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Adding 2,000+ hotel rooms to your group’s portfolio in the space of four months is pretty impressive, but JW Marriott is doing that by opening just two hotels. Last month, we welcomed JW Marriott Austin, at 1,022 rooms the beginning of a little hotel boom in the city, and on May 27 it will finally be time for JW Marriott Macau to open its 1,015 rooms. Between these two and the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai (1,600 rooms), JW Marriott is clearly going big, while at the same time not being afraid of a little private island action (or a little creative CGI).
Above a rendering of an entry-level Deluxe Room inside the hotel, part of the $1.9 billion Galaxy Macau complex. They come in at around 500 sq ft and seem to price around 2,388MOP (that is Macau Pataca), or $300 a night for an “Unlimited Urban Escape” package that includes breakfast, WiFi, and a “Grand Opening Welcome Gift”.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Hotel Renovations / Leading Hotels of the World / Luxury Hotels / Madrid Hotels / Spain Hotels / Europe Hotels / → All Tags
Don’t you love it when a hotel does a reno and decreases the number of rooms rather than increases them? The Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid (part of Leading Hotels of the World) renovated the property between 2007 and 2009 and we mean gutted it – demolishing everything but the building’s façade and the floors – and took the room count from 182 to 150 rooms and suites. This leaves you with some of the most spacious rooms in Madrid.
Madrid-based interior designer Thomas Urquijo is the master planner behind the design, which is best-described as contemporary elegance. There's a touch of Bauhaus, Viennese Secessionism and Louis XVI styles all thrown in there, with both public and private spaces bathed in earthy greys and off-whites. Furniture is a combo of restored antiques and modern additions, and one nice touch is the colorful artwork found throughout the hotel, all part of the private collection of the hotel’s Portuguese owners who, we were told, also own the Four Seasons Lisbon.
Found in the posh Salamanca district, right in the heart of Madrid’s ritziest shopping, the hotel’s rooms and suites are broken down into seven separate categories, starting with the Magna Room all the way to the Insignia Suites. But get this: the smallest room category, the Magna Room, is a whopping 376 sq ft. As a comparison when we stayed at the ME Madrid in one of their Energy Rooms (the last room category just before you hit the suites) it was only 265 sq ft. Sometimes bigger really is better.
See all of the pics in the photo gallery!
Move over Four Seasons Nevis! There’s a new luxury player in town, albeit a much smaller one. The boutique villa resort Paradise Beach Nevis is open for business – and its seven three- and four-bedroom villas look like paradise indeed.
The beachfront property is the former Villa Paradaiso, which had only a six-year run before it closed in 2008. Over the course of a two-year renovation, the roofs have been rewoven and furnishings updated under new ownership. Built with Indonesian-thatched roofs, hand cut exposed beams and 20-foot vaulted ceilings, the suites can accommodate up to eight guests and come with private outdoor shower rooms, which open to secluded patios and private plunge pools.
While there is butler and concierge service, there are no on-site restaurants and spa treatments are performed in the villas or beachside, not in a formal spa. Alas, no worries, discerning travelers can walk 10 minutes down to the Four Seasons for such amenities and come home to their spacious villa.
Rates start at $1,400 per night for the first weekend in May.
[Photos: Paradise Beach Nevis]
Hotel Bars / Hotel Cocktails / London Hotels / Maybourne Hotel Group / Luxury Hotels / Mayfair Hotels / → All Tags
Right around this time last year, we saw first-hand what happens when two famous hotel bartenders spend a week mixing cocktails in the same London hotel bar: a double feature of Confessions of a Hotel Bartender and six specially-selected cocktails to drink your way through.
The bar at The Connaught, where all of this went down, was packed during Colin Field’s week long residence in Agostino Perrone’s home, but it almost always is. Luckily, there is now this: the Champagne Room at the Connaught Bar – a small, secluded drinking spot accessible either through an internal passageway from the main bar or through a set of heavy curtains off of a quiet corridor behind the lobby.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
When contributor JetsetCD toured the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo in 2011, she was impressed with the pool and beach options, the bi-level spa, a putt-putt course (in addition to an Arnold Palmer 18-hole course), a grass tennis court and the surprise sightings of white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, Coatis and iguanas.
All this and more made it not surprising that the room rate hovered at nearly $400 a night. But now there's even more to be wowed about at the resort, thanks to a new "property enhancement" aka renovation.
Above is how the resort looked when JetsetCD popped in. Keep reading to see what the resort looks like today!
Hotel Openings / Baccarat Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
Are you a billionaire searching for an elegant stay in New York? Well, you're in luck. The first-ever Baccarat Hotel has officially opened in New York.
