From anniversary celebrations and contemporary redesigns, to creative new cocktails and the debut of a polo academy, there is something to celebrate at every Dorchester Collection property this year. Special highlights at each iconic hotel include:
The Beverly Hills Hotel, also known as ‘The Pink Palace’ and the hot spot for Hollywood A-listers, celebrates its centenary with festivities throughout 2012. Special menus, packages and more are in store for the celebrations including 1912 Pop-Up Pricing at the Polo Lounge, The Fountain Coffee Room and Cabana Café; one lucky table per week will see the bill converted into pricing from 1912. For the youngest guests, the Little Legends Family Package offers children the red carpet treatment including a photo shoot upon arrival. Little Legends will also enjoy a ‘VVIP’ card valid for a milk shake or ice-cream sundae at The Fountain Coffee Room, a personalised chocolate ‘Walk of Fame’ star amenity and an “I’m A Little Legend” T-shirt. (Package starts at US$610). Don’t miss Robert S. Anderson’s book “The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows – The First 100 Years” which offers never-been-seen-before photos and images of the hotel’s many illustrious guests. It is available for purchase via the hotel’s website and in the Logo Shop. The Beverly Hills Hotel is also undergoing a restoration of the lobby, Polo Lounge, pool cabanas, Cabana Café and guest rooms and suites. Internationally renowned, New York-based Tihany Design, is overseeing the project with great care to maintain original details including the trademark banana leaves, green and white stripes, and iconic pink exterior. Rates from US$495.
Le Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Since 1835, French Art de Vivre has always played an important role in life at Le Meurice, where luxury gives way to expression, creativity and innovation. The non-profit Meurice Prize awards €20,000 to a rising French artist to help establish them on the international scene. Timed to take place a week before the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), the prize is open to artists of all disciplines. This year’s winner will be selected by a distinguished jury of art world insiders, including Henri Loyrette, director of the Louvre; Jennifer Flay, director of FIAC; Montse Aguer, director of the Centre for Dali Studies; and Franka Holtmann, general manager of Le Meurice. Throughout the year, the property will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of Le Dali restaurant as well as the fifth anniversary of Restaurant Le Meurice receiving three Michelin stars. Rates from €550.
Since its highly anticipated reopening, Hotel Bel-Air, the enchanting property famed for its Swan Lake, continues to introduce new amenities and services. Now guests can take advantage of the Wolfgang Puck-designed picnic basket inspired by the hotel’s unique setting, with a choice of à la carte delicacies such as grilled chicken ‘Santorini’ salad, burrata and prosciutto di Parma sandwich, selection of artisanal cheeses and assorted charcuterie and salumi, big eye tuna “Niçoise” salad, house made soft Bavarian pretzels and classic cupcakes. The ‘Bel-Air Basket’ also comes with a blanket, thermos, wine glasses and more. A three-course basket starts at $60 per person and can be reserved through hotel room service with 18 hours’ notice. For an additional $75 set-up fee, guests can picnic at Swan Lake with pillows, extra blankets and food items creatively displayed. Rates from $515.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée revels in the tenth anniversary of unveiling its famous Le Bar du Plaza Athénée. Designed and enhanced by Patrick Jouin, Le Bar du Plaza Athénée is a blend of traditional and contemporary décor with wood and high ceilings offsetting the modernity of the sculptured glass bar. The tall tables and chairs counter the low tables with leather armchairs in the lounge area, making it the ideal place for a cocktail. For the anniversary, a new cocktail has been introduced, which will awaken the senses. Bar Manager, Thierry Hernandez, and renowned perfumer, Sophie Labbé, have partnered to create a romantic spring cocktail, the Elixir de Printemps. Guests who order this magical, golden-hued cocktail served in a Martini glass, receive a limited edition bottle of Elixir de Printemps perfume so the magic can live on. €28 for the cocktail, including the perfume. Rates from €795, exclusive of breakfast.
