Tag Archives: boutique hotel

Furniture Retailer West Elm Opens Boutique Hotels

Furniture Retailer West Elm Opens Boutique Hotels

The hotel business is going gangbusters, with even interior decor and furniture retailer West Elm expanding into it. The Brooklyn-based retailer and subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma announced this week that it will be opening West Elm-branded hotels stateside beginning late 2018.

The move follows on another upscale home furnishings chain, Restoration Hardware, in making a foray into hotels. The Restoration Hardware property is slated to open in New York’s fashionable meatpacking district.

Meanwhile, no two West Elm hotel will be alike, the company said, and each will feature designs that reflect its neighborhood with artwork commissioned from local artists, handicrafts and decor sourced from the community and local coffee roasters, craft distillers, and bakeries represented on their bar and pastry shelves. Properties will include restored historic and heritage buildings. So basically, hipster hotels.

Their Detroit, location, for example, will reflect the city’s industrial legacy; its Savannah location will pay homage to “visionary preservation;” while the property in Charlotte will embody the city’s pride in craftsmanship.

Other locations include Indianapolis and Minneapolis. Also, we assume all the furniture will be from West Elm but what do we know anyway…

“There is a growing desire among modern travelers to immerse themselves in the place they are visiting. They want a boutique experience, and expect great, reliable service that caters to their needs,” said David Bowd, co-founder of hospitality management and development company DDK which will be partnering with West Elm on the project.

“Our general managers will serve as innkeepers, and West Elm Hotels will focus on making real community connections for visitors and residents alike.”

The concept is similar to the philosophy behind Hilton’s Canopy-branded hotels, designed to serve as extensions of their neighborhood and reflect the community, be it with locally-inspired design, art, music, food and drink. So, basically, hipster hotels – again.

West Elm sells modern furnishings and design with 85 stores in the US, and locations in Canada, Mexico, Australia, the UK and the Middle East.

Nakar Hotel

Nakar Hotel Opens Palma de Mallorca

For seekers of romantic beaches and sheltered coves, the Balearic islands of Spain are a popular destination, of which Mallorca is a long-favored fling. Amidst the world-class galleries, museums and sun-drenched streets, meet the newly opened Nakar Hotel. In a harmonious marriage of Mediterranean chic and modernity, the 57-room hotel (which is absolutely tiny when compared with the Parisian in Macau) is the brainchild of acclaimed architect Magi Margues and designer Marga Rotger.

nakar-hotel-1

Conceived by Toni Ramis, the hotel seeks to deliver. A rooftop sundeck, infinity pool, sauna and massage rooms are all available, while in-room jacuzzis and private terraces lend the Deluxe Rooms a touch of romance. Of special note is the restaurant and bar CUIT – located on the eighth floor and overlooking Palma’s sweeping bay, the eatery spins an ode to “Urban Majorquine” cuisine. Expect locally sourced and organic ingredients, where traditional recipes are updated with a contemporary touch at the hands of head chef Miquel Calent.

Nakar Hotel is located in the shopping precinct of Jaime III Avenue.

5 Boutique Rio Hotels to Explore

Yes the Rio Olympics are really happening and if you’re going, you deserve better than the safety of big brand names. So, if you are that-way-inclined, here is a selection of five quirky options, each one independent by design and a tribute to good design.

While there’s a time and place for behemoth hotels that sell cookie-cutter rooms in the same neutral, inoffensive palette of beiges and browns, they can do injustice to the city of Rio, which is a kaleidoscope of colors.

Take a tour of some of the city’s boutique design hotels that will sleep A-list visitors looking for more than just a place to lay their head throughout the Olympic games.

One of the common denominators threading the selection, put together by the AFP? Many are designed by expats from France who became enamored with the city. AFP of course is a French newswire service so go figure!

Hotel Fasanodeluxe_suite-Hotel-Fasano-Rio

Lovers of good design will appreciate the Hotel Fasano, which bears the esthetic stylings of design heavyweights such as Philippe Starck and Brazilian talents Oscar Niemeyer and Sergio Rodrigues. Often described as a masterful example of understated elegance, Hotel Fasano attracts A-listers for its prime location in the heart of Ipanema, its penthouse swimming pool, and stunning views of the Atlantic. It is where the elite go to see and be seen. All 79 rooms and 10 suites feature a balcony and marble bathrooms. King-size beds are covered with Egyptian cotton sheets, goose down duvets, and are designed to maximize views of the sea.

Hotel Fasano – Av. Vieira Souto, 80 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Casa MosquitoCasa-Mosquito-Rio

Designed by Frenchmen Benjamin Cano Planes and Louis Planes, Casa Mosquito is the result of a major restoration that transformed a sprawling private home into a boutique hotel made up of nine rooms. Suites pay homage to Rio icons such as Carmen Miranda, Pixinguinha, Madame Satan, Elis Regina and Tom Jobim, and are decorated with pieces curated from Paris, Rio and Sao Paulo. Décor is clean and modern with statement wallpaper and crisp white bedding, while some of the terraces offer views of Copacabana and Ipanema.

