Jul. 26, 2017
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Otherwise renowned as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ a city once recalled for its colonial rule and war-torn past is now emerging as one of Asia’s most dynamic business centres and luring would-be guests with a lesser known but no less compelling attribute: its art. Launched this month by The Reverie Saigon, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World that garnered international acclaim in its debut year, ‘Pearls of Saigon’ presents a full-day exploration of select venues – museums, galleries and artists’ studios – that cumulatively sheds light on one of Asia’s most intriguing destinations.
Jul. 25, 2017
HANOI, Vietnam – Panoramic views of Hoan Kiem Lake, a prime Old Quarter setting and an exclusive spa are three of the many selling points at the new La Siesta Central, a 27-room boutique hotel that marks its grand opening in Hanoi on August 15th. With its tapestry of colorful neighborhoods, colonial architecture and emerald lakes, Vietnam’s capital lacks nothing in charismatic locations. Few are quite as evocative as its central lake – for many the defining feature in the ancient city.
Jul. 25, 2017
HANOI – To celebrate the annual Mid-Autumn festival, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is launching their legendary mooncake collection at L’Epicerie du Metropole from Aug. 29 to Oct. 4. This season’s gourmet highlights include seven delectable mooncakes ranging from classic creations such as Traditional Mix, Lotus Seed and Young Rice, and Black Sesame with Coconut to more modern reinventions such as Green Bean and Dried Apricot with salted egg yolk, and Caramel with Dried Fig and Candied Orange. For those that prefer unique flavours, the Metropole is introducing two new twists on the festive treat: Pistachio and Chocolate as well as the exotic Durian mooncake. In keeping with Vietnamese tradition, some cakes are formed in the shape of a carp, a fish that represents the soul of the moon.
Jul. 24, 2017
From flying above ancient ruins in Myanmar to blessings by monks in Cambodia, Andrew Carroll, global head of sales and marketing for bespoke tour operator Exotic Voyages has put together a bucket list travel guide on where to be in Asia over the next five months. August - Skirt Bonfires in Kyoto Glimpsing a trainee geisha as she shuffles along the classic alleys of Gion feels a bit like experiencing time travel. Actually meeting with a trainee or a geisha brings the experience to an entirely different level. Head there in mid-August to see one of these entertainers along with another cultural phenomenon, Daimonji, where five huge fires shaped in kanji are lit on mountainsides encircling the city. The massive bonfires mark the end of Obon, a three day festival where it is said that the spirits of ancestors return to the earth.
Jul. 21, 2017
HALONG BAY, Vietnam — One of France’s leading chefs will be in Halong Bay on Aug. 23 when Paradise Vietnam celebrates the launch of its newest cruise line — Paradise Elegance — with the first of three ‘Haute Cuisine on the High Seas’ experiences this year. Thierry Drapeau, chef and co-owner of the two-Michelin-star Restaurant Thierry Drapeau in the Vendée region of western France, will be joined by representatives of Argentinian wine producer Trivento as they treat up to 62 guests to a gourmet lunch and dinner during an overnight cruise of Vietnam’s most famous natural attraction. “The company you keep is a reflection of your personality,” said Edgar Cayanan, General Manager of Paradise Group Vietnam. “Aligning ourselves with the best in other walks of hospitality reinforces the reputation we’ve built.”
Jul. 20, 2017
HUE, Vietnam — The long, lithe national dress of Vietnam, the ao dai, is at the heart of an alluring new package from La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa. The new ‘Long Lithe Vietnam’ package celebrates the 1,000-year history of a garment as singular to Vietnam as the kimono to Japan, and coordinates the made-to-measure production of an ao dai for one female guest. The three-night package includes tickets to a fashion show on the city’s most glamorous boulevard and accommodation in a room that drinks in views of the fabled Perfume River. As a garment, the ao dai defies pigeon-holing as a dress or a pant suit. Its close-fitting tunic top drapes two long panels as far as the ankles, with slits from the hips to the hemline. The sleeves are tight, the collar typically buttoned up, and the underwear slacks rather blousey. It’s quite frequently said that the ao dai reveals everything and shows nothing at the same time.
Jul. 12, 2017
INLE LAKE, Myanmar — Sanctum Inle Resort is greeting one of the biggest events on Myanmar’s calendar, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, with a package introducing travellers to 800-year-old Buddha images on storied Inle Lake. Pilgrims from across Myanmar will descend on the lake for the festival to pay their respects to the sacred images, towed in a gilded barge by hundreds of Intha fishermen in long canoes. The fishermen’s iconic one-legged rowing style is as famous as the lake itself. Held from September 21 until October 8 this year, the festival begins and ends at one of the country’s holiest sites, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, that houses five Buddha images caked in gold leaf. During the festival four of the images are paraded around the lake in the barge, festooned in gold, white umbrellas, flags and flowers, with the procession making its way to 14 stilted villages on the lake. The fifth image stays at the pagoda to ‘guard’ it during the festivities.
Jul. 10, 2017
BANGKOK — A German national who has held high-ranking positions with some of the world’s most recognizable luxury hotel groups has been named general manager of the flagship property for Sofitel Luxury Hotels in Southeast Asia. In June, Oliver Schnatz assumed the lead role at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit after spending almost three years as the hotel manager of the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. “This is an exciting opportunity because Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is in the absolute perfect location, right in the heart of the city, with a combination of amenities that appeal to both the business and leisure traveler,” said Schnatz, who helped the Siam Kempinski claim the No. 1 spot in Bangkok in revenue per available room (RevPAR) two years in a row. “What’s more, the hotel has got some profound initiatives in the works, which will only enhance the guest experience.
Jul. 10, 2017
Few destinations evoke visions of paradise like Bali. With its stepped terraces of rice, dramatic highland gorges, beaches of volcanic sand and omni-present Balinese dance-drama, the name of the place is a panacea. There’s one corner of Bali that remains largely untouched and truly delivers on these visions of paradise. Still a pristine, culturally vibrant and spiritually charged local preserve that slips under the majority travellers’ radars. Welcome to the fertile Tabanan Regency.
Jun. 27, 2017
HANOI, Vietnam -- Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has tapped a veteran of the hospitality industry, William J. Haandrikman, to lead the Grand Dame of Vietnam and its 650 hotel Ambassadors as general manager. Haandrikman was previously general manager of Thailand’s Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. Haandrikman will also serve as the area general manager of AccorHotels North Vietnam. He relocated to Hanoi in June with 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having started with Accorhotels in 1992. Since joining the French hotel chain, Haandrikman has held senior management positions in Amsterdam, Brussels, New York and Moscow, as well as with the Sofitel brand in The Hague, Paris, Vienna, Shanghai and most recently, Bangkok.