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Our scepticism about that (already delayed) March reopening for The Lanesborough London turned out not to be unfounded – the hotel now talks about an “end of Spring” return. That makes our estimate of June(ish) feel about right, and a recent walk by Hyde Park Corner does show some progress: the scaffolding that has obscured the hotel from view for so long is starting to come down.
Underneath is a freshly painted/cleaned exterior, and a few glimpses of the interiors are available courtesy of The Lanesborough butlers having taken to Twitter. Hashtags and the Albert Pinto-designed Regency interiors may seem a little incongruous, but among all that period design will be some advanced technology in the form of Crave tablets. From booking a spa treatment to getting a hold of your butler, all you need is the tablet.
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Things we never expect to change in London:
The royal family.
The never-ending roadworks.
The inability to make any kind of eye contact on public transport.
That bastion of poshness, the Goring Hotel.
Edit: those were things we never expected to change until this weekend, when we walked past the Goring and found it closed – closed! For the first time in its 105-year history! – for renovation.
It's been a rough four months for the The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. First, it had to deal with the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Odile.
Then the luxury resort had to pick up the management pieces after the resort owners booted Capella Hotels from the property. After a bit of a legal tussle, it looks like Capella has backed down and the property will take on a new identity as The Resort at Pedregal. Coincidentally, the hotel has erased their Facebook history. The new page only has
3 four likes and all new photos.
Rates next weekend start at $900 a night. No, that's not in pesos. That's in USD. Whooeee.
While a lot of work has been done on the property, it seems as if the rooms will remain the same as when we stayed there last year.
Keep reading for more Cabo reopening dates!
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Benghazi wasn’t a cover up. Obama does have a birth certificate. All these poor conspiracy theorists – what on earth will they find to fixate on now?
Well, they can always go old school with the news that the Watergate Hotel is set to reopen. After a $125m renovation – which follows years of languishing in disrepair, and then foiled plans to turn it into condos – the plan is to open the doors next summer.
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The $20 million renovation has turned the hotel into a four-star property, now with a full-service restaurant, 24-hour room service, concierge assistance, an outdoor, marina-facing pool, sundeck, marina-front wedding venue, and over 6,000 square feet of meeting space.
The guest rooms, shown in the cover photo, have been fully revamped, many now with private balconies. The details of the rooms have also been upgraded to include, among other amenities, Egyptian cotton linens. The new restaurant, SALT, is an indoor-outdoor eatery that will serve contemporary California cuisine and fresh seasonal seafood fare.
We’re looking forward to taking a closer look at the renovations sometime in 2015, and will certainly pass on an inside look when we do. Its location makes it one of the closest hotels in Santa Monica to Venice and LAX, so it should draw plenty of interest. Rates start at $239 a night.
[Photo: Pacifica Hotels]
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Well, today's the day (well, yesterday if you're in Sydney), that the public gets to truly see what a $30 million AUD renovation on a hotel looks like when The Langham Sydney reveals the fruits of their labor.
If you recall, the folks over at Langham acquired the iconic Observatory Hotel and operated it for a little while with the existing but fairly dated decor while they put time and thought into the full refurbishment. Now, we couldn't be happier they took their sweet time because the results are pretty amazing. Out went the dark wood paneling that was prevalent throughout and in came the light!
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It’s still got it.
Back in the day, the Hotel Zoo, which opened in Berlin in 1911, hosted the likes of Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. Now that it’s finally reopened after a two-year renovation, it’s already pulling the celebs back in – in the shape of Diane Von Furstenberg, who’s contributed to the furnishings, and Maison Martin Margiela, which has provided towels and nightshirts. Yes, nightshirts. The glamor!
In fact, glamor is a running theme here – the design of the hotel was inspired by the “film festivals and galas of the past” (the hotel was once the place for VIPs at the Berlin Film Festival), as well as “the clash of history and modern age” [sic].
DVF has done the catwalk-style carpet at the entrance – jade background, with monochrome leopards – leading to the Living Room lounge area. Lovely.
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UPDATE, 11.7.14: Capella just got reinstated. Scroll down to see the court decision and Capella statement.
Here's a mixed bag of news--The Capella Pedregal Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is still set to reopen in January, after extensive renovations which were necessary when Hurricane Odile had its way with the resort area in September. However, it will no longer be a Capella Hotel.
Instead, the resort will have a new name and identity--The Resort at Pedregal. Already, the Capella Pedregal's social media presence has been wiped away and The Resort at Pedregal's branding, complete with a turtle logo, is now in place (it seems there's a lag with the Facebook page but we bet that will be online any minute.)
The change is shocking especially considering that Capella corporate ponied up a hefty donation to help the employees of the hotel after Hurricane Odile hit.