Casa Mosquito –  R. Saint Roman, 222 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Hotel Santa TeresaHotel-Santa-Teresa-Rio-Boutique-Hotel

Set among lush gardens, mango and apricot trees in Rio’s bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, this boutique hotel pays tribute to its historic past as a coffee plantation mansion by using natural and ecological materials like dark tropical woods and banana tree fiber in its 44 rooms. Walls are decorated with folk art created by local and native artisans. Palm trees fan guests at the outdoor pool, where guests can sip on caipirinhas after their Xingu massage or Amazonian oil bath, and before their Brazilian dinner.

Hotel Santa Theresa –  Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Mama RuisaMama-Ruisa-Hotel-Rio

Guests in search of a quiet, bed and breakfast-type experience will want to look into the Mama Ruisa which offers seven rooms in the Santa Teresa area of Rio, popular for its cobblestone streets and bohemian vibe. Palm tree fronds brush at guest windows as rooms overlook the mansion’s tropical gardens and are decorated in flea market finds that illustrate Rio’s colonial past — no two rooms are alike. The property also features an outdoor pool and lounge area.

Mama Ruisa – R. Santa Cristina, 132 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

La Suite by DussolLa-Suite-By-Dursol-Rio

The location of La Suite by Dussol may scare travelers off as it’s a half-hour drive from Ipanema, tucked into a residential area of Joa. But the boutique hotel is a starred address for travelers in the know, for its chic design and panoramic views of the ocean, Ipanema beach, the forest of Tijuca, Christ the Redeemer and the Cagarras Islands. Designed by Frenchman Francois-Xavier, rooms are themed after a single color – black, white, purple, green, pink, blue and yellow – to reflect the kaleidoscope of Rio’s tropical color palette and decorated with original, local art.

La suite – R. Jackson de Figueiredo, 501 – Joá, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP list.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Lima Hotel Butik di Rio Yang Patut Dikunjungi

Unique Suites at Hotel Pitrizza, Sardinia

Overlooking the crystal-clear azure waters of Sardinia, Hotel Pitrizza (a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel) sits in its own cozy corner of Costa Smeralda in a setting of untouched natural splendor. The hotel isn’t new and our focus here is on something called the Unique Suites, which were recently completed. These suites are so-named because no two are identical of course.

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The suites are designed to blend harmoniously into the surroundings. Keeping the traditional Sardinian style in mind, Hotel Pitrizza used local materials such as wood and granite for a rustic charm. Inside, each suite features a stunning bedroom, with a spacious bathroom, living room, dining area and terrace, all boasting breath-taking views of clear skies, white sandy beaches and aquamarine waters.

Unique Suite - Taphros

Hotel Pitrizza also romances with its uncompromising 5-star services. Amenities such as your own private solarium and seawater pool, and 24-hour butler service make the posh seafront hotel your refuge away from home. Starwood Preferred Guests should take note that their privileges definitely come into play here.

Unique Suite - Sandan

While you’re there, check out the vibrant Costa Smeralda Season, which kicks off in May with the Porto Cervo Wine & Wine Festival. The extravaganza, which runs through to the end of September, focuses on the best Italian wine and food, with traditional gala dinners and glamorous concerts at the Cala di Volpe attracting international music stars the likes of Elton John and Robbie Williams.

Robert De Niro To Open London Hotel

Robert De Niro is best known for being an award-winning actor of course but he is also a film festival organizer, restaurateur and hotel owner. On the back of the success of the Greenwich Hotel in New York, that last one is set to move to a whole new level soon. Should all plans and approvals be a success, the Raging Bull star will be part of a project that will build a new luxury boutique hotel in London.

With 83 rooms, the Wellington Hotel project will be situated at Covent Garden and will feature a spa and two restaurants. “London is one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world,” the 72-year-old star said in a statement released May 14.

This is far from his first jaunt away from the silver screen, as mentioned earlier. For those unfamiliar with his ventures outside cinema, he is one of the co-founders of Nobu, a high-end restaurant chain that can be found all over the world.

The London project has not yet been given planning approval by local officials but construction is expected to start next year, with a projected completion date of 2019.

 

5 Rustic Bohemian-Inspired Retreats

It is not only the hard-core bohemians who crave boho-chic style environments. Those who have an eye for the unconventional and the authentic are willing to travel far to enjoy them. Our friends at Form magazine scoured the globe to bring you these five living spaces that will surely satisfy the inner hippie in you.

SAN GIORGIO MYKONOS

Greece

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A short distance from world-famous Paradise Club in the Mykonos and the beaches of Paranga, San Giorgio occupies one of the most scenic spots on the island. Mykonos is famed for its nightlife, picturesque white houses set along quiet alleys and blue seas, and San Giorgio is the place to enjoy the simple pleasures of waking up to sea-views, sharing good food, and soaking up the energy of a crowd dancing under a starry sky.

