LATEST NEWS FROM OUR CLIENTS
28 JANUARY 2019
SHARING THE SECRETS OF SPA SUCCESS
Learn the secrets to opening a successful resort spa from the experts. NIZUC Resort & Spa’s spa manager, Elena Gracheva, will be discussing her collaboration with ESPA as part of a panel discussion at the upcoming World Spa & Wellness Conference at London’s EXCEL on 24 & 25 February 2019. The first ESPA branded spa in the Mexican Caribbean, NIZUC Spa by ESPA offers the excellence of the UK’s internationally renowned brand combined with the ancient healing rituals of the Mayans for a one-of-a-kind spa experience. Elena recently introduced Mayan Mindfulness programmes into the spa. Therapies include a Mindful Massage, a Mindful Facial, a Couple’s Mindful Journey and a three-day Be Mindful programme that includes a signature NIZUC Thermal Experience, mindful treatments, yoga or meditation, and juicing. NIZUC’s Mayan Mindfulness treatments begin with a guided breathing and visualisation session to revitalise and promote wellbeing, connecting the mind and spirit with the body for true holistic wellbeing.
Located within the luxurious NIZUC Resort and Spa and built on an area once sacred to the ancient Mayans, NIZUC Spa by ESPA is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. The impressive facility offers over 30,000 square feet of spa space including 18 treatment rooms, an Asian therapy room and private spa villas for couples with pool and outdoor decks. Every spa treatment at NIZUC begins with the NIZUC Thermal Experience, a guided hydrotherapy circuit which includes aromatic steam room, invigorating showers, sauna, ice fountain with cool mist shower, vitality pool with hydro-massage, cold plunge pool, solarium, thermic loungers where guests can relax and enjoy a scalp massage with a nourishing ESPA hair mask. www.nizuc.com
24 JANUARY 2019
THE STRAND CRUISE TAKES PASSENGERS TO THE HEART OF MYANMAR’S THINGYAN WATER FESTIVAL WITH A THIRD OFF ALL BOOKINGS
Luxury river cruise, The Strand Cruise, is celebrating Myanmar’s annual Thingyan, or New Year Water Festival, by offering 33% off all cabins booked between 26 February and 30 April 2019. Taking place in April over four days of great joy and playfulness, as well as religious observance, Thingyan is one of the most significant cultural and religious festivals in the Buddhist calendar.
Plying the waterways of the Ayeyarwady River between the ancient capitals of Bagan and Mandalay, The Strand Cruise is a luxury floating hotel experience taking passengers to the heart of these festivities, travelling through different communities and villages along the riverbanks as they celebrate Thingyan. According to ancient Myanmar tradition, dousing with water is synonymous with New Year as cleanses you ready for the coming year, so the first four days of Thingyan are marked by lots of water throwing. Expect to get wet!
Thingyan occurs this year from 13-16 April, meaning passengers have two departures of The Strand Cruise to choose from; either travelling from Mandalay to Bagan departing Friday 12 April, or departing Bagan for Mandalay on Monday 15 April 2019. The Strand’s special spring offer means all cabins booked between 26 February and 30 April, for travel during March, April, September and October, will receive a 33% discount when using the code SPRING when booking online at www.thestrandcruise.com. Rates are payable in full at time of booking and non-refundable. The lead in price for a two-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Mandalay and Bagan is from US$650 (from GBP 498) per person based on double occupancy. The lead in price for a three-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Mandalay and Bagan is from US$900 (from GBP 689) per person based on double occupancy. The lead in for a four-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Bagan and Mandalay is from US$1,050 (from GBP 804) per person based on double occupancy. Rates are per person based on double occupancy and include all suite cabin accommodation, excursions and activities as described in the set itinerary, three meals during full sailing days, breakfast on day of disembarkation, soft drinks & local beer, house wine during meals, port charges, English speaking guides and WI-FI in all cabins and public areas.
This special offer also extends to The Strand Cruises’ sister property, The Strand Yangon. Guests looking to stay at this recently refurbished luxury landmark hotel in Yangon will get their third night free when booking a minimum three night stay. This Stay 3 Pay 2 offer is valid for bookings from 26 February to 30 April for stays between 1 March and 31 October 2019. Rooms should be booked online at www.hotelthestrand.com using the code SPRING. Rates are payable in full at time of booking and non-refundable.
3 DECEMBER 2018
THE SANCHAYA KICKS OFF 2019 WITH A REVITALISED PROGRAMME OF EXPERT RESIDENCIES
Bintan’s leading resort, The Sanchaya, is boosting its health and fitness offerings with the announcement of the first of an on-going schedule of visiting wellness experts throughout 2019, including renowned London-based performance coach and f i t n e s s a r t z founder, Artur Zolkiewicz, and Pilates specialist and personal trainer, Rosie Gregory. Renewing The Sanchaya’s commitment to offering their guests exclusive access to holistic wellness experiences, classes with these visiting experts are offered on a complimentary basis to estate residents.
With an elite clientele including A-list celebrities and models, Artur Zolkiewicz will return to The Sanchaya from 22 March to 1 April 2019, during which time he will host a class each day for in-house residents, in addition to offering bespoke personal training at an extra cost for guests who want to take their work out up a gear and address specific fitness goals. Believing that helping your body to move better is the key to unlocking your fitness potential, Artur’s daily classes are designed to leave participants feeling energised, using a series of stretches and cardio exercises to target the whole body, before focussing on stretching to revitalise weary body parts and controlled articular rotations to help guests assess their bodies and spot potential imbalances and dysfunctions. A nutritious menu of post-workout breakfasts and homemade smoothies will complement the classes.
Having graced the front pages of health and fitness magazines in the UK including Men’s Fitness, Artur is determined to clear up any misconceptions held about fitness and training by tailoring exercises to each customer. He says, “With so much conflicting information out there about what’s good and not good for your health, it’s understandably hard for people to know the truth about what’s healthful. I hope to answer any fitness-related questions the guests may have, as well as provide tips and advice on creating new yet sustainable habits and routines, which can be maintained as part of an on-going lifestyle choice following their time at The Sanchaya.”
From 7-14 January 2019, The Sanchaya will welcome renowned Pilates specialist and personal trainer, Rosie Gregory, to complete a residency at the estate. Having worked with leading studios across Australia, London and Asia, Singapore-based Rosie specialises in sculpting, soulful and sweaty workouts that empower and uplift mind, body and spirit. During her time at The Sanchaya, Rosie will focus on a mixture of Pilates, Sculpt Method, full body sessions and stretching classes, with morning sessions focusing on HIIT and full body workouts and afternoons dedicated to stretching and breathing
To complement Rosie’s classes, The Sanchaya will be offering an enhanced wellness menu throughout her residency, with highlights including Magic Matcha Tonic. A favourite of Rosie’s, Matcha Tonic is known to boost health and wellbeing and has incredible effects on the mind and body, with benefits including enhanced metabolism, regulated blood sugar levels, reduced stress and blood pressure, improved memory and learning.
