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Hotel Group

Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

Slated to open later this month, Dakota Manchester is expected to bring a touch of Mayfair to Manchester when it officially opens this month, bringing with it the largest suite in Manchester, a Champagne Room and a Cigar Garden…

Situated on Ducie Street close to Piccadilly Station, Dakota Manchester will transform the city’s skyline, offering a first class service complete with atmospheric spaces, luxurious finishing touches and waterside views.

Following launches in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, the brand is expanding south of the UK with its latest announcement. Dakota Manchester will shelter 137 luxury guestrooms, including 20 plush suites – the most in Manchester. With the aim to establish a new level of service, the hotel focuses on providing an outstanding experience for guests, with features such as The Dakota Grill, a vibrant neighbourhood brasserie, complete with waterside views, which is expected to become the heart of the hotel.

Image credit: Dakota Manchester

Described by the brand as the “glistening jewel in Manchester’s crown” is the penthouse suite. Known as the Grand Deluxe Suite, the piece de resistance will be the largest and grandest suite in the city, the brand says. Offering the ultimate Dakota experience, the Grand Deluxe Suite is positioned on the top floor of the hotel. This standout, instagrammable suite offers both indoor and outdoor space; with a dedicated lounge, dining area, opulent bedrooms, walk-in wardrobe, modern fire place, ensuite bathrooms with steam showers and a sunken bath. Finished off with a private eighth-floor external terrace, with far-reaching views across the city.

Strategically placed to be within minutes of all the action in the city, the new hotel aims to create ripples within the hotel scene. With so much attention on Manchester at the moment, Hotel Designs is preparing to take its Meet Up concept into the core of the hive of activity for Meet Up Manchester, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s rooftop bar. Tickets are still available here.

Main image credit: Dakota Manchester

NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

Slated to open during the third quarter of 2019, NH Collection Fori Imperiali in Rome will become the Group’s sixth property in the Eternal City…

NH Hotel Group is preparing to open its sixth property in Rome this summer, the boutique-style NH Collection Fori Imperiali. The upper-upscale property will be located within a stone’s throw of the city’s most famous historical sites, including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican.

Built in a magnificent palazzo decorated in 19th Century style, within one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the hotel will be infused with the hallmark elegance and sophistication of the NH Collection range.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali will have 42 guestrooms (nine of which will be suites) decorated in a contemporary and luxurious style, with most offering direct views over some of Rome’s most prized archaeological and architectural treasures. The boutique hotel will also feature a rooftop bar on a terrace, from which visitors can admire the Roman Forum and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.

The agreement reached with the owner of the historical palace, in which the hotel is located, will allow NH Hotel Group to fortify its benchmark position in the city’s centre, where it will boast six establishments, of which five will be within the NH Collection brand.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali, which will be operated under a lease regime, consolidates the tremendous growth of the NH Collection brand in Italy where the company has opened 12 hotels under this trademark in the last four years. The opening therefore cements NH Hotel Group’s positioning in the upper-upscale segment in the city of Rome, where it also operates the NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento, NH Collection Roma Centro, NH Collection Roma Giustiniano, NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto and the NH Roma Villa Carpegna. Between them, these establishments offer more than 1,000 rooms located in a range of emblematic buildings which retain their local authenticity and are a source of inspiration for guests looking to discover the ‘eternal city’ from a privileged base.

Main image credit: NH Collection

Rendering of beachside project

Corinthia Hotels to debut in the Middle East

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Corinthia Hotels to debut in the Middle East

Corinthia Meydan Beach Dubai, which is slated to open in 2020, will be Corinthia Hotel’s debut property in the Middle East…

Corinthia Hotels has announced that it will open the brand’s first hotel in the Middle East. Due to launch in 2020, the contemporary beachfront hotel marks the beginning of ambitious expansion plans by the hotel group. Corinthia Meydan Beach Dubai will be located on the prestigious JBR beachfront, reflecting the enriching brand values for which Corinthia is known.

Rendering of beachside project

Working in partnership with Meydan Group, Corinthia Meydan Beach has been designed as a new beachfront resort and destination that will aim to reflect both the bliss of the beach and the excitement of the city.

“The energy, vision and quality of resources assembled for this project by Meydan means that this hotel is in the enviable position of offering the market something fresh and new.” – Matthew Dixon, Area Managing Director Middle East, Corinthia Hotels

Situated within Dubai Marina, overlooking a pristine stretch of white sand, the 55-storey hotel will be home to 360 guestrooms and suites. This beachfront landmark will be complete with cascading infinity pools, the region’s first ESPALife Spa and unforgettable culinary experiences. It’s also intelligently designed for spectacular views across to the Dubai Eye and Palm Jumeirah. Internationally renowned American design professionals AE7 have ensured each detail of the hotel has been meticulously considered to create a tribute to the region’s tradition of architectural grandeur and cultural traditions.

Plush interiors in render

Image credit: Corinthia Hotels

“Corinthia Meydan Beach is an exciting addition to the region’s hospitality landscape, representing both a landmark milestone for us as a brand, and for Dubai,” said Corinthia’s Area Managing Director Middle East Matthew Dixon. “The energy, vision and quality of resources assembled for this project by Meydan means that this hotel is in the enviable position of offering the market something fresh and new; an interpretation of heritage, culture and service values that we feel have not yet been bought to the UAE. We are confident that this property will enhance the Corinthia brand in the region, brilliantly enhancing our existing portfolio.”

The existing Corinthia portfolio features the flagship Corinthia London, as well as award-winning Corinthia Hotels in Budapest, Malta, St Petersburg, Prague, Lisbon, Khartoum and Tripoli. From city-centre hotels to coastal resorts, each one is connected by a strong Corinthia philosophy. Inspired by its Mediterranean, family-run heritage, the brand is dedicated to providing uplifting moments, unforgettable experiences and exquisite service.

Main image credit: Corinthia Hotels

Laura Ashley guestroom

Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

The Chace Hotel, in Coventry, will after major refurbishment become a Laura Ashley Hotel…

Laura Ashley Hotels today announced it is expanding its portfolio with the addition of The Chace Hotel, in Coventry.

The 66-key hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment to bring it in line with Laura Ashley brand standards. The elegant new interiors will showcase the Laura Ashley Home range and its exquisite, high-quality inherently British fabrics and furnishings throughout.

Laura Ashley guestroom

The Chace Hotel is a striking example of Victorian architecture, surrounded by three acres of attractive landscaped gardens. Original features of the building, such as the ornate fireplace and mullioned windows, create a sense of grandeur in the oak-panelled reception area. The grand sweeping staircase leads upstairs to the new beautifully designed Laura Ashley bedrooms.

The deluxe Laura Ashley bedrooms are designed to infuse a sense of tranquillity and with an effortless style, drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Victorian heritage. Carefully selected colours and fabrics complement each other to create an elegant space in which to relax and unwind. Classic Laura Ashley design adorns every surface, from plush cushions and floor-to-ceiling drapes to statement lighting and stylish mirrors.

The portfolio, which also includes The Belsfield Hotel, Windermere, and is soon to include Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, aims to offer guests an authentic home from home experience against the backdrop of the Laura Ashley Home range in characterful properties in the UK.

Chris Bowron, Hotel Manager of The Chace Hotel, said: “We’re delighted that The Chace Hotel will be joining the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio. A thorough refurbishment is underway using the Laura Ashley Home collection’s beautiful range of décor, fabrics and soft furnishings. It is an exciting time for the hotel, and we are excited to offer our guests a whole new experience.”

The Chace Hotel is already home to the Laura Ashley The Tea Room, which opened in October 2018 and is the newest addition to the tea room portfolio.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts opens 40th property

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Deyaar Development and Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA open Millennium Atria Business Bay…

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa (MEA) – one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the region, has opened its 40th property, the Millennium Atria Business Bay, which will serve a growing hospitality and tourism sector.

The first phase of the opening will cover 156 apartments out of the hotel’s total 347 units, which comprise studio, one, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Other Hotel Serviced Apartment facilities, such as the Laguna Restaurant, Grab and Go, Podium Terrace and Kids Club, the fitness center and the infinity pool on 25th floor will be available for guests during their stay.

Image credit: Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Developed by Deyaar Development PJSC, one of the UAE’s leading real estate development and property management companies, the Millennium Atria Business Bay features well-designed studios, one, two, three -bedroom units, penthouses, as well as duplex apartments designed by YOO Studio, the internationally-acclaimed interior design company founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck.

The 30-storey Millennium Atria Business Bay hotel apartment tower, will be managed by Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA and is the first property in Deyaar’s hospitality portfolio.

Kevork Deldelian, Chief Operating Officer of Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa, says, “The opening of the Millennium Atria Business Bay reflects our strong and long-term commitment to the UAE’s hospitality sector, where we are expanding our footprint very fast.”

“We are proud to see Deyaar’s first hospitality project commence its operations,” Selim El Zein, Assistant Vice President – Hospitality at Deyaar, said. “This opening shows commitment to our vision to diversify our real estate portfolio, as well as the returns for our investors, to complement the value-added services Deyaar offers. Millennium Atria Business Bay will be a landmark in Dubai’s strong hospitality sector.”

