Bell Nexus

Bell to launch Nexus Hybrid Flying Car via Uber by mid-2020

The Bell Nexus is an “air taxi” set to be launched in conjunction with Taxi firm Uber. The Helicopter uses a hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft system with six tilting ducted fans for taking off and vertical landing from a launchpad or rooftop. Uber is set to include the new aerial taxi service shortly, propelling the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell into the future. After a rebranding last year, Bell has morphed into a technology company after long years as a military and civilian helicopter company. There are plans to make electric VTOL (eVTOL) aircraft, and the Bell Nexus is the first foray into an unknown, futuristic market.

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Uber teamed up with Bell in 2017 with ambitious plans to create a network of inter-city flying taxis providing an alternative to street-level traffic. Bell has since been hard at work building its own designs and concepts. With the Nexus, Bell is seeking to have the Nexus in flight over several major markets by mid-2020. The Nexus is the ideal vehicle for a proposed flying taxi service due to its approachability. It is a robust aircraft you will feel safe and confident bringing your family into with its comfortable interior surroundings. The rotors are obscured by the large ducts, so there is no danger of losing a limb, and the aircraft is welcoming to people who haven’t travelled by helicopter before.

The Nexus can seat up to five passengers and has a gross weight capacity of 272 kilograms. Bell decided on a hybrid-electric propulsion system, instead of an all-electric mode, and that increases the range and loading capacity. There are at least 19 companies developing flying-cars, including Boeing, Airbus and Kitty Hawk, owned by Google founder Larry Page. However, the Bell Nexus has the edge, and with its strategic partnership with Uber, you can expect flying taxis around mid-2020.

Rosewood luxury resort in China

Rosewood Luang Prabang’s New Luxury Resort in China plus Ancient Wonders in Laos – $1,200 a night

Rosewood Luang in China is Prabang’s newest luxury resort and promises a stay like no other. The ancient wonders of Laos are close at hand serving up a cultural bonanza and insight into the rich culture surrounding the area. The Laotian mountains, the stunning Mekong sunset and the eighth wonders of the world combined with the exquisite luxury creating Southeast Asia’s most desirable destination for those into culture, breathtaking landscapes and relaxation. Laos’s former royal capital was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, and it’s not hard to tell why. The quaint and picturesque town is snuggly nestled at the base of the forested mountains that tower over the town and Mekong River.

The luxury resort was created and designed by the renowned American architect Bill Bensley, whose signature style is based on taking a concept and stretching it beyond imagination. His vision was of an early 20th-century Laotian hill station, which is the basis of this innovative resort.

Rosewood Luang Prabang tents

Rosewood Luang Prabang views

Rosewood Luang Prabang bedroom

The Luang Prabang started operations just a few months ago. The Rosewood luxury retreat resort features 23 villas, spacious suites and even tents. All the accommodation options have splendid mountain views and are furnished and decorated individually and uniquely. The resort is a short ten-minute drive from the old village centre and offers easy access to all the beautiful and inspiring destinations dotted around the area.

The resort has been tastefully designed to celebrate the rich culture of the Luang Prabang province and showcase the diversity of the tribes, travellers and explorers who passed through the area leaving their mark. Frenchman Auguste Pavie was such an explorer. In the late 1800s, he actually managed to become the governor of Luang Prabang. The resort celebrates the adventurous travels of many other explorers of note who used the Mekong river in the 1860s.

The resort’s hilltop tents are a throwback to a bygone era. The six tents measure 75 square metres each, and each one is dedicated to one of the tribes that used to live on the location. The tents have an ornate décor, with distinctive ethnic textiles and original antiques. In fact, all the rooms have artifacts and ornaments that tell their own stories and have their own history.

aurora station

Aurora Space Station Orbiting Hotel – 200 Miles High at $9.5 Million for 12 Days

There was never any doubt that it would happen sooner or later. A holiday aboard a Space Station! Aurora Station will be the very first luxury hotel in space. Orion Span Inc. based in Houston, USA plans to launch the modular space station in 2021, with guests arriving the next year. There will be two crew members accompanying each excursion into space, and the platform will be in orbit 200 miles above the Earth. The station accommodates six guests comfortably, the trip will last twelve days, and the space station will race around planet Earth at spectacular speeds, taking in 384 sunsets and sunrises!

The final frontier awaits those brave enough to experience the holiday of a lifetime in an orbiting hotel. The twelve-day trip will cost $9.5 million per person, working out at about US$792,000 per night. The Aurora Station will measure 10.7 by 4.3 metres, which is about the size of the interior of a Gulfstream G550 jet. The station can accommodate four guests and two crew members. For anyone considering the trip, a refundable deposit of $80,000 is required to book a seat on the first trip.

The chief architect at Orion Span along with the operating and chief technical officers are all former Nasa employees, with a wealth of experience in the field. The company also plans to partner with a government space agency, to add a measure of security and safety. Orion Span is able to target a somewhat reasonable price of under $10 million per person is partly due to lower launch prices.

These are exciting times! The ultimate holiday is already on offer since deposits are being accepted. It is no longer in the realms of science fiction but grounded in science, technology and luxury of today. If you have $9.5 million to spare on the holiday of a lifetime, the Aurora Space Station offers precisely that!

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Legendary Cruise Ship QE2 Becomes Floating Hotel in Dubai with $100 million investment

The legendary cruise ship becomes a luxury floating hotel in Dubai! Opening in 2018, the Dubai based hotel company, PCFC Hotels will be investing up to $100 million to transform the ship into a unique and superb hotel complex. The project will see the last of the great 20th century Atlantic liners, the QE2  which weighs 70,000 tons, turned into luxury accommodation and a museum centre at the prestigious, Mina Rashid on the Dubai waterfront.

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The QE2 II was retired in 2008, after four decades of service and was sold to Dubai World for conversion into a luxury floating hotel. The accommodation will include a selection of restored staterooms and luxury suites. There are thirteen restaurants and bars. Restaurants will consist of the Chart Room, which is a historic lounge and bar, a traditional English pub, all-day restaurants, a cabaret lounge, and a new version of the ship’s old Yacht Club. The museum is housed on the adjacent peer and details the colourful history of the much loved liner, which carried over 2.5 million passengers, sailed on 1,400 sea voyages, and 25 world tours with 6 million nautical miles travelled!

qe2 hotel

The QE2 cost US$80 million and was built at the John Brown Shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. It was launched in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II and was a showcase to British engineering and innovative design at the time. With a soft launch in April, the new QE2 hotel will make its grand launch in October 2018, and it promises to be an epic event! The lovely lady will continue to make history, but this time she will rest her engines, and pamper her guests with a timeless and glorious experience of true British style class and elegance.

Al Ponte Antico

The best boutique hotels in Venice

Venice is known for its unique charm, attracting millions of tourists each year. But if you want to experience its authenticity, here are the best boutique hotels to make your stay unforgettable.

Ca Maria Adele

Ca Maria Adele

This hotel, near the Peggy Guggenheim collection, is the epitome of Venetian charm. Textured golden damask wallpaper, dark wood furniture and finishing touches like gilding or glass vases create the atmosphere in every room. Guests receive fluffy robes, slippers and a mini bar with complimentary soft drinks during their stay. Themed rooms, such as the ornate Hall of the Doge, are available as well and come with its own golden cherubs and framed oil paintings.

Al Ponte Antico

Al Ponte Antico

A second century palace is the setting for the Al Ponte Antico. This historical building on the Grand Canal has been restored to its former glory and is now a hotel, which is classically Venetian with gilding, Damask wallpapers, tapestries, drapes and ornate lighting. Some of the rooms overlook the gondola-topped waters of the canal.

Hotel Moresco

Hotel Moresco

All the rooms at Hotel Moresco are named after Venetian tradespeople. There’s The Weaver, The Blacksmith, The Chestnut Vendor and the Gondolier to choose from, as well as 19 others. While some rooms come with views of the Grand Canal, each space here is different. Most rooms boast extras like Jacuzzis, chromotherapy showers and Nespresso makers. The hotel is known for its spacious garden, where guests can eat breakfast in the summer or spend a few hours sipping drinks from the terrace bar.

Corte di Gabriella

Corte di Gabriella

Corte di Gabriella sits closely to St Mark’s Square. It’s located inside a 19th century palace but it has been modernized. Venetian-style wallpapers and gold frames create. In-room tablets, flatscreen TVs and mini bars are present in all rooms. The breakfast served at the hotel is one of the best qualities of this hotel with everything from mini pizzas and savoury strudels to meatballs and amaretti cake as part of the spread. The cherry on top of the hotel is its courtyard where guests are served a free aperitif between in the summer evenings.

Mombo photographed by Crookes And Jackson

Wilderness Safari’s Iconic Mombo and Little Mombo Camps

Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta has been on the safari map for over 30 years later. Now, the fourth generation of the Wilderness Safaris camp has been unveiled with exciting addition like Qorokwe Camp (also a Wilderness Safaris property) and Natural Selection’s Sable Alley are to the increasingly popular region.

Wilderness Safari's Iconic Mombo

Opened earlier this year, the nine-suite Mombo and three-suite sister camp Little Mombo offer an exclusive peek into Botswana’s finest. Built and designed by Nick Plewman Architects and Associates and Caline Williams-Wynn from Artichoke, the camps present plush, new tented suites equipped with glistening private plunge pools. Inside, the tents feature an eclectic combination of classic safari details—raw woods, canvas and burlap accents, and worn-in leather furniture—and decidedly luxe elements like brass chandeliers, hand-painted and embroidered bedding, and copper-clad fireplaces. An extra-indulgent touch are the deep freestanding copper baths that overlook the sweeping floodplains.

Wilderness Safari's Iconic Mombo

The Mombo experience offers a number of activities for guests to enjoy. During the day, tours in 4×4 Land Rovers throughout the Moremi Game Reserve present a unique opportunity to spot lions, leopards, giraffes, and seemingly endless herds of buffalo as they wind their way through the lush delta. At camp, guests can sit in on rhino conservation talks or enjoy an open-air massage or swim in the all-new lap pool overlooking the floodplain.

Wilderness Safari's Iconic Mombo

The camps’ tented suites house gleaming copper bars are stocked with all the essentials for a pre-dinner cocktail on the deck. Then, guests can either enjoy dinner with the rest of the group back at the communal living room or alfresco on their private terraces as they listen to the nighttime sounds of the floodplains. Booking enquiries can be sent through a form on the camps’ site and prices per night start at $2,200 per person.

India luxury travel

A Private Jet-Journey Through India

Silversea brings a new 8-day itinerary titled the Path of the Powerful Titans. Guests will be treated to once-in-a-lifetime tour of India’s most breath-taking sites in a private plane at a hefty cost, of course. This trip is exclusively available to guests traveling aboard the Silver Muse’s cruise from Athens to Muscat, Oman. After navigating through the Mediterranean, crossing through the Suez Canal, and passing through the Red Sea over a total of 15 days aboard the luxurious cruise liner, guests will make the journey to Delhi to start their exclusive tour of India by land and sky.

Once they land, they will spend a day touring the historic mosques, palaces, and forts of the country’s capital with expert lecturers by their side. Naturally, these tours will be far away from the crowds and offer an unmatched experience and comfort. Guests will be given exclusive access into Ranthambore National Park and spend days spotting tigers and trekking through the former royal hunting ground in specially-designed 4x4s. The Sher Bagh Tented Camp (a Relais & Chateaux property) will offer a spot for relaxation and a sunset cocktail.

After a few days out in the vast countryside, guests will head to Jodhpur and experience a taste of the opulent maharajah lifestyle. Upon arrival, guests will be transferred via vintage car to the exuberant Umaid Bhawan Palace—a sweeping royal private residence, which is now a five-star hotel. They will spend a day exploring the Old City with an expert historian as well be treated to a rare private tour and dinner at the sprawling Mehrangarh Fort. The trip will wrap up with a trip back out to the bush as guests fly to the desert city of Jaisalmer.

The Silversea Couture Collection Path of Powerful Titans itinerary starts on October 23, 2018, and is available for booking now.

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Ritz-Carlton’s new Bacara Resort & Spa

Santa Barbra just became the home of the ultimate relaxation destination – the new Ritz-Carlton’s retreat. 42,000-square-foot spa, six restaurants, and three pools create a true haven for the wealthy, where they can relax in complete privacy away from prying eyes.

The new resort sits on a 78-acre estate nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the dramatic Santa Ynez mountains. Making the most of Santa Barbara’s stunning landscape, the property is famous for once housing the Bacara Resort, a favorite Hollywood hideaway. Now, a multimillion-dollar transformation has turned it into the plush Ritz-Carlton Bacara, welcoming its first set of guests earlier this month.

