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Concorde Room Takes Off

LONDON: British Airways has revamped its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, making it more lounge than airport. Chris Page

 

The refurbishment to the airline’s exclusive lounge included re-upholstering iconic pieces of furniture, and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings.

The terrace, which is so popular with travellers thanks to its position overlooking the runway, features luxurious sofas and new elegant loungers.  Mobile phone chargers are also on hand for travellers to ensure their devices are fully charged before they fly. 

 

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “In recent years we’ve invested in our lounges, including new ones in Boston and Gatwick South Terminal and revamped spaces in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Belfast, Washington, Singapore and Dubai. 

“We believe our customers will love the new look and feel of the Concorde Room, in particular the terrace that we have re-designed to create a private oasis in the middle of a bustling airport.”

 

 

Customers will still be able to dine before they fly in private booths with a full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and en-suite are available to book.

Next in the schedule for a revamp is British Airways’ lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements being made to the customer experience at check-in. Next year Aberdeen and Rome's lounges will also be revamped, and Geneva will be expanded. Further investment is then planned in San Francisco, Johannesburg and Chicago and Heathrow's other lounges will be refreshed over the next few years. 

 

Earlier this year British Airways opened its exclusive First Wing at Heathrow T5, a new private check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers. Providing a dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

On board the airline’s First cabin, customers can also benefit from bespoke washbags designed by Liberty London exclusively for British Airways as well as regular updates to the in-flight menu and wine list.

The Concorde Room is exclusive to British Airways’ customers travelling in the airline’s First cabin.

 

(Pictures by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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Fab Baker Bros Barbecue All Four Seasons

ALGARVE - Four Seasons Fairways and British TV chefs Tom and Henry Herbert have united to extend the barbecue season. Lucy Kale

The chefs, better known as The Fabulous Baker Brothers, have created a set of ‘WinterGrill Recipe Cards’ with unique recipes for guests of Four Seasons Fairways. The Brothers will also be on site at Four Seasons Fairways in Portugal to host a BBQ Masterclass and small BBQ classes at Four Seasons Fairways from 20 – 23rd February 2018.

This should encourage guests to make good use of the kitchens and bespoke BBQ stations installed in Fairways’ 132 private villas. Four Seasons Fairways lies in Quinta Do Lago and is blessed with Algarve’s year-round sunshine, making al fresco dining a real hit. Guests at the villas can take advantage of either private pools or Jacuzzis.

By April 2018 a €2M refurbishment will have updated Four Seasons Fairways’ clubhouse and central pool, encompassing the resort’s restaurants, bar, pool area and public spaces.

The combination of the venue, family and WinterGrill is a cheery prospect for Henry Herbert who said: “We are already both planning trips back with our families next spring and will be there in February to host our BBQ masterclass.”

The introduction of WinterGrill also ties in perfectly with our #lifeatfairwayscampaign, sharing what life is like in and around our resort,” added Jorge Oliveira, GM, Four Seasons Fairways.

 

See the recipe tutorial - Recipe 1/5: Trouserless Sizzling Prawns

Click the pic...

 

 

BBQ Masterclass week package

(arrivals 16th or 17th February 2018 for 1 week): €1490 

 Four Seasons Fairways tell us this is this package includes:

  • Accommodation for up to 4 guests sharing a villa/apartment
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • BBQ Masterclass event with Tom & Henry (includes the bbq lunch for 4 guests)
  • Return transfers from and to Faro airport

 Price is valid for 4 guests sharing (€ 372.50 per person for the week)

www.fourseasonsfairways.com/winter-grill

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World’s Largest Private Charter Jet Takes Off

LOS ANGELES - In-flight luxury has just become more palatial and private thanks to Crystal Skye, a Boeing 777 transformed for high rolling. Sat Bal 

 

The privately owned aircraft doesn’t look particularly imposing from the outside; externally it’s just a regular Boeing 777-200LR. But inside, the plane has had around 200 seats removed from its standard configuration. The revamp accommodates just 88 passengers with enough onboard space to create a series of flying rooms. Unsurprisingly Crystal Skye claims unrivalled space and the widest cabin configuration.

 

What’s it got?

 

 

Where a normal 777 would feature the premium class cabins, Crystal Skye accommodates a 24-cover restaurant and an impressive bar, distinct social area and a lounge space – all touted as unique among private charter jets. There’s also a 200-bottle wine cellar stocked to suit all palates.

The “Crystal Exclusive Class” seats convert to lie-flat beds and Crystal Skye claims the highest ratio of  staff-to-passenger ratio with its fleet of in-flight butlers ready to cosset customers.

 

 

Dining comes courtesy of executive chef Francois Van Zyl, a graduate of Etihad Airways, and his flying kitchen comes impressively equipped to create Michelin-inspired dining at 35,000 ft.

Passengers also get 24” HD entertainment screens which the company boasts as the biggest in the business. Naturally, music choices are abundant as is the on-demand programme.  

 

Cost and range?

