Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for September, 2009

Tourists show taste in gastro hotspots

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Half of UK tourists have travelled somewhere specifically to taste their favourite food or drink, new research has shown.

A phone poll by Expedia.co.uk also found that 20 per cent of people have travelled to Parma in Italy just to taste the region’s famous ham, the Times reports.

Other gastronomic hotspots include Hereford, celebrated for its cider, oyster capital Whitstable and Melton Mowbray – home of the famous pork pie.

Celebrity chef Oliver Rowe commented: “Who would have thought pork pies could be such a people-puller?

“It’s important to take advantage of all the fantastic ingredients we have on our doorsteps, while at the same time not forgetting the delicacies that are available to sample when on holiday – local cuisine is definitely becoming as important as traditional tourist attractions.”

Alison Couper at Expedia.co.uk added: “The research shows that Brits are breaking away from the stereotypical PG Tips and Marmite food staples while on holiday and becoming more dedicated to immersing themselves in the homegrown local cuisine.”

St Lucia – the ultimate luxury honeymoon destination

Friday, September 18th, 2009

So your other half has finally proposed. After five years of him “not wanting to fall too deep” or “being afraid he can’t be what you want him to be” and several hundred other lame excuses he has decided to take the plunge and now it’s time for you to get serious – and plan the honeymoon. Since the wedding seems to be all about keeping his mother happy the honeymoon is going to be all about you! And where have you always wanted to go – paradise on earth, also known as St Lucia.

St Lucia could have been made for honeymoons. Places don’t come much more beautiful than this.  And why settle for anything but the best on your honeymoon.

St Lucia is a tropical island. Its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world with clear blue waters and golden sand. Being a volcanic island it is also home to striking black beaches and the volcanoes Gros and Petit Piton.

But the island is not just  beaches. There is plenty to see if you fancy being a little more active. Try Qualibous, where you can do a spot of whale watching. Or if you fancy a little music check out one of the many festivals the island hosts each year including the International Jazz Festival.

And you can do all this while being assured of gorgeous weather. The average temperature on the island is 28 degrees.

Of course, the most important thing is accommodation. The island is home to some amazing hotels, several of them with spas and most of them five star so you won’t want to leave your room. This is your honeymoon after all!

Sex and the City Tour

Friday, September 18th, 2009

We watched the series, we copied the shoes and we let ourselves imagine what it would be like to live like Samantha, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. And now we can, well for a little while anyway.

The Sex and the City tour is the perfect holiday for the girls and is the perfect excuse to ban your boyfriends and have some fun! Goodness knows how may times they’ve gone on a golf weekend or a ‘lads weekend’ – well ladies, now it’s our turn.

The Sex ad the City Tour is one of the most popular tours in New York City. Running twice daily at 11am and 3pm the tour gives SATC fans the chance to visit some of the most famous locations from the hit show.

First get your photograph taken on Carries apartment stoop then stop off for a cupcake at the bakery where Miranda stuffed cakes in her mouth.  Next stop is the church where Samantha met ‘The Friar’ before heading to the gallery in Soho where Charlotte worked. Finally head to a bar used in the show and have a Cosmopolitan, of course.

The tours are based around Fifth Avenue and 58th Street and tickets are $37 each.

And after you’ve seen the SATC sights why not check out the rest of the Big Apple. Don your Manolos and hit Times Square or do a spot of shopping on Fifth Avenue before you and the girls treat yourselves to a slap up meal.

Live like the Sex and the City girls and add a bit of glamour to your life!

Dubai Marina joins the Marriott brand

Monday, September 14th, 2009

The Harbour Hotel & Residence, a 261-unit, 52-storey building at the entrance of Dubai Marina, will join the Marriott lodging portfolio on September 15 under a recently concluded agreement with Emirates Airline and Group.

The agreement represents the second contract Marriott has reached with Emirates this year. Earlier, the company signed an agreement with Emirates to operate the under-construction 1,614-room JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, said a top official. Following some modifications primarily to its public space and reconfiguration of some rooms bringing the new room count to 232 rooms, the property will be rebranded the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites later this year and will be the first upscale Marriott-branded hotel in the city. “We are very excited by the expansion of our long-standing relationship with Emirates Airline and Group and by the continued growth of our portfolio in Dubai,” said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of International Lodging for Marriott International. ‘Despite the current challenging economy, our hotels in Dubai continue to perform well and we are confident that this latest addition to our portfolio will be attractive to business and leisure travelers alike,’ he remarked. Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, said ‘Since the opening of The Harbour, we have received a good response from our customers, enjoyed an average occupancy of 76 per cent for the year and have a firm financial base.’ Marriott, as a leading international hotel management group operating several successful brands, has the track-record and the global infrastructure to build on our investment in The Harbour and take it to further heights. ‘The partnership will now enable Emirates Hotels & Resorts to focus on its core business of conservation-based resorts with Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and with Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in Australia, scheduled for ‘soft opening’ in October,’ he added. The Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites offers a combination of studio rooms, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and four-bedroom penthouses. Each suite is tastefully appointed and features high-speed internet access; flat-screen, high definition television; in-room mini-bar and safe; and plush bed and bath amenities and linens. Dining and entertainment options comprise a lobby lounge and three restaurants including a casual, all-day outlet with seasonal outdoor seating, a specialty restaurant that will have seasonal outdoor dining and lounge seating and a larger specialty restaurant offering “action station” seating

