Posts tagged with "Vietnam"

Vy Truong and Han Dang co-founders of Very Handsome Studio based in Houston inside 360 MAGAZINE

VERY HANDSOME STUDIO

Listen to the creators of a Very Handsome Studio on 360 MAG Apple/Spotify podcast HERE.

In 2020, Vy Truong and Han Dang, co-founded the emerging Houston-based architectural design firm, Very Handsome Studio [VHS]. Together, the duo, like Megan and Beyoncé in Savage, has a decade of industry experience, specializing in the areas of housing, education, hospitality and commerce.

Truong was born in Houston and attended Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, majoring in interior architecture. Truong’s mother was a real estate agent and often remembers visiting open houses, “Not so great homes.” Upon witnessing numerous lackluster spaces, Truong became interested in transforming them, “After you see so many, the first thing you kinda wanna do is [ask yourself the question] … how do I improve this space?” It was then that she started her journey as an interior designer. Thus, once she finished her academic career, she quickly concluded that staying in her hometown would be financially advantageous. After all, this is Act I of their renaissance.

Dang, a Vietnamese native, also studied at Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and holds a degree in Interior Architecture. In the course of adolescence, her insatiable desire for placement and texture was evident. She has a memory of collecting design magazines and cutting pages. While in college, she studied abroad in Central Europe. This tour was an eye-opener for interior inspiration.

When Covid-19 struck, completely locking down Houston’s city center, it adversely affected multiple businesses within a variety of sectors. On the upside, the economic downturn allowed Dang and Truong to solidify their atelier at a much lower price point. Nevertheless, the design dyad remained positive and became more sensitive to the growth and development of their enterprise, “You win some, you lose some.” To date, their agency has witnessed an increase in new accounts, resulting in more than twenty divestitures since its inception.

Very Handsome Studio enthusiastically works in tandem with a plethora of establishments as well as a myriad of restaurants flourishing in the vicinity of their headquarters. Still in its infancy, Truong and Dang of VHS are far beyond achieving what they never imagined.

About Very Handsome Studio:

VHS projects include a conceptual Smash Burger with a bodega theme, children’s academy, speakeasy slash sushi bar alongside an Italian seafood restaurant. At last, Truong and Dang are ecstatic to share their eclectic conceptions with the world, “We are knocking on wood until the doors open.” And soon, they will be at the podium receiving a Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award.

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Very Handsome Studio is a design firm based in Houston featured in 360 MAGAZINE
Very Handsome Studio design firm project in Houston via 360 MAGAZINE

Article: Vaughn Lowery, Lana Heaney

Sunisa Lee illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Suni Lee Wins Full Set at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

By: Ally Brewster

Women’s artistic gymnastics was at the forefront at the Summer Olympics once again this year in Tokyo. Artistic gymnastics is a highly competitive, technical sport that takes a lifetime to perfect. The sport garners millions of viewers worldwide each Olympics, and marketing teams use the sport as one of the faces of the games. Artistic gymnastics has become one of, if not the, most popular sport each Olympics.

At the Olympics, artist gymnastics is set into two categories: team and individual. Each member of every country competes in qualifying rounds for team finals, all-around finals, and individual events finals. Each competitor gets a chance to let their abilities shine as they compete on each apparatus. This year, each competitor of the USA Gymnastics team shined with Simone Biles, Sunisa (Suni) Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum. Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner participated as individual athletes for individual events. Though each gymnast shined, one gymnast really caught viewer’s attention. This notoriety was expected as she is a fan-favorite in the Olympics: Sunisa Lee. 

But, who is Suni Lee?

Suni Lee, born Sunisa Phabsomphou, competed in her first ever Olympics this year at only 18-years-old. Though she graduated high school just a few months ago, the Minnesota-native has been doing gymnastics since she was six-years-old. She first began her training at Midwest Gymnastics Center. No Olympic journey is easy, and Suni’s was no exception. Olympians need to train most hours of the day to perfect their craft, which can be difficult to afford. Suni’s father took that problem into his own hands. Her father had always been one of her biggest supporters. He decided to build her a wooden beam in their backyard for her to practice on when they couldn’t afford a real one.

