Friday newsletters always feature travel contests, tips, or news.
Today: August 2022 luxury travel news
Every month, you can read my news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel. In this issue:
- Soneva Jani opens the largest child’s club in the Indian Ocean
- Four Seasons announces a major expansion of its portfolio in Egypt
- W Costa Navarino opens on the Greek coast
- Rosewood Schloss Fuschl, Austria will open late 2023
- The Hilton Group announces six luxury hotels in Asia Pacific
- Nobu Hotels opens a property on the stunning island of Santorini, Greece
- Park Hyatt Milan, Italy reopens its doors after a €20 million makeover
- 7Pines Resort Sardinia, Italy opens as a member of the Hyatt Hotel Group
- Explora Easter Island, Chile reopens after two-year closure
- Aman secures $900 million USD investment
1. Soneva Jani opens the largest child’s club in the Indian Ocean
Award-winning luxury resorts brand Soneva has launched its latest family offering, The Den, at Soneva Jani in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll. Taking two years to complete, the two-story structure is a remarkable feat of engineering and an awe-inspiring playground for the imagination. Inspired by childhood wonder and featuring dedicated toddler and teenage areas, no “Young Sonevians” have been forgotten in the creation of this technology-free family experience. Awakening children’s sense of adventure, two majestic waterfalls cascade into The Den’s large swimming pool. As well as a waterslide, catamaran nets and shallow areas for younger guests, one of the waterfalls leads into a grotto that transforms into the Cave Bar; an evening hangout for teens, complete with a DJ booth, dance floor and pool bar serving mocktails. Intrepid adventurers will also enjoy crossing the pool’s pristine blue waters via a zipline that makes a splash as it traverses through the waterfall. Just beyond the pool lies a pirate ship and skateboard ramp, keeping even the most active of little explorers entertained for hours on end.
Venturing inside, a bowling alley, Lego and craft area, dressing-up room, library and cinema provide space for books, films, fantasies and more. A separate area is dedicated to sensory play for toddlers, while the kitchen area hosts cooking lessons and Soneva’s regular Junior MasterChef competition. Scientifically savvy children will also delight in the bioluminescent flooring, where a plankton-blue light effect is activated by footsteps, while the jellyfish alcove is ripe for discovery. Upstairs, The Hangout is a dedicated roof deck for teens featuring an array of attention-grabbing activities, including a music room, telescope deck, pool and foosball tables, pinball machines, table tennis table set above a reflecting pond, as well as a dry slide for speedy escapes.
Here’s a video featuring a tour of The Den:
2. Four Seasons announces a major expansion of its portfolio in Egypt
Leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons announced plans for an extensive portfolio expansion in Egypt with the addition of new hotels, residential offerings and significant property enhancements. Anticipated to open in 2025 and set within the Madinaty development on 185 hectares (460 acres) of verdant parkland, the 346-room Four Seasons Hotel New Cairo Capital at Madinaty will be a captivating destination for those who wish to visit the ancient metropolis of Cairo and effortlessly explore the modern extension of the iconic capital city. Set to open in 2025, Four Seasons Hotel Luxor will include 200 guest rooms and suites, each with views of the Nile River, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens; the property will be located just south of the highly acclaimed Luxor Temple, which dates back to 1400 BC. This expansion comes in addition to the latest multi-million dollar property enhancements at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, which doubled the offerings of the existing property with new accommodations, dining outlets, leisure activities, and more.
3. W Costa Navarino opens on the Greek coast
The new W Costa Navarino is set within a scenic 32-acre site along a sandy beach, stretching along 1,500 ft (450 m) of shoreline, and overlooking the protected and historic Bay of Navarino. Exclusively welcoming adults and young adults over 12 years old, W Costa Navarino introduces a place that fosters creativity, individuality, and freedom of expression. With architectural design led by renowned Greek architects Tombazis and Associates, W Costa Navarino takes inspiration from the region’s traditional architecture with cobbled paths, monolithic building and stone towers creating the feeling of a Greek coastal village. All guestroom, suite, and villa interiors celebrate the heritage of Greek artisans with a palette of neutral tones which are occasionally met with pops of color. A breath-taking infinity pool with views across the crystalline Ionian Sea and beyond, along with plenty of space to relax in the sun after a swim. The property features several dining venues as well as an impressive brand-new spa facility.
4. Rosewood Schloss Fuschl, Austria will open late 2023
Rosewood Hotels has been appointed to manage the legendary Hotel Schloss Fuschl in Austria, with a reopening scheduled in late 2023. Located on the shores of turquoise-blue Lake Fuschl, surrounded by mountains and forests, Rosewood Schloss Fuschl is a fairytale castle only a short distance away from picturesque Salzburg, a city famous for its history, culture, music and more. The full renovation, beginning in 2022, will update the structure and grounds to feature 98 well-appointed guestrooms, including 46 suites and six chalets. In addition, Rosewood Schloss Fuschl will be home to world-class restaurants and lounges and will also feature Asaya, Rosewood’s integrative well-being concept, with eight treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a fitness center. First used as a hotel space in 1954, Hotel Schloss Fuschl was initially constructed as a castle to serve as a country escape for Austrian royalty, with its original structure dating back to 1450.
