Tag Archives: luxury hotel

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.

Trump Hotel Collection in wellness focus


Trump Hotel Collection is the latest hotel chain to join the health and wellness movement, launching services that offer low-calorie menus and fitness programs that allow guests to work out in their room.

Debuting on Monday, the “Trump Wellness” program rolled out across the brand’s luxury properties in the US, Canada and Panama in partnership with Technogym and sports apparel brand Under Armour, which will provide footwear and workout gear for guests. Pre-loaded iPod shuffles are also available.

Guests who prefer to work out from the comfort of their hotel room can also call upon the concierge to bring up yoga mats, stretch bands, and light weights, while those who want to hit the pavement are offered maps of local running paths mapped by each Trump Hotel Collection property.

The dietary component of the wellness program includes a range of gluten-free, vegan, and organic meals with nutritional information, as well as a Quick Bites menu that offers meals to go in 15 minutes or less. Minibars have also been made over to include healthier snacks.

Where possible, select properties will also be sourcing vegetables, herbs and other ingredients through local farmers and artisanal producers.

Trump Hotel Collection joins a string of other hotel chains that have caught on to the demand for healthy travel, particularly among the business set who are regularly on the road and want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Westin Hotels and Resorts, for instance, will loan guests a pair of New Balance sneakers and workout clothes, and even a ‘running buddy’ who will accompany guests on their run in a foreign city.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas also offers “Stay Well” rooms that include spa menus, wake-up light therapy, air purification and aromatherapy, vitamin C-infused showers and wellness videos from Deepak Chopra.

And Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offers a “Fairmont Fit” program that includes fitness gear, mp3 players, bikes on loan and running clubs.

underwater hotel Maldives

The latest in luxury: Underwater hotels

Water Discus Hotel Maldives

A futuristic-looking luxury hotel made up of spaceship-like discs that recalls Star Trek’s Enterprise is set to be built partially underwater in the Maldives.

The Polish developers of the Water Discus Hotel received the green light last week by the national ministry of tourism to begin construction off the island of Kuredhivaru, where the ambitious underwater project will be built amidst delicate coral reefs in crystal clear waters.

underwater hotel room

The two-part structure caters to guests with different preferences: those who want an underwater marine view of tropical fish and colorful coral, and those who prefer aerial views of their lush, blue-skied surroundings.

Water Discus Hotel at night

Suspended up to seven meters above water on five pillars, the upper deck will house the hotel restaurant, a spa, a rooftop seawater pool and a tropical garden, as well as a helicopter landing pad.

underwater hotel rooftop patio

The lower underwater deck — built up to 30 meters below the surface — will house 21 soundproof guest rooms and the hotel bar as well as a submarine, airlocked dive center that leads divers straight into the ocean. For deep-sea divers, the dive center also includes a decompression chamber.

underwater hotel restaurant

Other water activities include three-passenger submersibles for deep-sea exploration, motor boats, water-skiing, jet skis and underwater scooters. Plans are also afoot to build a similar project in Dubai. No details are available on when the hotel is scheduled to open.

Water Discus Hotel

Meanwhile, the spectacular marine world of the Maldives is the setting for another luxury, underwater restaurant and hotel. Set five meters below the surface of the sea, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel and features 180-degree views of the coral gardens.

underwater hotel

Kingdom Centre Riyadh

Women-only floor opens at Four Seasons Riyadh

Kingdom Centre Riyadh

Luxury property the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh is the latest to open a ladies-only floor designed to put traveling women at ease and make them feel “comfortable and secure.”

Dubbed the “Pearl Floor,” the all-female area is fitted with 20 premium and deluxe rooms, as well as two executive suites.

Staff on the 48th floor, which features an express check-in desk, is likewise male-free, manned with all female workers.

To appeal to the female sensibility, the Pearl Floor Lobby highlights a sweeping staircase, bathroom vanities, fine upholstery and linens.

Female guests will have access to free Wifi, complimentary drinks, a ladies-only gym as well as spa services such as facials, body and hair care products, yoga mats, a healthy, in-room dining menu and personalized welcome kit.

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh Bedroom

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab named best hotel in the world

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

Luxury, sail-shaped hotel the Burj Al Arab in Dubai has snagged the lofty title of being named the best hotel in the world by readers of a travel magazine distributed by The Daily Telegraph.

Announced this week in London, the iconic Dubai landmark beat the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, Raffles in Singapore, Le Touessrok in Mauritius and The Savoy in London to take home the title at the Ultratravel awards 2013.

burj al arab rolls royce

It’s the latest in a string of titles for the property, which has become the standard bearer in the luxury industry for offering services that range from helicopter transfers, 24-hour private butlers and a fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces.

Most recently, the hotel debuted 24-carat gold-plated iPads for use among all their in-house guests as a virtual concierge service.

Burj Al Arab gold ipad

Here are the other winners of the Ultratravel awards for 2013:

Best hotel in Australasia: Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Best hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Le Touessrok, Mauritius

Best hotel in the Americas: Waldorf Astoria, New York

Best hotel in Europe: Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris

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

Best hotel in Asia: Raffles Singapore

About 500,000 copies of the luxury magazine Ultratravel are distributed to readers of The Daily Telegraph.

Royal Suite Burj Al Arab hotel

Burj Al Arab ipad

Dubai hotel to provide guests with gold iPad

Burj Al Arab gold ipad

Guests staying at the iconic, sail-shaped luxury hotel the Burj Al Arab in Dubai are being given 24-carat gold-plated iPads which will serve as their personal virtual concierge for the duration of their stay.

It’s the latest in lavish and — and some might say over-the-top —  hotel perks being launched out of luxury chains looking to raise the bar and seduce the richest and glitziest hotel guests to walk through their lobby doors.

Every in-house guest is being equipped with the loan of a gold-plated iPad which they can use to access guest services, restaurant and spa menus, private dining, butler and housekeeping services.

The gold edition is the second installment in Burj Al Arab’s virtual concierge service. Last October, the hotel premiered 24-carat pink gold iPads in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The gold iPad, created by The Gold & Co. London and embossed with the hotel logo, will also be available for purchase at the Burj Al Arab’s boutique shop for a cool 37,490 AED or €7,930.

Other gold-plated products available include the iPad mini, iPhone 5 and the Blackberry Q10.

Rome Cavalieri hotel

Luxury hotel Rome Cavalieri celebrates 50th anniversary

Rome Cavalieri hotel

This iconic Cavalieri hotel in the Eternal City is celebrating its golden jubilee in a number of different ways.

One of which is the chance to discover this top address for only €50 a night…a deal which goes to the 50th person to book a room any given week.

Starting now and running into August, those who happen to be lucky enough to make a reservation at just the right time will pay just €50 for the night’s stay — even for a Deluxe Room or the Penthouse Suite with its rooftop terrace.

A photo exhibit on the history of the hotel will also be held to fête the big year. Another exhibit shows stills of movie scenes that were shot right there at the hotel on Monte Mario hill.

Also to mark the occasion, the award-winning hotel spa has come up with a special “wellness” package.

The Rome Cavalieri, which opened in 1963, is owned by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts group. It is one of the most luxurious hotels in Rome, boasting an impressive art collection and a plentiful wine cellar with 53,000 bottles.

Rome’s only three-star restaurant is also right inside the hotel. Dinner at La Pergola costs between €125 and €183. For information and reservations: Romecavalieri.com

w hotel taipei

W Hotels to Double Asian Portfolio

W Singapore Sentosa Cove

W Hotels Worldwide unveiled plans to more than double its Asian presence by the end of 2018, bringing its Asian portfolio to nearly 20 W hotels and retreats in nine countries.

More than half of the W brand’s global pipeline is slated for Asia Pacific, including the first W Hotel in mainland China opening in Guangzhou later this month, followed by other China openings in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Suzhou over the next five years. Additional W Hotels have been announced in India, Indonesia and Malaysia. W Hotels recently opened in Singapore and Bangkok.

The W brand entered Asia in 2004 and currently has eight hotels and retreats in seven countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Maldives and Hong Kong.

w hong kong pool

Hoshinoya Karuizawa winter

Top eco-friendly luxury hotels

Laguna Lodge Hotel Guatemala

A resort in Australia that helped bring a species of tree back from the brink of extinction, a lodge in Guatemala that’s completely off the grid, and a Japanese oasis that offers guests luxury eco-tours are being called some of the top, green yet lavish hotel stays in the world.

It sounds like a contradiction in terms: opulent hotels that provide five-star service and amenities while respecting the environment.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa summer pond

But according to Ecoluxhotels.com, helmed by a travel journalist and an environmental consultant, the two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa bedroom

As the world fetes the 43rd edition of Earth Day, globetrotters with deep pockets are encouraged to consider spending their money at eco-responsible properties that offer luxury experiences, guilt-free.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa guestroom

Just an hour outside Tokyo, for example, guests can find a secluded, mountainside spa resort that harnesses the power of the area’s geothermal energy to provide a luxury hot spring experience which is said to have skin-healing properties.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa autumn day

Hoshinoya Karuizawa, styled after traditional Japanese inns or ryokans, also offers guests award-winning eco-tours on foot and on bike that explore bird wildlife sanctuaries in the day, flying squirrels at night, and operates a black bear conservation program.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa dining hall

Similarly, the resort is powered by hydroelectricity generated by the area’s fast-moving streams and rivers in the mountainous surroundings, while foods are sourced from local farmer.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa winter

Here are a few other picks for the greenest luxury hotels in the world, as chosen by Ecoluxhotels.com:

Laguna Lodge, Guatemala

Set in the lush, tropical jungles of Guatemala, the five-star boutique hotel offers sweeping views of Lake Atitlan and a trio of volcanic peaks in the distance.

Laguna Lodge Hotel jaguar suite

Suites are carved out of the area’s volcanic stone, adobe and palm and decorated in indigenous Mayan antiques.

Laguna Lodge Hotel

The lodge is also powered entirely from renewable solar energy and is off-grid, reuses grey water, collects rainwater and grows organic vegetables. Meals are meat-free.


Laguna Lodge Hotel Guatemala pool

The Scarlet, Cornwall

Set along the Cornish coast, the airy, seaside British resort is pitched as an Ayurvedic-inspired spa that tries to echo the rugged surroundings into its design.

Scarlet Hotel England

In addition to offering classes like ‘laughter yoga’, transformational dance, surfing and horse riding, the wellness retreat also offers day-long sustainability courses.

Scarlet Hotel England outdoor

Eco measures include the harvesting of water, the collection of rain water and the use of solar energy.


Scarlet Hotel England room

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort bar

Deep within the Greater Blue Mountains, three hours from Sydney, guests staying at the Wolgan Valley Resort choose from 40 luxury suites styled after traditional, rural Australian homesteads, each with its own private terrace and swimming pool.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort australia

Billed as Australia’s first luxury conservation-based resort, the property is also the first to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral certification through cabonNZero which it’s maintained for three years in a row thanks to its rehabilitation programs and use of renewable energy.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort suite

By the end of last year, more than 200,000 trees were planted in wildlife corridors, for example, including the reintroduction of the Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s rarest trees, which was thought to be extinct.


Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort

Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

A luxury safari sanctuary that promises intimate wildlife encounters with four of the five iconic African land animals, Garonga is glamping at its finest.

Garonga Safari Camp South Africa

Guests stay in spacious, airy tents outfitted with wooden decks, hammocks, large, draped beds and indoor and outdoor showers.

Garonga Safari Camp

Activities include safaris, spa services, wilderness walks, outdoor bush-baths and sleep-outs. Ssustainability measures include the conversion of food and natural waste into natural gas, which is used to power the kitchen stove.

Garonga Safari Camp room

The site also harnesses solar power, harvests grey water and grows its own vegetables while its fleet of vehicles is powered by biodiesel.


Garonga Safari Camp photo

Jumbo Stay in Sweden

Unusual hotel stays around the world

Hotel im Wasserturm

In its list of unique sleeping experiences Hotels.com singled out properties around the world which the site deems to be as memorable as the trip itself.

Featherbed Railroad Company, in Nice, California, for instance, was named for indulging boyish, childhood dreams. Guests have the choice between nine railway cabooses with themes that range from the Orient Express, the Wild Wild West, and Casablanca.

featherbed railroad hotel

Jumbo Stay in Sweden also indulges traveler’s fantasies of joining the mile-high club with all the accoutrements of a plane, but on terra firma. Preserved in its vintage 1970s state, guests stay in one of 25 rooms — one of which includes the cockpit.

Jumbo Stay in Sweden

Sarah Cruise also offers couples the chance to spend the night on the Venetian canal, while Capsule Hotel and Sauna Cosmo Plaza Akabane in Tokyo offers guests an authentic Japanese experience.

Often used by busy Japanese commuters who need a place to crash overnight, travelers crawl into the futuristic, pod-like capsules, not unlike those seen in the Bruce Willis film “The Fifth Element.”

Nagakin Capsule Hotel

Here are other hotel destinations singled out by Hotels.com:

Hotel im Wasserturm, Cologne, Germany

Guests at the Hotel Im Wasserturm stay in a historic German landmark, the biggest water tower of the 1880s.

Hotel im Wasserturm Cologne

Madonna Inn Resort & Spa, San Luis Obispo, California

Rooms at the Madonna Inn take on a wide range of themes which include everything from Antique Cars, Crystal Room, Fabulous Fifties, Jungle Rock and Safari.

Madonna Inn Resort and Spa

Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Shaped like a sail standing erect in the desert, the building has become an instantly recognizable landmark in the city and offers extravagant accommodations and experiences for the deep-pocketed.

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

Dream Cave Pension, Goreme, Turkey

This property capitalizes on the area’s natural rock formations, building rooms out of the region’s fairy chimneys.

Goreme Turkey

Hotel de Crillon nuit

Paris’s landmark Crillon hotel closes for makeover

Hotel de Crillon nuit

The Hotel de Crillon in Paris, one of the world’s oldest luxury hotels, is closing this weekend for a two-year-long makeover that includes a new spa and sweeping renovations.

The stone building was commissioned by French King Louis XV and built in 1758. It is one of two twin buildings overlooking the emblematic Place de La Concorde, where King Louis XVI was guillotined.

The hotel, currently owned by Saudi royals, has attracted celebrity guests over the decades, including Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and Madonna.

The staff took pains to explain that while innovations such as a basement spa were planned, the hotel’s classic look would not be tampered with.

“We will not touch the historic salons on the first floor but we will redo all the 147 rooms, the ground floor and the two inner courtyards,” said Sandrine Daban from the Crillon’s public relations department.


JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Thumb

World’s tallest hotel officially open for business

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Photo

Dubai rolled out the red carpet Wednesday night for a roster of celebrities that included British singer Leona Lewis to help open the tallest hotel in the world.

In a city already oozing with glitz and glamour, the opening party for the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai amped up the voltage escorting 1,200 party guests into the hotel with fire dances and stilt walkers under the constant flicker of flashbulbs.

At just 26 meters shy of the Empire State Building in NYC, the world’s tallest hotel stands at 355 meters (1,175 feet) and consists of twin towers each with 77 floors.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which sits on floors 102-118 of the 1,588-foot International Commerce Centre remains the highest hotel in the world, but the JW Marriott Marquis is the tallest building dedicated entirely to a hotel.

Performances included a headline act by British singer Leona Lewis, while the guest list included appearances by fashion designer Donna Karan, and local celebrities such as singer Salha, the Million Dollar Band as well as TV personality DJ Bliss.

The hotel’s nine restaurants and five bars, which serve a variety of cuisines including Asian-Fusion, Italian, American, German, and steakhouse fare, are now open.

Other Guinness world record holders in Dubai include the Burj Khalifa, which at 828 meters (2,716 feet) is the tallest man-made structure on land, and the Dubai Mall, the largest of its kind in the world.

Plans are also afoot to build the largest Ferris wheel in Dubai, with the Dubai Eye.

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

Admiralty Arch London

Armani to turn Admiralty Arch into luxury hotel

Admiralty Arch London

According to The Daily Mail, Italian fashion house Armani is hoping to turn an iconic London landmark, the Admiralty Arch, into a luxury, £100 million hotel.

The ceremonial entrance from Trafalgar Square to the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace will be transformed into a 100-room hotel designed floor to ceiling by Giorgio Armani if the deal goes through.

After opening properties in Dubai and Milan, Armani has long talked about opening a London outpost of Armani Hotels, toying briefly with the tony neighborhood of Knightsbridge, home to luxury properties like Bulgari, the Berkeley and Mandarin Oriental.

Early indications are that the hotel will be outfitted in sleek marble for the property’s 80 to 100 guestrooms, royal and presidential suites at an estimated renovation cost of £600,000 per room.

The hotel, which is reportedly to open in December, 2015, will house a restaurant and bar and, predictably, an Armani boutique.

Any development plans for a hotel in the century-old edifice, meanwhile, would need to pass security measures given that the arch overlooks Whitehall which is lined with British governmental offices.

London Admiralty Arch

Le bristol hotel eiffel tower

David Beckham to live in luxury suite

David Beckham Paris Saint Germain

After much speculation as to where David Beckham will rest his head every night in Paris, it seems the newest player for Paris Saint-Germain has chosen the luxury Hotel Bristol, a five-star property that sits along one of the ritziest streets in the city.

Le bristol hotel eiffel tower

Beckham will be housed in the largest suite at the hotel at a cost of an estimated €17,000 a night. The hotel bill will be footed by his new team for the next five months.

Le bristol hotel Luxury suite

At 322 square meters, the 4-room Imperial Suite includes a sitting room, 2 bedrooms and a dining area that overlooks the hotel’s French garden and can seat 12 people. Beckham will get ready for his games in a bathroom made of pink Aurora marble, which features a steam shower and bath.

Epicure gastronomic restaurant

The hotel boasts a triple Michelin-starred restaurant — Epicure helmed by chef Eric Frechon. The gastronomic experience, meanwhile, comes in at astronomic prices for many, with the exclusion of superstar athletes with a bevy of endorsement deals.

Epicure chef Eric Frechon

A first course of crispy asparagus velouté or sauce, light zabaglione and black truffle ice cream, for instance, will set you back €95, while macaroni and cheese with black truffle, artichoke, duck foie gras and mature Parmesan cheese costs €92.

Le Bristol Hotel

kuala lumpur skyline

Harrods will open its first hotel in Kuala Lumpur

kuala lumpur petronas

Qatar Holding has recently signed an agreement with Jerantas, a Malaysian company in order to start building a Harrods hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The project is due for completion in 2018 and will take over two parcels of land currently occupied by Chulan Square and Sri Melayu Restaurant. When completed, the integrated development will also feature two residential towers, a retail podium and an office block.

It will be the first of the three Harrods Hotels, as it is scheduled to be completed slightly ahead of its counterpart in London. The third Harrods Hotel will be in Italy.

copacabana palace hotel

Rio’s Copacabana Palace gets a makeover

Copacabana Palace

The Orient-Express group, owner of the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, has spent 20 million dollars on a massive renovation of this luxury Brazilian hotel.

The establishment’s 145 suites and rooms have been remodeled with new furniture and fabrics, giving these intimate spaces a new lease of life.

Most of the bathrooms have undergone an expansion as well as been treated to a new design. They have been fitted with porcelain enamel bathtubs and double countertop wash basins trimmed with marble.

The hotel now also boasts two luxury boutiques — called 1923 and Vila Copa — in which guests can buy clothes, accessories, swimsuits and one-off pieces designed by local and international designers.

Meanwhile, the reception has been enlarged by 80 percent, creating the impression of elegant spaciousness upon guests’ arrival. The stairs, made of Carrara marble, have also been widened.

The restaurant of the Copacabana Palace, The Cipriani, was given a facelift in 2011. Entirely renovated with innovative design elements, the gastronomic establishment reopened in September 2011.

The conclusion of the renovations marks the kick-off of a year of festivities on the occasion of the luxurious Brazilian hotel’s 90th birthday. Prices start at R$1250.00 (US$610) per night.

Copacabana Palace lobby