COMO Hotels & Resorts expects to add an address in Sydney’s CBD to its global collection within the next two
years.. The hospitality and wellness specialist has 16 properties around the world in Bali, Thailand, Bhutan, Maldives, Tuscany, London, Turks & Caicos, Australia (COMO The Treasury in Perth) and the group’s most recent addition, Fiji’s Laucala Island, which joined the luxury stable 14 months ago.
Representatives from COMO Hotels & Resorts have been travelling the country this week and last. Joining the delegation in Sydney from
COMO’s HQ in Singapore was COMO’s Doris Goh, Vice President – Commercial. Goh offered insight on the brand to media, saying the Australian
market was very important given its location to the bulk of COMO’s collection in Southeast Asia (three properties in Bali and two in both
Thailand and Bhutan), the Maldives (two) and Fiji. She confirmed that Australian travellers were generating a significant share of business
for COMO Laucala Island in Fiji.
Sydney on the radar for Como
Domestically, COMO The Treasury has been part of the portfolio since its opening eight years ago in 2015. But when quizzed about further
expansion in Australia and the potential of an asset on the east coast, Goh confirmed, “We’re looking at Sydney.” She said the NSW capital
has been on the luxury hospitality company’s radar for some time.
“It’s always been the vision of COMO’s Founder, Christina Ong, to be in key gateway locations,” Goh said during her whirlwind visit. Pressed for a potential timeline for a Sydney debut of either 12 or 24 months, she flagged the latter duration.
Goh was tight-lipped on specific sites in Sydney, or if COMO had its eye on a take-over, restoration project or potential new build, or even
a site inspection while she was in the country.
She did however state that Ong, is “very hands-on when it comes to food, wellness and aesthetics” at the brand’s hotels, and any new choice of property would be “personally curated by herself along with her choice of designers.” Paola Navone of OTTO studio is one interior
designer Ong has used on existing COMO projects, including COMO Castello del Nero in Tuscany, Italy; COMO Point Yamu in Phuket, Thailand;
and her latest work at COMO Le Montrachet in Burgundy, France.
The name COMO itself is an acronym of the Founder’s initials and that of her daughter, Melissa Ong.
Growth and expansion
Announced in late 2021, COMO Le Montrachet will officially debut in June 2023 after a soft opening next month.
The property, which dates back to 1842, is centered around a famous restaurant and an inn and will feature 30 rooms and suites. Nestled
around the village square of Puligny-Montrachet (a village in the renowned wine region of Burgundy), the COMO Le Montrachet is spread across
four heritage buildings that have been converted into chic sanctuaries. A COMO Shambhala Retreat is planned for the property in the future.
Also in June, Podere San Filippo will debut near the 740-acre COMO Castello Del Nero’s estate. The historic
farmhouse has been converted into a modern family residence with 12 large and contemporary apartments – a mix of one- to three-bedrooms,
some of which offer outdoor patios.
From 1 September 2023, COMO Hotels & Resorts will also “come home” to Singapore when COMO Metropolitan Singapore opens.
Thirty years since the brand was last in the Lion City, the 150-room and suite property will feature Michelin Star restaurants, retail and
fashion brands and a COMO Shambhala wellness facility. “At COMO Metropolitan Singapore, we are able to implement the entire ‘COMO Lifestyle’
– food and beverage, wellness, retail. It’ll be the first time we can bring it all together in one location,” she commented.
Additionally, COMO is set to welcome a second property in Italy in the northern alps – complementing its Tuscan retreat – and building on
the brand’s existing presence in the Dolomites where it operates the COMO Shambhala Spa. Set within the five-star Alpina Dolomites Lodge
for the past year, the ski resort will reposition as COMO Alpina Dolomites from December 2023. Not just a winter
playground, Goh said the 30-room and suite Italian mountain resort is just as popular during summer months when the property commands
higher rates than winter. It also has a very strong repeat business of 50%. Alpina Dolomites is currently a member of Leading Hotels of
It will close for enhancements to bring it in line with COMO standards. Goh did emphaise that the upgrade will “ensure that we do not take
away the nuances that guests are familiar with and love.”
Further, Goh said the loyalty program of COMO Hotels & Resorts, COMOCLUB, is nearing the 1 million member mark. Now in
it’s 29th year, COMOCLUB has over 800,000 members and has a “very engaged audience”, she said.
Gabi Vincent, Director of Sales and Marketing for COMO The Treasury said the Perth address is focused on immersive
experiences guests can engulf themselves in while on-site within the heritage building. Home to six restaurants, four bars and ten
retailers, COMO The Treasury offers a number of activations and curated experiences annually, such as Artists in Residence and ‘COMO
Conversations’, alongside spring and festive campaigns to name a few.
To encourage more east-coasters to travel to the west for short breaks, COMO The Treasury partners with Ampersand Estates
in Pemberton to coordinate five-night curated itineraries (two nights in Perth, three nights in the Margaret River region), to showcase the city and rural destinations.
Vincent also revealed that Singapore is driving the return of international visitors to the property, and that events at COMO
have now kicked into another gear after the COVID drought.
Bonvoy had a unique feature that allowed members to make an unlimited number of award reservations that were not backed up points in
the accounts. Instead, you needed to have them 14 days before the intended stay. Under
Bonvoy, the Points Advance has been devalued several times; the number of active award reservations without backed points was reduced to
three, you needed to have the points within 60 days of making such a reservation or 14 days before the stay, and these reservations no
longer locked in the points rates.
Now, Marriott Bonvoy is ending them altogether on March 28, 2023, citing low demand as a reason. You
can access Marriott Bonvoy here.
Important points to note:
Rest assured, Reservations booked using Points Advance prior to March 28, 2023 will be honored.
Remember, you must have the Points in your Account 60 days from the time of booking, or 14 days prior to arrival, whichever comes
Member may only have three (3) Points Advance Reservations at one time.
What happens if I need to modify or cancel my Points Advance Reservation between now and March 28, 2023?
Prior to March 28, 2023, you may cancel or modify your Points Advance Reservations (e.g. change the dates or location, if available). You
can modify or cancel your Points Advance Reservation in your Account profile on Marriott.com or
the Marriott Bonvoy® Mobile App.
What happens if I need to modify or cancel my Points Advance reservation after March 28, 2023?
Cancellation of the Points Advance Reservation is allowed, but always subject to the cancellation policy tied to the Reservation. If
you are modifying the Reservation dates after March 28, 2023, it cannot rebooked as a Points Advance Reservation, only as a paid Stay.
Many Marriott Rewards members loved this program feature, because you could lock in the points reservations year in advance while planning
your trips and firm them up or cancel closer to the intended stay while earning the required points.
Some members abused the feature, locking out other members from booking unti the last minute then cancelling unwanted trips. This led to
changes limiting the number of active Points Advance reservations you can have at any one time. The death knell though was more likely
the move to dynamic pricing. Reserving a room without knowing how many points you will need to redeem until using the booking was
always going to lead to low demand among program members. All it did was signal demand to Marriott which would encourage a rise in rates
(without the benfit of having locked in your own rate - better to delay the booking until certain.
I'm not surprised to see this option canned by Marriott. Far more useful is the cash + points feature which remains
available - read more in our Guide to Marriott Bonvoy.
Capella Sydney Opening Date Confirmed - book while you still can!
Further to our post of 30 October 2022, Capella
the first Australian property in the Capella Hotels and Resorts portfolio, is now accepting reservations for arrivals beginning 15
It is the newest 5-star hotel in the Sydney CBD and includes 192 guestrooms (such as the one pictured) and suites, anchored by
three ground-level food and beverage outlets: Aperture, Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar. .
For travellers unfamiliar with this luxury brand, “The Capella brand is synonymous with luxury, excellence in the craft of hospitality and
cultural immersion. Capella Sydney takes this to the next level through unparalleled experiences that go above and beyond the expected,
underscored by world-class accommodation and dining,” said Marc von Arnim, Capella Sydney’s General Manager.
The beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites are replete with deluxe textiles, standalone tubs, custom Italian Frette linen and exclusive
Haeckels amenities. Guestrooms at Capella Sydney offer an abundance of space, volume and natural light. Starting at 46 square metres,
each room features curated artwork, sumptuous furnishings and intriguing objet d’art complete with luxurious pillow-top beds fitted with
custom Italian Frette linen and exclusive Haeckel’s amenities
The guestrooms start from AU$530 per night (Superior rooms - 46 square metres), while the uppermost jewel, the
235-square-metre Capella Suite on the ninth floor, boasts the largest offering in the portfolio, starting from AU$6,430 per
Marriott recently announced some bad news to Bonvoy members planning to stay in Africa.
As of March 1, 2023, Marriott Bonvoy members will only earn 5X points at Protea Hotels (joining the other
brands of Homes & Villas, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element) and 1 Elite Night Credit for every 2 nights stayed. Here are
the details of this change.
Protea Hotels by Marriott
Marriott acquired Protea Hotels in 2013. As of 2023, Protea operates 64 properties spread across 9 countries in Africa —
primarily South Africa, but also in Algeria, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Marriott advertises
Protea Hotels as mid-range, 4 to 5-star properties.
Marriott's Reduction of the Earning Rate of Protea Hotels
Until now, Marriott Bonvoy members earned the usual 10 points per dollar spent and 1 Elite Night Credit per night at Protea
Hotels. As of March 1, 2023, those earnings will be cut in half.
Bonvoy members will only earn 5 points per dollar spent. Elite Night Credits will only be given for every two nights
stayed. In other words, half an Elite Night Credit per night.
These changes go into effect on March 1, 2023. The change will be based on the checkout date, not
on the booking date.
In other words, every stay with a checkout date on or after March 1 will receive half rewards — regardless of when you booked Conclusion
This certainly isn't good news for Marriott Bonvoy members looking to stay at Protea properties in Africa after March 1, 2023.
Hopefully t his is not the beginning of a devaluation for Marriott Bonvoy points across several brands (again).
Meliá Hotels International has had another successful year in the Booking.com Traveller Review Awards.
More than 200 of the company’s hotels have been rewarded this year for their exceptional performance and for having achieved a satisfaction rating above 8 in the reviews made by thousands of customers on Booking.com The award winners include hotels from all over the world and
from all of the different company brands.
Among the more than 200 hotels, some of the company’s most luxurious properties achieved the highest scores, along with some of the most outstanding of the recently opened hotels: ME Barcelona, a new icon for luxury hotels in one of the most popular cities in Spain, and Villa Le Blanc, a Gran Meliá Hotel, which has revolutionised the luxury resort segment in Menorca by becoming the first carbon-neutral hotel in the destination.
Other luxury hotels operated by the company performed well, including the Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Member of Meliá Collection
(Tanzania), located in one of the most stunning natural environments in the world and with an approach to sustainability which has helped it
earn the highest score among all the company’s hotels.
Other strong performers include the Gran Meliá Iguazu (Argentina), which offers a luxurious experience with views of one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, and the Gran Meliá Xi’an, one of the luxury hotels the company operates in China.
The Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand achieved high scores with both its city and resort hotels in Asia: Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort
(Vietnam), Meliá Vinpearl Hue (Vietnam) and Meliá Chiang Mai (Thailand).
Among other hotels operated under other brands that have achieved outstanding scores are: INNSIDE Liverpool (UK) and INNSIDE
(Peru), Paradisus Los Cabos and Paradisus Playa del Carmen (Mexico), Sol Beach House Ibiza
(Spain) and Sol Oasis Marrakech (Morocco).
Jumeirah Expands Presence in Europe with Key Acquisition in Geneva
Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company, today announced the acquisition of its first property in Switzerland as it continues its growth trajectory and international expansion.
The flagship property - Le Richemond - was founded in 1875 and is located on the banks of Lake Geneva in a prime location at the
heart of the city’s business district and a short walk from the city’s luxury designer boutiques.
Jumeirah’s new property in Geneva is its fifth in Europe, joining The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London, UK; Capri Palace Jumeirah on the island of Capri, Italy; and Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain. Jumeirah Group, which originated in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has a portfolio of 26 hotels and resorts across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The art deco property with its charm and grandeur has been a popular destination for well-known personalities throughout the years. The
hotel features 87 rooms and 22 suites, boasting stunning views across Lac Léman and the mountain peaks of Mont Blanc.
The property will undergo extensive renovations, which will commence as soon as possible, to reposition and elevate the guest experience to a
level consistent with Jumeirah’s brand expectations. Jumeirah plans to introduce its signature wellness and fitness concepts and will also
focus on bringing its culinary expertise to the banks of Lake Geneva.
The move signals Jumeirah’s appetite for investment in key cities that support the diversification of its portfolio and build brand equity
as a globally recognised luxury hotel operator. Geneva, as a thriving city, synonymous with luxury living, a strong international business
community and a robust high-end tourism sector, will support Jumeirah’s vision to become one of the world’s top five luxury hotel brands.
Meliá Hotels ranked as the most sustainable company in the world in the category of Hotels, Resorts and Cruises.
After the recent assessment by S&P Global ESG – the most comprehensive and prestigious international sustainability performance
analysis, which evaluates more than 10,000 companies from all over the world – Meliá Hotels International, has once again been ranked
as the most sustainable company in the world in the category of Hotels, Resorts and Cruises.
Meliá has achieved the top position in both the Social and the Economic and Governance dimensions, and particularly high scores in such
important areas as climate strategy, human rights, human capital development and customer relations.
As Meliá says."our passion inspires us to respond to the global challenges faced by our planet and continue to move forward to offer
you an increasingly more sustainable experience in our hotels".
