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Published 26 January 2012

Rebranded hotel group Lux Island Resorts has announced a collaboration with Kelly Hoppen to redesign its Indian Ocean portfolio, writes Elli Donajgrodzki.

The award-winning British interior designer has already begun work on the company’s flagship resort in Mauritius, Lux Belle Mare (formerly Beau Rivage) but will also now be the “design muse” to all of the hotels within the group, which will undergo progressive refurbishment over the next few years.

Having already completed the designs of the honeymoon suites and pool villas at Lux Belle Mare, Hoppen is now redesigning more of the hotel’s other guestrooms and public areas, set to be unveiled by this September.

Hoppen says her aim is to “instil a feeling of sanctuary” in the 174 suites and 12 villas: “I know what I want when I go to a hotel – everything has to be clean, simple and pleasurable to the touch.”

Paul Jones, chief executive of Lux Island Resorts, said: “Hoppen’s passion for simple but luxurious interiors will work perfectly with everything we
now stand for.”

Formerly known as Naiade, the Mauritius-based group’s hotels were rebranded under the Lux Island Resorts name in December.

Published 24 January 2012

Gordon Ramsay is to open his first Las Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak, in the centre of the Paris resort.

Opening this spring, the 274-seat restaurant replaces Les Artistes Steakhouse and will include a large bar area, chef’s table and private dining room. It will be the celebrity chef’s fifth venture in North America.

“Las Vegas is such a vibrant city, and I’m excited to open my first Vegas restaurant in a Caesars Entertainment resort,” said Ramsay. “The space is really bold and innovative, and we’ve put together a great team and created a contemporary, quality menu.”

The menu will focus on aged beef and traditional steakhouse fare, with Ramsay’s signature British dishes, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, also on offer.

“Paris Las Vegas believes that the addition of Gordon Ramsay Steak will be an exciting new milestone in the city’s impressive culinary evolution,” said Paris Las Vegas president David Hoenemeyer.


Published 24 January 2012

The Leading Hotels of the World has started 2012 with the addition of seven properties to its portfolio.

Additions to the European collection are the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa, the only five-star hotel in the Zadar region of Croatia, and the 41-room Hotel Lido Palace, at the northern tip of Lake Garda.

Further afield, The Torch in Doha, Qatar, is the tallest building in the city, standing at 300m with the 167-room hotel in the central spine of the tower complete with fine-dining restaurants.

In Botswana, each of the three Orient-Express safari camps are now LHW members, with their offer of luxury tents on raised wooden platforms.

Another new addition is the 111-suite Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach, which offers beachfront dining and easy access to Miami’s nightlife. It also has one of the largest spas in Florida.

Opening later this year is the all-suite Eden Roc at Cap Cana on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, and The Palace Hotel Tokyo which will re-open in May following renovation work. Both will be members when they open – LHW now represents more than 430 hotels.

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is to roll out a number of sustainable initiatives across all of its European hotels.

The company is to integrate wooden key cards and biodegradable pens into its hotels, and has introduced its own Movenpick Fairtrade Coffee.

“There are many ways to be more sustainable,” said Ola Ivarsson, the company’s chief operating officer for Europe. “We are constantly adding new initiatives such as actively reducing our dependence on products made from fossil fuels.”

The Fairtrade coffee will provide sustainable income for coffee farmers around the world ensuring growers guarantee fixed incomes, and any profits will benefit community projects.

The introduction of biodegradable pens and wooden door keys will also reduce plastic waste across the company. The wooden key cards, produced by Swedish company Sustainable Cards, are made from wood from sustainable forests in Scandinavia. They will replace PVC versions, reducing waste by 200kg every year.

Produced by Ritter Pen in Germany, the Eco-line pens are 90% compostable. With 21 hotels in Europe using an estimated 550,000 pens every year the company expects to cut annual plastic waste by almost four tons.

“We have embarked on a long journey with our sustainability programme, but every little action counts towards improving our sustainability performance,” said Ivarsson. “Sustainability is at the heart of all operations at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.”

Movenpick has plans for 30 new global hotel openings by 2015, including Ankara, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and Dharamshala. The move will take them to 100 hotels.

Published online: 17 January 2012

The Seychelles achieved a new visitor record after 194,753 tourists holidayed on the island in 2011. This is more than double the population of the islands.

The new record – an 11% increase from 2010 – took place in a year when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their honeymoon in the Seychelles.

UK arrivals were up by 8% and France, UK, Germany and Italy remain the Seychelles’ top visiting countries. Europe retains the largest marketshare – 75% – but both the Chinese and Middle Eastern markets showed strong growth last year.

The visitor increase came despite uncertainty in the Seychelles tourism industry triggered by the financial crisis in the Eurozone, cut backs on Air Seychelles’ flights, two shark attacks and pirate attacks on the region’s African Coast.

In the context of this difficult backdrop, but buoyed by new air services for 2012 (Transaero Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Austral and Blue Panorama), the Seychelles Tourism Board has set its sights on attracting 200,000 visitors this year, a cautious 3% increase on 2011 figures.

Read the online article here.


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