Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for August, 2007

Luxury Las Vegas style hotel opens in Macau

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

With tens of thousands of guests, VIP’s, and more than 1,200 members of the media flocking from throughout the region and across the world to see it and experience it, The Venetian(R) Macao-Resort- Hotel opened its doors today and with it ushered in a new chapter in the storied history of Macao.
“In this day and age its commonplace to throw around phrases like historic, groundbreaking, and revolutionary,” said Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) , the parent company of The Venetian Macao. “But it is no overstatement to say that the opening of The Venetian Macao represents a massive paradigm shift for Macao and the future of tourism development in Asia.”

The moment it opened, the US$2.4 billion Venetian Macao became the largest single structure hotel in Asia and the second largest building in the world. Like its sister-property in Las Vegas, The Venetian Macao is a renaissance Venice-themed property featuring stunning replicas of Venice landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, Campanile Tower, and three indoor canals with gondolas and singing gondoliers. The hotel has 3,000 all-suite guest rooms and with one million square feet of retail space, which is more than any shopping mall in Hong Kong, The Venetian Macao now becomes a major destination for the region’s top shoppers. The casino floor, at 550,000 square feet, is the largest in the world and is home to 870 table games and more than 3,400 slot machines.
 
The facility also features the 15,000-seat Venetian Arena, which will make its debut by holding the hotel’s star-studded Grand Opening event later this evening. In the coming weeks, The Venetian Arena will play host to a pair of NBA exhibition games and a match-up of tennis greats Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. The arena’s seating capacity and state-of-the-art equipment instantly make it the top entertainment facility in the region.

The Venetian Macao also has 1.2 million-square feet of meeting, convention and exhibition space, more than twice the amount of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The facility features the largest pillar-less ballroom in Asia and has the catering facilities to provide a five-course banquet for 15,000 guests. Early next year, the 1,800 seat Venetian Theatre will open featuring an original production from world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.

“All of the amazing offerings inside The Venetian make it not only the first fully integrated resort in Macao, they make the building the first-of- its kind anywhere in Asia,” said William P. Weidner, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands. “The Venetian Macao is truly a destination within itself and its presence will help Macao realize its future as a multi-day stay leisure and business destination for millions of people across the region.”

Weidner said The Venetian Macao represents, in one location, all of the key elements — fine dining, upscale shopping, entertainment, all-suite rooms, meetings and conventions, expansive recreation amenities — that have helped make Las Vegas one of the world’s top leisure and business destinations.

“It has taken 76 years and several different generations of transformation to build Las Vegas into a destination that now successfully attracts more than 40 million people annually,” said Weidner. “The majority of that success has happened over the past two decades, a time in which destination resort offerings saw their most substantial levels of innovation. The Venetian Macao represents the very best of that innovation, only now it is being applied in Asia for the very first time to create a multi-day stay destination for Macao.”

In addition to the excitement surrounding The Venetian Macao, the festivities also marks the opening of Las Vegas Sands’ Cotai Strip(TM). The Cotai Strip is a collection of hotel properties to be run by some of the most prestigious names in the hotel industry, including Four Seasons, Sheraton, St. Regis, Shangri-La, Traders, Hilton, Conrad, Fairmont, and Raffles. Las Vegas Sands Corp. will construct and own each of the hotels, as well as operate the casinos and entertainment venues in each hotel. At completion, the Cotai Strip properties will combine to feature 20,000 guest rooms, more than 3 million square feet of retail space and nearly 30,000 seats of live entertainment offerings.

The sweet taste of success!

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Pastry Chef Derryck Adams from Hilton Sandestin Beach & Golf Resort Takes Home First Place in the Chocolate Masterpiece competition.

Many studies have touted the benefits of chocolate, including theories about its power to positively impact moods. So it came as no surprise when Hilton Hotels – dedicated to positively impacting guests’ journeys – challenged its chefs to create the ultimate chocolate concoction. Pastry chef and seven-year Hilton veteran, Derryck Adams from the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Florida beat out 50 other entries to take home first prize for his Cappuccino Chocolate Delight.

‘The Hilton Chocolate Creation Recipe Contest allowed us to highlight the incredible culinary diversity consumers can find at Hilton’s restaurants across the globe,’ said Hans Brosbol, director of food and beverage – Hilton Hotels. ‘The 50 unique entries demonstrate creativity, exceptional talent, and a deep appreciation of local flavors and palates.’

Each chef was asked to use a high-end chocolate to create a unique dish. Contestants submitted a recipe and photograph of the finished product. The 50 entries were judged on the basis of presentation, perceived ease of production and flair and whittled down to 15 finalists. The 15 finalists’ dishes were prepared and tasted by five judges. The winning entry was selected based on presentation (‘wow factor’), ease of production and overall taste and quality.

Other finalists included a Chocolate Moscato D’Asti Mousse from the Hilton Austin, a Grand Couva Chocolate Tropical Mango Exotica from the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center, and a Chocolat Soupe from the Hilton Lac Leamy in Montreal.

