Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for the ‘ Hotel Chains ’ Category

Spotlight on: Heritage Hotels, East Africa

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Heritage Hotels is a world-renowned hotel and leisure operator which arguably provides the most complete and wide-ranging ‘beach-and-bush’ adventure in all of East Africa.

With eight properties ranging from the ‘thrill-a-minute’ ship-themed Voyager Beach Resort in Mombasa and its sister safari camp in Tsavo, to a uniquely exciting circuit of luxury safari camps and resorts under the world-famous Intrepids umbrella, to a five-star retreat on the Arabian isle of Lamu and the most celebrated luxury safari camp in the Maasai Mara game reserve, Heritage can rightly claim to offer its guests the very best of Africa – at whatever price they want to pay.


Mara Explorer

Masai Mara, Kenya

The luxury canvas getaway poses on its own private peninsula with the Talek meandering around it. Pods of hippos lounge in the muddy waters during the day and it’s not uncommon to see the occasional crocodile sunning itself on the sandy beaches edging the riverbanks. Just as the name implies, Mara Explorer is for those who want to explore the wild tapestry of the Mara. There’s the Rhino Ridge, the Topi Plains and the lifeline of the wild paradise, the Mara River. The 1,510 square kilometer reserve will keep you enchanted with its rich plethora of wild flora and fauna.

Scores 4.87 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


Mara Intrepids

Masai Mara, Kenya

On the vast savannah grasslands of the Masai Mara National Reserve with the Talek flowing past, Mara Intrepids Camp is set in deliciously wild country. Few places on earth can rival the setting of Mara Intrepids on the vast savannah grasslands of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This world famous reserve is the northern extension of the sprawling Serengeti of Tanzania and the two ecosystems make for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet.

Scores 4.81 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


Samburu Intrepids

Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

This luxurious tented lodge offers 30 modern and newly refurbished tents with a private view over the wildlife-rich riverbanks. All the tents are large and spacious under palm-thatched roofs with netted screens to allow for the river breeze to keep them cool and give you stunning views of the land that is Samburu. Each tent sits on a raised deck overlooking the brown river where the elephants sometimes make an appearance or the crocodiles come out to lounge by the river’s banks. You can also choose to have private candlelit dinners on the deck of your canvas villa and should it get a trifle too hot, all tents are fitted with fans.

Scores 4.89 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


Voyager Ziwani


With a spectacular view of mystical Mount Kilimanjaro, and easy access to the wild attractions of Tsavo West National Park, Voyager Ziwani offers a tranquil retreat in one of the wildest places left on Earth. Located on a private 30,000-acre farm on the western edge of Tsavo, the camp sits on a secluded dam on the Sante River – home to turtles, crocodiles and hundreds of basking hippos. The 25 tents guarantee a high level of privacy and personal attention, and have made the camp one of Kenya’s most popular honeymoon destinations.

Scores 4.57 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


Voyager Beach Resort


With a spectacular view of mystical Mount Kilimanjaro, and easy access to the wild attractions of Tsavo West National Park, Voyager Ziwani offers a tranquil retreat in one of the wildest places left on Earth. Located on a private 30,000-acre farm on the western edge of Tsavo, the camp sits on a secluded dam on the Sante River – home to turtles, crocodiles and hundreds of basking hippos. The 25 tents guarantee a high level of privacy and personal attention, and have made the camp one of Kenya’s most popular honeymoon destinations.

Scores 4.46 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


Kipungani Explorer

Lamu Island, Kenya

Located on the ancient Arabian island-paradise of Lamu, Kipungani is one of Africa’s most remote, relaxing, and richly romantic coastal hideaways. Overlooking the tranquil waters of the sheltered Kipungani Channel, on the remote southwestern tip of Lamu Island, Kipungani is a dream destination for those seeking a true away-from-it-all desert island holiday.

Scores 4.79 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers


The Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort


The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort borrows its name from the stunning land it sits on.  The Great Rift Valley is one of the greatest natural structures on earth, visible from outer space, stretching 5,500 kilometers. Straddling the rim of the mighty Eburru, every view from the room shows a facet of the Valley’s dynamic vistas.  Built around an 18-hole golf course, the lodge is leisurely set on a wide expanse of the massif – each villa and room opening to surreal settings.

