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Pop Quiz! How many different kinds of seating can you find in the label-defying lounge of the new J Plus Hotel by Y00?
A face lift at age 10? Only in hotel years, where hitting the “refresh” button on design is a pre-requisite for any savvy hotelier who wants to keep the in-crowd coming back for more. In the case of yoo Hotels, founded by John Hitchcox and Renaissance man Philippe Starck, their truly undefinable style just keeps getting better and better and, yes, we want to come back for more.
Celebrating 10 years and $10,000,000 on cosmetic upgrades to J Plus in Causeway Bay, the "first boutique hotel in Asia," the new J Plus Hotel by YOO unveils next month as a new brand for the next decade.
The answer to our question when Philippe Starck’s yoo Hotels would make its debut is here: January 2014. Just last week, yoo2 Taksim Square opened the doors to its 59 rooms and suites in the heart of Istanbul, across from Gezi Park.
Yoo2 is the more affordable of two yoo Hotel brands, with yoo Collection aimed at the luxury market. While we heard last year that Acqua Boracay in the Philippines would be the first yoo Collection hotel to open (in 2015), it is not listed in the directory of upcoming hotels, though a separate website is very much up and running. Additional projects include will include yoo Collection Lepang, Bali, yoo Collection in the British Cotswolds, and yoo2 Sinapati, Jakarta - all scheduled for 2016.
Back in 2009, we learned about a new hotel brand conceived by yoo, the design company founded by Philippe Starck and developer John Hitchcox. Though we're familiar with a number of yoo-designed hotels all over the world (Mondrian South Beach, The Hempel Hotel, or Vienna's new Hotel Sans Souci which we visited in January), we still wonder what happened to that alleged yoo hotel brand.
Well, it turns out that not one, but two, yoo brands exist—the only trouble is they haven't been very active yet. yoo2 is the more affordable of the two, and describes itself as a "boutique hotel [elevated] to glorious new heights" through "the element of surprise." Meanwhile, a second brand is titled yoo Collection, which focuses on hotels that are "handcrafted by a world-renowned designer in a way that enhances the lives of discerning guests." Tall order!
To add to the conf-yoo-sion, Travelbite reports that the first-ever yoo Collection hotel, Aqua Boracay, is set to launch in the Philippines later this year. But according to this article by Business Mirror, the resort isn't due to be completed until 2015. Hmm.
The resort's Facebook page shows definite signs construction, though from the photos it's clear that this place won't be opening for at least another year. On the positive side, the finished Aqua Boracay resort will sit directly on paradisiacal Bulabog Beach, and will be located near an airport serviced by regional and domestic flights.