Today (July 27, 2018): July 2018 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:
- Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is now open
- Capella Ubud in Bali has been unveiled
- Capella announces a luxury property in the Maldives
- GHM debuts its ultraluxe The Chedi property in Montenegro
- Air France opens a new Business Class lounge in Paris
- Etihad Airways drastically restructures
- Rosewood will open a hotel in downtown Houston, USA
- Rosewood Yangon will open later this year in Myanmar’s cultural capital
- Mandarin Oriental makes its debut in the Caribbean
- Hayman Island in Australia is rebranded as an InterContinental hotel
1. Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is now open
Located within a glittering new skyscraper next to the Petronas Towers, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur has opened its doors. Rising 65 storeys above the busy streets of the capital, the all-new hotel houses 209 guest rooms and suites, as well as serviced apartments for those guests looking for an extended stay, and Four Seasons Private Residences. The hotel features several restaurants and lounges including the high-style Yun House for Cantonese specialities by Executive Chef Jimmy Wong, the chef showcase CurATE with its show kitchen, and Bar Trigona, a temple of modern cocktail culture. Leisure facilities are highlighted by an outdoor pool oasis with private cabanas and adjacent bar and grill, and an eight treatment room spa offering a carefully designed menu inspired by Malaysian healing traditions and the latest global therapies.
2. Capella Ubud, Bali has been unveiled
Nestled between Ubud’s rainforest, rice paddy fields and the sacred Wos River, Capella Ubud brings the wonders and myths of Bali’s exotic past to life. Inspired by the early European settlers from the 1800s, celebrated architect Bill Bensley conceptualized this ultra-luxurious tented camp as a tribute to their spirit of adventure. Each one of the 22 unique tents as well as an extravagant two-bedroom lodge are crafted with an individual inspirational theme, allowing guests to enjoy the essence of Bali’s untouched natural surroundings in personalized comfort. All retreats boast a private salt water Jacuzzi pool lavish indoor and outdoor bathrooms, a spacious lounge and bedroom whilst two outdoor decks offer the perfect setting for an intimate candlelit dinner. Gastronomists can indulge at the culinary tent, which offers a choice of two inventive restaurants and bespoke gourmet journeys.
3. Capella announces a luxury property in the Maldives
Some more exciting news from the ultraluxe Capella group, as the company has announced its entry to the Maldives with the planned 2020 opening of the Capella Maldives resort. The 65-key Capella Maldives will be part of the integrated luxury development of Rah Falhu Huraa lagoon, located in North Male Atoll and accessible by a 45-minute speedboat ride from the Maldives main airport. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and Hong Kong based interior designer Andre Fu, all 64 Sunset Villas, Sunrise Villas, Northern Bay Villas and Southern Ocean Villas will be located on land or overwater, immersed in the beauty of the surrounding lagoon. The resort will feature a signature ocean-front restaurant inspired by modern Asian cuisine, and American steakhouse with chophouse-style dining and Californian wines, and a Michelin-starred Japanese omakase sushi bar.
4. GHM debuts its ultraluxe The Chedi property in Montenegro
Located on the coast Montenegro at Luštica Bay with stunning views over the Adriatic Sea, The Chedi Luštica Bay is GHM’s second European property (besides The Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland). The Chedi Luštica Bay is the largest 5-star hotel in the Boka Bay, offering 110 guestrooms, two restaurants and a bar, conference rooms and a business centre, along with an outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre, an indoor heated pool, gymnasium and ancillary facilities. The resort also benefits from its position within the resort town of Luštica Bay near Tivat. Designed to blend seamlessly into the style, ambience and community of the town, it is part of a unique whole. Authenticity is key to every guest experience, from the refined grandeur of the architecture to the respectful intimacy of addressing our guests by name, The Chedi Luštica Bay Hotel truly is a style to remember.
5. Air France opens a new Business Class lounge in Paris
Air France opened an entire brand new flagship Business lounge located in Hall L of Terminal 2E at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. With a capacity of 540 seats, this completely redesigned lounge offers several new features for optimum comfort:
- “Le Balcon”, an exclusive space created by the designer Mathieu Lehanneur, which is set against the runways in a unique and welcoming architecture, forming a curved structure sheltered under an immense golden mirrored ceiling.
- At the heart of Le Balcon, every evening from 7 to 9 pm, Air France offers a selection of cocktails specially designed by the head bartender of the Hotel Lancaster in Paris.
