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If the name Oetker Collection does not ring a bell, you are more likely familiar with two of its most famous hotels: the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes (preferred by Brangelina during the Cannes film festival and Kaiser Karl for a runway show) and equally celebrity-friendly Le Bristol Paris (temporary home of David Beckham).
Now, the group has added another, though more far-flung, destination that is known for attracting wealthy privacy-seekers (from Bill Gates to again Brangelina): Fregate Island Private, a tiny speck in the Indian Ocean that is part of the Seychelles archipelago. If ever you wanted to live out your own Robinson Crusoe fantasy without having to sacrifice any creature comforts, this is the place.
But there is more to it than just luxury: bought in the late 1970s by a German industrialist, decades of work have gone into returning the island back to its natural state, rehabilitating indigenous forest, nursing back to life a population of Giant Aldabra Tortoises, and saving the endangered Magpie Robin bird from extinction.
Abu Dhabi Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Mixologists / Hotel Drinks / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Your fancy luxury hotel may have a mixologist crafting up specialty cocktails at bar downstairs but does your fancy luxury hotel have a Camel Milk Mixologist working there? Didn't think so.
That rare kind of mixologist can only be found at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi which just opened in March. Mohammad Daoud does pretty much what his job title implies--mixes drinks with freshly muddled ingredients infused with locally-sourced camel milk, ranging from flavors such as sweet strawberry and refreshing mint. “I wanted to create something special for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Daoud. “Because camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Sohour, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan.”
Ramadan begins next Monday and lasts through August 7 but the hotel will continue to offer its camel milk menu in Mijana, the hotel's Arabic restaurant. There, the mixologist can help camel milk newbies guide them through their first-time tasting as well as come up with different camel milk flavors to pair with various dishes. Of course, all these preferences can be saved for their next visit.
Want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi? Room rates start around $750 AED a night, or about $205 USD. Contacting the camel milk mixologist ahead of your stay is highly recommended at +9712 818-8282 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Camel milk not your thing? Head over to the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, where there's a spice concierge instead.
And here's another one to add to the list: last Wednesday, Rosewood Abu Dhabi opened as the first Rosewood property in the UAE (though there are three others in the Middle East, with a Dubai property on the way). The 189-room hotel no doubt hopes to profit from an expected influx of visitors to AUH thanks to the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, and the Guggenheim in 2017 (both designed by Frank Gehry).
Despite optimism and tons of hotel openings in some places, especially Europe, we all know the travel industry isn’t completely out of the water when it comes to the financial crisis.
One hotel group that's been feeling the squeeze is Rocco Forte Hotels, a small family-run collection of hotels across Europe, including Brown’s Hotel in London and Hotel de Russie in Rome. After a difficult few years, this month the group dropped both Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi, the first hotel to be introduced solely with the group name, and The Augustine in Prague.
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Today seems to be a banner day for Ritz-Carlton Hotel news, we've got three pieces of juicy goss that just needs to be shared. Here's the tea:
In our recent Abandoned Hotels story, we lamented the construction of Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort had been languishing untouched in the Turk and Caicos since 2008 (it began in 2001) and showed no signs of ever coming to fruition. Well, a miracle has happened and the project is back on! According to HotelsMag.com, they've received confirmation on the private (you can only arrive by boat, small plane or helicopter) 125-unit resort's opening from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
HotelChatter also checked with our RC sources, and the luxury Caribbean resort is indeed a go. We were told an official release will soon come. European developers have taken over with an apparent $130 million investment to complete a project that's already had $300 million sunk into it by previous interested party, Logwood Development. Construction is expected to resume this year (keep your fingers crossed).
But wait, there's more Ritz-Carlton rumblings for ya!
Well, it was supposed to happen today, but it looks like the St. Regis Abu Dhabi's opening will be delayed--this time until April 15th.
Guess you shouldn't rush what promises to be one glam piece of property with 283 gussied-up guest rooms including 40 grand suites, including one actually located on a bridge that offers second-to-none Arabian Gulf views. Then there's the 24-hour butler service that each guest is entitled to.
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We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.
The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.
Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.
Hotel Openings / Dubai Hotels / Abu Dhabi Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Starwood Hotels / St Regis Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Things are most definitely not slowing down over in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. After announcements on forthcoming hotels by Le Bristol and the budget-oriented Ibis, it looks like the 395-room Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi is now taking rezzies for stays beginning on Jan 1, 2013. Whoopie!
Marriott's luxury brand already has quite a strong presence in neighboring Dubai, with two properties—the beachfront Ritz-Carlton Dubai Marina (which happens to be undergoing some major renovation/expansion work), and the snazzy Ritz-Carlton DIFC—attracting plenty of luxury-seekers in an already luxury-saturated market. But further down Sheikh Zayed Road, this will be Ritz-Carlton's first Abu Dhabi location.
But that's not all! Read on to find out about more UAE openings coming up around the corner!
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Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate, as it will be known, will open this month in Musaffah at the entrance of the city, near the Abu Dhabi Int'l Airport (AUH), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with rates starting at $61/night.
While the 252-room hotel is the brand's first in Abu Dhabi, Ibis in fact already owns no less than five hotels in neighboring Dubai, the cheapest of which has rates starting as low as $65/night.
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Here’s one of those sales where our heart starts beating, we say throw caution to the wind (and take a quick look at our calendar) and BOOK it! Starting today and ending 9/19 at 11:59 PST, the Viceroy Hotel Group is having a 48- Hour Sale.
You can save from 15%-50% per night on their worldwide luxury properties from Anguilla to Abu Dhabi. So, whether you want an island getaway, ski vacation or city escape, there are plenty o' options here.
There's only a little bit of time to think about this, so we’ll make it quick and highlight just some of the properties available:
•Rates start at $138.25
•Applicable Travel Dates: September 18-December 20
•Valid for all accommodations except 1, 2, and 3-bedroom villas
Among the many luxurious hotels in Paris, only few are considered to be on a shortlist of “palace” hotels. Traditionally, these include names like the Hotel Ritz (for some, the original luxury hotel and now closed for a multi-year renovation), Le Meurice, (Four Seasons) George V, Le Crillon, and Le Bristol.
Having opened its doors in 1925, Le Bristol Paris is part of the Oetker Collection, a small group of particularly luxurious hotels that includes the Cannes Film Festival - and Karl Lagerfeld - favorite Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes and Palais Namaskar Marrakech (as well as a private jet to get from one to the other).
While Abu Dhabi might not come to mind at first as a destination for the Oetker Collection to open its second Le Bristol, such is the plan for next year. While details of the hotel are still very limited, it looks like there will be 184 rooms, with an additional number of suites, a spa, and even a concert hall.
Once again we're checking in with the hotel brand that we love to check in on--Edition Hotels.
Since our last Edition round-up in April, we've actually had a contributor go inside the one and only open Edition Hotel in the world--Edition Istanbul. We've also learned that an Edition Hotel is coming to West Hollywood. And now we can add more details on the Edition Abu Dhabi to the mix.
According to a tourism report, Abu Dhabi is going to get a major influx of hotels over the next three years--about 20 in all--five of which will be Marriott Hotels and one of which will be a 244-room Edition Hotel. Now, on the surface that sounds exciting. But a hospitality consultant is warning that the hotels won't fare very well because there is not enough demand for hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi right now. Sigh. This doesn't bode very well for Edition. Hopefully, it's not too late to pull out.