Banyan Tree Unveils New Resort in Krabi

Elevating the destination, Banyan Tree Krabi becomes the first luxury resort to open in Krabi after 11 years.

Banyan Tree Krabi, a 72-key luxury resort nestled on a verdant hillside with spectacular vistas of limestone cliffs rising from the sea, opened its doors on October 24 at little-known Tubkaek Beach, a 45-minute drive from Krabi International Airport. Launched by Banyan Tree Group, one of the world’s leading independent, multi-branded hospitality groups known for sustainability and wellbeing, this latest 5-star hotel is owned by Thailand-based Asset World Corporation (AWC).  

The new resort backs onto a lush national park and Naga Crest Hill, granting three ultra-luxury beachfront pool villas, 10 beachfront pool villas, and 59 pool suites—each of which has its own private pool—a westward-facing view of sunset over the Andaman Sea. A natural spring flows downhill into the property where it is transformed into a flower-fringed canal ferrying springwater to the sea.

Facilities at Banyan Tree Krabi include two restaurants and a beach bar, a kids’ club, a fitness centre, a meeting centre, and in keeping with Banyan Tree’s global wellbeing branding — a rainforest-themed spa.

The centerpiece of the resort, as guests walk through the naga legend-inspired entrance, is a circular water feature in the lobby that cascades into a cavernous meeting room area below. With a backdrop of emerald sea and karsts, the awe-inspiring spectacle is shaping up as one of the resort’s signature images.

“Water and nature are the predominant themes here at Banyan Tree Krabi,” said the resort’s new General Manager Robert Sexton. “You are never more than a few steps from a canal with quaint wooden bridges or within earshot of fountains and waterfalls among the gardens.

“One water-related concept we have adopted is that of the ‘Naga’, a sea creature from Hindu mythology that is popular among local legends in Krabi. Long ago, people believed that the Great Naga lived here in the four mountains behind us. From sea, you can see the rollercoaster-shape of the range, somewhat like a slithering serpent. It stretches from Naga Crest Hill, just 500 metres behind the hotel, to Laem Hang Nak Mountain, which represents the tip of the Naga’s tail.

“From the lobby, an eye-catching naga staircase leads downstairs to a shaded ‘grotto’, and you’ll see naga-themed design inspirations throughout the hotel, including wavy artwork on the walls and amenities in all the rooms. The designers have clearly applied elements of the natural landscape to create a unique ambience and a sense of place.”


Banyan Tree Krabi offers eight suite and villa types. The most modest accommodation type, coming in at 99 sq.m, is the Deluxe Pool Suite. Highlight of the room is a sumptuous double bed, situated beneath a pitched hardwood ceiling and fan. A private terrace, plunge pool and jet pool surround the bedroom, giving guests the feeling of being on a small island.

The largest is the majestic seven-bedroom Presidential Villa, which sits directly in front of the beach. Guests can reserve the villa as a three-bedroom unit or take an option to combine the three-bedroom with the two adjoining 2-bedroom beachfront villas, transforming it into a seven-bedroom wonderland of saltwater pools, canals, and myriad balconies and terraces. Designed as a retreat for multi-generational family vacations and intimate wedding celebrations, the Presidential Villa commands a palatial 1,335 sq.m as a seven-bedroom arrangement.

All suites and villas have private saltwater pools and water features. Each is modern and bright with gentle tones of wood, stone and sand. Decor is modern chic, while bathrooms are resplendent with sandy beige marble tiles, a double sink, and decorated with naga art.


One of the most dramatic features at Banyan Tree Krabi will be the three “Bird’s Nest” tables perched precariously among the trees around the resort’s highly-elevated signature restaurant, Saffron. With a lush jungle scene as backdrop, and a sea vista of Krabi’s world-famous limestone wonders at sunset, this romantic dining spot will make for some memorable Instagram moments.

Saffron Restaurant and its accompanying Sunset Wedding Deck can be accessed by a quaint electric funicular, large enough for eight persons, which will ascend and descend the hillside throughout the evening.

The resort’s all-day dining destination will be called The Naga Kitchen, catering breakfasts, lunches and dinner with a plethora of international choices. Executive Chef Jakkrit Traibun, who was the sous-chef at Banyan Tree Samui for seven years, is a southern Thai and specialises in the aromatic and spicy flavours of that culinary style.

Always popular at Banyan Tree is its in-room dining. Exuding romance and relaxation, novelties include a floating breakfast, floating sunset tapas set or a sizzling poolside barbecue prepared by a personal chef.

