The best and brightest hotel openings around the world
The latest and greatest hotels, resorts and unique stays to check into and check out right now. Pullman Luang Prabang, Laos This new five-star resort is located 10 minutes away by car from Luang Prabang’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town. [caption id="attachment_44535" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Located in Luang Prabang, it is within 2.9 miles of Night Market and 3 miles of Mount Phousy[/caption]   Its 16 hectares encompass 123 modern guest rooms with large terraces, a two-bedroom villa and a healthy scattering of infinity pools and streams. The Pullman Luang Prabang is now the largest hotel in town, but its low-rise architecture – which draws on traditional Laotian influences – sees it blend in well with the surrounding natural landscape.   Guests can dine on international cuisine at L’Atelier and sink a cocktail overlooking paddy fields at the Junction. One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda   Promising a real once-in-a-lifetime experience, One&Only Nyungwe House sits within the dense Green Expanse of a tea plantation, next to Ancient Montane rainforest.   Wild experiences such as chimpanzee Trekking or walking among majestic mahogany trees allow guests to max out the incredible setting.   The 23 rooms and suites combine local African craftsmanship with a contemporary look and feel, Plus there’s a Spa that uses natural products from luxury brand Africology. FREIgeist Göttingen, Germany   Located in the historic university town of Göttingen, in Germany’s Lower Saxony, Hotel Freigeist is a relentlessly modern new build (and a member of Design Hotels) featuring 118 rooms.   The décor continues the theme, with wood and copper fittings throughout contrasted against a palette of grey bricks, neutrals and shots of blue, and Basquiat-inspired artwork.   The whole thing has a Nordic vibe (enhanced by the on-site sauna), but in Intuu, its signature restaurant, it’s Japanese/South AmericaN Fusion all the way. Omaanda, Namibia   Omaanda is nestled in the Namibian savannah in the heart of the Zannier private animal reserve. Its 9000-hectare footprint, which offers lashings of peace and quiet and natural beauty, houses 10 luxury huts inspired by traditional Owambo architecture.   Ambo Delights restaurant offers cuisine inspired by the best local produce, while the bar at the edge of the heated swimming pool has views over the savannah. The Shangai Edition    A perfect blend of old and new Shanghai, the 145-room Shanghai EDITION sees Nanjing Road’s 1929 Art Deco Shanghai Power Company building fused with a new-build skyscraper.   Its various food and drink options include star chef Jason Atherton’s HIYA (translated to ‘clouds in the sky’), a Japanese izakaya-inspired eatery on the 27th floor. Six Senses Maxwell, Singapore   The Six Senses group has had a busy year, having already opened properties in Singapore and Fiji; now comes Six Senses Maxwell.   A sister property to Six Senses Duxton, the wellness brand’s first city hotel, the 120-room property is also retrofitted into a historic Singapore colonial-style building and features Euro-chic interiors courtesy of French architect and designer Jacques Garcia. The Apurva Kempinski, Bali   The first Kempinski hotel to open in Bali is a suitably grand reflection of Balinese architecture and craftsmanship.   Situated in the Nusa Dua area of the island, the hotel boasts 475 rooms, suites and villas and all the requisite inclusions expected from the luxury brand, from five dining options to a 60-metre swimming pool to an ocean-facing spa and a cigar and shisha lounge.   It even has its own beachfront wedding chapels.  
Sun International
Discover luxurious Africa on a soul-intriguing journey
Immerse yourself in the ultimate in South African luxury   ***Advertising content by Sun International***   Sun International’s Sunlux Collection invites you to discover Africa’s wonders on a truly soul-intriguing journey, from Cape Town’s landmark The Table Bay, within the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront; to the gracious Boardwalk in South Africa’s friendliest city, Port Elizabeth; Sun City’s The Palace of the Lost City, nestled in an extinct volcanic crater surrounded by the Pilanesberg Big-5 nature reserve; the timeless Time Square in Menlyn Maine, Pretoria; and the heart of Johannesburg’s Sandton at The Maslow. [caption id="attachment_44998" align="alignnone" width="600"] Be intrigued by the ancient[/caption] The Table Bay Be captivated by perennial beauty. The Table Bay, opened in May 1997 by former South African president and icon, Nelson Mandela, is situated on the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, in prime position against the exquisite backdrop of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.   The Maslow Time Square Arrive at the place that’ll take you further. The Maslow Time Square is a specialist 17-floor business hotel situated in South Africa’s first ‘green city’, Pretoria. The hotel is packed with state-of-the-art facilities and technology to satisfy the most switched-on business executive, but with the ability to switch to leisure mode as well.   The Boardwalk Quintessential elegance. Port Elizabeth is rated as South Africa’s friendliest city, with a charming coastal atmosphere perfectly mirrored by this quaint hotel itself. The Boardwalk conjures up scenes from a bygone era and is an ideal place to pursue your wildest or most elegant portside dreams. [caption id="attachment_44999" align="alignnone" width="600"] Be captivated[/caption] The Palace Be intrigued by the ancient. From its inception in 1992, The Palace has enthralled and amazed visitors from all over the globe. This addition to South Africa’s Pilanesberg landscape is dwarfed in years by the 1.3-billion-year-old extinct volcanic site on which it is built; it’s the perfect base from which to explore this timeless place.   The Maslow Sandton The mind’s preoccupation relies on the body’s location. Situated in the heart of Sandton’s financial district in Johannesburg, The Maslow is a specialist business hotel that is consciously positioned as a game-changer as well as a destination for professionals and a portal for travellers to discover unique fascinations within and surrounding this diverse city.   For more information, visit suninternational.com
South Africa.
