Hot Hotels Ready 2011 Openings

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.

Mandarin Oriental will at long last debut its Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma in Marrakech, which doubled as Abu Dhabi in last year's Sex and the City 2. Set to rival the uber-lux outpost of Aman Resorts and La Mamounia, the Palmeraie resort will have its own nightclub, cake shop and billiards bar, leaving little reason ever to venture outside. The smaller and likely even more exclusive Mandarin Oriental Paris is slated to open with hotel and 13 private residences on the prestigious rue Saint Honore in a 1930s art deco building, including rooms by Sybille de Margerie and a Patrick Jouin-designed eatery for three-star Michelin chef Thierry Marx.

Smaller luxury hotel chain Thompson Hotels will debut its first U.K. flagship In London's Belgravia near Sloane Square, an 85-room property with a destination eatery and signature Pomeranc flair. The Dorchester Collection will reopen its Hotel Bel-Air in July after a multiyear refurbishment that touched each of the 92 rooms and resulted in a new La Prairie Spa and lounge -- where a jacket was and always will be required in the evenings. On a more modern note, Morgans Hotel Group ( MHGC) will open its much-anticipated Mondrian Soho in New York this February. A stunning Soho location with interiors by Benjamin Noriega Ortiz will include a sure-hit concept eatery by Sam Talbot with indoor-outdoor bar.

For some, the name Cipriani means posh Venice luxury hotel; for others it's a famous New York eatery with an outpost in London. From the side of the Cipriani family that started Harry's Bar in Venice and the prized London eatery comes a Los Angeles hotel in a rare hilltop location, the James Bond-like Mr. C Hotel and Restaurant. Installed in a 1960s high-rise once called the Tower Hotel, the building is getting a Cipriani-worthy overhaul that will include a destination eatery and loft-style luxury with some of the best views of any Beverly Hills hotel. Look for a social and hotel destination, as well ass one of the most eagerly awaited L.A. hotel openings of the year.

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Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.

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