St Regis Rome unveils its Couture Suite designed by The Gallery at HBA London
More big names flock to the promise of China, as Four Seasons debut in Beijing, Banyan Tree launch in Shanghai, Shangri-La in Changzhou & Anantara on Hainan Island
If the past month is anything to go by, luxury hotels look set to replace luxury goods brands and suppliers as the next big thing in our industry’s M&A space.
In the past few weeks alone, Orient-Express Hotels rejected a $1.86 billion unsolicited takeover bid from an arm of the Tata Group of India, as it emerged that Four Seasons Hotel New York owner, H. Ty Warner, had received a bid for his 368-room luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan for about $900 million from an unidentified Asian buyer (Bloomberg).
The unsolicited bidder is allegedly affiliated with the government of Brunei, the kingdom located on the island of Borneo. Interestingly enough, it is the Brunei Investment Agency who now owns luxury hotel manager Dorchester Collection, which includes the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills.
This follows the sale of the controlling stake in New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel to India’s Sahara Group, the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel to Hong Kong’s Great Eagle, Palazzo Versace Australia to a consortium of Chinese investors and Florence’s Grand Hotel Baglioni to Qatar Sovereign Fund. And this is just in the past few months.
As consumers demonstrate a preference towards ‘experiencing’ luxury rather than simply ‘owning’ luxury, one expects that investment interest in luxury hotels will continue.
Four Seasons, Beijing
Four Seasons Hotels has launched in Beijing, China, with a 313-room property that includes 66 luxury suites. Marrying Chinese influences and contemporary style, the hotel features a range of Western and Chinese artwork, throughout F&B outlets, the fitness centre, an executive lounge, event spaces and a spa inspired by the architecture of traditional Chinese tea gardens.
Website & Source: fourseasons.com/Beijing
Shangri-La International Hotel Management, in collaboration with Qiaoyu Group, have debuted the Shangri-La Hotel in Changzhou, in one of China’s top business cities. The 350 guestrooms and suites range from 45 to 225sqm, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of Lake Xihu or the city. The 4000sqm heath club is the largest in Changzhou, encompassing a fully equipped fitness centre, an indoor swimming pool and a spa.
Anantara, Hainan Island
Anantara has arrived on Hainan Island with the launch of its Sanya Resort & Spa, inspired by oriental and Thai design. The property comprises of 122 rooms, suites and private pool villas, alongside four distinctive restaurants and bars. Spa Pool Villas face the ocean and offer a splendid 500sqm of living space, where guests benefit from the service of a personal Villa host.
Source: Breaking Travel News
Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
The historic Majestic Hotel is set to reopen its doors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, following an $82.5 million restoration program. The 300-room hotel, owned by YTL Hotels, was built in 1932 and previously housed the country’s National Art Gallery. The restored hotel will become the only Kuala Lumpur based member of The Leading Hotels of The World (LHW) group.
Hilton Munich Park, Munich
The 484-room Hilton Munich Park has been re-imagined by JOI-Design, to reflect a style that draws upon its idyllic setting along the banks of the Eisbach Creek. Communal spaces feature laser-cut motifs of branches and birds, Tivoli oak wall panels and backlit glass sheets, whilst suites have been outfitted in warm earth and ripe berry tones.
Outrigger, Phi Phi Island
Outrigger has officially debuted its Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa, following a yearlong refurbishment of the former Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. 44 new Deluxe Garden Bungalows have been added, each featuring contemporary design with Thai touches, walk-in wardrobes, flat screen televisions, and iPod/iPhone docking stations. Food and beverage venues have been enhanced, and the gym has been improved.
Westin Grand Central, New York
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has unveiled The Westin New York Grand Central, following a $75 million renovation of the former New York Helmsley Hotel. The brand’s second Manhattan hotel features a complete redesign of the hotel’s interior including 774 spacious guest rooms equipped with Westin’s signature amenities, such as energy-conserving LED and CFL lights, water conserving low flow plumbing and its ‘Heavenly Bed’.
Source: Luxury Travel Magazine
Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian
Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Sebastian, has reopened its doors following an extensive $25 million, nine-month restoration. 107 luxurious guestrooms and 29 suites were re-imagined by The Gallery at HBA London, dressed in a pastel palette inspired by the fresh spring tints of macaron patisseries, with plush tufted headboards framed in curvaceous mouldings.
Source: HBA London
Banyan Tree, Shanghai
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has debuted its urban resort concept in Shanghai, On The Bund. Each of the guestrooms and suites feature an Expediency Box for pick-up and delivery of polished shoes, laundry and dry-cleaning, as well as six different pillow choices and rooms that are refreshed with a different therapeutic scent each day.
For more in the series of The Latest Hotels, please see our most recent editions as follows:
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The Latest Hotels: Westin, Banyan Tree & Shangri-La