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Monthly Archives: August 2018


Legacy Yen Tu MGallery

The Legacy Yen Tu MGallery, Vietnam – AccorHotels Expands MGallery Brand to Mountains of Vietnam

The Legacy Yen Tu MGallery by Sofitel

External view of The Legacy Yen Tu MGallery by Sofitel

AccorHotels has expanded its MGallery brand to the mountains of Vietnam, with the highly anticipated opening of the Legacy Yen Tu MGallery  wellness sanctuary. Legend has it that a hermit monk An Ky Sinh travelled to Yen Tu mountain in search of medicinal herbs during the pre-Buddhism times some two thousand years ago. Since then, the mountain has been regarded as a divine and sacred place.

The Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery is located on the sacred Yen Tu mountain, approximately 1,068 metres above sea level and near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay and Hanh Huong Yen Tu village with trekking and adventure activities available.

The opening of Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery combines the quintessence of wellness tourism and luxury travel to provide a getaway for travellers in search for a complete rejuvenation of their body, mind and spirit,” said Mr. Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia and Maldives.

Legacy Yen Tu MGallery

A room at the Legacy Yen Tu MGallery, VietnamDesigned by Bill Bensley, renowned designer of luxury resorts, each of the 133 rooms at Legacy Yen Tu MGallery is a reflection of heritage and spirituality. Built using ancient methodologies to emulate a peaceful way of life, the rooms feature the signature wooden inked slab traditionally used for calligraphy and an outdoor patio living area.

Inspired by the ancient architectural design, Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery is a testament to Vietnam’s rich history. The property features handcrafted interior décor items with hand-made traditional materials to blend with its surrounding ambience,” said Mr Markus Hesse, the resort’s General Manager.

Guests can savour Vietnamese cuisine at the hotel’s Tho Quang restaurant or enjoy a drink or two at Thien Tra Lobby Bar which boasts stunning mountain views. For events, weddings and meetings, the hotel’s ballroom can cater up to 800 guests.

The hotel is also home to a range of leisure facilities, including Tue Tinh Am Wellness that offers an open space for meditation, yoga and Truc Lam Zen practices.


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Published Date: 24th August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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Dusit Doha Hotel

Dusit Doha Hotel – Dusit Signs 357-Room Hotel in Doha, Qatar

dusit doha hotel

Dusit Doha Hotel – External View

Dusit has signed a management agreement with the Al Majed Group to operate a new-build Dusit Doha Hotel, Qatar. Set to open in Q4 2018 the Dusit Doha Hotel will be the group’s first Dusit-branded property in Qatar.

Situated in the West Bay area of the capital city, the five-star property is within walking distance to the Doha City Centre, Gate Mall and the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. The hotel is also located in close proximity to popular tourist spots such as the Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural Village and The Pearl, and only a 25-minute drive from Hamad International Airport.

Ideal for both extended and transient stays, the 357-key hotel, will comprise 261 guest rooms and suites, along with 96 hotel apartments. Each guest room will be at least 41 sqm in size, one of the largest of its kind in the West Bay area.

Dusit Doha Hotel - Delux Room

Dusit Doha Hotel – Delux RoomThe hotel will offer a choice of Club, Suites, Deluxe and Premium Deluxe rooms while the hotel apartments will be available in either one, two or three-bedroom configurations.

Qatar is set to host two of the world’s largest sporting events: the FIFA World Cup 2022 – in which the country is expecting to host more than one million international visitors for the World Cup itself and the World Athletic Championship in 2019 which serves as a right time for us to open Dusit Doha Hotel to welcome the organisers, sponsors, and consultants who will be making Doha their home for the next few years. Dusit – being the first 5 star hotel in Qatar with Thai culture and heritage, would enable the vast Thai experience to the valuable customers,” said Ahmed Mahdi Al Majed, Al Majed Group. “We have an excellent long-term relationship with Dusit International and firmly believe in their product quality and high standards of service. We look forward to yet another successful collaboration with them.”

It’s an exciting time for Qatar and we’re delighted to announce the Dusit Doha Hotel, our second property with the Al Majed Group. The hotel will be designed keeping in mind the latest developments in the vibrant city, to resonate with both business and leisure travellers alike,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International.

With 27 properties currently in operation across four brands in eight countries, Dusit International is in a significant growth phase which will see the number of Dusit properties reach over 50 within the next three to four years across key markets worldwide. The Dusit Doha Hotel is the group’s second property with the Al Majed Group.



