Hotel Of The Week

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Hyatt Rebrands Its French Properties

Hyatt Hotels announced that it has rebranded four properties in France—two in Paris and two on the French Riviera. In Paris, the Concorde Lafayette will now be known as Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile while the Hotel du Louvre, a Hyatt Hotel, will be an Andaz property after a renovation that is expected to last two to three years. Both hotels enjoy very convenient locations in the Paris. The Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile is the only hotel in the city that has direct access to Palais des Congrès, the largest conference venue in Europe, making it a business traveler’s dream; while the Andaz property is located in heart of bustling Paris with the Louvre museum, Place Vendôme, and the Tuileries Garden as neighbors and other popular tourist attractions such as the Opéra Garnier, the Palais Royal, and Notre-Dame Cathedral within walking distance.

In the south of France, the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranée, formerly known as the Palais de la Mediterranée Hotel and Casino, will still warmly welcome guests to the city’s celebrated Promenade des Anglais. In Cannes, the former Hotel Martinez is now known as Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez. Although the name has changed, some things have stayed the same, most notably, the hotel’s La Palme d’Or, the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the glamorous city.

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The Gorgeous Glen Affric Estates

Eden Rock resort owner David Matthews is expanding from the tropical heat of St. Barts to the forested beauty of northern Scotland. Best known for his luxurious villas in the Caribbean, Matthews has unveiled the Glen Affric Estates, a majestic Victorian hunting lodge in Inverness-shire with a surrounding 4,046 hectares of land that is part of the National Nature Preserve and has been named a Special Area of Conservation. Glen Affric guests are treated to the best of the Highlands including deer stalking, whiskey tasting, and fly-fishing from a private lake. Other features and activities include butlers, a culinary team flown in from France especially for guests, and helicopter rides. The eight-bedroom villa is available for birthday parties, reunions, and even corporate gatherings.

Cannich, by Beauly, Inverness-shire, Scotland;; prices starts from US$110,000 per week

Waldorf Astoria Opens in Panama

The Waldorf Astoria Panama recently started welcoming guests with the same level of luxury and care that the Waldorf Astoria brand is known for worldwide. The hotel boasts 130 rooms and suites and 118 apartments, all featuring items from the Waldorf Astoria Bed Collection including Suite Dream mattresses, Super Topper mattress pads, and down-filled comforters and pillows. The entire hotel is bathed in warm gold tones, clean white accents, and soothing neutral earthy colors that convey an air of subtle opulence. The hotel, part of the Hilton Worldwide family, also has four-star features such as an outdoor pool, full-service spa and salon, and four eateries to fill nearly any culinary craving.

Location-wise, the Waldorf Astoria Panama can’t be beat. The hotel can be found in the trendy Calle Uruguay area of town, known for its vibrant social scene. It is also less than 15 minutes away from the airport, 10 minutes away from the famed Panama Canal, and within walking distance of the city’s business district and the park at Cinta Costena, a lively pedestrian promenade.

47th Street & Uruguay St., Panama City, Panama;; doubles start from US$180

The Kempinski Shanghai Unveiled

Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, Kempinski Hotel, extended its empire on May 17, 2013, by unveiling the new Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai. Located in the bustling Lujiazui financial and trade section of the Pudong district, the 678-room hotel, formerly known as the Grand Meliá Hotel Shanghai, provides easy access for both business and leisure travelers. In addition to being close to a number of domestic and international companies and businesses, some of Shanghai’s most-popular tourist destinations are nearby such as the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower, The Bund, and Jin Mao Tower. Inside the hotel, guests will find rich, tasteful, and elegantly-decorated rooms ranging from 43 to 245 square meters, to satisfy a wide range of visitors. All rooms have expansive views of the glittery Shanghai skyline and most also overlook Huangpu River, the largest in the country. The Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai is the second property for the group in the city, it joins THE ONE Executive Suites, located on the other side of the river.

