Tag: Luxury HotelsView All Tags
As much as we like shiny new hotels and seeking out the latest places to lay our heads when we’re traveling, there is something about hotels that have seen the years come and go, withstood trends rushing in and passing just as quickly, and over time been woven into the very fabric of a city.
That’s why we sought out Mandarin Oriental Bangkok recently, one of the city’s oldest luxe hotels, having had its place on the banks of the Chao Phraya River since 1876 – that’s more than a hundred and thirty years of history. Specifically, we headed to the Author’s Lounge, so named in honor of the various literary greats that have walked through the doors of the hotel (from Somerset Maugham to John Le Carré and Joseph Conrad to Barbara Cartland).
Here, inside its whitewashed walls, sitting on white wicker furniture, and among potted palms and bamboo, is a window to a different time, one of steam trunk travel, genteel afternoons spent at leisure between cricket matches (or so we imagine), and of course – taking high tea.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Japan Hotels / Kyoto Hotels / → All Tags
When we looked at the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa last October, we mentioned that a fourth Japanese property was in the works in Kyoto, the country’s former imperial capital and home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is confirmed as opening on February 7, 2014, alongside a host of other new hotels being announced. We’ll give you a breakdown of what’s happening below.
Billed as an urban resort, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto will have 136 rooms on the banks of the Kamogawa River, with views of the Higashiyama Mountains. Traditional Meiji house and courtyard architecture is incorporated into the building’s structure, and the hotel will have four dining options, as well as meeting facilities and a spa.
After a questionable example earlier this week, we feel the need to cleanse our palate with something a little more refined in the hotel art category. Luckily, we came across the perfect example recently at the equally refined Four Seasons Bangkok.
Enter the airy lobby and walk straight ahead to the grand staircase in front of you, behind which you’ll find a stunning mural commissioned especially for the hotel. Hand-painted on Thai silk, it depicts in extraordinary detail the ascent of the Chakri Dynasty to the throne of Thailand.
Hotel News / Hotel Construction / Hotel Openings / Peninsula Hotels / Paris Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
There are many reasons why we are pretty excited about the upcoming opening of The Peninsula Paris. It will be the first European venture of the luxury group, and if the renovation efforts over in Hong Kong are anything to go by, accommodations should come with a technology and amenity overload.
Its arrival will see it go head to head with fellow Asians and relative newcomers Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental, as well as all sorts of longstanding competition that is upping its game. First shots last year showed a monumental building (the former Hotel Majestic) on one of the city’s fancy avenues, proudly displaying giant Peninsula advertisements, yet shrouded under construction covers.
Just over twelve months on, unfortunately much of the hotel is still under wraps, with only a sliver of the back being visible. While opening is still set as a Q4 2013, the subject to change that comes right after has us wondering whether we will still be stepping inside Peninsula Paris this year.
Walking into the hotel from rue St. Honoré, you’ll enter the main lobby, which is dominated by deep grey marble and a gold leaf ceiling. Reception is to your left, with the hotel courtyard straight ahead. During the warmer months there's outdoor seating, but the catwalk that runs through the middle was dominated by, in fact, cats when we were there, with red, black, and polished aluminium panthers as a temporary art display.
Hotel Anniversaries / Paris Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / Luxury Hotels / Dorchester Collection / → All Tags
Tomorrow, April 20, is a big day for Plaza Athénée Paris, when it will be one hundred years ago it first opened its doors on that same day in 1913. A major party is set to take place in the hotel’s courtyard, with over 600 guests expected, who among other things will be able to snack on a 10-meter anniversary cake.
Don’t be disappointed though if your invite got lost in the mail, as there are various ways throughout the year to join in on the fun, including a dedicated celebratory cocktail “Harcourt Baccarat”. Naturally, we had to venture over to the hotel and try this baby out.
FBI agent outside Helly Nahmad Gallery at The Carlyle Hotel
Looks like we've got another hotel heist on our hands, but this time it's of the legal variety instead of the unfortunate robbery that befell the Four Seasons. The latest target is the Carlyle Hotel, specifically the Helly Nahmad Gallery, which was raided by FBI agents on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. The gallery, which is a separate business from the Carlyle, has been a tenant since the 90s, with an entrance on the hotel's Madison Ave and 76th Street side.
