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Hotel Chez Monnet, Cognac

Project Preview: Hotel Chais Monnet, Cognac

1000 562 Daniel Fountain

Far removed from the bustling streets of European metropolises like London or Paris – the usual investment hotspots for British entrepreneur Javad Marandi – sits the grandeur of Chais Monnet and its vast cellars in Cognac.

Built in the 19th century, this stunning site is nestled in the heart of this quaint and oh-so-French town, with its cellars from 1845 adding to its charm. Having originally been the childhood home of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, it has sat disused. Until now.

In a €60 million investment personally financed by Mr. Marandi, the site is being transformed into a 15,000m2 luxury hotel, spa, restaurant and retail boutique complex, offering a “modern take on traditional French luxe”. Being on the doorstep of some of the great cognac houses, it will be the first complex of its kind in the region.

And, at a recent stone-laying ceremony in October, Hotel Designs was able to see the plans first hand. Believe me, they’re impressive. The project will include:

A five-star hotel with 100 bedrooms and suites, 14 apartments, two restaurants, a jazz bar and lounge, a 400m2 conference room, four meeting rooms, and a pool/spa.
Six boutiques to be rented to French brand retailers
A cultural meeting place commemorating Jean-Gabriel Monnet’s life and achievements

Its importance to the area was emphasised in the opening presentation by Cognac mayor Michel Gourinchas, who himself played a key role in championing the project, one that he is confident will have a great economic impact on the town and its surroundings.

“Here in the town we’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Since I’ve become mayor, we’ve asked ourselves a number of times what we could do with this site and thanks to this work we’ll be able to see a reality of what’s possible in a way that’s in the best interests of our town, its inhabitants, and tourists who can now benefit from an excellent site, which is in parallel with cognac – an excellent product,” he proudly tells the gathered dignitaries and press.

Hotel Chez Monnet, Cognac

Didier Poignant, chief architect on the project, Michel Gourinchas, mayor of Cognac and Javad Marandi, businessman and investor in the project addressing the crowd

He’s not wrong. Cognac is a gorgeous microcosm of the effortlessly pretty aesthetics of western France. The historic cobbled streets, the perfectly-manicured gardens in its centre and traditional architecture lining the serene River Charente that runs through it all point to a life-less-rushed; beauty and tradition combined. Two things at the heart of the design of the Hotel Chais Monnet project.

When I ask Mr. Marandi if this is why he chose this particular spot to bring a hotel to market, as opposed to the major centres of business and commerce in which he usually operates, he agrees.

The centre of Cognac

The centre of Cognac

“I certainly have an affection for this region, for Cognac, and for the rich variety of local delicacies, but I also see a clear business opportunity. Cognac is a world famous upmarket product and the heritage of the Monnet family is another valued contribution to developing a hotel that will have all prerequisites to become a major success for this type of investment while being equally beneficial for the city and its community,” he says.

But looking at the plans and speaking with chief architect Didier Poignant of Ertim Architects in Paris, what strikes me most is how much modernity is being brought to the project – in particular the striking façade of the Les Ceps part of the complex. I wonder for a moment how the reaction from the local Cognaçais has been to this overt blending of the historic with the ultra-modern, but Didier puts my mind at rest as he describes his extensive work with Architectes des Bâtiments de France in preserving French heritage in architectural projects.

Likewise, Javad Marandi echoes his assurances, adding: “I have only had positive and complimentary feedback on the designs [by Didier and his team], which are very elegant and chic and are befitting of the location whilst preserving the brand heritage of both cognac and the Monnet family.”

The locale might certainly be a departure for Mr. Marandi. As he himself tells me, Cognac is still a secondary tourist location within France and yet France itself is one of the most visited destinations worldwide. But with the “raw material” as he calls it – the name of ‘Cognac’ – attached to the project, there can be little doubt that this little pocket of France will be put on the map as a premium, upmarket location. With plans in place and construction under way, that vision is well on the way to becoming a reality. In his closing remarks, the mayor speaks of his excitement and impatience to see the project finally come to fruition in the spring of 2018.

That makes two of us, monsieur le maire…

Based on a visit in October 2016
Photos: Daniel Fountain // Weber Shandwick

Corporate opportunities grow as Devon’s Cary Arms expands

700 452 Daniel Fountain

Devon’s Cary Arms has widened its scope for corporate stays with the opening of six chic Beach Huts and two luxury Beach Suites.

Following the developments, the boutique five-star inn can host larger corporate groups with 18 rooms and suites available. The new accommodation, sitting on the water’s edge and set amid exquisite tropical coastal gardens, is ideal for companies looking to host intimate corporate days in luxury surroundings.

