Diwali Festival Lights Up Accor Hotels

October 31, 2014 on 5:45 pm | In Australia, Beachbooker, Golf Resorts, Hotels, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, South Australia, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off

Travellers celebrate Hindu New Year at Accor hotels across Australia

Accor hotels is set to celebrate the biggest and brightest of all Hindu festivals – Diwali and welcome Indian travellers with dazzling displays of lights, motifs of Rangoli designs, traditional sweets and cuisine on the menu.

The five day Hindu New Year, commonly referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’ will be celebrated from Thursday 23 October at 13 of Accor’s hotels which are accredited in Optimum Service Standards for Indian guests.

Hotel lobbies will sparkle with lamps, tea light candles and floating floral displays to symbolise the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Traditional motifs of Rangoli designs including bells, flower garlands and wall hangings will be on display as a welcoming for guests during Diwali.

Diwali is all about sharing sweets, and hotels will prepare an assortment of baked sweets, snacks and savouries to offer guests at the reception desk and in restaurants. Guests can also experience a variety of Indian cuisine for breakfast and dinner as hotels serve up traditional food and drink such as vegetarian fritters, curries and Masala Chai tea.

Accor launched its Optimum Service Standards for Indian visitation program to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing numbers of Indian travellers to Australia and New Zealand.

Accredited hotels have adopted services to meet the needs of this emerging travel market including the translation of hotel welcome kits, menus and business cards, Indian meals in the restaurant, Indian adaptor plugs, TV channels and newspapers to make guests travelling from India feel at home.

In addition, regular training and education programs are held for Accor staff to learn basic Indian greetings and cultural practices so they can better understand and respectfully serve these guests.

“Our Optimum Service Standards program has wide industry recognition in both Australia and even more so in India. Accor is still the only hotel operator in Australia and New Zealand recognised for these service standards, which enable accredited hotels to meet the high service expectations of Indian guests year-round,” said Chief Operating Officer Accor Pacific, Simon McGrath.

“We have been very fortunate to build up some great relationships with our Indian partners and have already seen the impact that our Indian Optimum Service Standards have made in terms of bookings. We look forward to welcoming travellers celebrating the Diwali festival to our hotels next week,” concluded Mr McGrath.

Tourism Research Australia estimates that visitor arrivals from India will increase 6 per cent in 2014/15, with an annual compound growth rate of 7 per cent expected until 2017/18. In the first six months of 2014, Indian visitor numbers grew across all major segments (Holiday, VFR, Education and Business). Once again, the leisure segment was driving this growth, with leisure arrivals up 28 per cent from January to June, and 27 per cent for the year-ended June 2014.

Throughout Diwali, Accor hotels including Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Sofitel Brisbane Central, The Fairmont Resort MGallery, The Menzies, Novotel Melbourne on Collins, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, Novotel Brighton Beach, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Mercure Sydney, Mercure Cairns Harbourside, Ibis World Square, Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour and Novotel Queenstown Lakeside in New Zealand, will be focused on providing guests with a genuine Indian experience to celebrate the festival occasion.

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Kempinski Hotels in Myanmar‏

October 31, 2014 on 5:10 pm | In Asia, Hotels, Myanmar | Comments Off

 Today, Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel company, announced the upcoming opening of its first property in Myanmar, Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw. The 141-room and suite hotel will begin welcoming guests on November 1, 2014 in time for the first ASEAN Summit to be held in the country. Reservations can now be made via Kempinski.com.

The newly built property is located near the Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC), just a short drive from the capital’s international airport. Spread over four villas, the hotel features 141 rooms and suites, including the Grand Royal Suite, which, at 1,000 square meters, is the largest in the country.

The hotel design was conceived with the heritage of Burma in mind and an emphasis on local arts, crafts and furnishings. High ceilings and broad windows overlook the extensive gardens, creating a soothing environment in which to relax. The internal room features are controlled by individual iPads. The hotel will offer complimentary wireless Internet access to its guests.

A total of five restaurants and bars will feature local ingredients and flavours complemented by European culinary tradition. Six meeting rooms including the Kispanadi Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests for a variety of private and business-related functions. A full-service business centre addresses any business or secretarial needs. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and fitness centre. Kempinski The Spa will be added in 2015.

In keeping with local tradition, Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw features a spectacular teakwood Royal Pavilion inspired by the architecture of the early Kone Baung dynasty of the 18th century. In ancient times, pavilions in Myanmar were the welcoming lounges of palaces and provided relaxation for visiting diplomats, kings and royalty.

“Our mission and our promise is to make the property the most luxurious hotel in Myanmar,” said Mr. Franck Droin, general manager of Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw. “We are confident that Nay Pyi Taw will soon be a popular destination with international leisure and business travellers seeking a relaxing alternative to Yangon.”

Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw offers visitors a tranquil base camp from which to explore the beauty of Myanmar. The hotel’s fleet of BMW automobiles makes exploring surrounding sites such as the Bagan temple complex, Inle Lake, Mount Popa, the Poe Kyar elephant camp and other Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay cultural heritage sites easy and convenient.

Nay Pyi Taw is an administrative centre for businesses applying for permits to operate in Myanmar. The city also regularly hosts government delegates and organisations, such as the upcoming ASEAN Summit, which will take place in November.

To celebrate the opening the hotel is offering an introductory rate from $180 for a Premier suite until December 31, 2014, subject to availability and advance booking.

About Kempinski:

Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now manages a portfolio of 74 five-star hotels in 31 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage.

The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014.

A Lifestyle Destination of Its Own – Kameha Grand Zurich‏

October 31, 2014 on 7:46 am | In Hotels, Skiing Snowboarding, Switzerland | Comments Off

Backcountry.com Winter ClearanceKameha Grand Zurich, opening 28th February 2015, is a true collision of design and lifestyle, offering a plethora of awe-inducing interior design from world-renowned designer Marcel Wanders. 245 incredible rooms, including 6 business suites and 11 individually designed themed suites carry Wanders’ stylistic signature.

At the highest level of the property the King Kameha Suite and an exclusive Space suite, completes this striking masterpiece.

Majestic, festive and unpredictable decors act as backdrop for a series of Swiss-inspired elements which continue throughout the property in the form of the exotic Shisha Lounge, classically contemporary Smoker’s Lounge and dramatic Kameha Dome. The inspirational interiors and design focus highlights the property as not just a hotel but a must see destination in Zurich.

Marcel Wanders

Dubbed by the New York Times as the “Lady Gaga of Design,” Amsterdam based Marcel Wanders is a prolific product and interior designer and art director, with over 1700+ projects to his name. Regarded by many as an anomaly in the design world, Marcel has made it his mission to create an environment of love, live with passion and make our most exciting dreams come true. His work excites, provokes, and polarises, but never fails to surprise for its ingenuity, daring and singular quest to uplift the human spirit and entertain.

100% GuaranteeWander’s passion for the property is clear, he says of the project, “Others deliver an interior design, but we offer a reason for a visit, we create a destination. A hotel should entertain, inspire and stimulate. We want the guest to have a lifestyle experience, by creating a place full of surprises and beauty.”

Wanders’ chief concern is bringing the human touch back to design, ushering in what he calls design’s ‘new age;’ in which designer, craftsperson and user are reunited. In his process, Wanders’ defies design dogma, preferring instead of focus on holistic solutions rather than the technocratic. In Wanders’ universe, the coldness of industrialism is replaced instead by the poetry, fantasy and romance of different ages, vividly brought to life in the contemporary moment.

Bedrooms & Suites

Each one of the 224 Premium and Deluxe bedrooms features unique characteristics brought to life in a myriad of small ways. A series of Swiss-inspired elements, such as chocolate-patterned wall panelling, mini-bars modelled after bank vaults, lamps that resemble oversized cowbells and Toblerone shaped sofas are found throughout the hotel. Marcel Wanders’ eye for detail can be seen in abundance throughout the 2 Executive Suites, 6 Business Suites and particularly the 11 Theme Suites, which have each been individually designed. The individual suites are the Princess Suite, Poker Face Suite, Ghostwriter Suite, Fair Play Suite, Watchmaker Suite, Burlesque Suite, Gentlemen Suite, Diva Suite, Workout Suite and Serenity Suite. Each suite has bespoke features to complement the theme for example roulette table and Kameha poker cards for the Poker Suite and yoga accessories and scented candles in the Serenity Suite.

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Each space is carefully orchestrated featuring warming woods, a mix of custom-made furniture, tactile upholstery, iconic lamps and stylish sofas. The passion for detail plays an important role in the overall concept. Italian Restaurant L’UNICO and Japanese fine dining restaurant YU NIJYO both play on their traditional features with a stunning open plan live-cooking station and contemporary design with an Asian influence respectively.

PUREGOLD BAR offers an elegant, monochromatic space with gold bullion studded walls, modern chandeliers and elegant textures. The two lounges at the property represent cultural extremes, the smoking lounge provides the classical intimate atmosphere of a traditional den, bedecked with deep leather armchairs to sink into. The Shisha Lounge showcases inspiration of a contemporary Arabic nature, with flavours of the orient obvious in the furnishings and wall designs sparking a smooth international aesthetic.

Meeting Spaces

The Kameha Dome is the striking centre piece of the property’s meetings space, this 701 sqm event space houses features opulent red draped ceilings, contrasted against the cool elegance of monochromatic black and white tiled flooring and the additional grandeur of stunning chandeliers. This diverse and fresh design creates an opulent event space offering an idyllic central location, flooded with natural light.

wickers.com COUPON 10% OFF all ordersKameha Grand Zurich Pre-Opening office (Tel: +41 44 525 5000, Email: zuerich@kameha.com, Website: www.kamehagrandzuerich.com) offers accommodation in the heart of Zurich. Rates will start from £225 per room (per night).

Kameha Grand Zürich

On the hotel website www.lieblingsplatz.com you can find insights into the extraordinary overall concept of the Kameha Grand Zürich, where the lifestyle, atmosphere and friendliness places the guest at the centre of everything. Thanks to its unique fusion of technical innovations and cordial service, the Kameha will represent an attractive addition to the Zürich hotel scene. Also, the hotel is only some six minutes away from the airport and eight minutes from the Zürich Central Station and city centre – most favourable conditions for business travellers. You can find further information and images at www.lieblingsplatz.com. News about the Kameha Grand Zürich can also be found at www.facebook.com/kamehahotelsresorts.

About the Lifestyle Hospitality & Entertainment Group AG (LH&E Group):

The LH&E Group is a management company of Kameha Hotels & Resorts. Kameha operates and manages international lifestyle hotels, luxury resorts, private design residences and first-class event gastronomy. The founder and CEO is Carsten K. Rath, the chairman of the board of directors is Peter Mettler. The first hotel of the LH&E Group, the Kameha Grand Bonn, has been awarded numerous national and international prizes, such as the “Best Hotel of the Year Worldwide” (Diners Club Magazine Award), “Hotel of the Year” (Busche publishing company), “Best Event Hotel of the Year” (Location Award), “Germany’s Trend Hotel No. 1” (TripAdvisor) and the “Employer of the Year 2011/2012”. Following the successful positioning of the Kameha Suite in Frankfurt am Main, which won the Location Award 2012 as the “Best Historic Event Location in Germany”, as well as that of the Kameha Grand Bonn, the LH&E Group is now launching further projects such as the Kameha Grand Zürich.

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Celebrates Spice with Chefs from around the World in New Assouline Book, Epicurean Journeys‏

October 30, 2014 on 8:45 am | In Dine Drink, Hotels | Comments Off

Available for Holiday 2014, the Limited Edition Book will Retail with a Set of Custom Spices, Created by Lior Lev Sercarz and Inspired by Famed Global Explorers

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), unveils its latest collaboration with Assouline: Epicurean Journeys, a hardcover collection of original recipes by renowned chefs, including: Chef Jose Andres, Geoffrey Zakarian, Stephanie Le Quellec, Daniele Turco, Manjit Gill and more. Available for Holiday 2014, the limited edition book will retail with set of five exclusive spices created by Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte in New York City, and inspired by the brand’s destinations around the world.
A celebration of global cuisine, Epicurean Journeys features recipes from The Luxury Collection’s re …

A celebration of global cuisine, Epicurean Journeys features recipes from The Luxury Collection’s renowned chefs around the world (Photo: Business Wire)

“Like The Luxury Collection, spice blending is all about storytelling; so I was thrilled to create a collection of custom spices that bring treasured travel memories to life for global travelers, without having to leave the kitchen,” says Lior Lev Sercarz. “Each of the blends is inspired by the explorers that played a pivotal role in the history of the spice trade – transporting new flavors to curious palates and paving the way for travelers to dream of faraway places.”

The five spice blends, developed exclusively for Epicurean Journeys, celebrate travel and are inspired by great global explorers of the past, including: ‘Marco’, a blend inspired by Marco Polo’s voyage through the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean; ‘Magellan’, a blend inspired by the varied curries of Asia and the explorer who first opened these flavors up to the western world; ‘Colombo,’ a tribute to one of world history’s most fortuitous accidents, a versatile blend of fragrant wild herbs including oregano, and thyme, with red chilis, to conjure the marinated meats and the stews and sauces of the region; ‘Vasco’ celebrates Vasco da Gama’s monumental voyage which opened the wealth of India, bringing together allspice, ginger, and cinnamon, marrying sweet and savory in intricate and mysterious ways; and ‘Veneti’ is a tribute to Venice, the crossroads of the Eastern spice trade, blending the high-quality gray salt harvested around Europe with the orange citrus of the south and the heat of the Basque Espelette pepper.

“The Luxury Collection has always celebrated exceptional culinary experiences as a way to transport travellers and bring a location to life,” says Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide. “We are excited to introduce Epicurean Journeys to our guests, who we know have an insatiable appetite to travel, explore and discover.”

In addition to vibrant recipes from The Luxury Collection’s acclaimed roster of chefs, Epicurean Journeys is punctuated by passages from a group of high-profile global explorers, including revered food critic Ruth Reichl, who opines on the flavors that define her home city of New York; Elettra Wiedemann, who shares her most memorable meal from an unforgettable trip to Peru with her husband; acclaimed author and model, Sophie Dahl, who shares her love of Indonesian cuisine; Helena Christensen, who recollects her love affair with Italian food; and acclaimed singer and songwriter, Jamie Cullum, who explains the way two of his passions – music and food – intersect in London.

With inspiring recipes, culinary tips, and captivating stories, The Luxury Collection’s Epicurean Journeys brings to life the brand’s mantra, “Life is a collection of experiences. Let us be your guide.” Exclusively offered at Assouline boutiques around the world and www.luxurycollection.com/assouline

Epicurean Journeys will retail for usd $150 beginning in October 2014.

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts

The Luxury Collection® is a collection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 85 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel’s distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com

A Unique Travel App Has Landed: Seasonal Cities

October 29, 2014 on 10:29 am | In Adventure Travel, Golf Resorts, Hotels | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowNew travel app Seasonal Cities is the world’s first travel guide that is updated with the seasons and provides real-time weather recommendations.

As another unpredictable British summer draws to a close, a new travel app has launched that is perfect for weather-obsessed and travel-savvy Brits.

Created by travel journalist Marcus Waring, Seasonal Cities is a unique city guide app offering four seasonal and comprehensive updates a year, with up-to-the-minute information. The app also has real-time recommendations based on the weather, meaning that users can view suggestions on the best places to visit, come rain or shine, during their stay.

The app covers 11 key cities across Europe, the US and Asia. These are Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, Paris, London, Moscow, New York, Rome, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.

Written by resident travel experts and aimed at leisure and business travellers as well as locals who live there, the app offers completely independent reviews and recommendations across a range of budgets. It enables users to cut through the mediocre to get to the very best the city has to offer, be it a brand new opening or an established classic with a twist.

Reviews include insider details such as the best tables in restaurants, the writer’s favourite drink in a bar, a must-have item in a shop and the most atmospheric hotel rooms to stay in.