2023 hotel openings - our "can't wait to stay" list
Exciting New Properties Opening in 2023
There are many brands opening new properties globally this year, as the worst of the global pandemic may be behind us. This is our ” bakers dozen” list of properties opening in 2023 that we are super excited about and can barely wait to book, listed in geographic regions. With most of these, booking through Rewarding Travel can provide you with luxury perks (eg daily breakfast, room upgrade st availability...) at no additional cost.
It’s going to be a busy year…
1. Raffles London at The OWO (2Q 2023)
An architectural masterpiece, the Old War Office on Whitehall (OWO) is undergoing a meticulous restoration to create the Raffles’s first UK
hotel. OWO dates back to 1906 and is famed for housing influential leaders. These include Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and
John Profumo. It also inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond series after working here as a key liaison. The
landmark building has undergone a monumental transformation and now features 120 lavish guestrooms and suites, 85 spectacular private
residences, 9 ultra-stylish restaurants and 3 bars, bars including one gracing the rooftop with views across The Mall on to Buckingham
An exclusive Guerlain spa and member’s health club (a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, saunas and steam rooms ) by movement and nutrition experts Pillar will offer private memberships for locals in the know.
2. The Peninsula, London (May 2023)
Swish Hong Kong hotel group Peninsula – famed for its Rolls-Royce fleets, crisp-suited bellboys and want-for-nothing service – is finally
landing in London. Located at one of the most prestigious addresses in the British capital, overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington
Arch, The Peninsula London is bringing the best of British – culture, art, and
cuisine – to this new build in Belgravia.
Expect Peninsua’s usual sleek and understated elegance in each of its 190 rooms, while several destination restaurants, a Peninsula Spa
(including a 25m indoor pool ) and a grand ballroom are also on-site. The Peninsula London also features a one-storey shopping arcade, with nine retail shops housing international luxury brands keeping luxury style very close at this new central London location.
3. Mandarin Oriental. Mayfair (2Q 2023)
The luxury hotel chain is expanding its presence in London with the opening of Mandarin
Oriental Mayfair, London providing
a smaller, more intimate sister property to the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in nearby Knightsbridge. Situated on Hanover
Square, Mayfair’s oldest square, the hotel will provide a calming, discreet sanctuary for hotel guests.
The property comprises 50 guestrooms and 78 private residences in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most stylish
neighbourhoods. Taking advantage of its world-class location within walking distance of London's admired fashion houses on Bond Street and the boutiques of Saville Row, as well as art galleries, the new hotel will offer guests and Fans of MO ( its loyalty program ) exclusive access and experiences from high fashion to art, culture, and dining. It will also house the first namesake
Akira Back restaurant in the UK from Michelin Star award winning Chef Akira Back, as well as his 'ABar Lounge' concept. There will also be
an urban spa, focussed on renewal and recalibration, featuring an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, vitality pool, relaxation room
and a myriad of bespoke wellness treatments.
4. Adagio London Whitechapel (Late 2023)
For guests who desire the helpful services of a hotel and the freedom to live like a local in a neighbourhood apartment, Adagio offers an
easy balance of both. Designed for longer stays, the 147 serviced apartments conveniently located on Whitechapel Road in East
provide one or two-bedroom apartments, complete with kitchens.
5. 100 Princes Street Edinburgh (August 2023)
Red Carnation Hotels’ group first Scottish property is to be 100 Princes Street, whose name is a nod to their illustrious address on one of
Edinburgh’s most famous streets. The interiors – designed by the team behind Ashford Castle in Ireland – will be full-blown Scottish chic
with custom-made tartan by Araminta Campbell, roaring fires and a central staircase with a hand-painted mural of Scottish explorers by
Croxford and Saunders restoring the former Overseas League building to its former glory. There’ll be just 30 guest rooms, some looking to
Edinburgh castle, and a staff ratio of 2:1, so you know service will be a priority.
6. Six Senses Rome (March 2023)
For their new Rome hotel, Six Senses painstakingly restored parts of a Roman
15th-century compound, including the exterior Renaissance facade and interior staircase. Architect Patricia Urquiola is masterminding the
interiors - guest rooms feature traditional cocciopesto plasterwork, locally-sourced travertine limestones, and
sun-drenched terraces. Located steps from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, overlooking via del Corso, it is a great place to rest after
a long day exploring the city. They currently have an opening offer, valid until 30th of April:- 15% off best flexible rate.-
Includes: breakfast, upgrade upon availability, a welcome drink, use of Roman Baths, Sleep questionnaire, bedding and sleep tracker and
access to their Earth Lab.
From Deluxe Suite onwards receive a one-way Airport transfer as well and a 20-minute skin instant lab. Contact RewardingTravel
for more details.
7. Bulgari, Rome
The eternal city’s hotel scene is seeing an injection of fresh style with new branches of Nobu
Hotels and Six Senses, plus the boutique ROMEO, in a 16th century palazzo. But top of our must-visit list for OTT luxury is Bulgari Rome. This Italian brand owns hotels as far afield as Shanghai and Bali, but finally opens its
flagship on home city turf this coming spring or summer. Set in a 1930s modernist building dripping in travertine marble and red brick, it’s
sure to be the epitome of more-is-more Bulgari style with warm jewel tones, fabulous artwork and unashamedly luxurious suites.
8. Anantara Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. (April 2023) Following extensive restoration and renovation works, the heritage hotel – occupying a 13th-century monastery and former Cappuccini Friars Convent – will be restored to its original glory. The historic 52 guest room and suite property will reveal new-look accommodation, refreshed dining concepts and a completely redesigned
spa, all perched on a clifftop 80 metres above sea level with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Coast.
9. Maison Delano Paris (Early 2023)
Located in the heart of the ultra-chic 8th Arrondissement, Maison Delano Paris is an oasis within the bustling city. Occupying an 18th
century courtyard building at 4 Rue d’Anjou, this is a place to experience exceptional and exclusive culinary concepts by three-star
Michelin Chef Dani García, a fresh perspective on wellness and hyper-exclusive curated moments.
10. COMO Le Montrachet (2Q 2023)
Fine wine plus a fine spa – what else do you need? Launching in picturesque Burgundian village Puligny-Montrachet , COMO
is the latest (and first French) property in the wellness-focused COMO resort group is a celebration of life’s good things. Spread across
four 18th century stone buildings, serene contemporary suites will channel pure Gallic serenity; meanwhile the Shambala
Retreat spa will turn out deep tissue massages and hydrating facials. The restaurant will come with a superb Burgundian wine list, of
course. Prefer spirits? Look instead to another exciting French opening: La Nauve, a former
cognac distillery turned hotel near the Charente river. Teasingly Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group has said that “
Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.” (ie
The COMO Group is an international privately-owned company with long-term investments in the world of fashion, wellness, high-level sports
and luxury hotels. The group also supports its philanthropic mission through the COMO Foundation. Its subsidiary, COMO Hotels and Resorts,
includes 14 international properties. Destinations in APAC include Bali, the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand and Australia. In the Americas, the
group own and operate a private island in the Turks and Caicos. In Europe, The COMO Group operates two city hotels in London and a resort in
11. The Standard, Singapore (late 2023)
Opening right off Singapore’s famed Orchard Road is the Standard Singapore, which aims to enhance the city’s already vibrant cultural scene
with its buzzy, night-life-focused brand. In addition to their 143 rooms will be a signature restaurant, an infinity pool, and a bar set
within a botanical courtyard. The Standard prides itself on shaking up the establishment and defying convention to deliver a unique
experience. The company says its careful consideration of design, detail and service has allowed it to "cultivate a reputation for
irreverent and playful sensibility".
12. Capella Sydney (March 2023)
The first property for Capella Hotels and Resorts to open in Australia will be housed in a magnificent heritage-listed sandstone building,
centrally located just a short walk from the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge Capella
all about contemporary luxury balanced with the historical Edwardian-Baroque features – grand soaring ceilings, marble-clad foyer –
with contemporary design, international art and 70 species of local floral on a seven-metre-tall ‘green wall’ of this 100-year-old
building. Guests will also be granted access to the private Living Room – a signature of Capella properties across the world. Here,
local pros or Capella Culturists will be on hand to organise guest activities both in and outside the hotel.
Over eight levels, 192 guest rooms and suites feature walnut wood, natural stones and deluxe textiles with standalone tubs, custom Italian
Frette linen and Haeckel’s amenities in the bathroom. Three ground-level bars and restaurants include Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar is a
modern rendition of a Victorian-era drinking den. On level six is an Aruga spa, fitness centre, yoga platform and 20-metre heated indoor
swimming pool. While the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are all within walking distance.
13. The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne (March 2023)
At the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, which promises to be
Australia’s tallest hotel, check-in happens at the Sky Lobby, 80 floors above the city. All of the hotel’s high-rise rooms,
spread across levels 63 to 79, will have stunning views of the city and Port Phillip Bay.
A sharp eye for design, and two highly respected chefs are set to be the calling cards of Australia's latest Ritz-Carlton,
delivering local, seasonal and cutting-edge cuisine across the luxury hotel's culinary offering. The restaurant will sit a cool 80 floors
above the CBD alongside the lobby, and below it will lie a holistic wellness spa that includes a heated indoor infinity pool, spa, sauna and
yoga studio. The 257 carefully appointed rooms will feature interiors with custom leather and velvet furniture,
handmade glass panels and marble bathrooms with art works by local artists gracing the walls.
Exciting Renovated Properties that will Re-Open in 2023
Not quite "new" but having had significant renovations or refurbishments, these half-dozen properties are also on our list.
1. The Dorchester: London The Dorchester has been a London icon for the last 90 years, and now
it's slated to debut its largest renovation since the '80s next year. French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon is redesigning the
hotel's entrance, promenade, guest rooms and suites, along with a new Cake & Flower boutique. The legendary Martin
Brudnizki Design Studio is
redesigning the famous cocktail bar, which is now dubbed Vesper Bar.
2. The Royce Hotel, Melbourne (4Q 2023)
What do you want from your next trip to Melbourne: a culture hit or a dose of nature? At The
sitting on the border of the CBD and South Yarra’s parklands, you can enjoy both. This 1920s gem is being restored to its art deco glory,
complete with a 14-metre high marble fireplace in the lobby lounge and a two-metre wide chandelier. The name pays tribute to its former
roles as Rolls Royce (Australia) HQ and major showroom.
The latest refurbishment, which aims to immerse guests in glamour with its 94 guest rooms, a marble staircase and
fireplace, 24-hour concierge, and a swanky bar. In the rooms, freestanding baths, Molton Brown amenities and botanical wallpaper will round
out this trendy South Yarra spot.
3. Le Meridien Melbourne (early 2023)
From its Bourke Street perch, Le Meridien Melbourne will bring a touch of French flair to the theatre district. Expect plenty of surprises
behind the art deco façade including an immersive arts program, house-made gelato and a dazzling rooftop pool deck with views looking over
Parliament House towards Fitzroy Gardens. The Parliament end of Bourke Street will welcome back Le Méridien to Australian shores.
Originally built as a hotel in the 1850s before going through lives as a cinema, nightclub and theatre, the building will return to its
origins as a hotel for the first time in decades. The 235-room hotel is set to have expansive views over the Royal Botanic
Gardens along with a rooftop pool deck.
4. Fairmont Port Douglas
Port Douglas is where the rainforest meets the reef and luxury brand Fairmont promises that its new Port Douglas resort will immerse guests
in the area’s spectacular nature.enabling them to connect with nature amidst eco-friendly luxury. Expect organic
architecture, a treetop walk, and butterfly nets above the children’s swimming pool, as well as an operating philosophy focused on
5. Manly Pacific, Sydney
A seaside favourite gets a new lease of life courtesy of the MGallery Hotel Collection and designers Coco Republic, who have given Manly’s
best-located hotel (right on the foreshore) a five-star makeover. Apart from the spa and the rooftop pool, highlights include a French
bistro and Tokyo Joe restaurant, featuring sushi, sashimi and more courtesy of an ex-Nobu chef..
6. W Sydney (October 2023)
Darling Harbour’s distinctive new development has already attracted plenty of attention for its eye-catching architecture. It will become
even more of a landmark once W Sydney opens with all the modern pizzazz of the W brand . With 585 stylish guest rooms and suites
occupying 25 floors with spectacular Darling Harbour views and interiors inspired by the waterfront location (think powder blue tiles and
deep circular tubs and stunning Sydney views) we expect this will be one of the city’s buzziest hotels.
Forming part of the development that includes an IMAX theatre and a retail wing. W
a two-storey rooftop bar, Level 29 WET® Deck with a heated 30m infinity pool, AWAY® Spa, FIT gym, all-day restaurant, Living Room bar,
1300sqm of event space and direct access to Darling Harbour waterfront precinct, and links across Cockle Bay and Sydney’s International
Convention Centre (ICC).). .
The Standard Melbourne confirmed on track for June 2023 opening
Speaking recently with Rowan Hand VP Global Sales for Standard International, he confirmed that the timing for the opening of The Standard
Melbourne in Fitzroy's hip Rose Street remains on track for June 2023.
The Standard, Fitzroy will come to life as a 127-room hotel built over seven levels (including a rooftop bar), with design cues inspired
heavily by the local area and its long-standing industrial heritage.
The Standard prides itself on shaking up the establishment and defying convention to deliver a unique experience. The company says its careful consideration of design, detail and service has allowed it to "cultivate a reputation for irreverent and playful
The Standard is also a pet-friendly group of hotels. So depending on your preferred vibe, you can choose to
book your stays with either Kimpton or The Standard properties and know that you pet will be made very welcome (read
See also our post of 4 August 2022, when we first brought this news to our readers.
