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Tewkesbury Park

COTSWOLDS Tewkesbury Park resort has appointed Pic PR as its press and publicity agency in a further expansion of its luxury hotel client list. Lucy Kale

Tewkesbury Park is a family-owned hotel, golf and leisure resort set in 164 acres of Gloucestershire parkland.

Its views of the Cotswolds, the Severn Valley, the Welsh Mountains and the Malvern Hills, make Tewkesbury Park a picturesque location for any rural stays, corporate events or weddings.

The hotel is bounded by Tewkesbury’s charming streets and cosy pubs and the hotel also offers extensive on-site facilities including an 18-hole golf course, spa and leisure club, contemporary dining and luxury accommodation. Its expansive grounds also offer off-road driving and rage buggy racing and plenty of other pursuits to help build those corporate teams.

Or enjoy an indulgent spa treatment after a workout in the extensive gym with a whole range of spa and fitness facilities.

Elsewhere, private board meetings can be held for eight and annual conferences for 200.

Or enjoy an indulgent spa treatment after a workout in the extensive gym with a whole range of spa and fitness facilities.

Elsewhere, private board meetings can be held for eight and annual conferences for 200.

Pic PR leads in the diverse client sectors of hospitality, education, care and HR.

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Nobu’s Autumn Opening

BARCELONA Iconic Nobu Hotels is set to open in Barcelona this September in a bid to attract leisure and business travellers with an eye for quality. James Church  

Nobu Hotel Barcelona offers panoramic views over the city in the charming neighbourhood of Eixample. Located near Plaza de España, a walk away from high-speed rail links and the Fira de Barcelona conference centre, guests also have easy access to the Montjuic Olympic area, the cruise ship terminal and Barcelona – El Prat International airport.

In short, the designer hotel offers a luxurious base from which to discover the Catalan capital. It has 259 rooms, tailored meeting and event spaces.

Naturally the world-class Nobu Restaurant is here along with Kozara – a Japanese inspired tapas bar that looks out over the city and the sea.

Indulgences include an Omakase tasting menu with a bottle of wine, complimentary with a two-night stay in a Sake, Umi or Nobu Suite. To complete the experience, breakfast for two is also complimentary.

Rates starting from 250€ per night, including breakfast for two.

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The Cotswold Quartet

COTSWOLDS The picturesque Cotswolds sets the scene for four properties on offer by Barons Eden Limited, represented by Savills. Lucy Reid

The assets in the portfolio are: Huxleys Restaurant (pictured above) and Island House, both in Chipping Campden; The Dial House Hotel in Bourton-on-the-Water and The Old Bank in Moreton-in-Marsh. 

Offers are invited for the whole portfolio or for purchase of individual properties.   

Housed in a seventeenth century building, Huxleys Restaurant in the heart of Chipping Campden, offers 100 covers across both inside and outside space, including two private dining rooms. Island House, on Chipping Campden’s high street, provides a rare opportunity to create a new food and beverage offering.

 The Dial House Hotel provides 15 boutique rooms all of which are en-suite alongside two recently renovated dining areas and a bar lounge. Prominently located in the centre of the picturesque high street of Bourton-on-the-Water, there’s ample opportunity for further development of the grounds.

 The Old Bank in Moreton-in-Marsh town centre has planning to convert to a 10 bedroom hotel with restaurant and bar and would suit a range of other uses subject to planning permission. 

James Greenslade, associate director in the hotels team at Savills, comments: “These four charming assets provide a rare opportunity to acquire properties in the picturesque Cotswolds villages. Each one is unique in its character and all provide a range of opportunities for new owners, in particular the redevelopment of Island House could work well in conjunction with the existing operation at Huxleys.”

Adrian Pearson of Barons Eden Limited adds: “We are choosing to sell our Cotswold assets in order to concentrate on expanding our portfolio of larger hotels and spas.” 

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Marriott's Florida Fanfare

FLORIDA Southwest Florida is shimmering with the unveiling of the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Part of its $320 million refurbishment features the new Lanai Tower with more than 100,000 square feet of tech-integrated meeting and event space while its 'Paradise by Sirene' ushers adults into a more existential escapism. Abigail Parkin

The Lanai Tower (below) crowned the final phase of the three-year makeover which also brings the five new restaurants – Ario, Maia and Kane Tiki Bar & Grill. Lanai Tower too houses a restaurant, Tesoro: a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant designed exclusively for adults.

