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W Hotels Returns to Australia with the Opening of W Brisbane

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The heat is on. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, today re-enters Australia with the opening of W Brisbane. Owned by Shayher Group, W Brisbane is a vibrant addition to sunny South East Queensland (often referred to as the ‘Sunshine State’) in a stellar location overlooking the Brisbane River. The new hotel delivers an intoxicating mix of fast-paced urban style and modern design all with a decidedly cheeky Aussie point of view. With sun-soaked days and electric nights, there’s no better spot than W Brisbane to take in the city’s vibrant culture and rich nightlife.

Brisbane is among Australia’s fastest growing cities, an ideal destination for W to bring its new/next lifestyle. Located riverside in the city’s Central Business District, W Brisbane celebrates the history of the famed region. The hotel embraces Brisbane’s connection to the Australian identity and iconic elements of Queensland’s flora and fauna with a laid-back vibe and a playful nod to ‘Brisvegas’.

“Brisbane is a dream destination – year-round sun and an outdoor lifestyle – it’s quickly evolving into one of the world’s greatest cities which is why W is kicking off the brand’s return to Australia here in the Sunshine State,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “Brisbane’s bustling riverbank is a hotspot for travelers who can’t wait to explore this dynamic city and South East Queensland, a perfect match for W Hotels’ bold design and playful, contemporary approach to luxury.”

Renowned Australian interior design agency, Nic Graham & Associates have brought their innovative design and custom furnishings to W Brisbane. The hotel brings to life the theme of “A River Dreaming,” an ode to its prime locale on the banks of the iconic Brisbane River and the visual connection to Brisbane’s famed arts precinct. Modern manifestations of Brisbane’s river, which has in recent years become the buzzing epicentre of the city’s social scene, are featured prominently throughout the hotel, weaving in influences from Australia’s indigenous roots and colonial heritage.

“There’s nothing quite like Australia, a diverse country that is not only famous for its natural wonders but also for its celebration of diversity and multiculturalism,” said Victor Clavell, Area Vice President, Luxury, Asia Pacific Excluding China, Marriott International. “Touted as Australia’s new capital of cool with its edgy urban spaces and burgeoning passions for music, fashion and design, Brisbane is an ideal destination for the W brand.”

A Magnetic Welcome
From the moment of arrival, guests are greeted by the hotel’s sensory environment. A staircase of timber river reeds leads guests to the Welcome Desk and the Living Room (the W brand’s take on the traditional hotel lobby). Earth tones, sedimentary layers, frayed edges and raw beauty associated with the Australian outback start from the arrival entrance and continue throughout the hotel’s public spaces. These organic formations draw out bold and colorful artwork from celebrated Australian artists including John Nicholson, Lucas Grogan and Reko Rennie. The hotel’s Living Room, the pulse of the W scene in Brisbane, shows off pools of color throughout intricately designed rugs while complementing walls echo the flora and fauna of Brisbane’s sub-tropical environment. Benchtops and bar fronts are enhanced with forms inspired by curvilinear shapes and nearby water-worn clifftops. Blade grass border the expansive open space to immerse guests in an innovative interpretation of nature.

W Brisbane boasts 312 guestrooms including 32 lux suites all brimming with river views and the latest in technology and entertainment. The rooms prominently feature a white wall inspired by VJ wall panels found on traditional ‘Queenslander’ homes; a cheeky nod to Australiana throughout and a 10-gallon drum “outback bath experience.” The penultimate Extreme Wow Suite (the brand’s modern interpretation of the traditional presidential suite) on Level 33 showcases a limitless panoramic vista from the river to the mountains and beyond.

Guests can take a piece of their stay home from W The Store by Becker Minty, stocked with a treasure chest of hidden gems and collections including handbags, artwork, home decor and fine jewellery.

Paddock to Plate to Pool
W Brisbane showcases three distinct venues to tempt the appetite for cocktails and cuisine. Three Blue Ducks, W Brisbane’s signature restaurant and a first for Queensland, mixes Brisbane’s vibrant yet laidback culture with The Ducks legendary paddock to plate ethos. Guests can expect a fresh and seasonal menu, infusing home-grown inspiration into every dish. Living Room Bar evolves from a serene daytime lounge to a glam cocktail bar by night where guests can savour sips from the Liquid Curator who will be mixing up an array of handcrafted cocktails every night of the week. Guests can make a splash poolside at the WET® Deck rooftop bar as they soak up the heat on stylish sun lounges. The pool’s sparkling surface reflects a mosaic of tiles reminiscent of the shadows cast by palm fronds. Day or night, guests can revel in Queensland’s supreme riverside views with curated cocktails, Champagne, live DJs and Aussie barbeque fare.