Nikko Hotels International’s Hotel Royal Taipei Reopens After Renovation

Monday, September 14th, 2009

After renovation of its 202 guest rooms, its restaurants and public spaces, Hotel Royal Taipei, one of the Nikko Hotels International group of luxury hotels, will reopen on September 18th. The newly remodeled facilities will be unveiled just in time for the hotel to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Hotel restaurant ‘Le Cafe’ has a new interior design and will serve international buffets with extensive menus ranging from Japanese, Chinese and western cuisines. At the restaurant ‘Nakayama,’ a Japanese executive chef prepares authentic Japanese cuisine, and the hotel’s main restaurant, ‘Ming Court,’ offers seafood and Cantonese cuisine in a modern, yet authentic, Chinese ambiance.

The 12-floor hotel’s facilities include meeting and banquet rooms, a rooftop outdoor pool, sauna and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Hotel Royal Taipei is conveniently located for both business and leisure in the center of Taiwan’s capital city, with easy access to many Taipei attractions.

JAL Hotels plans to open the 388-room Hotel Nikko Shanghai this winter in China. Openings in 2010 will include one hotel in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and two in China: the 471-room Hotel JAL Tower Dubai, a Nikko Hotels International property; the 500-room Hotel Nikko Wuxi; and the 411-room Hotel Nikko Guangzhou. In 2011, the company plans to open the 300-room JAL Bahrain Resort & Spa, also a Nikko Hotels International property, in Bahrain, and the 335-room.

Taj Coral Reef Re-Opens as Vivanta Resort in the Maldives

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces today announced the reopening of the erstwhile Taj Coral Reef after a comprehensive makeover. The hotel has been christened Vivanta by Taj- Coral Reef, Maldives and thus becomes the Taj’s first resort hotel under the new brand.
Vivanta addresses the needs of a sophisticated, new-gen traveler with 62 delightful villas all offering unrivalled views of the sea, an eclectic choice of dining options and a truly amazing array of recreational activities. Vivanta is designed to deliver a vibrant, contemporary experience; combining the charming hospitality that is the hallmark of the Taj, with a vivacious twist!

The name Vivanta is drawn from vivacity, vividness & ‘bon vivant’: an appreciation of the good things in life. It speaks of style, refinement and living life to the full.

“The Taj has played a prominent role in developing the Maldives leisure market and we are delighted to reopen this resort under our exciting Vivanta brand & in this stunning location,” commented Raymond N Bickson, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, The Indian Hotels Company Limited. “Our pleasure is heightened by the fact that we are doing so during the Indo-Maldives Friendship Week and at the hands of His Excellency, Mr Mohamed Nasheed the President of Maldives and so many other distinguished guests, including our Group Chairman, Mr. Ratan Tata.”

Allwyn Drego General Manager, Vivanta Coral Reef explained “We are extremely thrilled to be back with a Vivanta hotel on this lovely island. Vivanta guests seek experiences which are beyond the predictable & staid; and here at Vivanta Coral Reef, they will find adventure, romance & inspiration in good measure!”

Located on Hembadhu Island, in the North Male Atoll, the resort is 32 kilometers from the airport, a distance traversed in less than an hour by luxury power-yachts.

Four Seasons Maui and the multimillion-dollar pool

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Four Seasons Maui Resort at Wailea has just opened its $9 million Serenity Pool to rave reviews. Most of the limited complaints, in fact, came from a very specific demographic: hotel guests under the age of 21.

Strictly adults only, the 15-acre resort’s third saltwater pool was designed with a great deal of calm in mind.

“It is so quiet up there,” said Mark Simon, the property’s director of marketing. “It just adds that level of serenity and quiet that is so hard to come by, and it’s definitely a place where you can go to relax and not have to deal with Marco Polo or any of that kind of thing.”

The 4,100-square-foot Serenity Pool Terrace is home to six luxury cabanas, each occupying 160 square feet and featuring an HD TV, plush couches, oversize chaise lounges, a safe, wireless Internet access and mini-refrigerators stocked with drinks.

Nestled within a vibrant tropical garden, the pool’s infinity-edge design underscores panoramic views of the West Maui Mountains and Lanai. Two large hot tubs, along with four state-of-the-art bubble loungers, were built into the pool itself, and bathers reluctant to leave the chlorine-free water can paddle over to a swim-up bar — drier patrons are invited to frequent the terrace’s walk-up saloon.

Four Seasons guests can also sample from a range of distinctive cocktails and cuisine, facials, massages and “pampering amenities” that are, of course, all available poolside.

One of the pool’s most distinguishing details, however, awaits guests beneath the water: An underwater music system greets divers with crystal-clear tunes.

“When you dive underwater that’s when you’re like, ‘Man, that’s really nice!’ ” Simon said of the below-water melodies. “And then the weird thing about it is as soon as you pop up your head, the music is gone.”