Architecture & Interior Design: Michael Schickinger, Annabell Kutucu

www.sangiorgio-mykonos.com

HOTEL LA SEMILLA

Mexico

Boho_Hotels_LaSemilla_mexico

Having lived in many different countries, Alexis Schärer and Angie Rodriguez have infused their nine-room property with global chic, and a dollop of Mexican flavor with vintage Mexican furniture and fine flea market finds from haciendas in the Yucatan region and elsewhere in Mexico. The establishment’s dominant white palette is also reminiscent of seaside retreats across the globe. Mismatched furniture in many lounging spaces gives the place a relaxed atmosphere. The owners even make or serve breakfast themselves at the Cocina Loft restaurant so that guests feel they’re staying at friends’ home.

Architecture: Angie Rodriguez, Alexis Schärer, and Jaime Ingelmo

Interior Design: Angie Rodriguez, Alexis Schärer, and Andres Ocejo

www.hotellasemilla.com

MAÇAKIZI

Turkey

Boho_Hotels_Macakizi_Turkey

Home to a host of designer boutiques, trendy bars and beach clubs, Türkbükü has earned a reputation as the St. Tropez of Turkey. The opening of Maçakizi, which has become a jet-set mecca, has put the coastal town on the international map. Located on a hill with dense olive groves, the 74-room Maçakizi charms with panoramic sea views and understated luxury. Think travertine floors, open plan bathrooms, and rain showers. Facilities include an open-air restaurant, a private beach, swimming pool, fitness centre and spa with a traditional Turkish hammam. On cooler months, guests can dine at the Mediterraneo pavilion—a glass-enclosed area with a fireplace and a view of the bay.

Architecture: Ahmet Alatas

Interior Design: Ayla Emiroglu, Sahir Erozan

www.maçakizi.com

EL OTRO LADO

Panama

Boho_Hotels_ElOtroLado_panama

From steamy rainforests to kaleidoscopic coral reefs, the rare is within reach at this remote 8-room, 110-hectare retreat. Relaxation is on generous offer, but exploration of the vicinity is a tantalizing alternative fishing, rainforest tours, and snorkeling are at their best, and highly accessible with one of the hotel’s four motor launches. Social activity centers on the hotel’s restaurant, bar and lounge, Gazebo, with its heady décor of carnival masks, and white couches littered with colorful cushions. The cuisine blends Caribbean ingredients and colonial flavors.

Architecture & Interior Design: Ecléctico

http://www.elotrolado.com.pa

PAPAYA PLAYA PROJECT

Mexico

Boho_Hotels_PapayaPlaya_Mexico

With new casitas recently added at Papaya Playa guests have more options for accommodation. This destination 85-room resort hotel on the Caribbean coast of Tulum, Mexico offers access to both the inland jungle and the beach. Guests can dine on locally sourced specialities, and beachside refreshments are served until late. Spa treatments are offered along with yoga, tai chi and meditation sessions, but music is also a strong component of the Papaya experience. The world’s best DJs hold sessions here.

Communal areas—including an amphitheatre on the beach—are created for creative collaboration among guests, and have figured in performances and presentations of music, readings, lectures and more.

Architecture & Interior Design: Design Hotels™ Design Team

www.papayaplayaproject.com

Dubai Aims to Top Burj Khalifa Height

The world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, will lose its crown before 2020. Property developer Emaar’s chairman announced Sunday that a new viewing tower will be built which stands a “notch” taller than the Burj Khalifa, hoping to present it as a “gift” before Dubai’s hosting of the world expo trading fair. The viewing tower, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, will cost around $1 billion and have observation decks, as well as 18 to 20 mixed-use floors that will host restaurants and a boutique hotel.

The Burj Khalifa opened in 2010, is 828 meters high, and cost $1.5 billion. The tower has been featured in blockbusters such as Mission Impossible (most memorably), and has been used by experienced BASE jumpers as a part of record-breaking jumps. Dubai, as a whole, has an established reputation for building dozens of futuristic skyscrapers, which have transformed its skyline.

The new tower will be slender in form, evoking the image of a minaret, and will be anchored to the ground with sturdy cables. Alabbar described the new structure as an “elegant monument” which would add value to property being developed by the company along the city’s creek. This isn’t the only attempt at breaking the Burj Khalifa’s record in the works, though, as Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding is also building a tower in Jeddah that will surpass Burj Khalifa, rising more than a kilometer.

Striving for such an architectural heights has always been a drive in humanity since the rise of the skyscraper and the famous battle for the title of tallest in world, with successes like the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, as well as failures like the Soviet Union’s Tatlin’s Tower, and the Frank-Lloyd Wright-envisioned 1,730 meter high tower, The Illinois. This Dubai project aims to join the list of successful projects, obviously.

