Want a different Christmas, or any time, gift? Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, in Northern Thailand, has an idea that is unique, and philanthropic. It is partnering with Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to allow zoom calls with Santa Claus, who will introduce you to these gorgeous gentle giants. Additional creative gifts which also support conservation efforts include a year-long support of one of the three elephants rescued due to COVID-19, monthly updates and pictures will be provided – alternatively, fund feeding one of the resort’s elephants for a month, or support a week anti-poaching activities.
Mandarin Oriental hotels in the Middle East think the holiday season has already come – the group has just been awarded Hotelier Middle East‘s best group in the area. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach Dubai GM Werner Anzinger says his 256-room hotel, which opened February 2019, has probably helped the group grow (it is currently converting Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and the equally-iconic Al Faisalah in Riyadh). Girlahead loves going into Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach Dubai, its entrance court , thanks to designer Jeffrey Wilkes, an interior orchard of 14 glass and stainless trees, all some 12 feet high and nestled around decorative pools. Style is further helped by having a tempting caviar bar and café to one side. A few days Werner Anzinger hosted a casual lunch, outside on The Bay terrace, looking past palest avocado and bluebell-coloured salt and pepper mills at bright sunflower-coloured sun beaming down on the azure ocean and, closer in, lovelies from around the world sunbathing or using calories on the public running track that so usefully goes right past the hotel. Modern luxury includes a memorable ambience, great and healthy eating, and lots of wellness work-out.
For as long as anyone can remember the question has been the same, and unanswered. Why are ‘big hotel brands not in Scandinavia?’ Intercon did flirt with Stockholm, in the form of The Grand Hotel. Now Hyatt goes into the Swedish capital. This very morning it was announced that Hotell Reissen Stockholm, which has a history going back to a coffee house in the 1750s, will become part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. All 144 rooms are redecorated with a Swedish slant, and many, to give an authentic ambience, have private saunas.
Ambience and associated aesthetics are essential in design of hotels, both inside and out. Bangkok-based Bill Bensley understands this perfect – Girlahead is forever mindful of the shiny silver animals he designed to enliven the exterior pool at St Regis in Bangkok, and the gorgeous grounds at Capella Sanya, on China’s Hainan Island. Listen to Bill Bensley’s words of wisdom, below.