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.”
Ushering In A New Era Of Elegance, The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin Unveils Art Deco Glamour
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin today announced the culmination of its 40 million euro renovation. This meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.
“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”
A Cinematic Legacy Brought to Life
The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s London team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.
“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”
In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.
The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.
New Gastronomic Experiences
The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor. Culinary delights include afternoon tea accompanied by a live pianist and served by specially-trained tea sommeliers with the highest level of personal service.
A completely new culinary venue, the POTS restaurant features an exciting young kitchen team that serves German classics with a modern twist. It offers cosy seating niches, an additional room for group gatherings, and an open-kitchen that epitomises its “sharing food” ethos. The restaurant’s name is a fun play on both Potsdamer Platz and the many pots resting on the kitchen stoves. Beaten and brushed copper accents, used throughout the interior design, reference the heavy kettles in which German beer is traditionally brewed. In the summer, its newly-designed terrace overlooks the adjacent Sony Center and Henriette-Herz Park for light lunches or relaxed dinners.
The Curtain Club bar presents a stylish mix of Art Deco elegance and Latin American playfulness. Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music. Multiple award-winning mixologist and Chef Arnd Heissen and his team take guests on a fascinating culinary journey across the South American continent, creating unorthodox drinks relying on Latin American flavours, extravagant ingredients and precious essences.
A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.
A Wellness Oasis, Meetings in Style
Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.
The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.
Conrad Hotels & Resorts Debuts in Hangzhou, China’s Hub for Technology and Innovation
Hilton announced the opening of Conrad Hangzhou, a 50-story, 324-room state-of-the-art hotel that provides easy access to the city’s downtown recreational and cultural attractions. With Li’An restaurant sitting on the 50th floor, Conrad Hangzhou features the tallest restaurant in Hangzhou and provides unparalleled views over the fast-developing high-tech city. As part of the Raffles City Hangzhou complex, the hotel is set to serve business and leisure travelers with a best-in-class experience in a world of style.
“We are thrilled to present Conrad Hangzhou as the optimal choice for travelers as we support Hangzhou’s rapidly growing industries and fulfill demand for business destinations,” said Qian Jin, Area President for Greater China and Mongolia, Hilton. “The opening of this property demonstrates our commitment to growing our presence across China with a well-rounded luxury portfolio. Conrad Hangzhou will consistently deliver intuitive service and inspired experiences to elevate the journeys of discerning global travelers.”
Conrad Hangzhou enjoys a unique location in the emerging Qianjiang New Town Central Business District. The hotel is within easy walking distance to government offices, major corporate offices and shopping malls. It is just 100 meters from Jiangjin station for a quick link to the Hangzhou East Railway Station, an important transportation hub in Hangzhou, and 20 kilometers from the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International airport.
“Reflective of the brand’s modern, stylish and dynamic luxury ethos, Conrad Hangzhou is ideal for travelers that seek an unrivaled retreat underscored by superior service and hospitality,” said Martin Rinck, Executive Vice President and Global Head, Luxury and Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “The hotel’s proximity to the Central Business District, as well as multiple dining, shopping and entertainment venues, makes Conrad Hangzhou a natural choice for business and leisure travelers alike.”
Designed by renowned Dutch Architect UN Studio, the hotel features two distinct towers, each soaring 50 stories high – an iconic structure and landmark that has helped shape the landscape of the city. The stunning curvature of the exterior is inspired by Hangzhou’s tidal bore, a world-renowned natural phenomenon of rapid rising tides that occurs once a year.
Guests will find sleek interiors and unique artwork at every turn. The hotel design, inspired by “Lunar Corona,” was conceptualized drawing inspirations from the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site, West Lake, an historic garden-style park. The “Lunar Corona” theme is brought to life with warm and spacious décor featured throughout the hotel’s lobbies, lounges and guestrooms. The banquet spaces are designed to reflect a shimmering sunset over the lake, while the meeting area reflects mountains on the water, all expressing a peaceful environment for both business and leisure.
Conrad Hangzhou offers exceptional dining experiences through its three restaurants and lobby lounge featuring inspired settings, diverse menus and panoramic views of the city. Traditional meets modern at Li’An restaurant, the tallest restaurant in Hangzhou that sits on the 50th floor of the hotel, serving Chinese delicacies in a distinctive setting. Inspired by the weeping willows of the West Lake, Blue Willow is an upscale all-day brasserie with live stations, a selection of pastries and elegant buffets. Uka is the hotel’s destination restaurant, providing guests a sensory food journey with its bar, sushi bar and Teppanyaki station, while also inviting them to a modern space to socialize, escape and celebrate. Luxurious tea lounge by day and elegant bar by night, JIN offers guests a place to relax and reenergize throughout the day.
Conrad Hangzhou offers a sophisticated destination with 324 Digital Key-enabled guestrooms, including 25 suites, with panoramic views overlooking Qiantang River and the iconic West Lake. Guests have a variety of wellness options, including a 24-hour fitness center with Life Fitness® equipment and free weights, heated indoor pool and whirlpool, a spa featuring seven treatment rooms and two couples’ rooms and luxurious spa products including Valmont from Switzerland and American brand, June Jacobs.
MODERN SPACES & SMART MEETINGS
Featuring a total of 1,604 square meters of meeting space, Conrad Hangzhou is an ideal venue for weddings, business meetings and other social gatherings. The stunning pillar-less grand ballroom, measuring 800 square meters, can accommodate up to 650 guests in a theatre setting. The eight flexible meeting rooms are equipped with advanced audio-visual and technical facilities, and beautiful views over the bustling city.