Scores 3.81 out of 5 based on TripAdvisor reviewers

Starwood’s Luxury Collection arrives in Dubai

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Located on the exclusive Dubai Marina, the prestigious 45-story Grosvenor House hotel first opened its doors in 2005 and quickly became one of the world’s most acclaimed hotels. “Celebrated for its exceptional location, luxury amenities and breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, Grosvenor House adds another jewel to The Luxury Collection portfolio.” Custom-designed to celebrate the essence of Dubai, the hotel seamlessly blends exquisite Arabian décor with contemporary sophistication. Offering the latest innovations in technology and design, Grosvenor House features 422 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, suites and apartment suites, world class cuisine, a state-of-the-art fitness facility and spa, business areas equipped with cutting-edge technology and unparalleled premium service with butlers on call 24 hours a day.

The Luxury Collection is a portal to the world’s most enriching and desirable destinations, where nothing less than an exceptional level of service, perfect location and indigenous personal offerings will do,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “Celebrated for its exceptional location, luxury amenities and breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, Grosvenor House adds another jewel to The Luxury Collection portfolio.”

Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe’s most iconic hotels, today The Luxury Collection is a glittering ensemble of more than 75 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries across the globe including Hotel Danieli, Venice; Hotel Imperial, Vienna; Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens; Patios de Cafayate, Argentina; SLS at Beverly Hills and The Phoenician, Scottsdale.

“We are excited to bring the promise of The Luxury Collection brand to the United Arab Emirates with the debut of Grosvenor House, Dubai. This hotel is a true expression of its destination, making it the perfect addition to The Luxury Collection,” says Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The property’s sought-after location, impeccable service and sumptuous interior will ensure a unique and enriching experience for all our guests.”

What’s in store for Westin? answer: 14 New and exciting hotels for 2010

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Westin are going to be busy this year with the opening of 14 new luxury hotels. We’ll keep you up to date as and when they all open their doors.

Westing has planned openings in China, Greece, Japan, India, Mexico, the United States, and Canada – including newly opened The Westin Wall Centre in Richmond, Vancouver. Other 2010 openings include The Westin Mumbai Garden City in India; The Westin Nanjing in Shanghai, China; The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino in Messinia, Greece; The Westin Austin at the Domain in Austin, Texas; and The Westin Sendai in Sendai, Japan.

In 2010, Starwood will debut the Westin brand in Peru with The Westin Libertador, Lima and expand the brand’s footprint in Latin and South America with its fifth hotel in Mexico and its first in Mexico City, The Westin Santa Fe. In the next three years, Westin will open two additional hotels in Mexico and its first in Panama.
“The Westin brand has significant new-build opportunities in numerous emerging and fast developing economies,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “Within more mature markets like North America and Europe, however, we are seeing – and expect to continue to see – more, quality conversion opportunities realized as transaction activity increases. Westin is a high value-add conversion brand, and many owners and investors seek opportunities to enhance a property’s performance by upgrading to the Westin brand. Starwood is taking a pragmatic approach to conversions, but will of course be vigilant in preserving the brand integrity that has been a key driver of its success.”

As business and leisure travel to and from emerging markets increases, Westin is establishing a leading presence in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Starwood’s wellness-inspired brand, Westin will introduce its healthy-living initiatives to travelers in new cities, and when travelers from Asia and other developing destinations increase their travel internationally, they are likely to stay with familiar brands they know from home.

“The Westin brand is at a pivotal point in its life cycle, with an unprecedented opportunity for international growth,” said Nancy London, Vice President of Westin Hotels. “Today, the Westin brand is primarily in North America, with 70 percent of our portfolio in Canada and the United States. But looking ahead in 2010, Westin is poised to share its positive lifestyle messaging with travelers across the globe with new properties in China, India and Latin America.”

Volunteer at the Ritz

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

A new holiday concept has been launched by luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton.

The Give Back Getaways scheme allows vacationers to get involved in local ecological and humanitarian projects during their holidays, the Daily Telegraph reports.

For example, those staying in the chain’s luxury hotel in Berlin are given the opportunity to help out in the local Sonnenhof children’s hospital, as well as enjoying the city’s tourist hotspots.

Bruce Himelstein, vice president at Ritz-Carlton, commented: “All our hotels are involved in their own local projects.

“Now we’re giving our guests the chance to join us in some of the work we do.”

Sue Stephenson, who runs the programme, added: “The whole scheme has grown out of the interest guests have already shown in helping with local projects – they’ve already joined us informally in projects in New Orleans, Sarasota, Ellis Island and Alcatraz.”

Further information about the various Give Back Getaways on offer can be found at the luxury hotel group’s website,

Four Seasons – the early days…

Monday, November 26th, 2007
Meet Isadore Sharp, one of four children of Polish parents who immigrated to Toronto before his birth in 1931. Issy, as he is known to his friends, worked at his father’s construction company after college, and while building a motel for a client, formed the ambition of building and running a motel of his own. Sharp opened the Four Seasons Motor Hotel in 1961 with 125 affordable rooms in a rather seedy area outside the core of downtown Toronto.At that time, a would-be hotelier had two choices. He could build a small motel with fewer than 200 rooms and simple amenities. The capital requirements were modest, and per-room operating costs were low. The alternative was the large downtown hotel catering to business travellers. Such hotels usually had at least 750 guest rooms and extensive amenities, including conference facilities, multiple restaurants and banquet rooms. Sharp’s fourth hotel, a 1,600-room downtown convention hotel featuring a huge shopping arcade, met that description. Like Sharp’s first motel, it was profitable and popular.

Each type of hotel had its advantages, as well as distinct drawbacks. For all its comfort and intimacy, the small motel wasn’t an option for the business traveller who needed a well-appointed meeting room or state-of-the-art communications facilities. Large hotels produced a big enough pool of revenues to fund the features the market demanded, but tended to be cold and impersonal.

After opening that fourth hotel, Four Seasons Sheraton, in 1972, Sharp sought, in his words, “to combine the best of the small hotel with the best of the large hotel.” He envisioned a medium-sized hotel – big enough to afford an extensive array of amenities, but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy and personalized service.

Sharp reasoned that if the Four Seasons offered distinctly better service than its competitors, it could charge a substantial premium, boosting revenue per room to the point where it could offer top-of-the-line amenities. Before he could ask guests to pay a super-premium room rate, though, Sharp understood that he would have to offer them an entirely different kind of service.

Salience at Four SeasonsWhen he considered what his guests, mostly travelling business executives, were looking for, Sharp’s view of salience more nuanced and humane than that of his rivals. “Luxury, at that time, was seen chiefly as architecture and décor,” says Sharp. “We decided to redefine luxury as service – a support system to fill in for the one left at home and the office.”

Four Seasons became the first to offer shampoo in the shower, 24-hour room service, bathrobes, cleaning and pressing, a two-line phone in every guest room, a big, well-lighted desk, and 24-hour secretarial services. Defying the traditional approach in the industry, which was to set a relatively fixed standard of physical and service quality across the entire chain, Sharp made sure each city’s Four Seasons reflected the local colour and culture.

Sharp also recognized the salience of the hotel’s ownership structure. To his rivals, operating and owning went hand in hand. But ownership tied up capital and exposed the hotelier to fluctuating local real estate values, and diverted valuable senior management time. Four Seasons shed those burdens by becoming the first big hotel company to manage, rather than own, the hotel facilities that bore its name.

Causality at Four SeasonsCertain causal relationships are obvious to anyone in the hotel business. The traditional belief was that a full-service business traveller hotel needed at least 750 rooms to generate the revenue to pay for its amenities. Sharp saw a more complex relationship between hotel size and amenity. If he could provide his guests with a higher standard of service, they would pay significantly more per room per night.

How could Sharp attain that level of service? By seeing the causal link between the way a hotel treated its employees and the way employees treated their guests. Rather than treating its employees as disposable, Four Seasons distinguished itself, in Sharp’s words, “by hiring more for attitude than experience, by establishing career paths and promotion from within, by paying as much attention to employee complaints as guest complaints by pushing responsibility down and encouraging self-discipline, by setting performance high and holding people accountable, and most of all, adhering to our credo, generating trust.”

Sharp’s management has generated enough trust to establish Four Seasons as the employer of choice in the hotel industry. When the New York City location opened in 1994, more than 30,000 applicants applied for 400 jobs. And until 2007, the company appeared on Fortune magazine’s list of the ‘Top 100 Companies to Work’ every year since the ranking first appeared in 1998. Architecture at Four SeasonsIn architecting Four Seasons’ competitive strategy, Sharp did not proceed sequentially. Instead of first deciding how big a hotel would be, then establishing service standards, and then setting human resources policy, he kept the chain of considerations in mind while working on individual links in the chain.

One organizing principle runs through the entire Four Seasons organization. Everyone is guided by the Golden Rule: in Sharp’s words, “to deal with others – partners, customers, coworkers, everyone – as we would want them to deal with us.” Every phase of hotel operations coheres around this strategy. Significantly, Four Seasons has no separate customer service department. Everyone at the Four Seasons is not just a member of the customer service department, but in charge of it.Resolution at Four SeasonsSharp set out to create “a reputation for service so clear in people’s mind that Four Seasons’ name will become an asset of far greater value than bricks and mortar.” The results speak for themselves. With 73 hotels in 31 countries, and with 25 properties under development, Four Seasons is considerably larger than the next biggest luxury player. Condé Nast Traveler ranks 18 Four Seasons hotels in its global Top 100 list, more than three times the next most cited chain. A Four Seasons signifies that a city has become a global destination.

