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It looks like on June 1st, Regent Hotels will be making good on its promise to add a new resort in Sanur, on the south eastern coast of Bali; a welcome encore from its first opening in years in Phuket last December. And there’s no lack of ambition, with the hotel’s General Manager going on record to say that his ultimate goal is to make it “the number one resort in Bali”.
That will be a tall order on an island packed with noteworthy competition, including Four Seasons (times two), no less than three Aman Resorts, a St. Regis, and many others. So what kind of amazingness can we expect?
How about that? We mentioned it over the summer when we looked at new Asia hotels, but Regent Hotels will finally open its first new property in a long time early December: the Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, Thailand.
Set in its own private bay, 15 minutes away from Phuket town, the hotel features 105 rooms, suites, and villas. Entry-level pavilions start at 60m2, suites are a little larger and have an open plan lay-out with a view of either the bay or the ocean. Pool villas will give you 150m2 to roam around in, an outdoor deck with a private pool, butler service, and complimentary access to the Regent Club for breakfast and drinks throughout the day. All rooms come with an iPad and happily, complimentary WiFi.
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Remember when South Beach had a Regent?
Yes, we're talking a Regent Hotels Regent, although this was over five years ago, an eternity in the Miami Hotel Mambo game. If not, you may instead remember the Regent Bal Harbour--also no longer around.
Let them eat burgers
It must have been a difficult request for the hotel to accommodate. On Friday afternoon, hundreds of fans waited outside the Regent Taipei for the arrival of their queen, Lady Gaga. And though the Turquoise-Haired One managed to enter the hotel unseen, she made it clear that her commitment to her fans is as strong as ever.
Hours after she arrived, hotel staffers were instructed to deliver 100 burger-and-fries combos to the crowd waiting downstairs. Not every hotel is equipped with their own hidden hotel burger shop, so we're guessing some bellhops had to dash to a local fast food chain. But it sure beat Lady Gaga having to maneuver around the hotel in those mile-high platforms!
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While in France recently, we took a quick trip from Paris down to Bordeaux, which is literally quick as we’re talking about a train trip on Rail Europe's TGV that takes under 3 hours. The idea was to hang out in the UNESCO World Heritage city, otherwise known as the “Port of the Moon” thanks to its crescent shape along the Garonne River, but of course we had to have a great hotel too.
We decided to camp out at the city’s only five-star hotel, the recently restored Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux—not least of all so we could try the fancy signature lobster dish prepared using a 30,000 Euro silver Christophle lobster press at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Pressoir d’Argent—but in the meantime, we snapped this photo gallery and video of our Junior Suite:
Heading south for the winter but not so keen on contracting Legionnaire’s Disease? Obviously, you’ll want to steer clear of downtown Miami—despite its “hot new ’hood” tag, that’s where one guest died and two others fell ill with the Medieval-sounding sickness at the EPIC Hotel. But on the other end of town—a safe 15 miles north from
DiseaseDowntown—you’ll find another sleek new beach tower to retreat to in the ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.
It’s a bit of a hike from South Beach (think even further north than Canyon Ranch), but hopefully that makes it a cleaner, safer option. We haven’t heard of any Legionnaire’s cases in SoBe yet but the area has its own benign ills—over-tanning, over-drinking, and over-clubbing. Up in Bal Harbour, you’re more likely to run into J.Lo shopping for the twins than, say, clones of Hef’s new twins.
We've long admired the view from the Regent Esplanade Zagreb in Croatia, and now we think they're offering a package to fit: the Castle Tour package. It's a combination of private tours and anything involving castles sure makes us feel that bit regal.
The deal includes two nights' accommodation in a Superior double room, with breakfast included as well as internet access. (They say it's high speed, but we have a different experience of Croatian internet access so we're not making any promises).
The Regent Hotels has a problem picking and sticking with hotels. Today, tipsters sent us word that the hotel management company has effectively stopped managing the The Regent Bal Harbour in Florida. The hotel will now be known as The Bal Harbour Hotel.