Conrad Hangzhou is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 world-class brands. Members who book directly through the preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Hilton Honors Points and money to book a stay, free standard Wi-Fi and an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else.
To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton Honors members will earn an additional 1,000 Points per night – up to a maximum of 3,000 Hilton Honors Points – for bookings from February to June 2019, when booking directly with Hilton.
Conrad Hangzhou is located at 228 Xinye Road, Jianggan District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, just 20 kilometers from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.
Full Re-opening Of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London will re-open in its entirety on Monday 15 April 2019, having completed the most extensive restoration in its 117-year history. Following the re-opening of the public spaces in December 2018, the hotel now unveils all new guest rooms and suites, including two newly created expansive penthouse suites. Most accommodation offers exceptional views of leafy Hyde Park and the London skyline.
“Mandarin Oriental is enormously proud of the heritage of this historic hotel. The scope and intricate detail of this momentous renovation is designed to ensure this iconic London establishment is recognised as one of the finest hotels in the world. We look forward to welcoming our guests with kind and intuitive service that is truly British but reflective of our Oriental heritage,” said Amanda Hyndman, General Manager and Area Vice President of Operations.
In celebration, the hotel has created a ‘Be the First to Stay’ package available from 15 April to 30 June 2019. Priced from £659, inclusive of VAT, the promotion includes daily breakfast, a bottle of Champagne on arrival, plus a daily credit (ranging from £75 to £250 depending on the room/suite category booked) to be used in the new Spa, Mandarin Bar, The Rosebery or Bar Boulud.
Guestrooms and Suites
Internationally renowned designer, Joyce Wang, has overseen the redesign of all guest rooms and suites, along with the creation of the hotel’s new Penthouses, taking inspiration from the peaceful parkside location, as well as the glamour of the early 20th century’s Golden Age of travel. All 181 guest rooms and suites are now more luxurious and comfortable than ever before, with art deco-inspired features including carefully curated artworks and custom-designed furniture.
Each of the hotel’s 40 suites range in size from the smallest, at 47 square metres, located within the turrets of the hotel, to the largest, at 444 square metres, which comprises the new three-bedroom Mandarin Oriental Penthouse with private terraces. Consisting of two penthouse suites, the Mandarin Penthouse and the Oriental Penthouse can be interconnected to create one of London’s largest suites with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private dining room, two kitchens, and expansive views of Hyde Park and the London skyline.
In every suite, guests will find a host of special additions ranging from libraries curated by the well-known historic London bookseller, Heywood Hill, to yoga mats for private practice. All accommodation comes equipped with GHD hair straighteners, Nespresso coffee makers, his and her Miller Harris bathroom amenities and Jo Hansford hair products.
New York designer Adam D. Tihany, has overseen the redesign of the next-generation Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London. In keeping with the fresh new look, the extensive spa menu has also been enhanced to include exclusive partnerships with some of the most sought-after health and wellness experts in the world. The new spa features 13 individual treatments rooms, an Oriental Suite with two massage beds and a Rasul water temple, a room designed for traditional ASANTE Chinese Medicine consultations and treatments and a Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio – the first of its kind in the UK.
The Restaurants and Bar
Adam D. Tihany has also overseen a light refurbishment of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Bar Boulud, London and Mandarin Bar. The Rosebery, known as the Bennett Tearoom in the 1920s, will offer a special 1920s Afternoon Tea, while Mandarin Bar has created a series of special cocktails named after celebrated guests and iconic events that took place within the hotel.
Having hosted royal parties and glamorous events since the 1900s, the hotel’s Ballroom and Loggia have also been lovingly restored to include 24-carat gilding of many original features. Both venues enjoy access from the park via the private Royal entrance. The renovation also includes a beautiful hand-painted Butterfly Terrace by artist Leah Wood, along with two new versatile meeting spaces, Asquith and Balfour, for private meetings and social soirees.
The first phase of the renovation was unveiled in September 2017. Joyce Wang was commissioned to transform the Lobby Lounge and Reception area, which now blend seamlessly with The Rosebery’s nature inspired décor. Contemporary materials, including acrylic, are juxtaposed with more traditional finishes such as blond burl wood. Centre piece commissioned glass chandeliers enhance the dramatic entrance. The reception artwork by Fredrikson Stallard, is an abstraction of the textured and layered bark of the Plane Tree – the signature tree of Hyde Park.
The hotel has commissioned VISTO Images to compile an outstanding art portfolio throughout the hotel. Each of the hotel’s new floor landings showcase a striking photograph by Mary McCartney, who is the official photographer of the Group’s international advertising campaign, while the corridors are home to pieces inspired by the nature of Hyde Park and English technological innovations featured in the 1851 Great Exhibition. Other eclectic art pieces can be found throughout the hotel’s public areas.
The hotel’s illustrious 117-year history
If walls could talk this iconic hotel would have many stories to tell. The building was commissioned in the late 1880’s however construction was initially delayed due to fears that its height would cast a shadow over the Serpentine. It finally opened in 1889 as an exclusive block of apartments for affluent bachelors, before opening as a hotel, with its own private Royal Entrance, in 1902. Since then, many honoured guests have passed through the hotel, and for several years after the Second World War it was the headquarters of the SAS. Glamorous parties and dance classes by the venerable Madame Vacani – who taught HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret to dance – have been held in the ballroom. Sir Winston Churchill lived in the hotel for a while and was known to offer room service waiters two cigars in return for the delivery of an early breakfast. Evelyn Waugh was also a regular guest, and characterised some of his fellow guests after his many stays. Many of these momentous past events can be viewed in more detail in the newly created Historical Journey Exhibition on permanent display in the hotel from Monday 15 April 2019.
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