Tag Archives: luxury hotel

Kleopatra and Fa-Raon

Persian cat becomes newest recruit of Le Bristol Paris

Kleopatra and Fa-Raon

Paris has developed a growing affinity for cats in recent years, first with the opening of a popular cat café, and now with the adoption of a new feline at the luxurious .

On the eve of the opening of two major hotel rivals, the Bristol introduced the press to its latest family member, a blue-eyed, white Birman cat named Kléopatra who will be allowed to roam the hotel freely as its pet mascot.

Le Bristol Paris cats

On August 1, the Peninsula Paris will open its doors, as will the Hotel Plaza Athenee after a nearly year-long renovation, ratcheting up the competition in the city’s luxury hotel market.

Kléopatra will be the female companion for Fa-raon, who has held reign over the hotel over the last few years and took up residence as a companion for the hotel’s littlest guests.

Le Bristol Paris Kléopatre Goyard collar

Last year, the city became home to its first cat cafe, in which cat lovers can sip their coffee amid roaming felines.

Four Seasons Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Four Seasons Dubai to launch in time for Christmas

Four Seasons Dubai Jumeirah Beach

The already saturated luxury market in Dubai is about get more crowded with the opening of a new Four Seasons hotel.

The 14-acre resort has a Spanish-Mediterranean feel with Arabian accents and the 237-room hotel offers panoramic sea views and large balconies.

The lobby (pictured below) is capped by an octagonal dome finished with gold leaf and no expense has been spared – even the handrails in the elevators are made of Murano glass.

Four Seasons Dubai lobby

Rooms include marble flooring, walk-in closets, customizable beds and a luxurious bathroom covered in sheets of silver leaves.

Presidential Suites boast their own media room and private gym, whilst the Royal Suite has a butler’s room and a grand living room with its own piano.

Within the Resort’s gardens are two outdoor, free-form swimming pools, in addition to the indoor pool in the spa and fitness complex.

Set amid lush gardens, both the family-friendly Active Pool and the Quiet Pool shimmer with white and gold mosaic tiles beneath towering palms.

Four Seasons Dubai stairs

Day villas will be available to reserve and will include a private sun terrace plus mini bar and flatscreen TV in an air-conditioned interior.

There is a beachfront watersports center that offers activities like kayaking and paddleboarding, large enough to host catamarans and dinghies.

At five stories, the new hotel is comparatively low rise amid the city’s soaring towers, in keeping with the surrounding coastal community.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Dubai At Jumeirah Beach

The hotel is scheduled to open on 1 November 2014, and is now confirming arrivals from 1 December 2014.

Palace

Shangri-La hotel in Paris awarded palace status

The Shangri-La Paris

Less than four years after its opening, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris has been granted an official ‘Palace Distinction’.

The best hotels in France are awarded ‘palace’ status in recognition of exceptional service excellence from Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development.

Palace

Established in 2010, the accolade is provided to properties that fulfil a number of criteria and “embody French standards of excellence and contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world.”

Shangri-La Paris joins a handful of other venues that have been awarded the palace distinction, such as Le Royal Monceau and Four Seasons George V.

Le Royal Monceau spa

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is located just a few steps from the Eiffel Tower. The majority of the 101 rooms and suites offer views of famous Paris sights.

Shangri La hotel Paris

Peninsula Tokyo Pokemon

Pokémon comes to the Peninsula Tokyo hotel

Peninsula Tokyo Pokemon

Luxury hotel The Peninsula Tokyo has launched a PR campaign for their littlest guests by inviting characters from Pokémon to invade their hotel.

From October 1, kids staying at the hotel will get the chance to live out an episode of the cartoon with characters like Pikachu, Lucario and friends in an interactive game designed exclusively for the hotel.

Guests five and up will be armed with a Poké Ball and invited to hunt down Pokémon characters in a game that is a bit like hide and seek.

