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It scares us sometimes when it turns out hotels we thought we talked about just a few months ago were actually on our radar closer to a few years ago. How time flies. Such is the case with Six Senses hotels, which we looked at in late 2013 for its expansion plans in all sorts of places: far from its usual Southeast Asia habitat in the French Alps near Mont Blanc, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan, and the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
Opening dates in 2015 and 2016 seemed so far away at the time, and yet here we are, with the first two resorts scheduled to open on July 1: Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, a half hour outside Chengdu in China. Chengdu is one of the largest cities in China and the capital of the Sichuan province, home to 80% of the world’s panda population. The resort will have 113 suites and villas (above a rendering, which shows an interesting mix of contemporary and traditional design), and not surprisingly, a serious spa with locally-inspired treatments and “sensory journeys”. Scheduled for July 1 as it may be (the May date on the website we've been told will be July), we can’t seem to make reservations yet.
Ask The Byfords, a British family from West Yorkshire how their recent holiday in Tunisia went, and chances are they'll say "rubbish"--and they wouldn't be lying. According to The Daily Mail, the poor folks spent £4,000 ($6400) booking what they thought was a luxury vacation at the Soviva Resort and instead ended up in a garbage, feces, and cat-urine infested dump.
The hotel, which was supposed to be located in the resort town of Port El Kantaoui, was part of the Byfords vacation package through Thomas Cook, the UK travel agency. Upon arriving in Tunisia and finding themselves whizzing past the area, it soon became obvious to the Byfords that they weren't going to get that beautiful getaway they'd seen in the brochures.
But they had no idea how bad it was going to get until they arrived at their supposedly four-star destination and saw...human feces floating in the pool.
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2013, 2014, 2015, 2016...they're all on the distant horizon. While we've still got 2012 to get through, hotel companies are already planning their next moves and it looks like Dubai, Panama, Turkey and Tunisia will be getting some love!
First up are three gorgeous new properties from Swissôtels, which blew us away this year with the colorful new Swissôtel Dresden. Up next are two hotels in Turkey: a beach resort (pictured) and a city resort, both in Bodrum, which sits on the Aegean Sea across from Greece.
The beach resort will feature 66 rooms complemented by additional villas and terraces residences. Oh, and that pool? Yes please. Meanwhile, the separate 56-room city resort will be in the hills of Bodrum with incredible views of the surrounding city. Both hotels are scheduled to open in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Plus, we're told today that in early 2016, the company's second Middle East hotel will open, the Swissôtel Jadaf Dubai. The luxury property will sit within a giant complex of 3 other hotels, residences, and retail outlets—because in Dubai, you're never more than five feet from a mall of some sort—and contain 280 rooms, an all-day restaurant, three specialty restaurants and a Purovel Spa.