- The largest wellness area of all the Air France lounges, comprising a Clarins spa dedicated to facial treatments with two private cabins where guests can enjoy all.
the expertise of Clarins beauticians, two private saunas to freshen up between flights, and large luxury showers.
- A kids area to entertain children before their trip.
- A unique “Gourmet Table” dining area, designed in the spirit of a modern Parisian brasserie, features an open kitchen.
6. Etihad Airways drastically restructures
According to The National, Etihad Airways unveiled a revised operating model to recover from reported losses of almost $2 billion USD in 2016. As part of its strategic review, it has backed away from a growth policy of buying minority stakes in global airlines – withdrawing from Air Berlin and Alitalia, which both filed for insolvency – scrapped unprofitable routes, slashed operating costs and appointed Mr Tony Douglas to lead the turnaround plan. Mr Douglas already confirmed that Etihad will focus more on serving Abu Dhabi, where it’s based, than carrying globe-trotting passengers between continents. Mr Douglas also puts the brakes on a long-running and costly attempt to close the gap with larger Persian Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways. He’s also in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing after concluding that doubling the fleet is no longer viable, calling into question scores of wide-body orders.
7. Rosewood will open a hotel in downtown Houston, USA
Set to open in 2023, the hotel will be Rosewood’s second in Texas and their ninth in the United States. Ideally located in the city’s exclusive Uptown District, the hotel will be near several of Houston’s most popular sites including The Galleria, Texas’ largest luxury shopping destination, and the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. The Rosewood hotel will consist of 150 rooms and will be located in an exclusive mixed-use and high-rise development led by McNair Interests, managed by the Patrinely Group and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, a leading international architecture firm. In addition to the hotel, the six-acre site will include 80 luxury residences atop the hotel, multi-family residences, lifestyle-driven amenities, and retail and office space in Houston’s highly covetable Uptown District.
8. Rosewood Yangon will open later this year in Myanmar’s cultural capital
Located on The Strand in the heart of the city’s historic district, Rosewood Yangon will offer guests unparalleled access to the cultural riches of Myanmar’s largest city. Housed in a stunning heritage building, the 209 room property has been meticulously restored to incorporate every contemporary amenity and comfort while simultaneously preserving the essence and splendor of the building’s storied past. The hotel’s interiors have been designed to seamlessly blend the historical restoration with contemporary Burmese touches – all in Rosewood’s signature residential style. The hotel will also offer five distinct dining venues featuring local, Asian, and internationally-influenced cuisine. Additional amenities will include several event venues and extensive leisure facilities over three floors with Sense, A Rosewood Spa, in addition to a state-of-the-art gym, yoga / Pilates studio, and a rooftop pool.
9. Mandarin Oriental makes its debut in the Caribbean
Mandarin Oriental, Canouan brings the group’s renowned levels of service to the Caribbean for the first time. Located in St. Vincent and The Grenadines, the resort sits on an immaculate stretch of Godahl Beach that is protected by the Caribbean’s largest natural living coral reef, offering guests an idyllic island escape. The resort elegantly blends colonial and chic contemporary styles among its lavish suites and stylishly sophisticated villas. Mindfully built with impeccable attention to detail, the resort features a selection of restaurants that serve a variety of international culinary delights in beautifully appointed settings. The spa indulges guests with stunning sea-views in en suite, hillside treatment palapas and therapists meticulously trained to relax, sooth and decompress. Canouan Island’s immaculate beaches, championship 18-hole, Fazio-designed golf course and luxury super-yacht marina provide a wide range of activities to be enjoyed.
10. Hayman Island in Australia to re-brand as an InterContinental
According to Hotelmanagement.com.au, IHG has signed a deal to take over management of the famous Hayman Island on the Great Barrier Reef. When it re-opens after a major refurbishment in 2019, the Whitsundays resort will be known as Hayman Island, by InterContinental. The 166-room Hayman resort is the only property on the 400-hectare island and will showcase world-class facilities, rooms and suites in one of the world’s most unique locations, accessible via Hamilton Island and then by either luxury vessel or helicopter. Hayman has been closed since late March 2017, following damage sustained during Cyclone Debbie. Three months later, One and Only cut ties with the resort for the management and branding of Hayman. The signing of Hayman is a huge win for IHG following a competitive process that also saw the management of InterContinental Sydney and InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort up for grabs. IHG currently has 47 hotels operating under four brands across Australasia.