Seven of the best... worldwide openings of 2015

From the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York to the stunning Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech, C&IT rounds up the top hotel openings around the world in 2015.

Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa
Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa

Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, India

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide opened the Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa in Western India in September, marking the first of the portfolio in the country.

The 122-room property includes a ballroom and four meeting rooms, which can be combined to create a total space of 250sqm.

Other resort facilities include the Explore Spa by Le Méridien, which has eight treatment rooms and a hammam, a well-equipped fitness centre, a lagoon-style swimming pool and a rooftop infinity pool. The hotel has four restaurants, which offer both Indian and Western cuisine. 

Owned by BrahmaCorp, the resort endorses Starwood’s growing partnership with the hospitality company.

Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, Morocco

After months of anticipation from incentive planners and travelers alike, Mandarin Oriental opened its first luxury property in Marrakech.

The Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech features 54 private villas with secluded walled gardens, swimming pools and hot tubs, as well as a further nine suites with panoramic views of the gardens, seven with their own rooftop plunge pool. The hotel is located a ten minute drive from the city centre and its historic Medina.

Meetings facilities at the hotel include two boardrooms and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 80 guests for cocktail receptions. The gardens can also be used for events for up to 1000 guests, and each of the four restaurants are available for private hire.

The hotel also features a spa with two hammams, an indoor heated pool, a fitness centre and a yoga studio, as well as hair and beauty salons. Leisure facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool, a jogging path, hotel bicycles, two golf courses with direct access from the hotel, cooking classes, quad biking and camel rides.

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech also has a choice of different bars and eateries including a modern Spanish restaurant with an open kitchen, a tapas bar, a Moroccan signature restaurant by a celebrity chef, a cocktail bar and a pool house grill. 24-hour in-villa dining is also available.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

One of the most popular venue openings among readers, the Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar proved that Mongolia is a destination to look out for.

The 290-room hotel is located in the city centre and is connected to the 28-storey Shangri-La Centre, which is due to open in 2016 and comprises retail and commercial space, as well as a sports club.

The hotel hosts Ulaanbaatar’s largest portfolio of meeting space, containing eight multi-functional rooms which total 2,643sqm in space. The largest event space, the Grand Ballroom, can host up to 800 people.

Dining options at the hotel include an all-day dining café, a pub bar and grill with outdoor terrace, and Hutong, which serves a variety of Chinese cuisine.

Other facilities include complimentary wif-fi in guestrooms, a club lounge, limousine transportation and a fully-equipped health club with gym, Jacuzzi and sauna.

Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, Galaxy Macau resort, South China

Asia's largest JW Marriott property and an all-suite hotel by Ritz-Carlton opened at the humongous Galaxy Macau resort in South China in May.

Both properties are located within Phase II of the Galaxy Macau development, which boasts a range of leisure and entertainment options, including premium shopping, restaurants, the Skytop Wave Pool and Rapids, and multi-functional meeting spaces.

JW Marriott Hotel Macau now serves as Asia's flagship hotel and features 1,015 bedrooms and suites, four restaurants, and more than 2,700sqm of meeting space including a pillar-less ballroom and a variety of multi-purpose function rooms.

It's sister property, the Ritz-Carlton Macau, houses 250 suites, 900sqm of event space, a spa, outdoor pool and restaurants overseen by Michelin-starred chefs.

Knickerbocker Hotel, New York

The first of two major openings in the Big Apple came in the form of the legendary Knickerbock Hotel, which was unveiled for a second time after launching almost a century ago.

A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the property is operated by Highgate Hotels, the single largest operator of hotels in New York City.

The Knickerbocker can be found on the southeast corner of 42nd Street overlooking Times Square, with the 330 rooms and 204sqm event space holding up to 250 guests.

Guests have the option to dine at Charlie Palmer at The Knick – the hotel’s full service restaurant and bar; coffeehouse and artisanal cafe JAKES @ The Knick; and rooftop bar St. Cloud complete with a signature cigar lounge from celebrated tobacconist Nat Sherman.

Other facilities include in-room salon services from celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson and a fitness suite fronted by NBA All-Star and former New York Knicks power forward, Larry Johnson.

The historic hotel, which has been registered as a New York City landmark since 1988, was originally opened in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV and welcomed both glitterati and dignitaries. However, it was closed and converted into offices in 1921. It is rumoured to be the birthplace of the original martini.


The second addition to New York’s luxury hotel portfolio was the seriously stylish New York EDITION, Marriott and Ian Schrager’s latest property.

The 273-room property is situated inside the 'Clocktower' building, formerly the Met Life Tower in New York’s Flatiron district, which dates back to 1909 and was once the tallest building in New York.

Offering a 'modern, edgy, original, and sophisticated sensibility', the luxurious, design-led hotel features a Jason Atherton restaurant, along with several bars.

The New York EDITION also includes nearly 200sqm of meeting and event space that ranges from an executive boardroom to studio space.

Three penthouses have extensive views of the Manhattan skyline and are suitable tor private events. In addition, the hotel's signature restaurant offers customised banquet menus for private events, luncheons, dinners parties and business meetings.

Read C&IT's review of the New York EDITION here.

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay

Located on its own man-made 12-acre island, the 68-storey Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay has opened in the capital city of Manama, Bahrain in March.

The hotel has 273 rooms, 57 of which are suites. It has a total 3,272sqm of meeting space, including two ballrooms, four meetings room and two boardrooms. As a result, the hotel can fit 750 for a reception, and 550 for a sit-down dinner.

The hotel also has a wide range of dining options, including five different restaurants with a choice of cuisines such as Asian, Italian and a steakhouse. In addition to this there are three lounge bars.

Other facilities include five different pools, two fitness centres and a spa with a beauty salon, treatment rooms, a spa pool and a steam room.


7 of the best... UK venue and hotel openings in 2015

7 of the best... London hotel openings in 2015

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