LUXURY TRAVEL FORGES AHEAD

We bring you the latest news – live from the show floor at ILTM Cannes – the “Mecca” for luxury tourism professionals.

SLH AND TRENDWATCHING RELEASE LUXURY TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2018

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), in partnership with global trends analysts Trendwatching, today launched a luxury trends report that looks ahead at what will be shaping the luxury boutique hotel experience in 2018. SLH has been an innovator in this field since it was established 27 years ago as ‘the champion of small’, and together with Trendwatching has identified five specific trends from its collection of over 500 independently minded hotels around the world. These are further supported in the report by innovations from companies both within, and beyond, the travel sector.

Pegi Amarteifio

Pegi Amarteifio – Vice President of PR Worldwide – SLH

Hands-On Luxe

While the hyper-competitive Experience Economy is nothing new, it is clear that we haven’t yet seen the full impact of the Instragram effect. In 2018 travellers will be looking to get their luxury hands ‘dirty’ by helping to design their own experience. 700,000 Hours wandering hotel, brought to you by the brains behind Dar Ahlam in Morocco, will allow guests to choose its location each year. Guests can also get a true ‘scents’ of place at Hotel Magna Pars Suites Milano where they can choose the fragrance of their room in this old perfume factory, and at The VIEW Lugano in Switzerland where the smell is not the only choice to make in advance of a stay – the colour of their toilet paper, brand of toiletries and linens, as well as when to have their bag unpacked are all ways guests can customise their experience.

Spiritual Stories

The wellness industry has always been entwined with spirituality, and in 2018 the focus will be on those spiritual experiences that enable guests to seek out one-of-a-kind moments to focus their independent minds. From visiting rejuvenating ancient Power Spots at the Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima in Japan, to night-time spa treatments under the stars, floating on water or being lapped by the waves, at Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, the bespoke nature of these immersive experiences goes far deeper than a deep tissue massage.

Novel Gazing

A complete digital detox might be too much for some of us, however, the desire to take a ‘holiday’ from modern technology and nostalgia for times when life seemed simpler has led to a resurgence of literature in small hotels. Providing a taste of the timeless, hotels are paying homage to esteemed writers or classic novels, as well as offering libraries, reading rooms and library butlers. The Betsy South Beach in Miami celebrates its Pulitzer connection with bedtime poems and a Writers Room where guests can interact with local creatives. Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris offers Literary room service and Kristiania Lech in Austria a Book Butler who creates a bespoke reading list to reflect the guest’s tastes. Rockliffe Hall in the UK will be opening a Lewis Carroll inspired parkland in 2018 as a nod to his love for the area, and the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel in Sri Lanka crosses the divide by using Instagram to recreate the non-sensical world of Edward Lear.

Night Nurses

It is no longer enough to offer a pillow menu and a comfy bed to guarantee a good night’s sleep – some brands are now introducing pioneering bed linens that prevent sweating and eliminate bacteria. In 2018 hotels will be competing to guarantee the optimum night’s sleep in more traditional, yet original, ways. 137 Pillars Suites Bangkok and 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai offers Sleep by Design therapy and a Sleepdown service conducted by a dedicated Sleep Curator. Sometimes, however, it’s worth having an interrupted night, as demonstrated by the Hotel Ranga in Iceland’s Northern Lights wake up call.

Intuitive Dining

While data capture can promise optimum personalisation, in small luxury hotels nothing beats a thorough and instinctive understanding of each guest to get everything just right, just for them. Menus and inflexible dining rituals are disregarded at Dar Ahlam in Morrocco, Ett Hem in Stockholm and Foxhill Manor in the UK, where guests can eat what they want, where they want and when they want, or are conveniently surprised just when they are feeling a little peckish.

In addition to these hotel specific trends, SLH continues to evolve as a business embracing new technology and pioneering new destinations, all to improve the experience of its guests.

What3Words

In 2018, SLH.com and the 2018 SLH Directory will feature geographical references from What3Words for all 500+ hotels. This global addressing system that pinpoints locations to 3x3m squares has now been downloaded to 1 in 4 phones and is used by brands including Mercedes and Land Rover.

Where Next?