Notably, Suni Lee is the first Hmong-American gymnast to ever compete at the Olympics. Her parents are immigrants from Laos. The Hmong community was excited to have this representation, especially after the year of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. It meant a lot to the Asian-American community for Suni to be in the Olympics as a positive voice for the community. For some people, Suni was the first time they heard of the Hmong people – an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. By qualifying for the Olympics, she was able to represent her community. This moment can be used to educate the world on the Hmong people, their community, and the hardships they have fought to overcome.

Going into the Olympics, Suni was a newcomer to watch for Team USA. She was known for her stellar bar routines. Suni went above and beyond even her own expectations. She qualified not only for Team USA and bar individuals, but also for all-around and beam.

During finals, all of Team USA did amazing. The US team gave the competition their all and ending up winning a Silver medal. They were all ecstatic because, with the exception of Simone Biles, it was each member’s first time winning an Olympic medal.

As they went onto individual competition, the team members of Team USA continued to support each other, even while competing. Suni continued to dominate the competition in the individual rounds. She caught the attention of people as she performed beautifully on each apparatus in all-around. Her performance earned her gold in the all-around competition. With the win, Suni became the first Asian-American to win an all-around gold medal.

After the all-around, the individual competition continued with Suni competing on the beam and uneven bars. On beam she performed beautifully, just missing a medal by placing 4th place. Though she did not win a medaling placement, Suni was as impressive as ever as she competed amongst the best gymnasts in the world. 

Coming into the competition, the uneven bars were known as Suni’s specialty. This proved to be the case as she performed a stunning routine. She was awarded third place and earned a bronze medal.

With each of her wins, Suni entered a distinguished group of Olympians that won a full set – earning a gold, silver and bronze medal. Suni made her community proud as she became the first Asian-American to win all-around. Suni is also the first Hmong American to compete in artistic gymnastics. Suni dedicated her Olympic wins to her father, who supported her through everything and watched her live her dream.

Christian Erlandson illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Linden Bray) for 360 Magazine

Autofutura × Gforces Merge

LEADING AUTOMOTIVE SOFTWARE COMPANIES AUTOFUTURA AND GFORCES MERGE
 

  • Merger brings together Autofutura’s real-time data insight with GForces’ leading-edge e-commerce solutions, to create a new auto tech group
     
  • Created at a time of rapid digital acceleration in automotive retail, the new group enables car makers, dealers and finance providers to grow the lifetime value of their customers, by accelerating sales, simplifying the customer journey and improving customer retention

Two of the automotive industry’s leading retail software suppliers, Autofutura and GForces, have merged to form a new group. With the rapid acceleration of the digitization of the automotive sales process, the companies have come together to maximize sales efficiency and improve the way consumers buy cars.

The new group, backed by Inflexion Private Equity, sees the combination of Autofutura, the global, data-driven business intelligence provider, with market leading automotive e-commerce and omnichannel supplier, GForces. It also benefits from the expertise of the recently acquired Chrysalis Loyalty business, now an integral part of Autofutura.

The first of its kind in the industry, the new group aims to connect car maker, finance provider, dealer and consumer to optimize the entire customer journey – through the provision of software and data services.

The new group will be led by two highly experienced executives; data intelligence expert Christian Erlandson as CEO and automotive veteran David Riemenschneider as Chairman. Autofutura and GForces already serve 20 of the world’s leading car manufacturers and over 10,000 locations, across 96 countries. Headquartered out of the UK, its global presence includes offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Vietnam, UAE and the USA.

Christian Erlandson, CEO, commented: “The digitization of the automotive sales process is accelerating at an unprecedented pace and now is the time to combine the expertise of Autofutura and GForces. By merging Autofutura’s data intelligence insight with GForces’ e-commerce solutions, there is huge potential to support our customers in streamlining the consumer journey, accelerating sales and driving revenue from the first transaction.”

