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The London Edition is all that for many reasons, and it has us properly excited for what’s to come: New York and Miami Beach are up first in the States, but after that Edition is heading for more exotic destinations – Sanya in China and Gurgaon in India. Virtually nothing is known about these hotels, but that didn’t stop us from unearthing these renderings already.
The Sanya Edition (above) will open in 2015 on the Chinese island of Hainan. Referred to as China’s Hawaii, nearly every luxury hotel group (from sibling Ritz-Carlton to Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski to One&Only) is rushing to claim their spot along Sanya’s beaches and vie for the attention of the increasingly wealthy and wanderlust-filled Chinese tourist. The curved building looks huge (spot the tiny cars under the soaring porte cochere for a sense of scale), with some kind of lattice wood construction over the main entrance, a design reflected again it appears in the façade.
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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.
Let's all say "namaste" to Tune Ahmedabad, the first-ever Tune Hotel for India. Located in the "Science City", the hotel officially welcomed its first guests but not before hosting a colorful ceremony blessing the new building with flowers and other offerings.
Keeping with the Tune model of pay-for-what-you-use, a Comfort Package is available now for about an extra $9, which gives a full 24-hours of wifi, TV, and air conditioning access. If you're looking to dive into some vindaloo to start your day, for just over $3 you can tuck into breakfast in the lobby's XO Cafe.
The hotel is perfect for travelers looking to save a few rupees and still get a full Indian experience with some shopping and sport. Along with being annexed to the city's newly developed 4D Square Shopping Mall, Tune is also a short walk to the local cricket stadium, after all this is 'cricket country'. (the sport, not the insect)
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Just a week after we reported that the New York Edition would open a year early in 2014, we have more good news: Marriott has announced that it will introduce its Ian Schrager designed Edition in New Delhi within "the next few years."
Despite the Istanbul Edition being the brand's only open hotel (remember, the Waikiki Edition became the Modern Honolulu), you wouldn't know it from all the press and activity of late thanks to its eight properties in the pipeline: London (2013), Miami (2014), New York (2014), Bangkok (2015), Abu Dhabi, Gurgaon, Sanya, and New Delhi.
Back in October, we gave you the scoop on the London Edition, which is supposed to be the brand's big relaunch this year. The Miami Edition, unfortunately, just had its opening date pushed back by a year.
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An India-based company that specializes in designing bars for high-end hotels throughout New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore (including ITC Maurya, where Obama stayed during a visit in 2010) has come up with a new concept that's sure to catch people's attention: a fully-equipped personal bar for hotel suites.
The nifty "BarTrender Pro" basically whittles down all the elements of a high-end hotel bar—cocktail mixing station, built-in refrigeration, dual zone wine preservation, separate storage for glasses and bottles—into one compact, fully integrated unit.
Just looking at it, we get the sense that even ignoramuses like us who have never bartended a day in our lives (save for once, during college, which was a failure on all accounts) would be able to slap together a half-decent beverage. With the bar's attractive smooth surfaces and backlit shelves, at the very least, we'd look good doing it!
The bar has been on display at multiple showrooms in Jasola and Mumbai, and plenty of folks have expressed interest in buying a unit for themselves, but the company's chief designer said that production is still being limited to two hundred per year. He went on:
"These are prized possessions, and we plan sell limited numbers each year per region. Luxury hotel chains have considered the bar for their suites."
What do you think? Is this something you would use if it showed up in your hotel room? Or would you rather just head downstairs and order a drink the good old-fashioned way? Let us know your thoughts below!
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We’re used to seeing fab hotels open the world over (and don’t get us wrong –- there’s still a thrill with every one) but not many can boast being blessed during their opening by the Buddhist spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Well, the Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi can make that claim for their newly-opened modern property in east Delhi's Shahdara district.
