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August 1 will be a big day in Paris: not only is Peninsula Hotels finally opening its rather grand entry into Europe, the Plaza Athénée will start welcoming guests again after a closure of just under a year.
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As promised back in January, Hayman Island – the northernmost of Australia’s Whitsunday Islands – reopened last week fresh off of $80 million dollars’ worth of revamp, officially becoming “One&Only Hayman Island” in the process.
A lot has changed, as you would expect for that kind of cash, from updated rooms to a new spa and restaurants, but the basics are still there: a remote private island, a yacht transfer (or seaplane or helicopter, if you prefer) away from Hamilton Island, and the expanse of the Great Barrier Reef around you.
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The Hotel Des Bains in its heyday
Che fortuna amici, che bella notizia. This is big news. Huge! Venice’s historic Hotel des Bains, the grande dame of the Lido that inspired Death in Venice, hosted a bajillion movie stars for the film festival, and was shuttered in 2010 and sentenced to be redeveloped as luxury apartments (vomit) – will most likely be refurbished into a hotel once more.
According to local paper La Nuova, the Des Bains and its sadsack teammate, the Excelsior, are no longer for sale. The owner? The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – a government-owned company. Regent and Starwood are still battling it out to run the properties (Raffaele Costa is out), but whoever wins will be the operator, not the owner.
But most exciting of all is the news that it looks likely that the Des Bains will make a spectacular return. From La Nuova (our translation):
It seems probable that the Des Bains, after its refurbishment, will return to being exclusively a hotel, putting a stop to the project that would have transformed part of it into hotel-residences – as was the initial plan – because the market conditions and the convenience of taking it forward are no longer in existence.
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Mykonos is already huge, of course, but it’s getting more attention from the luxury set this summer with BA launching direct flights from London (no more indirects/slumming it on SqueezyJet) and a whole host of new openings.
Starwood is (re)unveiling Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection resort, following a three-year renovation (picture below). The hotel is waterside in Omos Bay, and all rooms have at least a partial sea view. Designwise, they’ve gone for clean and contemporary – wood floors, neutral colors and oversized windows to keep the focus on the views. Rates start at €322 (£436).
Meanwhile, Small Luxury Hotels of the World have added three properties to their portfolio. Boheme, an all-suite hotel just outside Mykonos Town, combines sea views from on high with midcentury furniture to pep up the white color scheme. Rooms start from €180 ($244), with breakfast.
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New Brunswick’s Grande Dame of a hotel, The Algonquin Resort, reopened last week after a one-year “rafters to registration” refurb to become Canada’s first hotel under Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand of independent hotels.
The century-old plus Algonquin Resort’s guest rooms and public spaces were completely redesigned by Toronto designer, Robynne Moncur of Moncur Design. The hotel’s décor reflects its Victorian origins but is re-styled for a modern sensibility, with a living room-style lobby that invites lingering around the two-sided fireplace. The lounge now opens to an outdoor patio that takes in the nightly sunsets over Passamaquoddy Bay in the awesomely-named St. Andrews-by-the Sea.
Each guest room and suite in the 233-room resort includes comfy pillow-top mattresses and bathrobes, radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms so that your tootsies don’t get cold, MP3 players, 32-inch flat screen TVs, in-room coffee, and complimentary in-room movies and WiFi. Select rooms and suites even feature a balcony or patio for you to while away an afternoon with a book — something like Michael Martin’s Lost in Hotels seems appropriate!
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Drake Devonshire Inn, opening this summer.
When we released our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings in 2014, our Canadian hotel section was sparse. Sorry. BUT, news has been coming in from our neighbo(u)r to the north about 2014 hotel openings so we've been able to expand on that section. We'll add this to the Master List soon (sorry again) but here's a dedicated look at what's in store for Canada. Looks like we need to make a trip up there soon, eh?
· JAG Hotel: Spring
· ALT Hotel Montreal Griffintown: Spring
· Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (reopening): June
The rest of the country below!
Manhattan power breakfasters and NYC-visitors alike won't have to wait much longer for the Loews Regency Hotel in New York to reopen: reservations are currently accepted for stays beginning on January 16, 2014. The highly-anticipated reopening of the Park Avenue property follows a comprehensive $100 million renovation, and includes a new restaurant, salon, spa and four new private meeting spaces.
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The Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue shuttered its doors last January leaving the NYC's power breakfasters suddenly homeless. But come January 16th, the landmark hotel will be making eggs and bacon again, amongst other things.
The hotel is finishing up an extensive $100 million renovation, that's been spearheaded by Jonathan Tisch, the chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, and which has overhauled 379 guest rooms (above) including 58 suites as well as created a new restaurant and a new salon and spa, along with new private meeting spaces and a fitness center.
While we already knew that the salon and anti-aging spa will be run by celebrity stylist Julien Farel, we're a little more interested in the return of the restaurant, especially since it was so well-loved by so many powerful people.
Loews promises a new dining concept managed by New York restaurateurs Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli of the Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group. (Their Sant Ambroeus restaurant on West 4th is favored by celebs and models alike.) Together they will work Executive Chef Dan Silverman to bring a market-fresh menu filled with "modern interpretations of classic dishes" combined with "international flavors and palates."
But will Larry King still be able to get his Cheerios with blueberries? We hope so.
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The other week we could scarcely believe the news that the new owners of Gianni Versace's South Beach mansion-turned-hotel would want to merge their new acquisition with their existing hotel--The Hotel Victor. After all, we though the Victor was supposed to be property of the Pomeranc brothers, formerly of Thompson Hotels.
But no, the Victor is now solely under the Nakash family who owns Jordache Enterprises. We know, Jordache Jeans and Versace in one place? Only in South Beach.
As for the Victor, the hotel has officially reopened after an impressive $8 million renovation that gave the hotel more of a "beachhouse vibe" with new guestrooms and oceanfront suites as well as an updated pool scene and cabanas, and a new lobby designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Amenities now include free WiFi, communal computers and complimentary beach cruisers, which let's face it, is the fastest way to get around South Beach in high season. Unless you've brought your own rollerblades, of course.
If ever there was a town that the much-overused words "quaint" and "charming" seem made for, it's Hanover, New Hampshire.
Located in the state's Upper Valley, along the Appalachian Trail, and separated from Vermont by the Connecticut River, Hanover is most famously home to Dartmouth College, an elite Ivy League university -- and all of the fortunes that brings.
That being said, quaint and charming (not to mention the phrase "elite Ivy League ...") can rub some of us the wrong way, and so we approached the Hanover Inn, a storied hotel that occupies a building dating from 1780 and overlooks Dartmouth Green (scene of Conan O'Brien's epic 2011 commencement speech) with some trepidation.
The feeling was not initially assuaged by our first glimpse of the hotel lobby, which felt a little stuffy with its fireplace, leather armchairs, black and white photographs of alumni, rocking chairs on the patio, and a lot of deep green (Dartmouth College colors). Closer inspection, however, revealed modernist touches such contemporary works of art and a centerpiece table created from big slab of granite; an homage to New Hampshire's "granite state" moniker.
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The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
Back in January we told you that the Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont was undergoing a major reno. Shortly after that, the hotel closed up shop as it entered the final stage of its makeover. But now the hotel is nearly ready for its close-up and will re-open on June 28.
A Preferred Boutique and Preferred Pride hotel, the fruits of Topnotch's multi-million dollar refurbishment include:
• A more contemporary entryway that opens to a spacious new lobby designed to showcase soaring mountain views
• A brand spanking new bar
• Two new restaurants: The Flannel & The Roost
• 68 newly renovated rooms and suites
• New wedding & events venue