Tag: Luxury Hotels

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Bath's Royal Crescent Gets a Refreshing Makeover

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  Site Where: 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, United Kingdom, BA1 2LS
April 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

This famous curvy building is so big you have to go to the next town just to take a picture of it.

This week, a rather well known resident of Bath, England, The Royal Crescent Hotel, unveiled its stylish and historically-inspired new look. The hotel has one of the best addresses in town, at No. 16 Royal Crescent, a world-recognized landmark of architecture and urban planning dating to 1767.

The renovation followed the high-profile bankruptcy and auction of the Von Essen Hotel portfolio, which included this Georgian gem. The hotel was purchased in 2012 by private investment firm Topland Group, who proceeded with the much needed upgrades.

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Park Hyatt Bangkok Is Getting Its Twist

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  Site Where: Ploenchit Road, Bangkok, Thailand
April 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Having had such major openings recently as Sofitel So and W, Bangkok continues apace with new hotels over the next few years, from a Rosewood and a Capella to no less than three Hyatts (Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Hyatt Place).

The Park Hyatt will arrive first, scheduled to open next year in a mixed-use building on Ploenchit Road. While completion is still a while away, you can just about start to make out the “twisted coil” architecture that will give the building its distinctive shape. The white skeleton you see peeking out above the exterior cladding on the left swoops up into the tower element that will eventually house 173 rooms and 49 suites. Check out the rendering below to get a better sense of the end result.

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Tool Around Tokyo in a Peninsula Rolls-Royce or Audi R8

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  Site Where: 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 100-0006
April 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve been to Tokyo, you know it’s possible to go from historic serenity in one of its temples to futuristic frenzy among its skyscrapers in a split-second. That proximity of the traditional and modern comes through at the Peninsula Tokyo as well; pick the right aspect and you can gaze out from your technology-filled room over the Imperial Palace, and when it’s time for a ride in the house car, your options range from a restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II to a very 21st century Audi R8 sports car.

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Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Will Start Welcoming Guests on May 1

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  Site Where: Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam, Netherlands
April 16, 2014 at 9:38 AM | by | Comment (1)

Looks like the order in which Waldorf Astoria’s latest hotels are coming across the opening finish line is Beijing – Jerusalem – Amsterdam in the end. A few months ago, when we doubted Amsterdam would be completed by March, the official word was still exactly the other way around, but Beijing is open (pretty parasols and all), Jerusalem caught us by surprise by being ready a few months’ early (though there is very limited view of what it’s like inside yet), and Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is now scheduled for May 1.

Spread across six historic town houses that date back to the 1600s on one of the city’s central canals, the hotel will have 93 rooms and suites. The restaurant still awaits its name, but there will be the usual Peacock Alley, in this case on the Bel Etage, the principal floor of the town house accessed by a grand staircase from the entrance. Other things to look forward to are the private garden, the indoor swimming pool, and the Vault Bar, taking advantage of the building previously housing a private bank.

Reservations start from May 7 at the moment; we found a King Deluxe Room on that day for a not-inconsiderable €445 ($615). You can shave just over $90 off of that if you are willing to book an advance purchase rate. The 1,324 sq ft Brentano Suite will set you back €3,735 ($5,163) a night.

[Rendering: Waldorf Astoria Hotels]

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Spot Prince George, Mick Jagger, and More at Rosewood London’s Scarfes Bar

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  Site Where: 252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1 7EN
April 15, 2014 at 9:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

Little George Alexander Louis of Cambridge may be making his Antipodean debut on the current royal tour (and looking as a cute as a button in the process, we might add), but closer to his home of Clarence House, the baby Prince can now also boast his first caricature at Rosewood London’s Scarfes Bar.

Drawn by cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe, Prince George is in good company for many reasons: his creator’s credentials range from illustrations for the New Yorker to Pink Floyd, and aside from his immediately family (including QEII and one of her corgis), he is surrounded by everyone from James Bond and Simon Cowell to the Rolling Stones and David Beckham across eight large canvases.

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Ready, Set, Book: Fera at Claridge's by Simon Rogan Opens Reservations

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  Site Where: Brook Street, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4HR
April 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

It might have been all about booze last week at the Connaught London, but food is the focus right now at sister hotel Claridge’s, a hop and a skip across Grosvenor Square away.

We told you late last year Simon Rogan would be taking over from Gordon Ramsay as the hotel’s restaurant chef, and now there is not only a name and an opening date, but also the ability to book a table. From today, as of 9am this morning UK time, both online and telephone reservations are open.

The restaurant will be called ‘Fera’ (Latin for wild), reflecting “both the primal influence of nature and the highly seasonal ingredients used in Rogan’s cooking”, and officially opens on Tuesday, May 6 (a big day of openings for London). The website shows lots of images of Rogan’s farm in Cumbria, as well as the above shot of his team at work planning the layout of the tables that will seat 90 guests in total. A private dining room will accommodate a maximum of 12 guests.

If you want to book, head to http://www.claridges.co.uk/fera/ or call +44 (0) 207 107 8888.

