The Tanjong Pagar Center, which will be Singapore’s tallest building when it is completed in 2016, is eing designed by American architecture, interior designs, and urban-planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).
The 64-story building will reach 951 feet high and include offices, high-end apartments, a luxury hotel, retail space, and event space. (The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2717 feet and 163 stories. It was also designed by SOM.) http://tanjongpagarcentre.com/
The world’s tallest hotel opened recently in Dubai. The 72-story JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has massive event space, with multiple facilities able to seat more than 1,000 people. There are two ballrooms, nine restaurants, and five bars and lounges. There’s a swimming pool and large spa on site. The hotel sports 684 rooms and 120 suites, including one executive-level floor. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dxbjw-jw-marriott-marquis-hotel-dubai/
Later this year, Rosewood Hotels will return to London when it relaunches the London Chancery Court Hotel as the Rosewood London. The hotel, in a historic property on High Holborn, is undergoing a $130 million renovation, due to be complete in October 2013. While it will retain many of the original features of the Edwardian Belle Epoque building, such as the carriageway entrance and Pavonazzo marble staircase, the 262 rooms and 44 suites are all being revamped. The hotel will include a restaurant, bar, spa, and event spaces. www.rosewoodhotels.com
Marriott International recently announced a new budget hotel brand, Moxy hotels, which it will develop with Inter Hospitality and Inter Ikea Group in Europe. The first hotel is set to open in Milan in 2014, with other announced hotels to open in Berlin, Frankfurt, and London.
The hotel will be stylish and contemporary, while still affordable. Rooms will have free WiFi, luxury linens, upscale bath amenities, and USB ports in electrical outlets. There will be large public spaces that offer free WiFi and complimentary computers, along with a healthy continental breakfast and an evening bar with local wines and brews. www.moxyhotels.com
A new Art Hotel, The Alexander, opened early this year in CityWay in downtown Indianapolis, IN, and the garage has become a controversial centerpiece. The $44 million boutique hotel has 209 rooms – 157 traditional guest rooms and suites along with 52 extended stay studios and suites. The hotel is named for Alexander Ralston who platted the city. The hotel’s bar, Platt 99, is named for the original plat of land for the city. The bar features art installations from Jorge Pardo.
The art throughout the hotel, curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, includes more than 40 large-scale works in public spaces. The hotel is adjacent to the city’s new $63 million, 8-mile Cultural Trail that opens May 2013. It is also next to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and only two blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium and City Centre Mall.
Guests at The Alexander will be able to enjoy unique flavors at Cerulean Restaurant and complimentary bikes are available for use on the trail or in the city. There is also an on-site fitness center with two treatment rooms.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the hotel – and most controversial – is the parking garage. A British graffiti artist was commissioned to “vandalize” the garage, creating a unique urban style. www.thealexander.com
New boutique hotel opens in Hollywood
Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard became home to a new boutique hotel – The Moment – in February 2013. The hotel offers 39 rooms and one suite and is situated across from the famous Guitar Center. It is a mix of modern, minimalist, and eclectic. The hotel has an inriguing color palette and unusual sloped and slanted walls. There’s a large rooftop deck overlooking Sunset Boulevard with a bar and lounge atmosphere. The hotel also includes an indoor dining area and 24-hour room service.
Rooms feature accent walls of orange, green, or purple and have flat-screen TVs, oversize glass showers, and modern design. www.themomenthotel.com
The 516-room Grand Hyatt Denver is going to undergo $28 million in room, lobby, conference center, and Pinnacle Club meeting space upgrades. Rooms will have all new furniture and materials. The lobby will featured stacked fireplaces with chiseled stone and a wood ceiling. The Pinnacle Club will get new lighting and wall coverings. www.hyatt.com
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Chicago unveils $110 million update
Summer 2013 is the official completion date for the $110 million renovation of the Hyatt Regenccy McCormick Place in Chicago. The most comprehensive update is the new 460-room tower with 12 suites and two premium suites. The coffee shop (Daily Grind) has been renovated and has a “Fresh Market” concept – breakfast and lunch menus all featuring locally-sourced ingredients.
The existing 800-room tower is currently undergoing a renovation with new furniture, fixtures and design elements also found in the new tower. The restaurant, Shor, and the M/X lounge are undergoing seating renovations and expansions.
Finally, the conference center and lobby are being renovated. The hotel will feature three new boardrooms and new business center upon completion.
All renovation and the new tower should be completed during Summer 2013. mccormickplace.hyatt.com
Hyatt Regency Chicago unveils high-tech changes
The 2019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago will reveal its $168 million renovation in April 2013. The newly-renovated hotel, Chicago’s largest, will focus on high-tech touches throughout the property. When guests check in, they can visit a person, or use iPads or kiosks located throughout the lobby. The kiosks will even issue guests their own RFID room key card.
Guests at the newly-remodeled Hyatt Regency Chicago will also find 106 large-format plasma TVs in the lobby. Many of these will have interactive touch screens that can help visitors find their way through the hotel and the city. Other screens serve as signage for the hotel and meeting areas.
There are more than 800 wireless access points in the hotel, giving guests continuous wireless access to the internet. chicagoregency.hyatt.com
New Marriott Autograph properties open in Europe
Marriott recently added three new properties to its Autograph collection of independent hotels. The first, Fontecruz Hotel in Lisbon, became a Marriott Autograph in October 2012. Fontecruz is a 72-room hotel that originally opened in the summer of 2012. The second, Hotel de Bourgtheroulde in Rouen, opened November 2012. That hotel is in a 15th-century stone mansion. The third property, Hotel L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille, also opened in November 2012. The Lille property is a 72-room hotel that was originally built in the 1400s. The Autograph Collection hopes to have 40 to 50 European properties by 2015, with 150 internationally. autographhotels.com
Starwood plans eco-wise Element hotel in Frankfurt
Starwood Hotels is set to open Element Frankfurt Airport in 2014. The eco-friendly branded 133-studio and 1-bedroom suites hotel will be in the new Gateway Gardens development on the site of the former US military airbase. The hotel, along with other services at Gateway Gardens, will connect to the airport by shuttle.