Only instead of hiding behind trees, they’ll be hiding amidst extravagant chandeliers and extravagant furnishings.

To please the silver spoon tastes of their pint-sized guests, luxury hotels know that serving milk and cookies isn’t enough.

The Burj Al Arab in Dubai also provides a personal butler service that includes bonbon and candy delivery service from a Sweet Train, a gold-plated iPad, and child-friendly excursions.

InterContinental Hong Kong infinity pool

The most outrageous hotel suites in the world

From suites that come with a rotating dance floor, a diamond ring, and a price tag equal to a middle class yearly salary, a newly released list of the most extravagant 101 hotel suites in the world is a telling look at how the rich and famous travel.

InterContinental Hong Kong infinity pool

For some, Elite Traveler’s Top 101 Suites of the World could be used as a shopping catalogue for their next hotel booking.

For most of us, however, the list is a jaw-dropping glimpse into extravagance the likes of which we’ll never see.

SEE ALSO: THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE HOTEL SUITES

Unless, that is, you have $56,000 to spend on a one-night stay at the InterContinental Geneva (below), the most expensive suite on the list.

Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel Geneva

Dubbed The Residence, the suite is split into two wings and features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city.

It also includes a grand salon, library, gallery, massage room, hammam, tub room, living and dining rooms, and a fitness room and sauna.

W Hotel Leicester Square EWOW suite

At the W Hotel in Leicester Square, London, guests staying at the E WOW suite have their own DJ station at their disposal, and can either lounge relaxingly on the giant revolving chesterfield sofa or turn it into a dance floor under a giant disco ball dome.

In addition to a sumptuous stay in a gemstone-inspired suite, the New York Palace will throw in a diamond ring designed by jeweler to the stars Martin Katz with every booking at the Jewel Suite.

Jewel Suite Living Room

Spanning 5,000 square feet (465 square meters) the suite extends over three levels atop the 53rd floor.

If you travel with a grand entourage or just need space — lots of it — Straffan House at The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club, located about 30 minutes away from Dublin, may be what you’re looking for, as the villa sprawls across 34,000 square feet (3,160 square meters).

Straffan House

In addition to the 10 bedrooms, the apartment comes with an indoor swimming pool, cinema, spa, wine cellar, private concierge and chef.

Straffan House at The Kildare Hotel

Overall, the list is represented by 35 countries. The US dominates with 20 hotels, followed by China (10), UAE (9), Mexico (6), England (6) and Switzerland (5). The top cities are Dubai and London, with 6 each.

Jewel Suite Stair case

The full list is published in the July/August issue of Elite Traveler magazine, the in-flight magazine for private jetsetters.

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Peninsula Hotel Paris

The Peninsula Paris to open August 1

Located just steps away from Paris’s Arc de Triomphe monument, a palace which served as a backdrop to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that put an end to the Vietnam War has been restored to its former glory.

Peninsula Hotel Paris

After six years of planning, design, and construction, the centuries-old palace in the 16th arrondissement has been reworked to become The Peninsula Paris, an opulent 200-room hotel that features the expert handiwork of 900 French artists and craftsmen who painted frescoes by hand, installed marble walls and mosaic tiles and restored aging wood work.

To call the hotel gold-gilded is no exaggeration: In total, 20,000 pieces of gold leaf were used to cover the property.

The Peninsula Paris lobby

Originally opened as a grand hotel in 1908, the building was occupied then sold during WWII, only to later became a government building managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2009.

peninsula paris history

In what’s now Le Bar Kléber, American diplomat Henry Kissinger helped negotiate the Paris Peace Accords which would bring the Vietnam War to a close.

Other claims to fame: In 1928, hotel guest George Gershwin would write his musical piece “An American in Paris,” and the hotel would also become the headquarters of UNESCO in 1946.

