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Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski Riyadh
Yet another list of hotel openings to get excited about. Today, we have a short list of Kempinski Hotels opening this year. Actually, it's kind of a long list when you look at it. Kempinski is Europe's oldest independent luxury hotel group which now operates 75 hotels in 32 countries. They'll be adding 11 new hotels across Africa, China and The Middle East (along with one serviced residences property in Switzerland) by the end of 2014. Starting with...
Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa (Republic of Congo)
Opening Date: Opened on March 01, 2014
Highlights: 237 rooms and suites, views of the Congo River, three restaurants, three bars, outdoor tennis courts, swimming pool and billiard and snooker rooms.
Burj Rafal Kempinski Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
Opening Date: Opened on March 02, 2014
Highlights: First hotel in Saudi Arabia for Kempsinski, closest luxury hotel to King Khalid International Airport, 349 rooms nd suites, a cigar lounge, three cafes, two restaurants, and a Resense spa with separate wellness centers for ladies and gentlemen.
Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski, Kigali (Rwanda)
Opening Date: Q2 2014
Highlights: Made famous in the movie, "Hotel Rwanda", the Hôtel des Mille Collines will be managed by Kempinski; 112 rome and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness center Located in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and made famous in the movie “Hotel Rwanda”, Hôtel des Mille Collines managed by Kempinski features 112 rooms and suites, meeting and conference facilities, including a conference room for 120 people, an outdoor swimming pool, six boutiques and a fitness centre.
The London Edition is all that for many reasons, and it has us properly excited for what’s to come: New York and Miami Beach are up first in the States, but after that Edition is heading for more exotic destinations – Sanya in China and Gurgaon in India. Virtually nothing is known about these hotels, but that didn’t stop us from unearthing these renderings already.
The Sanya Edition (above) will open in 2015 on the Chinese island of Hainan. Referred to as China’s Hawaii, nearly every luxury hotel group (from sibling Ritz-Carlton to Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski to One&Only) is rushing to claim their spot along Sanya’s beaches and vie for the attention of the increasingly wealthy and wanderlust-filled Chinese tourist. The curved building looks huge (spot the tiny cars under the soaring porte cochere for a sense of scale), with some kind of lattice wood construction over the main entrance, a design reflected again it appears in the façade.
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Way back in 2012, we snapped a few pictures of another newcomer: the W Beijing Chang’An, hoping it would be ready for what then seemed an eternity away – the first day of 2014. That, unfortunately, did not quite work out as planned, with the hotel now pushed back until late June. New Year’s day of 2014 was going to be a double party, with the joint opening of sister property W Shanghai – The Bund, but there we’re looking at June next year before we get to go inside. At least we have some glimpse of what the hotels look like for you now.
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Six Senses Bhutan
If you are familiar with Six Senses hotels, you're probably thinking "spa" and locations like Thailand and Vietnam. While the focus on spa and wellness isn't going anywhere, you’ll likely find Six Senses closer to home in the future, with planned openings in places like the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and the French Alps near Mont Blanc.
Six Senses is also pulling an Aman, if we can say there is such a thing, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan in 2016. Its resort here will be split across five lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro, allowing you to travel through Bhutan much like Aman Resorts’ Amankora. Did we mention that there is Taiwan, China, Bali, and Tunisia too?
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David Beckham made his name as a top footballer in his younger years but now in his retirement, he's become a man of many leisurely pursuits such as underwear modeling, cologne-making and tattoo collecting. He's also dabbling in the hotel world.
Last week, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced that Beckham would be assisting in the development of "dining, retail and leisure concepts" at the Sands properties in Macao and Marina Bay, Singapore. Much of the press release about the partnership is a bunch of "we're so excited" type of statements yet the details are scant on what exactly Beckham will be doing.
Our guess is that someone else is going to come up with these new concepts which will obviously have a luxury element to them for which Beckham will lend his face and body. We're thinking David Beckham Steakhouse, David Beckham Watch Shop, David Beckham Cigars, David Beckham Men's Intimates, David Beckham Noodles To Go. Er, maybe not that last one.
However, given that Becks is now the global ambassador for Chinese Football, we're sure at least one of these concepts will have to do with the sport itself. All "Bend It Like Beckham" jokes aside, we're quite curious to see what they, er, he, comes up with.
[Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp.]
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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.
Every time a cool new app comes out promising guests to check-in or check-out via their phone or table or use their handheld as a room key, we always wonder how much longer it will be before human hotel staff become obsolete. Well, at The Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel in Shenzhen, China, that time is here.
The Nanfang Insider reports that the hotel is nearly entirely staffed by ROBOTS. Robots greet you at reception and at the front desk and even serve you drinks and food in the lobby lounge. However, there are some humans on hand in case the service, um, short circuits.
As for the rooms, they cost just $11 a night because as the hotel name suggests, they are capsule rooms. These tiny little pods are tricked out with blue mood lighting, WiFi, flat-screen, ports galore and according to this pic, the privacy to view some adult movies on your iPad.
[Photo: Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel]
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Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked.
But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of what hotels are opening this month (and a few that are changing brands as well.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
HOTELS OPENING IN NOVEMBER 2013
Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort, China: This long awaited Westin resort on Hainan Island in the South China Sea (it was supposed to open in 2012) is finally taking reservations for November 7th. The wait may have been worth the wait as this looks like no other Westin we've seen before. Rates start at around $242USD a night but the WiFi is going to cost an extra $13 a day. Also, a full moon is not guaranteed.
