Eco luxury in Malaysia

If you’re looking to combine ecology and luxury, we’ve found just the place in Malaysia for you. Baroque Travel explores Gayana Eco Resort
 

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There is nothing more pampering than feasting on organic food and enjoying a true eco-friendly vacation while being indulged in the utmost luxury. Nestling in the crescent-shaped Malohom Bay on Gaya Island, just off the coast of Sabah in Malaysia Borneo, Gayana Eco Resort offers an unrivalled marine and adventure experience. The island is surrounded by numerous coral reefs where guests can explore a magical underwater world.

Guests are accommodated in one of 52 overwater tropical villas with stunning views of the sea, mangrove forest or tropical jungle. Each villa is private and specifically designed in traditional Borneo style to enhance the soothing sounds of the sea below.

 

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The resort has its very own Marine Ecology Research Center, which concentrates on the protection and regeneration of Gaya Island’s precious marine environment. This Center is the only one of its kind in the world that is located on an island resort and it propagates endangered marine life and coral reefs. With knowledgeable guides whose true vocation is marine conservation, guests enjoy numerous sea activities including kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving. In addition, the more adventurous can also go jungle trekking to learn about the unique environment located on this paradise island.

 

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Aside from the wealth of knowledge one can accrue whilst on a stay to this stunning island resort, there are numerous relaxing activities and facilities. The resort’s Echo Wellness Spa combines the best of traditional Asian and Western philosophies in their beauty and wellness treatments – a welcome respite from more adventurous pursuits. Expert therapists incorporate indigenous plants, oils and ingredients from the Kerstin Florian range of products in various massages, scrubs and facials.
 

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Dining is a delight at this eco-concerned resort, with numerous local and international dishes prepared in a choice of locations. The resort’s overwater Chinese seafood restaurant, Alu Alu, is open for lunch and dinner. Diners literally choose their meal from 28 glass tanks, or order from an extensive menu. The restaurant is committed to sustainable aquaculture, so only certain seafood is prepared. (They do not serve shark’s fin.)

A popular choice is to dine in private on the Alu Alu Restaurant Jetty. Alternatively, if you are staying in an Ocean View Villa or Palm Villa, you can choose to dine in secluded comfort on your own private open deck. It’s the perfect way to spend a romantic evening with the cool sea breeze and the sound of the waves as your only company.

 

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After a full day of activities, even if you’re just laying on the beach or your private deck, the best place to wind down with a pre-dinner drink and snacks is at the Latitude Bar. Sabah’s sunsets are legendary, there is no better way to end a day in paradise.

 

If you would like to find out more about this exceptional eco resort that combines a vacation with a variety of marine and jungle adventures, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will provide you with all the information you require. Alternatively, we can arrange your stay on this luxury private eco lodge. Just tell us when you want to go.

New Ritz Carlton in Langkawi, Malaysia

The Ritz-Carlton group of hotels recently unveiled their latest gem, a seaside resort on the tropical paradise island of Langakwi. Baroque Travel has all the details

 

All pictures courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

 

Surrounded by tropical beauty and set in a tranquil private bay, the brand new Ritz-Carlton Langkawi sits right on a beautiful white sand beach on the edge of the Andaman Sea. Designed in typical Malaysian style with more than a touch of eco-consciousness, this brand new resort is extremely luxurious and distinctly authentic.

It boasts 70 guest rooms as well as 15 luxury suites and 29 beautiful over-water villas, all spacious and designed to fit into the jungle setting, with breathtaking panoramic views either of the lush tropical surrounds or the sea. They all offer private balconies or terraces, marble en suite bathrooms, TV and entertainment systems with Bluetooth, 24-hour in-room private dining and WiFi. The cream of the crop of beautiful accommodations is the deluxe Villa Mutiara, which accommodates up to eight guests, and features two swimming pools and access to a private beach.

From the minute guests arrive at the Walkway of Wishes entrance to the hotel, they can feel the tranquillity. On arrival they write down their wishes on a flat stone, which is placed into the water fountain at the entrance. This is the first of the memorable experiences they enjoy at this idyllic resort.

The resort boasts four restaurants, each with stunning sea views. The Langkawi Kitchen offers a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes, while guests can enjoy Western favorites at the Beach Grill. Chinese seafood is served at Hai An, and the other two restaurants also offer delightful choices.

The resort features a choice of two swimming pools and a range of sports facilities including a fully equipped gym, outdoor tennis court, indoor and outdoor yoga classes, deep sea fishing, sailing and diving. There’s a state-of-the-art spa offering various treatments and rituals for health and beauty as well as a Vitality pool. Guests enjoy their pampering in five cocoon-shaped pavilions that float above the sea, inspired by the local fish traps that island fishermen have used on the island for centuries.

In keeping with the traditions of the island, guests enjoy contemporary performances of an ancient ‘tarian paying’ dance on the beach, at sunset and sunrise. This is the islanders’ way of showing thanks and respect for the rich bounty of the sea and the land they live in. They can also embark on guided walks into the surrounding jungle to see the creatures that live in the rainforest and can learn about various Langakwi traditions and legends. Another highlight is a visit to one of the island’s night markets to purchase traditional Malaysian, Chinese and Indian foods and crafts.
 

If you would like to enjoy the celebrity treatment at this luxurious new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Malaysia, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will make your reservation for you. If you require assistance with any other travel arrangements, such as flights, transfers, car hire etc, we can assist with this as well

Unrivalled luxury in the Maldives

Baroque Travel reveals a best-kept secret, an extraordinary luxury retreat in the Maldives that offers every facility for a vacation of a lifetime

 

The Maldives is a barefoot luxury haven, a chain of paradise islands that offers the most superlative and luxe beach vacation. All of the beautiful island atolls are blue sunspots in the water, especially when seen from above. The turquoise sea is broken only by rings of corals and lagoons. Most of the islands here are home to just one resort, upping the exclusivity factor and offering a getaway that is secluded, private and carefree.

The magical Anantara Kihava Maldives is the ideal location from which to explore some of the Indian Ocean’s magnificent underwater life. Located on the island of Kihavah Huravalhi, this extraordinary resort is an unforgettable 30-minute seaplane journey from the main Maldivian island of Malé. Visitors fly over a string of coral islands and resorts to get there, and what a stunning surprize it is.

Anantara Kihava Maldives offers 79 spacious private pool villas, either poised over the water or located on a pristine stretch of private white sand beach. Those built over the water offer guests the opportunity to enjoy either the sunrise or sunset on their private decks. The resort offers every facility for an exclusive vacation including a choice of four excellent restaurants, a wide selection of fun sports and water sports, not to mention the stunning beach. There are also yoga and meditation classes and an overwater spa for rejuvenating treatments.

