Belmond unveils a range of plans for 2023, from the centenary celebrations of the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro to a luxury river cruise and the opening of new suites on board the Simplon-Orient-Express in Venice.
The luxury travel group is unveiling an ambitious 10-year strategy to upgrade its properties, which has already begun, as well as refocusing the brand on experiences presented as authentic and immersive.
Since 2020, Belmond has developed a vast strategy to upgrade its properties, which began with the renovation of the Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, which reopened in spring 2021.
The Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya is also part of this strategy and is expected to reopen to the public in May 2023. The hotel has been completely redesigned to honour Mexican know-how and materials with the involvement of local craftsmen. It will be the first property in Latin America to host a Guerlain spa.
Similarly, the iconic Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, has begun its multi-phase renovation, overseen by interior designer Martin Brudnizki, which includes the transformation of rooms, the creation of a new spa and the development of gardens. Completion of the entire project is scheduled for 2026.
Other ambitious renovation projects within the group include the refurbishment of the Cygnus carriage on board the British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England, and the restoration of the Copacabana Palace Theatre, located next to the Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro in collaboration with the renowned film maker Wes Anderson.
This strategy of upgrading also applies to Belmond's six trains and seven barges. The new Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne will be launched in May 2023, offering guests three cabins, an interior lounge with a champagne bar in collaboration with Ruinart, and a large exterior deck.
The year 2023 will also see the arrival of a new category of Suites on board the legendary Venice Simplon- Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe, with eight new Suites, following the successful launch of six award-winning Grand Suites. All Suites have been designed to preserve the 1920s and 1930s craftsmanship of this legendary train.
As well as continuing its renovation, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is also continuing to expand its routes across Europe, with the opening of a new line between Paris and the French Alps next winter.
The group is also pursuing its CSR commitment, notably in Mexico through a partnership between Maroma and Guerlain introducing Guerlain's "Bee School" and "Women for Bees" initiatives to communities in Yucatán. In Peru, the Palacio Nazarenas and the Monasterio de Cusco offer new experiences to guests, taking them to visit Q'omer Wasicha, a project managed and financed by Belmond that promotes sustainable agriculture.
In addition, Belmond intends to strengthen its ties with the arts community in 2023 by expanding its partnership with the Galleria Continua art gallery. New installations will be presented at the Copacabana Palace, for the celebration of the hotel's centenary, as well as at the Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire and at La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca.
Finally, a new gastronomic era is taking shape in its properties with a stronger than ever commitment to sustainability. Belmond is also counting on rising culinary talent, in addition to the many starred chefs it has recently hired, such as Jean Imbert at the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Riccardo Canella at the Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice, or Luke Selby, at the Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
Travel has resumed, but we must aspire to travel better. We pride ourselves on being custodians of a timeless heritage. We have therefore planned our upgrade strategy to ensure that our treasured properties retain their iconic status for generations to come. At the same time, we believe that travel has the power to transform both our customers and the local communities we work with. Our intention is to create experiences that will help strengthen the bonds between our customers and the destinations. We will continue to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, leading the industry and setting new standards of luxury, defined by exceptional, authentic experiences and trusted relationships.
Roeland Vos, President and CEO of Belmond