Teardrop Hotels is delighted to announce its partnership with The Geoffrey Bawa Trust to revitalise and relaunch Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga estate on the Southwest Coast of Sri Lanka. The nine-bedroom property includes Bawa’s original home with its original charms and quirkiness, in addition to a three-bed house he designed and built in Colombo which has been painstakingly reconstructed brick by brick in the grounds of the estate. Lunuganga forms an important part of Sri Lanka’s cultural and design heritage. Acquired by famed architect Geoffrey Bawa in 1947 as one of his first projects, Bawa worked tirelessly to transform the house and the gardens from a derelict rubber estate into one of the most beautiful pleasure gardens of the 20th Century. Elements of Italian Renaissance gardens, English landscaping, Japanese garden art, and the water gardens of ancient Sri Lanka are all blended to create Bawa’s most extravagant creation, making it a mecca for those interested in landscape design and architectural history. Geoffrey Bawa’s house itself comprises a former 1930’s plantation bungalow, with six private guest suites located around the estate and is an ode to ‘tropical modernism’ – a blend of antique and modern furniture with traditional and contemporary art - a trademark of Bawa’s eclectic signature style. The Bawa Trust and Teardrop Hotels have made sure to changes to the house to an absolute minimum, allowing guests to enjoy the space exactly as Bawa intended his guests to experience it. Lunuganga now also includes the three-bedroom house of Bawa’s dear friend - Ena de Silva. A batik artist based in Colombo Ena de Silva and her husband Osmund commissioned Bawa to design their home in 1962- a pivotal project in his life’s work and the first time he executed the joining of radically modern design with traditional Sri Lankan elements. In 2009, Ena sold the house to The Bawa Trust, which then moved the property brick by brick from its location in Colombo to Lunuganga. The house took three months to disassemble and six years to rebuild, led by Architect Amila de Mel and conservation specialist Nilan Cooray. Everything from the frangipani tree in the front courtyard to the slabs of river stone remains just as it was in the original house. A night at Lunuganga – in either the main house or the Ena de Silva villa - starts at USD 265++ for two people sharing, inclusive of breakfast. To celebrate the relaunch, Teardrop Hotels is offering guests a 20% discount on all rooms booked before 31 November 2020 – which can then be used anytime until 31 April 2020.
The Vietage has departed for its inaugural journey on 1 July 2020 and now brings luxury railway journeys through the Vietnamese countryside connecting Da Nang and Quy Nhon cities. The Vietage has been developed by Anantara to introduce memorable journeys between Anantara Hoi An and Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, a unique Vietnamese luxury travel experience for its guests. The custom-designed opulent carriage, with just 12 reservation-only seats, immerses its guests into the culture, nature and history of the country through the stories of its daily return journey, heralding a new age of glamorous train travel. The Vietage carriage boasts sleek-lined modern interiors, big picture windows and large comfy seats, while a sit-up bar offers a change of scenery and the chance to enjoy local craft beers, wines and snacks over conversation with friends, before the main culinary experience. During the six hour journey, guests encounter a plethora of taste sensations as the countryside rolls by. An exclusively-curated menu evokes the essence of Vietnam with a French twist, through an explosion of creative flavours and local ingredients. Dishes such as Quy Nhon seafood salad, barley risotto and braised Wagyu neck will excite plant, carnivore and seafood lovers alike. Sweet endings come in the form of local Da Lat strawberries, passion fruit tart and a typical French-style crème brulée made with superior Dong Nai chocolate from Vietnam. A dedicated area with spa treatment chairs offers head and shoulder treatments on the go as the train passes through local villages, rural countryside and stops at a few stations on the way. A one-way ticket aboard The Vietage costs USD 185 per person, including a three-course, pre-ordered meal, free-flow wines, beers and soft drinks, bar snacks and a 30-minute head and shoulder treatment. An à la carte menu also offers premium wines, champagnes and treats such as local caviar and the finest selection of both local and international cheeses, all available for pre-purchase. The Vietage departs from Da Nang every morning at 09:31, arriving at Dieu Tri station in Quy Nhon at 15:43. The return journey departs from Dieu Tri at 17:29 and arrives in Da Nang at 23:01. The Vietage runs for eleven months each year, taking a break during the annual Vietnamese Tet holiday period. Combination accommodation packages are available with Anantara Hoi An Resort and