HOTLY-ANTICIPATED HOTELS FOR 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and with 2020 fast approaching, we’re rounding up all the new, newly reopened and news-worthy hotels that you need to know about. So, whether you prefer a far-flung destination or something a little closer to home, we’ve got you covered!

EUROPE

Cheval Blanc Paris

Location: La Samaritaine, Paris
Opening Date: April 2020
The Story: With 72 rooms and suites designed by Peter Marino, the new Cheval Blanc Paris will be housed within the famous building of La Samaritaine, which has been undergoing a 15 year renovation project by LVMH. The design of the new hotel is inspired by the building’s art deco heritage and will pay tribute to French craftsmanship, while they will partner with the House of Dior to create the first Cheval Blanc Dior Spa.

La Réserve Eden au Lac

Location: Zurich
Opening Date: December 2019
The Story: La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich will open as the fourth hotel within the iconic La Réserve collection, which currently has outposts in Paris, Ramatuelle and Geneva. Located right on the shores of Lake Zurich, this 40-bedroom hotel is currently being transformed by architect and designer Philippe Starck who has described the hotel as ‘like dancing rock and roll with the Queen of England. Everything is traditional, yet resolutely unconventional.’

Santa Catalina

Location: Gran Canaria
Opening Date: November 2019
The Story: Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel is the Canary Islands’ oldest hotel, which has undergone a multimillion pound restoration to return it to its former glory. Overlooking the tranquil Doramas Park, the hotel is home to 204 elegant guest rooms, five unique dining venues, a rooftop infinity pool and a beautiful spa.

Palacio Solecio

Location: Malaga
Opening Date: December 2019
The Story: Opening its doors on 2 December 2019, Palacio Solecio will be Malaga’s first true boutique hotel, in the heart of the historic Old Town, just steps away from the Museo Picasso and the Roman Amphitheatre.

INDIAN OCEAN:

Intercontinental Maldives

Location: Raa Atoll
Opening Date: September 2019
The Story: In Raa Atoll near Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau occupies one of the most undisturbed and peaceful locations in the Maldives, surrounded by rich marine life including manta rays and dolphins. With 81 Beach, Lagoon and Overwater Villas and Residences, Maamunagau is the first to offer all guests access to the world-class service and amenities of Club InterContinental throughout the entire island, coupled with extensive wellness facilities, bespoke experiences and six restaurants and bars to take this Maldivian gem to the next level

CARIBBEAN:

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

Location: Flamands Beach, St Barthélemy
Opening Date: November 2019
The Story: An oasis in the already-idyllic Caribbean sea, Cheval Blanc St-Barth will be reopening at the end of November with 19 new rooms and suites designed by Jacques Grange, a new restaurant ‘La Case’ by acclaimed Chef Jean Imbert and a new five-bedroom villa – The Villa de France, with private pool, spa, fitness room and chef’s kitchen.

ASIA:

andBeyond Punakha River Lodge

Location: Bhutan
Opening Date: October 2020
The Story: Cited by Lonely Planet as the number one destination to visit in 2020, Bhutanese escape, andBeyond Punakha River Lodge will be an experiential, activity-based lodge offering guests experiences such as white river rafting, kayaking, paddy field lunches, champagne lunch on the suspension bridge with views of the river and organic farm to table dining experiences.

Alila Dalit Bay

Location: Borneo
Opening Date: Spring/Summer 2020
The Story: Opening in Sabah, which is known by locals as ‘the land below the wind’, Alila Dalit Bay will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in a variety of local experiences and adventures amongst unspoiled beaches, lush rainforests and dramatic mountain scenery. The resort’s design is inspired by the rich Lotud culture and heritage – with numerous local artisans and historians involved in the process.

Four Seasons Bangkok

Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Date: February 2020
The Story: Overlooking the Chao Phraya River in the centre of Thailand’s energetic capital, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is an urban sanctuary, with cascading architecture, seamless indoor-outdoor transitions and interconnected green courtyards forming a natural extension of the flowing river. The hotel will offer 299 guest rooms including suites with garden terraces and an extraordinary, two-storey Presidential Suite; an urban spa with a focus on mind, body and soul; two infinity pools overlooking the river; thoughtful amenities for families including a fully-supervised complimentary kids club; a private boat dock; extensive event spaces highlighted by a waterfront ballroom and terrace; and world class culinary offerings.

One&Only Desaru Coast

Location: Malaysia
Opening Date: March 2020
The Story: Spread across 128 acres of unspoilt wild flora and flanked by a secluded coastline of pristine golden sands, One&Only Desaru Coast will offer a breath-taking collection of 42 Junior Suites, two expansive two-bedroom Grand Suites and an exclusive 1,500m2 four-bedroom Villa One, all featuring private plunge pools, abundant indoor and outdoor living spaces and thoughtful Malaysian-inspired design features.

Wa Ale

Location: The Lampi Marine National Park, Myanmar
Opening Date: October 2019
The Story: With a whole host of new offerings for 2020, eco-resort Wa Ale Resort are putting Myanmar back on the map in 2020 as it reopens for its first full season, after a soft launch in December last year. New for 2020, Wa Ale has extended its private island feel even further with an exclusive and intimate private beach house on Honeymoon Beach, conservation centre, large organic farm and two new dive sites.

AFRICA:

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Location: Namibia
Opening Date: November 2019
The Story: Situated in the andBeyond Sossusvlei Private Desert Reserve near the dune fields of Sossusvlei, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has reopened this month following a total rebuild. Taking design to another level through the concept of building from the inside out, each meticulously designed space has been engineered to frame the desert landscape. Complete with a lap pool, each guest suite also has solar panels and a state-of-the-art water recycling system will ensure that every precious resource is protected. Not restricted to the confines of a vehicle, guests can set out on foot or by quad bike to enjoy a close-up experience of the living desert surrounding the lodge, or spend time getting to grips with the area’s unique ecology.

The Residence Douz

Location: Tunisia
Opening Date: Late 2020
The Story: The Residence by Cenizaro, has announced plans to open its second hotel in the North African country of Tunisia in late 2020 – The Residence Douz – with two more hotels planned to follow in the next three years.  Offering a new concept of accommodation in southern Tunisia, guests at The Residence Douz will be welcomed by glowing lanterns illuminating the palace doors as they enter the all-suite oasis immersed in the desert, with only 50 desert-inspired villas within 14 hectares of rolling sand dunes and palm trees. Each villa references local design and aesthetic including the use of patterned Tozeur bricks, handwoven carpets under the four-poster bed and an outdoor canvas canopy to shade the private terrace and swimming pool from the desert sun.

Communicating Sustainability: What We Learnt From Further East 2019

Earlier this month, Mangoes Cynthia Lai, Jen Dembitz and Andrea Seifert headed to Bali to participate in the luxury travel trade show, Further East – as the official communications partner. From panel discussions to workshops on some of the biggest trending topics in luxury travel, we’ll be rounding up everything we learnt in our four-part blog series.


Green Is The New Black: The Shift To Sustainable Tourism


Whether you are on the beginning of your sustainability journey or have a fully-fledged programme complete with certifications; building strategies that effectively communicate this important topic and avoid any whiff of greenwashing is critical.

Mango’s very own, Andrea Seifart helps break down the key steps to getting it right…

1. Talk about it

In order to talk about what you are doing, you first need to benchmark where you are starting from. If you don’t have a dedicated CSR team, make a list of what your business does for the environment and local communities; from energy consumption and waste management to local employment. Keep that list up to date and look for things your guests would like to hear about. Track and measure your efforts; be humble and be clear that there is always more that can be done.

2. Build a framework

The first step in creating a compelling narrative is to develop a communication framework. It ensures consistent messaging, which is essential in building brand trust. Sustainability initiatives should link with your brand pillars and strengthen your brand.

3. Start from the ground up

In addition to your guests and digital audience, your line-staff and front of house should know the basics of what you are doing and why.  Build it into your training so that it’s easy for your team to understand and echo to themselves internally and externally.

4. Use simple language

  • Speak authentically, thoughtfully and aim to educate the 7-year-old guest
  • Quantify and track – back it up
  • Be specific

5. Keep guests informed via your website

Guests can smell a cost-cutting veiled as an eco-friendly practice a mile away! This is why it’s extremely important to be crystal clear about your future plans. For example, a resort may already be green in construction, waste and food sourcing, and their plan is leading them to solar energy. This should be highlighted on the website with a statement about the upcoming plan and a timeline for shifting towards this renewable source of energy. By offering complete transparency and a timeline, trust is built.

Additionally, look to dedicate a specific tab on your website to highlighting these key sustainability efforts, or if there isn’t enough to justify a dedicated section, add the information to your relevant tabs. This could be a few sentences in your dining section about your sustainable seafood practices, or a description of your new in-room glass water bottles.   

6. Use social media to amplify your brand narrative

Look for entertaining, informative and authentic ways to connect with people – using attention grabbing visuals to help communicate a clear story.

  • Showcase the unique landscapes and people where you operate and how you support them. Invite visitors to step into your sustainability world before, during and after their trip; whether that be through an experiential guest activity like planting herbs in the organic garden or upcycling coconuts into cups or planters. Use this as an opportunity to explain WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • If you work with influencers, move away from the ubiquitous bikini shots and invite them to engage in a more meaningful way by capturing content that is related to your sustainability pillars.
  • Tell Stories… in Instagram Stories. It doesn’t need to be 100% about your own initiatives, you can also leverage guest-generated content that relates back to your content pillars or nature themes.
  • Make use of your Highlights with a dedicated sustainability section – IF there is enough to warrant it.

