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It’s been open since September 1, though Raffles Istanbul seems to have been hiding its light under a bushel – no real photos on the website, only coy shots of various details on Facebook, and a promise to a FB fan that they’ll be having a photoshoot later in September.
But we’ve just found this sneak preview article in Turkish, and all we can say is, please hurry up with that photoshoot, because this looks phenomenal.
OK, the lobby and the bar look pretty nice hotel standard, but look past the artfully posed reporter in picture number 5. Marble staircase, columns, chandeliers. Is it one of the “nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, photographs and video installations” mentioned (via Google Translate) in the article? Is it a mirror? A wall of glass? Is it – as is implied in the article – the spa (the largest in Istanbul)? We’re assuming it’s not real, since Raffles is a modern building, but these are questions to which we need answers.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Killer View / Fez Hotels / Fes Hotels / Morocco Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
A five star property, locally owned (huzzah!) and designed by architect Christophe Pillet, it’s a clever cross between a riad and a resort: 50 rooms, two restaurants (one French, one Moroccan), a rooftop bar, Givenchy spa (the first in North Africa) and hammam and gym – but in a very beautiful, entirely Moroccan building. Oh, and since it’s perched on a hillside, it also has panoramic views from its rooftop terrace over the medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Galapagos Islands Hotels / Eco Hotels / Carbon Neutral Hotels / Animal Hotels / Small Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Luxury and the Galapagos Islands go together like peanut butter and jelly (it should be wrong, but it’s actually very right), so put your hands together for the opening of Pikaia Lodge on Santa Cruz island in the center of the Galapagos archipelago.
It’s a carbon neutral property, but green doesn’t mean grimy here – it’s a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group, and plonks 14 rooms amid 31 hectares of extinct volcanic craters, straddling the dry savanna of the national park and the tropical highland forest. There are also, of course, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
The hotel runs land and sea tours, and there’s a restaurant, bar, pool and spa on site. So far so expected – what isn’t expected is the in-house giant tortoise reserve.
Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked. But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
· HOXTON HOLBORN: The newest Hoxton hotel in London will open on September 25. While rooms are small, starting at 150-sq.ft. (eek!) with names like "Shoebox" and "Snug" to boot, they are quite affordable with opening rates ranging from $220 a night to $270 a night. All rooms also have 300-thread count sheets, rain showers, free WiFi, and complimentary breakfast bags.
· MONDRIAN LONDON: The Mondrian at the Sea Containers building in London is all set for its September 30 opening with rooms starting at 200 GBP a night. That's for a queen bed in a teeny tiny, 312-sq.ft. room. But it is opening when it says it will. On property will also be a riverside restaurant, run by New York chef Seamus Mullen, a seasonal cocktail bar from Ryan Chetiyawardana A.K.A Mr. Lyan, as well as a rooftop bar with sweet city views.
· W BEIJING: This W hotel, near the Forbidden City, has been through many delays but the September 30 opening date is holding steady. However, room rates for September 30 were not yet available so we're not exactly confident the hotel will open on that day. Starwood Hotels, however, is opening two other very important hotels in China this week. Read about them here.
It’s chic, it’s sexy, it’s in a seriously up-and-coming part of Madrid – it’s the Hotel Urso ('Bear Hotel'), which opened quietly last week. And “quietly” is the right word – according to this account in CN Traveler España (in Spanish, or via Google Translate), the hotel was firmly shut up with nobody around until the day before opening; and they only fixed the awning with the Hotel Urso branding on it the morning of the day itself. Mañana mañana, and all that.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / JW Marriott Hotels / Venice Hotels / Private Island Hotels / → All Tags
The last time we heard anything about the JW Marriott Venice, it was March 2013 and it had an expected opening date of this year.
It was not to be. But the good news is that it’s now expecting to open in March 2015 – and the website is taking reservations from 12 March.
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The Regent Porto Montenegro has kept pretty much under the radar since its August 1 opening – though that looks set to change with their “most glamorous opening party” tonight (to which our invite must have got lost in the post).
There are only five reviews on TripAdvisor so far, but all are positive – the only negative seems to be the price (well, it is a Regent, and it’s the only hotel in Porto Montenegro). What is exciting us though are the new photos of the property.
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Bali. Lombok. Mykonos. St Tropez. Isles of Scilly. WTF?
In what appears at first glance to be the most bizarre new opening on earth, Karma Resorts, which own three hotels on Bali, and one in each of Lombok, Mykonos and St Tropez, have just soft opened their newest property: Karma St Martin’s, in the Scilly Isles, with 30 rooms spread out in a row of little cottages, right on the beach.