Element Frankfurt will be built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards with a business center, meeting room, restaurant, and espresso bar. Rooms will have spa-inspired bathrooms with rain showers and dual-flush toilets. The rooms will also include kitchens, flat-screen TVs, desks, Heavenly Bed, and modular furniture. The hotel will include a 24-hour fitness center. As part of the Element signature, the hotel will feature free healthy breakfast and the RELAX evening reception. elementhotels.com
EAST Hotel opens in Beijing
A new EAST Hotel, by Swire Hotels, opened recently in Beijing’s primary business district, just 15 minutes from the Beijing Capital International Airport. The hip, contemporary hotel is targeted toward business travelers. There are 369 rooms, including 323 square foot standard rooms, 377 square foot corner rooms, and 23 suites that are each 754 square feet. All rooms include free WiFi and international plugs. Rooms on the Club floor and the Park Studio suites feature Nespresso machines and Elemis bath amenities, along with access to the Upstairs Lounge, which offers expedited check-in, loaner iPads, full breakfast, all-day refreshments, evening cocktails, and wine by the glass from an enomatic wine dispenser.
The hotel’s fitness center, BEAST (Body by EAST), is open daily with a gym and indoor and outdoor pools. There are also 3 restaurants: FEAST is a casual all-day cafe; Hagaki serves Japanese cuisine; and Xian is the lounge bar/pub. east-beijing.com
W Hotel opens in Singapore
Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ hip W Hotel opened recently in Singapore. The 240-room W Singapore-Sentosa Cove is in a resort area on Sentosa Island. The hotel provides shuttles and limos to the city center. Each room has the signature W bed, HD TV, surround-sound music, WiFi, and MP3 dock. The hotel also includes a WIRED business center, 24-hour gym, and 24-hour swimming pool. starwoodhotels.com
Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East opens
The new 359-room Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East opened in September 2012. The hotel is directly above the Tseung Kwang O MTR station. There are 120 superior rooms (323 square feet), 160 deluxe rooms (323 square feet) and 5 club suites (646 square feet). WiFi is free for club room guests or about $13 for 24 hours of access for all other guests. The hotel also includes a business center, 24-hour gym, 82-foot-long outdoor pool and Sense of Touch Spa. There is an outdoor patio on the 31st floor.
The hotel includes four restaurants: Cielo, on the top 47th floor has an outdoor patio and serves Italian food; Tsz Yuet Heen is a Chinese restaurant; The Chef’s Table provides a cozy setting an an à la carte menu of both Asian and Western dishes; and the Lobby Lounge serves all three meals in a beautiful setting overlooking the water features with 3-story windows. www.crowneplaza.com
IBIS Hong Kong opens
The new IBIS hotel officially opened in Hong Kong in late October 2012. It is located just a 5-minute walk from the Sheung Wan MTR station then one stop to the central business district. The new 550-room hotel features standard 183 square foot rooms with city or harbor views and 25 studio rooms with 269 square feet of space with city views. The rooms are decorated in neutral decor with light-colored wood floors and 9-foot ceilings. Large windows nearly fill the entire outer wall and a desk runs along the length of the window. WiFi is complimentary. The hotel’s restaurant, Taste, serves a buffet breakfast each morning then offers both local and Western food the remainder of the day. LE BAR serves drinks and snacks and offers some light foods 24 hours. www.ibis.com
India gets its first Fairmont
India’s first Fairmont hotel, the Fairmont Jaipur, opened in August 2012 in the capital city of Rajasthan. The 255-room hotel has a 14,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa and large meeting space. There are multiple dining options: Zarin offers Indian cuisine; Zoya provides all-day dining; Anjum is the tea lounge; Aza is the library bar. There is also a smoking room and Masala Chai station.
The hotel’s architecture and styling blends traditional Rajasthani decor with modern amenities. http://www.fairmont.com/jaipur/
Nobu Hotel opens in Las Vegas
Celebrity chefs appear everywhere these days — and now they have entered the hotel market. Nobu Hospitality, a partnership of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, Meir Teper and David Rockwell, introduces Nobu Hotel on the Caesar’s Palace property on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel will offer 181 Japanese-inspired rooms. Guest will be greeted with a green tea and ushered to their rooms, where the concierge will use an iPad to personally check them into their David Rockwell-designed room or suite. The hotel also includes the world’s largest Nobu restaurant and lounge, which provides a special 24-hour room service menu for hotel guests. Guests also receive priority reservations in the restaurant.
A stay at Nobu Hotel comes with plenty of other perks and amenities. The guest rooms include 55″ LCD TV, Nature Bisse amenities, Fili Doro linens, dedicated concierge services, complimentary valet, complimentary access to PURE Nightclub, and complimentary access to Qua Fitness Center. Choosing a suite will add even more luxuries. Each 1300 square foot Sake Suite includes a media room, billiard table and bar. There are 2- and 3-bedroom options. The 1850 square foot Nobu Suites include a sushi counter for a personalized dinner from the sushi chef. The hotel began taking reservations October 1, 2012 for the Nobu Hotel rooms and the Sake Suites. They are not yet taking reservations for the Nobu Suites. The Nobu rooms start at $249 per night. The Sake Suites start at $1,049 per night. Rooms are available beginning February 4, 2013. www.nobucaesarspalace.com
Turn Starwood Starpoints into Amtrak travel
Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program can now use their Starpoints for free Amtrak travel. Members exchange Starpoints in 5,000-point increments for Amtrak Guest Rewards bonus points on a one-for-one basis. The points can then be used for free Amtrak travel and upgrades. Starwood Preferred Guest members can call 888.625.4988 to transfer points. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/index.html
Dorsett Regency to open in Singapore
Kosmopolito Hotels International is opening the 285-room Dorsett Regency Singapore in late 2012. The hotel will be five minutes from the central business district and include a business center, meeting facilities, gym and large outdoor pool and Jacuzzi All rooms include free wired internet and WiFi, cable TV, IP phone, iPhone/iPad docking station/stereo clock radio.