The first Hyatt hotel to open its doors in Scotland announced on Burns Night 2023
Fittingly on Burns Night,Hyatt has announced the opening of SCHLOSS Roxburghe (pictured), marking the debut of the Destination by Hyatt
brand in the United Kingdom.
“As the first Hyatt hotel to open its doors in Scotland and the 14th property in the UK, this immersive country retreat
reflects the growing demand from World of Hyatt members and guests for discovery-filled experiences in some of Britain’s most sought-after
locations,” said Arnaud de Saint-Exupery, area vice president of Hyatt in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Just a few miles from the scenic market town of Kelso, and an hour from Edinburgh and Newcastle, SCHLOSS Roxburghe raises the bar on luxury
for travellers seeking a tranquil, rural escape in Scotland. In keeping with the brand’s ambition to build a distinct portfolio of luxury
properties that connect guests with people, cultures and places, the property capitalizes on the growing demand from travelers seeking to
escape their daily routine in style. The extensive range of amenities across SCHLOSS Roxburghe’s 300 acres of scenic countryside gives
guests a true sense of place.
Formerly owned by the Duke of Roxburghe, the elegant countryside retreat offers a total of 78 guestrooms and suites, all within or nearby
the historic manor house and The Estate House. Looking ahead, the property is set to introduce 50 additional cottages, planned to be
available to guests early in 2023.
Located in the beautiful woodlands on the SCHLOSS Roxburghe estate, surrounded by wildlife and right next to the golf course, each of the
12 cottages benefits from having additional living space, fitted kitchens and furnished garden terraces. These additional amenities allow
guests the added flexibility to appreciate and take advantage of the hotel’s services while having the option enjoy to an intimate dining
experience provided by the property or themselves in the privacy within their own home-away-from-home.
Featuring striking high ceilings and decorated with a combination of Scottish tartans, the 20 guestrooms and suites located inside and
adjacent to the historic main house feature oak wood, natural stone, and sumptuous textiles. These beautifully furnished rooms are each
unique in character and highlight the eternal beauty and history of the time-honored building.
Extravagant fittings and fixtures such as four-poster beds and private balconies can be found within The Estate House. Offering some of the
finest views of the estate, these 58 additional guestrooms are spacious and flooded with light, providing stylish, yet modern comfort in the
most enchanting of settings.
Guests in all accommodation categories are able to take full advantage of the wealth of facilities across the stately grounds.
An oasis of calm
The 12,000 square foot (1,100 square meter) SCHLOSS Spa is a first-class wellbeing facility which includes an outdoor heated infinity
swimming pool, complete with an underwater sound system. It is accompanied by a plunge pool and hot tub, allowing guests to truly soak up
the hotel’s serene atmosphere.
To further set the stage for guests to dive into the estate’s natural beauty while pampering their soul, the large, 6,400 square foot (600
square meter) relaxation area features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the landscaped grounds and rolling views toward the Scottish
For the ultimate indulgence, three treatment rooms ensure guests can take full advantage of the soothing range of natural treatments
available. The luxury spa also offers a fully equipped fitness suite plus a rustic Finnish dry sauna and a glass-fronted aromatic sauna,
both with pool views.
The great outdoors
In addition to a myriad of scenic walking trails, the dog-friendly facilities also include extensive outdoor pursuits, ensuring anyone
staying at SCHLOSS Roxburghe is perfectly placed to take full advantage of the unspoiled countryside.
Capitalizing on its enviable surroundings, the property boasts its own Country Sports Centre, ideal for those interested in tapping into the
wealth of more adventurous activities on their doorstep. From salmon fishing along the River Teviot to field sports such as archery and clay
pigeon shooting, the venue’s expert team will help unleash guests’ competitive sides in one of Scotland’s most spectacular settings.
The hotel also offers an 18-hole championship golf course that maximizes the landscape’s natural topography, embedded amongst glorious
rivers and mature woodlands, providing an enjoyable and challenging game for golfers of every level.
Upscale Food and Beverage Experiences
Guests and local residents alike have two on-site gastronomic experiences alongside a tearoom and various lounges to choose from, each
serving up a modern twist on traditional Scottish cuisine. These include Charlie’s restaurant, with its curated
‘Scottish bistronomy’ themed menu and terrace, and the cosmopolitan, fine cuisine of Sunlaws. The Drawing
meanwhile, provides the perfect spot for a sumptuous afternoon tea.
Under the guidance of Executive Head Chef Olivier Borja and the vision of the hotel’s culinary director Mark Drummond, the gourmet menus
prioritize fresh, local produce to help elevate the hotel’s culinary experience. Having studied catering in the Scottish Borders before
working his way up the ranks in prestigious London establishments, Drummond is perfectly placed to provide guests with a truly memorable
dining experience. Key to showcasing the local area and delivering a modern twist on traditional Scottish fare will be SCHLOSS Roxburghe’s
‘Estate to plate’ philosophy, with many ingredients grown within the hotel’s own grounds
Guests also have a wide choice of places to enjoy a relaxing beverage while taking in the spectacular views across the grounds. Whether
pulling up a stool at Bar 1745 – the sophisticated and cozy library bar with a roaring open fire – or enjoying a
fine wine in the fire-lit State Room Lounge, there are plenty of opportunities to relax in style.
The property’s purpose-built banqueting suite and extensive meetings facilities also make the hotel an unforgettable choice for weddings and
What is Destination by Hyatt ?
Hyatt says that "the Destination by Hyatt brand is a diverse collection of independent hotels, resorts and residences that are
individual at heart yet connected by a commitment to embody the true spirit of each location. Ranging from upper-upscale to luxury, each
property is purposefully crafted to be a place of immersive discoveries, authentic design, and warm and welcoming service. As an honored
host, each Destination by Hyatt location connects guests to both people and place—offering a sense of belonging that invites all to make
our destination yours"
Bonvoy adds ability to convert Krisflyer Miles to Bonvoy Points
KrisFlyer have announced that you can now convert points and miles between both programs. While you have been able to convert your Marriott
points to Singapore miles for a long time, the ability to transfer your Singapore miles to Marriott points is new.
The new two-way conversion ability is a new trend from Marriott and seems to be aimed at enhancing the value of their points and program. However,
the conversion rates leave a lot to be desired.
You can currently convert points and miles between both programs as follows:
from Singapore KrisFlyer Miles to Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 2:1.
from Marriott Bonvoy points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles at a ratio of 3:1.
This news is the second one in a short period of time after Marriott just recently announced new two-way transfers between its
program and Korean Air SkyPass.
Perhaps this will be a Marriott trend for 2023, but we will have to wait and see if more programs will follow.
Marriott Two-way Conversion Partners
The following programs now offer two-way conversion between themselves and Marriott Bonvoy.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Korean Air SkyPass
United Mileage Plus (Premier status members only)
Is Transferring Marriott Points to Singapore KrisFlyer Miles Good Value?
In short No.
Our redemption value for Singapore KrisFlyer miles is USD 24.90 per 1,000 miles. On the other hand, we value Marriott Bonvoy
points at USD 10 per 1,000 points.
At a transfer ratio of 2:1, you would exchange around USD 49.80 worth of Singapore miles for USD 10 worth of Marriott Bonvoy points. This is
a clearly not a good idea!
On the other hand, transfers from Marriott to Singapore at a ratio of 3:1can make more sense. In effect, you would exchange around
USD 30 worth of Marriott points value for USD 24.90 worth of Singapore miles value. Although this seems like a bit of a loss, Singapore
Airlines KrisFlyer offers some excellent award options that could make it worthwhile, especially for aspirational awards on Singapore Airlines' own planes.
When Should You Convert Singapore KrisFlyer Miles to Marriott Bonvoy Points ?
There are a couple of instances when converting your KrisFlyer miles to Marriott Bonvoy points can make sense.
* Singapore miles expire after 36 months, and you cannot extend their validity without paying a hefty fee.
Therefore if you have a bunch of miles that are about to expire and don’t want to use them or hand over the cash,
transferring them can be an excellent get-out.
* Another option is if you are a few Marriott points short of a redemption and need to boost your balance. Although transferring a
few thousand Singapore miles works out as a loss, it is still valuable if it lets you hit an aspirational award. Just make sure you exhaust
your other options first, as you also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a ratio of 1:1.
There have been transfer bonus offers in the past, so you might be able to get an even better transfer rate during one of these
The news that you can convert Singapore KrisFlyer miles to Marriott Bonvoy points is a welcome. if minor enhancement. as it gives members
more options to use their points. It's always nice to gain the flexibility to ytsmsfer your points from one program to another —
even in circumstances mainly limited to the need to top up an account or avoid point expiration.
Small Luxury hotels of the World (SLH) is holding a fantastic sale for its SLH Invited members -save 30% on stays at over 160 luxurious
properties, including locations such as:
Pictured is a seafront villa of Elounda Gulf Villas, one of the properties in Greece that is participating in the sale.
Stays must be completed by 31 December 2023. Other T&C's also apply..
Best be quick. The sale closes 4 January 2023 !Read More…
SLH's Considerate Collection Celebrates its First Birthday
Environmentally-minded travel agents (like Rewarding Travel) can browse and book from a biodiversity-promoting
portfolio of boutique stays around the world, which have been hand-picked to help you find your perfect eco-escape.
These properties still need to pass the SLH Quality Assurance standards required by all SLH properties, so you can be assured that the
sustainability does not sacrifice luxe. You can read more about how these standards are measured and maintained in our Complete
Guide To SLH Invited.
As of this month, the collection celebrates 43 hotels (almost doubling in size) along with almost 40,000 trees
in collaboration with TreeSisters.
The SLH Considerate Collection has also introduced a first-of-its-kind partnership with new sustainability platform Weeva,
and a collaboration with luxury amenities brand VANITY
Luxury hotel brand Capella comes to Sydney - opening March 2023
Luxury hotel group Capella Hotels and Resorts will open Capella Sydney (pictured) in March 2023.
The luxury hotel will be located at the heart of Sydney’s newest retail and hospitality precinct, Quay Quarter - a short walk to Circular Quay ferries, Sydney Opera House, the historic Rocks precinct and a wide range of dining options.
The historic Department of Education building is being transformed into a space like no other. Inspired by the stories of the sandstone building’s past, the restored hotel is a balance between old and new.
Capella Sydney celebrates its magnificent surroundings and respects the traditions of the building, mingled with contemporary design flair.
Paying homage to Sydney’s local culture, guests can find touches of the Harbour City throughout the hotel – from the signature restaurant,
Brasserie 1930’s modern art décor, McRae Bar, a reinterpretation of Australia in the 1920s, to a 20-metre swimming pool positioned under a
large heritage lantern skylight. and an award-winning Auriga Spa.
Being a low-rise building, views of the Opera House and Harbour aren't available, but the 192 spacious rooms and suites are gorgeous and
will suit anyone with an eye for design.
Select Capella properties (Bangkok, Ubud in Bali, Shanghai, Singapore and Maldives) participate in the Virtuoso program, of which our
associated travel agency is a member.
We are hoping that Capella Sydney will join this prestigious list so that we will then be able to add complimentary perks
to stays booked through Rewarding Travel.
Six Senses wins award for Best Luxury Hotel Brand from LTI - 3rd year in a row
Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) has taken the past 12 months to apply a rigorously defined algorithm that measures the
performance and values of luxury hotel brands.
Six Senses has taken the top spot for the 3rd consecutive year for its ability to deliver, “passion, commitment, ethos and
values, as well as the quality of its management and staff.”
The algorithm has 128 touch points relevant to the luxury hotel sector. Each has its own weighted score value with a total maximum
accumulative score of 4628. They relate to overall brand performance, not the performance of individual properties.
Continuing investment and how it’s used is also a major factor – particularly for new properties and the refurbishment of existing ones.
To make its decision, LTI researchers engage with everyone from the CEO to the management, hosts, and guests. Every year, the process starts
again so the results from previous years have no bearing on the following year and therefore reflect what is happening within the dynamic
hospitality sector. This is all part of the process for creating destination-led reports for the organization’s members, who wish to make
informed travel decisions based on its honest and detailed intelligence.
On awarding Six Senses World’s Best Luxury Hotel Brand, LTI noted, “We continue to be very impressed with Six Senses. It delivers an
authentic blend of wellness, sustainability, warm hospitality and crafted guest experiences.
Also, with Six Senses London and Rome due in 2023 this is an exciting time for the brand and its loyal followers.”
Responding to the award, Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs credited the whole team, “Six Senses hosts take a bow! To win this award three times
in a row reflects everyone’s unwavering commitment over three bumpy years and across our entire group. We take a proactive role in
sustainable well-being, whether that means for our guests, hosts, or the land and communities around us. But for it to work, it has to be
honest and championed with care. Perhaps this authenticity is what guests appreciate the most.”
Six Senses is one our preferred resorts and spa/wellness brands. It has long had a focus on bare-foot luxury with sustainability, so this success comes as no surprise to us. It is well-deserved.
Some properties participate in the IHG One Rewards loyalty program - that alone may be sufficient reason to sign-up as a member.
USA Today Names Wyndham Rewards "Best Hotel Loyalty Program" for 5th Consecutive Year
Wyndham Rewards®, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' guest rewards program spanning more than 50,000 hotels, vacation club resorts and
vacation rentals globally, has once again been named best hotel loyalty program in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards.
The accolades mark the fifth consecutive year Wyndham Rewards has taken the top spot in the Best Hotel Loyalty Program category. Nominees in
the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards are compiled by a panel of industry experts, and winners are chosen based on daily
voting from USA TODAY readers over a four-week period.
