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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
Four Seasons goes to Seoul: the Canadian group just announced it will be adding a 317-room Four Seasons hotel in the Sejongro area of South Korea’s capital, due to open in May 2015 in a brand new 25-story building
One&Only goes Down Under: we had heard the rumor before, but it’s official now. Australia’s Hayman Island will be managed by One&Only, with a full re-launch in April next year. The resort, in the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, will undergo extensive renovations. Private residences will be added as well
Philadelphia Hotels / Hotel Hype / Fairmont Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Development / → All Tags
Just yesterday we heard that Philadelphia would be getting a hip SLS Hotel and now today, we hear the City of Brotherly Love may get a new luxury hotel too. But first, a few hotel brands are duking it out to see who will win the gig.
Philly.com reports that a group of developers are working to transform the the 72-year-old Family Court building at 18th and Vine Streets. Each developer has paired up with a hotel brand. In the race for the property are, Fairmont Hotels, Starwood's Luxury Collection Hotels and Kimpton Hotels.
Fairmont's proposed project would cost $180 million, include 332 hotel rooms,44,000 square feet of event and meeting space. restaurants, bar, shops and a spa. The Luxury Collection would put forth 267 hotel rooms; a 4,000-square-foot ballroom; 10,000 square feet of meeting facilities; and a restaurant and bar while Kimpton's project would cost $85 million with 199 hotel rooms, a 3,500-square-foot ballroom; meeting and board rooms; spa and fitness center; and restaurant and bar.
It turns out Aloft Hotels is not the only Starwood hotel with a design partnership. The Luxury Collection Hotels is also turning to home design this summer thanks to a new partnership with the addictive furniture and decor site, One Kings Lane.
The duo's new partnership is inspired by the All-American Road Trip and includes sales on items sourced from around the country by One Kings Lane's expert pickers. For example for the West Coast road trip, One Kings Lane stayed at the US Grant in San Diego and the SLS Hotel in LA and hit up several furniture and antiques shops in both cities. The stories, shopping trips and most importantly, the sales will happen on July 2 and July 9.
Of course, the new partnership also includes a hotel package where One Kings Lane will customize a shopping road trip itinerary--with the help of the Luxury Collection hotels' concierge team--when guests book a minimum of two nights at any of the LC hotels in North America. Sample road trip itineraries include from the Equinox in Vermont to The Chatwal in New York or from the SLS Hotel in LA to The Palace Hotel in San Fran. The package also throws in a $200 gift to use with One Kings Lane and suite accommodations.
Can't actually hit the road this summer for an antique shopping spree? Don't worry, if anyone asks where you found that darling new lamp, we'll cover for you.
[Photo: Luxury Collection/Facebook]
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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.
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If you're feeling wistful this weekend, a good way to kick back and set out on a magical hotel journey—without ever leaving your home—is to flip through Assouline's new 160-page Luxury Collection book, which is part of their Hotel Stories series.
The Luxury Collection: Hotel Stories devotes a mini-chapter to each of the 80+ hotels under Starwood's chi-chi Luxury Collection brand. There's history, and celebrity interviews, and design details—but you can technically find those things anywhere on the internet. What really makes the book stand out are the photos. Rich, full-color, splashy images of ITC Mughal, Gritti Palace, Al Maha and tons more.
While drooling over the images, we managed to scan a bit of text too. Here are five takeaway facts about Luxury Collection we didn't previously know:
Hotel Openings / Paris Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
As we recently mentioned, we had the opportunity to step inside the Prince de Galles hotel during our time in Paris and see what Starwood has been cooking up over the course of two long years of renovation and restoration.
Pierre-Yves Rochon oversaw the redesign of the hotel’s lobby and guest rooms & suites, while Bruno Borrione created the restaurant and the bar. Both were on hand to walk us through the various spaces and explain the thinking behind their work. Here are some of the impressions we walked away with.
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Thankfully after the Biebs (and his Beliebers) had moved on to wreak havoc elsewhere, did we arrive in Paris earlier this week, where we had a chance to preview the soon-to-open Prince de Galles hotel.
Starwood’s entry into the highly competitive Parisian palace hotel market, the Prince de Galles is part of its Luxury Collection, and one of a number of their historic European hotels that's been on the receiving end of many a million for restoration and renovation the last few years.
