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SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

To kickstart our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs has scoured the globe to highlight hotel F&B gems that deserve to be recognised. Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

In 2018, according to Technomic, overall consumer spending for hotel food and beverage showed a solid 5.5 percent annual growth since 2011. In design, architecture and in service, there is a clear move to produce instagrammable F&B areas.

While the overall dining and drinking experience is becoming somewhat of a theatrical performance, we have identified 10 hotels going above and beyond – in both design and service – to ensure that they are entertaining their customers’ ever-evolving demands.

Joali – Mura Bar (Maldives)

Beach blue wallcovering with wooden roof

Image credit: Joali – Mura Bar

Overlooking a pearly beach and pool that meets the sea, The Mura Bar is designed to encourage guests to naturally relax and unwind. The hotel’s entire construction was designed to build around its natural landscape. As a result, 1,000 trees were preserved in the process, creating luscious green scenes in a natural paradise.

Gleneagles – The American Bar (Scotland)

close up of plush light blue seating

Image credit: Gleneagles

With the aim to bring back the glamour and decadence of fine dining experiences of the 1920s and ’30s and redesign a legend, Gleneagles will in May 2019 unveil the relaunch of its famous restaurant, The Strathearn following a design transformation by Ennismore Design Studio.

Conrad Malives Ranhgali Island – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (The Maldives)

The awarding winning underwater Ithaa sits five metres below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi) serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu.

Since its opening in 2015, the restaurant has become an Instagram sensation and its popularity led to the concept of opening the world’s first underwater hotel suite.

Hotel Gotham, Manchester – Club Brass (United Kingdom)

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

Poised to become the backdrop of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up North, Manchester’s Hotel Gotham, which opened in 2015 – read full review here, has been a major catalyst that has crowned the northern metropolis a major hot spot for hotel design and development. The jewel within the crown is located on the rooftop, at Club Brass.

Leading designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers are expected to gather at the hotel’s exclusive members-only rooftop bar, Club Brass, for drinks and canapés above the city on July 1 for Meet Up North. Click here to purchase your exclusive ticket

Peninsula Paris – The Rooftop Bar (France)

Paris rooftop bar with curved windows overlooking a model plane

Image credit: Peninsula Hotels

Located on the sixth floor of The Peninsula Paris – and offering unparalleled views over the city – sits L’Oiseau Blanc, one of the most elegant and singular restaurants in Paris. The aviation-themed interior celebrates flying aces Charles Nungesser and François Coli who attempted to cross the Atlantic in 1927 from Le Bourget.

The Moxy, Chelsea (USA)

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International

Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar, The Fleur Room, is open to hotel guests and locals alike. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. “Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognizable charms – the Empire State building,” suggests journalist Hannah Kaplan who checked in to review the the kid on the block for Hotel Designs last week. Read the full review of the hotel here.

Soho House Istanbul – Club Bar (Turkey)

Refined interiors in a modern bar that is sheltered in a heritage building with bold lighting

Image credit: Soho House Istanbul, Club Bar

Sheltered within a striking 19th century mansion, which was originally designed for a Genoese merchant before becoming the US embassy for most of the 20th century. The Club Bar  is an oasis of calm, featuring decadent wallcoverings that are balanced with plush bar seating and thoughfully designed break-out areas.

Zuri Zanzibar – The Upendo Restaurant (Tanzania)

Sustainable materials - including furniture and lighting - make up the raw and rustic restaurant

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar

Designed by Jestico + Whiles, the eco hotel’s Upendo Restaurant overlooks the entire resort. The restaurant’s laid-back Zanzibari style and live cooking shows make it the ideal place for breakfast and dinner, whilst its separate deck is ideal for private events or larger dinner groups. Peponi bar in the Zuri Zanzibar offers comfortable benches and sofas for a peaceful and relaxing ambiance.

Raffles – The Long Bar (Singapore)

Exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Raffles

Redesigned by Alexandra Champalimaud, the earthy decor of the two-storey Long Bar which will reopen this summer is inspired by Malayan life in the 1920s. The deep, rich colours and lush greenery transport patrons to the edge of a tropical plantation. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere, guests are invited to brush peanut shells off the table and bar counter to the floor. In addition, and arguably thus making the hotel one of the early innovators for encouraging bar theatre, The Long Bar is quite possibly the only place in Singapore where littering is encouraged.

