Posts tagged with "Hotels"

South Africa

A Long Walk to Freedom

By Chris Phan, Krishan Narsinghani, and Vaughn Lowery.

Recently, 360 Magazine traveled to South Africa during one of the largest travel conventions on the continent. One hundred journalists from Northern America joined Indaba Media in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

Nelson Mandela is respected as the “Father of the Nation.” He was an anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist, who served as President from 1994 to 1999. Mandela also served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His vision was to dismantle apartheid (a system of segregation based on race) by tackling discrimination and fostering reconciliation. Mandela looked ahead and realized the law must change in order for a better future. Twenty-four years after the corrupt system was terminated, South Africa has been in overdrive to establish a firm democracy.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, South Africa

Indaba Convention

The great city of Durban took the 360 team by storm with Indaba – a meet and greet of media and travel agents to express their lives views and attractions on what the city and South Africa has to offer.

Day one of the Indaba Convention, journalists met at the Maharani Hotel for an opening ceremony. Later, trade show floor booths opened for business at the Durban International Convention Center in addition to presentations from various industry professionals. During the press conference, it was said that the trip’s airline, British Airways would now offer direct non-stop flights between Heathrow Airport and Durban.

Indaba also touched on other tourist attractions. South Africa offers an unbelievable amount of restaurants, markets, bars and lounges, but take pride that they surpass expectations in their food & drink festivals. The Whisky Live Festival and South African Cheese Festival are two major events – just to name a few.

Human rights were another important topic discussed at the convention. The South African people continue to exuberate equality and fairness along with an effort to amend the ways in which the LGBT and minority communities are treated while traveling.

As the evening winded down, an opportunity for networking commenced. Soon after, journalists engaged in conversation while devouring traditional eats coupled with a small beer/wine reception followed by a brief fashion presentation.

On day two of Indaba, Durban Tourism celebrated a dinner cruise on La Vue Floating Restaurant. The 85-foot luxury catamaran (200-person capacity) features two amazing decks, two full bars and a dance floor. Cozy with great cocktails – it’s perfect for groups.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, South Africa

Durban

Durban’s population is just over 595,000. The metropolitan area has a population of over 3.8 million and is known for its golden beaches, relaxed surf culture and vibrant culinary scene (some of the best spicy curry dishes said to rival India’s). Culture stems from the blend of Zulu, Indian, European and remnants of British roots that make up the city’s diverse heritage. South Africa’s Station Drive Precinct, once a rundown warehouse district has been transformed to a major tourist attraction with exceptional fine dining, drinking and shopping. Thanks to a collaborative group of artistic individuals, businesses range from homegrown distilleries and breweries to local art galleries. I Heart Market is a good and design market held on the first Saturday of each month. Presented with locally produced goods and artisanal creations such as ceramics, crochet toys and original prints – shoppers will not be disappointed. Nearby tourists can partake in an exquisite gin tasting at Distillery 031 along with lunch at Lion’s Match Factory.

The feasting does not stop there – Durban’s own, House of Curries restaurant, blends bold Indian spices and flavors for extravagant curry dishes. House of Curries has been a staple on the Florida Road strip since 1999 and a perfect attraction for relaxation on their patio deck.

Much like a market, BAT Centre is a place where local artists and crafters work on-site, exhibiting and selling their works in a vibrant complex. This nonprofit arts center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and celebration of the visual arts, crafts, music, dance and literature of the Province.

Street art has found new life in redevelopment projects across various neighborhoods. These street artists were inspired by their surroundings with many exploring themes of politics and nature, all whilst using their work for social activism.

Travelers in search of nighttime adventures can visit Cubana Havana, a popular cigar/hookah lounge featuring handcrafted cocktails as well as a simple menu located on the highly revered Florida Road. Tourists shouldn’t miss Mahatma Ghandi Road in downtown Durban for an evening of fine music at a world – class Jazz bar known as The Chairman. Not only is there an assortment of signature cocktails and cigars, but also a gallery and sophisticated atmosphere that believes in justice for all.

Fun fact. Over 85% of all BMW 3 series vehicles are produced at the Rosslyn plant just outside of Durban and are shipped to various markets worldwide, including the USA, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, South Africa

Johannesburg

The expedition kicked off in Johannesburg aka “Joburg,” (approximately 8 million in population and largest city in the country), the epicenter of South Africa who’s currently in a state of revival. The team then headed to Nelson Mandela Square, a must-see tourist spot. The campus includes the DaVinci Hotel, indoor and outdoor shopping malls, upscale boutiques, a movie theatre, grocery stores, restaurant/bars and a casino.

In order to achieve a local feel, stop by Neighbourgoods Market for purchases of South African eats and assorted libations distributed from multiple vendors.

The following day we departed for Constitution Hill and embarked on a full tour of the visitor’s center. Constitution Hill was former fort site transformed into a prison. “The Robben Island of Johannesburg” included notable prisoners Mahatma Ghandi, Joe Slovo, Bram Fischer and Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for more than twenty years at this location. “As an African American being able to stand inside the actual cell of Mandela was life-changing. The dark, ominous confined space gave me a newfound appreciation of what it means to be free. No human should ever have to endure such injustice because they yearn for social equality and justice for all,” says Lowery, President of 360 Magazine.