The Dorsett Regency Singapore will have a range of dining options for guests, including an all-day restaurant, specialty restaurant, tapas bar, cigar bar and cafe. www.dorsettregency.com
Largest Sheraton in the world opens
On September 20, 2012, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central in Macau opens on the Cotai Strip in the “Las Vegas of Asia”. The 3896-room hotel is the largest Sheraton in the world. It has a spa with 15 treatment rooms, three outdoor pools, 144,523 square feet of meeting space, two poolside cafés, roof lounge and several restaurants. The hotel is now taking reservations. www.sheratonmacao.com
Leading Hotels of the World offers free airport transfers
Loyalty rewards members for Leading Hotels of the World (Leaders Club Unlimited) will receive free one-way airport transfers in 10 cities until the end of 2012. Membership in Leaders Club Unlimited is $1200 annually. Members are met inside the airport terminal by the driver and taken to their hotel. The service is available in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance of arrival. www.lhw.com/airportpickup
Swissôtel Chicago unveils upscale lobby bar
Swissôtel Chicago recently opened an upscale lobby bar as part of its $10 million renovation. Amuse features plush fuscia seating, black tables, open-air fireplace and DJ-style music. There are several smaller plates and some shareable dishes available. The featured cocktail menu offers 10 specialty drinks priced from $12 to $18, offering such options as a Ginger Sidecar and Hibiscus Tea Daiquiri, and the Amuse Cocktail with Belvedere Black Raspberry, Ruffino Prosecco, lemon juice and Grand Marnier-soaked cherries. Wines by the glass range from $8 to $25 and beers are available in the bottle ($6 to $30) or as a draft pour ($7 to $8). www.swissotelchicago.com
Secrets resort opening in Cancun offers adults-only luxury
The newest Secrets resort is opening in August 2012 in Cancun. Secrets The Vine Cancun is an adults-only luxury resort with the Secrets signature Unlimited Luxury service. Guests can enjoy unlimited 24-hour gourmet a la carte dining, 24-hour room service, concierge, daytime activities, access to water sports, movies on the beach, dance classes and more. There are 495 rooms, each with a private balcony and ocean views. www.secretsresorts.com/thevine
Pullman Gurgaon Park in India has high-tech audience
The Pullman Gurgaon Central Park opened in late May 2012 in India, making it the 500th Accor property in Asia-Pacific. The 285-room hotel caters to the high tech businesses nearby, including American Express, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, by adding a media hub and internet access to each room. The hotel includes a business center, five restaurants/bars, outdoor pool, gym and spa. www.pullmanhotels.com
Auberge Resorts offers adventure-themed experiences
Customizing adventures is the way to travel today and Auberge Resorts just announced its new Auberge Adventures, available at each of its properties. Each adventure will be specific to each property and will vary from physical activities to cultural experiences.
Some of the experiences at the various resorts include:
- The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina offers a “discover the roots of low country” private tour. During the tour, guests will visit Dafuskie Island and Gullah off the South Carolina coast with a culinary expert. The inn is also offering an alligator-tracking adventure, where guests are guided by a naturalist and use radio telemetry to track and observe American alligators.
- Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley is offering six different Auberge Adventures, including a wine country photo tour abalone fish diving in Northern California, a wine and food sensory exploration, and a wine country golf experience.
- Hotel Jerome in Apsen offers a twilight dog-sledding adventure led by a trained musher. The experience begins at dusk and concludes with a four-course meal.
- Encantado in New Mexico will lead guests through Santa Fe’s Tent Rocks. They can also experience private back-country hiking, fly-fishing and snowshoeing in the Valles Caldera natural reserve.
- Esperanza Resort will feature a “surfing with the locals in Baja” adventure.
Palace Hotel Tokyo opens next to the Imperial Palace
The Palace Hotel Tokyo opened in May 2012 alongside a moat next to the Imperial Palace. The new luxury hotel sits in the space once occupied by the Hotel Teito (built in 1947) and the Palace Hotel (built in 1961). The 290-room hotel is the anchor of a $1.2 billion mixed-use development. There are 12 categories of accommodations, ranging from approximately 485 to 595 square foot deluxe rooms to suites that range from 810 to more than 2260 square feet.
The rooms feature open-style bathrooms with separate soaking tubs and showers. More than half the rooms have open terraces and balconies. Every room features views of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace gardens and the surrounding skyline. All rooms include complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access, 46″ LCD TVs, Blue-ray/DVD/CD players, 300-thread count Imabari bed linens, bath towels from Ehime prefecture and Maruyama Nori teas from Tokyo’s Tsukiji district. Room rates range from $625 to $8800 per night.
The hotel has 10 restaurants and bars, which serves French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The three bars each offer unique ambiance — one a contemporary tea house, the second a lounge bar with indoor-outdoor seating and the third an old-style cigar-martini bar.
