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The visionary leader in luxury travel continues making headway with significant renovation and restoration plans, alongside new experiences which forge deeper connections with the destination


The visionary leader in luxury travel continues making headway with significant renovation and restoration plans, alongside new experiences which forge deeper connections with the destination

Catégorie : Europe - Expériences exclusives - Voyages d'Exception - - Quoi de neuf ?
Plus de Voyages d'Exception : Expérience rare Gastronomie
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Belmond has made significant headway on its renovation plans as part of its aim to become the world’s most desirable luxury travel brand. A 10-year asset rejuvenation strategy across its portfolio is underway, as well as a renewed brand focus on experiences that will deepen guests’ connection with the destination.

Roeland Vos, President & CEO of Belmond said, “Travel is back but we all must travel better. As a proud custodian of timeless heritage, our asset rejuvenation strategy has been sensitively planned to ensure that our precious properties will continue to hold their iconic status for generations to come. At the same time, we believe travel has the power to transform both our guests and the communities in which we operate. Our goal is to curate guest experiences that will enrich the connections between our guests and the destinations.

We will continue perpetuating the legendary art of travel - leading the industry by setting new standards of luxury - standards that are defined by one-of-a-kind authentic experiences and genuine connections,” commented Vos.

Crafting legends of the future

Since 2020, Belmond has begun its ambitious asset rejuvenation strategy which started with the renovation of Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino (reopened in Spring 2021). 2023 will see Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya (Mexico) welcoming guests again in May following an extensive renovation and redesign by Tara Bernerd and her team.

With buildings aligned to the Sacred Geometry of Mayan masons, the hotel will be completely reimagined while honouring Mexican artisanal traditions, authentic craftsman and local materials throughout the interiors.

Each of its 72 accommodations are spread across Maroma’s private stretch of sand - of which three quarters feature ocean views. Wellness at Maroma will also take on a new dimension with the launch of the first Guerlain Spa in Latin America, curating a truly holistic wellness retreat with highly personalised treatments designed around the Mayan wellness philosophy, sound and healing rituals.

Likewise, the iconic Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino has begun its multi-phase renovation overseen by internationally acclaimed interior designer Martin Brudnizki, which will see the transformation of guestrooms, a new spa, and garden landscapes, scheduled for completion in 2026.

Each seasonal closure will give the team an opportunity to undertake the meticulous renovation and restoration of the former 16th-century Benedictine monastery. The 2023 season will introduce guests to a newly imagined poolside restaurant, swimming pool and surrounding pool terraces, and a new signature suite.

This follows recent renovation projects which include the collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson for the re-design of the Cygnus carriage onboard the British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England and the painstaking restoration of Copacabana Palace Theatre, located adjacent to the iconic Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro.

The restoration, which involved more than 600 craftspeople across 18 disciplines, brought Rio’s cultural venue back to life, following a 30-year closure.

Belmond’s rejuvenation strategy will also further enhance its trains & cruises portfolio, strengthening its lead as the authority for slow travel. Belmond currently owns six iconic trains across the UK, Europe, Peru and Southeast Asia, Les Bateaux Belmond - an unmatched collection of seven luxury barges in France and a river cruise in Myanmar.

In May 2023, the newly renovated Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne will launch, taking travellers on a cinematic and highly personalised journey of the famed Champagne region. Designed by French duo Humbert & Poyet, the boat will feature three glamorous cabins with ensuite facilities, an indoor salon with an exceptional champagne bar - stocked in accordance with the guests' taste - and an extensive outdoor deck.

To elevate the journey, Coquelicot will partner with Maison Ruinart- the world’s oldest champagne house, founded in Reims in 1729 where guests will be treated to a private tasting lunch by Maison Ruinart’s Chef In Residence Valérie Radou and Coquelicot Head Chef aboard the new barge. As part of the collaboration, guests will also discover Maison Ruinart's latest sustainability initiatives during guided tours of the historic Taissy vineyard.

2023 will also welcome a new Suite category onboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe with eight new suites joining the rake, following the success of the introduction of six award-winning Grand Suites.

Steeped in history and cared for with the utmost respect to retaining the craftsmanship of the 1920s and 30s, the new suites are an ode to the dramatic landscape unfolding through the train’s picture-windows, featuring the added benefit of a private marble ensuite bathroom as well as a lounging area by day converted to either double or twin beds, by night.

New and meaningful guest experiences

As the visionary leader in luxury travel, Belmond will continue its pioneering spirit with a breadth of new experiences that connect guests more deeply and authentically to its destinations and local communities.

The iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express continues to expand its routes across Europe. Next winter (2023), it will take its legend to greater heights with the opening of a new route from Paris to the French Alps, combining the art of slow travel with exhilarating Alpine adventure. This follows the launch of new routes to destinations including Rome, Florence, and Vienna and the debut of its winter journeys this December.

Amongst Belmond’s hands-on guest experiences which deepen guests’ connection with the destination and celebrate local provenances, Maroma’s partnership with Guerlain will introduce Guerlain’s Bee School and “Women for Bees” initiatives into Yucatán communities, as well as further expanding resident hives, creating a new Melipona sanctuary for educational guest experiences.

The new partnership will further enhance the work that Maroma has been channelling with local organisations - Fundación Selva Maya and Mayahuum - to protect the endangered Melipona bee – fundamentally important to the ecology of the Yucatán peninsula.

Another example is in Peru, where Palacio Nazarenas and Monasterio in Cusco are rolling out new guest experiences, taking guests to visit Q’omer Wasicha, a project managed and funded by Belmond that champions sustainable agriculture.

The experience will allow guests to connect with the local communities, develop further understanding on agricultural processes and get a taste of authentic Peruvian cuisine alongside local residents.

Curating cultural experiences

Following the success of the first edition of ‘MITICO’ in Italy, an artistic series in partnership with internationally renowned art gallery Galleria Continua, Belmond will deepen its connection with the arts community in 2023 with the expansion of the partnership across the globe.

New installations will debut at Copacabana Palace for the celebration of the hotel’s centenary; Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire; La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca and return to Belmond properties in Tuscany and Sicily.

Ahead of its highly anticipated reopening in May 2023, Maroma will bring the beating heart of Riviera Maya to the world with its travelling photography exhibition series ‘FOTOGRAFIA MAROMA’.

In partnership with co-curators Fariba Farshad, co-founder and director of Photo London, and Patricia Conde, founder of Patricia Conde Galeria in Mexico City, Maroma chose four Mexican photographers to capture the unique spirit of Riviera Maya through their distinctive lenses.

The unmissable exhibition made its debut during Art Basel in Miami and will travel to Mexico City during Zonamaco, the largest fair in Latin America, and Photo London, the UK’s photographic event of the year.

A new gastronomic era with emering talent

With a spotlight on authenticity, sustainability and local provenance, Belmond plans to hire and work with the most exciting emerging culinary talent to craft a new era of gastronomy across its properties.

Recently, the brand has welcomed a number of rising chefs to its properties, including Michelin-starred chefs Riccardo Canella to Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice; Jean Imbert to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Luke Selby, one of UK’s most prominent rising stars, who will be joining Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons as its Executive Head Chef working with Chef Patron Raymond Blanc.

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