The Peninsula Paris hotel lobby

While the hotel pays homage to its heritage with painstaking restoration efforts that went so far as to research original paint colors, rooms are equipped with the conveniences of modern technology, including in-room tablets for controlling everything from lighting to room temperature.

Marble floors, high ceilings and elegant drapery set the tone in the lobby, which is furnished in a modern style. Guests can walk into the hotel through this entrance on the Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

The Peninsula Paris entrance

Those arriving by car will enter the hotel directly through the other entrance on the Avenue des Portugais, where they will find an enormous chandelier that was custom-made by the prestigious Lasvit workshop.

The hand-blown work of art is adorned with several leaf-shaped crystal pendants. A stone installation from Bhutan completes the ensemble.

The Peninsula Paris deluxe room

Elegance will be the byword for the decoration of the hotel’s 200 rooms. Grey and beige tones, high ceilings, marble-lined bathrooms and sophisticated lighting will contribute to an ambiance of refinement. Works of contemporary art by international artists will adorn the walls.

Renovations at the Peninsula Paris

Five of the 34 suites will have private rooftop terraces with fantastic views over the city.

The Peninsula Paris suite

Foodies will have access to gourmet dishes at all hours thanks to the hotel’s six restaurants, most of which will serve French cuisine and one of which, the Lili, will feature Chinese dishes.

The Peninsula Paris restaurant

At L’Oiseau Blanc, diners seated on the terrace will enjoy a 360° view of Paris during their meals.

Peninsula Paris terrace

Guests at the Peninsula Paris can take advantage of a spa with treatments from the luxury brand ESPA, as well as a gym and indoor pool.

The Peninsula Paris spa

Among other high-end services, the hotel will also give guests the opportunity to rent a green Rolls-Royce Phantom II limousine dating from 1934 or two MINI Clubman cars.

Peninsula Edition MINI Cooper Clubman

Average nightly rates start at €1,095. Slated to open on August 1, the Peninsula Paris will be the hotel group’s first property in Europe.

The facade of the Peninsula Paris

A new hotel is slated to open in London at a later date.

tetiaroa

Marlon Brando’s luxurious French Polynesia retreat

Tetiaroa

On the 10th anniversary of Marlon Brando’s death, a dream to develop his private island sanctuary in French Polynesia has come true, with the doors to his eco-friendly resort opening this week.

Dubbed The Brando, the luxury resort is set on the private atoll of Tetiaroa, a series of a dozen islets 30 miles (48 km) north of Tahiti, and was built to pay homage to Brando’s overall vision: a sustainable, self-sufficient paradisiacal hideaway that allows guests to bask in luxury — guiltlessly.

Brando resort at Tetiaroa

As part of its goal to go carbon neutral, half the resort is powered by solar energy, for example, while the balance of power is produced by a biofuel thermal power station fueled by coconut oil.

Guests keep cool via seawater air conditioning, which harnesses the cold of ocean depths, pipes it to land and converts the energy into air conditioning, and they tuck into dishes from Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin made with organic fruits and vegetables plucked from the island’s gardens.

Brando resort

Each of the 35 deluxe villas comes with its own private beach and plunge pool, and is designed to reflect Polynesian culture while also offering the modern conveniences of wifi, flat screen TVs, and king-size beds.

Activities include snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, Polynesian canoeing, scuba diving, tennis, biking, and guided tours by naturalists.

atoll of Tetiaroa

A spa also offers holistic treatments inspired by ancient Polynesian traditions, private massage villas, steam baths, and a yoga shelter.

In keeping with Brando’s vision for a research and development center exploring the preservation of tropical islands, the resort is also home to an EcoStation described as a think tank for scientists and researchers who will be available to chat about their work and local wildlife.

Brando resort Tetiaroa

Rates for one-bedroom villas start at €1,800 ($2.460) a night for the soft opening until September 30, before rising to €3,000 ($4,100) a night.