Lunch at Lebo’s Backpackers Outdoor Restaurant was set outside in various cabanas at a local Soweto hostel within its community park followed by the Soweto Tuk Tuk Tour. The team enjoyed riding in these three-wheeled taxis, while sipping on craft beers and witnessing the city’s rich history. Stops included Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela’s house still stands, as well as Hector Peterson Memorial.

Art lovers be sure to drop by CIRCA Gallery which stands beside Everard Read headquarters, parading some of the most important contemporary art collections from around the world.

With regards to nightlife, music lovers can head to Taboo Night Club and News Cafe to discover local and international DJ’s. News Cafe combines its food, services and venue into a coffee bar, cocktail bar, restaurant and entertainment venue all-in-one. It’s the perfect destination for relaxation or clubbing with a modern aesthetic.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, South Africa

Cape Town

From Johannesburg, the voyage shifted to Cape Town, a world renown entertainment and prestigious modeling hub for some of the industries top talents. With just under 4 million in population, it’s considered the second most populous city in South Africa. The group checked in at The Table Bay Hotel and visited Nobel Square for a photo opportunity followed by lunch at V&A Waterfront’s The Yard Restaurant. Just adjacent in the Silo District is the highly acclaimed Zeitz Mocaa Museum. It exhibits twenty-first century contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora with over 100 galleries throughout 9 floors, showcasing art from still photography to moving art installations.

Our local guide incorporated “Footsteps to Freedom” walking tour Mandela in Cape Town: From prisoner to President. “Dinner at Crypt Jazz Club was a personal favorite from the team as they feasted into the night while being enamored by some of the nation’s most prolific local musicians.

Table Mountain’s Cable Car Ride offers 360 degree spectacular views of the coastal town while being hoisted to the top. At the summit, clouds draped the surrounding view while journalists snapped selfies for Instagram. On the other hand, if winds are too strong for the cable ride, adventurers can hike alongside of the mountains during park hours to witness this landmark backdrop engulfed by condensation – similar in type to dry ice bucket. Just below, you can take in Bo-Kaap township, an area filled with colorful homes and cobblestone roads. Subsequently, lunch was served by famed chef Abigail Mbalo (from MasterChef South Africa) at 4ROOMED Ekasi Culture. She’s widely known to take indigenous delights and fuse them into gourmet bites fit for the Food Network. The day ended with a night of laughter at the Cape Town Comedy Club, a must-visit for all who enjoy pizzas infused with locally sourced ingredients coupled with barrel of laughs.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, South Africa

Port Elizabeth

At Port Elizabeth, history unfolded. In 1820, it was established to house British settlers and boasts a population of 1.3 million, as its now a part of the newly formed Nelson Mandela Bay. This Vegas-style resort town is home to Sun International’s The Boardwalk Hotel that includes tons of shops, eateries, bars and casinos within walking distance. Named The Public Art City Tour: Route 67, stops included a visit to Voting Line Sculpture and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Lastly, dinner at Asada/Fushin was a meal to remember. The restaurant fabricates South African fusion flare with scrumptious fresh seafood and sushi.

Within two weeks, we received a first-hand account of the history and culture behind Nelson Mandela and his legacy in South Africa. With an intricate four major city tour, we were able to experience an amazing arts and culinary scene in the ever changing country of South Africa. Given the plethora of outdoor activities, architectural gems, gorgeous landscapes and tender-hearted people, this destination should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list if it’s not already.

Robert Davi × Georgós Wine

Georgós Greek Wine, an innovative wine company that uses the best of American techniques to handcraft small batch wine in Sonoma Valley from imported Greek fruit, is proud to announce a partnership with Robert Davi, the award-winning actor, screenwriter, director, producer and jazz vocalist.

Davi has appeared in more than 130 films including, THE GOONIES; JAMES BOND: LICENSE TO KILL; DIE HARD, the upcoming film REAGAN, as well as the groundbreaking TV series Paper Empire.

Currently touring in his show “Davi Sings Sinatra,” where he performs notable tunes from the legendary crooner, Davi has also just released the documentary, “DAVI’S WAY” that explores the challenges and thrills of singing Sinatra’s uniquely American masterpieces.

In addition to his ‘tough-guy’ roles, Davi is well known as a singer. He has performed at The Venetian, The Orleans and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, headlined the Friars Club’s 90th Anniversary Tribute to Tony Bennett with Robert De Niro and Scarlett Johansson, and recently performed at the United Nations to celebrate its 70th Anniversary. Davi acted and performed in the Frank Sinatra 100th Birthday Special on PBS—most fitting since Sinatra’s work has been foundational in Davi’s own life and career.

Davi and Georgós Greek Wine formed a partnership after Davi purchased a bottle of wine at Whole Foods Market in San Francisco. The bottle happened to be Georgós’ “Santorini” wine. After Davi tasted the crisp white varietal, he fell in love instantly and called it, “one of the smoothest damn wines I’ve ever had.” He then dove into the reds and was inspired to connect with Georgós.

Robert Davi will work with the Georgós team as its brand ambassador to broaden its reach by spreading the wine’s unique story and to help create more great tasting wines. “In my family, wine was as necessary a drink as water. I helped my grandfather make his homemade wine at our family home on Long Island, and have been searching for an opportunity to once again become intimate with the process,” Davi said recently, “I’ve always been a lover of all things Greek – poetry, food, culture, and after tasting all the Georgós blends, it was ordained that I join with them! Robert Rex is a genius at blending wines—rather like a great composer creating a symphony, he blends the notes and tones in these wines creating an experience you will want to go back to time and again. These are truly ‘Greek wines redefined.’ The wines, sustainable and low in sulfites, are not only healthier but will most likely never give you a headache!”

The partnership between Davi and Georgós Greek Wine comes fresh off the heels of another collaboration between the winemaking team and personalities of note. Earlier this year, in partnership with ultra-marathon living legend and one of Time’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World,” Dean Karnazes, they created Marathon Wine.

Georgós Greek Wine founder Georgos Zanganas is especially thrilled to work with Davi, as he sees it as a partnership between two parties who are constantly redefining. “One of my favorite movies of all time is JAMES BOND: LICENSE TO KILL. Robert played a tough guy, and established a great reputation in that archetype,” Zanganas says, “now he has the opportunity to show another side of his personality by singing Frank Sinatra classics at some of the greatest venues across the globe. We have taken the best of the American winemaking techniques and applied them to our imported Greek fruit to change traditional Greek Wine into a super-premium experience – like visiting the Greek Isles in a glass. This partnership will help us spread Georgós and #GREEKWINEREDEFINED to the world.”

Georgós was born after founder Georgos Zanganas moved to San Francisco to work as an engineer. Zanganas is very sensitive to sulfites in wine, and he struggled to find a wine that did not give him a headache or stop the red flush of his face. He even found it difficult to come by good quality Greek wine in the area. Surprising, as the US market was saturated with all things Greek – such as yogurt or olive oil – but curiously not wine. He decided to make a wine perfect for him: clean tasting with low sulfites and no additives. Zanganas discovered Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma Valley (known for their “Clean Wine”), on a trip to Sonoma, where he met winemaker Robert Rex, who was recently named 2018 Winemaker of the year by the American Fine Wine Competition. Together they embarked to make a “clean wine” with imported Greek fruit. Zanganas and Rex spent one year, tasting over 400 samples until they found the perfect recipe to create Georgós Super-Premium Greek wine, which is fruit forward with soft tannins. The rest, as they say, is history.

Zanganas added on the company’s journey, “I never thought that I would be in the wine business, but I wanted everyone to be able to drink a great quality wine without experiencing a headache. I also found the opportunity to make Greek wine in the heart of the US winemaking region an irresistible challenge. It’s like importing and making California olive oil in Kalamata, Greece – to succeed you have to believe in it with passion.”
Currently, Georgós has seven, small batch super-premium Greek wines to market, available direct from the winery online, at Whole Foods in Northern California, and at fine restaurants and hotels in San Francisco and Los Angeles:

Santorini, “Sophia’s Smile”: a 2017 Assyrtiko similar to a dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Mykonos, “Wine of Hercules”: a 2013 vintage Agiorgitiko in the Pinot Noir style.
Corfu, “Siren’s Lure”: a 2015 Bordeaux style red blend.
Ios, “Aphrodite’s Kiss”: a 2017 Dry Rosé of Agiorgitiko grapes.
Ithaka, “Penelope’s Spell”: a 2015 blend of premium Greek Cabernet Sauvignon.
Marathon, “Athena’s Vineyard”: a 2017 Assyrtiko blend similar to a dry Sauvignon Blanc.
Marathon, “Nike’s Vineyard”: a 2017 Rosé with the structure of a Pinot Noir.
Georgós Greek Super-Premium Wines are the direct result of a team pursuing excellence in flavor and the highest degrees of quality possible. They look forward to creating future partnerships and bringing their delicious and healthy wines to enthusiastic devotees across the country.

Visit Georgós Greek Wine Socials:

Instagram: GeorgosWine | Facebook: GeorgosWine

Stuttgart Beer Festival

This September, Stuttgart is celebrating a bicentennial double jubilee: 200 years of the Stuttgart Beer Festival along with 100 years of the Agricultural Show. The city will commemorate the founding of these two biggest festivals in the state by King Wilhelm I of Württemberg and his consort, Queen Katharina, with the Historic Volksfest that will start a few days before the agriculture and beer festivals. All of the merriment for the Historical Festival will take place on the Palace Square in the center of Stuttgart surrounded by the New and Old Palaces whereas the modern day beer festival and the agricultural festival, will be celebrated on the Canstatter Wasen, once a grassy plain not far from the city center.

On 28th September 1818, the day after the king’s 36th birthday, he founded the first agricultural show to strengthen and reform the region’s farming industry, which had been severely affected by the eruption of the volcano on the island of Sumbawa in today’s Tambora. This volcano had a big impact on Europe and resulted in the “year without a summer,” when gasses and ash caused climate changes leading to crop failures and famine in southern Germany.