"Designed to be both simple and generous, Wyndham Rewards celebrates and champions the everyday traveler, offering more value, more
flexibility and more redemption opportunities than virtually any other hotel program in the world," said Lisa Checchio, chief marketing
officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. "To once again see both the program and our credit card recognized in this way is a testament to the
power of the program, dedication of our franchisees and partners, and the loyalty of our more than 95 million enrolled members who, year-in
and year-out, continue to make our program number one."
Wyndham Rewards is the only hotel loyalty program to offer members a guaranteed 1,000 points with every qualified stay. Free nights start at
just 7,500 points per night, while discounted nights start at 1,500 points plus some cash. The program's Member Levels (tier status), which
are among the most attainable, allow members to unlock great benefits like a preferred room, late checkout, accelerated earning and more.
For more information about the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, visit www.10best.com.
Accor Hotels just launched another partnership, this time with Qatar Airways.
Similar to the Miles + Points partnership with KLM/Air France Flying Blue , Accor
and other crossover programs (eg Marriott and Emirates; Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines; Hyatt and American Airlines), you can now
double dip on Accor hotel stays and Qatar Airways flights. Here are the details of the partnership and now to earn both
Reward points and Avios.
Accor and Qatar Crossover partnership
Accor Hotels and Qatar Airways have already had a partnership, but now this partnership is being improved. Now, members of either loyalty
program can earn both ALL Reward points and Qatar Avios on either flight and hotel bookings.
First, you need to link your ALL account with your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. You can link your accounts either via Accor
Hotels or Qatar
If you already took advantage of the ALL
and Flying Blue partnership,
you'll need to choose which airline you want to double dip with. You can only linked your ALL account to one airline at a time. If you
linked your ALL account to Flying Blue in the past 12 months, you will need to wait until the end of 12 months before you can link to Qatar
Double-dipping between Accor Hotels and Qatar Airways
After you link your Accor Live Limitless and Qatar Airways Privilege Club accounts, you will start earning both ALL Reward points and Avios
on your stays and flights:
For every US$2 spent on Qatar Airways flights, you will earn 1 ALL Reward point, in addition to the Avios you earn on
For every €1 spent at Accor properties, you will earn 1 Avios in your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account, in addition to the
regular ALL Reward points
earned for your stay.
Make sure to provide your applicable account membership number at booking or check-in to receive points and Avios.
Once you have accrued your Avios and Reward points, you can transfer from one program to the other:
Members who do not have a Privilege Club membership account before linking accounts will need to take an extra step. You will only earn
Avios on hotel activities after performing an international activity. That can be your first stay outside of the country
of residence in your ALL loyalty program account or after your first flight on Qatar Airways (all of which are international).
All domestic stays within 12 months before the first international activity and after the account linkage will be retroactively rewarded
with Avios. Avios earned retroactively on stays in a given year will be credited no later than December 31 of that same year.
To remain eligible for the accrual of Avios on eligible stays, the members will have to perform an international activity at least every 12
Fast-track to Elite Status
The Accor and Qatar partnership includes a fast track to elite status in both rewards programs. Accor elite status members will earn Qatar
Airways Privilege Club elite status after their first qualifying flight:
ALL Gold status members will receive Privilege Club Silver status;
ALL Platinum status members will receive Privilege Club Gold status.; and
ALL Diamond status members will receive Privilege Club Platinum status.
Conversely, Privilege Club elite status members will earn ALL elite status after your first qualifying hotel stay:
Privilege Club Gold status members will receive ALL Silver status.
Privilege Club Platinum status members will receive ALL Gold status.
These Fast Track offers are only available once. Your complimentary ALL elite status will be good until the end of the
following calendar year. So, you have the incentive to try to get your status as close to the beginning of the year as you can.
Complimentary Privilege Club elite statuses will be good 12 months after being received.
What does this mean for you?
This is another great partnership from Accor. Double-dipping on points is always a nice benefit and reciprocal elite status levels are also
great, especially when you can earn Oneworld Emerald status with your ALL Diamond status.
Avios earned can also be transferred/used for other Avios programs (BA, Iberia etc.), which may suit for say short-haul rewards
But the ability to accrue rewards with Qatar, consistently rated as one of the world's best airlines, is an
outstanding attraction of this new double-dipping program. Depending upon your flying patterns and the alliance program your preferred
airline belongs to (Qatar and Qantas are both OneWorld, Air France/KLM is SkyTeam), this may very well be the best double-dipping
To learn more about the Accor Live Limitless rewards program...
Accor marks its 400th hotel in Australia and the Pacific
This milestone for Accor is part of its dynamic Pacific expansion, with 11 new hotels set to open in next two years in Australia
and New Zealand.
Just three decades after entering the Australia/Pacific hotel market, Accor has
recently added its 400th hotel, with the launch of The Porter House Hotel - MGallery in Sydney.
Accor's first hotel in the region - Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour (1991) - was a catalyst for the redevelopment of Darling Harbour into
Sydney's premier tourism, entertainment and events precinct, and the transformation of the iconic Porter House building into a luxury hotel
is set to boost Sydney's CBD revival.
The opening of The Porter House Hotel is part of a large-scale expansion of Accor in the Pacific region, with 11 new hotels and 1,569
rooms scheduled to open before the end of 2023. They include the debut of the 25hours brand in Australia, new airport hotels at
Melbourne Airport and Auckland Airport, and another heritage restoration in Sydney, Hotel Morris, which is being created out of the
1929-built former West End Hotel in Pitt Street.
Announcing the 400th hotel milestone, Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, said it was fitting to celebrate such a major landmark as the hotel
industry accelerated towards a full post-pandemic recovery.
Choice Hotels Commences Integration Of Radisson Americas
Choice Hotels yesterday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas.
The acquisition has added approximately 67,000 rooms, expanding its presence in the higher revenue upper upscale and upscale
full-service segments, and bolstering its core upper-midscale hospitality segment, particularly in the West Coast and Midwest of the
Radisson Hotels Americas comprises the Radisson franchise agreements, operations and intellectual property in the United
States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The transaction adds nine brands, including Radisson Blu, Radisson,
Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Radisson RED, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Inn & Suites
and Radisson Collection. Choice Hotels will independently own and control the brands in the Americas.
Choice Hotels has started the process of bringing Radisson hotels in the Americas into the Choice Hotels family. In the future, you’ll be able to find rooms at more than 600 Radisson hotels across the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America on ChoiceHotels.com and the
Choice Hotels mobile app.
I expect the Radisson Americas properties will also be integrated into the loyalty program Choice Privileges around the same time.
The Standard - Iconic Hotel Chain Coming To Melbourne
Melbourne’s edgy, inner-city suburb of Fitzroy will soon play host to the Australian debut of global boutique brand, The Standard Hotels.
One of the world’s fastest growing boutique brands, The Standard prides itself on shaking up the establishment and defying convention to
deliver a unique experience. The company says its careful consideration of design, detail and service has allowed it to cultivate a
reputation or irreverent and playful sensibility.
To be located on Rose Street, The Standard Fitzroy will come to life as a 127-room hotel built over seven levels, with design cues
inspired heavily by the local area and its long-standing industrial heritage.
The Standard, Fitzroy will be positioned right in the heart of Fitzroy’s bustling creative community, with a plethora of quirky and niche galleries, boutiques, markets, bars and cafes surrounding the new development. A location that suit well The Standard's youthful, energetic,
Fitzroy’s history of corner pubs, workers cottages, grand housing and industry inspired the approach to the building’s façades. The
weathered steel and concrete are robust, timeless materials that sit comfortably straight away and, over time, will add charm as they
The Standard, Fitzroy is on track to open to guests in June 2023.
Similar timing also applies to The Standard, Singapore.
Both will supplement the existing portfolio of properties in NYC, Ibiza, Maldives, Hua Hin, Bangkok, Miami Beach and London.
Pssst! Kimpton Secret Password Valid Through Early September 2022
Now through 5 September 2022, mention the secret password “Stay Cool” at check-in to score perks and other
benefits when staying at Kimpton Hotels (which are part of IHG).
Perks range by property, but can be free parking, a free breakfast, or a free room upgrade, etc.
In addition, Kimpton is now offering travellers an “emotional support beverage” at check-in if your arrival flight was
cancelled or delayed. Very considerate !
Kimpton is one of our favoured brands. Lovely properties, great service and a few quirks like the above and their very pet-friendly
for authentic, brand-consistent touches of individualty.
Members of my Barceló, have priority access to Happy Days offers, an exclusive Barcelo
Hotels event running until 3 August with unique discounts on hotels and resorts.
Get up to 25% off bookings in destinations such as Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary
Islands and the
Plus, get an extra 10% discount by entering the promo code 22HAPPYB10 when making your booking.
Not yet a member, but want to take advantage? Join my Barcelo
first - it's free.
T&C's apply, including restrictions in some hotels and during specific periods. Check offer conditions at Barcelo.com
Preferred Hotels Promotion - Save 30% When You Book Your Beach & Island Bliss
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is running a limited time offer where you can save up to 30% on your next beach or island vacation
Book online with Preferred Hotels'Stay
More, Save More offer by December 31, 2022, for travel through March 31, 2023 to save up to 30% on stays of three
nights or more
at any of 8 beach destinations from California to Maldives.
How Poor Hotel Selection Can Ruin Enjoyment of a Destination : Hilton “It Matters Where You Stay"
Hilton is debuting “It Matters Where You Stay”, a new advertising campaign using humor to highlight some of the common but unspoken
pitfalls of travel, boldly poking fun at what can go wrong when booking accommodation or on a trip. The campaign will initially launch in
A timely reminder that while selecting your destination is important, the accommodation booking can make or break both your
enjoyment of it and the memories you will have.
Sometimes, "when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys".
Preferred Hotels Adds 19 Properties To Its Luxurious Portfolio
Preferred Hotels and Resorts has added 19 new member properties to its global portfolio between April 1 and June 30 this year.
Opening its doors this month, Hotel Per La in Los Angeles will take up residence in the former headquarters of The Bank of
Italy—a historic building in downtown Los Angeles. There are 241 guestrooms with custom furnishings and Bellino linens, an art collection
with more than 4,000 curated pieces, 10,000 square feet of meetings and event spaces, and a rooftop pool and bar with skyline views. Later
this summer, the hotel will launch a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that highlights the building’s past.
Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancun – a Tafer Resort is the sister property of Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa
Puerto Vallarta. This all-inclusive beachfront property offers 452 suites with private balconies or terraces. There are six dining concepts
(and two more set to launch later this summer) and a gourmet hall offering a range of world cuisines with five kitchen stations. Standouts
include four family heated pools, an adults-only rooftop pool, holistic treatments by Spa Imagine, and easy access to Playa Mujeres Golf
Club. The concierge team can organize excursions to Mayan archeological sites in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Iniala Harbour House & Residences is located on the iconic St. Barbara Bastion in Valletta, Malta. The pet-friendly
hotel comprises four "palatial" houses, along with 20 suites and three guestrooms with balconies or terraces. Tip: Some of which
have private plunge pools, while all have French windows that frame views of Grand Harbour. Other highlights include ION Harbour, a
rooftop restaurant by Michelin-star chef Alex Dilling, spa treatments at Essensi Spa by Iniala, 24-hour gym, cocktail bar and artwork by
renowned and emerging Maltese and Gozitan artists.
Grand Hotel San Pietro in Sicily is a restored early 20th-century villa-turned-luxury hotel. It is situated on the site of
an ancient Roman road in Taormina. Guests can enjoy 63 guestrooms (some pet-friendly) with views out to the Ionian Sea, an outdoor pool
surrounded by gardens, an al fresco restaurant with an expansive terrace, and the Rotonda sul Mare—an intimate patio that serves romantic
dinners for two directly above Isola Bella. Other highlights include a spa with a Finnish sauna and steam bath, private boat trips to sea
caves and rocky beaches, and guided tours to Mount Etna. Guests can take complimentary shuttle rides to Taormina for designer shopping and
Home to more than 27,000 square feet of spa and wellness space, the Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club is spread across
300 acres of beach with 178 guestrooms, beach suites and multi-bedroom villas offering shared butler services. Luxury facilities include the
newly revamped Aurora International Golf Club, and seven restaurants and bars. Guests can enjoy group hikes, pickleball, movie nights on the
beach and boat racing–Anguilla’s national sport. This fall, guests will be able to book one of the resort’s fleet of charter jets
for direct service to the property from select U.S. airports.
Other member properties that joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ global portfolio from April 1 through June 30, 2022, include:
Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Nashville, Dallas and Chicago;
Preserve Sporting Club & Residences in Richmond, RI;
Aspen Meadows Resort;
The Laurel Hotel & Spa in Auburn, AL;
The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center;
Pestana Douro *, Riverside Hotel & Conference Center in Porto, Portugal;
HS HOTSSON Hotel Guadalajara Expo;
Grand Fiesta Americana Oaxaca;
Umiltà 36 in Rome;
Hotel Savoia & Jolanda in Venice; and
Hotel Golf Chateau de Chailly in France.
Each of these new member hotels participate in the “I Prefer" loyalty program, where members can earn points redeemable for
benefits from eligible stays at over 650 participating hotels and resorts worldwide. You can find details on the program in our
Complete Guide to I Prefer,
including how to sign up (free of charge).
