AirAsia paints the skies (RED), featuring 88rising

AirAsia is proud to announce our partnership with (RED) in support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Asean.

The funds generated from the (AirAsia)RED partnership will go directly to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programmes in Asean, home to nearly 1.8 million people living with HIV, according to 2017 UNAIDS data.

AirAsia has pledged proceeds from its current Free Seats promotion and various activities planned for 2019.

For every seat sold on airasia.com and the AirAsia mobile app during the 24-hour period from noon tomorrow until noon on Wednesday (GMT +8), AirAsia will donate 20 US cents, enough to buy one day’s worth of live-saving antiretroviral treatment for someone living with HIV.

In addition, AirAsia and (RED) will be collaborating with leading global Asian music label 88rising to launch a new Asean music and arts festival in 2019 to drive positivity and awareness of HIV/AIDS in the region. Dates, location and lineup will be announced at a later date.

The partnership was announced at the unveiling of a special (WEAREALLCHAMPIONS)RED livery at Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) here today. Guests were treated to a live performance by Los Angeles-based rapper Dumbfoundead, an 88rising collaborator who performed at their recent Head in the Clouds festival in the US.

The event was attended by Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) Malaysian Business Consortium on HIV/AIDS Manager Dr Rethish Raghu, MAF Advocacy Manager Dayana Omar, (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan, 88rising Founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and AirAsia Group Head of Branding Rudy Khaw, among others.

(RED) CEO Deborah Dugan said, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with such a creative and innovative brand like AirAsia! Loved by millions and committed to making a real difference in Southeast Asia, the (AirAsia)RED partnership is literally taking the AIDS fight to new heights.”

88rising Founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro said, “88rising is absolutely over the moon with the idea of an amazing music and arts festival in Asean that empowers a young audience to save lives. All of 88rising will put all of our creative minds together to make this experience one of a kind, while creating massive awareness and engagement to a globally minded audience.”

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said, “AirAsia has always been about making the impossible possible. Today’s global partnership is all about championing new opportunities, both for those living with HIV/AIDS and in terms of bringing a broader message of positivity and change to Asean. And this is just the beginning. We have many more things planned with (RED), with support from 88rising, to supercharge outreach in the region, so watch this space.”

Chiva-Som has Reopened 1st November 2018 Following Completion of Third Stage of Renovations

Internationally renowned wellness destination Chiva-Som has reopened after a 6-month closure to complete the third of four stages of the resort’s first major renovation since its inauguration 23 years ago. Further enhancing the Chiva-Som offering, which has already seen all of its Ocean Rooms and many of its facilities transformed, today sees additions to the wellness experience with a new specialist golf retreat.

The latest aesthetic and hardware developments comprise a complete overhaul of the Thai Pavilions, Emerald Room, Orchid Lounge, Library, Fitness Centre and Niranlada Medi-Spa. In line with the resort master plan, the hallmarks of which are contemporary and supremely comfortable interiors, the new look is realised with materials such as local sustainable teak, silk and bamboo. Keeping their quintessential Thai spirit intact, the Thai Pavilions are brighter, lighter and more spacious, creating a serene, calming space which reflects the tranquility of the resort.  A new room category, the Thai Pavilion Suite features an outdoor pantry and its own outdoor private glass-walled sala, a private space for around six guests set amidst the tranquil gardens and is suitable for private meals, meditation or just for relaxing.

The addition of a glass wall in the Emerald Room has created a fresh, contemporary and relaxing space, flooded with natural light, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. To celebrate the brand new Emerald Room design, Chiva-Som is delighted to welcome their first guest chef, Keisuke Matsushima who will be visiting the resort for a second time, this time the award-winning chef will be in residence serving up his renowned French- Japanese fusion dishes with a wellness twist. In addition, guests have the opportunity to cook with the Chevalier of the L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and L’Ordre du Merite Agricole awarded Chef and learn his techniques in an exclusive cooking class available only for in-house guests of Chiva-Som. Chef Matsushima’s residency is from 8th to 11th December.

 The Orchid Lounge has undergone a complete makeover to become an inviting and sociable spot in which guests can enjoy afternoon-tea, interact, welcoming also a piano, pond-side seating and an open juice bar. The Library has also become airier and the new home of the retail shop, whilst the Guest Relations Desk has moved to a more private and discreet part of the resort.

