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We highlighted both the rooms at Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and St. Regis San Clemente Palace Venice recently as examples of luxury hotels that failed to inspire with their design. The Waldorf landed on a palette of browns that escapes us and the St. Regis didn’t look like we’d expect it after a €25 million do-over.
Turns out we weren’t wrong to be disappointed: while the Venetian island resort has joined Starwood under the St. Regis brand earlier this year, the closure period that will see those €25 million making a splash starts this October and lasts until spring 2015.
China Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / St Regis Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / W Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has done exactly what they said they would do in their expansion into China and the Asia Pacific. There are, and have been for quite some time, more hotels in the works than we can keep up with. Almost all Starwood brands have or will soon have an address in China, including Element Hotels, which is opening next year.
We've tried to list all that we know of that's happening with Starwood in China on our Master Openings List, but as seasoned readers of the list know, things change quite a bit and most hotels, get pushed onto the next year.
However, Starwood has three important openings in China in September, with properties that are very big on design and luxury. Here they are:
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If there were one major European city where we’d pick a hotel for its far out, rather than central, location, Venice would probably be it. La Serenissima, as everyone who’s elbowed their way through the crowds on the Riva degli Schiavoni or queued to walk across the Rialto bridge will know, is anything but calm in the touristy bits.
That’s why the San Clemente Palace – far from the madding crowd on a private island, only accessible by its own shuttle – has always sounded ideal to us. A 17th-century monastery (though island life dates back to the 1100s), it sits in the lagoon between Giudecca and the Lido – about a 12-minute boatride to San Marco on the hotel’s private shuttle.
And now it’s got a little more ideal with the news that, following an 18-month, €25m refurbishment after it ran out of money in 2012, it’s reopening as a St Regis property – mmm, butler service – on June 15. (Somehow, Starwood has won out over Four Seasons, which initially was slated to take it on.)
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Restaurant Week, Broadway Week et al are now all old hat. Courtesy of Starwood Hotels, we now have a new sweet promotion to spend our money on: Suite Week.
From now through April 29th, you can book a future stay (through March 31st, 2015) in a suite at any Starwood property in the New York City area for 30 percent off best available rate. Just book as normal through the hotels' websites.
Each hotel will also be creating its own package that comes with early check-in, late check-out, complimentary WiFi, complimentary parking and then three unique amenities that are specific to each hotel. Here's the rundown:
Things haven't been so, er, bad for "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul since the show ended. He's got a new movie out--"Need for Speed"--and he got to indulge in the luxury hotel scene this weekend in Atlanta at the St. Regis Hotel.
Sources tell us that he was a guest of the hotel over the weekend, making good use of St. Regis Altanta Bar both on Friday and Saturday nights with his wife and several local Atlanta friends ("Need for Speed" was filmed there.)
Because the St. Regis is a respectable spot who won't dish on their celebrity guests, we don't know exactly what room he was in but if we had to guess, we'd say it was one of the hotel's nearly 700-sq.ft. Metropolitan Suites, which are the starting suite accommodations. Here's what's inside:
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Apparently, a fan tried to snap a pic of the actor while he was hanging out in the hotel's swank Lobby Bar. Penn noticed the flash and went ballistic, lunging at the man fan and screaming "Do we look like f**king zoo animals?" (Umm....) Penn also threatened to make the fan "eat the phone" before telling him to "get the F out of here." You can watch the video of the temper tantrum here on TMZ. Incidentally, his outburst was caught on video...by another person in the bar. LOL.
Penn even went up to the hotel manager and told him that he "should do something about that." But hotel management actually asked the fan, who was attending the same conference as Penn, if he wanted to call police. Fortunately for Penn, he said no. After the whole kerfuffle ended, Penn went back to drinking at the bar.
Yeesh. Granted the fan should have asked Penn's permission, or at least not used flash, but we're kinda thinking Sean Penn should be grateful someone still wants to take his picture. No need to make someone "eat the phone." Which is going to be our new saying BTW.
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If you are so inspired by the gorgeous scenery at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort that you feel like you want to marry it, now you can do the next best thing: get married in it.
The Puerto Rican resort has partnered with renowned designer Lela Rose (dresser to many of the stars, including Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz) to create an capsule collection of wedding dresses inspired by the resort and destination. It's the only place you'll be able to buy one of the special dresses: the collection is available exclusively to brides booking their wedding at the Bahia Beach, where they do a roaring wedding business and even have their own wedding planning team on staff.
