Luxury Hotels

ANYONE ASHORE?

Regent is ships, beautiful ships, and hotels, being revitalised under present owners, IHG – listen to Jeremiah Tower on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, below, enthusing about the Chinese restaurant at the former REGENT HONG KONG (yes, the hotel re-emerges, beautiful butterfly-like, in about six months’ time after a refreshing hibernationary sleep).  Throughout the closure, by the way, ‘that’ Chinese restaurant, Yan Toh Heen, beautifully designed as if a jewel box, has remained open, and busy as always with food-discerning Hongkongers. Many regulars, by the way, instantly head for the steamed pork and prawn dumplings with crabmeat roe, a highlight on the dim sum menu.

Aman, the hotel brand, is also going into ships, or rather luxury yachts. There will also be cruises. Aman’s partner in what is currently called Project Sama – Sanskrit for tranquillity – is Cruise Saudi. This Riyadh- based company is chaired by Fawaz Farooqui, who after a computer-centric Masters from University of Southern California gained a Stanford Masters in Business Administration in 2013 and his many high-level roles since have included Saudia, the airline, and heading Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Programme: today, as chief advisor to the Minister of Culture he still has time for other tasks. As yet un-named, Project Sama’s first vessel is scheduled to launch its first cruise in 2025.  The drawing-board super-yacht, as shown above, is 183 metres long.  It has 50 suites, all with balconies, numerous restaurants, two helipads and one marina attached to the stern. The yacht will be coming from Netherlands-based Sinot, whose lead Sander Sinot is also rumoured to be designing a $650-million hydrogen-fuelled yacht for Bill Gates.

Which other hotels have extended to floating-at-sea beds? In The Maldives, FOUR SEASONS EXPLORER is described by the company as ‘the world’s most intimate Four Seasons resort’.  This vessel is a three-deck, 39-metre-long luxury liveaboard that takes up to 22 passengers. Now, through end April 2022, Four Seasons Explorer’s ‘Winter of Wonders’ cruises travers five atolls, exploring everything from coral-ceilinged caves and swim-through tunnels to a fish-filled wreck. And look at all you can do. Available experiences include snorkelling, water-skiing, wind-surfing, wake-boarding, fishing and kayaking. You can also spend time with the marine biologist; visit secluded islands for cultural and castaway experiences; discover historic monuments and isolated arts and crafts villages; relax with on-board massages; enjoy spa experiences on remote islands, and indulge in sandbank picnics and barbecues.

Well, says Girlahead, can anyone afford the time to stay home these days?  Our good friend Jeremiah Tower, for instance, is using his idyllic Merida home – which seems to be built around a serious-lap pool – as hub from which to commute out and back researching regional foods of Mexico. And he certainly does not have time to board any boat, for his passion (one of’em), diving.  Hear him now: