Amidst the heady fragrance of purple and white lilac and bouquets of blossoming pink peonies sold on every street corner of this sprawling capital during early summer, comes the highly anticipated opening of Raffles Europejski Warsaw on June 1st. Bringing over 160 years of history and heritage to the culturally rich Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand, this fully restored Polish icon joins Paris and Istanbul as the third European destination where the inimitable Raffles experience can be found.
PAYING HOMAGE TO THE NATION’S ARTISTIC RENAISSANCE
Dating back to 1857, the neo-renaissance palace built by Enrico Marconi and renowned as a Grand Dame of European hotels during the 19th century, has been, over the last four years, painstakingly restored to its pre-war glory. Proudly Polish, the elegant interiors showcase the very best of modern and contemporary Polish art, with a carefully curated Hotel Europejski collection by Anda Rottenberg, a former Director of the Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The Hotel Europejski Art Collection consists of almost 500 artworks created by more than 120 artists, including the legend of Polish Avant-garde Tadeusz Kantor, and the most important representatives of contemporary Polish art such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Monika Sosnowska or Turner Prize nominee Goshka Macuga.
Not only art but also the skill of Polish craftsmanship is represented within the hotel, whether in the lighting, in the carved burl wood headboards, the parquetry floors or the Warsaw skyline etched into the grey marble bathroom walls, rooting Raffles Europejski firmly in Poland. This sense of place is emphasised by the venerated hotel’s location on the historic Royal Route, with views from spacious and elegant guestrooms onto the Old Town, the Presidential Palace and, across the city’s biggest square, to the eternal flame burning at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the leafy Saxon Gardens behind.
The 106 rooms and suites are classically stylish with blackened oak floors, contemporary Polish art, a corner library and sleek marble-clad bathrooms with Art Deco touches. But the jewel in the crown is the Presidential Suite, spread over a magnificent 293 square metres, and home to a 19th century piano, a reminder that this room was once host to recitals and piano concerts in another chapter of its rich history.
A NEW EPITOME OF SOPHISTICATED LUXURY IN POLAND
The Hotel Europejski was returned to its rightful pre-war owners in 2005, and Julien Barbotin-Larrieu, representing the owning company, H.E.S.A., explained their choice of Raffles to manage the property: “With Raffles at the helm of the hotel, a brand synonymous with heritage and luxury, whose own illustrious history began just thirty years after the Europejski’s with the iconic Raffles Singapore, we feel confident about bringing a new level of luxury to Warsaw; one that is as much about the cultural experience as the comfort. Our aim is to provide a real sense of place, allowing guests to understand the soul of Poland by immersing themselves in the art, the gastronomy and the history which they will be surrounded with, on a level as yet unsurpassed in the capital.”
With this in mind, the hotel will offer a variety of culinary options. Designed by acclaimed Spanish studio Lázaro Rosa Violán, the Europejski Grill, strikingly decorated in bold hues of blue and white, will serve modern Polish cuisine with a twist, overlooking Piłsudski Square. The Long Bar, a brand signature inspired by and named after the bar in Raffles Singapore where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented over a century ago, is set at the heart of the hotel and will bring a new level of cocktails to the Warsaw scene from its sleek, marble-topped counter. The Humidor, the most exclusive lounge in the city, provides the perfect place for cigar lovers and connoisseurs of fine spirits with its club-like atmosphere of leather sofas, low lighting and a fireplace, whilst the Lourse Warszawa Patisserie, an elegant essay in white marble and brass trimming, is, as it famously was in previous times, the place to go for the cakes and pastries so loved in the city.
With Raffles renowned for placing wellness at the centre of the experience it offers, it comes as no surprise that the Raffles Spa will be one of the biggest and the best in Warsaw. A haven of tranquillity amidst the bustle of the city, it has six treatment rooms, a 24/7 gym, complete with Technogym™ and an upstream indoor swimming pool. Alongside bespoke treatments using exclusive brands Aromatherapy Associates and Sisley, the emphasis on holistic wellbeing, very much the DNA of Raffles spas worldwide, plays a key part in the spa experience with mindful meditation interwoven in the signature spa journeys.
Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand & Strategic Partnerships, AccorHotels Luxury Brands, comments: “I am delighted to be opening the iconic Raffles Europejski Warsaw, such a landmark in this capital city, to which we will bring the legendary Raffles service, known for its benchmark standard across the globe, as well as a series of gastronomic delights, conference facilities and an impressive spa.”
Raffles Europejski Warsaw joins 11 Raffles Hotels & Resorts around the world as well as hotels under development such as Raffles London, Raffles Boston Back Bay and Raffles The Palm Dubai. The remarkable collection of charming luxury hotels and resorts is located in many of the world’s most attractive cities and leisure destinations such as Paris, Istanbul and the Seychelles. Raffles properties feature distinct amenities including the Raffles Butler Service, Raffles Spa, Raffles Long Bar and Raffles Writers Bar.
Westin Hotels & Resorts to Debut in Maldives
Westin Hotels & Resorts today announced the anticipated opening of the brand’s first hotel in the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort heralds the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand and Marketing, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing well-being even while on the road.”
Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, guests of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will experience a tranquil escape with uninterrupted ocean and pristine turquoise lagoon views. From the atoll’s most desirable locale, guests are in close proximity to landmarks such as the Hanifaru Bay, which is known for the largest gathering of manta rays globally.
“We look forward to welcoming our guests to discover the charm of the Maldives while at the same time enjoy the unparalleled level of service,” said Brendan Corcoran, General Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. “Along with the Westin brand’s focus on wellness, we trust that every guest will feel exceptionally relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated during and after their stays.”
Marine Inspired Décor and Modern Appointed Villas
Led by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability. All elements of the resort’s design take inspiration from the environment from the use of natural materials, such as unique shells to the movement and flow of marine life including sea turtles and whale sharks, providing guests with a link to the region’s exceptional enchantment. An aerial view of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort reveals an outline in the shape of a fish, a distinctive reflection of the beauty of surrounding marine life; while the arrival jetty is structured to resemble clamshells and the oceans’ waves.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort features 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater. Each villa is shaped with an eco-friendly double roofing to create the perfect natural ventilation. Outdoor rainforest showers are a distinctive feature. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are among the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region.
Refined Venues, Elevated Experiences
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort presents three unique dining experiences. The Pearl is the resort’s specialty restaurant and is ideal for indulging in exquisite Japanese cuisine with exceptional ocean views The restaurant offers a refined Japanese menu with a focus on seafood and fresh local ingredients. The all-day dining experience at Island Kitchen stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. At Hawker, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen in a casual bustling atmosphere. Adjacent to the Library and overlooking the azure blue Indian Ocean, Sunset Bar is a relaxed lounge serving tapas and imaginative cocktails.
More Ways to Recharge
The idyllic resort also features Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin™ with the latest in beauty treatments. The design of the Spa area exudes an intimate and serene ambience that allows guests to reflect on their destination, including a spacious treatment suite for two with a Jacuzzi and panoramic ocean views. Guests can stay active with the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio sprawled across two levels that features weight machines, free weights, and cardio equipment that faces personal flat-screen televisions; and outdoor pool and recreation ground with tennis, volleyball, basketball options.
Designed to cater to the way modern families travel, the Westin Family Kids Club® offers reimagined family experiences that are tied back to the brand’s wellness positioning for young guests between the ages of 4 – 12 years. Some of the activities includes nature walks, family-style runs and water activities. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is also well-equipped to play host to distinguished ceremonies or vows renewal with its multifunctional event spaces.
Directly from the beach, guests can explore the house reef with colorful corals and be surrounded by thousands of tropical fish. Miriandhoo is a Turtle sanctuary, and guests can easily and often see turtles nesting along the white beaches. Reef sharks, lionfish, manta rays and often whale sharks all reside in the Baa Atoll. The stunning experience of the underwater world can be explored while snorkeling, diving, fishing and parasailing.
Additional on-site facilities of the resort include a PADI dive centre and a boutique store.
