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WINTER 2011I sea&iI31travelnewsGrape expectationsArgentina's renowned wine country welcomed anew growth in September: the InterContinentalMendoza hotel. This 15-storey property has 180guest rooms and suites (although a second towersoon to be finalised will add a further 72 roomsto its tally), 11 meeting rooms, a ballroom,full-service spa, heated swimming pool, fitnesscentre and restaurant. Guests can enjoy the city'slargest shopping centre just a step across thestreet, and both the downtown area and airportare within easy reach. Wine lovers in particular will appreciate theregion as the nearby wineries of Mendoza producethe world's highest-ranked Malbec wines.However, with hiking, biking, fishing, rafting,shopping and world-class skiing also on offer, thisis the perfect spot for all visitors. www.intercontinental.comAlila graces India and LaosAfter four successful launches last year, Alila Hotels & Resortsannounces two new openings within the space of six monthswith Alila Luang Prabang, Laos (now open) and Alila Bangalore,India (due to open in January 2011). The Luang Prabang resort can be found in the ancient town thatwas designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and guestscan look forward to a laid-back atmosphere where a gentle strollallows exploration of the unique town. In keeping with the site'sarchitectural heritage, the resort blends existing colonial buildingsbuilt in the early 20thcentury with new structures designed tocomplement and reflect traditional Laos. Twenty three suites openonto a private garden with either a pool or an outdoor pavilion, andeach has its own unique charm. In contrast, Alila Bangalore is set in a vibrant metropolis and will bea unique business resort hotel that will nevertheless reflect all theprinciples of the Alila chain. The elegant rooms with modern Indianaccents feature an innovative design that encourages modernliving with tailored work and leisure spaces. Four dining areas, theSpa Alila, a library and an infinity pool invite business travellers to taketheir mind off work.www.alilahotels.com

32Isea&iIWINTER 2011Leela PalaceThe Leela Group, consisting of palaces, hotelsand resorts, is showcasing its latest propertyin New Delhi, where it reflects the trueessence of India. Opened in autumn 2010, thisimpressive Leela property is located in theexclusive Diplomatic Enclave next to the PrimeMinister's residence.Opulent interiors to suit all tastes draw froma range of inspirations, fromthecutting edge ofcontemporary design to a more classical easternaesthetic. Along with its sumptuous design, thehotel features Japanese, Indian and Italianrestaurants, a heated rooftop swimming pooland an exclusive spa with a state-of-the-artfitness centre. www.theleela.com Orient-Express expandsThe Orient-Express group, originallyfamous for its luxury train journeys fromLondon to Venice, has expanded vastlyover the last decade and now featureshotels and unique journeys worldwide. Thenewest additions to the collection includetwo hotels in Sicily. Villa Sant'Andreabenefits from a seaside location and hasover 60 rooms and suites withviews over aprivate beach in the Bay of Mazzarò.Grand Hotel Timeo, meanwhile, is situatedin the historical centre of Taormina. Thegroup is also developing further outside ofEurope with a new rail voyage aboard theEastern & Oriental Express. These new railvoyages will pass through Thailand,Malaysia, Laos and Singapore, with allitineraries offering an extensiveprogramme of exciting excursions,overnightoff-trainexperiences and guestlecturers.www.orient-express.com