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Good news for those adventurous types! Peru's Cusco, one of the most sacred and spiritual places on earth gets a new Luxury Collection property,Libertador Palacio del Inka, right in the heart of the temples and ancient ruins.
Set to open its doors in June of this year, the 203 room renovated hotel will welcome guests that want a little relaxing before they head into the hills or a pampering reward after they worked their dogs on a hiking trip. If the renovated rooms aren't enough, a visit to the Travertine marble and tornillo wood spa can rejuvinate any weary body.
Poised directly across from the Temple of The Sun, the stone building features traditional Peruvian construction techniques built without using any mortar. Don't worry, the building itself is 35 years old, so it has stood the test of time. Showcasing Spanish colonial architecture, the super European center-court will have you feel like your walking back in time and still getting comfy in a modern designed building.
Hotel Openings / Thailand Hotels / Thailand Resorts / Starwood Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / → All Tags
We briefly mentioned it last year, but now we can actually give some more details on the recently opened Vana Belle Koh Samui. This serene beach location will turn the most tightly wound person into a relaxation machine with it's private beaches that practically hand-shake the neighboring rainforest for an uber-luxury escape.
Each of the 80 suites and villas comes with a private pool and big terraces to take in the big blue; and blue the water is. With complimentary WiFi throughout the entire property, you can't go unconnected if that's your thing, but we question your travel motives if that's the case.
Since the island is one of sixty in the middle of Ang Thong National Marine Park there won't be a shortage of breathtaking views of the surrounding Gulf of Thailand and defy anyone to claim boredom here. Opportunities for exploring the hidden caves and coral reefs that the warm water has to offer.
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Up until very recently, one of the top places to stay in Warsaw, Poland was Le Meridien Bristol, a gorgeous landmark building located right in the center of the city. And technically, the Bristol still ranks as one of Warsaw's top hotels, except as of earlier this month, it's going by a new name.
An eight-month, EUR 12 million renovation resulted in several major changes to the property: refreshed guest rooms and public spaces, a new restaurant and wine bar, and, most importantly for SPG members, a re-branding from Le Meridien to Luxury Collection. Ooooh!
As of January 17, the elegant 112-year-old hotel began flying the LC flag, thus joining the ranks of such renowned places as Venice's Hotel Danieli, Manhattan's The Chatwal and Shanghai's brand new Twelve at Hengshan.
Hotel News / Shanghai Hotels / Hermes Toiletries / China Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Chalk up yet another new hotel for China, this time in Shanghai. The former French Concession gets to cut the ribbon on Twelve at Hengshan in November. The über-swanky brand, Luxury Collection from Starwood Hotels is bringing fierce design while honoring local character to the city's most historic section.
The new building, right along tree-lined Hengshan Road, will blend in to the neighborhood with thousands of terracotta tiles adorning the outside. But it's the modern take on traditional Chinese design that provides the wow factor. Garden motifs, hand-painted Oriental screens, handmade Chinese and modern furniture will give an 'East meets West, Past meets Present' vibe.
Though there are 171 rooms, know the most luxury is oozing from the suites. All 28 of them are decked out with Bose sound systems, Hermes toiletries, and many even overlook a secret garden. Plus each will have private terraces--oh, and a butler. But, if the suites are out of your price range, the regular rooms come with deluxe bathrooms, entertainment systems, Nespresso machines and free WiFi. Not too shabby, eh?
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The newest member to Starwood's Luxury Collection has been unveiled, this time on the island of Hainan in southern China. Granted, it's probably being overshadowed by the new Sheraton Macao, Starwood's largest property to date, but still. For something a little more personal and upscale, the Royal Begonia is a pretty safe bet.
The 142-room property is built on a stunning quarter-mile stretch of beach on Haitang Bay, located on the southeastern tip of the island.
Guest rooms offer custom-designed furniture, there's an art gallery showcasing traditional and modern Chinese art, a cigar lounge, a Spanish wine and cocktail bar, and the hotel will even arrange special outings to local destinations in the surrounding bay, like the "floating restaurant" on nearby Coconut Island, which specializes in traditional Hainanese seafood dishes.