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What's The Latest with Waldorf Astoria Hotels?

May 29, 2012 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

Waldorf-Astoria Chicago (formerly The Elysian)

Lately, we've been wondering about what the Waldorf Astoria brand of Hilton Hotels have been up to (c'mon, that's just what we hotel geeks do in our spare time) but when we started snooping around, we were surprised by just how much is happening in the next few years.

Let us break it down for you now. Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve more $16.80 hotel rooms.

Way back in April 2008, we first reported the addition of a Jerusalem property, with only a few months later some local word on construction having been started to transform the historic Palace Hotel, which dates back to 1929.

The projected 2010 opening was not quite achieved, but the 220-room luxury hotel is now aiming to welcome its first guests on March 5, 2013. Details on the hotel website are a bit slim, but refer to two restaurants and a lounge, and two spas, complete with fitness center and pool.

Jerusalem isn't the only location that missed its opening date, although sometimes with hotels we think that's almost a given. Waldorf Astoria Berlin, initially planned for late 2011, is now accepting reservations from September 1 for one of its 232 guest rooms or suites in the city's western district.

Continuing in Europe, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam will debut next year on one of the city's main canals, the Herengracht (beaten to the punch by Andaz Prinsengracht, should it open this summer). You can check out the £24m-investment that turned The Caledonian Edinburgh into a Waldorf Astoria hotel from September this year.

The group's property in Panama, and first in Latin America, is now shooting for January 1, 2013. The hotel is sometimes referred to as Waldorf Astoria Panama and sometimes as The Panamera, a Waldorf Astoria hotel on its website, so make of that what you will (a residence element, consistently called The Panamera, is also planned).

Thailand will be the entry point into southeast Asia, with the 170-room Waldorf Astoria Bangkok slated to open in 2015 along Ratchadamri Road in the Patumwan district, where it will no doubt go after guests currently checking into the Four Seasons on the same street (but will it have a magic doorman?).

Back stateside, Waldorf Astoria was also among the proposals for the old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., but got beaten by Trump. A few other properties appear to have never really made it into the collection, or only briefly before making a U-turn and disappearing again.

We reported on Hacienda La Boticaria in Sevilla, Spain joining Waldorf Astoria just over a year ago, but the hotel is no longer listed.

Recent reviews on Tripadvisor point to the hotel being in transition from Hilton to the Eurostars hotel group, which has the majority of its properties in Spain. As recently as November last year, other guests commented on the transition to Hilton, so we're not sure what happened there? And while London Syon Park did in the end have its delayed opening, the Bentley Hotel in Knightsbridge only briefly was a Waldorf Astoria Hotel before reverting back to a "regular" Hilton.

If you thought that was enough to keep this part of the Hilton group busy, there's still Beijing (2013), Dubai on the Palm (2014), and Crete (Greece), Hainan Baoting and Sanya (China) as well as Montréal - all scheduled for 2015 - to look forward to.

Have you stayed at a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel lately? What did you think? Tell us in comments below!

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