The fact that 2018 is the 173rd and not the 200th anniversary of this merry traditional festival is easily explained: by order of King Karl, the Wasen was held only biennially from 1882 onwards, and this continued up to the king’s death in 1891. This, along with the repercussions of the two World Wars, resulted in Stuttgart having to go without its festival for 28 years in all.

Every four years, the agricultural festival still takes place and runs parallel to the beer festival on the Canstatter Wasen. These days, the LWH is the biggest agriculture and forestry show in southern Germany. This year, from 29 September to 7 October 2018, Stuttgart will again be transformed into Baden-Württemberg’s biggest farm. It will include a multitude of topics to do with nutrition, animals, sustainability and agriculture.

Starting on September 26, the Historical Volksfest will be the real draw this jubilee year as it will be a nostalgic view down memory lane for the locals and offer a unique look at Stuttgart’s past for the visitors. History will be the dominant feature of the celebratory Volksfest on Stuttgart main square, the Schlossplatz. Visitors can look forward to a colorful mixture of activities with fairground attractions and rides from times past, including jugglers, acrobats, old traditional crafts and farm animals. Two avenues will include fairground amusements that will be split up into the 19th and 20th century styles.

An exhibition showing the history of the local Swabian people’s biggest festival will take place around the Jubilee Column while King Wilhelm I and his wife Katharina, played by amateur actors dressed in historical garb, will make regular appearances. A festival tent with about 1,000 seats will be a focal point along with a dance floor, traditional dances and bands performing in historical clothes. Classical dishes of the era such as “Metzelsuppe,” a sausage soup, sauerkraut, boiled beef and fish on sticks, will be served with a jubilee beer made by the Stuttgart breweries, Stuttgarter Hofbräu and Familienbrauerei Dinkelacker.

Just two days later, the contemporary beer festival (often referred to as the Canstatter Wasen) gets underway! On the last Friday in September, the 28th of September, the seven beer tents, the two wine tents and the Alpine Village will open their doors to the public and the fairground rides will get under way. Round about the Fruit Column, the historic symbol of the traditional festival, 330 showmen, hosts and stallholders have a wide variety on offer. A double-looping roller coaster, autoscooters or Chair-O-Planes: modern attractions or old favourites – they’re all here at the Wasen. Hearty dishes such as grilled knuckle of pork, fried steak or Swabian “Maultaschen” (filled pasta) are served to go with the mugs of beer.

Canstatter Wasen is a benefit to Stuttgart’s economy not only for tourism but also for the local trades. Traders’ markets have a long tradition in Stuttgart and were part of the original foundation of the beer festival as the traveling tracers brought stayed to sell their goods. Even though times have changed, traders’ markets have remained and are a permanent and much-loved part of the beer festival on the Cannstatter Wasen. Visitors will also be given an insight into traditional craftsmen’s and traders’ markets showing old crafts, such as brush and basket making. In addition, household goods made of wood and other natural materials will be on sale.

As the second largest beer festival in the world after Oktoberfest, the Canstatter Wasen attracts approximately four million visitors including more than 20,000 Volksfest club members (former German emigrants and their families) from New York, Philadelphia and Chicago who regularly visit the Cannstatter Volksfest to affirm and renew their ties of friendship with Stuttgart. Benefitting from the festival are not the visitors but also bakers, butchers, suppliers, the service industry, the retail trade, hotels, transport companies and lots more businesses. According to a market survey, approximately 17,000 people are directly or indirectly involved in the Cannstatter Volksfest.

Mojo Nomad Central

Mojo Nomad Central – a ground-breaking concept designed to turn the traditional hotel model on its head- will open this September on Queens Road Central in the heart of Hong Kong. The property is the second to open from the Mojo Nomad brand, Hong Kong’s first hotel concept with shared working spaces, and a member of the Ovolo Hotels group.

“Following the unprecedented success of Mojo Nomad Aberdeen, on the western shore of Hong Kong Island, we’re excited to unveil a second Mojo Nomad property in Hong Kong, this time in the city’s bustling Central District,” says Girish Jhunjhnuwala, the visionary behind the Mojo Nomad concept, and founder & CEO of Ovolo Hotels. The edgy, design-driven concept draws on the hotelier’s desire to make a difference. “We are giving modern travelers access to a multi-use space where they can be productive, collaborate, seek adventure and experience new things,” continued Girish.

The first of its kind in the region, the Mojo Nomad concept combines a mix of designer rooms, from private to accommodation options for families, groups and friends, paving the way for a new type of value-driven design hospitality. Mojo Nomad’s communal spaces encourage guests to connect with new people and ideas, tapping into a thriving demographic of explorers and addressing the changing demands of the ever-evolving traveler.

The new Mojo Nomad Central offers a total of 56 guest rooms ranging from size S to XL; two of the property’s rooms will offer shared accommodations. Adhering to the brand’s commitment to integrating the latest in technology and design, each room is equipped with multiple USB and traditional plug sockets, as well as international adapters. Shared rooms are fitted with individual televisions and Bluetooth headphone capabilities, as well. A flexible-use space on the property’s second floor will offer a refreshment bar and shared kitchen with additional working and lounge areas. On the third floor, the gym offers TRX equipment, punching bags, yoga mats and more.