In an (organic) nut shell

Sustainability is not just a trend. It’s becoming a priority for all hospitality leaders and therefore it’s important to assess your initiatives honestly and with a critical eye:

  • Be consistent
  • Have a roadmap
  • Train your people
  • Keep it simple

Sustainability Sessions with Melissa Hemsley – Food For Thought

Friday 1st November marks World Vegan Day (hurrah for hummus!), which presents the perfect opportunity to share our most insightful tips from Monday evening’s Sustainability Session, hosted by the ever-delightful Melissa Hemsley, joined by Juliet Kinsman, Shona Vertue and Sophie Hellyer. The panel was centred around the modern traveller and the meaning of sustainability.

Some of the thoughts that stuck with me as I left the Sustainability Session (after having stocked up on vegan canapes of course!) …

Flygskjam: Noun – Flight shame

The guilt or embarrassment about the environmental impact of flying by plane.

Gone are the days of your Instagram feeds being clogged up with airplane wings and airport selfies.

Staycation recommendations in London

Foraging and cold-water swimming were amongst the most popular suggestions for how best to appreciate what we have on our doorsteps here in London as the popularity of staycations shows no sign of faltering. You can even go for a dip in the Serpentine on Christmas day (for those who fancy basting themselves up like a freshly plucked turkey…)

Aviation contributes 2% to global carbon emissions whilst textiles contributes 10%

This statistic should provide some much-needed food for thought the next time you find yourself browsing online shopping sites on your lunch break… do you really need another top to fulfil the ‘jeans and a nice top’ dress code?

Do not cram all the hotel freebies in your suitcase

Do you really need yet another mini shampoo or flimsy shower cap? Hotel guests are mindlessly fuelling waste by taking these seemlessly free travel minis. Hotels will continue to buy them, wrap them in plastic and offer them to freebie hungry guests who have convinced themselves that they may need a 5ml moisturiser for their journey home.

If you want to get involved yourself…

Sophie Hellyer head up an amazing charity called Get Out Charity.

The team take children from Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, to the coast for camping, surfing and beach clean outings. How are the less privileged expected to care about the environment when they have never seen the sea?

They are always looking for an extra pair of hands.

For more information, please visit: https://www.getoutuk.org/about-us

6 Alternative Ways to Celebrate Christmas

With just 8 weeks to go until Christmas (yes, really!), we have put together a list of suggestions to help make this December truly extraordinary. Whether looking to ditch the UK for a dose of winter sun, hit the slopes in a far-flung destination or stick closer to home with a celebratory staycation, these ideas will ensure that this festive season is one to remember.

Feast on slope-side sushi

Skiing enthusiasts in search of fresh tracks should head to Japan where you can work up an appetite out on the legendary powder slopes before swapping the traditional brussels sprouts and stuffing for steaming bowls of ramen and sushi selection boxes with all the trimmings. Yum!

Powder Byrne (powderbyrne.com) offers a 10-day adventure through Japan from £3,750 per person including a complete itinerary of activities, luxury transfers between destinations and English-speaking guides along the way.

Learn to Play Polo in Sotogrande

Trade in traditional Christmas charades and monopoly to enjoy the run of the ranch with exclusive use of Polo Valley in Sotogrande. Let travel experts Powder Byrne introduce your family to the exciting sport of polo and spend your mornings learning from the best Polo Valley professionals, while afternoons can be spent indulging in local cuisine prepared by the ranch’s resident chef!

From £1,795 per person including 7 nights’ accommodation on a full board basis, as well as Polo Valley’s hosted riding programme exclusively for your party

Throw a festive bash to remember with a Cotswolds hotel takeover

Live out your Downton dreams and play Lord / Lady of the Manor with a takeover of the Calcot Collection’s Palladian House, The Painswick . With a full stock of classic board games to choose from, a pool table, two spa treatment rooms and plush sofas to sink into to enjoy a festive flick or two, you’ll never be short of activities to keep you and your loved ones entertained.

Prices available on request

Take a Cornish cold-water dip before dinner

Every community has its own festive traditions and every year in Falmouth, the 25th December sees a hoard of hardy swimmers make a beeline for the water for an invigorating (if a tad nippy) Christmas sea swim. Luckily for guests of St Michaels, the action takes place directly in front of the resort on Gylly beach, so you can dash directly from the sea (via the bar) to the spa to warm up afterwards.