The Fitness Centre has increased in size to incorporate a larger gym area and a separate stretching space with an array of new cardio equipment, functional and non-functional training equipment as well as a private training room and two fully renovated Dance and Pilates Studio’s.

 The Kinesis Room has been renamed the Re-functional Studio, home to a private Neurac Room, Functional Assessment room and boasting brand new equipment including a BIODEX 4 PRO Isokinetic Dynamometer to help with rehabilitation, leg mobility and balance, as well as preparing the body for more strenuous exercise. Further additions are the highly versatile and space-efficient Queenax functional training equipment; a unique suspended body weight training system and an Electrical Muscle Stimulation system (Vision Body) to help reduce exercise-induced joint damage and aid recovery.

Chiva-Som’s ‘Total Golf Enhancement’ retreat has launched as well, aimed at developing guests’ overall game. This new retreat is suitable for players of all levels and provides expertise in specialist areas, such as Golf Fitness Training and Golf Biomechanics. In addition to golf-specific inclusions, guests will also enjoy related treatments in essential areas, such as post-game muscle recovery, relaxation and skincare. Improvement will be assessed by the included round(s) of golf with one of the in-house accredited professionals, played at one of Hua Hin’s leading courses.

The Niranlada Medi-Spa has evolved from its original clinical design to become warm and tranquil. The consultation room will provide greater privacy during body assessments and a brand new makeup room has been added for guests requiring a little further indulgence.

This highly anticipated refurbishment is being overseen by Chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Mr. Krip Rojanastien, who together with Designrealization Siam co. ltd, one of the worlds’s most respected architecture forms, has developed a modern and fresh take on Asia’s much loved classic. A trailblazer since its inception in 1995, Chiva-Som International Health Resort will continue to provide an unprecedented approach to health and wellbeing for many years to come.

Reservations are available to book throughout 1 November 2018 – 30 April 2019.

For more information on Chiva-Som or to book your stay, visit www.chivasom.com, email reservation@chivasom.com  or call the resort at Tel: +66   (0) 3253-6536 or please contact your preferred travel agents.

 

Aspen Skiing

NEWS FROM ASPEN SKIING COMPANY WINTER 2018/19

New Limelight Hotel Snowmass

Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) is well underway with construction on the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass for a scheduled completion date of November 2018. The new hotel will feature 99 hotel rooms and 11 for-sale condominiums, plus a new restaurant, a children’s game area as well as a five-story climbing wall that will be open to the public and the tallest of its kind in the state. Modeled after the company’s existing properties in Aspen, Colo. and Ketchum, Idaho, the hotel will be located adjacent to Snowmass Mountain’s Elk Camp Gondola providing ski-in/ski-out access. The new hotel property will remain consistent with the Limelight brand featuring amenities and extras such as an expanded continental breakfast, après ski deals in the Lounge, live music, adventure activities such as First Tracks and Inside Tracks, a ski concierge as well as pet-friendly rooms. Stonehill & Taylor, based out of New York City, have been selected to design the interior, with plans to continue the Limelight’s contemporary yet casual design theme. The hotel is pursuing a LEED certification. For more information, visit www.limelighthotels.com/snowmass.

Snowmass Mountain Club

The Snowmass Mountain Club will offer exclusive access on-and-off Snowmass mountain with 228 private memberships. The facilities, located in the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass, are equipped with ski valet, family locker rooms, and après-ski in the club lounge. On-mountain experiences will comprise of activities like first tracks, moonlight cross-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking and summer off-road tours as well as an on-site concierge. Other member benefits include private garage parking directly below the Club, ski-in access and admittance to the hotel’s fitness facilities and hot tubs. The Snowmass Mountain Club is scheduled to open November 2018. For more information, visit www.snowmassmountainclub.com.

 

Snowmass Base Village Development

Located at the base of Snowmass Ski Area in the heart of Snowmass Village, Colo., Snowmass Base Village (SBV) is a $600 million mountain-resort development, currently the largest under construction in North America. This approximately 10-year project will add lodging, residences, restaurants, retail, and amenities to the world-class resort. Completion of the first phase of construction is slated for November 2018, with a grand opening celebration to be held Dec. 15, and includes the Limelight Hotel, ski-in/ski-out residences, public events plaza with ice skating rink, cozy fire pits, and community building. Development is currently ongoing for the following:

