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CEN HK Q1 2018

BLACKBOOK ON THE PULSE

BLACKBOOK ON THE PULSE bolstering its impressive portfolio of 120 opulent villas along the pictureperfect beaches of the Shaviyani Atoll. Making a splash in the turquoise waters of the Bay of Bengal is the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Andamans (tajhotels.com), where all manner of alluring features, from its 75 beachside villas to the restorative Jiva Spa and haute cuisine served at The Settlers eatery, are informed by the surrounding culture and tradition. Architect Bill Bensley, meanwhile, has applied his deft hand to the Rosewood Luang Prabang (rosewoodhotels. com), where a magnificent natural backdrop – the lush, untouched forest of north central Laos – sets the stage for a 23-key jungle camp with farmto-table fare and Laotian therapies administered at a hillside spa. Bensley is also the creative force behind the 22 one-bedroom tented retreats and single two-bedroom lodge of Capella Ubud, Bali (capellahotels. com). Nestled between rainforests and paddy fields in the island‘s uplands, each accommodation boasts a private Clockwise from top left: hilltop tents at Rosewood Luang Prabang; plunge pool and deck at Capella Ubud, Bali; a bedroom at the Rosewood; Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island suite veranda; water villa at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi saltwater Jacuzzi, while dining options include an Asian street-food barbecue. But perhaps the most buzzedabout debut early this year is The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland (retreat.bluelagoon.com), a manmade geothermal spa plonked atop an 800-year-old lava field. Accompanied by sleek, Nordic-style suites, a steam-topped, rock-fringed lagoon and an ocean-to-plate eatery, it’s really the primordial, largerthan-life ecosystem that does most of the talking. BY CLAUDIA ROELKE PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PAUL THUYSBAERT, KRISHNA ADITHYA (2), © FOUR SEASONS, KRISHNA ADITHYA 24 CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM FOR THE LATEST HOTEL OPENINGS GO TO: CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM

Taking Off UPDATES FROM THE WORLD OF AVIATION Mirroring its previous openings in Sydney, Brisbane and Hong Kong, Qantas has debuted its new Heathrow Terminal 3 Lounge in London. Featuring a marble bar serving cocktails devised by the airline’s Rockpool mixologists on the upper level and a gin bar on the lower one, it also has wifi and flexible workspaces, as well as six shower suites. qantas.com FLIGHTS OF FANCY Two airlines upping the ante, before and during the journey PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: © QANTAS, © KLM, © SINGAPORE AIRLINES (3) THE HEIGHT OF CLASS The double-decker configuration of the A380 lends itself to innovative design, and Singapore Airlines has risen to the challenge with spectacular results. After four years in development, five new A380s are now in service equipped with six remarkable first-class suites spread across the upper deck. Lavishly created by Pierrejean Design Studio, the suites combine superlative comfort (a stowaway bed, leather armchair upholstered by renowned Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau) and ample space (personal wardrobes, handluggage compartments and space for travel utensils) with a high-tech in-flight entertainment system, enjoyed through a 32in full-HD screen. Amenity kits bear the hallmark of premium French crystal glassmaker Lalique, which has entered into a partnership with the airline to produce exclusive products, adding an extra layer of élan to an already enticing experience in the sky. singaporeair.com PALATE PLEASERS With new seats and cabin interior by renowned Dutch designer Hella Jongerius KLM’s World Business Cabin Class has taken to the skies on the carrier’s Airbus 330-300. The updated personal entertainment system comes with an 18in screen, HD-quality films and a touchscreen navigation menu in 12 languages. klm.com Fractional jet ownership company NetJets continues to update and improve the onboard experience for its growing band of owners. Complementing the Signature Selection menus, tailor-made for a large number of destinations worldwide, is a new wine list curated by Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, who will add exceptional vintages to the Krug and Ruinart champagne already available on all flights. netjets.com BY JOHN McNAMARA CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM 25