December 22, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Check out this nifty new site. TripConnect is all about exchanging travel advice with your friends and their network of acquaintances. So you can get travel advice from people who understand what you like! Friendster cum TripAdvisor-- how cool. With TripConnect, folks are able to link to their friends and acquaintances, and see where their friends have traveled. Need a rec for Milan? Consult your network, read the reviews of destinations written by others in your network, or ask that friend of a friend who went 2 weeks ago. Genius.
T and L just released their eagerly-anticipated Top 500 list. Number one in the US is Jackson Hole's Rusty Parrot, while the top in Europe goes to the Château Les Crayères in France. The coolest web feature? You can idle away the hours checking out bird's eye views of the hotels on Google Earth. Via Gridskipper
Hot off the press! Travel Weekly reports today that Fairmont has signed a deal to manage a new luxury hotel developed by star tennis team Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Agassi Graf Development has had their eye on the mountain village of Tamarack Resort in Donnelly, Idaho for quite some time. In the words of Mr. Agassi:
Tamarack is the perfect location for anyone interested in taking a little time out of their lives to get away or spend quality time with their family. Our vision is to create an exceptional lifestyle offering that complements the natural beauty and uniqueness of the resort. It's about bringing the highest standard of quality and luxury to the whole experience.
By Courtney May
Another future hotel casino scheduled to open in the Las Vegas area is the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Scheduled to open in the Spring of 2006 and located at the Intersection of Interstate 215 and Charleston Boulevard in the Northwest Valley section, Red Rock Station claims it is the "Garden of Eden meets Sin City."
This new 70 acre property will feature 414 hotel rooms and 48 suites ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. Additionally, there will be a 3 acre "backyard pool" complex with private cabanas, gardens, and an island. The 20,000 sq. ft. full-service spa will include 25 treatment rooms, a state of the art fitness center, private lap pool and full service salon and barber shop. The casino will be all that you expect in Vegas: 87,00 sq. ft. with 2,800 slots and video poker, 60 table games, state of the art race and sports book, plus a 15 table poker room and 600 seat bingo games. Dining includes 10 full service restaurants, bars and lounges, poolside dining, and a world-class wine cellar. Also on-site is a 16 screen Regal Cinemas, and arcade, childcare facility, and entertainment lounge.
The Resort also boasts a location just minutes from world-class golf courses, desert hiking and horseback riding, the Red Rock Canyon, and cycling-- in addition to the wonderful world of the Las Vegas strip. Thinking of bringing your meetings to Vegas? Red Rock will feature 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting and convention facility space, and offer accommodations for groups from 15 to 1,500. Reservations are currently being accepted for April 22, 2006 through December 30, 2006.
By: Guest Writer
By Courtney May
While in Las Vegas last week for the Luxury Travel Expo, I picked up on a few things that I thought I might share with all those travelers out there who have, will or want to travel to Vegas in the next few years. Between now and 2008, there are a number of new luxury hotels and casinos scheduled to open in Las Vegas. Currently Las Vegas boasts 133,000 hotel rooms and is expected to grow by 2009 to at least 155,000 rooms.
Here is the first example of what is yet to come:
The Trump Las Vegas has already broken ground behind the Fashion Show mall and Frontier Casino. From my room at the Wynn Las Vegas, I could see the starting foundation. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas will be 64 gold-plated stories tall, with 1232 hotel condominiums and 50 hotel condominium suites-- ranging from 635 sq. ft. for a studio condo unit up to 3,530 sq. ft. for a three bedroom suite. The rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, euro-style kitchens, Italian marble floored entries and baths, spa tubs, flat screen plasma TVs, and wireless internet. Additional amenities include spa, fitness center, salon, and a heated outdoor pool. But Trump isn't gambling with this one-- parking will be valet only and there will be no casino! Doesn't sound much like the Vegas I know.
By: Guest Writer
We've got the skinny on new Vegas hotel openings. There's the hotly-anticipated Las Ramblas, positively aglow with star power, which I've been prone to drool over. The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino will squeeze onto the Strip right next door to the Bellagio, its condos and hotel ready in 2008. Steve Wynn's ambitions get more grandiose with the construction of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the 2,000-suite second tower which will be ready for 2008. And what a big year for Sin City! Loews is planning to open its first resort in Nevada; Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort will have 400 rooms, two outdoor pools with cabanas, restaurants galore, and a destination spa. Not to be outdone, the lovely Venetian will be dolled up with the addition of the Palazzo Casino Hotel, a new hotel and retail tower connecting to the classic Vegas hotel. Look out Wynn: Mr. Trump is developing a hotel sin casino right next door, scheduled to open next year. Lastly, W is joining the fray, opening its first hotel with casino in the Harmon Corridor in 2008. Just how big can the sprawling neon funland get?
The mind-blowing Burj Dubai project has just been one-upped by a bigger, badder one in Kuwait. This baby will take-- count 'em-- 20 years to build, and will dwarf the Burj Dubai, at twice the height of the world's current tallest building in Taipei. But I can't help but ask: Why stop at a measly kilometer, when you could shoot for two?
December 15, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Get this. According to Forbes.com, the hotel-building biz in the US was lower than low this year, with only four new hotel openings in the luxury market. But hotel construction around the world is booming; thus seven of Forbes.com's top ten list are international. And without further ado, they are: The Intercontinental Financial Street (Beijing, China), Sofitel of Renmin Square (Xian, China), Hotel Fox (Denmark), The Four Seasons, Hong Kong, Shangri-La Hotel (New Delhi, India), Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Park Hyatt Seoul, The Setai (Miami), The Shoreham (NYC), and the St. Regis Hotel San Francisco.
The holidays are upon us, and for the second consecutive year, The Peninsula Hotels has organized the "Trees of Hope" charity campaign in each of its hotels around the world. They've got gorgeous trees set up in their hotel lobbies, and guests are invited to purchase an ornament to hang on the tree. One hundred percent of the funds are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. (You can also sample the "Teas of Hope" or "Tree of Hope" cocktails in each hotel, and support the cause.) Live in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila, Beijing, Beverly Hills, Chicago or New York, or planning a visit? Get yourself to the Peninsula and help deck that tree!
Le Meridien has announced its first hotel addition since becoming part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts this November. The new five-star Le Royal Meridien Prague, located in a listed building currently used by a bank in the city's Old Town, is due to open in early 2009 and will be the company's sixth hotel in Central Europe.