Today (November 29, 2019): November 2019 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 and aviation. In this issue:
- The Park Hyatt brand celebrates the debut of Park Hyatt Kyoto
- South African Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A350
- Hyatt announces plans for an Andaz Hotel in Prague
- Eva Air rolls out new amenity kits and sleepwear
- Mandarin Oriental announces a new hotel in Dallas
- Mandarin Oriental announces a new hotel in Tel Aviv
- Emirates rolls out its ‘Year of tolerance’ Airbus A380
- Etihad and Boeing unveil the ‘Etihad Greenliner’ aircraft
- Four Seasons announces a second Los Cabos property
- First new Airbus A321LR aircraft to enter the SAS fleet
1. The Park Hyatt brand celebrates the debut of Park Hyatt Kyoto
Located in one of the city’s best-preserved historic districts, the Park Hyatt Kyoto embodies the quintessential Japanese guesthouse, offering a serene Higashiyama hillside retreat for discerning global travelers and local residents. The hotel is next to Kodai-ji temple and within walking distance to many of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. The hotel’s design incorporates traditional Japanese design, architecture and artisanal craftsmanship. Several historic buildings including an Edo-era teahouse, as well as the Japanese garden that is central to the site, have been preserved and carefully restored. The low-rise hotel features 70 guest rooms, including nine suites, offering calm and respite from the bustle of Kyoto’s busy streets. The property offers guests four distinct culinary venues as well as a spa.
2. South African Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A350
South African Airways (SAA) took delivery of the first of four new Airbus A350s. The aircraft will operate on one of SAA’s ultra-long haul routes between Johannesburg and New York, replacing the Airbus A340-600. SAA’s Airbus A350 is configured with a maximum of 339 seats, of which 30 are Business Class seats and 309 are Economy Class seats, with the first six rows in Economy Class offering extra legroom to provide a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights. The Business Class cabin has lie flat beds. The A350-900 XWB has excellent range/payload performance on long-haul flights departing from Johannesburg (the hot-and-high consideration). SAA will achieve approximately 25% lower operating costs (cash) operating the A350-900 XWB, over a 5-year period, compared with some of its four-engine aircraft generation that has similar range and payload capabilities.
3. Hyatt announces plans for an Andaz Hotel in Prague
Andaz Prague will be among the first luxury ‘lifestyle hotels’ in the Czech capital. A juxtaposition of heritage and modernity, Andaz Prague will create a stay that immerses curious travelers and neighborhood guests in the very best of its locale. Originally built in 1916, the neoclassical landmark, commonly known as the Sugar Palace, features a unique architectural design and will provide unscripted access to the rich heritage and history of Prague. The most important sights can be easily reached by foot allowing guests to experience the city’s unique flair. Andaz Prague will feature three distinct food and beverage outlets, approximately 4,840 square feet (450 square meters) of event space, a fitness center and a spa. Located at Senovážné Square, only a short walk from Prague’s world-famous Old Town, the 175-room hotel is expected to open in 2022.
4. Eva Air rolls out new amenity kits and sleepwear
EVA Air partnered with Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo to design new hard-case amenity kits in classically elegant black, offered to all Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel Class passengers departing from Taiwan on long-haul flights. The new amenity kits feature an eye-catching design, blending Taiwan’s aboriginal rhombus totems with stylish western cultural elements and come with exclusive Ferragamo key chains. EVA is also upgrading the amenity kit contents with Ferragamo’s best-selling Bianco Di Carrara fragrance by infusing the exclusive aroma into the body lotion, lip balm and hand cream offered inflight. EVA is also one of the few airlines to offer pyamas in Business Class, and in January, the airline will offer its second-generation Jason Wu pajamas to passengers. Designed to be comfortable and easy to wear, the sleepwear is made of a soft, cozy fabric with draw-string collar and pant pockets.
