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Today: March 2023 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:
- The St Regis Kanai Resort debuts in the Riviera Maya, Mexico
- Six Senses Rome marks the launch of the brand’s first hotel in Italy
- Emirates unveils new signature livery for its fleet
- The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, Australia, is now open
- Capella Sydney, Australia, is now open
- SWISS unveils new Business & First Class interiors
- Austrian Airlines is bringing back its Flying Chefs
- Four Seasons announces a new resort in Saudi Arabia’s luxury lifestyle destination
- Legendary Regent brand will debut in the Americas with Santa Monica beachfront resort
- Mandarin Oriental will open its first luxury resort in Greece this summer
1. The St Regis Kanai Resort debuts in the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Designed by Mexican architectural firm Edmonds International with interiors by Chapi Chapo Design, the St Regis Kanai Resort features an exceptional circular exterior design inspired by the constellation Pleiades, resulting in unrivaled ocean views from nearly every vantage point. Guests of the resort are immediately transported into the magic of Kanai with a multi-story open air water installation leading into the main lobby. Floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the mangroves give way to lush gardens and an expansive outdoor lawn with direct access to 2 miles (3 km) of undisturbed white sand beach. Drawing inspiration from ancient Mayan artistic and ceremonial manifestations, the hotel’s sophisticated aesthetic features a rich palette of limestone, walnut, and layered textiles. The St. Regis Kanai Resort boasts 124 lavishly appointed guestrooms and 19 suites, each offering mesmerizing ocean views and a private terrace or plunge pool. Facilities include several restaurants, pools, and a spa.
2. Six Senses Rome marks the launch of the brand’s first hotel in Italy
A peaceful haven nestled in the beating heart of the Eternal City, Six Senses Rome opened its doors in the historical Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini. The Palazzo housing Six Senses Rome is a treasure trove of wonders, from the monumental marble staircase with its decorative skylight to the newly restored 600-year-old columns in the main entrance. From Cocciopesto on the walls to the extensive presence of Travertine local stone, the reverential nod to Roman traditions is evident throughout the hotel’s 96 guest rooms and suites, with some featuring the iconic Triclinium-style marble seating on their terraces. True to the Eat With Six Senses ethos, menus foster a strong link with local culinary traditions, whether at the all-day dining BIVIUM Restaurant-Café-Bar or up high on NOTOS Rooftop. Besides the Roman Empire-inspired 5-course tasting menu, dishes include plant-based, meat, fish, and sweet classics with Sicilian touches to honor the Executive Chef’s home favorites. A sanctuary of wellness, Six Senses Spa Rome offers holistic experiences, such as the 60-minute Roman bathing circuit (a modern-day take on the ancient ritual).
3. Emirates unveils new signature livery for its fleet
The distinctive livery of the world’s largest international airline, Emirates, has undergone a refresh. Eagle-eyed plane spotters and fans will immediately notice changes to the tailfin and wingtips. In this latest design, the UAE flag on the Emirates tailfin is much more dynamic and flowing with a 3D effect artwork, and the wingtips have been painted red with the Emirates logo in Arabic calligraphy “popping” out in reverse white. Passengers onboard with a window view will see the UAE flag colors painted on the wingtips facing the fuselage. The signature gold “Emirates” lettering across the main body in English and Arabic is also bolder, and 32.5% larger. On the aircraft belly, Emirates has retained its iconic red branding which it introduced in 2005. The website URL “Emirates.com” has been dropped from the design. The first aircraft to sport Emirates’ newest livery is A6-EOE, an Airbus A380, which has rolled out of Emirates Engineering this week after its makeover. Its first deployment will be to Munich on 17 March as flight EK51. Watch a timelapse video of the first aircraft receiving its new livery at Emirates Engineering in Dubai.
