Hospitality update: Galapagos Islands welcome new dive resort

By Donna Tunney

Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges opened the Santa Cruz Divers Lodge in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and the Isabela Divers Lodge in Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. The Santa Cruz property is adjacent to the Red Mangrove Dive Academy, slated to open in the spring with a 20-foot-deep training pool, classrooms and state-of-the-art diving equipment. All-inclusive lodge/dive packages at both of the new lodges are from $943.50 per person for three nights. Red Mangrove has four other lodges operating in Ecuador. Its website is www.redmangrove.com.  

In other luxury hospitality news:

• Doubletree by Hilton is taking bookings for its property near Varna, Bulgaria, set to open in the spring. Located on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast in the Golden Sands resort, the newly converted hotel is also Doubletree by Hilton's first hotel on the Black Sea coast. The Doubletree by Hilton, Varna-Golden Sands has 196 refurbished rooms and suites, some with views across the Bay of Golden Sands. The hotel will offer heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools; shuttles to a private beach; a Precor fitness center; and a luxury spa. Hilton Worldwide is planning additional Black Sea resort locations including Russia's Doubletree by Hilton Sochi-Adler and Hampton by Hilton Ordu in Turkey, both due to open in the next few years. More information is at www.doubletree.com.  

• The 201-room Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra opened in Cambodia. It's the city's first new five-star property to debut since the 1990s. The $50 million hotel is within walking distance of the Royal Palace and the National Museum. It offers 121 superior rooms and several categories of suite accommodations, as well as Sofitel's So Spa, a wellness brand that debuted in London last year. The hotel offers an executive-level club on its 12th floor. Restaurants, meetings space with a ballroom, two pools and a fitness center round out the property's offerings. Details are at www.sofitel.com.

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