Some 154 islands ­— most of which are uninhabited, except by monkeys, monitor lizards and aquatic birds — lie off the coast of Krabi. These limestone karst towers stand as monuments to natural evolution, and are one of Thailand’s most recognizable and photogenic images. Thanks to its dramatic landscape, Krabi is home to numerous outdoor activities, chief among them rock climbing, where the sheer cliffs are world famous for this daunting and exciting sport. Also popular are mountain biking trails and tours, kayaking through mangrove forests, and whitewater rafting.



Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, a sophisticated and chic address in the epicenter of luxury and the largest Sofitel property in the Middle East and Africa region, opens its doors. Beautifully merging modern French art de vivre and ancient Egyptian heritage with the essence and culture of the UAE, guests will step into timeless elegance and enjoy an unrivalled experience in the iconic Dubai Wafi destination.

Mark Willis, CEO Middle East & Africa at Accor, mentioned “This is a very exciting opening for us in the region as, aside from it being the largest Sofitel property in the Middle East & Africa, it is also set to become a landmark in the city, showcasing exquisite service combined with an iconic design and architecture. Congratulations to the team of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, whom have worked tirelessly to ensure this opening is a success”.

Ayman Gharib, Managing Director of Raffles Dubai & Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk comments “Inspired by the Luxor Obelisk located in Place de La Concorde in Paris, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, is a testament to the Wafi Complex development and rounds up the lifestyle and entertainment destination that the founder, H.H. Sheikh Mana bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, envisioned it to be. The Wafi Group, since its establishment nearly four decades ago, has been setting trends and standards of excellence. Upholding its values and traditions and finding partners that echo the same, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk has partnered with three prominent F&B and spa partners; Daniel Boulud, Schilo van Coeverden and L’Occitane. This move will ensure that the hotel speaks to a diverse and distinguished audience.”

Omar Souab, General Manager of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk explains “As the perfect addition to Dubai’s vivid skyline, The Obelisk boasts 595 rooms, suites and serviced residences, designed for discerning tech-savvy business travelers and leisure seekers, introducing digital solutions through the use of the hotel’s mobile application, QR codes and touchless technology. Targeting a zero single use plastic policy across all facets, the hotel is committing to become an engaged and sustainable property. I’m proud to be part of this brilliant pre-opening team and look forward to welcoming and delighting our guests.”

As a new dining destination in the city, the hotel offers five exclusive venues including Brasserie Boulud, a French modern concept rooted in tradition by Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud, Taiko contemporary Asian cuisine & bar – the first international outpost of Taiko Amsterdam by Chef Schilo van Coevorden offering cuisine inspired by the flavors and textures of the Far East, The Nine gastropub serving British classics, Bijou patisserie includes a variety of indulgences such as Le Goȗter (French Afternoon tea) and Soleil Pool & Lounge, a vibrant poolside bar serving a Mediterranean and Levantine inspired menu, carefully crafted cocktails and varied shisha flavors.

Joining forces with the renowned French brand, Sofitel SPA with L’Occitane invites guests to a Provencal retreat, inspired by the Mediterranean art-de-vivre. The spa includes eight treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, female and male relaxation rooms, Hammam facilities and Sofitel FITNESS offering state-of-the-art gym equipment and a studio. The outdoor swimming pool is in the shape of an Egyptian ‘key of life’ and neighbored by a series of private cabanas, two featuring their own Jacuzzi.

With a curated junior guest journey drawing its inspiration from the French novella Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), families will explore a world of exciting activities at AstroKids club and have access to VOX Cinemas and Magic Planet in Wafi mall. The multiplex will feature a diversity of activities for kids and adults including soft play areas, bowling, a kids square and more. Visitors can enjoy watching the latest films on an advanced ONYX screen by Samsung, offering powerful, captivating and larger-than-life visuals. The ONYX screen at VOX Cinemas WAFI Mall is defined as the “cinema of the future” and the first of its kind in the UAE.

With over 2,300 square meters of meeting space including ten flexible venues and one state-of-the-art ballroom, guests and event-planners will choose from a plethora of sought-after venues for social or business gatherings. The names of the meeting rooms represent the grand voyage of the Luxor Obelisk (1832-1836) from the temple of Luxor in Egypt to its arrival in the Place de Concorde in Paris. Special occasions will be held under the stars in the L’Obelisque ballroom where the ceiling is adorned with Swarovski crystal chandeliers in the shape of a star constellation. Two green meeting rooms (Paris and Alexandria) offer electronic flipcharts and amenities made from eco-friendly materials.

