Anniversaries, Travel Trends and New Openings in 2015 from Lotus UK Clients

As consumers turn their attention to 2015 holidays, Lotus UK has compiled a roundup of notable 2015 anniversaries, travel trends and new openings across its clients.

Channel Islands to mark 70 years of liberation
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, which will be particularly significant for the Channel Islands as they were the only place in Britain to be German occupied during the war. The occupation lasted five years and the mark left on the islands is still clearly visible in the observation towers, Nazi bunkers, underground tunnels and hospitals and war relics now housed in the island museums. For the first time, the Channel Islands is holding a pan-island Heritage Festival to celebrate this anniversary from 3 April- 11 May, where there will be exclusive openings of bunkers and tunnels, open air cinema, themed walks and tours and extra special celebrations on Liberation Day on 9 May.

Alaska’s largest city to celebrate centenaryAnchorage, Alaska's largest city is preparing to celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2015 ( with special events, first-time historical exhibits and legacy projects that chronicle Anchorage’s growth from pioneer outpost to modern city. The actual centenary is in July 2015 but there will celebrations throughout the year.

Follow in the footsteps of WB Yeats in Ireland on the 150th anniversary of his birth
To coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Irish poet and Nobel Laureate WB Yeats on 13 June 1865, hiking specialist operator, Macs Adventure, has launched three new drive and hike tours in Ireland, which take in many of the areas where Yeats lived, worked and drew his inspiration. New tours include the 15 day Ultimate Ireland Discovery with highlights including visiting top Ireland historic attractions and taking in the beautiful countryside on a number of walks..

Palma emerges as a top city break destination for 2015
Palma de Mallorca, known as a jumping off point for exploring the islands’ beaches, is emerging as a popular year round city break destination. The city is enjoying its best winter season ever in terms of hotel stays with average occupancy levels of over 80%. In response to this, the capital is developing a number of new properties, ideal for city breaks. Opening on 28 March 2015 is Small Luxury Hotels of the World property Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, an exciting conversion of an old manor house into a luxury boutique hotel in the historic centre of Palma.

Northern lights accommodation becomes more innovative in 2015
If the glass roof accommodation pods that opened for winter 2013/2014 weren’t enough for northern lights fanatics, 2015 sees the opening of ten completely transparent glass view rooms at the Santa Hotel Aurora in the heart of Finnish Lapland. Offering even more of a chance of seeing the northern lights and with a special Aurora Alarm phone system for each guest, there is very little chance of missing the mystical lights. Each glass view room has a bed and its own bathroom. The glass view rooms open on 26 January 2015.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World launches ‘Private Residences by SLH’ following surge in multiple room bookings
Off the back of increasing demand for high value multiple room bookings, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has launched ‘Private Residences by SLH’, a new collection and website offering exclusive-use villas, chalets and estates, all handpicked with ten rooms or less and offering five-star services and facilities. The trend, identified by SLH goes hand-in-hand with the findings from ABTA’s Consumer Holiday Trends Report published in October 2014, identifying that one in five consumers (19%) went on holiday with their extended family in the past year, more than twice the number compared with the previous 12 months (7%).

Travel to Vietnam on the up
Specialist Asia operator, Wendy Wu Tours has noted a 30% year on year increase in bookings on its Vietnam tours from 2013-2014, signifying that it will be a hot destination for 2015. In response to this increase in Vietnam bookings, Wendy Wu Tours has launched two new tours for 2015 incorporating Vietnam; the 12 day Indochina Express and 15 day Rivers of Indochina.

Ibiza’s Playa D’en Bossa grows luxury offering with new five star family hotel
New five star family hotel Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa opens in Ibiza in May 2015, forming part of the largest complex in Ibiza. The Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa will open as part of Palladium Hotel Groups’ ambitious redevelopment project, which aims to transform Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa into one of the Mediterranean’s premier tourist destinations. Ideal for families, groups and couples, Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa will house 430 rooms, almost half of which will be spacious suites, boasting ultra-modern décor and a Mediterranean design.

Historic Emporikon hotel opens in Athens after more than half a century
The Emporikon, a historic hotel building in the heart of Athens, is set to open its doors on New Year’s Day after more than half a century as a five star boutique hotel. The art nouveau-style building served central Athens tradesmen in the 19th century as an economy class hotel when the Greek capital was flourishing. It shut its doors with the outbreak of World War II in the ’40s and remained closed and abandoned until now. Opposite Agia Irini Square, the trendiest part of Athens as of late, the four-story hotel will have 14 rooms and suites offering guests the finest views of the cityscape.

The Sanchaya in Indonesia is most anticipated new hotel in Asia
The Sanchaya on Bintan Island, Indonesia will open in January 2015. The beachfront retreat has twenty-one private villas and nine suites and the dynamic culture of South-East Asia is reflected throughout, blending rich colours, colonial splendour and Asian artistry and artefacts. Guests can savour the region’s flavours at the many restaurants and relax in the spa, in the beachfront pool and on the private beach. The hotel opens as a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH), the first SLH hotel on the Indonesian Island.

British Airways expands routes to Greece
British Airways in launching four new routes to Greece in 2015, significantly expanding its network to the country. This includes a four times weekly flight to Corfu from Heathrow from 1 May until 20 September 2015; a twice-weekly service to the island of Kos from Heathrow from 1 May until 20 September 2015; a twice weekly flight from Gatwick to Rhodes from 29 April 2015 on Wednesdays and Saturdays and a four times weekly flight from Gatwick to Heraklion in Crete from 26 April 2015.