Guests can also immerse themselves in the recently unveiled 94-room Paradise by Sirene experience on floors 6-9, which promises to ensconce guests in wellbeing through a selection of exclusive amenities. Sirene’s exclusive rooftop access and pool and sun deck is open to you as is a personal beach butler.

 'Friends of Sirene' will receive wearable technology bracelets to unlock their rooms and suites and identify their status to staff for further privileges and luxuries.

The Gulf of Mexico boasts soft, sandy beaches and crystal waters which makes it a perfect coastal retreat for families. The multiple resort pools include a main resort pool and a Tiki Kids pool complete with waterslide and waterfall.

Presidential suite terrace

The debut of Tesoro and 10K Alley propels the resort’s dining offerings into the next echelon of culinary experiences. Tesoro, named after the Italian word for “treasure,” is an atmospheric restaurant that caters exclusively to adults and will showcase inspired Mediterranean cuisine served tapas style, highlighting the flavors of France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

 Tesoro dazzles guests with its chic decor, panoramic views from the fifth floor of the Lanai Tower, and multi-faceted menu celebrating the bountiful offerings from the Gulf, such as whole grilled local catches and a fresh raw bar, as well as the on-property Savita Garden’s fresh herbs, edible flowers and seasonal produce.

Tesoro Dining

At Tesoro’s bar, visitors can sip cocktails that use rare liqueurs from the Mediterranean , Sangrias served with a modern twist, an array of Spritzers created with house-made sodas as well a wine selection hailing from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon and Israel. 

Adult exclusive corner suite

Laid-back fun is to be had at 10K Alley (below) which has the look and feel of a sleek and modern distillery. Whether enjoying gastropub fare at the circular bar, communal high-tops or in the main dining area, visitors will delight in the restaurant’s elevated cuisine, decadent milkshakes and other treats.

Some of the bourbons were created exclusively for 10K Alley in a partnership between the JW Marriott Marco Island, Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve. In addition to its handcrafted food and drinks, 10K Alley boasts a mix of classic and contemporary games that invite guests and groups to indulge in friendly competition.

Presidential suite

The resort also has two private golf courses – the renovated Rookery and Hammock Bay, a world‐class, Audubon gold signature, par-72 course developed by Jacobsen and Hardy.

Calusa room

The resort’s state-of-the-art meeting and event space, located on floors 1-3 of the Lanai Tower, features two ballrooms with spacious pre-function areas, two outdoor terraces and numerous breakout rooms totaling 100,000 square feet.

The crown jewel of the newly opened tower is its Calusa Grand Ballroom, which offers meetings, conventions and special events up to 30,000 square feet of versatile, high-tech space accompanied by 24-foot ceilings and a striking terrace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Full-length windows bathe the pre-function area in natural light, providing attendees with an inspired setting for success. The tower also boasts a 17,000 square-foot Banyan Ballroom, which can easily expand to 34,000 square feet of continuous event space when combined with the Banyan Foyer.

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Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal

PARIS The change of season and the end of the yellow vest protests made Paris a perfect weekend prospect - especially when our stay was at the exclusive Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal.  Sat Bal

The hotel is more intimate than its name suggests: 57 rooms and 11 suites set in imposing 18th-century architecture. Apt too that the hotel is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group which itself features over 500 small, but perfectly formed, boutique venues around the world.

PURPOSE

A weekend of partying. Where better to disport ourselves than the Panoramic Suite? The most luxurious suite in this maison took up the strain with panache. Its versatility also makes it ideal for business stays and families.

LOCATION

Very Paris, but located away from the noisy bustle thanks to the hotel’s position by the neighbouring gardens of Palais Royal. Yet the Louvre, Place Vendôme and Palais Garner are an easy stroll away.

DESIGN

This elegant five-star hotel was designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon whose design portfolio includes the likes of the Four Seasons Hotel George V and the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris. The artwork is imposing on arrival into the lobby where Hellenistic sculptures add to the guest greeting. Hangings and fabrics come from the expertise of Pierre Frey with furnishings by Philippe Hurel and lighting by Delisle.

PANORAMIC SUITE

This is the best suite in the house, edging past the Royal Suite, and was the perfect venue for our party stay. Its exclusivity was made immediately obvious by our own private elevator which whisked us to the seventh floor.