Anantara Quy Nhon Villas for guests to experience each destination and can be booked directly on the website at https://www.anantara.com/en/vietnam. The Vietage also contributes to the ‘Dollars for Deeds’ programme, in which US $1 per ticket is donated and guests on board are at liberty to make their own contribution. Donations are given to the Kianh Foundation, a not-for-proﬁt charity providing a full-time, customised, special needs curriculum for children with disabilities in the Quang Nam Province of Central Vietnam. For further information, please contact The Vietage team on +84 256 368 6168, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make things more exciting for your “staycay”, M Social Hotel Singapore will be offering a series of staycation packages with activities planned periodically. Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) has come up with a package centred on its “We Clean. We Care. We Welcome” commitment. Guests are assured of 10 key hallmarks* of cleanliness and safety designed to safeguard guests throughout their stay, such as contactless check-in and check-out. MHR’s “We Clean. We Care. We Welcome. Staycation with us.” package also offers free accommodation for kids and flexible cancellation of up to two days before stays without charges. You can choose to retreat into your personal space with accommodation options that come in various sizes and configurations. Alcove Cosy features bare concrete walls with mirrored surfaces, which extends into a striking 4m-tall pitched roof, creating a spacious vibe. Loft Premier, a duplex-style loft with raw marble flooring offers a roomy sofa, nesting table facilities that creates a workspace on the lower level with a queen-sized bed on the top floor. Loft Terraces comes with attached terraces for you to wind down outdoors. Diners are also in for a treat as Beast & Butterflies at M Social Singapore takes culinary and tipples to the next level with a newly created menu by Executive Chef Bryce Li. Delectable and Instagram-worthy new dishes include the Charcoal Grilled Maine Lobster and Thai Milk Tea Pudding. Diners can also indulge in the $1 Oyster Friday Night promotion at Beast & Butterflies. The restaurant with a beautiful alfresco area marries traditional methods with modern thinking to create dishes and thirst-quenchers that fits the unrestrictive concept of Beast & Butterflies and its millennial-minded, globe-trotting guests. Expect a dining experience with visual dramas composed of chandeliers, lava lamps and table-top TV screens making for an unforgettable ambiance. Social barflies can quench their thirst with an array of artisanal cocktails prepared by resident mixologist Vladyslav Yesepiv or choose from a curated wine list as they enjoy fresh air and cool breeze in a cosy setting while sipping a cold tipple or two under the stars. As a testament to the hotel’s hygiene standards and cleanliness levels, M Social Hotel Singapore was recently awarded the SG Clean Quality Mark Certification by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore. Mix and Stay S$180++ 1 Night in Alcove Cosy Breakfast for 2 Person A complimentary M Social Cocktail Shaker A complimentary Workshop: Learn about cocktail making from Beast & Butterflies Mixologist - Vladyslav Yesepiv Bottled Up Happiness S$240++ 1 Night in Alcove Cosy Breakfast for 2 Person A complimentary Workshop: Create your Own Perfume with Maison 21G Singapore A complimentary bottle of perfume For enquires & bookings, email email@example.com or call +65 6206 1888
Even though the pandemic situation is easing, "safety" will not cease to be one of the top priorities of Shangri-La Group. Recently, the world's leading hospitality group introduced "Shangri-La Cares", ensuring that all guests and staff, as well as the environment, will be cared for with rigorous hygiene and safety protocols for all properties worldwide. “The health and safety of our colleagues and guests is of utmost priority. At Shangri-La, it is in our nature to look after people, to anticipate their needs and go above and beyond to ensure they have a memorable experience. We remain humble and true to our founding ethos with this commitment that will ensure we do our best to take care of people” said Lim Beng Chee, Chief Executive Officer of Shangri-La Group. “To meet new challenges and evolving customer expectations, we are focusing on enhanced hygiene protocols, elevating our standards and safeguarding our guests and colleagues’ well-being. We would like to convey our heartfelt care by creating a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable and trusts in our ability to ensure their safety and health - so that they can focus on moments that truly matter,” he added. Shangri-La has followed recommendations laid out by the World Health Organization or more stringent local directives where appropriate, to ensure its operational protocols are comprehensive. These protocols include: Increased frequency and full attention to deep cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and