The Opposite House, a Beijing lifestyle property managed by Swire Hotels, announced that it will be presenting “Memory,” a unique 6-piece porcelain wearable art installation by artist Li Xiaofeng from Red Gate Gallery. Xiaofeng’s installation turns classical Chinese blue and white porcelain into contemporary couture dresses using rejected pieces of porcelain art littered around the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen over the centuries, or buried, broken fragments along the layered trading routes in every direction across China. “The shards contain the history and culture of China. Through grinding, polishing and sewing them together, it narrates the country’s past, present and future to its audiences. It also indicates the rebirth of the new civilization in the Eastern Hemisphere,” said Li. “Memory” will be on display from October 1 to December 30 in the atrium of The Opposite House.
The proposed W Philadelphia Hotel has secured all approvals to move forward, according to Starwood Hotels and a construction-industry website that tracks such projects in the United States. In the spring, construction is scheduled to begin on the 500-room hotel, which will offer a conference center, a pool and a fitness center among its amenities. Completion is set for January 2015. Starwood Hotels is bringing the W Hotel brand to center city on a half-acre surface parking lot that had been designated for a $420 million Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with luxury condos before the lending markets collapsed four years ago. A slate of luxury boutique hotels has entered the Center City market in the last three years, among them the Kimpton-owned Palomar and Hotel Monaco (which opens Oct. 11) and the Le Méridien, another Starwood brand.
Designer Paul Smith and publisher Rizzoli have teamed up to select books for Lounge At One, at London’s One Aldwych. Designed by Fox Linton Associates, the 1,500 square foot Lounge At One is fully serviced throughout the day with “a changing menu of light dishes for breakfast, daytime and evening, along with cocktails, wine and hot beverages”. Hosts are on hand to take care of individual needs such as checking guests in online for flights or liaising with the One Aldwych concierge team for theatre and restaurant bookings. Cosy sofas and armchairs encourage conversation, a central media area has a selection of iPads, magazines and newspapers as well as Paul Smith’s choice Rizzoli books, and a quiet zone is perfect for relaxing. The Lounge at One is open to every overnight guest but not to the public.
On a stretch of downtown Miami’s Southeast First Street that includes a dollar store, electronics shop and empty storefronts, developers are banking on the future of a historic building. The former Miami National Bank building, built in 1925, is in the early stages of becoming the boutique Langford Hotel. If all goes according to plan, the 132-room property will be ready for guests by December 2013. The company’s website for the hotel, eb5hotel.com, describes a luxury space with a rooftop bar and ground-floor restaurant. For downtown’s central business district, an area that has long been known for being busy during the day and deserted at night, a chic new hotel would be a welcome addition. Read more here.
Le Bristol Paris has debuted Le Bar du Bristol, which completes its renovation program. The bar features an interior design by Pierre-Yves
Rochon and Maja Oetker. Highlights include a garden fresco by Thierry Bruet and a 19th-century marble fireplace. The décor is reminiscent of an English club, with silk curtains for privacy, a wooden floor of Versailles oak, and 100-year-old pine paneling from Surrey. The bar will also host a rotating program of contemporary artwork and artists’ videos. The menu from Le Bristol’s Chef de Cuisine Eric Frechon includes international bits such as maki rolls with king crab and vegetables in spicy ketchup, chicken wings in satay sauce, and gambas tempura with ginger and coriander mayonnaise. Head Barman Maxime Hoerth leads a team that includes Roman Devaux, previously of the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Paris.
The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, South Carolina,will look quite different next spring. Sonesta on Thursday announced that it will give the resort’s getting a $30 million makeover. The renovations are a part of the Sonesta Collection’s plan to carry out major improvements at all 24 of its U.S. hotels over the next two years. At the Hilton Head Island property, expect the 340 guest rooms to have an entirely new look, inspired by the local landscape. Design firm Sims Patrick Studio, along with architectural firm designONE studio, will transform the hotel’s look and feel. Construction will begin in December. The rooms are being redone to cater to both families and business travelers, and an over-sized desk that doubles as an activity table for the kids; a pull-out sofa, and lightweight ottomans for additional seating. In the coffee nook near the entrance, guests will find a coffee maker and refrigerator. The resort will also sport a revamped lobby with new sculpture, furniture and finishes, as well as an expansion that will bring the outside in. Expect to find an exterior stone patio with seating and landscaping that overlooks the pool and sundeck. The two existing swimming pools will be revamped, too. Next spring, guests will find a lagoon-style pool and an indoor/outdoor pool that includes space for entertaining. The resort will also get a full-service spa with three treatment rooms and other spaces.
Andaz Savannah, a lifestyle hotel, opened in the former Avia Savannah in historic downtown Savannah. The hotel just completed a renovation of its public areas to add an Andaz Lounge and introduce a sophisticated new restaurant, 22 Square, emphasizing fresh regional ingredients and southern specialties. The artful design and urban vibe of the spaces, services and amenities at Andaz Savannah are inspired by the city’s vibrant culture. The 151 guestrooms and suites at Andaz Savannah feature chic contemporary furnishings with luxurious beds and linens, flat-screen/high-definition televisions with iPod® connections and generously sized bathrooms with walk-in showers. Like all Andaz hotels, guests at Andaz Savannah receive complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access and enjoy complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages from their guestroom minibar. The hotel’s amenities include a 24-hour fitness center and a scenic outdoor terrace with cabana-lined outdoor pool. To support Savannah’s thriving art scene, Andaz Savannah will host rotating art shows that feature works produced by local artists, including those from the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design