Bookings for approx. 200 of the 650 properties made through our associated travel agency can be made at the I Prefer Member rate and earn I Prefer points. All such bookings (at either Member or Best Available rates) receive the
following perks at no additional cost:
$100 Hotel Credit per Stay (to be used on services such as spa, dining, or selected amenities valued at $100 or more)
Breakfast for Two Daily
Room Upgrade (subject to availability)
Priority Check-in and Check-out (subject to availability)
Complimentary in-room internet.
* Pestana Douro also participates in the Pestana Guest loyalty program. The benefits of booking as an I Prefer member are similar to that for members of the "Honor" (top status tier) of Pestana Guest, but with daily breakfast
instead of the discounted member room rates. Book through our travel agency and you will also receive the $100 Hotel Credit.
Some very attractive properties have been added to the list of luxury Preferred Hotels portfolio. Many in the Americas, but some
especially enticing ones in Europe too.
Fullerton Hotels Opens Its First Resort and First Property in Hong Kong
The 5-star luxury hotel group Fullerton Hotels and Resorts (best known for The Fullerton Singapore and more recently, The Fullerton Sydney)
announced the Early Stage Soft Opening of The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong yesterday. Nestled in the southside
of Hong Kong Island with breathtaking views of the South China Sea, the 425-room hotel marks the brand's debut in Hong Kong and its first
This opening signifies the expansion of the brand known for its heritage conservation efforts and award-winning offerings.
The waterfront urban resort, a mere 15-minute drive from Hong Kong's Central business district yet worlds away from the city's fast pace, is
the ideal holiday retreat. There is plenty to explore nearby, from taking in the sights and sounds of nature at one of Aberdeen's
numerous beaches and leisurely hiking trails, to rediscovering some of Hong Kong's oldest gems at historical temples and fishing market, or
experiencing the area's up-and-coming cultural scene through charming local boutiques and exhibitions at neighbouring art galleries.
Committed to sustainability and guests' well-being, the hotel has attained the WELL Pre-certification under the WELL Building Standard™ v2,
becoming the first hotel project in Hong Kong and Mainland China to receive this internationally acclaimed recognition. This commitment
extends to environmental initiatives including the elimination of single-use plastics, sourcing sustainable seafood, and an in-situ hotel
The Fullerton Ocean Park Hong Kong is set to become an oceanfront culinary destination with five dining concepts, including Jade,
the signature Chinese restaurant of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.
The Cantonese fine dining restaurant will be helmed by the acclaimed Chef Lai Ching Shing. In addition, the Lighthouse Lounge, Lighthouse
Café, Satay Inn offer contemporary indoor and al fresco social space for unique dining experiences. Giardino, an oceanfront Italian
restaurant, to be located on the 3rd floor with alfresco dining, will soon open later this year. To cater to the demand for
meaningful, restorative experiences, the hotel has carefully curated comprehensive wellness retreat offerings to ensure an ultimate resort
getaway. A 24-hour gym, luxury spa and the expansive infinity pool with panoramic sea views provide the perfect setting for enriching
fitness activities and relaxation.
For weddings and major events, the hotel features a variety of outdoor and indoor event spaces complete with stunning sea views, including a
pillar-free ballroom that can accommodate up to 500 guests with a panoramic oceanview pre-function foyer
The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong is a member hotel of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and participates in its loyalty program I
As a member of the Preferred Platinum Program, our associated travel agency is
able to provide complimentary perks when you book through them (and you also still earn I Prefer points).
Each year Travel + Leisure magazine taps into its readership and invites thousands to complete a survey that rates airlines,
spas, hotels, islands and more on many factors. The detailed survey evaluation results in its readers' rankings of the best hospitality has
to offer from around the world.
Participants in the survey collected data from late October 2021 through to the end of February 2022. They rated (with a maximum score
of 100) hotels, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, etc on numerous characteristics, with the option of rating excellent, above
average, average, below average and poor. A minimum number of responses was necessary for a candidate to be eligible for Travel +
World’s Best Awards.
This year’s results spanned a whopping 120 categories among hotels, resorts and hospitality brands in cities, countries and regions
globally; to spas, favourite global cities, and best islands, cruise lines, tour operators, safari outfitters, airlines, car rental
companies and National Parks.
Some key observations:
The overall winner was the super-luxury Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino. Rosewood also had 2 other properties in the top 100.
Auberge and Shangri-La also both had 3 properties in the top 100.
The groups with the most properties in the top 100 both have Indian roots - Oberoi and Taj both had 6 properties in the
list of top 100 hotels.
While Preferred Hotels owns no hotels of its own, it markets (and offers a loyalty program) for 5 of the top
100 hotels (Pendry Chicago #25, Riggs Washington D.C. #31, Finca Cortesín Hotel Golf & Spa, Málaga #44, Grand Hotel Tremezzo – Lake Como,
#53 and Rancho Santana – Tola, Nicaragua, #56).
Multi-brand Marriott had 4 properties, while Capella, Hilton, Six Senses (IHG), Rocco Forte and Mandarin Oriental each had 2 properties
rated in the top 100.
In terms of the Best 25 Hotel Brands in the World, the Accor stable rated very well, with 3 of its brands rated in the top
25 (Raffles #4, Sofitel Legend #6 and Banyan Tree #11). Global Hotels Alliance (GHA) also had 3 of its brands
rated in the top 25 (Viceroy #10, Anantara #14 and Capella #17).
Of the major, multi-brand chains, IHG (Six Senses #19), Hilton (St Regis #24) and Marriott (Luxury Collection #25) each had 1 brand in
the top 25.
If you'd like to know more about any of the hotels or brands, our associated Travel Agency is a specialist advisor for Langham, Shangri-La. Rosewood, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Raffles, Preferred
Hotels, Hyatt, IHG, Conrad and St Regis - able to offerfree perks like room upgrades and property credits when you book.
Our congratulations to Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco and all category winners. Far too many to list here entirely,
so we list below a selection of the results:
100 Best Hotels in the World
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco (99.25),
Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection (99.22),
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi (99.11),
Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro (98.95) and
One&Only Reethi Rah (98.93).
25 Best Hotel Brands of the World
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (97.50),
One&Only Resorts (96.20),
Oetker Collection (96.15),
Raffles Hotels & Resorts (95.5) and
Red Carnation Hotel Collection (95.32).
5 Best Resorts - South Pacific
Namale Resort & Spa, Savusavu, Fiji,
Conrad Bora Bora Nui,
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort,
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora,
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa.
Best Islands of the World
Ischia, Italy (94.61),
Milos, Greece (92.50) and
Fiji Islands (92.38).
5 Best International Spas
Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico (95.76),
Sha Wellness Clinic, El Abir, Spain (95.20),
Therme di Saturnia (94.15),
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa (93.26),
Chable Maroma, Punta Maroma, Mexico (89.90).
25 Best Cities in the World
Oaxaca, Mexico (92.96),
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (91.77),
Ubud, Indonesia (91.73),
Florence (91.06) and
Best City Hotels - Europe
Hôtel Madame Rêve, Paris (98.73),
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid (98.67),
Portrait Firenze, Florence (98.25),
Raffles Istanbul (98.25) and
Shangri-La at the Shard, London (97.86).
Best City Hotels - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
The Langham, Melbourne (92.53),
Park Hyatt Sydney (90.40),
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (88.30),
InterContinental Sydney (87.76) and
Shangri-La Sydney (86.40).
Best Islands - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
Fiji Islands (92.38),
Moorea, French Polynesia (90.24),
Bora Bora, French Polynesia (87.70),
Great Barrier Reef Islands (86.90) and
Tahiti, French Polynesia (83.33).
WorldHotels Adds Four New Luxury Hotels in Europe
WorldHotels Collection (the luxury arm of Best Western) announced today the expansion of its hotel offerings in premier destinations across
Europe. The addition of these 4 new properties is part of the company’s expansion of its footprint in key destinations around the globe.
The latest WorldHotels openings include:
Crown LondonLocated just 18 minutes from the heart of London’s centre, this Victorian style hotel features flawless suites with stained-glass windows and
fireplaces. This modern space is designed to be the perfect sanctuary a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of the City. The
property features a contemporary restaurant and a longstanding landmark London pub.
Mulino di Firenze,
Florence, Italy is
a beautiful romantic property within close proximity to Florence’s major landmarks, allowing guests to discover both the city and the
countryside. Located on the Arno River in Tuscany, the property offers guests exclusively Tuscan stays amongst nature, art, and the food and
wine of the region. Guests will enjoy dining at Grano D’Oro Restaurant, which overlooks the Arno and offers outdoor terrace seating in the
summer. For visitors seeking tranquility, the Spa features wellness and personized beauty treatments reserved exclusively for hotel guests.
Summer is also the perfect time to access the hotel’s solarium area swimming pool complete with deckchairs, sun loungers and umbrellas.
Milton Keynes, UK is
located in a beautiful tranquil setting, unique to the Milton Keynes area. Built in 1844, this Georgian manor house is the perfect getaway
with grounds surrounded by greenery and Ouzel Valley Park, which provides guests with endless photo opportunities. Amenities include premium
bedding, continental breakfast and Cosy’s lounge bar. There are also multiple dining and entertainment options just a short distance from
Salisbury, UK presents
five-star luxury located in the heart of Salisbury, which is best known for its timeless appeal and charm. A contemporary manor house, The
Riverside Hotel is filled with character, and is on the grounds of the Avon and Nadder rivers, overlooking the stunning Salisbury Cathedral.
The hotel is just a quick walk to the heart of the city, where guests can explore the historic Salisbury Cathedral, Britain’s tallest spire
and the best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta. The famous Stonehenge is also just a short drive away.
Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia has received Member Hotel Status from the Eco-Luxury
community Regenerative Travel as it becomes the latest addition to its portfolio of sustainable hotels.
Jade Mountain is an entirely hand-built hotel in St Lucia where the rooms have no outer walls and are completely open to the ocean and piton
views, each with its own private infinity pool or jacuzzi. Some readers may recall Jade Mountain was the hotel featured in the BBC 2 series Amazing
Hotels – Life Beyond the Lobby
(season 3, episode 4).
Regenerative Travel is a community of independent, luxury hotels that aim to shift the travel industry towards a more regenerative future.
Jade Mountain will receive a bespoke educational curriculum to further its commitment to regeneration. It will also be required to
undertake a regular self-assessment and report monthly on 29 indicators aligned with Regenerative Travel’s standards. This assessment holds
hotels accountable to its eco-credentials and is a showcase of activism towards a regenerative future.
Jade Mountain has practiced sustainability since its opening in 2006 and has placed emphasis on retaining as much economic benefits in the
region as possible. The property takes sustainable steps while educating guests about the culture, history and ecology of the region. For
instance, the resort has made its water supply independent from Soufriere so as not to impact the local community. All of the drinking water
at Jade Mountain is sourced from the river at Anse Mamin valley, which is then filtered and conditioned at the resort in a special treatment
facility. The resort also has its own rainwater-fed water purification plant system and recycles treated sewage water, which irrigates a
nursery which, in turn, propagates thousands of tropical plants for landscaping.
Jade Mountain was inspired by the philosophy of building in alignment with Caribbean nature. No machinery was used in its construction; it
also has either used all furniture and furnishings made locally or purchased them from local businesses. The property features rugged
stone-faced columns, individual bridges and infinity pool suites that overlook the Caribbean Sea.
All members of Jade Mountain’s construction team were from St Lucia and the hotel currently employs a 99 percent local workforce, making
them one of the most important employers in the region.
Banyan Tree "Branches Out" With 4 Exciting New Properties In Japan
Banyan Tree Group has announced its expansion into Japan with the introduction of four locations. Two have already opened,
with the others being rolled-out over the next few years.
Banyan Tree Holdings brands include Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Dhawa and Laguna. The group is well known throughout Asia for its
luxury wellness and sustainable ethos, with beautiful villas and resorts, especially in beachside locations.
Members of Accor Live Limitless can use points to make bookings at select Banyan Tree properties.
Banyan Tree and Angsana are two of our favourite spa/wellness groups, so this expansion into urban and ski-field locations is
Watch this space...
Opened on 17 June 2022: Dhawa Yura Kyoto opened its doors on June 17 near Sanjo Ohashi, a bridge that was once the final station of the ancient
Tokaido Road from Tokyo. The road served as a route for long-distance voyagers during the Edo period in Japan. The 138-room hotel’s historic
ties are reflected in the interior design and artwork, besides an 8lement Spa.
As the first opening under the group’s newest concept, Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto is a 25-room hotel that also opened on
June 17. It is located in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1603 during the Tokugawa Shogunate. The new
Garrya brand is a concept promising a Zen-like atmosphere along with a focus on well-being and sustainability at a more accessible price
point. The first Garrya, the Garrya Huzhou Lucun, opened in Huzhou, China, in 2021, now accomp[anied by the Garrya Nijo Castle
Planned to open 2024:
Located in the Gion and Higashiyama district, Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will open in spring 2024 as a 52-room luxury,
hilltop urban resort. It is touted to be the first and only hotel in Kyoto city to have a Noh
Planned to open 2025:
A newly built resort set to open in 2025 in the most popular ski resort destination of Japan, Cassia Hirafu in Niseko will
be a stone’s throw from Hirafu ski slope. It will feature 50 rooms and 113 residences that will be available for sale.
Planned to open 2026:
Renowned for its hot spring and views of Mount Fuji, Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone is slated to open in 2026, in an area
adjacent to Lake Ashino.
NH Hotels officially joins GHA
Pictured is the NH Collection Plaza Santiago.
On June 20th, NH Hotels officially joined Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands.
NH Hotel Group is one of the largest hotel companies in the world and brings to the alliance more than 350 properties in 30 countries under
three brands – NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow.