The hotel’s Grand Salon, Petit Salon, Bar and guest rooms opened on Wednesday (about two weeks behind schedule) while the Chevalier Restaurant and the Spa de La Mer, the first of its kind in North America (and as in the Creme de la Mer moisturizer celebrities swear by) set to open in the near future.
Classic king rooms are still open this weekend and are going for $729 a night, with Grand king rooms for $844 a night while the 850-sq.ft. Prestige Suite is about $2,379 a night.
You can read more about what's inside these luxe hotel rooms here but if you have to ask what $729 a night will get you, then obviously you don't belong here. #kidding #kinda
[Photo: Baccarat Hotels]
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Shanghai Hotels / Ahn Luh Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Remember when we talked about Ahn Luh Resorts & Residences, a new Chinese luxury hotel brand that, among others, has Adrian Zecha of Aman Resorts behind it? That’s well over two years ago, but it looks like there will soon be something tangible to look at and try out the “essence of Old World Chinese hospitality in today’s context of contemporary elegance” that Ahn Luh is hoping to bring to us.
Here is what you need to know: there are six hotels in the pipeline, all in China for now, but international expansion is part of the plans. First up, with an opening this year, is Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao in Shanghai (above), in a historic suburb of Shanghai. The brand’s flagship Ahn Luh Thousand Island Lake will open next year, as well as Ahn Luh Lanting in Shaoxing, Ahn Luh Dujiangyan, and Ahn Luh Yanming Lake. A beach resort at Xunliao Bay (near Hong Kong) will arrive in 2017, while Ahn Luh Yichun will open in 2018 in an area known as “the natural oxygen bar”, with the world’s largest Korean pine primeval forest and an annual average temperature of 1C (34F). More details and some very cool renderings below.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Budapest Hotels / Library Hotel Collection / Luxury Hotels / Music Hotels / → All Tags
The Tchaikovsky room
Well there was a long, excited overture since we first heard about it, but now the curtain is up: welcome to Act I at the Aria Budapest, which opened yesterday.
The music-themed hotel is certainly keeping in time with social media – it’s already posted an entire Facebook album of opening pics. They’re mainly of people looking welcoming, but you can glean a few things from looking over their shoulders. Here are a few new glimpses:
DTLA Hotels / Level Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / New Hotels / Extended Stay Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Downtown Los Angeles is quickly becoming the neighborhood to stay in, or at least visit, in Los Angeles with options ranging from The Ace Hotel, the quirky Hotel Figueroa and the luxe Ritz-Carlton. And now here comes Level DTLA, an residential-style, extended stay property, from LEVEL Furnished Living, set to open this summer.
Expo is en route to Milan, as are a smattering of new hotels. Making its debut this month is TownHouse Duomo. Never heard of TownHouse? They're probably our favorite hoteliers in Milano, and have the unmissable, insanely spectacular Seven Stars Galleria, which is right inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (one of Milan’s must-see sights) and other beautiful places in Milan and Turin.
TownHouse Duomo by Seven Stars is on Piazza Duomo, overlooking the gothic cathedral (the largest in Italy). It claims to be the “only existing luxury hotel” with this view, plum on the square – and they’re probably right (other hotels have side views, but we can’t think of one directly on the piazza).
It may be a 1908 Beaux Arts building in the middle of Paris, but Peninsula Hotels made sure when spending hundreds of millions on its first European hotel that besides all the artisans and historians restoring murals, plasterwork, and the like, some serious money was spent on wiring the place up.
The end result? Well over a mile of cabling inside each room (and more in those humongous suites) to make everything – and we do mean everything – controlled through these tablets and / or little touch screens on the walls. Want to take a bath? Touch the “spa” button and lighting dims as soothing music starts playing. Have shoes that need polishing? Drop them in the valet box, press the button, and they’ll be delivered back to you shiny as can be.
With its renovation plans announced, these tablets are on their way to Chicago, and – we have no doubt – to all Peninsula hotels eventually. Check out what’s at the touch of a button below.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Amanresorts / Aman Resorts / Luxury Hotels / China Hotels / Dominican Republic Hotels / → All Tags
We may have been off the mark thinking Aman Tokyo wouldn’t make a 2014 opening (it did), but our guess that Aman Resorts was not far off from adding a third hotel in China turned out to pretty accurate: Amandayan, in Lijiang, and Aman number 28, is now open.
Equally, that photo we dug out from the depths of the internet back in October was indeed from inside the all-suite resort. With a total of 35 suites, that’s a few more than the 32 we talked about at the time, but still a very small affair.
‘Dayan’ (lower case in the end in the resort’s name) is the historic name of Lijiang, established in the 13th century by the Southern Song dynasty. The old town of Lijiang, which Amandayan overlooks (see a photo below), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is in the Yunnan province, which puts it in far southwestern China, towards the border with Myanmar.