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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!>
· RITZ-CARLTON PHOENIX TO BECOME AN AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION HOTEL: There's one less Ritz-y place to stay in Phoenix as the Ritz-Carlton there will be rebranded into an Autograph Collection Hotel, run by Destination Hotels. Per this press release, the property will close in July and will reopen in early 2016 as an Autograph Collection hotel. Perhaps they took note of this commenter's observation on our OpenThread in October:
However, the Ritz Phoenix is startlingly dilapidated and dated. I'm surprised it still meets the chain's standards. The lobby is pleasant enough but the rooms and especially bathrooms are ancient and unpleasant.
So far, there's no message on the Ritz site about the closure and we were able to make reservations for July online so the exact closing date doesn't seem to be so set in stone. We're sure that will change soon though.
Amsterdam Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Development / Four Seasons Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / → All Tags
The hotel news and gossip out of Amsterdam just keeps coming in: perhaps sensing we were somewhat disappointed with Hotel Pulitzer picking Preferred’s LVX Collection after leaving the Starwood fold, a kind tipster dropped us a link to a possible hotel project further down the city’s Prinsengracht canal in the former Palace of Justice.
Dating back to 1664 and 1864, the 15,000 sq m (161,000 sq ft) building was put up for sale earlier this year by the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (the Dutch government’s real estate agency of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations), complete with glossy interactive pdf that shows how the vast building could be put to different uses – including conversion into a luxury hotel, reportedly one of the last ones the city will allow within its historic core.
Hotel News Briefs / Four Seasons Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Commune Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Vīb Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world, from shiny new things in Paris to reservations in Milan and new global partnerships.
· Ritz-Carlton Chicago to Become a Proper Ritz-Carlton: There has been a lot of changes to the Four Seasons portfolio lately and here comes another one--The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, which despite its name, has been a Four Seasons property for quite some time--will drop all association with Four Seasons and become a real deal Ritz-Carlton on August 1. A FlyerTalk member posted this message on the board:
"On July 31, 2015, Four Seasons will be concluding its management of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel). Effective August 1, 2015, the Hotel will become a full participant in the Ritz-Carlton system. This means that the Hotel will no longer be a Ritz-Carlton in name only, but it will be a part of the Ritz-Carlton family of hotels."
Now the hotel will no longer have to correct guests when they get excited about staying at a Ritz-Carlton. Fortunately, those lake views won't change.
· The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Has At Last Declared Independence: After experiencing a rebirth under Jason Pomeranc's Thompson Hotels before becoming a Commune Hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt is striking out on its own again. The nearly 90-year-old hotel announced that "owners have once again taken over the management reigns, while maintaining a consulting agreement with Commune Hotels & Resorts." There were whispers two years ago that the Roosevelt wanted to go its own way so this looks like a nice a little compromise. The hotel won't be completely independent though as it is now a part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
At last, we said last month, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is returning to Australia. That was following the announcement of a new hotel in Perth, part of a mixed-use complex with the usual residences, retail spaces, and restaurants. If that was good news, here is more: a second Ritz-Carlton hotel will come to Melbourne, scooping up the title of highest hotel in Australia in the process.
Just as in the country’s far west, the hotel will be part of a mixed-use project called 250 Spencer Street, where the hotel will have 250 rooms between floor 64 and 77 in one of multiple towers (something tells us the Sofitel Melbourne, between floors 36 and 50 in a tower nearby, is not happy about this).
Hotel News / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Macau Hotels / China Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Adding 2,000+ hotel rooms to your group’s portfolio in the space of four months is pretty impressive, but JW Marriott is doing that by opening just two hotels. Last month, we welcomed JW Marriott Austin, at 1,022 rooms the beginning of a little hotel boom in the city, and on May 27 it will finally be time for JW Marriott Macau to open its 1,015 rooms. Between these two and the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai (1,600 rooms), JW Marriott is clearly going big, while at the same time not being afraid of a little private island action (or a little creative CGI).
Above a rendering of an entry-level Deluxe Room inside the hotel, part of the $1.9 billion Galaxy Macau complex. They come in at around 500 sq ft and seem to price around 2,388MOP (that is Macau Pataca), or $300 a night for an “Unlimited Urban Escape” package that includes breakfast, WiFi, and a “Grand Opening Welcome Gift”.
Chinese New Year Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Dim Sum Room Service / → All Tags
The Chinese New Year celebrations will kick off tomorrow but at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, the party will keep going through March 19.
Starting tomorrow, the hotel will offer a Year of the Sheep Package, priced from $489 a night, which includes overnight accommodations in a superior room (a two-night minimum is required), a special memento in the form of a silver fortune cookie, two Dragon's Gate cocktails, and an $88 dining credit for the hotel's Parallel 37 restaurant.
