Gateway to the Middle Kingdom

Gateway to the Middle Kingdom

The first urban resort in one of China’s largest cities, the Regent Chongqing opens this month in the financial district of Jiangbeizui, at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. With 181 guest rooms and 21 sumptuous suites, each boasting river vistas and the five-fixture bathrooms made famous by Regent in the 1970s, the hotel’s elegant and contemporary interiors, which are complemented by an impressive art collection featuring works by Lee Eun, Donnie Pan, and Yi Meng, echo the economic importance of Chongqing in today’s China, while also paying homage to the city’s rich heritage. Be sure to sample authentic Sichuan cuisine at Lijing Shuen and during the warmer months, head to the outdoor rooftop bar for seasonal cocktails. www.regenthotels.com

New Yachts & Tours for Crystal

Crystal Cruises has unveiled a host of itineraries for its new river yachts launching in 2018. To coincide with the arrival to the fleet of two new luxurious river vessels, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, Crystal will offer new seven-day voyages, with at least two overnight stays per sailing. Crystal Debussy will sail picturesque routes along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers between Amsterdam and Basel, visiting some of Germany and Switzerland’s most picturesque locales. Itineraries include the seven night Tulips & Windmills, with overnights in Amsterdam; the 10-day Splendors of the Rhine, visiting Koblenz, Kehl and Basel; and the seven-night Legendary Rhine, with overnights at Rudesbeim and Cologne. Crystal Ravel will offer a varied selection of itineraries along the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube Rivers, embarking from Vienna, Budapest and Basel and calling in historic locales in Germany, as well as Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Switzerland. www.crystalcruises.com

From Mountain Top

For the ultimate Arabian Nights experience, check in at Oman’s stunning new Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, a modern-day palace perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon. Named for Oman’s previously inaccessible Green Mountain, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, a towering massif on the vast Saiq Plateau, the new resort is a two-hour drive from the capital Muscat or four-and-a-halfhour drive from Dubai. Guests pass through verdant date plantations and past historic forts as they ascend the mountain to the 115-room retreat, which boasts touches of traditional fortified architecture and captivating rooms overlooking the abyss. Pamper yourself with one of 33 one or two-bedroom villas, each with butler service and private clifftop infinity pools, and leave time to experience the resort’s romantic Dining by Design dinner at Diana’s Point, a clifftop platform visited by the late Princess in 1986. www.jabal-akhdar.anantara.com

Family Fun under the Phuket Sun

Set on a verdant hillside overlooking some of Thailand’s most celebrated beaches, Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel has opened on Phuket, offering a prime location and the perfect setting for a private hideaway for families and couples seeking tranquil island adventure. While drawing its inspiration from the traditional culture, arts and way of life of the local villages, guests will find plenty of signature MGallery by Sofitel comforts and amenities. The hideaway Thai village theme is featured prominently in the hotel’s 150 rooms and suites, each infused with classic motifs and Thai-inspired interior décor of rich local woods and natural stones. The family-friendly hotel also features three themed swimming pools with saltwater filtration system, a kid’s club, games room, mini putting green and virtual golf game, spa, fitness centre, library, and business centre.The aptly named Vista all-day- dining restaurant serves contemporary Thai and international cuisine, while Sizzle, the resort’s rooftop steakhouse serves a variety of seafood dishes and the Rendez-Vue Rooftop bar offers an array of tapas and cocktails. www.accor.com

New Adventures from Aurora

Expedition cruising experts Aurora Expeditions has launched its new-look Expedition Guide, featuring their exciting range of 2017/18 small-group adventures to Antarctica, the Arctic, Scotland, Ecuador, Patagonia and Australia’s Kimberley Coast, as well as brand new itinerary options to help travellers plan the ultimate adventure of a lifetime. The new Antarctic Explorer ‘Fly & Sail’ itineraries allow travellers to maximise their time in Antarctica with only one sea crossing, making them perfectly suited to the time-conscious traveller. Antarctic Explorer departs February 2018 with prices starting from US$9,500 per person. The new Arctic Complete voyage offers in-depth exploration of Spitsbergen and East Greenland over 24 days. Arctic Complete departs July 2017 and July 2018 with prices starting from AU$14,280 per person. Finally, in 2017, passengers will have the chance to join Kimberley adventurer Mike Cusack as he returns to Australia’s Kimberley Coast to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of his Year in the Wilderness. Kimberley Coast expeditions operate between Broome and Darwin and depart June and July 2017. Prices start from AU$,7,990 per person. www.auroraexpeditions.com.au

An Oasis of Splendor

Heralding an age of authentic hospitality to the rich Cultural Triangle, Jetwing Lake has opened in Sri Lanka, boasting contemporary design, modern comforts and the best panoramic views of Dambulla. The all new Jetwing Lake is 5km away from the Dambulla and offers close proximity to many of the region’s heritage sites, including the famous Dambulla Cave Temple and the world renowned Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Overlooking the Siyambalaweva water tank, an ancient man-made lake, and with a backdrop of endless mountain chains, the resort features 94 guest rooms painted in warm earthy colours and equipped with luxury bathrooms, sitting areas, satellite TVs, wifi, air-conditioning king-size beds. Look out for the signature restaurant, which opens out to a large garden area, as well as a fully-equipped spa, gym and swimming pool. www.jetwinghotels.com

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