On the heels of the International Luxury Travel Market Asia, The Luxury Collection announces plans to continue its growth momentum globally with the debut of ten hotels and resorts in vibrant gateway cities and exotic resort destinations including Shanghai and Sanya in China, Jaipur and Chennai in India, the Blue Mountains in Australia as well as Koh Samui, Thailand and Jakarta, Indonesia.

With this milestone, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. continues to stand out as the world's leader in luxury hospitality, with more hotels in more markets than any competitor in the luxury segment, offering guests exceptional service levels and luxury experiences in a wide range of destinations across the globe.

The Luxury Collection is an ensemble of more than 80 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in 30 countries around the world with new construction and conversion properties that span China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. Offering the brand's signature Luxury Collection Concierge service, luxury amenities and indigenous cultural experiences, these spectacular new hotels join the brand's distinguished portfolio as portals for guests to discover each destination.

"This is a milestone for The Luxury Collection as we open ten new hotels and resorts – the most of any year in the brand's history," says Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. "As a new generation of global affluent travelers emerge, we are strategically growing our portfolio beyond the traditional luxury grid and in diverse destinations, like China's Hainan Island and India's Chennai, that have become important hubs for business and leisure."

The Luxury Collection Expands its Portfolio in China

The Royal Begonia, a Luxury Collection Resort, Sanya will debut in August 2012 as the brand's first resort in China, situated on the idyllic and intimate beachfront of Hainan Island. Surrounded by tropical gardens and lush forested hills on the South China Sea, The Royal Begonia will offer authentic and exceptional experiences that promise to exceed the most savvy global travelers' expectations. All 142 guest rooms in the seaside retreat blend European elegance with local inspiration and open onto a large balcony, offering unobstructed views of the oceanfront or tropical gardens. Eighteen luxury villas each will feature a private pool, courtyard gardens, sophisticated interiors and high-tech amenities.

In September 2012, Twelve at Hengshan, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai will open in one of the most historic and romantic areas of Shanghai. The 171-room residential-style hotel is situated on the tree-lined Hengshan Road, drawing inspiration from the area's rich heritage, updated with contemporary designer flourishes. The exquisite interior design was created by renowned-design duo Yabu Pushelberg, offering an ambiance of distinguished opulence. Italy-based Mario Botta, known for the iconic San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Seoul's Samsung Museum of Art, led the architecture and design of the exteriors.

The Royal Begonia in Sanya and Twelve at Hengshan in Shanghai will join The Hongta Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai, which became part of the portfolio earlier this year. The hotel, formerly The St. Regis Shanghai, will undergo a meticulous renovation of $20 million to be completed in phases over the next two years, reaffirming the hotel's position as Shanghai's premier luxury destination. Previously named among the top hotels on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and one of the top business hotels in Travel + Leisure, the hotel is celebrated for its unique ability to marry tradition and modernity through its authentic architecture and high standards of refined service. The hotel will continue to feature the 328 sumptuously appointed guest rooms and suites, the award winning Danieli's Restaurant and a luxurious spa with customized treatments with local ingredients and therapies.

Looking ahead, The Castle, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dalian set in a striking castle design overlooking Xinghai Bay, Northern China's financial and tourism capital, is scheduled to open in 2014. The 1958, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Suzhou will debut in July 2015.

The Luxury Collection Opens its Tenth Hotel in India

The Luxury Collection will reach ten hotels in India this August with the debut of ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai, making India the brand's second largest market behind only the United States. Situated in the city of Chennai, the capital of cultural and economic activity in Southern India, ITC Grand Chola has been built to recall the grandeur of a golden era in Indian history. The magnificent edifice consists of three separate wings which house one of the largest banquet and exhibition spaces in the country, a sprawling 27,000 square foot luxury retail center and spectacular recreational facilities, including the WelcomArt Gallery, which boasts an impressive collection from some of the most renowned artists in India.

ITC Grand Chola will join nine celebrated and iconic properties that span all of India: from the cosmopolitan south Mumbai's ITC Grand Central to the elegant ITC Maratha at North Mumbai, from Agra's regal ITC Mughal steps away from the Taj Majal to the iconic ITC Maurya situated in the exclusive diplomatic enclave of New Delhi and the ITC Rajputana, Jaipur, which joined The Luxury Collection recently in November 2011.

The Luxury Collection Debuts Second Hotel in Indonesia

Located in the heart of Indonesia's capital and situated at Jalan Thamrin, one of the most prestigious addresses in the city, Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta opened in April 2012 joining The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bali as the brand's second hotel in Indonesia. Keraton at The Plaza is a distinct and intimate luxury hotel offering a unique, modern interpretation of the rich Indonesian culture. Connoting 'palace' in Javanese, Keraton at The Plaza features an intimate 140 sumptuously appointed guest rooms and suites, each a haven of Javanese luxury with floor-to-ceiling windows and state of the art in-room technology.

The Sarasvati, a Luxury Collection Resort, Bali is scheduled to open in January 2014 as an intimate 64 room resort overlooking the crystalline Indian Ocean on a pristine beach, offering complete serenity and indigenous experiences.

The Luxury Collection Grows Portfolio in Thailand

On the heels of the debut of Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket in November 2011, The Luxury Collection has announced that Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Koh Samui will be the brand's third property in Thailand opening in December 2012. Vana Belle Resort & Spa is an 80-room retreat situated on the Gulf of Thailand and fringed by verdant surroundings. A majestic tropical haven located approximately 50 miles off the eastern coast of Southern Thailand, Koh Samui's ivory beaches are peppered with characteristic coconut trees and bordered by sparkling turquoise waters; and the resort is poised to redefine luxury for the region.

The Luxury Collection Debuts in Australia

This February, Starwood introduced The Luxury Collection brand to Australia with the signings of two renowned resorts with a rich heritage: Lilianfels and Echoes, both Luxury Collection Resorts in the Blue Mountains, Australia.

Lilianfels is the former residence of New South Wale's Chief of Justice, dating back to 1889 and now features 85 guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a floodlit tennis court and an impressive luxury spa. Lilianfels was named the Leading Resort in Australia by World Travel Awards in addition to being honored on Travel & Leisure's Top Five Resorts in the Oceana region in 2011.

Adjacent to Lilianfels, Echoes is a former retreat for a renowned Australian writer Thomas Keneally. Perched at the very edge of the Jamison Valley at Echo Point in the Blue Mountains, the resort offers guests an intimate experience with 14 contemporary-designed rooms and suites featuring an uninterrupted and panoramic view of the National Park. Refined facilities include award-winning Echoes Restaurant, the private spa and sauna.

SOURCE: 4hoteliers.com
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