The resort itself is located on what was once an uninhabited isle in the UNESCO-recognized Baa Atoll in the Maldives. The island is surrounded by an exceptional coral reef, where one can snorkel to see a variety of marine life. Literally just 20m from the beach lies a magical waterworld.

Guests spend their time snorkeling or scuba diving to explore this magical haven under the sea. If they want to take a dip, they can, from their villas, which also have their own swimming pools. In addition, the over-water villas feature bathrooms and toilets with glass bottoms so that one can watch the fish swim by.

Other exclusive activities include Ayurvedic massage, over-water yoga and the highlight of a visit here, dining at Sea, the resort’s underwater restaurant surrounded by marine life. Land activities include star-gazing, an open-air cinema, bespoke ‘dining by design’ on the beach and many other outdoor activities.

 

If you would like to enjoy an exclusive luxury Maldivian getaway, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will assist with all your travel arrangements, including flights, reservations at Kihava, transfers and anything else you may require.

The top hotel in the world

For the second year in a row, Nihi Sumba Island was named by Travel & Leisure as the top hotel in the world. Baroque Travel explores this exemplary establishment

 

Located on the explored Indonesian island of Sumba, 400 km east of Bali, Nihi Sumba Island offers the ultimate luxury – an opportunity to live a simple, healthy and mindful lifestyle in an idyllic location. Offering world-class surfing, the best sport fishing in Indonesia, an opportunity to hike through breathtaking waterfalls, follow butterfly trails and explore ancient villages as well as paddle down the Wanukaka River standing upright. The experience offers understated luxury as well as a freedom that allows one to reconnect with a simplistic lifestyle.

 

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The resort is located on the western part of the island, covering 567-hectares of land. Accommodation is in luxury villas built on terraces with their own private verandas. The entire resort has been designed to protect and preserve the unique culture and environment, offering locals the opportunity to support themselves and their families and thus improve their lifestyles.

 

The island itself has been a best-kept surfers’ secret for decades, a pristine environment with an extensive coastline, dramatic waves and a rich coral reef. It’s also scenically beautiful, with a stunning valley, lush paddy fields and isolated little villages, offering a fascinating look into the local culture.

 

What sets this extraordinary resort apart is its unique offerings. It’s a haven for adventurers, offering the chance to explore the Indian Ocean’s thriving marine ecosystem whilst fishing and diving (dive sites include Rock Slide, ideal for beginners, and the more advanced Morning Rock). It also lets guests experience local tradition and flavour and give back to the local community with various projects.

 

The resort itself is small, and well contained, with just 32 suites in all, including five two-bedroom Paintai Villas. Each villa has its own pool. Guests enjoy every possible facility including surfing lessons, airport transfers, fishing, spearfishing and diving, motorized and other water sports, horseback riding, an open-air spa and a private beach. It’s also totally unique, luxurious yet sustainable, offering equal amounts of solitude and adventure. It’s also great for kids, who will enjoy horse riding on the beach, swimming in private pools and visiting the turtle hatchery.

 

Like any luxury resort, everything is included here, including all meals, soft drinks, afternoon teas and coffees plus bottled water from the mini bar. Guests can also enjoy in-room massages, beach cinema, pool, free WiFi and a choice of restaurants. Dining includes produce from the resort’s own organic garden. Ombak is the main restaurant, offering stunning ocean views, while Nio Beach Club offers simple grilled fish, sizzling satay dishes and pizzas. The Ombak Bar is open-air and there’s also the Boat House Bar, an upmarket hangout. The Nest offers family meals, and Nio Beach Club is a romantic choice. Guests can also enjoy beach dinners, tree-house barbecues and in-villa lobster feasts.

 

If you’d like to arrange a stay at this exceptional establishment, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will sort out all your travel arrangements for you, from flights and transfers to accommodation and anything else you require.

A new paradise resort in Indonesia

New on the map is the luxury private island of Cempedak in Indonesia, which opened in March this year. Baroque Travel finds out all about this exotic paradise

 

Ten years ago, Australian hotelier Andrew Dixon and his partners opened Nikoi Island, a private island resort in Indonesia’s Riau archipelago. After the success of this magical island retreat, Dixon has just released his next project, another private island just a short speedboat ride away from the first, located just 91km from Singapore and 9km from the coast of Bintan.

 

Cempedak Island is a paradise isle comprising 42 acres of rainforest and secluded white sand beaches with giant boulders. Dixon has built just 20 villas on the island, each secluded and hidden from the others. Designed by New Zealand-born architect Miles Humphrey, who is famous for creating the renowned Ritz Carlton Mandapa Reserve in Bali, the villas are built out of sustainable bamboo, recycled teak and rubber wood, with thatch grass roof that are crescent shaped to capture the cool breezes and release hot air; this keeps the villas cool without the necessity of air-conditioning. The result is dramatic and quite unique. All of the villas either have a plunge pool or direct access to the beach as well as breathtaking sea views.

 

A stay on this exquisite private island may sound as if it’s a Robinson Crusoe adventure, but it isn’t. Not when every luxury is thrown in for good measure, such as organic linens on the beds, private saltwater swimming pools and sprawling terraces that lead directly onto a white sand beach.

 

All villas feature a spiral staircase leading to a second floor bedroom with folding glass doors leading onto a balcony and an en suite bathroom. Downstairs is a lounge area with a guest bathroom, a bar, large deck, sun loungers and a private plunge pool. Beds are draped with generous cotton mosquito nets and each villa offers an iPod speaker system and free WiFi.

 

Whilst Dixon’s passion for adventure, outdoor living, nature, great food and good wine is evident on both of his island resorts, Cempedak is extremely stylish and luxurious. Guests enjoy superb cuisine, sunset drinks in the cocktail bar, which is raised high above the treetops, and a variety of activities, including a grass tennis court, numerous water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving and an opportunity to explore this untouched paradise where sea otters swirl in the shallow water, rare silver-leaf monkeys swing in the trees above and sometimes the endangered pangolin makes an appearance. And let’s not forget the wealth of birdlife, which includes hornbills, eagles and kingfishers.

 

Life on the island is at a slow, leisurely pace, making a stay at Cempedak a popular escape for those looking to get away from the bustle of modern city living. This island, like sister island Nikoi, has been created with great sensitivity to the environment and the local culture.

The owners have created The Island Foundation, which gives a portion of each guest’s payment to an education program for villagers across the archipelago. There are already six (soon to be seven) learning centers running classes in various subjects, including nutrition, hygiene, creating crafts from recycled materials, English language, IT and more.

 

If you would like to find out about a stay on this exceptional, brand new private island paradise, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will make your reservations at Cempedak, as well as any further travel arrangements you require. 

