monthly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.
Ashram opened on 15 September and closes on 5 November at
the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, Mexico, which
itself started out last year as a temporary resort with 85 beachfront cabanas. The
ashram claims to create a spiritual journey of “conscious exploration”, from kundalini yoga classes to sounding Tibetan bowls
in a cenote to its spiritual concierge who will help determine the correct path
for you. The ashram heads to resorts in Mangiss and Ubud, Bali and Abruzzo, Italy
in March and June 2013.
On 18 October, the Four Seasons Beijing
opens in Chaoyang, the largest district
in the city, continuing the brand’s expansion into China with its seventh property
in the country. The 313 rooms and suites are arranged around a glass atrium,
and the Tea Garden at the base provides a spot of tranquility.
In Jerusalem, a tour of the city’s famous Machane
Yehuda food market , known as the Shuk launched on 6 September. The Shuk Bites tour, which is
self-guided via a map and printed instructions, lets travellers try organic
fruits, fresh-baked breads, kosher cheeses and spices and coffee at the various
stalls. It ends with sweets, ice cream and halva, a dense Middle Eastern
On 17 September, the QT Sydney hotel opened in two
historic buildings on Market Street in the city’s central business district.
The 200 rooms have either original wood floors or Rothko-inspired rugs, and are
decorated with quirky elements like bowler hat lamps. Guests book blocks of
time at its SpaQ instead of treatments, which they choose upon arrival.
The 86-room J House
Greenwich hotel opened on 23 September in Connecticut, less than an
hour from New York City. Originally a Howard Johnson motel that was stripped and
refurbished, many of the demolition materials were used in the stylish
reconstruction, from recycling the metal to grinding up the asphalt and reusing
it on the surrounding drive.
The House of
Wolf, an experimental dining, drinking and live
entertainment venue, opens in London’s Islington neighbourhood on 5 October.
Its first month-long guest chef, food artist Caroline Hobkinson, collaborated
with the professor-in-residence, Charles Spence, an Oxford University professor
of experimental psychology, on its sensory menu called Look, Listen, Smell,
In Bali, the Alila Ubud resort will unveil four Terrace Tree Villas on
15 October. Standing at treetop height on stilts, the 120sqm luxury villas are
constructed from recycled teak. The deep soaking tub in each villa has serene
views of the jungle canopy and the Ayang valley.