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- 24 Oct 2011
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The Latest Hotels, Florence, Milan & Los Angeles


Vivanta by Taj Yeshwantpur, Bangalore

Whether your prefer Bottega Veneta’s palatial Suite in Florence or a veritable palace in Saudi Arabia, we present another bumper crop of luxury hotel launches

From the big to the boutique, last month witnessed the openings of hotels and resorts, from Thailand to Saudi Arabia to Los Angeles, from Sofitel Legend, St. Regis, The Dorchester Collection, Starwood Luxury Collection, Vivanta by Taj, Armani Hotels, Hyatt Andaz and Raddisson Blu. Not to mention the debut of Ian Schrager’s PUBLIC concept in Chicago, and three Marriott properties – totalling 584 rooms – all within the new Doha City complex, Qatar.

As we welcome a host of new luxury properties, one particularly iconic Paris location, has announced plans to close for two years, to undertake an unprecedented renovation. Last week it was announced that The Ritz Paris will close in Summer 2012, to undergo 27 months of improvements, something not undertaken since 1979.

The sudden announcement is thought to be a result of owner and billionaire businessman, Mohamed Al Fayed, failing to win France’s coveted “palace” designation honour in early 2011, and one would imagine, to remain competitive with the influx of new entrants, such as Shangri-La, Raffles and Mandarin Oriental.


Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, Aswan

Following a three-year restoration, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan in Egypt has re-opened on the banks of the Nile River. The full service resort is divided into two distinct wings, complimented by a So SPA and four restaurants. The Palace wing comprises 76 rooms – 46 of which are suits – and features Byzantine-style striped arches and other traditional touches. The Nile wing’s 62 contemporary rooms, including 37 suites, feature private balconies and guest bathrooms overlooking the Nile River.

Source: Hospitality Design


St. Regis, Florence

Located on the banks of the river Arno, the freshly launched St. Regis Florence features 81 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and 19 suites, including a spectacular designer suite designed by Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier. Drawing on Florence’s rich artistic heritage, all guest rooms have been decorated in one of three different colour palettes – Medici, Florentine and Renaissance – alongside individually hand carved gold leaf plaques, custom designed furniture, paintings, frescos and crystal chandeliers.

Source: Travel Daily News


Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

Inspired by Hollywood in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, The Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Bel-Air has re-opened after two years of extensive refurbishment and redesign. The hotel now comprises 103 guestrooms and suites, into the hillside offering sweeping canyon views, expansive sliding glass walls, outdoor fireplaces and spacious decks with private spa pools.

Source: Luxury Hospitality Daily


Armani Hotel, Milan

The Armani Group and Emaar Properties PJSC have announced the official opening date of the Armani Hotel Milano, November 10th 2011. The second hotel in the Armani Hotels & Resorts portfolio will feature 95 guestrooms, said to be the largest in the city, as well as an Armani Spa, fully equipped business centre and a gourmet restaurant.

Source: Hotel Chatter


The Naka Island, Phuket

Part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, The Naka Island Resort and Spa is located in Thailand’s southernmost province just off the coast of Phuket. The all-villa island hideaway is accessible only by private speedboat, with just 67 villas appointed with private plunge pools, open-air bathrooms, iPod docking systems and tropical gardens. Guests can also enjoy a comprehensive range of Spa services or take advantage of the many outdoor activities.

Website & Source:


Radisson Blu Aqua, Chicago

Marking the debut for Radisson’s Blu brand in the US, the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago‘s soaring Aqua skyscraper is to open November 1st 2011. The property features 334 rooms and suites on the first 18 floors of the 81-storey Aqua Tower. Overseen by Swedish designer Christian Lundwall, guestrooms feature metal lamps, wood flooring, paper art and timber finishes. The hotel also comprises an indoor lap pool, basketball court, fitness facility and screening room, as well as a 7,000sqm green roof and recreation deck.

Source: Luxuo


Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh

The Ritz-Carlton has opened doors on its first hotel in Saudi Arabia, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. The palatial hotel, with 493 rooms and suites, is situated next to the Diplomatic Quarter and adjacent to the King Abdul Aziz Convention Centre. 49 lavish and exquisitely appointed two-bedroom Royal Suites, each measure more than 430sqm, and 50 two-bedroom Executive Suites are spacious at 104sqm.

Source: Luxuo


Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur

Marking the third Vivanta by Taj property in Bangalore, Taj Hotels opened doors on ‘a new age urban oasis’, targeting corporate travellers, in Bangalore’s Yeshwantpur. The hotel features 327 rooms and suites, drawing on Yeshwantpur’s past reputation as The Garden City, with references to nature throughout.

Source: Breaking Travel News


PUBLIC, Chicago

Ian Schrager, formerly known for his work with Morgans Hotel Group, has opened doors on his first PUBLIC Hotel concept that seeks to take the best from the luxury segment, boutique hotels and select service to create a new genre of hotel. His debut location in Chicago is a complete transformation of the Ambassador East Hotel and its historic Pump Room restaurant, which now features 285 spacious and oversized guest rooms and suites, decorated in a soothing, “no colour” colour palette.

Source: Hospitality Design


Le Dix, Beirut

Located in the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Le Dix comprises 10 high-end seaview suites (duplex Royal Penthouse, Royal, Presidential and Ambassador), each commanding their own floor and private terrace. Guests can choose from one, two and three Master bedrooms, along with fully equipped kitchens and modern technology. Le Dix also offers its guests 24-hour personal butler services and free limousine transport from the airport tarmac.

Source: Business Traveller Middle East


St. Regis, Hainan Island

South China’s first St. Regis Resort, The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort, opens November 11th 2011, on Hainan Island. 401 contemporary guest rooms and suites, including 28 beachside villas, were imagined by Brennan Beer Gorman Architects and feature state-of-the-art modern conveniences such as HD plasma cable televisions, computer and MP3 charging stations, and WiFi access. All hotel guests will have access to St. Regis’s famed butler service.

Website & Source:


Hotel Americano, New York City

Located in New York’s premiere art district, Chelsea, the Hotel Americano is Mexican Grupo Habita’s 11th hotel, designed by Arnaud Montigny, the man behind hip Paris retail outlet Colette. Three types of rooms feature beds on wooden platforms inspired by Japanese ryokans, where guests can order a room service from the in-room iPad, which also has a Hotel Americano playlist of music and listings of cultural activities.

Source: Art Info


Andaz, Shanghai

Marking the first entry of the Andaz brand into Asia, Hyatt have launched the 28-storey landmark Andaz Shanghai. Its 307 rooms offer views of the historical Xintiandi district and boast changeable mood lighting and high-tech glowing sinks and baths juxtaposed against rock face walls. The hotel also houses three restaurant-bars; the Andaz lounger, the Éclair patisserie and the four-level Shanghainese restaurant Hai Pai.

Source: Luxuo


Marriott, Doha

Marriott International has debuted three brands in Doha, Qatar, as part of the Doha City complex that features 340 retail outlets and attractions. The 257-room Renaissance Hotel – spread across 19 levels – boasts 17 meeting rooms spread over nearly 13,000 square feet, along with a Club Lounge, rooftop pool, and business centre.

The 204-room Courtyard Hotel features 204 guestrooms, each offering a spacious desk, laptop-size safe, deluxe bedding, and mini-bar. And for extended-stay corporate travellers, Marriott Executive Apartments feature 123 units with gourmet kitchens and work areas.

Source: Hospitality Design

For more in the series of The Latest Hotels, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Hotels, Bangalore, London & Lagos
- The Latest Hotels, Croatia, the Caucasus & Koh Samui
- The Latest Hotels, Paris, Panama, Puerto Rico


If you are interested in being featured in our next edition of The Latest Hotels, kindly send details of your opening to