With all eyes on London festivities this summer, The Dorchester, also has reason to celebrate. Reflecting the character and eclecticism of the English spirit, interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud is redesigning 22 suites, which will debut in September 2012. The Dorchester Suites will offer large marble lobbies, opening into spacious living rooms with open limestone fireplaces, dining rooms seating up to eight guests and three well-appointed bedrooms with commanding views over the London skyline. All the Park Suites have striking views over Hyde Park which will be enhanced by the design, allowing the natural beauty and tranquillity of the Royal parkland to radiate throughout. Both suite styles will include remodelled bathrooms with separate stall showers, large drench shower heads and bath tubs as well as the highest level of in-room technology. Each suite will feature an eclectic array of furnishings, inspired by a cosmopolitan collection of influences echoing the fondness for filling homes with mementos from a lifetime of travel. Exceptionally talented local craftsmen from a variety of British design firms, such as Colefax & Fowler and GP & J Baker, have been commissioned to create furniture, mirrors, art and textiles for the suites, continuing Dorchester Collection’s tradition of supporting local creativity and artisans. Park Suites from £2,665; Dorchester Suites from £3,165; rates exclusive of breakfast and VAT.
45 Park Lane launches new art opportunities at its Mayfair address inspired by some of Britain’s leading contemporary artists. The hotel’s In Residence programme, hosted by curator Roy Ackerman CBE, offers previews with artists on hand to discuss their work. The series will feature Scottish performance artist and painter Bruce McLean in June and installation artist Roger McGough CBE, who is also the president of the Poetry Society, in August. Guests can also observe leading artists at work with A Brush With The Artist. This invitation-only experience, geared toward personal preferences and hosted by Ackerman, starts with an introduction to artwork throughout 45 Park Lane and ends at an artist’s studio with a celebratory glass of champagne and a picnic provided by CUT at 45 Park Lane. Seasonal Rates from £395, excluding VAT.
The beautiful veranda of Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan will be the backdrop for celebrating the latest Fendi Casa Outdoor Collection through the summer with the new Principe Champagne Bar. Conceived as an external extension of luxury living, Fendi’s ‘Newport’ collection sits in perfect harmony with the Principe’s Italian garden, with chairs, ottomans and daybeds lined in fine fabrics and bright colours pairing with the sophisticated modern design of the hotel. Meanwhile, guests can indulge in a wide range of champagne and sparkling wines selected by chef sommelier Alessandra Veronesi and bar manager Daniele Confalonieri. The Principe Champagne Bar is open daily from 6:00pm to midnight through mid-September, with champagne starting from €20 by the glass and €110 by the bottle. Rates from €325.
Coworth Park, the luxury country house hotel and spa in Ascot, announces its partnership with legendary British institution Guards Polo Club to manage the estate’s world-class polo grounds. Together, they are also introducing a ‘Guards Polo Academy at Coworth Park’ with Andrew Hine, which will give playing members of the world’s most famous polo club and guests of Coworth Park the opportunity to learn and train with one of Britain’s most experienced players. In addition to offering polo tuition to members of Guards Polo Club, Andrew and his team of leading polo coaches will introduce this ever more accessible and popular sport to non-players through the Academy’s corporate and private leisure experiences, allowing polo enthusiasts of all levels to enjoy a taste of the game. Andrew is the only player to have both captained and managed the English national team, which is now based at Coworth Park. Under the arrangement, the hotel’s two high goal polo fields will be called Guards Polo at Coworth Park, where guests will be able to observe outstanding levels of polo playing. Guards Polo Club brings almost 60 years of experience hosting world-class polo events to the partnership, while Coworth Park is the only hotel in the UK with its own polo fields and practice facilities. Rates from £235.
Le Richemond, the legendary, 109-room hotel located on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, will undergo a transformation during the year ahead. Most of the hotel’s public areas, suites and the restaurant and bar will be redesigned. The restaurant will also introduce a new dining concept. The hotel will remain open throughout, with minimal disruption to guests, in time to unveil the refurbishments for its 150th anniversary in 2013. Rates from CHF800.