Tag: Orient-Express Hotels

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Mandarin Oriental Gears Up for Milan While Langham Hotels Take Over The Observatory Hotel

June 15, 2012 at 9:49 AM | by | ()

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.

· Mandarin Oriental Milan is coming in 2013: The luxury brand, Mandarin Oriental have long had their eyes set on Italy but now we've got word that the MO Milano will open in 2013. The hotel will have 104 guestrooms including 34 suites set throughout three 19th century buildings on Via Monte de Pieta, a rather swank address. A GM has just been appointed for the property which is a good sign that the 2013 opening date will stick.

· Trump Lands in Miami: It's finally happened. Trump Hotels have officially assumed management of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa outside Miami. Over the next 18 months, Trump will put in about $200 million in renovating the almost-800-acre resort. The place will be fully re-branded when the new look is complete.

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Josh Flagg Ranks The Best Hotel Pools in Italy

Where: Italy
May 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM | by | ()

Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg is about to invade your living rooms again when the fifth season of Million Dollar Listing premieres on Bravo on June 6. But life isn't all "house" work for Josh. As soon as filming finished, he packed up and resumed his whirlwind travels. Now Josh is telling us the Top 10 Hotel Pools in Italy. As you can imagine, each night will cost you at least five hundred Euros. After you decide on a bathing suit, best ring up your favorite sugar daddy.

I just got back from a three and a half week trip to Italy and after staying in 20 different hotels and swimming in 20 different pools, I sat down and compiled a Top 10 List.

I visited all the top locations so I am sure I did not miss any. Below in the following order is my list of the top ten hotel pools in Italy, some of which are among the best in all of Europe

10. Coming in at number ten is Hotel Quisisana in Capri (pictured above). The tiny island of Capri is a 45-minute hydrofoil ride away from the port of Naples (a place which unless there is a gun put to your head, I would recommend you never visit... This wouldn't be so difficult because during the short time I stayed in Napes, I met two people that were held up at gunpoint and one that was run over by a motorcycle. I digress.)

Capri has been known as a jet set location for years and is evident by the number of designer stores located within a three block radius. In fact they have an Hermes store which is the size of a good walk in closet. At the end of the shopping street is the famous Quisisana hotel. The round pool with it's mosaic tile work that reads "I heart Quissi" is a staple of the Italian pool scene.

Be very careful in the rooms however, as the floors are all made of porcelain tile and very easy to slip on (which is evident by the fact that my grandmother slipped and broke her right hip, thus putting an end to our lovely trip and causing her to stay in a hospital on the mainland for two weeks.)

9. Le Sirenuse was made famous when it was featured in "Only You" with Marisa Tomei. Prior to that however it has always been known as a place for the rich and famous to be seen. Book way in advance though as it is a very small hotel. My father gave my mother her wedding ring while staying at this hotel in 1982, only three months after knowing each other, so this place must have a special effect on people.

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The Donnell Library in NYC May Finally Become a Hotel (Suuuuuuure)

Where: W. 53rd Street [map], New YOrk, NY, United States
March 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM | by | ()

Stop us if you've heard this one before. The former Donnell Library on West 53rd Street in NYC is about to turn into a hotel. Oh wait, you have heard this one before.

We've been waiting for Orient-Express Hotels to work their hotel magic on this building since 2007 but thanks to the crappy economy, nothing has ever materialized. Indeed, Orient-Express even tried to back out of the deal but the New York Public Library system wouldn't budge. (You go, girl!)

Now Orient-Express is looking to sell the property to developers Tribeca Associates, who also did the Smyth Hotel in a partnership with Starwood Hotels. The NY Times reports:

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More Cool Hotel Jobs: Temazcalera at Maroma Riviera Maya

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Highway 307 Tulum Cancun, Solidaridad, Yucatan, Mexico, 77710
January 19, 2011 at 9:31 AM | by | ()

All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen will be telling us about some of the coolest hotel jobs out there. He reached out across the globe to talk to the dynamic folks who do everything from wrangling elephants (and guests!) to designing the latest high-tech gadgetry for your next guest room. So check back every day to see who he’s talking to next.

The next subject of our Cool Hotel Jobs Series, has to do with what usually turns out to be one of our favorite places in the hotel, the spa. This one is at the Orient-Express-branded Maroma Resort and Spa on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, and it is performed by Nancy Aguilar, who is a trained Temazcalera.

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Keswick Hall Is Not Just a Hotel But Now Also, a Golf School

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 701 Club Drive [map], Keswick, VA, United States, 22947
July 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM | by | ()

If hearing that Tiger Woods' divorce settlement could cost him $750 million made you consider trying to get your own money career in golf, Keswick Hall can get you started with its Keswick Club's Golf School for the Novice.

Okay, the new golf school doesn't promise you'll be swinging clubs like Tiger, but you'll learn the basics, like choosing the right ball, hitting it out of the bunker and even talking like a golfer—apparently only amateurs say, "I'm going golfing"; proper par parlance is "I am going to play golf."

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Keswick Hall Plants the New Hotel Trend: A Vineyard

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 701 Club Drive [map], Keswick, VA, United States, 22947
May 5, 2010 at 9:34 AM | by | ()

Wine-pairing dinners at a hotel restaurant? Wine tastings in the lobby? These are all things we can get behind but we'll raise our glasses even higher to the newest hotel trend: hotel vineyards.

The latest hotel to get planting is Virginia's Orient-Express jewel, Keswick Hall, where they expect the first harvest in the fall of 2011 or 2012, depending on the quality of the vines.