areas used by guests throughout the hotels Use of medical grade sanitisers and disinfectants which are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency Increased cleaning frequency of air filters and air-conditioner systems to ensure optimal air quality Safe dining, meetings and events with extra precautions to respect physical distancing and enhanced food safety practices More protocols are now in practice and personal protective equipment are provided to protect Shangri-La Group's people, along with enhanced training, learning and development resources for their colleagues. With the elevated standards and rigorous safety measures, Shangri-La's guests worldwide can stay worry-free and enjoy the luxury of being pampered in a very safe environment. For more details about Shangri-La Cares, please visit www.shangri-la.com/group/shangrila-cares
As social distancing is still one of the top priorities of our new normal lifestyle, and will continue to be for a lengthy period, you may crave for peace of mind and freedom to roam around without having to worry about keeping your distance. Luckily, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spa allows your wish to come true with the ultimate private island buy out packages! Anantara offers guests complete privacy, security and of course, luxury in some of the most spectacular locations around the world: Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort Private Island Package Small and secluded Medjumbe Island in Mozambique is bustling with verdant nature on the land, pure white sands on the shore, and soothing shades of blue water of the pristine Indian Ocean. Surrounded by the aforementioned purely natural perks is a collection of 12 luxurious beach pool villas, accommodating up to 24 guests, offering a wide array of water sports and elegant dining experience. Anantara Medjumbe Island’s private island buy out package starts from USD 19,280 per night, and includes: Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and selected beverages One Dining by Design experience One Quissanga Island excursion with a barbeque or picnic Daily shared and scheduled snorkelling trips Daily shared and scheduled scuba diving or fishing trips Return air transfers from Pemba International Airport to Medjumbe Island A minimum of three consecutive nights’ stay is required Stay With Peace of Mind Hygiene programme applied Package is valid until 10 December 2021. Some blackout dates apply. To book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas A sanctuary within a sanctuary means utmost tranquility, and you can experience this one-off placidity amidst idyllic Indian Ocean at Anatara Kihavah Maldives Villas. In addition to being completely secluded in the unforgettably mesmerising nature, you can make the days uniquely yours with Anantara Signature Experiences; from diving with Manta Rays to stargazing with the Maldives’ most powerful overwater telescope, or pampering yourself with first-rate treatments. Anantara Kihavah’s private island buy out package starts from USD 95,000 per night and includes: 80 spacious private pool villas – over water or beach front A dedicated personal villa host for each villa 24 hours a day Daily breakfast for the group Access to a diverse culinary journey with six bars and restaurants Access to recreation and leisure facilities including a tennis court, bicycles, a premium fitness centre, boutique and gift shop Access to Anantara Spa featuring a range of customisable Anantara Signature Experiences Kids under 12 can enjoy the ‘Thiththi Boli Kids Club’ and supervised island activities Stay With Peace of Mind Hygiene programme applied To customise your private island reservation at Anantara Kihavah, contact Paul Counihan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sir Bani Yas Island by Anantara A bit away from modern cities of United Arab Emirates is a beautiful, secluded Sir Bani Yas with an iconic fortress-style seaside hotel. What to expect here are wish fulfillment for wildlife adventure, witnessing flocks of graceful flamingos at the mangrove lagoon, delectable dishes, state-of-the-art Anantara Spa journeys, and a lot more experiences to make your days uniquely wonderful. Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts offer the entire Island or
