Set on a bluff overlooking the town of Watch Hill, Ocean House is a meticulous, $149-million recreation of the original 1868 hotel of the same name. While it has decidedly 21st-century luxuries and conveniences, it conveys the mood of an earlier era, when its namesake was the last of eight grand Watch Hill resorts built during the area’s heyday, which lasted into the 1920s.
Just five kilometers north of Bali’s Ubud village, the Alila Ubud is hidden away in the Ayung Valley. With the lush landscape as its backdrop, a postcard-perfect infinity pool that seems suspended in midair symbolizes the retreat’s paradisiacal ambience, and the property thrives on its reputation as a place for communing with nature. This harmony begins with the hotel’s own construction. The bamboo-pillared lobby overlooks verdant fields from which alang-alang is harvested for the thatched roofs, while the banks of the Ayung River supply the river stones that stud the walls and pavements.
When the Four Seasons Hotels take it to the streets, they take it in the form of a food truck! The Four Seasons Hotels Food Truck is an idea developed during a corporate meeting that was two years in the making. The truck is currently touring cities in the western United States which are home to Four Seasons Hotels, starting in Palo Alto and ending in Santa Fe.
Although I missed the 100th-anniversary celebration of Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris in April of this year, I was there last night for its “unofficial” closing ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly, the Plaza’s last day was September 30th. Rest assured, it is closing for a good cause: to reopen with even more grandeur (if that is even possible).
Between the busloads of tourists and the history buffs that flock to this Bund landmark to experience a piece of Shanghai’s history, the public spaces at the Fairmont Peace Hotel might not quite embody its name. But what the property lacks in tranquility, it more than makes up for in iconic status, given its storied past as the Cathay Hotel, built in 1929 and then owned by one of the city’s most notable businessmen, Sir Victor Sassoon.