The desert just got hotter. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., today announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions. W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience and is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city. With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants led by world-class chefs including Massimo Bottura and Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm will shine bright in the famed City of Gold.
“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of a W come to play.”
Splendor of Sight and Sound
The breathtaking design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.
The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.
All 350 guest rooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.
After checking in, guests can check out the incredible amenities of W Dubai – The Palm, including the hotel’s multiple pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience directly facing a fabulous beach with views of the Dubai skyline. Here, guests can swim, soak up the sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Relaxing, social and surreal, the space also features a Beauty Bar for touch-ups and ‘Quick Fix’ treatments. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.
Indulge the Senses
W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The new destination restaurant borrows the phrase from the signs that hang in closed store fronts along the Italian Riviera of Massimo’s childhood. From the minute guests step through the doors to the last morsel, Massimo mixes deeply personal nostalgia with the decidedly avant garde in a masterful yet playful menu of his favorite recipes. The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.
Pro snowboarder turned adrenaline-fueled culinary master Chef Akira Back brings his modern taste of Japanese cuisine prepared with a Korean essence to the Middle East for the first time at Akira Back. The entrance is marked by a vortex, meant to instantly transport guests to Back’s world. Inside, the design is inspired by “Wabi-Sabi,” the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and acceptance of the natural progression of growth, life and death. The walls of Akira Back are accented with shattered porcelain intricately arranged in inlaid concrete patterns.
SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.
LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.
W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring over 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allow W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.
“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”
Radisson Blu unveils the rebirth of a Kyiv legend
Radisson Blu, the upper upscale hotel brand that delivers a positive and personalized service in stylish spaces, is delighted to announce the reopening of a Kyiv legend following its complete refurbishment. With 254 newly renovated guest rooms, a conference area, lobby and lobby bar, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv near Golden Gate in Ukraine’s capital has undergone a remarkable transformation.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv presents its new look after a full renovation of the entire hotel – completed in partnership with OMO Design. Combining stylish design (where the local heritage is interpreted through modern materials), comfortable social areas for guests, and attention to the smallest details, the hotel aims to provide unforgettable experiences on every visit to the renewed Kyiv legend.
Jesper Henriksen General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv, says: “When it came to the renovation and redesign of Kyiv’s first-ever international branded hotel, we did not want to simply recreate the previous style. We wanted to integrate and reflect the local heritage, to show the connection with the Golden Gate, the Yaroslaviv Val street and the original historic building style. For this purpose, we looked for a Ukrainian designer who could do it in a proper way. And, today, we are proud to present the rebirth of a Kyiv legend.”
Natalia Shchyra, the British-Ukrainian designer, Principal at OMO Design, said:“We call this project timeless. The hotel’s building is located at the site of the ancient city wall, the Golden Gate, and near the UNESCO world heritage site of St. Sophia Cathedral. This means it carries a powerful ancient energy within its walls. Our vision was to blend the hotel’s contemporary atmosphere with the elements of the rich local historic heritage. The interior’s calm modern harmony of wood and stone is contrasted by the artworks and artifacts of the past century, where each piece has its own story. It has been a pleasure to work with the Radisson Blu team who provided inspiration for many design solutions.”
Each art element in the space has its own story. The timeline ribbon in the center of the lobby carries the ebb and flow of historical events. Photography in the style of old masters magically captures the members of the hotel team. Glass walls at the entrance reproduce the fragments of the old city walls. Small decor elements re-imagined from ancient artefacts and accessories get a revival with a modern interpretation.
First opening in 2005, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv became the first internationally branded hotel in the city. It the began its full renovation in 2017. The first step in the process saw the entire conference area on the ground floor renewed – not only in its design, but in all the engineering elements such as the audio and visual equipment.
Between 2017-18 all guest rooms were renovated, with new room design by Lundwall Architects. This well-known Nordic design bureau adapted Nordic design traditions to complement the unique and original setting in Kyiv. The rooms are now a combination of simplicity, minimalism and functionality that fit the needs of the hotel’s multinational mix of guests.The interiors are complemented by modern art –photos of Kyiv made by famous Ukrainian photographers.
The renovation process covered everything, from wall coatings to furniture and lamps. The combination of materials and colors like grey and violet now creates a unique comforting atmosphere in the rooms. Industrial elements and forms are gracefully combined with natural wooden elements and textiles, completing the ambiance by adding mirrors, glass surfaces and lamps.
In 2019, the final stage of the renovation was carried out – refurbishing the lobby, main entrance and lobby bar.
Karl-Maria Pfeffer, CEO at Raiffeisen Property International Gmbh, said: “It is our great pleasure to reopen this landmark hotel, which has always had a pioneering role in Kyiv. We are confident that it will continue to do so for the next decade.”
Mandarin Oriental Announces Luxury Hotel in Nanjing
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a luxury hotel in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province in China, scheduled to open in 2022.
Mandarin Oriental, Nanjing will be located on the Qinhuai River and in close proximity to historic landmarks including the Gate of China, which forms part of one of the longest ancient city walls in the world built by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty over 600 years ago.
