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ˇMira! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all the new hotels news. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· KONNICHIWA ANDAZ TOKYO: The newest Andaz Hotel, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, is now officially open! Check out the room shot above. Swoon. Hopefully, we'll more from inside the property for you to see next week.
· HILTON HOTELS TAKING OVER MYANMAR: Only a few years after opening its country to tourism, Myanmar has been prepping for some major growth. And now it needs to brace itself for the onslaught of Hilton Hotels. The hotel chain has partnered up with the Eden Group Company to rebrand two of the Group's recently opened properties in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and on Ngapali beach in Rakhine State. Those hotels will now be known as Hilton Nay Pyi Taw and Hilton Ngapali Beach Resort. Hilton is also planning three more hotels in the next three years, namely: Hilton Bagan and Hilton Inle Lake in 2016 and the Hilton Mandalay which will open in 2017.
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As our bro Jaunted noted last week in his coverage of the state of Southeast Asian tourism, Myanmar is growing at an incredible rate after opening its doors to tourists a few years ago. Seven million tourists are expected in 2020, up from only 300,000 in 2010. In 2013, the number of visitors went up an astonishing 93%, from 1.3 million in 2012 to 2.4 in 2013.
That is absolutely incredible growth, but a question quickly arises: Does the infrastructure exist to support all those visitors? The answer currently is no, but the country is working to ensure they have enough beds.
Last week, Peninsula Hotels struck a deal to build a new luxury hotel out of the former Burma Railway Building in Yangon, close to the famous Scott's Market (a "major" tourist attraction.)
Specifics of the hotel, such as how many floors, guest rooms and even when it will open have yet to be determined, but the hotel will open as part of a mixed use development. Since the building's original architecture was created in an elegant colonial style (way back when the British called the country, Burma), Peninsula isn't going to mess with it too much.
Below, you can see a photo of how it looks today as well as a future rendering above.
This is a major hotel development for Myanmar, located in Southeast Asia and bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. That's because up until 2011, the country had been under harsh military rule and its people severely oppressed.
Trade sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union were only recently lifted, thanks to the presence of a new civilian government, yet there have been some new incidents between the country's Buddhist and Muslim populations.
Now that Myanmar's iron-fisted miltary dictatorship has decided to free a few political prisoners and re-open its doors to foreigners, let the luxury hotel invasion begin!
First up at bat? Southeast Asia's Apple Tree Group, whose international hotel portfolio includes a colonial-era steamship, a villa built by the grandson of a Laotian king, and a thatched roof ecolodge along the Mekong in Vietnam, is shooting for an April 15th opening of its "highly anticipated tented luxury lodge" on the shores of the Irawaddy River in Bagan, called… wait for it…Bagan Lodge.