The Morpheus (China)

The sky bar, with sophisticated gold barriers between tables

Image credit: Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Yí on the 21st-floor Sky Bridge at The Morpheus takes fine dining to new heights with a unique blend of regional Chinese cuisine served in tasting menu format. Yí is the first Chinese restaurant in Macau offering daily multi-course tasting menus.

Main image credit: Moxy Chelsea, New York

Ritz-Carlton Istanbul completes renovation

788 482 Hamish Kilburn

Entering a new chapter, Ritz-Carlton Istanbul completes multi-million-dollar renovation…

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has completed a two-year, multi-million-dollar renovation across all guestrooms, ballrooms and events spaces. The hotel marks the completion of its refresh with the unveiling of The Ritz-Carlton Suite, which is being dubbed the hotel’s crown jewel featuring more than 2,500 square feet of space and some of the most spectacular views of Istanbul.

Located on the 14th floor, the suite features floor-to-ceiling windows providing magnificent views across the Bosphorus. The space was re-imagined by well-known Turkish architect, Hakan Yürüoğlu, who is also responsible for the redevelopment of all banqueting areas including the stunning ballroom.

In keeping with the other 243 guestrooms, gold and copper hues are combined with highlights of rich blue to reflect the rich history of the Ottoman Empire. A unique mix of colours and materials have been used to emphasise the grandeur of the city, including stone, wood and metals that showcase the dynamism of Istanbul and the Bosphorus views.

Blue and gold hues in the decor of the Ritz-Carlton Suite living room

Image caption: Ritz-Carlton Suite living room

Comprising a luxuriously appointed King bedroom and separate living room, guests staying in The Ritz-Carlton Suite can enjoy the ultimate indulgence thanks to a spa hot tub with views overlooking the Bosphorus as well as two full marble bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs. Other amenities include complimentary access to the exclusive, well-appointed Club Lounge and a 42-inch flat-screen IPTV. For guests travelling in a larger group, The Ritz-Carlton Suite provides flexibility with three connecting rooms available to accommodate up to eight guests.

Entrance of the Ritz Carlton Suite with blue art piece on the wall and blue and gold rug

Image caption: Entrance of the Ritz Carlton Suite

Located in the heart of the city of Istanbul, the hotel now stands as one of the city’s most elegant hotels. Set against the backdrop of stunning Bosphorus shores, the hotel provides a perfect blend of culture, hospitality and sophistication at the heart of the world’s crossroads between Asia and Europe.

Elsewhere in the hotel, the Lobby Lounge is the perfect spot for an afternoon tea and Bleu Lounge Terrace for cocktails offering unrivalled views of the Bosphorus. The hotel also features a wellness centre, featuring a rich menu of facial and total body treatments, an indoor pool and an authentic Turkish Hammam. A rarity in the city, the hotel is the only property to offer an open-air spa with treatments overlooking the Bosphorus.

The hotel compliments Istanbul’s growing new-found reputation as the ‘capital of cool’. The city has seen a raft of hip new hotels arriving in the neighbourhood, galleries and flight routes – including the new $25 billion Istanbul Airport – that are leading the city’s renaissance ensuring a growing demand for more stylish accommodations in this city. The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul now stands among them as a leading luxury hotel in one of the brand’s 30 destinations in which it operates in.

 

Nish Palas Istanbul Hotel opens doors to guests

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Nish Palas Istanbul, as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, has officially opened its doors, marking the entry into Turkey for The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.

Located in Nişantaşı, one of Istanbul’s oldest and most exciting neighbourhoods, sits the 45-room boutique hotel, which boasts a restaurant, bar, spa and a variety of meeting rooms.

“We are thrilled to open a hotel in one of Istanbul’s most upscale and creative neighbourhoods with an experience that embraces the city’s rich cultural history and charm,” said Cantekin Temizer, general manager of Nish Palas Istanbul.

“With a team who is most knowledgeable and passionate about this area, we look forward to providing guests with an extraordinary and inspiring stay.”

The Nişantaşı neighborhood is now known for its one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, lively restaurants and story-worthy art galleries, making it a perfect setting for the new hotel.

The hotel will be the postmodern interpretation of a typical historical apartment, known as a ‘palas’, which offers a rooftop bar, overlooking the Bosphorus strait.

Meanwhile, guests will be able to enjoy some authentic Mediterranean cuisine inside the Glens restaurant, with an option to sit on the open terrace overlooking Istanbul’s popular Abdi Ipekci Street.

Launched in 2016, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt is a global collection of unique and independent properties that promise to create story-worthy and shareable experiences for the modern traveller.

