Tag: Luxury Collection Hotels

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What's The Deal With Starwood Hotels' New Brand?

February 16, 2015 at 2:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

But will the new brand have eclairs like the Le Meridien does?

Last week, while everyone was so Hyatt Centric centric, news came out that Starwood Hotels will launch another "soft" brand that will be positioned somewhere in between the Luxury Collection Hotels and the newly acquired Design Hotels brand. (You can read about Starwood's takeover here.)

There has been no name or branding released and Starwood president and CEO, Frits van Paasschen, would only say that they are in discussion with hotel owners on the brand. But it looks like the brand will most likely be created by converting existing Starwood properties/brands.

Does Starwood, and the world in general, really need another hotel brand? No, most certainly not. But this news is also concerning because the purpose of this new unnamed brand sounds EXACTLY like what Le Meridien Hotels is attempting to do with their brand refresh, which is provide an upscale, design and culture-oriented hotel experience. (FWIW, it also sounds a lot like Loews' OE Collection.)

Of course, this new brand is still unfolding and it could fill a very real need for hotel guests. Also, the M word was also not mentioned and we're thankful for that. But still, this is very much to be continued....

Got any scoop on the new Starwood brand? Let us know!

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Starwood Will Be Next for Kyoto With Suiran, a Luxury Ryokan

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  Site Where: 12-1 Susukino-baba-cho, Kyoto, Japan
January 12, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

There was a time when the Hyatt Regency was considered the high-end Western hotel in Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. That changed with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton last year, where a more traditional Japanese experience is still very much possible though in its Tatami Suite. Four Seasons should have been there even before the Ritz, but these photos showed it is years behind schedule, which means the next big brand moving into ancient Kyoto will be Starwood Hotels.

Suiran, part of its Luxury Collection, should open already on March 31 and will be a ryokan-style hotel (a traditional Japanese inn) with just 39 rooms. Above a rendering of the hotel, set within the grounds of the Tenryū-ji temple, which will combine new accommodation with the restoration of historic structures “Enmei-kaku” and “Hasshoken”.

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Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam Is Leaving Starwood's Luxury Collection, What Will It Become?

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  Site Where: Prinsengracht 315-551, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Netherlands, 1016 GZ
November 28, 2014 at 9:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just after we learned that Starwood’s footprint in London will be shrinking with The Lanesborough joining Oetker Collection early next year, here is the news that the same is happening an hour’s flight away in Amsterdam: Hotel Pulitzer, currently part of the group’s Luxury Collection, will depart on April 1, 2015.

That raises a few interesting questions given the limitations of the city’s hotel market (practically zero room for new development in its historic centre), recent arrivals and a few upcoming projects (Andaz, Conservatorium, Waldorf Astoria, Hoxton, and Hyatt), and the rumors we hear about other brands eager to get into the city.

While we have a soft spot for the Pulitzer (25 historic canal houses cobbled together in an unbeatable location on one of the city’s main canals, an interior garden, an annual concert held outside on the water, its own canal boat), it could use a refresh of rooms and public spaces. Could we see that happening, after which a big name will swoop in and raise its flag above the front door? Four Seasons Hotel Pulitzer perhaps? (Although we’ve heard whispers of an as-yet unspecified location further south for the Canadian brand).

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Napa Valley's Historic Acacia House Will Become Las Alcobas, A Luxury Collection Hotel

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  Site Where: 1915 Main Street [map], St Helena, United States, 94574
October 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM | by | Comment (1)

Need an excuse to start planning another trip to the wine country? Starwood Hotels has got your back, with the announcement that historic Acacia House, on Main Street in St. Helena, will be renovated and become Las Alcobas, one of its Luxury Collection Hotels.

True, you need a little bit of patience, with opening planned for somewhere between autumn 2015 and early 2016, but it’s never too early, right?

The renderings of the site and the building above are all we were able to dig out from the architect’s website, which shows how everything around the main house will be razed to make way for a number of new annexes that we presume will house the majority, if not all, 57 rooms. The above doesn’t scream luxury hotel to us, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve seen more. Meeting facilities, a signature restaurant, and spa with outdoor pool will be added as well.

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What to Drink With Your Selfie At the Grande Bretagne In Athens

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
September 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve shown you the Selfie Spot at the Grande Bretagne in Athens and we’ve banned you from taking selfies. So what else can you do up there? Well, you can take glorious panorama photos of Athens and the Aegean Sea. Or you can drink.

The GB Roof Garden has a restaurant and a separate bar area with outside terrace. (NB: The bar area is right by the Selfie Spot, if you need Dutch courage to get your selfie juices flowing.) Cocktails vary from €14-€21 ($18-$27), there’s free WiFi, free (bottled) water served with drinks and some rather snazzy bar snacks including candied fruit. It’s all very civilized.

