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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination.
And where better to start than Bangkok? Our archives are full of stories from the Thai capital, well worth visiting in its own right and for its fantastic choice of hotels – which are often great value. The next five years will see some big names throw their hat in the ring in the city’s very competitive hotel game. Here are six new hotels you should watch out for:
We were surprised when Four Seasons bowed out of its Bangkok hotel on Radjadamri Road, but a placeholder website for a riverside residence development told us that the group wasn’t done with the Thai capital. It wasn’t, with the announcement of a new 312-room hotel mere weeks later.
The surprises aren’t over though, as a more extensive website for Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (there’s a mouthful) tells us these two things: the residence tower may be a high-rise (73 stories in fact), but the hotel will be an interesting, multi-level but low-slung building, and the overall development incorporates the 100-suite Capella Bangkok.
The above rendering shows you how that is all going to work: the slender tall tower on the right will have 355 Four Seasons residences, which are all corner units. To the right of that is the Four Seasons hotel, to the left the Capella. The buildings on the far left of the rendering will tell you more about the development’s location: right at the edge is one of the wings of the Shangri-La hotel, while the lit-up cupola is the famous Hangover II bar at Lebua at State Tower.
It's been a rough four months for the The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. First, it had to deal with the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Odile.
Then the luxury resort had to pick up the management pieces after the resort owners booted Capella Hotels from the property. After a bit of a legal tussle, it looks like Capella has backed down and the property will take on a new identity as The Resort at Pedregal. Coincidentally, the hotel has erased their Facebook history. The new page only has
3 four likes and all new photos.
Rates next weekend start at $900 a night. No, that's not in pesos. That's in USD. Whooeee.
While a lot of work has been done on the property, it seems as if the rooms will remain the same as when we stayed there last year.
Keep reading for more Cabo reopening dates!
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Over the weekend, there was a slight reprieve in the press release war between Capella Hotels and the owners of The Resort at Pedregal but judging by the latter's social media postings, they are not backing down and will forge ahead with their new identity and management.
Quick backstory in case you missed it last week: The owners of Pedregal terminated Capella as the luxury resort's manager, installed a new GM (from a Wyndham hotel in Chicago, btw) and locked Capella's old GM out of the property. Capella took the owners to the NY Supreme Court and got a ruling which reinstated them as managers. Meanwhile, the resort is still closed for ongoing renovations due to damage sustained by Hurricane Odile.
Could this BE any more of a hotel telenovela???
Over the weekend, perhaps to show off their determination in the face of the court ruling, The Resort at Pedregal has been steady with their social media postings. Here are a couple of posts from their Facebook feed:
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Earlier today, we learned that Capella Hotels was reinstated as manager of the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, a luxury resort that's currently closed while undergoing renovations for damage sustained from Hurricane Odile in September. But there's another storm brewing behind the scenes and this one could damage the resort for good.
Earlier in the week the owner of the Pedregal property, Hoteles de Cabo, S.de R.L.de C.V, (also known as CarVal Investors) announced that Capella would no longer manage the resort. The property would be known instead as The Resort at Pedregal. When we inquired about the reason for the management change, we were told this: "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction." Very vague.
But now that Capella has taken the matter to court and won a ruling in their favor, Hoteles de Cabo has let loose a bunch of allegations of mismanagement including, "unauthorized payments to themselves, and false financial reports." Perhaps worst of all, Hoteles De Cabo said Capella Hotel Group is withholding the funds that were donated to the employees of the resort after the hurricane.
Here's a statement from the Pedregal ownershipr:
"Beyond its mismanagement of the property itself, Capella has held funds donated by generous patrons to help the neediest team members recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Odile.
Capella is holding tens of thousands of dollars intended specifically to help hotel associates get their lives back in order following the horrific storms that have plagued Cabo recently. For reasons beyond our knowledge, they have opted not to distribute those funds. This is not only unacceptable for the unfortunate families involved, but should be doubly embarrassing in light of the fact that the funds were donated by our guests."
So much for that hefty donation Capella Hotel Group contributed. Hoteles de Cabo has said their company has distributed $125,000 directly to the employees of the hotel.
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UPDATE, 11.7.14: Capella just got reinstated. Scroll down to see the court decision and Capella statement.
Here's a mixed bag of news--The Capella Pedregal Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is still set to reopen in January, after extensive renovations which were necessary when Hurricane Odile had its way with the resort area in September. However, it will no longer be a Capella Hotel.
Instead, the resort will have a new name and identity--The Resort at Pedregal. Already, the Capella Pedregal's social media presence has been wiped away and The Resort at Pedregal's branding, complete with a turtle logo, is now in place (it seems there's a lag with the Facebook page but we bet that will be online any minute.)
The change is shocking especially considering that Capella corporate ponied up a hefty donation to help the employees of the hotel after Hurricane Odile hit.
When we inquired about an explanation, we were told, "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction. "
Capella Hotels and Resorts could be considered one of the most luxurious hotel collections in the world.. that you've not yet heard about.
