Raffles Singapore announces its up-coming reopening that is planned for the second half of 2018. Since February 2017, the iconic heritage hotel has embarked on a careful and sensitive phased restoration. Its reopening will see the introduction of exquisite new suite categories, vibrant lifestyle experiences and refreshed dining concepts.
New suite categories
For more than a century, Raffles Singapore has offered its well-travelled guests luxurious all-suite accommodations. The restoration will update its distinctive suites with new amenities and technology while maintaining the sense of space and colonial ambience.
When Raffles Singapore reopens, it will have three new suite categories: Residence Suites, Promenade Suites and Studio Suites. The total suite count increases from its existing 103 suites to 115 suites.
The new Residence Suites, comprising four 1-bedroom and one 2-bedroom suites, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and are named after famous local cinemas during the early to mid-1900s. This is in homage to the days when the neighbourhood was known as “The Place of Cinemas”. Suites names are Alhambra Suite, Diamond Suite, Marlborough Suite, Odeon Suite and Theatre Royal Suite.
Intimately nestled in the front-most corner of the Main Building are two new Promenade Suites that overlook Beach Road. A tribute to the late 1800s era when Raffles Singapore faced the beachfront, the suites will be named Lady Mountbatten Suite and Lady Sophia Suite, which were converted from existing boardrooms.
The new Studio Suites that are being added aim to complement the array of suites in the Main Building, enveloped by the colonial charm of the Grand Lobby.
Raffles Arcade: A lifestyle destination for the community and Singapore
Once reopened, the Raffles Arcade will showcase social spaces and a variety of lifestyle experiences. This includes a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop that will house a History Gallery to illustrate the heritage of Raffles Singapore. The Arcade will also be home to a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community to escape the bustle of the city.
Signature dining experiences at Raffles
Signature restaurants and bars since the 1900s, Long Bar, Tiffin Room and Writers Bar, will continue to be a distinct part of Raffles Singapore dining experiences when the hotel reopens.
Home of the Singapore Sling for over a hundred years, the Long Bar’s plantation-inspired décor will be refreshed, and the famous Long Bar counter restored. Visitors and guests will be welcomed to continue the tradition of throwing peanuts on the floor as they sip on a chilled glass of hand-shaken Singapore Sling.
A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, Tiffin Room will continue to serve up delectable North Indian cuisine. Offering authentic specialties served in Tiffin boxes, it will also present an interactive dining experience with tableside service by chefs, complete with freshly ground spices to enhance the occasion. The restored interior décor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in Tiffin Room to bring back features from the early 1900s based on research by our heritage consultants.
Furthermore, the signature Afternoon Tea will now be served at the new lounge in the Grand Lobby, allowing guests to enjoy a quintessential Raffles dining experience amidst the soft daylight streaming in from the skylight.
Established as a tribute to famous writers that have come through the doors of Raffles Singapore over the years, Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar and be the place for bespoke cocktails, discreet elegance and intimate conversations.
New event spaces for weddings and social gatherings
Jubilee Hall has been converted into a new 300-guest ballroom, named Jubilee Ballroom as a tribute to the Jubilee Theatre, originally a cinema in the 1930s at the same location. Elegant and sophisticated in hues of cream and gold, complimented with an air-conditioned pre-event foyer, the Jubilee Ballroom will be the ideal venue for weddings and social galas.
All other event spaces will be refreshed, including the East India Room, Casuarina Suite as well as outdoor venues Palm Garden, The Lawn and Gazebo. The previous ballroom has been renamed Palm Ballroom as a nod to the Travellers Palm, the emblem of Raffles. All event spaces will also have striking lighting elements and the latest audio-visual technology, to be relevant for today’s social galas and events.
The restoration of Raffles Singapore is supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who has worked on numerous restoration projects around the world.
Raffles Singapore is due to reopen for the second half of 2018, so if you are planning a trip to Singapore and would like to step back in time and enjoy one of the world iconic hotels, contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio and we’ll make sure you have a chilled Singapore Sling handed to you on arrival!
Reach the Geographic North Pole, complete an Arctic Ocean crossing, discover Greenland’s extreme North East or probe the icy wilderness of Antarctica…beginning in 2021, PONANT will be taking guests in the footsteps of the great polar explorers aboard a next-generation luxury icebreaker—the first of its kind in the world of cruising.
With a refined on board ambience and luxury services – never before available in the far extremes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres – with the new icebreaker vessel Ponant provides not just cruises, but true expedition polar odysseys.
The new Ice Breaker will be the first ever PC2 Polar Class luxury cruise ship, this hybrid electric icebreaker powered by Liquified Natural Gas, at the cutting edge of technology, will be a real pioneer in terms of environmental protection.
Drawing on more than two decades of experience in sensitive regions, Ponant is the only cruise company in the world to design its future itineraries in-house, with its own expedition teams. Thanks to exploratory visits, Environmental Impact Assessments and the protocols developed by the company, the itineraries of the Ponant Icebreaker will be established with the greatest respect for the environment.
Itineraries are still in development, but contact Travel Masters on 1800 672 988 to register your interest, and we’ll contact you as soon as the itineraries are released!
The St Regis Singapore, the arbiters of luxury and refinement, is now sharing the enthusiasm for the fine arts and culture by offering private access to the world’s premier collections.
Housing one of the finest private art collections in South East Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum quality art in an exquisite ambience. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Curated to complement and enhance the Chinoiserie décor, artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Georgette Chen were selected to represent both western and eastern influences, as well as traditions that characterise the sophisticated city of Singapore. Singaporean artistic talents are also honoured and displayed in prominent areas of the hotel grounds to showcase the distinctive Singaporean Arts, to give the local community and foreign visitors to Singapore, a sense of the flourishing art scene emerging within the garden state. The works of pioneering Nanyang Artists Cheong Soo Pieng, Georgette Chen, and Chen Wen Hsi represent the style that influenced many artistic movements in Singapore. The Nanyang approach focused on a merging of western techniques in oil painting with the unique brushstrokes inspired by traditional Chinese calligraphy and imagery.
The St. Regis Singapore art collection also presents contemporary Singaporean artists including Eng Tow, Lim Joo Hong, and Chen Ke Zhan. The works of these contemporary leaders demonstrate the progressive spirit of the city in taking the influence of these pioneering artists, creating works that are significant and continue to escalate the prominence of Singapore on the international art scene.
The 2001 Venice Biennale’s Singaporean Pavilion representative, Chen Ke Zhan, was commissioned to do a number of large works for the hotel reception. His work, Golden Landscape, is located near the hotel entrance to greet guests with its majestic and tranquil beauty.
The St. Regis Singapore’s exterior is enhanced by a number of eminent pieces marking the influential address. Columbian Figurative artist, Fernando Botero’s Reclining Woman, smiles and greets guests to their home-away-from-home as they alight from the St. Regis Bentleys. The late Singaporean abstract artist Anthony Poon’s architectural wave sculptures line the street for the enjoyment of those strolling by the hotel. Poon’s Sense Surround, the crimson, steel sculptures commissioned for The St. Regis Singapore, were some of the last art works that he completed before his passing in 2006. To enhance the guests experience at The St. Regis Singapore, the art collection is not only in the public areas of the hotel. Many of the luxurious suites contain original art works to complement the plush furnishings. The Presidential Suite features art by American abstract expressionist painters like Mark Tobey and Sam Francis, as well as French expressionist Marc Chagall, among other art works.
Tranquility and sanctuary are the inspiration of Taiwan’s leading contemporary artist Li Chen, whose Float to Sukhavati creates an ambiance of pure bliss. The cherubic-like Buddha rests peacefully on top of a metallic cloud inspiring onlookers to relax poolside or linger at specialty Italian restaurant, LaBrezza.
Extraordinary works of art awaits diners in the award-winning fine Cantonese restaurant Yan Ting. A series of stunning canvases depicting the four seasons are by collaborating Singaporean artists Joseph Lim, Phoebe Yang and Zhang Chunlei. Nearby is a treasured fan painting by Chinese artist Qi Baishi, most well known for being a self taught painter that resisted the influence of western techniques and remained true to traditional techniques of the Ming and Qing Dynasty arts.
An abode of refined sophistication awaits in Astor Bar, where guests can revel in the world of Pablo Picasso as they ease the stress of the day with a signature Chili Padi Mary. Picasso’s Toros Series of 10 lithographs on the art of the bullfighting line the walls of the bar. Picasso’s passion for life is manifested in his works, depicting the art and sport that is full of cultural tradition and history.
It is appropriate that Picasso’s fervent works adorn the Astor Bar; his vivacious spirit for life led to his famous last words – a toast of “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know that I can’t drink anymore”.
The St. Regis Singapore’s commitment to the arts goes beyond the art collection, with events that bring aficionados access to one-of-a-kind events in the world of arts and culture. Delight in a complimentary tour of the exceptional art collection, by our St. Regis Butlers, with “The Art of Living”, conducted daily at 6pm at The St. Regis Singapore.
So why not include a stay at the fantastic St.Regis hotel on your next trip or stopover in Singapore. Contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio for more information…
Zegrahm Expeditions, a world leader in small-ship cruising and overland adventures, is thrilled to announce its 2019 expedition line-up. Zegrahm has crafted 37 unique expeditions, including 14 brand-new itineraries, that will allow modern-day explorers to pursue their passion for exploration, learning, and adventure.
Zegrahm’s line-up will take guests to all seven continents to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Some of Zegrahm’s new expeditions will allow travellers to:
- View Gorillas of the Congo up close and watch them interact with each other; plus, find other rare forest species not found on typical safaris, including chimpanzees, pygmy hippos, forest buffalo, and the elusive bongo.
- Go In Search of Snow Leopards in the Himalayas, as well as ibex, blue sheep, foxes, and wolves; and at morning and night, soak in the magnificent mountains views from the comfort of the Snow Leopard Lodge.
- Cruise along the Bay of Bengal and enjoy the cultural and natural treasures that this region has to offer; from pilgrimaging to the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda to observing thousands of olive ridley sea turtles nesting at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
- Voyage along the Path of the Vikings, from Reykjavik to Quebec, and along the way cruise past chiseled fjords and glittering glaciers, meet friendly locals in Tasiilaq, and watch for beluga whales in Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.
In celebration of its 2019 expedition line-up, Zegrahm is offering Early Booking Savings on select trips. Guests who book by January 31, 2018 will save 5% off the published rate. Plus, past guests will save an additional 5%, for a combined 10% savings. Zegrahm is also waiving supplement fees for solo travellers on select expeditions.
