Peloponnesia is only known for a couple of things: A long, bloody war against Athens and super awesome beaches. We'll be focusing a little bit more on the latter in this article because Amanresorts is opening a new boutique hotel on the Aegean Sea. I can promise you that the only thing spartan about the 38 rooms here will be their location. Its spa will offer the epitome of personalized service for the few guests this small property makes room for, and you'll be free to tour the historical sites of Ancient Greece or simply relax and take in the views of the pristine Mediterranean landscape. Amanresorts already has a couple properties on the Mediterranean, but you'll find the bulk of their beautiful boutiques further east in Asia, such as the Aman New Delhi, or Aman at Summer Palace Beijing. Specializing in the personal experience, where staff practically outnumbers the guests, Amanresorts are usually great places to relax and escape. We're looking forward to the Amanzoe this summer. In the interim, make sure to check out our other resort on the Peloponnesian peninsula.
As our friends at Luxury Travel Advisor report, something big is afoot at the upcoming Banyan Tree Kerala. Set to open on the 1st of December this year, the hotel is redefining what to expect of a secluded resort. In a scene that I imagine belonging more in the Lord of the Rings than anywhere in real life, arrival to the Banyan Tree Kerala will be heralded by your approach. An approach in a boat, sailed through the tranquil waters and right into the hotel lobby, thus giving them the best boat-to-lobby distance ration (BTL) of any hotel in the world. We all have to be great at something, right? Seriously, it's such a novel concept for a resort brand that prides itself on its exclusivity, and I'm a huge fan of non-traditional lobbies. And what could be more non-traditional than the potent lobby-harbor combination? As their PR Rep told me, "I heard you like boats, so I put a boat in your lobby, so you can check-in while you boat."*
This is certainly a hotel property to be on the lookout for. Banyan Tree always seems to deliver on their particular brand of luxury, and they're clearly looking to innovate on their already successful concept. While you're waiting for the Banyan Tree Kerala to open, check out our other Banyan Tree resorts.
*Not Intended To Be a Factual Statement
March 12, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
The Mansion on Peachtree a Rosewood Hotel is soon to be rebranded as a Mandarin Oriental. This luxury hotel is centrally located at the intersection of Peachtree and Stratford Road in Buckhead, towering high in the Atlanta skyline. The location provides easy access to phenomenal restaurants, shopping, and city attractions. The hotel and residences will be in the slender 42-story property crafted from classically inspired limestone and cast stone for dramatic effect, and the spa facility will feature 14 treatment rooms that will offer Mandarin Oriental’s signature products and therapies. The development plan includes 25 luxury homes that will occupy floors 25 – 42. Make your reservations at the Mansion on Peachtree a Rosewood Hotel soon, and then be sure to explore the new Mandarin Oriental property once it’s up and running!
February 29, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.
Starting off this series is a relatively new kid on the block, at least as far as Five Star Alliance is concerned. The JK Place Firenze has just joined our collection, and we're more than excited to bring them on board, we're...more excited? Weighing in at just a 20-room property, it's almost more a home than a hotel, and that, in my opinion, is what the boutique hotel is all about. Some go the flashier, avante garde route, but the JK Place Firenze has firmly defined itself as the kind of property that immediately sets you at ease as you walk through its front doors. The neo-classical decor is reminiscent of the collection one might build up in a home with a lot of history. Intentionally ecclectic and always tasteful, the antique collectibles and 50s and 60s furniture lend an air of panache to the intimate setting.
The hotel plays home to the J K Lounge, which offers some wonderful dining, and you'll be well within reach of the all the finest establishments in Florence. It's the perfect outpost to explore the city from, a home away from home. So be sure to check out the JK Place Firenze for the kind of personal attention that only a boutique hotel can offer.
February 28, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Vienna get even ritzier than it already is? Sounds crazy, right? Well, it's just crazy enough to be true because the Ritz-Carlton is making its way to Vienna in the second quarter of this year. On the city's iconic central street, the Ringstrasse, the hotel is within walking distance of just about everything you'd want to see, except Schloss Schonnbrunn, which is only a few metro stops away. The Ringstrasse is possibly the most opulent street in Europe and certainly the only one to come close to rivalling the Champs d'Elysees. If you slap Neo- in front of it, the street plays host to just about every architectural style imaginable, and is full of iconic palatial residences, national museums, and gorgeous churches. And just a few stops off the ring, you can find the iconic Cafes that define Viennese cuisine, like the Sachertorte (which may actually be better at Cafe Demel than Sacher itself, but don't tell anyone I said that).
The hotel itself will feature 207 rooms and suites and brings the standard that we've come to know from Ritz-Carlton properties to a city with so many royal empires in its past, you could call it an empirical fact that Vienna has luxury down to a science. Keep on the lookout for this hotel opening, and in the meantime, check out our other five-star hotels in Vienna.
Photo via WienVienna.com
February 22, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.
The Four Seasons St. Petersburg is expected to open mid 2012! This brand new Four Seasons hotel is located within a 19th-century royal palace whose entry is guarded by 2 marble lions. This beautiful hotel is located just 2 blocks from the Hermitage Museum and near the Nevsky Prospekt. It features 177 luxurious guestrooms, including 26 suites, offering phenomenal views of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Alexandrovsky Garden, and the landmark Admiralty. The Four Seasons St. Petersburg also has 2 restaurants and a glass-topped spa, so you’ll have everything you need conveniently accessible. Can’t quite wait until opening day? Then be sure to check out the other luxury hotels in St. Petersburg!
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons
February 17, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
I'm afraid of new things. When someone gives me a food that has even an accent mark over the vowels, I scuttle back into my shell like a timid hermit crab. But something's got me poking my little eyestalks out of my snail shell home. Just on the horizon is the opening of the next Conrad hotel in the Algarve region of Portugal and the crabby world of its sun-soaked southern coast is is all atwitter with talk of its guest rooms that would put any shell to shame. Coming in fall of this year, the new luxury hotel will be right at home in the Ria Formosa National Park, home to as many Roman ruins as it is sandy barrier islands. 158 rooms leave ample space around lakes and gardens that play host to the very best in Iberian flora. Moving inside, you'll find balconies and marble bathrooms aplenty. Eat with Gusto at the signature restaurant (guess the name?), offering the only grilled-to-order meat and seafood that the region is so famous for. And would it be a luxury hotel if it didn't have a spa that claims to be one of Europe's best? You'll just have to come try it out to see if it stands up to the hype when this regional beauty opens its doors. I might even come out of my shell to visit.
In the meantime, why not check out our other hotels in the Algarve region?
February 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
The clever W Paris Opera is set to open its doors on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day. The City of Love will have a new luxury hotel in its collection starting February 14th, 2012, adding a bit more excitement to this already lively city. Make your reservations for Valentine’s Day and be among the first to experience everything the W Paris Opera hotel has to offer.
The W Paris Opera is perfectly located in the heart of all the action in Paris. Take a stroll with your loved one down the Rue de la Paix and indulge yourselves in sparkling jewelry shops, and explore the Granier Opera House, a Parisian landmark. With 91 guest rooms and suites equipped with plush pillows, 350 thread count sheet, and Bliss bath products, you may never want to leave your room! This luxury hotel will steer away from the traditional hotels in Paris and have a backlit digital wall projecting abstract patterns through space, utilizing various colors to create different moods. The public areas of the hotel will have mosaic floors, marble staircases, and stained glass windows while the guest rooms will feature local art and original light fixtures designed specifically for the W Paris Opera.
Explore everything this hotel has up its sleeve and make your reservations today!
February 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
In today’s competitive world, everyone needs a way to stand out from the crowd. Luxury hotels certainly are not any different and are always looking for ways to outshine their competitors and attract more visitors. We understand that our travelers look for the best of the best, and we would like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with an Edge. We’ll be highlighting and featuring a few hotels we feel truly stand out and offer their guests more than is expected. Be sure to check in with us to explore various hotels that deserve recognition for their supreme levels of luxury.
Our second featured hotel is the soon-to-be tallest hotel in the world, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is to relinquish its tallest hotel crown and take the seat behind this new property in Dubai. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has announced that its two towers will stand 1,164 feet tall, and it will offer 1,608 rooms. Unlike other exceptionally tall hotels, this property will be dedicated to hotel operations only. It will offer 9 restaurants, 5 lounges, a 16,000 square foot spa, 24 meeting rooms, private event space, and more. This hotel is scheduled to open in two phases starting in October, and it will have 804 rooms ready for guests. If you can’t wait until then, check out the other luxurious properties we have in Dubai!
Missed our first feature, the current tallest hotel in the world? Check it out here! Be sure to keep up with our blog series for a little inspiration on where to stay next!
A look into the presidential suite; photo courtesy of HotelChatter
February 8, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
The news broke at the Washington Post yesterday that ex-presidential hopeful Donald Trump has turned the long-reaching tendrils of his well-coiffed hair towards the Old Post Office in Washington, DC, by buying it up as a hotel property. While he may be moving in next door to his dream house like an overzealous ex-boyfriend, this is undeniably good news for the hotel industry and for DC as well. The Old Post Office, while home to a few government offices, is also well-known for being a just a little bit abandoned and run down. And since it's on prime real estate in the middle of the city, hearing that Trump and investors are willing to put down a cold $200 million to renovate and revitalize the building should put a spring in the step of anyone looking to stay near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or even just walk by on the way to work.
The hotel will likely open its doors to more than 250 rooms for guests in 2016. Importantly, the Vice-Trump, daughter Ivanka, who headed the acquisition, said that the reconstruction is committed to preserving the historic facade of the original 1890s post office. Making way for the hotel will be National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which probably holds some kind of metaphorical significance, but maybe they'll get swankier offices elsewhere. The hotel itself should be an interesting take on an unorthodox space. The pavilion in the interior makes for a central space that itself has a lot of aesthetic possibility but also limits the floor design. I'm intrigued to see what Mr. Trump's team will do with the place. In the meantime, there are plenty of other Washington hotels within a stone's throw of the White House. [Editor's note: Do not throw that stone.]
Photo via Old Post Office DC Pavilion