Christian Palacin, General Manager of the Millennium Atria Business Bay, says, “Business Bay is a very popular place for people to live and work and our property enjoys the ideal location for business as well as for leisure clients. Millennium Atria Business Bay offers the largest apartments in the area with a unique design and all the modern technology.  Besides, its opening could not have come at a more appropriate time – ready to serve the increased number of tourists ahead of the Expo 2020.”

Dubai was named as the seventh most-visited city in the world in 2018, ranked by Euromonitor International. According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai’s tourism sector was worth Dh109 billion in 2017.

In the first half of 2018, Dubai received 8.1 million tourists, with India, Saudi Arabia and the UK remaining the top markets. The city’s hotel inventory stood at 111,317 rooms in the first half of 2018, up 7 per cent on the same period last year. Occupied rooms nights increased from 14.53 million to 14.97 million.

Main image credit: Millennium Hotels & Resorts

The Indian Hotels Company Limited expands presence in Goa

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The Indian Hotels Company Limited has recently signed two new hotels in Goa…

South Asia’s largest hospitality company, the Indian Hotels Company Limited, has signed a management contract for two hotels in Goa, adding 506 rooms to its pipeline. The company will take over the management of the legendary 207 key Cidade de Goa which will form a part of the new SeleQtions portfolio – a named collection of hotels and resorts with a distinct character. An additional 299 rooms which are under construction, will be added to the same complex under the Taj brand scheduled to open by the end of this year.

Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said “IHCL has a special relationship with the state of Goa since 1974 when Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, India’s first beach resort opened its doors and firmly established Goa on the global map. Iconic properties like Cidade de Goa under a management contract with Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd., promoted by the illustrious Timblo family will further strengthen IHCL’s position as the most iconic and profitable hospitality company.”

Both the hotels will be located at the same site at Vainguinim beach in the vicinity of Dona Paula in Goa. Cidade de Goa, designed by Charles Correa with its distinctive old-world charm, often known as one of Goa’s best kept secrets will be the first hotel to join IHCL’s SeleQtion’s portfolio as of April 2019. The Taj branded 299 room hotel will have a contemporary design with floor to ceiling glass windows offering superb sea views. The hotel will boast of extensive conferencing facilities with the largest convention hall in Goa, measuring approximately 1200 square meters. It will have several dining options including an all-day diner, speciality restaurants and bars. It is slated to open in early 2020.

Commenting on the partnership, Mrs. Anju Timblo, Managing Director, Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd. said, “We are very excited with our partnership with IHCL, with its highly recognized portfolio of brands. With this association, Cidade de Goa and the new development will achieve its full potential and pave the way for a successful and mutually beneficial collaboration for many years to come. Together with IHCL, we look forward to promoting the ‘Goan-ness’ of Goa.”

Goa is home to six existing IHCL branded hotels with another three under development, offering something unique for every traveller.

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

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The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to arrive in Okinawa, Japan

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Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, which will shelter 120 guestrooms and suites, is expected to complete in 2023…

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Berjaya Okinawa Development Co. Ltd. (“Berjaya Okinawa”) have announced its new development on the island of Okinawa. The project will debut as part of the development’s master plan as Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa.

Comprising a total of 100 acres (more than 40 hectares) of beachfront, the project site is located along the western coast of the island, approximately 31 miles (50 kilometres) northeast of Naha International Airport, with easy access by highway from the airport and close to tourist attractions. The Resort will comprise 30 acres (12 hectares) of the project development land area, with 120 hotel rooms, 120 residences and 40 villas. The project is expected to take approximately four years to complete with a total development cost of USD 400 million and estimated gross development value of USD 1 billion.

“Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is another iconic project in Japan for the Berjaya Group, emulating the success of Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Kyoto, which officially opened in December 2016,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan (“TSVT”), Founder and Executive Chairman of BCorp. “I am sure that with the prestigious Four Seasons branding and management, along with its strategic location in central Okinawa, the hotel will be one of the best on the island of Okinawa.”

“We are proud to continue our successful partnership with Berjaya Group with another exceptional project in Japan, extending our presence in the region and offering both guests and residents more chances to experience Four Seasons,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with Berjaya, we will not only create the very finest resort and residences of the highest quality, but will also offer a level of unparalleled service, one that is synonymous with the name Four Seasons around the globe.”

The master plan for Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, including planning and landscape architecture, is developed by internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm EDSA Inc, and world-renowned Japanese architects Kengo Kuma and Kuniken will serve as joint architects of the project. Kengo Kuma’s work has been internationally acknowledged and he was chosen to design Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games recently; and Kuniken is the largest architecture firm in Okinawa.

The vision is to create a destination that portrays the cultural heritage of Okinawa island along with its natural landscape and resources. The Resort will be anchored by a resident beach club nestled on the east side, where guests as well as the homeowners will be able to access the natural beach. Additionally, the low-density layout of the resort will also allow guests and homeowners to access every amenity by foot, bicycles or golf carts. The resort facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, specialty dining and lounge, retail shops and recreation facilities, as well as public grounds and gardens.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

IHG unveils five-year expansion plan for Kimpton Hotels

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Outlook for the luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels, is at its strongest in its 38-year history with more than 25 hotels under development…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced plans to open more than 25 Kimpton Hotels properties across 20 new global destinations including Mexico City, Paris, Barcelona, Bali and Shanghai, in the next three to five years.

Founded in 1981 in San Francisco by Bill Kimpton, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ heartfelt approach to hospitality has translated to unique, design-led hotels across city centers, beachside resorts, mountain getaways, and more. Since acquiring the brand in 2015, IHG has driven Kimpton’s global growth beyond the U.S. IHG has opened the first Kimpton® hotel in the Caribbean, Kimpton® Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman; the first hotel outside of the Americas, Kimpton® De Witt in Amsterdam and debuted in the UK with a flagship property for the brand, Kimpton® Fitzroy London. The brand continues to grow and is set to make its debut in a suite of new markets around the world from Germany to Grenada, Indonesia, Spain and China.

“With IHG’s scale and network of owner relationships, we’ve unlocked the global growth of Kimpton Hotels & Resorts,” said Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG. “We’ve seen incredible interest from hotel owners around the world, as well as from guests who can now experience the heartfelt service Kimpton is so famous for in new and exciting destinations. We have flagship hotels now open in London and Amsterdam, a series of fantastic hotels slated to open this year including our first in Asia, and a growing pipeline of projects in key markets around the world.”

Upcoming marquee hotel openings include:

Kimpton Da An Hotel – Taipei, Taiwan

Poised for a Spring 2019 unveiling, Kimpton Da An is an urban sanctuary in the heart of Taipei, bridging the historic ZhongShan and DaTong districts with the modern, upscale Xinyl district. The hotel’s interior design will celebrate the area’s heritage with artistic modernity and traditional craftsmanship. Expect lush botanicals, light-filled spaces and a restaurant – The Tavernist, offers playful modern cuisine led by former Noma Chef, James Sharman.

 Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel – Edinburgh, Scotland

Opening in Spring 2019, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel will consist of seven interconnected Georgian-style townhouses that blend traditional glamour with modern-day Scotland. Overlooking a beautiful private garden square, located in the heart of the city center, everything from the glass-topped central courtyard to the locally-loved Middle Eastern restaurant provides an ideal haven in the Scottish capital.

 Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort – Grenada, Caribbean

Marking Kimpton’s second Caribbean resort and slated to open in early 2020, Kimpton Kawana Bay will be a 220-room luxury hillside retreat located between tropical rainforest cliffs and the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach. All rooms feature spectacular ocean views and a number of suites will have private pools. The name of the resort itself, Kawana Bay, pays homage to the area’s native leatherback turtles, named “Kawana” – a fixture on the Spice Island.

 Kimpton Bali – Bali, Indonesia

The natural beauty of the Nusa Dua coastline and lush volcanic hillsides make for a perfect backdrop to Kimpton Bali, opening in 2020. Here, 50 luxury villas serve as a lifestyle sanctuary that will embrace local Balinese culture while delivering a genuine experience on the Island of the Gods.

These openings reflect the opportunity across the boutique hotel sector, which is among the fastest growing in the industry. Together with Hotel Indigo®, IHG’s boutique portfolio totals almost 170 hotels globally, with nearly 120 more hotels in the development pipeline.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels. Photography: Laure Joliet

Meliá Hotels International’s INNSiDE announces brand relaunch

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To cater to millenials’ evolving lifestyle, Spain’s largest hotel brand, Meliá Hotels International, has announced a brand launch for INNSiDE in 2019… 

At the Spanish International Tourism Fair, FITFUR, Melia Hotels Internaitonal announced that it will rebrand INNSiDE to bring a stronger leisure and wellness offering to its portfolio.

With the reinvention of INNSiDE, the Spanish hotel brand is preparing to adapt its business strategy to captivate the younger generation of business and leisure travellers, taking the brand from urban into resort destinations.

Meliá Hotels International is the only group out of the 20 leading global hotel companies that was initially founded in leisure, and 50 per cent of its business remains in the resort sector. The group has recognised an opportunity to target millennials in the mid-scale lifestyle category by expanding into resort-led destinations, where the lines between work and leisure are becoming more fluid. Consumers are looking for flexibility and freedom when they travel, and ultimately hotel brands that fit seamlessly with their lifestyle.

