Does soaring through the city skyline by helicopter to an urban hotel or arriving by boat to a hidden tropical paradise sound like your kind of luxury? Here are 10 Asian hotels that cater to affluent guests — from sumptuous city escapes to lavish hideaways.
(Click the photo for more on my article on USA Today!)
With jet lag to thank for waking earlier than usual, there was a glimpse of sunlight peeping through my one bedroom beach villa at The Nam Hai Hoi An windows. As I opened my shutters and strolled onto the terrace, the vibrant yellow then pink and purple sky was staring back at me. I would have only imagined this to be the most marvelous sunset one could ever see, however, this was the sunrise overlooking Ha My Beach in Central Vietnam at 5:00 am.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that the morning happened to be Memorial Day back at home in the United States. It was a beautiful reminder that that each day is a new beginning and there is one thing we know for sure, the sun always rises. Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to experience something so beautiful like this.
Today was another exciting day at Travelweek Sao Paulo making me wish there were more than 365 days in the year to travel! Here’s today’s Luxe Tiffany scoop: The Peninsula Paris will open August 1st near the Arc de Triomphe and will be one of the most high tech hotels in the world and beautiful Eiffel Tower views.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como, Italy now has its own Ferrari for guests to rent anytime and zip around in style. The hotel’s new branded champagne bar will open soon.
Speaking of champagne bars, Le Sirenuse in Positano’s champagne and oyster bar is a must-visit when in Positano this summer (open May-Oct).
Pink Panther fans, check yourself into the Peter Sellers suite at the Cristallo Palace Hotel & Spa in the Dolomites in Italy where the original Pink Panther was filmed.
For year round skiing, head to the 150 room Mont Cervin Palace in Zermatt, Switzerland where you can ski the glacier 12 months of the year. Your airport transfer to the hotel will be by horse and carriage! Richard Branson and his Virgin Hotel Group has signed an agreement to buy Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek in the winelands of South Africa (I just returned from this area and think Napa meets Africa. Stunning!) Indulge your palate with Uruguayan caviar, fondue and asado BBQ at the 32 bungalow Fasano Las Piedras Punta del Este in Uruguay this winter. Foodies will enjoy the food and wine festival October 12th.
In airline news, Air France will be launching its new First Class cabins this summer reducing its cabin from 8 seats to 4 for the privileged few. In Caribbean news, Hotel Christopher in St. Barths is expanding and will debut three new villas in 2015 (2) 3 BR and (1) 4 BR with full hotel services – great for families. Disney fans who love some luxury, Four Seasons Orlando opens this August with 444 rooms and rooms fit for Cinderella and her prince.
If you’re headed to Asia, there are brand new beach villas at the very private and zen Datai in Langkawi in Malaysia. (13) 1BR and (1) 2BR. If you want access to the very best of China, book Wild China and you can explore Marco Polo’s Silk Road and even try desert trekking in the footsteps of Genghis Khan.
Little fun fact: the new Brando Hotel in French Polynesia makes its own honey. Kind of sweet. So that’s just a taste of what was happening today. Is your passport ready?!
Greetings from São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, where I’m here attending Travelweek São Paul recently acquired by Reed Exhibitions and is part of the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) portfolio. Here’s some of the latest luxury news that will make you want to dust off your passport and head to one of these fabulous places:
The new Li Sereno hotel on Lake Como, Italy by the owners of Le Sereno, St. Barts and designed by the amazing Patricia Urquiola (she designed Mandarin Oriental Barcelona) will open next summer. I’ve seen the photos, but unfortunately not allowed to share just yet. but trust me, it’s gorgeous.
The new Reefs hotel on Anguilla is being built by the owners of CuisinArt Resort, Anguilla (opening 2016); Portrait Firenze is now open in Florence, Italy (This Ferragamo owned hotel is perfect for families and let me tell you it’s amazing – I stayed in a suite pre-opening last summer);
The iconic Buddha Bar is now into hotels with its new hotel in Paris (think Shanghai in the 30’s in Paris – a trip within a trip);
The 35 villa Brando Hotel will be opening in French Polynesia in July (Marlon Brando’s very own secluded island paradise on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa);
The Le Barthelemy Hotel will open on St. Barts in December; Rosewood London is testing out new perks for hotel guests which I’m not allowed to reveal, but trust me, 007 would think it’s as cool as the Tony Chi interiors;
Budding writers, you’ll will love knowing F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his novels, Tender is the Night and the Great Gatsby while staying at Hotel Belles Rives on the Cote d’Azur where you too might find your inspiration.
I could go on and on with over , but you can follow me real time on Twitter @LuxeTiffany for more daily updates and luxury travel news.
I have just arrived to the 2014 American Express Publishing Luxury Summit at the sunny Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, a who’s who global gathering of senior level executives from the world’s leading luxury brands. With a theme of “Luxury Without Borders,” the next three days will be a buzz of networking and exceptional guests speakers discussing the latest trends, issues and challenges in the luxury market.
