Concierge: Banyan Tree's new brand, Maldives' Velaa Private Island, Jetstar deals and more

Velaa Private Island in the Maldives.


Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has launched a brand of casual, contemporary full-service hotels called Dhawa.

The first hotel under this brand - Dhawa Bo'ao - will open in Bo'ao, an eastern coastal town on Hainan Island in China in March next year. The second - Dhawa Cayo Las Brujas - will open in Cuba in July next year.

Other openings will follow in Pu'er, Leishan and Luo Yang in China, as well as in Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand.

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This autumn, guests at Velaa Private Island in the Maldives enjoy extra perks. For example, those who stay in any of these villas - beach pool, deluxe beach pool, sunrise water pool and sunset deluxe water pool - receive a one-way complimentary seaplane transfer over the Indian Ocean to or from the island.

For guests at beach pool or ocean pool houses, it is a one-way complimentary seaplane transfer for all members of the party and a complimentary extra bed for a child under 12 years old. The offers are for a minimum of three nights' stay and guests must stay by Nov 30.

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Those looking for short weekend getaways should take note of budget airline Jetstar Asia's weekend deals.

For example, if you upload a selfie on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of yourself with the cover of your passport, with a caption on where you would rather be and the hashtag #FridayFreeFlights and tag Jetstar with the relevant social media account, you stand a chance to win instant weekend getaways.

Jetstar will pay for flights, accommodation and a chauffeured airport transfer.

This offer is valid only between midnight and 2pm on the next three Fridays - Oct 30, Nov 6 and Nov 13 - as well as every last Friday of the month after that until May next year. In addition, on the next three Fridays, between 10am and 6pm, Jetstar will price tickets to one destination at zero dollars, excluding taxes and fees. The destinations are different on each Friday.

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The Hotel Cafe Royal in London is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Cafe Royal, which was converted into a hotel some years ago.

As part of the celebration, the hotel's Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre - an urban retreat with a large lap pool, state-of-the-art gym, treatment rooms, studios and a lounge bar - has created a 150-minute spa package called 150 Years Young. The package includes a therapeutic treatment performed in the Watsu pool, a foot massage with warmed towels, a restorative hot oil massage with hot stones, a tension-relieving head and scalp massage and a facial treatment.

It is priced at £289 (S$618), 15 per cent off the normal price. Customers must book and use the package by Dec 31.

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Benson Ang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 25, 2015, with the headline 'Concierge'. Print Edition | Subscribe