“Relaunching in 2019, INNSiDE by Meliá will offer a range of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels.”

INNSiDE will boast 22 hotels, with plans to expand into resort locations in Europe and Indonesia, including Fuerteventura, Mallorca and Bali, as well as urban locations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Relaunching in 2019, INNSiDE by Meliá will offer a range of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure. The brand will focus its strategy on sustainability, holistic bleisure, music and local culture, to introduce initiatives that target millennials. The properties will provide a space and place that embraces the local culture and creates environments where guests can work, workout, rest and play. To encourage them to discover new neighbourhoods, guests will have access to INNSiDE city guides, with local sights and wellness tips.

INNSiDE by Meliá is set to be a flagship for sustainability for Meliá Hotels International. The new brand will use recyclable materials throughout properties, work with hyper-local suppliers and guarantee no single-use plastic. The launch of the refreshed INNSiDE at FITUR features #TheArtofECO, an art installation by sustainable Spanish artist Jorge Penadés. The installation has been created entirely from plastics collected from guests at INNSiDE Palma Bosque, supplemented by additional plastics contributed by attendees of FITUR.

The lifestyle hotels will provide spaces to disconnect and rest body and mind, with state-of-the-art fitness suites, the latest digital fitness software and on-site swimming pools. Daily Yoga classes will be available at beach locations and weekly at urban locations. DJs will play throughout the lobby and poolside, from noon to night.

Rooms will be renovated to provide cosy in-room amenities, including bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer. Smeg fridges will be available to Superior+ guests, packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area. Guests will be able to relax in a hammock in resort locations or a hanging chair in urban destinations.

To read Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with the Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer Jaumeclick here

Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International/INNSiDE

Hyatt Regency opens its first hotel in Ethiopia

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Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa opens in Ethiopia following the brand’s aim to strengthen its presence in Africa… 

Following Hilton Hotels’ announcement to double its footprint of hotels in Africa within the next five year, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening the brand’s first Hyatt-branded hotel in Ethiopia and its seventh in Africa.

The 188-key Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, which is centrally located on the famous Meskel Square, features carefully designed areas throughout and is complete with a total of six dining outlets.

“We are excited to celebrate the opening of Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa and to introduce the brand to Ethiopia,” said Heddo Siebs, general manager, Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa. “We are confident that our loyal World of Hyatt members and global travelers will feel welcomed the moment they arrive and we look forward to serving them delicious blends of local flavors, while also offering an array of live entertainment.”

The 188 spacious guestrooms include 12 luxury Regency suites, two Executive suites, one Presidential suite and one Royal Presidential suite with four bedrooms. Regency Club room and suite guests can enjoy complimentary use of the boardroom and exclusive access to the Regency Club lounge.

wooden ceilings shelter a luxury dining area compltee with art on walls and soft, comfortable seating

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

With six restaurants and bars to choose from, the hotel offers something for every taste. Guests can enjoy delicious Levantine signature meals in the hotel’s The Kitchen or a wide array of coffees and cocktails in Cascara Coffee & Cocktails, while taking in the stunning courtyard views. For business meetings, The Lobby Lounge allows guests to indulge in fresh fruit and delicious pastries from The Market. The hotel also features a Pool Bar and Lounge overlooking the inner courtyard. The Oriental serves western style barbeque and fine Asian cuisine in a casual yet contemporary setting. In addition, The Metro Bar, located in the basement, offers live music.

Guests wishing to relax and revitalise can visit the outdoor pool or enjoy a massage at the spa. The 2,530 square foot (235 square meter) fitness center will provide the perfect workout with state-of-the-art equipment.

The 18,300 square feet (1,700 square meters) of flexible meeting space overlooking the legendary Meskel Square leads to the open air inner courtyard of the hotel. The magnificent Regency Ballroom adjoining the courtyard offers the best setting for memorable occasions. Further, the hotel features multi-functional meeting spaces equipped with high-tech audiovisual and lighting equipment, making Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, according to the brand, the best place for any occasion.

Africa’s hotel pipeline

In June 2018, it was reported that the total number African hotels in the pipeline was 281 projects/45,555 rooms, which was up 21 per cent by projects YOY. In Africa, there are 127 projects/21,233 rooms under construction, up one per cent by projects YOY. Those scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months were at 79 projects/11,954 rooms, up a whopping 65 per cent, while projects that were in early planning stood at 75 projects/12,368 rooms are up 29 per cent.

In Conversation With: COO and Partner of luxury hotel group LHM

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Hans Joerg Meier the COO and Partner of LHM to discuss regional differences, design ethos’ and the challenges that come with setting up a new luxury hotel group…

With a new hotel about to open just over the horizon, which will add to the LHM (Legian Hotel Management) portfolio, the luxe hotel group is starting to find its bare-foot luxury feet in the international hotel design sands. Currently based in Indonesia with plans to expand across the globe, its ambition to “raise expectations of what a holiday can be” has been set in stone by the COO and co-founder Hans Joerg Meier. As its next hotel, The Legian Sire, Lombok, prepares for a Q1 2019 Launch, we caught up with Joerg Meier to find out  what the future for the hotel group looks like.

Hamish Kilburn: What has LHM identified as differences in markets between Indonesia and Europe?
Hans Joerg Meier: Travellers from Europe are seeking an authentic Indonesian/Balinese cultural experience – the warm and sincere service/hospitality. Furthermore, European guests want to travel around the island, visiting temples, renowned rice paddies, tasting local cuisine and attending cooking classes. Many are also keen to attend/participate in a local ceremony. Our regular guests from the local Indonesian market are very familiar with Bali/Seminyak where The Legian is located, and most seek a getaway to relax in the hotel from the pressures of their working lifestyle. They come to wine and dine and visit friends. This pattern is also similar with our regional markets from Hong Kong and Singapore. Both European and Indonesian markets are very interested in our wellness programs and following this we have recently launched a new wellness concept ‘Wellness by the Legian’ which will be available in all LHM hotels.

HK: There seems to be a lot of emphasis on experiences when it comes to luxury travel. Is the experience more important than the product these days? 
HJM: I am of the opinion that both are equally important. A good product is imperative and superior guest experiences personifies the product and vice versa. They synergize each other and are essential for the luxury traveller.

Image caption: Legian Seminyak, Bali

HK: Can you explain the design ethos of LHM properties?
HJM: Each LHM property is/will be exquisitely crafted by renowned architects and interior designers as well as legendary local artisans. This will reflect the sophisticated taste of our refined clientele who will feel right at home within LHM’s exceptional natural timeless surroundings, each one tastefully and utterly unique in their style.

HK: What are the main challenges for a new hotel group in today’s hotel landscape?
HJM: The main challenges include coming up with unique selling/marketing ideas which clearly differentiate the brand from the many competitors. It is also important to have a clear strategy in place and stick to it, not to follow every single trend, but rather create a bespoke experience. New hotel groups need to have a solid structure in place which allows the brand to expand on firm grounds without becoming too corporate. The key element is to form a strong team and nurture talents to take on more responsibility and to fully embrace the culture of the company. It is important that the team truly understands and is passionate about the brand so the company can successfully expand in the right direction. People are key in our industry as every guest interaction is vital.

Image caption: The site at Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: How did the management team come together?
HJM: Our first property, The Legian, Seminyak Bali has been owned by the Djohan’s family since the opening in 1996. Irma Djohan, The youngest daughter of Robby and Nanan Djohan, has a career in banking and at the same time was mentored by her father to eventually become a partner at LHM. Ralf Ohletz von Plattenberg was working for Adrain Zecha at Aman and GHM for over 30 years and was part of the team who setup The Legian. As for myself, I was working with GHM, who managed The Legian, for 15 years. Therefore, Irma, Ralf and myself knew each other. When the late Robby Djohan decided to start his own management company, he brought the 3 of us together help him form LHM, based on our diversified backgrounds.

Image credit: Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: The team clearly has a lot of experience in luxury. What key elements have you taken from Como, Peninsula and Aman to make LHM truly luxurious?
HJM: The LHM team have utilised their experience to create LHM’s own bespoke luxury key elements. LHM balances authentic unsurpassed service within captivating environments of exquisite craftsmanship reflecting the sophisticated lifestyle and intellectual curiosity of our guests. Every LHM property reflects its location, culture and people and does not wish to be a ‘cookie cutter’ brand. The one main key element I have taken from all my experience is that the people are key to creating a truly memorable and luxurious experience.

HK: How important is location when expanding a luxury hotel portfolio?
HJM: Location is important not just for each individual property but expansion should be based on a strategic plan. Some destinations may complement each other which can be of great advantage to boost occupancy. LHM’s 5 year business plan focussed on Indonesia and South East Asia which allows us to streamline efforts and keep operations efficient.

Ikos Resorts begins construction on €150 million development project

Hamish Kilburn

The resort will be the company’s fifth property in the Ikos Resort portfolio and first outside of Greece, slated to complete construction in 2020… 

Ikos Resorts has announced its move full speed ahead with the construction of Ikos Andalusia, having recently celebrated the cornerstone laying ceremony at the hotel. Located in Estepona, the €150 million development will be the group’s fifth resort and its first outside of Greece, opening its doors in May 2020.

