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It’s over two years ago that Rocco Forte Hotels dropped The Augustine Prague from its portfolio, during some dark days before its current ambitious expansion plans. We had heard whispers that it would become a Park Hyatt hotel, but no: it is now part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection.
It was only yesterday that we were saying how Milan is so hot right now, but amongst the new openings, we didn’t expect this. A new hotel in Jeddah – as in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – is being designed to look like one of Milan’s most famous landmarks.
The Galleria Hotel’s lobby will be modeled on Milan’s famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which opened in 1877 and is one of the world’s first shopping malls.
It’s nearly a year ago that we last looked at a rendering of The Nile Ritz-Carlton, along with the not completely unexpected news that its opening would be moved back to 2015. That’s a solid six years after it was reflagged and began its extensive renovation, with now finally a formal announcement of a “late summer” arrival and an actual exterior photo.
The hotel will have 331 rooms, “reminiscent of the timeless style of Ritz-Carlton properties around the globe whilst being anchored in the flavours and traditions of Egypt”. We don’t have any visuals to go with that yet, but we’ll hazard a guess in saying it will be fairly traditional. Outside, there is an Olympic-sized pool with private cabanas, and the spa has a terrace for sunset yoga sessions overlooking the river. Restaurants will serve everything from Arabian to Continental and Italian food. The hotel’s website is still surprisingly spare, and reservations aren’t open yet, so more is to come.
Hotel Rebrandings / St. Regis Hotels / Kempinski Hotels / Moscow Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The first St. Regis in Russia, its arrival has come a little suddenly, which is easily explained by its previous life as a Kempinski hotel. Dating back to 1870, when it was built as the home of Count Orlov-Davydov, the hotel now has 210 rooms and suites with “belle époque interiors”, which includes the Royal Suite above. It’s… a lot. We’re not so sure about the grey/green and cognac leather combo, but mostly the sofa on the left hurts our eyes a little – not the only questionable sofa, it turns out.
Remember when we told you Kempinski Hotels sat down for 60 days with 60 designers from around the world to come up with the above, the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, meant to resemble the rising sun as well as a scallop (no, really)?
At the time, opening was scheduled for mid-November, which obviously didn’t happen – then just before the weekend, we got excited by some actual photography from inside the hotel on its website, as well as a ticker that showed only two days left to go. Checking back in today, ready for a cheerful “Now Open!” in its place, we’re faced with the setback of opening another ten days away. Boo… We’ll make do with those photos for now then.
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Europe’s busiest airports had a good year last year: citizenM arrived at Paris Roissy – Charles de Gaulle, the first European Element came to Frankfurt, and of course, the shirtless men of Moxy welcomed us at Milan Malpensa. With the last two of those openings courtesy of industry giants Starwood and Marriott, it seems appropriate that the latest news comes from Hilton Hotels, which is reflagging the former Kempinski hotel at Munich airport as the Hilton Munich Airport this month.
With that step, the almost proverbial “airport Hilton” is now available at each of the seven largest European airports (that’s London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris CDG, Munich, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Rome). There is more to the change in Munich than a different badge on the front door though, and construction in Amsterdam to replace its dated 1970s hotel is moving along too.
Kempinski Hotels are now accepting reservations for their largest and their most striking hotel to date in China.
The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing is located about an hour’s drive from Beijing’s city center and shares the site of a larger complex of Kempinski managed hotels overlooking the picturesque Yanqi Lake.
The design of the hotel—and this escaped even our eagle eyes—draws inspiration from the rising sun and other symbolism in Chinese culture. The architect, Shanghai Huado Architect Design Company, led a 60-day pow-wow with 60 designers from around the world, seeking a worldly perspective to come up with this unusual design, pictured above.
The 60 designers concluded that the hotel should resemble a scallop (anyone see a snail?) which is a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture. The large bull’s eye in the center of the hotel’s outside wall represents—we are told—the rising sun, which in turn reflects the rising Chinese economy.
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Howdy folks! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. Seriously, did all you hotelie people save it up for Labor Day Weekend? Sheesh. Anyways, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest. More news will obviously be forthcoming.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is Coming Soon: Get ready, Parrotheads! A beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will open on the beach in Hollywood, Fla. in 2015. It will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.