  • The 99-room, 11-residence Limelight Hotel. The Limelight will also host the Snowmass Mountain Club, an exclusive 228-member private club with member parking, lockers and lounge space right at the base of the mountain. The mountain-contemporary building was designed by Oz Architecture.
  • A central public events plaza that will serve as the community’s gathering space with an ice-skating rink in the winter and events lawn during the summer, as well as fire pits, children’s pop-up fountains and other community amenities. The plaza was designed by Oz Architecture and StudioINSITE. Scheduled completion November 2018.
  • Lumin, a residential condominium building adjacent to the Plaza and Elk Camp Gondola with three residences and a Four Mountain Sports store. The building was designed by Oz Architecture, with interior design by The Ranch House. Scheduled completion Winter 2018/19.
  • A Community Center that will be a public building and include interactive activities with ever-changing programs for families and children, as well as a bar and restaurant with outdoor patio seating. It is being designed by Harry Teague Architects and pursuing LEED Gold Certification. The official opening is to be determined. A temporary outdoor bar will be open this ski season.

 

For more information about the Snowmass Base Village development, visit www.allinsnowmass.com.

 

New Fort Frog Under Construction at Buttermilk

A new wooden, frontier-style fort is under construction in the woods of Buttermilk. The kid’s play structure will include lookout towers, a jail, a swinging bridge, a saloon with a candy bar, a post office, a turbo twister slide and more. The fort was named after Greg Fortin, a long-time ski instructor at Buttermilk in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and is a memento to his legacy. The newly constructed fort will debut this winter and is accessed by skiing or snowboarding to the fort.

Deals

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Celebrate 60th Anniversary with $60 Lift Tickets

This season, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are celebrating 60 years of skiing and riding with $60 lift tickets. Purchasers must buy a minimum of two days to receive the discounted $60 per day lift ticket. The offer is valid across all four Aspen Snowmass mountains during the early season dates of Thursday, Nov. 22 to Friday, Dec. 21. Package must be booked with lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass. All offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Book seven days in advance of arrival date. Call (800) 290-1326, or e-mail sasinfo@aspensnowmass.com for a customized quote sent via e-mail.

The Ikon Pass

The Ikon Pass is the new standard in season passes, connecting skiers and riders to some of the most iconic mountains across the globe with access to more than 74,632 acres of terrain at 36 premier ski and ride destinations. Aspen Snowmass is pleased to be a part of the new pass product with 7-day combined access when purchasing the Ikon Pass (no black-out dates), and 5-day combined access when purchasing the Ikon Base Pass (black-out dates included). For a detailed list of Ikon Pass resorts as well as further information, visit www.ikonpass.com.

The Mountain Collective Adds Big Sky Resort and Niseko United for 2018-19 Season

The Mountain Collective™ heads into the 2018-19 season with new additions to its already elite list of resorts, as the pass welcomes Montana’s Big Sky Resort and Northern Japan-based Niseko United Resort. Previously a global affiliate, Niseko United will join the Mountain Collective as a full partner for the 2018-19 season. Big Sky and Niseko United join Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine, Coronet Peak – The Remarkables, Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, Mammoth, Revelstoke, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush, Sun Valley, Taos, and Thredbo in the Mountain Collective alliance of 17 iconic destinations. With the addition of Big Sky and Niseko United, each 2018-19 passholder will receive two days at each of the collective destinations, bringing the total ski days available from full partners to 34 days at 17 unique destinations. Extra benefits available to Mountain Collective pass holders include exclusive lodging deals and a complimentary, one-year Protect Our Winters (protectourwinters.org) membership. Passes are available online at www.MountainCollective.com.

Food & Beverage

Friday Morning Uphill Breakfast Club

The Cliffhouse restaurant, located at the top of Buttermilk Mountain, will host a Friday Morning Uphill Breakfast Club. Uphill skiers will be able to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant after hiking/skinning up the mountain. The breakfast will be available for purchase from 8:45 a.m. t0 10 a.m. and will include coffee, tea, hot chocolate and an oatmeal/yogurt station with quick dry oats in a mason jar ready to be prepared with healthy add-ons. A hot breakfast will also be available with two menu options; a signature Cliffhouse breakfast fried rice with a farm egg, or thick-cut French toast with crisp bacon. Both hot items are priced at $12 and the oatmeal bar costs $8. The Breakfast Club will take place every Friday from Jan. 5 to Apr. 6, 2019.

