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Nearly a year and a half ago we looked at this pair of Parisian palace hotels and said they were deep into their beauty sleeps: Hotel de Crillon had just about a year behind it, while Hotel Ritz was hammering away at renovating rooms and public spaces for fifteen months already. While there is progress to report, both hotels are still far off from waking up.
We’ll flip the order this time and make a stop on Place de la Concorde first, where today you will see a temporary façade larger than the Crillon itself hiding the construction quarters that have been erected (a better view of how that works below). Forget also that 2015 opening; it’ll be nearer the end of next year, if not 2017, before Rosewood will have its third European hotel.
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Our scepticism about that (already delayed) March reopening for The Lanesborough London turned out not to be unfounded – the hotel now talks about an “end of Spring” return. That makes our estimate of June(ish) feel about right, and a recent walk by Hyde Park Corner does show some progress: the scaffolding that has obscured the hotel from view for so long is starting to come down.
Underneath is a freshly painted/cleaned exterior, and a few glimpses of the interiors are available courtesy of The Lanesborough butlers having taken to Twitter. Hashtags and the Albert Pinto-designed Regency interiors may seem a little incongruous, but among all that period design will be some advanced technology in the form of Crave tablets. From booking a spa treatment to getting a hold of your butler, all you need is the tablet.
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We popped into the bar on Saturday for an opening day drink. The bar itself isn’t so new – they’ve done up one side of it to look like the other, including layering the ceiling in gold leaf – gold leaf!
The rooms have been redone, but we didn’t get a chance to see them – expect pictures next week.
But it’s the lobby that’s seen probably the biggest change – from a traditional, even staid, plain white affair, to this hand-painted number.
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Having just added Hayman Island and Wolgan Valley in Australia, One&Only Resorts is going to triple its presence in Mexico, adding to its current One&Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos with two properties near Puerto Vallarta.
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Service charges – a topic that’s been in our minds on HC recently. The ethics of room service charges got us all wound up the other week, but what about normal service charges – the type that get added automatically to your bill, before you can say whether or not you wanted to leave a tip?
Automatic gratuities are becoming the norm in London now, with 12.5% the normal whack (apart from our funny little friends at Belgraves who automatically add 15%, thank you very much). For reference, 10% is what one would normally tip in London.
But here is the genteel way to present your service charge:
In her capacity as Miss Dior, Natalie Portman is (unknowingly we assume) helping Hôtel Lutetia Paris hide during its three-year closure / renovation - and full hiding mode it is for the hotel on Boulevard Raspail in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with half of the 1910 Art Nouveau façade covered by Miss Portman in part, and half by a giant external structure of construction quarters (below).
With final guests having checked out last April, and all contents of the hotel having gone on the auction block in May, the hotel is only ten months into that three-year overhaul, so don’t expect much before 2017 here. That sounds light years away, but with The Peninsula making its splash last summer (more on that soon), The Ritz Paris hopefully coming back by the end of this year, and Hotel de Crillon then picking 2016 for its return, that makes for a nice pace in Parisian Palace debuts, don’t you think?
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It’s nearly the weekend, there's lots of hotel news that is worthy of your attention, so here are a few snippets to keep you up to date on the latest from around the world.
Four Seasons Carmelo, Uruguay: we could almost do a weekly feature called the Four Seasons Chronicles, because the news about the Canadian group keeps coming in. Upping its hotels in South America with two new properties in Colombia just a few weeks ago, now it’s down one again by virtue of the departure of the resort in Carmelo, Uruguay by March 31 this year. By early March we should find out which brand will come in its place.
Shangri-La in Mauritius and Sri Lanka: having gotten the opening of its hotel at the Shard in London out of the way in 2014, this year Shangri-La Hotels will have islands on its mind. First, in Mauritius, the former Oberoi Le Touessrok will become Shangri-La Le Touessrok in September following a major renovation. On Sri Lanka, Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa should open just before that, with a second property in capital Colombo to follow in 2017.
One of Edinburgh’s treasured historic buildings is getting closer to becoming a luxury hotel. But don’t check your schedule yet, we can't tell you the name, the opening date, or the number of rooms. However, we do know it will bear a flag we all recognize and it will be a first for that flag in Edinburgh. Our thinking caps are firmly in place.
Built in 1829 on Calton Hill with an Acropolis-like presence, this Greek Revival building was originally a boy’s school, and has been empty and in need of TLC since 1968.
Converting the A-listed heritage site to a luxury “arts hotel” has been on the table since 2010 when developers Duddingston House Properties secured a 125-year lease on the property. Early plans raised both eyebrows and concerns from the public, preservation agencies, and city planning officials. Understandable but imagine the possibilities.
Hotel Construction / Singapore Hotels / Patina Hotels / Maldives Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Having learned about new brand Patina Hotels and its flagship The Patina, Capitol in Singapore four months ago, we strolled down Stamford Road to see how far along the transformation of the classic Capitol Building and Stamford House has come.
Above the view from the corner of North Bridge and Stamford Road towards the Capitol building – for an aerial view of the entire development go here. On the left you can just make out the modern addition that will house the Eden Residences Capitol, a series of apartments with views over Marina Bay and, in the example you can see by clicking that link, views from a private pool. Rather than an April completion (which seemed very soon to us), the Leading Hotels of the World website now lists “mid 2015” for opening.
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But now, in checking the hotel's website, we see that the hotel will actually be open on March 2. And the price has dropped down a bit to $729 for a classic king. Here's what you'll get for that rate, aside from the glittery Baccarat decor:
The Classic King’s refined palette of champagne, ivory, platinum, stainless steel and chocolate brown feels both classic and contemporary, setting off such considered accents as cashmere throws, marble-topped nightstands and hand-painted panels, plus Baccarat crystal sconces and tabletop pieces. Crisp white custom-made Mascioni jacquard linens cover the beds, and delicacies from Parisian gourmet shop Fauchon fill Baccarat-red enamel minibars. In the white-marble bathrooms, meanwhile, Italian robes await and amenities created exclusively for the hotel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris abound.
Guests will also be able to control their lighting, climate, entertainment and more by a tablet, which will also be wired into housekeeping, valet, a 24-hour concierge and in-room dining. Another cool touch is that the oversized, flat-screen TVs are "concealed within smoked mirrors." Sounds very "Fifty Shades of Grey" and we like it.
The steep rate, fortunately, does include complimentary WiFi. #richpeoplelikefreeWiFitoo
The courtyard at Rosewood London sure is pretty; we’ve known that since the group opened its first European hotel in the 1914 Edwardian Belle Epoque Building on High Holborn back in October 2013. Since then, it’s become home to the terrace of Holborn Dining Room (around the corner on the left in the above photo), but as of March 1, there will be more food – slow food – appearing every Sunday.
Between 10.30am and 3pm, rain or shine, the “Slow Food & Living Market” will “recreate the traditional marketplace shopping experience in Holborn and celebrate good, clean and fair produce from local growers and artisans”.
It’s pretty much a year and a half ago we learnt about Four Seasons coming to the South Korean capital of Seoul, and just as we have a better understanding of when exactly this year it will open and a first impression of what it will look like inside, the Canadian group throws in two more openings in the Colombian capital of Bogotá by the end of the year. We can’t keep up.
To cover off the Asian edition first, Four Seasons Seoul will open in September, just a few months after the initially predicted May arrival. Above that impression of a guestroom, of which there will be 317 in total, bringing in traditional Korean motifs centered around that new FS bed. Following what we saw in Johannesburg, we hope that that strong blue we spy is a sign of some interesting colors, fabrics, and patterns to find in the rooms. The brand new building will have seven places to eat and drink, including a “hidden drinking den” speakeasy. A website isn’t live yet, but when it is we’ll report back with details on rates and additional images.