NH Hotel Group is majority-owned by Minor Hotels, a Bangkok-based operator of more than 160 hotels and a GHA shareholder. Minor Hotels’
global family of brands include Anantara, Avani, Elewana Collection, Oaks and Tivoli which were already member brands of the alliance
and participate in GHA DISCOVERY.
The move sees the transformation of NH Rewards into the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, becoming NH DISCOVERY and creating a
21-million-strong global membership. Existing NH Rewards members will retain the value of their points and their other benefits, including
Member Rates with up to 10% discount and additional rewards for booking on the NH or GHA websites.
A unique feature of the NH Discovery version is that NH Hotels shareholders can upgrade their tier status for attractive benefits.
Under T&C 4.9 Members of the NH DISCOVERY Programme who are
also NH’s Shareholders may upgrade their Tier as follows:
* To the Gold Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value which is lower than 2,000 Euros; or
* To the Platinum Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value equal to or greater than 2,000 Euros but lower than 3,000 Euros.
* To the Titanium Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value equal to or greater than 3,000 Euros.
The value of a block of shares will be determined considering the number of shares multiplied by their market value. In order to enable the
upgrading of a Tier, Members must prove their status as a Shareholder by sending their securities account certificate by email to
If you are a shareholder of NH Hotels, these upgrades last for as long a you own the requisite value of shares, providing a way of
holding tier status without the requirement of stays or spending.
I Prefer Hotel Rewards Program benefits have been enhanced
Preferred Hotel Group has released a series of updates and enriched benefits to itsI Prefer loyalty program.
From the launch of I Prefer Gift Cards and a Stay, Reward, Repeat bonus points offer to the next installment of I
Prefer Auctions, an ever-lasting Flexible Member Rate, and the introduction of a new points-plus-cash option to book Reward Nights – these program enhancements reflect Preferred Hotel Group’s commitment to deliver a range of value-rich benefits that cater to the needs of its loyalty
Highlights of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards loyalty program enhancements include:
I Prefer Gift Cards with 20% Bonus Value I Prefer Gift Cards are now available and can be used towards services, experiences, and stays at hundreds of participating I
Prefer hotels and resorts across the globe. As an introductory special, purchasers will receive a 20% Bonus Card with
each I Prefer Gift Card purchased now through June 30, 2022. To purchase I Prefer Gift
Cards, and take advantage of this special launch offer, visit the I
Stay, Reward, Repeat Offer I Prefer members staying one, two, or three consecutive nights will now have the opportunity to earn up to 15,000 I
Points – which is enough to redeem towards a free Reward Night or other travel opportunities such as I Prefer Auctions
and Reward Certificates. Pre-registration is required and bookings must be made by September 30, 2022, for stays through
December 31, 2022.
For additional details and to register for this offer, visit the dedicated Stay,
Reward, Repeat Offer site.
I Prefer Reward Nights Plus
The recent launch of I Prefer Reward Nights Plus invites I Prefer members to book exclusive hotel
rates using a combination of points plus cash, while earning points on the cash portion of their rate. For as little as 3,000 points plus
cash payment in varying amounts, members can book and enjoy a selection of independent hotel experiences including but not limited to, Hotel
Carlton in Antananarivo, Madagascar; Metropole Hotel in Venice, Italy; Royal Plaza on the Scotts in Singapore; NIZUC Resort & Spa in
Cancun, Mexico; The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California; Ohla Eixample in Barcelona, Spain; Hotel Sans Souci in Vienna, Austria;
and The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.; with more hotels from desirable global destinations coming soon. To learn more and to book
stays at participating properties, members can visit the dedicated I
Nights Plus site.
Additional program updates include:
I Prefer Auction to run June 16-22, 2022
Offering a unique way to bid and win one-of-a-kind travel experiences, the next I Prefer Auction will run June 16-22,
2022 and feature a curated selection of 15 hand-picked experiences available for limited-time bidding. Exclusive to I Prefer members,
bids start as low as 12,500 I Prefer Points and include experiences such as a Guatemalan wellness ritual, afternoon tea
for two in London, formal Omakase dining in Bangkok, cable cars in San Francisco, a perfect Parisian spa day, rooftop dinner for two in
Saint-Tropez, a rebalancing massage in Coastal Italy, and more. Members can view the full list of experiences, and the complete terms and
conditions, by visiting the dedicated I Prefer
Flexible Member Rate
Recognizing the importance of member-only value and flexibility, Preferred Hotel Group is pleased to announce that the I Prefer Flexible
Member Rate is here to stay – members can book enjoy savings of 10% or more on top of the best available rate at more than 300
participating hotels. The flexible rate is also fully cancellable up through the day of arrival, providing travelers with
the peace of mind needed if travel plans get disrupted. For additional details and to book, visit the dedicated Flexible
Member Rate site.
Mandarin Oriental has signed a long term management agreement with Attestor Limited (a London based investment manager) to rebrand and manage the historic Hotel Cristallo in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. .
Currently a (Marriott) Luxury Collection property, the historic property will undergo a substantial renovation after closing in the second
quarter of 2023, re-opening as a Mandarin Oriental resort in the summer of 2025, ahead of the Milano-Cortina Winter Olympics. After
re-opening, the hotel will feature 83 guestrooms, many with balconies, including 30 spacious suites with beautiful
views of the Dolomites.
Due to an extensive investment in artificial snow systems, the Dolomites are among the few Alpine resorts with guaranteed snow throughout
the season and feature 1,200 kilometers of interconnected slopes.
The resort will also feature a range of restaurants and bars, flexible spaces for entertainment and events, as well as an extensive spa and
wellness facility, which includes a swimming pool that transverses from inside to outside the building.
The property sits above the most recognized mountain village in the Dolomites, a short walk away from Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as the ‘Queen
of the Dolomites’, which features many award-winning restaurants, luxury brand boutiques and local arts and crafts. Venice Marco
Polo Airport is reachable in one and a half hours by car.
The all-year resort will provide a picturesque backdrop from which to enjoy a broad range of experiences from skiing to golf, cross
country walking and hiking, tennis, ice skating, mountain climbing and a Kid’s Club equipped to match the needs of various age groups.
Hotel Cristallo was built in 1901 in Art Nouveau style by the Menardi family and was a popular ski destination in the 1930s for the European
cultured elite. After the Olympic Games of 1956, the Hotel entered its “golden era” as a renowned ski destination, hosting royals and celebrities, including Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov. It has featured as a backdrop for a number of
award-winning films, maintaining its historical charm as an early 20th century grand hotel.
In 2021, the property was acquired by funds managed by Attestor Limited, who also own Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como. A major
investment will be made so that Hotel Cristallo will undergo a thorough renovation including a new extension, created by award-winning
architects Herzog and deMeuron.
Mandarin Oriental is renowned for exemplary service and is one of our favourite luxury hotel groups, so we are excited.. Watch this
space as the Milano-Cortina
Winter Olympicsget closer, as I am sure therooms and suites will be booked out very soon after the reopening.
Mandarin Oriental has a loyalty program - Fans of M.O.
Rocco Forte's "European Grand Tour" - a luxury tour de force
This year, uber luxury group Rocco Forte Hotels is celebrating its 25th anniversary by offering immersive experiences inspired by the cities their properties call home. The group is offering a “European Grand Tour” so guests can interact with local artisanal talent while
enjoying the best that each city has to offer.
Guests can book individual hotel experiences or opt to fully immerse in the “European Grand Tour”. You can select up to five Rocco
Forte Hotels and enhance their itinerary with one or more of the curated experiences
My favoured five? While it is difficult to narrow down, I think mine are:
The properties participating in the European Grand Tour include:
Villa Igiea in Palermo, Italy has curated an artistic guide to the city through the lens of the aristocratic Florio family,
who originally transformed the private estate into a luxury hotel at the start of the 20th century. Guests will discover the history of
Palermo through a city-wide tour, including a private tour of the 300-year-old Palazzo Gangi. At the end of the architectural adventure,
guests will be greeted with dinner in the hotel’s Louis XVI Hall, named in honor of the Florio family.
Verdura Resort in Sicily has curated a golfing experience. Guests will be welcomed with a personalized gift bag filled with
golf equipment. They will also experience a training session with the resort’s PGA coach and enjoy a three-course lunch. They can enjoy
treatments at the Irene Forte Spa or stay in one of the private villas.
Guests staying at Hotel de la Ville in Rome can embark on a two-hour guided tour through the dark streets of Rome’s
heretics, traitors and ghosts. Crossing through the Sant’Angelo bridge, travelers will learn about Mastro Titta, the official executioner
for the Papal States and travel back to the taverns where Caravaggio brawled in the streets and created endless stories still talked about
in the modern day.
Masseria Torre Maizza has curated a journey through Puglia on a plate. At the Grandmother’s Table, guests will enjoy a
Sunday lunch with Apulian dishes hosted by local mothers and grandmothers. Guests will also have access to the hotel’s nine-hole golf
course, private beach club and Irene Forte Spa.
The Balmoral is offering a curated “Scottish Gold” experience in Edinburgh. Guests will have exclusive access to
Edinburgh’s jewelers and private access to The Balmoral’s rooftop to view the Clock Tower. The experience begins with a behind-the-scenes
visit to Hamilton & Inches, the designers behind Edinburgh’s iconic Balmoral clock. Later, guests can enjoy a whiskey tasting at the
Balmoral’s cozy bar, Scotch.
Brown’s Hotel, known as the very first hotel in London, is a short walk away from Buckingham Palace. Brown’s has
curated a regal experience where guests can enjoy a curated class with one of the Royal Family’s portrait artists. Guests will also have a
chance to sit down for their own personal portrait.
The Charles Hotel in Munich has curated a private night at the museum. Once the doors to the Lenbachhaus museum have closed
for the day, contemporary art treasures are exclusively available to guests. The experience is followed by an exclusive dinner among
well-known art pieces.
Located on Bebelplatz, Hotel de Rome in Berlin is providing a behind-the-scenes experience at the State Opera, which
finishes with champagne and canapes in the Meyerbeer salon. Guests will get exclusive access to this space, usually only accessed by the
director of the opera.
Located in the heart of Brussels, Hotel Amigo is offering a curated experience that allows guests to learn about bespoke
jewelry from a certified gemologist and private jeweler. As a parting gift, guests will be given a precious stone of their choice. They can
even commission a piece of jewelry as a keepsake.
IHG marks 6,000 hotels milestone with new "club" to reward travellers
IHG is celebrating reaching its 6,000 open hotels milestone by unveiling the ‘6,000 Club’ and announcing partnerships with major
sports and entertainment events. The 6,000 Club features a collection of newly opened hotels around the world.
Hotels in the 6,000 Club will celebrate the occasion in the coming months by surprising select guests with 6,000 IHG One Rewards
Some of the hotels in the 6,000 Club are:
* Six Senses Fort Barwara – a beautiful 14th-century fort in India which was converted to become a sanctuary of
well-being after a significant conservation effort
* Regent Phu Quoc – the first all-suites-and-villas resort under the upper luxury brand in Southeast Asia, located off the southwest
coast of Vietnam alongside a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve
* Kimpton Margot Sydney – marking the Australian debut for the brand, this art-deco hotel features a rooftop
pool, wine bar, and a 1,725-square-foot “Celebrity Suite”
* voco The Hague – the first for the brand in Netherlands which includes a garden terrace designed by an expert ecologist who created a
welcoming space for nature to thrive
* Atwell Suites Denver Airport - Tower Road – the second hotel to open for IHG’s newest all-suites brand, featuring signature design
and adaptable spaces which support longer stays and allow for easy transition between business and leisure
* Staybridge Suites Al Khobar City - this all-suites hotel is located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf in
the heart of the corporate and shopping hub of vibrant Al Khobar
IHG also announced the launch of new "experience" partnerships, providing new ways to redeem IHG One Rewards points and celebrate
the universal love of music and sports. Highlights include:
* The Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Music Midtown, Ohana Festival: While watching live performances,
attendees can enjoy exclusive benefits with IHG One Rewards including backstage access and time in VIP Lounges.
Shangri-La Circle introduces monthly deals for "Members Day" | 6x points on the 6th of each month
Further to our note of January 19th, the revamped Shangri-La Circle loyalty program changed effective from 28 April 2022 to
tier status qualification based on either qualifying nights or tier points earned (effectively amount spent).
more flexibility to earn points from stays, F&B, Spa, Wellness and Shangri-La merchandise
rewards points will have a fixed earning rate and redemption value.
A new Polaris invitation-only elite tier was also launched. Benefits include unlimited access to Shangri-La facilities worldwide
(even without staying overnight), a dedicated global Polaris concierge, Polaris Discovery experiences, and the ability to gift Diamond
status (the highest status tier able to be earned).
Shangri-La Circle has now added an additional benefit for all its members. The new Members Day will see the release of new offers
that will only be available for 48 hours on the 6th day of each month, starting at 9am (Hong Kong Time) on the 6th and
ending at 9am (Hong Kong Time) on the 8th.
For the inaugural Members Day, Shangri-La Circle will debut over 20 “staycation” packages bundled with curated dining and wellness
experiences that allow guests to personalize their journeys. Members will be rewarded with 6 times the points when
they book these offers through the dedicated Members Day website or Shangri-La Circle Mobile App. Additionally, Shangri-La Circle members
in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei will receive six times the points when they shop at the Shangri-La Boutique during the
48-hour Members Day offer.
These points can later be used for their next dining experience, weekend getaway or wellness escape.
members signing up
will earn 300 bonus points with their first Shangri-La Circle experience and up to 1,500 additional bonus points with continued spending
through July 31, 2022.