This story was written in-house, with supporting materials from the AFP.

8 Most Eco-Friendly Luxury Hotels

From collecting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificates to managing water resources wisely, and serving own-garden produce, hotels are balancing luxury with eco-responsibility. We journey across four continents to explore several luxury accommodations and learn more about how what makes them different from other luxury hotels and how they do their part in protecting the environment.

ENDEMICO

Baja California, MexicoEndemico-Mexico-Form

With a name that is Spanish for endemic, or native to a specific region or environment, this hotel was designed to highlight the isolation of the desert and thus single out the area’s indigenous qualities. Situated just one and a half hours from San Diego, Baja California is home to some of Mexico’s largest wineries and offers a blend of Mexican culture and artisanal activity.

The hotel has 20 chic and eco-friendly cabins arrayed on a hill overlooking the valley, interspersed by natural boulders, and raised off the ground to minimise impact on the landscape. Built with Corten steel and wood, the cabins are designed to weather over time and eventually blend seamlessly into valleys.

The cabins were created by Gracia Studio, a firm with a passion for creating economical architecture, with a particular interest in using modular and flexible buildings. Each cabin is furnished minimally with simple yet sleek furnishings, featuring a king-size bed, wireless Internet, and private terrace with a clay kiva. Concealed among the rocky slope is a pool, restaurant and bar, which all have views out over the seemingly infinite valley.

www.hotelendemico.com

 

ROCKSRESORT

Laax, SwitzerlandRockresort-Switzerland-Form
The 122-room Rocksresort and its immediate environment run on sustainable energy consisting of hydroelectricity, solar power and more. The resort, which takes its name and design identity from the surrounding landscape, is situated adjacent to the base station in Laax. The property is an environmentally sensitive and a bold architectural concept.

www.rockresort.com

 

ROCKHOUSE RESORT

Negril, JamaicaRockhouse-Resort-Jamacia-Form
The rainy season in Negril sees Rockhouse Resort collecting rainwater in five catchment tanks placed across the property. The collected water irrigates the gardens in the property’s eight-acre grounds. These gardens are fertilised with compost made from the resort’s kitchen and bar wastes mixed with shredded garden refuse.

The property’s Environmental Management System (EMS) promotes sustainability and overall reduction of carbon footprint. The resort itself adapts environmentally friendly building material and design expressed in local wood, thatch and open-air restaurants. A preventive maintenance schedule ensures optimum performance of equipment, while a weekly  haul of plastic, glass and cardboard waste is dispatched to the local recycling centre.

Guest rooms are fitted with low-flow showerheads and taps, and low-flush toilets, and equipped with recycle bins for plastic and glass bottles. They are also encouraged to reuse linen whenever possible.

www.rockhouse.com

 

HOTEL KITZHOF MOUNTAIN DESIGN

Kitzbühel, AustriaHotel-Kitzhof-Austria-Form
Guests at the 172-room mountain retreat, Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, savour the essence of Austrian alpine living while the establishment pursues soft environmental impact and community integration from spa to table. The building itself boasts a solar-heated pool while the spa program uses products from the organic line Just Pure. On its breakfast table is served milk from just six cows from a small, exclusive farm that processes its milk the old-fashioned way.

www.hotel-kitzhof.com.en

 

HUMBLE HOUSE TAIPEI

Taipei, TaiwanHumblehouse-Taipei-Form
Located on the top floors of a LEED Diamond-rated Green Building, in the heart of Xinyi, Humble House Taipei is focused on giving back to society. Thoughtful design and actionable measures guide the management of the 235-room glass and aluminum skyscraper. Its water and energy conservation has implemented systems to cut down usage and bring guests on board with recycling and linen reuse programs. Its Sky Garden is a rare urban oasis planted with species that were chosen to encourage biodiversity and help reduce air impurities.

www.humblehousehotels.com

 

HOTEL TOPAZZ

Vienna, AustriaHotel-Topazz-Austria-Form

Located in Vienna’s historic 1st district is Hotel Topazz, a prime example of eco-friendly hospitality. Surrounded by the city’s most acclaimed attractions, the hotel pays tribute to Vienna’s artistic heritage. The remarkable façade is inspired by a cylindrical silver vase embellished with oval amber stones by artist Koloman Moser. The interiors also pay homage to iconic Austrian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The combination of design and low-energy initiatives is unique for a hotel in the centre of the Imperial City. Heating and cooling is secured by a groundwater well and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, and LED technology provides a near-natural light spectrum throughout the hotel. The green approach is manifested in daily hotel operations: the Topazz Salon serves organic products from Austrian producers, including their own range of eco-friendly award-winning wine.

www.hoteltopazz.com

 

ANAYELA

Marrakech, MoroccoAnayela-Morocco-Form

From the time it was brought back to life, AnaYela has followed sustainable design. The five-room riad, a 300-year-old city palace in the heart of Marrakech, was restored by hand—absolutely no electric tools were employed—by over 100 Moroccan artisans.

