December 19, 2005
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.
The Michelin Guide Deutschland 2006 has distinguished the "White Town by the Sea," bestowing an award on the gourmet restaurant Friedrich-Franz in the Kempinski Grand Hotel Heiligendamm. Head chef Tillmann Hahn opened the restaurant in June 2004. The guy's culinary motto? "One cuisine, four aspects." Thus four creative menus-- utilizing the best products from the region and the world—range from Classique, Exotique, Mediterranee, and vegetarian Menu Jardiniere. Framed by the Baltic Sea, the beach and dense forests, the hotel is now blanketed in wintry charm.
December 10, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The French authorities were peeved at the apparent price-fixing schemes and collusion between the big Parisian luxury hotels, and slapped them with a big fine. Now Le Bristol is appealing the EUR 81,000 fine, claiming the information exchange was purely related to average revenues. Hmm, that makes sense. Good luck guys.
Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox is even planning a flag-waving ceremony to advertise the resort area's reopening after that nasty hurricane. But, the Washington Post queries, how ready is it? The resorts to the south, in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, are faring better than treeless Cancun, where about half the town's 27,000 available hotel rooms are open, and a lot of resorts are sadly scarred by eroded beaches.
I told you these guys were good. They just scored big at the seventh annual Luxury Travel Expo today in Vegas, where Sir Rocco Forte—Chairman and Chief Executive of Rocco Forte Hotels—received the Leaders in Luxury Award. His collection of truly exemplary luxury hotels are expanding aggressively across Europe, with hotel openings scheduled for England, Germany and Prague. (The plan—hallelujah!-- is to cover all major European cities.)