Construction of Ikos Andalusia started on November 15 with the placing of the first stone and will complete in March 2020. Once the works are complete, the resort will initiate a pre-opening period during April and will start welcoming guests in May 2020.

The objective of the company is to position Ikos Andalusia as a benchmark for excellence in the luxury all-inclusive resorts sector in Spain, bringing its award-winning* Infinite Lifestyle experience to the Costa del Sol.

Ikos Resorts announced the acquisition of the current Costa del Sol Princess hotel in Estepona in the first quarter of 2018. The brand will invest a total of €150 million in the reconstruction of the current building and its adaptation to the product and service standards of Ikos Resorts.

“We are also delighted to be transforming the existing property into a world-class premium resort, adding further to the proven success story of Ikos Resorts, while investing further in beautiful Estepona and this magnificent region, said  Dr. Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group. By offering premium holiday experiences to international luxury travelers we aim to contribute in Estepona’s development as a top luxury tourism destination worldwide”.

The ceremony of the first stone was attended by different representatives of the company at an international level – Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group; Luis Herault, CEO of Ikos Iberia, as well as local and regional authorities, who wanted to support the presentation of a project that will constitute as a milestone in the tourism transformation process in the region.

“Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites.”

José María Urbano, Mayor of Estepona, thanked Ikos Resorts for investing in Estepona and expanding the city’s tourism offering.  “We are convinced that this new high-end resort will strengthen Estepona’s touristic brand in the international markets, while promoting employment and the revitalization of the economic sectors linked to tourism”, he said.

On another note, Luis Herault, Chief Executive Officer of Ikos Iberia, commented: “With Ikos Andalusia, we will contribute to further develop Estepona as a high end destination by offering world class service excellence and individual unique Ikos touches such as the Dine-Out Service, which includes selected restaurants from the surrounding area in our offer to our guests, the Local Discovery complimentary drive around experience promoting interesting destination experiences, sourcing local produce, the Ikos Green initiatives and recruiting approx. 60% of the minimum of 635 jobs required, from the local community.”

Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites. In addition, the new resort will house seven restaurants, top-level sports facilities, a theatre, 3,100 square meters of heated and outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. It will also offer Ikos Deluxe Collection, an exclusive service meticulously created for the most discerning guests, offering a wide range of privileges and services including the use of reserved pool and beach areas.

“There’s no place like home,” or not according to latest survey

Hamish Kilburn

Gen z (18 – 24-year-old) travellers have visited more places overseas than UK destinations, a recent survey reveals…

Travellers aged 18-24 have visited more overseas destinations in the last five years than they have in the UK, according to a new study by Best Western Great Britain, suggesting that more attention needs to be made into the design direction – and facilities – of hotels in Britain.

The research explored UK travel trends, revealing the holiday habits of the nation and the main influences on their choice of holiday destination.

The study found that people between 18 and 24 years old have seen more destinations abroad than they have in the UK. This generation, on average, has visited four places overseas, while only visiting two locations in their home country.

It’s not all bad for Blighty though. In general, one in four people surveyed (25 per cent) say they have visited three UK destinations in the past five years, whilst a similar amount (24 per cent) said that they haven’t visited any overseas destinations, indicating that UK tourism is still alive and well, despite global travel taking priority among younger travellers.

People aged over 55 years are the most likely to have not visited a destination abroad in the last five years (29 per cent). This decision could be down to the price difference between a UK and international break, with this age group stating price as the main influence that persuades them to visit a UK tourist destination.

The research also explored Brits’ major motivations for choosing their holiday destination. Over half (57 per cent) of those in Yorkshire stated that they are most influenced by price when considering a vacation – just higher than the national average of 54 per cent.

The top 10 influences on booking a UK break are:

  • Price (54 per cent)
  • Attractions/landmarks (52 per cent)
  • Views (49 per cent)
  • Hotels / accommodation (39 per cent)
  • Weather (39 per cent)
  • Food and drink (29 per cent)
  • Culture (23 per cent)
  • Accessibility i.e. good transport links (22 per cent)
  • Proximity to home (19 per cent)
  • Nostalgia (19 per cent)

Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, said: “It was fascinating to learn which factors Brits consider the most when choosing where to travel.

“Sometimes we can be guilty of prioritising overseas travel and forgetting about the wonderful places closer to home. Staycations allow you to get away and explore our beautiful country, without the usual high costs and stress of travelling abroad. There is more to explore in Great Britain so for your next holiday, why not consider visiting some of our own brilliant destinations?”

The survey launches after another study concluded that 95 per cent of travellers would, these days, rather spend money on a luxury experience rather than a luxury product. 

Main image credit: Pixabay

IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

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HD

IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

World’s first IHG voco™ opens on Australia’s famed Surfers Paradise on Gold Coast…

Following the exclusive unveiling of the new branding just five months ago, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the first hotel globally for its new upscale hotel brand: voco™. Owned by Australian property investment firm SB&G Group and located on the shores of the Gold Coast, voco™ Gold Coast is now open for guests to soak up the sun, sand and sea in Australia’s beloved Surfers Paradise.

voco™, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The public spaces of voco™ Gold Coast emphasise this social element, fittingly named Social House Café, which collectively houses a bar and lounge within the venue, offering a space for everyone.

The 389-key property is situated in the heart of Australia’s iconic Surfers Paradise precinct and steps away from Queensland’s famous beaches. The hotel offers all the features that guests can expect from the upscale voco™ brand including two swimming pools, gym facilities, L’Aqua Day Spa, 800sqm of meeting space and expansive views of both the ocean and hinterland. Multiple dining options are also available in the hotel’s three unique restaurants – Waves, Clifford’s Grill & Lounge and Social House – all designed to offer vibrant social experiences for voco™ guests to enjoy.

“voco™ Gold Coast also offers several exclusive features that sets it apart from existing hotels.”

“IHG launched the voco™ brand in June in Australia, we are so pleased to see the brand’s momentum continue here with the first opening in the iconic Gold Coast with long standing partner, SB&G Group,” said Kenneth Macpherson, CEO EMEAA, IHG. “voco™ delivers a guest experience that stands out, with touches of charm and memorable, distinctive and dependable hallmarks.”

voco™ Gold Coast also offers several exclusive features that sets it apart from existing hotels, starting with their onsite beehives, producing honey for various uses throughout the hotel. The strong sustainability focus also promises refillable dispensers for products such as soap, along with a high-end Aveda amenity and an initiative with Gold Coast City Council to ensure all kitchen waste is recycled.

The voco™ Gold Coast signing was announced by IHG and owners SB&G Group in June 2018, coinciding with the global launch of the voco™ brand.  With six signings to date, in addition to the four properties that will rebrand as part of the UK portfolio deal, there are expected to be more than fifteen signings in total for the brand by the end of 2018. These include three signings in Australia, in Victoria’s wine region, Yarra Valley and in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling CBD as well as a number of properties in the UK. The opening of voco™ Gold Coast will be quickly followed by hotel openings in Solihull and Cardiff in the UK.

We are proud to be the first owner of a voco™ branded hotel in the world and to have worked closely with IHG to bring this new brand and service culture to the Gold Coast,” said Paul Salter, SB&G Group Managing Director.

IHG currently has 48 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, with another 22 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and voco.

Is this hotel group changing the face of tourism?

Hamish Kilburn
Family-run hotel group Zafiro Hotels believes that its fresh look and ‘freedom of choice’ is changing the face of tourism…

A new hotel brand set in the heart of the Balearics has re-invented itself with a fresh look and a new ‘freedom of choice’ approach. Representing the concept of authenticity and broad range of accommodation, opportunities and experiences, the family-run Zafiro Hotels believes that real luxury means something different to everyone – therefore an ideal holiday should include an offering for every one of its guests.

Junior Suite at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Image caption: Junior Suite at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Run by families, for families, Zafiro Hotels is based on three generations of an extraordinary Spanish family, who are the foundation and heart of the hotels. Comprising of two five-star hotels, the Zafiro Palace Palmanova and Zafiro Palace Alcúdia. Both of the properties were designed by local Mallorcan designer Marga Rotger, blending seamlessly with outstanding service and a warm welcome.

Spanish for Sapphire, Zafiro Hotels is much like the sparkling gemstone – its hotels are multi-faceted and special, surrounded by awe-inspiring shades of blue. Embracing a modern vision and a new outlook drawn from the determination and insight of the two sisters at the helm, Zafiro Hotels offers creativity and thoughtful touches in its design.

Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Image credit: F&B interiors at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

“As a new brand to the Balearic Islands, our goal is to develop the hospitality offering across the four and five-star sector of the industry,” said director of marketing, Tobias Neumann. “With a modern approach that looks to the future whilst engaging with locality, our hotels adapt themselves to welcome a variety of guests from multi-generational families to romantic couples with innovative design and dynamic experience to satisfy all.”

