“We have Satoshi to thank”, says founder of KeyoCoin

Posted by - October 31, 2018

While the world celebrates Halloween, we thought it is also nice to highlight another landmark of this day. This time also marks the 10th anniversary of the first white paper on blockchain technology written by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto.
A short and unassuming technical paper appears on a forum for cryptography nerd, it proposed a radically new “peer-to-peer” approach to storing and transferring value. Just a few months later, that dream became reality, and Bitcoin, the world’s first crypto currency, came to life.
Fast forward ten years and there’s no escaping the fact that we are still searching for a convincing use for Bitcoin. While the crypto currency itself has found use as a fiat-proxy and bellwether for the blockchain industry it gave birth to, the underlying technology is now popping up in every sector, in every country, in every community, around the world. The travel and tourism industry is certainly no exception.
So what can the travel industry realistically hope to gain from blockchain technology in the decade to come?
Matt Baer, Founder and CEO of KeyoCoin, the universal travel rewards platform shares his thoughts in his words.
From where I’m standing, the biggest gift that blockchain has to offer the travel industry is actually one that already has a strong foothold in this space, but due to a quirk of the market has yet to reach the vast majority of businesses that are in it. Loyalty and rewards programs are big business for large multinational hotels and airlines that enjoy high levels of repeat custom due to their global footprint, but for smaller independent travel businesses with a fly-by-night customer base there is little to be gained by offering one.

The best that a boutique hotel, tour/activity provider, local transport operator, souvenir shop, or restaurant can typically hope for, is that their customers love the experience so much that they tell their family and friends about it if and when they ever visit the same part of the world.
“Millions of businesses are completely locked out of loyalty programs”
The consequence is that millions of businesses are completely locked out of loyalty programs, a huge missed opportunity when we consider the impact they have had for some of the biggest beneficiaries in this sector. The creation of a universal rewards token would enable these businesses to not just influence purchase decisions, but also incentivize non-purchase actions such a leaving a review, recommending a friend, or simply not running off with the embroidered hand-towels.
But solving this problem would require all of these businesses to collectively come up with a universal points system, agree on its value, manage its monetary policy, and of course find a way to stop a handful of merchants from simply ‘printing’ points to spend at other merchants in the ecosystem. All of this could technically be managed centrally, but the complexity and cost of doing so renders it almost impossible. It is here that blockchain’s trustless distributed ledger technology is uniquely equipped to quietly, automatically, overcome these challenges.

Rewards points are, as it happens, already a type of digital currency, and so are perfectly suited to life on the blockchain. Just as blockchain’s distributed ledger allows for a crypto currency to be stored and transferred reliably without centralized control, it also facilitates the creation of a global reward token that is immutable, shareable, transferable, and crucially…subject to market forces.
It would effortlessly allow a limitless number of companies to participate in the micro-economy, without any one of them having overriding power over the token and its value, and I believe lead to unprecedented levels of innovation and entirely new travel experiences for anyone taking part.
“Universal travel rewards will be the game changing application”
Of course the creation of a universal rewards program is just one of the applications of blockchain technology currently being explored by the travel sector. From digital ID, to real-time inventory management, currency conversion to the elimination of credit card fees, a number of applications are being explored by large blue-chip companies and ambitious startups alike, but we’ve yet to see anything come close to widespread use in the real world.
At KeyoCoin we believe that universal travel rewards will be the game changing application that proves that blockchain technology can prosper on the world stage, and it’s no coincidence this solution builds directly upon the most unique properties the blockchain that has allowed crypto currencies to achieve a modicum of success. If we see one blockchain solution reach millions of users in the travel industry in the next ten years, or even five, it will be built on or based around a universal rewards token. And for that, we have Satoshi to thank.
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Dusit Thani Phuket completes refurbishment in time for festive season

