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We may have been off the mark thinking Aman Tokyo wouldn’t make a 2014 opening (it did), but our guess that Aman Resorts was not far off from adding a third hotel in China turned out to pretty accurate: Amandayan, in Lijiang, and Aman number 28, is now open.
Equally, that photo we dug out from the depths of the internet back in October was indeed from inside the all-suite resort. With a total of 35 suites, that’s a few more than the 32 we talked about at the time, but still a very small affair.
‘Dayan’ (lower case in the end in the resort’s name) is the historic name of Lijiang, established in the 13th century by the Southern Song dynasty. The old town of Lijiang, which Amandayan overlooks (see a photo below), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is in the Yunnan province, which puts it in far southwestern China, towards the border with Myanmar.
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A while back, we wrote about the Hard Rock Hotels' Rhythm and Motion Massage. Continuing the rigorous research, our newest contributor, Linda Marcisano, put herself on the table to experience something called "Synchronicity."
I walked into the treatment room at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for the “Synchronicity” massage ($210 for 50 minutes) only knowing that music was involved. Upon spotting a guitar lying on the massage table, I started to panic. Would I be serenaded during the treatment? Would an aging rock star (preferably Bon Jovi) appear to perform a solo? Would my masseuse, who didn’t appear musically inclined, use one hand to knead and another to strum?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rock Spa has quite the prelude to the actual treatment, so let’s start there.
I arrived 30 minutes before the massage (it was recommended to check in an hour before but we were in knee deep at the casino’s craps table) and led to the locker room where I was introduced to a guide. Whereas other spas show you where the amenities are and let you have at it, the Rock Spa actually accompanies you, kind of like a circuit, recommending how long to use each and in what order.
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What do we love more than hotel openings? Surprise hotel openings!
We had no idea that Gansevoort Hotel Group was planning an oceanfront resort in the Dominican Republic but here it is!
The Gansevoort Playa Imbert on the country's north coast will be opening on December 15 with just 48 luxury suites, in one and two-bedroom loft layouts, along with three-bedroom apartments and a handful of four-bedroom penthouses, each with their own private rooftop jacuzzi. But you should know, the property was previously The Ocean Club Luxury Residences and Gansevoort is making it over into a hotel.
The Bachelorette / The Bachelorette Hotels / Melia Hotels / Paradisus Resorts / Dominican Republic Hotels / → All Tags
Andi Dorfman, bad-ass lawyer turned America's newest "The Bachelorette", took the three potential loves of her life, on a tropical adventure to the Dominican Republic with the hope of getting to know her suitors more intimately (coughFantasySuitecough) and perhaps, receiving an on-bended-knee proposal, complete with a diamond ring (by Neil Lane, of course.)
Andi, Josh, Nick and Chris all shacked up at the luxury all-inclusive Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, a Meliá hotel right on the Punta Cana beach. The resort is stunning and gorgeous and seemingly everything you could want from a romantic getaway. There are close to 700 rooms and suites to choose from so whether you're on a lovers' getaway or a family vacation, you'll find a room to suit your needs. There are also nine restaurants and bars, a Yhi spa, and activities galore, for all age groups.
But the only activity we cared about in Monday's night "Bachelorette" episode was vying for the Final Rose.
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Amanyara, Turks & Caicos
We might have only gotten two out of four hoped-for openings from Aman Resorts last year (that would be Aman Canal Grande in Venice and Amano’i in Vietnam), but despite the wait for Lijiang (China) and Jordan, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for anywhere else Aman might be popping up in the (near) future.
One likely destination is the Dominican Republic, which would make it the second Aman in the Caribbean, next to Amanyara in the Turks & Caicos. Rather than the popular eastern region of Punta Cana, the hotel will be part of the Playa Grande development on the northern coast, east of Puerto Plata and kitesurfer’s paradise Cabarete.
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The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo
In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resorts–one of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.
After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.
Except now, RIU is.
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Starwood Hotels continues their global expansion by opening the 124-room Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana on September 28th, the first US-based, internationally-branded hotel to open in the Dominican Republic.
This is the newest addition to the Puntacana Village, which is designed to be a tranquil community with all the services and amenities of an urban area. The village includes a mix of both residential and commercial real estate, an international school, a retail and dining galleria, churches, financial institutions, medical centers, gyms, and, now, a Four Points by Sheraton. The hotel hopes to attract both business and leisure travelers with its low rates (starting at $96 a night) and location.
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Another day, another hotel called Eden Roc. We're not kidding. But this plush new, all-suites property in the Cap Cana area of the Dominican Republic is a lot fancier than its U.S. namesake, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
Time will tell if it can become as legendary as its French namesake, Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc (a celeb and Lagerfeld fave).
What we can tell you is that Eden Roc at Cap Cana brings a new level of luxury to the area (and gets you far, far away from the party-happy scene in Punta Cana so beloved by reality TV stars).
The first 12 suites opened amid lush landscaping earlier this month, although the rest of the suites (some of them bigger than your house) and the resort's restaurants will be unveiled in October, as a more official grand opening. Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of the candy-colored exteriors peeking through palm trees and can attest to the generous size of even the entry-level suites.
Back in April of 2010, we posited that hotels producing their own honey was becoming a trend; in fact we offered three hotels already doing their own beekeeping and honeymaking, then added a fourth: the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
This week, the LA Times finally catches on and notes that now Montage Deer Valley, Carmel Valley Ranch and more Fairmont Hotels join the sweet list. Well, we've got yet more to add and it benefits from the addition of some celebrity names wrapped up in the beekeeping spree: Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta.
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Hotel Indigo San Diego
It's hard to believe that Memorial Day is next weekend. If it snuck up on you and you haven't made any holiday plans, don't worry, it's not too late for a getaway. There are still some hotel deals to be had.
Travelzoo is offering a bunch of Memorial weekend hotel rooms at slashed prices. Here are a couple of the highlights:
If you love men who love banana hammocks and speedos, you'll want to head to the Barceló Punta Cana Resort. The Dominican Republic hotel will be full of hard-bodied, tan men when it hosts the finale of this year's Mr. Universe pageant.
You will be able to see the ripped guys flexing their muscles and strutting on the catwalk at the all-inclusive hotel from May 10 to 14. Given that the Barceló Punta Cana sits on the water, you may also be able to "accidentally" run into a few of the muscular contestants at the beach.
Are you champing at the bit to get down to the Dominican Republic and party like a rock star on the beach? Well, you'll be able to in a few weeks, if the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana is to be believed. The massive complex of 121 acres, boasting more swimming pools than you can count on two hands and almost as many theme clubs and lounges, soft opens to guests on November 1, with it's official grand opening coming next spring.
It's an all-inclusive resort, of course, even though it's the first all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel. There'll be photobooths and live performances all over the place, just be sure to budget for some extra playing in the "Vegas-style casino," which will have 457 slots and 40 tables.