Hotelier Andrea Kolb set out to create experiences “that truly touch the people” with the project, a mission that found expression in the support and preservation of traditional craftsmanship. In a bid to improve access to education through fair working wages, Kolb connected young international designers with local craftspeople, giving the latter global exposure and a successful sustainable model that saw 50 per cent of profits being reinvested into the community.

www.anayela.com

 

CROSBY STREET HOTEL

New York City, New York, USACrosby-Street-Hotel-New-York-City-Form2


Kit Kemp’s signature style is reflected throughout the 11-floor, 86-bedroom and suite Crosby Street Hotel. The hotel is the first in New York to receive a Gold Certification under LEED. During construction, hazardous site material was disposed of and all demolished material was recycled. Besides energy-efficient lighting, green power, and water use reduction, it has an array of integrated green features, from an urban vegetable patch on the rooftop supplying the hotel with seasonal produce, to a woodland meadow with 50 varieties of native plants. Inside, the furniture, fabrics and finishes are largely American-made, sourced regionally from home-bred designers like Philadelphian artisans Galbraith & Paul.

www.firmdalehotels.com/hotels/new-york/crosby-street-hotel

Story Credits

This story first appeared in FORM Magazine.

 

Hyatt Launches Indie Hotel Label

The Hyatt Hotels Corporation, parent company of the Hyatt range of hotels, is finally venturing into the boutique segment, trailing on the heels of Hilton, Marriott and Starwood. Travelers who shun the cookie-cutter hotel experience, where rooms are decorated to be as inoffensive as possible in varying shades of beige and black, may want to look up properties in Hyatt’s newly launched brand which curates historic landmarks, boutique hotels, resorts and contemporary properties around the world.

Dubbed “The Unbound Collection by Hyatt,” the new portfolio is targeted towards modern travelers who seek unique experiences, says Hyatt.

That means properties that may boast an historic past, an exclusive location, innovative design or an award-winning dining experience.

So far, properties in the collection include the Hotel du Louvre in Paris; The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas; the Carmelo Resort & Spa in Uruguay; and the Coco Palm Resort in Kauai, Hawaii.

Hyatt is playing catch-up in the hotel industry, which has seen its fair share of behemoth hotel groups try and edge their way into the boutique hotel market.

Hotel du Louvre, Paris

Hotel du Louvre, Paris

Marriott’s The Autograph Collection has been rounding up independent hotels to their portfolio since 2010, and today counts more than 90 properties around the world.

In 2014, Hilton Worldwide launched Curio – A Collection by Hilton, four- to five-star hotels chosen because they represent the local area and offer authentic experiences unique to the destination.

Properties include the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota; and The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Starwood Tribute Portfolio also launched last year as a collection of independent hotels that includes The Royal Palm South Beach Miami, the Great Northern Hotel in London, UK, The Hermitage in Jakarta, Indonesia, and The Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido, Japan.

But one of the original curators of independent hotels, however, can be traced back to France’s Relais & Chateaux founded in 1954, whose members are often historic or heritage landmarks like castles or manors, set in unique, often rustic areas in the world. Properties are admitted based on factors such as ‘charm’ and ‘character.’

Mr and Mrs Smith reveal best boutique hotel 2015

The Pig On the Beach in Studland, Dorset was crowned the Best Smith Hotel 2015 by Mr and Mrs Smith for its fairytale hideaway, seaside setting and sense of whimsy. Mr and Mrs Smith is an organization of renowned anonymous connoisseurs who specialize in independent luxury hotels. According to the AFP, the panel of 50 judges were convinced that the seaside manor in Dorset channels British charm with romantic cottages, free-standing baths, four poster beds and restored dovecotes.

The country house features 23 bedrooms that offer uninterrupted views of the sandy coastline and, according to Mr and Mrs Smith, evokes the setting of a ‘happier’ Harry Potter movie. No Deathly Hallows this.

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If the main house is reminiscent of Harry Potter, something about the thatched roof and hexagonal shape of restored dovecote cottages could be reminiscent of The Shire, in The Hobbit. Staying with the good vibrations, that would be the lovely book, not the bloated film series.

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Compact trailers are also transformed into independent cabins for a whimsical glamping-style getaway.

Decor is shabby chic, with vintage light pieces, rotary phones and weathered furnishings set against crisp, white, and floral linens, wood beams, and lounge chairs that are set under the window for daydreaming.

pigdovecote.14399160608.original

The kitchen serves British garden food, with ingredients either plucked from their own garden or sourced within 25 miles (40 km) and include home-smoked pork belly with crispy courgette flowers, and rhubarb cheesecake with wild rosehip syrup.

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For the awards, the panel took into consideration the votes of 22,000 travelers, whittling down a list of 1,000 hotels to a dozen winners.