“W Brisbane is the first of its kind in Australia,” said Haldon Philp, General Manager, W Brisbane. “From the Whatever/Whenever service that drives the W brand, delivering whatever our guests want, whenever they want it, to event programming centred around Design, Music, Fashion and Fuel (the brand’s unique take on fitness) to coveted partnerships such as Three Blue Ducks, now is the time for a hotel of this calibre to come to Brisbane as the city enjoys its coming of age.”

Elevated Events
At W Brisbane, 1,100 square-metres of event space set the stage for electric and exhilarating meetings and events. The 595-square-meter Great Room captivates on a grand scale as the sprawling venue celebrates the serpentine shape of the river and its ripple effect throughout the design. The ceiling sparkles with 260 twinkling lights reminiscent of a clear Queensland outback starry night. Cutting edge statement lighting and four-metre LED wall panels will help guests showcase captivating presentations and displays and W Brisbane stands as the sole hotel in Queensland to boast these world-class audio-visual facilities. Additional meeting rooms include the versatile Studios and Strategy Room that showcase fab river views and glorious Queensland sunshine with floor to ceiling windows and private balconies.

Get Your Glow On
Guests can detox, de-stress and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul at AWAY® Spa, featuring a sublime treatment menu of Sodashi™ and Skeyndor™ facials and massages in addition to perfectly pampering beauty treatments. AWAY offers an escape from the outside world with vitality pools, relaxation pods, ‘His and Hers’ salt inhalation chambers and aromatherapy steam rooms to enhance the spa experience. AWAY Spa will be home to Edwards And Co. hair salon with the style-centric hair haven making their Brisbane debut. Those wanting to take it up a notch can sweat it out at the hotel’s state-of-the-art FIT gym complete with Technogym® equipment and resident Personal Trainers.

Hotels

Westin Hotels & Resorts to Debut in Maldives

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Westin Hotels & Resorts today announced the anticipated opening of the brand’s first hotel in the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort heralds the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand and Marketing, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing well-being even while on the road.”

Stunning Location
Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, guests of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will experience a tranquil escape with uninterrupted ocean and pristine turquoise lagoon views. From the atoll’s most desirable locale, guests are in close proximity to landmarks such as the Hanifaru Bay, which is known for the largest gathering of manta rays globally.

“We look forward to welcoming our guests to discover the charm of the Maldives while at the same time enjoy the unparalleled level of service,” said Brendan Corcoran, General Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. “Along with the Westin brand’s focus on wellness, we trust that every guest will feel exceptionally relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated during and after their stays.”

Marine Inspired Décor and Modern Appointed Villas
Led by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability. All elements of the resort’s design take inspiration from the environment from the use of natural materials, such as unique shells to the movement and flow of marine life including sea turtles and whale sharks, providing guests with a link to the region’s exceptional enchantment. An aerial view of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort reveals an outline in the shape of a fish, a distinctive reflection of the beauty of surrounding marine life; while the arrival jetty is structured to resemble clamshells and the oceans’ waves.

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort features 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater. Each villa is shaped with an eco-friendly double roofing to create the perfect natural ventilation. Outdoor rainforest showers are a distinctive feature. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are among the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region.

Refined Venues, Elevated Experiences
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort presents three unique dining experiences. The Pearl is the resort’s specialty restaurant and is ideal for indulging in exquisite Japanese cuisine with exceptional ocean views The restaurant offers a refined Japanese menu with a focus on seafood and fresh local ingredients. The all-day dining experience at Island Kitchen stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. At Hawker, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen in a casual bustling atmosphere. Adjacent to the Library and overlooking the azure blue Indian Ocean, Sunset Bar is a relaxed lounge serving tapas and imaginative cocktails.

More Ways to Recharge
The idyllic resort also features Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin™ with the latest in beauty treatments. The design of the Spa area exudes an intimate and serene ambience that allows guests to reflect on their destination, including a spacious treatment suite for two with a Jacuzzi and panoramic ocean views. Guests can stay active with the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio sprawled across two levels that features weight machines, free weights, and cardio equipment that faces personal flat-screen televisions; and outdoor pool and recreation ground with tennis, volleyball, basketball options.