Situated on the white sandy shores of Bintan island, less than an hour from Singapore, The Sanchaya is a stunningly tranquil property, ideally positioned to soothe and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. The estate has an on-going programme of visiting specialists, which has also included artists in residence, chamber music performances and a series of wine dinners hosted by French winemakers. A noteworthy more permanent expert at the estate is resident yoga instructor, Imron, who guides guests through a selection of practices during the complimentary morning yoga sessions at the Yoga Pavilion, or during private sessions, which can be organised on request.
8 OCTOBER 2018
INTRODUCING THE SANCHAYA
Thrive Communications is delighted to bring a glimmer of tropical glamour to the UK market with the introduction of our latest client, The Sanchaya, a stylish beachfront estate of 29 villas and suites, plus a private four-bedroom beachfront residence on Indonesia’s Bintan Island. An easily accessible respite for international travellers, city dwellers or even pre- or post cruisers, The Sanchaya can be reached by a 50-minute ferry ride from Singapore, pausing briefly for fast track immigration formalities in the estate’s private VIP lounge at Bintan’s ferry terminal, before being whisked eight minutes by private transfer into 9.6 hectares of beachfront paradise. www.thesanchaya.com
Opened in December 2015, The Sanchaya ticks all the boxes for gourmands, luxury lovers and romantics of all ages, with an emphasis on balanced living, whether it be nurturing body and mind in the spa, run by British Spa Manager, Ria Cantle, or savouring a fine red wine and some freshly carved Jamòn ibérico in The Decanter, the Sanchaya’sglass-walled wine and cheese room while gazing at the ocean. The Great House and the estates villas and suites take inspiration from Southeast Asia’s rich history, architecture and culture, and blend it with an air of a vintage European country residence through its artworks, antiques, furnishings, unobtrusive service and sense of fun.
The Sanchaya is home to two restaurants for its residing guests’ exclusive use, as well as a bar and terrace that exudes the atmosphere of a late 19thCentury explorer’s club, wine cellar, library, boardroom, 50-metre infinity pool, intimate spa, fitness room, beachside yoga pavilion, croquet lawn, pétanquepitch, herb and vegetable garden and much more. Aside from 29 spacious and stylish villas and suites, all with private terrace, the Vanda Villais a four-bedroom beachfront residence with its own pool and private beachfront area. The entire estate can accommodate up to 78 guests for private events or wedding parties.
Upcoming events of note at The Sanchaya include the next in a recently introduced series of brunches, Sanchaya Sundays, a luxuriously leisurely end to the weekend happening on 21st October, 18th November and 16thDecember 2018. A viable day trip option for travellers passing through Singapore and wanting to dip their toes in the ocean, Sanchaya Sundays take place every third Sunday in the month and offer access to The Sanchaya’s world-class facilities, which are ordinarily reserved for residing guests only. Upon arrival at the estate at around 12:00 noon, guests will be welcomed with free flow rosé wine, beer and soft drinks, which will be served until 3:30pm. A DIY Pimms and Bloody Mary station will consist of a variety of garnishes and freshly squeezed tomato juice, inviting guests to mix their cocktails to their liking. Guests will then move onto The Decanter, the estate’s glass-walled wine and cheese room, to graze on Stilton infused with Vintage Port, a live station with freshly carved Jamòn ibérico, and a selection of freshly baked breads. The á la carte highlights of the menu include Chilli Crab, Beef Tenderloin and dishes signature to the Indonesian archipelago, whilst in The Bar, guests will be able to help themselves to a selection of desserts, including a range of fine cheeses and a photo worthy Macaroon Tower. After lunch, guests will be invited to spend the afternoon enjoying the extensive facilities at The Sanchaya, including the 50-metre long infinity pool, seaside cabanas, an Indonesian-inspired spa with two treatment rooms and outdoor cabanas, croquet and archery tournaments, and paddle boarding. Sanchaya Sundays have limited availability and are priced at SGD 225 (from GBP 126) per person, which includes return transport between Singapore and Bintan ferry terminal, fast track immigration, brunch from 12:00 noon-3:30pm, use of the Sanchaya’s pool and beach, and a 25% discount on all spa treatments.
The Sanchaya has also recently unveiled an extravagant programme of Christmas & New Year activities to see 2018 out with a bang. Following a festive season calendar of feasts, Nordic caviar tasting, wine pairings and intimate cocktail soirees open just for residents, the most glamorous event of The Sanchaya’s calendar will take place on 31st December, when the annual New Year’s Eve gathering is held at the estate. The exclusive evening is set to be full of indulgence and excess, hosted by celebrity DJ, Patrick Oliver, resident DJ at Singapore’s iconic underground club, Pangaea, finishing with a glorious firework display to mark the strike of midnight. The following morning, guests can ease into the New Year over a recovery brunch, complete with DIY Bloody Mary and Champagne station. The Sanchaya will be offering special spa packages from 18th December, including festive scrubs and a complimentary glass of mulled wine after each treatment.
Rooms at The Sanchaya are priced from IDR 7,425 (from GBP 318) per room per night based on double occupancy and include return shared land transfers to & from Bintan Bandar Telani ferry terminal in Bintan, a la carte breakfast for two in The Dining Room, complimentary WIFI, daily morning yoga, complimentary maxi-bar (snacks, soft drinks, juices & bottled beers), complimentary local calls from in-room phone, espresso machine and selection of fine leaf teas.
26 JUNE 2018
TAKING HIGH TEA TO A HIGHER LEVEL
Sought out by many as a luxurious and rejuvenating oasis of calm amidst the bustle of Yangon, The Strand Café has been serving locals and explorers from distant shores its famous Strand High Tea for over a century. From 1stJune 2018 onwards, The Strand Yangon is launching two new High Tea menus – the Classic High Tea and the Myanmar High Tea.
The Strand Café’s Classic High Tea menu has been expanded and refined, with a wider choice of savoury items and sophisticated new patisserie dishes, including Italian Coppa with preserved fig & ricotta cheese on toast; salmon tartare with dill; scone with mascarpone cream, lemon grass and homemade papaya jam; seasonal mango mini éclair; and pistachio Turkish delight with rose water. The Classic High Tea menu is priced at USD 21 per head.
