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A New Epitome of Sophisticated Luxury in Poland: Raffles Europejski Warsaw

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Amidst the heady fragrance of purple and white lilac and bouquets of blossoming pink peonies sold on every street corner of this sprawling capital during early summer, comes the highly anticipated opening of Raffles Europejski Warsaw on June 1st. Bringing over 160 years of history and heritage to the culturally rich Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand, this fully restored Polish icon joins Paris and Istanbul as the third European destination where the inimitable Raffles experience can be found.

PAYING HOMAGE TO THE NATION’S ARTISTIC RENAISSANCE

Dating back to 1857, the neo-renaissance palace built by Enrico Marconi and renowned as a Grand Dame of European hotels during the 19th century, has been, over the last four years, painstakingly restored to its pre-war glory. Proudly Polish, the elegant interiors showcase the very best of modern and contemporary Polish art, with a carefully curated Hotel Europejski collection by Anda Rottenberg, a former Director of the Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The Hotel Europejski Art Collection consists of almost 500 artworks created by more than 120 artists, including the legend of Polish Avant-garde Tadeusz Kantor, and the most important representatives of contemporary Polish art such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Monika Sosnowska or Turner Prize nominee Goshka Macuga.

Not only art but also the skill of Polish craftsmanship is represented within the hotel, whether in the lighting, in the carved burl wood headboards, the parquetry floors or the Warsaw skyline etched into the grey marble bathroom walls, rooting Raffles Europejski firmly in Poland. This sense of place is emphasised by the venerated hotel’s location on the historic Royal Route, with views from spacious and elegant guestrooms onto the Old Town, the Presidential Palace and, across the city’s biggest square, to the eternal flame burning at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the leafy Saxon Gardens behind.

The 106 rooms and suites are classically stylish with blackened oak floors, contemporary Polish art, a corner library and sleek marble-clad bathrooms with Art Deco touches. But the jewel in the crown is the Presidential Suite, spread over a magnificent 293 square metres, and home to a 19th century piano, a reminder that this room was once host to recitals and piano concerts in another chapter of its rich history.

A NEW EPITOME OF SOPHISTICATED LUXURY IN POLAND

The Hotel Europejski was returned to its rightful pre-war owners in 2005, and Julien Barbotin-Larrieu, representing the owning company, H.E.S.A., explained their choice of Raffles to manage the property: “With Raffles at the helm of the hotel, a brand synonymous with heritage and luxury, whose own illustrious history began just thirty years after the Europejski’s with the iconic Raffles Singapore, we feel confident about bringing a new level of luxury to Warsaw; one that is as much about the cultural experience as the comfort. Our aim is to provide a real sense of place, allowing guests to understand the soul of Poland by immersing themselves in the art, the gastronomy and the history which they will be surrounded with, on a level as yet unsurpassed in the capital.”

With this in mind, the hotel will offer a variety of culinary options. Designed by acclaimed Spanish studio Lázaro Rosa Violán, the Europejski Grill, strikingly decorated in bold hues of blue and white, will serve modern Polish cuisine with a twist, overlooking Piłsudski Square. The Long Bar, a brand signature inspired by and named after the bar in Raffles Singapore where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented over a century ago, is set at the heart of the hotel and will bring a new level of cocktails to the Warsaw scene from its sleek, marble-topped counter. The Humidor, the most exclusive lounge in the city, provides the perfect place for cigar lovers and connoisseurs of fine spirits with its club-like atmosphere of leather sofas, low lighting and a fireplace, whilst the Lourse Warszawa Patisserie, an elegant essay in white marble and brass trimming, is, as it famously was in previous times, the place to go for the cakes and pastries so loved in the city.

With Raffles renowned for placing wellness at the centre of the experience it offers, it comes as no surprise that the Raffles Spa will be one of the biggest and the best in Warsaw. A haven of tranquillity amidst the bustle of the city, it has six treatment rooms, a 24/7 gym, complete with Technogym™ and an upstream indoor swimming pool. Alongside bespoke treatments using exclusive brands Aromatherapy Associates and Sisley, the emphasis on holistic wellbeing, very much the DNA of Raffles spas worldwide, plays a key part in the spa experience with mindful meditation interwoven in the signature spa journeys.

Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand & Strategic Partnerships, AccorHotels Luxury Brands, comments: “I am delighted to be opening the iconic Raffles Europejski Warsaw, such a landmark in this capital city, to which we will bring the legendary Raffles service, known for its benchmark standard across the globe, as well as a series of gastronomic delights, conference facilities and an impressive spa.”

Raffles Europejski Warsaw joins 11 Raffles Hotels & Resorts around the world as well as hotels under development such as Raffles London, Raffles Boston Back Bay and Raffles The Palm Dubai. The remarkable collection of charming luxury hotels and resorts is located in many of the world’s most attractive cities and leisure destinations such as Paris, Istanbul and the Seychelles. Raffles properties feature distinct amenities including the Raffles Butler Service, Raffles Spa, Raffles Long Bar and Raffles Writers Bar.

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Grand Hyatt Athens Opens in Greek Capital

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Grand Hyatt Athens, marking the first Hyatt hotel in the Greek capital and the first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Greece. The luxury property is located on Syngrou Avenue next to the Onassis Cultural Centre and combines dramatic architecture with innovative design, easily accessible to historic sites and best-in-class restaurants.

The vibrant city of Athens offers countless activities for all types of visitors. At the same time, it is also known as the historic capital of Europe – an ancient city with rich culture, iconic sites and attractions.