Big cities are constantly evolving depending on the season and the weather, and the app covers six sections per city, per season including Sights, Events, Shop, Eat, Drink and Sleep.

“Like many Brits, I’m completely obsessed with the weather and fascinated by the way that cities change depending on the seasons and the climate. This ranges from cosy, candlelit restaurants in winter to cool rooftop bars in summer. I wanted to develop an intelligent, dynamic guide that adapts its content depending on the season and whether it is sunny or pouring with rain when you are there,” comments Marcus.

“The highly regarded travel writers, who live in the cities, compile 30 handpicked recommendations depending on the season. These can range from classic ideas with a twist to the new and unexpected,” Marcus adds.

Seasonal Cities is available to download for free on iPhone and iPad/iPad mini from 16 September 2014.

Seasonal Cities is free for the first three months (covering Autumn 2014, or Spring 2014 in the case of Sydney) in all 11 cities and will be priced at £0.69 per city per season from Winter 2014 (out on 1 November) onwards.

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What’s Cookin’ at Fairmont

October 29, 2014 on 9:32 am | In Dine Drink, Dubai, Golf Resorts, Hotels | Comments Off

- Fairmont’s collection of luxury hotels embraces the latest culinary trends -

SINGAPORE, October 2014 – An integral part of any travel experience is the enjoyment of fine food and memories made discovering something unexpected. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide are always seeking new ways to entice and excite curious epicureans, finding creative ways to integrate current trends and create buzz-worthy culinary adventures.

Eating well continues to be of importance to Fairmont guests, and travelers are seeking more: they want to be fully immersed in local experiences, whether it be eating homegrown produce or tasting authentic dishes. In fact, research done by The National Restaurant Association indicated that 81 per cent of the respondents (all professional chefs) identified locally sourced meats and seafood as the number one “hot” food trend. The same survey revealed that 79 per cent of chefs counted the “nose-to-tail” trend as one of the hottest of this year. And the cocktail craze isn’t going away, with more guests wanting to try something unique to the destination, the culture and the cuisine. At Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, we embody the notion of a wholesome foodie adventure by presenting a truly local experience that is still reflective of the latest culinary trends.

From embracing the craze of using “new” cuts of meat to reinventing the pop-up bar, Fairmont chefs have been busy introducing unique ways to satisfy the curiosity and cravings of our guests.

Some recent trends making news at Fairmont include:

Dining with an Air of Mystery

Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza welcomes the Secret Supper Club Dinner series, exclusive dining experiences taking place in the 140 Supper Club. Formerly a restaurant called the Copenhagen Room, this space has gone relatively unused for more than 50 years. Accessed via a separate entrance and down a century-old stairway with barrel vaulted ceilings, the 140 Club – part wine cellar, part speakeasy – is the venue for intimate dinners (30 people max) which feature a four-course seasonal tasting menu paired with wines. Upon arrival at 140 St. James Avenue, guests are given a password to access the 140 Club below. Upcoming events take place on October 14 and November 11, 2014 and winter series dates will be announced later this fall. For more information and to be added to the invite list, email OneFortyBoston@Fairmont.com.

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Fairmont Dubai offers an intriguing event that encourages guests to enjoy other heightened senses as they voluntarily take the visual element out of their dining experience. Noire features a fully fitted and blacked out restaurant setting, resulting in greatly diminished sight for 1 ½ hours. Daring diners put their trust in the hotel’s culinary team, who prepare a feast fit for royalty. Noire is available from Monday through Friday, and 10% of proceeds are donated to Sightsavers, an international organization that advocates eye health and the prevention of blindness.

Snap, Crackle, Pop-up!

Fairmont Pittsburgh recently hosted a very successful one-day pop-up barbecue stand called “Meat Us at Andys”, named for its signature wine bar. The limited menu made for a perfect casual lunch and featured the hotel’s house-smoked brisket, pulled pork sandwiches and sides. All items were available to-go and on a first-come first-served basis. Based on the event’s popularity, more pop-ups are planned, with another BBQ slated, as well as a soup selection to welcome the cooler months ahead.

Following a recent, very popular run with Samuelsson at HP, a pop-up restaurant by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, Bermuda’s Fairmont Hamilton Princess is now featuring its own pop-up bar called Intermission. With an enviable location by the Harbor, the new venue offers sophisticated cocktails and a menu that ranges from appetizers to three-course meals.

Bees, and bee-inspired menus are “popping up” too! As solitary bee populations continue to decline due to loss and fragmentation of habitat, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is adding a pollinator bee hotel to its collection of rooftop honeybee hives next spring. To launch this new initiative, the hotel is displaying a “Pop-Up” Pollinator Bee Hotel in the lobby, and serving an exclusive pollinator menu in Juniper Restaurant with a highlight being a delectable ‘salad in a jar’ featuring honey and goat cheese mouse, greens, edible flowers and a zesty lemon thyme vinaigrette. A portion of the proceeds from the menu and the hotel’s signature cocktail, the BeeTini, will support the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Junior Beekeepers initiative.

Classic Comforts and Small Bites to Share

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAmidst the grandeur of luxury hotels, guests are seeking the warm, hearty nostalgia of comfort foods, and going back to the basics…with a modern spin, of course. At Fairmont San Francisco, guests can enjoy Lemon & Thyme Roasted Chicken and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn is “re-INSPIRING” French classics, with new twists on dishes like Poularde en Vessie and Caneles. A stop at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park can include settling down with Sesame & Herb Fish & Chips, Lamb Burgers and Mac & Cheese six ways.