Tetiaroa beach

Luxury Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

Third Cheval Blanc hotel set to open in St. Barts

Luxury Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

LVMH Hotel Management has announced the reopening on October 15 of Hôtel Saint-Barth Isle de France. Fully renovated, the legendary property will carry a new name: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France.

The newly renovated hotel, now under the ownership of the prestigious luxury hotel group, will feature 40 suites, bungalows and villas, as well as the Case de l’Isle, a must-visit dining spot for visitors to Saint Barthelemy.

Located in the Baie des Flamands, the re-opened hotel will feature a spa providing exclusive Guerlain treatments with four treatment rooms.

SEE ALSO: LVMH ACQUIRES ST BARTH HOTEL

Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France

In the course of 2015-2016, a double treatment room will open for duo treatments. A brand new fitness center will also be available to guests

When it comes to luxury services on offer, clients will be able to spend the day at sea on board a 21-meter long luxury yacht with their personal butler, who can serve as sailor for the duration of the boat ride.

SEE ALSO: NEW LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE MALDIVES

Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

Meanwhile a host of details will ensure the experience is unforgettable (lobsters for lunch on the beach, Guerlain treatments on the boat, etc.).

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France will be Cheval Blanc’s third hotel and will be joining Cheval Blanc Courchevel, which opened in French ski destination Courchevel 1850 in 2006, and Cheval Blanc Randheli, unveiled in the in the Maldives in the fall of 2013.

Le Cheval Blanc Palace

Six Senses Douro Valley

Six Senses hotel group coming to Europe

Six Senses Douro Valley

 Spas will open its first European location in Portugal. The opening of the resort is scheduled for next year.

The Six Senses Douro Valley will welcome its first clients in Spring 2015.

The hotel is set to feature 71 rooms and suites, spread across a 20-acre estate. Guests will also have the option to stay in one of several villas with one, two or three rooms.

A 2,200-square-meter spa with ten treatment rooms will also be found onsite. Treatments developed on the theme of wine, the valley’s speciality, will be on offer. Other well-being facilities include an outdoors heated pool and an inside pool with water jets as well as a gym.

Douro Valley

At any time of day, guests will be able to nosh on dishes from a choice of 2 restaurants, including one serving local cuisine cooked with regional products.

Portugal’s Douro Valley is classed a UNESCO heritage site. The closest airport is the Vila Real Airport at a distance of 33 kilometers.

The Quinta Romeneira heliport, a few kilometers from the hotel, will also be available for the wealthiest clients.

The Six Senses Douro Valley resort will be the 12th hotel in the group’s portfolio. Currently the group’s resorts are mainly located in Asia (China, Maldives, Vietnam and Thailand), while it counts one hotel in Oman.

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 .

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

And the best hotel in the world is…

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

The  in Dubai has been named the best hotel in the world by readers of The Telegraph’s luxury magazine Ultratravel.

In addition to taking the title of best hotel in the Middle East, the luxury hotel beat Claridge’s in London, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Mandarin Oriental and The Upper House in Hong Kong to take the lofty title.

The Burj Al Arab was also chosen by the UK publication’s readers as the best hotel on the planet last year.

helipad Burj Al Arab

In the glittering city of superlatives that makes sport of claiming a string of firsts, largest and tallest records, the Burj Al Arab offers a slew of extravagant hotel services including butler service for kids, weddings on the hotel helipad, and 24-carat-gold-plated iPads.

It was also named the world’s leading hotel at the World Travel Awards last year, an event known as the Oscars of the travel industry.

Other major winners of the Ultratravel awards include Emirates, which won in the category of best long-haul first class, and British Airways for best long-haul business class.

