By Mark Chesnut
Whether your travel plans take you to Florida, Africa, Asia, Europe or the Middle East, you’ll find some new hotel options on your itinerary, thanks to a growth spurt at St. Regis Hotels & Resorts that is resulting in new luxury properties in a variety of far-flung destinations.
A total of 10 new hotels and resorts are to open within the next 12 months. The first of the properties, the 227-room St. Regis Bangkok, debuted in April in a commercial corridor along Rajadamri Road. The hotel has an Elemis spa as well as eight meeting rooms and a business center that cater to travelers looking to get some work done while visiting Thailand’s capital.
Next up on the St. Regis agenda is Italy, where the 100-room St. Regis Florence is slated to open in September, following a refurbishing of the former Grand Hotel, which was designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the most renowned architects of the Italian Renaissance. The style of that era will be reflected in the hotel’s antique décor, which includes restored frescos and chandeliers in the main ballroom.
Later in the year, St. Regis will open new properties in China (Tianjin and Shenzhen) as well as the Middle East (Doha, Qatar and Saadiyat Island, Dubai). And in the first half of 2012, the company will debut in Abu Dhabi, Mauritius and Bal Harbour, Fla.
The largest of the brand’s new hotels is the 380-room St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Dubai, which is — as its name implies — set on an island, with more than 32,000 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as a spa and access to a Gary Player-designed 18-hole golf course.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on business and leisure travel to Latin America.