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Raffles Welcomes new hotels in China and the Maldives

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Raffles Hotels & Resorts, renowned for bringing old world elegance, first class travel experiences and genuine charm to the world’s most fascinating cities and desirable holiday hot spots since 1887, is pleased to announce the opening of two important new landmark hotels, Raffles Shenzhen and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. Both hotels opened in early May and are now accepting reservations at raffles.com. Known as havens for royalty, film stars, writers and artists, many remarkable stories and cultural moments have taken place within the plush confines of Raffles hotels and resorts.

“The Raffles collection now includes 14 properties across 12 countries, with a carefully curated list of distinguished addresses in leading markets around the world,” said Chris Cahill, Deputy CEO, Accor. “With a storied history spanning more than 130 years, Raffles is currently experiencing a renaissance, with a robust project pipeline that will see the portfolio add an additional 8-10 hotels over the next few years.”

Raffles Shenzhen brings the height of luxury and bespoke service to the shining modern metropolis of Shenzhen. An extraordinary urban oasis discreetly perched on the top floors of a 72-storey tower in the prestigious One Shenzhen Bay complex, Raffles Shenzhen is the epitome of glamour and refinement. With 168 spacious guestrooms, as well as a selection of serviced residences, well-travelled guests will be enchanted by the exquisite dining venues, spectacular views of Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong, and of course, the famous Raffles Butlers and the warm, graceful and personalized service for which they are known. 

On the remote southern tip of the Maldives archipelago, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is as removed from the rhythm of everyday life as can be. Surrounded by crystalline Indian Ocean waters and unspoiled reefs, the resort is a rare haven of 21 island beach villas and 16 ocean overwater villas. Guests take a domestic flight and are transported by speed boat to the pristine and private oasis of Meradhoo, where they receive the gentle and intuitive attentions of the legendary Raffles Butlers, along with an exclusive Marine Butler service, Children’s Butlers and private chefs.
 
“With the doors now officially open at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo and Raffles Shenzhen, we are delighted to invite guests to experience the impeccable service, intuitive charm and extraordinary adventures upon which the Raffles legend has been built,” said Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand & Strategic Partnerships. “The next few years will be very exciting for our guests and global ambassadors as we continue to expand our illustrious hotel collection, bringing Raffles to the most fascinating, attractive and culturally rich regions of the world.”

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The Luxury Collection Makes A Landmark Debut In Qatar

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The Luxury Collection today announced the opening of Al Messila, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Doha, marking the debut of the brand in Qatar. Only 25 minutes from Hamad International Airport and 15 minutes from Doha’s city centre, West Bay, Al Messila is an urban oasis designed to respect the area’s natural surroundings. The ‘private palace’ setting is a celebration of a verdant retreat in the heart of the desert, offering attentive service infused with age-old Qatari hospitality. A cherished reflection of the local spirit, Al Messila is anchored by holistic wellness and epicurean journeys for each guest to embark on during their stay.

“Doha today is a world-class city with a burgeoning arts and culinary scene, rooted in tradition and a rich heritage,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “We are delighted to welcome Al Messila Resort & Spa to The Luxury Collection’s ensemble of hotels. True to our brand’s mission and informed by Qatar’s foresight and commitment to sustainability, Al Messila offers global explorers a palatial retreat in a lush haven, guiding our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.”

A regal retreat in a historical oasis
With an expansive botanical backdrop in Doha’s historic ‘oasis’ district, Al Messila is visually dramatic and equally inspiring. Guests arriving through the stately porte-cochere will be transported to their own private palace. Understated opulence hints at its 21st-century roots, where the three-story, light-filled lobby adjoins a lounge offering expansive views of the resort. Sculpted marble sits alongside mashrabiya, detailing original Arabic patterning with the contrast producing a warm and welcoming ambience, perfectly infusing modern design with Qatari accents.

The resort has 152 rooms and suites, including 30 premium Villas, each with their own pool, garden and personal butler service. Landscaped with native Mimosa and Acacia trees, alongside an abundance of vibrant flora and fauna, Al Messila is the ultimate oasis escape within a dynamic city.

Acclaimed dining and epicurean exploration
With eight unrivalled dining venues expertly overseen by Michelin Star Chef Pino Lavarra, Al Messila Resort & Spa offers an unrivalled international epicurean experience. Snøull features a Nordic gourmet experience inspired by friluftsliv, the Scandinavian philosophy of ‘reconnecting with nature.’ Dishes are crafted using naturally nourishing, raw and biodynamic produce. Veritas offers a refined Northern Italian menu inspired by seasonal ingredients. Caravanserai will serve hearty, comforting dishes that reinterpret the flavors of the Maghreb and Europe for a contemporary audience. Those seeking a spirited, convivial atmosphere can thrive in the down-to-earth Greek estiatorio, Siga-Siga, with its healthy menu of authentic mezze and fresh seafood. This is complemented by a signature Deli Kitchen where guests can shop, learn and enjoy under the same roof.

An original approach to wellness and family
The resort’s comprehensive Al Messila Wellness facility is an extensive female-only facility with 26 treatment rooms and advanced hydro-thermal facilities. Al Messila hosts the region’s largest wellness retreat of its kind, including three therapy pools and four hydro wellness ‘Worlds’ – Oriental, Mystic, Mineral and Floral – equipped with flotation tanks, cocoon beds, oxygen rooms, Kneipp walks, Hammams, salt rooms, and an elite range of exclusive treatment products and protocols.

Suitable for families, Al Messila also hosts the innovative Little Explorers’ Club – the first ‘edu-tainment’ facility of its kind in Doha. This includes a gym with kids-fit equipment, a cinema, an educational play area, an outdoor playground with interactive water fountains, and a shaded outdoor pool with hot-dip trampolines.

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The Park Hyatt Brand Celebrates Debut of Park Hyatt Kyoto

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today the opening of Park Hyatt Kyoto. Set in the heart of this noble city with centuries of history and heritage, Park Hyatt Kyoto unfolds a journey of discovery with enriching, sophisticated and rare experiences.  

Park Hyatt Kyoto is located in one of the city’s best-preserved historic districts, Higashiyama hills. The region, known as the birthplace of traditions such as the Japanese tea ceremony, the Ikebana flower arrangement and Japanese Zen gardens, will offer a rich foundation for the hotel. Park Hyatt Kyoto embodies the quintessential Japanese guesthouse, offering a serene Higashiyama hillside retreat for discerning global travelers and local residents. The hotel is next to Kodai-ji temple and within walking distance to many of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Kiyomizu-dera temple, and offers sweeping views of the city and Yasaka Pagoda. Park Hyatt Kyoto is located less than one mile (1.5 kilometers) from the Kyoto train station, which connects travelers to Tokyo in just over two hours via the Nozomi Shinkansen bullet train.

“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of Park Hyatt Kyoto, the second Park Hyatt hotel in Japan in 25 years, and to offer guests a refined home-away-from-home in this remarkable city,” said David Udell, group president, Asia Pacific, Hyatt. “We are grateful to the hotel’s owners, Kyoyamato and Takenaka Corporation, for their trust, support and deep understanding of luxury hospitality. Park Hyatt Kyoto is a celebration of Japanese harmony and tranquility and we look forward to seeing guests immerse themselves in the city’s inspiring heritage and culture.”

Located within the same grounds as Park Hyatt Kyoto, guests can find a historic garden with steps leading to Kyoyamato, a traditional ryotei and culinary institution which opened in 1877 and serves authentic, seasonally inspired Kaiseki cuisine. Kyoyamato, one of the hotel’s owners, is a seven-generation, family-run business and consists of several historic buildings including “Soyotei,” a teahouse from the Edo era with a private room where feudal warlords once secretly met. Its storied gardens and traditional houses complement the hotel’s modern interpretation of classical Japanese architecture and intimate hospitality.

“We are excited to introduce the Park Hyatt brand of personal and exceptional hospitality in a special place like Kyoto and look forward to unlocking the unique character of Japan’s ancient capital of high arts and craft,” said Mark de Leeuwerk, general manager, Park Hyatt Kyoto. “It has been a privilege for us to work closely with our neighbors in Higashiyama as well as the artisans and craftsmen of this beautiful city.”

Concept and Design

Park Hyatt Kyoto is a modern interpretation of Japanese hospitality steeped in culture and place, immersing guests in nature. Jointly developed by Takenaka Corporation – one of the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in Japan, and Tony Chi and Associates, an award-winning interior design firm – the hotel’s design and construction incorporates traditional Japanese design, architecture and artisanal craftsmanship. Several historic buildings including an Edo-era teahouse, as well as the Japanese garden that is central to the site, have been preserved and carefully restored.

Guestrooms

The low-rise hotel features 70 guest rooms, including nine suites, offering calm and respite from the bustle of Higashiyama’s neighboring streets. The elegantly designed rooms and suites highlight local craftsmanship and materials such as fragrant Tamo wood, original artwork and Zen garden views.

Drinking and Dining 

Park Hyatt Kyoto offers guests and visitors four distinct culinary venues:

Kyoto Bistro is a casual, street-side café featuring international and Japanese comfort food prepared with locally sourced and organic ingredients in a lively, open kitchen. All dishes are served on handmade earthenware exclusively created for the hotel by Asahiyaki, a local pottery master with a heritage of over 400 years in Uji, a city south of Kyoto.

Bathed in natural light during the day and the lingering scent of Tamo wood from the open fireplace, The Living Room welcomes guests to start their day with an authentic Japanese breakfast expertly prepared by Kyoyamato or an afternoon enjoying tea and light snacks.

Yasaka’s team of skilled chefs demonstrate their elevated cooking skills on the Japanese “teppan,” or “steel plate,” which guests can enjoy alongside the breathtaking views of Kyoto’s famous Yasaka Pagoda.

