I attended the 2017 edition of the ILTM Conference in Cannes, where I had the occasion to discover exciting developments in the luxury hotel world. I’ll present an update from Rosewood hotel. I met Robert Cheng, Vice President – Brand Marketing and Communications.
Rosewood opened the iconic hotel de Crillon in Paris
Hotel de Crillon has a fabled history. In July 2017, we reopened the doors after 3 and a half years of renovation, sharing a great hotel with 124 rooms and suites. It was a labor of love. I’ve opened some hotels in Paris before, but I think this tops them all with 6 world-famous Parisian designers, amongst which we have Karl Lagerfeld and his cat Choupette. Karl put his name on 2 suites, and Choupette has one of the rooms. The reopening in July this year was welcomed by both Parisians and the world alike the hotel features 4 great restaurants: L’Ecrin under Gustave H, a very young, talented chef; Jardin d’Hiver; the Brasserie d’Aumont, which also has part of the courtyard window; and my favorite, the Bar des Ambassadeurs, the historic salon in the front that is quickly becoming one of Paris’s hot nightspots. I was lucky to have been at the hotel last week when we had one of the Beastie Boys, Mike D, who actually played songs there for our guests.
Our second property to open this year was Rosewood Puebla, May of this year. It’s actually our 4th property in Mexico. It’s quite special. Because it is housed in a UNESCO world-heritage site, you have a lot of culture and many destination-specific activities in Puebla. Within Mexico as a whole, the destination of Puebla is having a moment. There are quite a bit of activities happening there, museums opening, and other hotel properties opening. Our timing is spot-on when it comes to Puebla. It has 78 rooms and 4 restaurants. What I really like about the property is the hotel’s fantastic rooftop pool, which offers a nice view overlooking the city, so you can see the cathedrals and various historical buildings within Puebla.
Puebla joins a great collection of hotels that we have already in Mexico, such as Rosewood Mayakoba, Las Ventanas in Cabos, San Miguel d’Allende, etc. It is in good company in Mexico with the other Rosewoods.
We were excited to open our second hotel in China: Rosewood Sanya. For those of you who are not familiar with Sanya, it is known as the Hawaii of China, located just an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. In Sanya, we are excited to have 246 suites. The hotel has just opened its doors in September of this year.
We opened in 2017, the doors to Rosewood Phuket. We are very excited about Rosewood Phuket because it is our first resort in Southeast Asia, adding to the collection’s growth in Asia. It joins Sanya and Rosewood Beijing amongst our hotels in Asia. We have 71 rooms designed by BAR Studios of Melbourne. It has 4 great restaurants, with a funny tagline: 30 years of marriage. That refers to our Thai chefs. We have found an amazing Thai couple—whom we like to call ‘Auntie’ and ‘Uncle’—who run the Thai restaurant Ta Khai at the Rosewood Phuket. They offer a cuisine that you won’t really find in restaurants; it’s a home cooking that they have from their fishing village that they want to bring and showcase to all of our guests.
One particular thing that I’m learning about the Rosewood brand is that we really do believe in having distinct F&B concepts in each one of our restaurants. If you go to London, Paris, or New York, the restaurants and bars are as much frequented by the local population as they are by our hotel guests. We’re excited to bring a great, unique taste of Thailand in Phuket, not only for our guests who travel there, but really for the local population as well. There are a number of firsts in Phuket, such as Asaya, which is our new, unique, innovative wellness concept. It’s much more than a hotel spa; it’s a very tailored journey that we wish to bring to each of our guests to allow them to go on their own wellness journey. We bring in alternative therapies, local herbs, local traditions. We really tailor-made each and every single one of these wellness journeys for our guests. It is a concept that is going to become more and more important. It’s Asaya as an entire platform that we will be bringing to other Rosewood destinations, but Rosewood Phuket is the debut of the Asaya wellness concept.
