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Accor first international hotel chain to open in Iran after 1979

The French hotel group, Accor, has become the first international hotel chain to open in Iran after 1979. Accor will be taking over management control of the Aria Ziggurat owned Axis and Axis Prime hotels at Tehran's Imam Khomenei International Airport (IKIA). The hotels will be rebranded as Novotel IKIA and ibis IKIA and will commence operation under the French group from October 2015.


Sébastien Bazin, Accor Hotels’ Chairman and CEO, said at a press conference in Tehran, “We are very excited about signing this partnership with Aria Ziggurat in Iran. We are certain  that Novotel and ibis will fit perfectly into the growth momentum that Iran’s hospitality sector is enjoying. Our brands are looking at huge growth potential in this country, which is home to almost 80 million people and is expanding its economy.”

The Novotel IKIA has 296 rooms while the ibis IKIA has 196 rooms and are strategically connected to the main Iman Khomeini International Airport terminal. The hotels are located 45-minutes drive from downtown Tehran. The hotels will have a choice of Iranian and international cuisine and wellness facilities including spas and swimming pools.


Tehran and Isfahan are both among the top 10 most popular cities on Irhal and the opening of these hotels will give Irhal users a choice of international comfort during their trip to Iran.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 11:10

Hits: 61

Mandapa, the new Ritz-Carlton Reserve opens



Verdant rice paddies, meandering pathways, gently rolling hills and the soothing Ayung River set a glorious backdrop for Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which is pleased to announce its official debut in Ubud, Bali, as the third bespoke resort in the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio. 


In the spiritual and cultural heart of Bali, visitors are transported to a place where joy is found in luxuries as simple as time and nature, and a quiet moment of reflection will resonate for years to come. Secluded from the distractions of daily life, resort guests will discover the peace of mind and body that has drawn devotees to area mandapas, or temples, for thousands of years. 


An intimate hotel of only 60 villas and suites complete with their own private patih (butler), Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve features two swimming pools, a luxury spa courtesy of ESPA and active excursions to awaken the spirit. All rooms, typically of Balinese design, bring the outdoor inside with plant-filled picture windows, jazzy throws on beds and colourful painted scenes on panelled walls. Ubud is the perfect place to both escape and discover.


Mandaba has four restaurants that offer a wide variety of authentic Indonesian dishes and Mediterranean dishes, as well as a healthy menu option with fresh ingredients from the farm, designed specifically to help those who want to rid the body of toxins. Guests will also be able to to dine in special locations around the Reserve as part of the Dining Beyond service.


Children can spend their time in the Kid’s Hut, tucked away from the rest of the resort. Banish ideas of banal games though – here they will learn about the cultural traditions of Ubud and take part in nature-based, educational activities. The hotel also offers bicycles for hire so guests can visit local villages.


To experience Bali’s premier luxury resort at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, rates at the property start at $570 USD (around AED 2000) per night. For more information on Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and reservations inquiries, please visit the official website.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 17:05

Hits: 109

Waldorf Astoria launches Unforgettable Experiences


From a meet and greet with one of Europe’s most respected 3-Michelin Star chefs, Heinz Beck, followed by a private dinner in Rome to a camel ride accompanied with a secluded dinner in the desert for two in Dubai, Waldorf Astoria Unforgettable Experiences highlights truly bespoke offers. Waldorf Astoria Unforgettable Experiences incorporates the most engaging and exclusive activities in each destination paired with Waldorf Astoria’s unparalleled True Waldorf Service and VIP amenities like in-room spa treatments, luxury airport transfers, and Michelin-starred meals.


“Creating memorable moments has long been inherent to Waldorf Astoria’s mission of pairing unmatched service with experiences that bring our hotels to life,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “Guests who book these experiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the world’s most sought-after locales in a more intimate and exclusive fashion.”


Guests can now book Waldorf Astoria Unforgettable Experiences at all 25 of its properties. Full details of each package can be found here. Here's a little highlight of the experience you could have in the Middle East and Asia:


Middle East


Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah – Dubai, UAE:

•Bentley airport transfer 

•Hot air balloon ride in the desert

•Camel ride to a desert dinner for two

•Explore the local markets, the Spice Souk, and Gold Souk, with a guide


Waldorf Astoria Jeddah - Qasr al Sharq – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: 

•Private cruise lunch on the Red Sea

•Luxury shopping experience at Jeddah’s high end department mall

•Scuba diving in the Red Sea


Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah – Ras al Khaimah, UAE:

•Rolls Royce Phantom airport transfer  

•Private dune bashing 

•VIP afternoon tea in the desert with Beluga caviar

•Falconry show

•Arabic barbeque dinner in private cabana on the beach




Waldorf Astoria Beijing – Beijing, China:

•Kong Fu tea ceremony in the Hutong

•Traditional Chinese medicine consultation

•Learn to make dumplings

•Experience the Forbidden City with access to an exclusive area


Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund – Shanghai, China:

•Private half-day tour of Shanghai

•Travel to Shanghai Circus World by private chauffeur driven saloon car, watch the performers of the ERA acrobatic show

•Full-day private tour to the water village of Hangzhou

•River cruise along the Huangpu river by private luxury yacht

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 September 2015 14:46

Hits: 98

Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi hosts exclusive California cuisine event


The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal is hosting Brian Sundeen, Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, for a Southern California cuisine promotion at the signature Forge steakhouse on September 20-24, 2015.


To highlight a unique spectrum of culinary possibilities that are typical of Southern California’s cuisine, Chef Sundeen designed a tantalizing tasting menu inspired by ethnic flavours that combine the region’s culturally diverse roots with modern agricultural engineering. The five-course degustation menu includes ahi tuna with caviar and avocado yuzu puree; fresh burrata with pickled peach, cherry tomato and saba; seared scallop, foie gras and Manchego grits; grilled New York strip with crab mashed potato, chipotle hollandaise and truffle chimichurri; and carrot cake with cream cheese mousse, maple, pineapple and cream cheese ice cream for dessert.


A southern California native, Chef Sundeen is known for his signature desserts as well as his passion for using fresh, local ingredients and sustainable products, which are visible in the resort’s multiple restaurant experiences, including the award-winning Raya, 180blu, enoSTEAK and The Market Place. 


Guests wishing to receive further information about this gastronomic promotion may do so by calling The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. 


Opening hours: 7pm to midnight

Smart casual attire


Last Updated on Sunday, 06 September 2015 15:48

Hits: 88

Ritz-Carlton partner hotel opens in Budapest


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C. has announced that from 1st September The Elizabeth Park Hotel, Budapest, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel, will be managed by the company and following an extensive renovation programme, the hotel will be re-launched as The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest in Spring 2016.


The centrally located, 198-room hotel will undergo a comprehensive renovation which includes the addition of The Ritz-Carlton Club, new luxury suites and fresh concepts at the hotel’s dining outlets. 


“It is an honour to bring The Ritz-Carlton experience to Hungary at the heart of this vibrant capital city. We are looking forward to opening the newest European hotel in Budapest in 2016” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer.


“We are delighted to be partnering with the Ritz-Carlton for such an exquisite property to build on our unique portfolio of hotels. We are bringing together two of the best names in the business, both dedicated to offering world-class luxury and hospitality. We look forward to welcoming guests to experience the renewed property in early 2016,” said Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman and CEO, Al Habtoor Group, the hotel’s owner.


The Elizabeth Park Hotel, Budapest is located on St Erzsebet Square with commanding views over St Stephen’s Basilica in the heart of the city, only a short distance from the business district and shopping areas. The Hungarian capital is home to an extensive World Heritage site, including the banks of the River Danube, the Buda Castle quarter, Andrassy Avenue and the Millennium Underground railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world.  It is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a popular tourist destination known as “The City of Spas” with many natural thermal and medicinal springs.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:15

Hits: 98

Starwood opens first Sheraton Hotel in Romania


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has opened the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel, its first property in Romania.


As a market debut for Starwood and Sheraton, Romania symbolizes an important expansion opportunity while also putting Sheraton one step closer to its goal of opening more than 150 new hotels over the next five years,” said Dave Marr, Global Brand Leader, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “Demonstrating best in class design and offerings in a historically rich part of the world, Sheraton Bucharest Hotel is an excellent addition to the brand’s global portfolio.”


The debut hotel is centrally located, offering easy access to business districts as well as upscale dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The nearby Piata Romana subway station connects guests to some of the city’s most popular entertainment areas and parks. Only one stop to the south are the renowned streets of Old Town; to the north are Victoria Palace, the seat of the Romanian government, as well as the Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. We are also conveniently close to the Palace of the Parliament and the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum in Herastrau Park. Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) is only 18 kilometers away.


All 270 guest rooms, including 27 Executive Suites and a Presidential Suite, feature modern amenities as High Speed Internet Access, flat screen TVs, and in-room entertainment. Indulgent rest is ensured by luxurious all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Beds.


Sheraton is extending its reach in Europe with several debuts in sought-after destinations. In addition to Sheraton Bucharest, key openings this year included Sheraton Lake Como Hotel, the brand’s eighth in Italy, Sheraton Ufa in Russia and Sheraton Samsun in Turkey.


Last Updated on Sunday, 30 August 2015 17:14

Hits: 86

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