“Athens is fast becoming the destination of choice where ancient history sits alongside modern coffee shops and rooftop bars,” said Nikos Trikourakis, general manager of Grand Hyatt Athens. “Our hotel will offer guests who seek first-class hospitality unforgettable experiences and a luxurious place to stay.”

Celebrating iconic Greek culture, the 309-room hotel incorporates curated art reminiscent of ancient Athens. Alongside original pieces from the Museum of Cycladic Art, the hotel also showcases a glamorous lobby with an extraordinary art installation called The Coin, which is made from replicated, ancient Athenian coins representing the Greek economic supremacy in the fifth century BC. The property’s rooftop also offers the spectacular Penthouse Restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool with impressive views of the Acropolis.

Grand Hyatt is situated within walking distance of the beautiful old town of Plaka and the infamous Acropolis site, while golf courses, the passenger port terminal of Piraeus and the golden beaches of the Athens southern suburbs are just a short car ride away.

The hotel will be managed by Kokari Limited and has been developed by the international real estate investment companies Henderson Park and Hines. It will be the second Hyatt property in Greece, joining Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki.

Accommodations

Designed with bold and vibrant features, the hotel has 309 beautifully decorated guestrooms, 38 of which are suites, including the Presidential Suite, Royal Suite and four Grand Executive Suites with terraces. The rooms feature spectacular views of either the Acropolis, the cityscape or the inner landscaped garden, and offer a spacious and luxurious stay. Additionally, suite and club room guests have exclusive access to the Grand Club Lounge, which provides lavish surroundings, personal concierge services and culinary highlights throughout the day.

Dining

The impressive rooftop restaurant is set on the hotel’s top floor overlooking the brightly lit Acropolis neighborhood of Athens through transparent glass surfaces and offers guests the extraordinary experience of fresh, seasonally-inspired Mediterranean cuisine. For a more relaxed environment, guests can also dine in the Aphrodite lobby lounge & bar, a modern and comfortable lounge-style restaurant offering patisserie selections, salads and deluxe sandwiches.

Wellbeing and Fitness

Grand Hyatt Athens has a stunning rooftop outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The wellness center features four private treatment rooms, an indoor heated swimming pool, relaxation lounges, a sauna and a Turkish bath, known as a Hammam (to open in early 2019) – offering a destination of serene luxury and relaxation.

Meetings and Events

Grand Hyatt Athens offers the perfect venue for every type of event with almost 21,500 square feet of flexible event space and seven flexible multi-functional meeting spaces accommodating up to 1,000 guests. Conference facilities are equipped with the latest audio-visual technology paired with dedicated personal assistance at all times to ensure that events and meetings run smoothly.

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Ultimate Eid Getaway at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh

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This Eid escape the ordinary to the clear blue skies, turquoise waters and golden sands at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, a haven of tranquillity in the heart of lush gardens and among authentic architectural style.

Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh is the ideal choice for a perfect Eid escape or summer getaway this season. Guests can choose to do as much or as little as they like, from an adventurous dive in the marine life that thrives just beyond the Resort’s shoreline to a friendly tennis match on the Resort courts or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach with an amazing location by the Red Sea, or enjoying ancient-inspired spa treatments.

The Resort is second to none when contemplating an unforgettable retreat with family or loved ones. For this special occasion, the culinary team has prepared their finest creations across the Resort’s various dining venues, offering different themed nights from the best of Italian cuisine at Il Frantoio restaurant to oriental specialities at Arabesque restaurant, Reef Grill‘s Land and Sea Market, Waha’s specialities by the pool, in addition to live entertainment and creative cocktails at Nafoura Lounge. It is going to be difficult to make just one choice this Eid!

Younger guests are invited on August 23, 2018 to a fun-filled Eid family party.  The Kids for all Seasons Club has prepared themed activities for children throughout Eid celebrations including hand puppets, fun beach games, Red Sea shells collection, water polo, movie nights, swimming races, Eid card making and much more entertainment during the day.

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Mandarin Oriental To Manage Luxury Resort On Lake Como, Italy

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced today that it has taken over management of CastaDiva Resort & Spa, an existing resort on Lake Como, Italy. The property will be rebranded as Mandarin Oriental, Lake Como in spring 2019 following a refurbishment of facilities. This will be Mandarin Oriental’s first resort in western Europe and will complement the Group’s Milan hotel.

Located on the shores of Lake Como, and surrounded by lush botanic parkland, the resort is a landmark of historic importance, comprising 76 spacious rooms and suites housed in nine villas, dating from the 19th Century. Two of the villas will be bookable in their entirety giving guests their own private retreat. Almost all accommodation has lake views that can be enjoyed from either a balcony or terrace. The resort features four restaurants and bars, including a lakeside terrace for al fresco dining, a large spa with an indoor swimming pool and an outdoor floating pool on the lake. There is also a variety of social and meeting facilities in the resort’s grounds.

“We are delighted to be extending the Mandarin Oriental brand to the shores of Lake Como which has long been a destination of choice for luxury travellers. We look forward to bringing the Group’s exemplary service to the resort and to working with our partners to create one of Italy’s most exclusive properties,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Lake Como has been a popular travel destination for centuries, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful resort areas in northern Italy. The lake is surrounded by villas, gardens and villages and offers visitors a wealth of scenic views, hiking trails, boating and other water activities. It is easily accessed from Milan Malpensa airport.

CastaDiva Resort & Spa was acquired in 2017 by funds managed by Attestor Capital LLP.

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