The Strand Café’s Myanmar High Tea menu now includes many more locally sourced and native Myanmar produce. The menu includes items such as sticky rice duo with salted sesame powder; ginger salad with cabbage, shallots, tomatoes and crispy beans; rice dumplings stuffed with palm sugar; pandan and coconut Agar Agar; steamed plantain in coconut cream; and carrot and coconut pudding. The Myanmar High Tea menu is priced at USD 19 per head.
The Strand Café has been an oasis of calm amidst the bustle of Yangon for over 117 years, offering both locals and weary travellers the perfect setting to indulge in a leisurely breakfast, a light meal or enjoy the renowned Strand High Tea. As part of The Strand Yangon’s refurbishment completed in November 2016, the café’s traditional rattan furniture and black lacquer ceiling fans were updated with a new colour scheme, that is also reflected in the traditional Burmese longyi uniforms worn by staff. The café’s wall paper is custom-made from antique engraving prints, showing a story of Myanmar from the era the hotel was built – It is printed with elephants and pagodas, both of which are symbols of Myanmar.
29 MAY 2018
INCA RAIL INTRODUCES ‘THE PRIVATE’ TRAIN CARRIAGE FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE & EXCLUSIVE JOURNEY TO MACHU PICCHU
Tribal travellers, extended families and groups of up to eight now have the option to exclusively hire an entire luxury train carriage for their private use for the journey of a lifetime to Machu Picchu. Inca Rail has recently introduced The Private service, a completely remodelled and refurbished parlour car that has been spaciously designed for exclusive use, complete with its own bar, open balcony, lounge seating area, upholstered armchairs and dining tables placed next to wide, UV protected windows.
Operating on the route between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, The Private comes with two butlers and a chef, who will prepare a tasting menu using the finest local ingredients paired with South America’s best wines. After checking in for their journey at Inca Rail’s newly opened VIP waiting lounge at Ollantaytambo station, passengers boarding The Private are welcome a with a bottle of champagne as the train departs for the 90 minute journey to Machu Picchu. As their private chef readies their meal, travellers can step out onto the train’s open balcony to drink in the fresh air and views of the Urubamba River and soaring Andes mountain range.
Meals on board are prepared by a dedicated chef for The Private and sample dishes include a smoked trout satay seasoned with lemon verbena, with a hint of creamed coconut and curry; a Peruvian yellow potato gnocchi seasoned with Andean herbs and a chilli cream sauce; and a classic Peruvian chocolate mousse served with cocoa nibs. After their meal, guests can continue to enjoy the open bar stocked with many well-known drinks brands, as they are entertained with live music.
The Private carriage can operate daily according the Inca Rail’s scheduled services and can accommodate up to eight passengers. A round-trip from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu costs USD 10,000 (from GBP 7,400) and one-way is USD 6,000 (from GBP 4,440). Rate includes exclusive use of the carriage, welcome champagne, open bar, tasting menu with the best wines of the region and a private transfer from the train station to Machu Picchu citadel.
Commenting on the introduction of The Private service, Armando Pareja, Chief Executive Officer of Inca Rail said, “The introduction of The Private is another step in our plan to transform the trip to Machu Picchu for all our passengers from a simple rail journey into an unforgettable experience on the most up-to-date fleet in the country. Every aspect of The Private, from the colourful textiles we use for the décor to the ingredients in our food is intended to evoke the colours and flavours of the Andean culture.”
Inca Rail is investing approximately USD 12 million in upgrading its entire train fleet and services, meaning it will soon have the most modern train service operating in Peru. The launch of The Private follows the introduction of a new train service by Inca Rail, The 360° Machu Picchu Train, Peru’s most scenic trainthat commenced operations on 1stMarch 2018. The 360° Machu Picchu Train has been custom-designed with dome-like high visibility panoramic windows to give passengers the best possible views of the dramatic landscape through which they pass. The train is also fully inter-connecting, freeing passengers to move between carriages to an open-air observation area at the centre of the train, and has all the connectivity that modern travellers demand, including USB ports at each seat for charging smartphones and other devices. The360° Machu Picchu Train service operates a once a day round trip between Poroy (the station for departures from Cusco), Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, and twice a day round trip between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu.
Passengers also have the choice to travel to Machu Picchu in style and luxury aboard The First Class train, Inca Rail’s premium level service. In late 2017, new carriages were introduced to this fleet in a custom design layout. Operating four times a day, the First Class train seats up to 60 passengers in two dining carriages, between which is a luxurious bar car, offering live music, refreshments and an outdoor observation balcony. Passengers dine at tables with comfortable leather chairs and enjoy a gourmet menu prepared using Andean ingredients including trout, quinoa, potato and gold berry, accompanied by a selection of South American wines. Included in the cost of the First Class train is use of a new VIP waiting lounge at Ollantaytambo station, with refreshments, live music and luggage storage facilities. The First Class service operates a once a day round trip between Poroy (the station for departures from Cusco), Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, and once a day round trip between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Inca Rail also operates The Voyager service between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu departing five times a day from each location. Tickets for all Inca Rail’s services can be booked online at www.incarail.com
29 MAY 2018
NIZUC SPA BY ESPA INTRODUCES MAYAN MINDFULNESS THERAPIES
Mexico’s Mayan civilisation were masters at mindfulness, constantly observing their surroundings and the stars, studying rhythm and flow of the Universe to understand the meaning of life. NIZUC Spa by ESPA has launched a holistic treatment menu based around Mayan mindfulness. Therapies include a Mindful Massage, a Mindful Facial, a Couple’s Mindful Journey and a three-day Be Mindful programme that includes a signature NIZUC Thermal Experience, mindful treatments, yoga or meditation, and juicing.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing ones awareness on the present moment. NIZUC’s Mayan Mindfulness treatments begin with a guided breathing and visualisation session to revitalise and promote wellbeing, connecting the mind and spirit with the body for true holistic wellbeing. Treatments include:
Mindful Massage – 80 minutes
Designed to unwind the mind and instil a sense of positivity, this deeply relaxing and enlightening experience begins with mindfulness. A therapist guides guests through a deep breathing and calming visualisation session, before moving onto a full body massage giving special attention to the metamorphic zones on the feet to rebalance. The treatment finished with a re-energising scalp massage using warm Rose Quartz crystals.
Mindful Facial – 80 minutes
This holistic personalized facial aims to soothe, nurture and revitalise skin and spirit. The therapist renews energy by guiding guests through a breathing and visualisation technique, before giving a facial massage using warmed poultices to sculpt and tone the facial contours while nourishing and replenishing the skin. The treatment finishes with a choice of a soothing scalp massage or hand and arm massage.
