Ritz-Carlton Continues Expansion, The W Amsterdam Opens Its Doors & Carlson Gets A New Upscale Hotel

W Hotel Amsterdam

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Ritz-Carlton are bringing their brand to Mexico City from 2019. The Ritz-Carlton Mexico city will occupy 13 floors of the Chapultepec Uno mixed-use project in the heart of the city’s financial district.

The hotel is planned to have 153 rooms although, with over 3 years to go before completion, this could easily change. The building that will be home to the hotel will include 58 floors (the Ritz-Carlton will occupy floors 36-47) and, with 1.1m square feet of space, will be one of the tallest buildings in the city.

ritz-carlton-mexico-cityImage courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

With completion so far off there’s no news on what tier level this hotel will be placed but, I suspect, It won’t be one of the more expensive Ritz-Cartlons out there – so it could be a good points redemption opportunity once doors open.

Ritz-Carlton aren’t done there…..

On 22 October the Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo opened it’s doors to guests following a re-branding and a full make over.

Set in the heart of downtown, between the iconic Nile River and Tahrir Square, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo is a modern luxury hotel with a storied past. The hotel hosted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra, and today guests will experience the true sense of elegance by the stewardship of The Ritz-Carlton hotels.

  • Adjacent to the Arab League headquarters and Egyptian Museum
  • River or museum view from every room and suite
  • Downtown Cairo’s largest ballroom
  • Luxury spa, fitness center and pool
  • Diverse dining, including a rooftop bar, Afternoon Tea service and rustic Italian restaurant

Ritz-Carlton CairoThe Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo – Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

The hotel is a Tier 1 Ritz-Carlton property so award nights cost just 30,000 points each:

Ritz-Carlton Tier Chart

And with nights currently showing at over $400/night this could be a reasonable use for points for anyone visiting Cairo.

If you’re booking with cash make sure you price up the full cost of the room before you start making any plans. The headline rate at the moment is $320/night but, once you add on surcharges and government fees, that jumps quite quickly:

Ritz-Carlton Cairo

W Hotel Amsterdam

The W Hotel Amsterdam is another property that opened recently and they held the opening party on 22 October.

The 238-room hotel has been constructed inside two of Amsterdam’s iconic buildings which once housed a telephone exchange and KAS Bank. As things stand, and although the hotel is open, only one of the buildings is complete. The Exchange building has 172 guest rooms and is currently taking guests while the “Bank” building is expected to open next year with a further 66 rooms.

In typical W style nothing is simple – guests check-in on the roof!

Guests arrive in style when they check in at the rooftop W Lounge, the W brand’s re-interpretation of the traditional hotel lobby, on the sixth floor of the Exchange building. With four outdoor terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can enjoy spectacular 360-degree views over canal houses and heritage sites. Looking out to the Royal Palace and lively historic centre, WET DECK is Amsterdam’s first rooftop pool.

W Hotel Amsterdam

Spanning 22 metres and heated in winter, WET DECK is where Amsterdam’s style-savvy locals mix it up over open air cocktails and city scape views. Also located on the rooftop, MR PORTER blends qualities of a modern steakhouse with the sophisticated ambiance of a chic, high-energy lounge.

I’ve mentioned more than once how I’m not really a fan of the W Hotels and this sort of thing just adds to my reasons why they annoy me. Why do I have to check in on the roof?! Why do I have to schlep my bags to the top of the hotel before I can get to my room….which, no doubt, will be nowhere near the roof? Style over substance should be the W motto.

Still, if you think this could be the place for you then you’ll probably want to know that the W Amsterdam is a SPG category 6 hotel meaning that an award night will set you back 25,000 Starpoints. Cash rates seem to start around $400/night, rising to over $500/night during busier times.

Carlson Rezidor Announces The Hormuz Grand In Oman

Carlson Rezidor is the parent company of well-known hotels chains like Radisson, Radisson Blu and Park Inn but they also own a less well-known brand called the Quorvus Collection.

The Quorvus Collection is less well-known for two reasons:

  1. It was only launched in 2014
  2. It only has 3 properties

If you were to read what Carlson have to say about Quorvus you’d probably be none the wiser…it’s all marketing-speak. So here it is in a nutshell:

The Quorvus Collection is a selection of 5* properties that enjoy the benefits of being part of a larger group without advertising that fact by having the name of the group in the name of the hotel. The hotels just keep their own names,  a bit like Starwood’s “Luxury Collection”.

Now the Quorvus Collection is about to get a new member in it’s ranks – The Hormuz Grand in Oman.

Hormuz Grand HotelThe Hormuz Grand in Oman – Image courtesy of Carlson Rezidor

The hotel has been open since September 2014 but will join forces with Carlson-Rezidor to become part of the Quorvus Collection in “late 2015”.

According to the Carlson press-release:

The Hormuz Grand features 231 elegant rooms and suites, and is located 4km away from Muscat International Airport and 20km away from the city centre. It is situated at one of the premium locations in Oman that is a hub for governmental and academic institutions, shopping centre and golf courses. The hotel offers two restaurants (all-day-dining and a celebrated Indian venue; a third seafood restaurant is under development), modern conference rooms including a 390 sqm ballroom, a pool, an outstanding spa managed by ISpa (Thailand), and a gym. With the ever expanding business and leisure tourism into the city, the Hormuz Grand promises to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers alike.

As the property hasn’t yet joined the Carlson-Rezidor family there’s no official mention of what awards will cost….but I’ll be staggered if the hotel isn’t slotted in at the top tier (like the other Quorvus hotels). That would mean that awards would cost 70,000 Gold Points/night.

Having been open for over a year, I would have expected there to have been a good number of reviews on TripAdvisor to give us some indication of the hotel’s quality…..but there isn’t much to go on:

Hormuz Grand HotelHormuz Grand Hotel

It looks OK but 34 reviews are hardly anything to go on and being 1st of 3 hotels in the area means even less.

It will be interesting to see what prices look like once the Hormuz Grand appears on the Club Carson website….I suspect they may be steep.