Rental/Retail

New Four Mountain Sports Store in Snowmass Base Village

As part of the Snowmass Base Village development project, a new 4,400 square-foot Four Mountain Sports store will open for the 2018/19 winter. The store is located right next to the Elk Camp Gondola and will offer ski and snowboard rentals as well as retail clothing and gear. Adjacent to the shop, a new ski storage structure will be available to store guest’s skis or snowboards overnight or transfer to another mountain. This service is complimentary to guests when renting equipment from Four Mountain Sports. In the summer months, the store will convert into a downhill mountain bike rental shop.

Ski and Snowboard Schools

Kids Mountain Explorers

New as of last season, but with expanded dates this year, the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass are continuing Kids Mountain Explorers. The programming offers a week-long adventure camp with the same group of kids skiing or riding together every day with a pro-caliber coach. Kids age eight to twelve, level seven and up will carve up all four mountains, riding everything from greens and blues to steeps, bumps, and park depending on the group’s ability level. Throughout the week, the kids will gain skills, confidence and plenty of friends. Kids Mountain Explorers will take place over the following dates: Jan. 14 – 18, 21 –25, 2019; Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2019; Mar. 11 – 15, 18 – 22, 25 –29, 2019.

Sustainability

Straw Free

The Limelight Hotel Aspen, Limelight Hotel Ketchum, The Little Nell, and all Aspen Snowmass food & beverage outlets are going straw free, meaning plastic beverage straws are no longer provided. If a straw is requested, then a paper straw or compostable straw is given. Aspen Skiing Company enacted this policy to align with the movement that throw-away-plastic is an unnecessary product and adds to the plastic pollution in our oceans.

Technology

Aspen Snowmass App—New Rewards and Year-Over-Year Stats and Tracking

The Aspen Snowmass App offers a convenient way for guests to access mountain conditions, tracked skier days, interactive mapping of a guest’s movement, and information about activities, lift tickets, lessons and more. New this year, the App provides rewards and enhanced functioning of year-over-year stats and tracking. Rewards include free food and beverage credits, discounts at Four Mountain Sports stores and a credit to use toward a Ski and Snowboard School lesson. Improved tracking will now include year-over-year statistics for vertical feet and Highland Bowl laps. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/app.

Future Capital Improvements

Pandora’s Expansion on Aspen Mountain—New Lift, Expanded Snowmaking and Terrain

Aspen Mountain is currently going through the process of approval for the proposed Pandora’s Expansion that will increase snowmaking capabilities, expand terrain and add a new chairlift. The plan aims to implement snowmaking operations on top of Aspen Mountain to encompass an additional 50 acres of terrain. The resort’s current snowmaking capabilities stop short of the top of the mountain, but the proposal intends to provide top-to-bottom skiing and riding on a man-made surface. In addition, the Pandora’s Expansion bids for an increase of 153 acres of new terrain bringing the mountain’s total acreage to 850. The new pod will include groomed runs as well as gladed tree skiing/riding on blue and single black trails. Furthermore, the plan proposes a new chairlift that will provide direct access to the increased terrain. The current plan is dependent on the Forest Service and Pitkin County granting approvals.

Winter Operations

Aspen Mountain

Opening: Nov. 22, 2018

Closing: Apr. 21, 2019

Aspen Highlands

Opening: Dec. 8, 2018

Closing: Apr. 14, 2019

Buttermilk

Opening: Dec. 8, 2018

Closing: Apr. 7, 2019

Snowmass

Opening: Nov. 22, 2018

Closing: Apr. 21, 2019

 

Mojo Nomad Central, a ground-breaking concept that turns the traditional hotel model completely on its head

Mojo Nomad Central, a ground-breaking concept that turns the traditional hotel model completely on its head, is now open on Queen’s Road Central.

Mojo Nomad’s newest location boasts an exceptional food and beverage offering via the property’s flagship bar-cum-eatery, Te Quiero Mucho, and 24-hour facilities including a contemporary fitness centre, laundry area and an expertly appointed co-working space. Guests can expect to be welcomed into a like-minded community upon checking in at Mojo Nomad Central, a collaborative concept that feels like a home base.

Mojo Nomad Central offers accommodation ranging from sizes S to XL, with two eclectic sharing room options for those looking to be inspired by others on their travels.

