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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.
In a time where seemingly every high-profile Paris hotel has something going on, Sofitel Arc de Triomphe decided to jump on the bandwagon and go for an all-out overhaul: rooms, public spaces, the lot. Studio Putman was brought in to move from the rather intense cornflower yellow and heavy blue to something more modern and light – check out the result below.
Some say, "Paris is for Lovers", and while that's totally true, we might also say that the city is for lovers...of awesome hotels! A newbie to the French capital is the Hôtel du Continent and it's not only a comfy place to stay on the Right Bank, but it offers up new travel inspiration with your stay.
Designed by the French master himself, Christian Lacroix, the hotel has a different theme for every floor, based on the earth's continents and each of the 25 rooms in this vintage building play into that theme. The first floor is stylized with Europe in mind, where the second is Antarctica and so on and so forth, finishing up with Africa on the fifth floor.
Guests can expect a departure from the literal design aesthetic that comes with each continent. Instead the rooms have a modern take enveloped in whimsy with the use of antique maps, fabrics, patterns, colors and finishes. Lacroix notes that the design of each room is
"...far from any anthropological or strictly ethnic preoccupation, but rather with this fanciful distance known to ancient travellers who brought back with them not only scientific information but tales and dreams too."
Karl Lagerfeld / Rosewood Hotels / Crillon Hotels / Paris Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
What’s more, we think the Kaiser might be a pretty strong contender for next year’s list already, with the news that he will be designing two top-end suites for Hotel de Crillon in Paris, now confirmed as a Rosewood Hotel when it reopens in 2015. Radha Arora, president of Rosewood, let Choupette out of the bag to Women’s Wear Daily it seems, which has Arora quoted as saying that “no one understands Paris or the heritage of the Crillon better than Mr. Lagerfeld”.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Concorde Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Paris Hotels / Berlin Hotels / → All Tags
Hotel rebrandings happen – they are a fact of life in the industry, whether a result of lawsuits or some other drama, or just a desired change in direction or repositioning. The difference for guests can be substantial if major renovation is involved, and sometimes it is simply a case of one name on the door coming down and another going up.
We’re not entirely sure though what to call it when a hotel group loses half of its portfolio in the span of a single year, which seems to be the case for Concorde Hotels. Earlier this year, Hyatt swooped in and took over the management of four of its hotels (two in Paris, two on the French Riviera), newcomer The Set will be closing the Lutetia soon for yet another full-on French palace hotel renovation, and now Hilton is taking over Concorde Paris Opéra and Sofitel the Concorde Berlin. Seven hotels in twelve months is quite the stampede for the door marked “exit,” is all we’re saying.
For loyal fans of famous Hemingway Bar at the Hotel Ritz Paris, these dark winter months must be the hardest of all during its two-year plus closure. August last year, when the last drink was poured, is a long time ago, and reopening at the end of next year (if all goes as planned) is still far away.
So what to do? Well, for a (very) lucky few, the answer lies at 30,000 feet. The hotel has partnered with national flag carrier Air France to create “Bar Hemingway in the Sky”, which will see Colin Field, head bartender of Hemingway, stepping onboard to mix, shake, and stir among the clouds.
Holiday Hotels / Hotel Holiday Decorations / Paris Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel Macarons / Laduree / → All Tags
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
One of the "must-dos" for visiting Paris is sampling some Ladurée macarons and bringing home a box or two (or three.) But if you're staying at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand, you won't have to go far to get some macarons.
The hotel has just unveiled the largest macaron Christmas tree in the world, made out of 8,000 brightly colored Ladurée macarons. The main tree stands nearly 14 feet high, while 27 other Ladurée macaron trees of various sizes can be found throughout the hotel (until January 6th.)
We hope one of you readers out there was able to head over to citizenM Rotterdam and be a test guest earlier this month. For the rest of us, the hotel is now accepting normal reservations, with opening specials (non-refundable) starting at an affordable €59 ($81) a night.
citizenM partnered once again with Dutch design firm Concrete for the look of the 151-room hotel, with furniture by Vitra. Rooms will be familiar to those that have stayed at, or seen our coverage here and here of, citizenM Bankside in London. Public spaces include canteenM and look equally inviting to set up shop for a few hours and work, read, eat, or socialize.