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Here are a few other notable winners from the 2015 Smith Hotel Awards:

  • Best dressed hotel: Ett Hem, Stockholm
  • Sexiest bedroom in the world: Roccia Suite, Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento, Italy
  • Hottest hotel bar: Zetter Townhouse, London
  • Best hotel restaurant: Oreade at Monteverdi, Italy
  • Best hotel pool: Amangiri, Utah, USA
  • Best spa hotel: The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Best budget boutique hotel: Masseria Cervarolo, Puglia, Italy
  • Best for families: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
  • Eco Award: Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
  • Above and beyond: Huka Lodge, New Zealand
  • Best newcomer: The Battery, San Francisco
The Hospital Club London

Boutique hotel to open in former London hospital

The Hospital Club London

A former hospital in London turned ‘creative hub’ will be adding 15 hotel rooms in 2015, designed to fuel guests’ creativity and broaden the mind.

Each new room at The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden features original artwork and curated exhibits from emerging artists within the club’s creative community.

The Hospital Club bedroom

Set to open next month, the rooms are fitted with leathers, velvets, warm woods and stained glass.

In keeping with the spirit of the Club — which spans seven floors and houses everything from an events company and a TV studio to an exhibition gallery, a screening room and a performance space — a stay in the hotel includes access to events like comedy nights, mixology and cooking classes and networking sessions.

The Hospital Club

Rooms come in small, medium and large sizes while suites include a private terrace, walk-in shower, bathtub and lounge area.

The private members’ only club opened its doors in 2004 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and former Eurythmics band member David Stewart and has hosted performances by The Who. Rooms open January 5.

amazon

Amazon rumored to enter the hotel industry

amazon

Amazon is reportedly getting ready to launch a travel site for online hotel bookings in the US according to travel trade site Skift.

Amazon Travel will aim to differentiate itself from its already well-established rivals like Hotels.com, Bookings.com and Trivago by serving as a marketplace for independent and .

Set to debut in January of next year, the travel site would become the latest service out of the behemoth electronic commerce company which, in addition to books, has expanded to include fresh groceries, electronics, wine and video-streaming over the last few years.

DON’T MISS: AMAZON LAUNCHES LUXURY BEAUTY STORE

The initial site will feature a selection of hotels located within a few hours’ drive from major US centers such as New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Though the project is meant to fill what Amazon sees as a void in the hotel industry, booking sites that specialize in smaller independent hotels do exist.

Quikbook.com is a reservation site for boutique hotels at discounted prices, while Mr & Mrs Smith also specializes in hand-selected, boutique hotels around the world that have been reviewed by experts.

Canopy Hotel Portland Lobby

Hilton unveils Canopy by Hilton brand

Canopy Hotel Portland Lobby

 has introduced Canopy by Hilton, a new brand in the lifestyle category of next-generation boutique hotels emphasizing comfort, design and personalized experience.

The Canopy by Hilton hotels will “take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design,” explains Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher J. Nassetta, to provide “an energizing, comfortable stay.”

Each hotel will be unique. The group will aim to tailor each property to suit guests’ needs, which vary from city to city.

DON’T MISS: HILTON UNVEILS NEW LOBBY DESIGN

The approach to design will focus on reflecting the energy of the local neighborhood and creating a comfortable, inviting atmosphere.

Developed based on extensive client surveys, the Canopy by Hilton concept will offer more “included value,” something often requested by guests. An “artisanal” breakfast and WiFi are among the extras to be included with the price of every room.

Guests will even find a locally relevant welcome gift upon arrival in their room, and they will be invited to take part in a tasting of local wine.

SEE ALSO: HILTON LAUNCHES EFOREA SPA

And since the new hotels target a tech-savvy clientele, guests will be able to check in directly from their smartphones.

The first Canopy by Hilton hotels are slated to open in 2015, as the hotel group is currently moving forward with conversion or construction projects in urban neighborhoods and secondary markets around the world.

Canopy by Hilton has signed letters of intent to open properties in 10 US cities (Miami, Washington DC, Portland, San Diego, Nashville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Savannah, Ithaca) as well as in London.

With its new lifestyle brand of boutique hotels, Hilton is catching up with rivals like , which has its  properties, and Intercontinental, which opened the first hotel from its new  brand on October 9.

 are small, stylish properties that are typically located in urban areas.

More information: www.canopybyhilton.com

The Bellagio Las Vegas

Top 10 most popular hotels for multi-millionaires

The Bellagio Las Vegas

The splashy Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas has emerged the most popular hotel among the world’s richest, multi-millionaire guests.

That’s according to a new report released by New World Wealth, which found that over a 12-month period beginning June 2013, the luxury hotel in Sin City received visits from 6,400 multi-millionaires, defined as an individual with net assets of at least $10 million.

New York Plaza Hotel

After The Bellagio, with about half the number of visits, comes The Plaza hotel in New York with 3,700 visits — all the more notable given that the hotel has a fraction of rooms compared to its Las Vegas counterpart.

