The Hotels Issue     
Summer 2012


Welcome to the Semi-Annual Hotels Issue.

It's time again for my personal favourite edition of my newsletter, my semi-annual New, Renovated and Upcoming Hotels update. This time, we look at 180 properties from 61 countries around the world, plus a glimpse into Space. Each of these is either a recent or planned new opening, or a major renovation, and range from palatial luxury to trusted basics.  


Whatever, wherever, your travels take you, let me help find the perfect match to satisfy your budget, comfort, and dreams.  

Roger Kershaw


North America 
Four Seasons Toronto

The most remarkable on this continent is the closest to home. The absence of 5-star accommodations in Toronto, even in this, the home office of the Four Seasons, is rapidly being corrected. The Four Seasons is moving down the street from its dowdy Yorkville location to a beautiful new hotel/residence complex (above), a stunningly beautiful Ritz-Carlton is now open, Shangri-La is on their heels and "The Donald" is out to Trump them all.


See these, and 45 other new, upcoming and renovated properties
in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica here...>

Cap Maison in St Lucia

With so many fine new and recently refurbished properties among these nine island paradises, it's difficult to highlight just one. Let's give that honour, however, to the new Cap Maison in St Lucia. Fodor's says this "luxurious villa community on a seaside bluff overlooking Smugglers Cove has 22 units [up to] 3,000 square feet. ... Truly luxurious service includes no formal check-in, an unpacking service upon request, an honor bar, and a personal butler for any little needs and requests that may come up-including arranging a romantic dinner, prepared and served in your suite by one of the resort's chefs."  


I say simply, "It's where I want to be."

Check it out, and the 13 other new, upcoming and renovated properties here...>  

South America  
Singular Patagonia 
"One Singular sensation..." goes the song from Chorus Line, but now there are two! The new Singular Patagonia (above) will shortly be joined by the Singular Santiago to bring this new hotel development company's vision of authentic experiences from the comfort of luxurious accommodations and cuisine to Chile, with an eye to further expansion in South America.


See these, and 8 other new, upcoming and renovated properties in South America here...> 

Mandarin Oriental Paris  
I've just returned from a few weeks in Paris, visiting many old friends (the Plaza Athenee, the Bristol, Esprit St-Germain and the Clos Medici to name a few), and I was particularly blown away by the newest palatial hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Paris (above). Essentially a brand-new build behind a listed Art Deco facade, its simply stunning, from its Lalique-crystal-encrusted Bar 8 to some of the most spacious rooms in the city.


But Paris is just the heart of a great continent of destinations.
Find dozens more from Ireland to the Ukraine here...>

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong  
Having recently enjoyed a highball in what was at that time the highest bar in the world, the dizzying 87th floor of Cloud 9 atop the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai, I can only imagine what it must be like to visit the new record holder, the 118th floor OZONE atop the new Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong (above), the tallest hotel in the world.


But everything great is not all stratospheric in Asia. Some really wonderful new experiences await on the ground as well, including the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, and 18 other new, upcoming and renovated properties on the continent.

Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania
The Four Seasons is set out to conquer sub-Saharan Africa, in the manner of their luxurious Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Thailand. They have taken over management of Bilila Lodge (above), and will refurbish and rename it Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania, this fall. They've already transferred their GM from Thailand back to Africa to bring guests opportunities to get close to wildlife in a safe and ecologically responsible environment while pampered in a lodge set amid unspoiled wilderness.



Full details on this, and other new, upcoming and renovated properties
from Morocco to South Africa here...>

Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

Perhaps the most famous thing about the most famous hotel in all of Austrailia, the Park Hyatt Sydney (above), is Lady Gaga's recent stay there. And if her $A 16,000 per night suite is good enough for the Lady, it's good enough for me. Well, okay, there are others on the cheaper side, starting at $A 750/night, and they all offer a stunning view of the Opera House.



Tourism is driving demand for suborbital thrill flights

Virgin Galactic leads the way

A recent Reuters news release reports that commercial suborbital spaceflights should bring in between $600 million and $1.6 billion in revenue in their first decade of operations, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. and Florida governments. Tourism drives about 80 percent of the demand for suborbital flights, which reach about 63 miles (100 km) above the planet's surface before plunging back through the atmosphere. The thrill ride gives fliers a few minutes to float in microgravity and a view of the Earth set against the blackness of space.


Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of Richard Branson's London-based Virgin Group, is aiming to begin commercial service around 2014, and already has $70 million in deposits from 536 people. The study forecast that there about another 7,500 wealthy people waiting in the wings for this USD200,000 out-of-this-world experience. 


The market could be worth nearly three times that if marketing and consumer interest grows in the wake of successful flights, the study said. After tourists, the next biggest group of potential users is in the research community. Other potential markets include technology flight demonstrations, media and public relations, education, satellite launching, remote sensing and suborbital travel from one destination to another.


Roger Kershaw is an Accredited Space Agent, appointed by Virgin Galactic and Virtuoso, to book your space flight. A fully refundable deposit of just USD20,000 will hold your space, 100 km above the earth!