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, a full-service beach resort on the north-west coast of Thailand’s largest island, recently underwent enhancement work and is now ready to provide Thai inspired gracious hospitality to guests during the upcoming high season.
Owned and operated by Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket first opened in November 1987. Located on the pristine Bang Tao beach within the Laguna Phuket resort complex, it has since served as Dusit’s flagship resort in the south, delivering the company’s renowned gracious hospitality to guests from key markets worldwide.
Nestled amidst acres of tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Andaman Sea, The Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is located in the heart of the Laguna resort development at Bangtao bay, an idyllic retreat tucked away on the stunning island of Phuket.
A low-rise building in modern Thai style, Dusit Thani Laguna provides accommodation in 226 guest rooms, suites and private pool villas. Overlooking the crystal clear Andaman Sea, all rooms have private balconies, surrounded by palm trees and situated merely a few steps away from the beach.
To maintain the resort’s competitive advantage, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket underwent a major renovation commencing June 2017 and continuing into 2018. The refurbishment of its guest rooms and suites in the North Wing, and the recent upgrading of its signature, award-winning Italian restaurant and public areas were recently completed in time for the upcoming high season to welcome its loyal, returning guests back.
The renovated guest rooms and suites now include native woods and Thai fabrics in vibrant colours and tones to promote a sense of tranquillity. The signature, award-wining Italian restaurant has been separated into two zones, fine dining and relaxing lounge, providing convenience and a better atmosphere for all diners.
To celebrate the new look, the resort is offering a special promotion of Buy 1 night get free 2nd night when book new Premier Ocean Front and Dusit Club room at Dusit Best Available rate. The offer is valid for stays up to 30 November 2018.
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Dusit Thani Phuket completes refurbishment in time for festive season

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, a full-service beach resort on the north-west coast of Thailand’s largest island, recently underwent enhancement work and is now ready to provide Thai inspired gracious hospitality to guests during the upcoming high season.
Owned and operated by Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket first opened in November 1987. Located on the pristine Bang Tao beach within the Laguna Phuket resort complex, it has since served as Dusit’s flagship resort in the south, delivering the company’s renowned gracious hospitality to guests from key markets worldwide.
Nestled amidst acres of tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Andaman Sea, The Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is located in the heart of the Laguna resort development at Bangtao Bay, an idyllic retreat tucked away on the stunning island of Phuket.
A low-rise building in modern Thai style, Dusit Thani Laguna provides accommodation in 226 guest rooms, suites and private pool villas. Overlooking the crystal clear Andaman Sea, all rooms have private balconies, surrounded by palm trees and situated merely a few steps away from the beach.
To maintain the resort’s competitive advantage, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket underwent a major renovation commencing June 2017 and continuing into 2018. The refurbishment of its guest rooms and suites in the North Wing, and the recent upgrading of its signature, award-winning Italian restaurant and public areas were recently completed in time for the upcoming high season to welcome its loyal, returning guests back.
The renovated guest rooms and suites now include native woods and Thai fabrics in vibrant colours and tones to promote a sense of tranquillity. The signature, the award-winning Italian restaurant has been separated into two zones, fine dining and relaxing lounge, providing convenience and a better atmosphere for all diners.
To celebrate the new look, the resort is offering a special promotion of Buy 1 night get free 2nd night when you book new Premier Ocean Front and Dusit Club room at Dusit Best Available rate. The offer is valid for stays up to 30 November 2018.
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From hippy central to booking world tours for major rock acts: Life of a Travel Counsellor