Simon Turner, Managing Partner, Inflexion, said: “The combination of Autofutura with GForces unlocks a unique and highly relevant technology proposition for the automotive retail industry, against a backdrop of accelerating change and disruption for dealers and OEMs. We are delighted to be backing this team to create such an exciting auto tech group, by merging two outstanding private businesses with a long track record of growth.”

The newly merged group was advised by GCA Altium, Headpoint Advisors, Higgs & Sons and Taylor Wessing.

Inhuman illustration by Heather Skovlund (Cover art for Inhuman provided by Smith Publicity) for 360 Magazine

Eric Leland × Inhuman

A Gripping Military Horror with Shocking Supernatural Twists

Q&A WITH ERIC LELAND:

AUTHOR OF Inhuman MILITARY THRILLER DEBUT

Question: What inspired you to write Inhuman?

Eric Leland: During a class for my MA I wrote a 25-page short story titled Recon Team: Mercury. That story was shortened to five pages and is now the prologue to Inhuman. For a NaNoWriMo idea I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when the rescuers came looking for the team that disappeared in my original short story. Inhuman is the result.

Q: What sets Inhuman apart from other military and horror books?

EL: The bravado one comes to expect when reading military fiction is quickly ripped away to expose and pick at the delicate flesh of fear and self-doubt we are ashamed to admit exists.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

EL: It was never my intent for Inhuman to be didactic. Primarily I hope readers are entertained. I hope readers will remember the experience of Inhuman rather than any particular lesson.

Q: Inhuman features a diverse cast of characters. How did your military friendships, and experiences with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” inform this inclusivity?

EL: A diverse cast adds verisimilitude to military fiction simply because any U.S. military unit features a diverse roster. In my first combat experience I found myself fighting shoulder to shoulder with Mexican Americans, an African American, and a gay woman. Unfortunately, DADT was still a thing for most of my military career and I would only find out after DADT was repealed that some of my greatest friends were gay. I think truth in fiction is important, and if I did not write a diverse cast I would by lying. Readers can spot a lie from a mile out.

Q: How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?

EL: The character Jaran is heavily based on my wife’s experiences who was born in Vietnam. At an early age, she and her family fled to a refugee camp after the war. The chaos of displacement during war time seemed terrifying. I can’t really say which character I have the strongest connection to—John’s sense of duty; Chris’s refusal to take anything seriously; and Brandon’s severe depression and self-doubt—they’re all variations of me.

Eric Leland grew up in Massena, NY and entered Army basic training upon high school graduation. He was an MP in the Army for six years and reclassified to a Special Agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Eric deployed to Honduras in 2002, and Iraq in 2003 and 2009 where he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor. He completed his MA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and has happily traded in his gun for a pen. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife. Connect with Eric Leland on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Inhuman is available on Amazon in both print and digital.

Audiobook forthcoming in Summer 2021.

Hotel illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Exceptional Chefs at Green Pearls Hotels

Green Pearls hotels can be found all around the globe, with each destination and venue offering uniquely unforgettable experiences. One of the greatest features among the Green Pearls hotels are the exceptional chefs. Below, are some of are favorites.

The Smiling Gecko Project’s The Farmhouse

The Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror destroyed large parts of Cambodia’s infrastructure and the population still suffers from poverty and hunger. But, the Smiling Gecko Project enables families to help themselves following the devastation that many Cambodian people face. With the Smiling Gecko, projects have been defined based on four pillars of education, agriculture, handcrafts/production and tourism/gastronomy to aid in the fight against poverty.

The Farmhouse and restaurant are the perfect example of Smiling Gecko project. Built in 2015, the idea was to accommodate tourists and students involved in the project. The Farmhouse offers a sustainable training and employment place for local residents and offers secure jobs with humane working conditions. They are able to earn a living and sustainably support themselves and their families.

One of the success stories of the project is that of chef Mariya Un Noun.

“I garnish my food with love,” says the 30-year-old chef. Her story begins in the slums of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. After only being able to attend 3 years of school growing up, Mariya Un Noun now works as the Executive Chef at the Smiling Gecko Farmhouse.

