Tag Archives: luxury hotel

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

The Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was named the leading hotel in Europe in Antalya, Turkey at the World Travel Awards Europe last week.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul East Entrance

A former Imperial Ottoman palace, the hotel sits along the Bosphorus coast and harkens the grandeur of the era with ornate, Arabic and Middle Eastern decor, columns, arches, and lush tropical palm trees.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul exterior view

New this year, the hotel also added a poolside Moet & Chandon champagne bar over the summer for guests lounging by the heated infinity pool.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Room

Rich dark wood paneled suites come with writing desks, a ‘pillow menu,’ and balconies in every room.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul gardens

Meanwhile, other winners in the World Travel Awards Europe hotel category this year include:

– Europe’s Leading City Hotel: Hotel Fouquet Barriere Paris, France
– Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel: Grandes Alpes Private Hotel, France
– Europe’s Leading Hotel & Spa: Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine
– Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort: Conrad Algarve, Portugal
– Europe’s Leading New Hotel: Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Germany
– Europe’s Most Romantic Resort: Royal Adam & Eve Hotel, Turkey

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul gate  Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul living room   Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul suiteCiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Hamam

PinPackGo

Four Seasons uses Pinterest to help guests plan trips

PinPackGo Four seasons

The majority of travelers will never know the joys of a personal concierge service. After all, a person dedicated to responding to guests’ every need at all hours of the day and night, in addition to providing suggestions on where to wine and dine, is a rather high-end luxury.

However, internet users now have access to what may be the next best thing. The Four Seasons, whose 91-hotel network includes the George V in Paris, the Ritz in Lisbon and the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles, just to name a few, has applied its expertise in the matter to a new virtual concierge service.

The Four Seasons offers this virtual concierge service through Pinterest. Users create a board for their trip, adding information on their destination and on the type of experience they are looking for, whether a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a cultural visit.

Next, the user leaves a comment on the Pin.Pack.Go board specifying the destination city.

The Four Seasons hotel located in the destination city will follow the user and send a request to collaborate on his or her board. Of the chain’s 91 hotels, 77 are participating in the service.

Users are not required to reserve a room at one of the Four Seasons’ hotels to take advantage of the service. Over 4,200 Pinterest users have signed up to follow the Pin.Pack.Go board since its launch.

Marriott International's tote bag

Marriott recycles bed linen to create tote bags

Marriott International's tote bag

Marriott International, together with British luxury brand Lily and Lionel and non-profit company SleepingBags, is releasing a limited edition tote bag made entirely of recycled bed linens from its hotels.

With the launch of this limited edition bag, Marriott International scores two points for corporate social responsibility. The first involves the reduction in waste that comes from upcycling its worn out linens, while the second involves committing a share of revenues from the initiative to The Prince’s Trust, a charity working to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth.

The dark grey bag has been printed with a blue and white design from Lily and Lionel, depicting birds in flight around a globe.

Only 1,000 of these tote bags will be produced, and each will sell for €23 (£20) through the Marriott website.

ras al khaimah beach

Banyan Tree RAK creates Arabian pearl experience

Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach

The Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach now offers an original opportunity to guests through its Arabian Pearl Retreat package. Guests who opt for this package are taken by seaplane to a desert pearl farm to learn about the techniques and history of this particularly prestigious form of aquaculture.

While at the farm, guests also take part in a jewelry-making workshop alongside a local jeweler. After choosing their oysters and harvesting two pearls — in the region, these usually measure between 7 and 12mm — participants mount them in a unique piece of jewelry made with 10mg of gold.

The Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach is located on a private beach overlooking the Gulf. The hotel includes 32 villa apartments, a luxury spa, and a restaurant bordered by an infinity pool.

The Arabian Pearl Retreat package, which includes transit by seaplane to the pearl farm, is available through February 28, 2014 (€1,945 including one night in the hotel’s Beach Pool Villa).

skyline Macau

Versace to open Macau luxury hotel

skyline Macau

The Italian luxury brand has signed a deal to open its third ‘Palazzo’ hotel, as part of a new casino resort development in Cotai, Macau.

Versace has partnered with Hong Kong based SJM holdings on the deal, which will see a new five star hotel opening in the Chinese city of Macau. The new location will join the company’s two Palazzo Versace hotels, located in Dubai (where plans for a refrigerated beach sadly had to be scrapped) and on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Macau, which featured in last year’s James Bond blockbuster “Skyfall,” is one of China’s two special administrative regions, alongside Hong Kong. The former Portuguese colony is the only part of the People’s Republic where casinos are permitted, and it’s a lucrative business.

According to Bloomberg, Macau raked in around $38 billion from casinos in 2012 with tourist numbers from mainland China and Hong Kong growing year on year.

Luxury hotels are an increasingly big attraction for fashion brands: Giorgio Armani has two locations in Dubai and Milan, while fellow Italian label Bulgari has three hotels in London, Milan and Bali, restaurants in Japan and a new Shanghai spot set to open up in 2015.

Ritz-Carlton to open first property in Israel

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company will open the new Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel, in late 2013, which will be the first urban resort as well as the brand’s first property in the country.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia

Located on the Herzliya Marina overlooking the Mediterranean sea, the 12-storey hotel is designed by Rani Ziss Architects Ltd. with interior including the lobby and the restaurants by design firm Studio Gaia.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia bedroom

The 197-room hotel with 82 suites includes studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, and penthouse suites. All the rooms include golden sand and deep blue Mediterranean sea-inspired colour palette.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia lounge

The hotel offers various beach front amenities such as a roof-top swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, Herbet Samuel restaurant, and a rooftop bar. The Ritz-Carlton’s own spa and fitness centre will offer Mediterranean views and outdoor relaxation terraces.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia poolRitz Carlton Hertzlia Israel

Top 10 most expensive hotels in the world

The North Island Lodge, located in the Seychelles, is the most expensive hotel in the world. That is the main takeaway of a new survey from Luxury-Hotels.com.

North Island Seychelles

The survey was conducted in June and July and is based on double occupancy for the month of August. Resorts surveyed had a minimum 20-guest capacity.

According to those criteria, the private island sanctuary of North Island Lodge is the world’s most extravagant, at $5,843 a night per couple. Part of what makes the resort so expensive is due to the fact that guests are helicoptered into the site, which sits 30 km off the coast of the main island of Mahé.

North Island Seychelles spa

With 11 guest villas at North Island, the private paradise is also described as a modern-day ‘Noah’s Ark’ for a massive conservation program which aims to protect and rehabilitate local flora, fauna and wildlife like the Hawksbill and green turtles and Seychelles blue pigeons.

Luxury villas meanwhile, are built using scavenged, natural materials from the surrounding area and invite guests to lounge in “barefoot luxury.”

North Island Seychelles room

Photos show white sand beaches leading into azure waters, palm tree-fringed villas decorated in sumptuous yet natural materials like stone, recovered wood and wicker furnishings.

The most luxurious hotels list is dominated by resorts and lodgings in Africa, remote islands and destinations in Oceania, and a handful of listings in Italy, France and Canada.

North Island Seychelles outdoor dining

Here are the Top 10 most expensive hotels around the world

1. North Island Lodge, Seychelles $5,843 USD per couple
2. Laucala Resort, Fiji, $5,040
3. Khwai River Lodge, Botswana, $4,060
4. Savute Elephant Camp, Botswana, $4,020
5. Eagle Island Camp & Spa, Botswana, $3,970
6. Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania, $3,570
7. King Pacific Lodge, Canada, $3,249
8. Mnemba Island Lodge, Tanzania, $3,100
9. Hotel Cala di Volpe, Italy, $2,939
10. Queen Charlotte Lodge, Canada, $2,800

For the full list, visit www.luxury-hotels.com/press/survey-2013.html.

saint barth isle de france

LVMH Acquires St Barth Hotel

Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

The acquisition of high-end establisment Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France on the French Caribbean island of St. Barts by LVMH, confirms the company’s ambitions to become a leading reference in five-star accommodations.Consisting of 39 rooms, suites and villas, the hotel also features two restaurants.

Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France

LVMH Hotel Management, founded in 2009, already owns several hotels under the Cheval Blanc brand (open now or to be opened soon), as well as the White 1921 boutique hotel in Saint-Tropez.

Luxury Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

Cheval Blanc Courchevel

Located in France’s picturesque Savoie region, this hotel opened its 34 rooms and suites in 2006. The facilities include two restaurants, enigmatically named White and 1947. The second, featured in the Michelin Guide with two stars, is overseen by the chef Yannick Alléno.

Le Cheval Blanc Palace

Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives

To the north of Malé, LVMH is currently putting the finishing touches on a new Cheval Blanc hotel, scheduled to open in November 2013. The high-end establishment will have no less than 45 private villas. It is worth noting that to get to the hotel, guests have to ride on a seaplane that was designed for Cheval Blanc.

Samaritaine Cheval Blanc

Cheval Blanc Samaritaine in Paris

In late 2014, LVMH is expected to cut the ribbon on the jewel in its Cheval Blanc crown, to be located in the 1933 Art Deco building of the historic Parisian department store La Samaritaine. The five-star hotel will include 80 suites and rooms as well as a well-being center, the Spa Givenchy. The building, which was in dire need of restoration, will be outfitted with a new façade and hanging gardens on the roof.

Samaritaine terrasse

Cheval Blanc in the Middle East

As far back as 2010, LVMH Hotel Management announced its plans to enter the Middle Eastern market with two sites: Al Sodah in Oman and Amoun at Aswan, in Egypt. The former hotel will take shape on an 11 square kilometer island, while the second will offer 40 rooms, most with a view of the Nile.

Champagne bar White 1921

White 1921 in Saint Tropez, France

LVMH managed the reopening of this boutique hotel in June 2012. Tucked away in the former Maison Blanche hotel on the coastal town’s animated Place des Lices, this hotel includes 8 rooms decorated in contemporary style. There is also a bar and lounge designed by the archtect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, a Mediterranean garden and a champagne cellar.

White 1921 Saint Tropez

1-5 Grosvenor Place

Peninsula Hotels Is Coming To London

1-5 Grosvenor Place

The owner of the Peninsula hotel brand, Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels (HSH), has unveiled plans to launch its first property in London.

An agreement signed with UK-based Grosvenor will see HSH purchase a 50% interest in the central London address, 1-5 Grosvenor Place, and redevelop the site as a Peninsula Hotel.

While specific details about the new Peninsula London have not been released, the property will form part of a new mixed-use development covering more than 6,000m² according to Traveldailymedia.com

The site overlooks London’s Hyde Park and is located opposite the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Shangri La Hotel Qufu

Shangri-La opens at Confucius’ birthplace

Shangri La Hotel Qufu

This summer luxury hotel brand Shangri-La will open the doors to its latest property, erected in the birthplace of Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Designed with Confucian principles in mind, the hotel in Qufu is located two hours from Beijing, within walking distance of the Temple of Confucius, the Mansion of Confucius and the Cemetery of Confucius, and expresses the three key principles of Confucian philosophy — order, harmony and hierarchy.

Sleek, symmetrical Chinese patterns repeated in ceiling reliefs and marble floors, for instance, are meant to convey hierarchy and harmony, while guests are greeted with two full-grown trees planted in the middle of the lobby and lush, green garden pavilions.

Outside, the hotel is supported by eight large pillars and conveys Chinese tradition with pavilion-style porte-cochères covered in red lacquer panels.

The hotel restaurant Shang Palace will serve authentic Cantonese regional cuisines and re-invent recipes from the Kong family, descendants of Confucius.

The 211 guest rooms will open August 1 and feature complimentary WiFi access.

jw marriott marquis miami

JW Marriott debuts new turndown program

jw marriott marquis miami

The JW Marriott hotel chain has revamped the traditional turndown service with a program that includes an organic snack bar, essential oils, and luxury chocolates to replace the classic mint on the pillow.

Designed to help guests relax and rejuvenate while on the road, the Nightly Refresh Program will launch at participating hotels worldwide across the chain this summer.

For the many travelers who have a hard time dozing off in beds other than their own, the service will include an organic “Dream Bar” that could be described as breakfast at midnight.

Instead of chips and nuts, for instance, guests are offered organic oats which aid in the release of serotonin to promote relaxation and help them wind down.

Blueberries are also on the menu to offer a dose of antioxidants, fight off inflammation and replenish the skin during the night. Chia seeds, almonds and coconuts also provide vitamin B6 and fiber.

To recharge and detox, blends of essential oils such as pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berries are offered for baths and showers to help restore balance in tired bodies after a long flight.

Other amenities include wine samples and luxury bonbons from Astor.

Shangri-la Maldives launches private jet services

Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa

The Shangri-La hotel chain is launching a luxury travel package for wealthy Chinese consumers that includes a flight aboard a private jet to one of the most exclusive and remote parts of the Maldives, a favorite destination for affluent holidaymakers in China.

The Shangri-La Private Jet Journey program is billed as a personalized, upscale travel experience that will shuttle guests to the chain’s Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives aboard a Boeing Business Jet.

Though the plane has a capacity for 150 people, the luxury jet has been converted to seat 26 people for a more spacious journey.

Guests will land at the Shangri-La’s privately-owned airport —  the only hotel in the country to boast its own private executive airport terminal —  where they will be greeted by staff who will take them through the check-in process and facilitate their stay.

Amenities at the Villingili resort include a nine-hole golf course and bike tours of the islands. The property itself stretches along a 6-km coastline, with 2 km of fine, white sandy beach.

Guests will alternate their stays between the Water Villas, which are built on top of the resort’s lagoon and offer panoramic views of the ocean, and the Tree House Villas, an adult version of the treehouse.

The luxury travel package is being launched in collaboration with Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency and its top luxury brand HHtravel.

Shangri-La Maldives

Royal Nursery Suite at the Grosvenor House in London

Royal Nursery Suite Grosvenor House

To coincide with the highly anticipated birth of a royal baby this summer, the Grosvenor House in London has converted one of its suites into a luxurious baby nursery, decorated by the same children’s furniture company who designed the nurseries of royal babies William, Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie.

‘Suite dreams’ is fit for mini princes and princesses who may not have official titles, but are no less precious — and with price tags to match. Rates vary between £1,651 – £10,089 ($2,466  – $15,070).

Decorated by Dragons of Walton Street, the suite is inspired by Hyde Park and is an ode to Britannia, with London monuments made into mini, kid-friendly replicas and hand-painted images of one of the most beloved British children’s character, Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit adorning the suite.

Aside from the nursery, the master bedroom is decorated in soft ivory tones to soothe weary parents and features a chaise longue for nursing moms.

Until Sept. 30, families can choose between three packages: the Clarence (1 night), Windsor (2 nights) and the Buckingham (3 nights), which includes transportation to and from the hospital, babysitting services for a night, dinner for two at the JW Steakhouse, and a private visit to Buckingham Palace.

Royal Nursery Grosvenor House London

Shangri-La Hotel Dubai: 10 rooms for just $3

Shangri-La Dubai

Dubai’s Shangri-La hotel is offering guests the chance to book a night in the five-star hotel for Dh10 ($3.00) as part of celebrations to mark the hotel’s tenth anniversary.

The promotional rate will be offered to the first ten guests who reserve a room to stay on July 10 on the hotel’s official website using the special rate code SLDB10ANN.

In addition, children born on July 8, 2003, the hotel’s official opening date, and residing in Dubai may enjoy a complimentary birthday lunch or dinner for a maximum of 10 guests at Dunes Café.

four seasons st petersburg

Four Seasons restores Russian palace in St. Petersburg

four seasons st petersburg

A 19th century Russian palace and St. Petersburg landmark has been restored as a luxury hotel bearing the Four Seasons brand name.

Known as the House with Lions, the palace —  which boasts a colorful history since ground was broke in 1817 — has been renovated to evoke the spirit of Imperial Russia.

After being delayed several times, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace opened its doors yesterday to reveal the laborious restoration efforts made to resurrect the palace’s European-influenced esthetic.

Materials used include neo-classic mahogany, hazelnut and cherry furnishings, black lacquer and chinoiserie motifs from Europe.

Ceilings, granite columns and plaster details of the grand lobby have been preserved and restored, while the showpiece of the palace – the sweeping staircase to the second floor – is also original granite.

Rooms are swathed in luxurious fabrics and materials sourced from Europe such as velvet and silk, while fixtures and bathrooms include marble and granite.

Over the course of two centuries, the House with Lions — named after the two marble lions which stand guard outside the palace — served as the Ministry of War between 1827 to 1917.

Major hotel chains have set their sights on Russia for expansion, particularly with the 2014 Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup 2018 on the horizon.

The Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg-Tchaikovskogo, for instance, is slated to open this fall, and the Sheraton Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Hotel is scheduled to open later this month.

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris receives Palace rating

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau is the latest top-end Paris hotel to receive the prestigious Palace rating — one step higher than five stars — from Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development.

Le Royal Monceau La Cuisine

Located on Avenue Hoche, it has 149 rooms and suites. Its two restaurants, La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio, received Michelin stars earlier this year. It re-opened in 2010 after a two year transformation by Philippe Starck, revealing brilliant, witty contemporary interiors infused with artistic flair.

Le Royal Monceau Carpaccio

The vibrancy of les Années Folles of the late 1920s, when the hotel first opened, peopled by a cast of artists, intellectuals and adventurers, had been successfully recreated.

Le Royal Monceau Presidentielle Suite

Le Royal Monceau is the sixth Paris hotel to receive the rating, the others being the Four Seasons George V, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, the Plaza Athénée, Le Meurice and Le Bristol.

Le Royal Monceau spaLe Royal Monceau Terrace

Mombo Camp

Travel + Leisure’s best hotels in the world 2013

Mombo Camp

Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp emerged the overall favorite in T + L’s 18th annual World’s Best Awards 2013, a ranking of luxury accommodations as voted by readers of the US-based publication.

One of of Mombo’s best-selling assets: a location set within the Moremi Game Reserve which provides one of the best big game viewing vantage points in Africa, say camp operators.

Guests sleep in plush, four-poster beds, have access to both indoor and outdoor showers, and can live peaceably among rhinos, elephants, and game animals which roam freely under their feet beneath raised walkways that connect the private tents to one another.

Little Mombo also features a ‘treehouse-luxe library’ that invites guests to relax with a post-game drive cocktail, editors say.

Other amenities include thatch-roofed living and dining areas as well as a plunge pool. Morning and afternoon game drives also offer frequent sightings of lions, leopards, buffalo, giraffe and zebras.

In addition to offering luxury accommodations in the middle of the African plains, guests can sleep guilt-free as Mombo is powered completely by solar energy. The camp also implemented a rhino conservation project which reintroduced black and white rhinos to the region.

For these and other reasons, readers gave the luxury camp site a top score of 96.6 out of 100.

Meanwhile, though properties listed represent nearly every corner of the world, luxury chains such as the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont, the Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula make repeat appearances throughout the ranking.

Top 10 hotels for 2013

1. Mombo Camp and Little Camp, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
2. Castello di Casole, A Timbers Resort, Casole d’Elsa, Italy
3. Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa
4. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, La Fortuna-Arenal, Costa Rica
5. Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
5. Ritz-Carlton, Berlin (tie)
5. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, North Island, New Zealand (tie)
6. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
7. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park Area, South Africa
8. Singita Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park Area, South Africa

Plaza Athenee exterior

Paris’s Plaza Athenee hotel to close for renovation

Plaza Athenee exterior

The Plaza Athenee hotel near the Champs-Elysees in Paris, one of the top hotels in the French capital, said Wednesday it is to close for seven months starting from October for large-scale renovations.

The 100-year-old five-star establishment joins two other luxury hotels in Paris, the Ritz and the Crillon, that have temporary closed for major repairs amid stiff competition from new Asian-run hotels.

The Plaza Athenee, part of the UK-registered Dorchester Collection group, said the works would focus on expanding into four neighbouring buildings it recently acquired and that it would re-open with 14 new rooms and suites, as well as new conference facilities.

RunWESTIN Concierge

Westin Hotels creates jobs for ‘running’ concierge

RunWESTIN Concierge

Westin Hotels has launched a nationwide search across the US for its first resident running concierge who will hit the pavement leading run groups for guests.

Passionate runners with an appetite for travel are being invited to apply for the RunWestin Concierge position to act as an on-site running expert traveling across the country to help guests prepare for a series of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons throughout the year.

As personal running coach for the North American races, the concierge will engage with fellow runners, share training and race advice, lead warm-up runs and helm social media accounts for the service.

In partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons, the Westin is also offering VIP Marathon packages to its running guests that offer bib pick-up, pre-race pasta dinners, access to the post-race VIP Recovery Tent, and ice bags delivered to their hotel rooms.

The packages are available in race markets including Montreal, Las Vegas and Los Angeles with additional races for 2014. Deadline for the running concierge position is June 30.

Palazzo Versace Dubai

The Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai

Palazzo Versace Dubai

A sprawling, palatial hotel and residence signed by luxury label Versace is set to open its doors next summer in the heart of Dubai.

Specs for the Palazzo Versace Dubai are impressive. Hotel guests and residents will be offered a range of luxury amenities that include a lagoon, sandy beach, waterfront pedestrian promenade, male and female day spa and salon, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and, of course, a Versace boutique.

The property will house 169 condominiums and 214 opulently decorated hotel rooms swathed in rich fabrics and silk, hand-cut marble, bespoke mosaics and hand-drawn, gold-etched vaulted ceilings, all of which have been chosen to evoke European and Italian grandeur.

More than 100 specialists, including top stonemasons and mosaic artists from around the world have been recruited to work on the hotel, 90% of whom are artisans based out of the United Arab Emirates.

The building exterior, meanwhile, evokes Greco-Roman art with a Medusa porte-cochere, elegant pillars and a landscape of water fountains, reflection pools and lagoons.

The Dubai outpost will be the label’s second luxury property in the world after the Palazzo Versace Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, which opened in 2000.