Raffles Hotels & Resorts
Raffles is celebrating the release of Soirees, Sojourns & Stories by Raffles, a new 200-page slipcased volume developed in collaboration with Rizzoli Publications. The new tome that takes readers on an exhilarating journey throughout the Raffles world of timeless beauty and enchanting icons. Penned by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni with illustrations by Luke Edward Hall, each chapter is a voyage into Raffles’ fascinating world, with readers travelling from Singapore to Cambodia, Dubai, Istanbul, Paris, Warsaw, the Seychelles, and more. Archival materials complement sumptuous contemporary photography depicting special events, remarkable stories, and celebrity guests. Featuring original illustrations, and filled with literary excerpts and recipes, this sophisticated coffee table book will fascinate hotel buffs and wanderlust-filled luxury aficionados from every corner of the globe. Available worldwide at Raffles hotels, the brand’s online boutique and wherever fine books are sold.
Scheduled to open in 2021, Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences will be the first Raffles hotel & residences in North America, bringing one of AccorHotels’ most iconic and beloved luxury brands to Boston, a city with a powerful history of American cultural significance and landmark events. The property promises to be a welcoming oasis of refined elegance with 147 guestrooms and 146 exclusive residences in a striking new 33-story building. Catering to the most discerning travelers and residents, Raffles Boston Back Bay will offer the impeccable and bespoke service, intuitive charm and extraordinary adventure that are synonymous with the Raffles name.
Raffles Europejski Warsaw officially opened its doors in summer 2018. This fully restored Polish icon, classically yet contemporary styled, features 106 timelessly elegant suites and some 500 pieces of original Polish art. Originally built in 1857, the hotel was a grande dame of Europe in the 19th century, famous for its glittering parties and sophisticated, world-travelling guests. With gleaming oak floors, modern art and chic cultural references embedded into the design, the new Europejski is destined for a future every bit as enchanting and glamorous as its past.
Raffles Singapore has started taking reservations for stays from August 1, 2019 onwards. The hotel is currently closed for the final phase of a careful and sensitive restoration, which is designed to retain everything that has made Raffles Singapore so special to travellers from around the globe – the striking architecture, heritage and legendary service of the hotel. Raffles will continue to offer luxurious all-suite accommodations with an expanded suite count of 115 and exquisite new suite categories. Guests will discover a refreshed Raffles Boutique, a new History Gallery, and new retail concepts within The Arcade, which will also feature a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community.
Raffles Singapore will reveal an exciting line-up of new dining experiences. Acclaimed Chef Alain Ducasse will bring a new spin to the classic Bar & Billiard Room with his first Mediterranean sharing and grill concept, called BBR by Alain Ducasse. One of the world’s top female chefs with three Michelin stars, Anne-Sophie Pic, will debut in Asia with her eponymous restaurant, La Dame de Pic, Raffles Singapore. The beloved Raffles Long Bar, birthplace of the famed Singapore Sling, will refresh its plantation-inspired décor and restore its famous Long Bar counter. A legend since 1887, Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world, with an inspiring blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design.
The finest Parisian Palace hotel, Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris has always had a soft spot for its littlest guests. Now the luxury hotel invites mothers and babies to experience the Baby Spa, a Thalasso Therapy Bath treatment overseen by the hotel’s onsite nurse. This soothing two-step postpartum treatment is for newborns up to two months old, and calms both the mother and baby’s nervous systems with relaxing massage and gentle rocking under a warm water jet – a sensorial adventure replicating the child’s experience inside the womb.
Feeling racy? Much to the delight of lovers of art and automobiles, the art bookstore at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris is debuting Il Fascino Ferrari, at La Librairie des Arts, the historic palace hotel’s Art Bookstore. Only one copy of Art Edition (25 000€) and two copies of the Collection Edition (5 000€) will be for sale, with the Art Edition currently displayed on a single block of chromed steel in the shape of a 12-cylinder Ferrari engine, designed by Marc Newson and the Ferrari workshops. The books are numbered and signed by Piero Ferrari and Sergio Marchionne. The 514-page book showcases the diaries of founder Enzo Ferrari with hundreds of photographs, archives, and victories of the famous automobile company since 1947, as well as rare, unpublished drawings.