The mother of two children came to Smiling Gecko in 2014, where she quickly attracted attention with her passion and talent for cooking. Since the opening of the Farmhouse Smiling Gecko restaurant in 2015, Mariya has played a crucial role in the development of the menu. The young Cambodian interprets local specialties in her own creative way.  A partnership with The Farmhouse gives young European chefs the opportunity to work with Mariya in the farmhouse and to bring the soul of Cambodian cuisine to the world.

Dolomites’ Hotel Paradiso Pure.Living

On the other side of the world, in the newly opened 100% holistic vegetarian Hotel Paradiso located on the Seiser Alm, another chef surprises her guests with creativity and skill.

Opened in July 2020 after extensive renovations, Paradiso Pure.Living is the first vegetarian and sustainable hotel on the Seiser Alm, the largest high alpine pasture in Europe which is nestled in the middle of the Dolomites.

The concept is based on the vision of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It is the owners’ wish to inspire guests to take ideas home with them and integrate them into their everyday life. The 100% vegetarian cuisine offers a delicious, natural variety and at the same time contributes to the environment. This vision comes to life with chef Federica Scolta.

Born in Abruzzo in 1982, Scolta’s path leads her through Italy after studying international relations. She gained her first experiences in simple Trattorias, but her talent and passion led her to well-known starred restaurants, where she continued to develop her passion and skills.

 “Being vegetarian is a choice for life, it means becoming aware that what we eat is transformed into energy to support our body, soul and spirit.”

At the Hotel Paradiso Pure.Living, Federica, as a chef, follows a 100% vegetarian approach in the knowledge that this concept promotes personal health while reducing the carbon footprint in our fragile environment.

Ivory Rowen Nguyen is a summer intern at 360 Magazine.

Ivory Rowen

One of our summer graphic design interns is Ivory Rowen Nguyen. Ivory is a student at Texas A&M University, and her major is Telecommunications Media Studies with a minor in Graphic Design and Business. Her passion includes graphic design, fashion, and photography. She spends hours daily on Adobe Creative Cloud and is proficient in Illustrator, inDesign, Photoshop, and Lightroom. When school is in session, Ivory holds a position as design chief at A-Line Magazine, a fashion organization, and as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. When she is not working, Ivory enjoys cooking pescatarian dishes, reading romantic Christmas novels, and sewing.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma for 17 years, Ivory moved to Spring, Texas with her parents and twin sister during her senior year of High School. Entering college as a pre-dental student, Ivory knew her passion was in the creative field after her collection of fashion magazines started stocking up on her desk. Trading in anatomy books for a MacBook was the beginning of her road to graphic design. She started taking graphic design courses in college that then introduced her to A-Line Magazine. As design chief, she leads and guides the graphic designers to create new print issues every semester. Her role in the organization led her to join 360 Magazine as our summer graphic design intern. “Before 360, my graphics were all very feminine, and I would use the same pink color palette on all my art but now, I have branched out creating graphics for articles such as on music, health, and landscapes. My time at 360 Magazine has enhanced my creative skills towards launching a successful career in graphic design!”

Jessica Minh Anh, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Jessica Minh Anh Global Passport

A famous fashion entrepreneur is on a mission.

In collaboration with UNESCO, supermodel and producer Jessica Minh Anh – whose history-making catwalks at iconic monuments and renewable energy sites gained her international credibility – is now focusing on vitalizing the tourism industry, to stimulate this hard-hit sector post Covid. Already an ambassador for sustainability and innovation in the international arena, her upcoming travel program: “Jessica Minh Anh: Global Passport,” will focus on promoting domestic travel and tourism across the world, starting with Vietnam.

“Vietnam has weathered the current crisis effectively, avoiding casualties and keeping infection figures contained in the low triple figures. While this is an incredible result, closing borders has come at a heavy cost to some vital national industries, such as tourism. My goal is to promote a safe Vietnam for domestic travel in 2020 and beyond.” said Jessica Minh Anh.

Follow Jessica Minh Anh: Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook

Jessica Minh Anh, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine
Pendry West Hollywood, West Hollywood, 360 MAGAZINE, preferred hotels

20 IN 20

Preferred Hotels & Resorts Announces 20 Exciting Independent Hotel Openings Taking Place In The New Year

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand announces 20 new launches across the globe in 2020. From glitzy West Hollywood to historically palatial Stockholm, and from the winelands of Northern California to the undiscovered beaches of Tuscany, each of these new city hotels, beach resorts, and countryside retreats extends luxury independent hospitality at its finest, presenting travelers with an inspiring gateway to an authentic discovery of their chosen destination, wherever their journeys take them next.

BEST FOR A TOUCH OF HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR

Pendry West Hollywood (West Hollywood, California, USA) – Launching summer 2020

Located on the iconic Sunset Strip, Pendry West Hollywood is one of the most anticipated developments in the creative heart of Los Angeles. The ‘new luxury’ hotel – set in an eye-catching glass fronted building with interiors designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to evoke Californian glamour – comprises 149 guestrooms, including 37 suites and 40 additional residences. For the property’s signature restaurant and food and beverage outlets, Wolfgang Puck has created an unparalleled culinary experience inspired by the artistic energy of the surrounding area. Other stand-out features include a spectacular rooftop pool and bar adorned with chic cabanas; Spa Pendry a tranquil sanctuary offering personalized wellness treatments; curated public art collections showcasing local talent; bowling alley; and screening room. More information on Pendry West Hollywood, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR AN EXPERIENTIAL FOODIE BREAK

The Sense Experience Resort (Tuscany, Italy) – Launching March 2020

Located off the tranquil western central coast of Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea, The Sense Experience Resort is an eco-retreat made up of 12,000 acres of natural park and pine forest with a private beach in Tuscany’s Maremma region. Inspired by the five senses, the resort offers 112 guestrooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and Italian-designed fabrics and furnishings, with many boasting views of Elba Island and the historic Torre Mozza. Guests are taken on a sensory culinary journey through dishes rooted in Tuscan experiences at Eatè restaurant; rotating street food menus for quick eats and picnics at onsite food truck L’Apino; and barefoot seven-course suppers on the beach under the stars. Other highlights include an outdoor pool with swim-up bar, complimentary bicycle rentals, cooking courses, yoga and Pilates, and a wealth of adventure activities, including deep-sea fishing, island trips by boat, and vineyard tours. Rates at The Sense Experience Resort start from US$130 per night. For more information or to book, visit www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR HISTORICAL URBAN ELEGANCE

Villa Dagmar (Stockholm, Sweden) – Launching April 2020

Named after Dagmar Bergsten – a trailblazing woman and member of the owner’s family who enjoyed travel, art, and culinary trips to the Mediterranean in the early 1900s – Villa Dagmar is an intimate luxury hotel located in the exclusive Stockholm neighborhood of Östermalmstorg, close to City Hall, The Swedish History Museum, and Stureplan Square. The late 19th century Art Nouveau building extends 70 guestrooms and suites, some with balconies overlooking the inner courtyard and orangery, as well as an organic food store, concept store selling hand-picked designer pieces, spa, flower shop, and signature restaurant serving Mediterranean-fusion cuisine by Michelin-starred Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson. Guests can also enjoy effortless trips to the renowned market hall Östermalmshallen, which is connected to the hotel. Rates at Villa Dagmar start from US$331 per night. For more information or to book, visit www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR A REFINED WINE COUNTRY RETREAT

Montage Healdsburg (Healdsburg, California, USA) – Launching October 2020

The newest launch from Montage Hotels & Resorts, Montage Healdsburg is a transformative hideaway nestled in the hills of Sonoma County, offering travelers a convenient and luxurious base to explore the destination’s celebrated wineries and farm-to-table restaurants. Designed with sustainability in mind, each of the 130 bungalow-style guestrooms and suites are in historic groves and comprise understated contemporary furnishings crafted with local stone, wood, and copper, along with private outdoor spaces that make up a third of each lodging including fire pits, private outdoor showers, and plush daybeds. Guests can experience two fine dining restaurants, treatments at Spa Montage, and a host of activities across the 258-acre resort such as winery tours, cooking classes, outdoor musical performances, 250 miles of hiking and biking trails, archery, and the bee apiary. More information on Montage Healdsburg, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR AN OCEANFRONT WELLNESS GETAWAY

Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa (Singer Island, Florida, USA) – Launching June 2020

Comprising more than seven acres of oceanfront in Palm Beach County’s Singer Island, Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa is a luxury coastal getaway created for guests to unplug and recharge. The wellness resort combines Eastern wellbeing philosophies and western technology through The Five Pillars of Wellness – its partnership with ESPA and the Himalayan Institute that connects mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation, and sleep across its four-story spa, meditation gardens, four farm-to-table restaurants, tranquility pools, outdoor Patanjali yoga classes, and sleep specialist services. The 153 guestrooms and 34 grand luxury wellness suites include terraces with uninterrupted ocean views featuring circadian rhythm lighting and freestanding bathtubs where guests can enjoy a personalized aromatherapy bath, compliments of a Bath Concierge.More information on Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

ADDITIONAL 2020 OPENINGS INCLUDE:

AMERICAS

·         Greystone Miami Beach (Miami Beach, Florida, USA) – relaunching February 2020: Steps from the white sand beach, the historic 1930s hotel embraces Miami’s energy with Art Deco glamour across 91 guestrooms, a stunning rooftop pool, and a whiskey and dark spirits lounge.

·         Hotel Maverick (Grand Junction, Colorado, USA) – launching April 2020: Located steps from Colorado Mesa University, Hotel Maverick will be the first luxury hotel in the area at 45,000 square feet offering 60 guestrooms, two restaurants, and bar.

·         The Liberty Trust Hotel (Roanoke, Virginia, USA) – launching April 2020: Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and originally opened in 1910 as a bank and office building, The Liberty Trust Hotel will launch after a full refurbishment to offer 50 guestrooms and suites.

·         Hotel Effie Sandestin (Sandestin, Florida, USA) – launching June 2020: On 2,400 acres of Florida’s Emerald Coast, the hotel integrates coastal charm with Southern hospitality across 250 guestrooms and 19 suites with views of Choctawhatchee Bay and championship golf courses.

·         Brenton Hotel (Newport, Rhode Island, USA) – launching June 2020: Located on the waterfront, Brenton Hotel pays homage to the area’s public buildings and their history through its architecture and features 57 sunlit guestrooms and suites with expansive views.

·         The Lake House on Canandaigua (Canandaigua, New York, USA) – launching summer 2020: Situated on picturesque Canandaigua Lake, the property offers lakeside luxury across 125 guestrooms, a dedicated events barn, signature restaurant, and destination spa and wellness center.

EUROPE

·         Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi (Rome, Italy) – launching March 2020: Just 200 feet from Trevi Fountain, Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi extends 19th century Art Deco design elements across 67 guestrooms, two signature restaurants, and a spectacular rooftop terrace with skyline views.

·         Villa Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark) – launching April 2020: A historic grand post office turned luxury hotel located next to Tivoli Gardens, Villa Copenhagen highlights conscious, approachable luxury across 390 guestrooms and suites – including a luxurious Earth Suite made solely from sustainable materials – as well as stunning interior gardens and dining outlets.

·         The Guardsman (London, United Kingdom) – launching April 2020: On London’s exclusive Buckingham Gate with 53 unique guestrooms and six exclusive residences, The Guardsman offers the atmosphere, discretion, and personal service associated with a private members’ club.

·         The Diaoyutai Mansion Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany) – launching July 2020: The first European hotel by the Diaoyutai MGM Hospitality hotel group combines traditional Asian design with international flair across 250 guestrooms and suites, steps from Frankfurt’s top attractions.

·         Pestana Douro, Riverside Hotel and Conference Centre (Porto, Portugal) – launching May 2020: The newest hotel from Pestana Hotels & Resorts will offer 165 guestrooms and suites, along with meeting and event spaces, on the shores of the Douro River.

·         The Londoner (London, United Kingdom) – launching July 2020: Located in Leicester Square, The Londoner is the world’s first super boutique hotel, boasting six subterranean levels and 350 guestrooms including 35 suites, in addition to showcasing the energy of London’s West End through unique design, innovative social spaces, and distinctive restaurants.

