Even the best hotels need a facelift every so often to keep things fresh. Lately, there have been a number of high-end properties across the globe that have undergone major renovations. The following six places with a history of creating magical moments for their guests prove that it’s always possible to improve upon perfection.
The St. Regis Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California
Orange County’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The St. Regis Monarch Beach recently partnered with Los Angeles-based Rodrigo Vargas Design for a $25-million renovation of its 400 rooms and suites. The new units incorporate the aquatic colors of the Pacific, with added details like sea grass-textured wallpaper, nautical artwork, marble top armoires, decadent chaise lounges and fire pits for every first-floor balcony. Each room has also been enhanced with new technology, such as communication panels for one-touch access to housekeeping, a valet text option, Bluetooth-enabled alarm clocks, wall-mounted flat-screen televisions and a press reader service that gives guests access to more than 3,000 full-content daily newspapers and magazines on the devices.
The resort also just completed construction of a new garden — its produce will be used by Motif, one of the sustainable seaside dining options on the property. Additionally, the recent implementation of a rooftop apiary will yield honey for the restaurant’s dishes and drinks. The culinary team also just adopted two goats that live on the Drake Family Farms in nearby Ontario, California, and they will provide goat cheese exclusively for Motif.
The Lanesborough, London
This iconic Five-Star hotel in the heart of central London just reopened its doors in July after a year-and-a-half-long renovation conceptualized by world-renowned interior designer Alberto Pinto. All public areas and 93 guest rooms, including 43 suites, were redone to reflect the grandeur of the original 18th-century landmark Regency hotel. The Royal Suite has been reinstated as the hotel’s largest and most grandiose suite, complete with seven bedrooms. The other rooms have kept to the classic luxury (handcrafted furnishings, Italian marble-paneled baths) for which the hotel is known, while incorporating the latest design technology (tablet-controlled room conditions).
Award-winning chef Eric Frechon, of sister property Le Bristol Paris, has brought on protégé Forian Favario as executive chef of Céleste, the hotel’s signature restaurant that also experienced a redesign. Favario will creatively interpret British ingredients to make refined, imaginative cuisine served in Céleste’s decadent Venetian dining room. The Garden Room has resumed its role as one of London’s most prestigious cigar lounges while The Library Bar maintains its spot as one of the city’s leading bars.
Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina, St. Lucia
St. Lucia’s Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina recently completed a transformative, multi-million dollar re-envisioning that introduced three fresh restaurant and bar concepts (including The Grill at 14⁰61⁰, a rooftop fine-dining concept with a view of Marigot Bay), renovated rooms and suites and a redesigned marina housing luxury yachts and a retail village. Designers tied in the surrounding Caribbean view by incorporating bold turquoise, coral and aquamarine accents to the resort’s 124 rooms and bay-view suites. The brand new Auriga spa, which uses indigenous herbs and local customs in its treatments, mingles with the natural surroundings and draws inspiration from the lunar cycle.
In correlation to this renewal, Capella is rolling out new guest services and experiences for visitors to learn about St. Lucia culture and its indigenous eco-system. The new Rum Cave, crafted from stone and wood and filled with rustic rum barrels, is one such venue. You will learn about one of the island’s biggest exports while tasting aged blends from local distillers paired with Caribbean-inspired small plates created by executive chef Brendan McGowan.
Meadowood Napa Valley
This spring, Napa Valley’s Four-Star Meadowood re-opened its nine-hole golf course after an extensive 10-month redesign overseen by Jim Lipe Design. Shortly afterward, the property completed a multi-year guest-room renovation orchestrated by renowned architect Howard Backen. The new look incorporates rustic dark wood furniture, white pottery, large glass hurricane candleholders and natural fabrics for a more comfortable, earthen motif. Backen, along with his team, is also finishing up a major spa rebuild that’s slated for completion this fall. The 14,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor space will feature an all-suite concept, new curated treatments using local products from NV Organics and outdoor women’s and men’s relaxation gardens. The current spa will convert into The Health & Fitness Center and will be dedicated to working out.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
In celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Five-Star hotel has announced an exciting new redesign of all 113 guest rooms and suites (some of the most spacious in the city) by award-winning Hong Kong designer Joyce Wang. (They should be ready some time in the fourth quarter.) In addition to an even sleeker contemporary refresh, every room will get a digital tablet to use for streaming media or sharing information on hotel services and facilities. The hotel will host a series of events throughout 2015 to commemorate its anniversary, including the Assaad Awad-partnered afternoon tea this September, the re-launch of Platinum magazine and a gala event later in the year.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C.
This Five-Star wonder in the nation’s capital has begun a two-part $13-million renovation aimed to perfect the “art of sleep.” Led by designer Deborah Lloyd Forrest of ForrestPerkins, the remodel of the hotel’s 222 guest rooms is focusing on creating temples of sleep which ensure zero disturbances to guests. The first of the redesigned, contemporary guestrooms were unveiled in the West Wing in late September. The East Wing updates are estimated to debut in the first quarter of 2016. The makeover will reference Washington’s famous cherry blossoms with soft neutral shades of pearl brightened by coral, peach and a velvety brown to draw in the corridors and lobby design by Pierre-Yves Rochon. Each guest’s sleep experience will be customized through Four Seasons Signature Sleep, a program designed to create a fluid transition between work, unwinding and slumber. You may select from three different bed toppers and pick from a sleep menu of items like scented pillow oils, calming bath melts, spine-aligning body cushions, various pillows (choices range from memory foam to water-filled pillows) and a host of tea variations and kettles.