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Before and After / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Club Lounges / Shangri-La Hotels / Sydney Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Killer Views / → All Tags
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 we looked inside the Royal Suite at the InterContinental Double Bay Sydney earlier this year, we said that many central business district hotels in the Australian city are all about the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House views. That couldn’t be more true for Shangri-La Sydney, towering over the Rocks a few blocks away from Circular Quay.
All 565 rooms and suites have harbour views (though that classification includes Darling Harbour), but the best rooms in the house are part of the Horizon Club, the hotel’s club lounge floors. These have just been at the receiving end of an $8 million upgrade, covering both the lounge itself and the 90 rooms. Above and directly below the lounge as it was before, scroll down for the new look.
Fortune magazine published a piece last month about resorts with the highest extra fees tacked onto the base room rates – and two topped out at $107 per night. According to ResortFeeCheckercom, those are Provident Luxury Suites Fisher Island and Fisher Island Hotel & Resort, both in Miami and whose daily rates – not including fees -- run well over $500 in July. (We touched on these astronomical resort fees back in March.)p>
Peninsula Hotels recently revamped their website to be mobile-optimized but there's one feature we really like--spoken directions to the Peninsula Hotel.
Let's say you're in Paris and need directions to the Peninsula Paris. All you need to do is pull up the Peninsula Paris site, click on "Display Address for Taxis" and then click on "Speak address" and voila! Directions to the hotel will be spoken in perfect French (by an actual employee of the Peninsula Paris no less.) And since it's on your phone, it's incredibly easy to pull-up. It sure beats fumbling for a card with printed directions on it.
This feature is available for all Peninsula properties from Beverly Hills to Tokyo.
Other cool things to check out on the new mobile site are Peninsula Moments (special events and happenings that took place at their hotels), specially created Luxe City Guides that offer tips on where to go and what to see and most interestingly, online booking offers like complimentary room upgrades.
[Screengrab: Peninsula Hotels]
Many safari lodges draw on the iconic movie Out of Africa to paint a picture of what it will be like to stay the night: sweeping landscapes, endless skies, abundant wildlife, and the romance of an African adventure. The brand new Angama Mara, which opened on June 14, can be specific in its references to the 1985 movie in ways that no others can: the kopje (a small hill) that was the backdrop of the Out of Africa movie poster and where a number of scenes were filmed is part of the lodge’s property.
Much like the Four Seasons Hotels' Extraordinary Experiences and the Peninsula Hotels'Peninsula Academy, Fairmont is giving guests elevated travel experiences that encourage exploration off-property. Sometimes way off property.
These experience will be available at 42 of Fairmont's "most luxurious" properties in North America from now through September 30. They include such adventures as exploring Joshua National Park and Catalina Island via a private jet; a floatplane tour over the Ottawa River; a private guided swim next to whale sharks in Mayakoba; and a customized session at an airline training facility at the Vancouver Airport. Of course, all packages come with rooms at the destination's Fairmont Hotels. Prices range from $352 a night up to $55,000 (that's for a two-night stay for up to six people at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, Calif.)
When we took some photos of the former Port of London Authority last summer, the future Four Seasons London at Trinity Square was mostly covered in scaffolding, but even back then we commented on some of the beautiful architectural details of the 1920s Grade-II listed building.
Two cranes stood within its triangular core, damaged during WWII-bombings, but gone they are now, along with the scaffolding: you can clearly see the contemporary glass floors jut out just above the classic façade. That tells us things are progressing well towards a late 2016 opening of the third Four Seasons hotel in London – below a few more shots.
The Montage Kapalua Bay on Maui debuted last year – and it’s everything one expects from the Montage brand and more. The seaside setting on Maui’s west side is idyllic as are the grounds, service and accommodations. Since opening, its ranking on Trip Advisor has vacillated between number one and two for all of Maui, rivaled only by the Four Seasons Maui in Wailea. We recently had the opportunity to visit and here’s what we found:
Bit by bit – or painfully piecemeal, depending on your perspective – the details on what to expect at Hotel Ritz Paris when it reopens towards the end of the year are coming out. We’ve looked at the hotel in various stages of its réhabilitation (last time was late February), which began nearly three years ago.
Hotel Openings / Spa Hotels / Historic Hotels / Bath Hotels / Luxury Hotels / YTL Hotels / → All Tags
It’s not quite the promised “Spring 2015”, but we’ll take it: The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel will open July 1.
It was last November that we walked you through a load of renderings from inside the listed building in Bath, which will have direct access to the original Roman thermal springs. Naturally, this is what your spa experience will be all about. The hotel’s “private water reserve bubbles to the surface at 47 degrees centigrade, packed full of rich natural minerals”. A one-hour “Bath Circuit” is a “ritualised self-guided tour of the thermal pools, saunas, steam room, ice alcove and elegant relaxation rooms”, which concludes with a “very special Water Ritual Ceremony”. What exactly that is, we’ll have to find out.
It’s nearly a year ago that we last looked at a rendering of The Nile Ritz-Carlton, along with the not completely unexpected news that its opening would be moved back to 2015. That’s a solid six years after it was reflagged and began its extensive renovation, with now finally a formal announcement of a “late summer” arrival and an actual exterior photo.
The hotel will have 331 rooms, “reminiscent of the timeless style of Ritz-Carlton properties around the globe whilst being anchored in the flavours and traditions of Egypt”. We don’t have any visuals to go with that yet, but we’ll hazard a guess in saying it will be fairly traditional. Outside, there is an Olympic-sized pool with private cabanas, and the spa has a terrace for sunset yoga sessions overlooking the river. Restaurants will serve everything from Arabian to Continental and Italian food. The hotel’s website is still surprisingly spare, and reservations aren’t open yet, so more is to come.
Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Bali Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Bali continues to be a hot destination not just for adventurous travelers, but also luxury hotels.
Last week we learned that Langham Hotels will be opening their first Langham Place resort on a clifftop in Ungasan-Uluwatu area. Today, Ritz-Carlton Hotels has announced that their equally impressive Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the third in the brand's ultra-exclusive collection, will open in September of this year in Ubud.
Indeed, reservations are live on the hotel's website, starting at around $670 a night for a Reserve Suite, one of the largest entry-level suites in Ubud at around 1,000-sq.ft., with views of the rain forest and rice paddies. But this is just the starting room category for Mandapa. Accommodations also include one, two and three-bedroom villas, most with private pools. (There are 35 suites and 25 private pool villas in total.)
Here's what else is expected at the Mandapa:
Hotel Selfies / Selfies / Selfie Sticks / Hotel Social Media / Hotel Packages / Luxury Hotels / Washington DC Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
At first we thought they were funny, but now we’re slowly realizing life wasn’t worth experiencing without them. We’re talking about selfie sticks of course, and now it looks like Mandarin Oriental is all about them once again.
This time it’s Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, as this summer they’re all about the new See Your Selfie in DC offer. It goes without saying that this is much, much better than a free continental breakfast, as this package gets you access to an exclusive Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC selfie stick!