On the Orient Express
In anticipation of more ease in travel restrictions, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train Europe, has added a new cabin category. There will be eight new Suites that will add a unique expression of luxury to the train that has a history that dates back to the 1920s and 1930s.
The lavish new Suites will elevate the train’s existing accommodation, offering a trio of cabin categories to suit every traveller. With all the beauty of a Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Historic Cabin, the new Suites have the added benefit of a private marble ensuite bathroom and a lounging area daily, converted to either double or twin beds by night.
For the epitome of luxury, a stay in a Grand Suite comes with a private en-suite bathroom and shower, double beds that can convert into twin beds, and a living area from which to enjoy the delights of intimate dining experiences, 24-hour cabin service and free-flowing champagne. The Historic Cabins exude timelessness, magically transforming from the daytime lounge into cosy upper and lower berth beds at night.
The Suites celebrate the dramatic landscape unfolding through the train’s picture windows. With this as the starting point of inspiration, the French craftsmen are influenced by four different designs: La Campagne (the countryside), Les Montagnes (the mountains), Les Lacs (the lakes), and La Forêt (the forest).
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels through Europe to the Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris and Cannes), Italy (Florence, Venice, Rome and Verona), Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck), Hungary (Budapest), Romania (Bucharest), Switzerland (Geneva), Belgium (Brussels), and the Netherlands (Amsterdam) from March to November, and the iconic route from Paris to Istanbul once a year.
Mountain Lodges of Nepal has a collection of 15 family-owned premium lodges offering spectacular treks along the Great Himalayan Trails. It consists of seven clubs in the Everest region and eight in Annapurna. The evolution includes upgrading existing lodges to offer a premium international hospitality experience, adding exquisite new restaurants, building new lodges and adding new one-of-a-kind mountain experiences.
See also: The luxury of slow travel
MLN is designed to capture the essence of New Nepal and honour the traditions of mountain hospitality – offering an international lifestyle to reach one’s peak through challenging but accessible treks.
Each exceptional lodge embodies the brand’s four pillars of sustainability, comfort, dining and service. The MLN lodges will offer intrepid explorers much-needed comfort and relief from their dexterous climbs with warmth, welcome and guidance through the Sherpa way.
Situated along the idyllic Dudh Koshi river 8,533 feet above sea level, Phakding Lodge is the first newly transformed lodge to be unveiled since the MLN brand’s debut. Its rocky chic exterior and room interiors incorporate large rocks from the nearby riverbanks. Guests can train for their next climb and whet their appetite at the lodge’s rock-climbing facility before savouring fresh seasonal produce from the property’s vegetable garden at the brand-new helipad-turned-restaurant and lounge.
Stay in the Big Apple
Aman New York in Manhattan's landmark Crown Building, an 83-suite hotel and its 22 branded residences bring the peace promised by Aman’s Sanskrit-derived name, which means peace. The transformation is tricky as the change requires juxtaposing many contrasts between the old and new; East and West; natural and manufactured; and even fire and water — to create an urban sanctuary. You arrive in style as you check into the double-height atrium on the 14th floor or the entrance on 57th Street — every design detail effortlessly contributes to Aman New York’s aura of rarefied calm.
Respecting the Crown Building’s storied heritage was key to the design process from the very outset. Embodying the splendour of America’s Gilded Age, the building was designed by Warren & Wetmore, the influential architects of Grand Central Station and the Helmsley Building. Built in 1921 on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, its Neoclassical exterior, French Renaissance detailing, and chateauesque tower makes it one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in North America today. The first home of the Museum of Modern Art from 1929 to 1932, the building’s crown-like finial became its eponymous feature in 1983 when lighting designer Douglas Leigh was commissioned to gild and illuminate the ornamental spire using 30 gallons of liquid gold.
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Food lovers take note: The annual Kita Food Festival is back, offering a range of exceptional dining experiences, masterclasses, TED-like talks, and forums with some of the world’s finest chefs, winemakers and food thinkers. The event aims to highlight Malaysia’s emerging place on the global restaurant scene while highlighting the value of culinary heritage and ethical producers.
Kita Food festival will bring in the best chefs and culinary thinkers from South and Southeast Asia for various events with local chefs and restaurateurs. Guest chefs have been carefully chosen for their outlook and innovation or respect for sustainability, sourcing and championing the culinary heritage of their respective cultures.
From Sept 23 to 25, the festival will be held on the tropical island of Langkawi, where chef Prateek Sadhu, previously of Mumbai’s famed restaurant Masque, and Dewakan chef Darren Teoh will feature at luxury resort The Datai Langkawi.
There are three events in-store. First, chef Prateek will collaborate with Darren Teoh, plus The Datai Chef de Cuisine Chai Chun Boon, in a six-hand dinner, with each chef cooking two dishes from their respective cultures. The following night, a fine dining dinner by chef Prateek displays his take on Indian cuisine in a degustation menu at The Dining Room.
The weekend will wrap up with a unique masterclass by chef Darren Teoh. He will lead a small group of eight on tour through The Datai Langkawi’s permaculture gardens, harvesting leaves, flowers, buds, and roots to be used in a hands-on cooking class at The Dapur, culminating with lunch at The Gulai House.