There are only five Capella Hotels in the world right now, with four more in the works. The first few locations opened in Germany, Singapore and Mexico before arriving stateside with the Capella Georgetown. While they don't have quite the name recognition as Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, Capella Hotels are equally stunning properties with modern and sophisticated, not stuffy, interiors. (Incidentally, Capella was founded by Horst Schulze, the former CEO of Ritz-Carlton.)
But beyond that, Capella has a service that distinguishes them from the rest of the competition--Personal Assistants.
Capella Pedegral may change any of your previous conceptions about Cabo San Lucas, which probably involve thoughts of LA/OC folks partying or celebrities paying top dollar for a romantic rendezvous.
True, Capella Pedregal, situated on a stony hillside above The Marina (home to Senor Frog's and a quick boat ride out to El Arco), is often referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Cabo" and room rates are similar to those at the top places in Beverly Hills, at around $650 a night.
But it's also where you will find touches of the real Mexico, making Capella far more interesting than being just some resort on the beach. And when you're paying that much a night, the last thing you want is some same-old, same-old, luxury resort. So here are 7 Authentic Mexican Touches at Capella Pedregal that we found during a recent visit.
1. Mexican Cooking Classes: Capella Pedregal's Don Manuel's restaurant features Su Cocina, a dual-kitchen where guests can learn traditional Mexican cooking techniques and recipes, including a variety of ceviches and salsas. Cooking lessons are also offered here to kids who learn to make tortillas à mano, quesadillas, flautas, and churros.
2. Daily Delivery of Coronitas, Tortilla Chips and Guacamole. Every afternoon, this selection arrives at your door. It's included in the room rate and if you're not there to accept it, room service will leave a note telling you to call down when you would like it delivered.
Sure enough, just as we compile a list of our favorite killer hotel views comes another view that nearly tops them all.
This is the view outside room 336 at the luxury resort, Capella Pedregral, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What more can you ask for? The ocean, the beach, a couple of palm tree, a boat happily sailing by and in case you can't see it, your own private plunge pool on the terrace. Muy bonita!
Rates for this Ocean View King Room, the starting room category at the hotel, are currently going for about $650 a night. That rate includes complimentary WiFi, complimentary minibar refreshments (non-alcoholic) and a daily delivery of Coronitas, tortilla chips and guacamole. We'll have more on that and other authentic Mexican touches at Capella Pedegral next week.
Now the company is heading to the Caribbean to assume management of St. Lucia's Discovery at Marigot Bay.
In Fall 2014, it'll be completely rebranded as Capella Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, a 124-room resort fronting a marina where yachts of all sizes bob in the bay. Guests will be able to charter boats for snorkeling, diving, and sailing excursions up the coast. Oh, and if you book a suite, you'll get a view of the bay from your private plunge pool.
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The Breidenbacher Hof is the closest luxury hotel to the Old Town of Dusseldorf, literally a two block walk to what is commonly referred to as "the longest bar in the world," a series of pubs and restaurants that pour out onto the pedestrian promenade (our sister site Jaunted gave us the scoop on it). Dusseldorf is a beer-drinkers paradise, specializing in a unique style called Altbier, and it's one of those towns where you go out for one drink and end up coming back at sunrise (which this contributor experienced firsthand a few day ago).
But the town is not all beer drinking and belching. It's also home to Germany's largest Japanese population and well known for its luxury shopping, including the Königsallee, which is regarded as the most exclusive kilometer in Germany due to its top designers and exclusive jewelry, perfume, porcelain and antiques shops.
The 95-room Breidenbacher definitely fits in with the latter luxe crowd, having hosted celebrity guests that include Pink and AC/DC. It didn't take us long to notice the flair as we were escorted to the room during check-in by an associate from the front desk, who showed us how all the gadgets work. The room was gorgeous, but what made us crack a smile was when we entered the bathroom and saw the television embedded in the mirror. Upscale hotel, or man's dream bathroom?
As you may know, we've been anticipating the opening of the new Capella Washington D.C. for many months, and when its proposed January opening date came and went, it was hard to contain our disappointment. Still, the info on the hotel kept trickling in--news of chefs, GMs, and the like. It was clear that Capella wanted to remain on everyone's radar. So, imagine our surprise when out of the blue we received an invite to D.C. for the hotel's grand opening soiree. It was going to be a large affair in the first week of April. Of course we said yes and went in search for a worthy frock for the ribbon-cuttiing ceremony.
When we arrived we learned the Capella was keeping secrets from us! It had actually been in soft opening since March 22nd. We were a tad hurt--why weren't we told? But taking a look around the 49-room Georgetown hotel located next to the city's historic C&O Canal, it was clear the company wanted time to get the kinks out before making a big announcement--hence the coming out party.
We'd known so much about the brand's first US hotel (and written about it at length) already, we wanted to see if the artistic renderings matched what could only be described as serious coziness. It did and we were well pleased.