|Ritz-Carlton Makes Hotel History, Opens 3 Hotels on Same Day.|
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive Column
Wednesday, 30th May 2012
Ritz-Carlton made history this week when it opened three hotels on the same day this week, May 28, 2012: Okinawa, Japan; Montreal, Quebec; and the Bulgari hotel, London.
The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa is the first resort from Ritz-Carlton in Japan. The architecture and ambiance of the resort pay homage to the Okinawan concept of hospitality or “gusuku” which translates as “castle” or “guest house”.
The spirit of gusuku is found through the resort's landscaping and contemporary design, which features the Shurijo face motifs, distinctive red clay roof tiles, white walls and holy water ponds. There are 97 guestrooms, including 78 Deluxe rooms, 9 Premium Deluxe rooms, 8 Cabana rooms, 1 Presidential Suite and 1 The Ritz-Carlton Suite.
There's a golf course and spa on property, as well as three restaurants -- Chura-Nuhji – an Italian fine dining restaurant, Kise; a Teppan-yaki restaurant featuring local seafood and renowned Okinawan beef; and Gusuku, an all-day dining experience that serves Japanese, Okinawan and international dishes.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA has four treatment rooms, four dry treatment rooms, outdoor cabanas offering Shiatsu or Thai massage, and two special Retreat Suites complete with their own private decks and stone baths for those who want to escape a little further beyond the picturesque surroundings of the Okinawa resort.
On the other side of the world, Montreal is waking up to a renovated legacy spot.
The Ritz-Carton Montreal in Quebec reopened on Monday after a $200-million restoration project. The hotel, which originally opened in 1912, played host to the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Rolling Stones, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who celebrated their first marriage at the hotel. Restoration and preservation was done to the building’s façade, and renovations and upgrades were made to the hotel's public spaces, 98 guestrooms and 31 suites.
The hotel now features the 4,700-square-foot Royal Suite, the largest hotel suite in Montreal. In the guestrooms, new high-tech amenities were installed including thermostats that remember a guest’s temperature preferences and motion-detector lighting. The renovated Montreal hotel includes a gym, tea garden, indoor salt water pool, and the restaurant Maison Boulud, a 130-seat restaurant opened by internationally renowned Chef Daniel Boulud.
Further over on the Atlantic side, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts makes it debut in London. The luxury hotel is located in Knightsbridge, one of the most prestigious areas of London. The London Bulgari hotel marks the third hotel in the exclusive Bulgari family (Bulgari Hotel in Milan opened in 2004 and the Bulgari Resort in Bali opened in 2006). Bulgari Hotels & Resorts are managed by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Herve Humler, president of Ritz-Carlton Hotels, is also the president of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. As you would expect from this type of luxury, the Bulgari London opens in grandiose fashion, debuting its London's digs with contemporary style and sleek design. Silver is the dominant color of the 85 guestroom luxury hotel, which includes seven Bulgari suites.
The hotel has one restaurant and bar and will also feature a large ballroom, a private cinema, spa, fitness center and indoor pool.
Up next for the Ritz-Carlton? The hotel's first hotel in Vienna, scheduled to open later this summer.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com