International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
A bi-weekly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.
On 30 October, the cube-shaped St Regis Tianjin opens on the banks of the Hai River in this city 110km southeast of Beijing. The 18-story square hotel has 274 rooms, an Iridium Spa and six bars and restaurants.
Another big opening in China was the Andaz Shanghai, the brand’s first property in Asia, which opened 17 October with 306 rooms in the popular Xintiandi district. There is an indoor pool, free (non-alcoholic) drinks from the minibar and even better, free WiFi.
Also opening on 17 October, but in the Caribbean, was the Okeanos Spa at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, in Rif Fort, in the island’s capital of Willemstad. The fort is a Unesco World Heritage Site that is now home to the Renaissance mall and the 1,370sq ft spa.
Earlier this week on 24 October The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh opened in Saudi Arabia, a place where “over-the-top” is a compliment. Originally conceived as a royal palace for visiting VIPs, the nearly-500-room hotel sits on 52 acres of gardens (complete with 600-year-old olive trees imported from Lebanon) and guests are chauffeured around in Cadillac golf carts. The ornate indoor-pool on the second floor has a trompe l’oeil ceiling and the rooms and suites are suitably lavish.
Another big Middle East opening will come when the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi opens on 7 November, Forte’s first in the region. The hotel is in a modern, curved glass buildings, but the 281 rooms are warmed by designer Olga Polizzi’s signature touches in the colour, texture and fabrics.
The 600-room ITC Grand Chola opens in Chennai, India on 1 November and ITC released a mobile app for Blackberry and Nokia phones from which users can get details about the hotel and surrounding area.