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Arrivals, Departures, and Renovations: Latest Hotels News from Philly to Bermuda

January 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM | by | Comment (1)

It’s Monday morning and there is tons of hotel news flying around, so to get the week off to a good start we have the latest for you from Philadelphia to Bermuda and Indianapolis to Kuala Lumpur.

The debate on which Philadelphia hotel has the best view we think may permanently shift in a few years’ time, with the announcement that Comcast is building a second skyscraper – 59 stories tall – that will house a new Four Seasons Hotel on its top fifteen floors. Furthest up is the above top-floor restaurant, in what we assume is one of 13 three-story “sky gardens” the building will feature. Located at 18th and Arch, it will be the tallest building in Philadelphia, and the tallest in the United States outside New York and Chicago.

The new Four Seasons will have 220 rooms, and the above guestroom rendering that floats around we’ll take as a first – if rather beige – indication of what you’ll find on the inside. This means of course that following relocation to the gleaming mixed-use tower, the current Four Seasons Philly will fly another flag, assuming it will continue being a hotel.

Over in Indianapolis, the historic Canterbury hotel will become a Le Méridien in November this year, after a multimillion dollar renovation. We hope those dollars will bring some much-needed modern pizzazz to the guestrooms – there will be 100 of them – and public spaces. The restaurant will get an overhaul, the fitness center will be expanded, and meeting facilities will be spruced up as well. Within the Le Méridien Hub lobby-cum-social gathering place, there will be a Master Barista, serving up not just your desired double-shot hazelnut soy-milk latte, but also acting as “coffee cultural ambassador”. Ok then.

Departing the Mandarin Oriental fold, like Dhara Dhevi last year, is the Elbow Beach resort in Bermuda. On March 31, the management contract expires, and one day after the hotel will be operating independently. The current MO site still only talks about 98 cottages and suites, which tells us that those 131 rooms that closed in 2009 are still just that: closed. Whether in its new form the hotel will expand back to its original size, time will tell.

Staying on the island, the Fairmont Southampton is throwing over ten million dollars at its guestrooms and suites, in a two-step renovation. The first 235 rooms are in progress and will be done by May this year, moving from peach walls and tropical prints (top half of the photo above) to a mix of chocolate and white with pops of color (bottom half of the photo).

The second set of 172 rooms will begin at the end of the year for completion by May 2015. That still leaves a number of rooms compared to the total of 593, so we assume some will stay as is for the moment. WiFi capability will cover most of the property, including the beach, but unless you’ve signed up to Fairmont’s President’s Club, it’s not free.

Fairmont will also add to the hotel-crowding around the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Like Four Seasons, it is opening a new hotel in 2017, with no less than 750 guestrooms and suites in a 62-story tower. By then, if Fairmont, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, or St. Regis would run out of the proverbial sugar, it’d be a hop and a skip between any of them to borrow some. Not that we’d expect that to be happening of course.

[Renderings: Comcast via uwishunu, Images: Canterbury Hotel, Elbow Beach, Fairmont Hotels]

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