The Diplomat Becomes a Curio Hotel: The Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale, a massive convention center hotel, is doing away with the white green tea scent in its lobby as it rebrands from a Westin to a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton. The hotel was recently acquired by the Thayer Lodging Group who will make the change to Hilton in October. The property will also undergo a $100 million enhancement. The new name will officially be The Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Waldorf Astoria Naples Will Be No More: TripAdvisor reviewers were mumbling about the changes that are coming to this luxury hotel in Naples, Fla. Apparently, the hotel was recently sold and is now undergoing renovations and will go back to its former name of The Naples Grande Beach Resort. Which is perhaps best since most reviewers complained the property was not up to Waldorf standards. Renovations are expected to be done in January 2015. The name change could come at the same time too.
Auberge To Launch New Brand in Napa, After St. Regis Drops Out: Uh-oh. This is not good. A luxury resort in Napa, Calif. has not even opened yet and already it has switched management hands. The 117-room resort on Stanley Ranch has gone from a St. Regis to an Auberge Resort. It will open, possibly in 2017, as a "VieVage" resort which is a new brand from Auberg, that will be less expensive, more casual and more family-friendly than other Auberges. Here's more on VieVage. We'll be thinking good thoughts.
The keys were handed back last week, but you can still make reservations through Kempinski until September 10. If you have a booking for a future date, don’t worry – all existing reservations will be honoured as made. All staff remains with the property as well.
The Stafford isn’t going at it completely alone; by September 10 it will join Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The addition of The Stafford will take the total number of Preferred hotels in London to nine; existing properties include the ME London as well as the upcoming Beaumont Hotel.
Istanbul Week / Istanbul Hotels / Bosphorus Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Kempinski Hotels / House Hotels / Radisson Blu Hotels / → All Tags
Kempinski Ciragan Palace
Istanbul Week continues! Your must-stay hotels in your major areas are all well and good, of course, but what if you don’t care about the tourist sites or the nightlife or your bizness connections – what if you just want to wake up to the Bosphorus outside your door?
The downside of staying on the Bosphorus – other than the premium prices – is that it’s slightly out of the way, so makes it longer to get to the sites/your meeting/that hot new restaurant everyone is talking about. The upside of staying on the Bosphorus is that it’s so bloody beautiful, you’re unlikely to stray from your hotel. The solution? Work out how many nights you want in the other locations, and then add at least one (ideally two) on the water. You won’t regret it.
Here are some of the best waterfront properties:
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Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski Riyadh
Yet another list of hotel openings to get excited about. Today, we have a short list of Kempinski Hotels opening this year. Actually, it's kind of a long list when you look at it. Kempinski is Europe's oldest independent luxury hotel group which now operates 75 hotels in 32 countries. They'll be adding 11 new hotels across Africa, China and The Middle East (along with one serviced residences property in Switzerland) by the end of 2014. Starting with...
Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa (Republic of Congo)
Opening Date: Opened on March 01, 2014
Highlights: 237 rooms and suites, views of the Congo River, three restaurants, three bars, outdoor tennis courts, swimming pool and billiard and snooker rooms.
Burj Rafal Kempinski Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
Opening Date: Opened on March 02, 2014
Highlights: First hotel in Saudi Arabia for Kempsinski, closest luxury hotel to King Khalid International Airport, 349 rooms nd suites, a cigar lounge, three cafes, two restaurants, and a Resense spa with separate wellness centers for ladies and gentlemen.
Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski, Kigali (Rwanda)
Opening Date: Q2 2014
Highlights: Made famous in the movie, "Hotel Rwanda", the Hôtel des Mille Collines will be managed by Kempinski; 112 rome and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness center Located in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and made famous in the movie “Hotel Rwanda”, Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski features 112 rooms and suites, meeting and conference facilities, including a conference room for 120 people, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness centre.
Hotel Spas / Spas for Men / Kempinski Hotels / Turkey Hotels / Bodrum Hotels / Spa Packages / → All Tags
Okay, it won't be too much of a secret now but we just need to spread the word that Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay has released some perfect new spa treatments geared toward men. That's right, us guys finally get to experience the good stuff when it comes to a little pampering and rejuvenation while on vacation.
Nestled on the cliffs overlooking pristine Barbaros Bay, the hotel helps you forget all the dramas at home, regardless of gender. An idyllic spot for the utmost R&R can only be made better with a trip (or two) to the spa that sports the same views of the sun-bleached beaches and sparkling Mediterranean waters.
Men can choose from a three-hour, 40 minute series of treatments that are male-friendly and just "fussy ' enough. First things first, a typical Turkish treatment known as a Hammam cleansing with Kese scrub that is considered the heritage of the Ottoman Empire to open pores and exfoliate the body. From there, the boys will head off into a deep tissue massage, then facial, finishing off with a mani and pedi. (sans polish, of course)