As part of the Accor group, the most stringent cleaning standards and operational procedures in the world of hospitality have been established at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, certified with the ALLSAFE label. The ALLSAFE standards have been developed with and vetted by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing inspections and certification. In addition, with Accor’s groundbreaking global partnership with AXA, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk will provide medical support should guests need non-emergency medical assistance during their stay.

With a prime location in Wafi, the premium shopping and leisure destination, just 10 minutes away from Dubai International Airport, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is set to charm guests with ultimate comfort, extraordinary experiences and the French way of living.

Instagram: @SofitelTheObelisk
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Sofitel Hotels & Resorts is an ambassador of modern French style, culture and art-de-vivre around the world. Established in 1964, Sofitel is the first international luxury hotel brand to originate from France with more than 120 chic and remarkable hotels in the world’s most sought after destinations. Sofitel exudes a refined and understated sense of modern luxury, always blending a touch of French decadence with the very best of the locale. The Sofitel collection includes such notable hotels as Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, Sofitel London St James, Sofitel Munich Bayerpost, Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Ipanema, Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort. Sofitel is part of Accor, a world leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,000 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. | |

The World’s Most Dangerous Selfie Hotspots

  • Yosemite National Park tops the list as the most popular dangerous selfie hotspot in the world with over 4,869,100 hashtags on Instagram
  • The Grand Canyon (4,267,800 hashtags) and Snowdon (1,576,589 hashtags) follow on the list of world’s favourite dangerous selfie hotspots
  • 48% of people pick their holiday destinations based on the number of photo opportunities it provides
  • Over half (53%) are willing to walk along a beach at low tide for a selfie, despite the risks

Nothing says “I’ve been on holiday” like a selfie at the top tourist attractions of the country you’re visiting. With thousands of selfie-related deaths reported over the last few years, were interested to see which popular selfie hotspots tourists are most likely to be betting on their lives with.

To do this, they analysed news articles within the last two decades which reported incidents (ranging from minor injury to death) at some of the biggest tourist hotspots, to compile a list of the most dangerous selfie spots around the globe. This was followed by gathering Instagram hashtags for each location, to reveal which is the most at risk of danger!

With a whopping 4,869,100 posts on Instagram, Yosemite National Park is the most popular dangerous selfie hotspot. It’s estimated that 5 million people visit here each year and over a 1,000 have died. From slipping to their death to selfie attempts gone wrong, this one you need to take extra caution with.

Following in second place is another USA attraction, the Grand Canyon. The Arizonan national park boasts 4,267,800 Instagram posts and is estimated to be the cause of 12 deaths each year.

In third place is Snowdon, located in Wales with 1,576,589 posts. With the most recent death reported in September, visitors need to be careful of their footing as that seems to be the main cause of injury and death.

Also representing Europe is the Plitvice Lakes National Park which can be found in Croatia. With 16 lakes lying within it that are connected by a series of waterfalls, it’s no surprise there are 986,915 posts from tourists flocking to this hotspot. However, in 2016 mountain rescuers pleaded with tourists to stop taking “stupid and dangerous selfies” after completing 1,200 rescue operations and with many unfortunately falling to their deaths.

Trolltunga finds itself in 11th place among the list of dangerous selfie hotspots with 212,988 posts. Tourists have been said to flirt with death when visiting in a quest for the perfect selfie. With many climbers dangling from Trolltunga for the perfect shot, intense weather conditions and many not equipped with the right gear, it has a lot of potential to go wrong.

Mount Everest and Lulworth Cove find themselves in 12th and 13th place with 201,878 and 160,087 Instagram posts respectively.  Both of these popular attractions have made headlines multiple times after people have injured themselves after taking on daredevil worthy challenges.

In 14th place is Mount Kilauea in Hawaii with 139,018 posts, followed by Clifton Suspension Bridge in the UK (89,400) and Mount Merapi (75,103) in Indonesia.

Despite its beautiful views, that wasn’t enough to stop Yungas Road also known as “Death Road” making the list (56,474). It holds the title of the most dangerous road in the world and rightly so as its narrow and winding track is often overloaded with trucks and overcrowded buses, accompanied with slick roads thanks to the rainforest climate bringing heavy rain and fog.

Completing the top 20 list are Huashan National Park in China (41,111), Diamond Bay Reserve in Australia (33,722) and Northcliff Hill in South Africa (23,609).

Delphina hotels & resorts crowned “Italy’s Leading Hotel Group 2020” at the World Travel Awards.

Valle dell’Erica Resort, Thalasso & SPA reconfirmed “Europe’s Leading Green Resort 2020” and elected “Italy’s Leading Green Resort 2020”. Resort & SPA Le Dune awarded “Italy’s Leading Beach Resort 2020”.