Our choice of paradise

Baroque Travel has chosen our favorite new hotel from the 2017 list of the 44 best new and redone hotels just released by Travel & Leisure… the incomparable Six Senses Zil Pasyon on the island of Félicité in the Seychelles

 

Travel & Leisure’s coveted ‘It List’, as it is known internationally, includes 44 exceptional hotels around the world. To compile this selective list, industry experts are invited to take a look at all the important hotel openings and re-openings of that particular year, and then provide their best of the best. To qualify for a place on this famous list, a hotel has to possess a unique quality, anything from innovative design to exemplary cuisine.

This year’s list, the 12th annual Travel & Leisure It List, includes the esteemed Pulitzer in Amsterdam, the Dewberry in Charleston, South Carolina, Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles and Santani in Sri Lanka. All of the 44 hotels on the list are featured in the March edition of the magazine, which went on sale last week.

It was hard to choose just one hotel, but Baroque Travel has chosen one from the selection given in Africa and the Middle East. Our choice of paradise – Six Senses Zil Pasyon, which opened in September last year. It’s located on the unspoilt, extremely beautiful private island of Félicité in the Seychelles, with massive granite rocks fringing the shoreline and magnificent white sand beaches.

Six Senses is famous for creating unsurpassed guest experiences in exceptionally beautiful destinations. In fact, the resort has won numerous accolades already since its opening in September 2016. The entire resort takes up just one-third of this private island; the rest is tropical splendor just begging to be explored. Six Senses Zil Pasyon offers 28 one-bedroomed pool villas as well as two larger pool villas that feature two bedrooms. There are also 17 three and four-bedroom private residences offering an uncompromising level of comfort and style.

The Seychelles boasts an idyllic climate with summer throughout the year, and this private island paradise is located just 30 nautical miles from Seychelles International Airport on Mahe, making it easily accessible for international travelers.

In keeping with Six Senses’ signature style, every facility at the new resort is superlative, from the state-of-the-art spa to the impressive central swimming pool and three delightful private white sand beaches. All the accommodation is spacious and beautifully decorated, and includes a private sundeck, infinity pool and spectacular views, climate control, generous bathroom with bathtub and rain shower plus TV. Private residences are located on two floors and include a gourmet kitchen and living room.

Of course, every facility at this beautiful resort, from dining to water sports, is a cut above – exactly what one would expect on a private island in the middle of paradise. Island hopping is also a favorite pastime in this part of the Seychelles, and this too can be arranged so that guests can experience the magic of the Seychelles to the fullest.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about all 44 hotels listed on the It List, or would like to book our choice, the spectacular Six Senses Zil Pasyon, or any of the other exceptional hotels and resorts on the 2017 list, why not contact us right away, and we will book you an unforgettable luxury vacation. Mail us, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will make all your travel arrangements for you.

Opening in Hong Kong this April – Shangri-La’s Kerry Hotel

The fourth Hong Kong luxury hotel to fall under the Shangri-La banner is the Kerry Hotel, which opens mid-April 2017. You can reserve a room there with Baroque Travel

 

Located on the Kowloon’s waterfront in the center of Hung Hom Bay, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, a HK$2.3 billion development, has been designed as a luxury urban lifestyle resort that offers a pampering experience. Guests will enjoy the hotel’s unique dining offerings, breathtaking harbor views and extraordinary spaces.

 

This is the Shangri-la hotel brand’s fourth hotel in the city, but the first establishment with their new five-star Kerry Hotel brand, which first launched in both Shanghai and Beijing in 2011. Kerry Hotels’ distinct personality is identified by inspirational experiences, functional design and intuitive service.

The new hotel is ideally located near to the Tsim Sha Tsui East shopping area, and connects to the rest of Hong Kong via the new Whampoa MTR station close by or by taxi, limo or ferry.

 

The 16-storey urban resort boasts 546 guest rooms with designer interiors. The majority of the hotel’s various rooms and suites offer spectacular views of Victoria Harbor and the Hong Kong Island skyline through floor to ceiling windows. The Kerry Hotel features four excellent restaurants, including Rumsey Rock for all-day dining that features nine different kitchens serving a selection of cuisines, Merchants, a restaurant and bar serving modern Cantonese dishes and featuring live DJ’s and the Shelter Lobby Lounge that will offer Hong Kong-style fare and cocktails served indoors or on the outdoor terrace with its pretty harbor views.

 

Other facilities include a rooftop bar, 25-meter outdoor heated swimming pool, spa, and state-of-the-art health club with 24-hour fitness offerings.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect and interior designer Andre Fu, a Hong Kong native, the new hotel has an ambience of understated luxury and comfort. The hotel also offers special privileges to Club members, including personalized services and exclusive facilities. Its spaciousness sets it apart, and there are numerous meeting spaces as well as venues where guests can dine or relax al fresco. The emphasis here is on relaxed indulgence, and guests will enjoy every possible pampering facility available in this vibrant city.

 

If you would like to book a reservation at this exceptional new establishment, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away by emailing info@baroquetravel.com and we will reserve a room or suite for you. We can also assist with any other travel arrangements you may require, such as flights, airport/hotel transfers, sightseeing etc.

Stay in your very own luxury Indian Ocean private island retreat

The definition of luxe travel is ever-changing, but the absolute ultimate luxury has to be renting your very own private island. Baroque Travel finds a little slice of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean

 

All yours for the duration of your vacation – and we’re not just talking about a room. We’re talking about an entire island that is the ultimate in luxury, offering every possible pampering facility not to mention privacy, peace and quiet. And it’s only accessible by boat!

This particular little slice of paradise is on an island called Mnemba just a short boat ride from the Spice Island of Zanzibar in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Here, a crew of staff caters to your every whim in a paradise setting. The island, which is situated just three miles from the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar, is home to andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge, a sophisticated and completely relaxed hideaway. Here, barefoot is the norm, but service is always first class, with two staff members to every guest. Anonymity is a luxury in its own right, and you have that in spades on magical Mnemba Island, part of an exclusive atoll that has been declared a marine conservation area.

By the way… you don’t have to visit the island alone, or just with a partner. There are 10 plush ‘bandas’ or villas on the island, offering accommodation for up to 20 pampered guests, each with its own private covered veranda and beach ‘sala’. Why not bring the family, or a group of friends and enjoy an unforgettable holiday soaking up the sun whilst snorkeling, kayaking, fly fishing, windsurfing, swimming or taking dhow cruises, all directly from the beautiful white sand beach?

This beautiful tropical island overlooks the magnificent Mnemba atoll, a scuba diver’s delight full of magical marine life where one can also snorkel to one’s heart’s content. Talking of diving – there are numerous dive sites to choose from close to the island, with boats waiting to take you out and a PADI dive school on hand ready teach you the ropes.

