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Last time we checked in with W Hotels' plans to relaunch the brand down under, Melbourne was the city to be rumored in the running for W's return to Australia (W once had a property in Sydney for a few years in the early aughts.) That fell through, so the folks over at W decided that Oz'z third largest city, Brisbane, would be the perfect place. Hence W Brisbane, opening in 2018.
In an announcement last week, W said the hotel would be a par of a brand spanking new building complex on the western side of the central business district, just steps from the city's namesake river. The entire development will result in three tower rising from the ground, with W Brisbane staking claim to one of them; the other two will be office spaces and luxury high-rise living.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Element Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Airport Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Part of a mixed-use development called Gateway Gardens, the hotel is just over 2 miles from the airport terminal. TripAdvisor reviews haven’t made it onto the site just yet, but a first few questions regarding airport shuttles (there is one 24 hours a day) are being answered by the hotel.
You may have realized by now that the Parker Palm Springs is one of our favorite hotels on earth. You may even have noted that one of the best ways to stay is through the Spa Junkie package, which gives you credit to PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club, the spa) with your room rate.
The package used to cost $199 plus tax, and give you $200 spa credit. This year, they changed it to a $250 room rate and $250 credit – not so cool, since the taxes and fees take it up to $324.
However, the Parker just announced it’s dialing back the prices for September - $199 for your stay, $200 spa credit. The deal is bookable until midnight tomorrow by clicking here.
Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Design / Hotel Rants / Abu Dhabi Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Le Royal Meridien Hotels / Jonathan Khoo / → All Tags
This looks like a nice bathroom, right? Granted, the toily is a little close to the shower, and we’d prefer a proper bidet to a hose that someone else might have done who knows what with, but overall it looks good. Props for the separate tub, sexy streak of brown marble and omg-yes-gimme-dat dinnerplate showerhead.
Except the hotel left out one thing. A panel of glass.
This was the tweet that alerted us to the problem recently, from friend of HC and intrepid traveler, Jonathan Khoo.
hey bathroom designers (hotel & otherwise), ALWAYS a bad idea to just have a shower out in the open with no wall, tub, curtain, lip, etc.— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) August 14, 2014
Yes, as much as we may bitch about peekaboo bathrooms, there is a worse bathroom sin, and that is the bathroom that leaks everywhere.
China Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / St Regis Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / W Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has done exactly what they said they would do in their expansion into China and the Asia Pacific. There are, and have been for quite some time, more hotels in the works than we can keep up with. Almost all Starwood brands have or will soon have an address in China, including Element Hotels, which is opening next year.
We've tried to list all that we know of that's happening with Starwood in China on our Master Openings List, but as seasoned readers of the list know, things change quite a bit and most hotels, get pushed onto the next year.
However, Starwood has three important openings in China in September, with properties that are very big on design and luxury. Here they are:
Hotel Design / Luxury Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / St. Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Jerusalem Hotels / Venice Hotels / → All Tags
Maybe the very du jour white sheets are a bit of a giveaway, but would you honestly think that this is a luxury hotel room less than four months old? We just can’t muster up any excitement for a design that strikes us already as dated and if anything seems intent on incorporating every shade of brown imaginable.
Brand-new the room is though, and you find it inside the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, a hotel we were very excited about when it opened in April, nearly a year late. The image is displayed both for a King Superior room and a Twin Deluxe Room, the latter seeming somewhat implausible, but a look on TripAdvisor at some traveller photos confirms this is very much their “contemporary opulence” look, as the hotel describes it. They’re not cheap either, with rates starting over $600 a night (that does include free Wifi).
We have a similar sense of disappointment when we look at what turned out to be true photos of the rooms at St. Regis San Clemente Palace; photos we dismissed two months ago as being generic placeholders.
The Number Sixteen Hotel, London
Back in March it was announced that Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide, Inc. intended to enter into a dominating agreement with Design Hotels AG. While it’s not officially a done deal yet, it got a whole lot closer this month, with the majority vote approval received by Design Hotels’ Management Board.
We may not fully grasp the legal details of such an agreement – though reference to “dominating” got our attention— we imagine there will soon be another logo at the bottom of the Starwood Hotels web site. This is big news and here’s how we see it from a design perspective.
Palm Springs Hotels / Palm Springs Week / Hotel Spas / Desert Hot Springs Hotels / Hard Rock Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
The hot spring pool at The Spring
We knew Starwood had big plans for its health-oriented, eco-conscious Element Hotels brand, with Frankfurt Airport getting the first European outpost on a list that ranges from Flushing, Queens to Muscat, Oman.
With Frankfurt opening less than two months from now (September 1, to be exact) comes the news that London will have its very own Element as well, opening in a Boston-esque dual-brand development with an Aloft Hotel in 2017 at the Tobacco Dock area in Wapping, East London. It will be the second Aloft hotel for the city, after Aloft London ExCel further east.
Element London Tobacco Dock (the darker brown building on the right above) will have 77 studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites with kitchens, modular furniture, desks with open shelving, bathrooms with rain showers and dual-flush toilets. We’re hoping the free breakfasts, WiFi, and 24-hour fitness center will make an appearance as well.
Hotel Reopenings / Venice Hotels / Venice Lido Hotels / Historic Hotels / Regent Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
The Hotel Des Bains in its heyday
Che fortuna amici, che bella notizia. This is big news. Huge! Venice’s historic Hotel des Bains, the grande dame of the Lido that inspired Death in Venice, hosted a bajillion movie stars for the film festival, and was shuttered in 2010 and sentenced to be redeveloped as luxury apartments (vomit) – will most likely be refurbished into a hotel once more.
According to local paper La Nuova, the Des Bains and its sadsack teammate, the Excelsior, are no longer for sale. The owner? The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – a government-owned company. Regent and Starwood are still battling it out to run the properties (Raffaele Costa is out), but whoever wins will be the operator, not the owner.
But most exciting of all is the news that it looks likely that the Des Bains will make a spectacular return. From La Nuova (our translation):
It seems probable that the Des Bains, after its refurbishment, will return to being exclusively a hotel, putting a stop to the project that would have transformed part of it into hotel-residences – as was the initial plan – because the market conditions and the convenience of taking it forward are no longer in existence.
Ever wonder how environmentally friendly reusing those towels and switching off the lights in your hotel room makes you? The new Westin Singapore has the answer, in the form of that little red indicator you see on the left of the in-room TV screen: it compares your energy use to that of an average hotel guest, based on analysis of elements like electricity, water, and so on. Moving up or down, you can track just how ‘good’ you are being green.
Opened last November, The Westin sits on top of Asia Square, a two-tower vertical city of 12,000+ office workers in the financial district southwest of Marina Bay Sands. With Singapore’s highest hotel lobby (on level 32), and rooms up from there, there are some good views to be had, but the best way to enjoy them is from the gorgeous infinity-edge swimming pool. Check it out after the jump.
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / St. Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Raffles Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / Istanbul Hotels / → All Tags
Every hotel brand out there seems to muscle its way into the Istanbul scene at the moment, with St. Regis and Raffles both opening a brand new hotel just after the summer. While we were ready to include Viceroy on that list, when we checked its website a week ago it still said “early 2014”, but since has completely disappeared. Trouble in paradise?
Starting with confirmed openings, The St. Regis Istanbul (above) will be opening on October 15 in the city’s Nişantaşi neighborhood, on the European side of the Bosphorus strait. The hotel will have 118 rooms and suites, with four suites featuring “custom interiors by world-renowned designers”. All the usual features you’d expect will be here, including a rooftop restaurant, something very quintessentially Istanbul. Reservations aren’t open yet, but expect rates from €400 ($545) a night and up.