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Published Date: 24th August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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Nai Lert Park Hotel

Movenpick Signs Wellness Resort in Bangkok, Thailand

Movenpick has expanded its portfolio of hotels in Thailand to nine properties after signing an agreement to rebrand and manage the renowned Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok.

The hotel, located in an oasis of lush landscaped gardens on Wireless Road, will re-open under Movenpick’s management in early 2019 after a comprehensive refurbishment programme.

Offering 294 guest rooms and a wide range of business and leisure facilities, it will be Movenpick’s third property in the Thai capital, joining Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok and Movenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok.

Nai Lert Park Hotel

Close to major attractions, malls, embassies and corporate offices and within a 10-minute walk of Ploenchit BTS skytrain station and Phetchaburi MRT metro station, the property offers guests convenient access to the entire city.

Opportunities to manage legendary hotels do not arise often, and we’re delighted to bring Movenpick’s signature style to the Nai Lert Park Hotel, which has been a Bangkok landmark for more than three decades,” said Andrew Langdon, Chief Development Officer for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. “We look forward to moving this captivating property into an exciting new era as we introduce a health-conscious generation of guests to Movenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok and further provide world-class wellness facilities in association with the adjoining BDMS Wellness Clinic.”

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited (BDMS) was established on 30 October 1969. Through business expansion, the company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on 2 October 1991 and registered its conversion to Public Company Limited in 1994.

BDMS, ranked in the top five private hospital groups globally in terms of revenue, is also one of the most prestigious hospital networks in the Asia-Pacific region with a total of 45 hospitals across the network that have been accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI).

BDMS offers world-class medical care and treatment to both local and international patients, complemented by the latest medical technology.

Dr. Poramaporn Prasarttong-Osoth, COO of BDMS group, said, “We are excited to work with Movenpick to introduce a Wellness Resort with world-class hospitality as well as specialised in-house wellness programmes that are designed for prevention and the achievement of a healthy lifestyle.”

All rooms and suites will feature contemporary designs and high-tech amenities while resort facilities will include a large freeform outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and wellness spa. The hotel’s restaurant will serve all natural, organic Thai and international cuisine, the lobby lounge will offer all-day health-conscious refreshments and the pool bar will provide a perfect spot for informal gatherings.

Movenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok will also feature a ballroom and function rooms with direct garden access.

The Nai Lert Park Hotel originally opened in 1984 but closed its doors at the end of 2016 to undergo a complete refurbishment.

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Published Date: 23rd August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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Things to do in Udaipur

Things to do in Udaipur


Inspired by the BBC’s  second series of the “Real Marigold Hotel” that follows 9 celebrities as they spend several weeks in Udaipur in India. We’ve chosen some “things to do in Udaipur” for you.

Udaipur Facts

A city in the western state of Rajasthan and founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559. Referred to as the “most romantic spot on the continent of India” by the British Administrator James Tod, it is also known as the “City of Lakes” and the one I love the most “The Venice of the East”. This is because of the sophisticated lake system that dominates the area and supplies water for drinking and the rural agriculture.

City Palace

City Palace, Udaipur

Construction started in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II but has been extended many times over the years and is situated in a commanding position overlooking Lake Pichola with views to the Aravali mountain Range.

The name City Palace is a bit misleading as it more of a complex of Palaces with a further 11 small separate palaces interlinked by a number of chowks (quadrangles) with zigzag corridors. Entry into the complex is via the main Tripolia (triple) gate into Suraj Gokhda, ), the Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), the Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), the Surya Chopar, the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Krishna Vilas (named after Lord Krishna), Shambu Niwas (royal residence now), the Bhim Vilas (miniature painings), the Amar Vilas (with a raised garden) that faces the Badi Mahal (the big palace), the Fateprakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace; the last two have been converted into heritage hotels.

The City Palace complex needs a full day to get around. I would also advise that you join a local tour guide so that you get to see and hear all about its history and significance.

Lake Pichola

Pichola Lake and Palace

This view of the lake shows one of the islands which is home to the Lake Palace. This is now an exclusive heritage hotel for those with deep pockets.

Take a boat trip around the lake and see, where the lake narrows, the ornamental arch bridges. Hence the name “The Venice of the East”.

Some of the views of Udaipur may seem familiar, as it was one of the locations filmed in the 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy. Also filmed were Shiv Nivas Palace and Monsoon Palace.

Fateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake

Part of the Lake complex of Udaipur with three small islands. The largest is Nehru Park which is a popular tourist attraction. Another island has a public park with an impressive water-jet fountain and the last island in home to the Udaipur Solar Observatory. This site has an ideal location, getting accurate and quality observations of the sun.