Couple’s Mindful Journey – 160 minutes
A truly bonding experience for couples looking to extend their spiritual connection and have a meaningful moment together. The therapy includes a couples guided breathing and visualisation, a deeply relaxing Mindful Massage followed by the nourishing Mindful Facial and concluding with a Healthy Spa Lunch.
The Be Mindful Programme – three days
NIZUC’s Be Mindful programme promotes a healthy lifestyle through the balance of exercise, relaxation and healthy eating.
- NIZUC Thermal Experience
- Mindful Massage 80 minutes
- Freshly pressed juice
- NIZUC Thermal Experience
- Mindful Facial 80 minutes
- Freshly pressed juice
- NIZUC Thermal Experience
- Yoga Class or Meditation 60 minutes
Located within the luxurious NIZUC Resort and Spa and built on an area once sacred to the ancient Mayans, NIZUC Spa by ESPA is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. The first ESPA branded spa in the Mexican Caribbean, NIZUC Spa by ESPA offers the excellence of the UK’s internationally renowned brand combined with the ancient healing rituals of the Mayans for a one-of-a-kind spa experience.
The impressive facility offers over 30,000 square feet of spa space including 18 treatment rooms, an Asian therapy room and private spa villas for couples with pool and outdoor decks. Every spa treatment at NIZUC begins with the NIZUC Thermal Experience, a guided hydrotherapy circuit which includes aromatic steam room, invigorating showers, sauna, ice fountain with cool mist shower, vitality pool with hydro-massage, cold plunge pool, solarium, thermic loungers where guests can relax and enjoy a scalp massage with a nourishing ESPA hair mask.
21 MAY 2018
THE STRAND CRUISE REVEALS HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018/19 SEASON
As it reaches the end of it’s second season sailing the beautiful and evocative Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar, The Strand Cruise is looking forward to resuming operations in September 2018 with a number of new options for luxury cruise aficionados, including a special departure that coincides with Myanmar’s Thadingyut or Lighting Festival in October 2018, a new two-night cruise option from Mandalay and Bagan, and a lowered minimum age limit for more family inclusive sailing.
The Thadingyut or Lighting Festival coincides with full moon and is a three-day celebration to mark Buddha’s descent from the heaven. It is an important religious festival that is closely intertwined with the spiritual life of Burmese people, with streets, houses and public buildings decorated with hundreds of coloured electric bulbs or candles and offerings made to monks. The Strand Cruise’s Lighting Festival cruise is a four-night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay departing on 22nd October 2018. During the voyage, passengers will participate in traditional activities to mark the festival such as floating candles on the waters of the Ayeyarwady at night and watching them drift magically into the distance, and joining local communities for their exuberant celebrations, which usually involve colourful fireworks and fire crackers.
From September 2018, The Strand Cruise will also be offering passengers the option of a two-night itinerary from Mandalay to Bagan in addition to its current three-night cruise from Mandalay to Bagan and four-night cruise itinerary from Bagan to Mandalay. This two-night/three-day option, departing Mandalay each Friday and arriving in Bagan on Sunday, gives greater flexibility for passengers seeking a shorter cruise option to fit into a longer tour of Myanmar, or alternatively looking for a long weekend option from elsewhere in South-East Asia.
The minimum age limit for passengers on The Strand Cruise has recently been lowered to four-years old, meaning the experience is more accessible for family groups. Owing to the relaxed atmosphere on board the ship and the adaptability of its staff and onshore excursion programming, The Strand Cruise is perfect for travellers wanting to discover Myanmar with young explorers. The 25-cabin ship acts as the ultimate time machine; not just a luxurious means of transportation, but also an intelligent, informative and authentic experience, transporting modern day explorers of every age in comfort back to the 11th century when Bagan was the capital of ancient Myanmar and the typical means of transportation around Ava was a horse and cart.
The lead in price for the new two-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Mandalay and Bagan is from US$650 (from GBP 482/AUD 866) per person based on double occupancy. The lead in price for a three-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Mandalay and Bagan is from US$900 (from GBP 667/AUD 1,200) per person based on double occupancy. The lead in low season price for a four-night journey on The Strand Cruise between Bagan and Mandalay is from US$1,050 (from GBP 778/AUD 1,400) per person based on double occupancy. Rates are per person based on double occupancy and include all suite cabin accommodation, excursions and activities as described in the set itinerary, three meals during full sailing days, breakfast on day of disembarkation, soft drinks & local beer, house wine during meals, port charges, English speaking guides (alternative language guides can be provided on request subject to availability) and WI-FI in all cabins and public areas.
The Strand Cruise is sister property and floating extension of The Strand Yangon, Myanmar’s recently renovated grand dame luxury hotel, and passengers can expect the same style and seamless standard of service across both ship and hotel. Passengers of The Strand Cruise can now take advantage of a special two-night accommodation package at The Strand Yangon when they book a cruise. Priced from USD 1,300 (from AUD 1,732/GBP 964), the package includes two nights in a suite at The Strand Yangon on a bed and breakfast basis, based on double occupancy, and domestic flights for two passengers between Yangon and cruise embarkation/disembarkation ports.
19 APRIL 2018
DISCOVER, PARTICIPATE AND EXPLORE THE CULINARY HERITAGE AND COOKING TRADITIONS OF THE INCAS
Peruvian cuisine is widely acknowledged to be one of South America’s most exciting and diverse, due to rich native products and ancient cooking techniques used in the Southern Andes for millennia. The luxury Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel pays homage to these traditions by sharing them with guests and encouraging participation in activities such complimentary cooking demonstrations, Andean flavours tasting menus, and a traditional Inca Pachamanca or ‘earth pot’ lunch.
Pachamanca is a centuries old culinary tradition of the Incas. During this two-hour lunch, the Sumaq team shares knowledge that has been passed down through the generations on how to prepare a meal using an underground earth pot. Guests will learn how a traditional Andean pachamanca is prepared using stones placed in the earth to form an underground oven. Ingredients such as potato, fava beans, aromatic herbs and meats are placed in the pot and covered with large leaves before the oven is sealed with earth. As the ingredients heat and aromas begin to fill the air, guests can make a toast to Mother Earth with a glass of Chicha de Jora, a local fermented corn beer.