Emirates A380

Here are the other major winners:

Best hotel in the Middle East: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Best new hotel in the world: Rosewood London

Best hotel in the Americas: Four Seasons Hotel New York

Best hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Cape Grace, Cape Town

Best luxury hotel chain: Four Seasons

Best airline lounge: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow Terminal 3

Best long-haul first class: Emirates

Best long-haul business class: British Airways

Best hotel in Asia: The Upper House, Hong Kong

Best hotel in Europe: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Best hotel in the world: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Best country: United States

Best ski resort: Whistler, Canada

Best large luxury cruise line: Cunard

Best city: New York

Best luxury tour operator: Kuoni

Best golf resort: The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland

Best airport: Changi, Singapore

Best river cruise line: Viking River Cruises

City of Dreams Hotel Tower by Zaha Hadid

Macau’s City of Dreams Hotel by Zaha Hadid

Macau is set to become home to a strikingly dramatic luxury hotel designed by British architect Zaha Hadid that involves voids and negative spaces cut out of the 40-story building, enveloped in a latticed or ‘exoskeletal’ shell.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower by Zaha Hadid

When it opens in 2017, the City of Dreams Hotel Tower in Macau will house 780 guestrooms, suites and sky villas.

 City of Dreams Hotel Tower Architecture

Artist renderings reveal an expressive and powerful design: Hadid pushes the boundaries of structural engineering to reimagine the standard monolithic rectangular block with voids and negative space carved out of the building’s center, using soft, curved lines.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower Macau

The building shell has an exoskeleton design, a motif that’s repeated inside with 3D diamonds and pyramids that seem to grow from the interior walls and into the spacious, atrium space.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower Macau lobby

The tower will become the fifth property developed by Melco Crown Entertainment and feature meeting and event facilities, gaming rooms, a bright, airy lobby atrium, restaurants, spa and sky pool.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower

helipad Burj Al Arab

Helipad Wedding on Offer at Famous Dubai Hotel

helipad Burj Al Arab

Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel has created a wedding package that will turn its helipad 212 meters in the sky into a unique wedding reception venue.

Add-on features with the wedding package include everything from a dramatic entrance aboard an Italian twin engine Augusta 109 aircraft — or by terra firma in a Rolls Royce Phantom — to accommodations, beauty, spa treatments and personal training sessions.

Couples can also develop a specially designed, bespoke wedding scent with a perfumer and take private lessons on etiquette and dance.

The Burj Al Arab’s Wedding in the Skies program starts at $55,000.

Burj Al Arab wedding receptions

Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland

The Best New Hotels of 2014

Cheval Blanc Randheli resort

Editors of the US edition of Condé Nast Traveler have released their picks for the best new hotels of 2014, curating a list of 33 properties around the world.

Divided into seven categories, the 18th edition of the hot list was whittled down from 510 new hotels spanning 93 countries.

The list represents the best in new properties that provide a sense of place, personality and ‘intuition,’ defined as the anticipation of guest needs.

Here are the full results:

Andaz Maui at Wailea

BEST BEACH HOTELS OF 2014:
Andaz Maui at Wailea, Hawaii
Mukul Resort, Nicaragua
Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancun
Point Yamu by Como, Phuket
Salt House Inn, Provincetown

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

BEST FAMILY HOTELS OF 2014:
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
La Bandita Townhouse, Italy
Palihouse Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Domaine de la Baume

BEST FOOD HOTELS OF 2014:
Domaine de la Baume, Tourtour, France
Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Thompson, Chicago
The Vines Resort & Spa, Argentina
The Wild Rabbit, England
Zero George Street, Charleston

American Trade Hotel, Panama City

BEST BARGAIN HOTELS OF 2014:
American Trade Hotel, Panama City
The Dean, Rhode Island
The Line, Los Angeles
The Marlton, New York City
Temple Hotel, Beijing

Mandarin Oriental Pudong

BEST DESIGN HOTELS OF 2014:
Ace Hotel, Los Angeles
Hotel B, Lima
Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai
The London Edition, England

Aman Canal Grande Venice

BEST OVER-THE-TOP HOTELS OF 2014:
Aman Canal Grande, Venice
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Four Seasons Lion Palace, St. Petersburg
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
Rosewood, London

Amanoi Vietnam

BEST WAY-OUT-THERE HOTELS OF 2014:
Amanoi, Vietnam
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland
Segera Retreat, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya

Fogo Island Inn Newfoundland

The May issue of Condé Nast Traveler’s hot list hits newsstands April 29.

