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Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category

Aman’s Secret Garden

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Aman Kyoto

Aman is set to open its third hotel in Japan on November 1st 2019. Aman Kyoto is a sanctuary of 24 guest rooms and two two-bedroom villas set within a hidden garden.

Close to the Kinkaku-ji Temple, Aman Kyoto is set within 80 acres of grounds eight of which are exquisite gardens set between a small stream and a wooded hill. Stone pathways and steps meander through the garden leading to upper platforms bordered with yama momiji maples and kitayama-sugi (Japanese cedar).

Aman Kyoto, Japan

Aman Kyoto

Like Aman Tokyo and Amanemu has been designed by Kerry Hill Architects. Each of the guest rooms is a contemporary take on the traditional ryokan.

As with all Amans the Spa is central to the resort. Traditional onset bathing facilities will be available utilising natural spring water that flows nearby. A range of treatments featuring local resources such as Kyoto green tea, Tanba kuromame (black beans), local saké, and cold- pressed tsubaki (camellia) oil will be on offer.

http://www.aman.com/resorts/aman-kyoto

 

Soho House expands homewares range with Mumbai Collection

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Soho House Mumbai

Soho House has expanded its coveted homewares range with the addition of the Mumbai Collection.

The range was specifically designed for Soho House Mumbai which opened last year, the first House in Asia, and was inspired by the city.

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Soho House Mumbai

‘We wanted it to be so you would go in there and see all these amazing little details that reminded you of [Mumbai] culture but also created loads of layers so it felt like you were coming into a Soho House,” says Soho House Mumbai lead designer Scarlett Supple.

 “It’s a whole serene space that you can relax in, like sitting at home, which is really unique in Mumbai because lots of their hospitality spaces are really contemporary and really clean.”

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Soho House Mumbai

Pieces to buy include the Priya cushion found in the bedrooms and rugs found dotted around the House.

“Our three cushion prints were designed bespoke with hand block printing and feature traditional craftsmanship and skilled techniques,” says Soho Home product developer, Kirsty Orr. “The geometric elements and the colour palette of on-trend shades such as  blue and mustard easily fit into people’s existing colour schemes at home.”

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Soho House Mumbai

The team also collaborated with Samarkand Design for a range of lampshades which individually hand-cut from vintage silk sarees sourced in India and hand-pleated by skilled craftsmen in Devon. The shades are available in the same tones of teal, saffron, oyster, chartreuse and coral found around Soho House Mumbai.

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Soho House Mumbai

 

Soho House Mumbai is in Juhu, an area north of the city. The club is housed in a striking white, neoclassical building, surrounded by palm trees and has views across the Arabian sea.

Soho House Hong Kong is slated to open in September 2019.

Mumbai Collection is available at http://www.sohohome.com

 

MO London to Fully Reopen in April

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The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

[UPDATE: The guest rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will reopen on April 15th 2019 along with two new penthouse suites. The hotel is offering a ‘Be the First to Stay’ package available from 15 April to 30 June 2019. Priced from £659, inclusive of VAT, the promotion includes daily breakfast, a bottle of Champagne on arrival, plus a daily credit (ranging from £75 to £250 depending on the room or suite category booked) to be used in the new Spa, Mandarin Bar, The Rosebery or Bar Boulud.]

Opposite Harvey Nichols, around the corner from Sloane Street and down the road from Harrods, the Mandarin is a shopaholics’ dream. Check in to one of the newly refurbished Knightsbridge rooms and you’ll have a view of the designer mothership, Harvey Nicks, at all times.

The guest rooms and public spaces have been revamped by Joyce Wang, the designer responsible for The Landmark M.O. Hong Kong rooms and suites. Wang’s signature style of a light and contemporary take on 1930s glamour is much in evidence here. The designer has also taken inspiration from nearby Hyde Park with witty touches such as using horse hair as a feature in the hallway light fittings.

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The Mandarin Oriental Penthouse

The two new penthouse suites, the two bed Mandarin and the one bed Oriental have also been designed by Wang. The two suites can be interconnected to offer three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private dining room, two kitchens, and expansive views of Hyde Park and the London skyline.

Fans of chef Daniel Boulud will be pleased to know Bar Boulud is still in residence at the hotel, a favourite with the well heeled Knightsbridge crowd mid or post shopping. As well as signature charcuterie and burgers, the restaurant has introduced French regional specialities which will change seasonally. For Spring it’s the Basque Country with dishes such as traditional tapas and monkfish tail wrapped in Bayonne ham with crush potatoes.

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Bar Boulud, MO London

 

The spa, redesigned by Adam H Tihany who is also responsible for the moody ground floor bar, reopened in December 2018.

https://www.mandarinoriental.com/london/hyde-park/luxury-hotel

[This piece was originally published in June 2018]

Update on the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

 

[UPDATE: The Spa, Rosebery Room, Bar Boulud, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and the Mandarin Bar re opened on December 4th 2018. The guest rooms are expected to reopen in spring 2019.]

Opposite Harvey Nichols, around the corner from Sloane Street and down the road from Harrods, the Mandarin is a shopaholics’ dream. Check in to one of the newly refurbished Knightsbridge rooms and you’ll have a view of the designer mothership, Harvey Nicks, at all times.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London lobby 2017 Joyce Wang designed Lobby Lounge

The guest rooms and public spaces have been revamped by Joyce Wang, the designer responsible for The Landmark M.O. Hong Kong rooms and suites. Wang’s signature style of a light and contemporary take on 1930s glamour is much in evidence here. The designer has also taken inspiration from nearby Hyde Park with witty touches such as using horse hair as a feature in the hallway light fittings.

Fans of chef Daniel Boulud will be pleased to know Bar Boulud is still in residence at the hotel, a favourite with the well heeled Knightsbridge crowd mid or post shopping. As well as signature charcuterie and burgers, the restaurant has introduced French regional specialities which will change seasonally. For Spring it’s the Basque Country with dishes such as traditional tapas and monkfish tail wrapped in Bayonne ham with crush potatoes.

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Bar Boulud

The spa is due to reopen next month, redesigned by Adam H Tihany who is also responsible for the moody ground floor bar while two new penthouse suites will be revealed this July.

[This piece was originally published in June 2018]

66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

Tel +44 20 7235 2000

Inside the Crazy Rich Asians’ Bachelorette Resort

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Royal Villa at Four Seasons Langkawi

 

[UPDATE: “Samsara Island”, setting for the film Crazy Rich Asian’s lavish hen weekend, was shot at the Four Seasons Langkawi in Malaysia. The interiors are currently being updated by the resort’s original designer Bill Bensley.]

Set between a white sandy beach and soaring limestone cliffs synonymous with the Malaysia archipelago, the Fours Seasons Langkawi has the luxury of never feeling crowded. Within 48 acres of luscious, landscaped grounds there are just 91 rooms.

With so much space to play with starchitect Bill Bensley has had a blast. Starting with a stunning Moorish-style series of reception spaces complete with torches and reflecting pools when you arrive. The attention to detail is impressive: everywhere you look, there’s something to swoon over.

After a refreshingly short transfer from the airport where we spot families of monkeys on the roadside, we are shown (via golf buggy) to an Upper Pavilion, one of four units in a Malaysian style wooden house. Our pavilion has a breezy wraparound terrace and a glimpse of the sea but the wow factor is the bathroom – including a huge terrazzo tub set in an alcove beneath a high domed ceiling.

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Upper Pavilion Bathroom

 

For a Crazy Rich Asian experience (hopefully without the toxic friends) book a Beach Villa (pics below) or the Royal Villa in a secluded spot right on the sand – where Araminta Lee’s hen weekend was filmed.

 

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The resorts’ three restaurants cover Malaysian, Italian and Western cuisine between them. All three overlook the sea but the prettiest is Ikan Ikan, housed in a traditional Malaysian wooden villa. While all the restaurants serve dinner, only Serai is open for breakfast and the Kelapa Grill open for lunch. Many guests opt for in room dining, especially if they’ve booked a beach villa.

Cleverly, families are booked into one side of the resort (close to the children’s swimming pool and kid’s club) and couples into the other – near the adult’s only pool and a delightful bar where the best spot is a swing seat overlooking the beach.

 

Adult Quiet Pool Pic: Ken Seet

Adult Quiet Pool Pic: Ken Seet

 

Most of our stay is spent at the adult swimming pool – a long (bigger than Olympic size) infinity pool punctuated by fountains. From our cabana we look out to the trademark verdant outcrops that jut out the Andaman sea and slink in for a dip in the pool via private steps.

 

Adult Pool Cabana Pic: Ken Seet

Adult Pool Cabana Pic: Ken Seet

 

A few forays are made to the superb Geo Spa which plays beautifully on Langkawi’s status as a UNESCO Geopark. From the spacious treatment pavilions, each set over water, we get a dramatic close up view of the limestone cliffs. As well as being stunningly designed, the spa offers more interesting and better executed treatments than most.

 

Geo Spa treatment room Pic: Ken Seet

Geo Spa treatment room Pic: Ken Seet

 

If you’re an active type, there are plenty of water and adventure sports on offer from paddle boarding to rock climbing. We’re tempted away from the resort just once, by a boat trip straight from the Four Season’s beach to the nearby mangroves. As well as the entertaining commentary of our guide, Aidi, (“Africa has the big five, we have the little five,”) our reward is the sight of kites, sea eagles and families of monkeys – the latter lining the banks of “monkey alley” and taking a cheeky look at us as we glide by.

 

FS mangroves

A version of this piece was originally published by BA Highlife in 2014

[UPDATE: Four Seasons Langkawi has launched the Escape to Paradise promotion inspired by Crazy Rich Asians the movie. It includes a 20 percent saving on the Bed and Breakfast package, with rates starting at USD 680 onwards, daily buffet breakfast at Serai for up to two adults, and round-trip transfers between the airport and the Resort. To book call reservations on Tel: (60) 4 950 8888.]

 

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