THE WINNING RECIPE:

Derryck Adam’s Cappuccino Chocolate Delight

Ingredients (makes 12 servings):

1 slice: chocolate sponge
4 each: egg yolk
2 oz: sugar
8 oz: cream cheese
3 cups: heavy cream (whipped)
1 oz: Myers Original Dark rum
2 oz: coffee espresso
8 oz: Godiva white chocolate
1 cup: heavy cream
12 lb: Godiva dark chocolate
1 oz: raspberry puree
1 oz: mango puree
1 oz: granulated sugar

Directions:

Whip egg yolk until fluffy. Cook two ounces of sugar to a soft ball and add it to the egg yolk. Melt the white chocolate with the coffee and fold it in the cream cheese and whipped cream. Arrange the sponge in a cake mold and soak the sponge with the rum. Pour the mix in the cake mold and freeze it.

How to make a ganash:

1 cup of heavy cream and bring it to a boil, then add 12 oz of dark chocolate.

When the cake is frozen take it out of the freezer and cut it into 12 slices.

Many luxury hotels now offer cooking experiences for their guests – we’ve compiled a list of some of the best in our Cooking Holidays section

Opening this month is the Sheraton Hua Hin

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, Thailand’s newest five-star beach resort will open its doors this month
Nestled on the Gulf of Siam, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa offers deluxe accommodations, panoramic ocean views, and a coveted address in Hua Hin, Thailand’s premier beach community Owned by Grande Asset Development Public Company Limited, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa will also integrate warm, personalized service and a host of comforting amenities into the vacation experience.

Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa features the soothing wood tones and palette of warm, bright colors that are characteristic of modern Thai interior design. The 240-room property consists of nine buildings that surround an inviting lagoon-style swimming pool. A sense of welcome and comfort awaits guests at this stylish new resort, where well-trained associates will provide superior service and a personal touch to make guests feel they belong.
 
‘Blending old world charm with modern comforts, the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa is a choice addition to the Sheraton resort portfolio,’ said Wayne Buckingham, Regional Vice President – Starwood Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia. ‘As Thailand’s oldest, most prestigious beach town and the home of the summer palace for Thailand’s royal family, the historic fishing village of Hua Hin is now an exclusive vacation retreat for Bangkok’s elite, offering visitors a variety of peaks, caves and waterfalls, as well as a wide selection of top-notch seafood restaurants, adventure excursions and golf courses.’

Known as a preferred destination for families, honeymooners, golfers, and business travelers, Hua Hin combines the facilities of a modern holiday destination with the charm of its unique, local attractions. Elephant riding, diving, snorkeling and fishing trips are among the most popular family tours in Hua Hin. Located 124 miles southwest of Bangkok, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa is two and a half hours by car or 40 minutes by plane from Thailand’s capital city. Sheraton Hua Hin is the first internationally branded five-star resort in the area and the closest resort of its caliber to Bangkok.

All deluxe rooms offer a private garden, balcony or direct access to the pool, as well as the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleepersm Bed, a 32′ LCD television, and a spacious open bathroom with full-length mirrors, separate bathtub and shower. Located closest to the beach and overlooking the Gulf of Siam, the resort’s 12 Suites include a 37′ plasma TV, DVD player, walk-in closet with silk bathrobes and BVLGARI bathroom amenities. Wireless high-speed Internet access throughout the resort will keep guests connected with loved ones during their stay.

Five restaurants and bars will offer guests an array of savory delights, ranging from Pan-Asian cuisine to international delicacies. The resort’s more than 2,600 square feet of meeting and function space will provide an ideal setting for meetings and wedding receptions for up to 500 guests. Additional facilities will include a fitness center, two tennis courts, a kid’s club and the Aspadeva Spa, where guests can choose from a wide range of comforting treatments. The resort also offers proximity to several world-class golf courses, and can arrange for water sport excursions and sightseeing tours.

The Peninsula and Rolls-Royce – a marriage made in heaven

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Except for a brief interlude, The Peninsula has used Rolls-Royce motor cars exclusively for its guests since 1970, and the current fleet – the hotel’s eighth record-breaking order – forms part of a long-term partnership between the two companies.

It now has the largest ever single order of Rolls-Royce Phantoms with 14 extended wheelbase cars, all finished in signature Peninsula Green. The Peninsula and Rolls-Royce have been associated  for almost 40 years, in a partnership that began with the hotel’s first order for seven Silver Shadows in 1970.

The relationship commenced with the simple question “Have you enquired?”  When told that a fleet of Rolls-Royces would probably be too expensive for the hotel, Lord Lawrence Kadoorie (father of Sir Michael) enquired if anyone had actually contacted Rolls-Royce to ascertain the cost. That purchase made history for being the largest ever single order for Rolls-Royce motor cars, and set a trend that continues to this day with the arrival of the hotel’s eighth and latest fleet of 14 Extended Wheelbase Phantoms.

The fleet was shown for the first time at the hotel on December 14, 2006, and was unveiled by The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and Mr. Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, when keys to all 14 cars were presented to Sir Michael by Mr. Robertson.

Rolls-Royce engineers and designers worked closely with Sir Michael and Martin Oxley, The Peninsula’s Fleet Vehicle Manager, to develop a number of dedicated features to meet the hotel’s specific needs.  These included the provision of a cool box for chilled hand towels, customised tread plates and a new, larger luggage compartment. In all, it has taken more than 350 hours to build each individual Phantom. Due to the size and complexity of the cars, Martin Oxley and the hotel’s team of chauffeurs travelled to the UK for a week of training at the Sir Henry Royce Training School, Rolls-Royce’s dedicated technical institute. 

The grandest member of the fleet is a magnificent and immaculately restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.  The Phantom II is just six years younger than the hotel itself, having made its debut at the London Motor Show in October 1934.