Palace Hotel Tokyo, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is also the site of Japan’s first evian SPA with five treatment rooms, one spa suite, relaxation lounges, heated baths, saunas and more. http://www.palacehoteltokyo.com
Starwood’s Westin Xian opens in China
Starwood Hotel’s Westin Xian opened recently in the Shaanxi province of China. Xian is one of the four major ancient world civilizations (along with Athens, Cairo and Rome). to honor that ancient heritage, the hotel includes a 23,000 square foot museum that features more than 2000 artifacts. The museum is open to the public as well as hotel guests.
The Westin Xian has 329 rooms and 32 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Each room and apartment has flat screen LCD televisions and rainforest showers. There is a spa with modern hydrotherapy, Chinese-inspired philosophy and treatments reflecting the local culture. The facility also includes a gym, indoor swimming pool and meeting space.
There are multiple dining options on-site. Seasonal Tastes is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cantonese cuisine is available at Zen5es. Japanese cuisine is served at Mai. Daily Treats serves coffee and sandwiches. The Lobby Lounge serves cocktails or tea, including the specialty Westin Jing Tea. http://www.starwoodhotels.com
All-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels open in Mexico
Hard Rock Hotels is opening its first two all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta on August 1, 2012. The Cancun Palace will become the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and the Vallarta Palace will become the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta.
Guestrooms will have in-room double Jacuzzis. The all-inclusive options include fine-dining, top-shelf drinks, 24-hour room service, live entertainment and more.
A third all-inclusive property will open in early 2013 when the Aventura Palace becomes the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera. http://www.hardrockhotels.com
Conrad New York opens
Hilton recently opened a Conrad property in New York, located in Battery Park. The all-suite hotel has 463 suites with 430 square feet of space each. The central feature is a 15-story atrium with a blue and purple Sol LeWitt painting that is 13 floors high.
Each contemporary guestroom has two flat panel televisions, wireless internet access, iPod sound dock and one-touch technologies.
The restaurant at Conrad New York is Atrio, serving Mediterranean cuisine and international wines. The rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy, is open evenings from May through October. Conrad New York is in the process of pursuing LEED Gold certification for New Construction. http://www.conradhotels.hilton.com
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore on famed Inner Harbor
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation began operations in Baltimore in May 2012 with operation of the 195-room Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore. The AAA Four Diamond hotel is on the Inner Harbor, 12 miles from Baltimore Washington International Airport. The hotel guest rooms each offer luxurious bedding, high speed Internet access and refreshment center. The hotel also features a swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, racquetball and tennis courts and a 24-hour business center. http://www.sonesta.com
Royal Penthouse at The Corinthia London offers the ultimate in luxury
If you are looking for a place to stay for the Summer Olympics in London and luxury is your only requirement, check out the Royal Penthouse at The Corinthia. The Royal Penthouse is a nine-room duplex with a sweeping curved staircase; marbled rotunda lobby; private elevator; private spa suite and gym; walk-in wine cellar; butler’s kitchen; 3-screen television in the study. For the royal guests, there’s even a panic room.
The furnishings were custom-made for the suite and no expense was spared in the choice of materials. The dining room features a makassar ebony dining table and gold-leaf ceiling with oak parquet floors. The master bath features golden onyx and Skyros marble tiling. The shelving is all leather-lined. Bedside tables are upholstered in goatskin. The terrace, just shy of 700 square feet, features a fire pit and offers 180 degree London views. The suite is available for £21,600 per night, which is approximately $34,000. Corinthia London, Whitehall Place. http://www.corinthia.com
Ritz-Carlton opens property on Okinawa
Ritz-Carlton Okinawa has just opened on the Japanese island, making it Ritz-Carlton’s first luxury resort in Japan. The new resort embraces the Okinawan concept of hospitality known as gusuku, which means castle or guest house. The property features red clay roof tiles, white walls and holy water ponds. It provides views of the East China Sea and the Kise Country Club.
Hotels meeting the unique needs of Chinese travelers
More hotel chains are launching new brands aimed at the increasing numbers of Chinese travelers. According to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Chinese domestic travel numbers are projected to reach 3.3 billion in 2015, while outbound trips are estimated to increase from 10 million to 100 million over the next decade.
In the past few months, Grand Mercure announced the new Mei Jeie brand for Chinese guests, Hilton announced a “Huanying” program, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts created the “Personalized Travel” program, designed to make Chinese guests feel more comfortable.
The newest brand is Hualuxe by IHG. Hua means Majestic China and luxe represents luxury. IHG plans to provide an upscale hotel that still demonstrates pride in Chinese customs. The hotels will focus on “tradition,” “rejuvenation,” “status,” and “Familiar spaces.” The brand will launch in cities across China. The first is scheduled to open by the end of 2013, with plans to expand worldwide after 2014.
International JKF Airport Hotel now a Hilton
The 356-room International JKF Airport Hotel has recently undergone an extensive renovation and is now rebranded as the Hilton New York JFK Airport Hotel. The hotel offers 263 standard rooms and 64 executive rooms. The facility includes an indoor pool, fitness center, five meeting rooms, executive lounge and “Restaurant 44″. The hotel offers a free 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport, which is about a quarter mile away. http://www.hilton.com
New DoubleTree London property
Hilton has converted the Hesperia London Victoria into the DoubleTree by Hilton London-Victoria, creating the brand’s fifth property in the UK. The hotel, with 225 guest rooms, has been redesigned. The rooms feature high-speed internet access, flat-screen televisions, trouser presses, mini fridges, Crabtree & Evelyn Citron bath and body products, in-room tea and coffee making services and sitting areas.
The Executive Floors offer guests upgraded amenities, private check-in and checkout, complimentary breakfast, snacks and beverages.
