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If, like us, you’re a sucker for tall buildings, you’ll be all excited about the opening of the Shanghai Tower, which will top out at 2073 feet – the second tallest structure in the world – when it opens in a few months in Pudong with 121 floors. There will be a 120th-floor observation deck, offices, restaurants, cafes “sky lobbies” (areas open to the public) and, oh yes, a five star hotel.
Will it be Shangri-La? Mandarin Oriental? No! It’s one you might not immediately think of, Jin Jiang International Hotels, a major Chinese group. The Shanghai Tower J-Hotel will occupy floors 84-110 of the skyscraper, with the lobby on floor 101.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel News / Rocco Forte Hotels / Shanghai Hotels / St. Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Mumbai Hotels / Langkawi Hotels / Carmelo Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Panama Hotels / Madrid Hotels / → All Tags
Hello Thursday! Time for a quick roundup of news from around the world, because hotels never sleep. We’ve got Shanghai, Mumbai, Uruguay, and a few places in between. Onwards!
Rocco Forte Shanghai: Following the first small steps on the road to significant expansion taken in Jeddah, here is the confirmation that Shanghai (above) will follow in 2018. The first Rocco Forte hotel in China is also the first in Asia Pacific altogether, and part of the “Longhua International Aviation Service Centre, a new urban complex in Shanghai’s Xuhui Riverside area known as West Bund”. There is no official name yet, but it will be on the top 15 floors of a high-rise at 280 rooms and suites.
Hotel News / Rocco Forte Hotels / Hotel Expansion / Hotel Development / Jeddah Hotels / Venice Hotels / Shanghai Hotels / → All Tags
Having seen its struggles, we were very excited when Rocco Forte talked about the promising future for his hotel group following a $95m cash injection from Italian investors, not in the least because of his goal to revive the Grand Tour of Italy and save the country’s economy in the process. There was talk of hotels in Venice, Milan, Naples, and Sicily, as well as others further afield to double Rocco Forte’s presence from its current ten hotels.
While we were expecting Venice to be announced first, given the “advanced stage of discussion” about a hotel there, further afield it is: number 11 will be the Assila Hotel and Residence, a development in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, opening this summer.
Above a rendering of the hotel, which will have 146 rooms, 62 suites, and 94 serviced apartments in what looks to be a dual-towered glass structure.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Shanghai Hotels / Ahn Luh Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Remember when we talked about Ahn Luh Resorts & Residences, a new Chinese luxury hotel brand that, among others, has Adrian Zecha of Aman Resorts behind it? That’s well over two years ago, but it looks like there will soon be something tangible to look at and try out the “essence of Old World Chinese hospitality in today’s context of contemporary elegance” that Ahn Luh is hoping to bring to us.
Here is what you need to know: there are six hotels in the pipeline, all in China for now, but international expansion is part of the plans. First up, with an opening this year, is Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao in Shanghai (above), in a historic suburb of Shanghai. The brand’s flagship Ahn Luh Thousand Island Lake will open next year, as well as Ahn Luh Lanting in Shaoxing, Ahn Luh Dujiangyan, and Ahn Luh Yanming Lake. A beach resort at Xunliao Bay (near Hong Kong) will arrive in 2017, while Ahn Luh Yichun will open in 2018 in an area known as “the natural oxygen bar”, with the world’s largest Korean pine primeval forest and an annual average temperature of 1C (34F). More details and some very cool renderings below.
Millennials have dominated the hotel scene for at least a year, now. Will the trend burn out soon? Who knows? But in the meantime, one lot of savvy hoteliers is going for the next generation – enter the Toy Story Hotel, due to open in Shanghai next year.
Who is this company thinking of the kids? It’s Disney, natch – the hotel will form part of the Shanghai Disney Resort (Disney’s sixth on the globe). This is Toy Story full immersion: the exterior will be done up to resemble the clouds-n-sky wallpaper of Andy’s bedroom, and there will be a gigantic Pixar ball at the porte cochere.
Toy Story Hotel will have 800 rooms, and, according to Disney, will “immerse guests in a world inspired by the toys from the Disney Pixar series of Toy Story animated films”. Which could be a little creepy.
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Way back in 2012, we snapped a few pictures of another newcomer: the W Beijing Chang’An, hoping it would be ready for what then seemed an eternity away – the first day of 2014. That, unfortunately, did not quite work out as planned, with the hotel now pushed back until late June. New Year’s day of 2014 was going to be a double party, with the joint opening of sister property W Shanghai – The Bund, but there we’re looking at June next year before we get to go inside. At least we have some glimpse of what the hotels look like for you now.
DeNiro, with his other partner in Nobu Hotels, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Robert De Niro must have been pretty happy about his experience working with BD Hotels on The Greenwich Hotel because he's partnering with them again to develop a new five-star boutique hotel...in Shanghai.
The hotel will be part of what is being called Project 179 a 850,000-square-foot complex on the Bund that will also feature retail space, restaurants "led by accomplished restaurateurs currently operating distinguished establishments in the United States," a performance center and multi-screen cinema. Let's hope the first screening at this new cinema is a Taxi Driver/Raging Bull double-bill.
