Hotel Wrap: Andaz Coming To Vienna, St Regis Langkawi Opening & More

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A quick round-up of some of the hotel news I’ve noticed over the past few days with four of the big chains either announcing major new properties or, in the case of Starwood, opening new properties that should please their loyalty program members.

Andaz Am Belvedere Vienna

Ok, let’s get something out of the way first – that’s an unnecessarily long name for an Andaz property. What was wrong with “Andaz Vienna”? Let’s face it, that’s what we’re all going to call it anyway!

Hyatt has announced plans to open a 300-room Andaz-branded property in Vienna. 

The property will be a 50:50 joint venture between Hyatt and SIGNA and will mark their second collaboration following the success of the Park Hyatt Vienna.

The hotel will be located opposite the 21er Haus and Vienna’s Schweizergarten both of which sit adjacent to the Belvedere Palace.

andaz-vienna-locationApproximate planned location for the Andaz Vienna

The details we have so far don’t tell us too much but we’re told that the lobby of the Andaz Vienna will be elevated “above the surrounding tree tops” and that the rooms will provide “sublime and unique” views from high above Vienna.

andaz-vienna-imageA rendering of the Andaz Vienna

The property is slated for completion in 2019 and, according to Business Traveller, will feature the following:

  • 4th floor spa and fitness centre
  • 16th floor rooftop bar
  • 23,700sqft (2,200sqm) of conference space including a 7,500sqft (700sqm) ballroom
  • Underground parking facility with electric charging stations
  • Lobby bar
  • Restaurant

The Andaz Vienna will be just 5 minutes walk from the city’s central station and 20 minutes from the airport (by car).

Ritz-Carlton To Open A “Reserve” Resort In Bermuda

The Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand first made an appearance in 2013 with the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay in Thailand. The idea behind the brand was to move away from, what guests were beginning to see as, the formulaic Ritz-Carlton property and to provide resorts with more individualism and personality.

ritz-carlton-phulay-bayRitz-Carlton Phulay Bay – Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Up until now there have been three open Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties….

…and one property that’s close to completion:

Now Ritz-Carlton has announced a new Ritz-Carlton Reserve property to be opened in Bermuda.

Per Ritz-Carlton:

Located in an area of historical significance on the western end of Bermuda, the site offers over 2.5 miles of shoreline and includes an expansive peninsula extending into the Great Sound.

The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Bermuda is slated to open in 2018.

St Regis Langkawi Opening 6 April

Malaysia appears to be a hotbed of development for Starwood right now with three properties scheduled to open in 2016 (St Regis Langkawi, St Regis Kuala Lumpur and Le Meridien Putrajaya) and a further 6 properties opening between 2017 and 2020.

The first of the properties to open will be the St Regis Langkawi (6 April 2016) where rooms are not going to be cheap!

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 14.05.38

The property is a SPG Category 7 property meaning that a standard room will set you back a minimum of 30,000 Starpoints per night. And that’s a lot of Starpoints.

Still, when the property looks like this…..

st-regis-langkawiSt Regis Langkawi Main Pool – Image courtesy of Starwood

st-regis-langkawiSt Regis Langkawi – Image courtesy of Starwood

….I could be tempted to blow all my Starpoints on a stay here.

Here’s what Starwood has to say about their new property:

The St. Regis Langkawi is nestled on the southern tip of Langkawi, the first UNESCO Global Geopark designated in Southeast Asia. Situated on an exclusive cove, our discreet address overlooks a sparkling white-sand beach, swaying palm trees, and the glistening turquoise Andaman Sea. Langkawi International Airport (LGK) can be reached by car in 30 minutes.

The St Regis Langkawi has its own private beach, 2 restaurants, a deli, 2 bars and a lounge. On top of that, the resort features a huge 8,600sqft Iridium Spa, a hair salon, butler service, an athletic club and a lot more. Put simply this is definitely a luxury resort!

A nice touch that families may enjoy is that the resort offers an all-inclusive dining program especially for children of SPG members. This gives children (ages 12 and younger) access to a variety of dining options for a flat daily rate.

Award Availability

It’s perhaps not that surprising that, at 30,000 Starpoints/night, there’s plenty of award availability at the Rt Regis throughout the booking calendar…but it probably also has a lot to do with the fact that Starwood has a policy whereby if a room is available to book at the lowest standard rate it can also be booked with Starpoints.

While there may be a lot of “free night” award availability there is absolutely no Cash & Points availability showing between the resort’s opening date and the end of the booking calendar.

Hilton’s New Tru Brand Sees First Hotel Break Ground

I made my feelings about Hilton’s new Tru” brand very clear when the concept was first announced – it sounds and looks idiotic – but, on the off-chance that someone actually cares, I thought I’d mention this bit of news.

Per Hilton:

Hilton Worldwide [has broken]ground on its very first Tru by Hilton property located in McDonough, Georgia. The celebration marked the fastest brand announcement to groundbreaking in Hilton history, less than eight weeks after Tru’s public debut.

Demonstrating Tru’s commitment to breaking the mold at every occasion, the milestone event tossed traditional hard hats and shovels aside, treating guests to an unveiling of 3D chalk paintings created of the hotel’s exterior and guest room design that allowed attendees to feel as though they were part of the hotel. In addition, attendees had some fun in an interactive photo booth that placed them right inside the lobby of the hotel.

Is it just me or does that sound as ridiculous as the brand itself?

Hilton continues:

The 98-room, 4-story hotel is located at 251 Avalon Court and is owned by McDonough Hotel Partners, LLC. It is expected to be completed in summer of 2017.

I don’t think there are words to express just how much I don’t like the sound of this new brand. I’m not a fan of more hotel brands anyway but, when one comes along that appears as patronising to its target demographic as this one does, it gets me even more annoyed than normal. Take a look at my original post on the Tru brand if you don’t know what I mean.


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