Editor in Chief of Departures, Richard David Story says, “This year’s theme, ‘Luxury Without Borders,’ is pretty direct. What happens in America doesn’t necessarily need to stay in America. In fact, foreign and especially emerging markets have become a laboratory of sorts for what the new global customer wants.”
This year’s speakers include Emmanuel Perrin, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America, Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International who will be In Conversation with Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure. Other speakers include Robert Triefus, chief marketing officer, Gucci, and Chris Blackwell, founder, Island Records (record label for such artists as U2 and Robert Palmer) and Island Outpost Hotels and Resorts and Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of The Huffington Post. The emcee with be Mr. Story as well as Normal Pearlstine, the chief content officer of Time Inc.
“It’s a chance to hear new ideas and new solutions to brand-new challenges and to really take stock of where the luxury market, as it affects all us in this room, is headed,” says Story.
For a whole new level of luxury during the summit’s leisure time, guests will network at the Sunday Golf Tournament at the Tiburon Golf Course, a 36-hole 72-par championship course designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman. Thrill seekers will test their speed at the Lamborghini Aventador Driving Experience to test drive Lamborghini’s 700-horsepower V12 Aventador and Aventador Roadster.
I’m also delighted that South Africa Tourism will be hosting a lunch for attendees during the summit as I will be leaving for my first visit to South Africa later this month!
Follow my Tweets at @LuxeTiffany for the latest luxury news updates from the Luxury Summit and follow the hashtag #luxsummit.
Remember when travel was a glamorous experience? Flight attendants resembled elegantly poised models and poured endless champagne paired with fine cuisine. As airlines struggle to revive themselves from bankruptcy and cut back on every last perk that once made travel enjoyable, leaving you with plastic glasses filled with cheap wine and something to eat called “snax”, it’s refreshing to experience an airline that brings back the era of sophisticated travel. Emirates Airlines does just that.
This past week on Emirates, I was privy to fly the very luxe Airbus A380-800 from New York’s JFK to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, complete with its own private bar for business class passengers and even a spa suite with on-board shower for those privileged enough to fly First Class. After four magnificent days in Dubai, I flew the inaugural flight from Dubai to Boston, a new daily non-stop route between the two cities. Emirates is one of the fastest growing airlines and serves over 140 destinations. Boston is the 8th U.S. location for Emirates.
With a stylish flight crew from no less than 17 countries speaking over 20 different languages, the experience is sublime. Complete with five star cuisine and a wine list to rival any Michelin star restaurant, attentive service and comfortable cabins, you won’t believe you ever traveled any other way.
Is it really possible to enjoy the beach, desert and ski slopes all in one day? In Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, you can! Imagine starting your day sunning yourself on the beautiful beach of Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah, the artificial archipelago in the shape of a palm tree, soaking in the warm Arabian sun… Then heading to off for a desert safari with Arabian Adventures for Sand Boarding, Dune Bashing, Camel Riding, Falconry and a Bedouin Style Dinner…and finishing the day by hitting the slopes inside the Mall of the Emirates, the largest shopping mall in the world, at Ski Dubai! Thank you to Emirates for one of my Top Five most adventurous days yet. Come along for the ride!
Luxury is about culturally rich and unique experiences, so here are my personal Top 5 Bucket List Travel Experiences for 2014!
Opera at Arena di Verona, Verona, Italy
Located in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy, this Roman amphitheatre was built in 30 AD and is now home to some of the most spectacular opera performances in the world. Picture yourself listening to Carmen in this beautiful setting on a warm summer’s night. I certainly can!
Romantic Dinner at The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah: Ubud, Bali
This is one of the most private of resorts with 20 suites and villas set within thriving rice fields as far as the eye can see. Wouldn’t you love to have a romantic dinner for two in this spectacular setting? This is what I call dinner with a view!
An Evening of Jazz at The Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China
My Grandfather, Victor Won Cumyow, was a jazz singer at the Cathay Hotel in the 1930’s (now the Fairmont Peace Hotel.) I dream to spend an evening listening to smooth jazz in this iconic setting. I’m told my Grandfather was considered the Chinese Bing Crosby in his day.
Breakfast with Giraffes at Giraffe Manor, Kenya, Nairobi
Can you imagine what it must be like to have a giraffes join you for breakfast? At Giraffe Manor, built in the 1930’s and set on 12 private acres, you can experience just that. This beautiful lodge is home to several endangered Rothschild Giraffes and is one of Nairobi’s most iconic boutique hotels.
Sleeping in a Palace at Palais Namaskar, Marrakech, Morocco
Set between Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and Djebilet Hills, Palais Namaskar is a gorgeous luxury Oetker Collection hotel with only 41 luxury rooms, suites, villas and even palaces! Wouldn’t you just love to tell someone you just stayed in a palace in Marrakech? I know I would!
“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.” ~Bern Williams
It has been the most incredible year traveling the world, seeing new places, meeting new friends, and experiencing exciting things. I never forget to be grateful for my health and the ability to travel.
Wishing you all the very best in 2014. Don’t forget to dream BIG because dreams do come true!