If you love travelling (like we do), we’re sure you still like looking at new hotels or destinations – the kind of getaways we’re all just dreaming of at the moment! Read on for the latest hotel deals, resort openings and other travel titbits to check out for your next escape – it’s going to be the best one ever!
Hello to a New Hotel
Hong Hong has another hotel! The Arca from Yulan Group had its soft opening in May, in Wong Chuk Hang. The 187-room property is driven by art and design, and looks out over Aberdeen Harbour and the peaceful slopes of Southside. First-class amenities include a rooftop infinity pool, a fitness studio, a casual yet modern indoor/outdoor dining space (in full operation by mid-Q3), and an event space. The Arca is also dog-friendly, with plenty of services to keep tails wagging. Don’t miss the diverse art collection, including the rooftop mural by #creativehustlers, and the “Meet Tourist” photography series by French fine art photographer Laurent Segretier. The Arca is a seven-minute walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR.
thearca.com | instagram.com@thearcahotel
Upgrade Your Staycation!
HK-based travel specialist Intriq Journey, through its membership in the Virtuoso Luxury Travel network, offers its customers all kinds of add-ons. This includes room upgrades – like the one you can get at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong right now. The Four Seasons has just had a renovation, unveiling a new cocktail bar, lobby and café, and beautifully refreshed guest rooms. Book through Intriq Journey and you can upgrade for free from a Deluxe Peak View Room to a Harbour View Room, plus earn US$100 hotel credit at the same time. There’s a range of other perks available, too.
To find out more, call 2885 2181 or WhatsApp 9727 7016. intriqjourney.com/hk
Still making a whole bunch of travel plans, like us? Here’s one we’ve pencilled in! Italian hotel brand Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, which operates luxury properties from Venice to London and the Maldives, has just launched Baglioni Resort Sardinia. Set within the Tavolara marina, a protected natural landscape, the Mediterranean hotel makes the most of the wild and majestic surroundings of Sardinia’s unspoilt coast – with plenty of chic Italian touches to boot.
The first day of July sees the green light blink on in Phuket, Thailand, with vaccinated foreigners now allowed to visit for a holiday. The scheme is being called the “Phuket Tourism Sandbox” programme, and of course it comes with plenty of precautions and requirements in place. For example, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for more than 14 days but less than a year on the date of arrival; and you have to remain on the resort island for 14 days before leaving. You also have to stay at hotels with Safety & Health Administration Plus certifications. Similar plans are in the pipeline for Krabi and Koh Samui, and Bangkok is looking at 1 October for its “start date”.
Find out more at thecoloursofthailand.com.
Plenty of EL readers will be familiar with Phare, the brilliant Cambodian (non-animal) circus on the outskirts of Siem Reap. With tourism hit hard, the circus has been struggling to keep things ticking over. Still, the ever-inventive team has found a way to continue having an impact. Recently, its 90 circus performers did a live 24-hour circus show, which they broadcast to half a million people online. They’ve won a slew of international awards for the show, including at the prestigious Stevie Awards; plus, Guinness is currently assessing the 24-hour non-stop show for a world record. If confirmed, Phare will become one of only 10 world-record holders in Cambodia. (The others include largest religious structure – Angkor Wat, of course – and biggest sticky bun!)
Food is such a big part of the travel experience, and while we haven’t been able to physically pull up a chair at a trattoria in Rome or enjoy fresh sushi outside the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, we’ve at least been able to google what we love. According to tour operator Trafalgar, countries whose cuisines have been trending on search engines in Singapore over the past year include Suriname in Africa, Nicaragua in South America and Kazakhstan in Asia. Our hottest food trend, though, is ram-don from Korea. Featuring in the Academy Award-winning film Parasite, this noodle dish enjoyed a 6,200 percent rise in searches.
New and notable hotels
For the travel planners among you, here’s the latest on new hotels and resorts around the world that have just opened or are coming soon.
Another prominent luxury hotel chain has made its debut in the Maldives, with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. And, frankly, we wouldn’t mind being perched on the sun deck of one of its 100 luxury villas this very second! (Or sitting in the private infinity pool.) Accessed via a scenic 10-minute seaplane ride or 45-minute boat ride from the airport at Male, the resort has a Beach Club, a Ritz Kids programme with 30 activities, seven culinary venues (including two that are an eight-minute boat ride away in a traditional dhoni), a dedicated dive centre, and the iconic Ritz-Carlton Spa.
The UK will see a slice of Singapore hit town when Pan Pacific opens its first ever property in Europe on 1 September. A two-minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, and close to Spitalfields, the Barbican and Shoreditch, Pan Pacific London will have 237 rooms and suites, a dedicated wellness floor (with pool, gym, treatment rooms, relaxation pods, mindfulness studio, in-house nutritionist and more), and plenty of hawker-style flavours across five culinary venues. Straits Kitchen, for example, will feature a signature dish of Singapore chilli crab, and also two private dining rooms named Newton and Katong.
panpacificlondon.com | @panpacificlondon
Missing Seminyak? Aren’t we all! If you’re eyeing up Bali as the first place you head to when circumstances allow, then check out newly opened Avani Seminyak Resort, just back from the area’s famed beach hub. With 37 residences and pool villas, and starting rates as low as US$100, including breakfast, this looks like a stylish stay that won’t break the bank. Avani now has over 30 hotels and resorts in Asia and beyond; this is its first property in Indonesia.
The jewel in the crown of the new Meliá Chiang Mai hotel, set to open in the fourth quarter of the year, is its 360-degree rooftop bar – the highest in the mountainous northern Thailand city – on the 22nd floor. It’ll feature two bars connected by a glass bridge, and spectacular views of the famed Doi Suthep Temple to the west. There’ll also be a pair of restaurants, both paying homage to the Spanish origins of the Meliá brand, along with a fitness centre, swimming pool, signature spa and more.
melia.com/en | @meliahtlresorts
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