A two-story Mexican eatery, Te Quiero Mucho, will serve share-style plates and margaritas alongside a broad selection of artisanal tequilas. The bar, which also serves as the hotel’s reception desk, is decked out with eye-catching neon.

“Our inspirational new hotel collection is designed for those seeking a better way of living. At Mojo Nomad, guests are able to unite around common interests and enjoy a unique style of community living, which values openness and collaboration without compromise. Whether your stay be long or short, you’ll be a part of our community,” concluded Girish.

For more information about Mojo Nomad, visit www.mojonomad.com. For more information about the Ovolo Hotels group, visit www.ovolohotels.com.

ABOUT OVOLO HOTELS

Ovolo Hotels is an independent hospitality company that owns and operates a collection of individually designed hotels. Founded in 2002, the company now runs four hotels in Hong Kong and six hotels in Australia, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Ovolo also recently launched a new brand, Mojo Nomad, in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong. Mojo Nomad is a cohabitation concept for global nomads that combines travel, lifestyle and community at its core and will be entering the Australian market in the near future.

ABOUT MOJO NOMAD

Established in 2017, Mojo Nomad is a community for global travelers who seek a new way of living. The brand’s vision is to establish a global brand that will consistently go beyond traditional hospitality concepts which allows residents to live, work and travel in an effortless home-feel environment. The Mojo Nomad micro-living hotel concept offers collaborative and fun environments that expose its residents to new people, new ideas and new experiences. Mojo Nomad strives to encourage residents to be active creators and unite them around a common interest to share space, resources, and activities, ultimately inspiring them to contribute creatively and intellectually to the world around them.

SIR NIKOLAI HOTEL × IZAKAYA

Sir Nikolai Hotel and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar celebrate one year anniversary

A year ago, Hamburg lined up for the grand opening of Sir Nikolai and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar. Well established in the city’s growing hotel and fine dining scene, Sir Hotels and THE ENTOURAGE GROUP celebrate a successful first year with the presentation of a 7-story high artpiece by acclaimed artist Steve Tepas.

Liran Wizman, owner and founder of Sir Hotels and Yossi Eliyahoo, owner and founder of THE ENTOURAGE GROUP commissioned Los Angeles-based artist Steve Tepas to create an artpiece for one of the building’s inner courtyard’s walls. The eye-catching 250sqm painting is titled “Collective Ascension” and shows nine abstract male faces looking upwards towards one abstract female who is bending down with her eyes closed. Inside each male head, boldly outlined in black on white background, the artist painted black staircases.

I created this piece in reflection of all the many journeys we take in life. We all have the same goal: rising to a higher level,” artist Steve Tepas explains.

The artpiece is visible through the retractable glass ceiling of the patio on the groundfloor, as well as from the hotel rooms facing the courtyard.

Sir Nikolai & IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar

The  seven-story Kontorhaus,  orginally  used  as  a  warehouse  for  seeds,  encompasses  94  rooms  and  suites  with  views  of  the  canal  and  the  Old  Town,  the  Speicherstadt  and  HafenCity  or  the  hotel’s  inner  courtyard.  The  open  and  inviting  public  spaces  on  the  groundfloor  stretch  from  The  Study,  a  cosy  lounge  where  guests  check-in,  over  The  Patio,  the  hotel’s  glass-roofed  courtyard  where  IZAKAYA  Asian  kitchen  &  bar  begins. The restaurant includes an open kitchen, where diners can watch the chef and his team artistically prepare the dishes at the kitchen counter, a 360-island bar overlooking the canal and two balconies,  floating over the water.

IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar defines skills and techniques of the Japanese cuisine with South American influences. The first IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar opened 2012 in Amsterdam and is one of the city’s most established fine dining spots. This success led to the opening of IZAKAYA in Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich. The  menu  features  fresh  sushi,  sashimi  and  a  variety  of  exquisite  meat  and  fish,  prepared  on  a  traditional  Robata-grill  or  in  a  Hibachi-fire  bowl.

A successful first year in Hamburg

Keeping with its philosophy of building meaningful relationships and offering extraordinary services to guests, Sir Hotel’s kicked-off two special initiatives throughout its first year in Hamburg. On Instagram, Sir Hotels launched travel guides that repurpose the social platform to provide an  innovative  way  for  locals  and  visitors  to  experience  the  city. Sir  Nikolai’s Hamburg guide is  an  easy-to-use  city  guide  highlighting  local  favourites  and  hidden  treasures. In addition, the recently launched program, Sir Explore, offers bespoke experiences to out-of-town guests and the locals alike. The collection of custom tours and workshops gives access to unique experts. Each host leading a Sir Explore experience represents an intriguing aspect of their community and culture; Sir Explore allows for a truly authentic insider perspective to each city.

At IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar time-honoured techniques blend together with innovative signatures, with spectacular dishes as the end result. Executive Chef Hariprasad Shetty composed a sophisticated menu of a variety of small, unconventional dishes and specialities of the Robata grill, always daring the guest to try something new.

Shortly after it opened, IZAKAYA Hamburg was awarded 15 points by the renowned Gault-Millau restaurant guide, making it one of the city’s top ten restaurants already in its first year.

