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If you're feeling wistful this weekend, a good way to kick back and set out on a magical hotel journey—without ever leaving your home—is to flip through Assouline's new 160-page Luxury Collection book, which is part of their Hotel Stories series.
The Luxury Collection: Hotel Stories devotes a mini-chapter to each of the 80+ hotels under Starwood's chi-chi Luxury Collection brand. There's history, and celebrity interviews, and design details—but you can technically find those things anywhere on the internet. What really makes the book stand out are the photos. Rich, full-color, splashy images of ITC Mughal, Gritti Palace, Al Maha and tons more.
While drooling over the images, we managed to scan a bit of text too. Here are five takeaway facts about Luxury Collection we didn't previously know:
The 266-room JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is set to open on a private island located in the Venice lagoon in 2014. This will be Marriott’s first hotel in Italy under the luxury JW moniker.
The hotel is just a short boat ride from the historic heart of the city, St Mark’s Square. There’ll be an array of restaurants and bars, of course, a health club and spa, and pools galore--one outdoors, one indoors, and one on the roof.
We think the renderings (more after the jump!) look impressive, with a Mediterranean vibe thing goin’ on–-all white and seafoam green--right in keeping with the whole “private island” business.
If you're familiar with Aman Resorts at all, it'll be no surprise that Aman Canal Grande will be an extravagantly luxurious affair, and with only 24 suites, an exclusive one as well. Set in the 16th century Palazzo Papadopoli, the hotel will be midway between the Rialto and Accademia Bridges in the San Polo district.
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Aman New Delhi
As of February 1, Aman New Delhi will be rebranded as The Lodhi, leaving the Aman brand behind. You wouldn't expect it perhaps based on the hotel’s exterior, but the nine-story building contains just 31 rooms and eight suites, all in a very contemporary and subdued style. Each room comes with its own private terrace, while suites sprawl out over 1,800 square-feet. A lower structure contains an additional 14 Lodhi suites, and Lodhi Pool suites, with up to three bedrooms, have access to their own private pool (prices for these come with the label "on request").
We’ve been hearing it forever—Venice is sinking. Well, right now it certainly is…wet. The city is enduring the Acqua Alta, aka the period when higher than normal water levels rise over the city, causing the lagoon's water to overflow over the canals and flood the walkways.
When it does happen, it's usually between the months of October through December when high tides affect Venice thanks to strong southerly winds and heavy rain. The resulting rising waters causes more than half of the city's low-lying cafes, shops and hotels to become a water-logged. This year, it has brought the sixth-highest tide in 150 years.
We’ve visited Venice in October and managed to dodge the Aqua Alta, but we packed a pair of rainboots just in case the weather gods decided to bring the rain and the funk (the canals, that act like sewer systems, can get quite pungent).
So what does this mean for people already in Italy, or who've made plans to visit Venice soon?
Roses are red, violets are blue. Kimye invaded Venice, here's a photo for you!
After just one month, it seems Kim Kardashian is already bored of her temporary Miami digs. The jetsetting reality star was whisked off to Europe over the weekend by boyfriend Kanye West to celebrate her 32nd birthday.
The pair—photographed nearly every step of the way—made their way around Venice on Sunday, with Kardashian tweeting at one point: "Italy is so beautiful! Best birthday ever!!!"
Well, all we have to say is, it's easy to have that kind of reaction when you're staying in a place like the Hotel Cipriani, where the Daily Mail reports they crashed. Located on Giudecca Island, rooms at the hotel start at around $1,300/night, though we're guessing Kimye splashed out on a suite. You know, to accommodate the camera crews.
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If you happen to have dined at any of these—or 98 other—top-tier hotel restaurants around the world, you may want to take a look at The Daily Meal's "101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around The World," which was published late last week. Consulting the Michelin Guide, and using the well-traveled knowledge of TDM editors, the list was compiled using only two criteria: the hotels had to have at least 15 rooms (which immediately eliminated small B&Bs and private dining clubs), and the restaurants had to actually be housed within the hotels themselves.
However, that still left a lot, a lot, a lot of restaurants to choose from. In fact, the final list tallied properties in over 80 cities in 40 countries across six continents. Find out which of your favorites made the cut!
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You know the deal: you excitedly check into a hotel in a brand new city, ready to see all the sights and take all the tours. But sightseeing doesn't come cheap, and soon enough you're blowing an extra $20 or $50 just to be shown a landmark that, with a little more planning, you might have been able to see for free from your hotel room.
PARIS— We've been a fan of Shangri-La Paris for a while now, and it was just recently, back in May, that we poked around inside an Eiffel Duplex Suite. Balcony? Check. Free WiFi? Check. Killer Eiffel Tower view? Yessir.
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In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
This week, we're dreaming of tiny arched bridges and cups of espresso by Piazza San Marco. Venice, seen here from the Hotel Cipriani, may be an over-exposed tourist trap, but she's also a classic.
@HotelChatter Any recs on 5Star/upscale hotels in Venice and Rome? Usually stay at @FourSeasons but alas no FS properties in those cities.
That's pretty weird now that we think about it. No Four Seasons in Rome or Venice? They should really get on that!
But onto our hotel picks.
One of the biggest gripes about Venice, (aside from the smell) is that the hotels are often crazy expensive. So imagine our relief when we hears of a new four-star hotel that's actually affordable.
The Move Hotel, located in Mogliano Veneto, just outside of Venice, opened yesterday with 203 rooms including 18 suites all with their own balconies, spa with pool and get this, a pizzeria!
There are three different types of rooms--the MOVE Sport, MOVE Maxi and MOVE King. The interiors were designed by renowned Italian designers Studio Marco Piva and BAM design. From the look of this picture we have to say we’re liking the rooms, they look very bright and spacious with a nice holiday feel.
The hotel also has its own artificial lake and bikes for guests to rent. And if you want to get hitched there you can, with facilities to accommodate up to 500 people.
If you fancy moving into the MOVE HOTEL rates start at approx 100 euros although if book during its soft launch between now and May 14th you can nab a room for 88 euros including free WiFi. Now that's amore!
Everyone's buzzing about The Tourist, the soon-to-open flick starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. People are wondering if the pair will have some good on-camera chemistry and whether Jolie will kick some ass in the movie. We were dying to find out about the hotel that provided the setting for some of the film, Hotel Danieli in Venice.
In The Tourist, Elise (Jolie) meets Frank (Depp) aboard a Paris train bound to Venice and sparks fly. They hop on a water taxi to get to the island and then check into the luxe legendary hotel.