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Santa CruzBritish based independent travel company Travel Counsellors has always intrigued me, who are they? What do they do exactly, and how do they do it?
It’s easy enough to hit Wikipedia and find out how the company was founded in 1994 and operates in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, UAE, UK, Ireland and, of course the UK. But I need more, soon I had tracked down a Travel Counsellor of six years Allison Barnard to find out how she got started, the best and worst features of being a TC, tricks of the trade and more.
TD: I can’t help notice your slight American twang, how did you come to be in the UK working as Travel Counsellor?
AB: I started out in Santa Cruz, hippy central in California, United States; surfers, skaters and a wide variety of music pumped through the town – it was also the location of 80’s classic vampire movie Lost Boys – I loved it there but I was desperate, even from when I was little, to kick-on and see the world.
HippiesThen, as a teenager, I got the chance to go to the UK to work as a nanny. I arrived with 20 dollars in my pocket but at least I had a job. The nanny thing turned into more of a challenge than I thought. What I expected to be 40 hour a week job soon became 80 hours — for just 40 quid weekly wage. But I had come to the UK as part of my yen to see the world, so I decided that I should get into travel and began looking for a job.
What was your first travel job?
I started working for Travel2, where I sold rooms, wholesale, for the travel trade – which was nice to get to learn the ins and outs of the industry, it even helped me with geography and where everywhere was. This was a great grounding to build my career on.
Allison Barnard, Travel CounsellorWhat came next?
From there I moved to a private members travel club – a bit more of concierge style with more hand-holding involved. Then, just after I had returned from maternity leave after the birth of my first child, I felt redundant and was being asked [by employment agencies] to similar jobs but with more work and less money – I decided to go a different route and joined Travel Counsellors.
“I had to build from scratch”
How did you get on, was it plain sailing from there?
Not plain sailing, no. They accepted me thanks to my background and I had come to know the industry quite well. I started with absolutely no clients and I had to build from scratch. My first booking was a web enquiry, which rarely pans out.
Now, I said I had no clients but then I realised I live in London, one of the biggest cities in the world, and everyone travels so, in theory I had access to millions of potential customers.
“There is not much I can’t source”
So, I put my head down and worked, worked, worked. It was a struggle for the first couple of years, I was busy and it was hard. But as things do, as I progressed, it began to spiral and I started getting better and better clients, so now I look after major music artists when they are going on tour, planning their routes and where they will stay; I look after family holidays, as well as short and long term business trips. There is not much I can’t source.
So how does the Travel Counselling gig work?
I am self-employed. Basically I am a franchisee of Travel Counsellors; they provide financial protection, branding, business support, buying power, access to booking tech and help me make my business successful.
The good and the bad
Do you have an office?
I tend to work from home but I can work anywhere in the world, and set my own hours. I have even built an itinerary whilst on holiday. I just need a decent internet connection and I can go.
What’s the best part of being a Travel Counsellor?
Hmm, it sounds cheesy but I get to make peoples dreams come true. Even with business travel, which you might not expect to be someone’s dream, even working with bands they are doing what they always wanted, getting out on the road and playing their music to crowds all over the world. With families you are creating this special moment in their lives, I find it very rewarding.
Even when I am unable to travel myself, I get to live vicariously through some of the bookings I make.
And the worst part?
Giving bad news. Having to call a client and tell them the price of the holiday has shot up or cancelled, is never a nice thing to have to do, I always have an alternative for them but it’s still a disappointment.
“My business always does better when I remember to do things for me”
Do you have any tips for prospective agents trying to make their way as a freelancer?
Know your tech, make it work for you and always pick up the phone, endless email threads can be condensed in to one concise phone call. It’s efficient and your customers will value you more by having actual contact.
Don’t forget you. Make sure you have me time, not just work time/kid time. Even if it’s just walking the dog or stopping in the park for a coffee on the way back from school drop off or a yoga class or a swim. My business always does better when I remember to do things for me. And you really can’t look after anyone else if you don’t look after you.
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Emirates doubles up with A380 touchdowns in Japan and Germany

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Emirates flight deck and cabin crew and Emirates airport staff in Osaka.Emirates celebrated the touch down of its first A380 service from Dubai to Osaka this week, when flight EK316 hit the tarmac of Kansai International Airport at 1655, local time, on 28 October.
Passengers aboard the 489-capacity A380 – comprised of 399 economy class seating, six flat-bed business class ‘mini-pods’ and 14 first class suites on the plane’s upper deck – and were welcomed to the city with by a traditional water cannon salute upon arrival.
Commenting on the new service, Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said: “Adding Osaka to our growing list of A380 destination cities allows us to provide our customers in Japan with the best-in-class on-board product and innovative offering that the aircraft offers – this is a great achievement for us.
“Osaka is a significant gateway for Emirates in Japan and this capacity increase allows us to extend our A380 service to passengers who appreciate an unrivalled travel experience. Features such as the generous space and legroom in economy class, On-board Lounge for First and Business Class, showers in First Class as well as our award-winning in-flight entertainment system across all cabins make travelling on this aircraft a sought-after experience.”
The A380 in Osaka with the Expo 2020 livery“Authentic Japanese dining experience with Japanese cabin crew”
Antinori added: “Our customers also enjoy the personalised service we have created including the authentic Japanese dining experience with Japanese cabin crew on all flights to make our customers feel at home. Travellers from the Kansai region will now find it even easier to seamlessly connect to more than 155 destinations worldwide through our hub in Dubai.”
Coming home On top of its first A380-operated service to Osaka, Emirates also marked the launch of its new A380 service from Dubai to Hamburg which landed at 1255 local time on 29 October.
“Bringing our flagship aircraft ‘home'”
Discussing this service Antinori noted the romantic return of the model type to its place of origin: “We are finally bringing our flagship aircraft ‘home’ as all our A380s are being fitted at Airbus in Hamburg. We are the first airline to offer scheduled A380 services into Hamburg and we are proud to operate the A380 on flights to all German gateways.
Antinori went on to add: “This year marks the tenth year of Emirates’ A380 operations. This aircraft has become the most recognisable and admired ones in the world, loved by over 105 million passengers that have experienced the Emirates A380 to date and sets the benchmark for travel comfort in commercial flying.”
A380 service from Dubai to Hamburg landing at Hamburg AirportEmirates has grown demand for its services on both routes and together with the increasing popularity of the Emirates A380 experience among customers, the airline made the decision to deploy its A380 aircraft to both Osaka and Hamburg.
With 105 A380s in its fleet, Emirates operates this popular aircraft to the most number of global cities of any airline. Osaka became Emirates’ 49th global A380 destination while its long-time friendship city Hamburg joined the A380 network as the airline’s 50th A380 destination.
Flight information EK316 departs Dubai (DXB) every day at 0305 and arrives in Osaka (KIX) at 1655 – arrival time shifts to 1705 from 1 December 2018 until 31 March 2019. EK317 departs Osaka at 2335 and lands in DXB at 0545 the following morning.
EK061 will depart from Dubai every day at 1500 and arrive in Hamburg (HAM) at 1905. The return flight, EK062, is scheduled to depart Hamburg at 2100 and land in Dubai at 0620 the next morning (all times local).
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The other side of Seoul

