When Belmond Ltd. acquired Hotel Cipriani in Venice, this was but a springboard for the now world renowned brand which currently owns and operates 48 unique and distinctive hotels around the world. This includes rail and river cruise experiences of awe inspiring proportions in many of the world’s most celebrated tourist destinations. As a part of their broad offering Belmond has eight luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, along with safaris and ‘21’ Club in midtown Manhattan, ranked as one of New York’s most storied restaurants and which has been around since 1929. Built back in the Prohibition Era, the owners went to great length to have architect Frank Buchanan design a complex system of camouflaged doors, invisible chutes, revolving bars and a secret wine cellar to hide and destroy the evidence.
“Rather cleverly, the wine cellar was not actually part of the ’21’ building at all, but the basement of No. 19 next door. So when the authorities asked the bar staff if they had any liquor on the premises, they could honestly say no! In reality, it housed 2,000 cases of wine, including the private collections of Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Mae West, Eva Gabor and Aristotle Onassis,” as stated on their website.
It is against this background that one can begin to conjure up visions of the completed 121 room renovated Belmond Cap Juluca Hotel, a luxury beach resort on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, British West Indies, which Belmond has recently acquired. The renovation which will be respectful of the authentic charm of the iconic resort, will also include interior furnishings of all suites and villas; the introduction of new culinary concepts that celebrate the local food culture; enhancements to the spa; and new and renovated public areas. After the refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, Belmond will have invested a total of approximately $121 million in the acquisition and subsequent renovation and expansion of the resort.The award-winning property features Greco-Moorish architecture spread over two crescent-shaped coves with ocean-view suites and villas that offer secluded privacy set within lush tropical gardens. There are four restaurants and bars, a large salt water pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, a library and private screening room. The property was developed by Linda and Charles Hickox, nearly 30 years ago.
The laid-back island of Anguilla boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean with the softest white sand and clear blue waters where dolphins swim in the surf. There is a well-developed food scene and colorful beach bars. The island is a haven for those wishing to escape and disconnect from everyday distractions.
Belmond Andean Explorer – Luxury Sleeper Train
But Belmond had also joined the ranks of the cutting edge, innovative, luxury sleeper train concept and has launched yet another first in South America.
The Belmond Andean Explorer is dubbed a new level of luxury. It plies a scenic route through Peru, taking in natural wonders such as Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon en-route while boasting a Library, Boutique, Observation Car and Piano Bar Car.