RELATED: Devon’s Cary Arms close to unveiling new Beach Huts

Owned by Lana de Savary, the wife of the well-known international entrepreneur and yachtsman, Peter de Savary, the six new Beach Huts and two new Beach Suites are unique.

The simplistic design of the Beach Hut exterior is reminiscent of traditional seaside charm and combined with the contemporary duplex interior and luxurious hand-crafted furnishings, cultivates a union between form, function and views. Huge wall-to-wall glass doors fold back onto the sunbathing deck, drawing light even on the dullest of days.

Cary Arms, Devon

The two spacious Beach Suites (980-sq-ft) provide a pared down elegance with their modern take on coastal colours. Lateral in design, the wide sun-decks (cantilevered over the beach) and interiors all make the most of the panoramic views. Each comprises a terrace, sitting room, wet bar, feature fire, bedroom and elegant bathroom.

Cary Arms, Devon

The Cary Arms offers privacy and flexibility for meetings. The conservatory can be arranged boardroom-style for up to 18 delegates and there is plenty of space to break-out including the outdoor glass sphere, The Pod and the indoor Saloon. Team building activities can be arranged including coasteering and golf on Augusta’s famous MacKenzie designed Teignmouth. Dining is hearty with Head Chef Ben Kingdon’s creative dishes based on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

RELATED: Patrick Goff’s review of Cary Arms, Devon

Cary Arms is easily accessible at just a 25 minute drive from Exeter International Airport and a ten minute transfer from Newton Abbott train station. The inn is under two hours’ drive from Cheltenham and just three hours from Birmingham and four hours London.


Dusit Hotels to bring hotel apartment project to Dubai

Dusit to break ground on new Dubai project

474 343 Daniel Fountain

Dusit Hotels and Resorts has announced the signing of a technical design agreement with ACES Property Development to bring a new hotel apartment project under the DusitPrincess brand to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The agreement was formalised at a signing ceremony recently held at the Dusit Thani Bangkok presided over by executives from both companies, including Dusit’s Group Chief Executive Officer Ms Suphajee Suthumpun and Founding Director of ACES, Mr Kashif Shahzad.

The DusitPrincess ACES Dubai will be located in the Jumeirah Village Circle, in close proximity to the new Al Makhtoum International Airport, the Palm Jumeirah, and other exciting shopping and entertainment venues. Full details will be released at the project’s ground-breaking ceremony to be held soon.


Wynn Resorts Las Vegas expansion

Wynn Resorts announces plans for Las Vegas expansion

1000 571 Daniel Fountain

Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts have discussed plans at a recent investor conference for a new entertainment destination built around a first-ever recreational lake concept. The development is subject to approval by the company’s Board of Directors and will include a 38 acre lagoon, surrounded by a meetings and convention space, a 1,000-room hotel tower, a small casino and extensive dining and nightlife. The elaborate water attraction will include both daytime and night-time entertainment elements.

Tentatively called Wynn Paradise Park, the expansion will be constructed on approximately 130 acres of real estate which currently houses the Wynn Golf Club. The proposed lagoon will be lined by a pristine white sand beach and boardwalk and feature an array of daytime activities including water skiing, paddle boarding and parasailing. At night, the space will transform with an elaborate fireworks display that is launched from the 120-ft centre island and surrounding areas.

“We have a chance to reinvent Las Vegas and make the whole venue an entertainment attraction…an idyllic beach paradise surrounded by white sand beaches,” said Steve Wynn chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts. “People come to Las Vegas from all over the world to live large and have a good time and we can dish up an irresistible entertainment attraction.”

Wynn Paradise Park will add 260,000 square feet of premium meetings space with unobstructed views of the waterfront, spacious guest rooms with a separate bedroom, living room and balcony, and a variety of restaurants, including an expansion of the current Country Club restaurant.

Hotel Jen UK launch

Hotel Jen UK launch – what’s new for 2016?

999 535 Daniel Fountain

Ten Hotel Jen hotels across Asia Pacific have exciting developments and renovations taking place throughout 2016. From Hello Kitty-themed rooms in Johor to a 19th-floor lounge with incredible views in Manila, the new developments are transforming the brand’s hotels into the most stylish business and leisure spaces in their destinations.

Looking ahead over the next three years Hotel Jen has a second phase of expansion planned with two new hotels set to open in Borneo and Kuala Lumpur…


Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
New to the Hotel Jen brand. The former Traders Hotel re-opened in December 2015 following a £22-million makeover that sets the style standard for the Hotel Jen group. The hotel re-opened with 565 refurbished rooms, a lobby, public areas and all-day-dining restaurant. The hotel has a modern functional design concept and allows travellers to blend boundaries between business and leisure.

