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Not to state the obvious, but it’s winter and you’re in need of some TLC to bring you out of your dark-day doldrums. We get it. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most authentic local spa treatments to kick-start your spring recovery.
Fairmont Mayakoba -- Riviera Maya, Mexico Well the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012 as the Mayans predicted, but don’t give up on them yet. They still got game. In a private canopy overlooking the mangrove forest, guests of the Willow Stream Spa can enjoy treatments that utilize Mayan ingredients such as Conchera, fossil stone and wood from the local Zapote tree. For a bliss-out treatment, try the Mayan Clay Purification which incorporates local Mayan clay and involves a massage using sage oil and Mexican obsidian stones.
Four more blissful, all-natural spa treatments after the jump!
There's a new spot for stylish digs in Turkey's happenin' metropolis with the new Marti Istanbul Hotel. After a soft opening in the middle of last year, the hotel is ready to show travelers what makes them tick in their entirety with every space open and ready to wow guests behind every corner.
Tucked away in the heart of Istanbul, the Marti showcases the local Taksim culture. Considered the cultural and commercial area of the city, the sleek 11-story property is located within walking distance of dozens of galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Each of the 270 rooms are designed by famed Turkish eye-for-style, Zeynep Fadillioglu, and play with both Ottoman design and contemporary design. Cast in either a purple or blue hue, the rooms create a comfy living space for those that prefer a calming feel. Meanwhile, suites feature a hammam-style marble basin surrounded by richly textured mosaics to really get the true Turkish experience.
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Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
Given all the news that’s flying around, it’s time for another update today, including the first sub-Saharan opening, departures and arrivals in Japan, and the fresh announcement of a future resort in Turkey.
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UPDATE: Voting has now closed for the individual categories. Head over here to pick your favorite from the four finalists, and help us name the world's hottest GM!
This week, we're taking some time to highlight the world's hottest hotel General Managers. Why, you ask? Because there are some seriously sweet GMs out there, and we feel it's our duty to give them the love and attention they deserve. Well, not in that way...but, er, you get the idea.
Here's how it works: each day, we'll present a selection of handsome GMs for you to ogle. Pick out your favorite by voting in the comments or send us an email. At the end of the week, we'll tally the votes and come up with four finalists from four categories (NYC, Miami, California and International). Then, we'll narrow it down even further and ask you to help us pick the single hottest GM in the world. The competition is fierce, and the polls are officially open.
Are you ready to vote?
The new Hilton will be close to this museum
Something’s going on in Turkey these days, with hotels announcing openings every month (or so it seems...). Now, Hilton Worldwide has announced that a new Hilton will be opening in Istanbul in 2013 around the the late summer/early fall period.
The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center is, right now, set to be the largest hotel in this bustling city with 829 rooms. 829! That’s a lot of heads on beds for a city that’s not Vegas.
Still, Hilton is strategically opening up properties in the area. The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti will be their sixth hotel in Turkey, with the most recent hotel opening being their first ever dual branded property –- the Hilton Bursa Hotel & Convention Center and Hampton by Hilton Bursa.
No, it’s not, and more than that, it’s a treatment that challenges your sense of personal space.
But let’s start at the beginning. During our recent trip to Istanbul this year, it seemed that it would almost be a crime to not have a Turkish hamam in Turkey. So we headed to the Amrita Spa at the five-star Swissotel The Bosphorus hotel.
With a health club and indoor pool attached, we knew that this spa was a good choice because it was filled with locals as well as tourists. There was already a good vibe at the check-in counter, where you could see a dimly-lit pool within the inner sanctum of the spa. With our escort, we walked deeper inside until we reached the changing room with all its many amenities: showers, sauna, private rooms, etc. Once we were wrapped in our towels for modesty’s sake and ushered into the hamam, our coverings were removed and modesty was now forever damned. This was the exact point when the hamam experience became interesting.
There are some pretty swanky hotels found across this great big world, and Swissôtel Living in Istanbul is definitely one of them.
Swissôtel chose to launch their new extended stay concept hotel in cosmopolitan Istanbul, whose vibrant history is engraved in its culture. But as important as its traditions still are, Istanbul is definitely not a city stuck in the past, as evidenced by the makeover of this former residence and office rental building. Before the company took over the management of the property, located right beside its five-star Swissôtel The Bosphorus, the place was badly in need of a reno. After a top-to-bottom gut a la Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, it opened as the über-modern and luxe Swissôtel Living.
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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.
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A Viceroy will be in these parts soon.
Fresh after adding Cassa New York to their collection and seeing the departure of president Nicholas Clayton to Jumeirah Hotels, Viceroy Hotel Group has just announced the Viceroy Istanbul will open in 2013, a year earlier than we expected.
The hotel will be a part of the rising Nef Bebeköy Development.
Spread across ten separate buildings and over 16 acres of land, offering 58 guest accommodations, Viceroy Istanbul will boast spectacular panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, and direct access to a tranquil outdoor garden and forest area. The property will offer guests and residence luxury services including a casual and signature restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, an outdoor art gallery, and a state-of-the-art full service fitness center and spa.
The Bayram Hotel in the city of Van, Turkey, survived last month's 7.2 earthquake with just "some cracks and a damaged elevator," according to a report by AJC. But another quake last night, this one of a lesser magnitude, rocked the city again, bringing down about 25 buildings.
So far, seven have been declared dead, though dozens are still missing. In some cases, the victims were actually journalists who had traveled to the city to report on the wreckage from last month's earthquake, which killed 600. The Bayram Hotel, along with another unnamed hotel, were occupied during last night's quake, and rescue workers are still working to locate guests buried beneath the rubble.
Morgans Hotel Group isn't waiting for the Mondrian Soho to open on February 22 to get moving on its next projects: the brand has signed on to manage three new hotels, including a Delano Cabo San Lucas and a Delano Aegean Sea in Turkey.
We're gonna need more candles!
Here's another example of why those hotel star ratings and hotel awards sometimes don't mean all that much.
The Mardan Palace in Turkey, which is a seven-star hotel that beat out the Burj Al Arab and the Dorchester for the title of "leading luxury hotel" from the World Travel Awards, has had the power cut off because of unpaid bills.
The hotel is currently using generators to power up its 546 rooms and has only three weeks to pay off nearly $2.6 million in debts. However, the general manager has assured the press that the hotel will clear up the power snafu:
Aksam [newspaper] quoted the hotel's manager, Cumhur Ozen, as saying the issue stemmed from an end of year budgeting problem and promised to pay the debt.
"We are a large company. We invested 1.2 billion dollars. We won't be worn out by small debts," Ozen said. "We will pay the debt."
In the meantime, all the hotel employees have been asked to go on their annual leaves at this time. And we're guessing this hotel doesn't have any robots to take their place.