For those clients on your roster who want to immerse themselves with the local culture during their vacations, we have three perfect properties offering just that. From Italy, to Mexico, to China, these hotels offer immersive experiences from Mezcal-making experiences to cultural dance shows at dinner, private chef dinners, and city tours your clients will return home knowing more about the local people of the destination.

Duomo Luxury Apartments, Italy

Starhotels Collezione, a privately-owned luxury Italian hospitality brand, has announced the opening of 24 new Duomo Luxury Apartments by Rosa Grand Milano, available for short or extended stays. Created within a building adjoining the renowned Rosa Grand Milano Hotel, these exclusive luxury 1- and 2-bedroom residences in Italy’s fashion and design capital include four penthouses with private terraces that offer views over the spires of the Duomo di Milano.

Guests staying at the Duomo Luxury Apartments enjoy that benefits from all the services of a luxury grand hotel. Each apartment has modern kitchens that open onto a large living area with oak parquet flooring with light from the ample windows and spacious terraces.

The Penthouse Duplex Duomo View is a 492 ft. apartment spread across two floors, connected by a handmade staircase and a private elevator, with large living areas, two bedrooms, two kitchens, and two bathrooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space, and outside there’s 328 ft. of furnished terrace with panoramic views of the Duomo convey.

“The opening of these new apartments represents an important reboot for both Starhotels and the city of Milan,” said Elisabetta Fabri, president and CEO of Starhotels, in a press statement. “This is our first step into the luxury serviced apartment market and we wanted to offer our guests a new perspective on Italy’s fashion and design capital, one that allows them to experience our lively and dynamic city in a different way. Who doesn’t dream of a penthouse with all the amenities and hospitality of a luxury hotel, where you can experience the feeling of almost being able to reach out and touch the spires of the Duomo?”

Guests of the Duomo Luxury Apartments by Rosa Grand Milano will have access to all the main hotel facilities, including the wellness area, bar, restaurants, room service, housekeeping, laundry, and meeting rooms. A dedicated will Guest Relations Manager will be on hand to arrange restaurant reservations, tours and private cars, as well as a private chef for dinner in their apartment where guests can immerse themselves in the local food, or an intimate cocktail overlooking the Duomo; any request can be arranged. Access to the apartment building is via an exclusive Golden Lounge, where residents can gather to dine, check in, or consult with concierge staff.

For more information, visit starhotelscollezione.com.

Casa Silencio, Mexico

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Guestroom at Casa Silencio. (Photo credit: Onnis Luque.)

Officially opening its doors today, Sept. 15, is a new eco-minded retreat set at the Mezcal El Silencio’s distillery—an award-winning spirit brand, deep in the valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Casa Silencio is located approximately 45 miles southeast of the City of Oaxaca, the 9.5-acre enclave features six luxury guest suites while offering an immersive guest experience steeped in ancient mythology and the creation and consumption of mezcal.

Nestled in the Valley of Xaaga, nicknamed The Valley of Silence, Casa Silencio is the brainchild of El Silencio co-founders, Vicente Cisneros and Fausto Zapata.

Casa Silencio was constructed with a mix of ancient and modern techniques using mostly locally sourced materials. The walls are made of rammed earth (known as “tapial” in Spanish) with local soil; the ceilings are crafted from recycled wood; and all energy is powered by solar panels. A completely self-sustaining property, Casa Silencio embraces a no-waste policy, meaning there is no garbage left on-site and every single material is repurposed in a functional form. Rainwater harvesting and water reuse systems are implemented to feed the mezcal production plant, hotel and restaurant.

The exterior grounds host a variety of communal gathering spaces including a plunge pool and bonfire pits, as well as mezcal production areas. The interiors feature high-end furnishings, as well as artwork, objects, and other decorative elements that are created by local artisans and craftspeople from in and around Xaaga. Examples include rugs designed and produced in Teotitlán del Valle; curtains pedal-loomed by the Hernandez Quero family in Mitla; stone pieces carved in San Salvador El Seco; and abstract wooden pieces made in Huayapam. A library tucked away into one of the corners of Casa Silencio houses books authored solely by Mexican writers and artists.

All six guest suites are geometrically constructed over two stories and vary in size and layout, with some spanning two floors and featuring living room spaces with fireplaces. Echoing the minimalist aesthetic, spa-like bathrooms feature walk-in showers and monolith stone sinks.

At the center of Casa Silencio lives a sustainable distillery or “Palenque” that looks out to the surrounding mountains and agave-studded valley. Providing a truly hands-on experience, guests are encouraged to participate in the production by chopping and tossing piñas of agave into the ovens alongside generational mezcaleros. The distillery leads into the property’s impressive, indoor-outdoor communal dining space from which guests can view the production process, and where private mezcal tastings are paired with bites commissioned to Rodolfo Castellanos, the first winner of Top Chef Mexico and owner of one of Oaxaca’s finest restaurants, Origen.

From music to fashion, art to theater, food to cinema, speaking engagements to cocktail making, Casa Silencio will offer an extensive calendar of events which will bring together hotel guests as well as visitors and residents of Oaxaca. Guests are encouraged to explore the culturally vibrant surrounding areas of Xaaga and greater Oaxaca through guided tours that can be coordinated directly through the hotel. Exclusive day trips, distillery tours and tastings are also available to those not staying on site, making Casa Silencio a great stop for travelers seeking to immerse themselves into the world of mezcal.

Rates at Casa Silencio are based on double occupancy and start at $1,000 a night for a private suite including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an official El Silencio Mezcal tasting, a tour of the palenque, perpetual pours of all Silencio spirits and cocktails, and access to all amenities on the property grounds.

For more information, visit casasilencio.com.

W Changsha, China

View of RUNWAY, lobby bar. (Photo courtesy of Marriott International.)

W Hotels Worldwide opened W Changsha last week. Owned by the Hunan Yunda Industry Group, W Changsha is the first W in central China and is located in the city’s business and shopping district.

“W Changsha marks the eighth W hotel to open in China, one of the most influential markets in both travel and business, and we’re excited to bring W Hotels to more destinations across the country,” said Tom Jarrold, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide, in a press statement. “Cities such as Changsha, with their future-focused residents and fast-growing millennial luxury market who crave the new and unexpected, are playgrounds of limitless possibilities for W.”

W Changsha is within a 30-minute drive to the Changsha Huanghua International Airport, 15-minute drive to the Changsha South Railway Station and connects directly to the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway.

The property’s 345 guestrooms and suites offer modern luxuries and new-tech conveniences, with walls depicting planets, constellations, and discovery of the nebulae through a “meow eye cabin” LED screen emulating space exploration. From the 26th floor to the highest floor on 28th, the triple-story Extreme—WOW Suite incorporates more than 10,763 sq. ft. of living and leisure space, including a private garden and a pool.

There are also three restaurants and a destination bar. TROPICS, the hotel’s all-day restaurant, delivers an immersive experience with its open-concept kitchen offering local and international cuisine. SHINN YEN celebrates Changsha’s culture through dining and art, with a lively approach to local Hunanese cuisine showcasing the region’s spicy flavors. Every evening, a live cabaret show remixed with Hunan traditional opera animates the dining experience as guests are immersed in the local culture. At night, RUNWAY is the hotel’s destination bar, which offers electrified musical performances.

“We are thrilled to debut the W Hotels brand in central China and mark another symbolic step for us as we continue to expand our luxury portfolio into new markets across the country,” said Henry Lee, president, Greater China, Marriott International, in a press statement. “As domestic travel continues to pick up tremendous momentum, we are bringing new and exciting brands such as W to the country’s emerging leisure destinations.”

For more information, visit wchangsha.com. 

Also, check out, “4 Properties Opening in 2021,” plus 10 hotels more that recently opened, and these that debuted in Miami this summer.