Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for August, 2009

Shangri-La’s newest Chinese arrival

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

hotelShangri-La Hotels and Resorts has just opened Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo to complement its current portfolio of 27 mainland China luxury hotels. Long known as a major trading and shipping hub, Ningbo is situated across the Hangzhou Bay from Shanghai. It is one of China’s oldest cities, steeped in history and boasts a number of cultural relics. In modern times, Ningbo has become a major exporter of consumer and electrical products, textiles, food and industrial tools, and is one of China’s busiest port cities.

Ningbo is a two-hour drive from Shanghai via the Hangzhou Bay Bridge and a two-hour flight from Hong Kong. The 563-room Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo luxury hotels is located in the heart of the central business district, at the confluence of the Fenghua, Yuyao and Yong Rivers. As the city’s latest luxury hotel, it is a 20-minute drive from the airport and within walking distance of Ningbo’s largest shopping area, Tianyi Square, and major tourist attractions.

With luxury and technology in mind, the guestrooms at Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo feature broadband internet access, as well as integrated audio-visual equipment. Guests can interface personal electronic devices such as MP3 players, iPods and digital cameras in their rooms – the first hotel in Ningbo to offer such technology. Guestrooms measure from 45 square metres upwards, while suites range in size from 90 to 225 square metres.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo also provides comprehensive event solutions to corporate clients, meeting organisers and the local community. With 5,000 square metres of meeting and banqueting space, facilities include a 2,000-square-metre, column-free grand ballroom – the largest of its kind in the Zhejiang province – and a variety of function rooms suited for any event. In addition, a purpose-built VIP interview room, the first-of-its-kind in the city, offers an excellent facility for guests to hold high-level dialogue.

With a health club comprising the city’s largest lap pool (25 metres), a gym and two tennis courts, Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo is the ideal location for business travellers and local residents to unwind. A fully-equipped and spacious spa with nine private treatment rooms further complements the leisure facilities at the hotel.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo also offers guests a range of dining experiences, including 13 private dining rooms at the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, which serves fine Cantonese cuisine and local culinary delights in a contemporary, yet elegant setting. Yi Café, showcasing open kitchens and views of the city’s three rivers, provides all-day dining. The Lobby Lounge is the ideal venue for meetings and relaxation. Featuring seafood and the most premium cuts of meat, the Lobster Bar and the Grill also provides guests with nightly live jazz performances and chic cocktails.

5 hot reasons to visit Dubai

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

In recent years Dubai has gone from being a country with a relatively small tourism industry to one of the world’s hottest holiday hotspots. And it’s not hard to see why. Here are the top five reasons to visit.

1. Nightlife
Dubai is famous for its cosmopolitan spirit. There are over 100 nightclubs and plenty of bars and restaurants. There is also regular firework displays so you’re night is sure to go with a bang!

2. Shopping
If you like a Bargain, you’ll love Dubai. The world-famous gold market is where you can find gorgeous jewelry at great prices along with other unique treats. But if designer shopping is more your thing then you won’t be disappointed. The country is home to plenty of chic shops and boutiques.

3. Architecture
Dubai’s architecture is amongst the most remarkable in the world. The modern buildings where designed by a host of leading architects resulting in some of the most breathtaking buildings you’ll ever see.

4. Beaches
Dubai is home to plenty of stunning beaches with perfect white sand and gorgeous blue waters, offering the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

5. Weather
Dubai’s climate is nothing short of perfect. In the summer it is sunny almost every day and even during winter despite the odd bit of rainfall the sun still shines. Temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees C during the summer months so be sure to pack your sunscreen!

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Gearing up in Aspen

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Colorado’s largest city, Aspen, has long been acknowledged as the perfect location for a winter getaway.  The ski playground for the rich and famous, during the winter months Aspen is never short of visitors.  But that’s not to say it can’t be enjoyed in the summer too. Here are the top five reasons to visit.

Mountains
Whether you’re heading to Colorado for a winter break or a summer holiday there is plenty to do on Aspen’s mountains.  Skiing is huge here and during the warmer season hiking and mountain climbing are just as popular. Red Mountain and Smuggler Mountain are two of the favourites in the city.

Water Sports
If it’s an adventure holiday you’re after then Aspen will not disappoint. There are three rivers near the city meaning water sports are a popular hobby. Try kayaking or white water rafting. There are instructors on hand so even amateurs can have a go.

Paragliding
And if the mountains and the lakes don’t provide enough activity for you there’s always paragliding! There are plenty of paragliding providers in the city with instructors giving you training before you take to the sky. The sport is becoming more and more popular in the city thanks to the thrill-seeking vacationers.

