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We have been following the Peninsula Paris -- Peninsula Hotels' grand entry into Europe -- throughout its six year restoration of the former Hotel Majestic, a 1908 Beaux Arts building in the 16th arrondissement (fun fact: George Gershwin wrote part of "An American in Paris" here).
Now that its August 1st opening date draws closer, we have a peek at what some of the 200 guest rooms will look like. Spot the high-tech bedside tablet we told you about last Spring? Rooms will also feature curated artworks, elegant furniture, ambient lighting, expansive luggage and wardrobe space and a valet box. Marble bathrooms will have deep-soaking bathtubs, separate rain showers, double washbasins, inset televisions and toiletries by Oscar de la Renta.
We love a good comeback story, and in this case it's even sweeter, since the Opryland is one of the biggest fans of Christmas we've ever seen in hotel land, and they're reopening just in time to launch their big Country Christmas holiday tradition.
Yesterday was India's Independence Day so it was a fitting day to welcome back the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, which reopened its Palace Wing yesterday. This part of the beloved hotel had been closed since the terrorist attacks of November 2008, which killed 166 people and also hit Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, a railway station and a cafe.
The Tower Wing of the hotel has been open for more than a year but now, with $37 million worth of renovations, the Palace Wing is now back in business as well. Part of the restoration project included work on the Taj's extensive art collection, which has been painstakingly restored for the reopening—with over 300 important pieces now hanging in the banquet hall, the lounge, and a bar off the main lobby.
We're only halfway through and already 2010 has been a banner year for Hotel Emergencies. The headlines today may be dominated by BP oil spill news, but we are heartened to hear this good-news followup to another of the year's disasters, the Nashville floods of May 1st weekend: the Gaylord Opryland Resort will re-open on November 15.
The grand hotel suffered considerable damage and was forced to close indefinitely in the aftermath of the floods. (Thankfully, guests were evacuated before the floodwaters reached the property.) But restoration has been in full swing and is on schedule for a triumphant return in November.