Waldorf Astoria Hotel Opens in Jerusalem

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Ottoman facade

This week in luxury and notable hotel openings, we look inside the new Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, a restoration project that brought a historical landmark out of a 79-year hibernation with features like a retractable glass ceiling, marble floors and a lofty atrium promenade.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

Located within walking distance of the walled Old City and the Jaffa Gate, the latest Waldorf hotel is billed as the only internationally branded luxury hotel in the city and restores what was previously the site of the former Palace Hotel, which checked in its last guest in 1935.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Guest Suite

With 226 guest rooms and suites spread over 10 floors, the hotel design blends Greco-Roman, Gothic and Ottoman architecture, while preserving the 80-year-old Ottoman facade.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem lobby

Dining choices at the hotel include a French brasserie and gourmet Italian restaurant. Next year, the property will open two indoor lap pools, two gyms, a boutique spa, and two wet and dry saunas.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem restaurantWaldorf Astoria Jerusalem Marbled halls and staircases

Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa Opens in Tibet

Tibet Potala Palace

In a sign of things to come, the Shangri-La has become the latest hotel group to open a luxury property atop the highest plateau on the planet, in one of the most fabled, mythical destinations on Earth.

Surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, the Shangri-La Lhasa is set 3,650 meters feet) above sea level in Lhasa, the administrative capital of Tibet.

Shangri-La Lhasa

While the company is Hong Kong-based, its evocative brand name is inspired by the fictional utopian Himalayan lamasery described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon. You’ll find a copy of this book in every room!

The hotel’s high-altitude facilities include a 24-hour medical clinic and the city’s first “Oxygen Lounge”, where O2 concentrations are equivalent to those found at sea level, helping guests to acclimatise to life at 3650m.

Shangri-La Lhasa bedroom

Efforts are made to create an authentic Tibetan atmosphere: Guests are greeted with the offering of a hada — a traditional ceremonial white silk scarf — and barley is thrown on a wooden container used by Tibetans to pray for a bumper harvest.

Once in their room, guests are served yak butter tea in Tibetan pots. And upon departure, hotel staff sing traditional Tibetan songs to send off their guests.

Shangri-La Lhasa hotel Decoration

All 289 guest rooms and suites are decorated in the bold colors and fabrics found in Tibetan culture. The hotel centerpiece, meanwhile, is a striking 6.5-meter-tall chandelier made from 61,000 pieces of crystal, draped in a flowing red fabric to evoke a prayer wheel.

Shangri-La Lhasa lobby

The hotel is located within walking distance to the Potala Palace, formerly the chief residence of the Dalai Lama, and Norbulingka Palace, which once served as the Dalai Lama’s summer residence.

Shangri-La Lhasa waitress

hotel lutetia

Hotel Le Lutetia in Paris closes for renovation

Hotel Le Lutetia

Paris’ landmark luxury hotel Le Lutetia, whose guests included Pablo Picasso, Charles de Gaulle and James Joyce, closes Monday for a three-year renovation following similar makeover moves by rivals.

The seven-storey Art Deco hotel built in 1910 follows in the footsteps of the Crillon, Ritz and Plaza Athenee which have all closed for extensive revamps.

The hotel in the heart of the city’s chic Saint-Germain-des-Pres district was taken over by German officers occupying Paris in World War II.

French wartime hero De Gaulle spent his wedding night here. The establishment also attracted literary luminaries such as Andre Gide and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of “The Little Prince.”

Hotel Le Lutetia lobby

“Le Lutetia has always been a beacon of the Left Bank,” said author Pierre Assouline, who has used the hotel as a setting for one of his novels.

French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte will oversee the renovations. The hotel was bought by the Israeli real estate group, Alrov in 2010.

The hotel is also selling its collection of artworks, over 3,000 pieces of furniture and 8,000 bottles of wine and spirits. The auction will take place between May 19 and 25, 2014 at the Hotel Lutetia.

Bar du Lutetia

Hotels use psychology to encourage towel reuse

Towels Hotels

Can “gentle persuasion” be used to cut waste? Psychology researchers at the University of Luxembourg say yes.

Researchers at the university worked with two hotels in Swiss and Austrian ski resorts in early 2013 to persuade guests to use fewer towels each day. Three different signs were placed separately in different hotel bathrooms, all of which “gently reminded” guests of towel use in regards to the environment.

One of the three signs read, “75% of guests in this hotel reuse their towels,” while another noted “75% of guests in this room” reused towels. The field experiment featured 132 guests, and signs were in German and English so all guests could understand them.

“We found that guests cut their towel use significantly when told of the behaviour of previous guests in their room,” said the lead researcher Dr Gerhard Reese.

Guests who stayed in the “…in this room” option used an average of one towel per person per day. Those who stayed in the rooms with the “…in this hotel” signs used an average of 1.6 towels per person per day. This resulted in a 40% savings in the number of towels that required washing.

Fewer towel usage not only contributes to a greener planet, but also helps the hotels cut costs and therefore lower room rates. Results are comparable to a few similar US studies and indicates this form of subtle pressure can help persuade people to do the right thing in other situations.

“Humans are social beings,” explained Dr Reese. “People want to be accepted into groups and so we act in ways that make us belong.

Instinctively, we feel close to those who have used a hotel room before us, believing that they are similar to ourselves. Thus we are more likely to follow their behavior.” The study was published in the journal Social Psychology.

hotels towels

W Hotel Amsterdam

Amsterdam to Get W Hotel in 2015

Amsterdam’s historic former Telephone Exchange building is set to get a makeover as the contemporary W Hotels chain prepares to move in to town.

W Hotel Amsterdam

W Amsterdam, set to open its doors in the city’s Dam Square in autumn 2015, will be the design-led Starwood Hotel brand’s first Dutch location.

The hotel will feature 169 stylish guestrooms, including 10 suites and one Extreme Wow Suite (the company’s take on the Presidential Suite).

Upon entering the building, guests will be taken directly to the hotel rooftop for check-in and a cocktail in the W Living Room. The building will also feature a rooftop bar and restaurant with city views.

The historic property represents the typical Amsterdam School architectural style. It will be re-imagined by Office Winhov architects in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv-based practice BK Architecture. The building’s historical elements will be fully restored and combined with a new, contemporary design.

The brand currently has a portfolio of 45 W Hotels worldwide, with more than 20 additional properties in the pipeline.

Four Seasons Offers New Private Jet Experience

four seasons st petersburg

Four Seasons has launched a luxury travel package that will take guests on an European vacation centered around art and culture aboard a private jet.

The Backstage with the Arts tour is meant to offer participants access to premier art collections, exclusive musical performances, private dinners and visits to cultural institutions across Europe.

For example, guests will be privy to areas of the Duomo di Milano traditionally closed to the public and a special performance of “Don Giovanni” at the historic Estates Theatre in Prague.

four seasons prague

The luxury package was developed with La Fugue, Paris, which specializes in creating art, classical music and opera-themed travel itineraries.

Other stops include a private, after-hours tour of a UNESCO World Heritage site in Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery, and a private tour of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg followed by a gala at Pavlovsk Palace, once the hunting grounds of czars.

Four Seasons George V Paris

Guests will travel on a private Boeing 757 customized to seat 52 passengers. Onboard meals will be prepared by a Four Seasons chef.

Prices start at $69,000 a person, based on double occupancy for trips leaving April 20 to May 5, 2015.

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace