Royal Caribbean International reveals roster of 2018-19 China, Singapore and Australia itineraries; first Quantum Ultra-class ship to be based in the Asia-Pacific region to set sail in 2019

April 26, 2017

Royal Caribbean

The following is a press release from Royal Caribbean International:

Royal Caribbean International has unveiled future plans for the first Quantum Ultra-class ship to be based in the Asia-Pacific region. Set to be launched in spring 2019, the yet-to-be-named ship will be the next evolution of the groundbreaking Quantum class and will join her sister ships, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. The announcement was made as Royal Caribbean unveiled its full roster of 2018-19 China, Singapore and Australia itineraries.

With nearly a decade since Royal Caribbean’s first cruise in China, the cruise line further bolsters its commitment to the market by dedicating a lineup of its most technologically advanced ships to the rapidly growing market. The new ship will specifically be designed for guests in the region, featuring even more cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.

As part of the deployment plans for 2018-19, Mariner of the Seas will reposition to a new home in Miami, Florida embarking on a “Global Odyssey” from Asia that features three long sailings from Singapore to Dubai; Dubai to Barcelona; and Barcelona to Miami. The “Global Odyssey” opens for sale on May 2, 2017.  Voyager of the Seas will have her first full season in Singapore in 2018-19, offering 3- to 7-night adventures throughout Southeast Asia with stops that include ports in Thailand and Malaysia.

The new 2018-19 deployment season presents additional highlights, including an expanded offering of open-jaw itineraries for adventure-seekers traveling down under with new 10-night open-jaw itineraries between Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne or Sydney, Australia on Radiance of the Seas. During the winter, Ovation of the Seas will reposition to Sydney for her longest season in Australia, reclaiming the title as the largest ship based in the region.

Royal Caribbean’s China 2018-19 itineraries for Quantum and Voyager will be available to book beginning April 26, 2017, followed by Ovation on April 27. Australia and Singapore sailings will be open as of May 16, 2017.
2018-19 China, Singapore, Australia Deployment Highlights

Adventures from China and Singapore

Available to book April 26 and April 27, 2017

  • Quantum of the Seas will continue to sail from Shanghai for the fourth consecutive season, offering 78 sailings to and from Japan, beginning January 2018. Highlights include:
    • 6-night Japan itinerary: Visiting the historic city of Nagasaki and overnighting in Okinawa, Japan, guests can dive into  the unique culture of the nation’s southernmost prefecture
    • 8-night Ultimate Japan itinerary: Showcasing the best of the nation with stops in Kobe, Tokyo and Nagasaki, Japan
  • Ovation of the Seas will return to Tianjin, China for its second season, offering a rich lineup to explore the best of Japan, including two new ports for the ship: Sasaebo and Shimonoseki. The season begins April 2018. Highlights include:
    • 5-night Japan itinerary: Sailing to Sasaebo and Shimonoseki, Japan, travelers will venture to what many know as “The Gateway to Japan.”
    • 7-night Ultimate Japan itinerary: Guest uncover far-flung locales in Japan, including the scenic ports of Sakaiminato, Maizuru and Nagasaki, Japan
  • Voyager of the Seas will offer a combined total of 77 sailings from Singapore, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, offering countless adventures across Southeast Asia, beginning April 30, 2018. Itinerary highlights include:
    • 4-night Malaysia itinerary: Sailing from Singapore and visiting Penang and Phuket, Malaysia, a hub of vibrant neighborhoods and heritage architecture
    • 5-night Vietnam itinerary: From Hong Kong to far-flung destinations, including Chan May and Nha Trang, Vietnam, guests will discover a country of breathtaking beauty and a storied past 

Journeys in Australia and South Pacific

Available to book May 16, 2017

  • Ovation of the Seasthe largest and most technologically advanced ship to sail in Australian waters – will sail from Sydney, Australia for its third and longest season in the country, offering 13 sailings beginning November 2018. Highlights include:
    • 10-night New Zealand itinerary: Departing Sydney, featuring the country’s endemic wildlife and Maori heritage with stops in Milford Sound, Napier and Picton, New Zealand
    • 14-night Singapore to Sydney, open-jaw itinerary: Setting sail this Fall to ports of call including Adelaide and Hobart, Tasmania
  • Radiance of the Seas will have an expanded open-jaw program with three new itineraries venturing out into Australia in 2019. Highlights include:
    • New – 10-night, open-jaw itinerary: Departing from Auckland, New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia, travelers will visit various captivating destinations throughout the Tasman Sea.
  • Explorer of the Seas will join Ovation of the Seas for her fourth season based in Sydney with 23 sailings exploring the island destinations of the South Pacific and Fiji. The ship’s cruises range from 3- to 14-night itineraries, and will begin in October 2018. Highlights include:

12-night South Pacific and Fiji itinerary: Visiting a lineup of exotic destinations, including Noumea, Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Lautoka and Suva, Fiji.

St. Regis Changsha opens in China

March 16, 2017

The St. Regis Changsha
The St. Regis Changsha (Photo courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts)

The St. Regis Changsha has opened in China. It is St. Regis Hotels & Resorts’ eighth hotel in Greater China. According to a St. Regis press release, the brand also expects to debut The St. Regis Shanghai Jing’an before the end of 2017, as well as four additional hotels in Greater China’s gateway cities and leisure destinations over the next five years.

The following is an excerpt from a St. Regis press release:

The St. Regis Changsha is ideally situated in the capital city of the Hunan province in South Central China, nestled at the lower reaches of the Xiang River. Changsha enjoys a storied past, serving as one of the most important cities in China since the Qin Dynasty. An ideal destination for both business and leisure travel, Changsha has become a thriving commercial and manufacturing trade center, renowned for its striking landscapes and flourishing dining and entertainment scene. The St. Regis Changsha serves as the ideal departure point for travelers looking to be immersed in the city’s historic local traditions. Guests can admire the city’s historic craftsmanship of bronzeware, pottery, porcelain and calligraphy, as well as marvel at the panoramic views of the beautiful landscapes from the top of the nearby Yuelu Mountain.

Owned by the Yunda Group, The St. Regis Changsha is housed in the heart of Yunda Central Plaza, on the 48th to 63rf floors in one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. The St. Regis Changsha also enjoys its own helipad on the 63rd floor, providing an exceptional way to arrive or depart to and from the hotel.

Luxury Accommodations & Unrivaled Service

The St. Regis Changsha offers 188 exquisitely styled guest rooms and suites, boasting sweeping views of the city, forming a luxurious respite from the frenetic pace of urban life. The rooms are beautifully designed and decorated with subtle Chinese touches. Guests of The St. Regis Changsha enjoy the famed hallmark of the St. Regis brand – signature St. Regis Butler Service – which offers unparalleled, around-the-clock service by customizing each guest’s stay according to their tastes and preferences. Trained in the English tradition, the St. Regis butler offers a range of services including unpacking and packing, beverage service, garment pressing and booking excursions and reservations. The St. Regis Changsha also offers guests the opportunity to relax at The St. Regis Athletic Club, located on the 63rd floor, which features an indoor swimming pool with a beautiful panoramic view and a 24-hour fitness center.

Impeccable Culinary Experiences

The St. Regis Changsha offers six distinct culinary venues, where guests can dine and lounge while taking in the stunning views of the city below. At Social, guests enjoy the traditional St. Regis brunch as well as an extensive buffet and live cooking stations that truly bring the kitchen to life, while Yan Ting, a refined specialty Chinese restaurant, offers a mix of authentic Cantonese and Hunan cuisine.

Guests can also choose to savor fine Japanese dishes at Un, before enjoying premium Chinese tea at the Tea Lounge. Gourmet coffees and vintage champagnes await at The Drawing Room, while the signature St. Regis Bar is an elegant space to indulge in premium wines, rare spirits and handcrafted cocktails such as the St. Regis brand’s famous Bloody Mary or the hotel’s signature Baijiu Mary featuring signature Hunan spices and local baijiu.

Events Beyond Expectation

The St. Regis Changsha’s thoughtfully designed event and meeting spaces can accommodate any occasion from exquisite weddings to intimate business gatherings.  The hotel’s elegant main ballroom, which spans 1,888 square meters, accommodates up to 1,700 guests.  The hotel also features a spacious 660-square-meter foyer and eight distinct function rooms equipped with the latest technology.

The St. Regis Changsha is offering special grand opening packages starting from CNY1,680 net per room per night with breakfast for one guest, valid until June 29, 2017.

Ritz-Carlton opens its first golf resort in China

January 17, 2017

Ritz-Carlton
(Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has opened its first golf resort in China at the Ritz-Carlton, Haikou. The golf resort, situated at Mission Hills on Hainan Island, boasts 10 18-hole championship courses.

According to a Ritz-Carlton press release, the 175-room, 16-suite hotel has a 350-acre Blackstone Course that weaves its way around the Mission Hills Golf Club. Built on top of a bedrock of ancient lava from extinct volcanos, the dramatic landscape features rocky outcrops with striking variations of jungle vegetation, expansive lakes and wetlands which can be viewed from every room.

The Ritz-Carlton, Haikou pays homage to the heritage of golf throughout. The architects AECOM, with interior designers HBA Los Angeles, have playfully created a design reminiscent of an elegant golf clubhouse. Guestrooms feature fabrics and patterns inspired by vintage golf elements, ensuring no two spaces are alike. Wall panels and light fixtures incorporate stitching that evokes handmade golf shoes, while antique leathers make references to a vintage golf bag. Tartan flooring remind guests of Scotland, the birthplace of golf.