The Bellagio counts 3,993 guest rooms and suites, while The Plaza has 282, the report points out.

SEE ALSO: THE PLAZA HOTEL HAS ITS OWN MONOPOLY GAME!

pool at Marina Bay Sands Singapore

According to New World Wealth, the exclusive multi-millionaire club counts 495,000 “members” worldwide.

The most popular  include Chateau Marmont in LA, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc Antibes in France, and Raffles Singapore.

Hotel du Cap Eden Roc

Top 10 hotels that received the highest number of visits from millionaires

The Bellagio Las Vegas – 6,400 visits
The Plaza New York – 3,700
Caesars Palace Las Vegas – 3,400
Waldorf Astoria New York – 3,300
Marina Bay Sands Singapore – 3,100
The Breakers Palm Beach – 3,000
Hotel de Paris Monaco – 2,800
The Ritz London – 2,600
Grand Floridian Disney World, Florida – 2,400
Wynn Resort Las Vegas – 2,300

Boutique hotel London NYC

The London NYC’s Runway Package Returns!

Boutique hotel London NYC

Boutique hotel the London NYC has launched a ‘Runway Package’ that aims to put guests in the thick of things, with the heady experience of pulsing flashbulbs, shoulder-rubbing with some of the most beautiful people in the world, and champagne clinking.

Included in the package are two tickets to a runway show at the New York Fashion Week, a night’s stay in the “London Suite”, a manicure by butter London’s Katie Jane Hughes and champagne cocktails at the bar.

Guests can choose from shows like Trina Turk, Libertine, Lela Rose and Milly. Rates start at $2,999. For more info visit thelondonnyc.com.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York runs September 4 to 11.

SLS Las Vegas

Hilton to launch Curio

SLS Las Vegas

International hotel chain Hilton Worldwide has launched a new luxury brand in response to the growing popularity and demand for boutique hotels and hyper-local experiences.

Curio – A Collection by Hilton is pitched as a brand that that will curate four to five-star distinctive hotels that represent the local area and offer authentic experiences unique to the destination.

So far, the collection includes the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota and The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with another property in Portland, Oregon to be announced shortly.

SLS Las Vegas Curio Hilton

“Our customers and owners have expressed strong interest in a brand from us that includes hotels that can retain their unique identity but also deliver the many benefits of our system, including our Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program,” said Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.

“That desire, combined with the current size of the independent hotel market and demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world, made for the right timing for this launch.”

The strategy borrows from the playbook of rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts, whose W Hotels is pitched as a trendy, boutique hotel brand.

While not a boutique hotel in the traditional sense, Curio’s SLS Las Vegas will anchor the Curio collection with big-name collaborations that include Philippe Starck and James Beard Foundation winning chef José Andrés.

The $415 million renovation will redevelop the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Resort, a location steeped in Las Vegas history.

Hotel Alex Johnson

The Hotel Alex Johnson (pictured above), meanwhile, is located near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and is on the National Register of Historic Places, as is The Sam Houston Hotel in Texas.

Curio becomes Hilton Worldwide’s 11th hotel brand, a portfolio that includes the , Conrad and .

Hotel Indigo Neighborhood Guide

Hotel Indigo launches virtual concierge service

Hotel Indigo, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, has launched a new guest service they call “Neighborhood Guide,” an interactive touch screen that will be installed in hotel lobbies across the system.

Hotel Indigo Neighborhood Guide

Much like a virtual concierge, the display allows guests to look up local attractions, restaurant recommendations and interact with guests from other properties around the world.

Hotel Indigo Shanghai Suite

But what makes the service particularly interesting is that recommendations aren’t carbon copied from guidebooks, but curated from hotel staff: everyone from the bartender to the room attendant contributes addresses of their favorite hangout, like the best place in the city for a burger or late night jazz.

Hotel Indigo Shanghai bedroom

“Our guests want to experience something unique and different when they travel. For them, it’s not about doing what’s trendy or popular.”

“They want to be with interesting people and make a meaningful connection to the neighborhood,” said Americas brand manager Mary Winslow.

Hotel Indigo Shanghai Bund

Integrated Google maps also allow guests to send directions from the Neighborhood Guide directly to their mobile phone by email or by scanning a QR code, while photo-sharing features enable travelers to share their photos with the other 54 Hotel Indigo properties around the world.

Corfu Suite Blakes Hotel London

The sexiest hotel bedroom in the world

Inside the suite dubbed the sexiest bedroom in the world, couples are greeted by a four-poster king-sized bed draped in light gossamer nets and a pair of exquisitely detailed mother-of-pearl dressers.

Corfu Suite Blakes Hotel London

The bright airy room with high ceilings and clean, white elegance has made the Corfu Suite at Blakes Hotel London a favorite among honeymooning couples and caught the attention of boutique hotel specialists Mr and Mrs Smith, who named the French Provencal suite the world’s sexiest hotel bedroom.

To mark their tenth anniversary, the online booking site compiled a list of their favorite properties around the world in categories such as best Smith hotel, sexiest bedroom and hottest hotel bar.

Post Ranch Inn

Room 505 at Blakes Hotel London — which bills itself as the first boutique hotel in the world —  was designed by Anouska Hempel, a London-based hotelier and interior designer whose portfolio includes the flagship Louis Vuitton store in Paris and retail stores for Van Cleef and Arpels.

“There’s such a leap of imagination from the streets of London to the bedrooms of Blakes. They’re so exotic, elaborate and escapist. The perfect boudoir” said Mr&Mrs Smith’s head of curation Mary Garvin.

Snagging the title of Best Smith Hotel was The Post Ranch Inn, a boutique property carved 1,200 feet (365 km) above the Pacific Ocean in the rugged cliffs of Big Sur.

Post Ranch Inn bedroom

Designed to maximize the beauty of its natural surroundings, the free-standing Cliff house, for example, features a deck suspended over the cliffs, a glass-walled bedroom and outdoor stainless steel hot tub, all designed to offer sweeping views of the ocean.

Luxurious Tree Houses, meanwhile, are built 9 feet (2.7 meters) off the forest floor as free-standing structures, for an adult-version of the overnight experience that includes a king-size bed, fireplace, and skylight for stargazing at night.

Upper House Hong Kong

Here are the winners:

Best Smith Hotel 2013: Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California, USA
Sexiest Bedroom in the World: Blakes Hotel, London
Best-Dressed Hotel: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Hottest Hotel Bar: Ace Hotel, New York
Best Spa Hotel: Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
Best Hotel Restaurant: Bastide de Moustiers, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Provence, France
Best for Families: Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
The Eco Award: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
Best Budget Boutique Hotel: Brody House, Budapest
The Greatest Outdoors: Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, USA
Above and Beyond Award: The Upper House, Hong Kong
Best Newcomer: Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

Taj Palace Marrakech

10 Hottest New Hotels in the World

Hotel Casa San Agustin took the top spot on TripAdvisor’s Hot New Hotel list this year, which guests described as a “true jewel in the Caribbean” and a “pampered oasis.”

Hotel Casa San Agustin

Guests heap particularly lavish praise on the level of hotel service, with the personalized butler feature described as “world class.” Composed of three colonial white-washed buildings, the property straddles modern conveniences and luxury that includes iPad-powered concierge services with preserved original frescoes and centuries-old wood-beamed ceilings.

It’s the latest accolade for the Colombia hotel, which made it on to Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards 2013 as well as Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot New Hotels 2013 list.

Kura Design Villas Uvita

For the ranking, hotels had to have opened in the last year and earn a minimum four out of five-bubble rating. The list is made up of 33 hotels in 18 countries, including luxury properties in less predictable locations such as Arkansas; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Vilnius, Lithuania.

Topping the Hot New Hotel list for the US is the 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, Arkansas, while the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai took the top spot for Asia. The Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square in the Lithuanian capital took the top spot for Europe.

Mandarin Oriental Pudong

Here are the Top 10 hot new hotels in the world according to TripAdvisor users:

1. Hotel Casa San Agustin, Cartagena, Colombia
2. Kura Design Villas Uvita, Uvita, Costa Rica
3. Taj Palace Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco
4. 21c Museum Bentonville, Bentonville, Arkansas
5. Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Vilnius, Lithuania
6. Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, Shanghai, China
7. Refinery Hotel, New York
8. Ampersand Hotel, London, UK
9. Four Seasons Hotel Baku, Baku, Azerbaijan
10. Zero George Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Taj Palace Marrakech

Park Hotel Tokyo Artist Room Zen

Park Hotel Tokyo completes Artist Room Zen

As part of the Artist in Hotel program, the Park Hotel in Tokyo has handed four of its rooms to four Japanese artists to be transformed into works of art.

Park Hotel Tokyo Room

Art is an important aspect of the philosophy of the Park Hotel located in Shiodome, Tokyo, Japan. The four-star hotel has developed an Art Colors program in order to introduce Japanese culture to visitors. Throughout the year, several exhibitions are planned for the atrium, restaurant and even guestrooms.

calligrapher

Until September 1, visitors will be able to take in the creations of the Yokai Tour exhibition, dedicated to unusual phenomena. They are also invited to spend a night in an actual piece of art. Reservations for the Zen room by artist Seihaku Akiba, have been open since August 1.

The calligrapher, who usually works around the theme of meditation, has just applied the finishing touches to the room as part of the Artist in Hotel program.

Seihaku Akiba

In total, four rooms are destined to be transformed. “Sumo” by Hiroyuki Kimura celebrates famous Japanese wrestlers and has been welcoming visitors since February 2013.

Park Hotel Tokyo Artist Room Zen

As for the other two rooms to be unveiled in November 2013 and February 2014, the names of the artists and the themes have not been revealed yet.