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The Selfie Spot At The Grande Bretagne In Athens Is Wasted On Selfies

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
September 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

If there’s one thing that’ll get us on a plane to Athens, it’s a designated selfie spot. We jest, of course – but the idea of a designated selfie spot was so horrifying compelling that during an afternoon in Athens last week, we had to go and see it for ourselves.

The selfie spot is at the Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square (Athens' main square), though to our relief, when we asked at the concierge desk where to find it, they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. To save you the mortification of trying to explain the concept of a selfie spot to an Athenian - right there in the cradle of democracy, literature, philosophy and everything else that selfies run in the face of - just head to the rooftop bar and restaurant.

The selfie spot, it has to be said, is incredible in the flesh. Of course, an Acropolis view in Athens is no big deal - the majority of hotels have them from rooftop terraces, if not from the rooms themselves. But most Acropolis views are not like this (the only one that comes close, we reckon, is the Hilton, which is a little further out of the city center). The Grande Bretagne not only dominates the skyline around it, meaning you’re looking straight at the Parthenon, but glance to your left and you’re looking straight at the Greek Parliament, with the Evzones soldiers trooping around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.

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Your Fairy Tale Castle Awaits In Dalian, China

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  Site Where: No. 600 Binhai West Road, Shahekou District, Dalian, China, 116023
September 22, 2014 at 8:58 AM | by | Comments (3)

What happens when you throw Neuschwanstein, Shrek 2, the Princess Diaries, and the Queen of Versailles in a blender and take the result to China?

This: The Castle Dalian, one of the latest additions to Starwood’s Luxury Collection (or at least that’s how we like to imagine the creative process went). Especially in CGI rendering, it has a more than a touch of Dreamworks to it, but it’s very real, and has hotel rooms inside that you can book. Check out the understated minimalism (not) you will find inside below.

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Where to Stay in Warsaw, Europe's Cheapest Five Star City

Where: Warsaw, Poland
September 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM | by | Comment (1)

Hotel Bristol, your token five star

Warsaw. It may not be top of your European breaks wishlist (hell, it probably loses out to Krakow in your Poland wishlist, too), but it does have one thing going for it – it was recently judged the European city with the cheapest five star hotels.

Actually, there’s far more to say for Warsaw than that. Flights are uniformly cheap (last year we flew from London on Ryanair for £18, or $29 return – yes, total), and while some of the modern city is grim, the Old Town is gorgeous, plus there’s loads of interesting history, the 1944 Uprising Museum and Jewish Museum for starters.

So yes, you definitely want to go to Warsaw. And here are some of our favorite places to stay. They’re not all five star hotels – but then, you can probably find your own five star hotel, right?

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Starwood Hotels to Open 3 Very Important Hotels in China Next Month

Where: China
August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has done exactly what they said they would do in their expansion into China and the Asia Pacific. There are, and have been for quite some time, more hotels in the works than we can keep up with. Almost all Starwood brands have or will soon have an address in China, including Element Hotels, which is opening next year.

We've tried to list all that we know of that's happening with Starwood in China on our Master Openings List, but as seasoned readers of the list know, things change quite a bit and most hotels, get pushed onto the next year.

However, Starwood has three important openings in China in September, with properties that are very big on design and luxury. Here they are:

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This Hotel in Athens Has a Designated Selfie Spot

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
August 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.

But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.

The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.

[Photo: SPG Greece]

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Funky Friday: The Funkiest Hotel By the Funkiest Architect Ever

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea 1, Elciego, Alava, Spain, 01340
February 28, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

There are many definitions of the word “funky”, ranging from a musical genre to less than pleasant smells. The Urban Dictionary, however, offers one that we like, “different, but cool, nice.” There are many hotels that qualify for this adjective and we are happy to give them due consideration. Today we revisit one undeniably funky hotel, Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by the man who invented funky architecture, Frank Gehry, who is 85 years old today.

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Twenties Glamour Reigns At Prince de Galles Paris

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  Site Where: 33, Avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
December 12, 2013 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

That Prince de Galles, Starwood’s Luxury Collection entry in the Parisian palace bracket, was going full Art Deco in its design to pay homage to its 1920s roots, we knew from our preview earlier this year.

Back then, the finishing touches were still being done, so we wandered down ultra-chic Avenue George V during a recent stop in Paris to check out the final result. If the Twenties are your era and Art Deco is your style, Prince de Galles should be high on your list of places to stay in the city. From the ever so stylish black-and-white prints that line the walls and luscious black marble floor in the lobby to the moodily-lit bar and mosaic-tiled courtyard, Twenties glamour is what it’s all about.

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