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Pretty sure this is the Patina
The scene: the breakfast buffet at the Sofitel So Singapore. The date: last Wednesday. The characters: a group of smartly dressed men and women having a business meeting. And us at the table next door, listening in.
We hadn’t realized when we sat down, but these people were in the hotel industry – two of them seemed to be on a giant hotel of Asia (take us with you?), and they were discussing the scene. They talked about millennial hotels, they talked about HotelChatter (hi!) and then they started talking about Patina Hotels, a forthcoming brand for Singapore. So we googled. And Patina looks incredible.
Behind it all is the Kwee family from Singapore, who own Capella, the Conrad, the Regent and the Ritz-Carlton. The first, and flagship, property will be The Patina, Capitol Singapore, part of a $750 redevelopment project of the old Capitol movie theater (Singapore’s first) on Stamford Road, and designed by Richard Meier (yes, the Richard Meier) and Jaya International Design.
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If you’re looking to capture the last moments of Four Seasons Hotels before they close, your itinerary is no longer limited to Hawaii’s Lana’i this year (one of the two hotels there, The Lodge at Koele, will shut early January for most of the year, as part of Larry Ellison’s plans for the island).
You’ll be heading to the Irish capital Dublin and Jakarta, Indonesia, too – quite the reach for a three-country jaunt, isn’t it? In Ireland, the goodbyes are forever, with the announcement that the group will cease management of Four Seasons Dublin on December 31 this year. Luxury hotels in Dublin have had a tough run since the 2008 crisis, with probably some of the lowest rates we’ve seen of any European Four Seasons, often hovering around the €200 ($250) mark, if not just below, at the hotel. The Irish Times reports that the hotel was sold in 2011 for €15 million, believed to be a quarter of what it cost to develop the hotel in 2001. Another “five-star international brand” will be taking over, so we’ll have to wait and see which one that is – perhaps InterContinental?
Nowadays, it's rare for a hotel to open up without some sort of spa component--whether it be its own state-of-the-art spa facility or simply, a partnership with a local spa. But while it's convenient to have a massage therapist who's just a button on the house phone away, guests in need of a deeper physical work, and emotional healing, should head to a real spa, one that just happens to have hotel rooms attached.
Like the new incarnation of Golden Door near San Diego which has reopened for week-long, spa intensive stays.
Golden Door first opened in 1958 and was a favorite for screen stars like Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, and Elizabeth Taylor. It remained a fave of the A-list, through an expansion in the 1970s, up until the late 90s when the retreat was acquired by a larger corporation and lost a little bit of of its soul. But in 2012, the spa was given back to private ownership (Joanne Conway to be exact, a frequent guest and wife of billionaire philanthropist, Bill Conway) and has since undergone its own dramatic transformation.
That’s because it’s a separate entity – done by Infinite Luxury, a Phuket-based, English-started design company. Kata Rocks will open November 28 on the southern end of Kata Beach, with a slightly different feel than Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks – it’s for grown ups, for starters. Think a bunch of those modernist houses from the Hollywood Hills transplanted onto the hillside (and beachside) of Phuket. In fact, there's more than a hint of Malibu to it, too.
The aim at Kata Rocks, rather than to get blasted and dance like Leo DiCaprio, is to indulge in “effortless and luxurious relaxation” – now that’s something we can get behind. Accommodation is in 34 individual Sky Villas rather than rooms – and they look fantastic, with bright white, modern interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea, TVs set into the ceiling and – get this – their own private pool.
The Delano Las Vegas, while strongly inspired by the original Delano in South Beach, is very much its own hotel.
We like to think of it as, "Delano Does the Desert", since much of the hotel's design and subsequent vibe, was inspired by the surrounding area. Like the towering boulders, sourced whole from the Nevada desert that now, split in half, grace the entrance to the hotel. And the long narrow carpet in the lobby that's meant to be a picture of the winding Colorado River. And just before you approach the reception desk, you're greeted by a a few hundred rocks hanging from the ceiling (an installation piece from Korean artist Jaehyo Lee.)
Up in the all-suite guest rooms, however, there's less Nevada and more New York with white leather furniture, gold accents and black and white photography. That cosmopolitan style carries up to hotel's 28 penthouse suites, which are found on floors 60-62. Each suite averages about 1,642 square feet but there are a couple of different layouts. Allow us to tell you about two of them.
These early New York buildings will be forfeited to make way for a new hotel tower that will be over the top in luxury, if not over the top of some of the neighbors' views
Manhattan’s posh West 57th Street, commonly known as "Billionaires Row," is slated to become the address for New York’s first seven-star hotel. The yet to be flagged luxe hotel is being developed by Vornado Realty Trust and Le Frak Organization, who individually or collectively snagged the three small buildings shown above, now under demolition.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Vornado’s head honcho Steven Roth announced plans for a seven-star hotel, and that’s really all anyone has to go with at the moment. We haven’t seen any renderings yet, but we will, obviously, be tracking the hotel's progress, its design, and its seven-star attributes.
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Rolls Royce Phantom
Here's one way for a hotel to drum publicity before opening: Place the world's single-largest order for Rolls-Royces ever.
There were no figures released on how much the cars were purchased for, but given that the hotel recently raised another $135 million in funding, we're guessing money was no issue. The total cost of the hotel, shown in rendering format below, will be about $1 billion.
It may take another half decade for Peninsula Hotels and Harrods to become permanent neighbors, when The Peninsula London opens in the department store’s Knightsbridge ‘hood, but that isn’t stopping the two brands collaborating this fall.
Until October 7, one of the department store’s window displays features the above shot of The Peninsula Paris, which we showed you when we previewed the hotel in June, along with six digital windows featuring images of the building on Avenue Kléber.
During the month of October, more visuals from Paris are projected on four screens placed near some of the store’s entrances and escalators; perhaps a way to tie you over until you’ve found that $1,000+ it takes to stay the night. The display also contains a miniature version of the “Dancing Leaves” Lasvit installation found in the lobby of the hotel.
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Just as we suspected, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is taking over the 124 rooms and suites at the luxury resort, One Bal Harbour in October and here's official proof that the takeover is happening: Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour website is up with a note that reservations will be accepted starting October 2.
Maybe there is something in the water at this hotel. The property first opened in 2008 as a Regent Hotel.
So far, it looks like nothing will change, at least not superficially. Mister Collins, the all-day dining restaurant, will remain open as will the spa. Guestrooms start at 510-sq.ft. and most have full or partial ocean views. One and two-bedrooom suites are also available, starting at 1,657-sq.ft. with private terraces and full kitchens. Ritz will, however, bring in both their Ritz kids and Ritz pets programs.
We weren't able to make a reservation yet on the Ritz site but rooms were still available on the One Bal Harbour site for $549 a night on October 2. There was no mention of the Ritz switch so we'd be careful about making a reservation right now.
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]