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Bummed because Four Seasons got edged out by Pan Pacific for the hotel portion of the Heron Plaza development? We’re here to brighten up your day, because not even a month has passed since that announcement and Four Seasons is back on track for its third London hotel, miraculously enough also midway between its current Park Lane and Canary Wharf outposts.
How? The Canadian group will be managing the hotel portion of Ten Trinity Square, a development at Tower Hill we first looked at at the beginning of the year (it’s the conversion of the former Port of London Authority if you recall) and then over the summer together with its neighbor citizenM to see whether they’d be opening next year.
In two days time, Scotland will go to the polls to decide whether it wants to become an independent state or remain part of the United Kingdom. Politicians and business people are tussling over what would be better for the country.
In the meantime, Scotland’s most expensive hotel ever – the first to charge £1000 a night – has quietly closed its doors.
The Atholl, in the West End of the city, opened in 2012 after a £5m conversion project. And now, according to owner Alison Davies (and the Daily Mail), it’s closed for good. No more Hermes wallpaper, no more Albert Roux restaurant, no more “award-winning garden”. The hotel will be converted into apartments.
Double departure this summer from Indian group Taj Hotels: as of last week, it has said goodbye and farewell to the Taj Palace Hotel in Marrakech, which you’ll perhaps remember was conveniently located in Abu Dhabi for the purpose of Sex and the City 2 (when in real life it was meant to be a Mandarin Oriental).
A very short statement has replaced the former hotel website, and as of now we can’t see what name the hotel will carry going forward. We’re curious what caused the breakup of this marriage though; perhaps it’s the overcapacity of luxury hotels in the Moroccan city?
The exit in Marrakech comes after a change on the other side of the world in July, when Taj sold Blue Sydney (what once was the W) to the Ovolo Group. While it’s still operating as Blue Sydney at the moment, the hotel will officially become an Ovolo by the end of October.
[Photo: Taj Hotels]
Hotel Restaurants / Paris Hotels / Alain Ducasse / Luxury Hotels / Dorchester Collection Hotels / → All Tags
If there’s one thing you can say about French restaurants, it’s that they’re not exactly known for being vegetarian-friendly *tries to expunge traumatic memories from teenage school trips from head*. Which makes this news even more spectacular: When Alain Ducasse reopens his eponymous restaurant at the Plaza Athenée today, the emphasis will be on vegetarian and pescatarian food. (Please note: this could also be a sign of the impending apocalypse.)
Beijing is adding a few more big names to its roster of hotels this fall: the W should arrive after some major delays in by the end of the month and Rosewood Hotels is set to open its first Chinese hotel in October.
What slightly confuses us is that on the weekend we were able to make reservations from October 20, but right now the availability calendar is blocked out well into 2015. We’ll just assume that’s a temporary glitch and not an indication of the opening date being at risk.
When it does open, Rosewood Beijing will have 283 rooms opposite the twisting CCTV Tower by Rem Koolhaas. Above an impression of what you’ll find inside, which we saw – and liked – for the first time a year ago: clean lines, dark woods, whites, and a bit of burnt orange (cognac?) in the swivel chair. There is of course a variety of rooms and suites, including a number of Spa Suites that have in-room treatment areas.
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Scouring around for information about the forthcoming JW Marriott Venice yesterday, we stumbled upon a rather exciting piece of news: Rocco Forte is planning to open a hotel in Venice.
According to La Nuova, RF himself said that Venice is “attractive” (no, really?), and that he’s looking for a property. The only problem is:
Venetian palazzos are small, and it’s difficult to find space for a 60-room property, which is what we’d like.
Simples, Rocco – buy an island.
That article is from 2012, so let’s hope they’re close to finding something by now. In the meantime, here are three other recent Venice openings (all 2013) that’d be worth a shot:
They had us at “free champagne”.
To celebrate the launch of its new all-day dining menu in Palm Court, the Langham London is giving everyone a glass of Laurent Perrier if they order two courses off the menu before 13 September. Don’t mind if we do!
The new menu is available 11am-10.30pm, seven days a week. Prices are what you’d expect, or possibly a little under – we’re talking £12 for the cheapest appetizer (a Fourme d’Ambert and endive salad with candied walnuts), £19 for a burger, or £29 and up for a steak.