The first real impression was made on the terrace outside the suite. With the Eiffel Tower clearly visible to the left of us and the Louvre and Palais Royal gardens in our sights, the Panoramic Suite certainly lived up to its name! The Palace of Versailles might have been out of our panorama but the "Sun King" feel prevailed nonetheless.

The usual guest view from the seventh floor - avec Eiffel Tower

We made instant use of the expansive terrace which was flooded by sun and, soon enough, with bottles of France’s best. Nearly 300 sq ft of space and an assortment of loungers, tables and chairs easily held 15 people here. Let the party commence!

Our view from our seventh floor terrace - Vive la France!

The feeling of seclusion and privacy here meant that there we no qualms about plugging in sound systems unintrusively.

The Panoramic Suite also features a private dining room in the lounge area and king beds beyond for when sleep becomes a necessity.

It has to be said that the circa £3,500-plus that secured this suite over the weekend will get you ‘Paris space’ ie. more compact than apex suites in other cities and the Panoramic will thus only sleep two adults and two kids. The rest of the rooms in the hotel follow suit with Paris space and start at around £350. Yet the upside is that all rooms, suites and leisure spaces come with a finesse that is unequivocally…Paris.

As if to emphasise the sunny day, shafts of daylight set the marble bathroom aglow, amply furnished with double sink, bath and shower in the Panoramic.

STAFF AND SERVICE

The lounge bar

Staff joyfully aided and abetted our seventh-floor shenanigans, encouraging us Brits to make merry. The warmth and courtesy percolated down to the lobby. Special mention must also be made of Leon, the French-sounding Englishman, who presided over the intimate hotel lounge bar and swapped tales of Birmingham and tricks with gin.

Le Lulli restaurant is headed by Jean-Baptiste Orieux whose exquisite dishes are made from local and seasonal ingredients.   

Elsewhere, Wi-Fi comes free and accomplished ‘Clefs d’or’ concierge caters for all whims. There’s also a Carita spa, Turkish bath and fitness centre. There are also special services for families and children.

GRAND HÔTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

4 rue de Valois, Paris, FR, 75001

33-142-961535

www.grandhoteldupalaisroyal.com

www.slh.com

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Indian Developer’s No. 1 with 5 Strand Purchase

 

LONDON: ABIL Group is the new owner of 5 Strand in London in a first for the Indian property developer. Lucy Reid     lucy@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

 

Savills acted for ABIL in its purchase of the mixed use office and retail building from BlackRock UK Property Fund in deal that exceeded £90 million according to Savills.

The 72,359 sq ft building is let to Westminster City Council and Boot and features design plans by Adjaye Associates for a 200-room hotel scheme and planning consent for a new 152,400 sq ft development. This encompasses office accommodation and retail space and luxury residential accommodation.

Barry Mangan, director in the central London investment team at Savills, said: “Located adjacent to Trafalgar Square, close to Charing Cross station, 5 Strand presents an attractive redevelopment opportunity to maximise the building’s strong position in prime central London. As such it makes a good investment for our client, in their first UK purchase.”

Gary Witham, director in the hotels team at a Savills, said: “As the first purchase for our client, 5 Strand makes an excellent choice providing the opportunity to create a leading purpose built hotel in a tourist location that is recognisable to a global audience.”

Savills points at £1.06 billion in London hotel investment last year which it says represents an increase of 17.7% on 2016 while institutional capital investment into hotels grew 6.8% to £370.7 million in 2017, the highest level of investment from this buyer type for over 10 years, according to the firm.

ABIL Group’s headquarters are in the Indian city of Pune and the business was founded by Avinash Bhosale in 1979. ABIL’s luxury  developments encompass the St. Regis Mumbai, W Goa, Westin Pune and Le Meridian Nagpur all under the Marriott brand across India.  

Cushman & Wakefield joined Tudor Toone to advise BlackRock on the sale.

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Middle Housewarming, Shanghai

SHANGHAI: The House Collective opens the newest House in the group with an opening offer for guests.

The Middle House opens in April and brings Shanghai to its collection. Here's a visual invite of what to expect.

 

House lobby

 

The Middle House stands in the heart of Shanghai and offers 111 guest rooms and 102 serviced apartments known as The Middle House Residences.

 

Chinese cuisine at Sui Tang Shang

 

Architect Piero Lissoni brings an Italian flourish to the hotel and residences in a blend of intimate luxury and urban sophistication. 

 

Studio 70 bathroom

 

The Middle House is the sixth hotel in Asia from Swire Hotels and the fourth House under Swire Hotels’ award-winning The House Collective.

 

Opening offer

 Between 16 April and 30 June stay at the newest House in the group from RMB 2,500 opening offer which includes stay in a Studio 60 and complimentary breakfast at Cafe Gray Deluxe.

 

Full terms and conditions on the website:

 https://www.themiddlehousehotel.com/en/offers-and-gifts/opening-offer/

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Hola, Cancun! Part 2: Secrets Maroma Beach

MEXICO: After a week of Hard Rock hotel hedonism the Secrets Maroma Beach resort offered a luxurious and private escape just 45 minutes away in Riviera Cancun. Sat Bal

 

Theme

Much more compact than the sprawling Hard Rock complex the award-winning Maroma Beach is an adults-only enclave of refinement. Its powdery beach is private and well-serviced by staff who cheerily ferry along trays of Mudslides and Mimosas along with food favourites. Just as well since the February sun nudged 30 degrees!

The beach provision falls under the all-inclusive service. Where things do cost, such as spa treatments, complimentary resort credits will offer discounts.

 

Rooms

Presidential suite balcony view  (Pic- Sat Bal) 

 

Rooms start from the Junior Suites (circa $230 pp, pn) and progress to the Preferred Club suites (circa $270 pp,pn) stepping up to the Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite (around $440 pp,pn). They variously feature ocean views or swim , on the ground-floor suites, which allow you to fling open the doors and step inside the cut-down pool adjoined to suite.

 

Presidential dining space (Pic- Sat Bal)

 

The Presidential Suite comes in at a spacious 1,873 sq ft cost around $1,100 pp,pn. For this you get a separate living area with a large sofa and TV and a dining area that accommodates eight. The spacious bedroom also includes a break-out lounge area and a king bed. The views are magnificent, offering a panoramic view of sand and sea.

All rooms are well-appointed with hydro spa tubs, a private balcony/terrace with hammocks and complimentary wi-fi throughout.

 

Out and About

As expected, water-bound activities abound: kayaks, sailing, scuba diving and plenty more. Golfers get complimentary greens fees at the Grand Coral Riviera Maya which skirts the Caribbean Sea. The 18-hole, 7,000-plus yards course was designed by PGA champion Nick Price.

Archery, dance lessons and an outdoor theatre featuring live shows gives a small idea of the big variety at Secrets.

 

Beaches & Pools

The private beach at Secrets is powdery and expansive at least in length (rather than width) at this time of year. Not that losing the sand to the tide led to loss of privacy; there was still plenty to go around. If the beach is your priority then we’d suggest spending more time at Secrets Maroma Beach than HRH.

 

Restaurants & Bars

 

An array of restaurants includes French dining at Bordeaux, Asian cuisine at Himitsu and Italian at Portofino. All are lavishly presented and exude their unique cultural themes in decor and dishes. Additional venues include sea food and munches at the 24-hour cafe. Informal grab-and-go food comes courtesy of the Barefoot Grill.

Bars are omnipresent with top-shelf, all-inclusive drinks. Try the plush lobby Rendezvous bar for a bubbly start to the day and swim up to Bar Manatees in the afternoon sun for cocktails and shorts.  Elsewhere, the on-site Desires music lounge club keeps up the tempo until 1am.

 

Cautionary note…

Secrets rather let down its image with a surge of salesmen intent on selling customers long-term, six-figure packages to the Secrets global network of destinations. We spoke to holidaymakers who were holed up with the high-pressure sales team for over three hours for meetings that were supposed to last an hour.

Although a ‘romantic meal on the beach’ for two was granted for those who stayed the course, such blatant and sustained money-grabbing is not something we’ve ever experienced in other luxury resorts.  Management: rein it in!

A blot on the otherwise flawless service and staff energy that made the place special.  

 

 Check out our review week at Hard Rock Hotel, Cancun:

 

 

 

 

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Hola, Cancun!

 

MEXICO: February-March means it’s time to escape the British freeze and cast out for warm climes. But where in the world would blend white-beach luxury in blue-sea tropical surrounds and syncopate hard play with a soft chill? Cancun met our party-relaxation brief with ease. Sat Bal

 

The Brief

Week one of our geographic was to be filled with solar-powered parties in a playful but luxury setting. The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya answered the call like a natural, living up to its rock credentials.

