I previously wrote about Hotel Lone when it became a member of Design Hotels – a curated selection of more than 200 independent hotels in more than 40 countries across the globe. The hotel based in Croatia’s seaside town of Rovinj has particularly striking design and was the first property in Croatia to become part of the group.
Now the hotel has launched a new concept store in its lobby. Prostor retails a curated selection of products by up-and-coming Croatian artists and designers. There’s everything from art, to fashion and even furniture. Highlights include toys from Antiforms by Ivan Levak, O! Candles, and Madame Demode clothes and accessories. The best bit? All products are made locally. That’s the bit I really love. Prices range from 10 to 700 Euros.
Hilton has completed its refurbishment of the Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel located 20 minutes from the airport and 7 minutes by metro from the city centre. The hotel has 367 rooms and guests can enjoy Austrian and international dishes made from local ingredients at its Waterfront Restaurant.
The hotel has a spacious terrace and the Pier 269 Bar & Lounge. There is also a new Hilton Fitness by Precor, sauna and outdoor pool.
DoubleTree by Hilton is set to debut in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, this April. The hotel will be part of a new sport complex and tennis arena, a short drive from the historic city centre. The hotel will offer 120 comfortable guest rooms in three categories: Guest rooms, Deluxe rooms and One Bedroom Suites. Each room will feature king or twin Sweet Dreams by Doubletree Sleep Experience beds, MP3 alarm clock, LCD satellite televisions, wifi and walk-in shower or bath. The hotel will boast an indoor heated swimming pool, saunas (dry and steam) and a fitness centre.
When I stayed in Kyiv (Kiev) there was no doubt about it, there was a distinct lack of accommodation and a great deal of opportunity for some of the major hotel brands. So I was pleased to hear that Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is building a new deluxe hotel in the Ukrainian capital, scheduled to open in 2012.
The future Swissôtel Kiev will form part of the “Sky Towers”, a mixed use development comprised of twin towers of 34 and 47 storeys. Sky Towers is located in Peremogy Avenue, centrally positioned close to Kiev city centre and the main train station, and is comprised of hotel facilities, serviced residences and offices. The Swissôtel Kiev is anticipated to welcome guests for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship and features 513 guestrooms and suites, 14 serviced residences, 4000m of conference space, as well as a 3000m spa. Business travellers and independent tourists alike will enjoy a selection of dining experiences ranging in selection from the fine dining restaurant to the all-day restaurant Café Swiss, as well the lobby lounge and a contemporary bar.
If you plan on visiting Ukraine in 2012, make Swissôtel Kiev the place to stay!
This winter Wyndham Hotel Group has opened the 229-room TRYP Berlin. Located in the heart of the Berlin’s trendy Mitte district and within close proximity to key business centers, entertainment venues and popular attractions, the newly built, six-story TRYP Berlin serves as an ideal destination for both business and leisure travellers visiting the city.
TRYP Berlin’s spacious, open lobby and adjoining bar showcase refined designer furniture and bold colors. Guest rooms feature modern, comfortable furnishings and fine wood parquet flooring; flat screen televisions; and artwork from contemporary local artists. TRYP Berlin also offers TRYP by Wyndham’s signature family rooms: guest accommodations appointed with a large bed for parents and bunk beds for children that are well-suited for travelling families.
Guests staying at the four-star, select-service hotel can take advantage of the on-site, fully equipped fitness center which features a Finnish sauna, spa shower and cardio equipment. The hotel also offers in-room dining, underground parking, business services and convenient access to Berlin’s public transportation systems.
Those guests looking to schedule meetings, conduct business or hold events at the property have access to nearly 1,500 square feet, or 138 square meters, of meeting and event space that can accommodate up to 130 people. The hotel plans to expand its meeting space this summer to accommodate up to 250. State-of-the-art audio visual equipment is also available to event
planners and attendees. TRYP Berlin’s on-site restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Each morning, guests can enjoy TRYP by Wyndham’s signature breakfast, a rich buffet that includes a wide variety of items with special emphasis on healthy, fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus offer regional and international dishes.
One of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe, Berlin boasts an ideal blend of historical sights, vibrant nightlife and fine dining and shopping. TRYP Berlin’s convenient location in the city’s Mitte district gives guests immediate access to some of Berlin’s top attractions, including Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag parliament building and the tree-
lined Unter den Linden, the main boulevard that runs from east to west through Berlin. The hotel is also within close proximity to the Messe Berlin, the city’s main convention and exhibition center, and the future BND headquarters, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency.
Tired of your New Year’s Eve plans never living up to expectations? Forget all the usual disappointments this year and head to Cologne! Here you can celebrate the start of 2011 in true A- list fashion with a Red Carpet Evening at the glamorously grand Excelsior Hotel Ernst. Located in the heart of this stylish city, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst is offering the ultimate New Year party package – guaranteed to make you feel a million dollars and see in the New Year with a bang.
You can indulge and enjoy a selection of innovative gourmet cuisine, exclusive drinks and a wide selection of music to dance the night away. There will be enchanting piano music to set the mood, as well as live music from Cologne band Brings to get you up dancing!
Each area of the hotel will be completely accessible for you to relax and be absorbed into the magic of New Years Eve, and there is a range of culinary highlights on offer: including a kitchen party in the award winning Asian fusion restaurant Taku, where you can take a journey through Asian cuisine alongside a live DJ.
Also on offer is the chance to discover original French specialities with regional influences prepared in the famous Hanse Stube restaurant. Throughout the evening, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst will offer a range of champagne, cocktails, wines, and of course Kölsh beer. A delicious dessert buffet within the inner court yard of the hotel is also available if you have room!
Bring in the New Year in sumptuous surroundings and the upmost decadence at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, and enjoy the varied ambience on offer. The individual culinary experiences will tickle your taste buds, and this unique Red Carpet evening will mean that you are carried into 2011 feeling like a star. Be dazzled by the fulminous fireworks which can be viewed in front of the hotel and celebrate the New Year with a bang, set against the spectacular back drop of the stunning Cologne Cathedral.
Red Carpet Evening at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst will begin at 7pm on 31.12.10 and you can book the New Year’s Eve package for €379 pp based on a double occupancy, and €399 pp for a single occupancy. The package includes an overnight stay in a comfortable room, the Red Carpet Night at the hotel on New Year’s Eve including access to all event locations as well as all food and beverages. Also included in the package is a New Year brunch and a late check out at 3pm. Further overnight stays are available at the hotel and rates start at €200. All reservations can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The familiar stem, the tiny bubbles winking at the rim, the delicious sound of chinking glass and the crisp, cool taste of every sip. The experience of drinking Goose Le Fizz is in every way as special as the memorable moments it celebrates. Created using the finest French vodka, fresh lime juice and the most delicately floral elderflower cordial, the Grey Goose Le Fizz is shaken over ice and served in a champagne flute, topped with soda water for a truly exquisite taste.
Co‐created by Grey Goose’s newly-appointed UK Brand Ambassador Joe McCanta, Grey Goose le Fizz is Grey Goose’s latest offering, designed as Grey Goose’s alternative to champagne, and is the only drink to be seen celebrating with this party season. Alongside some of London’s leading bars, Grey Goose le Fizz will be served in the beautifully re‐designed Beaufort Rooms at The Savoy. Historically seen as the most glamorous of London locations, over the years The Savoy has seen celebrities from Fred Astaire to Marilyn Monroe raise their glasses and toast memorable moments.
It is only fitting then, that to celebrate the hotel’s extensive refurbishment and modern day reopening, its expert bartenders will be serving Grey Goose le Fizz in the beautifully re‐designed Beaufort Rooms at The Savoy to today’s most discerning drinkers. Chicer than a cocktail and more elegant than champagne, raise a toast to taste with a glass of Grey Goose le Fizz and celebrate life’s most memorable moments in style.
Grey Goose Fizz
Glassware: Champagne flute
What you need: 35ml Grey Goose vodka, 15ml fresh lime juice, 15ml elderflower cordial
Method: Shake over ice and serve, topped with soda
In the late 1880s Friederich Dieninghoff decided to open his own brewery and just a few years later he succeeded with the launch of Germania beer. However, in 1980 the company had to close down the brewery due to a lack of demand. In 2008, architect Andreas Deilmann renovated the factory and gave the place a new purpose with the creation of the Factory Hotel. The main structure remains the same with many details from the original building. For instance the brewing tank serves as a dancing space in the evening, the changing rooms of the workers is now the lobby; and the restaurant, La Tapia, is located where the brew kettle once stood.
Oversized beds, a buzzing location and a 24-hour mindset are spectacularly integrated at The Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte, Design Hotels member hotel, which opened on 6 July 2010. Situated in the city’s central district, Mitte, this 88-room hotel is from the owners of Lux 11, Tom Tänzer and Elmo Hagendorf. Aimed at business travellers from the music, fashion and creative scene, as well as leisure travellers, the hotel focuses on what is truly important in life: rest, comfort and simplicity. Tänzer and Hagendorf have created a property which is more than a hotel, it’s a whole concept. With a luxury punk aesthetic, round-the-clock services and spacious rooms, guests are certain to feel part of the true Berlin – a creative, large, and thrilling city which never sleeps.
The room décor focuses on a single piece of furniture: the bed. With large mattresses measuring two by two metres and oversized cloth-covered frames, the beds take centre-stage. The effect created is a floor-to-ceiling, room within a room, complemented by muted colours and luxurious materials. Every room features Apple iMacs instead of television sets and there are also iPad laptops for hire. These give guests access to social networks, music and games and reflect the hotel’s synthesis of luxury and technology. To create a cosy environment, rooms also come with a large Asprey London cosmetics box, fluffy bathrobes and tailor-made pyjamas. There are also handmade furnishings and quirky designs which use organic materials, including bathroom shelves made from slabs of natural oak wood and handcrafted lamps which seem alive through their organic design.
The phrase ‘whatever guests desire’ is foremost at The Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte, with a range of services which are all 24-hour. Instead of uniforms, staff wear exclusive clothing from the new Ellesse heritage collection, reflecting the hotel’s connection with the fashion industry. On the ground floor the ClubLounge and Schwarz bar provide a buzzing space for guests and locals to mingle. The bar is named after the German film actress Jessica Schwarz and will exclusively serve a herbal liquor made according to her family’s secret recipe. Guests can also dine in the restaurant serving traditional German cuisine with a modern twist. An invitation-only rooftop area with bar adds to the chic and exclusive ambience, with stunning vistas of Berlin and the iconic TV tower. There will also be a whirlpool, sauna and 24-hour room service menu and breakfast.
The Weinmeister is located at the intersection of Weinmeisterstrasse and Rosenthaler Strasse in Mitte, a Berlin hotspot for art, culture, fashion, shopping and clubbing. Close to the hotel is the shopping street of Friedrichstrasse, the cultural delights on Unter den Linden, the art on Museum Island and the Soviet architecture at Alexanderplatz.
The Weinmeister is offering a special opening rate of EUR 129 until the end of August
Croatia has a lot to offer tourists seeking all manner of escapes, but being one of the most picturesque countries in the world, it is an ideal place for a romantic holiday. Here’s a few reasons why…
We all know oysters are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Ston on the Pelješac Peninsula has hosted oyster farms since Roman times and has a solid reputation for the best oysters in Croatia. It is also the only place where the Ostrea Edulis variety is found. Smaller than its Atlantic counterpart, it is served open on its flat side, and the meat is firmer and more richly flavoured. Ston is also on the revered Pelješac wine trail so order a bottle of the local Postup and Dingač as well, and then walk it off along the secluded sandy Divna beach to the north of the town.
Take a scenic boat ride across the harbour from a jetty outside the former Maraska (cherry) liqueur building to Zadar’s Old Town with the Barkarjoli (boatmen) of Zadar who have rowed passengers across this stretch of water since the 12th century. Stroll along the waterfront listening to the rhythms of the sea play out on Zadar’s mesmerising Sea Organ, eerily like that of mating whales. Take in the city’s famous sunsets – Hitchcock declared these most beautiful he’d seen – and enjoy the unique ‘Greeting to the Sun’ installation that projects UV light (stored during the day) into the evening sky.
Woo her by taking a water taxi from the airport to the sumptuous, sunken champagne bar of Le Meridien Lav, Split; a luxury hotel with island views. Alternatively check into one of several romantic city centre hotels, such as the Hotel Vestibul Palace and Hotel Peristil, both built within the walls of the famous Diocletian’s Palace. Stroll the city’s Riva (waterfront), stopping off at one of the many cafés for a spot of people watching.
Give the traditional sweetheart’s token: Zagreb’s licitar (gingerbread heart) is a cookie made from honeyed pastry dyed red and colourfully decorated which is traditionally presented to one’s beloved. Croatia’s little known, yet stylish capital of Zagreb is only a 2 hour flight from London. This central European city break will take your breath away with its dazzling architecture and city parks, plus a softer, more bohemian side of coffeehouses, cake shops and street performers. Its oldest parts Gradec and Kaptol are some of the most beautiful and best preserved quarters in Europe. The quirky, cobbled Upper Town is connected to the buzzing Lower Town by funicular. The exciting new ‘MSU’ or Museum of Contemporary Art which opened in late 2009 is a sure way to an art-lover’s heart. www.msu.hr
Warm the cockles of her heart on the elegant Opatija Riviera which is known for its micro-climate (Austrian ladies used to visit to enjoy the milder temperatures). It is now one of Croatia’s foremost spa centres with many wellness spas offering treatments costing 30% less than in neighbouring countries such as Italy. The lungomare (seafront promenade) stretches for 12km from nearby Lovran to the old fishing village of Volosko. Book a table at Plavi Podrum seafood restaurant and ask the country’s most famous sommelier about Croatia’s award-winning wines.
Pop The Question
Spend a weekend in Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most romantic medieval cities and do as my brother-in-law did and ask your sweetheart to marry you. Walk the city ramparts (approx 1 hr) in an anti clockwise direction and take in the coastline or watch life unfold in the 15th century, honey coloured houses within the city walls. The cityscape is breathtaking with bell towers and terracotta rooftops set against the shimmering Adriatic to one side and mountains on the other. In July 2010 a new cable car launches that will ascend Mount Srd (which towers behind the city) in around 3 minutes to 405 metres above sea level. At the top is a viewing platform plus bar and restaurant with visibility of up to 60 kilometres on clear days. www.tzdubrovnik.hr
Discover the Heart-shaped Island
Galesnjak is an uninhabited island in the Zadarski Kanal between Zadar and the Island of Pasman is the ultimate lovers’ hideaway.
Take the Plunge
The Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Savudrija, Istria (the appropriately heart-shaped peninsula in Croatia’s north-west) is a five-star luxury coastal resort beside beautiful Adriatic Sea complete with its own Wedding Chapel! What more do you need?
For more information about Croatia telephone the Croatian National Tourist Office, 020 8563 7979 or visit the website www.croatia.hr