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What's missing from this picture?
If you've thought to yourself recently, 'Gee, Dubai sure is a great place to visit, but boy, would it be even better if they opened a W, Westin and St Regis there too!' then we're here to tell you your prayers have been answered. Starwood announced today that it will do just that, after signing an agreement with Al Habtoor Group (the same conglomerate responsible for the city's upcoming Waldorf-Astoria resort, and a few of its own hotels too).
All three hotels will get built onto the same, giant complex (a one million square-foot property, in case you were wondering), and the total room count will be 1,675. This on top of the fifteen other hotels that Starwood already operates in Dubai, including Le Meridien, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton. But, we suppose, there's always room for a few more...
Hotel Music / Hotel Concerts / Celebrity Scoop / Starwood Hotels / Westin Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Sheraton HOtels / St Regis Hotels / W Hotels / → All Tags
Any true Ben Folds Five fans will have already heard the news (which Mr. Folds announced himself via Twitter in January), but for the rest of you: the Ben Folds Five will be making their first album since 1999. And one of the places they'll be re-uniting onstage? The Westin Times Square.
We know what you're thinking...but before you go scratching your heads about why they would pick such a random concert venue for their reunion tour, know that this gig is actually part of a new live music program being launched by Starwood hotels all over the world. Titled "On Tour with SPG: Hear the Music, See the World," the promotion consists of notable bands either performing in, DJing at, or attending parties inside Starwood hotels—all for the enjoyment of (incredibly spoiled) SPG members.
Celebrity Scoop / Kanye West / St Regis Hotels / London Hotels / Bad Celebrity Behavior / → All Tags
Rapper Kanye West must prefer hotels to mansions. After an extended stay at the Mercer Hotel last year, Kanye has ditched NYC for London and is now living at the swank Lanesborough Hotel where guest rooms and suites come with their very own butler.
Word is that Kanye is staying in one of the hotel's $5,000 a night suites along with fellow rappers Common, Pusha T and Big Sean. And it was Big Sean with the big mouth who told the UK's Sun newspaper that the group's loud music upset the royal family.
Kanye had rented out the top floor and we was banging that bitch out. Every room was a studio. The Royal Family below were complaining like, 'We got all this loud-ass rap music above us and weed smoke.' They paid all this money and you don't expect to get these kind of complaints.
Movie Set Hotels / St Regis Hotels / Hampton Hotels / Celebrity Scoop / Standard Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Paris Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
There's nothing really new about movie crews making use of hotels (either in which to film, or to sleep—though rarely both). But lately, it seems like location scouts are getting more and more creative with their picks. Here's a look at five recent movies that have all shot in hotels.
When director Steve McQueen went looking for a hotel to host his movie about a manic sex addict (played by Michael Fassbender), the Standard must have seemed like a pretty obvious choice. In addition to a painfully tense sex scene shot in one of the hotel's Hudson-facing rooms, the Shame crew also made use of the former Boom Boom Room to film Carey Mulligan dressed up like a lounge lizard singing "New York, New York."
Ever since we saw this view of the pool deck at the St. Regis Bal Harbour we've been daydreaming of staying at the high-end resort. So, with its January 19 opening date fast approaching, we thought we'd see if the hotel was offering any opening specials to bring down that initial starting rate of $809 a night.
Here's what we saw when we opened up the hotel's website yesterday...
Back in the fall of 2009, designer Jason Wu showed his Spring/Summer collection at the St. Regis New York, and on each chair, he placed a box of macaroons that had been made downstairs at Alain Ducasse's restaurant Adour. A few weeks later, Wu picked the hotel to celebrate his twenty-seventh birthday. Clearly, there's some chemistry here.
We're sorry to ruin your Friday with this story about an outrageously expensive hotel fee but we feel you just had to know, especially if you were considering booking a stay at the St. Regis Bahia Bahia in Puerto Rico.
A prospective guest and tipster emailed us the description of the $60 resort fee which is found on the hotel's website:
Guest will be charged $60 USD daily for a resort charge inclusive of tax. This includes: toll-free and local phone calls, high-speed wireless Internet access in public areas and guest rooms, a welcome cocktail amenity in each room upon arrival, beach and pool services including beach umbrellas, ice cold water “spritzing”, frozen grapes, electronic books and I-pods (based upon availability), fresh-fruit bites, unlimited use of all non-motorized water sports and snorkeling equipment exclusively at the Boat House, bicycles (based upon availability), tennis center/courts day and night (equipment available at no additional cost), and use of our golf course driving range.
This April Fools Day, the St Regis Bangkok and St Regis Lhasa will both open their doors to the public, no foolin'!
Granted the Lhasa hotel opened November 15th but like a few hotels "opening" lately it wasn’t actually finished and April 1st is the official opening, in that it's the day when the Iridium Spa opens and it's finally complete.
The St Regis Bangkok is opening on time, which is just as well as the other Starwood hotel in the city, the Aloft Bangkok has been delayed until October 2011. This too was planning to open April 1st.
St Regis Bangkok has 176 rooms, Thailand’s first Elemis Spa, three restaurants including an outpost of ZUMA, SkyLounge, Drawing Room serving afternoon tea (because afternoon tea is big in Bangkok) and a wine cellar aptly named Decanter.
But the highlight for us is the infinity pool, that’s where we’d be, sipping ‘Siam Marys” the hotels signature cocktail. Room rates from £154 including breakfast or dinner.
On the heels of the InterContinental's bodacious new iPad app, we have another luxury hotel brand going above and beyond the call of duty to serve its guests in a high-tech manner--The St. Regis New York, which has just unveiled its own E-Butler program.
The program is actually a mobile app that is available from the iTunes app store for free. Guests can download it prior to arriving at the hotel and then once they arrive, they can start communicating electronically with their butler. See an example of a butler-guest chat above.
The app also features an "Insider's Guide" from New York's various personalities such as Vogue's André Leon Talley, fashion designer Jason Wu, chef Alain Ducasse, architect David Rockwell and the Village Voice's Michael Musto. These folks have all chipped in with their favorite shops, restaurants and city landmarks and the app does a nice job of organizing their picks simply and on Google Maps as well.
And of course, anytime a guest wants to book one of these recommendations, they can do so directly through the E-Butler.
Yesterday, we gave you our 10 picks for holiday gifts from hotels but if you're still looking for something special, perhaps this will strike your fancy.
Remember how we mentioned last month that St. Regis Hotels had teamed up with jewelry designer Alexis Bittar to create some St. Regis-inspired pieces? Well, they are now available for sale on Bittar's own website.
Here are the St. Regis Collection by Alexis Bittar Earrings ($235), St. Regis Collection by Alexis Bittar Necklace ($490) and our personal fave, the St. Regis Collection by Alexis Bittar Geranium Brooch ($385).
Miami Hotel Mambo / St Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / → All Tags
We already told you that the work on the much-hyped Cipriani Miami had stalled. When we drove past the construction site in May, it looked like a sad, hollow shell. Guess what? It still does. (We drove past it again yesterday but were unable to snap a picture from I-95--road safety and all that...)
But further north on Collins Ave, the construction fairies have been hard at work on the St. Regis Resort & Residences, and this picture from Miamism makes us think that the super-posh property may just make its planned July 1, 2012 opening date.
Though much of the recent reportage about the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point has been about the popular luxury resort’s financial troubles, we found at least one bright spot, economically speaking: the new $39, three-course prix fixe menu at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern restaurant.
The budget menu is available Wednesday-Sunday (every night that the restaurant itself is open), and each night features a simple, hearty main course like Wednesday’s fish and chips, Thursday’s Kobe steak frites with roasted baby carrots, Friday’s cedar-plank salmon with potatoes and bacon vinaigrette, and Saturday’s roast prime rib with twice-baked potato.