  • S – 12 sqm
  • M – 14 sqm
  • L – 16 sqm
  • XL – 22 sqm
  • Shared – 22 sqm

 

Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay presents Club @28 x Lindt Chocoberry Afternoon Tea Set

The rooftop poolside bar and lounge Club @28 located on the 28th floor of Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay recently launched the Club @28 x Lindt Chocoberry Afternoon Tea Set for a limited time only, bringing to this winter a hint of sweetness and warmth with fresh fruits and cakes dipping in quality chocolate fondue from Switzerland. 

 Featuring a Lindt chocolate fondue and six savories, Chocoberry Afternoon Tea Set for two (Monday to Friday $478 per two persons; Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday $498 per two persons) is served daily from 2:30pm until 5:00pm. In the spotlight, the dark chocolate of the Lindt chocolate fondue originated from well known cacao producing regions. With layers of flavors and a rich aroma, the sweetness of dark chocolate with 52% cacao is just right for a mouthwatering fondue. Dipping with fresh diced strawberries, kiwis and pineapples, the chocolate strikes a balance of the sour taste of fruits; or with mini doughnut ball, cream puff, sponge cake and that may bring you even more texture and fun.

 The delectable six savories include mouthwatering Homemade Chicken Satay, light and healthy Cucumber Roll filled with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, fresh and appetizing Tomato and Parma Ham on Toast and refreshing Pan-fried Scallop with Lemon Butter SauceDeep-fried Crab Meat and Prawn Cake with Sweet Chili Sauce is a Thai-style crispy hot snack. Seared French Duck Liver with Grilled Strawberry on Toast is so delightful that would impress everyone.

 The themed afternoon tea set comes with two specially crafted hot or cold beverages. Each guest can choose one from the Hot Strawberry Earl Grey Tea or Chocoberry Flamingo Cocktail. With fresh strawberries infused in the earl grey tea, the fruit flavors go perfectly well with tea. Mixed with vodka, milk and strawberry syrup, Chocoberry Flamingo Cocktail served in a martini glass will catch your attention first with its dazzling presentation, then with its strawberry aroma and smooth taste, making the afternoon tea set more memorable.

 During the promotional period, one Lindor Assorted gift will be offered alongside with the Chocoberry Afternoon Tea Set for two. 

 Club @28 is located on the rooftop of the hotel, adjacent to the stunning pool. With the views of the lush green Happy Valley Racecourse and the bustling city, it is the best choice to enjoy a warm Lindt chocolate fondue and specialty delights with close friends this winter

Club @28

Address: 28/F, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3980 3300

Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 10:30 am – 1 am

Friday, Saturday, Public Holiday Eve 10:30 am –2 am

Club @28 x Lindt “Chocoberry Afternoon TeaSet

Serving period: From 1 Nov 2018 to 28 Feb 2019

Serving time: Monday – Sunday 2:30 pm – 5 pm

Prices:

Monday – Friday $478 for two

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday $498 for two

 Happy Hour

Serving time: Monday – Sunday 5 pm – 8 pm 

Buy one get one free for standard drinks

 *Subject to a 10% service charge based on original prices, terms & conditions apply

 For more photos or additional information, please contact:

Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay

Marriott International’s MLive Market Food Festival to Showcase Bangkok’s Vibrant Street Food Scene

Marriott International’s hotels in Bangkok are gearing up for the inaugural “MLive Market” food festival, which will celebrate the vibrant street food scene in Thailand’s pulsating capital city.

Hosted in front of The Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel from November 10-18, 2018, MLive Market will see 30 restaurants from Marriott International’s Bangkok hotels come together to serve a series of stylish signature dishes in a lively and social street food atmosphere,with no entrance fee.

Guests will also enjoy live daily on-stage performances from DJs and bands, plus a series of exciting activities including culinary contests, chefs’ battles and much more!

Over the course of this nine-day festival, Marriott International’s teams of talented chefs will be showcasing their amazing skills to create an array of tempting, tasty treats for guests. There will be almost 100 mouth-watering dishes to choose from, ranging from local Thai delights to Asian delicacies, international innovations and delicious desserts.

For the full list of the restaurants and dishes being showcased at the event, please CLICK HERE.

“Bangkok is famous for its spectacular street food culture. MLive Market will elevate this to another level by showcasing world-class cuisine from Marriott International’s hotels in a friendly, fun-filled atmosphere. By bringing world-class restaurant food to the street, we’re demonstrating our chefs’ amazing skills and introducing our sublime signature dishes to a wider audience,” commented Gerd Kotlorz, Area Director of Sales and Distributions, Marriott International – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & Myanmar.

