To commemorate the legacy of iconic Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), Amsterdam’s luxurious Conservatorium hotel has partnered with the neighbouring Rijksmuseum to offer a special package that will among other amenities, feature curated artwork in a special suite reminiscent of the Rembrandt’s masterpiece, The Night Watch. Highlighting the 350th anniversary of the painter’s death, the “Art Suite by Rembrandt” package was launched in conjunction with the much-anticipated “Year of Rembrandt” celebration at the Rijksmuseum. Through this package, hotel guests will also enjoy unparalleled access to the variety of exhibitions and special events held at the museum, as well as the option to book a rare VIP tour of the Rijksmuseum’s Hall of Fame. To maximize the guest experience, Conservatorium enlisted the assistance of Dutch designer Irma Boom, who created the colour scheme for the suite’s design based on the DNA colours of the Night Watch, as well as renowned Dutch artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck, whose interpretation of “The Night Watch” can be found in the bathroom. The result of the collaboration is a unique and modern take on the classic masterpiece, and an immersive way for guests to enjoy the work of Rembrandt from the comfort of their luxurious surroundings. The Art Suite by Rembrandt package includes: One-night stay in the Art Suite by Rembrandt including breakfast for two guests Complimentary ‘fastlane’ access for two guests to the ‘Year of Rembrandt’ exhibits at the Rijksmuseum Two sleeping masks featuring Rembrandt’s famous work ‘Marten & Oopjen’ One copy of the book Rembrandt: Biography of a Rebel by curator Jonathan Bikker Welcome letter from Rijksmuseum Director General, Taco Dibbits Conservatorium hotel offers the following premium supplements to the Art Suite by Rembrandt package: Private after-hour tour of the Rijksmuseum’s Hall of Fame (€7500) Two-hour private walking tour through the city of Amsterdam that takes showcases where Rembrandt lived and worked, and the places that inspired his work (€190) The “Art Suite by Rembrandt” package is available from €875 per night, including VAT. Offer available from: 1 April - 29 December 2019. For more information, visit www.conservatoriumhotel.com
Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company, today celebrated the maiden call of the Costa Venezia to Laem Chabang, Thailand. Costa Venezia, a ship designed specifically to offer the Asian market the best of Italy, is the largest ship introduced by Costa to Asia, where the Italian company was the first to start operating in 2006. With a gross tonnage of 135,500 tons, 323 meters in length and a capacity for over 5,200 guests, the Costa Venezia offers a series of unprecedented innovations designed specifically for Asian customers, introducing them to Italian culture, lifestyle and excellence, starting from the interiors, which are inspired by the city of Venice. Mr. Roberto Verdino, Deputy Country Manager for Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia of Costa Group Asia, says: “Costa Venezia has been designed specifically with Asian travellers in mind. While we continue to offer authentic Italian experience, there are many facilities and specialty restaurants that are catered to Asian guests. The joining of Costa Venezia to Costa Asia’s fleet will bring “The Best Time at Sea” cruise holiday to our Asian guests, and at the same time, demonstrate Costa Cruises’ confidence in the Asian market.” On Costa Venezia, guests will experience the uniqueness of Venetian and Italian culture. The ship's theatre is inspired by the world-renowned Venetian La Fenice opera house; the main atrium is reminiscent of St. Mark's Square, while the main restaurants recall the traditional architecture of Venetian alleys and squares. Actual gondolas, made by the Squero di San Trovaso artisans, can also be found on board. Guests can savour the delicacies of regional Italian cuisines at the inclusive restaurants, as well as fine dining with menu curated by chef Umberto Bombana of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, 81⁄2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, at Restaurant Casanova, one of the five specialty restaurants. Guests will also feel at home with a wide choice of Asian food on offer, including hotpot, teppanyaki, dim sum and noodles. Costa Venezia features more than 8,000 square feet of retail space amid a two-deck Venetian-style shopping pavilion which Starboard Cruise Services, the premier retailer at sea, curated with some of the world’s most celebrated brands. Presented within an Italian-style shopping experience in keeping with the iconic Costa Cruises brand, the collection includes many famous Italian brands, including first-time-at-sea Max Mara, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bvlgari. Costa Venezia further appeals to the Asian shopper with the largest beauty space at sea, measuring more than 2,500 square feet and including over 30 international brands, with the first-at-sea Clé de Peau Beauté and Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, La Prairie, Bvlgari, Chanel, Dior, La Mer, SK-II and more. Asian beauty brands include Dr. Jart+, Sulwhasoo and The History of Whoo. The Merchant of Venice, a refined perfumer that pays homage to the beauty of Venetian culture, also makes its debut at sea and available for the first time in Asia. In addition, Bvlgari joins Costa Cruises and Starboard to present the first production of its kind at sea: “the Bvlgari Jewelry Show”, an evening of elegance
Books can take you to new and exciting places—completely new worlds, even. This World Book Day (23 April 2019), let Lifestyle+Travel and Agoda take you on a literary journey like no other. On your next holiday, trace the roots of some of your favorite authors by stopping by their hometowns—some of which have inspired their most seminal works. Here are some must-visit spots for book-lovers roaming around Asia… Kobe, Japan Literary Hero: Haruki Murakami Notable works: “Kafka on the Shore” and “1Q84” available from Shinchosha Must-see attractions: Ikuta Shrine, Arima Onsen, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Murakami grew up in Kobe, where a few of his stories, such as his debut novel “Hear the Wind Sing”, are set. Murakami’s works have surrealist elements, often with melancholic themes which in some ways, is reflective of the quiet beauty to be found in the many serene shrines and breathtaking nature scenery in the small seaside city. Internalize the relaxing minimalist side of Kobe when you stay at Arimakoyado Hataya Ryokan. Camarines Norte, Philippines Literary Hero: Ricky Lee Notable works: “Para kay B” available from Philippine Writers' Studio Foundation Must-see attractions: Calaguas Islands, Apuao Grande Island, Bagasbas Beach More than his novel “Para kay B,” Ricky Lee’s body of work encompasses screenwriting and playwriting. He has worked with revered Filipino directors like Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal and has even published a screenplay manual called “Trip to Quiapo” which has since been a staple resource for communication colleges in the Philippines. Visit Lee’s hometown of Camarines Norte in the central Bicol region of the Philippines and enjoy its beautiful beaches like those on Apuao Grande Island and the Calaguas group of islands. Keep comfy by making One Platinum Hotel your home base while in the area. If you’re in the Americas, head to… New York, USA Literary Hero: Jenny Han Notable works: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available from Simon & Schuster Must-see attractions: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway Though Han originally came from Virginia, her time in New York shaped her career as a young adult fiction writer. Book the cozy Jun New York Midtown III apartment, and feel right at home when you take a break from all of that sight-seeing. Aracataca, Colombia Literary Hero: Gabriel García Márquez Notable works: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” available from HarperCollins, “Love in the Time of Cholera” available from Penguin Classics Must-see attractions: Casa Museo, Casa del Telegrafista The municipality of Aracataca is built along the river of the same name and boasts Nobel Prize winner for literature Gabriel García Márquez as one of its sons. The village of Macondo in García Márquez's celebrated novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is fashioned after Aracataca. Take a day trip out to explore García Márquez's reconstructed childhood home-turned-museum and the Casa del Telegrafista, then settle down at the charming Agoda Home in Parque Los Novios in the nearby city of Santa Marta, where you can also visit Colombia’s famous Tayrona National Natural Park. If you’re venturing to Europe, then consider visiting… Edinburgh, Scotland Literary Hero: J.K. Rowling Notable works: The “Harry Potter” series available from Bloomsbury Must-see attractions: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Dynamic Earth, Underground Edinburgh, The Scotch Whisky Experience Potterheads, unite! While Rowling was born in Yates, England, it was during her time in Edinburgh that she
Season 8 of everyone’s favourite medieval fantasy, Game of Thrones arrived this week and as fans dissect Episode 1 and look for plot spoilers, guests across the globe say they feel part of the show by staying in Homes on Airbnb. Looking at guest reviews of Homes in off-the-beaten-path destinations iconic to the show from 2014 to 2018, a growing number of travellers note they feel they’re part of the action with Airbnb guest reviews mentioning the show up 550% in Morocco, 467% in Ireland, 406% in Croatia, 386% in Iceland and 218% in Spain. No matter the king (or queen) you’re rooting for, here are 5 Homes on Airbnb perfect for living like your favourite contender for the throne long after the season finale.
Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas is celebrating its five-year anniversary on 1 April 2019. The hotel features 314 rooms and offer 3 meeting rooms, located just few steps away from the famous Patong Beach and the unique shopping center of Patong. In addition our team is very attentive to guest needs linked to our concept “Bringing Stories to life” for an unforgettable stay at the Grand Mercure Patong Phuket Resort & Villas. "We will keep take caring our guest by our heart as we do since opening 2014," said by Sebastien Tronchet general manager of Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas. For more information or reservation, please visit GrandMercurePhuketPatong.com
First opened in May 2008, Silavadee is the most luxurious hideaway where you arrive to escape the hustle and bustle of life to be pampered by attentive and exclusive service. Located on Samui island, one of the most famous islands in the world With a total of 80 rooms, pool villas and pool villa suites we provide the perfect spot for you to unwind and be embraced by nature. Rooms and villas range from 50 up to 300 square meter. Along with a complete renovation of all Bathrooms of the Deluxe Rooms which now combine sleek white marble with warm wood elements Silavadee also introduces its new Logo and several changes, to stay one for the most private and luxurious hideaway resorts on the island of Samui. In addition to the resorts refreshed Logo and accommodation, the property also introduces a new Food and Beverage Concept for its “Sun Lounge”, a culinary concept inspired by the local surroundings, providing guests with a selection of dishes made with fresh flavors and local ingredients as well as several products that are grown in their own garden. A healthy cuisine with a farm to table approach paired with a raw juice selection, organic wines and other organic Beverages makes Sun Lounge the ideal spot to rest, relax and feel good during the day. Along with this new culinary direction Silavadee equally introduces additions to the guest activity and spa program that complement the wellbeing aspect. A selection of curated experiences and packages will offer guests the opportunity to get in touch with the local community, Thai culture and nature. Experience mindful wellness activities such as Dawn Yoga, Ocean Breath, Thai Boxing or Healthy cooking classes and sleep meditation. Nature was incorporated during the design of the resort in every possible way and with the 11th anniversary we wish to introduce the above mentioned changes and a new aspect of Silavadee and its facilities. To mark its 11th Anniversary guest at Silavadee can enjoy the following activities and specials during the month of May: Wine pairing Dinner with world famous Francis Ford Coppola Winery Featuring Emily Putnam from Francis Ford Coppola Winery as a guest speaker. The dinner menu will be matched over multiple courses with “Director’s Cut” labels from the film director’s vineyard, presented by Putnam. The price for the dinner, to be held on May 17th is 2500THB including wine. Cocktails start at 18:00 followed by Dinner and Music at 19:00. The Venue for the Dinner will be “STAR” the resorts ultimate Roof Top Venue with breathtaking Views over Lamai Bay. Moet Chandon Champagne Breakfast Throughout the month of May Guest can order this intimate Champagne Breakfast on the Beach. This will be the utmost romantic breakfast featuring a bottle of Moet Chandon, fresh Strawberries, House smoked Salmon, freshly baked Croissants with homemade jams and French Butter, just to name a few. A discrete Beach Butler will stand by to ensure to be at your service should there be any request. Plush Cushions and draping will be prepared to make this Breakfast the
A train journey can be a special part of any Thai holiday for the scenery, history and the unique peaks of the kingdom. There are many route options and they roll into most parts of the country. Travelling by train in Thailand is also a great way to see the diverse countryside on your way to tourist areas. From Bangkok, you can ride for an hour or a little more to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the seaside resort city of Hua Hin, to the “Death Railway” in Kanchanaburi, or visit Lop Buri and its unique history. Overnight trips from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the North, Nong Khai or Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast, or all the way south to Malaysia are memorable, too. Trains have a long history in Thailand with the first entering service in 1893. It ran the 21 kilometres from Bangkok to Samut Prakan, south of the capital near the coast. By 1960, most routes had been paved over to make room for Rama IV Road, but by that time many other routes had been established and now the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) operates more than 4,500 kilometres of track going to all four corners of the kingdom. Trains range from the luxurious Eastern and Oriental Express to the first-, second- and third-class trains. Third-class “hard seat” trains are actually a great way to travel in the daytime to watch the country roll past. The cars have open windows offering a breeze with a view and lets passengers hear the sounds of the countryside. Better still are the food hawkers who walk up and down the moving carriages selling local delicacies and cold drinks. It is a memorable way to experience Thailand. Second class offers more comfortable seats in air-conditioned carriages and sleepers (also air-con) with upper and lower berths