Complementing the comfort food interest is the movement toward more family-style dining, or shared plates and tasting platters. This more casual, friendly and interactive style of dining has caught on at places like Quebec’s Fairmont Tremblant, where guests can dig in and share items like mini apples stuffed with foie gras, mini brioche, or pressed duck confit with a kumquat marmalade. At Fairmont Baku in Azerbaijan, guests enjoy a mixed kebab platter, with salad and lavash (bread). After a sleigh ride at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a cheese fondue with vegetables, Fondue Chinoise with beef tenderloin, prawns and salmon and a decadent chocolate fondue make the perfect trio to share.

Cocktail Culture Is Still King

London’s The Savoy recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, and marked it in grand style with the introduction of The Savoy Collection: 48-year old Macallan. The hotel is the spiritual home of the cocktail, and decades ago, created The Savoy Collection, a range of spirits bottled exclusively for the hotel and enjoyed by the most discerning imbibers of the day. The tradition has been revived with the introduction of the extremely rare single malt scotch whisky, bottled in an exclusively designed, hand-made decanter and made available as a limited edition, with just three bottles available for purchase at a value of £18,500. Only the most dedicated connoisseurs need inquire.

Local herbs, often grown onsite at hotels, are a standout ingredient being highlighted in cocktails. Fairmont Singapore’s Anti:dote features handcrafted concoctions cleverly disguised as “cure-alls”, made with premium spirits, market-fresh ingredients, herbs and flowers like cinnamon basil and marigolds, and Chinese medicinal herbs and ingredients including ginseng, smoked lapsang, souchong and sarsaparilla. Newly opened Le Sam Bistro at Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac offers Shrubs, a blend of modern mixology and a common tonic from the colonial era. This refreshing, tart drink features vinegar for good health, balanced by the sweetness of pineapple, raspberry or Thai basil.The Pyramid Bar at Fairmont Dallas features the Acai Mojito, made with Acai berry, PAMA Pomegranate liqueur and fresh mint grown in the hotel’s terrace herb garden.

Where’s the Beef?

Fairmont hotels are making the most of the “nose to tail” trend and purchasing whole animals. The Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Fairmont San Jose procure student-raised hogs from the Sonoma Valley High School Agriculture Department, and proudly serve them in restaurants and employee cafeterias. At The Fairmont San Francisco guests of the Tonga Room may sample a roasted pig, and the different cuts of meat are used for specials each day of the week, making use of all of the flavorful pieces like the shank, tail and neck, while also reducing waste.

The Fairmont Banff Springs (as well as Fairmont Pittsburgh and Fairmont San Francisco) cures and smokes meat in-house, keeping traditional practices alive. Beef and bison brisket and pulled pork are smoked in-house for approximately 18 to 20 hours. The recently opened Stanley’s Smokehouse at the resort’s golf course serves up the noted smoked meats Texas BBQ-style and the Grapes Wine Bar features cured venison, buffalo, and beef.

BBQs remain a popular offering, with hotels highlighting offerings from local farms. Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Quebec’s Charlevoix region partners with Oiseau Bleu Farm, a nearby all-natural, free range farm, to serve guests savory, organic burgers that are low in saturated fat and contain no additives or preservatives. The hotel’s terrace provides the perfect venue to enjoy this tasty treat while admiring the St. Lawrence River.

AboutFairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, reflecting each locale’s energy, culture and history. Passionate travelers choose the luxury hotel brand for its ability to deliver memorable travel experiences, personalized and thoughtful service, and hotels that are one-of-a-kind. Serving as genuine gateways to their destinations, Fairmont hotels offer locally-inspired cuisine and spirited bars and lounges, distinctive design and décor, and a steadfast responsibility to environmental and social priorities. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, landmark hotels in the Fairmont collection include The Plaza in New York, London’s The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please visit www.fairmont.com.

Accor and Virgin Australia Queensland Conference Deal

October 29, 2014 on 9:21 am | In Airlines, Australia, Hotels, Queensland | Comments Off

Accor Hotels and Virgin Australia are encouraging conference planners to act quickly and take advantage of the final few months of their year-long ‘buy 10, get 1 free’ incentive to choose destination Queensland for their next event.

The joint incentive teams a choice of quality accommodation from Accor with Virgin Australia flights, and the region’s best adventure experiences to make it the ultimate conference deal, packed full of extras.

Accor and Virgin Australia’s are offering organisers who book and pay for 10 conference packages (accommodation, day delegate arrangements and flights) an 11th delegate package for free. The 11th bonus package also includes access to Virgin Australia’s ‘The Lounge’, for an extra special incentive experience.

Delegates will also receive complimentary room upgrades for VIPs and cocktail party including canapés and a selection of beverages. Bookings must be made by February 28, 2015 for business held to 31 March, 2015.

The offer showcases Accor’s extensive hotel portfolio of hotels and resorts across the Sunshine State and key Virgin Australia ports including Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville.

It also highlights Accor’s strong range of brands, covering the spectrum from luxury and upscale labels like Sofitel, Pullman, The Sebel and the MGallery Collection to economy and midscale favourites including Novotel and Mercure.

For more information on specific addresses or to make a booking, visit www.accorconferences.com.au/queensland.

Terms and conditions apply.


Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts Offer Travel Wellness and Seasonal Spa Solutions

October 29, 2014 on 9:11 am | In Germany, Hotels, London, Spa Resorts, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Backcountry.com Winter ClearanceSpa experts across the globe offer tips for glowing skin and overall good health -

Singapore, October 2014 – Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is committed to well-being and vitality, a promise that extends from global efforts in sustainable operations right down to the guest level with options that help maintain healthy habits while travelling.

Andrew Gibson, vice president, spa and wellness at FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Swissôtel’s parent company, notes that, “Maintaining healthy habits is increasingly a priority for travellers. In fact, a recent report by SRI International for the Global Spa & Wellness Summit indicated that ‘wellness tourism’ is set to grow by 9% annually, nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism.” He added, “Trends indicate that guests are seeking healthier food and access to spa, massage and fitness facilities, which Swissôtel provides under our brand-wide Vitality Programme. These options add value to the overall guest experience, and support staying well while on the road.”

Here, Swissôtel spas and on-property experts offer tips for peak energy and vitality throughout the year:

Eat Well, Travel Well

A key component to maintaining one’s health is through mindful eating. Travellers often fight symptoms like jet lag, poor digestion and a general lack of energy, and Swissôtel has compiled some helpful advice and an infographic detailing “superfoods” that help ward off these ailments. These, and other “superfoods”, are also routinely utilized by Swissôtel chefs around the world to create nourishing and flavourful menu offerings.

For jet lag, try a cup of hot water and lemon to stay hydrated, and to alkalise the body. Cherries and ginger help with melatonin, a sleep promoter, and bananas are a natural muscle relaxant.

Ginger, peppermint tea and probiotic yogurts help keep digestion on track.

The high water and potassium content in cantaloupe can help restore energy, as will gogi berries and quinoa, which also helps build muscle.

For more helpful tips, including ways to deal with motion sickness and circulation issues, please visit:


Seasonal Spa Solutions:

Swissôtel Hotel & Resorts worldwide offer invigorating spa and wellness centres, including the brand’s signature Pürovel Spa & Sport facilities at select properties. Inspired and guided by the vitality of the Alpine seasons, products and services are designed around the natural stages of renewal (spring), peak activity (summer), recovery (autumn), and hibernation (winter).

Pürovel products are created from flower and pine tree essential oils organically grown and distilled by a team of farmers in Wangen-an-der-Aare, Switzerland, where every essential oil used is cultivated, harvested and extracted.

As the seasons change and skin care needs shift, here are treatments and top tips recommended by Swissôtel spas and on-property spa experts.

AUTUMN: Recovery

The Pürovel Swiss Mountain Massage is highly recommended by spa experts at Swissôtel Kolkata, Swissôtel Tallinn and Swissôtel Ankara. As days, and the air, get cooler, it’s time to prepare for the upcoming winter season. Using Mountain Meadow Blend oil (primarily swiss spruce and douglas needles), which is naturally balancing, antiviral, and antibacterial, and heated mountain stones, the treatment comforts the body, energizes the mind and holds warmth within.

SwissôtelDresden Am Schloss experts say rebalancing and replenishing is especially important this time of year, and they suggest sharing the experience with a loved one during a Private Spa night. The hotel’s special evening package offers four hours of relaxation at the Pürovel Spa & Sport, and includes individual warming sauna infusions, and a vitalizing scrub and herbal bath together, to purify and moisturize dry, stressed skin. To top it off, sparkling wine and fresh seasonal fruit are served and a Pürovel home care set is provided.

TOP TIPS – Autumn Skin Care:

Debolina Mukherjee, Spa Manager at Swissôtel Kolkatarecommends using a lotion with a nourishing oil base of avocado, almond, jojoba or even olive. Steer clear of anything synthetic or petroleum-based, or use organic unrefined shea butter, which easily penetrates and moisturizes the skin.

wickers.com COUPON 10% OFF all ordersSwissôtel Dresden Am Schloss experts say that in autumn, traveller’s skin needs a scrub, to help it regenerate and purify. Try exfoliating body scrubs with minerals from thermal water and aromatherapy oils, which leaves skin feeling renewed, and remineralizing body creams to soothe and moisturize dry skin.

WINTER: Hibernation

The Spa & Sport Centre at Swissôtel Zurich counteracts the feelings of melancholy that can be brought on by the colder, darker days by offering the Golden Cup treatment, which uses the golden cup plant as a natural mood brightener. The plant grows in the middle of summer and is said to be the “flower of the sun”, capturing the season’s warmth and lifting people’s moods. In fact, it is sometimes used medicinally to combat depression and migraines. The treatment includes a massage, a peel and a wrap to harness the power of the sun.

During the winter months, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka offers guests a Ginger Oil with Hot Stone Massage, which harmoniously combines to produce a warming and relaxing effect. Ginger oil has been an essential ingredient since antiquity due to its therapeutic quality and ability to ease colds, poor circulation and arthritis pains.

TOP TIPS – Winter Skin Care:

Swissôtel Kolkata’s spa managersays an oil massage is the best remedy for dry skin. Apricot oil applied 2-3 times a week at night makes skin feel very smooth and healthy. Before a morning bath, try a gentle self-massage with sesame oil, which helps to pull out toxins from the skin and also leaves a protective layer between skin and the harsh winter environment. Drink plenty of warm, pure water throughout the day to both purify the body and stay well hydrated.

Janine Görner, a member of the Spa & Sport team at Swissôtel Zurich, suggests booking aparaffin bath for hands. Paraffin is smoothing and indulges the skin of the hands, which can get dry and damaged in the winter.

SPRING: Renewal

 The Ultimate Online Ski Shop With 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Skis.com | Shop Now >Swissôtel Nankai Osaka praises green tea as an ingredient that is effective for anti-aging, and also full of antioxidant ingredients, like catechin, and Vitamins A, C and E which contribute to beautiful skin. The hotel’s Green Tea Facial is very effective in spring, when skin becomes very sensitive, and helps combat problems such as blemishes and dullness.

Massage options are also ideal for renewing the body as the warmer months return, with Swissôtel Ankara recommending the Alpine Spring Massage, applied with medium pressure with relaxation in mind, to ease tension and stimulate blood flow. Also, an accompanying session of deep breathing with the signature Pürovel aromatherapy blends clears the mind and breathing passageways, making it a perfect treatment for an active individual seeking muscle recovery. Swissôtel Tallinn offers the Destress Massage, performed with fluent, calming movements and massage oil to create a lighter mood and embrace the new beginnings of the season.

TOP TIPS – Spring Skin Care:

Swissôtel Kolkata’s spa manager suggests juices that contain kale, parsley, ginger, or cucumber to improve spring skin.

The hotel’s spa team also recommends the use of citrus essential oils, particularly in lotions, to remove dead skin and promote circulation.

SUMMER: Peak Activity

Competitive Cyclist Spend $250 Get $50When the hot weather arrives, it’s time to scrub and lighten up! With mostly sunny and dry weather, it’s very important to cleanse and moisturize the skin, according to Elina Benenson, the Pürovel Spa & Sport Manager at Swissôtel Tallinn.She recommends the Body Polish for the removal of dead skin cells, to help one feel lighter and cleansed.

Swissôtel Chicago’s Spa 42 offers the Aloe Quench Body Wrap, which is designed to combat sun damage and heal the skin to reveal a fresh, healthy glow. The products used include Calm Mind Oil, a combination of lavender, peppermint and cajeput to relieve tension, Lavender Body Spray, to leave skin soft, and Aloe Gel, a cooling blend of aloe vera, allantoin, organic arnica and algae to provide comfort to chapped and dehydrated skin.

TOP TIPS – Summer Skin Care:

Swissôtel Kolkata’s spa manager recommends splashing on some rose water every morning for an instant glow and fresh hue throughout the day. Also, after showering, mix one teaspoon each of organic, unrefined coconut oil and castor oil in a glass bottle with a cap. Place the bottle in hot water until the oil is lukewarm. Apply to the entire body to keep skin supple, soft, and cool. Guests can also use this treatment before swimming to protect skin from salt water and chlorine.

Monica Jayso, Director of Spa 42 at Swissôtel Chicago stresses that the most important tip for everyone to follow is to apply Sun Protection SPF 30. Their product is a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen which combines natural antioxidants with chamomile and cucumber extracts to keep skin healthy, youthful and soothed.

Notes Andrew Gibson, “A recent Spafinder Wellness 365 consumer survey found that 85% of travellers finish a vacation less rejuvenated than when they start. Swissôtels worldwide will continue to counter this by offering various wellness options to ensure our guests return home feeling rested and energised.”

About Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts got its start in Switzerland, a country known for big mountains and equally high standards of living. Its contemporary Swiss style and locally inspired flair attracts business and leisure travellers who enjoy high-end hotels but prefer fresh innovation to stale pretension. Conveniently located where travellers want to be, Swissôtel provides guests with the opportunity to stay in the heart of city centres worldwide where access to business and shopping districts are right around the corner. Swissôtel properties can be found in over 30 well-located properties around the world, with many more in development. As guests of the world, every Swissôtel upholds Swiss sustainability standards. In fact, Swissôtel has a mission: to treat guests, team members, and the environment with equal respect. Swissôtel is part of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Raffles, Fairmont, and Swissôtel brands. But no matter how international Swissôtel becomes, just like the country it was founded in, it remains a small hotel at heart. For more information or reservations, please visit www.swissotel.com.

New Hotels And Accommodation In France’s Mountain Resorts

October 29, 2014 on 9:03 am | In France, Hotels, Paris | Comments Off

Backcountry.com Winter ClearanceFrench mountain resorts are constantly increasing and improving their range of accommodation, from a palace to a yurt. Regardless of which end of the budget spectrum, French resorts endeavour to upgrade the size, comfort, style and fittings, to ensure that their accommodation meets and exceeds the expectations of an international clientele. Here is a selection of new accommodation from across the mountains of France for the coming winter.


Morzine: Laurys and Le Paradis have merged and will open on December 14th 2014 as:
The Rude Lodge (accommodation and café): central location, from £25 pp / night (breakfast included), modern rustic design, 41 beds (dorm/twin).
The “Paradis” at Rude (après-ski bar and club) bringing a new après-ski flavour, legendary bands twice/week, French DJs every week.
Val d’Isère: New 5* Hotel Yule (41 rooms) opening 25th December 2014. The former Grand Paradis Hotel in the centre of the village on the snow front has been completely refurbished and will include: 3 beauty treatment rooms, hammam, 2 saunas, ski boutique, games room and cinema.