The historic Carlyle has other famous residents, including Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey. According to a New York Times article, the gallery,which was filled with multimillion dollars worth of art including masters like Picasso and Francis Bacon, had actually appeared closed before the raid--its windows covered with brown paper and a sign on the door reading “We are closed for renovation, please ring the bell or call.”
The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is charging gallery owner, Hillel "Helly" Nahmad for racketeering, conspiracy, illegal gambling and money-laundering. Apparently the indictment details that Nahmad is behind a "high-stakes illegal gambling business run out of New York City and Los Angeles that catered primarily to multimillionaire and billionaire clients.” Nahmad surrendered to LA authorities yesterday.
Hotel Design / Luxury Hotels / Fendi / Virgin Gorda Hotels / Virgin Islands Hotels / Just Luxe / Sweet Suites / Hotel Lust / → All Tags
Just because you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line and make a multi-million dollar real estate investment at Oil Nut Bay, doesn’t mean you’re not welcome at all. Instead, guests and potential buyers are more than welcome to stay in one of their rentals and see what this multi-generational residential community is all about, while naturally taking advantage of all the five-star amenities and services (and with a price tag that starts at $1,500 a night, you can bet there are a few).
They always say you should test drive before you buy, and since Oil Nut Bay is only accessible by boat or helicopter, you might want to make sure this is a place you don’t mind disappearing to for a while.
Bloomberg News put out an extremely interesting report last week that discussed the fading five-star trend in the U.S. hotel industry. Developers are beginning to pass on five-star property projects, it said, focusing instead on lower-tier hotels.
The numbers are quite shocking. Three years ago, 23 five-star hotels opened in the United States. This year? Six. Last year? Six. Bruce Ford, senior vice president of sales at Lodging Econometrics, said that 90% of luxury (five-star) hotels are being developed outside of the United States, and analysts say the trend will continue given the financial and consumer-related conditions.
"It's nearly impossible to do a new five-star built in the U.S. that makes economic sense today," said Steven Goldberg of Robert W. Baird wealth management. "The total number of luxury hotel rooms is very likely going to be less in five years from now as compared to today."
Way back when in 2011, HotelChatter recommended snapping up one of the €20 Hotel de Crillon keychains in the shape of the Tour Eiffel as a cute holiday gift for your hotel-loving friends (or perhaps, yourself.) But today, you can get an even bigger piece of the ritzy Parisian hotel--like the front desk.
The Crillon, which recently closed to begin a two-year long intensive renovation project, is selling off everything inside from the front desk to the bathrobes to the rugs, china, silver, mirrors, sofas, tables, patio furniture, planters, bar stools and a lot more. (All in all there are 3,500 pieces up for sale.)
It's all going down on April 18-22 inside the hotel. We peeped one of the catalogs here and saw a couple of lobby end tables going for €200-300. One of the front desks was estimated to sell for €800-1200. A smaller one was going for €400-600. Sofas inside some of the suites are going for €300-500. A twin bed from one of the guest rooms were going for €400, you know if you're interested in buying furniture that hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have sat and slept on. (We're not going to even mention the other things they've done.)
It’s clear that dogs may be living large at Mandarin Oriental Paris, but what can a guest of the non-canine variety expect? How does the Asian luxury brand translate in this most French of settings, a block or so away from the Tuileries and the Louvre museum?
We’ll start by taking you inside a Deluxe Room, which is the step-up category from an entry-level Superior, and after which there is a range of options among the 99 rooms and 39 suites until you get to the Royale Mandarin Suite. The latter, a sprawling 2,700 sq ft, two-story affair, we saw in the midst of some pretty serious construction to insert, of all things, an elevator. Because really, when staying in the most expensive suite in the hotel, who wants to take the stairs?
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / London Hotels / UK Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The Savoy in London, managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, is launching its new Art Deco restaurant concept on Thursday, May 2: Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill. By naming it Kaspar’s the hotel is keeping alive one of its most celebrated (and superstitious) guests.
Here’s the story: In 1898, South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg.
To avoid a repeat performance and damage to its reputation, The Savoy offered a member of the staff to sit amongst tables of thirteen thereafter. However, unable to discuss private matters or tell ribald jokes, this proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar the cat was born.
This three-foot sculpture of a cat was made in 1926. For 90 years , The Savoy has been happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar's company, where he wears a jaunty napkin around his neck and is given his own place setting to enjoy every course.