4. The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, Australia, is now open
Soaring 80 stories above the city, The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne brings the brand’s legendary service and contemporary aesthetic to Australia’s arts and epicurean capital. Designed by Australian architects Cottee Parker, the hotel’s stunning spaces, from the ground floor gallery to the Sky Lobby Reception on Level 80, showcase an acknowledgment of place and indigenous heritage, expressed through the beautifully curated artworks that adorn the arrival lobby walls. The interiors of the hotel, designed by BAR Studio, capture Melbourne’s unique identity with influences from its indigenous story, Victorian-era gold rush, European heritage, and fabled laneway life. The hotel’s 257 guestrooms are understated and elegant, allowing the stunning city views to take centre stage. Rooms and suites feature dark wood and simple natural stone punctuated with decorative hand-made glass panels, custom light fixtures and touches of gold. Reflecting the city’s epicurean obsessions, three distinct culinary venues sit at the heart of The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne. For guests looking to unwind, The Ritz-Carlton Spa is an urban respite, with six treatment rooms and a stunning infinity pool providing a serene oasis from which to look out over the city.
5. Capella Sydney, Australia, is now open
After a seven-year restoration and renovation process, Capella Sydney is now open. Occupying an entire city block just moments from Circular Quay, Capella Sydney is housed within the Department of Education building, originally designed in the 1900s by NSW government architect George McRae. Forming part of the city’s prestigious Sandstone Precinct, the building has been meticulously restored and reimagined by Pontiac Land. Capella Sydney brings to the city 192 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites, arranged across nine levels. Representing the epitome of luxury, the guestrooms and suites are replete with deluxe textiles, standalone tubs and Italian Frette linen, carrying a custom pantone and a bespoke collection of vegan, sustainable in-room amenities designed in partnership with Haeckels. On level six, guests are invited to indulge in rejuvenating treatments at Auriga Spa or swim in the heated indoor pool, designed to provide the ultimate wellness experience in the heart of the city. The Living Room, a signature space of all Capella properties, is the private ground-floor retreat for in-house guests. It’s also the place where the hotel’s culture and experience programs are conceptualised, facilitated by Culturists who are on-hand to shape the guest experience from pre-arrival to departure.
6. SWISS unveils new Business & First Class interiors
SWISS is to offer its customers a totally new and more personalized ‘SWISS Senses’ air travel experience from 2025 onwards. SWISS First and SWISS Business are being totally redesigned, while the popular SWISS Premium Economy which was introduced in 2022 will be retained. SWISS will gradually install the new cabins throughout its long-haul fleet from 2025 onwards. Its new Airbus A350-900s will be delivered with the new interior installed.
- The new SWISS First suites offer their guests total privacy with closable sliding doors, a spacious personal wardrobe, a large seat table, seat heating and cooling, a wireless charging station and a screen display that is as wide as the suite itself. The cabin’s center suite can also be configured to suit two persons travelling together. The suites’ warm colours and wood features convey a strong sense of comfort and calm within top-quality surrounds. An advanced and spacious new washroom has also been developed for the new SWISS First cabin. The facility draws its inspiration from the famous spring in Vals in Canton Graubünden: a slate-black exterior, and a green interior that alludes to the spring’s fresh and cooling water.
- The totally redesigned SWISS Business cabin is intentionally conceived to meet a wide range of wishes and needs. In addition to ‘classic’ Business Class seats, the new cabin offers various further seating options such as double seats for passengers traveling together. Selected seats can also be closed off with a sliding door. All the new SWISS Business seats feature seat heating and cooling and a wireless charging station. The cabin’s top-quality materials in claret and anthracite help convey an extremely cosy and intimate ambience throughout.
