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¡Mira! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all the new hotels news. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· KONNICHIWA ANDAZ TOKYO: The newest Andaz Hotel, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, is now officially open! Check out the room shot above. Swoon. Hopefully, we'll more from inside the property for you to see next week.
· HILTON HOTELS TAKING OVER MYANMAR: Only a few years after opening its country to tourism, Myanmar has been prepping for some major growth. And now it needs to brace itself for the onslaught of Hilton Hotels. The hotel chain has partnered up with the Eden Group Company to rebrand two of the Group's recently opened properties in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and on Ngapali beach in Rakhine State. Those hotels will now be known as Hilton Nay Pyi Taw and Hilton Ngapali Beach Resort. Hilton is also planning three more hotels in the next three years, namely: Hilton Bagan and Hilton Inle Lake in 2016 and the Hilton Mandalay which will open in 2017.
Luxury hotels are a dime a dozen in Dubai — OK, a million a dozen — and it really is only a matter of time before the world’s top fashion designers want to be part of the action. Bulgari Hotels and Resorts have just thrown their hat into the ring with the announcement of their fifth luxury hotel, Bulgari Hotel Dubai, to be located on Jumeirah Bay Island. The hotel group has not given an official opening date, but has said it will likely be in 2018.
Hotel Weddings / Hotel Helipads / Dubai Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Insane Hotel Packages / → All Tags
The Burj Al Arab in Dubai is the world's most luxurious luxury hotel where every hotel room is a two-story suite, every guest has its own butler, and every in-room iPad is plated in gold. And now, weddings at the Jumeirah Group hotel are sky-high. Literally.
The hotel's new Wedding in the Skies experience will allow couples to get married on the helipad of the hotel 212 meters above the Arabian Gulf. The very same helipad where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played a game of tennis and where Formula One Champion David Coulthard performed donuts in a Red Bull Racing car.
For $55,000, guests will work with not a wedding planner but rather a "Wedding Architect" who will guide them through such pressing wedding day decisions as--should the couple arrive at the hotel by air in an Italian twin engine Augusta 109 or by road in a Rolls Royce Phantom? Which wedding cake from Executive Pastry Chef Johannes Bonin should they choose from? Which spa sessions from the Talise Spa should they indulge in? And perhaps, most importantly, what specially designed wedding scent developed by a leading perfumist should the couple spritz everywhere?
Other perks in the package include, accommodations (of course), private sessions with personal trainers, shopping and styling sessions with personal stylists, dance and etiquette lessons, floral consolations and access to Dubai's best jewelers and top haute couturiers.
Interestingly, there's no mention of photography services so we hope the Wedding Architect can at least recommend someone. And yes, we think you should get BOTH a photographer and a videographer for this big day.
[Photo: Burj Al Arab]
The announcement was made yesterday that The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will open on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah with 323 rooms, all with outdoor terraces and sea-front views. Fifty-three of the rooms, designed by Aedas Limited, will be either one or two-bedroom suites and 22 of those will have their own plunge pools. #todiefor
The restaurants, most of them al fresco, will range from Japanese to Arabic and Italian fusion while the Palm Court lounge will be modeled after the original at The Langham Hotel in London (remember, this was the first hotel lounge to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865.) The hotel will also feature a Langham Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage throughout the day, along with a dedicated concierge service. To peep on the Langham Club experience, read our story HERE.
There will even be a separate Travellers Lounge where guests can hang out before their room is ready or after check-out but before their flight. Aside from a library, entertainment options and light dining, this lounge will have showers and change rooms.
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When it comes to knowing what’s going on in a city, hotels pretty-much have the inside scoop. Raffles Hotels & Resorts, with its swanky hotels across the globe, has put together a list of where to go, when and why for every month of the year.
Here’s what they recommend for the next few months to get you prepped to travel.
Dubai in April – For the Dubai Camel Racing Festival
Forget April in Paris when there’s the Dubai Camel Racing Festival (April 6-17, 2014). A major fixture on the Dubai social calendar, this is the Middle East’s version of “the season.” Over the twelve day festival, thousands of meticulously trained camels compete in rounds to win their owners jaw-dropping cash prizes. Stays at Raffles Dubai from 1314 AED ($358).
Keep going for more What to Do's!
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There ain’t nothing like a dame – or a hotel that is designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, one of the most influential architects of our time. It should come as no surprise that the design-focused brand ME, by Melia Hotels has hired Zaha Hadid Architects as the sole design firm -- both interior and exterior -- for their new hotel, ME Dubai, set for a 2016 opening.
Cancun, Cabo, Madrid ... and, er, Vienna ... ME Hotels sure do love to set up shop in the party places, so we are not surprised to hear where they will be making their next move: the Balearic Islands. Rave on!
ME will be bringing their super-cool vibe, minimalist design, Aura Managers and, we hope, 4AM DJ's to Ibiza in June 2014 and to Mallorca in May. The 200-room Ibiza property will be situated bayside in Santa Eulalia and will have direct access from boat to the hotel. There will be 21 ME+ Suites, which usually means a dedicated host looking after you and a complimentary spa treatment, and the hotel will have two pools, Bali beds, an on-site fitness centre and roof top Skinc spa. Don't expect to sleep because DJs at the rooftop cocktail bar will be playing Ibizan classics deep into the night. Rates start at £200 ($320).