Peruvian culinary traditions have been evolved and brought up to date at Sumaq’s gourmet restaurant, Qunuq. Qunuq – the Quechua word for ‘warm’ – presents a contemporary interpretation of traditional Andean cuisine using ingredients sourced from Peru’s coastal, highland and jungle regions. Sumaq’s chef, Ribelino Alegria, interprets classics such as causa and ceviche, alongside a gourmet menu where native ingredients like potatoes from Anta, lamb from Ayaviri, salt from Maras and trout from Lake Titicaca are brilliantly presented in a beautiful dining room with a view of Machu Picchu Mountain.
A new six-course ‘Apucc Mikhuna Andean Flavours at Sumaq’ tasting menu, available for lunch or dinner, gives diners a glimpse of the diversity of Peruvian produce. Dishes include Tuber Cappuccino – a cream of Andean tubers with a Quishuarcancha mushroom duxelle sauce, pachamanca style foam and native potato chips; Puca Ceviche – delicate salmon trout cubes in tiger’s milk flavoured with Camu Camu and strawberry; lamb shank slowly simmered in chicha de jora corn beer, accompanied with native potato gnocchi in a Huancaína sauce and fresh criolla; and avocado risotto au gratin, with Andean cheese and Chiclayo duck magret, accompanied by a mix of garlic-flavoured mushrooms with confit cherry tomatoes and fine herbs. A choice of desserts includes Lucuma panna cotta with Quillabamba Valley coffee ice cream over a chocolate crumble. The tasting menu costs USD 118 per person.
For travellers wanting to recreate a taste of Peru when back home, Sumaq’s daily cooking demonstrations that are a complimentary experience for guests. During the classes, lead by one of the culinary team, guests will learn to prepare a perfect ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish consisting of citrus-marinated seafood, spiced with chilli pepper, as well as the art of mixing a pisco sour — a Peruvian cocktail infused with exotic native fruit.
Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is privately owned and operated by a Peruvian family with decades of experience in hospitality in the region. The entire hotel team is aware of the positive impact that tourism can have on the development of local communities and producers. Sumaq sources all its ingredients from local community suppliers, respecting fair trade and encouraging development. Suppliers to Sumaq’s kitchens include the organic horticulturists of Parcaraqui village in Urubamba, who grow all the hotel’s vegetables.
19 MARCH 2018
NEW LUXURY HOTEL, THE FONTENAY, OPENS IN HAMBURG
The Fontenay, a striking new five-star luxury hotel located in the heart of Hamburg, has opened. Considered to be Germany’s most anticipated luxury hotel opening of the past two decades, the 130 room privately owned hotel occupies 14,000m² of prime real estate on the shores of Lake Alster. The Fontenay is set to become a true modern classic, reflecting modern Hamburg and collaborating with many local partners in the city, such as Montblanc, JOOP! and the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where the hotel will be offering guests special accommodation packages for upcoming performances.
Designed as an urban luxury resort, The Fontenay is a bold and visionary sustainable building, covered with 1,700 linear metres of white porcelain tiles that reflect the shimmering waters of the lake and the fluid lines of the park that surround the hotel. The fascinating sculptural architecture comprises three intersecting circles. Thanks to 14,000 m2 of windows, the entire building is exceptionally bright and offers incredible views of the parkland, lake and city beyond the glass.
“Everyone has worked with absolute passion on this project and The Fontenay’s opening marks a significant milestone for us,” says owner, Klaus-Michael Kühne. “I feel very close to my hometown of Hamburg and I hope that The Fontenay will excite not only the people of Hamburg and Germany, but add to the appeal of Hamburg as a cultural and gastronomic destination for international visitors.”
Hamburg is an elegant and vibrant city that reflects a modern, dynamic Germany and is considered to be its newest culture capital. The city has recently become a haven for architecture and design aficionados with the arrival of Zaha Hadid’s promenade along the Elbe and the historic Speicherstadt, the 19th Century Warehouse District, which made the UNESCO World Heritage List. Hamburg is also home to the recently opened and much anticipated Herzog & de Meuron-designed Elbphilharmonie concert hall, a 360-foot-tall glass structure which sits atop an old warehouse, its roof evoking the city’s maritime past.
The Fontenay has partnered with the Elbphilharmonie concert hall to curate special two-night packages to performances throughout the year that include accommodation, category 1 seats, private transfers to the concert hall, and champagne back at the Fontenay Bar following the performance. Upcoming dates include the Tunhalle Orchester Zürich & Igor Levit on 11 April 2018, and British composer, Max Richter, on 9 June 2018. Packages are priced from Euro 1,609 per room for two nights based on double occupancy.
The Fontenay’s other Hamburg collaborations:
- At check-in, guests will find pens and desk pads from Montblanc, a company founded in Hamburg in 1906
- The Fontenay’s sales team has been attired in business dresses and suits from the cult modern German fashion label, JOOP! which has its showroom in the hotel’s neighbourhood
- The hotel’s library is filled with more than 1,000 books chosen in cooperation with Hamburg’s Felix Jud Bookshop, founded in 1923
- The hotel has sponsored 30 trees at the Bey Orchard in the Altes Land that will provide guests with various heritage apple varieties
- At The Fontenay Bar, the hotel has partnered up with Ratsherrn, an innovative local brewery that specialises in craft beers, to create ‘The Fontenay Pilsner No. 10’
The 43m² Fontenay Deluxe Rooms are priced from Euro 355 per room (from GBP 310) per night on a room only basis and includes WIFI, non-alcoholic beverages from the mini-bar, tax and service. Reservations for The Fontenay can be made online at www.thefontenay.de, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through your preferred travel professional, or by calling +49 40 605 6605 850. Direct flights to Hamburg operate from many UK hubs, including London Heathrow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol.
8 MARCH 2018
INCA RAIL INAUGURATES PERU’S MOST SCENIC TRAIN TO MACHU PICCHU
Travellers and explorers venturing to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu will have a greater choice of train travel available to them from this week following the inaugural of a new service by Inca Rail, the 360° Machu Picchu Train, which began operations on 1st March 2018. The 360° Machu Picchu Train is Peru’s most scenic train, offering dome-like high visibility panoramic windows with in-built UV protection.
A tourist service for the modern day explorer looking for an authentic journey to the Lost Citadel, the 360° Machu Picchu Train’s windows have been custom-designed to give passengers the best possible views, allowing them to fully appreciate the soaring Andes mountain range above them as they journey to and from Machu Picchu. Another highlight of the new service will be that, unlike most existing services on the route, the carriages of the 360° Machu Picchu Train will be fully inter-connecting, freeing passengers to move between carriages to an open-air observation area at the centre of the train, from which they can step out and breathe in the crisp mountain air and take photos of the dramatic landscape.
