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Travel news: this month (June 2016) in luxury travel

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel conteststipsseries, or news.

Today (June 24, 2016): June luxury travel news.

Every last Friday of the month, you can read my news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel. In this issue:

  • Park Hyatt Mallorca, Spain, is now open
  • Singapore Airlines restarts nonstop USA flights in 2018
  • W hotel brand debuts in Punta de Mita, Mexico
  • United Airlines revamps its intercontinental Business Class
  • Aman announces its 4th resort in China
  • Cathay Pacific takes delivery of its first Airbus A350
  • Four Seasons introduces its first private island resort
  • Etihad Airways opens its new flagship First Class Lounge
  • The Ritz Paris reopens after a €200 million refurbishment
  • Alila Anji opens in China’s first national ecological county


1. Park Hyatt Mallorca, Spain, is now open

The newly opened Park Hyatt Mallorca reflects the style of a traditional Mallorquin hilltop village with references of local art and cultural heritage. The first Park Hyatt Resort in Europe perfectly personifies an intimate haven within a vibrant, charming and culturally rich island. Situated on the east coast of Mallorca, the resort overlooks the majestic Canyamel valley, offering views of the Balearic Sea and the town of Canyamel. The 126 spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms, and 16 uniquely designed suites brilliantly combine a blend of sophistication and upscale residential comfort with timeless regional accents. The hotel also offers a sophisticated dining experience centered around a village square, presenting a range authentic cuisines catering to all tastes.

PARK HYATT MALLORCA, SPAIN

PARK HYATT MALLORCA, SPAIN


2. Singapore Airlines restarts nonstop USA flights in 2018

Singapore Airlines is to launch non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco and will add a second daily service to Los Angeles in an expansion of its US operations. The non-stop Singapore-San Francisco flights will be operated on a daily basis with effect from 23 October 2016 using an Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Flying time for the new Singapore-San Francisco services will be between 14:35hrs and 17:45hrs depending on direction and time of year, over a journey of around 13,600km (8450 miles). They will be the longest flights in Singapore Airline’s network until 2018, when a new variant of the A350-900 will enter service, enabling the restart of the even longer flights between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York (which were cancelled in 2013 because these routes proved to be non-profitable with the Airbus A340-500s). Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the new variant, the A350-900ULR, with seven of the type on order.

SINGAPORE AIRLINES AIRBUS A350

SINGAPORE AIRLINES AIRBUS A350


3. W brand debuts in Punta de Mita, Mexico 

Perched on the ocean in the heart of one of Mexico’s most gorgeous beaches, the new W Punta de Mita invites you to immerse yourself in a truly remarkable hotel experience. The resort pays homage to the area’s profound cultural history, with colonial grandeur blending seamlessly with the extraordinary artistry of the indigenous Huichol peoples. These elements exist in harmony with a very modern sensibility that extends throughout the resort, setting the stage for an unforgettable visit. All of the 119, light-filled rooms and suites feature modern amenities and captivating Huichol accents – not to mention breathtaking views. Guests can gaze on a lounge chair at WET Pool as they enjoy a cool ceviche, indulge in some “me time” at Away Spa, or celebrate the sensuality of South Asian cuisine at Spice Market, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s imaginative restaurant concept.

W PUNTA DE MITA, MEXICO

W PUNTA DE MITA, MEXICO


4. United Airlines revamps its intercontinental Business Class

United Airlines unveiled its all-new United Polaris Business Class, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers. Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey. Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer’s personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a high-definition entertainment screen, direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. In rethinking the international Business Class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research.


5. Aman announces 4th resort in China

Opening in 2017, the fourth Chinese property of the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, Aman, will be a tranquil village of historic dwellings, surrounded by sacred camphor woodland – a peaceful, introspective setting that belies its proximity to vibrant downtown Shanghai. Both forest and village will tell an incredible story of millennia of history, daring engineering feats and a philanthropic endeavour spanning hundreds of kilometres along the country’s eastern reaches. Set within easy reach of central Shanghai, the property will be a destination for inner cultivation, where guests will experience a contemplative retreat that embodies traditional Chinese culture. Warm earthy tones, creamy whites and moss greens form much of the colour palette, and reflection pools will enhance the tranquillity within and without, as you can watch for yourself on the video on the official Aman website.

