W Hotels expands in Thailand

Starwood fails to stand still as it opens a W Hotel in Thailand’s Koh Samui, transforms Le Meridien hotels with art installations and continues to expand in Spain. 
W Hotels Infuse Escape and Indulgence into Thailand’s Serene Island of Koh Samui

W Hotels, the world’s fastest growing style hotel brand, has announced plans to open its first hotel in Thailand in late 2008. W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui will be the brand’s third retreat, following W Maldives which opened in Sept ‘06 and W Vieques, scheduled to open late ‘07. W Koh Samui will be located on a 26 acre site on Maenam Beach, featuring approx. 20 luxury residential villas available for purchase, offering W’s signature Living Room and lounge, one signature restaurant, a pool bar and a signature spa. Guests will indulge in W’s infamous beds as well as be treated to W’s signature Whatever/Whenever service commitment. www.whotels.com

THE LUXURY COLLECTION SHERATON ALGARVE HOTEL LAUNCHES ONE-STOP-SHOP ‘LEADERS IN TRAINING’ DEVELOPMENT COURSE

The Sheraton Algarve Hotel at Pine Cliffs Resort, announce a partnership with top leadership trainer Will Grace, launching the course ‘Leaders in Training @ the Sheraton Algarve’. The 20-hour training course is for managers wanting to enhance their essential leadership skills, and learn how to inspire, influence and motivate others. It is conducted within the 70-acres Pine Cliffs Resort, smartly using the hotel’s facilities such as the beach, golf course, golf academy, gardens and a nearby nature reserve with a large lake. The course is offered to groups of ten participants minimum as a two and a half day programme. The special introductory delegate fee of 995Eur per person (until March 2007) includes the 20-hours leadership training course, accommodation, lunches, dinners and all activities that are part of the programme. www.luxurycollection.com/algarve

LE MERIDIEN Le Meridien Appoints Art Provocateur to Transform Hotels Into Art Installations

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In an unconventional move in hotel marketing, Le Meridien has appointed Jerome Sans as Cultural Curator, he will create and direct a global grassroots experiential art campaign and forge partnerships with cultural institutions around the globe, targeting the ‘creative guest.’ Using Le Meridien hotels as art installations Jerome Sans is creating a series of artistically themed events titled ‘First Night’ for the brand’s new hotel openings. Launched on Nov 1, 2006 with the new San Francisco property, Jerome Sans enlisted internationally recognized lighting designer Thierry Dreyfus to re-imagine Le Meridien San Francisco into a tower of Mondrian-inspired light and colour, artistic experiences at Le Royal Meridien Shanghai and Le Meridien Lav, Split, Croatia will follow. www.lemeridien.com/firstnight

‘The Sky is the Limit’ for the First Night at Le Royal Meridien Shanghai

In an extraordinary installation of light and art, Le Royal Meridien Shanghai will officially open with a First NightSM celebration entitled ‘The Sky is the Limit’. The internationally acclaimed artist Thierry Dreyfus will re-imagine the Shanghai cityscape, unveiling a permanent and contemporary light installation that will enrich the electric Shanghai skyline. Five powerful ‘light cannons’ will beam red light vertically into the sky and gently pulse, creating a beating effect that will establish Le Royal Meridien Shanghai as the ‘heart of Shanghai’. Inside the hotel, on the top 64th, 65th and 66th floors of the hotel, guests will literally see Shanghai in a new light through a unique one-of-a-kind art installation of multi-coloured filters on the expansive windows. As part of its ongoing pursuit to bring art and culture alive in a new light for guests and host cities alike, Le Meridien has formed an alliance with The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Shanghai, offering Le Meridien guests special access to MOCA as part of their stay on presentation of their room key. The room key itself has become a piece of art as it has been designed by the renowned Franco-Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming whose paintings are a bridge between East and West. www.lemeridien.com/shanghai

Starwood continues expansion of the le meridien brand in Spain

Starwood announces it has entered into a long term agreement with the Groupo Reyna, to manage the newly named Hotel Le Meridien RA in the Cataluña region. It will undergo an extensive renovation and is schedule to open in Jan 2007. A beach front resort conversion from a landmark building inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1929, it is located in the Costa Dorada, approx. 50km southwest of Barcelona. It will feature 143 rooms, a selection of dining outlets, swimming pool, a beach club with sports facilities, a 200 metre private-beach, and the RA Wellness, one of the largest in Spain with 63 treatment rooms, a Thalassotherapy centre, outdoor and indoor swimming pools and fitness centre. The hotel also boasts extensive meetings and banquets facilities covering an area of approx. 14,300sqft, as well as business centre and private parking. www.lemeridien.com