The property, close to London Victoria Station, features a business center, concierge services, lounge and bar with free WiFi, and room service. http://www.hilton.com
IHG launches EVEN as new hotel brand
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) launched its new hotel brand, EVEN, with the health-conscious traveler in mind. EVEN will focus on exercise, eating, working and rest.
For exercise, guest rooms are designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room facilities. For example, a coat rack is also a pull-up bar. The hotel will offer a gym and group exercise activities. For eating, menus focus on natural, fresh, fit and energizing meals, available 24 hours at an open air cafe and bar. The complimentary morning breakfast includes coffee and mini-smoothies. For working, rooms have highspeed WiFi, large desk space and multimedia ports. To meet the sleeping needs, EVEN offers hypoallergenic linens, natural lighting, LED dimmers and antibacterial wipes. http://www.ihg.com
Avia hotels become Andaz properties
This summer, Hyatt hotels will change the Avia hotels in Napa, California and Savannah, Georgia to the Andaz Napa and Andaz Savannah. Soon after those change over, the Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht opens, which will make a total of nine Andaz properties worldwide. http://www.andaz.com
Sheraton plans 20 new hotels for 2012
Sheraton plans to open 20 new properties in 2012, of which 12 will be in China. The largest, which is also the largest Sheraton-Starwood property in the world, will be the 4000-guest room Sheraton Macao on the Cotai Strip, known as the “Las Vegas of Asia.” Eight Sheraton Resorts will open this year and a fourth hotel in Saudi Arabia, the Sheraton Medina Hotel. http://www.starwoodhotels.com
Park Hyatt to open in Bangkok
The new 222-room Park Hyatt is scheduled to open in Bangkok in 2014. The hotel is being built on the site of the old British Embassy in the central business district, close to high-end retailers, embassies and international companies. The hotel will offer an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge, business center, fitness facilities and more than 15,500 square feet of meeting space. http://www.hyatt.com
New York Helmsley Hotel gets a makeover and starts flying the Westin flag
A $65 million renovation of Manhattan’s Helmsley Hotel is expected to be complete in June 2012. At that time, the hotel will become a Westin, part of the Starwood Hotel family. The renovations include a redesign of the 774 guest rooms; extension of the lobby bar/restaurant to 42nd Street; and transformation of the facade. There will be a renovation of the meeting space, with the addition of five breakout rooms, teleconferencing capabilities, fiber optics and increased bandwidth. http://www.starwoodhotels.com or http://www.newyorkhelmsley.com
Chicago’s Hyatt Regency McCormick Place gets an upgrade
Chicago’s Hyatt Regency McCormick Place is undergoing a $110 million upgrade. Phase One, a 460-room tower, is expected to be complete in 2013. Phase Two includes a redesign of the hotel’s Daily Grind Coffee Shop. Phase Three, set to begin in late 2012, will expand and renovate the main lobby, renovate the existing 800-room tower, redesign and renovate the 25,000-square-foot Hyatt Conference Center and expand Shor, the property’s fine dining restaurant. http://www.hyatt.com
TRYP by Wyndham opens in New York City
The 242-room TRYP by Wyndham has opened in New York City’s Times Square South. among the guest rooms are 23 oversized family rooms that can accommodate six to eight guests with bunk beds for the kids and separate king or queen beds for adults. There are also two special “Samsung Experience” guest rooms in the hotel. Those rooms feature a variety of multimedia elements, including 55″ Samsung flat-screen televisions with 3D glasses, surround sound and popcorn machine.
The property also includes the Gastro Bar (a tapas-style restaurant), an online social network in the lobby and fitness facilities with complimentary fitness attire. http://www.wyndham.com
Hyatt Capital Gate opens in Abu Dhabi
The Hyatt Capital Gate hotel, with 189 rooms (including 22 suites), opened in December 2011. The amazing structure leans a record-breaking 18 degrees, which is more than four times as much as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which leans about 4 degrees. Guest rooms literally hang out over nothing but air. Hyatt occupies floors 18 through 33 of the structure. The hotel features the Rayana Spa, a sky spa on the 19th floor that includes a suspended pool. Guests will also find the 18 Degree restaurant serving Mediterranean fare as well as the Privé bar, a residential-style lounge, pool bar and lobby cafe. http://abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/
Marriott International opening three new hotels in Russia
Just in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Marriott International is opening three new hotels in Sochi, Russia. The properties are:
- JW Marriott Sochi Golf Resort. The 150-room luxury property will be Russia’s first golf resort hotel in a resort destination. The resort will feature an 18-hole golf course, golf club, spa, two swimming pools, several restaurants and sports facilities.
- Marriott Krasnaya Polyana Hotel. This 398-room property will be in the Olympic Media Village of Gomaya Karusel. It will offer 13,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants, lobby bar, indoor and outdoor pools, water park and fitness center. There will be a pedestrian shopping area and guests will be transported to the hotel by cable car.
- Courtyard by Marriott Sochi Plaza. This 345-room renovated hotel in central Sochi will feature a rooftop specialty restaurant and a sky bar.
Bulgari London Hotel and Residences to open in April
Bulgari Hotels will open Bulgari London in the city’s Knightsbridge area in April. The luxury hotel of 85 rooms is a joint venture with Marriott International. In addition to the overnight accommodations, there will also be residences available for sale, including a 7th floor penthouse of 9,260 square feet.