Val Thorens: New Club Med Village Val Thorens Sensation (4 Tridents), opening 14th December 2014. Consisting of 384 rooms from 24m2, and including 12 deluxe rooms, 5 Junior Suites and 6 Suites

 The Ultimate Online Ski Shop With 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Skis.com | Shop Now >Courchevel: Le K2 Hotel was awarded “Palace” status in July 2014, a category reserved for the very finest 5* Hotels in France, “to award official recognition to the finest 5-star that have exceptional qualities that embody French standards of excellence and contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world”, as decided by Atout France. It is the 3rd Palace hotel in Courchevel and the 16th in France.
Avoriaz: Hotel des Dromonts 4* Boutique Hotel reopens on 12th December 2014 having been bought and wholly refurbished by the distinctive Maisons & Hotels Sibuet brand, with 34 rooms, state of the art facilities including spa, pool, kids’ play area and 3 restaurants: Les Enfants Terrible high end bistro; DOWN for cocktails and tapas and Le Table du Fromage serving traditional Savoyard cuisine.

Les Gets: Le Chasse-Montagne is an old farm from 1820 which has been transformed into a charming hotel, provisional opening 20th December 2014. Located at 1,350m overlooking the resort, Le Chasse-Montagne is directly on the slopes and offers a 360 degree view of Mont Chéry. There is a huge terrace facing south and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The 11 bedrooms are decorated in a chic alpine style with stone, old wood and steel.

Val Cenis: In Val Cenis, the new owners of 3-star hotel Alpazur, have completely renovated the building. The cosy hotel now offers 28 spacious and comfy bedrooms, as well as a sauna and Jacuzzi. From €96 per room per night with breakfast, opening 13th December 2014.

Wickers.com COUPON 10% OFF all ordersVars: Nevalhaia **** Chalet Hotel Sleeps up to 14 and can be booked as a private chalet or as a hotel by the room. The state of the art environmentally friendly building is complete with every mod con and enjoys panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Opening 19th December 2014.


Valmorel: La Grange aux Fées, new luxurious self-catered apartments including pool and spa facilities. It has an Ô des Cîmes spa and an indoor pool, as well as a paddling pool. Open from 20th December 2014.

Flaine: Pierre & Vacances’ brand new premium residence Les Terrasses d’Hélios opens 13th December 2014 in the hamlet of Flaine Montsoleil. It features a 24 hour English speaking reception, Deep Nature™ Spa, complete with indoor pool and Hammamm 2 saunas and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, as well as all the features of a P & V Premium residence.

La Rosière: 4* Le Miravidi opened with 13 brand new 3-4 bedroom apartments in July 2014. The residence has a hammam and fitness room and the apartments are designed with families in mind.

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Preferred Hotel Group Announces Partnership with Air China

October 29, 2014 on 8:59 am | In Airlines, Asia, China, Hotels | Comments Off

SINGAPORE –– Preferred Hotel Group today announced a new partnership with Air China that allows members of Air China’s PhoenixMiles program to earn up to 1,600 miles* when staying at select properties within Preferred Hotel Group’s portfolio of more than 650 independent hotels and resorts worldwide. The strategic alliance is the latest development in Preferred Hotel Group’s aggressive campaign to gain top-of-mind awareness among China’s outbound travel market and facilitate greater development of its brands across the country.

“Asia is an important market for Preferred Hotel Group, and we are committed to continuously finding new ways to enhance our footprint in the region,” said Anthony Ross, Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa for Preferred Hotel Group. “Our partnership with Air China’s award-winning PhoenixMiles program will bring great visibility to our global network of independent hotels and allow us to extend additional benefits to both consumers and China’s greater travel community.”

Effective immediately, Air China PhoenixMiles members can earn 800 miles for qualified stays at participating hotels within the Preferred Hotel Group collection, which contains 163 properties across 42 cities to which Air China flies. Sixteen hotels in key destinations across Asia and Europe – ranging from East, Hong Kong and Royal Plaza on Scotts in Singapore to The K Club in Ireland and Grand Hotel Zermatterhof in Switzerland – are offering double miles (1,600) as extra incentive for PhoenixMiles members to stay with them during their next vacation. To earn PhoenixMiles, members must present their PhoenixMiles card at time of hotel check-in.

Air China is the 17th airline loyalty program to join Preferred Hotel Group’s Frequent Flyer program list. To view the complete list of participating hotels that are offering miles to Air China PhoenixMiles members, and for more information on the special offers available through Preferred Hotel Group’s airline alliances, visit: PreferredHotelGroup.com/Miles.

The partnership with Air China follows several other initiatives that Preferred Hotel Group has recently introduced to showcase its commitment to growth in China. In December 2013, the company launched its bespoke China Ready program, which included a new brand website in simplified Chinese (www.preferredhotelgroup.cn), dynamic marketing campaigns, social media presence on Sina Weibo (www.weibo.com/preferredhotelgroup), booking connectivity with key OTAs and China’s Global Distribution Service (GDS), and a China Ready certification program for select hotels. Since September 2013, the company has also established a new office in Beijing, hired four associates in new positions to handle sales, revenue account management, regional director, and marketing/public relations responsibilities, and signed nine new member hotels in key markets across China.

* Terms and conditions apply.

About Preferred Hotel Group™

Preferred Hotel Group represents 650 of the finest hotels, resorts, and serviced residences in the world. Preferred Hotel Group’s brands include Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, Summit Hotels & Resorts™, Sterling Hotels™, Summit Serviced Residences™, Sterling Design, and Preferred Boutique™. Travelers gain valuable benefits through branded programs iPrefer™, Preferred Family, Preferred Pride, and Preferred Golf™. For more information, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

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