Hotel wrap: Hayman Island opens, Waldorf debuts in the Maldives, your own private island + MORE!

It’s been a whirlwind week in the hospitality world, with announcements and expansions aplenty. Here’s the latest digest on all that’s going down in the hotel space.

Hayman Island by InterContinental Opens


Hayman Island by InterContinental, located at the northern most point in the Whitsunday Islands, welcomes its first guests as they step off their luxury catamaran and onto the white sands of Australia’s most iconic private island resort.

Managed by one of the world’s leading hotel companies, InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG), Hayman Island has undergone a $135 million refurbishment, ensuring the highest standards of luxury and service delivered to guests visiting one of the world’s most desirable destinations. Joining over 200 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide, the celebrated resort is the first of four InterContinental Resorts to open in 2019 and will be followed by ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort and InterContinental Phuket Resort.

Baillie Lodges Announces 2020 Closure Ahead of Silky Oaks Lodge Refurbishment

Silky Oaks Lodge, Daintree Rainforest

Baillie Lodges has announced a four-month closure for Tropical North Queensland bolt-hole Silky Oaks Lodge for a significant refurbishment. The news comes after Baillie Lodges assumed ownership of the property in April this year, following a joint venture agreement with US-based KSL Capital Partners.

Expected to run to more than $10 million, the project is designed to align both the features at Silky Oaks Lodge and the guest experience of the Daintree Rainforest with Baillie Lodges existing portfolio of Australian luxury lodges.

Silky Oaks Lodge will close for works from April 22, 2020, with the new-look lodge set to launch on September 7, 2020. Current 2019/20 season rates will be extended to guest stays until closure. On reopening in September, a schedule of new rates will reflect enhanced inclusions at the property: gourmet breakfast, evening sunset drinks and a four-course daily changing dinner menu with premium wines to match.

The Byron at Byron Winter Warmer travel package

The Byron at Byron

Winter is here and The Byron at Byron has crafted an indulgent package to make the most of the colder months. The Winter Warmer package is the perfect way to experience Byron and to welcome the arrival of winter from the complete comfort of the luxury retreat.

The Byron at Byron is offering a complimentary upgrade on stays until the 1st of August. There’s nothing better than warming up sipping on hot chocolate when it’s cold out, except maybe a delicious breakfast from The Restaurant, which guests can enjoy as a complimentary treat as part of the package.

Also included is complimentary daily yoga, as well as two $20 spa vouchers, to make sure your stay is as relaxing and rejuvenating as a winter getaway calls for.


  • Accommodation upgraded to the Superior Suite (subject to availability)
  • Daily breakfast for two in The Restaurant
  • Daily hot chocolates for two
  • Two $20 spa vouchers
  • Complimentary daily yoga


Available for stays between until 31 August 2019.

From $349 per night

MCT announces first SI hotels to achieve Minimum Standards Accreditation

Min Standard Recipeients June 2019

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) has announced the first Solomon Islands accommodation providers to achieve ‘Minimum Standards Accreditation’.

The accommodation providers, including SINPF Hibiscus Apartments, the Heritage Park Hotel, the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, the Coral Sea Resort & Casino in Honiara and the Papatura Island Retreat in Santa Isabel were awarded ‘Minimum Standards Accreditation’ in a formal ceremony at the Heritage Park Hotel.

Minimum Standards is a system used worldwide by governments and tourism industry organisations to ensure that the tourism sector maintains internationally-recognised standards of quality. The program has been specially developed by the Ministry via considerable research and stakeholder workshops throughout the country.

Each of the establishments visited were assessed by a specialist team from MCT’s Tourism Division which to date has already assessed 98 of 280 properties across the Solomon Islands.

The Minimum Standards team also spends considerable time consulting with people who wish to operate accommodation advising them on how the Minimum Standards can be used as a guideline when building and promoting their businesses.

OYO Hotels enters a strategic partnership with China’s Meituan


OYO Hotels and Homes, the world’s sixth largest and fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes & living spaces, has today announced a year-long strategic partnership with Meituan, which is China’s leading e-commerce platform for services.

In the first phase of the partnership, OYO Jiudian (Hotels), which is the largest single hotel brand in China and the second-largest hotel group in the country, will list 8,000 of its standardized accommodations on Meituan Hotels platform. This will further assist OYO Hotels in driving consumer traffic, data operations, and brand promotion.

Thyme For A New Spa At Garden & Villas Resort, Italy

19_Garden 329

Garden & Villas Resort on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Italy, have extended their green thumb to the newly refurbished spa launching a herbal inspired spa menu just in thyme for the Italian summer.

The resort’s new spa features a wide range of body and face treatments, with signature treatments inspired by the natural essences from the resort’s abundant gardens. Highlights on the new menu include the range of Garden Massages using lavender, lemon or thyme along with the Mint and Rosemary Body Toning Treatment. 

Waldorf debuts in the Maldives 

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - Aerial 01

Hilton’s iconic luxury hotel brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts announced the highly anticipated opening of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi — setting a new standard of luxury in the Maldives.

The 122 all-villa resort spans across three interconnected islands, including an independent private island for those seeking an exclusive enclave equipped with a dedicated staff and luxury amenities. A short 30-minute yacht journey away from Malé International Airport, the iconic resort paradise boasts 11 world-class, specialty dining venues, a plethora of activities for guests of all generations, and a personal concierge service giving guests the freedom to create memories that last a lifetime.

The Peninsula Hotel partners with BAFTA to help nurture creative talent in Asia 

Event: Breakthrough China Launch at The Peninsula Shanghai Date: Saturday 22 June 2019 Venue: The Penninsula Hotel, Wai Tan, Huangpu Qu, China Host: Amanda Berry - Area: Arrivals

The Peninsula Hotels is proud to partner with world-leading independent arts charity BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) on the launch of their new programme ‘BAFTA Breakthrough China’ – an initiative designed to identify and nurture the next generation of creative talent in Asia, and encourage mutual collaboration between practitioners. 

The inaugural programme was launched last night at a star-studded event held at the historical No. 1 Waitanyuan, a former British Consulate building managed and operated by The Peninsula Shanghai. In attendance was actor Tom Hiddleston, BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry and Asian fashionista Natasha Lau, as well as representatives of The Peninsula Hotels.

Our Entire Private Islands Can Be Yours! Once in a Lifetime Experience! at Cape Fahn Hotel, Koh Samui

Cape Fahn Hotel - Deluxe Pool Villa

The idea of having your own private islands for an epoch-making family celebration or corporate event may at first appear an unattainable dream.  It may be that you wish to hold a spectacular Wedding Ceremony exclusively for your own friends and family, celebrating together with a sumptuous dinner while looking out over the vista of the open sea.  Maybe you wish to celebrate an important landmark, a special birthday or even the successes and aspirations of your company – all with no interruptions from the outside world.  Cape Fahn Hotel, on its own two little islands set like jewels in the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand, could change your mind.  As a starting point the property, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, consists of 22 pool villas located tastefully in a fresh, green setting around the island.  Included in that number is the decadently desirable two-bedroom Fahn Noi villa, a totally independent entity from the remainder of the complex.

The entirety of the property can be secured for as little as 620,000++ THB per night which includes the following benefits:

– Serviced accommodation of thee 22  independent pool villas plus the luxurious

accommodation at Fahn Noi Villa.

–  A credit of 80,000 THB per day for food and drink.

– Complimentary return trip to the airport

– Daily buffet breakfast

– A one-day voyage on the Fahn Maiden Yacht for up to 12 guests

This enviable offer is available to you until 31 December 2019.

Acclaimed Chef Anne-Sophie Pic Aisa debut at Raffles Singapore 

Located in the Main Building of Raffles Singapore, La Dame de Pic, Raffles Singapore takes its place of honour at one of the hotel’s most recognised dining spaces. Previously home to Raffles Grill, this signature dining space at Raffles returns carefully restored and refreshed with La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore.

It is in this beautiful heritage space that patrons are invited to discover the world of Anne-Sophie Pic’s culinary identity which reflects her search for aromatic complexity, combinations of flavours and powerful tastes that evoke emotions. Anne-Sophie Pic hails from a long lineage of chefs with the Pic family’s culinary heritage beginning since their first restaurant started in 1889. As a third-generation Michelin-starred chef, Anne-Sophie Pic follows in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, perfectly reflecting Raffles Singapore’s rich heritage that has inspired generations since the iconic property was established in 1887.

Wilderness Adventures at El Questro Supporting Beyond Blue  

El Questro Station Adventures email

Hikes to Western Australia’s wild Explosion Gorge, sunsets spent overlooking the vast landscape at Branco’s Lookout and boat adventures cruising the Kimberley’s towering Chamberlain Gorge are all included as part of El Questro Resort’s new Adventure Package at Emma Gorge.

Designed to offer an exhilarating experience of the remote Kimberley wilderness and a real escape from the busyness of everyday life, the El Questro Adventure Package also returns a ten per cent donation of rates to Australia’s best-known mental health support service, Beyond Blue – a first-time arrangement for the resort.

Al Bait Sharjah Sets Sustainable Course from Grand Opening


Leave it to a country that’s actually named one of its residential communities The Sustainable City to also produce a resort where the salon uses only organic ingredients in its nail treatments.