The hotel will also include an Italian restaurant, a bar, a ballroom, 47-seat screening room, a library, a cigar shop, a pool, and a spa facility. The hotel is at 171 Knightsbridge in London. http://www.bulgarihotels.com/en-us/london-2012/london-2012 http://www.bulgariresidenceslondon.com
Fairmont Hotel Amman to open in 2014
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will open another Middle East property in 2014 in Jordan. The luxurious hotel will offer 300 guestrooms and suites. The hotel will also include several specialty restaurants and the Fairmont’s signature Willow Stream Spa. The Fairmont Hotel Amman will be located in the capital city’s Embassy District, about 30 minutes from the airport. Click here for more on future Fairmont Hotel & Resorts properties.
Redesigned St. Regis Aspen opens for the 2012 ski season
The St. Regis Aspen kicks off the 2011-12 ski season with the reveal of its $40 million redesign. The luxury hotel uses the natural colors of the area and incorporates wrought iron and cast dark bronze, antiqued nickel, local stone, Hickory wood paneling, and patterned cast glass from a local foundry. Each season, they will change out drapes, pillows, and throws to transition from warm and cozy in winter to light and bright in spring and summer. New shared spaces include the Shadow Mountain Lounge; a library with fireplace, bookshelves, game tables, and sofas; and a ballroom with crown molding, antique mirrors, and elegant furnishings.
The refurbished guest rooms are in the tradition of the 19th-century mountain manor. Custom leather beds by Ralph Lauren feature throw blankets of faux fur in winter or white cable knit in summer. The antiqued oak flooring, freestanding soaking tub, and mosaic-tiled shower make this an unforgettable retreat. http://www.stregis.com/aspen
Waldorf Astoria opens property in Scotland
The Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh will reemerge in the summer of 2012 as the Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria hotel, after more than $37 million in renovations. The 241-room hotel originally opened in 1903. It will be the first Waldorf property in Scotland, the third in the UK. The Caledonian is on Princess Street and offers views of Edinburgh Castle. http://www.waldorfastoria.com
Highest spa in the world
The highest spa in the world opened in August 2011 on the 116th through 118th floors of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The spa offers 9 deluxe treatment rooms and 2 couples’ suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the Hong Kong skyline. The spa by ESPA, designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, features only rounded edges and curved walls.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is now the world’s highest hotel at 1600 feet tall. The International Commerce Centre, which houses the hotel, is in the financial hub on the banks of the South China Sea. After 10 years of planning, the hotel offers ultimate luxury. The rack rate will start at HK$6000 (approximately $770 US) per night, making it one of the most expensive places to stay in Hong Kong. There are 312 guest rooms, including the Presidential Suite (HK$100,000 per night). The top-floor pool includes the highest bar in the world and a 62-foot ceiling-mounted LCD screen to entertain swimmers. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/HongKong
Rent an island retreat
It is now possible to rent Sir Richard Branson’s private island retreat, Makepeace Island, located 20 minutes from Noosa in Queensland, Australia. The 22.8-acre, heart-shaped island is a super-luxurious Balinese-style retreat. Prices start at $7900 per night for up to 8 guests, going to about $14,990 for 20 vacationers. The rent includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfers, non-motorized activities, water skiing, non-alcoholic beverages, and exclusive run of the island. http://makepeaceisland.com.
Branson also rents out Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. That 74-acre Balinese Village-style property accommodates up to 28 of your friends in one main house and 6 smaller Bali houses, and is available for $54,000 per night. He also offers several “Celebration Weekends” where couples can book individual rooms for seven nights. Rates for rooms start at $26,495 for the week ($1946 per person per night). Pricing in both packages includes all boat transfers, meals and drinks (including alcoholic drinks), internet access, and a staff of 60. Amenities include 2 pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, water sports, fishing, and a spa. http://www.neckerisland.virgin.com
Santa Barbara’s Hotel Mar Monte gets a makeover
Hotel Mar Monte has long been a Santa Barbara fixture and has hosted many celebrities throughout the years. It is currently undergoing a $9 million renovation and will be relaunching as the Hyatt Santa Barbara. The completed first phase upgraded 92 of 171 guestrooms, the lobby, landscaping, and area around the pool and deck. The remaining upgrades will be done throughout the coming year. http://www.santabarbara.hyatt.com
Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces expands into Marrakech
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces will open Taj Palace Marrakech in the fall of 2011. The hotel features 161 guestrooms, including 25 Grand Suites and one Royal Suite. The rooms offer sweeping views of the Atlas Mountains. The hotel will feature several restaurants, with cuisine from Morocco, Asia, and the Mediterranean. The hotel will also house a 40,000 square foot Grand Spa and fitness center. http://www.tajhotels.com
Westin Houston Memorial City
The Westin Houston Memorial City, located in Houston’s upscale Memorial City Complex, opened in March 2011. The new hotel has 267 rooms, each offering the unique Westin experience. The Westin Heavenly Bed® is a 10-layer ensemble of luxurious comfort featuring a pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, 3 crisp sheets, comforter, duvet, and 5 plush pillows.
The Westin Houston Memorial City greets guests with a lobby showcasing an elegant 3-story glass and wood staircase. There are 2 full Club floors in the hotel and a Club Lounge. The hotel’s 18th floor Infinity Pool features a stunning waterfall and gorgeous city views. There is a workout facility and spa, as well as 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Westin Houston Memorial City is connected via a sky bridge to Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center and Memorial City Mall.
8Hotels opens Chandra Villas in Bali
8Hotels announced the opening of Chandra Villas in Bali in May 2011. The luxurious private villas each have an outdoor rock shower, freestanding bathtubs, sun decks, and private lap pools. They are equipped with stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, and private chefs are available to cook meals in the privacy of your own private villa. Each guest receives private airport shuttle service, complimentary WiFi, surround sound, iPod docking station, and bottled water. Private all-day butler service will help guests plan everything from dinner reservations to babysitters to in-room spa treatments. The luxurious villas rent for $490 per night, which includes all taxes, breakfast, and airport transfers.
