Feb. 7, 2018
HUE, Vietnam — La Residence Hotel & Spa, twelve years after opening as one of the hottest new hotels in Asia, is wrapping up work on the first phase of a two-step renovation that will stand as the most dramatic pivot in its short history. While the canvas of the hotel’s art deco appeal will remain unchanged, its brush strokes will paint a dramatically different picture. Every one of the hotel’s 122 rooms is on the verge of an extreme makeover, and with a decided move toward an understated aesthetic. Its spa stays in the same place but consumes more of its ground floor location, and will feature new facilities, furnishings and equipment. The rooftop fitness center will relocate to a new venue beside the spa, and likewise come back online with a new line of fitness equipment.
Feb. 6, 2018
KOH SAMUI, Thailand — Banyan Tree Samui, a luxurious 88-villa beachfront resort on one of Thailand’s most compelling island destinations, is handing out smartphones with room keys at check in. An initiative that got underway on December 16, the phones offer free and unrestricted international telephone calls and 4G Internet, as well as access to a host of resort features including restaurant menus, daily activities, and tips for sightseeing around the island of Koh Samui. The Portier smartphone is user-friendly and delivers all of its features in English, Russian, Chinese, German or French.
Feb. 1, 2018
Hanoi – THE best hotels in the world have been revealed, and the list has got the global media talking about Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG). The Hanoi headquartered company has helped redefine the boutique accommodation experience in Vietnam since debuting in the city with the Hanoi Elegance Hotel back in 2006. And the company’s remarkable success was given headline-grabbing recognition when the winners of the 2018 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice awards were revealed in late January. The prestigious awards, which are based on customer feedback to the world’s largest travel site, have become one of the hospitality industry’s most eagerly anticipated list of honors. It was no surprise, therefore, that the winners of the awards were covered extensively in major media around the globe: with EHG a major beneficiary of all the attention.
Jan. 30, 2018
HANOI — In the days leading up to the Lunar Year of the Dog, Vietnam’s most storied hotel will host a festive open-air bazaar featuring more than a dozen stalls selling gourmet foods and beverages, designer clothing and luxury gifts. The five-day Tet Ha thanh (Hanoian market in Vietnamese) at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi aims to share the observances of the Vietnamese new year with locals and visitors alike. For the first time, a Vietnamese house, designed by local artist Pham Ha Hai, will be set up on the hotel’s patio, where visitors can enjoy a range of Tet holiday foods including pho, banh cuon and bun cha. Meanwhile, the hotel’s open-air courtyard will be transformed into a bustling Hanoian market. Some 15 new vendors will take part in this year’s bazaar including Vietnamese fashion designers Hoa Nguyen as well as former Miss Vietnam 2010 Ngoc Han, Liti Florist, Orfarm, Fargreen, Hellomam, C-Brewmaster beer, Three Trees jewellery, and local fine tea producers, Thuong Tra. A special Tet holiday hamper filled with delicious delicacies from L’Epicerie du Metropole will also be available for sale.
Jan. 30, 2018
BINTAN ISLAND, Indonesia – While most practitioners of mindfulness retreat to the pagoda and the sangha for space and community, The Sanchaya is stepping up as an alternative venue for a retreat that indulges silence and calm, to be sure, but great food and fine wine, as well. The 10-hectare beachfront estate has joined forces with renowned Australian pilates specialist and personal trainer Rosie Gregory and app-based lifestyle and fitness platform GuavaPass to introduce the inaugural “The Sanchaya Sangha – An Indulgent Mindfulness Retreat” from June 4-8 this year. The intimate four-night retreat balances morning beach boot camp sessions, meditation workshops and afternoon yoga and pilates with delectable spreads from the resort’s kitchens, premium vintages from its cellars, European cheese and rarified conversation.
Jan. 24, 2018
Start off the Year of the Dog at one of these festive destinations: Grand Hyatt Taipei People tend to overdo it around the holidays, especially when it comes to food. At Grand Hyatt Taipei, revelers can ring in the Year of the Dog with a lavish Chinese New Year banquet complete with live entertainment and a lucky draw. The 10-course dinner in the Grand Ballroom will include a selection of auspicious Chinese delicacies ranging from steamed grouper to ‘Buddha Jumps over the Wall’ – a classic winter soup made with sea cucumber, pork tendon and black mushroom. Taipei’s largest luxury hotel will also host an indoor bazaar on Feb. 16, the first day of the Chinese New Year, featuring traditional handicrafts such as Chinese paper-cutting, block printing and calligraphy. Celebrants can also have their fortunes read while a dragon dance troupe will bring good luck to all in attendance.
Jan. 18, 2018
HO TRAM, Vietnam — The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip has retained its status as one of Golf Digest’s best golf courses in the world — only now it’s 39 places higher than it was in 2016, when the planet’s most widely-read golf publication released the follow-up to its inaugural ‘World 100 Greatest Golf Courses’ ranking. Revealed last week, the latest edition has Vietnam’s most acclaimed course at No. 35, five spots ahead of storied Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. “It’s been an astonishing past few months,” said Sonia Huong Mai, General Manager of The Bluffs, which was hailed by Vietnam’s leading golf authorities in October and at the World Golf Awards in November. “All I can say is we’re fortunate to have an ownership group like Asian Coast Development Ltd. (ACDL), which continually provides us the resources and support necessary to make this world-class product better every day.”
Jan. 18, 2018
BANGKOK -- Sammy Carolus has been appointed general manager of Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit, set to open later this year on vibrant Sukhumvit Road. In his new role, Carolus returns to Thailand -- a place in which he has spent more than half of his 25-year professional career -- to lead Bangkok’s first Hyatt Regency branded hotel. Prior to this appointment, he was the general manager at Grand Hyatt Taipei.
Jan. 18, 2018
HANOI — The leading luxury cruise provider in Vietnam’s famed Halong Bay has launched a limited-time promotion that will end with one lucky customer thousands of dollars richer. Between now and Feb. 13, anyone who books a cruise with Paradise Cruises through its official website — paradisecruise.com — will be entered in a random draw to win $3,000. The prize is about five times the value of a standard overnight cruise with Paradise, which operates nine luxury cruise ships in Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site about four hours by car from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.
Jan. 17, 2018
CAM RANH - Fusion Resort Cam Ranh, on Vietnam’s south central coast, welcomed the new year with a new name and a new wellness concept. The all-spa inclusive resort has revamped its spa menu and is introducing a packed schedule of healthy and healing activities ranging from anti-gravity yoga and yoga for children to daily meditation and Tai Chi sessions. Four different types of yoga classes are now on offer per day (including one that’s kids only). For moms-to-be, the new spa menu details prenatal treatments that include body therapies and a lotus body polish. For men, a new Gentleman’s Facial treatment targets ingrown hairs and clogged pores.