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David Beckham made his name as a top footballer in his younger years but now in his retirement, he's become a man of many leisurely pursuits such as underwear modeling, cologne-making and tattoo collecting. He's also dabbling in the hotel world.
Last week, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced that Beckham would be assisting in the development of "dining, retail and leisure concepts" at the Sands properties in Macao and Marina Bay, Singapore. Much of the press release about the partnership is a bunch of "we're so excited" type of statements yet the details are scant on what exactly Beckham will be doing.
Our guess is that someone else is going to come up with these new concepts which will obviously have a luxury element to them for which Beckham will lend his face and body. We're thinking David Beckham Steakhouse, David Beckham Watch Shop, David Beckham Cigars, David Beckham Men's Intimates, David Beckham Noodles To Go. Er, maybe not that last one.
However, given that Becks is now the global ambassador for Chinese Football, we're sure at least one of these concepts will have to do with the sport itself. All "Bend It Like Beckham" jokes aside, we're quite curious to see what they, er, he, comes up with.
[Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp.]
MGM Resorts International is planning their second property in China, this time it's a massive resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau, China's answer to Las Vegas. Except Macau is bigger and wealthier and way more intense when it comes to gambling.
In a quarterly earnings call yesterday, Jim Murren dished on a few details for the property, which is about halfway through the excavation stage.* The property will have an atrium three times the size of the Bellagio's and it will feature its own "over the top" Mansion.
If you don't know what The Mansion is, allow us to educate you. The Mansion is a super secretive hotel within the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Most people, including those who work for MGM, have never seen it. Others don't believe it exists. However, it's real. We saw it with our own eyes last month. We even went to the bathroom there.
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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
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Only one month away from its grand opening, the Sheraton Macao is set to become the largest hotel in Macao, as well as the largest property in Starwood's already-sizeable portfolio. With 3,863 rooms built inside two separate towers (dubbed, appropriately, 'Sky' and 'Earth'), the hotel is going out of its way to help guests make the most of their Macao stay.
How? Well, for starters, Sheraton launched new website earlier this month that helps guests navigate the "wide variety of experiences" available on the Cotai Strip. To do this, they've assembled a cast of four "themed" proto-guests, who each offer a different perspective on the city: food, heritage, adventure, and shopping. So even though you're likely to spend hours wandering the halls trying to re-locate your own room, at least you'll know how to maximize the rest of your time.
If you want to talk about hotel hotspots, the conversation isn't complete with some mention of both Hong Kong and Macau. Both are leading the world's way in terms of super-high hotels, super-techy hotels, super-expensive hotels and, just in general, hotels that reach high into other superlatives.
Nonetheless, it is kinda an ordeal to reach Hong Kong. It's a 16-hour plane ride from New York and, if you want to travel in any kind of comfort, you can plan on spending thousands and thousands of dollars, and before booking any hotels.
Jaunted.com to the rescue! Our sister site is giving away a roundtrip ticket in Cathay Pacific's new Premium Economy class from US or Canada to Hong Kong, and it could be your stepping stone to sipping tea in the lobby of the original Peninsula Hotel. Or perhaps grab a cocktail in the Clipper Lounge at the original Mandarin Oriental. All hotel geeking out, all the time.
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We got all excited on Wednesday when we learned that Vegas hotel overlord Steve Wynn is planning on opening up a third Macau resort in 2015. But he's not the only one eyeing expansion in
Asia's the world's gambling capital—Marriott wants a piece of the action too.
This week, it was announced that 1,300 rooms, suites and floating villas will be added to the already sprawling $1.9 billion complex known as Galaxy Macau.
So which brands has Marriott selected to carry the project through? Funny you should ask: of the two properties being built, one will be the world's largest JW Marriott, and the other will be a Ritz-Carlton, where app-happy guests can go QR code crazy with the brand's new signature iPhone and Android mobile app.
If you haven't heard it, then let us tell you: Macau is hot. It's so hotfor gambling, shopping, dining and overall indulgingthat the Financial Times reports that it brings in six times the annual revenue of Las Vegas, and hotel occupancy hovers a serious 96-99%.