The 360° Machu Picchu Train will also have all the connectivity that modern travellers demand, including USB ports at each seat for charging smartphones and other devices. By summer 2018, passengers will be able to download a GPS activated app at the start of their journey, which will give information on the culture, history and countryside passing by the windows. An on-board trolley service will be enhanced with local offerings, with a light snack or light lunch offered during the journey that will change with the seasons and reflect the regions through which the train passes. Organic juices pressed from fruit and vegetables grown in the Sacred Valley will enhance gastronomic experience.
Custom-designed by Inca Rail, the 360° Machu Picchu Train service will consist of two sets of three new carriages, carrying up to 248 passengers a day on two routes between Poroy and Machu Picchu, and between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. The 360° Machu Picchu Train is bookable on www.incarail.com and is priced from USD 78 (from GBP 56) per person one way during low season, rising according to the season.
The launch of the 360° Machu Picchu Train follows the recent complete upgrade of Inca Rail’s premium level First Class fleet. As part of this project, new carriages were introduced to a new custom design layout, increasing passenger comfort and doubling capacity. Operating four times a day, the First Class train seats up to 60 passengers in two dining carriages, between which is a luxurious bar car, offering live music, refreshments and an outdoor observation balcony. Passengers dine at tables with comfortable leather chairs and enjoy a gourmet menu prepared using Andean ingredients including trout, quinoa, potato and gold berry, accompanied by a selection of South American wines. Included in the cost of the First Class train is use of a new VIP waiting lounge at Ollantaytambo station, with refreshments, live music and luggage storage facilities.
The First Class service operates a once a day round trip between Poroy (the station for departures from Cusco), Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, and once a day round trip between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Inca Rail also operates the Voyager service between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu departing five times a day from each location.
5 FEBRUARY 2018
THREE NEW POOL SUITES, TWO MICHELIN STARS, ONE CASTELL SON CLARET – MALLORCA’S LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL REOPENS FOR THE 2018 SEASON
Castell Son Claret, a beautiful nineteenth century castle, hotel and estate set within the foothills of Mallorca’s dramatic Tramuntana mountain range, reopens today for the 2018 season. The hotel has revealed details of new enhancements for 2018, including the creation of three new pool suites and a new menu for the Balearic Islands’ only two Michelin star restaurant, Zaranda.
Castell Son Claret will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2018. To mark this milestone, the hotel has carried out improvement work during the winter period, including the addition of new terraces and balconies to a number of suites; upgrading the outdoor bar on the terrace of the Olivera restaurant; and creating a new refreshment bar and enlarged sunbathing area around its outdoor pool, which now has unobstructed panoramic vista with the removal of a nearby electrical tower.
In response to guest’s desire for suite accommodation and to immerse themselves in the Castell’s blissful and fragrant gardens, with their far reaching views of the Tramuntana mountain range, the hotel has begun work on three new pool suites within the estate, bringing the total number of suites at the hotel to 15. Located at the bottom of the gardens next to the tennis courts, these suites represent the development of Castell Son Claret, with a fresh design and modern interiors. These spectacular suites will have direct access to their own garden, with a private sun deck and individual 10m2 pool. There will be minimal disturbance to guests from work on these stand-alone suites as they are well hidden from view. Work is expected to be complete during summer 2018.
Visitors to Mallorca can experience Castell Son Claret’s suites for themselves with a new offer for 2018, Suite Castell. Guests booking a minimum of five nights in a suite will benefit from a 40% reduction in the cost of their accommodation. Alternatively, those looking for an early season getaway can also take advantage of Castell’s 4-for-3 package. Guests booking four consecutive nights during 2018 will only pay for three. Both offers are subject to availability and rates include accommodation on a double occupancy basis, as well as daily breakfast, internet access, parking, tax and service.
Castell Son Claret is home to Zaranda, the only two Michelin starred restaurant in the Balearic Islands. For the 2018 season, Executive Chef Fernando P. Arellano will present three new tasting menus – Dreams, Memories and Experiences – inspired by Mallorcan history and gastronomic inspirations from his travels around the world.
A historic nineteenth century former castle just outside the village of Calvía, Castell Son Claret has 38 elegant suites and rooms located in seven buildings. Surrounded by Arabian gardens and the fragrance of bergamot, grapefruit, orange, rose and jasmine, the rooms have an elegant and contemporary design, many notable for their terrace or gardens and others for their private pools. The hotel’s spa uses many ingredients found in the gardens, including almond blossom and lavender in its treatments. Castell Son Claret is located at the foot of the UNESCO protected La Tramuntana mountains, surrounded by a lavish park and gardens in 326 acres of unspoilt nature, giving and unparalleled sense of freedom, access to pure mountain air and spectacular views. www.castellsonclaret.com
Link to high resolution images of Castell Son Claret: http://bit.ly/2E2pxFx
29 JANUARY 2018
SUMAQ MACHU PICCHU HOTEL OFFERS TRAVELLERS CULTURAL WELLNESS EXPERIENCES TO AWAKEN & NOURISH THE MIND, BODY & SOUL
Spectacularly located on the banks of the Vilcanota River at the foot of Peru’s ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is offering a variety of wellness experiences both on and off-property that allow guests to connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations, while touring nearby natural and cultural sites. From healing spa treatments using indigenous Andean plants and herbs, to cleansing ceremonies bathed in nature and mystical culture, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel offers travellers to Machu Picchu the opportunity to awaken and nourish mind, body and soul.
Within the hotel’s Aqlla spa, the focus is on offering a menu of treatments that incorporate local ingredients and curative Peruvian traditions. Highlights include the Sabai Massage for Body & Face; a 60-minute pinda-style massage that uses warmed compresses loaded with 32 natural medicinal herbs, such as sage, lemon grass, fennel, thyme, eucalyptus, green tea, Andean mint, horsetail and bergamot. The heated pindas open the skin’s pores, allowing the healing herbs to absorb into the epidermis.
The Incas have been using pink salt from Maras, a town near Cusco, for millennia for its energy boosting, high-mineral content. The Maras Body Massage has adapted this powerhouse salt as a therapeutic natural scrub. The 90-minute treatment begins with an exfoliating salt scrub, followed by a body mask of papaya, lemon and lettuce that leaves a prolonged refreshing sensation. The treatment concludes with a relaxing massage with Andean herbal oils with medicinal attributes, including chamomile, eucalyptus and lemon grass.