Raffles Istanbul brings new energy to the Istanbul dining scene with innovative pan-Asian cuisine at ISOKYO, an exceptional social dining experience. Representing regional flavors from Istanbul to Tokyo, the name ISOKYO captures the spirit of the cuisine and appeals to foodies and aficionados with a taste for experimentation. Blending the mystical culinary secrets of the East with the West's contemporary cooking techniques, ISOKYO features stylish, exciting and interactive dishes designed for sharing in a lively and sophisticated atmosphere. With a champagne room and a chef’s table, ISOKYO is an exceptionally attractive option for special celebrations.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts has embarked upon an exciting, yet very selective, expansion plan that will nearly double the size of its collection over the next several years. Of special note are Raffles Meradhoo Maldives and Raffles Shenzhen. The Maldives offers the ultimate in exclusivity and privacy with its 21 island villas and 16 ocean villas. The resort’s PADI certified dive centre will lead guests on adventures through among some of the most breathtaking coral reefs in the world. Raffles Shenzhen will be the brand’s third hotel in China, near the Qianhai Economic Zone and only 30 minutes from Hong Kong. This sophisticated hotel will include 200 guestrooms and serviced residences at the top of an 80-storey tower.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Century Plaza, located in the heart of Century City in Los Angeles, will soon take center stage as it plans to reopen in late 2019 following a top to bottom renovation and re-envisioning project. This mid-century marvel has hosted generations of Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries and every United States President since its opening in 1966. The newly transformed hotel will connect to a series of public plazas and fountains with two-acres of open space and gardens, surrounded by restaurants and retail boutiques. With 394 newly renovated guestrooms, 63 branded residences plus two adjacent 46-story luxury residential towers, Fairmont Century Plaza is anticipated to be a blockbuster.
Fairmont is expanding its presence in China with Fairmont Wuhan, which is expected to debut in mid-2019. Located in the newly developed Central Business District, surrounded by banking corporations, top companies and high-end residences, the hotel will have 318 guestrooms and 24 suites for long-staying guests with full scale household facilities and an inclusive kitchen. Guests will delight in a state-of-the-art Willow Stream Spa and Fitness Center as well as several food & beverage venues providing a diverse selection of unique dining experiences.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts recently released key findings from its second Luxury Insights Report: Gateway to Home - Hotels as the Heart of their Communities. This latest volume in a series of ongoing research-led, data-driven reports on luxury travel trends, reveals that 93% of luxury travelers consider the hotel an important part of the vacation experience – so much so that over half (59%) feel that hotel options influence their choice of destination. The report further reveals that two out of three surveyed guests consider it important to have experiences not readily available to everyone (65%), while 89% of those surveyed said that the best hotels have colleagues that are familiar with the area and can provide the inside scoop on things only the locals know. Fairmont hotels in particular are perceived to be at the heart of their communities, offering immersive experiences that open the door to local culture.
Fairmont Pacific Rim has revealed a chic transformation to its popular Lobby Lounge. A new performance stage puts contemporary live music at the center of the lounge experience, with new custom seating and design elements. A new art installation has been added to the hotel’s evolving art collection in the form of an exquisite vintage Dior dress hanging high above the lobby bar, setting a tone of fashion and fascination. The Lobby Lounge has also unveiled ‘The Green Room’ a chic private VIP room on the terrace that can accommodate small groups while offering an intimate space to enjoy the nightly live music sets.
For the first time in its 129-year history, The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel has introduced a children’s Afternoon Tea service. Happily coinciding with its recently announced literary program, The Savoy partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Books to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the children’s classic by Judith Kerr, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. The treasured picture book will be the inspiration for “The Tiger Who Came to Tea at The Savoy” - a feast of whimsical teatime treats such as tiger striped scones, peanut butter & jam bites, and honey roast ham finger sandwiches. Tiger Hot Chocolate and cupcakes with cream cheese frosting will be served on bespoke chinaware also inspired by the story and available to buy from Savoy Tea.
The Savoy is delighted to announce the recent appointment of Fabrice Lasnon as its new Executive Chef. French-born and trained with 30 years of experience, Lasnon’s culinary journey has taken him around the world to luxury hotels and resorts including Royal Mirage in Dubai, Kempinski in Istanbul, and Marrakech’s La Mamounia. Having most recently headed up the kitchen at The Murray in Hong Kong, Lasnon is returning to London to take up this high-profile role at The Savoy. Chef Lasnon has begun implementing subtle changes in the cuisine throughout the hotel, including new breakfast and in-room dining menus. He is also overseeing the launch of the new Bill of Fare in Simpson’s in the Strand following the recent appointment of chef de cuisine, Adrian Martin.