The hotel will also offer instruction cards for a self-guided walking tour of Chinatown (the largest outside of Asia) created by Parallel 37's own chef, Michael Rotondo. Highlights on the tour include the Chinatown Gate, The Wok Shop where the chef purchases kitchen utensils and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.
One strong reason to consider staying the night? Dim Sum Room Service. While there are plenty of great places for Dim Sum in San Francisco (shout out to Yank Sing), the Ritz is offering a special Dim Sum Presentation consisting of savory and fried dumplings at the touch of the room service button. It's available for $21 and will be on the menu starting tomorrow through March 19.
Marrakech Hotels / Hotel News / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Much like Bali, the hotel openings keep coming for Marrakech, no matter how crowded it is already. A year after we looked at that long list of options, here are four big name hotels that will open in the next few years: Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton.
First up: the second attempt of Mandarin Oriental, which should arrive this year after missing a planned 2014 opening. Like Milan, the hotel now has a dedicated website, with a first few interior images. The hotel will have 54 villas, 7 suites, and 2 spa suites – all with their own pool. The seven suites have rooftop plunge pools and are part of the main hotel building, with the spa suites giving over 4,000 square feet and infinity lap pools.
But aside from lounging by the pool, grabbing drinks at the bar at State Fair or napping in your guest room, there's something else you must do during your stay--hit up the spa.
We realize that for serious jet-setters and luxury hotel enthusiasts, this was already on your agenda for Palm Springs as desert retreats and massages go hand in hand. However, the Ritz-Carlton is serious about not just relaxation but tranquility and inner peace.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Bali Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
Not only did a kind tipster point us to The Ritz-Carlton Bali missing from our list of hotels opening this month, he also provided us with a set of photos of the days-old hotel. We first looked at the beachfront / cliff-side hotel last summer, now we have much more detail on the return of Ritz-Carlton to the Indonesian island and can compare rendering to reality. Speaking of Ritz-Carlton, Bali, and renderings, we also have a whole bunch of new ones for Mandapa, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve that will open in Ubud next summer.
Our tipster was at the resort a day after the first guests arrived, but noted that while it looked stunning, quite a few rooms and the spa weren’t ready. The above shot is taken from the top of the cliff overlooking the majority of the resort down to the beach, and construction is still visible on the left, although in the aerial view we saw last year all there was meant to be were trees.
It is always a bit surreal to step inside a hotel or resort that you've spent months or years hyping up--you know how we do it--poring over renderings, searching for possible opening dates, hunting for room amenities and cycling through the reservations system to find out the opening rates for different room types.
But when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs last month, that strangeness was heightened because the resort took more than seven years to open.
In fact, the resort was mostly finished in 2008 but then the financial crisis hit and since one of the hotel's backers just happened to be Lehman Brothers (RIP), the Ritz-Carlton was put on hold. The hotel was locked up--but fully secured and with air conditioning--for the next seven years until new owners (and money) were found to finish up the resort.
It finally opened for real in May. And yes, some of the rooms look exactly like the initial room renderings we saw back in 2007.
Yet despite all those years hidden away, half-finished and neglected, the resort has emerged as a bright, shiny desert gem.
Hotel Christmas Trees / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / Hotel Holiday Decorations / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The Merrion Dublin's two Christmas trees pales in comparison to the holiday spectacular that the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte has put on, which includes three Christmas trees, a gingerbread cottage, and an edible sleigh pulled by edible reindeer. Best take out your handkerchief to wipe up the drool.
Let's start with the 17-foot-tall tree made of 789 recycled green bottles and bathed in equally green lights. Obviously, this one is strictly for admiring, not for eating. (It's also a nod to the hotel's LEED Certification.)
Rich, er Ritz Chocolate Cake
We've learned which Four Seasons Hotel you heart the most, as well as your favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels, Andaz Hotels and the Le Meridien Hotels. Now, we're getting ritzy with it.
We want to know where in the world is your favorite Ritz-Carlton Hotel? This may be a tough question considering that Ritz-Carlton has opened up all over the world lately from Palm Springs to Kyoto, alongside expensive renovations of existing properties. But there's got to be a Ritz-Carlton you prefer above all the rest.
Maybe it's because your favorite TV show films there or maybe it's because they spoil your leather shoes or perhaps you just like their funky bar concept. Heck, maybe you just like their signature cake.
Whatever the ritzy reason, share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in comments below. Don't have a favorite but instead have a Ritz-Carlton you wouldn't visit again? We want to know that too!