Along with redefining Asian culinary classics, IZAKAYA Hamburg gives a cutting-edge twist to the classical Japanese and English tea ceremony by serving a totally new kind of ‘Afternoon Tea’ with an exclusive selection of extraordinary light bites, one of the best tea selections of the town.

www.sirhotels.com

www.the-entouragegroup.com

About Sir Hotels

Sir Hotels is a boutique hotel brand, founded in Amsterdam in 2013 with the opening of Sir Albert, located in a former diamond factory next to the city’s Museum Square. In 2016, Sir Savigny opened in the heart of Berlin’s district of Charlottenburg, followed by a second outpost in Amsterdam, Sir Adam, located in the iconic A’DAM Tower. Following the opening of Sir Nikolai in Hamburg, Sir Hotels headed to Ibiza: Sir Joan opened in July 2017. Sir Hotels cater to those who are looking for authentic stories and distinctive locations. Each hotel has stunning interior design, exceptional restaurants and bars and specializes in providing guests unique experiences on and off property. Sir Hotels are created and managed by the award-winning Amsterdam-based hotel development and management company Europe Hotels Private Collection (EHPC).

About THE ENTOURAGE GROUP

THE ENTOURAGE GROUP is an unrivalled hospitality empire, renowned for creating internationally acclaimed food and beverage concepts across the world. Their wide range of expertise has been cultivated extensively through years of hospitality management, operations and fine dining experience. Owners and founders Yossi Eliyahoo and Liran Wizman, along with the group’s CEO Stephanie Pearson, inspire THE ENTOURAGE GROUP to continually set the new standard for modern hospitality. The currently owned portfolio includes MOMO Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar (Amsterdam, Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich), THE BUTCHER, THE BUTCHER West, THE BUTCHER Nine Streets, THE BUTCHER Social Club, THE BUTCHER Berlin, THE BUTCHER Ibiza and THE BUTCHER On Wheels, SHIRKHAN, MR PORTER, awarded by Michelin THE DUCHESS and MAD FOX club Amsterdam. The upcoming cities include Barcelona, Dubai and Milan. Due to the success of the group, founder Yossi Eliyahoo was awarded ‘Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the prestigious Entrée Hospitality Awards 2015.

About Steve Tepas

Steve Tepas is a painter and sculptor in the Neo-Purism movement, based in Los Angeles and Spain. He has shown his work at Art Basel Miami and at the Marrakech Light Festival. His first solo exhibition will take place in July. Before he dedicated his life to the arts, he was a creative director in Fashion and Interior Architecture.

The Leeu Collection

Luxury hotel group Leeu Collection (www.leeucollection.com) has taken a 10% stake in Alajmo S.p.A (www.alajmo.it), the Italian family business established by brothers Massimiliano (Max) Alajmo, the world’s youngest three-star Michelin chef, and Raffaele (Raf), the company’s Chief Executive and maître des lieux.

The purchase mirrors previous investments made by Analjit (BAS) Singh, the owner of Leeu Collection, all of which have a family focus; companies such as South African Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines and Indian chef Ritu Dalmia’s Riga Foods and Mamagoto.

Alajmo S.p.A. operates four fine-dining restaurants and six café-bistros, including Le Calandre and La Montecchia restaurants in Padua, Caffè Stern in Paris and Grancaffè & Ristorante Quadri in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, as well as a line of food products and a special events business, all overseen by Max from Le Calandre, his vibrant culinary laboratory, which has held three Michelin stars since 2003.

Leeu Collection currently has three properties (Leeu Estates, Leeu House and Le Quartier Français) in Franschhoek, South Africa, with Linthwaite House in the Lake District due to re-open following a year-long refurbishment in June 2018. Two further hotels are under construction in London and Florence.

Said Raf Alajmo, CEO of Alajmo S.p.A., “Having, last year, bought back the shares once owned by Italian investment firm Palladio Finanziaria, my brother and I decided to open our doors to a foreign shareholder. A chance meeting with BAS in Milan has led to him purchasing a share of Alajmo S.p.A., in what we sincerely hope will be the first step towards a strong alliance between our two companies.”

In response, Analjit Singh said, “I am always attracted to invest in family businesses that share a similar vision to mine and, because there are a lot of synergies between Leeu and Alajmo, I feel sure that the results of this partnership will be seen for years to come.”

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Notes for editors

LEEU COLLECTION: (in Sanskrit singh means lion, which is leeu in Afrikaans) comprises three five-star boutique properties in South Africa (Leeu Estates, a 17-room country house retreat and boutique winery in the Franschhoek valley; Leeu House, a 12-room hotel in the heart of Franschhoek village; and Le Quartier Français, a 32-room hotel including two independent Villas also located in the Village) and Linthwaite House, a country retreat overlooking Lake Windermere in England’s scenic Lake District (this boutique hotel, situated on 5.6 hectares of landscaped gardens, is now closed for renovation and will re-open in June 2018).

Extending beyond the offering of luxury accommodation, Analjit Singh (or BAS as he is affectionately known) is a partner in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, which produces award-winning wines in the Swartland wine region some 80km north of Cape Town.