After the stimulating teppanyaki action at Yasaka, guests can head next door to Kohaku, where a fine collection of rare and craft spirits, including artisanal whiskey, sake, and gin made in Kyoto, awaits. The intimate bar exudes a warm, classic atmosphere with its dark woods and leather textures.

Events and Wedding

Park Hyatt Kyoto is positioned to be the city’s premier location for unique, timeless, and crafted experiences inspired by the tradition and majesty surrounding the hotel and the city. Alongside views of a Tsuboniwa Japanese garden, the elegant ballroom offers 2,153 square feet (200 square meters) of event space and multi-functional meeting facilities, a show kitchen, foyer and the latest audio-visual system.

Wellness 

A tranquil heaven, The Spa at Park Hyatt Kyoto, has a treatment suite for two with a private bath house including Japanese-style bathtubs, as well as dry and mist saunas. The signature treatment features an original signature oil developed by Kotoshina, a Kyoto-based organic skincare brand using locally harvested green tea. The spa and adjacent wellness center are open only to guests staying at the hotel. 

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Hilton’s Hotels Across South East Asia Recognized in Global Awards

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Hilton, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, rounds off its centennial festivities on a high with numerous accolades recognizing the outstanding quality and service across its hotels in South East Asia.

Bagging awards from several global awarding bodies, such as the World Travel Awards, World Luxury Hotel Awards and Forbes Travel Guide, the global hospitality company’s growing honours list is a testament to its commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to guests in both emerging and established destinations across the region.   

“Over the course of the last 100 years, Hilton has aspired to be the most hospitable company in the world by delivering exceptional experiences to our valued guests anytime and anywhere,” said Paul Hutton, vice president, operations, South East Asia, Hilton.

“We are thrilled to receive these awards in recognition of the hard work and dedication of our Team Members who continually strive to make this vision of ours a reality. They also serve as a reminder that we must always keep our guests at the heart of our business, especially as we prepare to more than double our presence in South East Asia from 40 to more than 90 hotels in the next three to five years. I look forward to seeing how our pioneering spirit will continue to push the boundaries of service excellence and set new benchmarks in the travel and hospitality industry, both in the region and around the world,” added Paul.

Hilton properties in South East Asia received top honours at the global, regional and local levels. These accolades and the list of award-winning properties include the following.

World Travel Awards

Into its 26th edition, the annual World Travel Awards is recognized globally as the most prestigious honours programme in travel and tourism — acknowledging, rewarding and celebrating excellence across all key sectors of the industry. The Hilton properties that walked away with top honours include:

  •  Asia’s Leading City Resort 2019: DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta-Diponegoro
  •  Bali’s Leading Hotel Suite 2019: Conrad Penthouse Suite @ Conrad Bali
  •  Bali’s Leading MICE Hotel 2019: Conrad Bali
  •  Indonesia’s Leading City Hotel 2019: DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta-Diponegoro
  •  Indonesia’s Leading Conference Hotel 2019: DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta-Diponegoro
  •  Malaysia’s Leading Business Hotel 2019: Hilton Kuala Lumpur
  •  Malaysia’s Leading Conference Hotel 2019: Hilton Kuala Lumpur
  •  Malaysia’s Leading Hotel Suite 2019: Presidential Suite @ Hilton Kuala Lumpur
  •  Philippines’ Leading Conference Hotel 2019: Conrad Manila
  •  Sri Lanka’s Leading Business Hotel 2019: Hilton Colombo
  •  Thailand’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel 2019: Hilton Pattaya

World Luxury Hotel Awards

Since its inception in 2006, the World Luxury Hotel Awards has become the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry, offering international recognition as voted by guests, travelers and industry players. Its 2019 edition saw the following Hilton hotels being honoured for their outstanding achievements:

  •  Luxury Wedding Destination: Conrad Bali
  •  Luxury Hotel & Conference Centre: Conrad Bangkok
  •  Luxury Honeymoon Hotel: Conrad Koh Samui
  •  Luxury Contemporary Hotel: Conrad Manila
  •  Luxury Family Beach Resort: Hilton Bali Resort
  •  Luxury Banquet/Event Hotel: Hilton Kuala Lumpur
  •  Luxury Ocean View Resort: Hilton Ngapali Resort & Spa

Forbes Travel Guide

The Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) is the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Constituting a team of incognito inspectors, FTG selects the world’s best experiences from more than 70 countries and evaluates them based on up to 900 objective standards. The Hilton hotels that received recognition from FTG in 2019 include:

  •  2019 Recommended, Verified Luxury: Conrad Bali
  •  2019 Recommended, Verified Luxury: Conrad Centennial Singapore
  •  2019 Recommended, Verified Luxury: Conrad Manila

Hilton’s recent wins add to their glowing accolades in South East Asia, which also include seven nods across five hotels at the 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards in July. The next edition of each awards programme is expected to take place in Q2 of 2020.

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