Lujiazui Ring Road 1288, Shanghai; 86-21/3867-8888;; doubles starts from US$180

Finding Romance on Santorini

Greek pop star Michalis Hatzigiannis, whose hit songs include “More than Beautiful” and “Kiss on the Breeze,” knows a thing or two about romance. He recently opened Alta Vista Honeymoon Suites, an intimate three-room resort that is tailored to provide a fairytale holiday for newlyweds on the island of Santorini. Perched on the edge of the island’s caldera, a flooded crater created more than 3,500 years ago, Alta Vista features stunning views of the Aegean Sea and combines traditional Cycladic style with modern comforts. The three suites, named Senses, Passion, and Love, all feature different and striking characteristics, giving couples a more unique experience: Senses opens directly to an infinity pool; Love is generous with space including a separate sitting room with fireplace; and Passion has a large canopied bed and private sundeck. Continuing with the romance theme, Alta Vista also has a large two-tiered space overlooking the caldera that is perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Merovigli, Santorini, Greece; 30-22/8602-8866;; prices start from US$1,617

Colosseum Suite at Palazzo Manfredi

One of Rome’s oldest hotels, the five-star Palazzo Manfredi, has just opened its Colosseum Suite, named after the iconic Roman landmark which can be seen superbly from the suite’s private terrace. The 60-square-meter suite spares no expense when it comes to luxury. It has its own Jacuzzi, hammam, also known as a Turkish bath, and a small fitness center. The hotel also imbued opulence into the suite’s details. The lush silver- and bronze-hued fabrics were created by internationally-known Italian brand Missoni, and the suite’s custom-made furniture was built by renowned designers Van Egmond and Ingo Maurer.

Via Labicana, 125, Rome; 39-6/7759-1380;

One Leicester Street is Now Open

Tourist favourite West End, where London’s Chinatown is located, is getting a new neighbour. The new boutique hotel One Leicester Street starts welcoming guests on May 15. Located in a five-story Georgian building formerly known as the St. John Hotel, One Leicester Street was revamped by famed Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng. The hotel now offers 15 white-on-white rooms, a homey bar on the ground level, and a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Tom Harris, which features an ever-changing menu of modern dishes that showcases the best in British produce and technique.

One Leicester Street, Chinatown, London; 44-20/3301-8020;; doubles start from $380

Lake Como’s Glass House

If you make the journey to northern Italy’s Lake Como, you might as well stay at a place with idyllic views of the craggy mountains and one of Europe’s deepest lakes. Casa sull’Albero, located in the lakeside village of Malgrate, offers 12 loft suites featuring floor-to-ceiling glass accent walls that showcase the best of the Italian landscape. Opening on May 12, Casa sull’Alberto was designed by self-taught architect Andrea Colzani, who also designed the modern and glass-heavy C-Hotel & Spa in Lecco, just across the water. In addition to its super-sized views, the hotel has a spa with a menu of indoor and outdoor treatments, a saltwater pool, and a fully stocked library.

Viale Penati 5-7, Malgrate; 39-39/955-400;; doubles start from $198

No. 11 Brunswick Street is Launched

Located off Princes Street, one of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfares, the new No. 11 Brunswick Street provides both peace and quiet and convenience. The boutique hotel, which occupies a restored Georgian house, has just 10 rooms, ensuring that the staff is attentive to guests’ needs. Each room has been painstakingly created and come with high-quality amenities and features, such as heated floors and towel bars in the bathrooms, fluffy bathrobes, luxury toiletries, free Internet, and Egyptian-cotton sheets.

11 Brunswick Street, Edinburgh; 44-131/557-691;; doubles start from $194

A New Name for Hilton New York

To mark its 50th anniversary next month, the Hilton New York has changed its name to honor its illustrious past. The hotel will now be known as New York Hilton-Midtown. “As we approach our 50th anniversary, it is a fitting tribute to restore the name that our founding father, Conrad Hilton, provided. The hotel has been an integral part of the dynamic fabric of midtown Manhattan for the last 50 years, and we look forward to the next half century,” said Mark Lauer, the hotel’s general manager. The Hilton New York-Midtown was opened in June 1963 as the New York Hilton at Rockefeller Center. In addition to honoring its past, the hotel hopes its new name will help travelers more easily identify its prime location in Manhattan.

1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York; 1-212/586-7000;