Marriott International’s extensive collection of restaurants and bars in Bangkok cater for thousands of in-house guests and local diners every day, including delectable breakfasts, casual lunches, evening dinners and special occasions. They have won multiple awards and command some of the city’s most enviable locations, including prime downtown dining destinations and stunning rooftop restaurants. MLive Market will bring these culinary icons to the street, with up to 50 percent off dishes compared to the usual restaurant prices.

Guests will also have the chance to take part in a range of fun foodie activities, including a chili-eating contest, wine-tasting master class, guess the ingredients and more! Marriott International’s expert chefs will battle it out in culinary competitions and cocktail battles, and there will be auctions and prize draws to raise money for charity.

On stage, diners will be entertained by live daily performances from DJs and bands including folk supergroup Jenny and the Skallywags, Thai duo Mild & Fuji, international rockers Danny & Delany, and Bangkok trio Mind Logic. Guests will also be treated to enchanting performances from OMS String Ensemble, which features seven young violinists under the age of 15.

MLive Market’s dedicated website, www.mlive-market.com, is now live, showing visitors what to expect from this unique street food festival.

All guests who pre-register for the festival via the website before November 10, 2018 will receive THB 1,500 in vouchers for many of Marriott International’s leading restaurants and bars. Those who register between November 10 and November 18, 2018 will enjoy THB 1,000 in vouchers.  Complimentary restaurant vouchers need to be picked up at the event.

MLive Market will take place in front of The Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel from November 10-18, 2018 from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM during Monday-Friday and from 11:00 AM-10:00 PM during Saturday-Sunday. For more information and to secure your place at this vibrant street food festival, please visit www.mlive-market.com.

Aranui Takes Guests to More of French Polynesia in 2020

Tahitian cargo cruise line Aranui Cruises is adding an idyllic, new destination to its 2020 program, taking the cruise line’s total Tahiti line-up to 17 islands across all five French Polynesian archipelagos.

Guests who join Aranui 5’s bumper 14-day cruise departing Papeete on December, 17, 2020, will receive a bonus day at no extra cost, with the cruise line throwing in a call to Makatea in the Tuamotu Atolls as a special Christmas treat.

Made famous by the ‘90s film ‘Six Days, Seven Nights’, starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche, Makatea is an untouched atoll in the Tuamotus, located about 200 kilometres northeast of Tahiti.

Priced from $6670* per person twin share in an ocean view stateroom, the 14-day cruise will take guests to ten Tahitian islands with Makatea offered in addition to Aranui’s usual 13-day voyage, which operates roundtrip from Papeete and includes calls to Bora Bora in the Society Islands; Hiva Oa, Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas; and the regular Tuamotu ports of Rangiroa and Fakarava.

Aranui Cruises Regional Representative Australia New Zealand Laurent Wong said the cruise line was thrilled to be returning to Makatea after previously calling at the isolated and beautiful French Polynesian island as a local inter-island trader in the 1970s.

“French Polynesia is home to some 118 islands across five archipelagos and in 2020, we’ll be cruising to no less than 17 different Tahitian destinations. From Bora Bora’s blue lagoon to the jaw-dropping volcanic vistas of the Marquesas, the mysterious Australs, the far-flung Gambiers and now a new atoll in the picture-perfect Tuamotus, we are proud to take our guests to some of the least visited islands in the world, including more French Polynesian ports than any other cruise line,” Mr Wong said.

“At 8km long and 5km wide, and with a population of less than 100, Makatea is a tiny speck in the South Pacific. Despite its small size, it’s sure to leave a big impact on our guests. It’s the only raised coral atoll in the Tuamotus and while it was once abuzz with phosphate mining, it’s now a verdant paradise which is home to unique flora and fauna, a charming local village and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkelling.”

Aranui Cruises’ 125-metre long mixed cargo and passenger vessel is one of the few remaining cargo cruise experiences in the world and in 2020, Aranui 5 will offer 20 scheduled cruises around French Polynesia, including another voyage to Pitcairn Island after the inaugural 2019 cruise sold out within weeks.

The 13-day roundtrip cruise from Papeete to Pitcairn Island is priced from $7630* per person twin share in an ocean view stateroom and will depart on April 11, 2020. The cruise includes calls to seven Tahitian islands – Anaa and Amanu in the Tuamotus; Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambiers; and Raivave and Rapa in the Austral Islands – as well as Pitcairn Island where guests will receive a highly sought-after Pitcairn stamp in their passport.

During the visit to Adamstown, guests will have the chance to visit the grave of Mutineer John Adams, hand feed the Island’s only Galapagos tortoise, browse Pitcairn’s local Curio and Craft market, sample the island’s unique organic honey, purchase a rare stamp from the Post Office which opens especially for guests, explore the island’s Museum including the Bounty Cannon, and walk to Christian’s Cave, where the founder of modern day Pitcairn, Fletcher Christian, would climb to watch for passing ships.

To launch the 2020 program, the Tahitian adventure cruise line is offering a 10 per cent discount across all cabin categories on the first two cruises of the year with discounted ocean view staterooms starting from $6030* per person twin share for voyages departing on February 6 and 22, 2020. A 10 per cent senior’s discount is also available on the voyage departing September 10, 2020. There are no cruises in January as Aranui 5 will be in dry dock.

Packed with value, an Aranui 5 cruise includes shore excursions such as hikes, 4WD tours, visits to archaeological sites and local feasts, a weekly laundry service, three meals per day and complimentary French wine with onboard lunches and dinners.

Aranui 5 features a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, a library, a boutique, a swimming pool, a gym, a spa and four bars including the popular Sky bar.

For more information visit www.aranuicruises.com.auor call 03 9449 3778

 *Subject to availability, conditions apply

The DiVino Group Select Chef Marco Furlan To Reign Over Spasso

Marco Furlan has been named the new head chef at DiVino Group’s Spasso Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui East. The talented Chef Furlan arrived in Hong Kong in 2004 with an impressive resume having worked at a selection of Michelin star restaurants in Milan and Vicenza. As the new head chef at Spasso, Marco is responsible for the culinary direction at the critically acclaimed eatery, launching seasonal and celebratory menus, Chef Furlan presents daily specials which unveil his passion and culinary creativity with fine seasonal products.

Given his years of experience in Hong Kong, Furlan understands his diners and brings much insight to his team at Spasso, engaging guests with new dishes and culinary experiences keeping the popular cuisine relevant and on trend whilst maintaining its authenticity. With his wisdom in the F&B industry, this highly motivated chef’s vision is to create a tight knit team, which works together as a family.  His motto is to “Find a mix of healthy cooking without compromising on the original taste, reaching a balance.” As he loves to spend time researching special and unusual produce, he creates fantastic recipes.  The lightness and refinement of the cuisine leaves diners both delighted and surprised.

“I am excited to be at Spasso and serve a whole mix of international diners both who reside in Hong Kong, regular business travelers and tourist from all corners of the world.  Hong Kong is an eclectic mix of sophisticated diners who have impeccable taste for food, I am so happy to serve them at this beautiful restaurant on the iconic Victoria Harbour.”

Having obtained a variety of professional qualifications in Italy, the talented chef worked in a variety of Italy’s Michelin restaurants and hotels, including the “Il Pestello” in Vicneza near Venice. In Hong Kong, Furlan worked with some well-known restaurants such as “The Pier” and “Assaggio” in Wanchai, which part of the Mira Dining Group, received many accolades during Furlan’s reign, and listed in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau in 2013.

During his years in Hong Kong, Marco Furlan collaborated with recognized Michelin starred chef’s such as Mariangela Susigan, from the Gardenia Restaurant in the province of Turin, where the team focused to express the most authentic and local cooking; yet allow for the original creative imagination to shape the cuisine.  Resulting in a blend of traditional taste that has bee been refined by the technical evolution.

Another beautiful experience was with acclaimed chef Stefano Masanti where Furlan manned the “il Cantinone” restaurant inside the Hotel Alpina, a 1 Michelin star since 2008.  He acquired many skills along side Chef Masanti, who apart from being known for his culinary prowess has an infectious smile, a sharp wit, and strong work ethic.

Niccolo Changsha, New Luxury Sky Hotel, Now Open

Niccolo Changsha officially opened its doors on 29 October 2018, ushering in a new era of impeccable hospitality and effortless luxury in the capital city of Hunan Province. In signature Niccolo style, Niccolo Changsha occupies a desirable, highly-prized address – crowning the uppermost floors of the new 93-storey Changsha IFS Tower 1, in the heart of Furong district’sentertainment and business hub.