The development team at SLH has also been seeking out new and interesting new destinations to offer to our guests – in 2018 brand new hotels will be added to the portfolio in Comporta, just south of Lisbon in Portugal and touted as ‘the new Ibiza’; Cape Fahn, a private island off the coast of Koh Samui in Thailand; and Sailrock Resort, opening next week, the first luxury resort to open on South Caicos in the Caribbean.

Filip Boyen, CEO at Small Luxury Hotels of the World says: “SLH has been the trailblazer for small hotels for many years. Small hotels are by nature nimble and able to react quickly to maintain relevancy and provide the very best experience, and indeed set the trends without even realising it. With this report we are celebrating SLH, our hotels and their forward-thinking leaders by formalising these developments for the first time. We are delighted to have been able to work with Trendwatching on this – their ability to unlock compelling innovations across the consumer world perfectly complements SLH’s independently minded philosophy.”

READ THE FULL REPORT

Rosewood Launches New Brand: Khos

Robert Cheng, VP of Brand Marketing and Communications, and Patricia Rosentreter, Corporate Director of Brand Communications, Americas & Europe, for Rosewood Hotel Group, jointly announced the launch at ILTM of a new hotel brand – KHOS (Mongolian for “pair”).

Robert Cheng, VP of Brand Marketing and Communications, and Patricia Rosentreter, Corporate Director of Brand Communications, Americas & Europe, for Rosewood Hotel Group

Robert Cheng, VP of Brand Marketing and Communications, and Patricia Rosentreter, Corporate Director of Brand Communications, Americas & Europe, Rosewood Hotel Group

“It’s not just a new brand but a new concept we are bringing to the market”, said Cheng. “It will be an upscale business hotel with a lifestyle twist for today’s generation for business travellers who don’t want to sacrifice style for functionality. The dynamism of modern Asia will be diffused in this new brand. Today’s business travel has no limit between business and leisure. It will turn the world of business hotels upside down. First hotels will open in 2018. We believe this is a unique concept – with the showing of a modern face of Asia – that is dynamic and progressive.”

Also at the press conference, a number of new openings were announced, including the opening of a new property in Munich in 2023.

This year, Rosewood has welcomed a number of new properties, and has 16 new developments.

In the UK, the group has taken over the former US embassy and is developing a new property. The biggest news this year was of course the reopening of the Hotel de Crillon in Paris.

Rosewood this year also opened the Rosewood Sanya, and two weeks ago, Rosewood Phuket opened its doors: a hotel with 71 rooms and 4 restaurants.

“We really do believe in very distinct F&B concepts at each property, and there are as many locals using the restaurants as there are hotel guests”, said Cheng.

New Spa Concept

Cheng introduced “Asaya” – the new wellness concept at Rosewood Phuket, that will be rolling out across other properties.

Upcoming – the opening or Rosewood Luang Prabang. The Bill Bensley designed resort takes its inspiration from the hill tribes of Laos. The Rosewood Pnom Penh opens in April – in one of the most iconic buildings of Pnom Penh.

Rosewood Bermuda is undergoing a major refit, and will be reopened in April 2018.

Rosewood Baha Mar in the Bahamas will have 233 rooms – opening in April.

Rosewood Kowloon Hong Kong opens in September 2018 – part of Victoria Dockside, with 413 rooms and suites and 8 restaurants and bars. The starting size for standard rooms will be 53 sqm. 80% of the rooms will have harbour views. 90 suites and 18 signature suites start at 92 sqm.

Rosewood Conversations is a digital travel hub, with insider tips on different Rosewood locations.

Mandarin Oriental Launches Digital Wellness Retreat in Prague

Michael Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, addressed a packed room of journalists on Wednesday morning with a number of updates from the group.

Michael Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Michael Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

An interesting news item from MO comes in the fact that its Prague property is offering guests an opportunity to disconnect from computers, tablets and smart phones with its Prague Digital Wellness Retreat offer. Occupying a former fourteenth century monastery in Prague’s historic city centre, the hotel has launched a luxury accommodation package that enables guests to refocus their thoughts away from a life of constant connectivity to digital devices.

