Travel news: this month (October 2021) in luxury travel

  1. Soneva Fushi Maldives unveils world’s first fine dining zipline experience
  2. Six Senses Fort Barwara Opens in Rajasthan, India
  3. Four Seasons will debut in the city of Naples, Florida
  4. Banyan Tree will open a resort in Baja California, Mexico
  5. Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts will open a property in Los Angeles
  6. Air New Zealand will require international travelers to be vaccinated
  7. St Regis opens a hotel in downtown Dubai
  8. Qantas brings forward international flight resumptions
  9. Italy’s new flagship carrier ITA Airways unveils livery
  10. Virgin Atlantic announces return of of transatlantic routes
SONEVA FUSHI MALDIVES UNVEILS FINE DINING ZIPLINE EXPERIENCE


1. Soneva Fushi Maldives unveils world’s first fine dining zipline experience

Soneva Fushi – the Maldives’ original barefoot luxury hideaway – has unveiled a new and exhilarating dining experience high among the treetops – Flying Sauces, which is the world’s first fine dining zipline experience. Destined to become a once-in-a-lifetime, ‘bucket list’ experience, Flying Sauces combines world-class gastronomy with the thrill and excitement of ziplining – all set against Soneva Fushi’s magnificent vistas over the lush jungle and sparkling ocean beyond. After being securely strapped into safety harnesses, diners soar along a 200 m (656 ft) zipline route to reach an elevated dining platform, enjoying an amuse bouche, refreshing shooters and other gastronomic surprises along the way. Once they arrive, Chef Rasal prepares a delectable seasonal menu in the open kitchen, high above the ground, paired with a selection of over 9,000 fine wines from Soneva Fushi’s extensive cellar. Watch a video about Flying Sauces below.


2. Six Senses Fort Barwara Opens in Rajasthan, India

Historic Rajasthan is the setting for the 14th century fort that has been beautifully converted to become Six Senses Fort Barwara, a three-hour drive from Jaipur. Originally owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family, the new hotel sit directly opposite the temple Chauth ka Barwara Mandir. The sensitive conservation effort features 48 suites (including five specialty suites) and incorporates a palace and two temples within the walled site that reinterprets the gracious and regal ambience of a bygone era. Two restaurants serve classic dishes and modern cuisine incorporating fresh local ingredients, together with a bar and lounge. A 30,000 square foot (2,800 square meter) Six Senses Spa and fitness center are located in the original women’s palace and feature an extensive Ayurveda program, meditation and Six Senses integrated wellness programs. There are also two swimming pools, banqueting areas, retail boutique and kid’s club.

Six Senses Fort Barwara


3. Four Seasons will debut in the city of Naples, Florida

The legendary former Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, set on 1000 ft (300 m) of white-sand beach in iconic Old Naples, will be reimagined as the Naples Beach Club, a 125-acre Four Seasons resort and residential beachfront community including up to 185 luxury residences, a 216-room hotel, and an unparalleled private club for residents and members. The Four Seasons will include spacious guest rooms and suites with lounging porches, walk-in closets and luxurious five-fixture bathrooms. Resort amenities will include inspired indoor and outdoor lounges and restaurants flowing from the hotel lobby, a beachside garden with outdoor pools, cabanas and an event lawn, upscale retail stores, an event ballroom, and multiple dining experiences with dramatic views of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Market Square, located near the golf course, will be a vibrant gathering place for the Naples Beach Club community, offering a general store, a bar and grill with a game room and a bowling alley, a Kids Club, casual eateries including an ice cream pavilion, and an expansive lawn.

four seasons resort naples, florida


4. Banyan Tree will open a resort in Baja California, Mexico

The Banyan Tree Hotel Group is expanding into Mexico’s ever-growing Valle De Guadalupe wine destination with the debut of Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery set to open during the 2023 harvest season. Kindly see below for the full press release. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines in the valley, the resort will be designed by renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind. Home to Banyan Tree’s first winery, the property will feature vineyards, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room, underground cellar, and rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging. Facilities will include five food and beverage venues, a spa with four treatment rooms, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. As you may know, Banyan Tree prides itself on a legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel. Current Mexico properties include Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marques (Acapulco) and Hacienda Xcanatun (Merida).

banyan tree hotel mexico


5. Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts will open a property in Los Angeles

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts has signed plans to launch a new luxury resort in Los Angeles, scheduled for 2025. Nestled amidst the majestic Santa Monica Mountains less than five miles from Rodeo Drive, the property will be surrounded by 33 acres of a stunning hillside park, natural wildlife and breathtaking views. Plans call for 58 Rooms and Suites and eight private estates, the signature Bvlgari dining experience Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, a luxury spa, state-of-the-art-gym featuring Bvlgari’s exclusive Workshop training method, a private cinema and an exclusive eight-seat sushi bar. Drawing inspiration from nature and its environs, the contemporary architecture of the building will be curated by the well-known South African design firm Studio SAOTA, as well as the Milanese architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. The resort, formerly known as The Retreat, will be built in line with the most stringent environmental criteria certified by LEED.


