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Oakwood opens its 12th property in Japan

Oh, Kyoto

Oakwood opens its 12th property in Japan 

Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto marks Oakwood’s debut in the former Japanese capital, which is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and thousands of temples, shrines and gorgeous gardens. One of the few international serviced apartments brands in the fabled ancient city, Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto offers 104 rooms and 16 studio apartments in a central location. 

A two-minute walk from the Kyoto Shiyakusho-Mae Station and a 15-minute train ride from Kyoto Station, prominent landmarks closeby include the Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sent Imperial Palace, while a short stroll will bring you to popular riverside walks and restaurants along the Kamo River. Just minutes away by taxi, subway or bicycles are the ancient cobblestone streets, geishas and tea houses of iconic Higashiyama old town, where you can shop for traditional Japanese crafts and kimonos at Karasuma-Shijo and Nishiki Market. 

All 104 guest rooms include a 55-inch flat screen smart TV, tablet, and press readers: we love the deluxe city view rooms, which face Tominokoji Street. Gaze out and size up where you’re going to get a coffee, or bowl of ramen before heading out to explore. Want a home away from home in Kyoto? Studio apartments feature a kitchen fitted with a fridge, microwave, washing machine and dryer. There’s onsite dining at Cafe O for Kyoto breakfasts, while other facilities include a co-working space, smoking room and laundry room. oakwood.com


Regal Touch

Six Senses Fort Barwara Opens in Rajasthan


Love a property with heritage? Then check into the Six Senses Fort Barwara in Rajasthan. Originally owned by a Rajasthani Royal family, this 14th century fort, featuring two original palaces and a duo of temples, has been transformed into a 48-suite resort by Six Senses.

The historic fort has been sensitively preserved, and enjoys stellar views out to the Chauth ka Barwara Mandir temple and the Aravali mountains. Within easy striking distance of Ranthambore National Park for guests looking to take a walk on the wild side with the local tiger population, the resort is a 2.5-hour drive from Jaipur Airport by car. 

Suites in the East Wing overlook the countryside and those in the West Wing offer views to Barwara village and beyond. Ranging from 70 sqm to 280 sqm, each suite is designed in a contemporary Rajasthani style to complement the historic backdrop of the fort. Most opulent of all is the Raja Man Singh Suite, a two-bedroomed affair with private enclosed garden and circular pool built into the fort tower. 

Located within the original women’s palace and temples, the spa’s signature treatments include a Transcendent Sound Journey using gongs and singing bowls, and Tiger’s Eye, which utilises bands of gold to release anxiety and aid balance. 

The resort’s flagship dining destination, Roohani, showcases Rajasthani-inspired cuisine using produce from the resort’s organic garden and farms in the nearby village, and the fort’s medieval domes of the fort add a sense of drama. Fancy an aperitif? Meet the sommelier in the Viewing Gallery or enjoy pre-dinner cocktails in the Rajawat Room. sixsenses.com


Thai Treasure

Meliá Phuket Mai Khao opens its doors 


With Thailand opened to fully vaccinated tourists from countries deemed low risk from 1 November, tourism is back on the agenda in the land of the smiles. One new place to check out is Meliá Phuket Mai Khao, a 30-suite and 70-villa resort on eight acres of Phuket’s north-western coastline, which opened last December.

Fronting Phuket’s longest stretch of sand, the resort on Mai Khao Beach is close to Sirinat National Park, Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, and Wat Phra Thong temple and just a 15-minute drive from Phuket International Airport.

The Mediterranean-inspired accommodation comprises 70 one-bedroom villas and 30 one-bedroom suites that each cater for up to two adults and two children, all featuring outdoor bathtubs, open-air showers and outdoor terraces. The 78 sqm suites are complemented by cabanas and the 85 sqm one-bedroom villas have private plunge pools. We love the sound of the wellness villas – there’s 15 of them – each of which features an open-air Vitamin C shower, daily massages, plus fit ball and yoga mat so you can keep on track with your wellness workouts. Continue the wellness journey at YHI spa, where massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps await, and spa therapists can provide poolside and in-villa treatments. Send the little ones to the children’s club, Kidsdom, while you have some me time.

There are four F&B outlets, including Gaia Beach Club, which serves Mediterranean and fusion cuisine and all-day dining restaurant SASA for Southeast Asian cuisine. A reflection pond with sunken seating areas and the resort’s water gardens, meanwhile, delivers a blissed-out Phuket vibe. melia.com

Art Deco Style

Sydney’s newest boutique hotel, Aiden Darling Harbour, has made its stylish debut 

Set in a remodelled 1930s Art Deco building, new boutique property Aiden Darling Harbour features 88 rooms and a combined lobby, bar and café in the happening harbourside hub of Sydney’s Pyrmont village.

Locality is a big theme, and the hotel connects guests to the area via its collection of bespoke artworks by artist in residence Jessica Le Clerc, including hand-painted murals of native flora in guest rooms and a 25-metre-high rainforest wall that’s visible from a select few guest rooms. Custom-designed mesh cloud lobby lighting, meanwhile, represents fishing nets from Sydney Harbour. Some city view rooms feature a private open-air balcony with outdoor furniture looking out to the harbour and the city skyline.

Want to get acquainted with the area? Darling Harbour’s team can advise on where to get your fill of local art, parks, wharf walks, waterfront dining and boutique shopping. And if you want more shopping and dining options, Sydney’s CBD is just a few minutes’ walk away across Pyrmont Bridge. Love to get in out and quick? The hotel features contactless self check-in and check-out via kiosk and digital mobile room keys. aidendarlingharbour.com.au



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