The last innovation that we bring to the Rosewood Phuket is the inauguration of a new program called Rosewood Explore. It is the Rosewood take on a brand-new kids’ program because Phuket is such a great family destination. The program is specifically designed for children between the ages of 3 and 11 to tailor to the existing Rose Buds program. Rosewood Explorers takes kids programs and turns them on their head; we like to do that a lot. It combines education with learning about new cultures, with sport, with artistic expression, and so on. It not only keeps the children entertained, but it also teaches them about new cultures as well.
We are excited to be opening Rosewood Luang Prabang in Laos in a UNESCO-protected city. Luang Prabang will be a beautiful boutique hotel with just 23 keys. It’s built in the hillsides of Luang Prabang around a turn-of-the-century colonial house with 17 rooms and 6 tented villas. The resort is designed by Bill Bensley, who takes inspirations from all of the hill tribes and crafts of Laos in order to showcase a unique boutique accommodation for our guests. We have our own private waterfall on site, which also has a river running through it. It will be the first resort property that has luxury tents on site.
In Southeast Asia, our growth continues with the Rosewood Phnom Penh, which will open in April or May of this year. The hotel is housed on the top 17 floors of one of the most iconic buildings of Phnom Penh. The Rosewood Phnom Penh will have 175 rooms and suites, as well as 5 restaurants.
The Rosewood Bermuda is an existing property, but come this winter, it will be undergoing an extensive renovation. From January through April, we will actually close the resort, reopening it in April with completely reimagined rooms and public spaces scheme. That includes all the guestrooms and villas. We are also reimagining the beach club, which is a favorite of ours and has a lovely pink-sand beach in front of it.
We all know the unfortunate effects of Hurricane Irma and what took place down in the British Virgin Islands. Our resort, Little Dix Bay, was actually under renovation when that hurricane took place. What we’ve done is start over again. We will once again start the renovation with the 84 rooms and suites on property; we’ll be completely redoing all of the restaurants and bars on property. That will start this year sometime at that point.
I think what’s happening in the Bahamas is super exciting. It’s time for a little bit of a shakeup in the Bahamas, and I think the destination of Baha Mar is going to do just that. What’s really special is that the Rosewood complements the SLS and the Grand Hyatt and everything that’s happening in that destination. We’re going to be our own private enclave within the destination. You can get a nice sense of what the rooms will look like. They’ll be spacious, open-air, they’ll all have ocean views. We’ll have five luxury villas that will be beachfront. Cable Beach, which is one of the most prestigious beaches in the Bahamas, will be footsteps from those villas. That will reopen in April.
Our next beachfront property is on the West Coast: Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito. Montecito is located about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, and it’s considered the American Riviera. It is considered an extremely prestigious neighborhood by Americans. What is really special about the property is that it actually sits on the beachfront; typically, when you think about Californian properties, you have plenty of properties that are beach-facing, but there are none that have accommodations that actually step out onto the beach. What we will have is a series of 24 rooms that sit on the beach, which is a pretty unique aspect for a southern California resort property. That property will open in late 2018.
We are very excited to be opening the Rosewood Hong Kong in 2018. That is an exciting development for Rosewood, which is headquartered in Hong Kong. It will be housed in a stunning right on the waterside in the district the entire area around the hotel is part of a development called Victoria Dockside hills in New York, it really is a transformative development that will bring arts, culture and lifestyle and a fabulous hotel 8 restaurants and bars Rosewood delivering unique Food & Beverage concepts made for the guests as well as th population of the 413 rooms and suites, there will be 323 rooms largest number in Hong Kong. The entire hotel will be designed by Tony Rosewood London blend fantastic East and West a very residential feel, bringing some of the 80% of the rooms will have harbor views.
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Known for his international expertise on luxury hotels through his magazine, Laurent Delporte shares his vision and experiences in the world of hotels on his site DELPORTE Hospitality. He decodes the behind-the-scenes action in the sector: from food and beverage facilities, accommodations, architecture, to the quality of services. He offers interviews, advice, and articles as pragmatic resources that industry professionals and private individuals can refer to in their search for information.