Other treatments using indigenous ingredients include the Body Massage with Coca and Muña Essential Oils, which uses two time-honoured healing plants of Peru’s ancient Inca culture; Muña, renowned for being a digestive aid, as well as its soothing and calming effects on aches, pains and arthritis; and Coca leaves, loaded with vitamins, protein, calcium, iron and fibre that help to counter the effects of high altitude in the Andes. The Deep-Hydration Cleansing Facial with Quinoa taps the nutritional benefits of the quinoa to prevent premature aging of sensitive and dehydrated skin. The Andean powerhouse grain – loaded with amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients – has been used for its health benefits for thousands of years in Peru and was the nucleus of the Inca diet.
Beyond the spa, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel offers spiritual and wellness experiences that connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations, while touring nearby natural and cultural sites. During the full day Machu Picchu Mystical Tour, guests will visit the historic sanctuary with a local shaman who uses his natural gifts to help them discover the spiritual side of Machu Picchu. After delving into the culture and history of the sanctuary with a tour guide, participants will gain an in-depth knowledge from the shaman of the natural energy sources that surround Machu Picchu, as well as its magical connections to Pachamama or Mother Earth. During the visit, the shaman will lead a cleansing session, while back at the hotel in the evening; travellers will participate in a private coca leaf reading.
Back at the hotel, guests can participate in a one-hour Payment to the Earth Ritual on the hotel’s private terrace. This traditional practice of making offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, has been passed down from the time of the Incas, as Ancient Peruvians held Pachamama sacred. This ritual remains a part of daily life for many locals in surrounding regions of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. With a shaman and private interpreter as guides, guests can discover a realm beyond the physical world and become more open to emotional and spiritual healing. Coca, which is a traditional Peruvian symbol of community and respect, plays a significant role in the ceremony.
Rooms at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel start from USD 602.80 per room per night (from GBP 427) based on double occupancy and including buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner, luggage assistance between the hotel and Aguas Calientes train station, mini bar, Wi-Fi, a Pisco Sour cocktail, welcome drink and snacks. The hotel offers complimentary activities for guests such as a culinary demonstration, mini-chef cooking lesson for children and Andean Tales evening story telling. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.sumaqhotelperu.com
25 JANUARY 2018
RELAX, REVIVE & REJUVINATE AT THE STRAND YANGON
A leafy new oasis of calm and reflection has opened up amid the splendor of colonial downtown Yangon with the unveiling of a new outdoor swimming pool, dining terrace, therapy rooms, gym and private garden at the city’s recently refurbished grand dame hotel, The Strand Yangon. A selection of newly released high-resolution images of the pool and therapy rooms can be accessed through this link http://bit.ly/2DkOmsL
As the finale of a complete renovation and upgrade of The Strand Yangon, a new space has been opened up to the rear of the historic 1901 building. A shaded and fragrant 800m2 garden has been created beyond a new 18m by 8m swimming pool. A teak wood terrace frames the pool, offering space for 35 loungers, as well as four private pool cabanas and tables for al fresco all-day dining for up to 48 guests. To one side of the pool is a wellness area with two beautifully appointed 25m2 therapy rooms, both designed for single or couple’s spa treatments and offering traditional Myanmar massages and body therapies. The hotel also has a new gym equipped with LifeFitness™ weight and resistance training equipment, as well as treadmill, elliptical cross trainer and multi-gym workstation.
9 NOVEMBER 2017
A DESIGN CLASSIC FOR MODERN MYANMAR – THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION OF HOTEL G YANGON
Hotel G Yangon opened just months ago, but this lifestyle hotel with big personality has already made an impact on the creative scene in Myanmar’s most vibrant city, providing a trendy urban venue for the local crowd and a contemporary residence with understated glamour for international travellers. As Yangon’s newest lifestyle hotel, Hotel G Yangon’s design ethos fuses contemporary design and modern ideas, incorporating the local traditions, culture and heritage of the site it occupies.
Hotel G Yangon has evolved from the foundations of one of the oldest hotels in town, the Thamada Hotel, which had been in operation for over 60 years. During the building of Hotel G Yangon, the bones of the building were preserved, while giving the entire building façade and the interior of the hotel an upgrade and reboot. One of the many beautiful design features kept from the Thamada was the original teak parquet flooring that now throughout the hotel.
In a homage to the vibrant entertainment neighbourhood that surrounds it, the walls of Babett Eatery & Wine Bar are decorated with framed prints of original posters advertising the old Burmese films screened in the cinema next door to Hotel G Yangon, which first opened in 1958 and is still in operation. Babett is also accented with Burmese decorative items sourced from the nearby Maung Maung Antique shop in Yangon.
Like Babett, Hotel G Yangon has styled its 85 guest rooms with cool finds and traditional crafts with a contemporary twist. Bedrooms have been designed in wood tones that contrast with vividly coloured walls and artworks with a modern graphic take on Myanmar’s design heritage. With the help of their friends at the social enterprise design collective, Hla Day (which means Beautiful in Burmese), Hotel G Yangon has decked rooms with treasures produced by local boutique businesses and traditional craftsmen throughout Myanmar.
All of these products are available to buy in the G Shop in the open-plan lobby adjacent to the Babett Eatery & Wine Bar, so guests can sip, shop and make a difference. The profits of each purchase will help Hla Day fund essential business and design training to support the long-term livelihoods of the producers, so guests can be sure that their purchase is helping a likeminded creative soul turn their passion into a successful business
Items for sale found in the rooms and public areas of Hotel G Yangon combine traditional techniques with modern ideas. Many of them made from recycled products, like the plastic beach bags made by Chu Chu Plastics, or sourced through sustainable partnerships with other producers, such as the notebooks and wallets made by people with physical and mental disabilities from longyi material traditionally weaved by hand. Eagle eyed guests will spot the brightly coloured paper mache animals all over the hotel. This animal parade includes woodpeckers, elephants, giraffes and tigers, and is made by a local producer who started his business in 2009 after making toys for his son. Even the art of the walls is for sale. The graphic screen prints canvases on the walls include artwork from vintage Burmese coffee adverts and are produced Pann Nann Ein, a local foundation dedicated to helping persons with disabilities to have a full life through engaging in creative livelihoods. More information about Hla Day and their work can be found at www.hladaymyanmar.org.
Guests booking online at www.hotelgyangon.com for stays between now and 31st December 2017 will receive up to 40% discount on opening rates.
13 JULY 2017
THE STRAND YANGON CELEBRATES MYANMAR’S CULINARY HERITAGE
Myanmar is a vibrant and multi-cultural country experiencing a boom in popularity with international travellers, attracting inquisitive and intrepid visitors seeking to learn more about the country and its culture, both ancient and contemporary. To celebrate Myanmar’s culinary heritage, Yangon’s luxury urban resort, The Strand Yangon, recently expanded it’s a la carte menu at The Strand Café so that guests can experience traditional home cooked dishes from throughout this beguiling country.