[Photo: Claridge's]

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Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Will Be 'Ground Zero for Luxury'

April 11, 2014 at 6:31 PM | by | Comments (2)

Last night, Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts threw a glam poolside soiree at The Beverly Hilton to celebrate the long-awaited announcement of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. While we were momentarily distracted by the offerings at the chocolate bar and the drinks bar, not to mention the appearance of the ethereal and normal-sized Christina Hendricks, we did manage to study a scale model of the planned 12-story, 170-room hotel. Like many things in Beverly Hills, it's an expensive beauty, worth about $200 million.

The hotel has been a long-time dream for developer Beny Alagem who also owns The Beverly Hilton. Plans to bring the luxury brand to the city back in 2008 didn't quite work out thanks to concerned residents and the ensuing economic crash but now, the dream is finally becoming a reality. And in case you didn't already understand, having a Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills is a huge deal in the luxury hotel world.

"We are steps away from Rodeo Drive. This is "Ground Zero" for luxury," said John T.A. Vanderslice, Waldorf Astoria’s Global Brand Head. "And the fact that we are opening a Waldorf Astoria in here is out of this world."

But just how will this five-star hotel set itself apart from the other five-star hotels in town, some within walking distance like the Peninsula, The Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire and The Montage?

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Confessions of a Hotel Bartender, Vol. 5: Ritz Paris & Connaught London

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  Site Where: Carlos Place, London, United Kingdom, W1K 2AL
April 11, 2014 at 9:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

What happens when two famous hotel bartenders spend a week mixing cocktails in the same bar? In the case of Agostino Perrone, director of mixology at the Connaught London, and Colin Field, head bartender of the Ritz Paris, it’s a bringing together of styles, a list of delicious drinks as a result, and lucky for us, double the Confessions of a Hotel Bartender.

We stopped by the buzzing Connaught Bar to hear about Colin’s week-long residence in London and learned more about cocktails in an evening than we had in our entire lives, from molecular mixology being dead (in case you didn’t know already), to the story of an old Italian liqueur called ‘the Witch’, and of course, the perennial hangover-cure conundrum.

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What Would a Merged Fairmont and Four Seasons Look Like?

April 8, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (5)

It's taken us about a week but we're slowly getting used to the idea of Four Seasons Hotels merging with Fairmont Hotels (and Raffles and Swissotels.)

Given that both companies share a common investor--Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal--a merger isn't that surprising. Indeed, whispers on the inside of one of the tony hotel brands is that the merger is likely, although still nothing's been confirmed.

But when it does happen, we're extremely curious about how it will happen. Our source says the two companies will operate separately but does that ever really go as planned in a merger?

And what about the guest experience? We're guessing that stays separate too since Fairmont and Four Seasons have some wildly different properties (and not so wildly different ones.) But will Four Seasons guests have access to the Fairmont loyalty program and vice versa? (FS doesn't have a loyalty program per se but they do have an "By Invitation" program that gives regular, loyal guests some perks.)

So many questions and so little answers. If you've heard some "chatter" on this possible luxury union,let us know!

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Our First Visit to Shangri-La at the Shard London

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  Site Where: 31 St. Thomas Street, London, United Kingdom, SE1 9QU
April 7, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Having waited for so long, we were pretty psyched to check out Shangri-La at the Shard last week. One thing we can say for sure now that we’ve been inside? It will be unlike any other hotel in the city – the Asian-influenced design and skyscraper setting is more Tokyo or Hong Kong than London, even as you look out over the British rooftops.

Arrival happens through the ground floor lobby on St. Thomas Street, which has a reception desk, small seating area, and around the corner, coffee shop and patisserie LÁNG. We liked the mural made out of coffee cups and saucers (see below for a picture), and as the final furniture arrives, LÁNG will also get outdoor seating, between the Shard and the escalator that runs up to the concourse level of London Bridge station.

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Going Up to the Dizzying Heights of Shangri-La at the Shard London

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  Site Where: 31 St. Thomas Street, London, United Kingdom, SE1 9QU
April 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

About a month from now, Shangri-La Hotels will finally cut the ribbon on its long in the works skyscraper hotel at the Shard in London. Ahead of the May 6 opening, we packed ourselves into a construction lift - high-visibility gear, hard hat and all - for a first look at what you can expect between floors 34 and 52 of the Renzo Piano-designed landmark.

As we heard when reservations opened a few weeks back (opening rates start at £450 / $750), the ground floor lobby facing St. Thomas Street looks nearly finished, but some changes to furniture and set up are still to be made. We saw the sky lobby at level 35, which hits you with head-on views of the City and St. Paul’s, all the way west towards Westminster, the second you step out of the express lifts.

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Ritz Paris' Hemingway Bar Will Be at the Connaught London Next Week

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  Site Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1K 2AL
April 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you haven’t caught Colin Field, head bartender of Hemingway at Hotel Ritz Paris, at 30,000 feet on Air France, next week you will have the chance to drink his cocktails at lower altitude. Much lower in fact, as he will be setting up at the Bar in the Connaught London, during a week-long residence from April 7 to April 13.

Colin will be joining Agostino Perrone, director of mixology for the Connaught Bar, to create a special drinks menu that brings together their individual styles.

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