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Something tells us we’ll need a recurring feature on new Four Seasons Hotels if the expansion strategy under its new CEO is going to take off even more than it has already; the list of potential future openings we have based on what floats around on the internet gets longer by the minute.
We mentioned Cabo last week, we’ve known about Disney for a while, there is Madrid, Turkey, and everything from Japan to Brazil as well. Today we are adding Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to that list, and tentatively, Venice.
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The Regent Bali
While we continue to recover from last week’s ma-jah announcement of Tommie Hotels, the lovechild of Commune and Thompson, we have a roundup of news bites from around the world for you this Monday morning. Join us as we hop from Bali to Venice, Amsterdam to China, and Switzerland to Australia, for updates on everything from brand new Chinese brand Ahn Luh to the old school Gritti Palace.
Starting in Southeast Asia, Regent Hotels delivered on the promised opening of its new resort on Bali this past weekend, with 94 suites, one Regent Villa, 25 residences, and that inviting-looking infinity pool above. The Bali resort follows last year’s arrival in Phuket, which we swung by recently to see for ourselves how Regent’s first opening in years would stack up – more on that to come.
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Here's a new reason to love one of Venice's most lovable hotels, the Hotel Cipriani. Next month, guests can sign up to have "Dinner In the Sky," a one-off experience that literally involves a 22-seat dining table being raised 164 feet in the air.
According to The Daily Mail:
"A total of 22 guests can be seated around the table, which will be suspended over the swimming pool of the hotel, located on the island of Giudecca.
Thrill-seekers will have the choice of a one-hour three-course meal prepared by the hotel's chefs or a 30-minute aperitif, during which they can drink in views that stretch to St Mark's Square on the opposite side of the lagoon."
We'd probably opt for the 30-minute aperitif, since we're almost positive the dizzying height would make us lose our appetite. Then again, we'd also have to watch how much we drank. Wouldn't want to have any bathroom emergencies at that kind of altitude!
According to the Daily Mail, the platform can be rotated 180º, offering each guest at the table a panoramic view of Venice.
If this idea sounds more romantic to you than terrifying, then plan on booking a seat at the table (50 EUR per person for the aperitif; 250 pp for dinner) for the event, which takes place June 19-23.
[Photo: Daily Mail]
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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.