This is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a great way to cool down by the lake.

Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace

Overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake is the Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjan Garh Palace. Because of its commanding elevated location in the Aravali Hills, this is a great place to view the beautiful Sunsets.

The name Monsoon Palace comes from its use as a lookout post for the monsoon clouds. It was also used as a hunting lodge by the Maharana Fateh Singh.

Built from White marble this former Palace is now controlled by the the Government of Rajasthan and forms part of the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary.

Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur

The Jagdish Temple is in the middle of Udaipur, just outside the Royal Palace, and is has been a place of worship since 1651.

To reach the temple you have to climb the 32 marble steps. The temple is steeped with Hindu Iconography with brass images of Garuda and God Vishnu and God Krishna.

When visiting Temples remember to cover up and allows view the site in a clockwise direction. This is believed to bring good luck.

Saheliyon-Ki-Bari Gardens

sahelion ki bari gardens

These beautiful gardens are located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake and translate as the “Garden of the Maidens”. The Gardens were built by Maharana Sangram Singh as wedding gift to his bride and the 48 maidens in her dowry.

The Gardens have lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant shaped  fountains offering a green retreat from the dry lands of Rajasthen.

Moti Magri Park

Maharana Pratap Memorial

Moti Magri (Pearl Hill) overlooks Fateh Sagar Lake and is the location of the memorial to Maharana Pratap astride his horse “Chetak”. 

The memorial commemorates the Battle of Haldighati which brought back Hindu honour against the Muslim Mughals. It is not known whether “Chetak” was at the battle, but the story is told in many poems from seventeenth century.

Bohra Ganesh Ji Temple

bohra-ganeshji temple

The temple is located some 2 Km from the city centre and is believed to be over 350 years old. At the centre of the temple is an east facing idol of Lord Ganesha in a dancing pose. 

It is believed by devotees with real trust in Bohra Ganesh will get their wishes fulfilled.

Bagore Ki Haveli

Bagore Ki Haveli

Haveli is word you come across often and means a traditional townhouse or mansion, derived from an Arabic word “Hawali” meaning “private space” usually with a central courtyard.

Bagore Ki Haveli has over a hundred rooms with displays of modern art and costumes. It is now a museum. 

This is great place to visit to see around all the rooms and to watch typical Indian folk dancers.


Shilpgram - Cultural Park

Shilpgram is located 3 km west of the Udaipur. It is a cultural centre spread over 70 acres surrounded by the Aravali hills with live shows and festivals. The idea is to showcase everyday skills still in use as a realistic glimpse of the people of the region and their belongings.

The Shilpgram festival takes place every year from 21st to 31st December.

Restaurant Ambrai

Restaurant Ambrai - Amet Haveli

With stunning views of Jagdish Temple, Gangaur Ghat, City Palace, Jag Mandir and Sajjangarh Fort this is an ideal location by day or night to enjoy the views and sample their tantalizing food.

Booking maybe required.

Restaurant  – Charcoal by Carlsson

Charcoal by Carlsson

A new authentic Mexican restaurant and Barbecue restaurant just on the shores of lake Pichola. 

The new lakeside garden is serving up the same barbecue as you came to love from Charcoal together with many other grilled delicacies . However, the big new thing is our authentic Mexican food with locally grown ingredients and imported Mexican chillies.

A bit weird suggesting a Mexican Restaurant, but it gives you a change from spicy curry to spicy Mexican. They are also winners of a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence.


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Published Date: 17th August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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Mövenpick Asara

Mövenpick Opens Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has expanded its portfolio to the seaside town of Hua Hin, Thailand. Formerly the Asara Villa & Suite Hua Hin, the beachfront resort has undergone a complete re-branding and refurbishment and is now called the Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin.

Featuring a collection of 96 private suites and pool villas, the resort is just 10 minutes from the centre of Hua Hin and around a two-hour drive from Bangkok.

Movenpick Asara Resort & Spa, HuaHin

 Formerly the Asara Villa & Suite Hua Hin, the beachfront resort has undergone a complete rebranding and refurbishment and is now called the Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin.

Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin is an intimate tropical retreat and the perfect place to get away from it all,” said Simon Dell, the resort’s General Manager. “It’s idyllic location, spacious accommodation and extensive amenities appeal to a wide range of guests, from couples seeking a romantic break in paradise to families looking to spend quality time together. It is also an incredible destination for events and weddings.”

The resort’s 120 sqm suites offer balconies or terraces featuring day beds, as well as bathrooms with indoor and outdoor rain showers and bathtubs.