6. Air New Zealand will require international travelers to be vaccinated

Air New Zealand is asking customers to get ready for international travel by getting vaccinated. From 1 February 2022, the airline will require customers traveling anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated. “We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can,” says Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran. “Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel. Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.” These requirements will sit alongside the measures the airline already has to keep New Zealand safe. Air New Zealand’s vaccination requirement will apply to all passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft. Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.

AIR NEW ZEALAND


7. St Regis opens a hotel in Downtown Dubai

Located along the Dubai Water Canal, The St. Regis Downtown, Dubai is just minutes from the city’s most famed attractions and landmarks. Guests are steps away from the world’s largest shopping mall, The Dubai Mall, and just a short drive to the city’s design hub, Dubai Design District, and the International Financial Center. Drawing inspiration from the brand’s storied heritage, the hotel’s sophisticated aesthetic features a palate of rich fabrics and gold accents to create an intimate environment of luxury and comfort. The St. Regis Downtown, Dubai boasts 298 lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites overlooking local landmarks such as the Dubai Water Canal and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The spacious guestrooms feature floor to ceiling windows, large open bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and beautiful coral inspired wall sculptures. Facilities include 4 dining venues & bars, a luxurious spa, ballrooms, and a scenic outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Dubai Water Canal.

st regis downtown dubai


8. Qantas brings flights forward as Australia reopens to the world

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas will bring forward international flights from Melbourne following the Victorian Government’s decision to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers returning from overseas from November. The updated international schedule out of Melbourne includes:

  • Melbourne to London: Qantas flights will be brought forward to 6 November 2021, six weeks earlier than scheduled, operating two days per week with 787 aircraft and ramping up to daily from 18 December 2021.
  • Melbourne to Singapore: Qantas flights will be brought forward to 22 November 2021, three weeks ahead of scheduled, operating three days per week with A330 aircraft and ramping up to daily from 18 December.

Qantas will offer the first three return services on both routes as Points Planes meaning frequent flyers can access every seat across every cabin as Classic Flight Reward seats. Flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles will restart from 18 December 2021 with other destinations scheduled to recommence in the new year. Initial flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements. Qantas is also bringing forward the resumption of A380 services by three months, with two superjumbos set to operate flights to Los Angeles from April 2022.


9. Italy’s new flagship carrier ITA Airways unveils livery

The new Italian national airline ITA Airways will fly with a new blue livery, a symbol of the country’s unity and pride, of sport and the Italian national team. On the rudder, the Italian tricolor; on the blue background, the red and white gold ITA Airways logo and stylized icons inspired by Italy’s artistic heritage. The Alitalia brand was acquired (for a reported sum of more that €90 million, with the aim of managing the transition to the new livery and reserving the right to future uses of the brand. ITA Airways will focus its activity on the Rome Fiumicino hub and the Milan Linate airport. Pending the identification of a Strategic Partner, ITA Airways will join Sky Team. ‘Volare’ is the new loyalty program, with 4 levels: smart, plus, premium and executive. It will start with 52 aircraft (7 wide-body, 45 narrow-body) to grow to 78 in 2022, with the gradual inclusion of new-generation aircraft that will reach 75% by 2025, with 105 new aircraft.


10. Virgin Atlantic announces return of of transatlantic routes

Following the welcome news that transatlantic travel can resume for fully vaccinated visitors, Virgin Atlantic is keen to ensure its customers can take to the skies quickly and is offering customers the earliest possible opportunity to reconnect with loved ones or take that much anticipated holiday.  Services to Orlando will depart daily from both London Heathrow and Manchester.  The route is currently the most booked across Virgin Atlantic’s global portfolio, reaffirming the pent-up demand for families and thrill seekers to enjoy the magic of Florida’s top destination.  To meet with the increased demand, the airline will deploy the newest, largest plane in its fleet, the Airbus A350-100 from the on its Heathrow to Orlando route.  Las Vegas flights will operate daily from London Heathrow on the airline’s Boeing 787-900, with daily services from Manchester to New York resuming on an Airbus A330.


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