Legacy Meets Modern Luxury with the Reopening of Al Bustan Palace
Marking a new era in its legacy, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel reopens following a period of extensive enhancements that includes redesigned rooms and suites, refreshed Ritz Kids experiences, and new culinary options. An iconic symbol of Omani culture and hospitality, the palace hotel has been reimagined to embrace the needs of families and the modern global traveler, offering new and inspiring experiences that bridge heritage with state of the art technology and modern design.
“Oman continues to welcome record numbers of international visitors thanks to our commitment to offering world-class experiences for the modern global traveler that honor and celebrate our beautiful natural surroundings, rich culture and history,” commented H.E. Maitha bint Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman. “The renovation of Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel fully supports this vision and we are confident that the hotel will continue to contribute to the Sultanate’s thriving tourism industry.”
Royal Estates Royal Court Affairs in Oman carried out the design of most of the refurbishment works, while renowned luxury integrated design firm WATG and affiliated design studio Wimberly Interiors provided some of the other architecture and interior renovation under the supervision of the Royal Estates. Undergoing a dramatic transformation, the Palace’s hotel rooms and suites seamlessly combine decor inspired by Oman’s culture and heritage with refined design and state-of-the-art technology. While the rooms retain their original elegance, an enhanced level of modern luxury is now provided by rich furnishings, lush materials and neutral metallic tones. New artwork pays homage to Oman’s artisans with contemporary digital prints incorporating images of traditional Omani silverware, jewelry, khanjars, and coffee pots.
“Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel has been an iconic property in Oman for more than 30 years and we are delighted to introduce the newly reimaged hotel to the local and global community,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “With our established and expanding presence in the Sultanate, we remain committed to being a part of Oman’s development and look forward to setting new hospitality benchmarks across the country.”
Capturing Oman’s spirit of adventure and its love of the outdoors, the hotel presents a refreshed Ritz Kids program and a new outdoor Family Aqua Land. Ideal for families and multigenerational travel, young adventurers can now ride a zipline, splash through their own dedicated pool, or slide from a large Omani traditional boat, all surrounded by lush gardens, golden sands and sensational views of Al Hajar Mountains.
A variety of enriching dining experiences can now also be enjoyed on the shores of the Gulf of Oman. With a newly extended two-level terrace providing dazzling views of the fifty meters long infinity pool and the ocean, Al Khiran Kitchen highlights the best of the country’s natural beauty alongside cuisine that showcases the freshest local produce and flavors from farms across the Sultanate. Beach Pavilion Bar & Grill captures the spirit of the surrounding sea with an expansive deck overlooking the seafront and features simple yet elegant, locally-inspired seafood dishes and grills. Already celebrated as one of Oman’s finest Asian restaurants, China Mood nowoffers an elegant terrace from which to enjoy its authentic Chinese cuisine and unique tea sommelier show.
The Grand Ballroom and meeting rooms have also undergone a renovation, making Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Muscat’s premier destination for the most prestigious wedding celebrations and events. The new event experience has been created to touch on guests’ five senses and incorporates modern technology with the very best of Omani hospitality, alongside the legendary Ritz-Carlton service.
True to its commitment to the people of Oman, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, welcomes visitors who wish to spend a day at the hotel with a Beach Day Pass that offers access to the private beachfront and facilities. Recreation Memberships have also been re-created for residents and families who wish to enjoy exclusive, year-round access to the hotel’s palatial facilities and beachfront.
Waldorf Astoria Debuts in South East Asia
Located within the 60-storey Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok today announces the hotel’s official opening in the heart of Bangkok. Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is the latest addition to the portfolio of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton (NYSE: HLT)’s luxury brand of iconic hotels. The landmark hotel is owned by MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited) and managed by Hilton.
“With Asia Pacific enjoying a golden age of travel, we are witnessing unprecedented demand for our brands and are creating some of the world’s greatest luxury hotels,” said Alan Watts, president, Hilton, Asia Pacific. “As the first Waldorf Astoria in South East Asia, the opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok adds a much-anticipated chapter to the brand’s story in Asia. It builds on our series of iconic Waldorf Astoria hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, while prefacing the arrival of additional unforgettable Waldorf Astoria hotels in the near future.”