T&C's apply, so be sure to read them.
Six Senses Vana opens, providing Health and Healing in the Himalayan Foothills of India
Established Indian destination spa and retreat Vana has been taken over by global hotel group Six Senses.
The property in Dehradun, India, has since been renamed Six Senses Vana. Launched in 2014 it is a 21-acre wellness destination
surrounded by clusters of Sal forest, and set within its own mango and lychee orchards. The retreat draws on ancient healing modalities from
Ayurveda, Tibetan healing traditions and yoga to create bespoke schedules for every retreat attendee.
Wellness facilities include a Tibetan Healing Centre, Ayurveda Centre, Yogasala, Wellness Centre, spa, private watsu pool, gym, thermal and
wet areas, tennis courts, paths for walking and two slate-lined pools – including one on the rooftop with views over the forest and into the
Along with the wellness and spa facilities, Six Senses Vana will also be a Cinema Paradiso, courts for various ball games, and
experiences that tap into the retreat’s location to encourage movement and reconnection with nature.
Exhibitions, visiting artists, and performances will also continue to be woven into the retreat’s programming.
The destination features 82 rooms facing either the ancient forest or the garden and yoga temple, plus two restaurants and 55 treatment and
The new deal will see Six Senses Vana complement the brand’s debut property in India, Six Senses Fort Barwara in
Rajasthan. Sadly, neither of the India locations participate in the IHG One Rewards program. Sigh. Decisions,
At the time of writing, Six Senses properties that do participate in IHG One Rewards include:
Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives.
Six Senses Botanique, Brazil.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam.
Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.
Six Senses Fiji.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles.
Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey.
Six Senses Ibiza, Spain.
Six Senses Shaharut, Israel.
Six Senses Residences Courchevel, France (bookable now for the next season).
Six Senses Kanuhura, Maldives (once it opens later this year).
Six Senses operates 21 hotels and resorts in 17 countries under the names of Six Senses and Evason and has signed a
further 33 properties into the development pipeline. Six Senses maintains a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, emotional hospitality, wellness, and crafted experiences, infused with a touch of quirkiness. Whether an exquisite island resort, mountain retreat, or
urban hotel, the vision remains the same: to reawaken people’s senses so they feel the purpose behind their travels and ultimately reconnect
with themselves, others and the world around them.
In early 2019, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) acquired Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. However, not all Six Senses properies
participate in the IHG One Rewards program.
Six Senses Spas guides guests on their personal path to well-being in all resorts as well as a handful of standalone
spas. The high-tech and high-touch approach goes beyond ordinary beauty treatments to offer holistic wellness, integrative medicine, and
GHA has a promotion for June 2022 - Unlock the Unforgettable - where you can save up to 40% at some destinations
within its range of over 30 brands, which include ones we love, such as Anantara, Capella, Corinthia, Kempinski, Niccolo
Unlock the Unforgettable offers deals right around the globe.
For example, escape to Australia and NZ with up to 30% off for stays with Oaks booked prior to 31 August
and completed prior to 30 September 2022. Destinations include Brisbane, Port Stevens, Gold Coast, Sunshine
Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Even Auckland and Queenstown !
"Secret" password for One Rewards members to receive a surprise for Kimpton stays
Kimpton Hotels have just launched their new Secret Password, “Stay Cool,” valid for stays through September
IHG One Rewards Members who say these words when checking in are in for a "feel good" surprise that could be
anything from a complimentary breakfast or drinks to free parking (it's up to each individual hotel to decide what their offer is,
which is part of the fun).
With locations all around the world, Kimpton is a popular brand with travelers and IHG loyalists thanks to evening happy hours, its “raid
the minibar” perk for select guests and the brand's right royal treatment of four-legged guests - Kimpton is famous for being pet-friendly.
Celebrate Global Wellness with Mandarin Oriental's "Intelligent Movement" initiative
Mandarin Oriental has launched a global initiative to celebrate Global Wellness Day on June 11.
As part of Intelligent Movement, selected Mandarin Oriental Spas and Wellness Centres will host various complimentary
movement-themed activities, including:
Dynamic Stretching Class at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Yoga Workshop at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Mobility & Posture Assessments at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
Hypervolt Massage Workshops at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
Movementum Studio Classes at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Fans of M.O. (Mandarin Oriental's loyalty program) can also enjoy a Spacation at the Mandarin Oriental,
- Daily breakfast for two.
- 60-minute Oriental Essence massage for two at The Spa.
- 60-minute Meditation with Crystal Bowl Sound Healing Session for two at The Spa.
AMEX / Four Seasons offer - Make the most of the Spend $750, Get $150 Back offer
American Express regularly publishes great travel deals for its cardholders through its Amex Offers portal. Thanks to a new offer,
if you’re a cardholder looking to visit a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts property this summer, you’re in luck to save some money on your
Only certain members will be targeted, so be sure to check your Amex Offers on the Amex app or online account to see if you were
one of the lucky few. If you see the offer, make sure to click "Add to Card" sooner rather than later as Amex Offers are
often capped to a certain amount of cardholders.
To get the $150 back, you’ll need to spend $750 or more at any Four
in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Anguilla, or Saint Kitts and Nevis. You don’t need to spend the $750 in 1 single
stay; you can have multiple different hotel stays over time, and so long as your charges cumulatively are over $750, you’ll have met the
terms of the offer.
If you spend as close to $750 as possible, you’re saving 20%, which is almost unheard of at Four Seasons properties.
In addition to staying at actual hotel properties, you can also stay at Four
Seasons Private Retreats,
which are very similar to luxurious condominiums in the most desirable of travel spots. These can be located in the U.S., Mexico, Canada,
Costa Rica, Anguilla, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
To be eligible for the offer, you must book your reservation at fourseasons.com or through a Four Seasons Preferred Partner such as our travel agency. Email
to sweeten this deal even more, as you will receive at no extra cost, additional perks such as the following:
Daily full breakfast for 2 people per bedroom, served in a hotel restaurant or through In-Room Dining
Hotel or resort credit of $100 to $200 per stay (guest rooms receive $100 while suites, specialty suites, and private retreats receive $200)
Upgrade of one category (based on availability at time of check-in)
Complimentary standard Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and premium Wi-Fi in all suites.
Your reservations can’t be through a third party or by other means — these methods will not trigger the offer. It’s
also worth noting that you can’t use the offer to purchase gift cards.
Other T&C's also apply, so if you do qualify for this offer, be sure to check them out.
Marriott plans to join Red Sea development with Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Marriott today announced it has signed an agreement to debut its luxury Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Slated to debut in 2023, Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is expected to form part of the new Red Sea destination.
Nujuma will be the first property from the brand in the Middle East and joins an exclusive collection of only 5 other Ritz-Carlton
Reserves worldwide, located in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Nujuma will be situated on a pristine set of private islands, which are part of the Red Sea’s Blue Hole cluster of islands. Surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty and designed to blend seamlessly with the environment, the resort is expected to feature 63 one to four
bedroom water and beach villas.
Plans also include a range of luxurious amenities and exceptional services including a lavish spa, swimming pools, multiple culinary venues, a retail area and a variety of other leisure and entertainment offerings including a Conservation Center.
Marriott Bonvoy members can expect the uber luxury property to be right near the top level of points required for
redemptions...perhaps even the very top...
The Red Sea Project is an ambitious regenerative tourism project, covering 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, of
which less than one percent will be developed. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being
developed with the highest standards of sustainability. The development features an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands,
as well as dormant volcanoes, sweeping desert dunes, mountains and wadis, and more than 1,600 cultural heritage sites.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has added 5 new properties to its Considerate Collection.
Launched in October 2021, in collaboration with respected sustainable travel and luxury hospitality players, each hotel within the Considerate
Collection has been either certified by a GSTC Accredited Certification Body, certified to a GSTC Recognized Standard, or has passed an assessment by
the SLH Sustainability Advisory Panel with review by the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council - the international, independent,
not-for-profit body established by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO);
The new properties are:
Castello di Reschio (Lisciano Niccone, Italy): Adopting an “as nature intended” approach towards the nine farmhouses
dotted across a 1,500-hectare country estate, the Bolza family introduced a rewilding program in the Umbrian wilderness which is now filled
with roe deer, wild boar and porcupines. While much of what is served is home-grown or foraged, Reschio also relies on a network of
Dar Ahlam (Ouarzazate, Morocco): This traditional Moroccan kasbah has been constructed using local materials such as
adobe, bamboo and wood from lemon and olive trees, minimizing its energy use by installing solar panels and a water treatment system which
makes tap water drinkable in the desert. Guests are immersed in Berber culture, from sleeping beneath the stars in a traditional tent, to
sunrise tea ceremonies in the Sahara.
Paradise Cove (Anse La Raie, Mauritius): Overlooking a natural lagoon, this boutique hotel actively contributes
towards the marine discovery center. It has also eliminated single-use plastic in the guest experience (swapping slippers made from plastic
to coconut straw), and employs “green” staff tracking the resort’s progress in its detailed sustainability report. The property runs a
dedicated space within the hotel for guests to discover locally and sustainably made products, from rattan baskets to swimwear made with
recycled boat sails.
Amilla Maldives (Baa Atoll, Maldives): Even without its EarthCheck Silver certified status, this Maldivian-owned
resort runs a range of eco-activities and initiatives, including a coral propagation project, white-tailed tropicbird breeding program,
complimentary bicycles and electric golf buggies.
Aristide Hotel (Syros, Greece): Housed within the former tax residency of the Cyclades, this plastic-free neoclassical
mansion uses solar panels to heat its water and offers ceramic amenities. To offset the carbon footprint of their guests, the art-centric
hotel runs a re-greening and tree-planting project in partnership with the Cyclades Preservation Fund.
For more details on SLH and its Considerate Collection...
Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun to join All-Inclusive by Marriott collection
The trend towards all-inclusive properties continues.
Expected to open in late 2022, Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun is owned and managed by Blue Diamond Resorts
and will join the All-Inclusive by Marriott portfolio, which includes close to 30 getaways in 8 locations across the Caribbean and Latin
America - current all-inclusive resort locations include Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, and St
Set to debut in late 2022, the 1,049-room all-inclusive resort is expected to offer experiences including a theatre,
bowling alley, water attractions and culinary encounters at a dozen on-property restaurants and nine bars all amidst stunning views of the
164 million Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to access the new resort, expanding the reach of the Blue Diamond owned resort.
Marriott International entered the all-inclusive space in 2019 with the acquisition of Elegant Hotels' seven hotels in Barbados. In 2021,
the company announced a long-term agreement with Sunwing Travel Group's hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts, to add 20 hotels into the
Kempinski to launch World's First Floating Sea Palace Resort
The Kempinski Floating Palace will be anchored off an exclusive stretch of beach on Jumeirah Road, near Dubai Marina and
along from The Palm.
The main building of this floating palace, structured in four parts, is connected in the middle by a glass pyramid and offers all
the luxury of a 5-star hotel, from exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spa, pools to boutiques, banquet areas and the possibility for
even larger yachts to sail in and out at the centre of the hotel.
The five-star, pyramid-topped 156-room hotel and connected floating helipad will be the hub, off which 12 floating luxury villas, for
rent or purchase, will be grouped. Each villa has two floors, a roof terrace, solar panels, infinity pool and multiple bedrooms, including
those for crew and staff.
Crew? Yes, with each villa, you can cast off and motor away (at 6 nautical miles per hour), like a private houseboat.
The Kempinski Floating Palace will open in 2023.
Also around this time is the planned opening of the much larger MGallery QE2, located about 30 minutes away, near Dubai Creek -
also a floating hotel, but different...
Miraval Resorts & Spa To Debut First Property Outside US | Miraval The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia
Hyatt announced that its wellness resort brand Miraval will debut Miraval
The Red Sea,
located on Saudi Arabia’s Shura Island, the central hub of The Red Sea Project.
The new Miraval resort is slated to open as part of the first phase of the Red Sea development. It will be Miraval’s fourth resort and its
first outside the U.S. , joining Miraval Arizona, the brand’s original
location in Tucson, Ariz.; Miraval Austin, its second location in Austin, Texas; and its newest location, Miraval Berkshires in Lenox,
Miraval The Red Sea will offer guests 180 guestrooms and suites, including 20 villas. The luxury wellness resort will offer
a range of culinary experiences, including a central dining room, the signature Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen, and a marketplace offering
mindful and healthful cuisine. Cooking classes and workshops will be offered with a focus on nutrition. There will also be approximately
4,300 square feet of meeting space for wellness-focused activities tailored to improving connections and communication for social and
The Life in Balance Spa will offer 39 treatment rooms and will offer new treatments, destination-inspired experiences,
and a series of wellness packages. The resort will have dedicated areas such as a walking trail system, mangrove boardwalk, outdoor
adventures, and several specially purposed rooms set up for art, music, wellness lectures and hands-on workshops.
Miraval The Red Sea will join Grand Hyatt The Red Sea, which is also under development, as the second Hyatt-branded hotel
within the Red Sea development.
Accor's novel "floating hotel" combines luxury with QE2 history
Accor's MGallery Hotel Collection is adding a novel property to its portfolio - the world-renowned cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2).
After Accor taking over operations from May 2022, the cruise ship will undergo further upgrades and renovations prior to joining the
MGallery Hotel Collection. Once the renovation is completed, the new MGallery Queen Elizabeth 2 will feature 447 hotel rooms, nine food
& beverage outlets, ten meeting rooms, 5,620sqm area for outdoor events, six retail outlets, a swimming pool and a gym.
