Today: September 2021 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:
- Six Senses will open a property in Belize
- Six Senses announces a second Maldives resort
- W Hotels will debut in Tuscany, Italy
- Lufthansa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner destination will be Toronto
- Lufthansa offers a taste of Germany with new Business Class menus
- The Rosewood hotel brand is coming to San Francisco
- Jumeirah opens of a new resort in Maldives
- Virgin Atlantic unveils reconfigured A350 for leisure markets
- Kempinski will open its first South American property
- Emirates will receive the last A380 in November
1. Six Senses will open a property in Belize
Set within a 4,448-acre (1,800-hectare) protected marine reserve, Six Senses Belize will offer 28 acres (11.3 hectares) of world-class amenities between the Central American jungles and the Caribbean Sea. The resort will be set across two areas: the remote private island and nearby Secret Beach, just a five-minute boat ride away. This unique and inspired masterplan means guests and residents can experience both a total island escape and friendly beach nightlife, all in one day. Secret Beach will be home to the resort’s experience & dive center, a boutique, café, deli, wine shop, outdoor Cinema Paradiso, overwater restaurant, and 24 residences. The private island will feature 45 one- and two-bedroom resort villas and a three-bedroom retreat villa, most of which will be overwater bungalows accessed by jetties. Six Senses Belize is targeting an opening by mid-2025.
2. Six Senses announces a second Maldives resort
Encompassing three private islands – two deserted neighboring islands and Kanuhura itself – the resort will feature white sands, turquoise lagoons, lush tropical greenery and gently swaying palm trees to doze under. This second collaboration with Singapore-based Hotel Properties Limited will adopt the Six Senses brand in late 2022 as a northerly sister to the popular Six Senses Laamu. Until then, it is available for bookings through www.kanuhura-maldives.com and www.ihg.com. When it adopts the Six Senses brand, the resort will offer 80 private overwater, and beach villas offering sunset or sunrise views. A 40-minute seaplane flight from the main international airport on Malé, the untouched paradise vibe is rivaled only by two completely deserted islands, Jehunuhura and Masleggihuraa. This is about as far away from it all as is possible without forgoing Instagram or uninterrupted sleep.
3. W Hotels will debut in Tuscany, Italy
Marriott announced it will bring its W Hotels brand to the Tuscan city of Florence. Expected to welcome its first guests in 2023, W Florence is set to become a buzzing centerpiece in the heart of the artistic city alongside the Ponte Vecchio riverfront and the Duomo. Located steps from Florence’s world-renowned art, thriving dining scene and celebrated shopping destination Via de’Tornabuoni, W Florence will be well-situated to offer guests the very best of the city at their doorstep. The hotel will feature 120 guestrooms, including 20 suites. The Extreme WOW Suite, W’s take on the Presidential Suite, will offer a large living space and private terrace with stunning views across the Duomo and the Santa Maria Novella church. The hotel’s ground floor will house the W Lounge and Living Room, which will seamlessly blend around a central partially covered courtyard.
4. Lufthansa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner destination will be Toronto
In a tweet this week, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa said: “Exciting news from Lufthansa’s “Dreamliner” team: The first destination for our Boeing Airplane 787-9 will be YYZ Toronto Pearson Airport, with service from Frankfurt Airport.” A subsequent reply to queries added that “The first Boeing 787-9 aircraft is scheduled to operate for Lufthansa within the coming winter schedule, with others to follow in the first half of 2022.” Earlier this year Lufthansa announced the purchase of t10 new widebody airplanes, including five B787-9 Dreamliners, set to be delivered by the first half of 2022. It’s not yet known what seating products will feature on these Dreamliners, and it’s also worth noting that their delivery could be delayed by a recent directive by the Federal Aviation Administration regarding inspections on some undelivered Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) September 7, 2021
5. Lufthansa offers a taste of Germany with new Business Class menus
Lufthansa Business Class guests on short- and medium-haul flights are now able to experience the new catering concept “Tasting HEIMAT“. Inspired by the cities of Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Leipzig, the menus change not only weekly, but also on the outward and return flights. From appetizer to main course to coffee table – “Tasting HEIMAT” serves German classics with unusual components. For example, the shrimp salad with a beetroot and potato terrine, inspired by Hamburg’s sea breeze. Passengers can enjoy the Frankfurt classic “Grie Soß” (green sauce) with young kale, a poached egg and French Macaire potatoes. Another highlight on board is the interpretation of the traditional dish “Leipziger Allerlei”, as a chicken salad with celeriac, juniper and black walnuts. All the dishes were created exclusively for Lufthansa by young star chefs Julia Komp and Dennis Puchert.
