If you're a frequent traveler, chances are you have probably found a hotel brand (or two) that made it into your must-stay list. Maybe it's the personalized service that has won you over, or the in-room high-tech touches that let you stay connected to the office. Or perhaps it's the luxurious spa facilities you crave on your vacations.
Whatever your criteria are, you're probably one of those travelers who checks to see if your hotel brand of choice is located in your next destination or perhaps even plan a vacation around a property. Well, good news is on the way.
The Hotel Building Boom
The hospitality industry is in the midst of a growth spurt. In 2006, the U.S. market saw the highest increase in room construction since 1994. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' research, construction began on approximately 136,500 rooms last year—an increase of 64 percent. (A large part of the surge, however, is attributed to a rebirth of projects that were put on hold in 2001.)
So within the next year, look for some of your favorite brands to open hotels in a city near you, or in a fabulous resort destination that's calling your name. Here are a few examples.
In the next few years, Ritz-Carlton will have new properties opening in every corner of the globe, from Beijing to St. Lucia and from Toronto to Dubai. For something closer, you'll want to visit Ritz-Carlton's newest addition that opened last month in Dallas. One of the highlights of the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is Fearing's Restaurant, a creation of celebrity chef Dean Fearing. Spa aficionados will want to continue the indulgence with one of six Prada beauty treatments, which are only available at the 12 Ritz-Carlton spas in the U.S.
Privacy awaits at Cotton Bay Villas, a resort community opening in the Bahamas on the Out Island of Eleuthera in early 2008. As the first Starwood Luxury Collection property in the Bahamas, Cotton Bay is drawing its inspiration from the exclusive Cotton Bay Club, which was next to the development and frequented by Sammy Davis, Jr., Sidney Poitier and Dwight D. Eisenhower. You can relax in your private villa overlooking the ocean or beach complete with a full kitchen, veranda and Jacuzzi or escape for the day to one of the resort's two privately owned islands.
For a European lakeside retreat, head to Switzerland, where Fairmont Hotels & Resorts opened Fairmont Le Montreux Palace on Lake Geneva. You'll definitely want to explore the area, which was a favorite of Lord Byron, Vladimir Nabokov and Freddie Mercury. Take a train ride to a vineyard, chocolate factory or the medieval town of Gruyeres (yes, it's famous for its cheese) or paraglide, bike, hike, go canyoning or visit Chillon castle (the inspiration for Byron's The Prisoner of Chillon). At the end of the day, relax at the Willow Stream Spa with the Elixir of Youth treatment, a 120-minute head-to-toe experience that includes a full-body scrub, seaweed body wrap, bath and massage.
If you're a history buff, you can also book a stay at the new Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Egypt, where you can recuperate with a dip in the infinity pool after a day of sightseeing. As the brand's fourth property in Egypt, Four Seasons has made it even easier to explore the country, allowing you to combine a stay in Alexandria with the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.