Music
In July, Aspen hosts the Blue Notes Jazz Festival featuring some of the greats of the Jazz world. But if you don’t make it to thar don’t worry. The city is big on music and regularly features performances from major acts.

Celeb-spotting
Let’s face it, we all love celeb-spotting and there’s few places better to do it than Aspen. A host of Hollywood stars and award-winning singers vacation in the city with many owning property here. Keep your eyes peeled for Mariah Carey who reportedly spends Christmas here every year and Goldie Hawn who owns a home here.

Check out all luxury hotels in Colorado, and all luxury hotels in Aspen from our luxury hotels Aspen and luxury hotels Colorado sections

First Ski Resort from Waldorf Astoria

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The prestigious Waldorf Astoria Collection opened its first ski resort, the Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa, in Park City, Utah. Dakota Mountain Lodge is located at the base of The Canyons®Resort, one of the top-rated mountains for skiing and snowboarding in the United States. Featuring 175 elegantly appointed guestrooms, world-renowned Golden Door Spa and award-winning Spruce restaurant, Dakota Mountain Lodge is Park City’s newest luxury property.

“Dakota Mountain Lodge is our vision of the perfect Park City experience: unparalleled access to world class amenities and service befitting a Waldorf Astoria Collection luxury property, within a stunning alpine setting,” said General Manager Jim Miller. “With an exceptional spa, fine cuisine and elegantly appointed accommodations, we are delighted to bring a new standard of luxury to Park City.”

Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa reflects a contemporary mountain elegance with dark finished woods, tile and stonework – a sophisticated and subtle departure from typical mountain lodge decor. Guests can gather year-round in the large outdoor courtyard that features fire pits and a heated pool and whirlpool spas with sweeping views of the surrounding mountain vistas.

Guestrooms are finished with custom designed furniture, natural colors and rich interiors to create a casual yet sophisticated retreat. Available in king or queen rooms, each room is designed with a gas fireplace, 42″ HDTV, spacious bath with jetted tubs and/or steam showers, and private patio or balcony. Suites are one-to-four-bedroom, some loft style, and feature large gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The Presidential Suite is a six bedroom suite with private study, massage room and exhibition kitchen. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains in the suite’s Great Room through floor to ceiling windows.

Dakota Mountain Lodge features world-class wellness destination Golden Door Spa, widely recognized as the first luxury destination spa in the United States. As one of only six Golden Door spa locations in the world, the resort offers both a destination spa program and individual treatments in a resort setting from Golden Door. The 16,000-square-foot facility with 15 treatment rooms will serve as a day spa for locals, a resort spa for travelers and a destination wellness retreat for spa aficionados. The full service spa features a custom designed fitness center with an extensive menu of classes as well as a hair and nail spa.

Guests will also enjoy the first outpost of award-winning Spruce restaurant of San Francisco, which was named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in 2008. Featuring the same convivial sophistication as the flagship location, the restaurant’s winning formula combines gracious, top-tier service, an exceptional wine program and Executive Chef Mark Sullivan’s contemporary American cuisine that showcases the finest in local and seasonal ingredients. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant has 160 seats with indoor and seasonal outdoor seating, private dining areas and a lounge.

The hotel also offers the option of full ownership with 104 spacious residences, ranging from 359-square-foot studios to 2,015-square-foot four-bedroom, four-bath suites. Hotel residences range in price from $400,000 to $2 million.*

For more information on the resort or for reservations, please call 866.279.0843 or visit www.dakotamountainlodge.com .

Four Seasons Hualalai completes renovation

Monday, August 17th, 2009

A 15-month, $40 million renovation to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island was completed Aug. 10.

“Since it opened in 1996, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has enjoyed a reputation as best of the best,” the resort’s general manager, Robert Whitfield, said in a statement. “These new enhancements raise the bar for luxury resorts in Hawaii and solidify the resort’s reputation as a place where guests return to relax, celebrate success and create memories.”

The work included the creation of 20 new suites, extensive renovations to its 28,000-square-foot spa, beachfront restaurant, lounge and bar, and the addition of two new retail stores.

A collection of one- and two-room accommodations, the property’s 20 new suites feature between 1,150 and 1,950 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space and prominent ocean views.

The resort is offering guests a $1,000 room credit through Sept. 30 2009.

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Grand Wailea offers ‘A Perfect 10′ program to engaged couples

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel on Maui, is offering engaged couples “A Perfect 10,” a collection of discounts, specials and incentives designed to attract soon-to-be-wed pairs planning a wedding for 2010 to the 728-room, 52-suite property.