The impeccable juxtapose of naïve stupendous nature and superfluity resort has been materialized on Bill Bensley’s beachfront playground, aka JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. SETTING THE SCENE Tucked on Vietnam’s south coast of Phu Quoc island, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa welcomed us with grandeur entrance, hinting that extraordinary experience was about to kick off. Vividly painted buildings with great details on the outside arrived our vision, affirmed that this is much beyond-average place. The van docked at a sleek all-white lobby and the staffs from the table filled with variety of bells in different sizes on one corner of this roomy lobby escorted us to a bulky sofa set. Observing around, I began to wonder where exactly we were! The ambience was top-notch in style, rubbing shoulders effortlessly with those five-star hotels in Europe. Each and every showcase decorated item tells the story and reckon the fun of Bensley in creating this place. He mapped this piece of land to be the abandoned 1890s French university – Lamarck University he called it, hence, the design and every bit was craft alongside the theme to make you really feel you were in one. GETTING COMFORTABLE Each accommodation building is elected to be a different department of this university. The chosen hues used for each of them were so attractive, contrasting with the bright blue sky as the backdrop of these on-ground fun elements. You have got to test your luck of which department you would be landing in as all rooms in each building features their very unique decoration. My assigned room was a real bliss, spacious, stylish and super contented. The panoramic view towards the turquoise sea and the horizon could be imbued from the expansive balcony, armed with a set of comfy sofa. The toilet is separated from the main bathroom which was the largest one I ever encountered. The oversized tub posed classically as the highlight of the marble large bathroom, while the gigantic rainshower was equally tempting. In-room amenities were of upscale and I began to wish my time here would be longer! DINING OPTIONS As a beachfront resort on a pristine island, you can be sure of fresh seafood which Red Rum – the dock-to-dish restaurant could cook and serve in perfection. This open-air by the beach features at ease ambience with professional service and interesting list of wines. On another note, Tempus Fugit has authentic local and international dishes on its menu. This is also where extensive breakfast that could lavish you from early morning till almost lunch time dwells. I was told French & Co. serves decadent and delectable freshly baked pastries and the inviting aroma of it invited me in wholeheartedly. Little was the space left in my stomach that I could only tried the croissant and I could second that it’s one of the best! Another cannot-miss spot in this resort would be the pinkish Department of Chemistry Bar with its innovative list of drinks, as well as tapas
Belmond launches 'Belmond Invitations' - a virtual theatre of programmes designed to bring entertaining experiences into people's homes whilst the world of travel is on pause. Launching this Friday on Belmond IGTV, with a special performance by pianist Joe Stilgoe - in honour of the roaring 20s 'The Party' that was due to take place in Venice and on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express during this weekend. The 'Belmond Invitations' performances are curated using Belmond's wellbeing philosophy of Good Living - experiences that are designed to enrich the mind, body and soul - from poetry and music to travel by; to cleansing mindfulness rituals and nourishing nutrition and uplifting floral inspiration - the experiences are supported by a digital care package of Good Living remedies to soothe the senses as we all adjust to a time of unprecedented stillness. RENDEZVOUS IN THE ROARING 20s Join the first Belmond Live event in honour of ‘The Party’ at 6pm GMT on Friday, 27th March 2020, live on Instagram. We may not be able to travel at this time but we can still transport our minds with the power of music - Joe Stilgoe, will host a special concert this evening to bring a touch of 1920s glamour into people's homes - this is an invitation to come together in spirit, to raise a glass, and to truly dance like nobody is watching. More livestream performances will be announced at a later date on @belmond. GOOD LIVING - DIGITAL CARE PACKAGE In addition to the series of livestream videos and performances, Belmond together with its Experience Makers have created ‘Digital Care Package’ to offer Belmond's remedies to ease tension and feed the mind. Over the course of the next few weeks, Belmond will release a series of content across its digital platforms. From its website to Instagram and Facebook, friends of Belmond can follow along on a ‘Good Living’ journey that features curated uplifting content to inspire and keep the dreams alive. Friends of Belmond will be reminded to start the day with a Good Morning calming meditation by wellness experts Nadia Narain & Katia Narain-Philipps, or access to recipes for make at home spa therapies; be inspired by our exceptional destinations through sensational classical music playlists created by broadcaster and musician Clemency Burton-Hill. With this care package, we hope to provide inspiration to temporarily transport people to some of the world's most enriching destinations - even if only virtually, for now. Along with the company’s main Instagram account, all of Belmond hotels, trains, cruises and safaris will also be prescribing their local digital care package in line with the theme. From all of us here at Belmond, this is an invitation to live well.