“Our expert team of field leaders and program managers have created another extraordinary line-up of itineraries that will allow guests to cross both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, visit signature destinations like Japan and Botswana, and experience a variety of brand-new itineraries such as the Iberian Peninsula and Western Australia,” said Zegrahm President Van Perry. “We’re also pleased to be able to offer Early Booking Savings and No Solo Supplement in celebration of launching another exciting year of expedition travel.”
For more details on Zegrahm Expeditions amazing array of adventures, contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio today…
With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, has announced a full schedule of festivities. Home to Europe’s largest private art collection, the hotel’s artistic flair can also be seen throughout its Christmas offering this year, from an elegantly decorated tree to the culinary magic of three-Michelin starred chef Heinz Beck, to creative cocktails and delicious brunch served with savoury panettone, the latest creation of Chef Fabio Boschero.
Artistic Cocktails at the Tiepolo Lounge & Terrace
Guests can kick off the celebrations in style with cocktails served at Tiepolo Lounge & Terrace on Christmas Eve, surrounded by Venetian art. Inspired by the hotel’s private art collection, Rome Cavalieri’s mixologists have skilfully blended together floral and citrus aromas to delicious effect. Each cocktail will be served with canapés including a slice of delicious panettone, created by Executive Chef Fabio Boschero. Boschero has melded culinary precision with artistic flair to create two savory panettone made with either truffles or “cacio e pepe” (Roman cheese and pepper).
L’Uliveto Restaurant and and Ice Sculpting Brunch
Continuing in the creative festive spirit, guests can celebrate with brunches over the Christmas period, promising culinary specialties, including the delicious salty panettone, and free flowing wine and bubbly, accompanied with performances from a variety of artists including ice sculpting, live music and drawing.
Culinary Magic by Chef Heinz Beck
La Pergola, Rome’s only three Michelin starred restaurant, promises a spectacular culinary display this Christmas, with a range of innovative delights curated by Chef Heinz Beck. Guests can feast on a decadent and creative seven course menu on Christmas Eve featuring smoked scallop tartare and John Dory fish in a liquorish crust with parsnip purée and black truffle. The menu is accompanied with matching fine wines and live piano music.
The evening of Christmas Day also promises a delicious banquet at La Pergola, featuring inventive and playful creations from Heinz Beck including lobster in spicy ‘nduja crust, smoked capon consommé, cod with broccoli and salt cod snow and ending with Christmas pudding for dessert.
Festive Fun for Little VIPs
Rome Cavalieri’s IT Kids Club will be open on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and will provide a range of exclusive experiences for little VIPs led by professional performers , whilst parents can enjoy the sights and sounds of Rome or the resort’s phenomenal facilities. Father Christmas will also arrive on his sleigh at Rome Cavalieri at 1pm on Christmas Day, bursting with presents for the little VIPs.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display
Rome Cavalieri promises an unforgettable setting to see in the New Year, with live music from 7:30pm and a dazzling firework display over the Eternal City at midnight. La Pergola restaurant will play host to a magnificent dinner courtesy of Chef Heinz Beck who is sure to further surprise guests with his culinary magic and mastery. The menu features dishes such as duck foie gras, carpaccio of scallops and filet of venison paired with a selection of fine wines and champagne.
The Art of Beauty at the Cavalieri Grand Spa Club
For a holiday of total bliss amidst the Christmas hustle and bustle, guests can treat themselves or a loved one to a luxurious spa treatment at Rome Cavalieri’s Grand Club Spa. The “24K golden treat” on Christmas Day, the “Ultimate Ritual” on New Year’s Eve and the “Platinum Wish” on New Year’s Day will leave you with a festive glow to ring in the New Year in great style!
So if Christmas in Rome sounds perfect for you, there can be no better way to enjoy it than a stay at the Rome Cavalieri Hotel. Contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio today for more information…
Celebrity Cruises have announced yet another addition to their fleet of small, expedition vessels sailing around the fascinating Galapagos Islands, due for launch in 2019…
Celebrity Flora is the first ship of its kind to be designed and built specifically with Galapagos in mind. Every space, including the all-suites accommodations, features our innovative outward-facing design, so the destination is always the centre of attention. Natural materials inspired by the islands create a ship that merges seamlessly with its surroundings. And state-of-the-art technology makes Celebrity Flora one of the most eco-friendly ships sailing this pristine archipelago.
One of the most energy-efficient ships of its size in the diverse archipelago, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora will offer seamless sea-to-shore transportation, and includes anchorless technology that maintains the ship’s position while protecting the sensitive sea floor. Innovative outward-facing design gives guests 360-degree views of the islands, while personal suite attendants, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, and expert-lead ecological seminars will round out the modern luxury vacation experience.
The Marina is the primary point of access to the ship and can accommodate up to three Zodiacs at once, reducing transport time to and from land and allowing more time for guests to explore the practically untouched islands. While on board guests will unwind in the Sunset Lounge, find solace in The Vista, an open-air hideaway with 360-degree views, cocoon-style loungers and private cabanas, and enjoy the breathtaking surrounds in the floor-to-ceiling glass-wrapped Observatory. Darwin’s Cove and the Naturalist Centre provide a bounty of information on the destination, wildlife and environmental efforts, while the Discovery Lounge will be home to Naturalist presentations and excursion information. Guests can participate in a guided astronomy tour or enjoy star-lit skies on their own from the Stargazing Platform. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily in the Seaside Restaurant. The Ocean Grill offers a casual dining space, panoramic views and Dinner Under the Stars, or guests can choose from an indulgent in room dining experience.
