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Hotel Openings / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Rancho Mirage Hotels / Palm Springs Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
About a year ago we asked the question whether the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, hovering in hotel-limbo since the ’08 financial crisis, would ever recover to the point of having an opening date and welcoming paying guests.
Our answer is here today: the hotel will actually, finally, truly open on May 15, just over a week after fellow chronic delay case the Shangri-La at the Shard. 2014 is proving to be quite the good luck charm for these hotels.
If you're reading this today from inside a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, then scurry on down to the front desk and immediately request one of the new signature Ritz-Carlton chocolate cakes.
Available at all Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world, the chocolate cake was created as an edible way to celebrate the heritage of Ritz-Carlton. They also wanted a cake that could travel well as they anticipated guests would take them home as gifts.
So, 20 of the Ritz's pastry chefs from around the world were asked to submit their own recipe for the best cake, all to be executed by Frederic Barasse, the head pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, and judged by Ritz-Carlton's top execs.
However, Ritz's corporate chef Rainer Zinngrebe had some stipulations--the cake had to contain Grand Marnier since the liqueur was named by Cesar Ritz for his friend Louis-Alexandre Marnier La Postelle, who had invented the liqueur (and who later gave Ritz the money to start up his very first hotel in Paris.) The cake also had to contain fine chocolate because, well, of course it has to have chocolate. And lastly, the cake needed to stay fresh for up to eight days.
After an extensive taste-test (which was written about for the latest issue of the Ritz-Carlton magazine), the chef with the winning cake was….
Keep reading to find out who won the Ritz-Carlton cake-off!
Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas but the saying couldn't more true with the suite offerings at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Instead of giving its VIP guests the penthouse or the presidential suite, the Ritz is now giving them an entire wing of the hotel to occupy.
Called The Ritz-Carlton Suite Privacy Wing, the exclusive area includes the largest suite in the house--the 2,385-sq.ft. Ritz-Carlton Suite which has killer views of the city--along with four additional connecting rooms and suites, as well as a dedicated private main entrance, a nearby access staircase, a service elevator and keyed elevator access. The wing can sleep up to 16 people and gives each guest access to the Ritz-Carlton Club lounge.
Total cost? "Only" $7,500 a night.
Peep the Ritz-Carlton Suite and the wing's floor plan below!
Hotel Renovations / Before and After / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Naples Hotels / Florida Hotels / → All Tags
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.
When we visited the The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a tween back in the early 90s, we're pretty sure the rooms looked similar to what you see above. Fortunately, the hotel has undergone a multi-million dollar makeover that will impress everyone, even those critical tweens.
Keep reading to see how the resort looks after the renovations!
That would be the rooftop of the Ritz-Carlton Vienna, more specifically Atmosphere Rooftop Bar & Lounge, where it was frightfully cold when we took advantage of being in the Austrian capital to peruse the most recent European addition to the group.
We were outside just long enough to see how during the summer it must be a lovely spot, with views over the city’s rooftops, and as the plaques on the edge indicate, various Ritz-Carlton hotels far off in the distance. Downstairs, we toured the public spaces inside the combined four historic palaces and a few of the 202 rooms & suites – read on for more.
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!
Earlier this week, we were stunned by the Laduree Macaron Christmas Tree at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. Today, there's another macaron creation to drool over, The Nutcracker at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common which stands 14-feet tall and consists entirely of gingerbread macarons. Below are some fun facts from Chef Andrew Yeo about the structure, which apparently needs daily touch-ups because hungry guests keep filching macarons from it!
· The Nutcracker is made out of 20 pounds of almond flour, 100 pounds of granulated sugar, five pounds of water and 4,106 egg whites.
· In total, that's more than 3,000 macarons, flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, clove and almond.
· Using the hotel's entire pastry team, it took about a week to build from start to finish.
· Yeo was inspired by a gift he received earlier in the year from Laduree Paris and that set his mind on doing something for the holidays with macarons.
· Last year, the hotel built a life-sized gingerbread house that housed a gift shop for the Boston Ballet. This year, they wanted to go bigger yet still incorporate the ballet. Thus The Nutcracker, which comes to life next door at the Opera House.
· Lastly, the figure is 14-feet-tall to celebrate 2014. Clever!
The hotel still has rooms open for Christmas starting at $395 a night. The hotel also has a Nutcracker Suite package available that includes a stay in a luxury suite with holiday trimmings and elements inspired by Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, a Teddy Bear tuck-in service, a saint pointe shoe autographed by a Boston Ballet company dancer, a CD recording of The Nutcracker and a Sugar Plum inspired bubble bath drawn by butler. Fancy! But it costs $995 a night.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel Openings / Kosher Hotels / Israel Hotels / Hotel News / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
It's been three years (three!) since we first posted a sneak peek at the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya in Israel, a first for the brand, but now today, the hotel is finally and officially open to hotel guests. And it's totally kosher too.
The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya is a contemporary resort situated above the Marina with accommodations including 115 rooms and 82 suites and residences. Contemporary interiors inspired by the colours of the Mediterranean coastline combine with the sweeping sea views to create a spacious relaxed ambience in each of the rooms and suites. An exciting collection of artwork throughout the hotel is centred on an original video-art piece by Ayal Landseman, specially commissioned for the lobby area.
Rounding out the services and amenities are a kosher restaurant from Israeli Chef Yonathan Roshfeld, a rooftop pool, two bars and lounges and a Ritz-Carlton spa and fitness center. And there's a beach nearby too.