The Strand’s Executive Chef, Christian Martena, spent many months while the hotel was recently closed for a renovation travelling around Myanmar visiting suppliers and remote farming communities to source the best organic fruit and vegetables. Back at the hotel, Christian collaborated with fellow chefs, Daw Win Mar and Daw Nant Htwe Htwe, who have both worked at the Strand for over 25 years, to create the new menu. Both ladies began working at the Strand as assistant cooks in 1993, before becoming Chefs de Partie in 2006. They form the backbone of the team at The Strand Café and the menu draws on their years of experience cooking at the hotel, as well as personal family recipes.
Menu highlights include Laphet Thoke, Myanmar’s most famous salad of pickled tea leaves, beans, peanuts, fried garlic and dried shrimp; Kahyan Thee Thoke, a wonderfully intense roasted eggplant salad with crispy garlic, fresh coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds with a garlic, fish sauce and lime juice dressing; Mohingha, Myanmar’s national dish of fish soup made with rice noodles and topped with crispy fritters and a boiled egg; and Kyay Oh, a popular noodle soup with marinated meat balls in a bone broth. Also on the menu is a selection of regional curries with a choice of chicken, mutton, tiger prawns, pork and barramundi from the coast. Myanmar curries are more delicately flavoured than other curries in the region. The fragrance and taste are subtler, incorporating ingredients such as deep-hued turmeric and mild chili powder, and using cold pressed peanut oil and untoasted sesame oil to reduce oil content.
The Strand Café has been an oasis of calm amidst the bustle of Yangon for over 116 years, offering both locals and weary travellers the perfect setting to indulge in a leisurely breakfast, a light meal or enjoy the renowned Strand High Tea. As part of the hotel’s recent refurbishment, the café’s traditional rattan furniture and black lacquer ceiling fans have been updated with a new colour scheme, that is also reflected in the traditional Burmese longyi uniforms worn by staff. The wall paper is custom-made from antique engraving prints, showing a story of Myanmar from the era the hotel was built – It is printed with elephants and pagodas, both of which are symbols of Myanmar.
The Strand Yangon is one of the original luxury colonial outposts in South East Asia, opened in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, founders of Raffles Singapore and the E&O in Penang. The Strand Yangon recently entered a new era after it completed a six-month restoration that ushered the hotel elegantly into the 21st century, preserving the building’s heritage and honouring its part in Myanmar’s history, while creating a more relaxed and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers and explorers.
25th OCTOBER 2016
NEW ERA FOR THE STRAND YANGON
This November, one of South East Asia’s most enduring landmarks will enter a new era, as Myanmar’s grand dame hotel, The Strand Yangon, reopens on 15th November 2016 after a restoration project that has seen this luxury heritage hotel ushered elegantly into the 21st century.
“The Strand Yangon was one of the first luxury colonial outposts to open in South East Asia, founded in 1901 by the famous hoteliers, the Sarkies brothers, and it remains one of the most architecturally beautiful landmarks in the region,” commented Olivier Trinquand, Vice President, The Strand Hotel & Cruise. “This latest project has preserved the heritage at the heart of the hotel and honours the Strand’s part in Myanmar’s history, whilst creating a more relaxed, refined and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers and explorers.
Trinquand continues, “We are delighted to continue our investment in the revival of the Strand name in Myanmar, having successfully launched our 28-cabin ship, The Strand Cruise, on the Ayeyarwady River just over ten months ago.”
As part of the six-month renovation of The Strand Yangon, local artisans have meticulously restored every original architectural detail of The Strand Yangon, from the teak panelling and antique bedsteads, to traditional Myanmar lacquer ware and marble flooring. Meanwhile, the hotel’s 31 light and airy rooms and suites have had their traditional décor complemented with vintage inspired textiles and original artwork, updated with modern air conditioning systems and the latest in-room technology.
The warm welcome and intuitive service of the hotel’s team is at the heart of every Strand experience and is considered its greatest asset. During the hotel’s closure period, the entire team, including the Strand’s famous butlers, have undergone extensive service training led by the hotel’s new Operations Manager, Mark Murraybrown, who has an impressive track record in developing the teams of some of London’s finest restaurants. Mark worked for many years with the Caprice Holdings restaurant group in London and was a key member of the team at the launch of the J. Sheekey’s, Daphne’s and Scott’s of Mayfair, at the latter of which he held the position of Head Waiter for many years.
Yangon’s most elegant dining room, The Strand Restaurant, with its high vaulted ceiling, sparkling chandeliers and museum quality black and gold lacquer panels from Bagan, has welcomed a new Executive chef, Christian Martena. Trained within some of Europe’s most famous Michelin-starred kitchens before running his own acclaimed restaurant in Bangkok, Chef Christian has spent the past few months travelling around Myanmar to visit suppliers and remote farming communities to immerse himself the country’s distinctive regional cuisines and source the best of Myanmar’s produce and spices to create a unique gastronomic experience. The Strand Restaurant will be open from 1st December 2016 for dinner four nights a week and serve a seasonal menu of classic Mediterranean dishes enhanced with locally sourced ingredients.
Chef Christian will oversee the food concept throughout the hotel, including the more casual Strand Café, a warm and welcoming respite from the bustle of the Yangon Road, open all day for coffee, pastries or a light lunch of Western or traditional Myanmar cuisine. The Strand Café is also home to the famous Strand High Tea, which has been preserved and expanded with more traditional and Myanmar delicacies.
The hotel’s bar, for over a century the epicentre of social life in Yangon and gathering place for many adventurers, raconteurs and explorers such as Sir Noël Coward, Orsen Welles and Rudyard Kipling, has been renamed The Sarkies Bar at The Strand Hotel in honour of the hotel’s founders, Aviet and Tigran Sarkies, the brothers responsible for many of the finest colonial hotels in the region, such as Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang. The teakwood-panelled bar has been given a glamorous ‘club’ like atmosphere, with leather seating and an extensive new menu of cocktails and single malt whiskies.
Superior Suites at The Strand Yangon start from US$334 (from £274) per room per night including breakfast and taxes. To celebrate its reopening, The Strand Yangon is offering a special ‘New Era’ package, offering guests booking a Superior Suite for two nights or more for stays* from 15th November 2016 to 30th April 2017 a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Suite (subject to availability) along with return airport transfers, High Tea for two, a bottle of wine in room on arrival and a Myanmar degustation menu for two at The Strand Café. *Blackout dates may apply. www.hotelthestrand.com
The Strand Yangon is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is currently managed by GCP Hospitality www.gcphospitality.com.