Celebrity Flora transports travellers in all-suite accommodations featuring oversized bathrooms perfect for post-adventure refreshing. These modern retreats bring the outside in through Celebrity’s signature outward-facing layouts and heralded Infinite Verandas, and come complete with sustainable, natural, regionally inspired materials. Personal suite attendants cater to guests’ every need. Celebrity Flora’s two Penthouse Suites are the largest in the Galapagos with separate indoor and outdoor living areas, customisation lighting and shades, and a telescope for stargazing or sea lion-peeping. Guests can also find relaxation in Royal Suites, Ultimate Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda, Premium Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda and Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda.
Celebrity Flora is one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, with a 15 percent reduction of fuel consumption and equivalently fewer air emissions, thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Two more firsts in the Galapagos, Celebrity Flora’s dynamic positioning system allows the ship to stay in position without physically anchoring and damaging the sea floor, with zero speed stabilisers promising smooth sailing throughout. Celebrity will reduce the need for plastics on board by introducing in-room water filtration stations and by converting sea water and air conditioning condensation into pure, fresh water. Any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system. Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making her first sailing on May 26, 2019. Seven night cruises on the Celebrity Flora will start from $11,999 per person.
Bookings are now being taken at Travel Masters and The Travel Studio, for the ship’s alternating seven-night inner and outer loop itineraries.
Call us today for more information!
CULINARY JOURNEYS WITH GUY GROSSI
Join Guy Grossi on this Remarkably Uncommon culinary journey through some of Italy’s most iconic gastronomic regions whilst staying in carefully selected members of The Leading Hotels of the World, distinctive representatives of the destination in which they are found. This unique journey will see the group exploring each destinations history and local food culture whilst being led by a true ambassador of Italian cuisine, critically acclaimed chef, author and media personality, Chef Guy Grossi of Grossi Restaurants in Melbourne, Victoria.
Guy Grossi is a devoted chef and restaurateur. He is the owner of Grossi Restaurants including Grossi Florentino, Merchant Osteria Veneta, Ombra Salumi Bar and Arlechin Food and Wine Bar. Recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities on Italian food, he has been sought after to train and mentor within the industry and evoke thinking around the future of food and hospitality. Guy is a recent Fellow of the International Specialised Skills Institute and Co-Founder of The Melbourne Tomato Festival. His passions lie within his cooking and sourcing pure ingredients prepared with integrity. Guy is driven to share his knowledge and experiences through his bestselling books; Love Italy, Recipes from My Mother’s Kitchen, My Italian Heart, Secrets and Recipes. Guy is devoted to preserving culture and traditions and is also a dedicated philanthropist committing much of his personal time and funds in assisting young people in need and mentoring others. Guy’s restaurants attract great praise but what gives him the most joy is the satisfaction of feeding a hungry diner.
DAY ONE – HOTEL: L’ANDANA
Upon your arrival to L’andana, take time to explore the stunning 500-hectare grounds of this authentic country house set amongst the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves. Once a Medici villa where Grand Duke Leopold II and his court resided during the summer season, the hotel is now an enchanting resort with an abundance of activities to choose from.
Daily Highlights: Meet your host Guy Grossi and your fellow travellers at this evening’s aperitivo followed by an authentic Tuscan dinner at ‘La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini’ – L’Andana’s one Michelin star restaurant.
DAY TWO – HOTEL: L’ANDANA
We dive straight into our culinary journey this morning by touring the hotel gardens to pick fresh produce for todays cooking lesson in one Michelin star restaurant ‘La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini’.
Daily Highlights: Chef Guy Grossi & hotel Chef Christoph Martins use their culinary expertise to lead you as you prepare authentic Tuscan dishes in todays cooking lesson. Visit ‘Castiglione della Pescaia’ a small fishing village known for its picturesque coastline. Followed by dinner at ‘Molo 16’ a local favourite.
DAY THREE – HOTEL: L’ANDANA
Take in the picturesque rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside as the group explores the local Grosseto area.
Daily Highlights: Visit ‘Le Mortelle’ –in the Maremma region spanning over 675 acres and home to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese vines. Experience ‘Maremmana style’ dining at L’andana’s ‘La Villa’ restaurant.
DAY FOUR – HOTEL: VILLA CORA
Journey to Florence, the capitol of Italy’s Tuscan region and home to many masterpieces of renaissance art and architecture. Our home for the next 3 nights is Villa Cora, an aristocratic residence built at the end of the XIX century and located on the hills just outside the historical centre of Florence.
Daily Highlights: Tour and taste the delights of The Felsina Farm, just outside of Castelnuovo Berardenga on our way to Florence. Felsina is known for its wine and olive oil production and have been mastering their art since 1966. Get acquainted with Florence by taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city at this evening’s aperitivo, hosted at Bellevue Terrace, Villa Cora’s rooftop Champagne bar followed by dinner in restaurant Le Bristrot.
DAY FIVE – HOTEL: VILLA CORA
We venture into Tuscany to explore just a few of the many small towns that make up this world famous foodie region!