Le Meridien Zhengzhou, China: This ultra-luxe and super modern Le Meridien will also open on November 7 adajcent to Zhengzhou Eastern New District, with a shopping centre and cinema next door. But all this poshness DOES come cheap with rates starting at just $122USD a night. WiFi is free in the public spaces but can cost up to $10 a day to use in your room.
Westin Singapore Marina Bay: While this Westin is nowhere near as flashy as the neighboring Marina Bay Sands, it does boast an infinity rooftop pool and a Westin Heavenly spa. Rates for the 305-room hotel start at around $400 on November 12th. WiFi is free in the lobby but will cost $16 to use in your room.
Ritz-Carlton Aruba: Initially expected to open on November 2, the new Ritz-Carlton Aruba will now open 20 days later on November 22nd. Rates at Aruba's first five-star resort start at $649 a night. Rooms with an ocean view are going for $799.
The Landings Resort and Spa, South Lake Tahoe: According to a press release and the hotel's website, guests should be able to get in this month. But when we tried to make a reservation for November 22 (the first available date from the drop-down calendar), no rooms were open. We tried again for December 1st but no luck. So we'll just cross our fingers it opens this month.
WestHouse New York: The newest hotel in NYC will open just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27th. Which is kinda perfect timing since the hotel is all about blending "the privileges of a luxury hotel with the residential comforts of a New York townhouse." Rates start at $499 a night but also include a $30 resident fee per adult. That fee includes daily breakfast presentation, afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres, evening canapés, in-room Dean & Deluca amenity kit, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
DeNiro, with his other partner in Nobu Hotels, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Robert De Niro must have been pretty happy about his experience working with BD Hotels on The Greenwich Hotel because he's partnering with them again to develop a new five-star boutique hotel...in Shanghai.
The hotel will be part of what is being called Project 179 a 850,000-square-foot complex on the Bund that will also feature retail space, restaurants "led by accomplished restaurateurs currently operating distinguished establishments in the United States," a performance center and multi-screen cinema. Let's hope the first screening at this new cinema is a Taxi Driver/Raging Bull double-bill.
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Not only did we ogle Rosewood London last week (hopefully just phase one in Europe for the group), we also picked up some additional news: a first few snapshots of the rooms at Rosewood Beijing (coming next year) and the exciting update that another hotel is being planned for Bangkok.
Both hotels sound like they will be rather unique; the building in Beijing “will recall a mountain profile with contrasting volumes and shapes” and Bangkok promises 650-square foot Pool Sky Villas, with large terraces and private plunge pools (!!).
Now that Ace Hotels have crossed international waters to London and Panama, there's no stopping them. While they've still got Los Angeles and Pittsburgh as well as two new NYC hotels on tap, the hipster hotel brand is also thinking about expanding to the Far East.
A super secret hotel spy has given us the lowdown on the Ace's Asia hotel expansion plans but was reluctant to divulge the exact city. So now we're left to speculate. We actually think Beijing would be the perfect spot for an Ace Hotel, perhaps in the 798 Art Zone where art galleries and shops have sprung from former military factory buildings. But the Ace Hotel brand could also do well in Shanghai and Hong Kong too. Then again, maybe Ace will surprise us by opening in another one of China's big cities like Guangzhou, Chongqing, or Chengdu.
And it may not even be China. Maybe Tokyo is at the top of their list, especially now that the Summer Olympics are coming there. You never really know with Ace. But you can expect it to be in a historic building in a pre-revitalized area with a fascinating, if quirky, history. That's just the Ace way.
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It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local" bar. So all this week, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our first-ever Hotel Cocktail Week. All this week, we'll be posting specialty drinks, booze trends, mixology tips and most importantly, drinks recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. Everyone will be getting tipsy this week! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.
Raffles Singapore, the place where the famed Singapore Sling was created, has launched a cocktail menu designed to take you around the world while you still remain seated and sipping in their Long Bar, god bless ‘em.
Resident mixologist, Randolph Velasco, has come up with eight spiritus drinks inspired by a Raffles hotel destination, so come join us as we embark on our virtual journey through time and space. First stop? Seychelles.
The Seychelles conjures images of an island paradise with deep blue skies, sultry breezes and emerald seas. No surprise, then, that the Raffles Seychelles cocktail is an emerald green beauty created by combining Smirnoff Vodka with melon-flavored Midori and tangy Apple Sourz, then topped off with apple juice. Garnished with slices of star fruit and a lemon wedge, this is a sipper meant to be sipped in a rattan chair with one of those tropical ceiling fans swooshing slowly overhead.
Next, we go to Raffles Cambodia –- specifically, Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh and Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. Using the Kingdom’s national fruit, the five finger banana (who knew?), this golden concoction consists of rum, banana and pineapple juice, but it’s the finishing touch of zesty kaffir and fresh, green pandan leaves (a herbaceous tropical plant) that gives this drink its aromatic and mysterious character.
The Raffles Philippines takes you to the newly-opened Raffles Makati in the heart of Manila’s financial district. A mix of Bacardi rum, juicy mango and pineapple are enhanced by a mere suggestion of basil and the tart, citrus flavor of calamansi, a wee fruit that bears a resemblance to a lime but is about the size of a kumquat. Calamansi is supposed to have some health benefits, so drink up.
Raffles Istanbul anticipates the opening of Raffles Istanbul Zorlu Center in late 2013 (no date as of yet) with a cocktail that evokes the complex flavors of Turkish coffee. Rich Kahlua is layered with potent Pisco, fresh lime juice and anise to create a boozy drink not quite appropriate for the morning but it does kinda taste like coffee, so we’ll leave it up to you. (Recipe below!)