Fairmont’s Canadian “castles” and resorts continue to experience a time of unprecedented transformation and restoration. To celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2019, Fairmont Royal York will wrap up its grand multi-year renovation, which has seen the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into this beloved Toronto landmark. The final round of transformative changes will include the reimagining of the hotel’s common areas, meeting spaces, Fairmont Gold offering and culinary venues and dining experiences. Previously, the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal underwent a $140-million makeover with a grand reopening in 2017, while Victoria’s Fairmont Empress finished a $60-million restoration, taking both landmark hotels into a new era of modern luxury.
Meanwhile, Fairmont Chateau Whistler has embarked on another $5-million project which includes significant updates to all suites not part of the hotel’s Fairmont Gold offering. This comes on the heels of a recently completed $30-million renovation over the last five years. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has also undergone extensive multi-year, multiphase renovations, bringing a new level of luxury to almost every area of the resort, from the refreshed Great Hall and newly renovated Signature Cabins to the introduction of the luxurious Estate and Ridgeline Cabins.
The stunning new Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi offers 120 luxury villas, each with a private pool, and is located on the Shaviyani Atoll in North Maldives. Sirru Fen Fushi, which means 'secret water island' in the local Dhivehi language, is set on an exceptionally lush island featuring one of the country’s largest resort lagoons. The picturesque area is surrounded by powder white sand beaches, peppered with thatched-roofed villas overlooking an endless turquoise sea. The all-villa resort is ideal for couples or families, and features 200 meters of infinity pools as well as luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the island’s lush interior jungle.
Sofitel Hotels & Resorts
Sofitel has partnered with Hainan Airlines to launch a premium collection of its iconic Sofitel MyBedTM products across the carrier’s business class cabins. Business class passengers flying onboard Hainan Airlines will now be able to experience the ultimate sleep-time bliss with the luxurious Sofitel MyBed™ in the sky. The Hainan Airlines partnership will take its ‘Hai Dream’ on-board sleep experience to greater heights with Sofitel’s signature bedding that includes a waist cushion, full-size pillows, duvet, bed sheet, feather topper and blanket. Made with patented technology of the highest thread count, the duvet cover, pillowcase and bed sheet collection features the airline’s latest Dream Feather design. The new collection of Sofitel MyBed™ sleep products is available in the business class section of select Hainan Airlines long-haul international routes departing from Beijing, Haikou, Changsha, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu and Chongqing.
In 1964, Sofitel was the first international hotel brand to come out of France, exporting an authentic sense of art de vivre to beautiful landmark hotels around the world. Many of the brand’s flagship hotels are now undergoing significant refurbishments to ensure luxurious facilities that are modern, state-of-the-art; sophisticated places where every traveler is a special guest. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese is now closed for a total renovation project by world-renowned architect Jean Philippe Nuel; while Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade remains open while its renovations are underway.
Another stylish beauty is Hotel Scribe Paris Opéra by Sofitel, a venerable Paris institution that joined forces with Wilson Associates and its artistic director, Tristan Auer, to restore the hotel to its former glory. The project aims to embody the spirit of Paris and the Opéra district, through its new design and through the vivid dining experiences of Le Lumière and Bar’Obscur.
A major, multi-million dollar refurbishment project has kicked off at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Denarau Island Fiji. The rejuvenation project, which will touch most areas of the resort, will centre on expansion plans for the resort’s exclusive adults-only Waitui Beach Club. This will include the addition of 24 new beach cabanas, a welcoming arrivals area, a new beach side cocktail bar to capture Fiji’s sunsets and an undercover dining space for up to 40 guests. The guestrooms and suites of the adults only section will also undergo an entire refresh as well as its restaurant space. The resort will also embark on an upgrade of its Luxury, Superior and Family guestrooms throughout 2019. Major enhancement are also earmarked for the resort’s five restaurants and bars, entrance, lobby, gym, Fiji Airways desk and ticketing counter, conferencing rooms, ballrooms and the addition of a new yoga deck.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam has completely renovated and restyled its Michelin starred fish restaurant, now called Bridges Dining, along with the adjacent Bridges BarBistro. At Bridges, guests choose from a la carte or tasting menus designed by Executive Chef Andrès Delpeut. While Bridges specializes in fresh fish selections, BarBistro offers a wide selection of contemporary cuisine. Amsterdammers and visiting guests alike delight in the new and absolutely stunning marble chef’s table – situated in the midst of the kitchen ‘mise-en-scene’, six guests may be seated for champagne tasting menus, a behind-the-scenes view and an exclusive dining experience like no other.