Daily Highlights: Visit the picturesque hill town of Panzano to meet Italy’s most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini. Dario & Guy will lead a specialised butchery demonstration in the grand hall of Panzano’s medieval castle while you and your fellow travellers are served lunch. Explore San Gimignano, a 13th-century walled town with a skyline of medieval towers. ‘Gelateria di Piazza’ is a local favourite and is known to sell 400kg of icecream each day! Today you will meet owner, Sergio Dondoli, the “master of icecream” and sample his famous gelato. Discover traditional vs modern cuisine at I’Parione, a local trattoria who prides themselves on preparing classic Tuscan dishes seasoned with a bit of imagination.
DAY SIX – HOTEL: VILLA CORA
Enjoy your last day in Florence with two unique cooking experiences hosted by Chef Guy Grossi.
Daily Highlights: Chef Guy Grossi and Villa Cora’s very own Chef Alessandro Liberatore lead an exclusive Tuscan cooking class followed by traditional lunch. Tonight Chef Guy Grossi will create his favourite Italian dishes, set outside by the Villa Cora pool and gardens
DAY SEVEN – HOTEL: GRAND HOTEL MAJESTIC GIA BAGLIONI
This morning we say goodbye to Tuscany and journey to Emilia-Romagna, known for its medieval cities, rich gastronomy and seaside resorts. Bologna, the largest city and capital of the Emilia-Romagna is renowned for its culinary tradition and has given its name to the well-known Bolognese sauce. Settle in at your new home for the next 2 nights, the iconic ‘Hotel Majestic gia Baglioni’ the oldest and most prestigious hotel in Bologna.
Daily Highlights: Visit the newly opened and long awaited ‘FICO Eataly world’, a visionary project which spans over 80,000 SQM and is considered the ‘theme park for foodies’. Aimed at being ‘the meeting place for all those who love food and wish to discover its secrets and traditions’ this unique space boasts more than 25 eateries, 40 workshops, farming and livestock. Dinner this evening will be hosted at the hotels ‘Enoteca Mordandi’ restaurant where we will be joined by an original ‘Sfoglina’, a traditional Bolognese lady who will teach you to prepare traditional handmade pasta, an ancient and very typical culinary art.
DAY EIGHT – HOTEL: GRAND HOTEL MAJESTIC GIA BAGLIONI
Explore the two rival cities of Italian cuisine, Bologna the ‘city of food’ and Modena the ‘foodie capitol’ of Italy.
Daily Highlights: Tour through the medieval “botteghe” market to visit Bologna’s most ancient gastronomical boutiques with the hotel’s executive chef, Claudio Sordi. Located in the “Quadrilatero”, the area is known for its ancient traditions and different craft guilds, such as goldsmiths, butchers, “Salaroli” (workers who salted meat to cure it) and many others. Continue on your food journey and perfect the perfect pizza under Guy Grossi’s direction. Tonight you will dine under the direction of three-star Michelin chef and world number two, Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana. This will be an experience to remember!
DAY NINE – HOTEL: GRAND HOTEL ET DE MILAN
Depart Emilia-Romagna for the vibrant city of Milan. Arrive at ‘Grand Hotel et de Milan’ – opened in 1863, the hotel preserves all the charm of an ancient Milanese “house” and is located in the heart of the city, just a few steps from the the Scala Opera House, the fashion district and the Duomo Cathedral.
Daily Highlights: Depart Bologna bright and early to visit Caseificio Castellazzo, a dairy in the provence of the Campagnola Emilia region who are legally able to label their cheese ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano’. Visit ‘Acetaia San Giacomo’ a producer of Reggio Emilia Traditional Balsamic which represents only 0.006% of authentic “Balsamic” in the market. Dinner this evening will be hosted at two star Michelin, ‘Ristorante Cracco’ led by chef, Carlo Cracco, a top judge on Masterchef Italy and Hell’s Kitchen Italia
DAY TEN – HOTEL: GRAND HOTEL ET DE MILAN
To conclude our culinary journey we enjoy our last group cooking experience with Chef Guy Grossi.
Daily Highlights: Visit ‘Farm 65’ a ‘masterchef style’ cooking school in the heart of Milan, designed with the latest domestic technology to be able to learn new tricks and recipes to impress family and friends. Chef Guy Grossi will lead a masterclass lesson or if you are up to the challenge, you can test yourself by using your newly acquired skills to create your own inspired dish. Our farewell dinner hosted at ‘Don Carlos’ at ‘Grand hotel et de Milan’ – Chef Mauro Moia will prepare his signature tasting menu, a testament to Milanese cuisine.
• Curated itinerary led by renowned Chef Guy Grossi
• Seven unique cooking experiences with Chef Guy Grossi
• Dine under the direction of three star Michelin chef and world number two, Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana
• Meet local purveyors and experience their product
• Michelin star dining at members of The Leading Hotels of the World and local restaurants
• Dedicated tour manager from The Leading Hotels of the World
• An intimate group of no more than 20 guests
JOURNEY COSTS & INCLUSIONS
Price per person / Twin Share: $19,995
Solo Traveller Supplement: $11,995
Rates are in Australian dollars (AUD)
• All meals and selected beverages
• Transfers, porterage and gratuities
• Offsite unique activities including cooking classes, interactive masterclasses & chefs table experiences
• Ten nights luxury accommodation throughout Italy in iconic members of The Leading Hotels of the World
2 Exclusive Departures – Monday, 21st to Thursday, 31st May 2018 or Monday, 20th to Thursday, 30th August 2018. Maximum 20 guests on each departure (10 rooms only)
Flights are available to compliment this amazing culinary journey, please contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio to make a reservation…
Virtuoso has revealed its picks for five of the hottest hotel openings around the world for this fall and beyond. Virtuoso has deemed that these luxury hotels have met its standards of quality and has invited them to take part in its Preview Program. As part of Preview, hotels partner with the Virtuoso network and its adverts during the pre-opening phase, receiving guidance and a head start on bookings. In addition, guests booking with Travel Masters and The Travel Studio will receive a number of benefits any any of these new hotels. Benefits may include complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, hotel credit and special check-in/check-out options.
