Aman Canal Grande Alcova Tiepolo Suite
Another hotel that stuck to its planned June 1st opening date is Aman Canal Grande in Venice, the fourth European Aman Resort. Rooms are only available ‘by request’ at the moment according to the online reservation system, but rates start at €1000 ($1300) for Palazzo Rooms with a garden view; the Alcova Tiepolo Suite, which features the above-pictured living room, runs at a heart-stopping €3500 (about $4600) a night. We are drooling over those exquisite murals though.
Last month also saw the reopening of one of the city’s oldest hotels: Luxury Collection’s Gritti Palace. Dating back to 1475, and the former private residence of the Doge of Venice – Andrea Gritti – the hotel underwent 15 months and €35 million worth of restorations. Some of the 82 rooms and suites are inspired by famous guests of the past, including Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Peggy Guggenheim. The top of the line two-story Redentore Terrazza Suite has a 2,500 square foot terrace with a spa pool.
Staying in Europe, Hyatt continues its love for Amsterdam (see the Andaz, as well as a Hyatt Place later this year at Schiphol airport), with plans to open a Hyatt Regency in the Emma Kinderziekenhuis building, a former children’s hospital, in 2015. The hotel will have 196 rooms and 15 suites.
Ahn Luh Lanting
Way at the end of last year, we told you about a new brand for China: Ahn Luh Resorts & Residences, with one of the people behind it being Adrian Zecha, he of Aman Resorts and GHM Hotels. Banking on the growing wanderlust of Chinese travellers (and their financial wherewithal, with rates planned to start at $750 a night), the group has signed two new deals for Ahn Luh Lanting and Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao, opening in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Ahn Luh Lanting will feature 99 rooms in 35 historic Hui-style homes, dating as far back as the 1600s, in Shaoxing, 30 minutes from Hangzhou.
Set in the historic suburb of Shanghai it is named after, AhnLuh Zhujiajiao will have 35 villas built in traditional Chinese style. While the focus of the brand is initially on China, expansion to the rest of Asia, and Europe and the United States beyond that, is part of the longer term view. Who knows, ten years from now, we’ll be talking about Ahn Luh New York and Ahn Luh South Beach.
The Chedi Andermatt
Speaking of GHM Hotels, fans of fancy Swiss ski resorts will have a new choice this coming winter season when the group opens The Chedi Andermatt, which marks the return of the brand to Europe. The hotel is part of the Andermatt Swiss Alps project, a master development in the country’s Uri canton, 90 minutes by train from Zurich and Lucerne. The Chedi will have 50 rooms and 119 residential units, two restaurants, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, spa, a dedicated ski living room (whatever that is) and a team of ski butlers.
Prahran Hotel Melbourne
Leaving the Swiss slopes behind, we head Down Under for the historic Prahran hotel in Melbourne, which has completed a renovation that has us lamenting the fact we live over 10,000 miles away. We just want to hang out in one of the circular booths that make up its façade; check it out in its full glory over at Inthralld.
Sydney Crown Hotel
Melbourne might already have a massive Crown Hotel, but if everything comes together according to the regeneration plan for Sydney’s Barangaroo South area, it’ll pale in comparison to the $1.5 billion Sydney Crown complex envisioned here. Looking at the scale of things, we’re not holding our breath on this one, but the 235-metre tall building, designed by Wilkinson Eyre (winning the competition to come up with a proposal for the site) certainly looks impressive.
[Photos: Regent Hotels, Aman Resorts, Ahn Luh Hotels, GHM Hotels, Prahran Hotel, Wilkinson Eyre Architects]