Guests booking the Prague Digital Wellness Retreat package will stay within a former Renaissance chapel, where the hotel’s spa is located. Guests are welcomed to their room with an array of amenities to help them pursue journaling, note card writing and other mindfulness activities, or they can simply choose to enjoy the tranquility of their peaceful setting.

During their stay, guests will be offered healthy food options prepared by the hotel’s expert culinary team. Also, they will experience a therapeutic yoga session and relaxing 80-minute Digital Wellness Escape treatment that eases tension in those parts of the body harmed by the use of modern communications technology, such as head, eyes, neck, shoulders, hands and feet.

Meanwhile, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur has just unveiled its new 440 square metre Presidential Suite, one of the largest in the Malaysian capital.

This expansive and elegant penthouse suite offers the ultimate in luxurious accommodation, with each room enjoying sweeping views of KLCC Park or the city’s iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers. Three beautiful bedrooms feature rich fabrics sourced from across the world, walk-in wardrobes and en-suite designer bathrooms. Malaysian artworks and objets d’art provide a gracious sense of place.

Korean Luxury Under Spotlight For the First Time @ ILTM

The Korea Tourism Organisation participated for the first time in ILTM this year.

Latifa Ait Sidi Hammou

Latifa Ait Sidi Hammou

Latifa Ait Sidi Hammou – chargé de promotion from the French bureau of  KTO hosted a press conference at ILTM with the catch phrase, “Where the beauty of tradition meets the finest creations”.

Sidi Hammou explained that “Latok” (traditional) accommodation is growing as an attraction, as are the flavours and gastronomy of Korea. Korea’s culinary institute is working on bringing traditional dishes into modern forms. On the 23rd floor of the Shilla hotel, for example, a three Michelin star restaurant serves exquisite traditional meals.

Art and culture also feature as key attractions, and sightseeing includes cultural treasures such as Panmunjeom and the Royal Palaces. Templestay is another peaceful and relaxing way to get into Korean culture. Wellness and medical tourism are rapidly growing trends, as are beauty and fashion tourism.

Minor Hotels Continues Strategic Expansion Plans with New Openings & Additions to Pipeline across Multiple Brands

Marion Walsh-Hédouin, VP Marketing Communications and PR for Minor Hotels addressed journalists at ILTM 2017 with a large number of future openings in the pipeline.

Marion Walsh-Hédouin, VP Marketing Communications and PR for Minor Hotels

Marion Walsh-Hédouin, VP Marketing Communications and PR, Minor Hotels

Indeed, Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 157 hotels and resorts in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has continued its strategic expansion plans throughout 2017 adding three new hotels across three different brands, expanding its pipeline announcing ten future properties and rebranding three existing hotels – one to Anantara, one to AVANI and one to Tivoli.

Minor Hotels core luxury brand Anantara now includes 39 hotels and resorts in a diverse range of locations across Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa. In April, Anantara debuted in Europe with the launch of Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal. Previously operating as Tivoli Victoria Algarve Resort, the 280 guest rooms and suites now feature Anantara amenities, and the hotel offers several new restaurants and dining concepts, stellar Anantara Explorers’ children’s facilities and a newly renovated Anantara Spa. Guests can discover the delightful tastes and hidden wonders of the Southern Portuguese coast through a selection of Anantara experiences.

In June the 214-key Anantara Guiyang Resort opened in Guizhou Province in central southern China, becoming the third Anantara resort in the country. Guiyang is renowned for its pleasant climate and breathtaking scenery. Nearby the resort, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls, karst caves, valleys and an endless forest provide a natural treasure trove for outdoor explorers. The area is also home to over thirty ethnic groups revealing colourful folkloric customs unseen in other parts of China.

Anantara Kalutara Resort, which opened in Sri Lanka in late 2016, recently unveiled its new purpose-built two-storey MICE complex, comprising an impressive 630 sqm Ballroom and expansive indoor and outdoor pre-function areas with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Kalu River. The state-of-the-art meeting and event complex, together with 141 guest rooms, suites and private pool villas, create the perfect setting for conferences, events and celebrations in a unique resort destination.