The family-run chain of 4* and 5* hotels, symbol of the hospitality in the North of Sardinia,

has been awarded with four important accolades at the 2020 „Oscars of the world Tourism Industry „. Elena Muntoni (brand manager): “These awards are the confirmation of Delphina’s commitment and passion for over a quarter century and further strengthen the orientation of our future actions”.

The company is at the forefront of projects on environmental sustainability and in support of producers and local food and wine. 

“Italy’s Leading Hotel Group 2020”, “Europe’s Leading Green Resort 2020” and “Italy’s Leading Green Resort 2020”at the Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & SPA, “Italy’s Leading Beach Resort 2020” at the Resort & SPA Le Dune: these are the four prizes awarded to Delphina hotels & resorts ( during the award ceremony at the World Travel Awards 2020 last November 2nd, the „Oscars of world tourism industry“.

Four awards, four tributes to the North of Sardinia, to its traditions such as hospitality, genuine food and respect for nature that have always distinguished the philosophy of the Gallura brand. Elements that convinced the voters to support and reward Delphina hotels & resorts as „Italy’s Leading Hotel Group 2020“.

Winning this award – says Elena Muntoni, Delphina brand manager – is more than a simple recognition. It confirms the commitment and passion of this family for over a quarter of a century and further strengthens the orientation of our future actions. We sincerely thank all our supporters who enthusiastically rewarded us for our actions”.

Delphina hotels & resorts, a specialist in seaside holidays in Northern Sardinia for almost 30 years, is owned and operated directly by two Gallura families, attentive to safeguarding and protecting the environment in which they were born and still live. A project that comes from nature and becomes authentic Mediterranean hospitality in North Sardinia with twelve 5-star, 4-star Superior and 4-star hotels, exclusive residences, 6 SPAs and prestigious villas all immersed in green Mediterranean gardens overlooking the sea between the Costa Smeralda, the Archipelago of La Maddalena and the Gulf of Asinara, in the towns of Cannigione, Palau, Santa Teresa Gallura, Isola Rossa and Badesi.

The crowning of the Valle dell’Erica Resort Thalasso & SPA as „Europe’s Leading Green Resort“ has been reconfirmed for the second time, in addition to the national victory as „Italy’s Leading Green Resort“. A great milestone for the elegant resort with a green soul just a few minutes from Santa Teresa Gallura, designed to offer a 5-star holiday in freedom. Immersed in 28 hectares of park, among Mediterranean shrubs and essences, in front of 1400 meters of pristine coastline and dream beaches of white sand, it overlooks the archipelagos of La Maddalena and southern Corsica.

Le Dune Hotel in Badesi from Delphina Company

We are incredibly proud – continues Muntoni – these two awards are a tribute to the beauty and uniqueness of Valle dell’Erica. We have invested and will continue to invest a lot to offer our guests

an increasingly eco-sustainable holiday that respects the environment and enhances a healthy lifestyle, culture and local food and wine „.

Resort & SPA Le Dune in Badesi has been awarded as “Italy’s Leading Beach Resort 2020”. Immersed in a park of 280,000 square meters between sand dunes, junipers and scented Mediterranean scrub, this family paradise is a true natural oasis with 5 hotels, 10 restaurants, an elegant SPA, numerous free leisure activities and services to practice water sports.

The award at the Resort & SPA Le Dune – concludes Muntoni – fills us with pride and inspires us to do better and better. The beauty of Li Junchi beach, right in front of the resort, makes our offer unique. 8 kilometers long, it is also very popular with guests who can take long walks on almost deserted areas. The sand dunes behind the beach have fascinating vegetation, populated by junipers, sea roses and other essences, while the stunning view ranges from the islet of Isola Rossa to Asinara Island. „

The Valle dell’Erica Resort and the Le Dune Resort, like the other structures in the Delphina collection, are excellence in sustainable hospitality. A journey that began even before the birth of the hotels and merged into the We are green® brand, created and registered by Delphina to represent its love for nature with a protocol of good practices. Delphina hotels & resorts is the first Italian hotel chain to use 100% green energy from renewable sources in all hotels, resorts and headquarters, with a saving of 3,536 tons of CO2 each year. In the last three years, more than 10,600 tons saved: the equivalent of the CO2 absorbed by 75,000 trees in a whole year.

The company is also committed to supporting local suppliers with the „Genuine Local Food Oriented®“ project, a Delphina quality brand, in support of healthy cuisine based on genuine ingredients that respect seasonality, preferably at 0 km. 70 percent of suppliers are within 150 kilometers or on the island, with the aim of reaching 80 percent by the end of 2021.