International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
A bi-weekly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.
Just in time for sun-seeking holiday travellers, the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach opened on 8 December in Honolulu. Currently made up of the 191-room Pali Tower, an additional 253 rooms will come online in the spring when the Diamond Tower opens. There is a third-floor pool and large pool deck, and Waikiki Beach is only two blocks from the hotel. It’s close to other family-friendly spots in the city, like the Honolulu Zoo and the Diamond Head volcanic crater.
On 1 December, Angsana Laguna Phuket opened after a $30 million renovation on Bang Tao Bay in southern Thailand. Formerly a Sheraton resort, it now has 409 rooms and suites, and an Angsana Spa with 12 treatment rooms and a special rain mist facility. Kids have access to two rescued baby elephants, Lucky and Joey, who live in the Laguna Phuket resort area.
Half a world and a different climate away, the TRYP Quebec Hotel Pur also opened on 1 December in Quebec City. TRYP is Wyndham’s “city centre” brand and the tower hotel is in the historic Saint Roch district near the Old City walls. The rooms have city views and are done up in urban chic: gray stripes, white furniture and orange accents.
In another snowy climate, the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya opened on 5 December on the city’s most expensive shopping street. That touch of luxe is carried throughout the hotel’s public areas, the 184 rooms and the three penthouse suites named for famous Russian ballet dancers. Chekhonte restaurant serves Russian cuisine with a twist in a non-traditional setting and the hotel expects an Elemis Spa to open in early 2012.
A new boat launches 16 December to sail the waters around Indonesia. From December until March 2012, Tiger Blue, a 34m long Phinisi Schooner will be plying the waves around Cenderawasih Bay in northwest Papua. The yacht was hand-built by Bugis craftsmen in South Sulawesi and has four cabins that sleep 10 adults (13 with kids). There is a 10-man crew that includes a chef and the irrepressibly-named skipper and dive master, Wouter van den Houter.