Rates this weekend at the hotel start at $375US a night for standard room with a partial view. Rooms with the full-on ocean view start at $450 a night. Amazingly, the rooms look very much like the renderings we first saw back in 2010. You can peep the renderings and the reality in our photo galleries below.
You know you scored a hotel room with a killer view if you walk in to find a telescope at the window.
For many hotel guests, scoring such an amenity is pure luck; however, for travelers who know what they want (and it's an in-room telescope), there are a few properties that make such an offering part of the experience.
Three hotels with in-room telescopes:
Back in June we talked about the return of Ritz-Carlton Hotels to Bali, with a new 288-room resort scheduled to open next year. Apparently the thinking over at RC is that two resorts is much better than one, as the group is adding another resort – this time an even fancier Ritz-Carlton Reserve – the year after.
Opening in the summer of 2015, the Reserve is set along the Ayung River in Ubud. It will be much smaller than its “regular” Ritzy sibling, with just 60 suites and villas. Read on for an aerial view and another shot of a suite.
Lost and Found / OpenThread / Customer Service / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Florida Hotels / Hotel Staff / Ritz Kids / Hotel News / → All Tags
We've all had horror stories when it comes to staying in a hotel, especially if we just happened to forget something in the room. While some might think that their article is lost forever, that's not always the case. Here's a story in great customer service by a hotel, restoring our faith in not only hotel staff far and wide, but humankind on a whole. Prepare to have your heart warmed.
The whole situation went down when the Hurn family decided to spend their vacation at Florida's Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Upon returning home after a few days soaking up the sun, living in luxury and scoring some rest and relaxation, their 8-year old son realized he had left his stuffed toy giraffe, Joshie, back at the resort.
Like any good father would do to buy some time, Chris Hurn told his son that the toy needed some "extra vacation time and would be home soon". He then called the hotel with the hopes that Joshie was sitting in a lost-and-found box somewhere in the backroom. To much surprise, Ritz-Carlton's staff informed him that Joshie was safe and sound and offered to send the plush animal home free of charge.
Hotel Happenings / Hotel Art / Miami Beach Hotels / Hotel Concierges / Art Basel Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / → All Tags
Art Basel, one of the top art shows in all the world bringing international modern masters and emerging talent together, is now on in one of the hottest cool capitals in the world, Miami. And of course, the city's vibrant hotel scene is getting in on the party. Here's a shortlist of what's happening at which hotels this week. Stay tuned tomorrow when we round-up some last-minute hotel options:
The Gale Hotel believes in starting early with their "Brunch Before You Basel" special featuring a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The party can start as early as 10 a.m. by calling 786-975-2550 to make a reservation.
Irish-born, London-based street artist Fin DAC will be making a splash at the Lord Balfour Hotel during Baselpalooza (yep, that's ours). Early last week the artist started working on a mural of a modern-day geisha on the hotel's interior courtyard wall. Visitors can watch art being created and may even get spray painted if they stand too close.
Miami Beach's Hotel Astor is launching the pop-up lounge Drinking Room on December 3. It will be run by the Food Network winner of Chopped, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and, aside from such intriguing cocktails as the "Grow a Pear" and small plates including "Carbonara Croquetas," during Art Basel famed chef Janice Wong of Singapore will partner with Rapicavoli to create edible art installations that will hang on the walls. Oooh... gooey. If patrons get involved it could quickly turn into Performance Art. For a reservation, call 305-531-8081. '
Opening This Month / Hotel Openings / Westin Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Aruba Hotels / China Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked.
But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of what hotels are opening this month (and a few that are changing brands as well.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
HOTELS OPENING IN NOVEMBER 2013
Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort, China: This long awaited Westin resort on Hainan Island in the South China Sea (it was supposed to open in 2012) is finally taking reservations for November 7th. The wait may have been worth the wait as this looks like no other Westin we've seen before. Rates start at around $242USD a night but the WiFi is going to cost an extra $13 a day. Also, a full moon is not guaranteed.
Le Meridien Zhengzhou, China: This ultra-luxe and super modern Le Meridien will also open on November 7 adajcent to Zhengzhou Eastern New District, with a shopping centre and cinema next door. But all this poshness DOES come cheap with rates starting at just $122USD a night. WiFi is free in the public spaces but can cost up to $10 a day to use in your room.
Westin Singapore Marina Bay: While this Westin is nowhere near as flashy as the neighboring Marina Bay Sands, it does boast an infinity rooftop pool and a Westin Heavenly spa. Rates for the 305-room hotel start at around $400 on November 12th. WiFi is free in the lobby but will cost $16 to use in your room.
Ritz-Carlton Aruba: Initially expected to open on November 2, the new Ritz-Carlton Aruba will now open 20 days later on November 22nd. Rates at Aruba's first five-star resort start at $649 a night. Rooms with an ocean view are going for $799.
The Landings Resort and Spa, South Lake Tahoe: According to a press release and the hotel's website, guests should be able to get in this month. But when we tried to make a reservation for November 22 (the first available date from the drop-down calendar), no rooms were open. We tried again for December 1st but no luck. So we'll just cross our fingers it opens this month.
WestHouse New York: The newest hotel in NYC will open just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27th. Which is kinda perfect timing since the hotel is all about blending "the privileges of a luxury hotel with the residential comforts of a New York townhouse." Rates start at $499 a night but also include a $30 resident fee per adult. That fee includes daily breakfast presentation, afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres, evening canapés, in-room Dean & Deluca amenity kit, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.