Tag Archives: luxury hotel

Mandarin Oriental luxury resort Bali

Mandarin Oriental Opening Luxury Resort in Bali

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is planning to open a new hotel and resort complex on the Indonesian island in 2016.

Mandarin Oriental luxury resort Bali

With 97 villas and 24 spacious guest rooms, the Mandarin Oriental Bali promises to be a haven for those looking to get away from it all.

Located on the Bukit Peninsula at the southern end of Bali, the resort hotel will offer an extraordinary view on the Indian Ocean and direct access to an isolated and protected beach with white sands.

Each of the 97 villas will have a private pool of between 10 and 15 meters, while the 24 rooms have a view over the ocean.

Mandarin Oriental has entrusted the interior architecture of its new resort hotel to Jean-Michel Gathy of the firm Denniston International. The style is expected to combine contemporary trends with traditional Balinese elements and touches of East Asian inspiration as a nod to the hotel group’s heritage.

The Mandarin Oriental Bali will include three dining establishments, including a flagship cliff-top restaurant, another restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a more informal beachside bar and grill.

Couples will even be able to celebrate their wedding in one of the resort’s numerous reception halls.

Bukit Peninsula

Guests at the Mandarin Oriental Bali will relax in a 1,725 square meter spa with eight treatment rooms, a sauna and a steam room. A fitness center and a 100m outdoor pool round out the resort hotel’s wellness offer.

In terms of activities and entertainment, guests can drop their children off for a day of fun at the Kids Center and enjoy a game of golf on the 18-hole course, or relax with a book from the extensive library.

The Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental hotel group, specializing in high-end accommodations, currently manages luxury hotels and resorts in 20 cities worldwide, including seven cities in the US.

Four Seasons Resort Maui pool

Luxury hotels offer voluntourism programs

New this year, the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea is offering a variety of volunteer opportunities for guests who may want to offset their luxurious spending by helping to build a home or dishing out food for the homeless.

Four Seasons Resort Maui pool

Is voluntourism simply a way to exonerate guests from feeling guilty of their spendthrift ways? Maybe. But is it well intentioned? Definitely.

Four Seasons Maui at Wailea charity

On the winter-spring itinerary this year are partnerships with the local Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers would help build homes and landscape for those in need of shelter.

Wailea Beach

Guests with green thumbs can contribute their talents at a botanical garden where volunteers meet every week to help maintain indigenous plants.

Four Seasons Resort Maui

Guests can also lend a hand at the local soup kitchen, which serves free hot meals every day. Duties include food preparation, cooking, serving and home delivery for the disabled.

luxury meets charity

The Ritz-Carlton has also designed a Give Back Getaway program that invites guests to participate in half-day community activities that include everything from saving sea turtles in China or the blue iguana in the Grand Cayman islands to volunteering at a soup kitchen in New York.

Printemps Store Paris

Mandarin Oriental Paris Offers Shopping Package

The Mandarin Oriental in Paris has developed a €1,000 hotel package that includes a private shopping experience at upscale department store Printemps.

Printemps Store Paris

The hotel’s J’aime la Mode package includes a VIP welcome to Printemps Haussman, where a personal shopper will curate items specially for the guest for a stress-free shopping experience, sans crowds and lines.

Mandarin Oriental Paris shopping package

Also included in the package is a one-night accommodation, breakfast for two, a spa credit of €150, local delivery and international shipping of purchases and a Printemps gift candle.

The J’aime la Mode package starts at €995 ($1,358 USD).

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

The most luxurious suites in the world: 10 extravagant hotel bedrooms to book for your vacations

For globetrotters who only stay at the very best hotels and suites, a website has created a package that includes stays at 10 of the most lavish properties around the world.

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

Launched by VeryFirstTo.com, the 21-day trip circles the world from New York, Paris, Dubai and Hong Kong for the princely sum of £359,000. At the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, for instance, couples will be booked for the Royal Suite, which comes with a personal butler and a solid gold iPad.

