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ITB Berlin News 2020 #3

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I SPECIAL FEATURE I LUXURY ACCOMMODATION & TRAVEL ILa RéunionIsland redefinesthe honeymoonexperience© Patrick GiraudLUX* ULTIMATECHIC AT NORTHMALE ATOLL INTHE MALDIVESLooking for luxury for ahoneymoon? LUX* Resorts &Hotels opened its newest boutiquehotel in the Maldives, the ultimatein terms of luxury.Historical centre of Saint-Denis de La Réunion with city hallContrary to many properties in the Maldives,newly opened LUX* North Male Atoll is acontemporary resort with a range of penthousevillas and spectacularly designed spaces toplay, relax and retreat facing the blue of thesea. The 67 double-storey residences evocateart deco cruise liners in sparking-white colour.Each residence is crowned with a magnificentprivate Sky-Lounge. These high-life stagesenable inspired indoor-outdoor living anda unique perspective on the planet’s flattestcountry.French island Ile de la Réunion in the Indian Ocean isan original destination for honeymooners combiningromantic atmosphere, a pristine environment andFrench style.Only 200 km away fromMauritius, La Réunion offersa very different experience toother islands in the area. LaRéunion has "only" 25 km ofbeaches but it is known for itsmajestic landscapes shapedby the Piton de la Fournaisevolcano. Honeymoonerswill be able to enjoy uniqueexperiences.Tour operators can for exampleorganise a night under the starsobserving the Milky Way at LesHauts de l'île, a location wherebillions of stars shine underan intense clear sky. There iseven a possibility to visit theObservatoire des Makes, theastronomical observatory of LaRéunion Island, perched in theSouthern mountains.Another highlight is thediscovery of the volcano heart ofthe island with the unmissablePiton de la Fournaise. Exploringthe volcano's coastline makestravellers aware of the uniquelandscapes of this mineralterritory where black basaltstones contrast with the deepblue of the ocean. Although theyare hiking routes, honeymoonersmight better enjoy to fly over thevolcano with an helicopter andembrace the landscapes.A true piece of France in themiddle of the Indian Ocean,there are plenty of romanticplaces blending a tropicalatmosphere with French artde vivre. St Denis, the regionalcapital, is lined with parks,beautiful creole mansions andcharming shops while manyboutique hotels or domainsprovide a romantic atmospherefor young couples.And finally, there is Saint-Gilleson the west coast, where LaRéunion turns again into atropical island with its beacheslined with resorts. It includes theisland’s only five-star, LUX* Ilede La Réunion, ideal to organisea lavish dinner prepared by LUX*Chef with creole specialtiesusing local ingredients such aspineapple, vanilla, cheese orduck foie gras marinated in localrumCirque at Piton de la Fournaise, a UNESCO World Heritage SiteLUX* Resorts & Hotels rooms offer privacy on stiltsThere’s a wealth of ways to relax. Beside theintimacy of the resort, honeymooners will findtwo swimming pools, a translucent overwaterLUX* Me Spa, world-renowned diving, watersports, private yacht voyages, tennis andbeach volleyball courts - or dedicated spotsto practice tai chi, yoga or inspirational classesand expert-led workshops. A popular activityis learning coral planting - an integral partof the resort’s environmental sustainabilityprogramme.Restaurants and bars offer creative worldcuisine including a curious blend of Japaneseand Peruvian cuisine. A favourite among guestsis a floating breakfast in the private swimmingpool of each residence.The hotel is ideal for honeymooners withspecial packages proposed until the end ofMarch to celebrate the recent opening of thisspectacular luxury property24 • ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 19 TH MARCH

ADVERTORIALI SPECIAL FEATURE I CITY BREAKS IDURBAN’S3 KEYASSETSDurban getsmassive face-liftBeachfront promenade is latest stage of thisdynamic and fascinating city’s makeoverThe recent completion ofa R380m (€24m) beachfrontpromenade upgradeproject in Durban hasresulted in the creation ofthe longest uninterruptedbeachfront promenade inAfrica.Durban is fast emerging as a“not to be missed” destination inAfrica, surrounding visitors in themystical and exciting Zulu cultureand lifestyle, while being thegateway to the Hluhluwe - ImfoloziPark Wilderness Area, the oldestproclaimed nature reserve in Africa(officially opened in 1895). It has theadded “plus” of offering exceptionalsporting and adventure tourismoptions. The city is also highlyrenowned for its culture, with theInanda Heritage Route featuringthe home base of Mahatma Gandhibefore his return to India; Durbanbeing the place where Gandhideveloped his political views,ethics and politics. In 1994, it wasalso here that Nelson Mandelacast his vote in South Africa’s firstdemocratic elections at Inanda’sOhlange Institute. Fitting, giventhat the first president of theAfrican National Congress, Dr JohnL. Dube, established this school in1901.The new seaside promenade ispart of the €2.2bn Point WaterfrontDevelopment, which has seen aseries of major initiatives to revampthe coastal strip to the stage ofeventually rivalling Copacabanain Rio or Bondi in Sydney. Due forcompletion in the next two years,the final development will includenew luxury hotels, residentialapartments, office parks and retaildevelopments – and will alsosee a new cruise ship terminalconstructed nearby, work on whichbegan in November 2019.Over the past years, the Durbanbeachfront has been attractingmajor private sector investment,with the hospitality giant Tsogo Sunalone injecting more than R1.8bn(€113m) into the area. This includesa R1.5bn (€94m) expansion of itspopular Suncoast Casino complexand a R220m (€13.8m) revamp ofthe 734-room Elangeni & MaharaniDurban beachfront promenadeHotel at North Beach. Incidentally,sea views from this exceptionalproperty are simply breath-taking.The new promenade in Durbaneffectively links uShaka MarineWorld with the area’s most popularbeaches, helping to attract touristsand investors to the area. It is 30metres wide and runs from uShakaMarine World to Vetch’s Pier. On thenorthern side of the promenade,beach facilities and amenitiesinclude change rooms, showers forbathers and staff facilities. Also neware an amphitheatre, pedestrianramps and new lifeguard towers.Modern infrastructure aroundDurban includes the King Shakainternational airport, which, builtin 2010 around 60km north ofthe city to the strictest standardsof safety and comfort, ensuressmooth arrivals and departures forpassengers. The choice of hotelsand resorts in and around the cityis very broad, including top classfive-star seafront properties suchas the Oyster Box and Beverly HillsHotelsGATEWAY… to Africa’s firstreserve: the Hluhluwe - Imfolozi ParkWilderness Area was Africa’s firstproclaimed nature reserve, secondin the world only to Yellowstone.From Durban’s King Shaka airport,it’s just a couple of hours’ drive tothe reserves, which, being privatelyowned, have the added bonus of notbeing overcrowded with tourists.ZULU CULTUREDurban is the capital of KwaZuluNatal province, and remains thebeating heart of Zulu cultureand traditions. Many of thecultures, customs, and traditionsof King Shaka’s time remain thecornerstones of the Zulu people.A PLACE THAT HASCHANGED THECOURSE OF HISTORYAs the place where Gandhi formedhis key ideas and mission, Durbanwas also the birthplace of theAfrican National Congress, and theplace where Nelson Mandela wasarrested… and then, many yearslater, voted for the first time in freeelections.ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 19 TH MARCH 2020 • 25

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