from May 1, 2016 it will begin flying its state-of-the-art Airbus A380 superjumbo daily between Vancouver International Airport, Canada and London Heathrow, UK. This marks the first A380 for the city of Vancouver and will be the only scheduled A380 service in western Canada. The aircraft will replace the B747-400 that currently operates on the route, reports airlineroute.net. Outbound service BA085 will depart LHR at 1715 and land in Vancouver at 1840, while return service BA084 will leave Vancouver at 2050 and arrive in London at 1400 the next day. All four Canadian cities that British Airways serves will now have the latest aircraft in British Airways’ fleet, with Toronto, Montreal and Calgary operating the 787 Dreamliner.
Read here our trip report and watch our clip below to know what’s it like to fly Business Class aboard a British Airways A380.
3. Aman announces new resort in Japan
Aman, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, has announced a new resort in Japan, Amanemu, scheduled to open in early 2016. Celebrating Japan’s ancient onsen (mineral hot spring) tradition in scenic Ise Shima National Park, Amanemu is perched on the verdant rolling shores of Ago Bay, known as the Bay of Pearls, on the west coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Each of its 24 Suites and four Villas will have a private onsen, making the resort the first Aman to integrate mineral hot springs. The design throughout will embrace a classical Japanese aesthetic, giving pride of place to natural materials and soothing hues while framing the exceptional natural surroundings. Around 300 kilometres southwest of Tokyo and a scenic two-hour train journey or 25-minute helicopter ride from Nagoya, the lush hills and peaceful waters surrounding the resort are known for their seafood and cultured pearls and for Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine, Ise Jingu.
4. Emirates announces the world’s longest non-stop flight
Emirates announced its plans to launch services to Panama City, beginning 1st February, 2016. The new service will be Emirates’ first gateway destination in Central America, as well as be the longest non-stop flight in the world (17 hours 35 minutes in the Westbound direction). You can read more about the current 10 longest flights in the world here. Service to Panama City, Panama’s capital and largest city by population, will commence with a daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in a 3-class layout – 8 in First, 42 in Business, and 216 in Economy. Emirates flight EK251 will depart Dubai at 08:05 and arrive in Panama City at 16:40 daily. The return flight EK252 will leave Panama City at 22:10, arriving in Dubai at 22:55 the next day.
If you want to know what’s it like to fly Business Class aboard an Emirates Boeing 777, then read here our trip report and watch our clip below.
5. The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach opens in the Seychelles
Be the first to leave footprints in the talcum powder sands of this new Seychelles’ resort. Set on one of Mahé Island’s best-loved beaches, The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach is surrounded by striking natural beauty. This boutique beach resort is designed to be in harmony with its sublime setting. Luxury villas and suites are made in authentic Seychelles style, with thatched roofs and an enticing pool. Luxury villas and suites are made in authentic Seychelles style, with thatched roofs and interiors of rich wood, stone and crisp linens. There’s an enticing pool to cool off in, the über-luxurious Sesel Spa and wellness centre, plus activities such as Yoga and snorkelling. From dawn to dusk, you’ll have a range of restaurants and bars to choose from – all promising delicious food and exceptional service.
6. Virgin to retire its B747-400s at Heathrow in February 2016
Virgin Atlantic has moved forward the date it will operate its final Boeing 747-400 aircraft out of London Heathrow by two months. The airline will now fly its last two B747 services from London to Miami and New York JFK on February 20 and 21 respectively, reports Business Traveller. Virgin Atlantic had previously scheduled to retire the aircraft in April 2016. Virgin will continue to operate the B747 out of London Gatwick. The carrier also announced some operational changes to its winter season. It will roster its B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from London to Miami as VS005/006 between February 21 and March 22, and to New York JFK as VS045/046 five-times weekly from January 21. A340-600 aircraft will operate Virgin’s Heathrow to Los Angeles route between October 25 and December 20, and to Newark for the entire winter season.
7. Jumeirah to operate luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur
The Jumeirah Hotel Group, which own the world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel, has signed management agreements to operate a 190-room luxury Jumeirah hotel and to brand 273 premium residences in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Jumeirah Kuala Lumpur hotel and Jumeirah Living Kuala Lumpur residences will be set within one of the three towers which make up the landmark mixed-use development that is set to transform the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. The three towers will be located in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre precinct within easy reach of the Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis Tower and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Construction of the development, which will cover an area of more than 12,500 square metres (135,000 square feet), is expected to start in 2016 and complete in 2021.
8. LATAM Airlines Group brand to replace LAN and TAM in South America
After an extensive integration process following the association of LAN Airlines and TAM Airline, LATAM Airlines Group has decided to adopt a single name and identity for the largest airline group in Latin America and its affiliates. According to Breaking Travel News, the new LATAM branded airline group will include LAN Airlines and its affiliates in Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador, in addition to TAM Linhas Aéreas, and its subsidiary TAM Air Transport Mercosur, TAM Airlines (Paraguay), and the cargo carriers comprised of LAN CARGO, LAN CARGO Colombia, ABSA (TAM Cargo) and Mas Air. The decision to rebrand the carriers under a single flag follows a period during which the group made great advances in achieving synergies for internal processes, network optimisation, and fleet restructuring and modernisation.
9. Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, opens in Ubud, Bali
Verdant rice paddies, meandering pathways, gently rolling hills and the soothing Ayung River set a glorious backdrop for Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. In the spiritual and cultural heart of Bali, visitors are transported to a place where joy is found in luxuries as simple as time and nature, and a quiet moment of reflection will resonate for years to come. Secluded from the distractions of daily life, resort guests will discover the peace of mind and body that has drawn devotees to area mandapas, or temples, for thousands of years. An intimate hotel of only 60 villas and suites, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, features two swimming pools, a luxury spa and active excursions to awaken the spirit.
10. Banyan Tree Huangshan opens in China
Banyan Tree Huangshan has officially opened in the misty awe-inspiring landscape of Anhui Province, east of China, enshrouded by the great Mount Huangshan. The 10th Banyan Tree in China, it is 70 minutes away from Huangshan city. Cultural adventurers and explorers will be fascinated by the ancient-styled dwellings of Xidi and Hongcun, two UNESCO world heritage sites and the breath-taking Mount Huangshan with its peculiar shaped granite peaks, woody pine trees and hot springs. This perfect harmony of nature and culture embodies Banyan Tree Huangshan’s dedication to create a Sanctuary for the Senses amidst picturesque landscapes and rich Chinese history.