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A bi-weekly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.

After a two-year overhaul the famed Hotel Bel-Air reopens on 14 October  in Los Angeles, California. The swans are still there, but the 103 rooms now have interiors designed by Alexander Champalimaud, a La Prairie spa and a restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, who also created the room service menu. In addition, new rooms and suites have been added, including “loft guestrooms” and a Presidential compound with a private pool and a dining room for 10.

Also in Los Angeles, the 164-room Shore Hotel opened last weekend on Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue. The hotel has sustainable credibility (LEED certification) as well as views of the Pacific and the Santa Monica Pier. Expect a Blue Plate Taco restaurant and bar in spring 2012.

From the New World to the Old, on 6 October the St Regis Florence opened in a 15th-century palazzo (formerly the Grand Hotel Florence). The opulent 100 rooms and suites have canopied beds, crystal chandeliers and balconies with views of the Arno River for the most pampered principessas (not to mention the butler service).

Marriott made a big move in the Middle East last week, opening three hotels on the same day, 5 October, in Doha, Qatar. The complex in Doha City Center contains the Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel, the Courtyard by Marriot and a Marriott Executive Apartments with 132 serviced luxury units.

On 19 October, a luxury hotel gets even more so with the opening of the Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie at the Hotel Le Bristol on the rue de Faubourg Saint Honoré. Set on three floors overlooking the hotel garden, the spa has a women-only Turkish bath and its own restaurant.

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