When you check into your spacious suite or villa at the Regent Phu Quoc, a luxury beach resort on an under-the-radar Vietnamese island in the Gulf of Thailand, you’ll be given a standard room tour to get yourself acclimated with your home-away-home. But nothing about Regent Phu Quoc feels or looks standard: The private plunge pool looking to the sea is massive (and so is the outdoor space that surrounds it), the terry cloth robes you get to enjoy during your stay are covered in a whimsical tropical pattern, and everything in your minibar (or in this case fridge and personal pantry) is included in your stay. No pesky little price list to scan just in case that bottle of water is gonna cost you an arm and a leg. The beer, the chocolate bars, the bottles of soft drinks, and the locally sourced coffee and tea are yours for the taking. And Regent Phu Quoc is not the only one; more and more hotels and resorts are starting to gift guests with free minibars, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’d be nice to not have to pay $12 for a small bottle of Evian.
Regent Phu Quoc in Vietnam includes access to the minibar for every guest
The property also has a sleek infinity pool
In fact, so important is this offering to Regent that it rebranded its minibar concept into what it’s calling a refreshment gallery. Regent Phu Quoc is entirely more generous, with every guest being afforded complimentary access; whereas at the newly opened flagship property in Hong Kong, only those staying in suite categories get the free stuff. At the iconic Carlton Cannes, a Regent Hotel, it’s a half-and-half situation. Everything listed on the right side of the gallery’s price list is complimentary to guests. This includes soft drinks, local beer, and a variety of snacks, such as mini chocolate bars.
The refreshment gallery, according to Tom Rowntree, vice president of luxury brands at IHG Hotels & Resorts, is part of the Regent’s “with compliments” initiative, “whereby luxury is defined by the extra touches.” And as such, the “with compliments” program could include other perks like free laundry services, which for many travelers might be even better than snacks. But Rowntree adds that the overall inspiration behind offering any of it is to “provide guests with things they need, without small surcharges. [And guests see it] as an antidote to nickel-and-diming.”
Thankfully, Regent isn’t the only global hospitality outfit that wants to do away with nickel-and-diming, at least as far as minibars are concerned. Hyatt’s upscale brand Andaz is doing just that across its portfolio of 29 hotels—and the focus is on highlighting local food and drink makers. Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, for instance, stocks Maui Style Chips, The Original Cook Kwee’s
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Self-styled as ‘Asia’s world city’, Hong Kong has seen its fair share of upheaval over the decades, but much of its current prosperity is built on its historic standing as a trading outpost. You sense that when you fly over the freighters that crisscross its waters, and see the skyscrapers that pierce its chockablock centre. A one-time British colony that sits in the South China Sea, it has always been a place where tastes and cultures collide. In this easily navigated destination, travellers typically stay in Kowloon, with its Victoria Harbour views, and on Hong Kong Island, which has exceptional places to eat and the landmark Victoria Peak.
Chopping along the cobbled streets of Broadway at the foot of the rolling hills of the English Cotswolds, welcoming both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, glide down narrow winding lanes past twee tea rooms, horse chestnut trees, and honey-colored cottages as you hear the puffing of the Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Train chugging along the tracks.
Everyone loves a good deal, but the best promotions in travel are the ones that are free. If you’re planning to take a trip that you booked during recent Valentine’s Day getaway offers, or just want to try your luck. These travel-related contests and giveaways could have you on the road in no time.
With his top-of-the-line mattress selling for $750,000 — and featured in the homes of celebrities like Drake — Hästens CEO Jan Ryde has already succeeded on a number of challenges. Still he gave himself one more, promising to write a book when his annual company sales reached $100M. ‘ When Business Is Love ’ isn’t your typical corporate cutthroat how-to manual. Instead Ryde tells the story of his fifth-generation 172-year-old family business going from making horse saddles to the most desired mattresses in the world, and how he guides the company with a combination of passion for excellence and a culture of compassion among the people who work there. I spoke with Ryde at the company’s New York showroom about his business philosophy and his most famous mattress.
Whether it's crowd-free sandy bays, dramatic cliffscapes or marine life havens, travelers love a day out at the beach. Each year, travel review and advice site Tripadvisor releases a list of the world’s best beaches as part of its Travellers’ Choice Awards. The site analyses the tens of millions of reviews submitted by global travelers over the past 12 months and looks at the quality and quantity of ratings for beach experiences.
Few hotels embody New York City’s timeless elegance and grandeur quite like The Pierre. Gracing the corner of Fifth Avenue and 61st Street in Manhattan, The Pierre has hosted discerning celebrities, royalty, and dignitaries since 1930.
The city that never sleeps is no match for The Langham, a hotel that delivers one of the best slumbers in the Big Apple. Set along iconic Fifth Avenue in the heart of New York City, The Langham, Fifth Avenue delivers a singular stay. Even among stiff competition in a city that is known for its ultra-luxe accommodations, it distinguishes itself with its impeccable elegance, solicitous service and finely-honed attention to detail. Throw in a spectacular Club lounge and some of the biggest hotel rooms in Manhattan and you’d be hard pressed to find a more restful repose in the city.
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