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WHY IT RATES: This year the Belmond brand ushers in a variety of exciting openings and offerings around the world including the redesign of its lodge in Botswana and the opening of historic Belmond Cadogan Hotel in the heart of Chelsea, London. -Mia Taylor, TravelPulse Senior Writer.
Following a series of award-winning design and renovation projects last year, Belmond has revealed details of seven highly distinctive developments across its unique portfolio of hotels, trains and cruises in 2018.
Beginning last week with the launch of three new Art-Deco Grand Suites onboard the historic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Belmond's diverse range of designs honor timeless craftsmanship, celebrate heritage and tradition and look to the future working with innovative designers and local materials.
This year will see the introduction of a new era of exploration and discovery at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge in Botswana; celebrate local culture and traditional arts in Mexico with the re-imagination of Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada; the completion of a historical renovation of Belmond Cadogan Hotel in London as well as the opening of the ultimate in beach-chic and relaxed luxury, Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla.
"When you walk into a Belmond property you can feel the 'soul' of the place, and it's our job to keep the soul and spirit alive with the design concepts. We are working with talented designers to carefully merge the genuine elements of the local culture with a modern-day relevance that resonates with our guest's lifestyle and aspirations," said Belmond Art & Design Director Joe Ferry.
No two properties are the same, but each is influenced by local cultures and traditions and many are strongly connected to the history and heritage of the destination. Belmond's properties are defined by their authentic designs that stand the test of time; classical and elegant they embrace the unique personality of each destination.
Traditional Craftsmanship - Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe
Three new private 'Grand Suites' launched last week aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, creating new levels of luxury accommodation aboard the historic train. Named after the romantic cities to which the train travels, Paris, Venice and Istanbul; interior designs of each cabin reflect the spirit of each city whilst staying true to the original 1920s Art-Deco design.
Working with the very best craftsman including a traditional glassblower who has created the spectacular glass sinks and delicate light fixtures and famed mosaicist Jerome Clochard, an expert in the restoration of ancient mosaics, who piece-by-piece created the stunning patterns using marble, onyx, Venetian granite and Italian glass.
Master atelier, Philippe Allemand has created the striking marquetry, an ancient skill that has passed through generations and has worked with the train since its restoration in 1997. The delicate process requires the layering of hundreds and thousands of exotic pieces of wood that are lacquered to create the most luxurious finish.
Mexican Masterpiece - Belmond Casa De Sierra Nevada, Mexico
In April 2018, Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, in the heart of Mexico reemerges from a masterful renovation as a timeless Mexican retreat. This ambitious restoration project carefully protects the property's original 16th- 18th-century features whilst finding new and inspiring ways to represent Mexican traditions and modern artisans.
All 37 rooms and suites have been newly imagined and constructed like a piece of art; pastel pinks, blues and yellows colour the soft furnishings whilst one-off pieces of Mexican art hang on the walls and traditional Talavera bathroom tiles, tapestries and bed linens complement the authentic clay floors.
Wooden furnishings have been hand-carved using local techniques and kumquats and orange trees are planted in the shady courtyards.
Fashionable Suites - Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca
Celebrated fashion designer, Matthew Williamson is designing a new colorful and vibrant suite at Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca. Opening in April 2018, 'Suite 67' is set to feature Williamson's signature botanicals and luxe textures, all combined with a rustic decadence.
Matthew brings his unique interior aesthetic whilst honoring the heritage and traditional Mallorcan feel of the property. Each space will have a distinct mood, balancing contemporary playful designs with eye-catching hues and hand-drawn fauna and floral patterns.
The one-bed suite will feature an outdoor snug, private pool and garden, luxurious living space and a vibrant bathroom; set to be one of the most fashionable spaces on the island.
Designs on The Move - Belmond Afloat in France
Launching on the waterways of Champagne and Alsace in Summer 2018; two new luxury barges Pivoine and Lilas join the Belmond Afloat in France fleet. Carrying just eight guests, the new barges are designed with every comfort and detail offering the most luxurious barging experience in France.
Designed and built in France, both Pivoine and Lilas feature colors and materials that reflect the natural beauty of the landscapes they travel through. Pivoine's light natural timber finish, terracotta flooring, and elegant white linens link the design to the colors of Champagne.
Lilas' more rustic interiors feature dark woods and rattan chairs, mixed with ironmongery, evocative of the ancient towns and villages of Alsace. Both feature open decks for al-fresco dining with private floating pools.
Golden Age of Exploration - Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Botswana
This summer, Belmond unveils its new-look Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge in the Chobe National Park, following a full redesign by Inge Moore of Muza Lab. Celebrating the golden age of exploration, the designs are inspired by the great explorers of history, from scientists, botanists and adventurers who pioneered a new era in travel.
Respecting the nature and the wilderness of the region, sustainable design features include the removal of all concrete; the use of eco-friendly composite bamboo decking in the principal areas and the lodge will function on a 95% solar grid system.
The lodge, which includes 12 tented rooms, spa, lounge, bar and open deck with pool and firepit, will be an authentic, timeless explorers retreat with modern luxuries to satisfy today's curious adventurers.
Island-Chic Hideaway - Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla
Opening in November 2018, a new era of beach-chic glamour and relaxed luxury is introduced to Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla, located in the British West Indies on Maundays Bay - one of the most serene white sandy beaches in the Caribbean.
The unique design, by renowned interior design firm, Rottet Studio, pays homage to the surrounding nature and Anguillan heritage, blending the charms of old-world travel with new world comforts - offering a sanctuary for total escapism.
A new sea view infinity-edge pool, 'disappearing spa', rustic beach bar 'The Cap Shack' and elegant restaurants herald a new era for this legendary resort. Colorful botanicals and indigenous plants spill in from the tropical surrounds and blend with new designs and the resort's signature Greco-Moorish architecture.
New Romantic Hero - Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London
Completing the year in style, Belmond opens the historic Belmond Cadogan Hotel in the heart of Chelsea, London. The multi-million-dollar refurbishment project preserves the unique heritage of the Queen Anne Style property dating back to 1887 and introduces a new world-class retreat embracing quiet luxury.
Interior design by GA Design International draws inspiration from the hotel's original features and rich history and heritage - from Sir Hans Sloane, to Kings of England, artists and writers and the scandalous stories of Oscar Wilde and Lillie Langtry.
With just 54 rooms, the hotel is perfectly sized to offer an intimate, warm and welcoming 'home' in the heart of the city. Guests will have access to a private garden offering a tranquil escape in Spring and Summer and during winter the welcoming draw of the fireplaces throughout the hotel will provide a warm embrace.
SOURCE: Belmond press release
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