Permanently berthed in Dubai’s Port Rashid, the QE2’s location will in close proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road, providing easy
connection to every main attraction the city has to offer. Dubai International Airport, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and La Mer Beach are all
located less than 20 minutes away, while the Palm Jumeirah and Mall of the Emirates are located 35 and 29 minutes, respectively.
Presumably it will participate in Accor Live Limitless (the loyalty program), but I am yet to have that confirmed.
I'm also curious to know if it will retain the capability to sail again. If so, it would have the potential to be moved to another
port/location, should the need ever arise.
A novel property that will contribute to the Dubai Urban Master plan 2049, providing a sustainable urban development while increasing
the city attractiveness as a global destination. Guests will be able to enjoy a unique experience while conveniently located to all of
I'm pencilling it in for my future Middle East tour.
Rocco Forte launches luxury rail experience
Railway Experience is
the latest revelation from Rocco Forte Hotels.
The journey from Central Palermo to Agrigento - Valle dei Templi on board a train from the 1920s provides
a unique way of connectingthe two iconic Sicilian outposts of the hotel group: Villa Igiea and Verdura
On board a vintage 1920s train from the historic transportation archives of the Italian Railway Foundation,
the Sicilian Railway Experience offers a means of ‘slow travel’ - a one-way trip takes roughly 2 hours before arriving at
some of the most famous UNESCO heritage sites like the Scala dei Turchi and the Valle dei Templi.
The coast-to-coast itinerary was developed to accommodate business summits, presentations and team building trips: a
new way to cater to the corporate realm with a completely customisable agenda to best suit any occasion or specific need while delivering an
authentic and immersive experience.
As part of the Sicilian Railway Experience, you can choose:
* a local guide to accompany your guests in the discovery of the island, providing a complete narration throughout the train ride.
* to have a bartender on board to shake up a Sicilian mixology experience while guests enjoy the spectacular panorama rolling by.
The Sicilian Railway Experience can be modified in various configurations according to the client’s needs: up to four standard train cars
with original wooden seats, one car with leather seating and a freestanding baggage compartment that can be outfitted to meet the needs of
While aimed at a corporate market, I wonder if the Sicilian Railway Experience might also provide a unique
"extra" for a destination wedding - unique, memorable and private .
Rocco Forte Hotels is a collection of 14 individual hotels and resorts. All of the hotels united by their distinctive approach to service
ensuring guests experience the best of the cities and surrounding areas. The Rocco Forte Hotels collection currently comprises:
Hotel de la Ville, Hotel de Russie and Rocco Forte House (Rome);
Hotel Savoy (Florence);
l Verdura Resort, Rocco Forte Villas and Villa Igiea (Sicily);
Masseria Torre Maizza (Puglia);
The Balmoral (Edinburgh);
Brown's Hotel (London);
The Charles Hotel, (Munich);
Hotel de Rome (Berlin);
Hotel Amigo, (Brussels); and
Hotel Astoria (St Petersburg).
The luxury hotel chain is expanding its presence in London with the opening of Mandarin
Oriental Mayfair, London
late 2022 providing a smaller, more intimate sister property to the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in nearby Knightsbridge.
The property comprises 50 guestrooms and 78 private residences in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most stylish neighbourhoods, where fashion, media, art, and business intersect. Taking advantage of its world-class location within walking distance of London's admired fashion houses on Bond Street and the boutiques of Saville Row, as well as art galleries, the new hotel will offer guests and Fans
( its loyalty program ) exclusive access and experiences from high fashion to art, culture, and dining.
It will house the first namesake Akira Back restaurant in the UK from Michelin Star award winning Chef Akira Back, as well as his 'ABar
Lounge' concept. There will also be an urban spa, focussed on renewal and recalibration, featuring an indoor 25-metre swimming pool,
sauna, vitality pool, relaxation room and a myriad of bespoke wellness treatments.
We love Mandarin Oriental properties, which provide luxury with a slightly Asian vibe and are renowned for outstanding service. This
smaller, more intimate property may become our new favourite (or at least one of them) oasis in the hubbub of central London.
New Orient Express hotel in Venice | links to the Orient Express La Dolce Vita rail journey
Late in 2021 (see article dated 10 December 2021), the Accor-owned Orient Express announced the launch of a new train service, offering
travellers an unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most beloved countries: Italy.
The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will welcome its first travellers in 2023. Six trains will embark through several iconic
itineraries across 14 regions and beyond, including three international destinations from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split.
A stopover in Rome will feature the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, scheduled to open in 2024.
Orient Express has recently announced its second hotel in Italy, at the spectacular Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice, set
to open in early 2024. A sample of its beautiful architectural detail is pictured.
Located just ten minutes from Venice's Santa Lucia train station, next to the Cannaregio shopping district, the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli is a
treasured palace built in 1400 by architect Filippo Calendario, known for Venice’s famed Doge's Palace. The Orient Express Venice Hotel will
be home to 45 rooms and suites, all overlooking the gardens and canals of Venice. The hotel bar will be located in the former piano nobile
ballroom on the main floor of the building. Select terraces hidden on the hotel’s rooftops will offer the most beautiful views of the
wonders of the Serenissima.
As soon as the hotel opens, passengers on the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train will be able to disembark directly at the Venice Santa
Lucia Station and reach the Orient Express Venice Hotel by foot or by boat.
Hyatt unveils new Collection of All-Inclusive, luxury properties + 5,000 bonus point offer for loyalty members
Further to Hyatt's 3 November 2021 announcement that it had acquired Apple Leisure and its AMR properties, Hyatt today announced it had
consolidated all of its All-inclusive properties into a single, new collection. This expands the number of collections to 4 - the
others being the Timeless Collection, the Boundless Collection and the
The Inclusive Collection consists of the 9 brands of Hyatt Ziva resorts, Hyatt Zilara resorts, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts,
Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts (coming soon), Alua Hotels
& Resorts and Sunscape Resorts & Spas.
World of Hyatt members can now enjoy program benefits, including earning and redeeming points at more than 50 Inclusive Collection resorts in the Americas and the Caribbean. Inclusive Collection resorts in Europe are expected to begin participating in the
World of Hyatt program soon.
Guests at Inclusive Collection resorts will be able to experience one-of-a kind signature programs like Endless Privileges,
Unlimited-Luxury, and Unlimited-Fun with benefits at select resorts, such as no check-in or check-out times, 24-hour room service,
top-shelf cocktails, gourmet a la carte dining without reservations required and endless activities throughout the day and night.
To celebrate the launch, World of Hyatt members can register by August 15, 2022 to earn 5,000 Bonus Points
for qualifying stays of three or more consecutive eligible nights at participating Inclusive Collection resorts in the Americas between May 15 and September 15, 2022*. Terms & Conditions apply. To learn more visit hyatt.com/5000
To learn more about the luxury all-inclusive brands joining World of Hyatt, and how guests and members can start earning and redeeming points at participating resorts in these luxury all-inclusive brands, visit hyatt.com/newbrands.
Accor today announced that it is accelerating its expansion in the all-inclusive market with the launch of its multi-branded All-Inclusive
– an expanded offering that builds upon the success and experience in the luxury-all-inclusive market gained over 20+ years under the
Rixos brand (predominantly in Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia).
Accor created the All-Inclusive Collection using not only Rixos properties, but by including its luxury and premium brands
with Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel and Mövenpick in the Collection. International expansion of the
all-inclusive business will be centered in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Collection will initially focus on the further expansion of Rixos’ footprint to 50 properties in the network and pipeline and will
scale and diversify as part of a longer term multi-branded strategy of having over 100 all-inclusive resorts in the next five years.
Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha and Rixos Qetaifan Doha—which includes one of the world’s largest waterparks—will both open in time for
the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Swissôtel Sharm el Sheikh will open later this year as the first non-Rixos branded
property in the All-Inclusive Collection; it will have 1,350 rooms, a water park, multiple dining, beach club and entertainment facilities.
The All-Inclusive Collection will include new openings of Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha and the Rixos Qetaifan Doha, which includes
one of the world’s largest waterparks. Both these resorts will open in time for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Also opening
later in 2022 will be the first non-Rixos branded property in the collection - the Swissôtel Sharm el Sheikh.
Carefully curated entertainment programmes, for both day and evening activities, will play a central role, with spectacular shows and
multiple sporting activities per resort accompanied by world-class spa and wellness facilities. This will be complemented by
a breadth of restaurant, bar, beach club and nightlife concepts that will be inspired and led by Carte Blanched, with each venue
providing diverse and culturally relevant cuisines and culinary experiences.
Since the pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in demand for travel to All-inclusive resorts.Accor and Hyatt are 2 of the
groups well-positioned to respond to this trend.
To learn more abour Accor's brands and loyalty program...
My Millennium adds Prestige
My Millennium, the loyalty program of Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) today announced that it launched an Elite Tier of
membership - "Prestige".
Previously there was a single level of membership. Now, after 10 nights in a year, a member attains Prestige status, which opens up additional benefits such as a 50% higher points-earning rate applied to room rates, complimentary room upgrades and early
Food and beverage spending did not earn points. Now all members earn points on incidental spending at
the rate of 4 points per USD 1.00
Other benefits of My Millennium remain intact for all members including:
* exclusive member rates
* double points for every 10 nights you stay
* 3X Points & 20% off dining for stays during the month of your birthday.
* turn Points into complimentary nights
* ability to combine Points & payment to book stays.
MHR has approximately 130 properties across 77 locations. It is a smaller program, but offers good value if the locations suit
The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted in the Australian state of Victoria in March 2026.
The sporting extravaganza will take place across multiple cities and regional hubs, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat (each
about 60 - 90 minutes drive from Melbourne.
The Opening Ceremony will be staged at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (pictured) that seats approx 100,000 people. This was the stadium
built for the 1959 Summer Olympic Games and is located walking distance from the CBD, with public transport also serving it.
There will be plenty to see around Melbourne. Plenty to do too after the events, as the Melbourne International Comedy
and the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival both run from March through April.
Accommodation at current properties will be booked quickly. Thankfully there are new properties due to open in/near the CBD prior to
then, including :
* Hotel Indigo (4* by IHG)
* Courtyard West Melbourne (4* by Marriott)
* Melbourne Four Seasons (5*),
* Shangri-La Melbourne (5*) and the
* Hilton Melbourne Square (5*).
Waldorf Astoria to debut in Australia
Set to open early in 2025, Australia's first Waldorf Astoria (Hilton’s ultra-luxury hotel brand) property will be located at
One Circular Quay in Sydney.
The prime location will offer sweeping views across the harbour from Sydney Harbour Bridge around to the Sydney Opera House. The location is
within short walking distance of the Rocks area, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Contemporary Art and
up-market fashion and retail.
Peacock Alley, a signature space for Waldorf Astoria properties around the world, will serve as a central gathering place and gastronomes
will be please to know that there will be two original restaurant concepts, as well as a rooftop bar featuring uninterrupted views of the
stunning Sydney Harbour.
Waldorf Astoria Sydney will participate in the loyalty program - Hilton Honors. If redemptions are at a reasonable level, this
will be a stunning use of those hard-earned points.
Accor expands Australian footprint with new deal
Salter Brothers has announced that its portfolio of hotels, acquired as part of the recent Travelodge acquisition, will be joining the
global hotel giant Accor at the start of the 2023 financial year.
The management agreement, which includes an industry-leading link to ESG outcomes, will see its hotels (2000+ rooms) rebranded to (budget
brand) ibis Styles, Mercure and Novotel (mid-range) hotels when they join the 340+ Accor network of hotels, apartments and resorts across
The deal is Accor’s largest integration since its $1.2 billion acquisition of Mantra Group in 2018, which brought the Art Series, Peppers,
Mantra and BreakFree brands under Accor.
Nine of the properties will become Mercure hotels, growing Mercure from 44 properties in Australia to 53, making Mercure the largest and
fastest growing global mid-scale brand in Australia with more than 50 hotels.
Both Accor and Slater believe that the Australian travel market is starting to show very promising signs of recovery and the deal signals
their confidence in the return of corporate travel.
We anticipate that all the properties will participate in the loyalty program, Accor Live Limitless.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet expanding
Following on from the news of 2 March about the launch of RCYC's first yacht Evrima (pictured), the company confirmed
yesterday that it has recently placed orders for superyacht twins, Ilma and Luminara, which will sail in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
Compared to the Evrima, the new superyachts are both substantially larger (228 suites compared to 149 on Evrima)and
have enhanced sustainability, including a move to dual-fuel engines utilising liquified natural gas (LNG) as their main fuel source.
The new superyachts will feature itineraries ranging from seven to 10 nights in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
Nestled in Edinburgh's Old Town a few minutes' walk from The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, Virgin Hotels' first European property is open for bookings for stays commencing 1 June 2022. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be followed in 3Q2022 by
Virgin Hotels Glasgow.
The Virgin Hotels Edinburgh promises a mix of its 19th-century origins and modern luxuries to capture the timeless character of this
historic city. The Commons Club restaurant//bar pictured is a good example.
The Virgin Hotels Glasgow is in a prime City Centre position overlooking the River Clyde and is an easy walk to Central Station, St Enoch underground station and Buchanan Street (Glasgow's shopping area), making it an ideal base to explore the city.
Virgin Hotels (the luxury lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson) has a loyalty program - The Know. No
points earning to think about. Just sign up and your loyalty is rewarded at every stay with room upgrades (st availability), member
discounted rates and free cocktails during the Spirit Hour. Members in The Know can also tailor their preferences for the
duration of their stays.