New Openings From InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwide
Hospitality giants InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide have opened the doors to new properties this week, rebranding formerly iconic properties to boost their presence in the key markets of Asia and North America. InterContinental Hotels Group arrives in Koh Samui with the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, while Hilton Worldwide’s luxury Waldorf Astoria brand makes its debut in Chicago.
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Koh Samui’s first luxury resort reopens under the InterContinental flag after a 10-month, multimillion dollar renovation. Set amidst 22 acres of lush coconut plantation, the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort occupies an exceptional location on the southwest tip of the island offering breathtaking sunset views and 320-degree vistas across the famous “Five Islands” and Angthong National Park.
Guests are whisked from the international airport by speedboat direct to the resort’s licensed pier, where 79 guest residences, including 12 signature standalone Beachfront Pool Villas, are adorned with unique ‘pops’ of colour adding a contemporary edge to the resort’s strong Thai heritage. Each is furnished with modern luxury amenities including King-size bedding, marble bathroom with soaking tub and rainforest shower, flatscreen television with DVD player, high-speed internet access, in-room safe, minibar and coffee-/tea-making facilities. Guests staying in the villas also enjoy the privacy and comfort of their own sundeck and swimming pool.
Gourmet dining at the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort comes in many forms. Amber serves a delectable range of Thai and Asian dishes through an open, dine-in kitchen concept, while modern European cuisine at Flames combine a beachside location with live cooking demonstrations. A must-try destination at the resort is the Air Bar, offering a menu of molecular cocktails from Joseph Boroski of Sip Slowly New York paired with sakes, tapas, sushi and sashimi.
The Baan Thai Spa’s inspiring setting of elegance and tranquility 120 meters above the sea is perfectly suited for indulging in luxurious treatments. 7 rainbow swimming pools throughout the resort, a fully-equipped gymnasium, 2 tennis courts, a golf practice area and a dedicated yoga sala ensure plenty of choices for relaxation and recreation, with younger guests entertained by the signature Planet Trekker Kid’s Club.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Rebranded from The Elysian Hotel Chicago (recently voted the number 1 hotel in the USA by readers of Conde Nast Traveler), the new Waldorf Astoria Chicago combines the strength of Hilton Worldwide’s premier luxury brand to the reputation for anticipatory service and attention to detail that the property has come to enjoy. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighbourhood steps off the Magnificent Mile, the 188-room hotel features a richly detailed exterior and European courtyard reminiscent of the grand hotels of the 1920s.
The guestrooms and suites feature elegant modern furnishings and fireplaces that exude a sophisticated, urban sensibility. Luxurious amenities, including King-size or twin beds with 400-threadcount linens, marble bathrooms with separate bathtub and shower, 42-inch flatscreen televisions with surround sound system and iPod docking stations, complimentary high-speed internet access, workdesks with desk-level connectivity and electrical ports, dual-line telephones, in-room safes and minibars, ensure guests stay in comfort.
2 exceptional restaurants, Balsan and RIA, offer some of the best dining in Chicago. The former’s seasonal menu of simple yet polished classics prepared with quality ingredients from local family farms and artisan purveyors lends a touch of European sophistication to the hotel, while RIA continues to offer a gracious yet comfortable fine dining experience and exquisite menu that earned it the coveted 2 Michelin stars. Bernard’s, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago’s bar, is reminiscent of a plush private club with rich brown suede walls and velvet banquettes setting the stage for an energetic lounge atmosphere.
Business travellers and meeting planners have 3 unique event spaces at their disposal. The Sinclair ballroom can accommodate up to 220 guests in a theater set-up, while the smaller Fitzgerald Boardroom, Faulkner and Hemingway Salons cater to more intimate gatherings. For recreation and wellness, the hotel’s Spa & Health Club offers an array of treatments, a lap pool, cardio and strength equipment, as well as specialized Pilates and Gyrotronic classes.
Since the opening of the timeless Waldorf Astoria New York in the late 19th century, the legacy of the brand has inspired the same refined spirit of excellence at the numerous properties that fly its flag around the world. Hilton Worldwide currently has 25 properties in operation, with a further 10 under development, including the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and The Panamera.