For this reason, Macau is working to add hotels as fast as possible. Already they've opened an additional 2,200 rooms in the three hotels of the Galaxy Macau complex: Galaxy Hotel, a Banyan Tree and the Hotel Okura. Still, it's not enough.
And this is one of the lowest category rooms
In case there was any doubt about Macau being a huge hotel hot spot, a new five-star Banyan Tree has just opened in a massive complex which will also eventually be joined by the Hotel Okura Macau. It's part of the Galaxy Macau complex, but that doesn't mean it's going to be all giant, corporate hotel or anything. We're talking Banyan Tree here, which means all rooms (246 of them) are suites, some with private indoor "relaxation pools," the hotel isn't calling itself a hotel, but a "resort."
Macau's high-class casinos regularly bring in more moolah than Las Vegas these days, and it only makes sense that the accommodations on the peninsula rival (or bet) those in Sin City. If Caesar's can have entire high roller villas, then so can the Banyan Tree Macau, and indeed they do. Said villas are expansive, with entire private pools, spa treatment rooms, entertainment dens...everything a deep-pocketed gambler needs to feel comfy cozy enough to stay on dropping loot.
Remember that time we went to Macau? Yeah it feels like forever ago, mainly because Macau is opening new hotels so freaking rapidly that we've a list so long to check out, it's overwhelming. And today we can add one more for later this year: the Hotel Okura Macau.
Whereas American tourists and other very foreign foreigners to Macau will opt for properties like the Wynn/Encore, Hard Rock Hotel, Four Seasons or the just-opened new Mandarin Oriental, the Okura will target those coming over for a good time from Japan and other parts of Asia. The flagship Okura, after all, is a legendary hotel in the center of Tokyoone which we fell in love with during our recent trip to Japanand the plans for its Macau property are plain bonkers.
Here's what we're talking about:
Going to gamble or eat a Portuguese egg tart in Macau anytime soon? Perhaps you should swing by the new jewel on the waterfront, the just-opened Mandarin Oriental Macau. With 213 rooms and suites in the hotel, this hotel in the Las Vegas of the East is ready to give others a run for their money.
In particular, this baby sits very very close to the Wynn Macau, which we visited early last year. At the time we also passed by the only Mandarin Oriental Macau at the time, which is now simply the "old one." The new tower has souped up hotel technology, beyond awesome views over the water and to Macau's space needle, and an spa and pool to make up for the fact that this hotel is one of Macau's only non-gaming properties.
Just like he did in Las Vegas, Steve Wynn has opened Encore Macau today to accompany its sister resort Wynn Macau. But the big difference here is that Encore Macau is not an identical twin. The building is actually an all-suites boutique hotel that is connected to the Wynn Macau. But rest assured all the swank, sometimes over the top, interiors you've come to expect from Wynn will be in place.
Accommodations at Encore include 414 suites and villas that offer tasteful elegance in a comfortable, residential setting. Encore introduces two new restaurants to the Wynn dining family, and Bar Cristal's jewel-box décor turns a classic lobby bar into a work of art. The serene Spa at Encore offers treatments in eight private therapy suites, each with its own steam room, sauna and aroma-hydrotherapy bath and shower. The Shopping Esplanade is home to three signature stores—Cartier, Chanel and Piaget—showcasing the finest selections, including limited-edition pieces unique to Encore.
If you're a fan of Asian pop music then you're bound to know that Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung is quite a star – they even call him the "God of Songs" in that part of the world. Knowing that, the fact that there's now a Jacky Cheung Rock Star Suite at Macau's Hard Rock Hotel is pretty cool news.
Even if you don't know too much about Jacky Cheung, you'll learn plenty by staying in his suite. You'll be greeted by a video of Jacky explaining both the elements of design in the room and his favorite spots to visit in Macau. The room itself includes plenty of Jacky Cheung memorabilia, including his own white baby grand piano, a microphone, gloves and a CD of his favorite songs. Oh, and there are life-size photos of Jacky Cheung in concert on the walls. On second thoughts, if you don't know him, staying in this room could be a little freaky.