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Autograph Collection Hotels, part of the Marriott International family, has debuted a couple of properties—the French Leave Resort in Eleuthera in The Bahamas, and a new lifestyle hotel and boutique experience, La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK in Dubai—and has made a multimillion dollar investment into renovating The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.

Melia Hotels International is set to open 18 properties in 2017, including the brand’s first sustainable hotel, Melia Serengeti Lodge, on the southern slopes of Nyamuma in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Other openings include Paradisus Los Cabos in Mexico; Melia Cartagena de Indias, an adults-only resort in Colombia; the Gran Melia Huravee in the Maldives; Melia Shanghai Hongqiao in China; and INNSIDE Glasgow in the UK, which is located in the old British Telecom headquarters and features a wellness center.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has announced a new brand initiative, Asaya, an integrative wellness concept that aims to help guests discover their personal path to wellness by teaching them skills they can use even after they’ve left the property. According to Niamh O’Connell, group v.p. of guest experience and wellness for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Asaya was created to fill a gap that currently exists in the luxury hotel spa sector.

“Consciously and unconsciously, wellness is becoming more significant in our day-to-day lives, in the ways we work, eat, sleep and socialize,” noted O’Connell in press materials.

Asaya will offer alternative therapies, lifestyle and nutrition coaching, educational wellness programming, fitness activities, and healing treatments using all-natural ingredients. In fact, Asaya will incorporate locally inspired, culturally authentic treatments based on traditional formulas, resurrected techniques and home remedies. Treatment recipes will include indigenous botanicals and raw ingredients often freshly picked from on-property gardens.

In addition, guests can take part in yoga, tai chi, and high-impact activities including spinning, boxing, and bootcamp classes, and they can opt to stay in an overnight Asaya Suite, which features separate sleeping, living, and therapy areas. A resort version of Asaya will debut at Rosewood Phuket, slated to open this April.

The Wellness Suite at Velas Resorts.
The Wellness Suite at Velas Resorts.

Wellness-focused options can also be found at Velas Resorts, offering guests 2-floored, 1750-sq.-ft., adults-only Wellness Suites—with a personal Spa Concierge—healthy mini-bar items and complimentary bike tours. At Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, and Grand Velas Los Cabos, guests can stay in Wellness Suites that feature in-suite exercise kits including a yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, and an exercise bike; Manos que Curan soap bars in a variety of scents made for healing from local Mexican plants, flowers, and seeds; and an Alchimia Apothecary Aromatherapy kit to help soothe guests into a restful night; plus a Vitamin C Sprinkler in-suite that spritzes guests on command with a warm bath of Vitamin C and essential oils. There are six Wellness Suites at Grand Velas Los Cabos; 12 at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and two at Casa Velas.

Grand Velas properties also offer complimentary bike tours: At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, for example, guests ride around the resort’s 206 acres, and at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit they take their two-wheeler through the Nuevo Vallarta neighborhood.

Agents take note: Velas Resorts has updated its Velas Resorts Experts Program, which, depending on an agent’s level, rewards them with access to special amenities, complimentary nights, suite upgrades and VIP amenities for their clients, plus a 50 percent extra bonus for all reservations and qualified bookings made during the first month of registration. Agents are also rewarded for referring teammates to the  program.

For guests trying to keep up with their wellness activities while traveling, suggest a tour that includes biking. Recommend’s editors always throw in a bike tour when exploring a destination—including in Valencia, along the Danube and in Magdeburg—not only because it allows us to stay on top of our exercise regime, but it’s a unique way of experiencing an area.

For clients headed to Santiago, Chile, said to be the biking capital of South America, recommend Avanti’s Shared Old Santiago Biking City Tour ($175 pp). This 5-hour expedition departs daily from guest’s hotel and takes them through the city exploring parks and traditional neighborhoods, including a ride along
the Mapocho River. There’s also a new 4-day Vienna: Food & Bike in Vienna itinerary  ($799 pp dbl) for travel April through October.

New to the Backroads portfolio for 2017 is the Napa Valley Bike Tour (starting at $3,789), featuring luxurious retreats and easy biking in the Wine Country. Travelers ride along the vineyards of rural Napa Valley, enjoy wine from the wineries along the cycling route, and indulge in California cuisine during picnics at vineyards and at Michelin-starred restaurants; an extension to San Francisco can be added to the itinerary. Plus, there’s ample time to relax poolside, in a bungalow at the hotel, or take in a spa treatment.

Abercrombie & Kent added its Connections Boutique Group Journeys to its 2017 offerings, including 12 new itineraries exploring Latvia, Lithuania, Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Sicily, Puglia, and Iceland. In Iceland, for instance,  a new 11-day Family Journey includes a mountain bike and super Jeep exploration followed by swims in geothermal pools. Guests also ride Icelandic horses, fish the Icelandic way and take their catch ashore for a chef-prepared dinner, plus take in volcanic landscapes and marine life, as well as traditional Viking knife-crafting.

As Disney’s “Moana” hits movie theaters, Hawaiian Airlines has launched a partnership with Walt Disney Studios that includes three Moana-decaled aircraft flying through March 2017 featuring Moana-themed amenities, inflight entertainment, exclusive welcome video, plus products and apparel for purchase, as well as overhead luggage bins decorated
with characters from the film.

Alaska Air Group has finalized its acquisition of Virgin America, making it the fifth largest U.S. airline. It now offers an expanded route network with nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations, more nonstop destinations from the West Coast, and new flights to Orlando, Minneapolis, and Orange County from San Francisco starting summer 2017. As of December, both Virgin America Elevate members and Alaska Arilines Mileage Plan members earn rewards on each other’s flights; ditto for Elite members receiving priority check-in and boarding on each.

Contact Information
Abercrombie & Kent:
Alaska Air Group:
Autograph Collection Hotels:
Hawaiian Airlines:
Melia Hotels International:
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts:
Velas Resorts: