January Hotel and Travel News

© La Guanahani

New hotels to book, seasonal packages, and more news to help you plan your journeys this month.

After four years and $40 million of renovations and rebranding, St. Barths' Hotel Guanahani & Spa reopens as Le Guanahani. With 67 guest cottages, two restaurants, two pools and a Clarins spa, the 18-acre property is the island’s only full-service boutique hotel. From $685; Grand Cul de sac, T Barthelemy 97133; 800-216-3774 or 590-590/52-90-00.

Chad’s Zakouma National Park is at the top of 2015’s travel hot list, thanks to amazing new safari and mobile-camping experiences lead by top-notch guides like Passage to Africa’s Michael Lorentz.

Four Seasons opened the Westcliff Johannesburg in South Africa this December. The hotel’s 105 rooms and 12 suites are located in low-rise, Mediterranean-style buildings along a hillside, situated among eight acres of gardens and courtyards in the posh Parks neighborhood. The property also includes a nine-room spa, six dining options, and two pools. From $330; 67 Jan Smuts Ave.; 800-819-5053 or 27-11/481-6000.

Raffles Jakarta, the luxury hotel brand’s new, 173-room property opening in Indonesia in March, is now accepting reservations for Spring 2015. From $375; Ciputra World 1, Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav. 3-5; 800-723-3537 or 62-21/2988-0888. 

The Jacques Garcia–designed La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa (pictured above) opens in a former Haussmannian mansion off the Champs-Elysées. In addition to the hotel’s 26 spacious suites (including four Presidential Suites) and 14 rooms, all decorated in a Belle Époque style, the property has a private lounge, bar, courtyard, smoking parlor, library, spa, and seasonal French restaurant, Le Gabriel. From $1,300; 42 Ave. Gabriel; 33-1/58-36-60-60.

San Juan’s grand dame hotel, the Condado Vanderbilt, is once again taking reservations after completing its second phase of renovations. The most recent nip-tuck reveals new guestrooms and suites, a spa with the country’s first Hammam, two pool lounges with butler service and a second restaurant. From $350; 1055 Ashford Ave.; 787-721-5500.

Sir Richard Branson opens the world’s first Virgin Hotel in Chicago’s downtown, inside the former Old Dearborn Bank building, a 1920’s Art Deco landmark. The Rockwell Group Europe–designed, 26-floor property houses 210 guestrooms, 38 one-bedroom suites, two penthouses, the Commons Club restaurant and Miss Ricky’s rooftop bar. From $210; 203 N. Wabash Ave.; 855-946-6600.

Celebrity Cruises reveals the Celebrity City Stay package, a brand-new, pre-departure initiative that includes three nights in a four-star hotel, meals in local restaurants and a day and a half of guided city tours in destinations like Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, Rome and Venice. 800-647-2251.

St. Petersburg’s Belmond Grand Hotel Europe reveals six new suites, reconstructed out of 19 rooms on the hotel’s first floor—including the new presidential suite, now the city’s largest. The five Avant-Garde suites are each inspired by and named after a different 20th-century Russian artist. From $5,115; Nevsky Prospekt, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7; 7-812/329-6000.

On the heels of a $15 million renovation completed this past December, Maui’s Hotel Wailea (pictured above) has become Hawaii’s first Relais & Châteaux property. Set on 15 acres of tropical grounds, the 72-room, all-suite property is decorated in coral, limestone, bleached white oak and sustainably-farmed Ohia wood. From $423; 555 Kaukahi St.; 808-874-0500.

The hitherto closed-off Nepalese kingdom of Mustang, Himalaya, is now taking visitors with the help of Asia specialist Remote Lands. The new itineraries lead travelers on treks to a pre-1959 incarnation of Tibet.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently revealed plans to include an expansive two-bedroom Regent Suite onboard their forthcoming liner, Seven Seas Explorer, due out in summer 2016. The 3,875-square-foot suite has its own in-room spa with unlimited treatments (a first for the cruise industry) and a glass-enclosed sitting area with 270-degree views. $5,000 per person per day; 844-473-4368.

Luxury adventure outfitter Abercrombie & Kent launches seven new private, self-driving journeys in collaboration with Land Rover. The Land Rover Adventure Travel by Abercrombie & Kent trips are offered throughout 2015 in locales like Australia, Botswana, Morocco, Great Britain and Namibia, where guests can explore the Atlas Mountains or witness the Great Migration from behind the wheel of a well-appointed all-terrain vehicle. Starts at $8,650; 800-554-7094.

One year into Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo’s massive, three-year restoration project (set in anticipation of the property’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2017), renowned French auction house Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer will auction off more than 10,000 pieces of the prestigious hotel’s antique furniture, art, and crockery. From January 25 to 28; Place du Casino; 377-98/063-000.

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs will host their inaugural Taste & Savor culinary weekend from March 5–8, 2015. Twenty-one culinary and cocktail experts from around the U.S. will lead four days of panel discussions, dinners, seminars and tastings, including Michelin three-star chef Curtis Duffy and Master of Wine Doug Frost. From $750 per person; 1 Lake Ave.; 855-634-7711.