On Mnemba Island, it’s all about the simple pleasures. Relax and unwind on your own exclusive stretch of beach where your footsteps are the only ones to blemish the sand. That’s as glamorous as you can get on this paradise island in the southern part of Africa. Your accommodation was created using wood, rattan, reed and rough glass, a simple, modern alternative that is all you need when you’re on your very own island. Of course, it’s plush in its own special way, cooled with overhead fans, with rattan floors, muslin curtains, four poster beds covered with mosquito nets, woven rattan chairs. En suite bathrooms are spacious with double basins, bath and double shower.

The island also boasts airy, open-sided central dining room and adjoining bar where guests are served delicious food. Here, everything has been meticulously chosen to suit the guests and the pristine environment.

Impeccable service includes tea delivered to your door before the sun rises, fresh fruit juices in a fridge in your room, a wardrobe stocked with everything you need for the beach (bag, hat, sarong) and soft cotton gowns to lounge in.

 

If you would like to book your very own paradise island, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us now, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will arrange everything for you, including flights and bookings.

Seven days in the Serengeti at Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Summer is sizzling in the Serengeti, so if you’re in the mood for a holiday in Tanzania, why not enjoy seven glorious days at Four Seasons Safari Lodge for a luxury wildlife experience you’ll never forget?

 

This iconic safari lodge has just launched a seven-day itinerary that enables guests to explore the Serengeti, one of the most famous wildlife regions in Africa, with opportunities to see a vast selection of wildlife in their natural habitat including lions, leopards and elephants. It also offers a fabulous selection of sumptuous facilities at the lodge itself to ensure that guests can relax and enjoy the perfect balance of quiet time to reflect with nature and adrenalin-filled adventure.

 

Throughout their week-long stay, guests get to enjoy a series of exciting game drives from the lodge, including a day trip to the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, the largest inactive volcanic caldera in the world. There’s also a hot air balloon ride over the sensational Serengeti, viewing Masai paintings at Gong Rock, a guided walking safari through the wilds, picnics in the bush, photography classes to ensure high quality safari photographs and much more.

 

The itinerary also includes time to recharge at the lodge itself and immerse yourself in the magnificent surrounds. Guests enjoy numerous leisure activities at the lodge, including rejuvenating treatments at the spa, spending time learning about the African wilds in the interactive Discovery Center, the first conservation research and interactive education platform of its kind in East Africa. Or they can just soak up the sun at the stunning infinity pool. In addition, they have the opportunity to get to know the fascinating local Masai people and become involved in socially responsible programs, including those that assist local schools and others that support wildlife conservation.

 

In addition, this package can be taken during the seasonal Great Migration in the Serengeti, which is a world highlight, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the lodge is a luxury one, itineraries can be personalized to suit the guests, according to preferences and seasons.

 

The lodge itself is a sumptuous sanctuary, with a selection of 77 secluded guestrooms, the elegant spa, spectacular swimming pool and safari offerings. Guests are taken on game drives by seasoned Masai guides and national park rangers as well as the Four Seasons Safari Lodge’s resident Naturalist.

The sumptuous Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is located in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Measuring 14,763km in all, this exquisite terrain is one of the best-known wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

If you would like to find out more about a stunning safari in East Africa at Four Seasons Safari Lodge, contact Baroque Travel right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will give you all the information you require, as well as book your vacation of a lifetime. 

Shop till you drop in Hong Kong this Festive Season

Yes, the shopping’s great in Hong Kong, but it’s even more fun just before Christmas. So take advantage of a special offer from the city’s fabulous W Hotel and purchase all those Christmas gifts. Baroque Travel has all the details

 

On trend in every possible way, W Hotel Kong Kong is ready to make sure that you can tick off everything on your Christmas shopping list, not to mention purchase a few items on your wish list as well. Stay at the stunning W Hotel Hong Kong and receive some special offers that will make shopping till you drop an absolute pleasure, special discounts from some of the world’s top designer brands such as Coach, 7 for All Mankind and Glasstique. And that’s just a taste…

 

Whether you’re shopping for clothes, designer sunglasses, exquisite chocolate, a handbag, or a unique experience, Hong Kong has it all. And with the special collaborations organized by W Hotel Hong Kong, you are in for some major retail therapy this December.

 

This special package at W Hotel Hong Kong includes staying in an indulgent, luxury hideaway such as the hotel’s Cool Corner Room or its superlative Fantastic Suite. The Cool Corner Room is extra spacious, offering a breathtaking view of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline, and all sorts of entertainment when you’re not out shopping, such as a 42-inch LCD HDTV, an extensive media library with more movies than you can see in a month, an iPod docking station, 5.1 surround sound system, DVD/CD player, not to mention a box full of treats to eat. And did we mention that the en suite bathroom is gigantic, also offering panoramic city views and a 15-inch LCD TV. And then there’s the comfortable W bed…

 

For even more luxe, the Fantastic Suite is on offer, with its spacious separate living room, on-tap entertainment options, extremely comfortable bed and an unbeatable view of Kowloon and the city all the way to the harbor. Yes, views take center stage here, as this stunning city sanctuary boasts magnificent bay windows. You can multi-task if you like, and get some business done in between shopping, with an oversized work desk and every possible high tech connectivity offering to keep you wired to the whole world. The bedroom is another hedonistic haven with every possible entertainment option and an adjoining bathroom that ticks every luxury box.

 

If you can tear yourself away from your plush accommodation, you can enjoy the hotel’s iconic WET rooftop pool on the 76th floor and superb 24/7 FIT gym just three floors down. Aside from great goodies to eat in your room, there’s also a sumptuous breakfast buffet to enjoy daily, to give you the energy to brave the stores and shop till you drop.

 

W Hotel Hong Kong’s festive Shop till you drop package includes two Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck tickets so that you can see this stunning city from a different perspective, special shopping privileges at Elements worth over $265, a discount of $106 off any Coach handbag, a fabulous discount at 7 for All Mankind, not to mention an exclusive W gift plus a Handy Phone to use during your stay. And let’s not forget the discount on a pair of sunglasses at Puyi Optical/Glasstique and a free truffle gift box set from La Maison du Chocolat when you spend approximately $65!

 

If you would like to find out more about this stunning special offer, or any other great packages to Hong Kong over the Festive Season, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, while there is still time, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will organize everything for you.

On safari in India

Yes, you can go leopard spotting in India. And in luxury. Baroque Travel finds out all about glamping in India at the spectacular Jawai Leopard Camp

 

This luxury tented camp is located in the wilderness outside of Jawai Bandh, a few hours’ drive from either Jodphur or Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It’s the only safari camp in the area, and offers just nine double tents and a family suite, making it very exclusive and luxurious.

