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Kempinski Hotels are now accepting reservations for their largest and their most striking hotel to date in China.
The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing is located about an hour’s drive from Beijing’s city center and shares the site of a larger complex of Kempinski managed hotels overlooking the picturesque Yanqi Lake.
The design of the hotel—and this escaped even our eagle eyes—draws inspiration from the rising sun and other symbolism in Chinese culture. The architect, Shanghai Huado Architect Design Company, led a 60-day pow-wow with 60 designers from around the world, seeking a worldly perspective to come up with this unusual design, pictured above.
The 60 designers concluded that the hotel should resemble a scallop (anyone see a snail?) which is a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture. The large bull’s eye in the center of the hotel’s outside wall represents—we are told—the rising sun, which in turn reflects the rising Chinese economy.
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Howdy folks! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. Seriously, did all you hotelie people save it up for Labor Day Weekend? Sheesh. Anyways, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest. More news will obviously be forthcoming.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is Coming Soon: Get ready, Parrotheads! A beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will open on the beach in Hollywood, Fla. in 2015. It will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.
The Diplomat Becomes a Curio Hotel: The Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale, a massive convention center hotel, is doing away with the white green tea scent in its lobby as it rebrands from a Westin to a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton. The hotel was recently acquired by the Thayer Lodging Group who will make the change to Hilton in October. The property will also undergo a $100 million enhancement. The new name will officially be The Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Waldorf Astoria Naples Will Be No More: TripAdvisor reviewers were mumbling about the changes that are coming to this luxury hotel in Naples, Fla. Apparently, the hotel was recently sold and is now undergoing renovations and will go back to its former name of The Naples Grande Beach Resort. Which is perhaps best since most reviewers complained the property was not up to Waldorf standards. Renovations are expected to be done in January 2015. The name change could come at the same time too.
Auberge To Launch New Brand in Napa, After St. Regis Drops Out: Uh-oh. This is not good. A luxury resort in Napa, Calif. has not even opened yet and already it has switched management hands. The 117-room resort on Stanley Ranch has gone from a St. Regis to an Auberge Resort. It will open, possibly in 2017, as a "VieVage" resort which is a new brand from Auberg, that will be less expensive, more casual and more family-friendly than other Auberges. Here's more on VieVage. We'll be thinking good thoughts.
The keys were handed back last week, but you can still make reservations through Kempinski until September 10. If you have a booking for a future date, don’t worry – all existing reservations will be honoured as made. All staff remains with the property as well.
The Stafford isn’t going at it completely alone; by September 10 it will join Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The addition of The Stafford will take the total number of Preferred hotels in London to nine; existing properties include the ME London as well as the upcoming Beaumont Hotel.
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Kempinski Ciragan Palace
Istanbul Week continues! Your must-stay hotels in your major areas are all well and good, of course, but what if you don’t care about the tourist sites or the nightlife or your bizness connections – what if you just want to wake up to the Bosphorus outside your door?
The downside of staying on the Bosphorus – other than the premium prices – is that it’s slightly out of the way, so makes it longer to get to the sites/your meeting/that hot new restaurant everyone is talking about. The upside of staying on the Bosphorus is that it’s so bloody beautiful, you’re unlikely to stray from your hotel. The solution? Work out how many nights you want in the other locations, and then add at least one (ideally two) on the water. You won’t regret it.
Here are some of the best waterfront properties:
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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.
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Okay, it won't be too much of a secret now but we just need to spread the word that Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay has released some perfect new spa treatments geared toward men. That's right, us guys finally get to experience the good stuff when it comes to a little pampering and rejuvenation while on vacation.
Nestled on the cliffs overlooking pristine Barbaros Bay, the hotel helps you forget all the dramas at home, regardless of gender. An idyllic spot for the utmost R&R can only be made better with a trip (or two) to the spa that sports the same views of the sun-bleached beaches and sparkling Mediterranean waters.
Men can choose from a three-hour, 40 minute series of treatments that are male-friendly and just "fussy ' enough. First things first, a typical Turkish treatment known as a Hammam cleansing with Kese scrub that is considered the heritage of the Ottoman Empire to open pores and exfoliate the body. From there, the boys will head off into a deep tissue massage, then facial, finishing off with a mani and pedi. (sans polish, of course)
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One more hotel to add to our OPENING THIS MONTH list!
“What’s with the French?” you may ask. Well, Kempinski is bringing a bit of grand Paris to Moscow with the opening of the palace-like Hotel Nikol'skaya in the centre of Russia’s capital, the company’s second hotel in the city.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Bolshoi Theatre, Duma and the famous GUM department store, the hotel was formerly the residence of Count Orlov-Davydov until the early 1900s and also used to house the Koeller perfumery and many fine chocolate shops. After six years of restoration by Leo International Design Group (architects of several Shangri-Las and Le Meridiens in China and Thailand), the hotel has opened its grand doors with 211 rooms and suites, six—count ‘em—six restaurants and bars, a spa, fitness center and five meeting rooms.
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It’s that time of year when family and friends gather together to gobble down a turkey dinner, yet there you are—far away from the happy gathering. But if you find yourself in Hong Kong, London or Rome these hotels will help make you forget that you’re abroad with their traditional Thanksgiving dinners, minus Aunt Minnie of course.
The Langham Hong Kong’s Main St. Deli has a traditional Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings. For HK$318 ($41) per person, the three-course Thanksgiving menu features comfort food that is sure to fill your tummy with yummy goodness including Maine crab cakes; butternut squash bisque; roasted US Tom turkey with apple, sage and cornbread stuffing; sautéed brussel sprouts; buttered baby carrots; honeyed sweet potatoes; whipped potatoes; pan gravy and cranberry sauce. And that’s not all, folks. Completing the meal is a choice of pumpkin cheesecake or maple glazed pecan pie with cinnamon ice cream.
With the Linger Longer For Less offer, rates start at HK$2,210 ($285).
More gobbledy-goodness after the jump!
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many hotels are "Thinking Pink", offering packages and programs to support breast cancer research. Hotel geeks, you can do your part to help the cause in the simplest ways from buying a slice of cake, getting a manicure at a hotel spa, to of course booking a stay at one of these special properties. It's a twin-win this month.
Next week we'll let you know hotels supporting this nationally recognized month with one of our favorite things--Specialty Cocktails!
Squeeze n' Sip: The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village near Malibu is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness by inviting guests to be proactive about their health by participating in a $75 digital mammogram screening at their state-of-the-art California Health and Longevity Institute, and also their special Think Pink Pampering Package, which includes a customized 50-minute Tranquility Massage followed by a Pink Lady Mocktini which can be sipped poolside at the spa's Serenity Pool. The package is $130 per person and is available Monday to Friday through October 31, 2013. A portion of the package proceeds will be donated to The Cancer Support Community, a local non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families of those affected by cancer.
Get Pretty Feet and a Sweet Treat: The Surrey in New York City is offering a special Champagne Pedicure in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The 60 minute pedicure is $95 and includes two signature Cornelia cupcakes, a small bouquet of pink roses and dried lavender.
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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
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We know, we know. The Ryugyong Hotel saga has gone back and forth so many times now, we're beginning to just stop caring. In November, we told you (with some surprise, we admit) that Kempinski was set to become its daddy.
Well, that's not happening anymore.
Not that you really needed to hear it from us, though. As big bad North Korea keeps the whole world watching on the edge of our seats, the city of Pyongyang (or any other in the nuclear state, for that matter), is hardly a place major hotel chains want to be investing in right now.
A WSJ article states that Kempinski's plans for the Ryugyong Hotel (which, apparently, were never formalized) are "on indefinite hold." A spokeswoman for Kempinski said:
"There is no possibility to enter the market right now."
Of course, the world has bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether a pesky hotel will open or not, but we've got to hand it to the Ryugyong: we can't think of a single other hotel that's managed to cause such a stir for so long without a single guest ever having checked in, or even a single room having been completed. Let's just hope when this hotel does open, it'll be a sign that tempers have cooled and neighbor South Korea no longer has to worry about rogue rockets from the north. The sooner, the better.
[Photo: Ryugyong Hotel]
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We were lucky enough to be in Vienna last month and get first looks at the new Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna, which officially opened today with a 700-strong party attendance. At the time, the place was a huge construction site and we were doubtful that the company would be able to pull off their anticipated opening date. Looks like we were wrong!
As we donned surgical coverings over our shoes and made our way through the historical Renaissance Revival-style building that was built in 1873, in Vienna's first district, we knew this place would be something special. From the cafe wall made of real plants to the intricate details of each space, it seemed that Viennese architect Boris Podrecca and designer Jean-Claude Laville had serious visions for this hotel. And it would be necessary to stand out in a city that's been seeing a host of new hotels lately including the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna and has competition to come in the form of the ME Vienna and the Park Hyatt Vienna. So yes, they had to bring the bling to the 152 room, suites, and common areas, and it took almost three years to get it done, but they still managed to keep much of the heritage intact--from the chandeliers, wrought iron staircases, and ceiling windows that bring in natural light.
First and foremost, the building is huge--well of course it is--it's a former palace. Still, it seems like the areas are never ending, especially when spread across seven floors. It'll take more than one night to absorb its splendor. In fact, our site-inspection was nearly two hours long and this was pre-opening. Here's what's in store for lucky guests.