Sharp succeeded because he was willing to consider a broader set of salient features, delve into more complicated causal relationships, and architect holistically the decision facing him. His resolution produced a system of reinforcing activities, each of which fits with and strengthens the whole. In the process, he did nothing less than fashion a new way to succeed in the luxury lodging business.

Wednesday: Bob Young and the rise of Red Hat Software

Reprinted from The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by arrangement with Harvard Business School Press. Copyright 2007 Roger Martin. Prof. Martin is Dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He holds the Premier’s Chair in Competitiveness and Productivity and serves as Director of the AIC Institute for Corporate Citizenship at Rotman.

Raffles To Manage Historic Le Royal Monceau In The Heart Of Paris

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Raffles Hotels & Resorts has yesterday signed an agreement with Royal Monceau Pte Ltd to manage the historic Le Royal Monceau hotel in Paris. The hotel will join Raffles Hotels & Resorts’ award winning collection of luxury properties in winter 2008.
Le Royal Monceau is jointly owned by Alexandre Allard and Qatari developer, Barwa Real Estate, with Mr. Allard assuming majority ownership. Alexandre Allard is a well respected French entrepreneur, known for his association with luxury brands and his visionary ventures. His heartfelt passion and vision for Le Royal Monceau is an inspiration, bringing together the sophistication of Parisian culture and the inimitable service for which Raffles is renowned worldwide.

Le Royal Monceau is scheduled for refurbishment in 2008 and is greatly anticipated to re-open as a 21st century French masterpiece, fully restored to its former glory under the creative eye of renowned French designer, Philippe Starck. When it re-opens, the hotel will feature 152 of the most spacious and luxurious rooms and suites in Paris, with each guestroom exuding the elegance and residential charm that Raffles hotels and resorts are known for, while maintaining Le Royal Monceau’s unique style which celebrates the French tradition of ‘art de vivre’.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts will also introduce several environmentally friendly practices, such as the use of Hybrid cars, a solar energy heated swimming pool and recycling processes for water, when Le Royal Monceau makes its re-debut in 2008.
Le Royal Monceau enjoys an unsurpassed location on Avenue Hoche, just minutes from the famous Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The hotel opened in 1928, and since then has welcomed numerous dignitaries, celebrities and artists.

Each level of the hotel will feature a private lobby and residents will be able to enjoy residency in rooms that offer features unique in Paris, such as rooms with a view of the hotel’s generous landscaped gardens – a rarity in Paris, elegantly appointed duplex suites, and rooms complemented with private balconies. Each room will be individually designed and decorated with modern artwork and contemporary colour palates to exude a timeless feel.

When re-opened, Le Royal Monceau will offer 5 exquisite dining and bar options. From Italian favourites enjoyed al fresco style in the midst of an enchanting landscaped garden, to French cuisine in a fine dining ambience, gourmet aficionados will have much to revel in.

Residents seeking a sophisticated luxury spa experience will find the new Spa at Royal Monceau an ideal sanctuary in which to indulge in the joy of living well. With more treatment rooms to cater for the demand from wellness seekers, a beautifully redesigned indoor swimming pool and a new fitness centre with top of the range equipment, the Spa promises to be a haven of wellness and bliss.

With a team of private butlers, when Le Royal Monceau re-opens, residents will be pampered with attentive and intuitive service, all undertaken in the heartfelt and gracious
manner for which Raffles is renowned. Residents wishing to discover some of the best kept secrets in Paris, the fashion mecca of the world, can also seek the advice of an in-house Fashion Advisor and Personal Shopper.

Le Royal Monceau will make a precious addition to Raffles Hotels & Resort’s collection of heritage properties, which includes Raffles Hotel Singapore, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap, Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh and Raffles Beijing Hotel, China. The Group’s approach to the restoration of historic buildings is underscored with a deep respect for each building’s treasured memories. This sensitivity has earned for each of its heritage hotels and resorts global recognition as among the finest in the world.

Said Alexandre Allard, President Royal Monceau Pte Ltd., ‘Raffles Hotels & Resorts is renowned not only for its expertise in hospitality, service and culinary excellence, but also for its appreciation and respect for local culture. Under the Raffles management, Le Royal Monceau will be the epitome of gracious hospitality imbued with true Parisian spirit. We are very pleased to be working with Raffles, and have no doubt that discerning travellers to Paris will find Le Royal Monceau, a veritable Palace of the 21st century.’

‘We are delighted to have been entrusted with this historic property, and to bring the Raffles name to this much sought-after destination. With its array of old and new world attractions, Paris continues to be the destination of choice for millions of visitors each year,’ commented Bill Fatt, Chief Executive Officer, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. “We look forward to working with our partners to fully refurbish and restore Le Royal Monceau to its original grandeur.”

Diana Ee-Tan, Managing Director, Raffles Hotels & Resorts added, ‘We have always wanted to extend the presence of Raffles to Paris, and we are thrilled that we now have this opportunity to be a part of this vibrant city. Le Royal Monceau will be distinguished by the heartfelt service, refined ambience and residential charm that Raffles hotels and resorts around the world are known for, to become the favoured home-away-from-home for privileged travellers to Paris.’

One to watch out for: Trump Hotel Collection

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Ten years after Donald J. Trump unveiled his vision for a luxury condominium hotel at Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, the internationally renowned developer and his three grown children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — are taking the concept worldwide.
Trump Hotel Collection represents the next generation of luxury hospitality — one that promises to raise the bar on the top-end travel experience with a style of customized service that is unmatched.

The brand’s forerunner, Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, will soon be joined by distinctive new sister properties: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago (December 2007) and Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas (early 2008). Several additional hotel projects are under development in locations ranging from downtown Manhattan, where the Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium New York is slated for a Spring 2009 opening, to Dubai.

“The creation of the Trump Hotel Collection is a natural extension of our brand in the luxury sector of the hotel industry,” announced Donald J. Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization. “Each hotel will be distinguished by outstanding architecture created by some of the finest architects in the world and complemented by the highest level of personalized service. These are great hotels in established and emerging destinations, and we are very proud to launch them around the world.”
“The preeminence of the Trump name in the real estate market makes us uniquely qualified to succeed in the luxury hotel arena and bring it to a global market,” added Jim Petrus, chief operating officer of Trump International Hotels Management LLC. “As a new brand, Trump Hotel Collection offers a unique opportunity for the Trump family to make its mark on the international luxury hospitality market. It is an entrepreneurial venture that is a true project of passion for two generations of Trumps.”

Each hotel in the Trump Hotel Collection will be new construction, with distinctive architecture that will add a bold statement and a sense of intrigue to the local landscape. And each will be further distinguished by world-class dining experiences, the personalized services of a Trump Attache, and the unprecedented pampering of The Spa at Trump. Several current developments have a residential and/or condominium component, combining luxury residences with spacious hotel accommodations.

Trump Attache

Introduced at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York a decade ago, Trump Attache is expanding into a brand-wide program that dedicates an entire department to delivering uncompromising, individualized service to every hotel guest upon request. Complementing the concierge and going beyond butler service, the Attache meticulously records individual preferences and maintains a detailed guest history to ensure that no stay feels like the first and no request needs repeating. This includes everything from arranging for an in-room chef or personal trainer to stocking kitchens with favorite groceries, printing personalized business cards and stationery, shopping for gifts, arranging special in-suite appointments for children, and meeting transportation needs from limousines to private jets.

The Spa at Trump

The Spa at Trump will make its brand debut at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Each spa will be distinguished by world-class facilities and an unprecedented level of luxury and personalization. Signatures of The Spa at Trump will include a choice of Trump-inspired Personal Intentions with corresponding signature treatments, an exclusive line of skin-care products and services by Kate Somerville, a selection of treatments designed for each location, and a personal Spa Attache to guide each guest through the spa journey.


All guest accommodations in the Trump Hotel Collection — ranging from spacious guest rooms to expansive, three-bedroom suites — will be residential in style, luxurious in appointment, and supremely comfortable, with custom-designed furnishings and the latest technology for business and entertainment. Premium bedding will include fine linens such as 500-thread-count Bellino Italian sheets, feather/down comforters and pillows, and Trump signature sleep systems by Stearns & Foster. Gourmet kitchens will be fully equipped with elegant wood cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances by such world-class names as Subzero, Wolf and Miele, while sumptuous bathrooms will pamper with deep soaking bathtubs, separate showers, and elegant details from premium fixtures to custom vanities. Each location will offer special amenities such as fresh flowers, in-suite coffee service, local books and magazines to enhance the elegant, residential ambience and provide a sense of place.

Future Developments

Trump Hotel Collection is poised for a global expansion. Currently under development are projects in Baja, Mexico, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, Chicago, Dubai, U.A.E., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York’s SoHo, Panama City, Panama, Toronto, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Waikiki, Hawaii. Trump Hotel Collection, a division of The Trump Organization, is headquartered at Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022.