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A romp from Laos to Vietnam, and Boracay to close...

In the Philippines the government decides to close down Boracay the island playground 26 April 2018 to clean up the place and install waste managment systems.

Rosewood Luang Prabang arrived March 2018

An alm and a leg in Luang Prabang

In the sleepy temple town of Luang Prabang the stirrings of real luxury with the arrival end March 2018 of the 23-room Rosewood Luang Prabang, an understated but lush confection of Lao-French styles, including some tented Treetop Villas with gleaming timber underfoot and tautly stretched tarpaulin above. Enjoy a spa, bathtub soaks, organic Laotian menus drawn from the hotel's own farm, or wander farther afield to enjoy local experiences. The hotel plans to be a top pick for romantic destination weddings, albeit not the bring-the-house-down Bollywood variety. More in our Luang Prabang fun guide. Watch monks head about getting their daily alms, visit paddy fields and jungles and explore the Mekong River. www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang

InterContinental Hong Kong (above left, hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/en/) returns to its roots as The Regent Hong Kong in 2021 after extensive renovations through 2020. This follows InterContinental's 51% investment in Regent Hotels & Resorts with Regent forming part of its luxury portfolio. The shut-down in 2020 will see restaurants returning within seven months (the rooms the following year) and the hotel maintaining its full complement of staff - quite an undertaking but a move designed to preserve continuity, guest relationships and service standards. Meanwhile in the dense northwest rainforest of Langkawi, Malaysia, The Datai Langkawi (right, www.thedatai.com/) reopens in July 2018 after a 10-month US$60m luxury refit for villas, rooms and suites. The hotel is ushering in a more contemporary feel with its signature blend of rustic chic. Think lots of wood, woven reeds, mats, grey stone and manicured walkways leading to a pristine beach. More in our Langkawi guide.

La Siesta Hanoi - luxe packages with cruises

Hanoi luxe escapes with a cruise

From the La Siesta group that runs boutique hideaways around Vietnam, a 'Luxury Retreat' deal at the Hanoi La Siesta Hotel till 30 September 2018 at US$509 per person + taxes (US$1,170 for a couple), with two nights at the Hanoi La Siesta, and two nights at Halong Bay with an Orchid Cruise, airport transfers, spa experiences, breakfast, puppet show, and roundtrip Halong Bay transfers. It takes around two hours to get to Halong Bay for the Orchid Cruise. The hotel offers traditional Vietnamese hospitality in the old quarter of Hanoi teeming with small shops, stores, cafes, coffee shops and silk by the mile. www.hanoilasiestahotel.com/

InterCon Hong Kong returns as The Regent in 2021 New look villa at The Datai Langkawi

Till 30 October 2018 The Okura Prestige Bangkok (above left, www.okurabangkok.com) has teamed up with The Nai Harn Phuket (formerly the Royal Yacht Club, www.thenaiharn.com/) to present a 'Best of the Beach and the City' deal with three nights in Phuket followed by two nights in Bangkok. A 25% discount off the best available rate is on offer for direct bookings through the hotel websites. The Conrad Guangzhou (right, conradhotels3.hilton.com) opens with 309 rooms and suites in a contemporary tower block with views over the Pearl River. The property is housed in a multi-use complex with offices, shops and restaurants.
Okura Prestige Bangkok, great downtown location next to a BTS station Conrad Guangzhou

Qantas (above left, www.qantas.com) set some new records with the launch 24 March 2018 of its B787 Dreamliner flight from Perth to London, a 17-hour non-stop covering 14,500km and offering a serious swag bag of frequent flyer points. From 1 September 2018 Qantas offers its comfortable Dreamliner on Melbourne-SFO flights as well. In Asia, VietJet (www.vietjetair.com) sets up an HCMC to New Delhi route, perhaps not with its signature bikini-clad stewardesses (well, ok these are just PR stunts), and Thai VietJet launches Bangkok-Krabi 5 April, 2018. Meanwhile Hong Kong Airlines (www.hongkongairlines.com) has launched its HK-San Francisco A350 service expanding options in North America for those flying from Hong Kong.
Qantas: record breaking Perth-London Dreamliner flights VietJet connects HCMC with New Delhi - bikini crew stunts?


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