Go back to the e-newsletterThe Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, a storied hotel on the Avenue of the Arts, has unveiled a yearlong, multi-million-dollar renewal project. Helmed by architect and interior designer, Wimberly Interiors, the updates to the hotel include all new guestrooms and meeting spaces, a refreshed lobby experience and public spaces along with a new restaurant, bar and lounge by Richard Sandoval.The iconic hotel, steeped in history, was originally built as a reproduction of the Pantheon when it opened in 1908 as The Girard Trust Company office building. The property-wide enhancements focus on the building and pays tribute to its rich past. The new design brings a fresh and sophisticated feel to the hotel while also telling a story through neutral colours, textures and materials inspired by money and currency, with pops of metallic, bronze and emerald green. Artwork and guest amenities reflect a distinct sense of place in the heart of Philadelphia.The new guestroom design features luxurious fabrics and furniture finishes in a neutral colour palette. Punctuations of green and blue along with notes of bronze and nickel layer a contemporary polish. The new guestrooms offer a distinct space for work and relaxation with a cohesive unit encompassing the desk and TV console which work together to create a flexible work and dining space for guests.The 2415 square metres of meeting spaces have been updated to reflect a seamless transition of neutral colours through each function room, with a nod to history through historic motifs from the building in the furniture details, with an updated clean aesthetic. The second and third levels of the hotel are pre-function rooms including 13 meeting rooms that can accommodate groups from 20 to 400 people. Even the original bank vault now serves as a function room. With a variety of layout options and room sizes, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia has flexibility to host everything from small C-level board meetings to cocktail fundraisers and holiday parties. The hotel features two ballrooms: a 285-square-metre petite ballroom and the 566-square-metre Grand Ballroom, located on the concourse level, which is the centrepiece of the hotel and can hold up to 600 people. The sky can be admired through the ballroom’s large crystal chandelier as guests look up into the ceiling, into the oculus and through the top of the rotunda in the lobby.Upon entering the building a large lounge area with comfortable seating is surrounded with two large crystal walls that fill the space with light. The original oculus, which used to host the bank tellers as they would pull the money through the center of the oculus from the vault directly below is still intact and covered by a glass wall which is now surrounded by a high-top bar.Located in the property’s iconic marble lobby is celebrity chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s newest endeavor, Aqimero. Hailed for his mastery of authentic Mexican cuisine and inspired restaurant concepts, Aqimero is the newest in a collection of critically acclaimed restaurants and will be heating up the food scene this year in the City of Brotherly Love. The wood-burning grill is the centrepiece of the new restaurant, with a menu focusing on sustainable seafood, steaks, ribs and poultry. Multiple sections for seating through the bar, lounge and main dining area offer comfortable places for large and small groups, and guests can catch a glimpse of the chefs in action preparing meals through the kitchen’s show window.Go back to the e-newsletter
Azamara Club Cruises has announced a leading World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation expert will present a series of insightful lectures on board one of Azamara Journey’s Australia and New Zealand voyages during her maiden season.Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, a Senior Species Conservation Expert with WWF, joins several international conservation leaders taking part in Azamara’s brand-new WWF Guest Speakers Series. The company revealed details of their new WWF global partnership earlier this year, pledging a commitment to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans, not only through reducing Azamara’s global footprint, but also by raising awareness about ocean conservation to guests.Dr Klenzendorf provides leadership for the WWF Arctic Program on polar bear conservation issues and will join Azamara Journey’s 15-night Australia & New Zealand voyage, departing Sydney 19 February 2017.“We’re honoured to have Dr Klezendorf share her knowledge and experience with our guests during this unique voyage through some of the most beautiful, and precious parts of our region” says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director of Azamara Club Cruises in Australia and New Zealand.“Our partnership with the WWF cements our commitment to protecting our ocean’s wildlife, and ensuring future generations can continue to be inspired by their awesome power and beauty,” he continued.During the cruise, Dr Klenzendorf will enrich guests’ on board experiences with lectures on topics including climate change impacts on polar bears and other key marine species, wildlife trafficking and trade and consumerism. Guests will also hear fascinating stories of Dr Klenzendorf’s interactions with wildlife during her 25-year career in conservation.Azamara Journey makes her Australian debut in February 2017, fresh from an extensive US $25 million rejuvenation, which left no space on the ship untouched. The revitalisation saw not only the addition of new venues and technologies, but also a beautiful redesign and rework of her suites and staterooms, as well as a complete refresh of all public spaces.Fares for an Interior stateroom on Azamara Journey’s WWF voyage start from $4599. Departing Sydney on 19 February 2017, Journey will call at Melbourne, Port Arthur and Hobart, where she overnights, before cruising to Milford Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Napier and Tauranga, where she spends another night before reaching her final port, Auckland. A number of unique wildlife experiences are available to guests along the way, including a day trip to Bruny Island in Tasmania to learn about the endangered forty-spotted pardalote bird, and Hectors dolphin and Pohatu penguin tours in Akaroa.Other dedicated international WWF voyages include a 10-night West Indies Hideaway voyage on board Azamara Quest departing Miami 11 November 2016 with Cassie O’Connor, coral reef expert and Manager of the Foundation Relations team at WWF, and Azamara Journey’s 14-night Spice Route Voyage, departing Dubai 3 November 2016, with Asian species expert and WWF’s Wildlife Conservation Program Officer, Nilanga Jayasinghe.Azamara will also contribute to WWF through sales of the organisation’s iconic plush panda bears on board, with 100 per cent of proceeds going directly to the foundation.