The one and two-bedroom villas span 150 and 200 sqm and include luxurious indoor living areas, outdoor decks and private plunge pools.

The 400 sqm two-bedroom beachfront villa offers three separate pavilions, its own private beach area, large outdoor decks and a plunge pool overlooking the sea.

Guests have a choice of two restaurants with a selection of authentic Thai cuisine, fresh seafood and international gourmet dishes on the menus. The restaurants offer indoor, terrace, poolside and beachfront seating options with cocktails and cool drinks served at the tropical beach bar.

For fitness and relaxation, the property has a spa, fitness room and an outdoor infinity swimming pool.

Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin joins six other Mövenpick hotels in Thailand located in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

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Published Date: 3rd August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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Citadines Blue Cove

Ascott Expands Citadines Brand to Danang; Opens Fifth Property in Saigon

Ascott has opened Vietnam’s largest serviced residence, Citadines Blue Cove Danang, and its fifth property in Ho Chi Minh, Citadines Regency Saigon.

Citadines Blue Cove Danang, which is also Ascott’s first property in Danang and its largest property globally, is located by the Han River in the scenic Son Tra peninsula, while Citadines Regency Saigon enjoys a prime location in District 3, a key business and residential district.

Ms Lew Yen Ping, Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam, said, “Vietnam is Ascott’s largest market in Southeast Asia where demand for serviced residences remain high. We currently have 21 properties offering close to 4,700 units across seven cities in the country. Both Citadines Blue Cove Danang and Citadines Regency Saigon have prime locations in key business and tourism districts of Danang and Ho Chi Minh City, which enjoy a huge influx of corporate and leisure travellers. Within the next three years, over 2,000 units across nine properties are slated to open in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang, Halong City and Binh Duong province. We look forward to providing more accommodation choices in the fast expanding Vietnam, and are committed to achieve our target of 7,000 units in the country by 2020.

Citadines Blue Cove Danang offers a mix of studios as well as one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Most of the rooms overlook the Danang Bay and the property boasts the world’s highest and largest 24k gold-plated infinity pool as well as a park showcasing sculptures of the wonders of the world. Other facilities include a fitness centre, jacuzzi, spa, ballroom, meeting rooms, and children’s playroom.

Besides Citadines Regency Saigon, Ascott also operates Somerset Chancellor Court Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset Vista Ho Chi Minh City, and Diamond Island Luxury Residences in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ascott’s upcoming properties in Vietnam include Citadines Central Binh Duong in Binh Duong province, Somerset Feliz Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset D1Mension Ho Chi Minh City, and Diamond Island Luxury Serviced Residences in Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset Danang Bay in Danang, Somerset West Central Hanoi in Hanoi as well as Citadines Marina Halong in Halong.

In 2017, Vietnam attracted record foreign direct investment of about US$35.9 billion, an increase of 44.4% from 2016. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Vietnam’s tourism growth was ranked seventh internationally, and it was the only country in Southeast Asia to be ranked amongst the top 105. International tourist arrivals for Vietnam was 12.9 million last year, an increase of 29.1% from 2016.

Citadines Blue Cove Danang

Citadines Blue Cove

Sitting by the Han River and Thuan Phuoc Bridge, the 548-unit Citadines Blue Cove Danang is located within the landmark Son Tra peninsula and a 100-hectare urban development project by the government. Providing convenient access to Hai Chau city centre, the property is also a 15-minute drive from Danang International Airport.

As part of an integrated development, the serviced residence is directly connected to the main industrial areas such as Hoa Khanh and Dien Nam – Dien Ngoc. The property is also surrounded by attractions including the Marble Mountains, Cham Museum, Bana Hills, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, and Hue Citadel.

Citadines Blue Cove Danang offers a mix of studios as well as one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Most of the rooms overlook the Danang Bay and the property boasts the world’s highest and largest 24k gold-plated infinity pool as well as a park showcasing sculptures of the wonders of the world. Other facilities include a fitness centre, jacuzzi, spa, ballroom, meeting rooms, and children’s playroom.

Citadines Regency Saigon

Citadines Regency Saigon

Citadines Regency Saigon is located in District 3, close to foreign embassies, prime office towers and a variety of retail, dining and entertainment options.

The serviced residence is within walking distance to popular tourist attractions such as the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and War Remnants Museum. It is also near the Central Business District area of District 1.

Citadines Regency Saigon offers 229 apartments comprising classic rooms, studios and one-bedroom apartments.

Facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, children’s wading pool, sauna room, café, restaurant and launderette.

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Published Date: 2nd August 2018
Category: Travel Blog
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