Sofitel Legend Santa Clara has completed its year-long restoration project. This historically important building originates from 1621 and sits in a privileged location within the old town of Cartagena, known as Cartagena de Indias, a Unesco World Heritage Site (1984). The hotel offers the perfect combination of colonial tradition, local hospitality and French luxury, with 103 expansive rooms and an exclusive collection of 20 suites, including four Iconic Suites that pay tribute to some of the most prominent Colombian leaders of art and culture, including Fernando Botero, Amaral, Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Enrique Grau. The refurbishment also brought new levels of luxury to the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, 1621 and its world-class So Spa.
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile recently completed an extensive two-year renovation celebrating the property’s new modern design. All 415 guest rooms, including 63 suites, were enhanced. The hotel’s lounge, Le Bar, was also refurbished as was the SoFit Fitness Center. In addition to this exciting renovation, the property has launched a collection of new experiences affectionately known as “Sofitel Stories.” From a first-time French Film Pop-Up Series to bi-monthly Blooms & Bubbles events, each offering will combine the best of Chicago with French art de vivre.
A beloved gathering place in the heart of Hanoi since 1901, the French colonial style Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi combines European luxury and warm Vietnamese hospitality. The Metropole’s restaurants and bars are all famous dining venues, each offering a different exotic experience. Locals and returning guests have welcomed the recent return of the Angelina bar, whisky lounge and restaurant. With a stylish new look and concept, Angelina is an artisanal playground featuring handcrafted cocktails, a well-researched wine list and a fascinating whisky selection, paired with rustic cuisine made from the freshest, finest local ingredients.
SO/ Hotels & Resorts
SO/ Hua Hin in Cha Am, Thailand has opened a new wing featuring a 16 x 60 meter pool and a Wibit adventure course. The resort aims to be a kids’ dream holiday come true with So Pool Villas and So Family Suites equipped with bunk beds, a dedicated kid’s pool, a So Sundae poolside ice cream bar and Kids Tent – a club where young children can have fun with arts, crafts and games. For adult-aged kids-at-heart, the new So Studio, So Comfy and So Lofty Pool Access rooms offer private outdoor terraces and swiveling television consoles for watching shows from the bathtub or bed. A brand new mini 18-hole golf course, and courts for tennis and basketball are now open , while a private 627 meter bicycle track will open by year end.
In September 2018, an exclusive launch party officially welcomed the five-star SO/ Vienna as the brand’s first hotel in Austria. Some 350 guests gathered to celebrate as the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom was rebranded as SO/ Vienna. Guests admired the stunning facelift of the property, particularly the hotel’s new centerpiece - BAR/terre, a stylish urban space on the ground floor with views of the Danube Canal. Star architect Jean Nouvel’s original color scheme featuring shades of black, white and grey has been subtly adapted, while various themes from Vienna’s history have been reinterpreted and discreetly woven into the decor under the direction of Viennese architect Gregor Eichinger.
The doors are now open at SO/ Auckland, bringing a new level of boldness to the local hotel scene in New Zealand. Renowned Kiwi fashion innovators WORLD worked with the SO/ Auckland team for more than three years to create an emblem, a signature design print, artwork, wallpaper designs, cushions for the chauffeured cars and attire for the staff that encourages individual expressionism. The emblem invokes the volcanic history of Auckland, the natural beauty of New Zealand and the history of the building itself, a former Reserve Bank which at one time housed the country’s gold reserves. The result is an energetic, social success, bursting with character and the true spirit of the city.
SO/ Uptown Dubai is set to open in 2020 as the brand’s first SO/ in The Middle East. The new hotel will feature 188 rooms in addition to 215 branded residences. Inspired by edgy and bold architecture, interiors for the luxury property will be brought to life by the Rockwell Group, featuring modular and contemporary elements to elevate the SO/ Uptown Dubai as a beacon of energy, art and entertainment at the heart of Dubai.
Also eagerly anticipated is SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado, a new address set to open in the heart of Havana, Cuba in 2019. As the first SO/ property in the Americas region, the hotel will showcase the brand’s rebellious, immersive interpretation on the luxury travel experience. The hotel in Havana will unfold as a glamorous yet playful masterpiece featuring the designs of celebrated Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, in everything from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s stylish uniforms.
The glamour of Cannes is coming to the MGallery collection of boutique hotels. Hotel Croisette Beach - MGallery is currently undergoing an extensive renovation under the guidance of Studio Jean Philippe Nuel and will reopen in May 2019 with a new MGallery name and a new bohemian chic design. With a coveted private beach on the Cote d’Azur, a pool, bar and garden overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy gazing out at the Lérins Islands while partaking in the refreshing concoctions of MGallery mixologists. Intimately sized with 94 guestrooms, the newly styled MGallery Croisette Beach will be a captivating and discreet spot for cocooning and cavorting among the salt air, sun and sea.