along each side for a comfortable sleep as the train gently rolls along. First class have private rooms with sleepers for couples or individuals. Passengers can control the air-con and the room includes a hand basin for washing. If you are travelling to or from Malaysia or Lao PDR., you can leave or enter the country by train. Some of Thailand’s rail highlights include: The “Death Railway” The “Death Railway” is what remains of the engineering marvel of the Burma-Siam Railway the Japanese Imperial Army built during World War II using prisoner-of-war and Asian forced labour. Conde Nast Traveller recently listed it as one of the 10 Best Train Journeys in the World. The 415-kilometre route claimed nearly 16,000 POW lives and perhaps as many as 100,000 Asian labourers from disease and overwork. Most of the old route is now closed, but the remaining two-and-a-half-hour trip from Kanchanaburi town to Namtok Sai Yok passes through beautiful tropical forests and along the wild Kwai Noi River. It is a serene and sometimes spectacular trip through a sombre past. The route includes passing over the River Kwai made famous in the 1957 Oscar-winning movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. There are two trains a day from the Thon
Hotel Purple is the newest addition to the long list of great hotels studding the alluring city. The fresh, fun boutique hotel is located in one of Hong Kong's most-loved neighborhoods - Tin Hau. It is just a short walk from the MTR, a highly-efficient local railway system that is the preferred mode of transport of both locals and tourists. Even better, the hotel is just 10 minutes away from Causeway Bay and an extra 5 minutes away from Central, two must-visit areas in Hong Kong. Hotel Purple has 83 stylish rooms filling its 24-floored building. As its name suggests, the interiors are accented with purple (and yellow), creating a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere. Along with a cozy reception area and a terrace overlooking the cityscape, the boutique hotel also has a chic lounge where guests can unwind and bond with others over fun local board games. To celebrate the opening, Hotel Purple is having a special promotion until 30 June where guests can enjoy their stay at the hotel's studio rooms for as low as HK$600/night.
Celebrated chef and former holder of three Michelin stars hosts an exquisite epicurean evening on the shores of Koh Lanta, as Pimalai continues to enhance its culinary reputation Pimalai Resort & Spa, the luxury resort surrounded by nature on Koh Lanta, has further elevated its culinary reputation by welcoming celebrated French chef Bruno Menard back to the resort for his second annual “Gastronomic Journey”. Hosted on the evening of Sunday 31st March 2019, this exclusive epicurean evening saw Chef Bruno create an extraordinary four-course dinner for guests at Seven Seas Wine Bar and Restaurant, Pimalai’s stunning fine dining destination which overlooks the Andaman Sea. This year’s Gastronomic Journey took place almost exactly a year after Chef Bruno hosted his inaugural culinary event at Pimalai. This will now become an annual occasion, as the luxury resort strives to become a world-renowned gastronomic destination and put the island of Koh Lanta on the global culinary map. A former holder of three Michelin stars and a judge on the Asian edition of MasterChef, Chef Bruno is a culinary genius whose stellar 35-year career has taken him to some of the world’s leading restaurants. He is currently the Food Director at JUNON, the acclaimed French restaurant in Hong Kong, and Executive Chef at Vranken-Pommery Monopole, which owns a collection of vineyards, including many in the Champagne region of France. “Thailand’s food culture has been famous for many years, but we are now seeing the country’s culinary influence spreading across the globe. Many of the world’s leading chefs are now being attracted to Thailand’s shores, and Bruno Menard certainly fits into that category - he is one of the few chefs to have achieved three Michelin stars, the holy grail of fine dining. We were delighted to welcome Chef Bruno back to Pimalai and our guests were dazzled by his cuisine. This is another important step in establishing our resort as an exceptional gastronomic destination,” said Franck de Lestapis, Pimalai’s long-serving general manager. Chef Bruno’s refined four-course menu at Pimalai focused on light, vibrant flavours, with dishes that blended exquisite French cooking techniques with Asian influences. To ensure a deep connection with Koh Lanta, many ingredients were sourced from the resort’s own herb garden. The evening commenced with an amuse-bouche of borscht emulsion with marinated mushroom, followed by an appetiser of confit salmon with caviar, asparagus and Chantilly sauce. The main course showcased lightly poached turbot with white wine and extra virgin olive oil emulsion, ikura and condiments, before the menu concluded with a dessert of textured red fruit with espuma de crème Catalane. Pimalai’s second annual Gastronomic Journey was attended by in-house guests and outside diners, plus local and international media from Thailand, Hong Kong, UAE and Singapore. Publications represented at the event included the Bangkok Post, Robb Report Thailand, World Travel Magazine, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, South China Morning Post, and Destinations of the World. Guests were also treated to an exclusive itinerary at Pimalai, including sunset cocktails, a wildlife tour to a mangrove forest, a sunset cruise to Koh Haa,