Burj Al Arab gold ipad

At the Westin Excelsior in Rome, couples stay at the Villa la Cupola, the largest hotel suite in Europe, which stretches across 1,100 square meters. The Presidential Suite at the Intercontinental in Hong Kong offers views of Victoria Harbor and a rooftop infinity pool and Jacuzzi, while the Ritz Carlton Suite in Tokyo is located on the 53rd floor of the city’s tallest building.

intercontinental hong kong

The cost includes business class flights, airport transfers and accommodation.

Here’s a list of the 10 destinations

1. The Penthouse Suite, Four Seasons George V, Paris

george v penthouse

2. Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Royal Suite Burj Al Arab

3. Bridge Suite, The Atlantis Resort, Bahamas

Bridge Suite The Atlantis Resort

4. Ritz-Carlton Suite, Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

ritz tokyo

5. Villa La Cupola, Westin Excelsior, Rome

Villa La Cupola

6. Two Story Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas

Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas

7. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York

Ty Warner Penthouse

8. The Royal Suite, Madarin Oriental, London

Royal Suite Madarin Oriental London

9. The Sultan’s Suite, Çiragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul

Sultan suite Ciragan Palace Kempinski

10. The Presidential Suite, InterContinental, Hong Kong

InterContinental Hong Kong infinity pool

The Place Koh Tao

TOP 10 Most romantic hotels in the world

It’s not hard to see why the following hotels were ranked among the most romantic in the world by by TripAdvisor users.

The Place Koh Tao

Most offer private, beach or poolside suites in milieus where the water shimmers otherworldly hues of turquoise and blue, and four-poster beds beckon couples invitingly.

Greece leads the top 10 list with three addresses, followed by the Maldives and South Africa, which tied with two properties each.

Koh Tao sea

Taking the top spot is The Place Koh Tao in Thailand, a luxury getaway that offers five boutique villas, tucked discreetly in the Thai tropical forests, each with its own infinity pool.

The Place Koh Tao villa

If you haven’t booked your Valentine’s Day getaway yet take a virtual tour of the 10 most romantic hotels in the world, as rated by TripAdvisor users.

1. The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Koh Tao, Thailand

2. Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Frans, South Africa

3. Anastasis Apartments, Imerovigli, Greece

4. Aia Mattonata Relais, Siena, Italy

5. Astra Suites, Imerovigli, Greece

6. Lindos Blu, Lindos, Greece

7. Baros Maldives, North Male Atoll, Maldives

8. Veligandu Island Resort and Spa, North Ari Atoll, Maldives

9. Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

10. 2Inn1 Kensington, Cape Town Central, South Africa

sutton place hotel

A $500,000 Valentine’s Day hotel package

Aptly called “The Once In a Lifetime” package, the Canadian brand Sutton Place Hotels has launched the extravagant deal for lovers who may also be in the market for a luxury sports car and wardrobe overhaul.

sutton place hotel

Here’s what $500,000 will buy you in the deal:

First, you and your partner will be chauffeured in a limo and taken to the presidential suite, where you’ll be greeted by a personal butler with a bottle of Dom Pérignon and hors d’oeuvres.

Next, you’ll be served a six-course meal in a private, candle-lit dining room to set the mood.

The following morning, while lounging in your personally monogrammed terry robes, you’re served another champagne-soaked breakfast-in-bed.

After that, the package includes a helicopter tour of the city — be it Edmonton, Vancouver or the Revelstoke ski resort where the brand is located.

After a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend, the hotel will also ‘throw in’ a personalized Maserati car, $50,000 worth of jewelry, and a $100,000 shopping spree at upscale Canadian department store Holt Renfrew.

Couples will also receive weekly deliveries of fresh flowers to their home and weekly couple’s massages for an unspecified length of time.

hotel du continent room

New Paris hotel designed by Christian Lacroix

Following a soft launch in December, the Hôtel du Continent with its 25 rooms and globe-trotting atmosphere, will hold its grand opening on February 3.

hotel du continent room

French couturier Christian Lacroix designed the interior of the three-star establishment and each floor in the hotel is dedicated to a different continent.

hotel du continent Paris room

Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Oceania are represented “far from any anthropological or strictly ethnic preoccupation, but rather with this fanciful distance known to ancient travelers who brought back with them not only scientific information but tales and dreams too,” Christian Lacroix said.

hotel du continent bedroom

Located on Paris’s Right Bank, near the prestigious Place Vendôme, the Hôtel du Continent offers guests 25 rooms in three different sizes.

hotel du continent Paris

Guests can expect to pay around €125 ($170) for a fully equipped room of around 10 square meters (110 sq ft). Nightly rates for the extra-large rooms (up to 31 sq m/333 sq ft) can reach up to €400 per night ($542).

Information and reservations: en.hotelcontinent.com

hotel du continent bathroom

This is not the first time the French couturier has lent his design sensibilities to the interior design of a hotel. Lacroix headed up the interior design of areas of the Sofitel So Bangkok hotel in Thailand, including its VIP lounge.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof

TripAdvisor’s Top 10 hotels of 2014

The Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, Switzerland, tops TripAdvisor’s list of the top 10 hotels in the world for 2014.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof

In the site’s latest Travelers’ Choice Awards, Italy boasted the most unique hotel winners with 152 properties given top marks by TripAdvisor travelers.

The UK followed close behind with 145 accommodations listed, while the US and France tied with 144 award-winners.

More than 7,120 properties were given honors across seven categories spanning top hotels, bargain hotels, bed and breakfasts, family, luxury, romantic and small hotels.

The Grand Kronenhof hotel lobby

The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is a five-star, ultra-luxurious property located 1,800 meters above sea level near the resort town of St. Moritz in Switzerland. The hotel received a 97 percent approval rating among guests.

“Few grand hotels seamlessly blend old-world charm and modern conveniences as well as the Kronenhof. The property is as impressive as the surrounding mountains,” wrote one enamored guest.

grand hotel kronenhof spa

Registered as an historic landmark, the Kronenhof dates back to 1848 and rises spectacularly from within a forest of pine and larch trees.

In lavish, neo-baroque style, gold-gilded rooms at the palatial property offer panoramic views of the mountains as well as the Bernina and Roseg glaciers.

Top 10 Hotels in the World

1. Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland
2. The Upper House, Hong Kong, China
3. Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, Lankanfushi, Maldives
4. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
5. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
6. Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador
7. Lindos Blu, Lindos, Greece
8. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita, Mexico
9. The Oberoi, Mumbai, Mumbai, India
10. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Toronto, Canada

The Grand Kronenhof

And the winners in select categories also include:

Top Luxury Hotel in the World
Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Franschhoek, S. Africa

Top Luxury Hotel in the U.S.
The Grand Del Mar, San Diego, California

Best Bargain Hotel in the World
Castlewood House, Dingle, Ireland

Best Bargain Hotel in the U.S.
Desert Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs, California

Best Hotel for Families in the World
Cavallino Bianco Family Spa Grand Hotel, Ortisei, Italy

Best Hotel for Families in the U.S.
Floridays Resort Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Best Hotel for Romance in the World
The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Koh Tao, Thailand

Best Hotel for Romance in the U.S.
Honor Mansion, A Wine Country Resort, Healdsburg, California

Top Small Hotel in the World
Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Franschhoek, S. Africa

Top Small Hotel in the U.S.
La Maison Hotel, Palm Springs, California

Best B&B and Inn in the World
Bindon Bottom B&B, West Lulworth, England

Best B&B and Inn in the U.S.
Historic Oak Hill Inn, Natchez, Mississippi

Afternoon Tea with Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo afternoon tea comes to Munich

The Mandarin bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Munich is offering an afternoon tea menu created in partnership with luxury shoe and accessory brand Jimmy Choo.

Afternoon Tea with Jimmy Choo

The menu includes a pastry inspired by the famous brand’s “Sundays” pumps and a chocolate treat shaped like the “Charlize” handbag, in addition to chocolate-raspberry macarons and small glasses of gourmet creations with grapefruit, lemon and caviar.

This assortment of treats is served with your choice of tea (€39) or a glass of champagne (€55). All guests will receive a complimentary gift set from Jimmy Choo: Jimmy Choo flash fragrant surprise.

This is not the first time Jimmy Choo has collaborated with the hotel group. Last April, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong served up a variety of pastries inspired by the designer’s Spring 2013 collection.

The hotel even offered a package including a one-night stay, afternoon tea and a pair of shoes.

Hotel Ritz Paris

Sneak Peek At the Newly-Revamped Ritz Paris

Closed for renovationsince summer 2012, the famous Parisian hotel is scheduled to reopen in 2014. In the meantime, the Ritz offers a sneak peek at its updated décor through its brand new website.

Ritz Imperial SuiteFans of the Ritz can catch a glimpse of the Imperial Suite, the luxurious indoor pool at the spa, and the Michelin-starred L’Espadon restaurant through colorful sketches by illustrator Damien Cuypers.

A video takes the website’s visitors behind the scenes of the renovation:

In addition, the new website allows the Ritz to present its legendary history, describing how Coco Chanel took up residence at the hotel in the 1930s, how Ernest Hemingway “liberated” the hotel bar in 1944, and how legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier was present from the Ritz’s founding in 1898.

Ritz Teasing Espadon

The two-year renovation covers everything from the hotel’s rooms and suites to its manicured gardens and gourmet dining facilities. The facelift should allow the historic hotel to maintain its prestigious reputation in the face of competition from major hotel groups such as Shangri-La or Mandarin Oriental, both of which have established a presence in the French capital in recent years.

Saint James Paris Love Pavilion

Relais & Chateaux eyes younger clientele

After 60 years of drawing an older, more established clientele, luxury hotel group Relais & Chateaux is hoping to attract brand loyalty among a younger, more dynamic demographic.

It’s a marketing strategy that may prove challenging at a brand where the average age of the typical hotel guest has been 50. The group claims it’s making a few inroads, having dropped the average age of its clientele to 47 over the last few years.

Saint James Paris Love Pavilion

But when most of the properties come at rates beyond the means of many young adults who’ve only been in the workforce for a few years, how do you generate brand loyalty and keep it?

This year, the group is offering a 30 percent discount to guests visiting properties in Paris and the Champagne region in France who are under the age of 30.

Relais & Chateaux members are often historic or heritage landmarks like castles or manors, set in some of the most bucolic areas in the world. Hotels are admitted based on factors such as ‘charm’ and ‘character,’ while terroir, or ‘the taste of the land,’ is given high importance for restaurants.

The company has recently launched 14 Creation Gift Boxes that start at €169 for 2 people. The boxes are good for 3-course meals and overnight stays at Relais & Chateaux properties around the world.

Hotel Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hyatt launches two all-inclusive resort brands

Hyatt Hotels is making its first foray into this segment of the travel market with the launch of two distinct all-inclusive resort brands: Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara.

Hotel Hyatt Zilara Cancun

The first will offer family-friendly vacation experiences, while the latter will target travelers without children looking for rest and relaxation.

Hyatt has already launched the first hotels representing the new brands: the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, both located in Mexico.

According to a press release from the hotel group, owner of over 500 luxury hotels worldwide, the new resort brands will give new momentum to the market for all-inclusive vacations and allow Hyatt to become an innovative actor in this segment.

Hyatt Zilara Cancun

To this end, the group conducted research on its clients’ desires and expectations in order to effectively differentiate the Hyatt all-inclusive experience from that offered by its competitors, namely through more high-end services.

Even with the “all-inclusive” package, guests at the new Hyatt hotels will enjoy more flexibility and personalized services than in a typical resort in this category.

Guests who enjoy more spontaneity in their vacations can modify the activities or meals they have scheduled at any time, and the hotel remains in contact with the clients from the moment of their reservation, namely through social networks, to provide assistance with itineraries and planning.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

In a separate area of its development plans, Hyatt hopes to offer hotels that are more integrated into their surrounding environment, namely by introducing the guests to the local culture through regional excursions, shows and cuisine.

An underwater hotel room

A new underwater hotel room has opened off the coast of Tanzania for intrepid, adventurous and ocean-loving travelers. Set off Pemba Island, also known as ‘the Green Island’ in Arabic, guests of The Manta Resort’s underwater room are dropped off at a self-contained hotel which literally drifts at sea.

underwater hotel room

Guests can sunbathe on the top deck of their private island accommodations by day and dine on a lounge deck at water level. By night, they’ll then dive into the sea to access their hotel room, where they nod off amongst the fishes and their marine surroundings.

For an ethereal effect, the suite, which is built four meters below the surface, is lit by underwater spotlights to provide a backlit projection of the Indian Ocean’s tropical sanctuary.

Part of the experience also lies in its isolation and underdevelopment as a tourist destination. The most reliable way to access Pemba Island is by chartered flights from Zanzibar.

And while interest in the region is growing amongst divers for its unspoiled reefs, the area has yet to be paved by large-scale resorts and tourist crowds.

The Manta Resort

The suite is designed by Swedish outfit Genberg Underwater Hotels, which opened its first underwater property in a Swedish lake near Stockholm in 2000.

The Utter Inn is a single room that lies three meters below the surface and contains twin beds and a table. Room rates at The Manta Resort start at $750 per person a night.

Chabichou Courchevel 1850

Top 5 spas for après-ski luxury

Chabichou Courchevel 1850

After a hard day on the slopes, nothing beats an après-ski spa treatment. Here are a few of the world’s best luxury hotels and spas that will surely hit the spot.

Bagni di Bormio Spa Resort, Bormio – Italy

Bagni di Bormio Spa Resort

A spa town since Roman times, Bormio is home to the five-star Grand Bagni Nuovi, which first opened as a spa resort in 1836. Along with Murano glass chandeliers and art nouveau flourishes, the hotel features a gorgeous 5,500-square-meter spa, where a hydro-massage bath is fed with thermal water.

Facilities include open-air baths, Jacuzzis, saunas, and a Turkish bath, and a full menu of treatments from detox facials to enzymatic gommage.


Victoria-Jungrau Grand Hotel & Spa Interlaken – Switzerland

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel

This five-star alpine hotel, featuring two spas, opened in 1856 and is in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, gateway to the Wengen (birthplace of downhill skiing), Grindelwald, and Mürren.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa

One spa features more than 30 Espa treatments, involving Eastern-inspired techniques, while the Sensai Select spa offers treatments designed by the Japanese company Kaneba. The spas are connected by a huge pool with hot tubs and a spa café for juices and teas.


Le Chabichou Courchevel 1850 – France

Chabichou Courchevel 1850

This 42-room alpine retreat in Courchevel 1850 is nestled right on the piste and easily connects visitors to the entire Trois Vallées ski area. The spa, Cha’Banya, a subterranean wellness center built under the ski slope features a huge pool, a hammam, Polar bath, ice fountain, and salt grotto.


The Green Leaf Niseko – Village Hirafu – Japan

The Green Leaf Niseko

Nestled at the base of Mount An’nupuri in Japan, the 200-room Green Leaf Niseko Village features ski-in/ ski-out access to powder slopes as well as a gorgeous spa. Included is an open-air bath fed by a clear mineral spring that is cooled to about 104F (40C). Spa treatments include everything from acupressure to Ayurveda and specialty treatments such as the Rubber Neck bamboo tapping massage.


Fairmont Mont Tremblant Resort in Mont Tremblant – Quebec, Canada

fairmont tremblant

This ski-in/ski-out resort features 314 rooms and a lush spa features two outdoor Jacuzzis and a therapeutic hot tub, a dry sauna, steam bath, and a heated indoor pool. The spa menu includes an 80-minute remineralizing clay massage and a glass of champagne.


Hot new luxury ski resort openings for 2013

L'Apogee Courchevel

They’re among the most anticipated ski resort openings of 2013: a 5-star chalet set in the French Alps, the first alpine property out of the W hotel chain, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s “world-class” ski resort. Here are a few of the most luxurious ski resort properties opening up in the next few months

L’Apogée Courchevel

Courchevel 1850, France – Opening date: December 11

L'Apogee Courchevel room

A new luxury hotel is set to open in one of the most prestigious skiing destinations in the French Alps. With 53 suites, a penthouse and a five-star chalet that comes with a private chef and butler, L’Apogée Courchevel is located atop the Jardin Alpin, described as the prettiest spot in Courchevel 1850.

Amenities include a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, a champagne bar, spa, Jacuzzi, indoor pool, on-site hairdresser, ski-in and ski-out facilities and the largest kids club in the area.


W Verbier

Verbier, Switzerland – Opening date: December 1

W Verbier Hotel

Set within the 4 Vallées, where snow bunnies have 412 km of slopes to choose from, the opening of the W Verbier in December will mark the W hotel chain’s first alpine property.

Four, traditional chalets are connected by a contemporary glass atrium, while the gondola — which whisks skiers up mountain altitudes of 3,300 meters — is located at their doorstep.

A mix of natural and modern materials like wood and stone are used in the hotel’s 130 guest suites, which are designed to juxtapose urban New York cool, against traditional Swiss design. The restaurant, Arola, is helmed by a Michelin-starred chef who combines Spanish cuisine with Swiss flavors.


The Chedi Andermatt

Andermatt Swiss Alps – Opening date: December 6

Chedi Andermatt Hotel Swiss Alps

Located below the Gemstock peak of the Urseren valley, Andermatt is about four hours from Munich and Stuttgart, two hours from Milan and 90 minutes from Lucerne and Zurich.

Billed as a five-star luxury resort, an artist rendering shows a soaring, multi-level, alpine-inspired property that will include a state-of-the-art spa and wellness center, pool, relaxation area, wine and cigar lounge, and après-ski bar.

Wood-paneled rooms are softened by plush textiles like velvet and throw blankets and leather sofas, while bathtubs are strategically located to offer panoramic views of the hotel’s natural surroundings.


Masik Pass ski resort

North Korea – Opening date: Unknown

masik pass ski resort

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is hoping to transform the Masik Pass area into a “world class” ski destination as his arch nemesis South Korea prepares to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Originally scheduled to be unveiled October 10 to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party, the opening has been stalled due to ambitious and unrealistic projections and sanctions that prevent the country from buying ski lifts from Switzerland.

Plans for the resort include 110 km of multi-level ski runs, a luxury hotel, heliport and cable cars.

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

island of Randheli

New luxury accommodations in the Maldives

Cheval Blanc Randheli resort

According to a recent survey conducted by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Maldives islands rank as the most popular luxury vacation destination on the planet. The island nation is already a hotbed of high-end tourism, with accommodations fit for the most demanding guests, and new luxury resorts are appearing each year. Here, we take a look at three of this season’s most notable newcomers.

Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel Maldives

Cheval Blanc Randheli

This establishment, owned by the LVMH Group, brings all of the prestige of the original Cheval Blanc, located in the Courchevel ski resort in the French Alps, to the Noonu Atoll in the sunny Maldives.

A private hydroplane carries guests of the Cheval Blanc from the Malé airport to their destination in 40 minutes. Upon arrival, guests are met by 45 spacious villas (the smallest has a surface area of 240 square meters, or 2600 square feet), luxurious services and breathtaking beaches.

Five on-site restaurants offer French and international gourmet cuisine. In the spa, guests enjoy treatments with Guerlain beauty products and Leonor Greyl hair products. Sports, special events and custom services are all on the menu as well. Opening November 15. Prices available upon request.

Maalifushi by Como

Maalifushi by Como

Como Hotels will open its second resort in the Maldives December 1. Maalifushi is located on the Thaa Atoll, which can be reached in around one hour by hydroplane from the Malé airport.

The resort consists of around 60 suites and villas built on stilts, including some located directly on the beach, and others with private pools. Two on-site restaurants offer international cuisine, as well as Japanese and Maldivian specialties.

The spa — with eight massage rooms and hammam, Jacuzzi, and sauna — offers beauty and relaxation treatments based on the principles of holistic medicine. Prices available upon request.

largest private villa in the Maldives

A private villa on Kunfunadhoo Island

From December 15, travelers will be able to rent a 2,000 square meter seaside villa from the Soneva Group, which aims to combine luxury with sustainability through its “Slow Life” philosophy.

All of the villas in the Soneva Fushi resort are built with sustainable materials using local techniques but remain decidedly high-end. The newest villa, which the group claims is the largest in any Indian Ocean resort, has eight bedrooms, a game room, and a spa with massage tables and a gym.

There is also an enormous 477 square meter (5130 square foot) pool surrounding the residence, complete with a dining terrace where guests can enjoy a waterside lunch.

Prices per night range from around €8500/$11,500 to €22,500/$30,400 depending on the season.

Next summer, the group will expand its offering with Soneva in Aqua. The luxury yacht will allow guests to enjoy the same level of service and comfort experienced in the Soneva Fushi villas while sailing from atoll to atoll in the Maldives.

Soneva Aqua yacht

The Royal Horseguards

New luxury hotel brand launches out of London

The Royal Horseguards

The luxury hotel market is about to get crowded as a London-based hotel company has announced ambitious plans to launch a new brand they claim will “redefine” luxury across the industry.

Their first order of business? To convert their existing five-star The Royal Horseguards hotel located on the north bank of the River Thames and re-open as Clermont Hotel in 2014.

The Clermont hotel will serve as their flagship outpost in Europe — the first of 30 Clermont-branded hotels to be built around the world over the next decade.

It’s also the first of three new hotel brands the company, glh. (Global Hotel Company) plans to launch over the next 12 months, it says, an ambitious plan that hopes to put the squeeze on well-established luxury brands like The Four Seasons, the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz-Carlton.

Other properties that will be rebranded under the Clermont sign include Singapore’s tallest building (290 m) the Tanjong Pagar Centre and the Clermont Kuala Lumpur which are due to open in 2016.

The latter will feature an Olympic-length pool, aqua gymnasium, and private dining rooms where residents can host private events and entertain guests. Plans are also afoot to build private luxury apartments across Singapore and Malaysia called Clermont Residences.

hotel lutetia

Lutetia Hotel in Paris: a new ‘pop-up’ suite

hotel lutetia

Interior designer Régis Dho has decorated a “suite éphémère,” a suite whose decor will stay in place for a limited time only, at the prestigious hotel on the Left Bank in Paris, entitling his creation “Night & Day.”

Régis Dho, who has designed restaurants for some of the greatest French chefs, including Michel Rostang and Alain Ducasse, produced a unique, Art Déco-inspired design for the suite at the Lutetia.

The decorator aimed to make the space feel like a sophisticated yet comfortable sanctuary, cloaked in shades of black, grey and turquoise.

The designer has repurposed certain pieces for a whimsical yet distinguished touch: a Bastide chest of drawers serves as the mini bar, and a Solférino bench seat has been transformed into a bedside table.

Before Dho, other designers who created special ‘pop-up’ suites for the Lutetia include the Campana brothers, David Lynch and Guillaume Piéchaud.

Lutetia hotel pop up suite

The “Night & Day” suite may be reserved through the hotel, with prices starting at €900 per night.

Hotel Eden Rome exterior

Dorchester group buys Eden luxury hotel in Rome

Hotel Eden Rome exterior

Dorchester Collection, a luxury hotel group controlled by the sultan of Brunei, said Wednesday it has bought the landmark Hotel Eden in Rome from Britain-based Starman Hotels.

Dorchester said it planned to renovate the 121-room hotel in central Rome following the deal, which press reports estimated was worth 105 million euros ($140 million).

Built in 1834 and converted to a hotel in 1889, the Eden regularly hosts heads of state, royalty and celebrities, and is known for the spectacular view from its sixth-floor terrace.

The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment agency, the sovereign wealth fund of Brunei, and is registered in Britain. It now owns 10 luxury hotels in Europe and the United States, and has said it is looking to expand into Asia and the Middle East.

Hotel Eden Rome