Hotel Jen - Tanglin, Singapore
Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, Johor, Malaysia
New Hello Kitty-themed rooms by the end of 2016. Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour is widening its appeal to the family market with 12 Hello Kitty-themed rooms to be completed before the end of 2016. The hotel is located near Hello Kitty Town as well as LEGOLAND.

Hotel Jen Brisbane, Australia
Six new meeting rooms for May 2016. The hotel will renovate its six meeting rooms in May 2016, offering stylish and multipurpose NEXTJen Meeting spaces. The rooms will have flexible layouts that will meet the needs of both corporate and social events in the city.

Hotel Jen Manila, Philippines
New 19th floor lounge with incredible views. Windows by the Bay has recently opened; a lounge on the 19th floor offering breath-taking night views of Manila Bay. Guests at the hotel can enjoy private access to the lounge, live music, complimentary welcome food platters and a choice of selected wines and beverages from around the world.

Hotel Jen - Manila

Hotel Jen Shenyang, northeast China
Five guestroom floors to be renovated. Five guestroom floors will be renovated, converting them into new serviced apartments with Jen’s signature design. They will be equipped for long-stay guests to experience the residential feel of being in a home. The extraordinary storage space, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment and the latest technology in room fittings, demonstrates the brand’s concept of creating a place where guests feel like they are staying at a home from home.

Hotel Jen Hong Kong
Refurbished Sky Lounge. Hotel Jen Hong Kong will refurbish its Sky Lounge towards the end of 2016. The new version of the lounge will have sweeping views of Victoria Harbour and homely residential-style décor. The bar will offer small bites and Jen’s signature cocktails and spirits. The aim is for the Sky Lounge to become the venue for pre- or post- dinner gatherings.

Hotel Jen Upper East Beijing
New glass façade, Jen’s Space. Hotel Jen’s first rebranded hotel in China, recently completed a £100k renovation, unveiling a glass façade, a 430-square-metre event space with an eight-metre-high ceiling and a new ballroom. Jen’s Space, as it’s been named, looks onto tropical landscaped gardens with water features and is designed to host local weddings, social events or corporate incentive programmes.

Hotel Jen - Beijing

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore
New Baywatch@Jen rooftop pool bar with city views. The hotel, which launched the brand in September 2014, has just opened a rooftop pool bar called Baywatch@Jen. It now offers full views of Singapore and provides a venue for product launches, fashion shows and other social events.

Hotel Jen Penang, Malaysia
Renovation of all public rooms in July 2016. Hotel Jen Penang will start its renovation of all public rooms and the lobby in July 2016, with the first renovated guest rooms scheduled to open in October 2016 and refurbishment to be completed by June 2017.

Hotel Jen Malé, Maldives
New state-of-the-art gym. The hotel has a newly equipped gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment including treadmills, cross trainers and bicycles with their own TVs.

Hotel Jen - Maldives

Hotel Jen’s second phase of expansion is underway with two new hotels in the pipeline. Hotel Jen Kota Kinabalu, Borneo is scheduled to open in 2018 and will form part of PacifiCity, a new shopping and entertainment complex located along the coastal highway.

The third hotel in the expansion is Hotel Jen Kuala Lumpur which is set to open in 2019. The 200 room property will be 36 stories tall, feature a rooftop sky bar with ‘infinity’ pool as well as club lounge with privileges including express check-in and complimentary breakfast. The hotel will be located in the centre of the city, 800 metres from Kuala Lumpur’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers and 300 metres from the KL Tower. For business guests, the hotel will be ideally located close to the central business district and Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

For more information visit the Hotel Jen website at www.hoteljen.com

Anfield Hotel

£10 million, 100-room hotel planned for Liverpool’s Anfield district

778 436 Daniel Fountain

A 100-room, £10 million hotel being planned for the Anfield area of Liverpool – part of the district’s ongoing £260 million regeneration programme – has been given the green light by city councillors.

The hotel, being proposed by Your Housing Group, will be situated on Anfield Square and will neighbour the new housing scheme and Liverpool FC’s home ground.

It is planned that the hotel will support training and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry to local young people.

Cllr Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, told the Liverpool Echo: “The creation of a training hotel will be a vital part of the whole vision for the Anfield area and the potential of YHG relocating their regional office into the heart of Anfield sends a very strong message about their commitment and will bring added footfall all week and attract further activity.”