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Starwood Hotels & Resorts has done exactly what they said they would do in their expansion into China and the Asia Pacific. There are, and have been for quite some time, more hotels in the works than we can keep up with. Almost all Starwood brands have or will soon have an address in China, including Element Hotels, which is opening next year.
We've tried to list all that we know of that's happening with Starwood in China on our Master Openings List, but as seasoned readers of the list know, things change quite a bit and most hotels, get pushed onto the next year.
However, Starwood has three important openings in China in September, with properties that are very big on design and luxury. Here they are:
Are you a thrill-seeker, but only in a conservative way? Like heights, but wouldn’t jump off them? Enjoy getting to know a new culture, but only in familiar surroundings?
If so, we have your 2018 vacations sorted. You’re going to China! Specifically, to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in Central China.
It’s in Wuhan that the tallest twin towers in the world are currently under construction, and the Telegraph reports that they will house hotels, among other things. Exactly where they will sit in the 3280ft towers is unclear, but let’s hope they’re nice and high.
Pop Quiz! How many different kinds of seating can you find in the label-defying lounge of the new J Plus Hotel by Y00?
A face lift at age 10? Only in hotel years, where hitting the “refresh” button on design is a pre-requisite for any savvy hotelier who wants to keep the in-crowd coming back for more. In the case of yoo Hotels, founded by John Hitchcox and Renaissance man Philippe Starck, their truly undefinable style just keeps getting better and better and, yes, we want to come back for more.
Celebrating 10 years and $10,000,000 on cosmetic upgrades to J Plus in Causeway Bay, the "first boutique hotel in Asia," the new J Plus Hotel by YOO unveils next month as a new brand for the next decade.
And no, we're not asking that question because the room rate was so outrageous at $8,400 a night and because taxpayers might be footing the bill. instead, we're asking that because you can be sure that if we have nearly ten grand to spend on a hotel room in Beijing, it's not going to be at the Westin Chaoyang. That's for sure.
We'd rather spend our money at the Opposite House in Sanlitun or try out one of the suites at the just-opened Waldorf Astoria. Wait, what are we thinking? Clearly, we're going to lay our head down on the pillows at the Peninsula Hotel. See, there are plenty of other better choices than a Westin if you've got $10,000 to spend.
We seriously thought Missoni Hotels would be a contender for the "fashion-branded" hotel opening at the Lisboa Palace, a hotel casino complex coming to Macau. But then Carslon Rezidor Hotel Group announced that Missoni Hotels would be closing down as of this June.
We thought Armani Hotels might also be a contender, especially since it could somewhat complement the Palazzo Versace from Donatella Versace that's also to open in the Lisboa Palace. But it turns out, our last suggestion was very right.
Also, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel has been dabbling in the hotel design arts as of late. Perhaps the Cotai Strip could be his very first Karl Lagerfeld-branded Hotel. But remember, NO SWEATPANTS ALLOWED.
That's right, Karl Lagerfeld is designing his very own hotel in Macau. Here's what he had to say about it.
"An entire hotel designed by me. It's the first time for me! I think the idea is great!"
Of course you would.
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Just like hotels stacking a few different brands into urban skyscrapers,, multiple hotels combined into one massive resort seem to be a "thing" these days. We've seen it happening down in the Bahamas with Baha Mar hotel wonderland which will include Rosewood, Mondrian, Grand Hyatt and Melia hotels, along with the Baha Mar Resort and Casino. And now we will see it in Macau at Cotai with the Lisboa Palace which just recently broke ground. (It's opening next to Steve Wynn's new Wynn Palace.)
The destination, designed by firm WATG, will include the five-star Lisboa Palace with over 1,450 rooms, the Palazzo Versace Macau with up to 270 rooms and a "fashion-branded hotel", also with 270 rooms.
But what fashion brand could this be? Actually, the Palazzo Versace is from Donatella Versace and it will be a spin-off of her Gold Coast hotel. So the question really is--what other fashion-branded hotel could co-exist with Versace?
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The upcoming Waldorf Astoria Beijing actually wasn't on our radar when we released our Master List of Hotel Openings last month (mea culpa!) But with its March 1 opening just a few weeks away, we're honing in on what is expected to be the brand's most contemporary and art-conscious hotel to date.
Located in downtown Beijing, across from the Peninsula Hotel and within walking distance to the Forbidden City, the Waldorf Astoria is a brand-new building with an unusual bronze exterior, giving it a crazy cool effect. And according to general manager, Marlene Poynder, the bronze will cause the exterior's color to change over time. Even cooler.
Poynder also filled us in on some of the amenities expected inside the 176-room hotel such as AppleTV hookups (not available for sale in China), Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries and Samsung tablets that controls nearly everything inside the room.
The hotel's interiors were done by design firm Yabu Pushelberg but they still incorporate elements of Chinese design such as traditional dressers, intricate rugs and silk-paneled walls. The hotel is also filled with contemporary Chinese art including the Waldorf Astoria Clock (found in each Waldorf Astoria hotel) which "appears weightless while resting in its glass cabinet, creating the illusion that it is floating, or of 'time being suspended.'"
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Way back in 2012, we snapped a few pictures of another newcomer: the W Beijing Chang’An, hoping it would be ready for what then seemed an eternity away – the first day of 2014. That, unfortunately, did not quite work out as planned, with the hotel now pushed back until late June. New Year’s day of 2014 was going to be a double party, with the joint opening of sister property W Shanghai – The Bund, but there we’re looking at June next year before we get to go inside. At least we have some glimpse of what the hotels look like for you now.
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David Beckham made his name as a top footballer in his younger years but now in his retirement, he's become a man of many leisurely pursuits such as underwear modeling, cologne-making and tattoo collecting. He's also dabbling in the hotel world.
Last week, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced that Beckham would be assisting in the development of "dining, retail and leisure concepts" at the Sands properties in Macao and Marina Bay, Singapore. Much of the press release about the partnership is a bunch of "we're so excited" type of statements yet the details are scant on what exactly Beckham will be doing.
Our guess is that someone else is going to come up with these new concepts which will obviously have a luxury element to them for which Beckham will lend his face and body. We're thinking David Beckham Steakhouse, David Beckham Watch Shop, David Beckham Cigars, David Beckham Men's Intimates, David Beckham Noodles To Go. Er, maybe not that last one.
However, given that Becks is now the global ambassador for Chinese Football, we're sure at least one of these concepts will have to do with the sport itself. All "Bend It Like Beckham" jokes aside, we're quite curious to see what they, er, he, comes up with.
[Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp.]
Every time a cool new app comes out promising guests to check-in or check-out via their phone or table or use their handheld as a room key, we always wonder how much longer it will be before human hotel staff become obsolete. Well, at The Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel in Shenzhen, China, that time is here.
The Nanfang Insider reports that the hotel is nearly entirely staffed by ROBOTS. Robots greet you at reception and at the front desk and even serve you drinks and food in the lobby lounge. However, there are some humans on hand in case the service, um, short circuits.
As for the rooms, they cost just $11 a night because as the hotel name suggests, they are capsule rooms. These tiny little pods are tricked out with blue mood lighting, WiFi, flat-screen, ports galore and according to this pic, the privacy to view some adult movies on your iPad.
[Photo: Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel]
DeNiro, with his other partner in Nobu Hotels, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Robert De Niro must have been pretty happy about his experience working with BD Hotels on The Greenwich Hotel because he's partnering with them again to develop a new five-star boutique hotel...in Shanghai.
The hotel will be part of what is being called Project 179 a 850,000-square-foot complex on the Bund that will also feature retail space, restaurants "led by accomplished restaurateurs currently operating distinguished establishments in the United States," a performance center and multi-screen cinema. Let's hope the first screening at this new cinema is a Taxi Driver/Raging Bull double-bill.
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Not only did we ogle Rosewood London last week (hopefully just phase one in Europe for the group), we also picked up some additional news: a first few snapshots of the rooms at Rosewood Beijing (coming next year) and the exciting update that another hotel is being planned for Bangkok.
Both hotels sound like they will be rather unique; the building in Beijing “will recall a mountain profile with contrasting volumes and shapes” and Bangkok promises 650-square foot Pool Sky Villas, with large terraces and private plunge pools (!!).