The Regent brand dismissal is actually due to the bankruptcy of the hotel's owner, WCI Communities. Regent Hotels has put forth this statement:
Regent Hotels & Resorts is proud of its tenure managing The Regent Bal Harbour since its opening, having achieved strong positioning in the South Florida luxury hotel market. For example, the hotel was ranked by Travel + Leisure magazine among "15 hotels to watch" in the most recent "World's Best" issue. The brand is continuing to expand globally, including the opening of eight new hotels over the next three years in locations that span the world, from Puerto Rico to the Maldives.
The Regent Maldives might've been slated to open in 2008, and then the first quarter of 2009, but we're kind of used to the Regent Hotels people rescheduling their opening dates. Now we're hearing late 2009 for the Maldives and some rumors are going solidly for December 1, 2009. We've gotta say, though, that this place looks like it'll be worth the wait.
Of course, it's easy to look gorgeous when your hotel is made up of 50 luxury villas on a private coral island. To be precise, the Regent Maldives is on Maalefushi Island, eight hectares of tropical plants surrounded by white beaches. That's easy to love.
Of these 50 villas, 23 of them are planted on the beach and 27 of them are overwater villas; they've all got private plunge pools, indoor and outdoor showers and vast wooden decks where you can enjoy the view. But what really tweaks our romantic bones is this:
Small uninhabited islands near The Regent Maldives can be arranged as the perfect venue for romantic dinners or private parties with bonfires, barbecues and traditional Maldivian drum music under the stars.
No word yet on opening rates (we're guessing they won't be too cheap) and their website isn't allowing bookings yet. Is that because December's too far away or they're not quite sure they'll be ready? We don't really mind, we're just waiting to hang out on our special uninhabited island.
The Regent Hotels chain has a deal going for anyone visiting their three European hotels: the Regent Esplanade Zagreb in Croatia, the Regent Berlin in Germany or the Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux in France (they're adding a fourth hotel in Dubrovnik next year).
It's not a mindblowingly-fantastic deal compared to some of the discounts out there, but it's better than nothing: if you stay two nights including a Saturday, or three nights including a Tuesday or a Wednesday, then you'll get a 20% discount on your room rate. You can book this deal through til the end of August for stays all the way through 2009.
This is clearly a deal targeted at filling gaps in their booking schedules and while we think it's a bit complicated to plan your trip around the nights hotels are typically emptiest, these three hotels are worth trying. In Bordeaux you can get really fresh lobster, the Berlin Regent is well-located and fancy-looking and the Zagreb location earned some great feedback from one of our readers well, apart from the complaint that the hotel toiletries seem a bit male-oriented. Ladies might need to use some of cash left over from the 20% savings to get some prettier-smelling stuff instead.
Regent Hotels broke ground last week at what will (probably) be the Regent Palmas del Mar Puerto Rico come December 2011.
We say probably because we haven't got a whole lotta faith left in Regent Hotels and their properties--remember they palmed a few places off to Vincci Hotels and Four Seasons and didn't even finish building the Boston Battery Wharf property before they dropped out of the deal.
Assuming Regent sees this one through, the Regent Palmas del Mar will be a 150-roomer about half an hour away from San Juan. It'll have plenty of the usual resort trappings and included in the spa complex will be five over-water spa suites, which we like the sound of. And you'll be able to get married there with a chapel and ballroom just ready for vows. But be warned, anything could happen between now and December 2011.
Good news: we just got the final word from Fairmont that they've officially taken over the property and have scheduled it to be open and ready to go as soon as this coming December.
Word from the official press release:
The contemporary hotel will feature 150 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including Fairmont Gold, the brand's exclusive lifestyle offering featuring warm and personalized service with amenities such as private reception and a comfortable guest lounge. Guestrooms will be spacious with a large work area, marble baths and all of the technology features consistent with five-diamond standards. The décor will be residential in style and inspired by the property's harbor side location.
And yes, Fairmont is keeping with Regent's plans to feature a restaurant "designed with guidance by" acclaimed chef Guy Martin. Thanks for saving the day here, Fairmont.