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We’ve known that The Lanesborough London would be closing later this year to complete a top-to-bottom renovation, but now we finally have a tiny bit more information on what will happen when doors shut on December 20.
They will remain so until the fourth quarter next year – it wouldn’t surprise us if that means a planned return right before Christmas – and the designer responsible for the overhaul is the late Alberto Pinto, his final project before his passing last year. The hotel will keep its Regency style, but will bring in the requisite hotel technology updates to take it into the 21st century. No renderings or other visuals are available unfortunately to show you what that will look like.
The Lanesborough now has a closing date for its massive renovations--December 20th.
As we reported in August, the luxury hotel is to go under the knife for extensive renovations. While we had hoped the hotel would stay open during the renovation and keep the disturbance to guests to a minimum, it looks like they've decided to close up shop while they work behind the scenes. We've been told by sources that the hotel will be closed for about a year. So that means it should reopen just in time for the 2014 holiday season. We're still working on getting more info on who is doing the job and what the final result may look like but when we have it, we'll get it to you.
Looking on the hotel's website, we see that reservations past December 20th are a no-go. You can, however, reserve a room for December 19th for £495 a night, which is nearly $800 US. Then again, it's your last chance to stay at the Lanesborough in its current condition.
And don't fret, while the hotel is closed, the Lanesborough's butler's heart, er service tips, will go on.
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In an age where you can remotely check-into a hotel with your smartphone and then use the in-room iPad to order breakfast from room service and tell housekeeping to change your towels, human interaction at hotels seems to be decreasing minute-by-minute every year. Often times, the only time we talk to a hotel employee is at check-in and, if something isn't working in the room.
But luxury hotels still put a premium on face-to-face interaction, thanks to their staff of well-trained concierges, front desk agents, bell men, housekeepers and more, who constantly check to make sure their guests have everything they need. And the uber-luxe hotels keep the constant contact going with their butler service, like the The Lanesborough Hotel in London, where a personal butler is automatically available to every guest who books a room. (The hotel was one of the first hotels to institute private butlers almost 25-years-ago.) Machines can do a lot but can they anticipate your needs like a real-live human butler? Not just yet.
To show how butlers can stay on top of their refined service game as we become increasingly dependent on machines, Daniel Jordaan, Head Butler of The Lanesborough, has shared his 10 Commandments List for hotel butlers.
These rules not only ensure that hotel guests' every need will be met but also offer some valuable insight for anyone working in the hospitality industry, in any position. No smartphone apps needed! We are especially big fans of #2, #3, and #6. (Actually, we're fans of all of them but these really stood out for us.)
Keep reading to see the full list of the 10 Commandments for Hotel Butlers
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With family travel being an ever increasing market these days, hotels are doing the right thing by expanding their services to accommodate younger visitors. We've recently written about a few hotel services designed to keep the kids occupied while you're chilling on your vacation, but we are just bowled over by the St. Regis' commitment to creating a home away from home for families staying at their resorts.
Case in point: the St. Regis, Bali had been seeing a family from the Asia-Pacific region stay for three to five weeks in a two-bedroom villa between Easter and Christmas. The family would settle in, sans the father, who, as a surgeon, travels a lot for work and would always arrive a few days later.
The resort noticed the father's busy schedule and responded by creating personalized programs for the children and even, get this, arranging for their butler to dress up as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus to deliver gifts!
Our hearts are warmed and we are utterly charmed by the St. Regis for this ... and maybe just a little envious of those lucky kids.
[Photo: St. Regis Hotels]
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Oh, who are we kidding? We're sure St. Regis Hotels and their polo team, captained by hunky Nacho Figueras, let Prince Harry and his Sentebale Land Rover team win the match with a final tally of 4-3. After all, the
hot ginger Prince Harry even scored the winning goal.
The polo match took place last week as part of the Royal Salute Sentebale Polo Cup at the Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut. The match was the opener to the polo season and it's primary goal was not to give us pictures of Prince Harry and Nacho together but rather to raise awareness and support for healthcare and education of the children of Lesotho, Africa.
Several other St. Regis Connoisseurs came to cheer the St. Regis team on--which includes Dawn Jones (wife of Tommy Lee Jones)--such as fashion designer Jason Wu, Starwood’s SVP Brand Management Dave Marr, Greenwich Polo Club Co-Founder Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour, Nacho's wife Delfina Blaquier (pictured above), model Karolina Kurkova and Olivia Palermo.