The hotels are:
Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China – Opening late 2017:
Situated in a spectacular riverside location in the heart of the city, BVLGARI Hotel will set new standards of luxury accommodation in Shanghai when it makes its debut in the 2nd half of 2017. The hotel is located just 3 minutes from the iconic Bund and 8 minutes from the famous museums of People’s Square, yet enjoys a tranquil and exclusive setting among private gardens, historic buildings and art galleries. Occupying the uppermost 8 floors of a 48-story tower designed by Foster + Partners, the hotel offers stunning views of the Bund and Shanghai’s dramatic skyline. With just 82 rooms and suites, guests can look forward to an intimate ambience and highly-personalised service, yet the hotel provides some of the most extensive facilities in the city, including 8 restaurants and bars, a 2,000 square meter spa and fitness centre, and state-of-the-art meeting facilities. The rooftop Italian restaurant and bar is destined to become one of the most desirable venues in Shanghai. Designed by Italian maestros Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, hotel rooms will be contemporary, glamorous and exceptionally spacious, with panoramic views from every window. Magnificent suites will include the extraordinary 570 square meter BVLGARI Suite. Amenities will be luxurious and authentically Italian – from exclusive BVLGARI toiletries to Maserati limousine transfers and a complimentary Berluti shoe shine service. Adjoining the hotel tower is the historic Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, originally built in 1916 and now completely restored to evoke memories of its glorious past – the centrepiece of this magnificent heritage building will be the 480 square meter ballroom with triple-height ceilings, and a sophisticated Chinese fine dining restaurant. In keeping with Shanghai’s remarkable development as one of Asia’s capitals of art and style, BVLGARI Hotel Shanghai is set to become a true modern masterpiece that perfectly blends the contemporary glamour of BVLGARI with inspired, radiant and graceful service.
Montage Los Cabos, Mexico – Opening spring 2018:
This seaside resort will be located on the sweeping shores of Santa Maria Bay in Los Cabos, Mexico. Adjacent to the exclusive private residential community Maravilla Los Cabos, and perched upon the premier beachfront in all of Cabo, Montage Los Cabos will feature 122 expansive guestrooms and suites, along with 52 Montage Residences. Montage Los Cabos’ location, including 39 acres on the white sand beach and azure waters of Santa Maria Bay, will offer spectacular views and immediate, walk-in access to the finest swimming, diving and snorkelling in the region. Montage Los Cabos will offer its guests highly-personalised, authentic experiences, including wellness programs and treatments at the signature Spa Montage, as well as an array of fitness offerings including the resort’s tennis and recreational lawn facilities. Unique in the Los Cabos region, Montage Los Cabos features remarkable walk-in access to snorkelling and diving at Santa Maria Bay. The resort will also include two pools and Montage’s signature, immersive children’s program, Paintbox. In addition, Montage Los Cabos will feature multiple dining venues where travellers can enjoy the region’s abundant seafood and innovative use of fresh, local ingredients. With 6,100 square feet of indoor meeting and event areas, as well as multiple outdoor beach side function lawns, Montage Los Cabos will also serve as an excellent venue for corporate meetings, executive retreats and destination weddings. Here, in Baja California Sur, life moves in joyful concert with the waves and the passage of sun and moon. A jumping dolphin, spouting whales, a soaring gull, a riff of trumpet and guitar all add to the rhythm and genuine spirit of Los Cabos.
Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland – Reopening spring 2018:
Hotel Europejski originally opened in 1857, immediately stepping into the spotlight as one of the most luxurious hotels in the Russian Empire. During World War II, however, it was almost completely destroyed. The current hotel was re-built in stages throughout the 1950s, eventually re-opening in 1962. In the historic district of Warsaw, next to the Presidential Palace, this is a significant restoration of a landmark building. The restoration team has worked closely with the local conservation body and with the utmost respect to ensure the hotel’s heritage and character are preserved. The interiors have been entrusted to the acclaimed Boris Kudlicka of the WWAA. The WWAA’s notable projects include the Polish Pavilion for Expo in Shanghai and the Cultural Centre of Warsaw. Lazaro Rosa Violan of Contemporain will be spearheading the design of the hotel’s food and beverage spaces. Lazaro’s ability to re-interpret classic design icons has resulted in an impressive portfolio of luxury spaces around the world. Raffles Europejski, Warsaw will offer its guests 103 elegant guestrooms and suites; a restaurant with an outdoor terrace with seasonal menus showcasing Poland’s rich produce and cuisine; a bar and cigar lounge; and a pâtisserie that will evoke Hotel Europejski’s fascinating story, tempting guests and locals with chocolates, cakes, ice-cream and other sweet delicacies. The hotel will also house a spa featuring six treatment rooms.
