This summer has sizzled with a slew of sexy hotel debuts. We've rounded up the notables that should be on the radar of the international elite.
It's finally, finally here: The new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is open for business, close to the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—as well as all of Orlando’s shopping and attractions. The ribbon cutting to officially mark the opening of the resort took place on August 1. Guests can choose from 443 rooms, including 68 suites, with configuration options tailored for couples and individuals, and families and friends traveling together. Perhaps best of all, large groups can book a nine-bedroom option in the top floor Royal Suite. The Presidential Suite has four bedrooms, and those who want complete privacy and plenty of room to spread out can book the entire 16th floor. The Resort’s rooms are reportedly the largest in Orlando, and each has a furnished terrace with views across 26.5 acres of gardens, lake and golf course. Good to know: Many rooms have unobstructed views of the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park.
This new hotel is located on the top floors of the Millennium Royal Plaza in the CBD of Zhengzhou, the capital city of the province as well as an important transportation hub in China. At 918 feet, the 60-floor Millennium Royal Plaza is the tallest building in Central China. The JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou is the first Marriott property in Henan as well as the seventh JW Marriott hotel in the Greater China region. Zhengzhou is an important transportation hub within China, and Henan has a rich 5,000-year history. The city has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the historic Shaolin Temple. The new hotel is located in the heart of Zhengdong New District – the new center of Zhengzhou – and is positioned between the Zhengzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center and Henan Art Center. The new property has a total 416 of guestrooms and suites located from the 41st to the 55th floor, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the city.
Croatia is witnessing a tourism growth spurt with investment in high-end hotel development on, among other places, the pristine island of Lošinj near Istria. Newly opened this month is the Hotel Bellevue, surrounded by ancient pine forest in Čikat, a long-time beach destination for the Austro-Hungarian elite. To take advantage of the splendid seaside setting, the resort has a beach bar and sun deck surrounding the saltwater pool. The health-focused Spa Clinic runs a number of wellness programs (think fitness and anti-ageing), while the spa treatments run the gamut from facials to massages using essential oils made of indigenous Lošinj plants and sea salt. Other facilities include a nearby beach stocked with deck chairs and beach umbrellas for guests, a lounge bar, beach bar, and a restaurant serving up fresh fish and Mediterranean delicacies paired with wines from the well-stocked cellar. Rooms face the garden or the sea, and the suites come with private Jacuzzis.
The Abu Dhabi hotel scene continues to heat up with new openings across the emirate. One such property is the Royal Rose, built as a 17th century Parisian palace within walking distance to the Corniche in Abu Dhabi city. Behind the opulent façade, the interiors are equally as lavish; think gold leaf, marble, and large crystal chandeliers. The first five-star hotel from the City Seasons Hotel Group, the Royal Rose opened in the spring with 355 guest rooms including 16 luxury suites, four Rose Suites with balconies, and one Royal Suite equipped with a dining room, walk-in closets and Jacuzzis. Facilities run the gamut from a rooftop pool and fully-equipped spa to a range of restaurant options. There’s Printania for international fare served throughout the day in Abu Dhabi’s favorite buffet style; the Brasserie Café for informal snacks and treats; and the Barocco fine dining restaurant for elegant Mediterranean cuisine.
Built into a hillside overlooking “Cennet Koyu” (Paradise Bay), the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum has 59 guest rooms and 27 suites including two Presidential Villas. Designed in a contemporary style, the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and wood floors covered with Turkish rugs. Most rooms are equipped with terraces (be sure to request a sea view to gape at the Aegean), while suites come with plunge pools and outdoor showers in private gardens. Lounge on the two private beaches or beside the pools, or if you’re feeling more sporty, there’s tennis, basketball, scuba diving and sailing from the aquatics centre, Pilates, yoga, and a jogging path. The hotel also arranges local excursions like tours on a traditional Turkish Gulet or to see local olive presses. At the end of the day, relax with a massage at the spa, which has extensive facilities and even organizes week-long wellness programs. Dining experiences run the gamut from Italian cuisine and Mediterranean specialties to Japanese and south Asian.
