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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.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Viceroy Hotels / Nicholas Clayton / Hotel Industry News / Turkey Hotels / Istanbul Hotels / → All Tags
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.
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Edinburgh...Kuwait...Oman...Brazil. The list of current and under-construction Missoni Hotels is an exotic one, and today we can add another city to the list: Antalya, Turkey. 2013 will bring a Missoni Hotel to the Turkish Riviera, and although this one will follow the pattern of the other Missoni by having the interior personally designed by Rosita Missoni, its exterior will differ greatly. It's going to have a celebrity-designed golf course!
Hotel MIssoni Belek, Antalya is bringing in Swedish golf champ Annika Sörenstam to create the 18-hole course, which will be just one of the attraction in the development around the hotel; there'll also be a country club, shops, residential villas and an olive grove. That last bit sounds much closer to Missoni's Italian heritage than gray days in Edinburgh.
But um, wouldn't sliding down that waterslide kinda hurt?
It's not April Fool's Day, is it? OK, just checking. We've heard of hotels that encourage guest nudity, you see, but never have we seen them in Turkey. Which makes sense, since the Adaburnu Gölmar Hotel—opening on May 1st—bills itself as "the first naturist hotel in Turkey."
It makes a little more sense when you realize that the, um, service, was designed for foreign guests—god bless those British and German tourists who just can't keep their clothes on.
Is it festival time already? We’re thinking not, given the weather in Europe is leaving a lot to be desired this week. But that means it’s probably time to start fantasizing about music festivals. But not muddy, grubby, campy festivals; we're talking posh festivals that take place in a five star hotel. Is that cheating? Don’t care. We want to go to the Antalya SunSplash Festival in Turkey.
The festival itself is about fairly clubby music, with big name DJs like Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson (of Radio One fame). But what we’re really interested in is its location, Design Hotel Hillside SU – a sparkling white (in-room lighting is what makes the place trendy rather than boring) resort for Euro hipsters.
We can't be the only ones who have daydreamed about unleashing our inner rebel in the form of graffiti art. We've long admired the medium, but have stopped short of spray painting freeway overpasses or surreptitiously leaving our mark on train cars late at night.
However, thanks to the Marmara Antalya would-be Banksys are being given a safe space to turn graffiti dreams into reality. In its light-filled hotel lobby, tagging isn't just allowed; it's encouraged.
Any hotel that uses Mariah Carey and Tom Jones for its opening entertainment is bound to offer a few surprises, and the Mardan Palace in Antalya, Turkey, does that and more – a whole lot more, if a recent Daily Mail review is anything to go on.
The review throws a bunch of crazy superlatives around right at the start, calling the Mardan Palace the brashest, wackiest and glitziest resort they know. And then the amazing facts begin: the bowls in the Italian restaurant cost $840 each, the cutlery bill for the hotel was $28 million (which seems a little hard to believe, but...) and the hotel's private beach includes $1.7 million worth of imported white sand, much of which will need replacing every year.
If money's no object, then you can have a heck of a lot of fun at the Mardan Palace. There are professional divers to help you explore the hotel's own reef, bathrooms with gold-plated sinks, a chocolate fountain at breakfast and a Vacustyler in the spa which is a kind of shrink-wrapping machine originally developed to help the circulation of astronauts.
Surprisingly, there are some relatively affordable room rates we found a Premium room in October at €260 ($370) a night and even an Executive suite was only €480 ($680), although all the bookings from October 15 onward are blacked out so get in quick for your glitz and brashness at this price.
JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Turkey Hotels / Hotel Construction / Green Hotels / → All Tags
Typically, Ankara was thought of as a supplement to a vacation to Istanbul, although it's Turkey's capital. But as Ankara grows to become its own important international business city, Marriott is ready to throw some weight behind the city with a J.W. Marriott in the Sogutozu district, due to open in October 2010. It will be Turkey's second Marriott hotel, but a first to have the "J.W." initials, meaning it's going to be a bit nicer than your average Marriott.
But why is it so special? Well, the 24-floor, 400-room structure from RMJM Architects will be super sustainable, with the building's complete design considered for maximum energy savings:
The hotel will bring innovative sustainable design to Ankara and will include a unique design of vertical stone fins that will act as solar shading devices on the east and west facades. The glass curtain wall uses environmentally friendly materials such as high-performing, low-e coating and tinting that contributes to the reduced solar heat gain. Plentiful bamboo trees and vegetation will be included in the landscape to offer additional shading at the site.
Despite these fancy eco elements, the above rendering of the building doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary; no crazy futuristic flourishes here, as green building finally catches up with taste. And just in case Ankara, and not Hawaii, is the wedding destination of your dreams, the hotel won't be all business as they're planning a wedding pavilion, a spa with indoor and outdoor pools, and three specialty restaurants, for wining and dining your guests with a lower environmental impact than your typical hotel wedding.
[Photo: RMJM Architects]
Park Hyatt Hotels / Istanbul Hotels / Hotel Stores / Hotel Retail / Boutique Hotels / Turkey Hotels / → All Tags
[Update: Despite what the online reservations system initially told us, this hotel is offically opening on October 16th. Online reservations are being taken for stays later than October 18th.]
There are at least two reasons to stay at the new Park Hyatt Istanbul Maçka Palas: Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, and Emporio Armani and Gucci boutiques are in the same building.
Of course, there is also the limestone bathrooms, with 25 of the 90 deluxe-sized rooms featuring authentic Turkish baths with heated stone seats. And it's located smack in the middle of the ultra-trendy shopping district, Nişantaşi, home of some of the best shopping in the world.
Each guestroom is equipped with the latest technology including high-speed broadband Internet access, flat screen television, a DVD/CD player and iPod docking station. And a boutique hotel wouldn't be complete without an exclusive spa and special spa suites.
This renovated 1922 building has a unique blend of the old art deco and new modern architecture found in other Park Hyatts. Glass tile is found in much of the hotel with a "Bordeaux Wall" in The Prime, the first Istanbul steakhouse, made entirely out of wine bottle glass.
The hotel officially just opened September 1 but already appears to be sold out for much of September. Rates start at 230 euros ($336 US).