Hotel Lutetia, France – Reopening spring 2018:
When the Boucicaut family opened the first modern department store, they changed how Parisians, and then the world, do their shopping. Once they had transformed retail commerce, their decision to innovate hoteliery was almost an afterthought. Their store was such a runaway success, that their many suppliers, bringing luxuries from afar, needed a comfortable place to spend the night. Visiting customers from across Europe also needed an enticement to stay longer. The board of ‘Le Bon Marché’ decide to open a modern, palace-inspired, luxury hotel in Paris, directly across from their famous store. To name this second Left Bank landmark, they reached back to the origins of Paris itself, and took the city’s Roman name: Lutetia. As one of the finest luxury hotels in Paris, every aspect of the Lutetia was a model for the new luxurious lifestyle. No expense was spared in crafting a masterwork. Thanks to their network of suppliers for the store, they could choose the very best: China from Haviland, silver from Christofle, and crystal from Baccarat. The design of the hotel itself is a daring transition from the Art Nouveau of the day to the emerging style of Art Deco. But their biggest innovation is leaving the usual enclaves of grand dame hotels, centred across the river, and bringing modern luxury to the Left Bank.
Six Senses Bhutan, Bhutan – Opening late 2018:
Set jewel-like between two giants, Bhutan is an age-old culture where the population remains untainted by the outside world; a world with which they had no interaction until the 1950’s and from where their first real international visitors arrived by invitation in 1974. This amazing Kingdom coined the phrase upon which the success of the country is measured – Gross National Happiness. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has designed a project that is actually five individual satellite resorts in five separate locations, but all under the umbrella of one all-encompassing name: Six Senses Bhutan. It is five unique experiences crafted into one enchanted journey through the Kingdom. With a total of just 82 guest suites and villas distributed between five intimate lodges, guests will visit the heritage and hospitality of Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro in the colourful Kingdom known as the Happiest Place on Earth. Each of the five locations was identified with a specific and appropriate theme, so that as guests move between them they experience a journey through all their senses. Begin in the capital of Thimphu, where the design emphasis is on culture. As a juxtaposition to tradition, the interiors are modern with clean lines and an abundance of wood panelling, whitewashing and natural stone. Beautiful cultural items, handcrafted objects and intricate weavings are shown against this uncompromised backdrop. Old solid wood is re purposed into table and bench tops, while handcrafted rust-coloured brick is used for structures.
Reservations are open for these stunning new properties, so for more details or rates please contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio…
Belmond reveals its new look with a campaign titled, ‘The Art of Belmond’ – an invitation to enter the ‘Wonderful World of Belmond’.
A stylish new global advertising campaign celebrating the art of living well – the ‘Art of Savoir-Vivre’ – brings to life the heart and soul of Belmond and its global travel experiences – a world full of extraordinary characters and inspiring locations. The new campaign supports a key part of the Company’s strategic plan to raise the brand awareness, and strengthen its position in the luxury travel market as a brand that offers genuine and authentic escapes. The full campaign launched on 11 October with a strategic media plan heavily focused on attracting new audiences to Belmond through social and digital channels.
Created by a series of artists – ‘The Art of Belmond’ includes a cinematographic film, print and digital adverts designed to inspire today’s world travellers, millennials and global citizens. Arnaud Champenois, Senior Vice President Brand and Marketing at Belmond, comments: “The spirit of the campaign is to celebrate these magical Belmond hotels, trains and cruises with a bit of nostalgia. Our heritage is reminiscent of a golden age of travel but at the same time there is an ‘art of savoir-vivre’ that fizzes through everything. Somehow, I see nostalgia being the new avant-gardism.”
The Art of Savoir-Vivre – Film
The Art of Savoir Vivre is a series of six short films, following six moments of a guest experience with Belmond. They invite the audience to step into the wonderful world of Belmond, portrayed as a world that is almost as mythical as its guests.
Directed by acclaimed film director Romain Chassaing, the films follow a stylish cast of global jet setters travelling from Rio to Venice, taking their time to enjoy the art of living. Witty and quirky, it encapsulates the spirit of Belmond.
“There is also a bit of joyful fantasy in what we have created; I think the world desperately needs fantasy right now.” adds Mr Champenois.
Contemporary Nostalgia – Luggage Labels
Inspired by the golden age of travel, Belmond has created a series of collectible travel stickers that reflect the individual personality of each travel experience. Five pop artists have created one for each hotel, train, river cruise and safari lodge that reinterprets the past with a modern new look – ‘Contemporary Nostalgia’.
Guests will be able to build their global collection of travel stickers as they travel throughout the wonderful world of Belmond.
Travel Posters & Family Portraits
Five inspirational travel posters represent the ‘Wonderful World of Belmond’ in a bold new way. Full of colour and graphic illustrations, this fresh look unites the Belmond products under five collections, Historic Hotels, Resorts & Nature, Cruises, Trains and Journeys.
“Finally, we wanted to portrait some exceptional and genuine characters who have worked with us for generations and all have a tale to tell. The Art of Belmond campaign both celebrates and unites our beautiful hotels and personalities with a fresh look that marks the beginning of our new heritage.” continues Mr Champenois.
There is a travel poster for every hotel, train and cruise. Each portrait tells a story and shares a memory of unique moments in a spirit that celebrates these magical travel experiences with a bit of nostalgia.
The Art of Experience
Focusing on two moments of the guest experience – the ‘Wonderful World of Belmond’ includes new experiences through exclusive brand partnerships:
First Light with Leica Sport Optics – celebrating the mornings and bringing guests closer to nature. First Light with Leica Sport Optics will be available at Belmond Hotel Cataratas, Iguassu Falls, Brazil, Belmond La Residencia, Deià, Mallorca and Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa.