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located by the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection, within walking distance of renowned shopping precincts. Just a few minutes’ stroll to the Erawan Shrine, the luxurious Gaysorn Village mall and both lines of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, the hotel is ideally positioned for guests to immerse themselves in the city’s colorful culture. Other highlights within a 10- to 25-minute drive include the Charoenkrung Creative District, the iconic Grand Palace and the city’s beautiful flower market.
“From Waldorf Astoria New York to Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, the Waldorf Astoria brand has a long-standing legacy of defining the hospitality experience for the modern-day traveler,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “We truly believe that the opening of the new, landmark Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will not only redefine the luxury hospitality landscape throughout South East Asia, it will create unforgettable experiences for our guests that will last a lifetime.”
Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel. Globally recognized for their work, which range from modern hospitality projects and art spaces to high-profile fashion collaborations, AFSO has artistically curated a holistic Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hotel experience that unites the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition. Conceptualized to embrace the gracious Thai spirit in an elegant setting, the 171 residential-style, spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature spa-inspired bathrooms and marble bathtubs.
The hotel’s crown jewel spans the top three floors from levels 55 to 57, comprising three distinctive, artistically curated dining outlets by world-renowned design and concept firm AvroKO. Exuding glamour and luxury, the opulent interiors of Bull & Bear, The Loft and Champagne Bar showcase a nod towards the Waldorf Astoria legacy, all accompanied by sweeping views of the city.
“We are thrilled to be adding Waldorf Astoria Bangkok to our rapidly expanding luxury portfolio here in Asia Pacific,” said Dino Michael, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “As we continue to debut contemporary and iconic hotels in landmark destinations all over the world, we consider it a true honour to introduce our brand to a city as vibrant as Bangkok. We look forward to showcasing our signature True Waldorf Service, the personalized, graceful service that has become synonymous with our brand.”
In line with Waldorf Astoria’s legacy of culinary expertise, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is primed to be a dining destination in itself. The property features three unique restaurant concepts, a lounge and two bars, including:
Front Room, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is helmed by acclaimed Chef Fae Rungthiwa Chummongkhon, who brings her experience of working at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to present an elegant blend of “new Nordic” and Thai flavors in a relaxed setting.
The Brasserie, located on the upper lobby, is a lively destination that offers stunning views of the city. Using locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant serves traditional French brasserie fare daily from breakfast through dinner.
Peacock Alley, which sits on the same level as The Brasserie, is an ideal lounge for picturesque afternoon teas and light meals. Modeled after the New York original, Peacock Alley presents a menu of delectable homemade pastries and refreshments throughout the day.
Bull & Bear on level 55 specializes in grilled meats and seafood, and features a live raw bar along with a custom-made grill designed for smoking, slow roasting, baking and grilling. Eye-catching art deco-inspired interiors, upbeat vibes and dazzling views make Bull & Bear the perfect place to socialize, celebrate and indulge.
The Loft on level 56 is a glamorous, New York-inspired bar, steeped in the romance of art nouveau. Taking inspiration from the original 1935 Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, artisanal spirits and forgotten cocktails are crafted to the modern palate using a great collection of house-made ingredients, accompanied by gourmet bar bites.
The Champagne Bar, located at the hotel’s peak on level 57, offers an intimate and inspirational environment, designed with meticulous attention to detail. An exquisite list of fine champagnes, handcrafted cocktails and one of the best views of Bangkok combine to create the ultimate setting for a spectacular evening out. Accessible only to the most discerning of guests, the exclusive bar is primed to be one of the most desirable spots in the city.
Arguably the most striking feature of the property is the 730-square-meter Magnolia Ballroom on level 10, which offers a stunning and sophisticated setting for weddings and social events. A statement sweeping staircase provides an unforgettable photography backdrop and an impactful arrival experience. With an impressive 8-meter-high ceiling, the ballroom accommodates up to 700 guests standing or 330 guests seated, and it is set to be one of Bangkok’s most sought-after event venues.
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located at 151 Ratchadamri Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
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