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.