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Here’s a quick, often tasty way to learn about the South Korean culture. Source: Lainey Loh.
SEOUL is a South Korean metropolis that pulsates to the beats of Korean pop, more commonly known as K-pop.
The South Korean capital got its claim to international fame when the Hallyu (Korean wave phenomenon) took the world by storm and changed pop culture as we knew it. The use of flawless K-drama (Korean drama) heartthrobs and masterfully trained, bubbly K-pop idols to promote tourism to the country also helped elevate the country’s international profile and attracted 17.2 million foreign tourists in 2016.
Towering skyscrapers, carefully choreographed dance moves, an abundance of beauty products, the seemingly fastpaced lifestyle, and overtold tales of plastic surgery aside, the city offers endless more discoveries you probably have yet to chance upon.
Seoul, the gateway to South Korea, slowly rose from the ashes a handful of decades ago after the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, signaling an “end” to the Korean War albeit unofficially.
From the late 1960s to the late 1990s, South Korea had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, having developed itself using its own resources through years of isolation. Today, its economy is the fourth largest in Asia and the 12th largest in the world and is considered a tech giant.
Seoul is now the center of commerce, industry, finance, education, culture, history, and technology.
Source: Shutterstock.
But beyond its shiny, commercial facade, there is one thing that Seoul has not forgotten: tradition. And this is evident in the number of existing traditional markets, some more than a century old, such as the Gwangjang Market.
Offering a glimpse into the lives of locals, the markets are huge, with rows upon rows of products on offer ranging from fabrics, electronics, household items, clothes, accessories, and of course, food.
Be prepared to spend more than half a day weaving through the maze of main streets and innermost lanes as you discover every nook and cranny, shopping, bargaining, and eating your way through the market.
Here are some traditional markets worth visiting:
Gwangjang Market Established in 1905, Gwangjang Market was the first permanent market in Korea, and it continues to thrive as a popular destination, attracting both locals and tourists alike.
Not only is it a market, but it is also a historical site, known as South Korea’s living museum.
Source: Lainey Loh.
The sprawling market is vibrant and often filled with foodies on a hunt for a hearty lunch and homemakers looking for a good bargain, so there is always a constant buzz of chatter in the air.
With over 5,000 shops and vendors peddling everything from silk, satin, and linen bedsheet to authentic Korean street food that is sure to tingle your taste buds, Gwangjang is your go-to for quality goods at inexpensive prices.
And do not let the appearance of the small fabric stores fool you, for many of them even have their own factories supplying fabrics to other markets and some departmental stores.
Source: Lainey Loh.
Sample your way through Gwangjang Market’s endless snack and street food selection, from fresh seafood to piping hot pancakes, before picking up packs of banchan (a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables) to take home.
Be sure to have enough cash on you, though, as most of its stores or restaurants take only cash.
And if you are lucky, some of them may even give you a discount if you pay with cash.
Source: Lainey Loh.
Getting there: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Opening hours: General stores 8:30am till 6pm, restaurants 8:30am till 11pm, clothing stores 9pm till 10am.
Chuncheon Romantic Market Just a short stroll away from Chuncheon’s famed dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken) street is the region’s largest traditional market.
Formerly known as Jungang Market, the Chuncheon Romantic Market is not technically in Seoul, but it is only a short drive away.
Source: Lainey Loh.
Located in Chuncheon’s very own version of Myeongdong (not to be confused with Seoul’s hip shopping district), the market opened in 1960 but was made popular by the 2002 hit K-drama, Winter Sonata.
Chuncheon Romantic Market is said to be a hotspot for locals, and it is easy to see why.
Aside from finding little treasures and travel mementos and shopping to your heart’s content, you will also enjoy highly Instagrammable artwork depicting scenes of Korea’s traditional marketplaces along the alleys. Cute is really an understatement.
Source: Lainey Loh.
The establishment offers a varied range of goods, from hanboks to bags and shoes, to electronic appliances and household goods. Rummage around and you may even find the occasional piece of jewelry or two.
Of course, it goes without saying that food is also aplenty, but we doubt you would have space for snacks after feasting on a sumptuous meal of dakgalbi.
Source: Lainey Loh.
Getting there: 34, Myeongdong-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do.
Opening hours: Varies by store.
Tongin Market Established in 1941 at a time when Korea was still under Japanese rule, Tongin Market is tucked away in the heart of the bustling Seoul city, right by Gyeongbokgung Palace, and it is one that only locals know about so blink and you will miss it.
And when we say tucked away, we mean the unassuming entrance to the market is literally tucked right in between larger shophouses and hence, it is easy to overlook.
But get your adventurous self on and venture on inside because you will find that it is another world, opening up to an overwhelmingly large space jam-packed with street vendors and stores at every turn.
Source: Lainey Loh.
If you love to eat, Tongin Market’s specialty is its vivid array of wonderfully mouthwatering traditional Korean street food, so it is best to go with an empty stomach and a huge appetite.
In fact, getting your lunch is bound to be a fun experience because Tongin Market is an arcade-style market, where you can exchange 5,000 won for a collection of old coins and a lunch box.
These token-like coins will be your currency, allowing you to exchange for food to fill up your lunch box.
Source: Lainey Loh.
As you meander through the lanes checking out all the stalls, treat yourself to succulent meat-stuffed mandu (pan-fried dumplings), a sweet and savory serving of japchae (stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables), and rolls of gimbap (seaweed rice roll).
And definitely, do not leave without sampling the market’s trademark crispy fried tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes).
After you have filled your lunch box with all the yummies your tummy will thank you for, waddle on happily upstairs with your best South Korean foodie finds and enjoy your meal in the comfort of a mess hall.
Source: Lainey Loh.
Getting there: 18, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Opening hours: Weekdays 9am till 6pm, Saturday 9am till 1pm.

