BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- A new year brings a new lineup of hotel openings. From precious boutiques to mega resorts, many of this season's most anticipated openings have the benefit of being planned post-recession, with sometimes scaled-down ambitions or room count to coincide with a reduced travel market.
Starwood's W Hotels and Resorts (HOT) seem to have a hotel opening monthly, with an ambitious development calendar fueled by the chain's popularity and global recognition as a premium luxury brand. This year, expect the collection to take Europe by storm in February with a W London flagship on Leicester Square, accompanied by an XYZ-branded eatery to complement the nearby West End theater scene. In France, W Paris will debut this summer near the Garnier Opera in a period building about half the size as its London sibling. Other notable openings include W Taipei in the Taiwanese capital and a W Marrakech Hotel and Residences opening in the fourth quarter in a resort compound just outside the historic medina.
|The Mandarin Oriental Paris is slated to open this year with hotel and 13 private residences on the prestigious rue Saint Honore in a 1930s art deco building.|
Comparatively, Four Seasons and St. Regis have a more tempered opening schedule, since they have only a handful of properties slated for the year. Starwood's St. Regis brand is scheduled to debut two Middle East properties in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates' Saadiyat Island, as well as an island resort along Mauritius' Le Morne Beach likely to give the One&Only Le Sant Geran there some competition. Four Seasons London will reopen in Mayfair at its signature property overlooking Hyde Park with a more masculine and refined decor, including in its rooftop lounge and new Amaranto Italian eatery and lounge.Marriott (MAR)-owned Ritz-Carlton begins the year with this month's opening of The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre, its second in Dubai but first in the financial heart of the city. It bears a classic facade and architectural design but is defined by its own opulent fountain features, including a 10-story one indoors. In Hong Kong, Ritz debuts an even more architecturally ambitious property in the city's International Commerce Centre on the 103rd-118th floors of the city's newest skyscraper. Six dining rooms and a celebrity chef are rumored, as well as a rooftop bar that would be the highest in Asia. Closer to home in Canada, Ritz-Carlton will round out 2011 with the debut of Ritz Carlton Toronto near the city's Design Exchange and Entertainment District. The hotel, with with terrace lounge and new concept eatery by Canadian chef Tom Brodi, is set to open in time for the year's Toronto Film Festival.
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