 

The luxury tents are very modern, decorated in red, black and white, the colors of the local Rabari herdsmen’s outfits which are notable for their striking red turbans. Beautiful black and white photographs of leopards and shepherds decorate every space, including the two open-sided communal tents where guests relax and dine overlooking the Aravalli hills. Guests’ accommodation is a short walk from the main area, and when it’s dark they are escorted to their tents by staff with lanterns.

Accommodation is comfortable and luxe, with a spacious sleeping area and a private veranda as well as plush en suite bathrooms with free-standing double basins, large shower and ablutions… truly stylish glamping facilities.

 

The highlight of a stay at Jawai is game viewing. Guests are taken on safari drives twice daily to spot leopards, including a pre-dawn drive which includes spectacular sunrises and hopefully sightings of the big cats. Late afternoon game drives start at 5.30pm, and often includes sundowners at sunset. Both drives offer sightings of other animals, too, such as monkeys and a plethora of birds including pretty peacocks.

 

In between game drives, guests enjoy relaxing, and plenty of food, including hearty breakfasts, leisurely lunches and afternoon teas, with dinner served al fresco under the stars after a drink around the camp fire. Meals are a mix of modern and traditional Northern Indian fare, with vegetables fresh from the chef’s vegetable garden, meat from local farmers and fish caught in a nearby lake.

 

Other activities include various spa treatments and massages at the spa and swimming in the lodge’s sparkling pool. If you wish to spend a day exploring, there’s the Ranakpur temple complex nearby as well as the Kumbhlalgarh fort further away.

 

If you would like to experience glamping in style in India, let Baroque Travel make all your travel arrangements for you, including flights, booking a stay at the luxe Jawai Leopard Camp, and anything else you may require. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com.

Luxury camping in Japan

‘Glamping’ or ‘glamorous camping’ has become a very popular vacation option. And, the ever-innovative Japanese have taken this type of getaway to an entirely different level. Baroque Travel finds out all about Japan’s first glamping resort, Hoshinoya in Fuji, west of Tokyo.

Hoshinoya is no ordinary resort despite all its luxurious offerings. It certainly delivers on everything one would expect of a luxury resort, with every possible pampering facility not to mention delicious food and personalized service. In typical Japanese style, you’ll also get to enjoy the natural environment and enjoy a taste of local culture. But there’s more…

 

Located on the slopes of a hill overlooking spectacular Lake Kawaguchi and close to legendary Mount Fuji, this exclusive, intimate resort is completely secluded and extremely unique. Nestling in a pristine red pine forest, it offers spectacular views from every luxe cabin. The resort offers an iconic ‘glamping’ experience, with every luxury thrown in to ensure that you don’t miss out on the good things in life while experiencing the best that nature has to offer.

 

Accommodation is comfortable, modern and plush, and dining is of the highest level. We’re talking lobster as well as fine dining here. In fact, at Hoshinoya, every aspect of camping has been taken up a notch to ensure that you enjoy nature at its best without any of the inconvenience usually experienced in a camping adventure.

 

So you stay in cabins instead of tents in a camp ground. The resort’s 40 cabins are en suite, too. To keep the ‘outdoor’ feel, at least a third of your cabin is an outdoor area, so that you can sit by a roaring fire under the stars before heading inside for a good, warm night’s sleep. The private porch includes a wood burner, rocking chairs and blanket to keep you warm while you’re outside. Inside, you’re all warm and cosy with underfloor heating. You awaken to a view of snow-capped Mount Fuji from the comfort of your cabin, which you enjoy through floor-to-ceiling windows. The resort strived to find the perfect balance between comfort, luxury and that special connection with nature – and it has succeeded.

 

At Hoshinoya you don’t even need to pack a rucksack, as this will be provided for you with whatever you require inside it. The resort has been created to ensure no harm is done to the surrounding environment: lighting is kept to a mimimum (you have a head torch to use at night) and the cabins are compact to make guests want to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

 

Meals are enjoyed in the Dining Hall, which nestles in the pine forest, and guests watch the chefs prepare their dishes at a central grilling station. There’s a special area for morning stretch classes called the Cloud Terrace, and on the top deck one finds a lounge and the Library Café, which offers a table full of bite-sized delights that you can toast on the fire. Guests enjoy a variety of activities, including wood chopping, smoking food, canoeing on the lake and, of course, exploring the magnificent surrounds.

 

If you would like to enjoy a special, extremely glamorous camping holiday in Japan, let Baroque Travel arrange everything for you. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will arrange your glamping adventure for you.

New style of luxury at the St Regis Mumbai

Next time you’re headed for India, don’t forget to stop over at one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, and certainly the country’s most plush: the St Regis Mumbai

You’ll find India’s most luxurious hotel in Mumbai, the country’s business capital. Unlike most luxury hotels in India, the opulent St Regis Mumbai is not located in a grand, old palace. Instead, it’s situated in the heart of the city, in Lower Parel in what is arguably the tallest hotel tower in the country – originally the Palladium, it boasts just under 40 storeys. It offers a choice of 395 luxurious guest rooms, including 27 suites and 39 Residential Suites.

 

Those who choose to stay at St Regis Dubai enjoy all the facilities expected of a superlative hotel including the services of a 24-hour personal St Regis Butler, something the hotel brand is famous for. Of course, the hotel’s location is excellent. It’s situated near the Gateway of India Monument, which makes it ideal located for both business and pleasure. Lower Parel is a commercial and entertainment hub and also offers superb shopping opportunities.

 

Views from the hotel are exceptional and the offerings are quite superb, including gourmet dining, both local and international. St Regis Dubai offers Indian, Japanese, Pan Asian and European dishes in a choice of four exceptional restaurants including the award-winning modern Japanese establishment Yuuka, Worli, Seven Kitchens and By the Mekong. The hotel also boasts the highest bar and nightclub in the country. In fact there are three nightlife destinations: Li Bai, EXO and Asilo, all located on the Penthouse floors, levels 37 and 38.

 

The hotel features an entire floor for wellness where guests enjoy every possible health and wellness offering. There’s an athletic club, outdoor pool overlooking the city, spa and beauty salon for pampering. Of course, accommodation is very plush: sheets are 300-thread count Egyptian cotton, the en-suite bathroom is marble and there’s a 40-inch LED TV for entertainment, not to mention a fully stocked refreshment center.

 

If you are planning to visit Mumbai shortly, either for business or pleasure, why not let Baroque Travel make all your reservations and travel arrangements for you, including a stay at the ultra-luxurious St Regis Mumbai? Just contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will arrange everything for you.

