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We’ve past the midway point of 2013 already, and the hotel world still has some substantial work to do if it is going to live up to all the planned/promised openings for this year. Park Hyatt did its part at the beginning of this month with the opening of its hotel in Siem Reap, the gateway city to the Angkor region in Cambodia.
While it may have shortened the list of openings by one, it has just as fast made our personal list of hotels to visit longer: fashioned out of the classic Hotel de la Paix, there are 108 super stylish rooms around a central courtyard with an ancient Banyan Tree, and gardens that contain an equally stylish free-form swimming pool.
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Hurricane Sandy may have had its way with the One57 building back in October but nearly a year after the super storm, the building is rising nicely as you can see in this photo we snapped yesterday. When finished it will be the city's tallest residential building. And it will also include the Park Hyatt New York Hotel at the top with 210 guest rooms, a restaurant, bar, spa and indoor swimming pool. The Park Hyatt will also offer 92 residences that go for millions of dollars.
A Fall 2013 opening date was expected but alas, the hotel will now open in 2014. To no one's surprise.
But what is a big surprise is that the Hyatt Times Square is now taking reservations for January 1 instead of October. And we just have to say--That's crazy! The hotel is going to open on New Year's Day? They couldn't make it New Year's Eve? That would be a much better opening date and plus, they throw a free opening party thanks to all the New Year's Eve celebrations just outside the hotel doors.
We'll just keep our fingers crossed that they will soft-open at least a few days early. Rates will start at $299 a night for a king bed. An advance purchase rate is also available for less at $269 a night.
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The Ritz-Carlton Closes MoBay: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is certainly making big moves these days. First vacating Palm Beach and Dublin, and today after nearly 13 years in operation, the corporation ceased management of the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica. The 427-room Montego Bay hotel, one of the region’s most famous, was originally rumored to be sold to Playa Resorts. However, in May, the company issued a statement saying the information was premature.
Word on the street is the hotel will open in the 2013-2014 winter season as a Park Hyatt, the first Hyatt brand in Jamaica and renovations will include adding more than 100 suites. However, at this time there is no mention of the property or this news on the Hyatt website. It appears this is as much of a mystery as the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall, a famous Jamaican ghost story.
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Gabourey Sidibe provides the comedy for Jimmy Kimmel's wedding!
As wedding season continues (hey, how many have you been to so far?), we’re taking a look at a few celebrities who are getting hitched during this toasty summer in hotels all around the world.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel tied the knot on July 13th, with his show's co-head writer, Molly McNearney at California’s Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Over 300 friends (including Matt Damon!)came to partake in the special day. Naturally it was star-couple studded event with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, plus Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux in attendance. But in true comedic fashion, there had to be a joke somewhere in the festivities and that came in the form of “Precious" actress Gabourey Sidibe. She donned a Cinderella-style wedding dress and veil and walked down the aisle to greet Kimmel. The prank was set up by Kimmel’s own fiancé and everyone got a kick out of it. Later, Sidibe changed into a proper red dress. Sounds like a good time!
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The Westcliff Johannesburg
You guys, the hotel news keeps rolling in so fast we can barely keep up with it. In order to get us all up to speed, we’ll give you a brief rundown of some of the latest news & rumors for Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Rosewood and SBE that have us mighty intrigued.
Starting in South Africa, Business Traveller reported last week the venerable Westcliff Johannesburg will move from Orient-Express to Four Seasons, and based on our own investigation, that does look to be happening. If you’ve had Sunday brunch at the glorious La Belle Terrasse, spent time at the pool, and wandered its cobblestone streets and lush gardens, you know this place is easy to fall in love with. If indeed ‘substantial’ renovations will be part of the transition, things will only get that much better.
Surprising as it might be, late next year will be the first time Four Seasons will get in on the luxury hotel action in Dubai, with a 237-room resort at the northern end of Jumeirah Beach. More in the Middle East should follow in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Bahrain, Doha, Jeddah, and Kuwait. Like Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons is also planning on Kyoto and Casablanca, and if that wasn’t enough, we’re hearing about South America (with a number of hotels in Brazil) and various rumors elsewhere as well.
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We're only two months into 2013 and while we've had our share of disappointments, there's still a bunch of new hotels to start saving your pennies for. So because we can't get enough of that new hotel smell, here are 10 More Hotel Openings To Get Psyched About:
W VERBIER: There are only two W Hotels opening in 2013 and this winter wonderland in Switzerland is one of them. This will be the very first "alpine escape" from W and will feature 123 rooms and suites, each with their own fireplace, balconies and signature W beds. Being cold has never gotten us so hot.