The Shangri-La at the Shard, which opened on May 6 in the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe, is taking it to another level. Literally. Luxury Travel Advisor recently checked into a 50th floor guest room and reveled in the view from the top. What are the rooms like? There’s nothing theatrically opulent about the decoration, as the outside views are the focal point. Instead, the 185 rooms and 17 suites channel comfort, elegance and functionality. Starting with the green tea ritual served in-room at check-in, the Shangri-La experience is about intuitive hospitality and thoughtful touches: fresh fruit and bottled water, umbrellas for London’s notorious weather, a desk with built-in electrical adapters, a nespresso machine for your morning coffee fix while watching the sunrise. Did we mention the binoculars on your desk? You could live in the spacious bathrooms, decked out with heated marble floors, Toto washlet toilets, and Acqua di Parma amenities. Some rooms even have stand-alone tubs positioned in front of the bathroom window for soaks with a view. We recommend the Iconic City View Rooms, which have a unique “corner” perch thus affording three-way views over the city. There is only one on each level (i.e. No. 5001). This room category also comes with an in-room iPad. Because the views are the show-stopping attraction, the rooms are priced accordingly; northern views are more expensive. Note: Because of the unique design of the Shard, a few rooms can see into their neighbor’s room through reflections in the glass. That’s where the black-out shades come in handy. With the flip of a switch, you can adjust the shades to block sunlight, for example, or cover the windows on one side of your room.
As the 10th Peninsula Hotel worldwide, the Paris property represents a true “labor of love” with over six years of design and construction employing the skills of France’s finest artisans. A feat that French newspaper Le Figaro calls “pharonic.” As we reported back in the May issue of the magazine, this debut was one of the most anticipated openings of the year.
Sofitel has made a splash with its Sofitel So Hotel in Singapore (Karl Lagerfeld himself designed the “Lion's Seal” emblem), but Accor’s high-end brand is also making headlines with its Sofitel Legend Hotels. These properties—including Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, and Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena—are housed in iconic heritage buildings. The latest to join this elite group is the Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xian, which is located in the historic city of Xian, China's capital through 13 dynasties and today an important cultural center where visitors flock to see the Terracotta Warriors. Sofitel renovated a landmark building that first opened in 1953 as the State Guesthouse, situated in gardens belonging to an imperial palace. Through the years, the hotel welcomed world leaders and dignitaries. Today the building is part of the Accor-managed Renmin Square hotel complex.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is locted on the 52 story Toranomon Hills tower from floors 47-52, a multi-use high-rise for high-end business and lifestyle. Located between the Tokyo Tower and Imperial Palace, the hotel offers access to key locations and sites, including the Ginza shopping district, cultural attractions and the city’s central financial area.
Following a $15 million renovation of the former Residences at Kapalua Bay, the new all-suite resort is a private oceanfront escape with an emphasis on luxury in a Hawaiian setting. Montage Kapalua Bay offers 50 luxurious residential-style suites, ranging from one to four bedrooms. Note: Montage Kapalua Bay also offers 54 Montage branded residences for purchase. Each room features large "lanais" (balconies), offering a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring islands. Guestrooms include a new, sleek color palette and furnishings, including day beds on the balconies, creating a flowing indoor and outdoor entertainment space. Note: Suites are also equipped with full gourmet kitchens to prepare meals or where Montage chefs may prepare dinner for VIPs. Other comforts of home include signature Montage bedding, a spacious living area including a sectional sofa with an additional bed and a washer and dryer. Nice Touch: Bringing a touch of the authenticity of the island into the experience, each guest suite will feature an original piece of hand-painted local artwork.
SLS Las Vegas will be the first new resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip in nearly five years when it opens this month. Moving forward, SLS Las Vegas’ marquee will count down the number of days until the property officially opens its doors. It is expected to have 1,600 guest rooms and suites as well as 30,000 square feet of meeting space. With the new opening date set, SLS is now accepting room reservations for stays beginning August 23. Dining reservations for Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Cleo, Katsuya, Ku Noodle and The Griddle Cafe are also available.