5. The Hilton Group announces six luxury hotels in Asia Pacific
Hilton has announced six landmark signings in Asia Pacific across its portfolio of luxury brands – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and LXR Hotels & Resorts – in the year to date, a mark of growing optimism in luxury travel across the region. With the signing of Waldorf Astoria Xi’an, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai Qiantan, Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur, Waldorf Astoria Sydney, Conrad Nagoya and an LXR Hotels & Resorts property in Bali, Hilton’s pipeline of luxury hotels in the region increases to 20. “These signings mark an incredible moment for our luxury brand portfolio as we expand Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR throughout five countries in the region, offering even more opportunities for travelers to immerse in our authentic approach,” said Dino Michael, senior vice president & global category head, Luxury Brands, Hilton. “From Waldorf Astoria’s intuitive service, to Conrad’s bold design and LXR’s culturally immersive experiences, the hotels continue to showcase innovation and deliver on what guests are looking for in their stay.”
6. Nobu Hotels opens a property on the stunning island of Santorini, Greece
Nobu Hospitality, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper, announced the opening of its first hotel and restaurant in Greece – the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini. Situated on the island’s captivating northeast coast, the boutique hotel houses a signature Nobu Restaurant, full-service spa, fitness facility, dual-level infinity pool, and 25 accommodations (including five luxurious pool villas), and offers panoramic views of both the Caldera and Aegean Sea from its unique clifftop location in Imerovigli. Just a 10-minute drive to the charming coastal town of Oia and 20 minutes from Santorini’s International Airport, the hotel is well-positioned along the famed Oia-Fira hiking trail that runs between Oia and Fira, Santorini’s cosmopolitan capital. Adding to Nobu Hospitality’s European portfolio, the launch of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini marks the 26th hotel around the world and tenth hotel in the European continent, with properties in Rome, San Sebastián, and Hamburg also in development.
7. Park Hyatt Milan, Italy reopens its doors after a €20 million makeover
A stone’s throw from the Duomo and with direct access to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the former bank, formidable palazzo and historical Park Hyatt Milan hotel offers a brand-new luxury experience to its guests, in perfect harmony with the city’s cultural context. The 106 guestrooms and 25 suites, as well as the common spaces, have been preserved to reflect the property’s historical identity. Elements of contemporary design combined with classic interiors in a delicate and neutral palette evoke a feeling of understated Milanese elegance, delivering guests a refined, home-away-from-home. Sustainability aspects came into play during the restoration of the building’s foundations – while equipping the house with new water pipes and modern air conditioning units as well as focusing on eco-certified materials for many of the refurbishments. Illuminated by the natural light coming from the nearly 30 ft (9 m) high glass dome, the hotel’s new fine dining restaurant Pellico 3 Milano attracts both travelers and locals.
8. 7Pines Resort Sardinia, Italy opens as a member of the Hyatt Hotel Group
Offering laid-back luxury on one of Europe’s most distinctive coastlines, 7Pines Resort Sardinia represents the first hotel in Italy to join the Destination by Hyatt portfolio, as well as the first Hyatt-affiliated hotel in Sardinia. The resort is situated in Baja Sardinia on the Costa Smeralda, just 10 minutes from the Porto Cervo neighborhood. The 76-room property is built within centuries-old rock formations with paths that weave through verdant gardens out to the resort’s five secluded and unspoiled beaches, near wild coves and brilliant blue coastline. Thanks to the resort’s on-site yachting services, guests can explore the emerald lagoons and heavenly beaches of the La Maddalena archipelago, which is a 20-minute boat ride away. The resort features three restaurants, which take guests on a journey of discovery of Sardinia’s rich and varied cuisine. The Pure Seven Spa offers a range of rejuvenating nature-inspired treatments, encouraging guests to lose themselves in a calm haven complete with indoor and outdoor treatment areas.
9. Explora Easter Island, Chile reopens after two-year closure
Explora’s 30-room lodge on Easter Island, Explora Rapa Nui, reopens on September 24, 2022, following a pause of over two years. With flights once again landing at the world’s most remote landing strip, Mataveri International Airport, a whopping 2,336 miles (3760 km) from Chile, the island is finally welcoming international travelers again. The very definition of ‘remote,’ the island was once the cradle of the enigmatic Rapa Nui culture that endures today. Its proud inhabitants keep the language, music, and traditions alive, while the enormous and haunting carved stone Moai are tangible testimonies of a mysterious past. When staying at Explora Rapa Nui, travelers can choose from over 30 explorations with guided hikes, bike rides, snorkeling, and scuba diving choreographed to immerse them in Rapa Nui culture. In keeping with health regulations instituted by Chilean government authorities, current requirements for Easter Island include a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of departure and accommodations reservations.
10. Aman secures US$900 million investment
The Aman Group has secured a $900 USD million investment from two strategic partners – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and London-based real estate investment fund Cain International – to accelerate its global expansion, which the group says will bring the value of the company to over US$3 billion. The investment will be used to enhance the existing portfolio, drive the construction of the pipeline of Aman destinations, and support the development of additional sites. Aman currently manages 34 hotels across 20 countries, with nine further hotels projects under construction in the USA, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and European destinations. “My long-term strategic vision has been to continue to grow the Aman brand in key markets, all with Aman Branded Residences, as well as creating an ultra-luxury ecosystem that offers the complete Aman lifestyle,” says Chairman and CEO Vladislav Doronin. “The investment from PIF and Cain International is a vote of confidence in my vision and the work the team has done over the last eight years, cementing the brand’s evolution and ability to deliver this vision at pace.”
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