Designed to cater to the way modern families travel, the Westin Family Kids Club® offers reimagined family experiences that are tied back to the brand’s wellness positioning for young guests between the ages of 4 – 12 years. Some of the activities includes nature walks, family-style runs and water activities. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is also well-equipped to play host to distinguished ceremonies or vows renewal with its multifunctional event spaces.

Directly from the beach, guests can explore the house reef with colorful corals and be surrounded by thousands of tropical fish. Miriandhoo is a Turtle sanctuary, and guests can easily and often see turtles nesting along the white beaches. Reef sharks, lionfish, manta rays and often whale sharks all reside in the Baa Atoll. The stunning experience of the underwater world can be explored while snorkeling, diving, fishing and parasailing.

Additional on-site facilities of the resort include a PADI dive centre and a boutique store.

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Legacy Meets Modern Luxury with the Reopening of Al Bustan Palace

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Marking a new era in its legacy, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel reopens following a period of extensive enhancements that includes redesigned rooms and suites, refreshed Ritz Kids experiences, and new culinary options. An iconic symbol of Omani culture and hospitality, the palace hotel has been reimagined to embrace the needs of families and the modern global traveler, offering new and inspiring experiences that bridge heritage with state of the art technology and modern design.

“Oman continues to welcome record numbers of international visitors thanks to our commitment to offering world-class experiences for the modern global traveler that honor and celebrate our beautiful natural surroundings, rich culture and history,” commented H.E. Maitha bint Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman. “The renovation of Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel fully supports this vision and we are confident that the hotel will continue to contribute to the Sultanate’s thriving tourism industry.”

Royal Estates Royal Court Affairs in Oman carried out the design of most of the refurbishment works, while renowned luxury integrated design firm WATG and affiliated design studio Wimberly Interiors provided some of the other architecture and interior renovation under the supervision of the Royal Estates. Undergoing a dramatic transformation, the Palace’s hotel rooms and suites seamlessly combine decor inspired by Oman’s culture and heritage with refined design and state-of-the-art technology. While the rooms retain their original elegance, an enhanced level of modern luxury is now provided by rich furnishings, lush materials and neutral metallic tones. New artwork pays homage to Oman’s artisans with contemporary digital prints incorporating images of traditional Omani silverware, jewelry, khanjars, and coffee pots.

“Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel has been an iconic property in Oman for more than 30 years and we are delighted to introduce the newly reimaged hotel to the local and global community,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “With our established and expanding presence in the Sultanate, we remain committed to being a part of Oman’s development and look forward to setting new hospitality benchmarks across the country.”

Capturing Oman’s spirit of adventure and its love of the outdoors, the hotel presents a refreshed Ritz Kids program and a new outdoor Family Aqua Land.  Ideal for families and multigenerational travel, young adventurers can now ride a zipline, splash through their own dedicated pool, or slide from a large Omani traditional boat, all surrounded by lush gardens, golden sands and sensational views of Al Hajar Mountains.

A variety of enriching dining experiences can now also be enjoyed on the shores of the Gulf of Oman. With a newly extended two-level terrace providing dazzling views of the fifty meters long infinity pool and the ocean, Al Khiran Kitchen highlights the best of the country’s natural beauty alongside cuisine that showcases the freshest local produce and flavors from farms across the Sultanate. Beach Pavilion Bar & Grill captures the spirit of the surrounding sea with an expansive deck overlooking the seafront and features simple yet elegant, locally-inspired seafood dishes and grills. Already celebrated as one of Oman’s finest Asian restaurants, China Mood nowoffers an elegant terrace from which to enjoy its authentic Chinese cuisine and unique tea sommelier show.

The Grand Ballroom and meeting rooms have also undergone a renovation, making Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Muscat’s premier destination for the most prestigious wedding celebrations and events.  The new event experience has been created to touch on guests’ five senses and incorporates modern technology with the very best of Omani hospitality, alongside the legendary Ritz-Carlton service.

True to its commitment to the people of Oman, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, welcomes visitors who wish to spend a day at the hotel with a Beach Day Pass that offers access to the private beachfront and facilities. Recreation Memberships have also been re-created for residents and families who wish to enjoy exclusive, year-round access to the hotel’s palatial facilities and beachfront.

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Waldorf Astoria Debuts in South East Asia

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Credit: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Located within the 60-storey Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok today announces the hotel’s official opening in the heart of Bangkok. Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is the latest addition to the portfolio of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton (NYSE: HLT)’s luxury brand of iconic hotels. The landmark hotel is owned by MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited) and managed by Hilton.