6. The Rosewood hotel brand is coming to San Francisco
Rosewood San Francisco will occupy 15 floors of a new 61-story building in the city center, which will be designed by internationally acclaimed Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. In addition to the hotel, the tower will feature residences, office, retail spaces and an expansive pedestrian realm. Beyond its prime location, Rosewood San Francisco will offer approximately 180 guestrooms and suites with locally inspired design by Joyce Wang Studio and stunning views of the surrounding city and adjacent park. Amenities will include Asaya, Rosewood’s forward-thinking wellness concept, and a fully equipped fitness and movement studio featuring an indoor lap pool. The hotel will further feature a variety of expansive event spaces, a signature indoor-outdoor restaurant, patisserie, living room and the Manor Club, the brand’s signature private lounge concept. Rosewood San Francisco is set to open in 2026.
7. Jumeirah announces the opening of a new address in Maldives
Jumeirah Maldives – previously knows as LUX*North Male – is an all-villa luxury resort tucked away in the crystalline turquoise waters of the North Malé Atoll, easily reachable by speedboat from Malé Airport. The resort’s panoramic architecture and calming interiors are the work of Singaporean design studio, Miaja, who have created an elegant contemporary ethos in harmony with the natural environment, echoing modern Mediterranean chic – a design that sets it apart from the rest. The property offers 67 beach and over-water villas. Each villa features a private infinity pool and a roof-top terrace with a dedicated dining area to take in the sensational views while indulging in delicious dishes. Dining experiences include two of Jumeirah’s award-winning signature restaurants, Shimmers and Kayto. The globally renowned Talise Spa, with its six overwater treatment rooms, offers unfettered access to wellness and relaxation with a range of therapeutic and re-energizing treatments
8. Virgin Atlantic unveils reconfigured A350 for leisure markets
According to Business Traveller, Virgin Atlantic will introduce a second configuration for its A350 aircraft, designed specifically with the airline’s leisure customers in mind. The A350 will offer a total of 397 seats – 16 Upper Class suites, 56 Premium seats, and 325 Economy seats (of which 45 will be Economy Delight, offering extra legroom as well as priority boarding and advanced seat selection). This compares to the carrier’s existing fleet of seven A350s, which are configured with a total of 335 seats – 44 in Upper Class, 56 in Premium and 235 in Economy. The smaller Upper Class cabin has also led the carrier to redesign the social space on the aircraft, replacing The Loft (which can accommodate eight passengers) with The Booth – a smaller space providing comfy lounge style seating for two, separated by a single leaf table. Watch below my YouTube video of Virgin Atlantic’s A350 Upper Class.
9. Kempinski will open its first South American property
For the first time in the 125-year history of the Kempinski Group, a resort in South American will complement its portfolio. Built in 1978 according to plans by Oscar Niemeyer´s disciple Edgar Graeff, two masters of modernism, the Kempinski Laje de Pedra is known far beyond the borders of the Serra Gaúcha region, as it was here that the signing of the Mercosur Treaty took place in 1992. Situated on a cliff in Canela, Kempinski plans to open the most luxurious inland resort in Brazil. Canela is at the epicenter of the most attractive inland region in Brazil, with easy access to excellent exclusive wineries, to the breathtaking gaucho canyons and to the Rio Grande Highlands with its magnificent uninhabited pampa fields cut by endless waterfalls. By carrying the spirit of this well-known hotel icon into the present and after an extensive renovation and modernization, it is foreseen that the 360 room property will welcome the first guests by 2024.
10. Emirates will receive the last A380 in November
Emirates will receive three more A380 aircraft from Airbus this year with its last unit on order scheduled to join its fleet in November, bringing forward the original delivery timeline from June 2022. All three new A380s to be delivered will be fitted out with Emirates’ latest A380 cabin interiors and signature features including private suites in First Class, the popular onboard lounge, and fully flat seats in Business Class. These deliveries will bring Emirates’ total fleet of A380s to 118 units in November. As travel restrictions ease with the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, Emirates will have reinstated its A380 operations on over a dozen popular routes between Dubai and: Amman, Cairo, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Mauritius, Moscow, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Toronto, Vienna, Washington DC, and Zurich.