The story behind the most luxurious resort in the Maldives

In early December last year we featured the magnificent Velaa Private Island when it opened, describing it as a bucket list experience and an exclusive boutique getaway. But for those who missed it, and those who want to know the full story of how it came to be, Baroque Travel has all the information

 

Czech billionaire Jiri Smejc, 43, fell in love with the Maldives and visited this paradise destination whenever he could, either on holiday or on a business trip to Asia from Europe (a total number of 38 times!). He loved the remoteness of the islands he visited, but wanted to offer more than just an unusual destination. He dreamed of creating an exclusive hideaway that was ‘beyond luxury’. He eventually found Velaa Private Island, where he was able to achieve his dream and offer a luxurious private resort that is not only exclusive and private, but also offers world-class luxe amenities. It took four years to develop the property, which is quite magnificent, not to mention expensive – a week will set you back in the region of $17,800.)

 

For the resort staff, Smejc picked top class employees from his favourite hotels in the Maldives as well as some from around the world. For instance, Hans Cauchi, the resort’s General Manager was previously at the Corinthia in London. The billionaire offered his personal butler the position of front-of-house and then hired 500 Czech builders. The result? The most exclusive and expensive resort in the Maldives, featuring a Clarins spa complete with expert therapists, a sauna with an ocean view, nine-hole golf course, tennis and squash courts, plus the most unusual three-story wine tower that is home to more than 6,000 bottles of wine valued at well over a million dollars.

 

But that’s not all. There’s Aragu, an open-kitchen restaurant located over the water, along with a Champagne lounge, that is overseen by a French gourmet chef. The décor is European, but all the 45 villas feature exceptional outdoor bathrooms. Of course, one of the first visitors to Velaa Private Island when it opened in December was the Saudi crown prince. Need we say more?

 

Of course, every single guest who stays at Velaa, which is located in the exquisite Noonu Atoll, is treated like royalty. With privacy and comfort of utmost importance, this exquisite retreat just 187km north of Male is a dream come true for celebrities, royalty… and the rest of us who can afford it.

 

Of course, the azure sea takes center stage, and all of the villas offer breathtaking ocean views. The entire resort has been designed around the sea turtles (which is what ‘Velaa’ translates to) that have inhabited the island for thousands of years. Design elements include subtle touches such as turtle shells’ color and patterns. In fact, the resort’s exquisite villas, that are all over the water, resemble a turtle’s head if seen from above, with the rest of the island making up the turtle’s body.

 

Dining is a unique experience at Velaa, which boasts three restaurants, including one in the center of the island, two bars and that extraordinary wine cellar. Dishes are a blend of Asian and French cuisine, prepared with fresh produce and the resort’s own private herb garden. Michelin-starred chef Adeline Grattard also prepares degustation menus for gourmet diners. She was, in fact, chef at the two-star Michelin restaurant in Hong Kong called Bo Innovation, which is renowned for its exceptional modern Chinese cuisine. She also worked in a three-Michelin star restaurant in Paris, and earned her own Michelin star in her own restaurant, which she opened after that, in 2009.

 

If you’d like to find out more about this magnificent luxury resort, do take a look at our first feature on Velaa Private Island, by following this link:

http://www.baroquelifestyle.com/asia/2015/12/2/bucket-list-experience-velaa-private-island-maldives

If you would like to book a stay at Velaa Private Island, let Baroque Travel make all the arrangements for you. Just contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com 

The most luxurious hotel ever built

China will soon be home to the most expensive hotel in the world! Come the end of summer 2016, the plush hotel, The 13, will open its doors in Macau, a small peninsula in mainland China across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong

 

The sitting room of Villa du Comte, photo credit: Louis XIII

The sitting room of Villa du Comte, photo credit: Louis XIII

Macau has been nicknamed ‘the Las Vegas of Asia’ because of its gleaming shopping malls and mega casinos. One of its most striking landmarks is the 338-meter Macau Tower, which boasts panoramic views of the city below. And now a new shape will be appearing on the Macau skyline, the most luxurious hotel ever built in the world, erected by Louis XIII Holdings Limited, owned by entrepreneur Stephen Hung.


Hung and his wife at hotel's ground breaking dinner1.jpg

The hotel, which has taken more than two years to build at a cost of more than $1.3 billion, is expected to open in late summer 2016. Apparently each room, which cost more than US$7 million to finish, has been decorated in a combination of modern and Baroque styles. Of course, everything is ultra luxurious, chic, fun, slightly edgy and bespoke. The name was chosen by Mr Hung because 13 is his lucky number.

The hotel, which is expected to be extremely eye-catching, includes 200 suites, or villas, as they are called in Macau. The photographs shown here are of an entry level type of accommodation in the Villa du Comte. There are several other villas, each more sumptuous than the next.

 

Every detail in the hotel is completely bespoke, from the Baroque scroll decorations to a series of sculptures. The fabrics and wall coverings are quite elaborate and colorful, and even the tableware has an iconic edge. Everything for the hotel has been created with meticulous attention to detail. Mr Hung has even ordered a fleet of bright red specially fitted Rolls Royce Phantoms for hotel guests. These bespoke vehicles are used to transport guests to and from the airport as well as anywhere else they wish to go.

 

The lobby of the private elevator in Villa du Comte, photo credit: Louis XIII

The lobby of the private elevator in Villa du Comte, photo credit: Louis XIII

One thing is certain. The 13 is unlike any other hotel ever built, and the facilities on offer exceed expectations. Villa du Compte may be entry-level at a mere 20,000 square feet, but it certainly has every possible luxury. This split-level one bedroomed villa offers a private elevator lobby for the utmost privacy, a 24-hour butler service, not to mention eye-catching décor which includes exquisite period works of art and an unparalleled level of luxury and elegance.

 

Interior inside the bathroom, photo credit: Louis XIII

Interior inside the bathroom, photo credit: Louis XIII

Keeping with the Baroque elements in the villa, there is a retractable ornate marble Roman bath that fits six to eight people comfortably. Located in a special enclosure, it comes complete with vaulted ceiling, neo-classical columns and crystal chandelier. The bedroom offers a king size bed with velvet canopy with a detailed, carved and gilded headboard. The en suite bathroom is just as luxe, decorated with marble and stained glass.

 

The hotel will offer guests an equally superior dining experience with wines selected from Burgundy and Bordeaux. There’s also a boutique offering one-of-a-kind jewellery and haute couture fashion.


Let Baroque Travel make a reservation for you at The 13, the most opulent hotel in the world. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will arrange everything for you.