“With Asia Pacific enjoying a golden age of travel, we are witnessing unprecedented demand for our brands and are creating some of the world’s greatest luxury hotels,” said Alan Watts, president, Hilton, Asia Pacific. “As the first Waldorf Astoria in South East Asia, the opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok adds a much-anticipated chapter to the brand’s story in Asia. It builds on our series of iconic Waldorf Astoria hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, while prefacing the arrival of additional unforgettable Waldorf Astoria hotels in the near future.”

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located by the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection, within walking distance of renowned shopping precincts. Just a few minutes’ stroll to the Erawan Shrine, the luxurious Gaysorn Village mall and both lines of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, the hotel is ideally positioned for guests to immerse themselves in the city’s colorful culture. Other highlights within a 10- to 25-minute drive include the Charoenkrung Creative District, the iconic Grand Palace and the city’s beautiful flower market.

“From Waldorf Astoria New York to Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, the Waldorf Astoria brand has a long-standing legacy of defining the hospitality experience for the modern-day traveler,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “We truly believe that the opening of the new, landmark Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will not only redefine the luxury hospitality landscape throughout South East Asia, it will create unforgettable experiences for our guests that will last a lifetime.”

Credit: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel. Globally recognized for their work, which range from modern hospitality projects and art spaces to high-profile fashion collaborations, AFSO has artistically curated a holistic Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hotel experience that unites the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition. Conceptualized to embrace the gracious Thai spirit in an elegant setting, the 171 residential-style, spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature spa-inspired bathrooms and marble bathtubs.

The hotel’s crown jewel spans the top three floors from levels 55 to 57, comprising three distinctive, artistically curated dining outlets by world-renowned design and concept firm AvroKO. Exuding glamour and luxury, the opulent interiors of Bull & Bear, The Loft and Champagne Bar showcase a nod towards the Waldorf Astoria legacy, all accompanied by sweeping views of the city.

“We are thrilled to be adding Waldorf Astoria Bangkok to our rapidly expanding luxury portfolio here in Asia Pacific,” said Dino Michael, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “As we continue to debut contemporary and iconic hotels in landmark destinations all over the world, we consider it a true honour to introduce our brand to a city as vibrant as Bangkok. We look forward to showcasing our signature True Waldorf Service, the personalized, graceful service that has become synonymous with our brand.”

In line with Waldorf Astoria’s legacy of culinary expertise, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is primed to be a dining destination in itself. The property features three unique restaurant concepts, a lounge and two bars, including:

Front Room, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is helmed by acclaimed Chef Fae Rungthiwa Chummongkhon, who brings her experience of working at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to present an elegant blend of “new Nordic” and Thai flavors in a relaxed setting.

The Brasserie, located on the upper lobby, is a lively destination that offers stunning views of the city. Using locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant serves traditional French brasserie fare daily from breakfast through dinner.

Peacock Alley, which sits on the same level as The Brasserie, is an ideal lounge for picturesque afternoon teas and light meals. Modeled after the New York original, Peacock Alley presents a menu of delectable homemade pastries and refreshments throughout the day.

Bull & Bear on level 55 specializes in grilled meats and seafood, and features a live raw bar along with a custom-made grill designed for smoking, slow roasting, baking and grilling. Eye-catching art deco-inspired interiors, upbeat vibes and dazzling views make Bull & Bear the perfect place to socialize, celebrate and indulge.

The Loft on level 56 is a glamorous, New York-inspired bar, steeped in the romance of art nouveau. Taking inspiration from the original 1935 Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, artisanal spirits and forgotten cocktails are crafted to the modern palate using a great collection of house-made ingredients, accompanied by gourmet bar bites.

The Champagne Bar, located at the hotel’s peak on level 57, offers an intimate and inspirational environment, designed with meticulous attention to detail. An exquisite list of fine champagnes, handcrafted cocktails and one of the best views of Bangkok combine to create the ultimate setting for a spectacular evening out. Accessible only to the most discerning of guests, the exclusive bar is primed to be one of the most desirable spots in the city.

Arguably the most striking feature of the property is the 730-square-meter Magnolia Ballroom on level 10, which offers a stunning and sophisticated setting for weddings and social events. A statement sweeping staircase provides an unforgettable photography backdrop and an impactful arrival experience. With an impressive 8-meter-high ceiling, the ballroom accommodates up to 700 guests standing or 330 guests seated, and it is set to be one of Bangkok’s most sought-after event venues.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located at 151 Ratchadamri Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.

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