Suites and rooms boast private pools, swim up pools, and several boast rooftop Jacuzzis, overlooking lush, well-kept gardens, natural landscapes and a turquoise blue sea. Suites are stylish and modern, contemporary, warm and light-filled, steeped in Mediterranean elegance.

Profile image of Ronald Homsy

In Conversation With: Ronald Homsy, CEO and co-founder, Utopian Hotel Collection

800 473 Hamish Kilburn

Concluding our month of focusing the lens on Hotel Concepts, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn puts Ronald Homsy under the spotlight to learn more about how he plans to make the world see luxury hotels for the experiences they shelter…

In a quiet café just off London’s Sloane Square, which is a pleasant experience itself, something amazing is happening: I am about to meet one of the men behind a new hotel collection that inspires through one-off experiences. The sharp-looking businessman approaches my table and takes off his tailored blazer and rolls up his sleeves to shake my hand, which breaks down all formal barriers. The CEO and co-founder of Utopian Hotel Collection, Ronald Homsy, sits down comfortably and starts to share what I can tell has been a driving passion of his for years.

We start talking about locations as we constantly refer to them as playgrounds that need exploring. It becomes clear that finding the hotels for Ronald’s newly launched collection is half the fun – or battle depending on how to you look at it. “We find our hotels on the basis of five principles. They are story of everything, unexpected adventure, people-to-people service, technology and the playful character,” he explains. “In addition to that, though, we want to find hotels that have unique characteristics, which of course can come from the design.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald’s looking for unexpected gems.”

Ronald assures me that a hotel cannot be a member of Utopian Hotel Collection if there isn’t something exquisite about the design. Having previously read how he has worked in the restaurant and club scene before, it strikes me that Ronald is not unfamiliar of good design that works, or luxury for that matter. “Sometimes design works best when there is no design,” he says drawing me in as I am a sucker for minimalism. “A lot of our hotels within our brand are actually old buildings and they have something authentic about the interiors. To disrupt that would be wrong, so instead we aim to elevate it.” It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald is looking for unexpected gems. Portugal’s São Lourenço Do Barrocal is a great example of this as it combines understated luxury with the simplicity of farm life and is one of the 25 hotels that the brand has securely under its umbrella.

Clean, fresh interiors

Image caption: Sleek interiors at São Lourenço Do Barrocal

Ronald and his business partner Paul Cordier became friends 25 years ago at school where they both studied hotel management together. When working as hoteliers, they saw an opportunity in the bustling international hotel market. In 2014, the entrepreneurial spirit in them led them to spot the interesting gap for the need for a brand to be built around hotel experiences in 2014. “Travellers have changed,” Ronald says. “We realised that, all of a sudden, there was a huge desire to spend more money on experiences rather than physical products. On the hotel side, independent hotels needed solutions and advice.”

Helping hotels do better on all levels, the collection to me feels like an older, wiser and perhaps more knowledgeable brother who will help guide its siblings through life spotting and taking advantage of opportunities.

Green hotel courtyard

Image caption: Marbella Club

Ronald strikes me as a man who listens in business, which is fresh, as he asks me my thoughts on whether I have come across any areas or hotels that slot in line with Utopian Collection. “Have you heard of Nevis,” I spill, almost interrupting his question. I explain how on the untouched Caribbean island, with no building is taller than a palm tree, is somewhere that has to be experienced to believe. The island has not one fast-food restaurant, which naturally fits in with the huge wellness wave that everyone is riding at the moment – and most importantly, the hotels are naturally stunning with the location itself doing most of the talking. I imagine that Ronald gets this a lot, but his general interest makes me feel as if he’s one for researching new places that have a unique core.

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour?
RH: Black.
HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
RH: Nevis now that you’ve mentioned it!
HK: What’s your number one travel essential?
RH: My iPhone.
HK: Biggest inspiration in business?
RH: Steve Jobs.
HK: Biggest inspiration in life?
RH: My stepdad.

At first, luxury simply equalled opulence. Today, it is just as much about attitude. 72 per cent of people would rather spend money on experiences than things; with travellers now seeking more than just exceptional service, fittings and furnishings. There’s an appetite for the intangible and a desire for truly authentic adventures which enrich and surprise. This same zest flows through every Utopian hotel which bears a luxury no longer defined by the old school; but by exceptional service, a richness of experience, one-off authenticity and the verve of youth.

Despite the hotel collection focusing its sights on the amazing unique properties in Europe, it seems to me that Ronald’s interest in my one suggestion of a tiny island with a huge personality is an almost firm indication that his sights are firmly on the world and all the opportunities that it holds. Given the gap in the market, I’m sure this is just the start of what is going to be an amazing experience for the hotel collection.

An immense tropical lagoon pool anchors Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Radisson Blu debuts in Vietnam

800 449 Hamish Kilburn

The 514-key hotel, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, opens as the brand’s first Vietnamese property and heralds a new era for the Radisson Hotel Group…

Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, a 514-room property overlooking the northern stretch of Vietnam’s most compelling beach, Bai Dai, has opened as part of an unprecedented integrated resort on the nation’s biggest island.

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels

“Phu Quoc is fast developing a reputation as Vietnam’s answer to Thailand’s Phuket and the beach experience here is one of a kind,” said Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s General Manager Peter Feran. “This is a tropical island setting that comes right out of a storybook and is all the more spectacular every day at dusk when the sun goes down over the Gulf of Thailand.”

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels that take advantage of the stunning natural surrounds and abundance of sunshine.

In a captivating fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics, striking artwork adorns the resort including abstract sculptures crafted out of Vietnamese marble and vertical pressed panels referencing the lotus flower, palm fronds and more native Vietnamese flora. Spectacular lighting installations that pay homage to the Gulf of Thailand, such as a melange of glass seaweed and schools of countless glass fish that appear to swim swiftly past smooth eggshell white columns, greet guests in the capacious foyer and lobby areas.

To go above and beyond using only locally made bamboo straws, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc has ambitions to become the first international hotel in Vietnam to have its own bamboo straw farm from which to harvest its own straws.

The resort is as paperless as possible with all menus available on screens and digital signage located throughout the resort.  All magazines and newspapers are only available online.

Located 30 kilometres from Phu Quoc International Airport, the resort is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and beyond thanks to numerous arrivals and departure flights daily.

Guestrooms, villas and suites

Ranging in size from an ample 45 sqm to a tremendous 635 sqm, the resort’s array of rooms, suites and villas afford unencumbered views of the sea, gardens, lagoon swimming pool and mountains.

The 10 Beachfront Pool Villas, the most lavish of the accommodations, boast two, three or six bedrooms totaling 165 sqm, 255 sqm and 635 sqm respectively. Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, these incredible villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, huge separate living area, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, luxurious bathroom, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand

Inland from the villas the property’s hotel building looms, offering up sweeping views of the ocean from many of its rooms and suites.  Spanning up to 145 sqm each, 17 Sky Suites are situated on the building’s eighth floor.

The villas, along with the Executive Rooms, Executive Suites, One Bedroom Suites and Two Bedroom Suite, offer exclusive access to the ALUMI executive lounge.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand.

With venues ranging from a poolside bar to a VIP lounge, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s diverse culinary landscape lures casual and sophisticated diners alike.

Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, the stunning Beachfront Pool Villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Anchored by a large show kitchen, all-day dining establishment Avenue’s vibrant marketplace setting seats more than 300 indoors and a further 100 on its poolside terrace.

An elegant space, the exclusive ALUMI executive lounge offers patrons personalized concierge service and complimentary drinks and snacks including high tea.

Located by the resort’s picture-perfect pool, Azure offers classic cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, healthy smoothies and snacks to guests lounging in the sun.

The opening comes as the group prepares to launch Radisson Blu Resort Cam Ranh Bay and Radisson Phu Quoc Resort, a separate 218-room four-star resort on Truong beach, in addition to pursuing development opportunities in other Vietnamese destinations.

 

Hard Rock Hotel London unveils Rock Royalty level accommodation

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

The Rock Royalty level has been revealed one year prior to the Hard Rock Hotel London opening its doors to the public…

Ahead of its highly anticipated launch in 2019, Hard Rock Hotel London has lifted the lid on its Rock Royalty level, offering exclusive rooms and suites, alongside luxurious perks.

Imagined by Scott Brownrigg design firm, the hotel when open next year is said to boast around 1,000 stylish rooms and suites, together with two vibrant bars, a lively Hard Rock Cafe® and the world famous Rock Shop®.

From Abbey Road Studios and Camden’s Roundhouse to the historic 100 Club, London has undeniable music heritage. With Hard Rock Hotel London promising to be the city’s next iconic live music hot spot, the Rock Royalty programme offers an elevated experience so guests can live out their rock star dreams.

The package is truly pioneering

The 103 Rock Royalty rooms and 14 suites, designed by Scott Brownrigg, are located on the third floor of the hotel and have been custom designed for luxury and comfort. Decorated in post box red and royal blue, each lavish room features a hand-crafted Hypnos bed, flat screen digital TV, minibar and a nightly turndown service as well as a nod to the Hard Rock International brand with a branded guitar pick.

“While we will treat every guest at Hard Rock Hotel London like a VIP, our Rock Royalty programme offers an extra special experience,” said Oliver Kahf, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel London. “The package is truly pioneering; from door to door luxury airport transfers and exclusive access to local music events to bespoke amenities tailored to each guests’ Ultimate Room Rider. We want every guest to know how it feels to be treated like a Rock Star.”

Next year’s opening will serve as yet another milestone for the growing Hard Rock International brand

Rock Royalty guests will have access to bespoke services such as taking advantage of Hard Rock Hotel London’s Ultimate Room Rider, which adds personalised touches to each Rock Royalty room including a choice of pillows, in-room scents and bath bombs. Guests can also expect to find their personal choice of spirits, soft drinks and sweet treats waiting in the mini bar and their favourite music track playing in their room on entry.

When they aren’t relaxing in their room, the luxurious Rock Royalty lounge will provide an exclusive home away from home hangout. Perfect for escaping the paparazzi, Rock Royalty guests will enjoy a host of complimentary services, from breakfast and afternoon tea to evening canapés and cocktails. The lavish lounge will also feature carefully curated items from Hard Rock’s extensive collection of music memorabilia.

To ensure guests not only feel good but look good too, Rock Royalty Suites come with complimentary shoeshine and pressing services to ensure every guest is stage ready. Rooms will also have a coffee table book showcasing the history and stories of the hotel’s most famous – and infamous – guests.

Next year’s opening will serve as yet another milestone for the growing Hard Rock International brand, which currently operates in 74 countries worldwide, and will continue to cement its place in the industry as one of the most globally recognised companies.

 

Rendering of the yacht

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations to the public

800 400 Hamish Kilburn

Travellers worldwide are invited to book their voyage on The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s new custom-made luxury yacht…

Claiming to be the first luxury hotel group to take its service and ambiance of its resorts to the sea, The Ritz-Carlton, L.L.C. has announced the opening of reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

“From the yacht’s design, to programming onboard and ashore, every aspect of the voyage has been carefully created to embody the signature service and casual luxury of a Ritz-Carlton resort,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. We look forward to officially welcoming guests onboard The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection as we open reservations.”

Reservations are now open for the inaugural season of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, set to take the seas in February 2020. With several distinct itineraries available in 2020, guests have the option to book back-to-back voyages without repeating ports, allowing them to explore a wider range of destinations and delve into the local culture at each port.

Designed with a yachting lifestyle in mind, the first of three bespoke yachts in The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will stop at both signature and iconic destinations.

The specially designed yacht will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. The yacht will also feature two 158 square-meter lavish Owner’s suites, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized, with one of the highest staff to guest service ratios in the cruise industry.

“The opening of reservations marks an exciting milestone for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which is set to redefine luxury at sea,” said Doug Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “Whether you are looking for culture, adventure, or the chance to go off the beaten path, we are thrilled to be able to invite guests to explore the world with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.”

Customers are also encouraged to visit the newly launched website for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which offers full details of itineraries, pricing, and onboard experiences. Guests can browse for voyages by region, departure date or ports of interest using the “Find a Cruise” feature, view suite and fare information, explore the yacht experience, and more. The website additionally features a downloadable digital brochure for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, with engaging imagery and further itinerary information for the inaugural season.

 

The news of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations follows an increase in hotel design firm’s being signed up to redesign major cruise liners, suggesting that holidays at seas are becoming ever-more popular.

The Student Hotel fuels European expansion with five new properties in the pipeline

1024 448 Hamish Kilburn

In five years, the hotel brand plans to open properties in Lisbon, Paris, Barcelona, Porto and a third hotel Florence…

The Student Hotel (TSH) has unveiled plans to expand its European portfolio to 65 properties within the next five years. At the grand opening of TSH Florence Lavagnini, its first Italian hotel, the group confirmed five new site acquisitions, which include Lisbon, Paris, Barcelona, Porto, plus a third Florence location.

TSH’s vision for an international Complete Connected Community of co-living and co-working students, leisure and long-stay professional guests, takes a monumental leap forward with Florence Lavagnini, its stunning new flagship, hybrid-hospitality concept.

“Our fully flexible, hybrid model is the first to cater for the needs of hotel guests, students, entrepreneurs, young professionals and locals under one roof,” said Charlie MacGregor, TSH founder and CEO. “In five years we aim to have 65 locations secured across Europe, 26,000 rooms and close to one million square meters of shared space. Our new TSHLIFE app and digital platform will connect nearly a million current and former co-living and co-working guests.

“We will continue to disrupt the industry and offer future generations a hybrid home away from home. We will always listen to them, to evolve and adapt our offering, which will ensure we grow a hospitality company that always has one foot in the future.”

Located in the heart of the Tuscan capital, TSH Lavagnini is a €50 million regeneration of an historic palazzo, nicknamed The Sleepy Palace by locals. Contemporary design, inspired by the Memphis movement, sees classic architecture now boast modern twists, such as a supersized graffiti installation in the central courtyard, a rooftop “The Beach is Boring” pool, a skybar and two terraces with breathtaking vistas of the city, the Duomo, and the Tuscan hills.

TSH Florence Lavagnini will soon be joined by four sister hotels:

TSH Florence Manifattura Tabacchi
Manifattura Tabacchi will be the third TSH project in Florence and its fifth in Italy. This development, part of the largest regeneration site in Tuscany spearheaded by AERMONT Capital and CDP Immobiliare, will create a new urban community outside of the historic city center.

The former tobacco factory, near Piazza Puccini in the northwest of the city, will receive a €200m investment to create a 100,000-sq-meter complex with its own piazza covered by a transparent roof, that features a vibrant mix of food market, artisan shopping, co-working spaces, events and exhibition venues. TSH, along with international fashion and design institute Polimoda, are the first organizations signed-up to the project.

TSH Florence Manifattura Tabacchi will have 318 rooms, communal spaces including lounge and games areas, rooftop pool, outside courtyard, restaurant, gym, study areas and bike rental. The 14,500-sq-meter site is due to open in 2021.

TSH’s first Italian project, Florence Lavagnini, opened on 7 June 2018. The second Florence hotel, Belfiore, will open in 2020 with 652 rooms. Bologna will open with 361 rooms in 2019 and Rome in 2020 with 481 rooms. TSH plans to have more than 10 Italian properties open, in development or secured by 2023.

TSH in Portugal
TSH will land in Portugal with two locations. The group’s first beachside property is located in Carcavelos, opposite the new Nova Business School campus and directly on the seafront of Portugal’s best surf spot at Carcavelos, just 15-minutes from Lisbon.

The area is booming with start-ups and incubators that will soon be home to a large business center and new Google offices. The 435-room hotel will be developed in partnership between TSH and Stone Capital and opens in 2021. It will house a large TSH Collab co-working area, rooftop pools, extensive terraces and open spaces, sport and yoga studios, and a restaurant.

The group has also secured an amazing city center location In Porto where it will open with 300 rooms in 2020.

Expansion of TSH in Paris and Barcelona
TSH is close to securing sites for a second location in Paris, a 300-room hotel within the Peripherique that is expected to open in 2020.

A new location is also planned for Barcelona, a 300-room property with 3,000-sq-meters of Collab co-working space. It will be the second new TSH in Spain (Madrid opens in 2019). They complement two TSH Campus-branded, student-only residences in Barcelona at Marina and Poble Sec.

Hyatt Hotels exterior shot

Hyatt plans to double brand presence in Canada

637 390 Hamish Kilburn

 

Hyatt plans to open 12 Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in Canada by 2020…

Hyatt has announced plans to expand the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brand footprint in Canada with the signing of management and franchise agreements by a Hyatt affiliate for nine Hyatt Place hotel and three Hyatt House hotels. There are currently nine Hyatt-branded hotels open Canada, and the expected openings of these 12 Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels would increase Hyatt’s brand presence in the region to 21 hotels within the next few years.

“We believe the new agreements being announced, along with the previously announced properties under development, demonstrate growing confidence among owners and developers in the strength of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in Canada,” said Scott Richer, Hyatt’s vice president of real estate and development for Canada. “There is tremendous growth opportunity in this region – coming off the heels of its 150th anniversary, Canada continues to see strong levels of leisure travel, as well as an increase in corporate travel. Today’s announcement is a testament to the global appeal of Hyatt’s select service portfolio as it continues to expand worldwide and offer more choices to our guests.”

Hyatt Place and Hyatt House

The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands are designed to deliver seamless experiences that are authentic, intuitive and modern, allowing business travelers to remain productive and worry free, without skipping a beat. Twelve Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels are expected to open in Canada in the next two years, including:

2018
•Hyatt Place Calgary Airport (127 guestrooms) in Calgary, Alberta
•Hyatt Place Mississauga Centre (126 guestrooms) in Mississauga, Ontario

2019
•Hyatt Place Brampton (123 guestrooms) in Brampton, Ontario
•Hyatt Place Kelowna (161 guestrooms) in Kelowna, British Columbia
•Hyatt Place Moncton (120 guestrooms) in Moncton, New Brunswick
•Hyatt Place Winnipeg Downtown (144 guestrooms) in Winnipeg, Manitoba
•Hyatt House Hamilton/McMaster University (135 guestrooms) in Hamilton, Ontario
•Hyatt House Winnipeg South West (135 guestrooms) in Winnipeg Manitoba

2020
•Hyatt Place Toronto International Airport (196 guestrooms) in Toronto, Ontario
•Hyatt Place Toronto Airport Corporate Centre and Hyatt House Toronto Airport Corporate Centre (250 guestrooms) in Toronto, Ontario
•Hyatt Place Vancouver Airport (97 guestrooms) in Vancouver, British Columbia

Hyatt-branded hotels currently open in Canada include:
•British Columbia: Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort and Hyatt Regency Vancouver
•Alberta: Hyatt Regency Calgary, Hyatt Place Edmonton/Downtown and Hyatt Place Edmonton-West
•Ontario: Andaz Ottawa Byward Market, Hyatt Regency Toronto and Park Hyatt Toronto*
•Quebec: Hyatt Regency Montreal

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Far East Hospitality to open three new hotels in Sentosa, Singapore

850 532 Daniel Fountain

Far East Hospitality, Singapore’s leading operator of hotels and serviced residences, has signed a term sheet with Fontaine Investment to operate three new properties – Village Hotel Sentosa, The Outpost Sentosa and a third hotel whose name will be confirmed at a later stage.

The hotels, located at Artillery Avenue in the Palawan area of Sentosa, are targeted to open in mid-2019. As the hotel operator, Far East Hospitality will be responsible for the overall management of these three hotels with a total room inventory of 839 rooms. Its responsibilities will include hotel operations and sales & marketing functions

Village Hotel Sentosa is an expansion of the Village brand. The property, with 606 keys, targets the mid-tier market. This includes travellers from regional and international markets and Singaporeans looking for a family weekend getaway.

Far East Hospitality to open three new hotels in Sentosa, Singapore
Village Hotel Sentosa will also be an ideal location for business meetings, networking events, as well as company retreats, with team-bonding activities such as cooking and fitness classes available. The brand seeks to deliver memorable experiences that enable guests to eat, play, and explore like a local.

The Outpost is a new brand under Far East Hospitality’s portfolio. With 193 keys, The Outpost Sentosa caters to young couples who prefer exclusivity. A third hotel with 40 keys is designed to appeal to guests in the upscale market. Both properties will take on a stylish interpretation of the colonial black and white suite look and feel, accentuated with wood and natural blends. Hotel guests can look forward to fun activities such as aqua-based fitness classes, outdoor movie screenings, kids carnival and pool games.

De Vere Launch Party

Showcase: De Vere launches at glamorous London party

1000 631 Daniel Fountain

De Vere, a collection of country estate hotels and modern event spaces which is part of The Principal Hotel Company, officially launched last week following an investment of more than £100 million from Starwood Capital Group. This forms part of The Principal Hotel Company’s wider £300 million investment programme across the group’s 35 landmark UK properties.

Bringing together 22 properties, 662 event spaces, 1,200 acres of grounds and over 4,000 bedrooms, the re-launch celebrates an exciting new chapter for De Vere which sees historic, mansion house hotels extensively renovated to celebrate their British heritage and the estates’ natural landscapes. The portfolio includes five properties in central London, including De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden and De Vere Holborn Bars.

More than 1,000 people joined Laurie Nicol, Chief Operating Officer, at De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, London, to celebrate the launch of the brand.

Laurie Nicol, COO, De Vere, commented: “We’ve got a fantastic team working on the transformation of De Vere, and our new-look brand is already receiving great feedback from both business and leisure guests. The £100m invested includes comprehensive hotel renovations, as well as staff training and development, and thoughtful expressions of the new brand such as Hunter wellies, unique sculptures and outdoor breakout spaces.”

De Vere Launch Party - Laurie Nicol, Chief Operating Officer at De Vere

De Vere Launch Party – Laurie Nicol, Chief Operating Officer at De Vere

She continued: “By restoring these stunning historical buildings and breathing new life into our event spaces, we’re creating inspirational locations where traditional values meet the latest luxuries.”

The investment in the estate’s grounds has formed a crucial element of the wider new-look De Vere brand. The external landscapes have been enhanced to ensure they offer guests beautiful and inspiring outdoor spaces that are a natural extension of the hotel. The Great Outdoors project has placed super-fast outdoor Wi-Fi up to 100m from the property, commissioned sculptures, created kitchen gardens and introduced bee hives and bug hotels to encourage native wildlife. In April 2017, Justin Turner, who previously held roles at the Royal Horticultural Society and Royal Botanical Gardens, was appointed to the newly created role of Head of Estate Management to oversee the implementation at De Vere’s country estates and modern event spaces.

A new coffee shop concept, Burr & Co. has been placed in a number of updated properties and will continue to be introduced to the portfolio over the coming months. The authentic design of Burr & Co. offers guests a relaxed space in which to break out from a meeting, collaborate with others or simply take a moment to relax whilst enjoying a selection of high quality coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, plus artisan cakes, healthy snacks and pastries.

De Vere Launch Party - Laurie Nicol, Chief Operating Officer at De Vere and Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Head of European Hotels at Starwood Capital Group

De Vere is also transforming its restaurants and bars through inspiring design, modern menus based on traditional British cooking and ingredients and extensive outdoor dining experiences. By partnering with Wendy Martinson OBE, the team has developed new and innovative conference menus as part of a ground-breaking initiative for the industry which will see De Vere properties now offer nutritional values for each dish along with menu items and ingredients that help promote energy level and concentration.

The company’s new meeting and events product, Smart Space, has also launched this month, which will execute meticulously crafted and unforgettable meetings and events through nine service features. These promise ease of booking; inspirational meeting rooms – be that a bright and contemporary training space or an executive boardroom with nods to the property’s heritage; a personal conference host; tech-savvy support; new Burr & Co. breakout areas; nutritionally balanced delegate menus; the group’s three existing rewards programmes – Applause Rewards, ShowTime Rewards and Trainers’ Club; inspiring outdoor spaces and access to a team of specialists to help ensure delegates get moving and remain motivated throughout the day. Smart Space will be available at many De Vere properties across the UK.

De Vere is celebrating its re-launch following a series of major renovations across the portfolio, including the completion of De Vere Wotton House, De Vere Latimer Estate and De Vere Tortworth Court, with further transformations to be unveiled in the coming months across De Vere Beaumont Estate, De Vere Wokefield Estate, De Vere Horsley Estate and more.

De Vere Wotton House (re-launched February 2017)
The spectacular 17th century De Vere Wotton House, located outside Dorking, Surrey, has been restored back to its country house mansion charms following a £6 million refurbishment. Nestled in 13 acres of stunning Grade II listed grounds, it boasts the first Italian garden designed by famous botanist John Evelyn (the inspiration for Crabtree & Evelynn) who lived at Wotton House in the 17th century.

De Vere Wotton House

The renovation created an additional 16 suites to the Mansion House, bringing the total number of rooms to 127, all featuring stylish en-suites and fantastic views of either the beautiful gardens or dramatic manor house entrance. The hotel’s restaurant and bar have also undergone a full refurbishment and have been relaunched as 1877 Restaurant & Bar.

De Vere Latimer Estate (re-launched June 2017)
Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate completed a £7 million renovation which uncovered and restored many original features, as well as subtly celebrating the hotel’s connection to a secret history. Situated among Buckinghamshire’s rolling Chiltern Hills, De Vere Latimer Estate’s biggest transformation occurred in the mansion house with the conversion of meeting rooms and offices to 31 new deluxe rooms and suites to bring the total number of guestrooms to 205.

De Vere Latimer EstateThe investment has also included the new 1838 Restaurant & Bar, located in the Mansion House and featuring an open kitchen, as well as the historic Library, which features stunning views over the Chiltern Hills and serves a traditional afternoon tea.

De Vere Tortworth Court (re-launched July 2017)
One of Gloucestershire’s hidden countryside retreats, De Vere Tortworth Court completed a £5 million restoration that transformed meeting rooms into 11 new spacious suites, to bring the total number of guestrooms and suites in the main house to 55. The largest suite, The Kipling, includes a dining table for six guests and a lounge within 78 square metres that can be connected to The Paxton, to form a family suite that spans 129 square metres, overlooking the formal gardens. The Grade II listed Victorian mansion also boasts one of Britain’s finest arboretums with hundreds of rare and domestic trees located across the estate’s 30 acres.

Tortworth House
Due to showcase their completed new looks in spring 2018, De Vere Wokefield Estate and De Vere Beaumont Estate will individually receive an investment of over £9m to renew both their mansion house and modern event spaces. New restaurants have already been introduced to both hotels, together with refreshed event spaces, including Wokefield’s executive centre, Wokefield Place, which completed this month following a major renovation project and features 30 flexible meeting and event spaces, a Burr & Co. Deli and 222 bedrooms.

In addition to De Vere, The Principal Hotel Company includes the PRINCIPAL brand of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings. The brand recently launched its fourth hotel, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, formerly The Roxburghe and will be launching The Principal London later this year following a £70m refurbishment.

www.phcompany.com/de-vere

Hotel Les Neiges, Courchevel 1850

Sneak Peek: Hotel Les Neiges, Courchevel 1850 opening December

750 460 Daniel Fountain

Founded in 1912 by François André and subsequently developed by Lucien Barrière, Diane Barrière-Desseigne, and Dominique Desseigne, Barrière has thrived over the decades to become the top French casino brand and a benchmark for luxury hotels.

Through its exceptional establishments, the group incarnates the symbols of French prestige, refinement and elegance and has always placed excellence of service at the heart of its concerns. In Les Neiges, Barrière takes to the ski area for the first time in its history.

Perched between mountain and sky, Courchevel 1850 is a fairy-tale village like no other, where luxury and tradition come together. Nestled in the heart of Les Trois Vallées – the biggest ski area in the world – the resort offers over 600km of ski slopes and accommodation in luxury chalets as well as high-end hotels. Hotel Les Neiges benefits from an enviable location at the foot of the Bellecôte ski slope, with 42 rooms and suites on the slopes, and an easy stroll from the centre of Courchevel and its luxurious boutiques, and with sumptuous architecture and intimate décor.

Hotel Les Neiges benefits from an enviable location at the foot of the Bellecôte ski slope, with 42 rooms and suites on the slopes, and an easy stroll from the centre of Courchevel

Pass through the doorway of Hotel Les Neiges and enter the authentic refined and relaxed décor of a chalet. The mountain tradition – revisited. A fire in the hearth. Hardwood floors. And all around, grey stone columns flecked with silver. Right from the entrance, the atmosphere is welcoming, tasteful, all-encompassing. Stones, slate, shale, oak, pine and larch woods stained in blond, amber and grey shades decorate the well-appointed reception area. Here, the Barrière Spirit shines through.

Let the refined style and luxurious, welcoming décor of the 42 rooms and suites of the hotel sweep over you. Upon entering, the tone is set. The materials evoke ski marks in the powder, sunny slopes, fir tree bark, and glittering ice crystals. Inspired by the mountain setting, the result is captivating.

Bedrooms are swathed in sumptuous cashmere, plush fabrics, velvet and fur. The larch panelled walls and ceilings are reminiscent of traditional chalets, given a contemporary twist. Appreciate the discreet luxury of this tasteful and authentic chalet. And at the very top, sits the 310 m2 private apartment. The exquisite materials and attention to detail are the ultimate expression of luxury and elegance.

Take advantage of some quiet time in a cosy chalet bar. Surrounded by wood and stone, enjoy a fabulous cocktail with a view over the mountains around. The bar at Hotel Barrière Les Neiges is perfectly designed for enchanting occasions at the foot of the slopes. With its Studio Harcourt portraits arranged on the walls, guests are encouraged to spend a relaxing break, and to take in their surroundings under the gaze of cinema industry icons.

Hotel Les Neiges, Courchevel 1850

Nestled in the heart of the hotel, bathed in natural light, the Spa Diane Barrière reveals an entire world of sophistication. Commune with nature with the pool integrated into a wall of dried stones, like a waterfall carved in the mountain. In this space exclusively dedicated to your well-being, spa Diane Barrière Les Neiges boasts 6 treatment rooms, an exclusive suite for two with private hammam and sauna, an aquatic circuit (the resort’s largest), a 20-metre infinity pool, hammam, sauna, cold bath and fabulous outdoor jacuzzi.

Hotel Les Neiges, Courchevel 1850

Hotel Barrière Les Neiges
422 rue de Bellecôte, 73120 Courchevel 1850
reservationlesneigescourchevel@groupebarriere.com
+33 9 70 818 501

StayWell Hospitality

StayWell Hospitality embarking on UK expansion drive

721 380 Daniel Fountain

Australian-owned Hotel Management Company StayWell Hospitality Group is staying true to its plans of global expansion by entering into a partnership with renowned United Kingdom hospitality company Fiveways Hospitality.

The newly formed Master Licensing Agreement between the two parties will enable StayWell Hospitality Group to significantly grow its Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands within the UK market.

StayWell Hospitality Group CEO Mr Simon Wan said that entering this agreement will help to secure an additional four hotels in the region within the next 48 months which is part of the groups overarching plan to reach 100 hotels globally within the next three years.

The United Kingdom and Europe as a whole, presents a great opportunity for our Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands, especially after the successful opening of Park Regis Birmingham in March 2016, Mr Wan said.

Fiveways Hospitality has a well established reputation and our partnership will deliver not only opportunities for further growth for StayWell in new destinations and cities but also offer top-shelf operational support to our hotel teams within the region, he said.

Fiveways Hospitality Managing Director, Stuart Broster also agrees that the brands future within Europe looks bright following the formalisation of the partnership agreement.

Storrs Hall Hotel Lake District

Lakes hotel Storrs Hall joins Bespoke Hotels group

1000 489 Daniel Fountain

Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group, is delighted to announce that it has taken on the management of the award-winning Storrs Hall, in the heart of the Lake District on the shores of Lake Windermere. The property joins a growing collection of Bespoke properties in the North West.

A Grade II Listed Georgian Mansion boasting 31 guest bedrooms and an outstanding three AA Rosette awarded restaurant, Storrs Hall was first built in the 1790s, and stands amidst 17 acres of landscaped grounds. It offers spectacular views of England’s largest natural body of water, whether from the bedrooms, dining room, or spacious terrace.

Storrs Hall

“We are extremely excited to welcome Storrs Hall into the fold”, commented Graham Marskell, Managing Director of Bespoke Hotels. “It is a property steeped in history and tradition, set in one of the UK’s most beautiful regions, with the potential to become an outstanding regional venue for weddings, events, and leisure travellers alike.”

Storrs Hall

“Having Storrs Hall in the family for the past 18 years, we are excited by the prospect of working alongside Bespoke Hotels”, added owner Mark Hindle. “We look forward to working together and employing Bespoke’s considerable expertise to ensure we maintain our enviable position as one the foremost names for those looking for a luxury stay on Lake Winderemere. We are very proud of the hotel and with its unique setting on the shore of the lake, and feel we can become the premier destination in the area.”

For further information please visit www.bespokehotels.com/storrs-hall

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai

Thai boutique hotel operator 137 Pillars plans rapid expansion across Asia

1000 564 Daniel Fountain

The owners of luxurious, heritage hotel 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai have launched a boutique hotel operation, which will take its name from this first hotel in the group.

The Wongphanlert family is now planning a series of new properties in Bangkok, Phuket and further afield for the 137 Pillars Hotels and Resorts.

The group will be headed up by Christopher Stafford, who now becomes 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts’ chief operating officer. Stafford will be tasked with overseeing the launch of the company’s second property, 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok, which is scheduled to open in late 2016.

Set on the 23rd to 30th floors of a new tower, the hotel will offer 34 suites, all featuring large balconies with rocking chairs and two-person daybeds. The Bangkok hotel will also offer almost 180 one and two-bedroom private residences.

Facilities will include a 32nd floor sky bar and rooftop infinity pool, plus a spa. The 26th floor will also feature “pods” for late-leaving and early-arriving guests whose rooms aren’t available, with separate shower facilities. A third hotel, 137 Pillars Estate Phuket, is then scheduled to open in early 2019 on the north peninsula of Kata Beach. It will feature 16 villas and 46 suites, all with private pools.

The original 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai dates back to the late 1800s and was the former headquarters of the East Borneo Company.

The company’s website, 137pillarshotels.com, went live last weekend. . .

Hotel Collection - Majestic, Harrogate

Hotel Collection ready to sell 10 properties for £130 million

1000 420 Daniel Fountain

As predicted earlier in the year, the Hotel Collection has brought ten properties to market for a combined value of £130 million to be handled by Savills.

The hotels include some of the most well-known properties in their respective regions, and account for more than 1,400 bedrooms, 100 meeting rooms as well as several restaurants, gyms and spas, which produced a combined total revenue of £48 million in 2015.

Properties in England
The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate
The Old Ship Hotel, Brighton
The Redworth Hall Hotel, County Durham
The Imperial Hotel, Torquay
The Billesley Manor Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
The Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club, Macclesfield.

Hotel Collection sale

In Scotland and Wales
The Stirling Highland Hotel, Stirling
The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, Aberdeen
The Angel Hotel, Cardiff.

Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills said: “We are pleased to be bringing this significant collection of hotels to market. The distinctive heritage and character of each property has been maintained while generating a robust collective income. The Hotel Collection portfolio also offers numerous value-add and asset management opportunities to further enhance the long term revenue.”

Angel Hotel Cardiff - Hotel Collection

Having been known as Puma Hotels, the portfolio was made up of more than 20 hotels at the time the group was acquired by Lone Star Funds in June 2014. Just 12 months later, Lone Star announced the creation of Amaris Hospitality – a company focused on properties operating under various international brands such as Hilton, Mercure and MGallery from AccorHotels – which meant it was likely to dispose of the individual properties that made up the Hotel Collection.

Hotel Collection

Cheltenham Park, Basingstoke Country, Palace hotel, Buxton and the Marine hotel in Troon have already been sold. Earlier this year, Lygon Arms in Broadway was sold to billionaires Ian and Richard Livingstone, who have added the hotel to sister hotels, Chewton Glen in Hampshire and Cliveden in Berkshire.