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many hotels are "Thinking Pink", offering packages and programs to support breast cancer research. Hotel geeks, you can do your part to help the cause in the simplest ways from buying a slice of cake, getting a manicure at a hotel spa, to of course booking a stay at one of these special properties. It's a twin-win this month.
Next week we'll let you know hotels supporting this nationally recognized month with one of our favorite things--Specialty Cocktails!
Squeeze n' Sip: The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village near Malibu is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness by inviting guests to be proactive about their health by participating in a $75 digital mammogram screening at their state-of-the-art California Health and Longevity Institute, and also their special Think Pink Pampering Package, which includes a customized 50-minute Tranquility Massage followed by a Pink Lady Mocktini which can be sipped poolside at the spa's Serenity Pool. The package is $130 per person and is available Monday to Friday through October 31, 2013. A portion of the package proceeds will be donated to The Cancer Support Community, a local non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families of those affected by cancer.
Get Pretty Feet and a Sweet Treat: The Surrey in New York City is offering a special Champagne Pedicure in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The 60 minute pedicure is $95 and includes two signature Cornelia cupcakes, a small bouquet of pink roses and dried lavender.
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Dreams do come true...in Dubai, where Vikram Chatwal's Dream Hotels will open in late 2014. But this won't be some regular old hotel on a city block. No, this is Dubai, where everything is done not just bigger and better, but biggest and bestest.
So in following that logic, the Dream Dubai will be housed in the Marina 101, which is on track to be one of the largest super towers in Dubai and which will make the Dream Hotel the tallest hotel tower in the world when it opens. (Sorry, JDubs. You've got competition.)
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It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local" bar. So all this week, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our first-ever Hotel Cocktail Week. All this week, we'll be posting specialty drinks, booze trends, mixology tips and most importantly, drinks recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. Everyone will be getting tipsy this week! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.
Raffles Singapore, the place where the famed Singapore Sling was created, has launched a cocktail menu designed to take you around the world while you still remain seated and sipping in their Long Bar, god bless ‘em.
Resident mixologist, Randolph Velasco, has come up with eight spiritus drinks inspired by a Raffles hotel destination, so come join us as we embark on our virtual journey through time and space. First stop? Seychelles.
The Seychelles conjures images of an island paradise with deep blue skies, sultry breezes and emerald seas. No surprise, then, that the Raffles Seychelles cocktail is an emerald green beauty created by combining Smirnoff Vodka with melon-flavored Midori and tangy Apple Sourz, then topped off with apple juice. Garnished with slices of star fruit and a lemon wedge, this is a sipper meant to be sipped in a rattan chair with one of those tropical ceiling fans swooshing slowly overhead.
Next, we go to Raffles Cambodia –- specifically, Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh and Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. Using the Kingdom’s national fruit, the five finger banana (who knew?), this golden concoction consists of rum, banana and pineapple juice, but it’s the finishing touch of zesty kaffir and fresh, green pandan leaves (a herbaceous tropical plant) that gives this drink its aromatic and mysterious character.
The Raffles Philippines takes you to the newly-opened Raffles Makati in the heart of Manila’s financial district. A mix of Bacardi rum, juicy mango and pineapple are enhanced by a mere suggestion of basil and the tart, citrus flavor of calamansi, a wee fruit that bears a resemblance to a lime but is about the size of a kumquat. Calamansi is supposed to have some health benefits, so drink up.
Raffles Istanbul anticipates the opening of Raffles Istanbul Zorlu Center in late 2013 (no date as of yet) with a cocktail that evokes the complex flavors of Turkish coffee. Rich Kahlua is layered with potent Pisco, fresh lime juice and anise to create a boozy drink not quite appropriate for the morning but it does kinda taste like coffee, so we’ll leave it up to you. (Recipe below!)
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Oberoi Dubai Is Now Open: We were so busy making popcorn in preparation for the opening of Dubai's first movie-themed resort that we almost forgot about Oberoi Dubai, the 252-room luxury resort that opened last week in downtown Dubai. Guest can expect all the usual Oberoi touches, like in-room check-in, 24-hour butlers, and two Presidential Suites that come with their own 1.5-meter plunge pools. In addition to that, there will be four restaurants—including Nine7One, which sources different cuisines from all seven (7) continents—and a 24-hour spa with Ayurvedic treatments. Rates from $272/night.
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A few months ago, we told you about the new Paramount Pictures movie-themed hotel coming to Dubai. And now, we have a few more details on that project thanks to a recent interview in Hotelier Middle East.
In it, the CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts (keep in mind, this will be the company's first-ever hotel) explains that while Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movie studios around, and its films are very well-known, people usually aren't able to connect the actual movies to the company (Grease, The Godfather, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump were all Paramount movies, in case you were wondering).
Thus, the hotel will attempt to kill two birds with one stone: create the ultimate movie-lover's hotel experience, and by doing so, educate people on the impressive Paramount Pictures back catalog.
The CEO told HME:
"In-room entertainment will be home theatre surround systems inside the guestrooms as a minimum because I’m convinced that this will be a top expectation from all our guests.
We’ll look at themes for the entertainment throughout the year; give each month a theme, so in February with Valentine’s Day it could be love films. The hotels will also have a screening room; a high-end luxury theatre with lounge seating, a multi-functional environment."