From surfing and safaris to bright city lights, here are 10 reasons to visit South Africa
 When it comes to travel, Africa is one place on many people's must-visit list. Here, Carla Grosetti provides 10 reasons to get yourself to South Africa that you may not have even considered...   To go on safari in search of the Big Five Going on your first African safari feels like being on a hushed film set waiting for the key cast members [read: the big five] to arrive. And when they do, it's with all the drama, tension and romance that is implicit on a game drive. What's surprising is how much the bit players – dik-diks, kudu, impalas – steal the spotlight as they scramble for survival.   A crash course in astronomy Receiving a crash course in astronomy while standing under a night sky swirling with stars in the middle of the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve is to marvel at the magnificence of the universe. Astrotourism has become a popular safari ritual in South Africa and Ben Coley, of Celestial Events, has a seriously powerful telescope to enhance the experience.   To caper up the Cape of Good Hope Geography lessons come to life at the Cape of Good Hope on the Cape Peninsula, a long spindly finger of land pointing south toward Antarctica. Climb to the top of the Old Cape Point Lighthouse where you can marvel up close at the rippling sandstone and swirling blue-green sea below. Be warned: baboons are everywhere so keep your car locked when you pose for that selfie near the Cape of Good Hope sign.   Explore SA's largest art museum The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – Zeitz MOCAA – is one of the world's most important exhibition spaces for contemporary African art. It's a great echoing cavern of steel and concrete and glass located inside a grain silo built on the waterfront in the 1920s. Huge sections of the building's interior have been carved out to create a complex warren of more than 100 gallery spaces.   Visit the rainbow-bright neighbourhood of Bo Kaap [caption id="attachment_44236" align="alignnone" width="600"] You have to visit the stunning rainbow-bright neighbourhood of Bo Kaap when you visit South Africa.[/caption]   The boxy buildings of Bo Kaap present like a bag of Liquorice Allsorts coloured everything from indigo and fuschia to tangerine and mint green and brightening up the Cape Malay community. Turn your back on the camera-toting crowds and head up the hill to Bo Kaap Kombuis, a restaurant serving traditional Cape Malay cuisine.   Coo over the penguins at Boulders Beach The waddling African penguins are not the only reason to make a pilgrimage to Boulders Beach, as the area is strewn with rounded boulders looming like giant sculptures. As well as providing ideal nesting territory for the endangered species, the tumbled rock formations are every bit as photogenic as the resident penguins.   Enjoy an African sunset Table Mountain is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and, if there's a defining landmark that shapes Cape Town's skyline it is this. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has revolving floors so visitors get 360-degree views of the mountain and city from the top of the towering escarpment. Experience Steampunk at Truth Coffee, Capetown If you are a fan of steampunk, this is the cafe for you. Steampunk informs the philosophy behind Truth Coffee while paying homage to the movement with its centrepiece: a vintage espresso machine dubbed Professor Jones' Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption. Truth is equal parts cafe and cult and the steampunk aesthetic filters down to the fashions favoured by the staff. truth.coffee   To surf world-class waves [caption id="attachment_44237" align="alignnone" width="600"] Hit the beach for the ultimate surfing in South Africa.[/caption]   Jeffrey's Bay is ranked as one of the best surfing destinations in the world. Located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, J-Bay offers rides of up to 800-metres long and includes breaks dubbed Salad Bowls, Coins, Tubes, Kitchen Windows and Impossibles. The best time to surf here is dawn, when the sky is indigo and the seas are stretched like blue denim over the curves of the coast. Yes, it's where Mick Fanning punched a great white during the J-Bay Open surf event, so BYO shark repellent.   The grape and the good The Cape Town bar scene is cool and contemporary and includes a range of bars, some more dog-eared than others. The Outrage of Modesty serves cutting-edge cocktails in an old frame theatre with wacky wall art and tiered seating. Nearby, The Gin Bar is aimed squarely at gin geeks. The bar, which is hidden behind the Honest Chocolate Cafe in the CBD, has a charming sand-blasted courtyard and beautifully backlit drinks selection.   GETTING THERE Africa Travel specialist Bench Africa has a 13-day Luxury Signature Safari Special that focuses on South Africa. Visit benchafrica.com There is a SAA flight daily from Perth to Johannesburg operating an A340-300 and A340-600 (connecting with codeshare partner Virgin Australia from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.) Visit flysaa.com
Seven of the best experiences in South Africa’s Winelands
The valley floors around the Cape Winelands have been cross-stitched with vineyards since the Dutch East India Company put down roots here in South Africa's Cape Colony in 1652.

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