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It’s nearly the weekend, there's lots of hotel news that is worthy of your attention, so here are a few snippets to keep you up to date on the latest from around the world.
Four Seasons Carmelo, Uruguay: we could almost do a weekly feature called the Four Seasons Chronicles, because the news about the Canadian group keeps coming in. Upping its hotels in South America with two new properties in Colombia just a few weeks ago, now it’s down one again by virtue of the departure of the resort in Carmelo, Uruguay by March 31 this year. By early March we should find out which brand will come in its place.
Shangri-La in Mauritius and Sri Lanka: having gotten the opening of its hotel at the Shard in London out of the way in 2014, this year Shangri-La Hotels will have islands on its mind. First, in Mauritius, the former Oberoi Le Touessrok will become Shangri-La Le Touessrok in September following a major renovation. On Sri Lanka, Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa should open just before that, with a second property in capital Colombo to follow in 2017.
And it’s saying: take a dip! Or at least it does to us, which we’d gladly do if we could find ourselves in Udaipur, Rajasthan by snapping our finger. Alas, we’ll lust after it from afar, its sparkling blue contrasting against the pale walls and turrets of a traditional palace Udaivilās is modeled after.
Part of Oberoi Hotels, the hotel sits on the banks of Lake Picola, with third-level up Premier Rooms allowing you to step straight off your terrace into the water. A second pool is set within a large courtyard.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Oberoi Dubai Is Now Open: We were so busy making popcorn in preparation for the opening of Dubai's first movie-themed resort that we almost forgot about Oberoi Dubai, the 252-room luxury resort that opened last week in downtown Dubai. Guest can expect all the usual Oberoi touches, like in-room check-in, 24-hour butlers, and two Presidential Suites that come with their own 1.5-meter plunge pools. In addition to that, there will be four restaurants—including Nine7One, which sources different cuisines from all seven (7) continents—and a 24-hour spa with Ayurvedic treatments. Rates from $272/night.
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg, star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing recently completed a trip to India. And of course, there were amazing views from his hotel rooms. Here's one of them:
By far, one of the most beautiful pools I have been to was found at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. The hotel also boasts one of the best views I have ever seen... That of the Taj Mahal. Every room looks out onto the pool, grounds and the magnificent Taj Mahal. Watching the sun rise and set from your room is one of those moments you have to experience in your life. Eat in the Indian restaurant for a wonderful experience.
Rates at the Oberoi start at 34,000 Indian rupees a night or about $640 USD. If you want to travel like Josh, you better get to selling some luxury real estate in Beverly Hills then!
You guys are way too good at this! Here we were thinking we’d pick a more difficult to identify hotel, but no: both in the article comments and on Twitter (@HotelChatter) several of you got it right in no time, so we couldn’t wait until next week for our reveal.
The hotel we were hinting at was Wildflower Hall, an Oberoi resort in the Himalayas. Located in Shimla, in the far northwest of India, with Tibet and Nepal to the (south)east, the hotel sits at an altitude of 8,250 feet (2,500 meters) in 22 acres of forest. Formerly the site of Lord Kitchener’s residence, the current six-story building was constructed after a fire in the early nineties.
Nearly 18 months after the terrorist attacks, the Oberoi Mumbai reopened on Saturday. Not even the volcano stopped proceedings (although it meant the European contingent couldn’t make it over for the do).
According to the press release:
The hotel has been transformed and will now offer a contemporary, luxurious ambience.
The new pictures do look gorgeous – especially the rooms that look out over the water. The only thing is that, for a business hotel, we’re pretty taken aback by the glass-walled bathrooms (lovely to look at the sea from the bath; not so nice to have your colleague in between).
One of the hotel's new restaurants. We’re thinking Ziya, presided over by a Michelin-starred chef
It’s been nearly 18 months since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, but while the Taj reopened pretty quickly, the Oberoi has been closed to be completely gutted and transformed. And finally, it’s been announced, it’ll reopen April 24.
According to the press release:
The Oberoi Group’s luxury hotel on Marine Drive in South Mumbai has been completely transformed to offer fresh contemporary interiors, new facilities and the latest technology.
All guest rooms and suites have been renovated, and include spacious marble bathrooms.
This man wants to take your kids off your hands. Let him.
Terrible things, families – they totally mess with your ability to have nice holidays, what with the extra flights, the extra room charges and the extra mouths to feed.
Luckily, the folks at Oberoi want to help you have a posh holiday even with the kiddies in tow, so they’ve just launched their Exotic Family Vacations package for a proper holiday of six nights or more (because families don’t do minibreaks, innit?)
First up, they’ll bung the children (two of them, under 15 years old – though between 12 and 15 years old incurs a supplement) in another room filled with toys and books for free so mummy and daddy can spend some special time together. Then they’ll throw in transfers between the airport or railway station and the hotel, so you don’t have to worry about what little Johnny is doing as you flag down a taxi, a daily yoga session so you can get your karma flowing again, and 25% off spa treatments to keep the stress at bay.