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!
Ovolo Southside is again available for return travellers to Hong Kong to quarantine in – great news for anyone who’s already familiar with the perks of the hotel’s fab Quarantine Concierge package. In an extra step, it has launched the Ovolo Homecoming Project, alongside local partners, to offer HK residents with financial difficulties the opportunity to quarantine at Ovolo Southside for just HK$1 per night for the 21-night period. Initially, up to 200 room nights have been pledged towards the campaign.
Find out more at the Ovolo website.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Ipoh, Malaysia is offering guests a unique opportunity to dine in … underground! At Jeff’s Cellar, you can sip on wines and enjoy a delicious seven-course meal in an illuminated limestone cave chamber, next to natural water features and underneath stalactites.
Missing those vacay feels? Luxury hotel group Aman has introduced a range of scented candles to trick your senses into holiday mode. Inspired by the varied landscapes of Aman’s destination resorts, the 220g candles come in three scents: Grounding, Nourishing and Purifying. Poured into hand-blown glass vessels, they offer 40 hours of refreshing notes from floral rose to ginger and bergamot, to help with healing, energising and rejuvenating. US$84 from shop.aman.com.
Planning for 2021: New Openings
Located in Thomson Bay on Rottnest Island (18km off the coast of Fremantle and famous for its quokkas!), Samphire Rottnest is a new 80-room property that celebrates Western Australia’s stunning natural surroundings. We like the relaxed coastal vibe evident here, with private balconies that overlook the bay, and a design that’s in sympathy with the rugged coastlines and flora of the island.
In a serene spot beside the Chao Phraya River, the newly opened Capella Bangkok is one to add to your list. The luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas all come with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies that offer wonderful views of the famous river. This is Capella Hotels and Resorts’ first property in Thailand.
The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi has opened in the country’s bustling capital city. Located on the highest floors of a new 39-storey tower, the hotel offers panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, and showcases a gorgeous mix of Japanese traditions and European aesthetics, put together by renowned architect and designer Jean-Michel Gathy.
Inspired by jewels and gemstones, the Sheraton Guangzhou Panyu has opened its doors in the vibrant Panyu district of Guangzhou. Aside from a raft of amenities – 24-hour fitness centre, three restaurants with local and international cuisine, event spaces and more – the hotel is located next to the popular Chimelong Resort, China’s largest amusement park. Chimelong has one of only two rollercoasters in the world where the track turns upside down 10 times during one ride!
The Banyan Tree Group is launching a range of organic plant-based menus at its resorts, starting with Thailand this year. They’ve started various collaborations including promoting local and sustainably sourced food by partnering with two star Michelin chef James Noble. Banyan Tree and Chef Noble have started ORI9IN, a 350-acre organic farm in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be spending plenty of time browsing travel websites working out a dream itinerary or two for future trips. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has rolled out a new mobile travel app that will help in this regard. It links guests with Six Senses resorts and hotels around the world, so you can plan and browse destinations, get information, manage reservations and bookings, and get a taste of the dining and activities available. Download it from the Apple or Google Play store.
Once we’re back in the travel saddle, it’ll be nice to try a very different kind of getaway. How about a thrilling sea safari on the west coast of Norway? Scott Dunn offers a seven-night package to the Norwegian fjords, where you can enjoy gorgeous scenery and get up close to wildlife including seals, eagles and puffins. Popular spots to visit include the seal colony at Grasøyane and the Runde Bird Sanctuary. Find out more at scottdunn.com.
Gift of Travel
Luxury resort brand Aman has introduced gift cards that can be used for accommodation, dining, spa treatments, retail or activities. Order them online with cash values ranging from under $20 to more than $30,000! Valid for three years from the date of issue, they can be sent through the post or emailed to the purchaser or recipient. At the end of their stay, guests will be able to present the gift card to get deductions from their bill. (Valid for all Aman destinations, except China.) aman.com/gift-card
Luxury tour operator Lightfoot Travel has launched a new COVID-19 travel restrictions section on its website. It lists official travel protocols from countries all over the world and will be updated weekly. Very useful! Check it out at lightfoottravel.com/en/covid-19-travel-restrictions.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has launched The Vietage, an exclusive 12-seater luxury carriage that travels between Hoi An and Quy Nhon. During the six-hour ride, passengers can enjoy the beautiful countryside as they sip drinks at the bar, dig into a three-course meal and enjoy head and shoulder treatments. The train leaves Da Nang Railway Station each morning and returns from Quy Nhon in the evening. thevietagetrain.com
Surrounded by rice fields, Farmhouse Smiling Gecko is a stunning sustainable resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The property features traditional Cambodian stilt houses, wellness areas for massages and yoga, and outdoor spaces to enjoy nature, while local chef Mariya Un Noun whips up tasty fusion dishes. The hotel is also part of a social project, Smiling Gecko, that aims to empower locals and build a self-sufficient community. greenpearls.com/hotels/farmhouse-smiling-gecko
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