Literally meaning “door of kings” in Urdu, Shahdara is on the banks of the Yamuna River and was established in the 16th century. It’s the second oldest locality of Delhi after Chandni Chowk and is home to the popular Chhota Bazaar, the second oldest and one of the busiest markets in the city known for its spicy street food, if you dare to try it. Many attractions are found nearby including the Akshardham Temple, the Buddh International Circuit F1 Grand Prix Track, and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
The hotel has a substantial 480 rooms and suites in two towers that are connected by a sky bridge. Each tower has a dedicated entrance, pre-lobby, main lobby ('cause you can never have too many lobbies), concierge and fitness center. Décor is a calming up-to-the minute palette of greys, browns and whites with shocks of color thrown in for good measure.
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg, star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing recently completed a trip to India. One of the stops on his luxury hotel itinerary? The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai which has rebounded incredibly well after 2010's terrorist attack. Here's his elevator review of the place:
If the English dictionary had one picture to describe the word sophistication, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai would be upfront and center. Few hotels in the world really hit that nail on the head. The George V in Paris, The St. Regis in New York, The Peninsula Hong Kong all have it down, and now that I have stayed in the Taj Mumbai, I realize why it has stood the test of time.
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg, star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing recently completed a trip to India. And of course, there were amazing views from his hotel rooms. Here's one of them:
By far, one of the most beautiful pools I have been to was found at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. The hotel also boasts one of the best views I have ever seen... That of the Taj Mahal. Every room looks out onto the pool, grounds and the magnificent Taj Mahal. Watching the sun rise and set from your room is one of those moments you have to experience in your life. Eat in the Indian restaurant for a wonderful experience.
Rates at the Oberoi start at 34,000 Indian rupees a night or about $640 USD. If you want to travel like Josh, you better get to selling some luxury real estate in Beverly Hills then!
We thought we'd covered it all when it came to the Swissôtels brand. Apparently not. Somehow the snuck in and added another hotel to their ever increasing portfolio and will be opening a resort hotel in the popular Indian coastal state of Goa this spring.
Unlike the business-centric aura that the brand is known for, The Swissôtel Goa is definitely aimed at the leisure set, with its location and layout. The town of Calangute is a popular year-round vacation spot in North Goa, just a one hour flight away from Mumbai and Bangalore and two hours from Delhi.
Instead of a regular tower, the 135 guestrooms and suites will be spread out among eight three-level buildings which will be set in a tropical garden filled with lily ponds and a courtyard pool. The lobby and rooms will also be designed using colorful works by the Indian artist Krishna Mehta. This reminds us of the lively patterns seen in the Swissotel Dresden property, which also broke away from the mold (just a bit) and gave some pizzaz to the Swissôtel name.
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Aman New Delhi
As of February 1, Aman New Delhi will be rebranded as The Lodhi, leaving the Aman brand behind. You wouldn't expect it perhaps based on the hotel’s exterior, but the nine-story building contains just 31 rooms and eight suites, all in a very contemporary and subdued style. Each room comes with its own private terrace, while suites sprawl out over 1,800 square-feet. A lower structure contains an additional 14 Lodhi suites, and Lodhi Pool suites, with up to three bedrooms, have access to their own private pool (prices for these come with the label "on request").
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: being the tallest or highest hotel in the city / country / world is a much coveted label (hello, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai!), and if that means killer views can be had, we’re not complaining.
This time next year, Mumbai will have a new contender for its highest hotel title, when The Aayu Mumbai opens on the top five floors of Kohinoor Square’s Central Tower, the tallest commercial building in the city.
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We have been spending so much time on cocktail culture (well, it has been a rough few months), we figured we should be a little more balanced with our beverage coverage.
We started a bit by paying some attention to another one of our favorite pasttimes--afternoon tea. That can mean a simple cuppa for some of you--a jolt of caffeine to carry you through the day, or for more leisurely sorts, a more elaborate weekend high-tea filled with all sorts of yummy delights. We want to focus on that one--so much more fun, yes?
Now that chillier climates prevail in many parts of the country, the call for afternoon tea is in full demand and these hotels put out what we think are mighty fine spreads. We’ve seen quite a few people duck in to a hotel around the 4’o clock hour and chill over a demitasse of Darjeeling, a curried-chicken finger sandwich, and a jam-filled tart. We heartily approve.
Just remember, pinkie's up!