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Two weeks ago, we ran a story on some of the details about a hotel room that bother the average luxury traveler. Have you ever flung open the drapes in a gorgeous room, only to see a brick wall a few feet away? Yeah, we should’ve added that to the list. Few things can be so disappointing. In complete contrast, when you score one of those oh-so-sweet views to die for, it can be the difference between an okay hotel stay and the memory of that room with the great view. So, in case you were out to make your next great memory, allow this list of killer hotel views to inspire you:
We begin with Capella Lodge (pictured above), located on the itty-bitty (11 kilometers in length) Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. The landmass is located in the midst the world’s most southern coral reef, an area declared an UNESCO heritage site in the early ‘80s. Seriously, who wouldn't want to wake up like this?
Adventures in Overservice / HotelChatter Flickr Pool / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Shanghai Hotels / → All Tags
When we checked the HotelChatter Flickr Pool this morning for some new additions, we found this snapshot of the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai from member BenLee123, a well-traveled man with a taste for the finer hotels in life.
The hotel just opened in April and as we expected the luxury hotel looks pretty luxurious filled with lots of high-tech amenities.
BenLee123 dropped in a few more photos of the hotel and he also posted a link to his lengthy TripAdvisor review. But this paragraph stood out for us:
No request is too much trouble. Some examples: I was on medication during this trip and asked the hotel to prepare and boil some Chinese herbs which I brought along twice a day. That’s something out of the usual service request and any lesser hotel especially in China, the answer will be an immediate NO. In this case, the staff immediately agreed to prepare this for me without a second thought or the need to “consult with management”.
Xie xie indeed!
The hotel is still offering its opening offer which gives you a complimentary second night and free internet. We found rooms on the 11th of October for just $277 USD a night.
Got a cool hotel photo to share? Drop it into our HotelChatter Flickr Pool and maybe next Monday, we'll be talking about your photo instead!
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We loathe saying goodbye to summer before it's time, but back-to-school commercials always perform hateful Jedi mind-tricks on us. We begin to believe there's only a short time left between swimsuit and turtle neck season come end of August.
That's why we're presenting this "Last Chance Rooftop Party" guide designed to get you out there before the scene packs up and heads to warmer pastures. Those of you in warmer climates have little to worry about, but for those whose barometers are already dropping, this one's for you!
Le Bain at The Standard NYC
This bi-level roof bar and club in the Meatpacking District is as trendy as it gets. In fact, it might be a tad intimidating to those unfamiliar with The Standard's unofficial "live and let live policy". In other words--the pool area? There may be some toplessness about. The best thing to do is don your shades and focus on the choice music, indulging in wicked drinks, and chowing down on freshly made crepes--savory or sweet. And turn your attention to the glittery Hudson River if your eyes are being assaulted by the bumping and grinding of hips dancing. Join party-girl Susanne Bartsch's outlandish Tuesday soirees, groove to house music all night long (4 am on Friday's) and more. BTW, there's no cover charge to partake in all this fabulousness, but there may be a line. Hit up Facebook for guest list entry.
The SLS Hotel at South Beach
Starting at 12pm on Sunday's, the hotel's trendy Hyde Beach pool area turns into the jumping J'Adore party. Live DJs pump up the jam and bikini-and-Speedo clad party people dance the day away. In between shaking their groove thangs, serious cocktails and loads of bubbly is poured and folks dine off a special snack or Brunch menu. How does churrasco con chimichurri (grilled skirt steak with herb salad )or market ceviche prepared Peruvian style with cancha corn sound? Here's where the beautiful SoBe people show up in droves to snag a cabana or lounger, so reserve early and wear your best bathing attire.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Segways / Shanghai Hotels / China Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
We've told you about some hotels that want to send you exploring their city on a free bike and now we have a property that has the need for a bit more speed. Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai has bypassed the bicycle and gone straight for guided tours of the area via the futuristic Segway.
The new hotel is perfectly located on the banks of Shanghai's Huangpu River and is an ideal location to catch some great photos ops of the towers financial district or the historic Bund across the waterway. These personal transporters make seeing the vast city a whole lot easier while reducing sore feet and the need for rest breaks; although, if your 'dogs' start barking, a trip to the hotel's garden-themed spa wouldn't disappoint.
Each 30-minute tour will kick-off as the heat begins to wane at 3:30 with the last tour leaving the hotel at 6:30pm, just in time for some stunning snaps of the setting sun making the city sparkle with colored lights. If your confidence on the two-wheeler isn't as great as you'd like, don't worry because there is free practice riding lessons at the start of the day's tours, giving even the least tech-savvy riders the ability to scoot down the promenade safely.
At the beginning of the year we were hoping that after seemingly endless anticipation, end of June would be the time to finally whiz up to the heights of Shangri-La at the Shard in London. Latest word however is that we’ll all have to hold our breath until after the summer before that can happen, with opening of the hotel pushed back to September.
While we continue to wait, the group is offering something to tie us over though: the Jing An Shangri-La Puxi, its second hotel in Shanghai, due to arrive on June 29 in the city's west end. Its older sibling can be found in the eastern Pudong business district, looking impossibly small from high up its vertiginous neighbor.