Etihad Asia from £1117
Yesterday I wrote about the UK Etihad sale which is a little underwhelming. There are some better offers if you are willing to start in Sweden but they do involve 2 stops to the destination, one in Europe and then one in Abu Dhabi. You can find out more about flying from Scandinavia as a starting point in this article.
The best prices business class return are:
- Tokyo £1488
- Bangkok £1241
- Phuket £1251
- Manila £1161
- Singapore £1117
- Kathmandu £1304
- Sydney £1905
- Jakarta £1253 (handy for Bali)
- Bangkok £1095
- Kuala Lumpur £1316
- Phuket £1241
- Maldives £1648
- Singapore £1280
- Hong Kong £1330
Hotel Ritz becomes Mandarin Oriental Madrid
I am a big fan of Madrid as an alternative to more touristy destinations like Barcelona. Now I have another reason to visit soon as the iconic Hotel Ritz, Madrid is set to open in Summer 2020 as Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, following the most extensive restoration in its 110-year history.
The hotel, which was designed and built under the supervision of legendary hotelier César Ritz, first opened its doors in 1910. The restoration will significantly enhance the hotel’s facilities and services, while maintaining its unique character, encapsulated in the Belle Époque style of the original building. Spanish architect, Rafael de La-Hoz, has been instrumental in providing the context for the historical restoration, while French designers, Gilles & Boissier, have overseen the interiors with the aim of increasing the property’s appeal to local and international guests alike while celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit. The re-design of the public spaces has focused on restoring the hotel’s many fine interior architectural features, while incorporating a number of valuable artistic pieces from the property’s collection, including crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and sculptures.
The hotel has always been an intregral part of society in Spain’s capital, and has been host to royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and celebrities. It is situated within the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most important museums in the city – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. The property’s location within a prestigous residential area close to Madrid’s financial and commercial district and to El Retiro Park, adds to its appeal.
Guestrooms and Suites
Gilles & Boissier have created a sophisticated design for the hotel’s new guestrooms, encapsulating a classic but contemporary residential style for the 153 rooms including 53 suites. Within the suite inventory, there are several one-of-a-kind speciality suites, featuring unique design elements inspired by the hotel’s historic connections to the city, Spanish culture and art. A spacious Royal Suite and the Presidential Suite feature magnificent views over the Prado museum. Located in the top floor turrets are two new suites, each with private balconies and views over the Prado Museum and Lealtad Square.
Restaurants and Bars
Chef Quique Dacosta, one of the most celebrated chefs in Spain, has been appointed to design, develop and oversee all culinary operations at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars. The award-winning chef is renowned for the three Michelin starred restaurant, Dénia, in Alicante, and the two Michelin starred El Poblet restaurant in Valencia. At Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, a signature Quique Dacosta restaurant, overlooking the famous hotel garden, is set to be a destination in its own right. All day dining and traditional afternoon tea will be served in the elegant surroundings of The Palm Court, under a spectacular glass canopy ceiling that formed an integral part of the original building but had been lost for 80 years and will be reconstructed. Guests will also be able to dine in the Ritz Garden or enjoy the charm of the Ritz Bar. Finally, the Champagne Bar will offer an ever-changing selection of exclusive champagnes paired with a signature tapas menu.
Leisure & Wellness
The hotel’s new leisure and wellness facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, experience showers, a steam room and a contemporary fitness centre. A dedicated treatment room has been designed as a hidden sanctuary, providing a range of exclusive local and signature beauty and massage treatments.