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As longtime hotel nerds, we're always excited when a new hotel opens. In fact, to ensure we don't miss an opening we compiled the Master Openings List of hotels expected to open in 2013. Not just in the U.S. or Europe, but around the world.
Out of this beast of a list, which we are constantly updating as we hear of new openings (and as we re-learn world geography apparently) we admittedly have a few favorites. Five to be exact. So here are 5 Hotel Openings We're Excited For in 2013. We hoped to get you every starting room rate, but alas, not all of the properties are taking reservations yet. But once they do, we'll let you know how much you're gonna pay!
Got an opening you're most excited about? Drop it in comments below!
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We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.
The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.
Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.
This week couldn't end without discussing a new Shangri-La hotel, could it? Of course not!
So, besides gushing about the über-plush and attentive service the hotel chain will bring to their newest property debuting in March in Qufu, East-central China, we'll detail their elaborate and unique opening celebration.
The 502-room behemoth will be the first international hotel chain for the city that's better known as Confucius' hometown. While the folks at Shangri-La will be wowing guests with luxury amenities and comfy guestrooms, we like the the events surrounding the ribbon cutting because it involves beautiful food, and, in this case, a food roadshow!
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Listen, we dodged that whole Doomsday thang (though we are Girl and Boy Scouts of preparedness, nonetheless), so let’s try and celebrate some good times, shall we?) We’ve clued you in on some Choice New Year’s Eve parties being held at hotels across the world. So, we hope you've decided (for once) to relax, relate, and release and get your party on!
But do you know which hotels to book if you want front-and-center views of fireworks and the action come midnight, whether you feel like going out, or prefer to stay in?
We've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite spots to trip the lights fantastic! Here are their around-the-world faves:
It seems like we talk about one Shangri-La hotel opening a week. It's like the brand is giving birth to a brood of properties and we can't keep them straight. We may even have to change our motto--"Hotel Chatters All About Shangri-La" at this rate.
Yep, they've now cut the ribbon on their 35th property in mainland China, the Shangri-La Yangzhou. This one nestled in the heart of the medium-sized city and the luxury hotel marks the first international hotel chain to open in "The City of Poets, Merchants and Explorers".
Featuring its own Asian-style garden, the new hotel peers over neighboring Mingyue Lake offering guests staying in any of the 369 rooms tranquil views of koi ponds and pagodas. Yangzhou is known for its beauty, history and culture and this property is sure to complement the 2,500 year old city.
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It’s not a view of Tiananmen Square or a section of the Great Wall outside Beijing, but the window of this Superior Club room at the Kerry Hotel Beijing perfectly frames Rem Koolhaas’s now-iconic shard-like CCTV building.
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Even though its winter, you can still take advantage of the relatively drama-free weather on the Left Coast where the rooftop shenanigans live-on. Remember, these haunts are available year-round and come with a side of schwanky--hold the frostbite. So grab your date and enjoy these rooftop destinations for your next romantic romp west of the Mississippi.
Suite 700, Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica, CA
Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica's Suite 700 open-air bar & lounge is the epitome of swank with its Art Deco Hollywood glamour combined with epic views of the Pacific sunset. It's no wonder the hotel was named after the earthly paradise James Hilton spoke of in Lost Horizon. Treat your date to a fire pit and some popcorn chicken avec cocktail, and get lost watching the flames. Or watch the killer sunsets. The nice thing about Shangri-La is you can stay indoors in the lounge if it's breezy, or venture onto the rooftop, so its the best of both. Weekends can be crowded, so try a weeknight or just come early if you want some elbow room.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, on whom we have a big ol’ crush, and who seem to roll out a new hotel almost every month, announced that their next hotel in China has officially opened on the shores of ‘China’s Hawaii’.
We fully expect that the 337-room Shangri-La Haikou has everything this luxe hotel brand has become known for: big rooms, free WiFi, great restaurants and bars, awe-inspiring service and a deluxe spa to massage away your cares, but the Shangri-La Haikou will also have in-suite balconies, an indoor and outdoor pool, a tennis court and natural hot spring pools.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
Tomorrow morning Westin Hotels is having a 5K run in New York to celebrate the launch of their exclusive New Balance gear lending program. Both Westin, New Balance associates (and now Top Chef-host, Padma Lakshmi) will run to benefit Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to adults and children around the world. A majority of the donations will support Hurricane Sandy victims. The run starts and ends at the new Westin New York Grand Central where there will also be a Soles4Souls donation station the public can drop off gently used or new footwear throughout the day. After the run, Westin and New Balance will donate more than 15,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. For more info, visit westinnewbalance.com
Sandals Resorts International has purchased Grenada’s all-inclusive LaSource Resort for an undisclosed sum. This is the brand’s first property in the country. The hotel will be renamed Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, and will add 100 more guest rooms to its current space for a total of 200 private cottages and bungalows. Many of these will be concierge- and butler-level suites, as is common in the Sandals brand, and also the famous octagonal-shaped Rondoval suites. We wonder if Sandals will keep LaSource’s former amenity of one free spa treatment a day. Sure it was only a 25-minute teaser, but it was something. A part of us believes they’ll be cut, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised before.
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You know you’re not in Kansas anymore as soon as you walk into the newly-opened Shangri-La Toronto. In fact, it's easy to believe you've entered the East thanks to the hotel's subtle little touches. For instance, when we checked in and handed over our Visa card, it was handed back with both hands and a slight bow of the head -- very customary in Asia. Then there are, of course, the more obvious things: decor, artwork and staff outfits.
We will try our hardest not to get too gushy, but the simple fact is--we loved this hotel, and here are seven reasons (and loads of pictures) explaining why:
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We've teased you a bit with the views from the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney and now, we can show the freshly renovated rooms. Rest assured this wasn't just a fresh coat of paint and colored throw-pillow job. About 6 months ago, each room got a full rehab with some great new features.
If you're hotel geeks like us, you know Shangri-La offers some of the best service and lush room appointments in the hotel industry. This property has taken things to the next level and made their rooms even more comfy for weary travelers.
Once we walked in the room we first noticed a gentle cherry blossom motif in the rug carries up to the bed's headboard that's decorated with rich gold and auburn tones. This modern-Asian theme carries through--elegant, not kitschy or overwhelming. The rooms are quite spacious and allow for plenty of room to unpack, settle in, and discover other great finds.
Here we go again, China gets a flash hotel and this time it’s in the form of a Shangri-La. The new hotel fun isn’t limited to the big cities this time with the latest property in the business hub of Changzhou , about an hour train-ride west of Shanghai and 45 minutes east of Nanjin.
The giant complex of a hotel is on the south bank of the Yangtze River delta and will primarily cater to business people doing their thing in the neighboring commercial center. Don’t let that fact mark this property off your list of leisure destinations though, because the city has plenty to offer for tourists and with 350 rooms, there is a good chance you won’t see anyone in a suit.
Each of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and unobstructed views of Xihu Lake or the city, along with the traditional luxuries we continually rave about in all Shangri-La hotels. If you do happen to get this hotel on an expense report, the complimentary WiFi and spacious office areas will make work a lot more pleasurable. There’s even an IT butler in case you have a computer glitch.