St Michaels offers a 3-night Christmas break, arriving on Christmas Eve from £565pp or 4-nights arriving on the 23rd from £633pp including accommodation, breakfast and dinner each day and a festive lunch and evening buffet on Christmas Day

Add a touch of Christmas spa-rkle

Pip the January gym-goers to the post with a winter wellness break at La Réserve Geneva which will leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated before you ring in the New Year. After making the most of the hotel’s sprawling Spa Nescens facility, guests will be able to retreat to the Winter Lodge – an outdoor restaurant overlooking Lake Geneva, perfect for cosying up under thick fur blankets under the stars.

Superior Rooms at La Réserve Geneva start from 500CHF (approx. £410). For full details, please visit their website.

Santa, stockings and steel bands in Antigua

Just like back home in blighty, Christmas at Carlisle Bay means festive feasts, carol singing and long, lazy afternoons with your loved ones – albeit with a Caribbean twist! On Boxing Day, guests of Carlisle Bay are invited to enjoy a barbeque dinner at The Jetty Grill, accompanied by a live steel drum band to get the celebrations started. No cooking, no washing up, just delicious food served beach-side and bare-foot, infused with Caribbean spices and flare!

Powder Byrne offers any 7-nights over Christmas & New Year on a B&B basis with afternoon tea from £6,950 per person (020 8246 5300, powderbyrne.com)

Influencer Fraud: What It Means and What To Look Out For

Influncer Fraud Cove

Fake it until you make it, a phrase that up until a few months ago would have been the mantra for many aspiring influencers. However, as the influencer marketing industry continues to grow and the cost of a single sponsored post easily costing in the tens of thousands of pounds, the question still remains – how do you know that what you’re getting in return is genuine?

Research carried out last year by CampaignDeus found that out of the 700,000 Instagram accounts which it analysed, with followers ranging from 5K – 5M, as many as 12% had shown signs of buying fake followers.

So as the cost of influencer marketing is increasing, how can brands be sure that their budget is being used effectively and delivering the right results? The answer? Figuring out who is cheating the system and learning how to spot any influencers that are using or buying fake followers to ensure that your next campaign reaches real people and not just bots….

So what should you be looking out for?

Well, the good news is that many social networking sites have already been cracking down on the issue – by actively removing anything that it deems as inauthentic. Last year alone, Twitter purged tens of millions of suspicious accounts, while Facebook (who also own Instagram) began heavily investing in machine learning tools that would help them to detect and remove any suspicious account activity. But despite their best efforts, there are still influencers out there manipulating the system. Therefore, we’ve outline our top tips on what you need to look out for when vetting potential influencer partners…

Step 1 – Closely analyse their profile

When looking at any influencer profile there are a number of red flags which can pop up at any time. Firstly, look at the persons engagement rate. If they have a high number of followers, but little to no post engagement then there is a very high chance that they have previously bought followers. Secondly, scroll through the comments of a couple of their posts – this is often where you can spot any programmed bot interactions. Look for generic comments like ‘nice feed’ and ‘great shot’ as this will indicate that the interactions are unlikely to be genuine. Lastly, have a brief scroll through the influencers list of followers to see if they look like real accounts. If there are lots of accounts with no profile pictures or unusual usernames, then this could be another red flag.

Step 2 – Stick to the stats

It is widely known that many of the sites that sell fake followers operate the fake accounts from places like South America and Eastern Europe. Therefore, before you agree to work with any influencer you should ask for a direct screenshot of their follower demographics to verify that their audience is both legit and relevant to who you want to try and target.

Step 3 – Dig deeper with a third-party site

There are a number of different apps and programmes that claim to have found the ultimate algorithm to spotting fake followers. However, the truth is that no one platform has the answer you’re looking for, but they can occasionally help as part of the wider vetting process. Social Blade is the preferred platform for most, as it allows you to track user statistics across Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more. Here you can find things like influencer’s engagement rate, their average number of likes and comments and most importantly their daily followers and following. It’s here that you are looking for any unusual spikes in new followers or lots of following and unfollowing. The latter strategy often involves following hundreds of new accounts one day and then once they have followed you back, quickly unfollowing them to leave themselves with a higher number of followers. While this technically doesn’t count as buying followers, it is a way for influencers to manipulate the algorithm and inflate their stats, which again could indicate that you should approach with caution.

Step 4 – Look for external mentions

While painstakingly obvious, a simple Google search of any authentic and well-respected influencer should produce a series of valuable external mentions. Look for published articles or interviews with the influencer to get a feel for their online credibility and history of past collaborations.

Step 5 – Trust your instincts

You can often get a feel for when something isn’t right, so always trust your instinct when it comes to working with influencers. Until an industry wide solution emerges, vetting influencers will rely on brands and agencies being able to closely understand and manage their relationships with social media stars. Therefore, if you’re unsure about anyone and have a inkling that they are up to no good, then keep searching until you find someone that perfectly connects with your brand.