Week two in Cancun required a change in tempo: privacy, peace and a reclaiming of the soul. Where better than the AAA Five Diamond awarded Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Cancun? A blissful recovery on a gold platter - around 45 minutes from the Hard Rock.

 

Hard Rock Hotel (HRH)

A 45-50 minute transfer from Cancun International airport, HRH played to our strengths with its ‘resort within a resort’ concept. The family-friendly Hacienda setting offered a hard-play edge of live music shows and beach frolics while the Heaven complex embraced a more refined adults-only isolation. Combined, the 1,264-room hotel feels vast as evidenced by the scurrying of transfer buggys across the lush palm-lined site.

Adult guests at either resort can wander across to use facilities at either Heaven or Hacienda. Stop press: HRH has announced that from the end of March 2018 Heaven will be managed as a family hotel so it’ll no longer be kids-free.

 

Themes

 

 

The HRH mantra is ‘undeniable excess at every turn’ and the pioneers of excess loom large here. Jimi Hendrix, Bowie, Prince and other legends added a supernatural tinge to the stay, looking down from huge monochrome portraits. Jim Morrison (above) held court in the Hacienda’s Sun Bar, his hair a montage of vinyl records. Elsewhere, Aerosmith’s drum kit and all manner of artist personal effects in display cabinets, persistent  reminders of why this place is called Hard Rock.

 

All-inclusive

It really is - even down to ordering room service. So enjoy the indulgence of ordering up tea and coffee first thing, despite having a perfectly good coffee machine in your suite. The array of restaurants form part of the package too. Neither will you need to pack your favourite duty-free tipple; all top shelf drinks are complimentary as is the mini bar. Where things do cost, such as spa treatments, your complimentary resort credits will offer discounts.

 

Rooms

 

The Bret Michael's Rock Star Suite

 

All rooms are well-appointed with hydro spa tubs, a private balcony/terrace with hammocks and complimentary wi-fi throughout. Views range from garden to the panorama of the Caribbean sea with first-quarter prices starting from circa $300 a night to $2,000 a night for the apex experience.

Upgrade to Rock Royalty status and the fun really starts with VIP pool area and your own personal assistant.

The two-bedroom Rock Star Suite (4991 sq ft) and the Rock Suite Platinum Rooftop Lounge (5,166 sq ft) raise the pinnacles of luxury to levels that bona fide A-listers would surely approve of.

Service is willing and warm, on a par with Asian service, across the board.

 

Beaches & Pools

HRH claims a private white sand beach and invites snorkel and kayak fans alike.

If the beach is your priority we’d suggest spending more time at Secrets Maroma Beach which was more expansive and less busy. At HRH we just missed the 'Spring Break' when hordes of N. Americans fly over to boost the fun.

For adults only, the Central Pool at Heaven is just the ticket for sun, lounge, or cool off with an abundance of cocktails. There’s also a semi Olympic pool, cross current rhythm pool - and, of course, the crystalline Caribbean!

  

Restaurants & Bars

 

 

Hacienda offers seven restaurants including à la carte Asian dishes at Zen, Brazil’s best at Ipanema and hot Mexican at Frida. Caffeto is great for an early pastry breakfast or a late baguette grab. Over at Heaven head to Toro for a rich steak, Le Petit Cochon for French à la carte and Ciao for Italian among the five dining areas.   

For drinks, settle down at Heaven’s Martini Bar or the Sun Bar at Hacienda while Float bar invites the pool. At nightclub Club Heaven, live DJs starts the party around 11pm and take it into the early hours.   

 

Rock Spa

 

 

HRH boasts the largest spa in the Caribbean with 75 treatment rooms. On offer is everything from steam rooms to hydrotherapy current pools. The surroundings are among the most lavish we’ve seen and the view from the pools is inspirational. There’s even a yoga temple!

 

Weather

What's to say? The odd peppering of rainfall in the early hours but every day blazing with sun and skirting 30 degrees. Autumn tends to see the rain.

 

Out and about

Popular excursions range from the Mayan history site of Chichén Itzá to water park fun at Xcaret. Nightclubbers, make  your way to Coco Bongo though the in-house club at Heaven got full and fun too.  Amstar is the local excursion agency of choice but bookings can also be made via the hotel concierge. 

Flying out

UK operators British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook will get you out there in around 11 hours non-stop.

 

See our next week at Secrets Maroma Beach…

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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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