Under the program, couples booking weddings to take place at the Grand Wailea by Dec. 19, 2010 can avail themselves of perks such as wedding specialist services, honeymoon turndown service with tropical flowers and free use of “casabellas,” or shaded canopy lounge chairs.

In addition, weddings savings include 10% off wedding celebration packages and private, catered events, including receptions, and 50% off the best-available-room rates for newlyweds’ entire stays. In addition, couples who book their 2010 wedding at the resort receive an extra 10% off, making for a total 20% discount on wedding celebration packages.

Abutting Wailea Beach on 40 acres of lush Hawaiian gardens, the Grand Wailea — which unveiled $50 million in renovations this January — offers a total 110,000 square feet of “celebrations space.” The choice of wedding backdrops includes cascading waterfalls, tropical gardens, gazebos, the beach and the New England-style Seaside Chapel.

Grand Wailea’s selection of wedding packages includes the Haleakala Celebration, priced at $5,100. The deal includes use of the Seaside Chapel and gardens for 1.5 hours; services of a wedding specialist and an officiator; two white orchid leis and a tropical bouquet; choice of guitarist, harpist or violinist; a commemorative marriage certificate; a 2-hour photography session and wedding album with 24 prints and an 8-by-11 portrait; a Tiffany & Co. memento; attire pressing; and a gazebo brunch for two.

The Lei Aloha Celebration, priced from $6,500, differs slightly, adding a choice of flowers, a two-tiered wedding cake for 15 and a bottle of champagne. The Candlelight Celebration package, priced from $7,400, adds several premium perks, including an arrangement of 40 candles for the ceremony, upgraded flowers for bride and groom, and a “flower petal scatter” for the walk to the chapel.

A la carte wedding celebrations are also available, priced from $3,900.

Call Grand Wailea weddings at (800) 232-4604, ext. 2804 or visit www.grandwailea.com

Starwood Opens St. Regis Mexico City

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of The St. Regis Mexico City, located on the exclusive Paseo de la Reforma boulevard overlooking the iconic Plaza of Diana. Mexico’s most anticipated new landmark – and the brand’s first downtown hotel in the region – The St. Regis Mexico City features 189 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites each with spectacular views of the city, a signature Remède Spa, and three signature restaurants. Owned by Grupo 1818 and designed by critically acclaimed Yabu Pushelberg design firm and world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, The St. Regis Mexico City offers an unrivaled dimension of luxury, sophistication and bespoke service at one of the best addresses in the world.

St. Regis Mexico City’s signature Remède Spa offers the spa brand’s exclusive Laboratoire Remède skincare line renowned for its anti-aging therapies. Guests can drift away while experienced therapists offer customized massage, facial and body treatments in one of seven discreet treatment rooms or in the exclusive Couples’ Suite. The spa will also feature a Vichy treatment room, manicure and pedicure stations, and men’s and women’s lounges where guests can unwind while indulging in signature refreshments, truffles, and bite-sized indulgences. The hotel’s Fitness Center offers state of the art exercise equipment, an intimate Yoga and Pilates studio and the city’s first panoramic indoor pool.

An ideal destination for weddings, meetings and social events, The St. Regis Mexico City features more than 12,211 square feet of indoor meeting and event space including the Astor Ballroom with more than 9,000 square feet of function space, the 2,600 square-foot Diamond Ballroom and four large breakout rooms. All event space is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art meeting equipment, wireless internet and access to St. Regis’ legendary butler service.

Following in the tradition of the iconic St. Regis Hotel New York, The St. Regis Mexico City will feature the famed hallmarks of St. Regis hotels including the legendary St. Regis Butler Service, bespoke guest experiences and luxury accommodations tailored to meet global travelers’ needs. Trained in the English tradition, the butlers provide ever-present, yet unobtrusive service while anticipating guests needs and customizing each guest’s stay according to his or her specific tastes and preferences.

The St. Regis brand continues to strengthen its presence in Latin America with plans to open The St. Regis Kanai in the Mayan Riviera and The St. Regis Buenos Aires in Argentina. The opening of The St. Regis Mexico City marks the brand’s second hotel in Mexico following the recent opening of The St. Regis Punta Mita in Puerto Vallarta.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Officially Opens its First Property in the Maldives

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

shangril-la-maldives

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives is the first international luxury resort in Southern Maldives Archipelago
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives welcomed its first guests yesterday, marking it as the first international luxury resort on the southern-most tip of Addu Atoll, one of the least spoilt areas in the world.

“After months of preparation and tailored training in order to provide our guests with discreet, personalised and renowned Shangri-La hospitality, we are delighted to launch Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives,” said Jens Moesker, general manager, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. “In a unique location featuring luxury accommodation and offerings, we are confident that the newest property in our portfolio will be the top of mind destination when visitors think of the Maldives.”

The resort comprises 142 spacious stand-alone villas, from private ocean retreats to tropical luxury tree house villas perched three metres above the ground — a first in the Maldives. An elevated infinity pool further enhances the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. In addition to long stretches of white, powdery sand, the three-kilometre-long island features 12 hectares of lush vegetation, 17,000 coconut trees, 45 species of plants and ancient banyan trees as well as nature trails for guests to discover the colourful wildlife.

CHI, The Spa – Shangri-La’s signature spa brand – is located in its own spa village at the resort’s highest geographical point, and offers a diverse range of treatments based on Chinese, Himalayan and Asian healing rituals; as well as Kandu Boli experiences, and unique indigenous treatments inspired by tiger cowrie shell and other natural treasures found in the Maldives.

To discover the fascinating lifestyle and culture of untouched Maldivian villages, guests can take a short boat ride to neighbouring islands. Diving enthusiasts can explore the well known “British Loyalty” shipwreck or dive with giant manta rays with wingspans of more than four metres, which live year-round in the area. Other recreational activities include an Eco Centre and a dive and water sports centre, which features surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and a variety of non-motorised water activities. The resort’s health club offers a well-equipped gym and two tennis courts. An entertainment centre, four retail shops, a dedicated area for children – the Adventure Zone – and a medical centre, are also available at the resort.

Khazaanaage Restaurant, the resort’s flagship dining outlet, offers three living rooms serving three different regional cuisines from the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Arabian Gulf.

In celebration of its opening, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives is offering an exclusive package. From now until 31 October 2009, guests can enjoy a seven-night stay for the price of five. In addition, the offer includes benefits such as return domestic flight transfers from Male to Gan, daily half-board as well as a CHI experience for two. Guests looking for a shorter break can enjoy a complimentary night when paying for a three-night stay.

Starwood Unveils Green Guest Opt-In Program

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Sheraton Seattle announces that Starwood Hotels & Resorts is unveiling the “Make A Green Choice” program nationwide across its Sheraton and Westin brands. Starwood decided to expand the environmentally friendly program, formerly known as “You Tidy, We Treat,” due to the success that it received at pilot hotel Sheraton Seattle.

“Many of our guests are environmentally conscious in their day-to-day lives and decide to stay at the Sheraton Seattle because of our green efforts” says General Manager Matthieu Van Der Peet. “’Make A Green Choice’ is a great way to give our guests a choice to continue their green practices while at the Sheraton Seattle. We look forward to seeing the success we’ve experienced reflected throughout all of the Starwood locations,”

“Make A Green Choice” allows guests to opt out of linen and towel replacement as well as daily housekeeping, giving guests the choice to actively maintain environmental sustainability. Guests can choose to participate in the program for one night or up to three nights at a time during their stay. Guests are rewarded for each night they opt out of housekeeping services with a US$5 gift card to any of the hotel’s restaurants or 500 Starpoints.

A recent survey from USA Travel Association found that 54 million adults are more likely to book travel with companies that attempt to protect and preserve the local environment.  In the first two months of “Make A Green Choice” pilot program at the Sheraton Seattle, over 3,000 guests participated saving about 126,000 gallons of water, in addition to decreasing energy and chemical consumption. Sheraton Seattle also increased bookings specifically because of this program. Through this and other eco-friendly initiatives Sheraton Seattle has been able to reduce their energy index by more than 20% in 2008. It has also been able to recycle over 24,000 pounds, or 12 tons, of materials per month.

“Make A Green Choice” will be coming soon to all Sheraton and Westin’s throughout North America.  Vouchers are only valid during guest’s current stay and can be used at the hotel’s restaurants or in-room dining options. To participate guests must hang a “Make A Green Choice” card outside of their guest room door before 2 a.m. Guests are not eligible for the program the night before checking out of the room.

This program builds upon a long-standing history of supporting environmentally friendly initiatives at Sheraton Seattle. The hotel was recently honored with the 2009 Good Earthkeeping Stars of the Industry Award by the American Hotel & Lodging Association for its creation of a comprehensive Green Strategy, focusing on three major areas: building infrastructure and physical enhancements; increasing associate awareness and involvement; and guest participation.