New Four Seasons Hotel & Residence set to open in Toronto in 2012
The Four Seasons Hotel & Residences Toronto, a 2-tower hotel and residences complex in the city’s Yorkville district, is set to open in the summer of 2012 on the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue. The new hotel will be one block east of the existing Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, which will close in April 2012.
The new hotel will offer 253 hotel rooms and over 200 private residences in two towers — the 26-floor East Residence and 55-floor West Residence. The top floor of the West Residence will feature a penthouse residence, there will be a first-floor restaurant, a bar, spa with skylit indoor pool, and two ballrooms. The hotel will occupy the first 20 floors of the West Residence building. For more information visit http://www.yorkvilleresidences.com.
London’s Lanesborough Hotel unveils luxury suite
The Lanesborough, one of London’s five-star hotels, is unveiling its new Lanesborough Suite in May 2011. The Lanesborough is billing the 4090 square foot (380 square meter), 4-bedroom suite as one of the largest and most luxurious suites in London. The suite, located on the hotel’s first floor, will include 4 bedrooms, 5 and a half bathrooms, 2 living rooms, kitchen, and dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows will offer views over Wellington Arch and Green Park. For the price of £14,000 ($22,421 US at today’s exchange rate), the suite also includes the services of a complimentary chauffeur-drive Rolls Royce Phantom and a 24-hour butler. Visit http://www.lanesborough.com.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong opens as world’s tallest hotel on March 29, 2011
[cropcap2]W[/cropcap2]hen the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong opens on March 29, 2011, it will be the world’s tallest hotel. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, which will occupy floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Kowloon, will be a stylish and thoroughly modern hotel that truly reflects the sophistication, style, and elegance of the Ritz-Carlton brand in a contemporary way.
With interiors by Singapore’s LTW in a building developed by Hong Kong’s premier developer Sun Hung Kai Properties working with New York architects KPF, the hotel will offer 312 guest rooms all providing spectacular city and harbor views. Starting at 538 square feet for a Deluxe Harbor Room, and reaching an incredible 3928 square feet for the magnificent Ritz-Carlton Suite, all rooms provide state of the art technology including WiFi, iPod docking stations, and stylish flat screen TVs. In addition, Club Room guests will enjoy the panoramic Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage presentations 24 hours a day, we well as a dedicated Club Concierge, work stations, meetings rooms, and WiFi throughout.
One of the unique aspects of the hotel, which reflects a move to more casual elegance of the Ritz-Carlton brand, will be its bars and restaurants, which have been stylishly designed by Japan’s Spin Studio. With six dining venues starting on the 102nd floor, including state of the art designer Chinese and Italian restaurants, and the lobby lounge. The alfresco rooftop bar will be a truly stunning venue at 1600 feet above sea level with outstanding views over Hong Kong. Asian-style tapas and contemporary cocktails will be served on the roof terrace, where fire pits and casual seating will create an atmosphere of stylish luxury.
For those wishing to relax and indulge, the E SPA is located on the 116th floor. It is a 9200 square foot facility with treatment rooms and relaxation area. Featuring nine deluxe treatment rooms and three couples suites, every treatment room offers floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views where a world-class team of professional therapists ensure a spa experience like no other.There is also an indoor pool and fully equipped fitness center on the 118th floor.
At the base of the ICC tower, the Elements shopping mall offers some of the finest luxury shopping in Hong Kong with brand names and international fashion brands located in this world-class location. Hong Kong International Airport is just 20 minutes away and Central Hong Kong is only five minutes from the hotel, making The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong an ideal location for those looking to work or play in Hong Kong. For more information: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HongKong/Default.htm
Marriott International has purchased the historic Berners Hotel in London
Marriott International has purchased the historic Berners Hotel in London, which it plans to redevelop over the next two years into a boutique Edition brand hotel. The London Edition marks the latest new property announcement for a brand which only opened the doors of its first property late 2010 in Hawaii.
The building will now be totally redeveloped by Ian Schrager, Marriott’s partner in the Edition venture and the man credited with creating the “boutique hotel” genre. Marriott president Arne Sorenson said that it offered a great location and beautiful facade, describing it as a “perfect canvas for creating a true work of art.”
The Savoy, a Fairmont managed hotel
Fairmont reopened the legendary Savoy hotel in October 2010 after a £220 ($348 million) restoration. The hotel was originally opened in 1889, but was closed in 2007 for what has been called one of the most comprehensive in Britain’s history. More than 1000 craftsmen, artists, and artisans have revamped the hotel. There are 268 rooms under the direction of General Manager Kiaran MacDonald. The famous Savoy Grill is under the direction of Gordon Ramsay. The Savoy also lays claim to one of the city’s only rooftop swimming pools. http://www.fairmont.com/savoy
Langham Chicago Hotel to open in 2012
A new hotel, Langham Chicago Hotel, will open in 2012 at 330 N. Wabash on the Riverfront. The hotel will be in floors 2 through 13 of the 52-story building and will also occupy some space of the first floor and in the riverfront plaza. The new hotel is expected to cost about $200 million.
The hotel will feature 330 guest rooms and suites, with the largest slated for over 2000 square feet. The rooms will have 9.5 foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. There are also plans for 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a 9000 square foot restaurant, wine room, fitness center, indoor pool, and Langham’s signature Palm Court and Chuan Spa. The building was the Midwest headquarters for IBM until 2006.
