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A speck in the strikingly blue sea, there are no towns or high-rises, no major roads or cars (each guest, young and old, gets a bicycle), just white sandy beaches, that picture-perfect palm tree, and (what the resort promises is) blazingly fast and free internet, being the first test case for 4G capability in the Caribbean.
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Yo. There is so much hotel news flying around this week--way more than usual--and in between checking out Vin Diesel's latest Facebook video and signing petitions to get Bieber deported, we just don't have enough time to focus on all the new hotels news. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
TRUMP HOTEL RIO DE JANEIRO: So our guess yesterday about Trump Hotels' latest announcement had to do with China but we were so wrong. The luxury hotel group is actually planning a 13-story, 171-guestroom hotel in the Jardim Oceanico sub-district of the famous Barra da Tijuca borough. It will open in 2016 just in time for the Summer Olympics. The Rockwell Group will be doing the interiors and the hotel will have a rooftop pool deck with private VIP cabanas, a nightclub, a spa, a fitness center and all the signature Trump services and amenities.
THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Commune Hotels + Resorts have announced a second Thompson Hotel for Mexico--Thompson Playa Del Carmen. The hotel will have 125 rooms and suites with a rooftop pool as well as a spa. It will be the only hotel in Playa to have a both a central 5th Avenue--a 2-mile-long shopping and entertainment pedestrian thoroughfare--and a beachfront location. It will open in 2015. The other Thompson in Mexico, Thompson Los Cabos, is currently under development.
ROSEWOOD SANYA: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts have announced yet another new property. Rosewood Sanya will open in 2017 in a new development in Haitang Bay in Southern Hainan Island. The resort will actually be integrated with the International Finance Forum convention center which will open in 2015. Designed by Chicago-based architectural firm, Goettsch, the Rosewood Sanya will have 229 ocean-facing guest rooms and suites, an infinity-edge "sky pool" (i.e. located way up high), a Sense spa and five restaurant options.
Keep reading below for even more hotel news.
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This morning we spent some time updating the Master Openings List but there's one update we're really intrigued by--The Baha Mar Resort, opening in December in the Bahamas with no less than FIVE different hotel brands inside. We knew it was gonna be big but this is crazy big.
In total, the complex, nicknamed the "Bahamian Riviera", will have a total of 2,900 hotel rooms and residences, a 100,000 square foot casino, an 18-hole, 72-par Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, an ESPA spa and more than a dozen pools. Plus, a 200,000 square feet convention center. We know, insane!
Of course, we're most interested in the hotels that will open and it's quite a mix. The five resorts are as follows:
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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”.
When was the last time you sat inside the lobby of a major city hotel, sans open windows, and heard birdsong? Yeah, we couldn’t remember either, but it’s exactly what happened to us at Rosewood London last week. Our first reaction was one of dismissal, but when it persisted and we went exploring, it turned out to be real (admittedly, that made us feel a little bit better about our own sanity).
Make your way through the rose-bronze entrance gallery, which we still unreservedly love, turn left past the reception desk and by the set of elevators you’ll find a cage with finches and budgerigars. It’s one of many unexpected little things you’ll find around the hotel, now open just shy of two months on High Holborn, an area between the West End and the City that is rather incongruously being relabeled as “Midtown” by, among others, Mayor Boris Johnson.
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!
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The Regent Montenegro
There’s tons of hotel news flying around at the moment, so we have another roundup of news bites for you today to get you up to speed on the latest from Oman to Cambodia and China to Argentina.
Starting with the Arab sultanate of Oman, its newspaper Muscat Daily (Muscat is the capital) reports that the country will have the first Aman Resort in the Middle East, in the remote coastal town of Shuwaimiya. The developer of the eco-resort has confirmed Aman Resorts will open, with the hotel group so far taking a confirm-nor-deny approach. Whether or not it will be the first in the Middle East remains to be seen, based on what we hear about an opening in Jordan.
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Looking at cocktails menus these days, it’s clear bartenders (or mixologists as they like to call themselves), are shaking and stirring drinks intended to warm your insides—perfect for the crisp, fall weather many of us are experiencing.
These are some seasonal sips from some of our favorite hotel bars.
If you’ve never heard of “Movember” before, you can read about the male mustache-focused charity here. This year the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is supporting the cause with its Whiskey & Whiskers drink served at their Bernard’s bar. 20% of the proceeds from the $16 drink will be donated to the Movember Foundation. We love the mustache-stencil garnish created with sprinkles of ginger-cinnamon powder.
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Not only did we ogle Rosewood London last week (hopefully just phase one in Europe for the group), we also picked up some additional news: a first few snapshots of the rooms at Rosewood Beijing (coming next year) and the exciting update that another hotel is being planned for Bangkok.
Both hotels sound like they will be rather unique; the building in Beijing “will recall a mountain profile with contrasting volumes and shapes” and Bangkok promises 650-square foot Pool Sky Villas, with large terraces and private plunge pools (!!).
Two months have flown by since we stopped by Rosewood London in August to get a first impression of what was to come for the 1914 Edwardian Belle Epoque building on High Holborn, and here we are: the hotel is now officially open (on time! It can be done after all).
Having spent an evening exploring the public spaces, from arrival in the dramatically-lit courtyard and the stunning rose-bronze entrance gallery to the book-filled, library-feel Bar and elegant Mirror Room, we are seriously impressed with how that $130 million was spent. It’s a tasteful, luxurious, and, most of all, interesting mix of design, furniture, fabrics, colors, and art that really worked for us. Read on for more.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
Four Seasons goes to Seoul: the Canadian group just announced it will be adding a 317-room Four Seasons hotel in the Sejongro area of South Korea’s capital, due to open in May 2015 in a brand new 25-story building
One&Only goes Down Under: we had heard the rumor before, but it’s official now. Australia’s Hayman Island will be managed by One&Only, with a full re-launch in April next year. The resort, in the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, will undergo extensive renovations. Private residences will be added as well
Having closed the doors of the former Chancery Court Hotel last week, Rosewood Hotels is putting the pedal to the metal on its $130 million investment to create Rosewood London. No guests means free range over the 1914, Grade-II listed building on High Holborn, which should come out the other end looking shiny and new - and as envisaged by designer Tony Chi - by mid-October.
Renderings were all we had seen so far, but now we can take you inside for a glimpse of what’s to come, having donned our hard-hat to see both massive construction as it was happening and a completely done-up Premier Suite. If you knew the Chancery Court in its Renaissance days, you will have to erase whatever notions or visuals you had of the hotel from your memory. From what we’ve seen, it will be quite something else later this year.