YOTEL inks deal to manage 451 room Istanbul New Airport hotel

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Site represents London-based YOTEL’s first foray into Turkey.

İstanbul New Airport (İNA) operator İGA and YOTEL have agreed an exclusive hotel management contract at the international connection hub.

The hotel, which the partners say will be one of the biggest airport hotels in the world, with both airside and landside access, will offer 451 rooms and will be located inside the main terminal building.

İGA sees the deal as an indication of İNA growing importance to holiday makers and business travellers, point out that the airport was ranked third in terms of total departing passenger numbers in Q1 2018.

The stats back this up – İNA is Turkey’s biggest ever infrastructure project and will replace Ataturk Airport when it opens in October this year. The capacity of İNA will be expanded up to 200 million people once all four phases are completed and will have a total of six runways and three terminals, hosting nearly 100 airlines.

İNA says it will set an example for the global airport architecture with its flexible and spacious terminal design rooted in Istanbul’s unique cultural and architectural values. Besides aesthetics, it will also have a ‘simple and practical setup with touches of traditional motifs’.

For its part, YOTEL says it will will introduce its design and technology in two zones – one airside (102 rooms) and one landside (349 rooms). Both parts of the new hotel will feature public spaces including YOTEL’s Club Lounge concept with smart vending, working and relaxing areas, wellness centres and planted glazed atriums.

In addition, the landside zone will include a restaurant, bar and 24/7 gym. The new hotel will also feature meeting spaces, which YOTEL says will be suited to small, large, formal and casual meetings.

The site will be YOTEL’s largest airport hotel – it currently operates four under the YOTELAIR brand at London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Making History

“We are delighted to have chosen YOTEL as our new airport’s exclusive air and landside hotel operator”, said Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of İGA Airport Operation. “We are making history with İstanbul New Airport, already in its construction phase a multiple-world record breaking project that is likely to change the transportation and aviation dynamics of a tri-continent region covering Europe, Asia and Africa, and certain to have a lasting impact far beyond this geography.

“YOTEL will contribute to our perfect passenger experience approach with unique innovative elemental luxury and technologically decked space.”

Hubert Viriot, YOTEL’s CEO, said: “We’ve witnessed Turkey’s and particularly Istanbul’s remarkable economic and urban development, transformation and its noticeably increased popularity over the past few years. İstanbul New Airport will only further increase Istanbul’s ever-expanding popularity and economy and YOTEL is delighted to be a part of it. The prevailing ambitious vision to make İstanbul New Airport the largest transit hub in the world made it very attractive for us to be there, and we are extremely honoured to be chosen for this exciting project. This city aspires to high growth success, just like YOTEL, so we are a perfect match.”

 

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul property

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Room Mate Hotels, the Spanish global company founded and chaired by Kike Sarasola, has increased its portfolio with a new opening in the heart of the exotic city of Istanbul.

Room Mate Emir contributes to the international expansion of the company, which plans to inaugurate in the following year new hotels in cities like Rotterdam, Madrid and Paris.

Room Mate Hotels is an innovative company which is based on the idea that the best way to travel is by visiting friends all around the world. Every Room Mate Hotel has a person’s name and a completely different personality. In this case, Emir is elegant, classic and adventurous, the perfect travelling companion to know in depth the marvelous Istanbul.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property
Room Mate Emir has also a spectacular interior design. In this case, the project bears the signature of the acclaimed designer Lázaro Rosa Violán. Emir is the perfect blend of avante-garde furnishings set in a classical building, making it all the more striking. Lázaro Rosa Violán chose to keep the building’s history alive through a distinctive combination of modern day elements, designer furniture, and different materials, all enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Room Mate Emir offers large and spacious suites with everything that everyone would need for a perfect stay.

Its founder and president, Kike Sarasola, is one of the best known and recognised entrepreneurs in the hotelier sector. After succeeding as an Olympic equestrian and working in different business sectors, Sarasola is currently a reference of innovation and creativity in the hotel industry.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul PropertyIn Sarasola’s own words: “Room Mate Hotels are located in the centre of the most emblematic and cosmopolitan cities in the world and Istanbul is one of them. A place where exoticism and culture merge to offer a unique travel experience. We are completely in love with Istanbul. For this reason, we are very proud to increase our portfolio with Emir, our new elegant, modern and stylish new friend. A really special hotel that will bring our guests closer to the wonders of Turkey”.

Room Mate Hotels was born in 2005 with Room Mate Mario as its first establishment in Madrid and currently has 21 more with presence in Milan, Florence, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Mexico City, Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Malaga, Granada and now Istanbul. Last year, Room Mate Hotels increased revenues by 32% and hopes to continue with this positive tendency in 2017.

