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While Venice and Vietnam got their Aman Resort in 2013, the openings we so optimistically wrote about for China and Jordan never materialized. Another year on, and we’re still waiting, but just like that we stumbled onto two things for one of them: a recruitment ad and an interior image.
This page has the ad for an Executive Assistant Manager (Rooms) at AmanDayan, the 32-suite resort on Lion Hill in the ancient city of Lijiang, in China’s Yunnan province. While the ad refers to it without the capital letter, we were explicitly told at the time that AmanDayan is how it should be spelled. We’re going to liberally take the closing date of mid-November as a sign that the resort is nearing completion, so perhaps we’ll see an early 2015 opening?
Diving a bit further down the rabbit hole that is the internet, we came upon the above photo here, in a post now about a year old. While we’d take it with a grain of salt, the design does strike us as being very Aman, so who knows. We’re hoping to get some more detail soon, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, further east in Japan, we wouldn’t hold our breath for a 2014 opening of Aman Tokyo either – expect that to be a 2015 affair too. When we have more detail, we'll be sure to let you know.
[Photo: Weibo via Flyertalk, JasonD]
Kempinski Hotels are now accepting reservations for their largest and their most striking hotel to date in China.
The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing is located about an hour’s drive from Beijing’s city center and shares the site of a larger complex of Kempinski managed hotels overlooking the picturesque Yanqi Lake.
The design of the hotel—and this escaped even our eagle eyes—draws inspiration from the rising sun and other symbolism in Chinese culture. The architect, Shanghai Huado Architect Design Company, led a 60-day pow-wow with 60 designers from around the world, seeking a worldly perspective to come up with this unusual design, pictured above.
The 60 designers concluded that the hotel should resemble a scallop (anyone see a snail?) which is a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture. The large bull’s eye in the center of the hotel’s outside wall represents—we are told—the rising sun, which in turn reflects the rising Chinese economy.
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This: The Castle Dalian, one of the latest additions to Starwood’s Luxury Collection (or at least that’s how we like to imagine the creative process went). Especially in CGI rendering, it has a more than a touch of Dreamworks to it, but it’s very real, and has hotel rooms inside that you can book. Check out the understated minimalism (not) you will find inside below.
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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.
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Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski Riyadh
Yet another list of hotel openings to get excited about. Today, we have a short list of Kempinski Hotels opening this year. Actually, it's kind of a long list when you look at it. Kempinski is Europe's oldest independent luxury hotel group which now operates 75 hotels in 32 countries. They'll be adding 11 new hotels across Africa, China and The Middle East (along with one serviced residences property in Switzerland) by the end of 2014. Starting with...
Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa (Republic of Congo)
Opening Date: Opened on March 01, 2014
Highlights: 237 rooms and suites, views of the Congo River, three restaurants, three bars, outdoor tennis courts, swimming pool and billiard and snooker rooms.
Burj Rafal Kempinski Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
Opening Date: Opened on March 02, 2014
Highlights: First hotel in Saudi Arabia for Kempsinski, closest luxury hotel to King Khalid International Airport, 349 rooms nd suites, a cigar lounge, three cafes, two restaurants, and a Resense spa with separate wellness centers for ladies and gentlemen.
Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski, Kigali (Rwanda)
Opening Date: Q2 2014
Highlights: Made famous in the movie, "Hotel Rwanda", the Hôtel des Mille Collines will be managed by Kempinski; 112 rome and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness center Located in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and made famous in the movie “Hotel Rwanda”, Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski features 112 rooms and suites, meeting and conference facilities, including a conference room for 120 people, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness centre.
The London Edition is all that for many reasons, and it has us properly excited for what’s to come: New York and Miami Beach are up first in the States, but after that Edition is heading for more exotic destinations – Sanya in China and Gurgaon in India. Virtually nothing is known about these hotels, but that didn’t stop us from unearthing these renderings already.
The Sanya Edition (above) will open in 2015 on the Chinese island of Hainan. Referred to as China’s Hawaii, nearly every luxury hotel group (from sibling Ritz-Carlton to Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski to One&Only) is rushing to claim their spot along Sanya’s beaches and vie for the attention of the increasingly wealthy and wanderlust-filled Chinese tourist. The curved building looks huge (spot the tiny cars under the soaring porte cochere for a sense of scale), with some kind of lattice wood construction over the main entrance, a design reflected again it appears in the façade.
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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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Six Senses Bhutan
If you are familiar with Six Senses hotels, you're probably thinking "spa" and locations like Thailand and Vietnam. While the focus on spa and wellness isn't going anywhere, you’ll likely find Six Senses closer to home in the future, with planned openings in places like the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and the French Alps near Mont Blanc.
Six Senses is also pulling an Aman, if we can say there is such a thing, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan in 2016. Its resort here will be split across five lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro, allowing you to travel through Bhutan much like Aman Resorts’ Amankora. Did we mention that there is Taiwan, China, Bali, and Tunisia too?
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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.]
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The Regent Montenegro
There’s tons of hotel news flying around at the moment, so we have another roundup of news bites for you today to get you up to speed on the latest from Oman to Cambodia and China to Argentina.
Starting with the Arab sultanate of Oman, its newspaper Muscat Daily (Muscat is the capital) reports that the country will have the first Aman Resort in the Middle East, in the remote coastal town of Shuwaimiya. The developer of the eco-resort has confirmed Aman Resorts will open, with the hotel group so far taking a confirm-nor-deny approach. Whether or not it will be the first in the Middle East remains to be seen, based on what we hear about an opening in Jordan.
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]