Lainey Loh | @laineyx
A certified daydreamer, when she's not physically travelling, she's often going places in her head. Her first love is coffee & her second, wine – & she accepts bribes in either forms. She's also entirely capable of deep conversations about life & random musings just for laughs, but do excuse her if she appears AWOL mid-chat – she's just going places in her head.

Constance Hotels & Resorts introduces its “cool, younger sister”

Posted by - October 31, 2018

Constance Prince Maurice, MauritiusConstance Hotels & Resorts, a collection of hotels in the Indian Ocean, has announced the debut of its new brand — C Resorts.
Constance Hotels & Resorts currently operates in Mauritius, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Madagascar and Zanzibar. With the new brand, the group will introduce a collection of “vibrant, convivial, upper upscale lifestyle hotels” aimed at those who want to escape to a young paradise.
According to a statement, at C Resorts, guests will reconnect with their inner child and revive the true value of play in an environment that allows them to let go and relax.
“The cool, younger sister”
“C Resorts shares the same core values of excellence and inventiveness as Constance Hotels & Resorts but is the cool, younger sister, expressing its own personality through an atmosphere of fun and limitless creativity. We want it to be a place where guests can regain the free spirit of their youth and let go of their adult concerns,” said Jean-Jacques Vallet, CEO of the group.
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The concept behind the brand, Nature’s Playground, offers 12 original guest experiences – the Cignatures – that will differentiate a holiday at C Resorts.
These include grown-up swings scattered throughout the grounds; a giant musical shower on the beach; an outdoor fitness studio using equipment made from natural materials; sociable group hikes; endless games and giant floating mattresses; and party nights on the beach until the moonrise.
C MauritiusThe first hotel, C Mauritius, opening on the eastern coast of the island, will have a soft opening on 15 December and will be fully operational in March 2019. The inaugural property will embody the concept and will be the prototype for all other new properties opening under the brand.
Constance aims to open two C Resorts each year over the next five years and is looking to expand the brand throughout the Indian Ocean, Africa and Southeast Asia.
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Expedia reveals 6 of the most amazing hotels never built

Posted by - October 31, 2018

We seek hotels for different reasons — and for many us, it is the experience to gain that proves to be a strong selling point. Our ideal hotel would be a hotel that’s extraordinary, one that stirs our imagination and goes beyond our wildest dreams.
Below are 6 of the most amazing hotels never built. The ambitious collection was compiled by Expedia to remind us of hotel ideas that were forgotten in time.
Full Moon Hotel
The Full Moon Hotel, originally planned for Baku, Azerbaijan would have resembled Darth Vader’s planet-sized military complex from one angle — the Death Star — but Star Wars fans and luxury hotel seekers will have to put their fantasies on hold for the time being.
The Fourth Grace
While doubters claimed it was the ugliest hotel design of the bunch, others saw an ethereal cloud or diamond in Will Alsop’s stilt-bound structure. Unfortunately, the project fell apart in 2004 due to financial difficulties and the British architect passed away earlier this year.
The Hotel Commonwealth
The Commonwealth was to have been the largest hotel in the world, welcoming guests to 2,500 rooms on a plot that took up an entire block on Broadway. “Through its 28 stories,” the publicity read, this proposed hotel would “rise 400 feet in the air in graceful terraces… the flowering plants and shrubs upon each terrace giving the monster hostelry an unusual beauty of architecture, rivalled only by the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon.”
Rogers Lacy Hotel
Oil millionaire Rogers Lacy commissioned legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build a real gem, and Wright was customarily bombastic with his ideas: he claimed his Shard-like skyscraper hotel would “glisten in the night” and argued that it should be named the Lone Star. But Wright dreamt too big, and the project stalled even before Lacy’s premature death. Wright later recycled some of his unused ideas for the Price Tower in Bartlesville.
Xanadu Hotel
Planned to be a 2,000-room Aztec-style pyramid hotel with a 20-story atrium and flaming water feature, the Xanadu would have been an eye-catcher even among the outrageous facades of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. Unfortunately, a dispute arose over sewer line installations and the project was flushed.
Lunar Hilton Hotel
Barron Hilton was inspired by the buzz of the space race to create a fleet of Orbiter Hilton satellite hotels, with a flagship Hilton Hotel under the surface of the moon.
Although Hilton’s big ideas sparked a short-lived space-hotel race, the cost per head would have put room prices out of the reach of mortal Earthlings, and the designs were put back in the drawer… for now.
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Hotelbeds hooks up with Millennium Hotels to access 1.4 million room nights