The menu, too, is nothing surprising – seafood and caviar, burgers, steaks, and traditional mains like grilled chicken breast or whole roasted Dover sole. Check out the full menu here.
If your list of Dublin hotel room requirements includes things like duplex, roof terrace, and private cedar wood hot tub, the just refreshed Penthouse at The Merrion brings all of those things together. Sixteen years after it was first opened, the hotel has redone the two-floor space, which includes the above master bedroom. Between the furniture (desk chair, sofa), drapes, and colours, it strikes a rather feminine tone to us; more images of the rest of the suite below.
Hotel Selfies / Selfies / Hotel Social Media / Hotel Packages / Luxury Hotels / Paris Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
If you thought a designated selfie spot was as vain as things get, think again. Not to be outdone by the Athenians, the Parisians, those undisputed global masters of the pout, have come up with a “selfie package”. This has to be at somewhere millennial or ironic, right? Mama Shelter? Citizen M? Pas du tout! It’s at the Mandarin Oriental. Le selfie 'as well and truly landed.
The Selfie in Paris package nets you a room with breakfast, plus three hours in a private car – with driver and in-car WiFi. The hotel will also provide you with a list of the finest selfie backdrops in Paris, including “lesser known vantage points”, “romantic backdrops” and “other imaginative city sites that provide the perfect backdrop for self expression”.
Secretly thinking this sounds great but outwardly embarrassed about booking a package that’s all about vanity? Here’s your excuse. Any photos you upload on your journey from October to January that are taken at approved MO Selfie Spots, posted on social media and tagged appropriately (full details here) will be entered into a monthly competition to win a one night stay at the Mandarin Oriental.
So really, the Selfie in Paris package is just the cheapest way of staying, right?
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It used to be just the Jude Laws and the Benedict Cumberbatches that sold out London theaters, but these days, sell-out shows are all over the West End. But never fear if you wanted to see Gillian Anderson in the much-acclaimed Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire, or can’t make it up to Stratford-upon-Avon to catch the latest RSC production, because you can see them in the distinctly civilized setting of One Aldwych’s screening room. Yeah for hotel culture!
The Live At One series, which starts 3 September, will feature live feeds from the most sought-after productions around the UK: The Two Gentlemen Of Verona from the RSC (3 September), Streetcar Named Desire from the Young Vic (16 September), Manon from the Royal Opera House (16 October) and so on. The program includes opera and ballet, as well as plays, and you’ll have a two-course meal before the show at Axis, a glass of champagne while you watch, and dessert and coffee served in the interval. Food is billed as the best of British, with Cornish mackerel, Kentish cob nuts and loganberries amongst the ingredients (not together).
Tickets cost £49.50 (they seem to be the same price, whatever the production), which is pricey (considering National Theatre tickets start at £10) but not horrendous, if you remember that three courses and booze are included - and it's a boon for those of us who can't organize our diaries six months ahead to buy tickets, or can't make it to Stratford. Dinner starts at 5.45pm, with the screenings from 7pm.
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Here is some news that will shake you out of your summer lull faster than even London’s unseasonably frigid temperatures could have: Singapore-based UOL Group Limited has acquired the site for the future Heron Plaza development on Bishopsgate and plans to open a hotel under its Pan Pacific brand inside.
Not only will that be the first Pan Pacific for Europe, and only the fifth outside Asia-Pacific (there is Seattle, Vancouver, and Whistler times two currently), it is also the end for what everyone had long accepted would be the third Four Seasons hotel in the city.
UOL paid £97 million for the land, which currently has planning permission for a 43-story tower with 109 residences, 190-room hotel, and retail. The group will “review” that configuration, so we assume that will mean room count will change.
If it aint broke, of course, there’s no need to fix it – unless the unbroken thing we’re talking about is afternoon tea, and the ‘fix’ is a gin injection.
Dukes St James in London is bringing together these two great British institutions with its G&Tea: basically afternoon tea, except with a tea-infused G&T instead of the hot stuff.
The gin in question is Beefeater infused with black tea leaves – either Earl Grey or Black Vanilla. It’s served Prohibition-style in a china teacup, either cold with ice and tonic, or as a hot punch on cold days like this week. Could it get more magnificent? Yes – you also get your normal food spread of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. It costs £35, which is pretty great value for London, considering the alcohol.