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Orient-Express Hotels Already Seeing Room Rates Go Up

March 26, 2010 at 3:48 PM | by | ()

The Keswick Hall at Monticello

Yesterday, we told you of how mission to seek out just what made Orient-Express Hotl an Orient-Express Hotel during a meetup of general managers of Orient-Express Hotels worldwide. It turns out our efforts to "brand" this collection of luxury hotels was fruitless. The only things that the varied collection of O-E hotels have in common seem to be great service, a luxury experience and an interesting location. Which is not all that bad. (Although we're still hoping on a sort of loyalty program someday.)

Nevertheless, while we were sitting there learning about Orient-Express, we Twittered out to our followers if there were any questions they had for the GMs. The always-intrepid hotel reporter Barbara DeLollis asked if the O-E hotels were cutting costs and if the staff to guest ratio had changed at all. Nice question, Barb! So what did Orient-Express have to say?

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What Makes an Orient-Express Hotel an Orient-Express Hotel?

March 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM | by | ()

The Ritz Madrid

HotelChatter walks into a room full of general managers....

Last week, we were invited to meet several general managers at Orient-Express Hotels from around the world. The luncheon was held at the The Montage Beverly Hills (not an O-E hotel by the way) in their rooftop Conservatory Grille. As we sipped on white wine and picked at our John Dory, we were on a mission--to figure out just what makes an Orient-Express Hotel an Orient-Express Hotel.

Our first and only experience at an Orient-Express Hotel happened back in 2007 during a honeymoon stay at The Observatory Hotel in Sydney. While we weren't blown away by the hotel's design or in-room amenities, we were thrilled with the attentive service, something we could not seem to find at the Park Hyatt Sydney where we had stayed the night before.

And so that is often our go-to opinion of Orient-Express Hotels. Great service in a luxury setting. But we've always wanted more out of Orient-Express.

Something to easily identify the Orient-Express experience in our search for hotel stays sort of like how you know what to expect from a Four Seasons or a Ritz-Carlton, whether it be a branded set of amenities, concierge services, keeping track of our likes and dislikes, our pillow preferences, loyalty points, etc.

Yet, there's none of that at Orient-Express.

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Crisis in Cipriani Land! Hotel Cipriani Wins Lawsuit Against Cipriani Restaurants

Where: Venice, Italy
March 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM | by | ()

So here's a funny story: Apparently Orient-Express Hotels, which owns the famous Hotel Cipriani in Venice, just won around 7.5 Million GBP ($11.4 million) in a lawsuit they brought against Cipriani restaurants.

The terms are a bit confusing, since one would assume that the Hotel Cipriani was associated with the similarly well-known chain of Harry Cipriani's Bars and ritzy Cipriani restaurants in locations like New York, London and Hong Kong. But that's not the case. The Hotel Cipriani sued the Cipriani restaurants for the obvious: using the Cipriani name.

The brief press release on the court decision also mentions that the company behind the Cipriani restaurants has had their worldwide assets frozen. That's a huge deal—are we on the verge of either a major Cipriano re-naming and re-branding, or will the restaurant company come down altogether? Of course the Venice hotel will continue to exist, rolling in their winnings.

[Photo: Hotel Cipriani]

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Relaxing at Reid’s Palace in Madeira

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Estrada Monumental 139, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 9000-098
October 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM | by | ()

Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.

In this episode, Hotel Maven Eric Rosen visits Madeira...in his mind. Enjoy.

I’ve always been intrigued by the emerald isle of Madeira, a strange whalers’ haven that also produces such fine fortified wines, and one day, as I happened upon the web site of Reid’s Palace, a sprawling 19th century hotel that perches on a cliff 150 feet above the azure Atlantic in the island’s capital city of Funchal, that first opened in 1891. The resort is equal parts Riviera redoubt, tropical forest lodge, and seaside getaway. With 128 rooms and 35 suites, surely there was an accommodation for me there.

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Orient-Express Hotels' NYC Library Deal is Back On

Where: W. 53rd Street [map], New York, ny, United States
July 10, 2009 at 10:34 AM | by | ()

Back in '07, we reported that Orient-Express Hotels' was planning to grab a little piece of The New York Public Library (specifically, the Donnell Branch) to convert it into a hotel.

What is currently a five-story libe building on West 53rd Street was going to become an 11-story hotel, but the first floor and underground would have still been owned and occupied by the library. The rest of the floors would have been dedicated hotel space, and five of those floors were going to have direct access to the 21 Club on 52nd street (also owned by Orient-Express).

But then the deal kinda fell apart (that it, progress was halted indefinitely) in March, another victim of the craptastic economy; "lack of availability of credit for construction" were the reasons Orient-Express cited for the holdup.

But! It seems to be moving forward now.

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Orient-Express Checks Out of NYC Library Hotel Deal

Where: W. 53rd Street [map], New York, ny, United States
March 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM | by | ()

Back in '07, we gleefully announced Orient-Express Hotels' plan to snap up a little piece of The New York Public Library (specifically, the Donnell Branch) to convert it into a hotel. What is currently a five-story libe building on West 53rd Street was going to become an 11-story hotel, but the first floor and underground would have still been owned and occupied by the library. The rest of the floors would have been deciated hotel space, and five of those floors were going to have direct access to the storied 21 Club on 52nd street (also owned by Orient-Express).

Kinda awesome, right? And the NYPL had agreed to the plans because the branch was in dire need of renovations that the system couldn't really afford — so everyone was supposed to get something out of this.

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