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Nestled in lush courtyards and overlooking a private stretch of beach, each of the property’s 358 rooms and suites have been completely refreshed. The resort is a quintessential mix of Californian ambiance and Spanish-style architecture (low-slung, white-washed buildings, red-tile roofs) with Mediterranean influences (wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta tile floors). Cool coastal colours give each of the rooms a vibe of modern eccentricity and classic luxury, serving as the perfect landing pad for a weekend getaway.

Boutiques of worldwide renowned brands like Hermés, Prada and Chanel are in close proximity as is the historic State Street downtown, so guests will be able to enjoy full rein of the resort’s extensive list of amenities. The resort has three heated saltwater pools, a lounge in a kitted-out cabana, and two private beaches. A 42,000-square-foot spa is the perfect place to get treated to a well-deserved massage or facial before soaking up the last of the ocean sunset from a fireside lounge on the rooftop terrace.

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Not one but six restaurants offer a delectable array of options, which range from the casual, locally focused Bistro to the indulgent Angel Oak for perfectly prepared Kobe beef. A private tasting in the Foley Tasting Room, which houses Angel Oak’s 12,000-bottle collection can be the perfect way to end the evening.

Luxury Resort 04

The Australian Outback’s Most Luxurious Resort

Longitude 131º has redefined what luxury travel means since it opened doors in 2003. Now, the safari-style camp on the border of the pristine Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is making headlines once again with the unveiling of a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Revealed in August, the revamped camp is taking the Outback adventure experience one step further with a new premium suite, spa, and swimming pool as well as upgraded public areas throughout. The two-bedroom Dune Pavillion is now Longitude’s most luxurious accommodation. It boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, vibrant indigenous artwork, and original décor inspired by the iconic homesteads common of the region.

Luxury Resort

There is an extended deck outside with a small, black mosaic-tiled plunge pool. Guests can take a dip while enjoying sweeping views of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Uluru, the 600-million-year-old red-hued monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the 36-domed rock formation in the distance.

Guests can take a dip or clink glasses at the new elevated Dune Top, where a swimming pool overlooking the red and golden landscapes has been added along with a collection of intimate alcoves for private al-fresco dining. Inside, the Dune House main lodge also has a fresh look, with a chic bar and restaurant boasting floor-to-ceiling windows framing Uluru.

Luxury Resort

The new elevated Dune Top features a swimming pool overlooking the red and golden landscapes along with a collection of intimate alcoves for private al-fresco dining. Inside, the Dune House main lodge has also undergone some renovations and now has a chic bar and restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows framing Uluru.

Luxury Resort

The new Spa Kinara offers indulgent treatments that rest on the ancient practices of the region’s native healers, using indigenous ingredients like Kakadu plum, quandong, Australian yellow clay, and desert salts in facials and body wraps. Therapies take place in wiltja treatment rooms, which are structures designed to mimic the traditional shelters of the region’s ancestors for a truly immersive experience.

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Old Napa Vintages Worth the Trip

Two of Napa Valley’s favourite boutique wineries—Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel—are now allowing visitors to book relaxed, private tastings that introduce them to samplings of exclusive cellared bottles going back a decade.

Far Niente has created a much more personal experience with this service, where guests can relax in the expansive gardens and enjoy the Private Cave Collection Tasting ($100 per person) with four aged selections of the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, as well as current releases. The winery offers a Private Estate Tasting ($75 per person) with four different wines from the Far Niente group.

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At Nickel & Nickel, tasters can gather on the wraparound porch, in the wine cellar of the historic John C. Sullenger House, or in the restored 19th-century Gleason Barn. The vineyard’s Private Terroir Tasting ($125 per person) presents a north-to-south sampling of eight single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, which includes limited-production bottlings only available at the winery.

Wine tasting at Nickel & Nickel have long been favoured by connoisseurs of fine wine as they introduce the senses to a palette of acquired tastes and textures.

The Private Single Vineyard Classic Tasting ($75) comprises four single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets and demonstrates how dramatically wine can be affected by minute variations in location.

All of the private tastings last an hour and the wineries will waive one tasting fee for a six-bottle purchase or wine club signup. This is a unique opportunity to marvel the Far Niente 125-year-old stone estate building, sitting under cork oak trees planted by the original owner in the late 1800s.