Exceptional Music in Exceptional Locations with London Philharmonic Orchestra – musical performances set within Belmond’s inspiring locations launching with a special concert at Belmond Reid’s Palace, Madeira on 7 December 2017.
The Art of Sharing – #TheArtofBelmond
Launching on 11 October, a strategic media plan sharing #TheArtofBelmond, drives content across social, digital and select print channels, with the aim of attracting a new global audience to the brand.
This is all combined with a new digital ecosystem including a new website full of inspiring content, linking the full range of Belmond adventures together and with a phased roll out to include personalised content for guests and a fully integrated booking system.
‘This new campaign articulates who we really are and celebrates our heritage and the authenticity of our individual properties. At the same time, it tells the story of why all these beautiful properties belong together, united under the Belmond flag,’ concludes Mr Champenois.
For more information on the Wonderful World of Belmond, and their range of Hotels, Rail, Safaris and River Cruises please contact Travel Masters or The Travel Studio…
There is nothing to prepare you for the profusion and mixture of scenery, wildlife, and the sheer enormity of elemental landscapes that await you in Namibia. Animals gathering around watering holes in Etosha National Park. The huge granite intrusion of Spitzkoppe dominating the endless desert landscape. Miles and miles of windswept beaches along the Skeleton Coast, or the enormous burnt-red sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Namibia is truly a land of vast, untold beauty.
The people here are equally incredible. Namibia, like most countries in Africa, was colonized in the late 1800s, first under German control until 1915, and by South Africa after that. A guerrilla war against the South African occupation started in 1966, and the country eventually gained its independence in 1990. Since then, Namibia has done remarkably well, due largely to the commitment of its eclectic mix of peoples to making the unified country work.
If you visit Namibia, you may come across and meet the Himba people who have maintained their traditional nomadic ways, as well as the San Bushmen. There’s also the (incredibly!) German colonial feel of Bavarian Swakopmund, complete with half-timbered houses. You’ll pinch yourself if you visit the town—as you may think you are actually in Bavaria! German is still widely spoken in Swakopmund, along with Afrikaans and English.
Namibia’s people consist of 11 major ethnic groups scattered throughout the country, with a general acceptance of diversity. From the nomadic Himba to the urban elite, Namibia today is largely free of tribal conflict. At a 1993 conference on tribalism, Prime Minister Hage Geingob summarized the issue by saying, “for too long we have thought of ourselves as Hereros, Namas, Afrikaaners, Germans, Ovambos. We must now start to think of ourselves as Namibians.” The Namibian population is estimated to be just under 2.5 million. These days, Namibia is renowned for its diverse cultures. It is also one of the least populated countries in the world. All those vast, open spaces with little traffic makes it perfect for biking—all roads leading us to a wonderful variety of peoples and landscapes.
Windhoek: Namibia’s Capital
In precolonial times, this area was known to the Khoisan people for its hot springs, which are still a feature of the town. Jonker Afrikaaner established the first settlement in the Klein Windhoek valley in 1840. Two missionaries were invited to the flourishing settlement in 1842, and reported back that a church big enough to seat 500 people had been built here, as well as established gardens and irrigated fields. For the next 20 years, the community prospered as the centre of commerce between the Herero and the Oorlam/Nama. After Jonker Afrikaner’s death, his followers dispersed and the settlement was abandoned.
In 1890, the Germans were being given the runaround by another powerful Nama leader, Hendrik Witbooi, whose face adorns the country’s banknotes. The Germans serendipitously retreated to Windhoek, an area that was under no particular rule at the time due to the death of the ruling Herero leader. By the time the next Herero chief had been anointed and the clan returned to the region, the Germans had already half-completed a fort. The settlement went from strength to strength and, with the completion of the railway line from Swakopmund to Windhoek in 1902, things were figuratively and literally “full steam ahead” for the Germans to expand and make Windhoek the commercial and cultural centre of the colony.
In the 1960s, the capital was further developed to pursue the apartheid policies of South Africa, who saw Namibia as their fifth province. Forced removals were instigated and the Katatura (“the place we do not like to live”) and Khomasdal townships were created with black and coloured townships respectively. Today, these divisions are still largely in place, albeit solely along economic lines.
Things to Do in Windhoek
You can literally spend half a day here! The quality of the craftsmanship is outstanding and one will definitely do some shopping as they have some beautiful and unusual things. From handmade Himba perfumes to prints that replicate San rock art, to contemporary artwork, baskets, weaving and textiles, beading—you name it, and you are likely to find whatever craft at one of the stalls! If you have only one day in Windhoek, this is where you should go.
This museum will be of interest to anyone remotely fascinated in geology & palaeontology, featuring rocks, fossils, minerals and even meteorites. Even better, admission is free!
Worth visiting to get a handle on the more recent history of the country—from the anti-colonial struggle to its independence.
Where to eat in Windhoek
Our favourite place to stay in Windhoek, this hotel features a great in-house restaurant featuring seasonal ingredients in a well-appointed, yet informal setting.
Also home to the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (NICE), you will find a great restaurant and bar here, a popular choice in town.
With lovely piazza-style setting, complete with a central courtyard fountain. With excellent food and a tremendous diversity of wines (mostly South African). This is another popular local spot to frequent!