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Something tells us we’ll need a recurring feature on new Four Seasons Hotels if the expansion strategy under its new CEO is going to take off even more than it has already; the list of potential future openings we have based on what floats around on the internet gets longer by the minute.
We mentioned Cabo last week, we’ve known about Disney for a while, there is Madrid, Turkey, and everything from Japan to Brazil as well. Today we are adding Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to that list, and tentatively, Venice.
Hotel News / Luxury Hotels / London Hotels / Hotel Openings / Singapore Hotels / Kuala Lumpur Hotels / → All Tags
The Royal Horseguards Hotel, on the River Thames
Think the luxury hotel market is crowded enough already? Not so, according to glh. (Global Hotel Company), which is planning to show all the big, established names out there how it is done with a brand new series of luxury hotels: Clermont Hotels.
They will start in one of the hottest markets there is – London – by transforming the Royal Horseguards Hotel into Clermont London, and have Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in the works. That’s just the start in an expansion to 30 properties over the next decade. And there is even more: glh. will be announcing two additional hotel brands in the near future. Feel as overwhelmed as we do? We’ll talk you through how this all came about.
Mall Hotels / Radisson Blu Hotels / Radisson Hotels / Minnesota Hotels / Hong Kong Hotels / Singapore Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Dubai Hotels / Kempinski Hotels / Kuala Lumpur Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Macau Hotels / Macao Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Seoul Hotels / Houston Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / → All Tags
Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Technology / Hotel WiFi / Portable WiFi / JW Marriott Hotels / Kuala Lumpur Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / Tokyo Hotels / → All Tags
Are wireless hot spots the next hot hotel amenity? Judging by these two recent reports from luxury hotels in Asia, they just might be!
YES has a table in the lobby, adjacent to the Front Desk, where guests can borrow (deposit, but no rental charge) a 4G station, called a “Huddle”. Then, for RM50 per day (USD15/day) you get all the wifi data you can eat. That includes downloading their app and turning your iPod Touch or iPhone, or iPad, into a VOIP phone for free… and, you can connect up to 5 devices at one time.
I’m on it right now with my laptop, and have also connected an iPad and my US iPhone 3GS. I now have all the data and calls I can consume, all at a flat rate.
The Huddle is slightly smaller than the iPhone, and would easily slip into my pocket. I now have a wifi hotspot with me, throughout KL… It just needs to plug in and recharge overnight.
Right now, this is only of value in KL, but what a great connectivity platform! Is this what 4G can do for hotels? No more data roaming overseas at randomly high rates?
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving company's dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway; at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
With some friends hanging out in Kuala Lumpur this week, without me, pretty much the only revenge I can get is by daydreaming of staying in a hotel that's far superior to their youth hostel. Getting a killer view will probably help to make my pals jealous, and so the choice comes down to the swimming pool and tennis courts of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur or the view of the famous Petronas Towers from Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur - two hotels which, incidentally, are the current top two on the TripAdvisor list.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
It sounds kind of dirty to say that you can see the world's biggest twin buildings without even leaving your hotel bedroom, but in this case it's true in the most non-sexual sense: this photo was shot from a room at the Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur by davidduran. And yes, those are the Petronas Towers. Straight out the window.
The Petronas Towers are officially the tallest twin buildings in the world (once upon a time, they were the tallest buildings on the planet but they've been dethroned by Taipei 101). And you can see 'em pretty well (that is, well enough to tell your friends you "saw" the towers) from The Traders, which is a 571-room Shangri-La property in the middle of the city.
Make sure you ask for a "Park View" room (the "City View" rooms, though they sound better, actually don't face the towers) and be prepared to shell out at least 700 MYR ($200-ish) for it.
Management at Raffles Hotels continue to sit in a room and throw darts at a globe – in other words, they've just announced yet another new Raffles in another new corner of the world. This time the dart has landed on Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
The Raffles Kuala Lumpur won't be ready until 2011 but they're promising to bring "unparalleled service" to KL. This new hotel will include 200 rooms and suites and will be found in the main business district of the city, within the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, one of KL's enormous shopping mall complexes.
Six different restaurants and bars sound like you won't need to leave the hotel for your entertainment at all – and one of them has opened already. Café Stelle is billed as a "light and refreshing" Italian café and they say it'll be an indication of the great service the Raffles Hotel itself will offer come 2011. It's been open for a few days and can be found in the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Finally, there'll also be a Raffles Amrita Spa at the new Raffles, and although we've never had the pleasure of a treatment at an Amrita, we've certainly heard on the grapevine that they're not unpleasant. It's just a pity 2011 sounds so far away.
[Photo of KL Pavilion: Filo.mena]
Tony Fernandes is a clever man. Not only has he pioneered low cost flying in Asia and now cross-continent to Australia and the UK, but he’s also started the Tune hotel brand – a bit like an even more budget easyHotel.
The idea is simple – charge rock bottom prices for a room (current offers range from 0.05 Malaysian ringgits, or $0.01) to a max of about 75RM ($20). Keep said room as basic as possible. Then ratchet up the bill by charging for the extras, and top up by turning the hotel into a giant billboard with ads everywhere –from the rooms to the lift.
For instance, we just spent three nights there. Our room rate? 75RM, or $20, a night. But add in a service charge, tax, admin fee, wifi, aircon and towel rental, and we spent 382RM ($104) in all. Was it worth it?