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Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #43

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In The Field with Mary

In The Field with Mary Gostelow THE "INSIDE LINE" ON WHAT'S HOT IN HOSPITALITY PART IV HONEYMOONS FROM THE IDYLLIC TO THE UNWITTINGLY BEAUTIFUL, THREE ROMANTIC LOCATIONS IN ASIA-PACIFIC Planning a Honeymoon for your clients? What about Asia Pacific? In this edition’s “in the field”, luxury travel guru Mary Gostelow explains that the ideal could be to book a private jet to all the suggestions in this report! Start on top of the world, in the 118-floor Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Take any islandfacing room with access to the 116 th floor Club: after a few laps under the LED ceiling over the rooftop’s indoor pool, taste premeal Beluga at the 102 nd floor Caviar House counter, and order Tosca chef Angelo Aglianó’s signature menu, to arrive, with Krug, for pre-ordered private dining. Dine looking at that world, down there. In Japan, start at AMAN Tokyo, with a lobby like a football field-sized oriental paper balloon atop a 38-floor building. Design here is unadorned camphor wood, floors and walls relieved by giant windows looking out over Otemachi (try the 157 sq m AMAN Suite). Don’t miss swimming in the 33 rd floor indoor pool and watching the sun set through the 10m-high glass end wall. The next day, perhaps, take a shinkansen and a local train to Amanemu, 15 minutes’ drive from Kashikojima Station. Here, room #10 is closest of the 99 sq m 24 semi-detached villas to The Restaurant, for delicate seainspired dishes. You have your own in-room onsen, but this is aqua heaven – there are communal onsens in the spa, and outside, 38° and 41° temperatures. In Australia, start at Park Hyatt Sydney, for the best-possible close views of the continuously fascinating water traffic (be warned, the 155-room hotel can have up to 40 Australian honeymooners overnighting on a Saturday, which just shows they know the best). All views are spectacular - #212’s is great for the Opera House, seemingly a few yards away – but, wherever, do venture out for BridgeClimb, for a honeymoon photo on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge, just behind-above the hotel. START AT AMAN TOKYO, WITH A LOBBY LIKE A FOOTBALL FIELD-SIZED ORIENTAL PAPER BALLOON ATOP A 38-FLOOR BUILDING From Sydney, fly to Hobart, for Tasmania’s renowned planet-beating clean air and water, and King Island triple-cream cheeses and a Pinot Noir of the calibre of 2016 Home Hill Estate. Pick up a Par- Avion helicopter to avoid a fourhour drive – albeit scenic - to Saffire Freycinet, in Freycinet National Park. Gasp in amazement as what from above looks like a 200-metre wide stingray sculpture is this unique resort’s main building. Stay in any one of 20 futuristic steel and glass detached villas, identical but for slight size variation: look directly over Oyster Bay to the five Hazard Mountains. From the 14 complimentary activities, it’s essential to “do oysters”. Wade through waist-high shallows to Pacific Oyster incubation and dormitories. Then, just you two and your guide-photographer, stand at a high linenclad table, in the water, and shuck and eat for seemingly ever, helped down by Josef Chromy Sauvignon Blanc 2016, chilled in elegant stemmed crystal. SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION

ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #43 2019 Summer Edition 13 13 HONEYMOONING IN PARADISE Malaysia stands out from the “usual old” offering with stunning island getaways for newlyweds Travel advisors around the world are increasingly seeking different ideas for newlyweds when planning dream honeymoons, and Malaysia is definitely “on the radar” It all begins with lukewarm crystal blue waters, white beaches and swaying palms… but if one wants more than that, this is where Malaysia steps out on its own as a star destination, thanks to its deep-rooted friendly culture, amazing cuisine and stunning nature. Here are just a couple of ideas you may consider when helping YOUR clients plan their dream Honeymoon. Long Beach, Perhentian Islands, Malaysia Bonton Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia LANGKAWI With a huge variety of magical places such as the Bon Ton resort, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, the Danna, the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons, the island of Langkawi is very different from anything you’ll find in neighbouring Thailand, or further afield in Indonesia or the Philippines. Not only are there 99 islands to visit – virtually devoid of people… (now that’s romantic), the main island is Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark. The entire paleo- geological history of Malaysia happened to Langkawi. As a result of this, one can find an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Rasa Ria Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia SABAH Rasa Ria – Authentic Luxury: The north-east coast of Borneo – just next to the Sabah capital of Kota Kinabalu, is home to Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club – a perfect Honeymoon getaway. Resort General Manager, Fiona Hanan, describes the resort: “I describe this as a really authentic experience that is wrapped up in a luxurious parcel, comprised of the location, the services and the facilities. We are built on 460 acres of land. Of that 200 acres is developed, with a golf course, a 64-acre nature reserve, and three kilometres of beach front.” Mabul Island: Sabah’s Islands are unique from the point of view that they give Honeymooners not only crystal-clear waters and white fine sand beaches, but also some of the best diving anywhere in the world. Taking the example of Mabul Island off Sabah’s east coast, just 15 minutes’ ride by boat to world-renowned Sipadan Island, this “micro-destination” is also fascinating thanks to the fact that it is home to tribes of colourful and friendly fishing communities, living in harmony with a handful of resorts dedicated to eco-tourism and CSR. PERHENTIAN ISLANDS The beautiful Perhentian islands off the north-east coast of Malaysia’s mainland are still little-known to the travel world at large, but that is changing quite rapidly as top-level infrastructure is added. Located 21 km off the coast of Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian consists of the islands of Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian). Both islands are covered by untouched jungle, a stopover for migratory birds, fringed by powdery white sandy beaches, windswept palms and surrounded by sapphire blue waters. The Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book recently recognised Pulau Perhentian as the 5th Best Beach to Swing a Hammock. One of the only hotels on the two main islands with fulltime electricity (a big plus), the brand new four-star Mimpi Perhentian Long Beach Resort opened its doors in time for the high-season 2018, and several other high-end hotels are due to open in coming years.