Stories of holes won or lost can be enjoyed at sunset on the private patio of the hotel’s rooftop Flair Bar which overlooks the golf course. Cocktails feature local fruits, including lychees from the ancient trees that dot the grounds of Mission Hills. A Scottish bagpiper’s lament signals the end the day, or if you prefer, salutes the triumphs of the day, before dinner in Flair’s private dining room which offers a selection of single-malt whiskies and cigars.

Fine dining takes on new meaning in Haikou with the introduction of the elegant Tin Lung Heen Cantonese restaurant which features classic Chinese décor combined with contemporary textures of wood and stone. Diners can enjoy the best of the highly-revered Cantonese cuisine as well as regional delicacies while listening to a master recite classic T’ang Dynasty poetry. The modern rusticity of Terra provides a warm backdrop to an international world-class line-up of chefs preparing authentic dishes from Tuscany to China.

After the hard-fought battles on the fairway, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, with its seven treatment rooms offers a signature Golfer’s Retreat treatment, to sooth away the skirmishes of the day, amongst other rejuvenating and relaxing treatments. The Spa also has a steam room, cool mist showers and indoor vitality pools with jets, as well as a fitness center and swimming pool. Golfers can prepare for the day with Golfer’s Yoga on the lawn.

The luxury golf resort features 11,483 square feet of banquet facilities for conferences and celebrations. Spaces include a 4,429-square-foot Grand Ballroom, two Junior Ballrooms (902 square feet each), seven meeting rooms and one boardroom. With a manicured Fairway Lawn and vast expanses of greenery, the Ritz-Carlton, Haikou wedding specialists can create a memorabe experience to perfection.

The younger guests of the Ritz-Carlton can enjoy their own adventures with the immersive Ritz Kids program designed to build upon their imaginations. A variety of features include the Kids Club, an outdoor playground, a Kids swimming pool, bicycle rental and a Kids Golf Putting Area for golfers-to-be.

Within close proximity to the hotel, Mission Hills Centreville is a premier entertainment and nightlife hub. The design of the Town Center is influenced by design themes from all over the world, boasting an indoor and outdoor commercial shopping complex complete with ponds, bridges, islands and a plaza designed for festival activities.

Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel launches in China

December 16, 2016

Sheraton Huangdao Hotel
(Photo courtesy of Sheraton Huangdao Hotel)

Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel has opened at 1769 Jiang Hong Road, Binjiang District in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.  The hotel has 350 guest rooms and suites, each with 43-inch LCD televisions and high-speed internet access.  The hotel has a Sheraton® Fitness center, a heated indoor swimming pool and spa. Club Room guests have access to the Sheraton Club Lounge, which offers complimentary breakfast and happy hour drinks with canapés.

Other dining options at the hotel include:

  • The Lobby Lounge, which has an ocean theme and Paired,  the Sheraton brand’s reinvigorated food and beverage program of matching small plates, premium wines and craft beers .
  • Feast, the signature all-day dining restaurant with international buffets
  • Yue, a Chinese restaurant serving both traditional and contemporary cuisines.

The hotel has 8,202 square feet of meeting and event space, including 3,937-square-foot, pillar-less Grand Ballroom, which can also be divided into three separate function rooms, complemented by a 1,936-square-foot pre-function area.

Hilton Sanqingshan Resort launches in Shangrao, China

December 15, 2016

Hilton Sanqingshan Resort
(Photo courtesy of Hilton Sanqingshan Resort)

Hilton Sanqingshan Resort has opened at Mount Sanqing National Park in Shangrao, China. Hilton Sanqingshan Resort is the first internationally branded resort in Shangrao and Hilton’s debut in Jiangxi Province. Owned by Sanqingshan Travel Group and managed by Hilton, the resort has 372 guest rooms, each with 42- to 55-inch LCD televisions and free Wi-Fi. There are an indoor heated pool, a 24-hour fitness center, as well as designated rooms for table tennis, snooker and chess, a Kid’s corner, karaoke. The resort also has a 5D cinema, as well as a full-service spa with nine treatment rooms, a foot massage center, and seven VIP massage rooms.  There  is meeting and event space totaling 5,249 square feet, including a 2,461-square-foot ballroom without pillars;  seven multi-function rooms; and the Sky Terrace, which can accommodate up to 120 people for receptions.

In addition to 24-hour room service, the resort has four dining areas:

  • All Seasons, an all-day dining restaurant that serves Western and Asian a la carte favorites.
  • Sanqing Pavilion, a traditional Chinese restaurant with seven private dining rooms.
  • Rill House, which offers Asian and local flavor dishes, with views of the river, and classic Ming and Qing-style decor.
  • The Lobby Lounge, a place to get drinks.

To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton HHonors members will earn 1,000 Bonus Points per night on the best available rate through stays completed between December 15, 2016, and June 14, 2017, along with instant benefits, when they book directly through preferred Hilton channels.