The top luxury brand of AccorHotels Group, Raffles Hotels & Resorts has just announced the signing of a historic partnership between the Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to transform Winston Churchill's iconic Old War Office building in Whitehall into one of the most unique hotel and deluxe residences in London - The Raffles London.
The first ever Raffles Hotel was opened back in 1887 in Singapore and it was named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Raffles was celebrated by Nobel Prize winner, Rudyard Kipling in his 1889 book, From Sea To Sea and in 1915 Singapore’s most famous cocktail, the Singapore Sling was created at the hotel. The Grade II* listed Old War Office, with its 1100 rooms across seven floors, and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906. It was the office to many of the United Kingdom’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, notably Sir Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T.E. Lawrence. It was also the haunt of the British Secret Service who had their own, more discreet entrance.
Close to 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the Old War Office was bought by Hinduja Group and OHLD in December 2014 following a public bid. Planning permission was granted for a multi-purpose development including 125 rooms (of which 40% are suites), 88 private residences, restaurants and other amenities. Completion is expected in just over three years.
Singapore Airlines and wellness brand COMO Shambhala (which forms part of the COMO Group) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a wide-ranging partnership aimed at enhancing the customer experience for travellers. This partnership will see the award-winning wellness cuisine to be introduced on selected Singapore Airlines flights in the second half of this year.
In view of prioritising simplicity, inclusivity, value, immediacy and access for guests, Millennium Hotels and Resorts implemented a brand new single-tier loyalty membership with the refreshed My Millennium Guest Reward Programme. This newly-revamped programme aims to simplify the way members earn and burn points with stay enhancements or lifestyle rewards by allowing them to choose the benefits which are most important to them.
The premier bar and lounge at the luxurious Sofitel Singapore City Centre, 1864, has just launched its initial series of craft beers. Created in collaboration with local brew house, Trouble Brewing, the Crocodile Sunset Summer Ale, Banana Sunday Session IPA and Tropicana Botanical Pilsner have drawn inspiration from works by artist-in-residence Arianna Caroli which complements the hotel’s botanical theme.
The Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has recently re-opened their flagship restaurant, One-Ninety. The newly-transformed and revamp space now features a botanical-inspired ambience as well as wholesome Provençal cuisine enlivened by an Asian twist. The latest dining destination along Singapore's most famous shopping strip has design elements that is prevalent in its refurbished rooms and suites (check out my review of the Four Seasons Executive Suite!).
One of the leading international hospitality group, SBE, has just announced the launch of a brand new luxury hotel brand at the Berlin Hospitality Conference. In partnership with Accor, The House of Originals will be a luxury collection of SBE properties that feature a bold spirit that challenges and inspires. SBE is thrilled to launch this new hotel brand collection which will include the Sanderson and St. Martins Lane in London, 10 Karakoy in Istanbul, and the Shore Club in Miami Beach.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will be entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the opening of the brand-new Anantara Mauritius Resort which is scheduled to open in Q4 of 2019. This luxury property will be located near Blue Bay Marine Park and it will be a part of an integrated coastal development, just 15 minutes from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
In view of its latest acquisitions and the changing dynamic landscape of customer loyalty, AccorHotels will be replacing its existing Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program with ALL (Accor Live Limitless) by the end of the year. The new lifestyle loyalty program will be developed into a fully integrated global platform that integrates rewards, services, and experiences across the entire ecosystem to bring value to members.
Following the completion of a major 3-month renovation project, Pullman Danang Beach Resort has just unveiled newly-refurbished guest rooms and suites. With a new bright and elegant design, the new decor of the guest rooms creates a greater sense of space with a relaxed ambiance. There is also a brand new two-bedroom Family Suite room type that caters to larger groups of travellers.
IHG has just announced its plans to acquire Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas (which currently manages 16 hotels and resorts) for $300 Million in cash. There are 18 management contracts signed into its pipeline, and more than 50 further deals under active discussion. With properties in locations such as the Maldives, the Seychelles, Yao Noi in Thailand, Zighy Bay in Oman, and Portugal’s Douro Valley, the addition of Six Senses’ award-winning estate and high-quality development pipeline will further round out IHG’s position in the luxury segment.
Located off Swan Street as part of Botanicca Corporate Park, the brand new Element Melbourne Richmond is set to open in May 2019. The 168-room hotel will be located on the city fringe and it will feature a state-of-the-art fitness centre, refreshing pool as well as healthy food options. There will also be bright and open multi-purpose public spaces that are designed for work, play, socializing, and unwinding.