7. Austrian Airlines is bringing back its Flying Chefs
After a three year long break, due to the Corona pandemic, Austrian Airlines and their longstanding partner in catering DO & CO are planning the comeback of the “Flying Chefs” for the summer flight schedule 2023. Starting in April 2023, the chefs employed by DO &CO will offer a complete gourmet experience to passengers in Business Class to long haul destinations. Besides the professional preparation of innovative dishes from all around the world, DO & CO and Austrian Airlines focus on the use of regional high-quality products. Austrian Airlines CCO Michael Trestl: “With our crews’ unique charm and an unforgettable gourmet experience we want to offer our guests a high-end service with a special Austrian touch. Finally the “Flying Chefs” by DO & CO will be part of our Business Class product on long-haul flights again.” DO & CO CEO Attila Dogudan: “We are delighted that the “Flying Chefs” are back on board at Austrian Airlines to freshly prepare our menus according to the individual wishes of the guests.” In the first months of the Austrian summer flight schedule, the “Flying Chefs” will curate the current Business Class service on long-haul destinations. Starting in summer 2023, Business Class guests on Austrian Airlines flights will experience a completely newly designed catering service.
8. Four Seasons announces a new resort in Saudi Arabia’s luxury lifestyle destination
Leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Red Sea Global (RSG), a closed joint stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, announce plans to introduce a Four Seasons Resort as part of The Red Sea masterplan development. The new Four Seasons Resort, designed by Foster + Partners, will offer approximately 149 rooms and suites, all with uninterrupted views over white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The property will also feature six restaurant and lounge outlets, meeting and events spaces, a marine discovery centre, Kids For All Seasons space and much more. Whether looking for rest and relaxation or sport and water activities, there will be something for everyone, including a full-service spa with a hammam, tennis courts, three outdoor pools with cabanas, and two separate beaches for families and adults perfect for soaking in the sun or diving down to explore the coral reefs. The Red Sea will be the ideal destination for those looking to uncover the wonders of the ancient Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including the close proximity to the ruins at Mada’in Saleh, as well as the natural attractions such as the environmentally protected coral reefs and mangroves, dormant volcanoes, local wildlife, and much more.
9. Legendary Regent brand will debut in the Americas with Santa Monica beachfront resort
Regent Santa Monica Beach is set on a coveted coastline location, steps from the famed Santa Monica Pier. Following a complete transformation, the resort will celebrate the beauty of unexpected harmony through contrasts, delivering inspired stays through a blend of serenity and a touch of decadence. The resort will feature sumptuous and tranquil rooms and suites, along with a stunning beachfront pool deck with multiple pools and a destination spa and wellness center. Additionally, Regent Santa Monica Beach will welcome guests from near and far with unforgettable epicurean experiences, including a restaurant concept created in collaboration with an acclaimed celebrity chef as well as a high-end artisanal marketplace. The opening of Regent Santa Monica Beach will mark a historic return of the brand to Los Angeles and represent IHG’s Americas flagship. Globally, Regent Santa Monica Beach will join Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, Regent Shanghai, Regent Phu Quoc, Regent Chongqing and the soon-to-open Regent Hong Kong in crafting the most refined experiences for modern trendsetters. Its opening will precede those of Regent Bali Canggu and Regent Shanghai on The Bund in late 2023, and Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Kyoto, Shenzhen and Sanya within the next few years.
10. Mandarin Oriental will open its first luxury resort in Greece this summer
Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will bring the brand’s legendary hospitality to Greece for the first time when it opens in Summer 2023. This idyllic luxury retreat will be located in the southwest Peloponnese and will be part of Costa Navarino, a sustainably driven destination. The resort, which will cascade down a landscaped hillside nestled on a beautiful beachfront overlooking one of the most unspoiled landscapes in the Mediterranean, will offer a back-to-nature experience with mesmerising views of the surrounding countryside, the azure sea, and dramatic sunsets. The property will features 99 elegant, light-filled suites and earth-sheltered villas with private pools and spacious terraces. Blending luxurious serenity with the traditional Messenian style of the region, the decor will celebrate aspects of 19th-century Greek design and reflects the surrounding historical sites. There will be five restaurants and bars,honouring local culture while also providing a wide variety of original flavours from international cuisines. In addition to a variety of private treatment rooms, heat and water experiences, the spa will features a large swimming pool that flows indoors to outdoors with views of the breathtaking bay and the glorious sunsets.
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