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The Regent Montenegro
There’s tons of hotel news flying around at the moment, so we have another roundup of news bites for you today to get you up to speed on the latest from Oman to Cambodia and China to Argentina.
Starting with the Arab sultanate of Oman, its newspaper Muscat Daily (Muscat is the capital) reports that the country will have the first Aman Resort in the Middle East, in the remote coastal town of Shuwaimiya. The developer of the eco-resort has confirmed Aman Resorts will open, with the hotel group so far taking a confirm-nor-deny approach. Whether or not it will be the first in the Middle East remains to be seen, based on what we hear about an opening in Jordan.
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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.
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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Just ten days from now, Award Season will reach its peak during Oscar weekend. We’ve already given you a set of drink recipes courtesy of hotel bartenders, and today we’re following up with five hotels with Oscar-worthy screening rooms.
Over in South Beach, the Delano only opened its fancy Media room last summer. Those sofas look perfect for curling up and settling in for the long haul (and we know that telecast gets a little wordy sometimes), and it’s already done a Weinstein Screening Series, which featured Oscar winners like The King’s Speech.
See four more schmancy hotel screening rooms after the jump!
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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").
Wish you were here. No really. Wishing is about as close as you can get to Amangiri.
Here's the thing about Amangiri: you need to book well in advance for a room here, and we mean way head like The Book of Mormon-style when that Broadway show was at its peak run.
This 34-suite, 600-acre hideaway in Canyon Point, Utah (basically, the middle of nowhere) has been at almost full-capacity for nearly two years now. Even getting in off-season (November-March) has been damn near impossible, thanks to Amangiri's "adventure and rejuvenation" package, where all meals are included in the nightly rate (the food here isn’t cheap, people), so the resort seems even more attractive when the regular season rates without meals begin at $1,100 per night for a desert view suite and climb to $3,600 for the Amangiri Suite.
Amangiri is a fave for celebs like Brangelina, all of whom (like every guest) will have to check in at the security gate miles from the actual resort. We’re talking serious security control.
While Greece is mainly in the headlines this week for its historic elections and anticipated consequences for the Eurozone and the world economy, we'll focus on some less nerve-wracking news from this country today: the upcoming opening of Amanzoe this summer (possibly in July.)
The new hotel will be Aman Resorts latest, and third, European property. As with all Aman Resorts, the name is derived from a combination of the Sanskrit word for peace (aman) and, in this case, "zoe", the Greek word for life.
Just outside Porto Heli on the Peloponnese coast, about two and a half hours from Athens, the resort will feature only 38 guest "pavilions". If the six-metre pool that comes with a Pool Pavilion isn't enough for you, opt for a Deluxe Pool Pavilion that takes that up to twelve metres. And you know you won't need to worry about cramped accommodations here; each luxurious pavilion is its own freestanding structure and has extensive living and sleeping areas that spill out onto the terrace facing your private pool.
Looks like our well-heeled source who claimed that luxury goods company LVMH was thinking about buying the Amanresorts chain was right after all. Bloomgberg News is now reporting pretty much just that.
DLF Ltd. (DLFU), an Indian real estate developer, has received at least five non-binding bids of $400 million to $450 million for Amanresorts, one of the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the details are private.
UPDATE: Hotels Mag has just cited a Sunday Times report that said Amanresorts might be sold for $400 million. Sorry, but we think this one has LVMH all over it now.
Just days after we caught wind that Andre Balaz might be taking over Cooper Square, we've got another interesting hotel rumor on our hands here and it's a doozy. From a well-heeled deep throat:
Someone who was once associated with the company at a high level confirmed through what he has heard from his very close contacts still on board there that Amanresorts has sold to LVMH [Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy] and that the sell will be officially announced in October.
Yes, that basically reads like someone heard from an acquaintance who heard from someone else's mother's baby sister cousin-in-law's niece's neighbor that Amanresorts has been snapped up by luxury goods house LVMH but still, that is huge news! If it's true of course.
Our informant also tells us that Amanresorts has been up for sale for the past year and that this sort of alignment with a fancy pants luxury brand like LVMH would make sense, especially since Amanresorts is in touch with their fashionable side as evidenced by this Vogue photoshoot.
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It's the season of celebrity engagements! While most of us would be content with an intimate proposal in a sentimental location and a carat or two, celebrities go all out with their engagements, often popping the question with a monster five or six carat ring while on vacation at some to-die-for luxury resort.
After word came yesterday that Natalie Portman and LeAnn Rimes said "yes" to their lovers, we found out that pop singer Lily Allen also got engaged to her boyfriend, Sam Cooper, at the Amankila Resort in Bali from the luxe Aman Resorts.
And coincidentally, a HotelChatter Flickr Pool member, had just dropped these gorgey photos of the resort in our Flickr pool.
Staying in Beijing at Amanresort's luxury Aman At Summer Palace - the hotel that's actually built in part of the Summer Palace so you don't need to leave your room to go sightseeing - is apparently not enough. Amanresorts are now saying they're giving travelers to China the "town and country" version of a Chinese vacation, because in 2010 they will open the Amanfayun Resort on the outskirts of one of China's seven ancient capitals, Hangzhou.
Hangzhou is about a hundred miles south-west of Shanghai, and the Amanresort will be twenty minutes outside of its center, in the buildings of an old village. Tea farmers used to live in the 47 stone courtyard houses which have been turned into 16 rooms, 21 suites and 5 villas, and with a pilgrim's circuit of Buddhist temples passing through the area, it's currently under consideration to become World Heritage listed.
After "sleeping around" at several of New York's hotels for the filming of Sex and the City 2, Carrie Bradshaw and co. have moved on to Morocco. Cindy Adams reports that the cast and crew are filming at the Amajena Hotel in Marrakech.
The Amanjena is, as the name suggests, a part of Aman Resorts, a luxury hotel collection with truly exotic locations. And it's so exotic that there aren't even standard room accommodations here. Just "Pavilions and Mansions" which start at $1,050 a night (and that's before taxes.)
So we're guessing that this hotel might just be a filming location and not a place where the cast and crew are shacking up for a few weeks. After all, would SATC rather spend money on hotel rooms or the wardrobe for the gals? Sigh, it is a question we have to ask ourselves many, many, many times.
No word on how a trip to Marrakech fits into the storyline but we just hope that Charlotte doesn't have any, um, "difficulties" eating the local food here.