Niccolo Changsha is the fourth luxury hotel in the Niccolo collection from Hong Kong-based hospitality management company, Wharf Hotels. The opening was celebrated with a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony for dignitaries and officials.

Ms Doreen Lee, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, Mr Kevin Chan, Director of The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, Dr Jennifer Cronin, President of Wharf Hotels, Mr Thomas Salg, Vice President Operations of Wharf Hotels and Mr Jorgen Christensen, General Manager of Niccolo Changsha, officiated the opening ceremony, alongside Ms Aryna Choi, Director of Changsha IFS and General Manager of Wharf China Estates Limited. Among other distinguished guests in attendance were Changsha government officials Mr Wang Yuli, Director of the People’s PoliticalConsultative Conference of Hunan Province, Ms Helen Yip, Director of Hong Kong SAR Liaison Office in Hunan, Mr Qiu Jixing, Vice Mayor of Changsha People’s Government and Mr Yu Xinfan, Secretaryof Furong District Party Committee, amongst other government leaders.

“It is my great pleasure to greet our very first guests and officially welcome everybody to Niccolo Changsha. We are honoured to command a landmark hotel and prestigious location in the heart of this vibrant city. We look forward to ensuring that Niccolo Changsha will be recognised as the city’s leading hotel, delivering impeccable hospitality with Niccolo’s uncompromising promise of ‘New Encounters, Timeless Pleasures’,” said Mr Christensen.

“We would like to congratulate Jorgen and his team on the successful opening of Niccolo Changshatoday. The vision to open our first Niccolo hotel in Chengdu in 2015 ahead of other major players quickly established Niccolo as an ideal destination for new entrepreneurs, leaders in style, fashion, design and society. Today, Niccolo Chengdu continues to be the market leader, paving the way for Niccolo Chongqing and Niccolo Changsha in the group’s fast-growing collection of luxury hotels,” said Dr Cronin.

In addition to its notable heritage, Changsha has emerged as a thriving commercial, manufacturing, tourism and transportation centre in central and western China. As an early adopter of the luxury hotel space in Changsha, the group is at the forefront of bringing the Niccolo experience and its award- winning culture to a new market, offering sophisticated, international standards of hospitality for global travellers and local residents.

The city’s and central China’s tallest hotel, Niccolo Changsha is situated between levels 86 to 93 of the 452-metre-tall landmark Changsha IFS Tower One. Defining the heart of the Wuyi CBD along lively Jiefang West Road, the hotel is an integral part of Changsha IFS and wholly owned by The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, renowned for its mixed-use projects comprising luxury hotels, corporate offices, residences and luxury retail.

Commanding scenic views of the Changsha skyline and Xiang River, Niccolo Changsha offers 243 contemporary chic rooms and spectacular suites, which reflect the captivating sense of welcoming service and fashion-inspired mystique of Niccolo.

The art of dining is celebrated at the new hotel with three sky-high dining and social destinations: Niccolo Kitchen, The Tea Lounge and BAR 93.

Masterfully designed to host the city’s glitterati and A-list events, Niccolo Changsha offers glamorous conference and event venues including the Niccolo Ballroom, the jewel-box venue The Conservatory and level 92 function areas for events that combine sophistication and spectacle as well as inspiring views. Relaxation and wellbeing await at the wellness centre on level 6, featuring an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and The Spa at Niccolo.

Guests are welcome to be amongst the first to experience Niccolo Changsha. Reservations may be made at +86 731 8895 8888 or niccolohotels.com.

OMEGA RAISES ITS WARRANTY ON ALL WATCHES TO 5 YEARS

In its continuing quest to raise industry standards and push the boundaries of watchmaking quality, OMEGA is proud to announce that it is officially extending the warranty on all of its timepieces to 5 years.

The decision follows significant progress within the company over the past several years, including the revolutionary arrival of Master Chronometer certification, which has established a new industry benchmark for precision, performance and magnetic resistance.

Along with the enhanced quality of OMEGA’s watches, it has been just one year since the brand opened its most modern industrial factory at its HQ site in Bienne, Switzerland.  As well as assembly, the site provides new testing and quality control facilities that examine many of the brand’s timepieces in greater detail than ever before.

The new 5-year warranty will take effect from November 2nd, 2018 and will also be applied to any OMEGA watch purchased on or after July 1st, 2018.

For more information, please visit:

www.omegawatches.com/5YearWarranty