Luxury in Lombok

The stunning 7 Secrets Resort & Retreat opened in Lombok, Indonesia, last week offering a luxurious and pampering getaway

 

This exclusive resort hotel offers every ingredient for the ideal luxe holiday, from a choice of just 24 stunning rooms and suites to the warmest welcome available. On arrival, guests enjoy a fresh fruit cocktail as well as a head, hand and shoulder massage. And only once you’re completely relaxed and refreshed, are you taken to your room, which has been prepared for you by your personal butler. It’s only upwards from there… the location is idyllic, right on a beautiful white sand beach, the views over the sea of Nipah Bay are breathtaking and the plush accommodation offers every pampering facility.

Each room and suite is exquisitely decorated in the traditional Indonesian style with modern contemporary furniture and a sumptuous en suite bathroom. There’s also a private Jacuzzi for guests to enjoy. Once you step out of your private haven, the resort is ready to astound. Enjoy stylish loungers by the poolside or on the beach, a state-of-the-art spa offering every imaginable beauty and wellness treatment and a diving center where you can practice breathing for diving and snorkeling to enjoy the magical underwater world surrounding the island.

 

The food is quite sublime and the bar menu is extensive, so dining here is a hedonist’s delight. Gastronomic dishes are prepared by a Michelin-starred chef and the resort itself is completely bespoke – guests can request anything and their wishes will be granted here. If you prefer to dine in private, your own private butler will ensure that every meal is a sensory pleasure in your suite.


Gunung Rinjani Volcano, photo by Beautiful Placce in Indonesia

Gunung Rinjani Volcano, photo by Beautiful Placce in Indonesia

Nothing is done at half measure at this luxurious Lombok retreat – sightseeing is best enjoyed by helicopter. So if you’d like to explore the island, this is the best way to do it. One of the highlights of a visit to Lombok is discovering the Gunung Rinjani Volcano. You can also enjoy luxe sailing trips in an exclusive catamaran, exploring some of the little islands that have made Lombok so popular, including renowned Komodo Island, with its pink and white sand beaches. The island also boasts a famous resident, the Komodo Dragon, which is in fact a large species of lizard!

The resort is situated near two excellent golf clubs, making a stay here ideal for a golf aficionado. That’s just one of the many sports facilities available, including seaside water sports (from snorkeling and sailing to kayaks and windsurfs), not to mention scuba diving.

 

Many people will come to the resort specifically to enjoy its stunning 7 Secrets Spa, which offers a wide selection of holistic treatments to ensure guests can enjoy mental, spiritual and physical renewal. The spa also specializes in traditional Balinese massage plus nutrition advice and special detoxification programs.

The hotel has already been listed as one of the famous Small Luxury Hotels of the World, ensuring an unsurpassed luxury experience at one of Indonesia’s finest establishments.

 

If you would like to book a stay at this stunning brand new Indonesian resort, contact Baroque Travel right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will make all the reservations and travel arrangements for you.

Bucket list experience – Velaa Private Island, Maldives

This destination is what dreams are made of, a bucket list experience that includes a private island in the magnificent Maldives, not to mention the most expensive cocktails imaginable. Let Baroque Travel tempt you

 

Looking to create a world “beyond luxury”, this exquisite private island retreat in one of the world’s most idyllic settings is just that. Velaa Private Island is an exclusive boutique getaway, one of the most luxurious in the area, a unique destination that epitomizes the very best of the Maldives islands. Located in the spectacular Noonu Atoll, 187km north of Male, this exceptional luxury treat offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Designed and decorated with every possible luxury in mind, Velaa Private Island offers a small selection of ultra-luxurious private retreats, each individual and extraordinarily beautiful. Owned exclusively by businessman Jiri Smejc, the island is his true passion, a destination built to make all his own dreams of what luxury and privacy signify come true.


At Velaa Private Island, guests are treated like royalty. No request is too small, and the endless activities and facilities mean that every single day is a new adventure. Home to generations of sea turtles, Velaa Private Island has been designed around these sea creatures’ magnificent shells. The architecture of each villa was created by Czech architect Petr Kolar, offering a small selection of exquisite villas set over the water that resemble a turtle’s head, while the rest of the island form its body.

 

Every villa is contemporary, intimate, with traditional Maldivian influences. The emphasis is on luxury and pampering, and, of course, unique, bucket list experiences. One of these is encompassed in Velaas’ stunning cocktail menu that features the rarest, most expensive concoctions available in the archipelago. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, these unique tipples are served at the retreat’s stunning poolside bar, with breathtaking ocean views a part of the experience, these unique cocktails are enjoyed while listening to music offered by the bar’s private DJ.

 

They are quite delicious, of course, and most decidedly expensive. With a vintage theme that pays tribute to delectable cocktails, the menu includes drinks created from the finest ports, cognacs and armagnacs in the world (we’re talking Salon Champagne 1988, which sells at almost US$2,000 a bottle), Vieil Armagnac (a mere US$6,530 per bottle) and Guy Lheraud cognac (this nectar starts at $1,600 per bottle and the price escalates from there). Prices on the menu average US$1,230 and more.

We can think of nothing more exotic, exclusive and luxe than spending a holiday in the sun in this idyllic, plush location, sipping on a vintage cocktail that brings back memories of days long gone. Our tipple of choice? The Belle Époque, created by the mixologists to commemorate the time of peace and prosperity after the First World War. It is created from a rare Guy Lheraud cognac, Vieil-Armagnac “Baron Legrand” 1888 vintage and a sultry Dom Perignon Cuvee Rose 1982.

 

 

If you would like to enjoy one of the most exclusive bucket list experiences available over the Festive Season, let Baroque Travel make all the arrangements for you. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will make all bookings for you, including ensuring that your vintage cocktail of choice is awaiting for you upon arrival.

 

Bali Tranquility

Combine a five-star luxury stay in beautiful Bali with the ultimate in tranquility and relaxation. Let Baroque Travel introduce you to Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in this Indonesian island’s cultural and spiritual heart, Ubud

 

This tranquil, sumptuous reserve is located in an idyllic setting complete with verdant rice paddies, meandering pathways and gently rolling hills. The tinkling of the soothing Ayung River is the backdrop for a luxury stay at Mandapa, where guests enjoy finding peace in nature and its perfect symmetry. Away from the distractions of your bustling daily life, you’ll discover peace of mind and body, which is why people travel thousands of miles to visit here.

 

This intimate hotel offers 25 pool villas and 35 luxury suites, all with every luxury facility. Guests enjoy a choice of two swimming pools, a sumptuous spa and a variety of active excursions designed to awaken the spirit and calm the mind. The town of Ubud in the northern part of Bali is the ideal location to find peace and tranquility. The island’s center of culture and spirituality is a joy to explore, with its verdant green setting in the midst of the Balinese rain forest.

Mandapa is the Ritz-Carlton’s third bespoke resort. Its name is derived from the entrance to a traditional Hindu temple. Rooms and suites boast beautiful traditional Balinese decor and the resort is designed to fuse natural materials from the area into every building, suite and villa. Guests enjoy a selection of four restaurants and lounges offering authentic Indonesian cuisine as well as Mediterranean-style dishes. The iconic Dining Beyond restaurant offers guests the opportunity of dining in a number of locations within the resort with menus customized to each guest’s tastes.

 

The resort also offers an exceptional spa experience at its state-of-the-art luxury spa, including detox and nutrition programs, body therapy and a selection of alternative treatments. There are eight treatment rooms in all, plus guests can enjoy the spacious fitness center, vitality swimming pool, yoga studio, sauna and relaxation areas.

 

If you would like to surrender to the luxury and pampering on offer at the Ritz-Carlton Mandapa, contact Baroque Travel right away and we will arrange everything for you. Email us now, info@baroquetravel.com and we will take care of all your travel requirements.

A secret revealed – brand new Indonesian resort and wellness retreat

Be the first to stay at the luxury 7 Secrets eco Resort and Wellness Retreat in Lombok, Indonesia, which opens its doors on December 15 2015. Baroque Travel will book your stay

 

This exclusive resort and wellness retreat has been created to offer the most hospitable luxury experience. From the moment you arrive in this exotic paradise location, you’ll be treated like royalty. Enjoy a fresh cocktail on arrival from the bar menu, which features ‘molecular mixology’ as you check into one of the resort’s 24 iconic rooms and suites.

 

Check-in includes a luxurious welcome head, hand and shoulder massage by a spa therapist, while your butler readies your suite for you. Aromatherapy-inspired, it is located right next to the glittering sands and turquoise sea of Nipah Bay in Lombok.

 This is a made-to-measure experience, which means that everything your heart desires is ready and waiting for you, before you have the opportunity to ask for it.

 

The suites are designed using traditional Indonesian architecture combined with every modern convenience and contemporary interiors.

Hotel facilities include a pool where you can relax on a stylish lounger, diving center to prepare you to explore the exciting underwater world around you, state-of-the-art spa with every facility and treatment imaginable, and restaurant offering imaginative Michelin-starred cuisine.

 

This luxury resort offers a number of unique guest experiences, including personalized helicopter excursions that enable guests to see the island from above before heading for Gunung Rinjani Volcano. Sailing trips on a luxury catamaran to explore the exotic little islands that Lombok is so famous for. The most stunning of these is Komodo Island, home to the Komodo Dragon as well as one of the only pink-sand beaches in the world.

 Sports enthusiasts will love the facilities at this new resort, which include two golf clubs nearby, an exquisite private beach and colorful reef, and a selection of exciting water sports, including snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving and much more. Of course, having your own private butler is part of the experience. He can arrange a romantic dinner for two on your suite terrace if you wish.

 A highlight of a visit here is spending time at the exceptional 7 Secrets Spa, which offers a selection of holistic signature treatments for complete mental, physical and spiritual renewal. Indonesia is renowned for its superb spa offerings, and this one is certainly no exception.

 

As rejuvenation is the cornerstone of all its treatments, the spa offers a comprehensive program that includes everything from facials and traditional Asian massage to special detox diets. Spa specialists offer a regimen of healing procedures that will lead your body, mind and soul to a new sense of rejuvenation.

 This luxurious retreat is affiliated with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which gives you an indication of the level of luxury you can expect when you stay there.

 

If you’d like to be one of the first people to stay at this exclusive establishment in Lombok, contact Baroque Travel right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will arrange it for you.

Experience Kyoto like a Japanese resident

Just another reason to visit Japan this summer – enjoy travelling around Kyoto like a local resident, with your own customized summer kimono, on the Kyoto Summer Experience organized by the Ritz-Carlton

 

Aside from being one of the most luxurious places to stay when you visit Kyoto, the Ritz-Carlton in the city has another treat in mind for visitors. They have put together a stunning program for guests, where they can rent a ‘yukata’, a traditional summer kimono that has been customized to fit them, and wear it as they explore this fascinating city.

 

Aside from learning all about this culturally important garment, and wearing it, you can also enjoy the experience of summer in one of Japan’s most exciting cities.

Kyoto is the cultural and spiritual heart of Japan, and when the weather is warm, residents put on their very finest ‘yukata’ and take to the streets to enjoy the city’s fabulous summer festivals, and dine at one of the many ‘kawa-yuka’ restaurants, with balconies overlooking the river.

 

Guests at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto will be able to join the locals whilst wearing their own customized ‘yukata’. First they will consult with a special ‘yukata’ advisor, who will custom-fit them with an authentic garment, and show them how it’s worn traditionally.  They will then spend the day strolling through the city and exploring its many magnificent temples, shrines and lush gardens, and be accepted as a local in one of the city restaurants where the locals meet for meals.

 

This innovative concept enables guests of Kyoto to walk the streets the way the locals do, and enjoy a privileged view of the city, a window into the lives of the local residents and their time-honored traditions. Guests will also be photographed in their traditional ‘yukata’ garments as a memento of their exclusive experience.

 

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto itself offers a comprehensive look into the city’s rich culture and history. The hotel, which opened in February 2014, and is the city’s first and only international luxury resort,  has been designed to combine Japanese tradition with every modern luxury. There are over 409 exquisite works of art that tell the story of the classic Japanese novel, The Tale of Genji, and guests will have the opportunity to examine these and learn about the story, too. They will also enjoy the amenity of the original Japanese fan, the special ‘uchiwa’ in their rooms.

 

In the hotel’s bar, called The Bar, guests will savor a delightful traditional Ennnichi cocktail to celebrate summer. This light, fruity drink is a refreshing combination of tonic water, fresh summer berries, sake and Saint Germain. Its name ‘Ennnichi’ is the Japanese word for ‘summer festival’.

 

Those visitors wishing to continue the traditional Japanese method of exploring the city can also rent a ‘jinrikishaman’, a rickshaw, in which they can travel in style while exploring the city. The hotel will also ensure that visitors get to explore all of Kyoto’s best sights during their stay.

 

Visitors to Kyoto wishing to enjoy The Dressed in Traditional Yukata Kyoto Summer Experience must be staying at the hotel between June 26 and August 31, 2015. The Experience takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and includes overnight accommodation, one in-room uchiwa (fan) amenity per person per stay, a photo and frame per room, daily half buffet breakfast, one kimono rental and fitting per person and one Ennnichi cocktail per stay.

 

If you’d like to book for this unique, exclusive Japanese experience, contact Baroque Travel, info@baroquetravel.com right away and we will arrange it for you.