When we inquired about an explanation, we were told, "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction. "
Not Vegas. A lobby
With hotels piling in to chase the millennial dollar, it’s reassuring to see one brand going back to what hotels always used to do to get clients – pile on the superlatives.
After three months of work and millions of euros, NH Hotels have just reopened the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding (definitely not a millennial name), now the biggest hotel for the brand. NH may not be a big deal to American ears but they’re one of Europe’s most reliable brands, treading the line between business and boutique quite impeccably (also, delicious toiletries, if you ask my mum). Anyway, this is the flagship property for the NH Collection brand, and it’s pushing the boundaries of hotel technology. Basically, they have what we’re looking for in a hotel down pat:
Well-equipped rooms: “Brilliant Basics” is the name for the thinking behind the room design. All 431 rooms have specially commissioned mattresses, rain showerheads, Nespresso machines, professional hairdryers and “next generation LED” TVs.
VIP level if you want it: If you stay on the “five star floor” you get access to the VIP lounge, too.
All the services you need, plus fun extras: Spa, fitness center, event spaces, rooftop solarium with a fake beach, two fine-dining restaurants (including DiverXO, Madrid’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant), a lounge and a sushi bar.
Fashion-forward technology: An LED vault screen (the largest in Europe, and the largest in the world for hotels) in the lobby projects digital art and “special sound” across the lobby. Think the Fremont Street Experience in Vegas, but in a hotel lobby. Insanity!
Cutting-edge tech: Here’s the really interesting part – there are four ”Living Lab” bedrooms (plus communal areas) that are trialing the latest hotel tech – not just wireless mobile charging, but tablets providing a video link to reception for when you need to ask a pressing question. The Living Lab isn’t just about hotel guests – it’s apparently an initiative to “identify and encourage entrepreneurial talent by fostering pioneering projects in the hotel industry”. They will be running contests and promoting hotel tech-related start-ups. We dig.
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The other week we published a list of official reopening dates for the resorts and hotels of Cabo San Lucas, who were hit very hard by Hurricane Odile in September. Worryingly, quite a few of the hotels on the list were only given the dreaded "To Be Announced" slot for their opening dates. Today, we have a few of those TBA dates firmed up.
· Capella Pedegral: The luxury hotel plans on reopening January 15. Here's a portion of the statement they put on their website:
Capella Pedregal has completed its assessment of the damage resulting from Hurricane Odile, and as reported earlier, the damage to the hotel was not severe and our initial goal was to be operational the earliest date possible. Unfortunately, the items needed for our hotel to be fully operational are estimated to be delivered and installed in January 2015.
If you have reservations with the hotel before January 15, 2015, Capella will issue fulleposit refunds and can either book you for alternative dates or check availability at their sister properties. Call 877.247.6688 with your concerns.
· One & Only Palmilla: Initially, this hotel was hoping to be back up by December 15. But now that date has been pushed to March 15. Here's their statement:
Hurricane Odile significantly impacted One&Only Palmilla and our team members and we are working hard to bring back our beloved resort and to delivering a true One&Only experience.
If you have reservations before March 15, call the hotel at 888-691-8081 to reschedule or amend.
· Esperanza, an Auberge Resort: Initially expected to open in December, the luxury resort will now open on March 1. If you have a reservation booked prior to this new March opening, contact reservations at 866-311-2226 for refund and re-booking assistance.
Keep reading for a list of updated reopening dates in chronological order
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We've been keeping tabs on the resort re-openings in Cabo San Lucas, after the area was severely damaged by Hurricane Odile last month. But now, we have a fully updated list from Los Cabos Hotel Association. And the timing couldn't be better as Cabo's airport officially re-opened today.
Quite a few hotels will open this month and next, and indeed, quite a few are already back in business. But there are five hotels that won't open until well into 2015 while 10 hotels still have no opening dates. We hope those change soon.
Keep reading to see the full list!
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The bad news, guys, is summer is ending.
The good news is, winter means opportunities to do things you couldn’t face in summer – like sleeping outdoors in India. Especially when it’s tiger season.
This month sees the (re)opening of three tented camps from Sujan in Rajasthan: Sher Bagh, in Ranthambhore, the Serai in Jaisalmer, and Jawai Leopard Camp.
Sher Bagh (top pic) isn’t new, but it’s been completely renovated for the 2014 season, with all tents getting their ensuite bathrooms refurbished and enlarged (yes, ensuite bathrooms being enlarged - as you can imagine, these aren’t your ordinary tents). Two new suites have also been created – one with a walled garden, one with a private pool (and both with butlers). The location, meanwhile, is tiger central – 81% of visitors last year saw at least two per day.