Several restaurants complement the Leeu Collection hotels in Franschhoek. Heritage Square is home to Marigold, Franschhoek’s first Indian restaurant, and, adjacent to Leeu House, stands Tuk Tuk, a craft beer microbrewery in partnership with the award-winning Cape Brewing Company team, which serves bespoke brews and Mexican food.

Everard Read in partnership with Leeu Collection is a considered space in Franschhoek showing modern and contemporary artworks by Southern African artists. The Gallery includes a sculpture garden, interspersed with herbs and vegetables and is located adjacent to Le Quartier Français.

www.leeucollection.com

ALAJMO S.p.A. is an Italian restaurant group owned by brothers Massimiliano (Max) and Raffaele (Raf) Alajmo. The group’s flagship restaurant, Le Calandre, is located just outside the town of Padua and was originally opened by the Max and Raf’s parents in 1981. The restaurant has been honored with three Michelin stars since 2003 and has appeared on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2006.

Il Calandrino, a casual bistro and pastry shop, is located next door, while In.gredienti, a gourmet food shop with dine-in tables, is located across the street.

The family also operates La Montecchia (* Michelin) and abc Montecchia, located inside an elegant golf club near the Euganean Hills, near Padua.

In 2010, the culinary collection expanded to Venice with the takeover of Quadri, home to Ristorante Quadri (* Michelin), Quadrino and Caffè Quadri, a historic coffeehouse in St. Mark’s Square. Also in Venice, the Alajmo brothers opened AMO, a café/restaurant located inside the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi building.

In 2014, the Alajmo brothers opened Caffè Stern. Located in the heart of Paris in a former letterpress shop, Caffè Stern is a French national historic monument that has been transformed into a stylish Italian restaurant.

In order to support growing and diversified internal needs, in early 2018, the Alajmo group opened MammaRita lab, a large production facility and new home to their corporate offices. The lab also acts as space for research and development.

Two more properties are due to open by the end of the year, a restaurant in Marrakesh and a new concept in Milan. The Milan opening will be managed by a new company.

HOTEL CHEVAL

HOTEL CHEVAL NAMED #1 SMALL HOTEL IN THE UNITED STATES BY TRIPADVISOR

Paso Robles-Based Boutique Luxury Hotel Receives Top Honors and

Three Award Wins from 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards for Hotels

Hotel Cheval, www.hotelcheval.com, today announced it has been recognized as the overall winner in the Top 25 Small Hotels in the United States category of the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards for Hotels, ranking first out of 25. Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide. In the 16th year of the awards, TripAdvisor has recognized 8,095 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide.

This year, the awards celebrate hotel winners in 10 categories. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice hotels winners are remarkable service, value and quality.

2018 Awards won by Hotel Cheval include:

#1 Small Hotel in the United States

#8 Small Hotel in the World

#8 Romance Hotel in the United States

“We are incredibly honored to receive recognition as the #1 hotel in the US and a total of three awards from the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards,” said Jayne Christman, General Manager of Hotel Cheval. “We would like to thank the countless guests who shared their opinion of Hotel Cheval with their TripAdvisor reviews. This recognition reflects the hard work and dedication of our entire staff who make the guest experience their #1 priority every day.”

“This year’s Travelers’ Choice awards for Hotels recognize thousands of exceptional accommodations that received the highest marks for overall experience, including service, amenities and value, from travelers worldwide,” said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications. “The global TripAdvisor community informed this list of winners that will inspire and help travelers find the hotel that’s right for them as they plan and book their next amazing trip.”

For the complete list of Travelers’ Choice Hotel awardwinners for 2018, as well as the latest reviews and candid traveler photos, visit: www.TripAdvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Hotels. Travelers can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #TravelersChoice. To see TripAdvisor traveler reviews and opinions of Hotel Cheval go to: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32861-d654198-Reviews-Hotel_Cheval-Paso_Robles_San_Luis_Obispo_County_California.html

Travelers can read the latest reviews and compare prices from more than 200 sites to find the lowest prices on the right hotel for their trip at www.TripAdvisor.com.

About Hotel Cheval

Hotel Cheval, is an intimate 16-room boutique luxury hotel, located just off Paso Robles’ historic town square and offers well-traveled guests a unique and memorable experience. With exceptional, personalized service and thoughtfully-designed and refined accommodations, Hotel Cheval is the perfect place to call home during your visit to Paso Robles and its environs. In 2018, Hotel Cheval will break ground on an expansion, to include 20 additional guestrooms, dedicated spa, and an infinity pool. Hotel Cheval is located at 1021 Pine Street in Paso Robles, California 93446. For more information, visit www.hotelcheval.com or call (805) 226-9995.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site**, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 570 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide — covering 7.3 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants — TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that’s right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world’s largest travel community of 455 million average monthly unique visitors*, all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas Premieres First and Only Resort and Spa in Ibiza

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas Premieres First and Only Resort and Spa in Ibiza
Visionary hospitality that celebrates wellness, sustainability and community

BANGKOK – June 19, 2017 – Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is delighted to announce the latest addition to their inspiring portfolio, Six Senses Ibiza. Set to open in 2020, the resort is tucked away on the peaceful northern tip of Ibiza in the crystalline Cala Xarraca Bay. With its unobstructed westerly sunset views, dramatic rocky beach and picturesque seafront with yacht access, this full-service resort, spa and residential community dances to the beat of a new mantra: transformative wellness to nourish the body, mind and soul.

Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas said, “We’re very excited to open our first resort, spa and residential project in Ibiza, a project that celebrates wellness, sustainability and community spirit. This third European property complements our sister resort in Portugal’s Douro Valley, residential project in Courchevel, France and seven fabulous spas in France, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.”

Six Senses has signed a management agreement with Beach Box Ibiza S.L. to open the resort in 2020 as a benchmark in innovative design, unique entertainment concepts and eclectic dining experiences. “We could not be more pleased to work with Beach Box Ibiza on this truly creative project,” said Jacobs.

Six Senses Ibiza will offer 134 guest accommodations across a 25-acre site including fully appointed Townhouse Suites, Deluxe Pool Suites with private decks, Beach Cave Suites and two extraordinary six-bedroom Mansions. Available for a handful of residential buyers are nine captivating private villas located above the resort with expansive sunset views.  Every aspect of the property’s physical design will facilitate the feeling of community and the activities and amenities offered to guests will focus on learning and experience.

According to Jonathan Leitersdorf of Beach Box Ibiza S.L., the visionary behind the design and the development of the project, “Our vision is to capture the authentic Ibiza experience of community, spirituality and celebration to be delivered with top service, organic food and beverage, and luxurious accommodations for our guests. It will be the first full-service hospitality experience with rich amenities that are not yet offered on the island. Partnering with a world-class operator such as Six Senses, together we will deliver a resort and residential community for all ages, while promoting the importance of sustainability and healthy living.”

The refreshingly fun and quirky attitude of Six Senses, with its focus on wellness, sustainability and uncompromising guest experiences, comes to life in a vision that encompasses:

SPIRITUALITY AND WELLNESS – Six Senses Ibiza will offer a one-of-a kind spiritual learning center with an innovative approach to optimizing health which includes fitness, nutrition, education, yoga, sleep, mindfulness and more. Guests select how far they want to go in pioneering their health and wellness practices and will have a place to relax, recharge and enjoy.

ORGANIC – The property will offer a local, organic, unmodified and unprocessed food experience. The organic offering continues with the cotton of the sheets and towels as well as the amenities kits and uniquely designed apparel.

MUSIC AND FESTIVALS – Six Senses Ibiza will be on the pulse of the community for musicians, music lovers and multi-cultural music creation. They will host pro bono and sponsored programs, festivals, projects and guitar workshops, as well as an annually curated showcase of music performances and wellness festivals for celebrating through yoga, meditation, great food, sports and nature.

SPA – The Six Senses Spa on the island of Ibiza will specialize in a rich array of treatments and techniques from all over the world.  With its spiritual vibe and beautiful design, Six Senses Spa Ibiza offers a full range of treatment rooms, a communal treatment lounge and an oxygen bar. The spa and wellness facility houses a spa café and juice bar, yoga and changing facilities and an extensive fitness center, and features an anti-aging clinic, nutrition guidance and modern healing methods. Outdoors there are massage catacombs, a Watsu pool, a labyrinth plus direct access to the organic gardens where ingredients for the spa botanicals and dining outlets are grown. In addition to the team of skilled therapists, an ongoing program of visiting practitioners ensures guests are the first to experience the latest teachings and programs.

CHARITABLE – Six Senses Ibiza will provide their space and services for local projects such as sharing food with local shelters and donating a portion of profits locally.

DINING – As with all Six Senses properties, destination dining is a memorable experience. At Six Senses Ibiza, there will be a social twist. Long communal dining tables will offer local produce and intermingling at The Market, open 24/7. The poolside offers a raw food organic bar with accompanying cocktails and organic beer. The tapas and barbecue seafood terrace of El Chiringuito sets a decidedly chill mood with live acoustic guitar and late night DJ.

A popup restaurant in the resort’s organic farm will also offer cooking lessons. Private dining will also be offered in suites as they all feature decks or private gardens. As with every Six Senses resort, an ice cream shop on wheels, inspired by a traditional street vendor’s cart, will offer a spectrum of homemade chilled treats, juices and smoothies with a booster supplement menu.
 

About Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas operates 11 resorts and 31 spas in 20 countries under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas. 
Six Senses operates resorts in far-flung locations of incredible natural beauty known for their distinctive and diverse design personalities. Each of the nine properties is supported by a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design. Six Senses hotels which share the same vision and values found at their award-winning resorts will premiere in the group’s first urban location, New York City, in 2019.
 
Six Senses Spas offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists. Six Senses Spas are located in all Six Senses and Evason resorts; 18 additional standalone spas are located in prestigious hotels and resorts as well as the premier class lounges of two major airports.

Evason introduces a collection of two unique resorts that follow the Six Senses philosophy of uncompromised responsibility to sustainability and to the community. Family friendly, these properties also provide a strong value focus while offering a vast array of guest services and personal attention.