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opens
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas finally opens in December 2010 after five years of struggles and billions of dollars in expense. The 3,000-room resort is the last of the mega properties currently planned on the Las Vegas Strip and it took a foreclosure and law suits before it finally opened. The resort is all about luxury and glamor, combining Art Deco with 1960s modernism, created by a laundry list of Who’s Who in celebrity designers. The resort includes a 100,000 square foot casino, the Sahra Spa and Hammam, three pools, Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan, 60,000 square foot multi-level nightclub, nine retail boutiques, fitness center, numerous restaurants, and ample meeting space. Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is located at 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 702-698-7000.
Sofitel opens new hotels
Sofitel opened three new hotels in December 2010: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom in Austria, Sofitel So Mauritius, and Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra in Cambodia. Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom is a modern 18-story glass and steel structure. The top four floors feature the hotel’s glass-walled restaurant “Le Loft.” The 182 rooms and suites are monochromatic in shades of white, light gray and black. Sofitel So Mauritius is a trendy contemporary boutique hotel of 92 individual suites and villas built into the natural landscape and lush gardens with views of the Indian Ocean. Each suite and villa features a private garden and outdoor pool or pond and patio with outdoor shower. The spa will feature local fruits and spices. Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is reminiscent of a Khmer palace. There are 201 rooms and suites, a huge conference center, four restaurants, a sports complex and clubhouse, tennis and squash courts, two pools, gorgeous lawns and gardens, and a SO spa offering both Khmer treatments and French-style spa care.
St. Regis Bangkok
Starwood Hotels & Resorts will open the 227-room St. Regis Bangkok in Bangkok Thailand on April 1, 2011. The hotel will introduce the signature St. Regis butler service, the brand’s Elemis Spa, and the Elemis skincare products, to Thailand. The hotel will feature a lavish spa, restaurants, wine lounge, pool bar, swimming pool, state-of-the-art business center, and meeting space. Each accommodation features floor-to-ceiling windows and lavish furnishings.
Four Seasons Resort & Residences Vail
The Four Seasons Resort & Residences Vail opened in December in Colorado. The resort features a 121-room resort, as well as 16 whole-ownership residences and 19 fractional-ownership residences. The owners can enjoy the services of the Ski Concierge, which offers ski rentals on site, equipment waxed and tuned each day based on current snow conditions, European-designed lockers, and a retail boutique. Owners will also have full access to many of the Four Seasons signature amenities, including 14,000 square foot spa, 75 foot all-season saline pool, whirlpools, fitness center, restaurants, and 24-hour concierge service.
New Four Seasons Hoel in Bahrain Bay
Construction has just begun on what will be Bahrain’s only Four Season Hotel & Spa, scheduled for completion before the end of 2013. The 43-story hotel will offer 260 guest rooms and a penthouse level “Sky Pod” restaurant with views of the Arabian Gulf. The hotel will be part of the growing $2.5 billion waterfront development area of Bahrain Bay.
Five-star Saffire Freycinet resort opens in Tasmania
A unique resort opened the summer of 2010 on the island of Tasmania, just off Australia’s mainland. The $33 million five-star Saffire Freycinet aims to meet every luxury need. All rooms have incredible floor-to-ceiling views of the water and granite cliffs. Accommodations range from luxurious 860 square foot rooms to 1500 square foot suites with kitchens, plunge pool, private veranda, and more. Every room includes spa treatment and a number of activities, such as kayak trips, excursions, or hikes. Personal service is a hallmark of the resort and the cuisine is world class. Rates begin at $1250 per night, but the experience is once-in-a-lifetime. http://www.saffire-freycinet.com.au
W Retreat Bali to open in April
The W Retreat & Spa in Seminyak in Bali opens in April 2011, making it the fourth W Retreat worldwide. While keeping the trademark W concepts, W Retreat Bali will also draw from the local community — rice fields, bright greens, beaches, oranges of the Buddhist temples. The hotel will be lit by 600 candles each night. There will be a variety of room options, including garden and ocean retreats, and an array of “lifestyle” options — four pools, beach, bars, restaurants. One of the signature features of W Retreat Bali will be the Away Spa — the first W spa to be open 24 hours daily, fully embracing W’s “whatever, whenever” philosophy.
Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama to open in 2011
Trump Hotel Collection announced the debut of Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower® Panama in Spring 2011. The hotel, on Panama Bay with views of the Pearl Islands and the ocean, stands 70 stories high. It features 369 rooms and suites with floor-to-ceilings windows, 10,000 square foot spa and fitness center, business facilities with top-of-the-line technology, multiple world-class dining options, two floors of elite boutiques and shops, 13th floor infinity-edge pool with private cabanas, loungers, open-air bistro, and bar.
King Pacific Lodge, Canada, honored by World Travel Awards
King Pacific Lodge, A Rosewood Resort, is in the Great Bear Rainforest a little over 200 miles north of Vancouver. The Lodge was just named North America’s Leading Green Hotel 2010by the World Travel Awards. King Pacific Lodge is a 17-room floating, luxury, wilderness lodge anchored off Princess Royal Island. The resort was also named the Number 1 Resort in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler in the 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards.
South Africa’s Blue Train
South Africa’s Blue Train is a five-star hotel on wheels that runs 994 miles from Pretoria to Cape Town in27 hours. The individual suites have attached bathrooms, some offering bath tubs. The dining car serves haute cuisine and dinner is a formal black-tie affair. The menu often includes exotic dishes such as Ostrich fillets and Knysna oysters. There are also wood-paneled lounge and club cars. The trip goes through some of the most scenic regions in the country. The Pretoria to Cape Town Southbound trip includes a stop at Kimberley with a look at the history of South African diamonds. On the Cape Town to Pretoria Northbound journey, the stop is at the colonial village of Matjiesfontein.
The Pretoria to Cape Town and Cape Town to Pretoria package starts from $1,460 per person based on double occupancy, which includes all meals, high tea, drinks, and excursions.