If you don’t know where the Scillies are – and why should you? – they’re a tiny archipelago of islands 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall – which is itself the southwest tip of England. There are 145 islands, but only five are inhabited. St Martin’s, which earned its Karma on 1 August, is the third highest populated island, with 142 people living on its two square-kilometer area. Karma is the former St Martin's on the Isle hotel, sitting plum on Tean Sound and overlooking another island, Tresco.
Of course, there are similarities with Bali – the Scillies have white sand beaches, their own microclimate, and are a bugger to get to (ferry or a tiny plane from various points in Cornwall). But Karma is gunning for the same clientele, too – according to big Karma man John Spence, who talked to Scilly Today, they’re going after “affluent adults” who backpacked their way around Bali etc a while back, but now want spectacular scenery, beaches and high standard accommodation closer to home.
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It’s been open a full two weeks now, and although we haven’t quite found the $1000 to stay at Peninsula Paris (give us another week or 500), others have – and a newspaper has checked it out too. Here’s what they say about the $999,000,000 project.
The 26 TripAdvisor reviews are mixed, leaning towards the negative – though a good tranche are from people who’ve just eaten, rather than stayed at the hotel.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Thompson Hotels / Hotel News / Miami Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
Located at 4041 Collins Avenue in a former condo building, the newest Thompson Hotel will have 380 hotel rooms featuring "beach-inspired accommodations and mid-century, international resort style." Designer Martin Brudnizki has been working on the design which will (of course) preserve the building's Art Deco flair and 1950s architecture.
And as we mentioned back in May, the Thompson will also have two pools, a small spa, three bars , including a speakeasy in a bungalow, and a 267-seat "classic brasserie" from James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Miami native Michelle Bernstein.
Room rates for November 14 are rather reasonable starting at $314 for an advanced purchase rate (no refunds) and $339 for a regular rate. That would be for a deluxe king room with custom-made 400 thread count SFERRA linens, rain showers in the bathroom, oversized Frette terrycloth robes, a 42” flat screen television with movie library, a gourmet mini-bar and a 24-hour in-room dining service.
Below is a snapshot of a model room, as posted on the hotel's website....
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What was the moment you realized you’d grown old? Walking through the door of your first house? Gazing into the eyes of your first child? Realising you can’t drink on a school night without being overcome by work shame the next day?
Laura Ashley: the middle class bête noir of our 1980s childhood. The Lake District: the middle class, middle aged holiday destination for ruddy-faced people whose idea of excitement is nibbling on a square of Kendal mint cake while perched halfway up a fell. OMG. When did we get so old?
Having said that, FOMO and all that means we’re already making plans to visit, for the funky glass-walled atrium, the views (25 of the 62 rooms are lake view), the sauna, and of course, the Laura Ashley décor.
They’ve come up trumps with this: modern, slate-walled bathrooms mixed up with claw-foot bath tubs, flatscreen TVs and bright, poppy colors matched with velvet sofas (a nod to velvet hairbands?), and – what surely would have been a cardinal sin back in 1980s Laura Ashley land – clashing prints (floral curtains with striped walls, stripy chairs with pinstriped carpets and neoclassical columns, that kind of thing). In short, it might be a bit too jolly hockey sticks for your house, but it’s exactly what you want from a country house retreat. Rooms start at an entirely reasonable £126.
Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked.
But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
HOTELS OPENING IN AUGUST 2014
· THE PARK HYATT NEW YORK: The global flagship for the Park Hyatt brand will open on August 19 in a brand new luxury skyscraper across from Carnegie Hall and just a block from Central Park. You can sneak a peek at a studio suite here. If you've got about $800 to spare, you can book a room for opening night. We'll have more on the rest of the hotel for you later today.
· THE SOHO HOUSE CHICAGO: Located in the West Loop nabe in an old warehouse, the Soho House Chicago will open on August 11 with 40 rooms, ranging in sizes Small, Medium and Medium Plus. Small rooms start at $240 a night and include WiFi, complimentary tea & coffee and Cowshed toiletries. On site will also be a Cowshed Spa, a rooftop pool with al fresco dining, a 40-seat screening room, along with two restaurants imported from London and an all-day cafe for coffee, smoothies, pastries, etc.
· ELEMENT HOTEL HARRISON: At last, there will be a stylish and eco-friendly place to rest your head near Newark International Airport. Rates at The Element, which is the extended-stay spin-off brand of Westin Hotels, will start at $140 a night. We couldn't actually book rooms for opening night of August 21 so we suggest calling the hotel if you're looking to stay close to that date.