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While Paris doesn’t have the upcoming Olympics to hurry hotel openings along (though we’re expecting many Olympics-attendees to tack on a few nights in the City of Lights to their London trip), the city is welcoming a handful of exciting newcomers at a respectable clip. And, boy, are they swanky.
Mandarin Oriental The luxury brand opened its much-anticipated Parisian outpost in the First Arrondissement (a stone’s throw from the Louvre and the Garnier Opera) in June 2011. Two restaurants are helmed by Michelin-starred chef Theirry Marx. Rooms range in style and color schemes, but are all tres chic and come with humungous bathrooms. Rates from €795/night. www.mandarinoriental.com Read more
2011 has been a big year for hotels—we’ve scooped dozens of exciting hotel openings across the globe. On the flip side, we must bid farewell to a few monumental hotels that have closed. Here are a few of the goners we’ll miss most. A moment of silence, if you will.
Sahara Las Vegas (closed May 16)
One of Sin City’s last Rat Pack-era hotels has closed for good. The landmark casino-hotel held court on the northern Strip for 59 years. Scads of musical legends had graced its ballroom stage (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli, to name a few).
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya (closed June 6)
We know Mexico tourism has taken a beating these last few years, but is the Mandarin’s closing an upshot? The luxury beach resort had been enduring increasingly low occupancy rates. Perhaps there’s hope—the property’s website indicates that the hotel will re-open in due course. We shall see.
The Chelsea Hotel (closed in August)
The historic artist enclave was sold to developer Joseph Chetrit and closed in August, save for its 100 permanent residences. Future plans are vague but Chetrit intends to keep the Chelsea a hotel. Phew! We can only hope that the history-packed rooms retain their legendary rocker grit post renovations.
The Plaza’s Oak Room (closed in May)
The celebrity-loved Oak Room will no longer host its famously outrageous afternoon parties, thanks to a rent dispute between restaurant operators and hotel owners. No word yet of what will become of the historic space.
Ritz Paris (temporarily closing in summer for renovations)
The oh-so-fancy Parisian landmark is, in truth, not so ritzy at the moment. The old gal is looking a little tired and will close for two years this summer for an extensive refresh.
The Mandarin Oriental Paris, located on Rue Saint-Honoré – a stone’s throw from the Louvre, opens today. From website renderings, the place looks slick with rooms featuring art deco touches and splashes of bright color. The spa has a mosaic vitality pool, while Michelin-star chef Thierry Marx mans two on-site restaurants, Sur Mesure and Camélia. Opening rates, on the other hand, are not so enticing with nightly pricing from 865 Euros. But, the opening special, beginning July 17 and running until August 28, includes a 300 Euro credit per room per stay and a 500 Euro credit per suite per stay which means you won’t have to shell out a couple hundred more for dinner and/or spa pampering. 011-33-0-170-98-7333; www.mandarinoriental.com/paris
If you’re headed to Paris and have the budget to splurge, three Asia-based luxury hoteliers are offering some of the chicest accommodations the city has seen in quite a while – and shaking up the upscale hotel scene long dominated by icons such as Hotel de Crillon, Le Meurice, and The Ritz. Hong Kong-based Shangri-La and Singapore-based Raffles each opened their new Paris hotels in late 2010, and Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental plans to open its Paris property this summer. Hong Kong-based Peninsula will join the Paris party in early 2013.
Although all are five-star hotels – with the superb service and lofty room rates that entails – each is refreshingly unique. I just returned from Paris and stayed both at Le Royal Monceau–Raffles Paris and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris (that’s the view from one of the top suites at left), and I have the advance scoop on the Mandarin Oriental Paris as well.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which comes out in theaters tomorrow, promises to be as weird and wonderful as only a Burton-Carroll combo could muster. In honor of the film’s premier, Mandarin Oriental, New York is offering a tasty-sounding Mad Hatter Tea daily in the Lobby Lounge until April 30.
Don’t be late! Read more
Savor a sumptuous escape with the Suite Temptations offer from Mandarin Oriental Hotels. From now through December 31, guests who reserve a suite for three consecutive nights will receive their fourth night’s stay completely free. Try a beachside retreat in decadent Miami with suites from $599/night, or a stately Washington, D.C. holiday from just $445/night. Choose from over 40 luxury properties worldwide and enjoy perks like daily continental breakfast for two, spa credits, VIP services, and more. Suites have king-sized beds, opulent marble baths, and flat-screen high-def TVs. Many offer wraparound balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows for stunning city or oceanfront views.
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