Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: Nov. 29, 2004

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND will open on Sept. 12, earlier than previously expected, Disney officials said. The theme park was originally expected to open later in 2005 or in early 2006. In keeping with local tradition, Disney officials consulted a feng shui expert in picking the date. Feng shui is the Chinese art of choosing dates and arranging the layout of objects to improve fortunes. Ticket prices were also announced. Adults will be charged $38 on weekends and public holidays, with a lower price on weekdays. Children over 11 will pay adult prices. Officials expect one-third of visitors will be local residents, one-third will come from mainland China and the rest from Southeast Asia.

SHANGRI-LA Hotels and Resorts said it will open a second hotel in Shenzhen, China, by the end of 2007. The 596-room Shangri-La Futian, Shenzhen will be one of 25 hotels Shangri-La plans to open worldwide by the end of 2007. The Shangri-La Futian, Shenzhen will be located in the city's new central business district, about 30 minutes by car from the airport. The hotel will feature a seven-story, 99-room Horizon Club with amenities that include express check-in and checkout, daily breakfast and daily cocktails. Among the hotel's meetings and banquet facilities will be a 21,528-square-foot grand ballroom and a 3,000-square-foot auditorium. The hotel will feature Shangri-La's Chi spa and fitness center.

BANYAN TREE PHUKET: Know someone with $180,000 to burn on a vacation? If so, the Banyan Tree Phuket in Thailand has just the ticket. The resort launched a $60,000-a-night "Out of This World" package for those interested in renting out the resort's 14 Spa Pool Villas. The package is valid through Dec. 21, 2005, requires a three-night minimum stay and a minimum six-month advance booking. Among other things, the package includes use of a private yacht with meals and water toys, unlimited spa treatments, customized meals, use of a chauffeured limousine and a personal yoga instructor. Oh yeah, and you get a daily fruit basket. The resort's villas have private pools, private entrances and security and a dedicated lobby and reception area. For information or to book, call (805) 499-9101 or e-mail, [email protected].

RITZ TOURS launched the China Tri-City Adventure package, with prices starting at $999 per person, double. The 10-day package includes accommodations in Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, sightseeing with tour guides, meals and entertainment. The package includes roundtrip air from Los Angeles (China Southern from L.A. to Guangzhou and Cathay Pacific on the return flight) and air between cities in China. Departure dates are available from Los Angeles every Sunday between Jan. 2 and March 20. Add-on airfares are available. For information or reservations, call (800) 900-2446 or visit www.ritztours.com.

27/4: The Landmark Hotel in Bangkok introduced a "24/7" package that allows guests to check in anytime. The package is available seven days a week until Dec. 31, 2005. Rates start at $140 for a superior room and $155 for a deluxe room, including a choice of free breakfast or lunch, cocktail hour and complimentary use of meeting rooms for two hours.

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