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Rosewood Opens Beijing; What's Next?

Just over three years since Hong Kong-based New World Hospitality acquired Dallas-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the company is seeing traction in its global growth ambitions for the Rosewood brand, according to officials speaking at The International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) being held in Cannes. The parent subsequently has taken the Rosewood name as Rosewood Hotel Group while maintaining New World as its deluxe business hotel brand and Pentahotels as its entry into the design category.

With 19 Rosewood branded properties in nine countries now open, and 11 openings scheduled, Communications Director Brett Perkins told journalists several more significant announcements are expected imminently. Last year the company made news when it became the manager of Hotel de Crillon in Paris, currently closed, and expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016. Shortly after, it made more news announcing that Karl Lagerfeld would design two suites, and Perkins said significant news on the hotel is being kept under wraps for the time being.

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Late 2013 marked the group’s return to London with its own hotel (it had previously managed the Lanesborough), and already the property has collected Virtuoso’s Hotel of the Year, made the respective hot lists of Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, and landed its Manor Suite on Elite Traveler’s 2014 101 Top Suites list.

Marc Brugger, Managing Director of the recently opened Rosewood Beijing, is expecting to make room on his awards shelf as well. The 283-room hotel is getting early Excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and its restaurants are already gaining popularity with local food bloggers. The 283-key property features residences for sale and is “inspired by an urban village.” It’s executive lounge features a “sophisticated, residential” design and includes a pool table, informal bar, butler service, and private meeting room in over 8,000 square feet. The 30,000 square foot spa includes 11 treatment rooms and five stay over spa suites done with “soft tones of natural limestone.” There is also significant outdoor space for dining and gardens as a refuge from the urban bustle.

A big opening in 2015 will be the Rosewood Baha Mar, part of the gigantic resort and casino complex in the Bahamas. It will feature 185 rooms and suites plus five beachfront villas. That project is being led by veteran hotelier Luis Fernandes whose credentials include Las Ventanas, Copocabana Palace and Mount Nelson.

Separately, Rosewood is taking advantage of its cocktail coolness quotient by leveraging its iconic Bemelmans Bar and Café Carlyle in New York. Rita Wilson, Alexa Ray Joel and Debbie Harry will all be performing while Woody Allen will continue on Monday evenings at Cafe. In January, Prohibition, a 3,000 square foot cocktail bar, will open in Vancouver featuring live music in a darkened speakeasy environment, and Scarfes Bar in London has begun a series of interactive cabaret evenings. In Mayakoba, a 20,000 square foot outdoor dining space now features a series of cooking classes covering Mexico’s varied cuisines.

Like the rest of the travel industry, Rosewood is also hopping aboard the experiences train. It has created a series of “Sense of Place” journeys. For example, a two-day package in Dallas features one day of cowboy activity, such as visiting South Fork Ranch and having your own boots made, while the next day showcases the vibrant Texas art scene at both the Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Museum of Art.

The brand is also expanding its panel of Rosewood Curators who propose recommendations of things to do and places to visit in their favorite cities. India Hicks and Iris Apfel join Nina Garcia, Condoleezza Rice, and Maria Sharapova among others.

After London, Paris, and Beijing, what’s Rosewood’s next big announcement?  The space next to the InterContinental Hong Kong that previously housed the New World Centre is being redeveloped into a 63-story multi-purpose tower with a yet to be named hotel or hotels as part of it.