ASIA

·         Alma Resort (Cam Ranh, Vietnam) – launching February 2020: Situated on one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches, Alma Resort offers innovative design across nearly 600 apartments and villas, each featuring a waterfront view.

·         The Chedi Mumbai (Mumbai, India) – launching March 2020: Located in the heart of India’s commercial capital, The Chedi Mumbai is a serene and stylish oasis with 316 guestrooms and suites offering views of Powai Lake or the city skyline.

·         CONNECT BUSAN (Busan, South Korea) – launching May 2020: With 216 guestrooms and suites, each with private balconies and sweeping views of Busan Harbor or Yongdusan Park, CONNECT BUSAN is a respite for leisure and business travelers in South Korea’s historic area.

Whether on the go for business or leisure, travelers who visit these new hotels, along with more than 700 other member hotels from the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, can access exclusive member rates and earn reward points with the I Prefer Hotel Rewards program. Free to join, the program extends points redeemable towards free nights and other on-property expenditures, elite status, and other complimentary benefits to guests. Bookings can be made online at PreferredHotels.com or on the I Prefer mobile app, available on Android and iOS.

For more information on these hotels or any of the properties represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, please visit www.PreferredHotels.com.

About Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 750 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer™ Hotel Rewards program, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Pride℠, and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.

Aqua Expeditions Cruise Line

AQUA EXPEDITIONS SET TO ENTER COASTAL CRUISE MARKET IN LATE 2019

Boutique luxury cruise line to launch three new destinations and double its fleet by mid-2020

The world’s most respected boutique luxury cruise line – Aqua Expeditions – is set to enter the coastal cruise market in the fall of 2019, after operating as an Amazon and Mekong River cruise line for the past twelve years. A month ago, Aqua Expeditions finalized the purchase of a long-range 200-foot explorer yacht originally built for Britain’s Royal Navy; the vessel is now undergoing a complete refurbishment designed to transform it into an ultra-modern luxury expedition cruise ship catering to affluent explorers.

Scheduled to begin full operations in November 2019, the explorer class vessel will serve three new destinations with year-round departures. The full announcement on vessel name, facts, destinations and itinerary details will be released globally on May 8, 2019.

The May 8th announcement will also unveil a brand-new, state-of-the-art, luxury river cruise vessel to consolidate Aqua Expeditions’ position as one of the leaders in the river-cruise market. Once this and the recently purchased expedition vessel are in operation, Aqua Expeditions will have doubled its fleet from two to four vessels by mid-2020.

“Even as we grow, as an owner, I remain deeply involved in every aspect of the new vessels – from the minutiae of the design details to the intricacies of the itineraries — just as we did when we started out in 2007,” says CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro, “and, as with all Aqua Expeditions vessels, we are partnering both with renowned designers and critically acclaimed chefs to provide a world-class experience.”

The fleet expansion and geographic diversification underscore Aqua Expeditions’ long-time dedication to providing:

  • highly personalized luxury travel experiences
  • immersive excursions into the wildlife and culture of each region
  • world-class cuisine and dining experiences by renowned chefs
  • highly tailored guest services and itineraries
  • designer ships with elegant and contemporary aesthetics
  • a commitment to community, sustainability and preservation

“The new ships and destinations we will reveal next month are certain to intrigue the sophisticated traveler,” added Galli Zugaro.

ABOUT AQUA EXPEDITIONS

A recognized global leader in luxury small-ship cruises, Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. On board, Aqua Expeditions offers tailored five-star itineraries, a highly-exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and expert-guided activities and excursions. Aqua Expeditions currently operates river cruise ships Aria Amazon on the Peruvian Amazon and Aqua Mekong on the Mekong river in Cambodia and Vietnam. For more information, please visit www.aquaexpeditions.com.

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NICKI MINAJ × HARPER’S BAZAAR VIETNAM

Nicki Minaj wears Phillip Plein and Cory Couture

 

Photographed by Greg Swales

 

Styled by KC Jones