Still in its first year of operation, the Al Bait Sharjah has come out of the gate with a sustainability strategy that’s banished plastic consumables from the resort and that’s embraced recycling, organics and energy efficiency strategies.

Indeed, the plastic-free resort has distilled its commitment to sustainability with a piece of art, a glass water-drop sculpture that guests leave on top of their beds as a signal to housekeeping. Already more than 40 per cent of the resort’s guests opt to retain the same bed sheets for multiple nights of a stay.

The same artistic inclination has likewise manifested itself in a more durable alternative to plastic room keys — an actual metal key with tassel.

A more aggressive assault on plastic is a consequence of the resort’s portable water filtration plant, where filtering and ionisation results in water that’s bottled in attractive, glass-stoppered decanters on site. All sales of the resort’s bottles support the Big Heart Foundation and its effort to bring water and education to kids in refugee camps and underprivileged kids in general.

In pursuit of a zero-waste policy, Al Bait Sharjah recycles all food waste as compost for its landscaping. They segregate their recyclable plastic, glass, cardboard and cooking oil, each of which is collected separately by a waste management contractor.

Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa counts down to December opening 

Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa Villa Render

Years of meticulous planning are paying off as Central Otago’s most exciting luxury offering, Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, begins the final countdown towards opening its doors; marked by the launch of a new website and online booking portal. Bookings are now available via with the first guests being welcomed to the property in mid-December.

Located at the heart of Central Otago’s founding winery, only 20 minutes from Queenstown Airport, Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa will offer the ultimate in relaxed luxury, fine wine, culinary excellence and 5-star personal service.

24 beautifully appointed private villas will look out onto working organic vineyards and the schist mountains of Gibbston. However, this is far more than just a place to stay. One-of-a-kind luxury packages and experiences will allow guests to immerse themselves in the rural playground that is Gibbston – creating memories that are perfectly tailored to them.

Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit launches photo gallery and artistic afternoon tea


A new photo gallery in one of Bangkok’s most culturally diverse areas is giving guests a glimpse into another era with a permanent exhibition on the history of Bangkok’s most important boulevard – Sukhumvit Road.

Sukhumvit Gallery, located on the fourth floor of the new Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit, features an eclectic mix of rare photographs of people and places that tell the story of the road, vintage maps, and important documents covering the area’s history.

To mark the launch of the hotel’s new space, Hyatt has collaborated with renowned Thai floral artist, Sakul Inthakul, to create an afternoon tea presentation inspired by Bangkok’s past and the images on display.

The Ekamai pedestrian bridge on Sukhumvit Soi 63 was Inthakul’s muse for the serving platter. The classic well-known bridge is on display on one of the walls, and is re-interpreted as the plate — a handcrafted sculpture of stainless steel, copper plating and artificial marble, that is decorated with local flowers.

Gymnastics Australia checks-in with Accor 

Gymnastics Australia 01JUN19-12532

Gymnastics Australia have welcomed Accor hotels as the organisation’s Official Accommodation Partner in a multi-year deal which will support members, athletes, officials and the broader gymnastics community in accessing premium accommodation nationwide.

Accor hotels will act as the official hotel partner of GA’s three major events – the World Cup and Australian Championships in Melbourne as well as the National Clubs Carnival on the Gold Coast, the largest gymnastics event in Australia with more than 4000 participants.

Furthermore, Accor will provide exclusive discounted rates at its collection of Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree properties to GA members and families to ensure they can access the best deals for both gymnastics competitions and leisure travel needs.

The first co-branded hotel of Jin Jiang International and Radisson Hotel Group is launched


Following the Group’s acquisition by Jin Jiang International and Sino-Cee Fund late last year, Radisson Hotel Group and its shareholders have together identified several opportunities to realize the true potential of the Chinese market. Key initiatives have been defined, with the launch of co-branded hotels being a critical element of the project. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt in Germany is the first property to be co-branded with Jin Jiang International.

Stay 4 Pay 3 at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach


For stays from 1 September – 23 December 2019, travellers can reserve a four-night stay at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach while only paying for three-nights!

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach is a luxury property located on the southern stretch of Seminyak Beach, on the southwest coast of Bali, Indonesia. Just a short 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, the resort features 270 spacious rooms and suites, as well as 19 stunning villas with private pools, all set out across 4.7 hectares of prime beachfront. Artfully designed interiors reflect the inspiration of the pulsating Seminyak neighbourhood, which is a wonderful mix of Balinese traditional and contemporary uniqueness.

* Booking Period: 14 June – 31 October 2019

* Stay Period: 1 September – 23 December 2019

Rates begin at $282/night, before tax.


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