Scheduled to open mid-2018 in south central Vietnam, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas will be a luxury all-villa resort situated on a private beach 10 kilometres from the town of Quy Nhon. 7.2 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens will house 25 one- and two-bedroom villas, each ocean facing and featuring a private pool and spacious sundeck. A dedicated butler assigned to each villa will ensure the highest level of personalised service. Perched high on a cliff overlooking Bai Xep bay, the jungle-shrouded Anantara Spa will feature indoor and outdoor treatment pavilions and will offer wellness programmes focusing on healing techniques such as reiki and mindfulness.

Opening at the end of 2018 will be Anantara Minhang Shanghai Hotel, the brand’s first city property in China. The new-build property will offer a prestigious urban address in southwest Shanghai, easily accessible from two airports. Located in Minhang District, the hotel will be part of a mixed-use development, comprising office towers and commercial areas, providing an exceptional base for business guests. Facilities in the 262-key hotel will include a fitness club and indoor swimming pool, a sky garden, an Anantara Spa and one of the area’s largest ballrooms. Dining options will include a Thai restaurant and a Chinese restaurant with six private dining rooms.

Previously announced, the 120-key Anantara Qiandao Lake Resort is also under development in China. Scheduled to open in 2019, the property is located to the west of Hangzhou City, the capital of Zhejiang Province. Also in Asia under development on Malaysia’s Desaru Coast is the 123-key Anantara Desaru Resort & Villas which is scheduled to open in 2019. In Indonesia Anantara Ubud Bali Resort will offer a total of 70 keys including suites and pool villas and is scheduled to open in 2019.

A number of new pipeline Anantara properties are under development in the Middle East. Anantara Jebel Dhanna Villas is scheduled to open in 2019 with 60 keys, along the coastal area of the Al Gharbia region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, close to the ferry departure point for Sir Bani Yas Island. Slated to welcome its first guests in 2020, the 290-key Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel is under development in Culture Village in Dubai, a new world-class destination. Also in the UAE, the 225-key Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort will be Minor Hotel’s first property in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah when it opens in 2020. Announced at the end of 2016 Anantara Jeddah Resort will be the brand’s debut in Saudi Arabia when it opens in 2020. The new resort will offer 226 guest rooms and 102 two to five bedroom villas.

In North Africa Anantara is developing two new resorts in two new countries for the brand. In the southwest of Tunisia, the 93-key Anantara Tozeur Resort is scheduled to open in mid 2018. A hub for Saharan adventures, the oasis city of Tozeur rose to fame as a film location for the Indiana Jones and original Star Wars movies. The new resort will offer a selection of guest rooms, villas and pool villas blending Tunisia’s cultural artistry and plush comforts with sophisticated modern style and Anantara’s signature touches. World-class facilities will inspire Arabian-style relaxation, lively market experiences and numerous dining options. Also under development to open in 2019 in northern Morocco is the 230-key Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort.

Announced in January and expected to open in 2019, Anantara Zanzibar Resort will feature 100 guest rooms, alongside 50 one- and two-bedroom pool villas and will be part of Zanzibar Amber Resort, a mixed-use project which will also feature East Africa’s first signature golf course which will be designed by Ernie Els. On the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, Anantara La Chaland Resort is under development on the south eastern coast, only 5 km from the international airport. The resort will have elements of French colonial architecture and the 160 guest rooms, suites and villas will be surrounded by abundant landscaping. The resort is scheduled to open in 2019.

The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills Announces Partnership with BAFTA

London West Hollywood.jpegThe London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills hotel is partnering with BAFTA, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, as its new Los Angeles members club and social events space.

Along with serving as the formal location for BAFTA signature social events and galas, The London will curate special custom programming for members.  These “BAFTA Clubhouse” events will include exclusive breakfasts, happy hours, high tea, Saturday soccer in The London’s Sitting Room and more.

Jeanie Yom, Director of Travel Industry Sales was present at ILTM Cannes, where she announced that upon arrival to The London, BAFTA members can present their membership card for hotel privileges and a British inspired welcome amenity.

Membership benefits will include a 10% discount on rooms, a 15% discount at Boxwood restaurant, and booking access to a private cabana at the rooftop pool overlooking the Los Angeles skyline.  Members will also be provided entry to select British themed events hosted at The London, including special pre-fixe English brunches, screenings of British films and other events that create community opportunities for BAFTA members and their invited guests.