ON THE FAR SOUTH COAST OF THE ANDAMAN SEA, THE MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO REMAINED UNTOUCHED UNTIL THE 1990s WHEN IT OPENED TO TOURISTS. HOME TO JAM-PACKED WOODS, VAST CORAL REEFS, DENSE MARINE AND ON-GROUND LIVES, WONDERFUL GEOMORPHOLOGY, HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS, AS WELL AS OVER 1,000 NOMADIC PEOPLE, THE MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO DOES NOT OFFER JUST A DAZZLING BEACHFRONT GETAWAY, BUT THE “REAL” WAY OF RECONNECTING TO THE EARTH, AND GETTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT ON A DEEPER LEVEL. Out of over 800 islands in this archipelago, I luckily got to spend relaxing days amidst awesome quietude on Kyun Pila or the Pila Island, where birds joyously sing, the forest remains dense, and the beach stays naïve. It feels so hopeful to know that a land this pristine still exists. ASHORE AND AQUATIC CREATURES The area that is presently Myanmar has long been dense with precious natural resources, marine lives and flourishing forests. Many parts of the country, luckily, are still left unscathed, but also many of them are run-down, mainly due to insufficient information on their significance provided to the locals, as well as inadequate proper plans to protect and restore them. Ecosystems work in a variety of ways in different parts of the world, and Mergui Archipelago, being distant from the mainland, has unique ones. On the Pila Island, it is an ideal spot to observe healthy onland and underwater lives, which are not as disturbed as other easilyaccessible scenes. As the sea is indeed inseparable from the land, keeping them both robust is a vital act. Even though “leaving nature alone” might as well be the best strategy to get them to revive, it can take too much time, and human beings can be very helpful with the right means, competent knowledge, and respect for the lives out there. INTO THE WILD I have been to many islands before, but on this wonderful Pila Island, it is an experience like never before. As a private island with an environmentally friendly resort, every spot comes with serenity and natural wonders! Strolling on the soft sands, I am stunned by captivating, enigmatic rock formations on the shore, which looks especially breathtaking when the tide is low in early morning. Stepping closer, I find the rocks are home to countless crabs. I keep coming back on this tiny adventure of mine, observing the crab community I have never seen before. Aside from rock crabs, hermit crabs hidden in artsy shells are another magic of the island. Birdwatching is a thing to do when you are at Awei Pila Resort. Mitch Hawkins, the recreation manager at the resort will bring you around to spot birds, explain their lovely behaviours, and distinguish the sound of their songs from one another. Chances are you’ll find some kingfishers, white-rumped shamas, racked-tailed drongos, and other tuneful creatures. Along the birdwatching way or the hike to nearby villages, soaring trees with its own ecosystem are all over the places, warranting the robustness of the nature of this distant island. Wildlife such as meerkats, wild pigs, and more are still there in the forest, but they do
FROM KOH CHANG IN THAILAND TO PHU QUOC IN VIETNAM, A STRING OF ISLANDS HUGS THE COAST – AND MOST OF THEM ARE CAMBODIA’S, SITTING OFFSHORE OF THE KINGDOM’S 440 KILOMETRES OF TWISTING AND TURNING COASTLINE – THE PEARLS OF THE CAMBODIAN SEASHORES The beauty of these islands is that most of them are undeveloped, with wild beaches and just a few simple backpacker huts if you want to stay a while – or no huts at all, just you and nature. Perfect for day trips, or pitching a tent in paradise. Then there are two big islands – Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem – which have a whole range of accommodation along their super-long beaches, with dense jungle interiors. Lastly, for those with fat wallets, there are three private islands blessed with fabulous luxury resorts. Well and truly off the map at the turn of the century, Cambodia’s islands now have something for everybody, from just a hammock in the trees, to a wooden chalet with a balcony, through to an exclusive villa with your own pool. Numbering no less than 60, the islands lack roads, ATMs or mains electricity, but boast a host of bars, restaurants and dive shops, plus endless beaches, azure seas and an escapist, easy-going vibe. Controversially, some islands have been leased to developers for large-scale resort building, so who knows how long this away-from-itall tranquillity will exist? Already the charm of the first of Cambodia’s beach hubs, the seaside town of Sihanoukville, has been smashed and annihilated by manic development. In just the last few years, what was a laid-back beach town has become a grotesque casino city for Chinese gamblers, its former backpacker haunts left to rot. That means right now is the time to enjoy the Cambodian islands, while they are still treasures possessing a serenity not easily found elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Let’s check them out. THE NORTHERN GROUP KOH KONG KOAH If you’re coming from Thailand by land – not a bad idea at all, entering Cambodia from Trat province – then the first big island is Koh Kong Koah, which is in fact Cambodia’s largest island. However, it has a strong military presence, so access is tightly controlled and you must visit on a guided boat tour out of Koh Kong town or Tatai costing USD21 per person, including lunch and snorkelling equipment, or you can take overnight trips with beach camping or homestay for USD55. These trips only operate from October to May and it’s forbidden to explore the forested interior. Seven beaches are strung along the western coast, lined with coconut palms and lush vegetation. At the sixth beach from the north, a narrow channel leads to a hidden lagoon. KOH S’DACH ARCHIPELAGO KOH S’DACH Twelve small islands form the Koh S’Dach Archipelago, located offshore midway between the Thai border and the coastal city of Sihanoukville. Just two kilometres long, Koh S’Dach is the only island with a sizeable population, about 2,300, and it buzzes with fishing boats and an ice factory as the economic heart of the archipelago. The beaches