The MGallery collection of boutique hotels has made its first foray into North America with AccorHotels’ recent 85% investment in 21c Museum Hotels. This award-winning hospitality management company has combined multi-venue contemporary art museums, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants, with 11 properties in the United States. The 21c Museum Hotels will be officially rebranded as MGallery hotels in March 2019, fitting nicely into the collection and its brand persona with unique storied hotels such as Hotel Molitor Paris - MGallery and INK Hotel Amsterdam - MGallery to Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan – MGallery and Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney - MGallery.
More News From Accor’s Luxury and Premium Brands
This past fall, AccorHotels acquired Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates 80+ hotels and has a particularly strong presence in Europe and the Middle East. The added presence consolidates AccorHotels’ leadership in the Middle East and European markets, while the brand’s combination of modernity, authenticity and European-Swiss heritage complements the hotel group’s overall portfolio. AccorHotels will provide Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts with its ample resources to support the opening of 42 additional hotels by 2021, representing almost 11,000 additional hotel rooms, with significant expansion in Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
As a first step since being acquired by AccorHotels, Mӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts has raised its first flag in the Maldives, opening the doors to Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives on a private island in the Noonu Atoll. The resort, which is just 45 minutes by sea plane from the capital, Malé, features 105 villas and suites comprising 72 overwater pool villas, 30 beach pool suites and three beach spa pool residences, each with their own private plunge pool. Ideal for honeymooners and adventure-seeking families, the resort features a Mӧvenpick Little Birds Club, a daily Mӧvenpick Chocolate Hour, a diving center and a Sun Spa by Esthederm. The sustainably-minded resort features built-in solar panels, in-house water production and plant desalination to minimize its ecological impact on the environment.
The international style of Pullman with a delicate touch of Japanese art and culture can be found at the newly opened Pullman Tokyo Tamachi. Natural materials and colorful tones inspired by Japanese Kabuki fill the lobby with a sense of harmony. The hotel has 143 stylish guestrooms, a live show kitchen, executive lounge and rooftop bar providing a glittering view of Tokyo. Perfect for business and leisure travelers, Tamachi is a picturesque area lined with canals and one of the city's leading business districts. The hotel has a walkway straight into the JR Tamachi Station, while the Toei Subway Mita Line is a mere three-minute walk away. Osaka and Kyoto are just one stop away via bullet train and the Haneda International Airport is about 30 minutes away via public transport.
The largest hotel and the first dual hospitality offering in Ghana is set to open in 2021 under the name of Pullman Accra Airport City. The hotel will feature 214 hotel rooms and suites and 149 serviced apartments, responding to a growing demand for extended stay accommodation in Accra. Located within the Airport City enclave, Pullman Accra Airport City will be a preferred destination for corporate guests and clients in Accra and is anticipated to become an important venue for conferences and events. The new property expands Pullman’s presence in West Africa, joining sister property Pullman Dakar Terangain in Senegal. Elsewhere in Africa, the brand offers seven additional addresses, from Morocco to Zambia, with plans for more in the works.
The transformation is complete at Swissôtel The Stamford, the result of a multi-million overhaul that began in 2017. Designed by award-winning design company, Wilson Associates, refreshed guestrooms draw inspiration from iconic Swiss characteristics that are practical and elegant. One of the largest hotels in Singapore, Swissôtel The Stamford’s new lobby is aesthetically chic and thoughtfully functional to provide guests with greater ease, convenience and hassle-free arrivals and departures. This has been made possible through the use of smart technology – automated check-in and check-out counters, enhanced with industry-first biometric facial recognition technology.
Swissôtel’s exclusive Vitality Rooms have opened at Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore and will soon debut at Swissôtel Chicago, with more to come in 2019 at Swissôtel Dubai and Swissôtel Osaka. First debuted in 2016 in Zurich, the Vitality Room is a signature Swissôtel guestroom concept designed as a serene and stylish sanctuary, with bespoke wellness features such as circadian lighting, high performance air purification, and a Wellness Wall equipped for personal fitness regimes. The concept builds on Swissôtel’s popular Vitality Program, the brand’s commitment to helping guests maintain their mental and physical health while traveling away from home, and the brand personality of being open, energetic, happy and passionate.