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.)
December 8, 2005
By: Guest Writer
St. Pete's notorious hotel scene is about to do a 180. For years marked by a severe shortage of rooms, with chronic unavailability for travelers seeking to discover Russia's most culturally fascinating city, St. Pete's luxury hotel market will double in size next year. Brands like Raffles International, Intercontinental, and Sofitel have disclosed plans for new hotels in the city.
By: Guest Writer
December 5, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Effective January 2006, all 77 Westin hotels in the U.S. and Canada are instituting a new brand-wide smoke-free policy. Following LA and NY restaurants, where smokers are banished to the cold and dreary sidewalks, huddled together in their vice, Westin will begin ostracizing smokers to "designated outdoor areas."
New screening procedures are going into effect on December 22 in the nation's airports, and even little scissors pass the test! So my tweezers won't be thrown out again by some overly-competent airport screener?! Could it be? I was told recently that a sea-shell was a hazardous and dangerous weapon that could not possibly be carried on the plane. Let's hope the rules of old do not linger residually... Via CNN
Following the trend of fashion labels moving into the hotel sector (Armani, Versace and Bulgari), Missoni is creating a new line of hotels. Set to open in 2007, the brand will be all about contemporary Italian life and style. (Will the rooms be decked out in that trademark psychedelic pattern?) Via the International Herald Tribune