Fairmont Quasar

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul now open

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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, the luxury hotel company’s first property in Turkey.

Situated on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait and overlooking the waterway’s sapphire blue waters, the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul sits at a crossroads in Istanbul, where East meets West and modernity meets centuries of eclectic history. This idiosyncratic experience is reflected in the hotel’s design, with blue leather-tufted headboards calling to mind the Bosphorus; leather-bound and studded minibars inspired by vintage travel trunks; and ensuite showers designed to resemble traditional Turkish hammams.

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul provides 209 guestrooms including 25 suites. Each has a wide panoramic view overlooking either the serene Bosphorus or the city skyline. Rooms are designed to maximize comfort and technology, with stylish flair and extra touches, plenty of space and natural light. The Royal Suite offers guests unrivalled luxury, while forty exclusive Fairmont Gold rooms create a boutique feel with unparalleled service and access to exclusive services.

The hotel’s unique concept provides a new icon for the vibrant Mecidiyeköy district, where eclectic neighbourhood bazaars and colourful side streets meet modern shopping centres with contemporary architecture and design. Set on the site of the 1930’s Robert Mallet Stevens-designed Art Deco liquor factory, Fairmont Quasar blends a sense of urban culture and industrial flair with the city’s heritage of long-held customs and traditions.

Fairmont Quasar is the fifth property of parent company AccorHotels luxury brand portfolio within Istanbul, joining sister properties Raffles Istanbul, Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Pullman Istanbul Airport and Convention Centre and The Elysium Istanbul MGallery by Sofitel. AccorHotels presently has 32 hotel and resort properties across Turkey, with an additional three hotels slated for opening in Istanbul in 2017, including Galata Hotel Istanbul MGallery by Sofitel.

Elite World Hotels - Istanbul

Elite World Hotels opens new property In Istanbul

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Elite World Hotels, which has been operating in Turkey for more than 15 years, has announced the opening of Elite World Europe, the largest hotel of the chain.

This five-star hotel will open its doors on Thursday February 2, 2017. This new signing will accompany the existing five properties: Elite World Prestige, Elite World Istanbul and Elite World Business in Istanbul, Elite World Van in Van and Elite World Marmaris in Marmaris.

Elite World Hotels - Istanbul

Elite World Hotels is part of Worldhotels, a global brand that brings together some of the world’s most unique independent hotels. Worldhotels’ CEO Geoff Andrew: “I have personally visited this hotel and it is a stunning addition to the Worldhotels portfolio, especially for the business and MICE markets. We are delighted that our partner Elite World Hotels is continuing to add high quality hotels into the market offering the very best in independent, authentic hospitality.”

Elite World Hotels - Istanbul

Elite World Europe is located five minutes away from Istanbul Atatürk Airport and 25 minutes from the city centre. It operates a brand new “Business to Happiness” approach, which puts the concept of happiness at the center of service and underlines it with the slogan “If the mood is good, all is good”. Chain General Manager Ünsal ŞINIK says: “We define service at Elite World Europe Hotel in a very specific way. We go beyond satisfied customers; we make them smile.”

With 58 suites, 401 rooms and eight meeting rooms, Elite World Europe offers the latest technology and comfort for congresses, seminars and meetings. With its two ballrooms, that are 925 and 995 square meters respectively, its botanical garden and its outdoor pool it is also an ideal choice for weddings, invitations and cocktail parties.

www.worldhotels.com

Hampton by Hilton - Hilton's Hampton by Hilton brand has announced the opening of its newest property, Hampton by Hilton Istanbul Zeytinburnu

Hilton unveils new hotel in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu District

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Hilton’s Hampton by Hilton brand has announced the opening of its newest property, Hampton by Hilton Istanbul Zeytinburnu.

The 162-room hotel joins the Hampton by Hilton family of Hampton Inn by Hilton and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton hotels, and joins a further 44 Hilton properties in Turkey.

Hampton by Hilton Istanbul Zeytinburnu is conveniently located 13 kilometres from Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy Environment Design) Platinum certified property has been recognised for its green building features, including its significant water and energy savings. Preserving the environment is one of the key pillars of Travel with Purpose, Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy.

Free Wi-Fi, a business centre and five meeting rooms are also available. Each guestroom features high-quality amenities, including the brand’s signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed®, 40-inch LCD TV and complimentary coffee and tea.