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We feel so much better now! Forget the disappointing images from inside St. Regis San Clemente Palace in Venice; we finally have some renderings that show what the hotel will look like following its €25 million renovation.
Gone are the golden-hued walls, the dark wood, and, most importantly, that wonky bed skirt. Instead, we have much lighter décor, a purely white bed, a beautiful coffee table, and a few pops of blue in the furniture and pillow. The Grand Deluxe room above has a low headboard and statement mirror, while the one below goes for something with a bit more flourish and replaces the blue accents with green.
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We may have known that The Lanesborough London was going for a full-scale renovation (including auctioning off all furniture and trinkets from inside the hotel), but in a surprising twist on the road to its reopening next year, it will no longer be a St. Regis Hotel, but become part of the super-posh Oetker Collection instead.
That means a whole range of things: an exit for St. Regis from the London market, Starwood being one property down (Luxury Collection’s Park Tower is a few minutes west, Sheraton Park Lane a few minutes east), and Oetker Collection debuting another major capital property in addition to its Parisian palace Le Bristol (the seven other hotels lean towards resorts, like the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc).
Along with the announcement, we have a first glimpse of the Albert Pinto-designed interiors, with a rendering of a suite above. While brand new, the interiors look to stay true to the Regency era the hotel took its design cues from before. The suite brings in red / burgundy tones, while a room rendering below goes for a warm green.
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It’s still got it.
Back in the day, the Hotel Zoo, which opened in Berlin in 1911, hosted the likes of Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. Now that it’s finally reopened after a two-year renovation, it’s already pulling the celebs back in – in the shape of Diane Von Furstenberg, who’s contributed to the furnishings, and Maison Martin Margiela, which has provided towels and nightshirts. Yes, nightshirts. The glamor!
In fact, glamor is a running theme here – the design of the hotel was inspired by the “film festivals and galas of the past” (the hotel was once the place for VIPs at the Berlin Film Festival), as well as “the clash of history and modern age” [sic].
DVF has done the catwalk-style carpet at the entrance – jade background, with monochrome leopards – leading to the Living Room lounge area. Lovely.
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The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.
The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.
When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.
In September of 2013, Palm Springs lost one of its most treasured buildings to fire, the Community Church of Palm Springs, a city landmark dating back to 1935. The photo below shows the church post-fire. Also damaged was the adjacent Orchid Tree Inn property which included several historic bungalows.
So now, what better news could we share other than not only are these endangered buildings being saved, they are getting a new life as a luxury hotel, The Orchid Tree Resort and Spa.
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OhEmGee. There is already so much hotel news flying around this week and it's ONLY MONDAY. Needless to say, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· FAIRMONT NO LONGER IN PLACE AT BOSTON'S BATTERY WHARF HOTEL : The Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston was recently sold and the Fairmont brand was ousted as of October 27. The hotel will now be known as The Battery Wharf Hotel & Spa. It will be managed by a Canadian company, Westmont Hospitality Group.
· FAIRMONT ALSO HAVING ISSUES IN BERMUDA BUT PICKS UP BARCELONA: Just after the $90 million redevelopment of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, and their brand new marina, The Princess Marina, the hotel's owners are now trying to ditch the Fairmont brand. A report came out today about a lawsuit filed in NYC by the hotel's owners and as expected for these type of owner-manager lawsuits, it's not pretty. Read the full list of accusations, and Fairmont's response, here. Meanwhile, Fairmont has announced they will pick up the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I in Barcelona.
· ANOTHER AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT IN THE WORKS: We're closing in on the grand opening of the first AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. (in New Orleans) but we've got a tip on another AC location. Sorry, it's not as exciting as NOLA. Woodbine Development, Inc is bringing the AC brand to the Park Place Development in Irvine, Calif.
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The Presidential Suite: so fancy, we're only showing you the gilt bathroom
All eyes are on Moscow this week, for the on-schedule opening of the Four Seasons, which unlocks the front door tomorrow. Nothing could possibly take away our Russian focus from this, the redevelopment of the Stolichnaya label building. Edit: nothing could take our focus away unless it’s the news that Russia’s original five-star hotel, the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, has just unveiled six new suites, including (sorry FS) the largest presidential suite in town. Only in lux-mad Russia, etc etc.
Because in today’s Russia, a standard room in a crazy-luxury hotel wouldn’t even make the grade on Facebook, let alone Instagram, the hotel has converted 19 rooms into these six suites, and added 24-hour butler service for good measure.
OK have one of the bedrooms too
The 3770 sq.ft Presidential Suite is accessed through a domed, gold-leaf-encrusted lobby, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fitness center, dining room, games room, living room (with bar), kitchen, music room (with antique grand piano), hammam and a study-cum-library-cum-secret-door-into-bedroom-one. The price? “Available on request”.
Never heard of Shiva Hotels before? Neither had we, but we have a sense they’ll be on our radar going forward. Why? They may be behind the new Hilton at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 and the even newer Hampton by Hilton at London Waterloo, but the small UK group seems to be upping its profile further with more properties in the city.
First up is the Kingsway Hall Hotel, just east of Covent Garden, in what was once a Methodist Church. Shiva recently acquired the hotel and is planning on sinking £15 million into a renovation. Check out the 'before' below.
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Hotels in exotic locales (starting with M-), they’re just like buses. You wait for one to open, then three come along at once.
It’s not quite as idyllic as Medjumbe – but then that bar is set pretty high. Instead of on a private island, it’s in the north of Mozambique, in pretty Pemba (a sandy peninsula sticking out from mainland Africa). Pemba is also the gateway to the Quirimbas archipelago, where Medjumbe is. Also, Avani is Anantara’s sister chain. Maybe time for a sibling visit?
The hotel sits on the headland overlooking the Indian Ocean, and all 185 simply styled rooms have terraces or balconies, overlooking either the ocean or the gardens. There’s a bar, two restaurants and a Grab & Go deli and “coffee corner”. There’s also a fitness center, spa, tennis courts and not one but four swimming pools. A room this weekend starts from a very reasonable $245.
We were thrilled to hear earlier this year that London’s Sheraton Park Lane would be getting its long overdue makeover, ripping out dated and faded guestrooms and freshening up public spaces. Now we can we show you a bit more of what you can expect post-renovation in the 303-room hotel.
Starting with accommodation, by mid-next year all rooms will look like the above, a huge leap forward compared to today. There is the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed at the heart with the requisite fresh white sheets, Art Deco influences in lighting fixtures and furniture, and what looks like an etched glass mirror panel above the bed.
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The new Frangipane Spa at the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba
If you remember the killer views we showed you last winter that make the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba, the Caribbean island's most luxurious property, you might recall the unfinished building in some of the photos. The work-in-progress was a spa, which was finished earlier this month, just in time for the upcoming Caribbean season.
Called the Frangipani Spa, it features two open air treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, waterfall shower, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Like the hotel, it overlooks Saba's capital, "The Bottom," as well as the mountainside and ocean.
The photos below show a simplistic charm and a hut-like environment, the beige of the wood dominating as a background and allowing the bright Caribbean-colored accents to burst out. So as not to lose sight of the views, the hotel decided to completely leave out one side of the building - a decision we think will turn out to be a really good one. The treatments will use products from SXM Nectar on nearby St. Maarten.
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But only for renovations!
The InterContinental Barclay Hotel on 48th and Park Avenue, and a favorite spot for U.S. Open tennis players, will be closed for the next 18 months for some pretty extensive renovations--about $175 million worth of renos.
The building that currently houses the InterCon first opened in 1926 yet much of the interior decor of the hotel was very stuck in late 1990s and early 2000s. See a shot of the ho-hum guest rooms here on TripAdvisor. Yet in its new reincarnation, the Barclay will be thoroughly modern and updated.