Posted by - October 31, 2018

The Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge, LondonMillennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) and Hotelbeds, have announced their new partnership to boost MHR’s distribution with access to the bedbank’s global network.
The agreement will strengthen MHR’s distribution through Hotelbeds’ presence in more than 140 markets, covering a wide range of channels including airlines, MICE operators, point redemption schemes, retail travel agencies and tour operators representing a total of more 60,000 travel distributors.
In the other direction, the agreement will also see all of Hotelbeds brands — Hotelbeds, Bedsonline, Tourico Holidays, and GTA – gain a “direct real-time” connection to the London based company’s 1.4 million-plus annual room nights, spread across more than 60 key business and leisure travel destinations.
At the close of 2017, MHR’s portfolio included 40,000 rooms in 136 hotels across the United States, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, represented by four different brands, namely Leng’s Collection, M Collection, Millennium Collection and Copthorne Collection.
“This will be a strong relationship delivering special rates and availability”
Mark Redmond, head of global chains at Hotelbeds Group, said: “We are delighted to be connecting to MHR’s global hospitality offering. This will be a strong relationship delivering special rates and availability across the MHR portfolio to our 60,000 plus clients while giving MHR access to higher-margin, niche segments of the travel market.”
“Deeper penetration of Hotelbeds’ client base will support higher margins”
Nayan Peshkar, senior vice president digital, distribution and revenue strategy for Millennium Hotels and Resorts, added: “We are very pleased to be working with Hotelbeds. This supports the Group’s wider distribution strategy of reducing reliance on static rate & room agreements in the leisure segment. Our guests are now able to get the best rates at all times across all channels. Deeper penetration of Hotelbeds’ client base will support higher margins and propel a more dynamic customer relationship.”
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“The prime hotel address in Beijing”: Mandarin Oriental to debut in China

Posted by - October 31, 2018

An artist’s impression of Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, BeijingThe new property, Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, will be located in the heart of historic Beijing — positioned as the city’s most luxurious boutique hotel. With roof-top terrace views of the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, the brand’s debut in China is a bold one.
The hotel takes its name from the Wangfujing district which is connected to WF CENTRAL, Hongkong Land’s premium lifestyle retail destination with a mix of over 130 tenants. The hotel is just minutes from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, within easy reach of the CBD and financial district.
“The prime hotel address in Beijing”
The hotel’s general manager, Mark Bradford, said: “Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing will become the prime hotel address in Beijing this winter, offering supreme comfort, impeccable service, incredible cuisine and an unmatchable garden-terrace view of the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City. We are looking forward to welcoming guests very soon.”
Forbidden City in Beijing, ChinaMandarin Oriental Wangfujing will be a 73-room boutique hotel located on the upper two floors of WF CENTRAL with rooms that are a minimum of 55 sqm — among the largest in Beijing.
The hotel will offer two restaurants and a rooftop bar with both having access to a garden terrace. Café Zi will offer all-day dining, specialising in Asian cuisine and featuring a signature lunchtime dim sum selection created by Michelin-starred Hong Kong chef, Wong Wing-Keung. Mandarin Grill + Bar will feature classic grill-style dishes with interiors by Adam Tihany, while MO Bar will serve innovative cocktails and feature resident and international DJs.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing will have four suites offering curated treatments the brand is known for, as well as a 25-metre, glass-roofed pool.
National Art Museum of ChinaWithin walking distance are the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the National Museum and the National Art Museum of China. The historic hutongs (alleyways) of Beijing, known for their charming courtyard homes, are also dotted around the district, as well as ancient temples.
Other easily accessible attractions include the Temple of Heaven, the 798 art district and the Summer Palace. China’s most iconic site, the Great Wall, can also be reached in under 90 minutes.
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