AMAN'S 4TH PROPERY IN CHINA

AMAN’S 4TH PROPERY IN CHINA


6. Cathay Pacific takes delivery of its first Airbus A350

Cathay Pacific’ first Airbus A350-900XWB aircraft arrived at Hong Kong International Airport from Toulouse. It is the first of 48 A350s scheduled to be delivered to the airline. The new aircraft features Cathay Pacific’s latest inflight products in the Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class cabins, enriching the experience of passengers and helping the airline to deliver on its promise of a Life Well Travelled. Powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 is the quietest among the aircraft types in its class and also 25% more fuel efficient. As part of the Cathay Pacific Group’s ongoing support for the commercialisation of sustainable aviation biofuels, all the airline’s A350-900 aircraft – including the first delivery – are being flown from Toulouse using fuel containing a 10% blend of biofuel.  Cathay Pacific’s first A350-900 will operate mainly on regional destinations until more A350s arrive, and the aircraft will be deployed on various long-haul routes – including London Gatwick and Düsseldorf – from the third quarter of 2016.

CATHAY PACIFIC A350

CATHAY PACIFIC A350


7. Four Seasons introduces its first private island resort

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, announced Four SeasonsPrivate Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, the first private island in the company’s portfolio and the world’s only exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway located in a World Biosphere Reserve. Opening in late 2016, this secluded five-acre (two-hectare) oasis transcends the private island experience. Voavah days will revolve around the double-storey Beach House and adjacent white sands, crystal waters and abundant reef – all exemplary even by Maldivian standards. “Entirely yours” from the moment of booking, the island’s seven bedrooms, beach house, dive centre, Oceans of Consciousness spa and 62-foot (18.9-metre) yacht extend the spoils of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to up to 22 guests on an exclusive basis.

FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES AT VOAVAH

FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES AT VOAVAH


8. Etihad Airways opens its new flagship First Class Lounge

Inspired by the world’s most prestigious hotels, private members’ clubs and fine dining establishments, Etihad Airways‘ new First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport is an ultra-exclusive lifestyle environment which tells the airline’s acclaimed guest experience and hospitality story with unrivalled design, style and comfort, world-class dining, and bespoke beauty and relaxation services. The lounge features 16 unique zones designed to ensure that guests can relax, re-energise and be entertained in total luxury before boarding their flight. An à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room, prayer room and children’s play room ensure that all guests receive a highly personalised experience and intuitive service.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS FIRST CLASS LOUNGE AT ABU DHABI AIRPORT

ETIHAD AIRWAYS FIRST CLASS LOUNGE AT ABU DHABI AIRPORT


9. The Ritz Paris reopens after a €200 million refurbishment

“When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Ritz Paris” Ernest Hemingway once wrote in a letter to his friend and fellow writer A.E. Hotchner. It’s been awhile, but the iconic hotel is back in action, after the 117-year-old landmark closed in 2012 for a top-to-bottom restoration by celebrated architect and designer Thierry W. Despont. The grand hotel – where Princess Diana spent her last hours – now features a 50-50 ratio of suites to rooms; a renovated Bar Hemingway, dedicated to the novelist and frequent guest; the world’s first and only Chanel Spa; and a tunnel from the parking facility to the hotel for private VIP entrances. Behind the walls, the latest in technology has been added throughout the hotel while great care has been taken to ensure that “the Ritz will always be the Ritz.”

If you book via Virtuoso, you will get the following amenities for free at The Ritz Paris:

  • Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests (valid at restaurant or in-room)
  • Complimentary one-way private airport transfer (with VIP meet & greet at the airport if used on arrival)
RITZ PARIS HOTEL

RITZ PARIS HOTEL


10. Alila Anji opens in China’s first national ecological county

Alila Hotels and Resorts announces the opening of Alila Anji, its first property in China. Anji is China’s first national ecological county, and one of the nation’s sustainable environmental development zones, in the Zhejiang province. Alila Anji is designed to resemble a traditional Chinese village with white washed exteriors and sweeping dark-tiled roofs.  Set on immaculate grounds with stunning elevated lake views, the resort comprises 74 stately villas and rooms designed to provide understated comfort with warm hospitality within a peaceful oasis that feels a world away from the city. Room interiors combine native woods, bamboo and stone with soft furnishings to create a warm sanctuary of rarefied country living complete with modern luxuries.

ALILA ANJI, CHINA

ALILA ANJI, CHINA


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