China Continues Hotel Boom

 

Anantara Xishuangbanna’s River Pool Villa
Anantara Xishuangbanna’s River Pool Villa affords the views of tropical surroundings from the living room.

 

These days, the Far East doesn’t seem quite so far, and with more and more familiar luxury brands opening on a daily basis, a quick jaunt to China doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility. Here’s what’s brewing on the other side of the world:

Anantara has made another entrance into China with the opening of Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa. The 103-key resort, which opened in the Yunnan Province, has 80 deluxe guest rooms, as well as 23 one-, two- and three-bedroom pool villas. Other facilities include a selection of dining options, an Anantara Spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a kids club and more. Dining options include an all-day dining restaurant, accompanied by a lobby lounge bar and the poolside bar and snack zone. There is also an Indochine specialty restaurant. Travel agents should contact Reservation Supervisor Helen Yang ([email protected]; +011-8669-1893-6666) with questions.

Shangri-La Hotels has welcomed its 35th hotel in mainland China with the debut of Shangri-La Hotel, Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province. We love it because: The 369-room hotel overlooks the Mingyue Lake and has its own garden with pavilions, pagodas and koi ponds. The hotel is also decked out with a Horizon Club floor, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and a slew of dining establishments. At Café Xiu, guests will enjoy five interactive cooking stations. The signature Shang Palace offers authentic Cantonese and Huaiyang selections. Be sure to visit the Health Club, which has an 82-foot indoor pool, gym, tennis court and massage rooms. Reach out to Director of Sales Rose Zhao ([email protected]) with questions.

Whisky lovers traveling to Beijing won’t want to miss the Johnnie Walker House, a new club that parent company Diageo Asia Pacific describes as “the world’s largest embassy for luxury Scotch whiskey outside of Scotland.” Located at Ch’ien Men 23 in the Dongcheng district, the Johnnie Walker House is a bar-cum-club, dedicated to the world of luxury whisky and Scottish culture. Hence the space itself re-creates John Walker’s original grocery shop and a real distillery. Guests can sip some of the brand’s finest, rarest whiskies, and they can even enlist the master blender, Jim Beveridge, to create their own personalized blend. The Johnnie Walker House in Beijing is the second such club in China, after the popular Shanghai location. VIP members get access to private, members-only vaults and private, whisky-inspired dining. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays.

Still in Beijing and looking to complement your whisky with a great meal? We’ve got the scoop on where to find it. We hear iconic Morton’s of Chicago has made a home for itself in the Regent Beijing. The 500-room luxury hotel has opened a 22-seat Morton’s restaurant with eight private dining suites, which can play host to corporate meetings or family celebrations. We love the private lounge room and open display kitchen. Regent Beijing is on Jinbao Street near the Forbidden City.

Spa, anyone? Banyan Tree Spa has opened the Banyan Tree Spa Shanghai On The Bund. The three-story spa has 11 treatment rooms including two Imperial Rooms with a Rainmist facility or Thai massage area. The spa is also outfitted with a beauty salon, nail bar and Banyan Tree Gallery. The menu includes The Banyan Indulgences, featuring holistic signature treatments for total renewal (think the 150-minute Banyan Hot Stones treatment that uses warm Clarity oil and a rose body scrub). The spa also presents a selection of therapies reflecting the five elements: Gold for purifying, Wood for renewal, Water for relaxing, Fire for revitalizing and Earth for balance. Reach out to Kelly Li ([email protected], +011-8621-2509-1188 ext. 7066) in the sales and marketing department.

On the Horizon

For those of you who have not heard of Sanya, we say it is time to listen up. Sanya, which is quickly gaining reputation as the Chinese Riviera, is a destination on the southern coast of China, home to a host of luxury hotels (think Banyan Tree, St. Regis and Kempinski), and we hear it is ready to welcome one more. Kerzner International Holdings (of Atlantis Fame) is set to open a Chinese destination resort in Sanya.

The One&Only Sanya Resort will debut in early 2014. We understand that the new hotel, the eighth One&Only resort worldwide, will have approximately 120 guest rooms. 

Pacific News

New Zealand: There’s an App for That Now

Tourism New Zealand reports it is making travel to New Zealand easier with the launch of its first mobile app: “Essential New Zealand.” The free-to-download app offers advice to travelers on the go in New Zealand, without the need for a Wi-Fi connection, encouraging them to do and see more while in the country. Research shows that the use of mobile devices by visitors while in New Zealand had increased significantly between 2011 and 2012, with travelers using an iPad or laptop up 44 percent, and use of a smartphone up 28 percent. In the past year, Tourism New Zealand has received record traffic to newzealand.com, attracting more than 13.8 million visits. The volume of traffic from mobile devices increased 250 percent.

 

New Zealand Parliament
New Zealand Parliament, Wellington

JAL Upgrades and Renames Nikko Bali Hotel

JAL Hotels has renamed the Nikko Bali Resort & Spa the Grand Nikko Bali, following upgrades on facilities that included 19 new luxury villas, a multi-purpose event space and a wedding ceremony gazebo. The new luxury villas include 17 one-bedroom villas, one two-bedroom villa, and one three-bedroom villa, all with private swimming pools, outdoor-indoor living rooms, bathrooms and butler service. Daily breakfast or afternoon tea is served at the new Villa Lounge, where check-in/check-out services will also be provided.

Outrigger on Fiji Opens New Adult Pool, Bistro

Clients looking for a more tranquil pool experience when on holiday are enjoying this and more at the newly opened adults-only pool and bistro, the Vahavu, at the Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji. The opening of this new, roughly $1.1-million facility—which includes a 65-foot-long lap pool, a 110-foot lagoon pool and a swim-up bar—is a direct result of feedback from guests who asked for a quieter, more relaxed pool alternative at the resort. “Vahavu” means “to relax” or “chill out” in the local Nadroga Fijian dialect. The resort is also offering a $50 booking bonus for stays of five or more nights exclusive to U.S. travel agents. Visit www.outrigger.com/fiji-booking-bonus-flyer for details.

 

InterContinental plans to open a “cave hotel” in a quarry near Shanghai by year’s end in 2014 or early 2015. The $527-million, five-star InterContinental Shimao will hug the walls of the quarry and overlook a lake at the bottom of that quarry. Two of its 19 stories with be submerged, looking into the depths of the lake. These underwater floors will house a restaurant and bedrooms. A waterfall will cascade from the hotel roof down to an atrium on the ground level and be visible from bedroom windows. Along with a swimming pool and all the other facilities one would usually expect, the resort will also offer opportunities for extreme sports, using the steep quarry walls for rock climbing and bungee jumping. There will also be watersports available on the lake.

Fans of SLS Hotels should be happy to know that the design-oriented brand is taking its modern look and heading east to China where it expects to debut in the coming years. The first destinations SLS plans to target will be Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi and Kunming, with additional cities under consideration.

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