Aerion Supersonic, and Jetex, based in Dubai, have signed a strategic partnership to deliver seamless ultra-luxury travel. Aerion, led by CEO Tom Vice, aims to launch its AS2 business jets by 2025: they will be the first supersonic aircraft to accept 100% synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without need for afterburners (an order backlog of approximately $3 billion is already secured, to build 300 aircraft at Aerion Park in Melbourne FL).
Meanwhile, back down on earth, Belmond launches Slow Summer experiences that evoke a nostalgia for balmy summer days spent exploring the best of town and country. Tucked away in England’s picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, instance, Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, as above, offers bucolic picnics, private alfresco dining in a glasshouse within the stunning grounds of the 15th century manor house – or a newly-conceived four-course, two-star (Michelin) Summer Soirée charcoal-cooked dinner, using ingredients from the hotel gardens.
Still to come from Belmond…1st August 2020 sees the re-launch of the Belmond Royal Scotsman train, now with alfresco loch-side dinners at Rothiemurchus Estate, and, south of the border in England, the British Pullman. The new month will also see a new GM, Xavier Lablaude, in charge of the re-opening of the perennially-classic Belmond Cadogan Hotel in the heart of London – take a bespoke picnic, say afternoon tea, across Sloane Street to private-entry Cadogan Place Gardens.
Travel east from London, 8,336 miles to Japan’s ancient capital, Nara. Here, the first J.W. Marriott in the country has just opened (it’s Marriott’s 800th property, all brands, in Asia Pacific and, says Craig S. Smith, Group President, Asia Pacific for Marriott International, “We remain confident in the resilience of travel, our owners and franchisees, guests and associates as well as the future prospects of lodging in Asia Pacific, our second largest market”). J.W. Marriott Nara, which has 150 rooms, is owned by the Mori Trust and GM is Chris Clark.