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The second-largest city in South Korea can now brag about snagging a new Western behemoth of a hotel. Yesterday, Park Hyatt Busan welcomed guests to the thoughtfully designed tower, creating a new area for wining and dining.
Overlooking the Busan Marina and surrounding beaches, the multi-purpose complex will play host to the luxury hotel that neighbors a few residential towers, some retail and office space. Each of the buildings, while very modern in design, use traditional Korean architecture to incorporate natural elements that mimic the ocean or flower petals.
With 269 rooms to choose from, the folks over at Hyatt have kept those travelers that want a little space to stretch out. There are 69 suites--23 Park, 43 Executive, 2 Diplomatic and 1 Presidential anyone can find a room that's just right. Regardless of choice, guests can gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows and relax in the natural wood and textile layout by Tokyo-based designer Super Potato.
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is located on floors 79-93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center and was once considered the tallest hotel in the world (that’s now been trumped by the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai).
Still, no matter the designation, we give it an award for having the best view around and we've loved it for a long time. The reason is simple. Once you take the express elevator up to the 87th lobby floor of this mammoth building you’ll be gobsmacked by the incredible panoramic views of the city that’s becoming the center of attention for many hotel brands. The Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, and Bulgari are coming to town, sooner rather than later.
An afternoon dim sum lunch at the 100 Century Avenue restaurant on the 91st floor makes it hard to concentrate on the food and not the famous Oriental Pearl Tower in the distance. And at night, the ambiance and views at the Park Hyatt get even better when you go to level 92 and the Music Room, where a cocktail to accompany the live music sets an incredible scene.
Naturally, if you’re afraid of heights, you might disagree with our choice, but we just say, don’t look down!
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Park Hyatt Bangkok
With the Grand Hyatt Erawan already open, the group’s selection of brands in the city is nearly complete. So Mister Hyatt, will an Andaz be next? While we wait for that announcement (we just heard about a Tokyo addition), read on for details on the two new hotels.
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Ski at Beaver Creek Mountain Resort in Colorado, and it's hard to deny there's any hotel better situated than the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Other Beaver Creek ski lodges and hotels can promise "ski in ski out" access, but none have Park Hyatt's backyard right at the base of the mountain, not to mention a front yard right in Beaver Creek Village.
You might expect uber exclusiveness given the hotels pristine location, but we recently discovered something unexpectedly communal about Park Hyatt Beaver Creek; free gourmet s'mores.
It was about 4 pm and we were coming in from our last run as the slopes were closing for the day. The sun was already on the move to set and we couldn't help but to notice the glowing fire pits at the Park Hyatt, just steps away from the Buckaroo Gondola. Why not wander over? It was far too picturesque and inviting to pass up.
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Either Hurricane Sandy has unresolved issues with Hyatt, or NYC construction workers didn't properly secure their equipment like they were supposed to. We're guessing it's the latter.
In any case, earlier this afternoon, a crane on top of One57 (the still-in-progress glass tower that's eventually supposed to become the Park Hyatt New York) got snapped in half by howling 60 mph winds, and is currently dangling precariously over 7th Avenue.
Since further winds could cause the crane to collapse completely and fly off into the air, the NYPD is ordering the evacuation of all buildings surrounding the crane, which includes more than a few major hotels (Hilton New York and Le Parker Meridien come to mind).
Did we mention that One57 is also slated to be Manhattan's tallest residential building? Yeah, this is kind of a situation.
Final stop after the stretch
Sunrise yoga. Noontime meditation. Rush hour water aerobics. Really, we thought we'd heard of everything when it comes to lower impact fitness classes offered at hotels. That is, we thought we'd heard of everything until we got wind of the "Good Night Sleep Stretch" at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Sure, the hotel may be more famous for its cloud-high New York Bar where pivotal scenes of Lost in Translation were filmed, but unlike the bar with its evening cover charge, the Sleep Stretch is a free amenity for guests.
So what happens? Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 9pm in the Aerobics Studio of the hotel's Club On The Park, guests come together with an instructor to "relax and stretch [their] entire body before bed to promote a restful sleep." Simple and relaxing. And did we mention it was free?