Hotel Art / Hotel Design / Paris Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
That Prince de Galles, Starwood’s Luxury Collection entry in the Parisian palace bracket, was going full Art Deco in its design to pay homage to its 1920s roots, we knew from our preview earlier this year.
Back then, the finishing touches were still being done, so we wandered down ultra-chic Avenue George V during a recent stop in Paris to check out the final result. If the Twenties are your era and Art Deco is your style, Prince de Galles should be high on your list of places to stay in the city. From the ever so stylish black-and-white prints that line the walls and luscious black marble floor in the lobby to the moodily-lit bar and mosaic-tiled courtyard, Twenties glamour is what it’s all about.
Just as we suspected back in March, Paris' iconic Hotel Crillon will become a part of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts when it reopens in 2015. Here's a statement from the hotel's owners on why they chose this luxury brand for their precious hotel:
“It was essential for us to find an operator who was able to grasp the uniqueness of this iconic property,” says Ramzi Wakim and Laurent Dusonchet, managing partners of Avangard Advisory, the owner’s representatives. “We were seduced by Rosewood’s tailor-made approach, its A Sense of Place® philosophy and its understanding of true luxury.”
Currently, the Crillon is undergoing a major restoration project that will preserve its late 18th century history but add some much-needed new interiors. Perhaps they will be more lax about letting folks into their lobby when they reopen.
Meanwhile, Rosewood continues to expand its luxury brand. They just opened in London and have plans to open hotels in Beijing, Riyadh and Baha Mar in 2014. More hotels are also planned for Phuket, Bali and Bangkok. Everything is coming up Rosewods it seems!
While we may be a little over hearing how the European attitude to alcohol is so much more refined than that of Americans, we have to admit we couldn't see this new "Dishonesty Hour" service by Paris' Pavillon de la Reine translating so well across the pond. Free liquor can go far wronger than a mere wine hour.
The recently inaugurated Dishonesty Hour at the Honesty Bars at the Pavillon de la Reine and its two sister hotels -- the literary-themed Le Pavillon des Lettres and Christian Lacroix-designed Hôtel du Petit Moulin in Paris -- runs every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. Typically, guests are invited to help themselves to the bar, write down what they make and receive the bill later, but at Dishonesty Hour guests can shake, stir and pour their own drinks to their heart's content, completely free of charge.
A mere hour it may be, but we still think this demands an awful amount of restraint.
Photo: Pavillon de la Reine]
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening News / Peninsula Hotels / Paris Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We knew an opening had to be close when we walked by the Peninsula Paris in early October and saw that the facade had been freed of construction wrapping. Now, Le Figaro is reporting that the luxury hotel will actually open on August 1st.
We tried to read the article using our rudimentary French skills but we picked up the most important part--the opening date. Besides we already knew that the hotel would have 200 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant in The Lobby, a Chinese restaurant, cigar lounge, a rooftop bar and terrace and an 18,000 square foot spa below ground with indoor pool.
The hotel's website is not taking reservations yet but we hope that changes in the new year.
Hat tip to Hoteliere de Luxe for the heads up.
[Photo: JasonD for HotelChatter]
Hotel Restaurants / Morocco Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Singapore Hotels / Paris Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Art Hotels / → All Tags
Most high-end hotels take great care in creating impressive dining spaces, often luring in celebrity chefs and extra business along the way. But lately we have noticed a solid restaurant scene isn't always enough to draw in some extra business and hotels are going to greater lengths to bring in dollars, from opening up their pools so patrons can enjoy the sun and a cocktail, to installing full-blown art installations. Some hotels have taken to blending art and dining and the results certainly make for an eye-catching environment. Take a look at these six hotel restaurants where diners can take in both a five-star meal along with a helping of art and design:
SBE as a whole is an artsy and progressive name when it comes to hospitality and dining, working with big names to produce memorable venues like Katsuya and the SLS-branded hotels. The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles is no exception with an eclectic design created, like most of their projects, by master Parisian designer of interiors Philippe Starck. Filled with seemingly random artistic pieces and a rainbow of colors, The Bazaar is anything but boring with a practically exhaustive small bites menu to match with everything from classic dishes to creations made using molecular gastronomy.