WESTIN Le First, restaurant boudoir paris - A new address is born 234 rue de Rivoli

Le First, a new type of restaurant boudoir concept, has just opened at number 234 on the famous rue de Rivoli at the Westin Paris. Designed by Jacques Garcia, one of the most renowned designers, and orchestrated by the Chef Patrick Juhel, one of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, this new chic venue mixes French gastronomy with a modern interpretation of typical brasserie cuisine. Situated under the arcades of the historic hotel, it offers a contemporary setting with a baroque touch, appropriate for friendly get-togethers as well as romantic dinners. Le First is one of the first Parisian restaurants to be 100 % non-smoking. www.westin.com/paris

Trying to Conceive? Check-in to a Procreation Vacation in the Caribbean

Couples who want to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet can enjoy a 3-night Procreation Vacation with Caribbean baby-making concoctions on the romantic islands of St. John, Vieques, and Grand Bahama Island. Designed to promote fertility the package offers:

* Unlimited glasses of sea moss elixir for the future dad. Caribbean’s answer to Viagra.

* Unlimited bowls of pumpkin soup for the would-be Mum. De rigueur among island women.

* One 50-minute couples massage with aromatherapy, an aid in regulating women’s fertility cycles, and reflexology, known for boosting virility.

* One in-suite dinner for two.

* One romantic dinner for two at resort fine dining restaurant.

WESTIN HOTELS TO OPEN RESORT PROPERTY FEATURING RESIDENCES IN THE CARIBBEAN ISLE OF ST. MAARTEN

Starwood announces new Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa to open on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten on Dec 13, 2006. The resort will offer 317 guest rooms, multiple oceanfront dining options, a full-service spa, a casino, retail shops, the island’s largest freshwater infinity pool, swim-up bar and expansive meeting and event facilities. Ninety-nine for-sale condominiums are located on the resort grounds and comprise The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Residences. Owners will enjoy full access to all of the resort’s services and amenities. All of the resort’s guestroom suites and residences feature the Westin brand’s signature Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath. www.westin.com/stmaarten

WESTIN DUBLIN GOES SMOKE FREE

The Westin Dublin has announced that as of 1 January 2007 it will become a non smoking hotel, joining its sister hotel the Westin Turnberry Resort, Scotland which went smoke free in March this year, and the Westin’s in Australia and Fiji. In December 2005 all 77 Westin hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean adopted a smoke-free policy, including all guestrooms and public areas. Westin Hotels & Resorts is dedicated to providing a clean, comfortable and relaxing environment for its guests, so they check out of the hotels feeling better than they did when they arrived. www.westin.com/dublin

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON From the Barstool to the Boardroom, Four Points by Sheraton Launches Search for Chief Beer Officer

Who says drinking beer won’t get you anywhere? For those passionate for pilsners or crazy for crafts, your favourite pastime could earn you a fancy new title and a seat at the Board Room Table. In celebration of the simple pleasure of a perfectly poured glass of beer and the launch of its Best Brews programme, Four Points by Sheraton hotels officially kicked-off its Chief Beer Officer (CBO) executive search. Candidates should possess a bubbly personality, brew eloquence, a rich knowledge of beer and be over 21 years old. The world’s first ever CBO will be responsible to share his or her in-depth knowledge of the wide world of beer and help cultivate, curate and promote its new Best Brews offerings at brewery tours, beer festivals, and on bar stools. Applications are available at www.fourpoints.com/cbo

Four points by sheraton is Introducing Best Brews!

Four Points by Sheraton is pleased to offer a wide selection of world-wide brews, each chosen for their unique flavours, popularity and quality ingredients. The US Brewers Association helped develop the overall programme and through Best Brews, Four Points hotels around the world will provide a selection of local, regional and imported craft beers from the extensive list of almost 300 available brews in bottles, and on tap, participating properties will offer a minimum of 4 draught beers and a selection of up to 20 bottled beers. True to its dedication to uncomplicated comfort, Four Points makes choosing the perfect brew as easy as pie. All beer selections are broken down by style, character and body, so guests can easily identify the perfect brew for their taste. www.fourpoints.com/beer
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