 

 

Crystal Skye has a range of circa 20 hours flight time. It incurs a £43,000 hourly charge which, on a London-New York trip would cost over £300k - one way. But the maths is more palatable when this figure is divided by 88 passengers, costing around the price of a first class scheduled ticket but with a unique flying rooms luxury. That’s some hen party!

 

Who’s it for?

 

 

The highest-end hens and stags aside, Crystal Skye is likely to be occupied by entertainment, commercial and sporting groups. Royalty and government heads are also a safe bet.

High-budget event organisers (think World Cup, global Fashion Weeks, Oscars junkets) now have a way of wowing their most gilded – and jaded – VIPs.

One-off exclusive performances at 35k ft? That precedent has already been set by Macky Drese, MD at Harmonic (pic above). Who can forget Macky's staging of a Rudimental gig - in the nose of a Virgin 787 jet over the Atlantic? Imagine the flying private party that could be had by performers and presenters en route to, say, MTV’s awards shows. Sony’ll get the cheque.

No matter who the guests are, Crystal Skye democratises travel because there’s no cabin class distinction – it’s just ultra-class throughout.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns...

LOS ANGELES - Larry David is back on UK screens with a new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm in October. Abigail Parkin

 

HBO’s legendary comedy will fulfil fans with new portrayals of our ‘social assassin’ anti-hero on Monday 2nd October.

For now, HBO brings Curbers a range of merchandise from the show to whet fan appetite

Feast your eyes…

 

 

See more at ...

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MTV Music Week Announced Pre-EMA in London

LONDON - MTV is to prime music fans with its MTV Music Week events ahead of the big MTV EMA show at London Wembley’s SSE Arena on 12th November.

 

MTV Music Week traditionally heralds the arrival of the EMA with a sprawling series of events. In London, Music Week will set the scene from Wednesday 8th November to Saturday 11th November. The four-day fest will feature music events and industry panels designed to get fans closer to their favourite artists and influencers alike.

The House Of MTV, set over three floors at Hackney House in Shoreditch, will host performances, exhibitions and innovative talks from industry insiders to nourish the musical mind while a menu of food and drinks provides daily additional nourishment.

MTV Breaks, in partnership with VOXI by Vodafone, will provide advice on how to break in to the music and media industries with four days of talks and workshops inside the House of MTV.

We'll be posting more news as it arrives.  

Tune into MTV Socials and www.mtvmusicweek.co.uk  over the next couple of weeks for more.

 

Related posts:

Isle of MTV, Malta - Review

 

MTV EMA, Milan - Review

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Viacom's Italian Job

ROME - Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has today announced its expansion in Italian TV with the acquisition of a free-to-air digital terrestrial frequency.

 

Channel LCN 49 was acquired from Scripps Networks Interactive in order to launch a local version of its Spike TV network. VIMN has also confirmed it has entered into a joint venture with De Agostini Editore for the kids’ TV channel, Super!which is also available free-to-air on digital terrestrial TV in Italy. VIMN now has a 50% stake in the channel.

“Our pay TV partnerships remain the priority for Viacom, but free-to-air distribution is helping us grow ratings and revenues in TV markets where free-to-air networks are predominant,” said David Lynn, CEO of VIMN. “Free-to-air channel launches have helped us significantly expand our reach amongst Italian TV viewers and we’re ambitious for future share growth in this valuable and important TV market.”

Raffaele Annecchino, head of VIMN Southern & Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, added: “I’m pleased to confirm this latest step in our ongoing strategy to scale-up our business in Italy, which has the highest number of free-to-air channels of any European TV market and is the third biggest in terms of advertising revenues. These new free-to-air channels, combined with our strong distribution relationship with Sky, give us a great balance between free-to-air and pay TV in this market and allow us to reach all demographics with distinct and competitive offers.” 

Launching at the end of October, Spike Italy will target adult viewers with a mix of Viacom’s global TV hits alongside international acquisitions and local productions.

Viacom already owns and operates two free-to-air digital terrestrial TV channels in Italy – Paramount Channel and VH1. Since launching Paramount Channel in February 2016, Viacom has grown its average monthly reach in Italy by more than 19 million and is now approaching close to 30 million viewers each month.

The company has also expanded its local advertising sales operation, VIMN Pubblicita' and Brand Solutions, signing deals to represent TV channels owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, De Agostini Editore and Sony, as well as its own portfolio of 11 channels including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., which are all distributed on Italy’s leading pay platform, Sky.

 

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Hard Rock Plans Davos Hotel

DAVOS - Hard Rock International is expanding its hotel portfolio to the Swiss Alps with plans to open Hard Rock Hotel Davos. Chris Page

December 2017 is the anticipated opening date which will see the transformation the 130-year-old building which houses the recently renovated Spenglers Hotel. Hard Rock Hotel Davos honours  Dr. Alexander Spengler and Willem Jan Holsboer both pioneers in medicine and rail engineering,  respectively.