5. Mandarin Oriental announces a new hotel in Dallas
Mandarin Oriental has announced that it will manage a luxury hotel in Dallas, Texas, scheduled to open in 2022. The new development will comprise a 25-storey mixed-use tower located in the exclusive Turtle Creek neighbourhood, within close proximity to the central business district and a number of cultural attractions. Mandarin Oriental, Dallas will have 176 guestrooms and suites. There will also be extensive meeting and function facilities, four restaurants and bars, and a spacious spa offering signature wellness programs. Other recreational facilities will include a gym and an outdoor swimming pool. The tower will also house 100 luxurious ‘Residences at Mandarin Oriental’ located on the upper floors of the building, all with city or park views; owners will enjoy Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel’s facilities.
6. Mandarin Oriental announces a new hotel in Tel Aviv
There is some more exciting news from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group as they have announced that they will manage a new hotel in Tel Aviv, scheduled to open at the end of 2023. The Group will be the first luxury hospitality brand to enter the city and the property’s outstanding feature will be its unrivalled waterfront location overlooking one of the city’s pristine Mediterranean beaches. Based in the city’s most exclusive residential area, the property will be within walking distance of vibrant restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The hotel will have 225 spacious rooms, including 44 suites, with most accommodation offering vistas of the Mediterranean and the Tel Aviv skyline. There will be five restaurants and bars, a state-of-the-art welness center, and an extensive pool area with a waterfront pool club offering a wide range of sports activities.
7. Emirates rolls out its ‘Year of Tolerance’ Airbus A380
Underscoring its mission to bring the world together, Emirates has rolled out its A380 dressed in the striking ‘Year of Tolerance’ livery from its Engineering Center, ready to take-off for the historic one-off EK 2019 flight on 29 November that will bring together the diverse, multi-cultural communities of the UAE. The vibrant ‘Year of Tolerance’ livery depicts a panorama of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures holding hands in solidarity, celebrating the UAE’s message of multiculturalism. The colourful illustrations adorn both sides of the aircraft. After its debut, this aircraft will fly across Emirates’ A380 network of over 50 destinations for the next twelve months to spread messages of tolerance and mutual respect wherever it lands.
8. Etihad and Boeing unveil the ‘Etihad Greenliner’ aircraft
Etihad Airways and Boeing announced a first-of-its-kind ‘eco partnership’, in which a specially-themed Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be used to test products, procedures and initiatives designed to reduce aircraft carbon emissions. The ‘Etihad Greenliner’, to be introduced early next year, will be used by both companies to explore and assess environmental sustainability initiatives (e.g. changed operating practices to weight-saving initiatives) while the aircraft operates scheduled services across the airline’s network. The ‘ Greenliner will feature a green-blue livery, representing the importance of water in Arabic life and culture and symbolising the ‘blue sky’ thinking needed to deliver practical, incremental initiatives to progressively lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Etihad has one the largest fleets of Dreamliners in the world, with 30 787-9s and six of the larger 787-10s.
9. Four Seasons announces a second Los Cabos property
Situated on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, nestled in the famed Los Cabos Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, the new-build 80-key Resort with 40 Private Residences is targeted to open in 2022 and will sit on more than 50 oceanfront acres (20 hectares) within Cabo Del Sol’s new private beachfront community, The Cove Club. Set against a mountain backdrop, the expansive grounds will offer a constellation of dining options, a well-stocked Kids for All Seasons program, a private Beach Club, a signature Four Seasons spa and a cutting-edge gym. In addition to on-property facilities, owners of Four Seasons Private Residences will have an opportunity to purchase membership in the Cove Club, the newest private golf and beach club in the region.
10. First new Airbus A321LR aircraft to enter the SAS fleet
The first of three new A321LRs will enter service in the SAS fleet on September 18, 2020. The Airbus A321LR is a narrow-body, single aisle aircraft, specially configured to fly long distances. The A321L’s small size will increase SAS’ flexibility to adjust to changes in the demand for new routes and destinations. The A321LR is part of the latest generation of aircraft and is expected to reduce climate-impacting emissions by around the same amount as when SAS introduced the A320neo, whose carbon footprint is approximately 15-18 percent smaller than an equivalent size aircraft from the previous generation. The aircraft will have 22 fully flat Business, 12 Plus and 123 Go, meaning a total of 157 seats in a single aisle aircraft. The first route the A321LR will operate will be Copenhagen to Boston.