The hotel will feature 106 rooms and suites with views of the river and the ancient city wall. There will be three restaurants and bars, including an all-day dining option, a Chinese restaurant and a Lobby Lounge. There will also be a range of adaptable meeting facilities, and a large ballroom that will cater to events and social functions.
The hotel will also have a Spa at Mandarin Oriental providing treatments and therapies, as well as an indoor swimming pool and fitness centre.
Mandarin Oriental, Nanjing will form part of a wider mixed-use development owned by Nanjing Shengxiangyuan Property Development Co. Ltd., an affiliated company of Hongkong Land, in partnership with China Merchants Group and Country Garden Group. In addition to the hotel, the development will comprise premium retail space and residential luxury homes.
The site is well located for leisure travellers to the city, being a short walk to popular tourist attractions, including the Confucius Temple quarter and the Old East Gate, which was originally built in the Ming Dynasty. The overall development will also be well served by good transportation links.
Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province situated on the south bank of the Yangtze River. The city has a long and unique history dating back to the third century A.D. Today it is the political, cultural and economic centre of the province, as well as one of the major urban centres on the Yangtze River for commerce, trade, finance, tourism and logistics.
“We are delighted to announce this project in a Chinese city with strong historic roots which today is a vibrant centre for tourism, commerce, finance and trade as well as an important provincial capital,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “We look forward to collaborating with Hongkong Land and its partners, to create a truly iconic property in the historic Jiangsu capital,” he added.
“Nanjing is one of China’s most prominent destinations, and this overall development will be the city’s most prestigious. We are pleased to be partnering with Mandarin Oriental to create a truly exceptional lifestyle experience in this prime location. We believe this extraordinary project will become the new landmark for the city,” said Nanjing Shengxiangyuan Property Development Co., Ltd.’s Board of Directors.
St. Regis Hotels Debuts On Venice’s Esteemed Grand Canal
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts today announced the debut of The St. Regis Venice, located steps away from Piazza San Marco and boasting the largest waterfrontage in Venice. The opening follows a two-year, full-scale renovation, restoring the grandeur of the former Grand Hotel Britannia, which opened in 1895 – the same year as the inaugural Venice Biennale. The hotel offers 169 guestrooms and suites, many of which boast private terraces or Juliet balconies for sweeping views of Venice’s iconic landmarks. Situated across the Grand Canal from Punta della Dogana, the hotel marries its celebrated heritage with the St. Regis brand’s modern design and bespoke service throughout a unique collection of five Venetian palaces, with the oldest dating back to the 17th century. The hotel’s spacious secluded garden sets the hotel apart, making it a lifestyle destination where guests and locals alike can enjoy remarkable views of the Grand Canal. The St. Regis Venice marks the brand’s third location in Italy, joining The St. Regis Florence and The St. Regis Rome.
Venice is one of the world’s most inimitable cities; one which has inspired royalty, artists, merchants and jet setters alike for more than fifteen centuries,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The St. Regis Venice unites the captivating spirit of the city with the timeless sophistication and service of the brand, re-interpreting Venice’s rich history through a modern lens.”
From its ideal location at the mouth of the Grand Canal, The St. Regis Venice offers unparalleled vistas of some of Venice’s most celebrated landmarks, including the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica and the Punta della Dogana Museum. Behind the hotel lies Calle XXII Marzo, a street which is home to elite boutiques and contemporary art galleries, which allows for seamless access to the Grand Teatro La Fenice, the city’s temple to opera. With Piazza San Marco a four-minute walk from the hotel, guests will find Venice’s famed attractions within easy reach.
Throughout its storied history, The St. Regis Venice, in its various guises, has played host to a roster of illustrious guests, global influencers and tastemakers. The five ‘palazzi’ that make up the hotel enjoy a position of privilege overlooking the Grand Canal, with Badoer Tiepolo being the oldest palazzo, which dates back to the 17th century. By the 19th century, palazzi Tiepolo, Barozzi and Regina were converted into the Grand Hotel Britannia, more recently known as Hotel Europa & Regina. The Grand Hotel Britannia attracted notable intellectuals and socialites as well as renowned painters J.M.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet, who in the autumn of 1908 was inspired by the hotel’s spectacular views during his stay as a guest and worked to capture the passage of light in his artwork. It is recorded in the book “Monet in Venice” by Philippe Piguet that Claude Monet’s wife, Alice, remarked in her daily letters to her daughter during their stay, “the views from our hotel room are the most magnificent of all Venice, and it’s all for Monet!”The hotel was also the first in Venice to have electricity in every room.
Evolutionary and Avant-Garde: A Modern-Day Venice, by Design
Led by London-based interior design studio Sagrada, The St. Regis Venice boasts 129 guestrooms and 40 suites with a third of the rooms overlooking the hotel’s luxurious gardens, as well as the Grand Canal. Following an extensive restoration, each room has been reverently furnished to cherish the artistic and cultural heritage of the building, while also embracing the evolution of La Serenissima and the St. Regis brand’s spirit of modern glamour. The exquisitely-designed suites include a two-bedroom, art-inspired Presidential Suite – a true contemporary artist’s residence overlooking the Grand Canal – and a three-bedroom Penthouse Suite with a wraparound furnished terrace showcasing extraordinary views over Venice from three separate viewpoints. The five Roof Garden Suites spectacularly combine garden-inspired interiors with uninterrupted vistas and contemporary touches while furnished terraces offer a quietly seductive atmosphere. Set against twilight tones, the Venetian Suites showcase crafted details of modern design, influenced by the artistic heritage of the city, while the colour palette of the Monet Suites pay homage to the reflection of light across the Grand Canal. As a hallmark of the St. Regis experience, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler service. Honoured to maintain a long-standing tradition of making guests feel at home, the St. Regis Butler is poised to provide an ever-present, yet unobtrusive, service attending to guests’ every need.
A Muse of the Arts
Inspired by the Venetian masterpieces of former guest and Impressionist painter Claude Monet, the interiors of the refined guestrooms showcase a distinctive colour palette that represents how light changes throughout the day from dawn to dusk. The design of the public spaces pays homage to Carlo Scarpa, one of Venice’s greatest artists and architects. Venetian styling is seen throughout the hotel in tailored fabrics and custom, handcrafted furnishings inspired by the gentle curves of gondolas, the patterns of the Doge’s Palace, the pavements of St. George’s churchyard and the water flow of the canal.
Inspired by the artistic heritage of the city, an eclectic collection of artwork and sculptures will also be curated, bringing ancient Venice to today’s luxury travellers in a modern way. Paying homage to the hotel’s tradition of welcoming famed artists, The St. Regis Venice will host artists from around the world to take residence and create unique pieces inspired by the hotel and its beloved locale. The hotel’s first resident artist, Parisian Olivier Masmonteil, has been commissioned to create original artworks for the Gran Salone and the Monet Suites. The Venetian tradition of glassmaking also lives on, celebrated through a partnership with Glasstress. This unique partnership marries contemporary art and historical glass blowing techniques, inviting world class artists of various disciplines to collaborate with Murano Maestros (masters) to create one-of-a-kind glass works of art.
Cultivating the Vanguard: A Social Beacon for Contemporary Connoisseurs
Uncompromising glamour extends naturally to the hotel’s restaurants and bars, which offer a range of exquisite dining and beverage options. Authentic, modern Italian cuisine will be celebrated at Gio’s, the hotel’s signature restaurant anchored by the Grand Canal and the hotel’s private garden, and which promises to shake up Venetian and Italian traditions. Dishes will be elevated and perfected at the table, with the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. With immediate access to the inviting garden, the mood of the restaurant transitions seamlessly from a smart-casual setting during the day, to a more refined scene in the evening, as the nightly St. Regis champagne-sabering ritual begins.
The secluded garden, with curated landscaping, reflects a modern interpretation of classic Venice, further complemented by geometric patterning, curlicue topiary, flowering plants and fluid pathways. Designed to provide a refined space for local tastemakers and guests to mingle, the garden is set to become Venice’s choice address for relaxing and socialising. With extraordinary views across the Grand Canal, the social heart of the hotel provides an opportune occasion to sample the famous Spritz from the roaming, custom-made Spritz Trolley, or enjoy the Santa Maria –the hotel’s unique twist on the brand’s signature cocktail, the Bloody Mary. Playful sculptures blend with the garden’s décor and discreet seating to offer guests a moment for introspection away from the crowds.
The intimate Arts Bar is a journey of the senses, serving art-inspired modern and classic cocktails with a flourish. The collection of drinks comprised of old favourites and new creations reflect masterpieces by celebrated avant-garde artists. Notable artworks include pieces from Banksy, Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, and more. Upending tradition, the mood is set by modern Jazz interpretations, live or DJ-led, with convivial service. As dusk descends, the area transforms, unfolding into the early hours as casual elegance spills onto the outdoor terrace.
Advocating total relaxation, The St. Regis Venice will feature the Spa Suites, in partnership with Carita Paris. Treatments may be cultivated around time – permitting short but effective beauty lifts, or longer, more in-depth therapies and programmes. For those keen to uphold their fitness regimes, the fully equipped Exercise Room with Technogym® equipment provides an ultra-modern environment for targeted workouts.
For larger celebrations and more formal functions, The St. Regis Venice offers a choice of areas that can be easily personalised to host guests, supported by an extensive menu of locally-sourced cuisine. Crafted occasions can be held in the Library, with its urbane atmosphere and curated selection of books and art; in the well-appointed Lounge; or in its adjacent Astor Boardroom. The Canaletto Room will embody the modern spirit of a Venetian palazzo, with its impressive ballroom making an ideal backdrop for celebrations and events. Finally, the secluded garden and private terraces lend themselves to unforgettable moments beside breath-taking views.
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