The historic luxury boutique hotel will continue to celebrate its musical moorings thanks to a team of design experts tasked to evolve the venue to the local music scene and the region’s art, style and culture.
“As Hard Rock continues to grow globally, the brand targets expansion in influential cities and
resort destinations around the world, especially in Europe,” said Dale Hipsh, senior vice president of
hotels for Hard Rock International. “Famed for its pristine climate, cultural offerings and vibrant
entertainment scene, Davos is a distinguished destination that draws in tourists from all over.”

The Hard Rock Hotel Davos is situated in the heart of the town, providing easy access to
popular attractions, close to the train station and nearby boutiques and dining options. The hotel
is also walking distance from ski lifts and museums, as well as the city’s convention centre.

 “We are very pleased to welcome the Hard Rock Hotel team in Davos,” said Alessandro Lardi,
president of the board of collaborator International Hospitality Service AG. “The high calibre of the Hard Rock International brand ensures that both Spenglers Hotel and Holsboer Residences – soon to run under the Hard Rock brand – will benefit from the professional expertise and unique music solutions that Hard Rock International offers, combined with style and the region’s culture.”

Andrey Yakunin, co-founder of VIYM, financial and hospitality consult on the deal,
added, “As a hospitality investor with a long-standing track record, I believe Davos provides unique
opportunities for both hoteliers and tourists, as it has a lot to offer to its business and leisure guests in any given season. Therefore, on behalf of our investors in this hospitality asset, I trust this franchise will allow both IHS and Hard Rock International to build a successful and profitable resort, attractive to new guests, including those already loyal to the Hard Rock brand.”

Hard Rock Hotel Davos will feature 111 lavishly redesigned rooms, including 31 serviced one to three bedroom apartments. In addition to three conference rooms for dynamic meeting space, an on-site, historic chapel will also be available for booking, containing a modern sound system, natural acoustics, fully functioning organ and adaptable lighting, ideal for banquets, weddings, private concerts and events.

The restaurant will provide a high-end lobby bar and sophisticated private bar, perfect for private dining and tastings. The hotel will also feature an exclusive rooftop bar for panoramic
360-degree views of the mountains and city.

Guests can enjoy signature brand offerings including The Sound of Your Stay® music amenity program with complimentary vinyl players and records or rock out on a Fender guitar during an in-room jam session, complete with an amp and head phones. Additionally, the property will boast a wellness centre, including a Body Rock® workout facility and a Rock Spa®, complete with the music-infused Rhythm & Motion spa menu, five treatment rooms and a yoga studio.

See: www.hardrockhotels.com.

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New Release Discards Old Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has released new single “Look What You Made Me Do” today on iTunes and all streaming outlets. Lucy Kale

The single is the debut from the singer’s long-awaited and much anticipated studio album, Reputation (Big Machine Records).

  “Look What You Made Me Do” is something of a Taylor obituary and rebirth. It ends with the lyric “I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead.”

The fresh start philosophy comes as Taylor Swift deleted her social media presence last week. Get acquainted with her new outlook here:

 

Reputation is available for pre-order now and out on 10th November, see: 

Look What You Made Me Do,”

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More Bond Bang for Your Buck

Daniel Craig doesn’t make announcements by halves. The confirmation that he will be back as Bond follows hot on the heels of new release Logan Lucky from production company Studiocanal. 

Craig’s 007 revelation bodes well for Logan Lucky which is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Magic Mike, Traffic) and stars Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, and Brian Gleeson.

The jaunty plot features Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) who’s from a blue-collar family from the hills of West Virginia which has been plagued with bad luck for nearly 90 years. After being fired from his job, and with his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) threatening to move out with their daughter, Jimmy decides he has to reclaim his family life back on track. Help comes from his brother Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) and his sister Mellie (Riley Keough).

There’s no typecasting here for Daniel Craig who plays an incarcerated explosive expert named Joe Bang who helps out with an audacious plan to steal $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway on the busiest race day of the year.

LOGAN LUCKY opens nationwide across the UK on 25th August 2017.

Watch the TV spot here... 

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Welcome to Arena Birmingham

The Barclaycard Arena heralds in September with the name  ‘Arena Birmingham’ in a move to reflect the venue's location.

The Nooran Sisters (9 Sept), John Legend (20 Sept) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (30 Sept) are scheduled to be among the first acts  to perform under the new brand name.

Barclaycard announced in 2016 that as part of a review of their sponsorship strategy across both Barclaycard and the broader Barclays Group, it planned to move away from long-term naming rights with the venue.

Managing director for the NEC Group Arenas, Phil Mead said: “Much of what we have achieved is down to the support of Barclaycard who have been an excellent partner since 2012, but we are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham, as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city.  The construction of the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid, and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017/18.”  

The Arena has become one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe, staging everything from sports events to concerts, entertainment spectaculars, business conferences and exhibitions, benefiting from its position at the heart of the UK.  Alongside its sister venue, Genting Arena, the NEC Group Arenas provide the ultimate arena customer experience, attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually.