New York, New York – Reported by Mary Gostelow for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Bond (James Bond) martinis are forever associated with Gilberto Preti, the legendary barman at DUKES LONDON, which author Ian Fleming frequented. One of London’s hidden secrets, the hotel is now owned by Dubai-based Seven Tides, whose eclectic portfolio also includes Oceana Hotel & Spa at The Palm Jumeirah. They own a batch of hotels, but DUKES remains their treasure—will they extend it as a brand?
One new marque that is likely to take off fast is The Plaza. The name is “owned” by Yitzhak Tshuva of Delek Group and El-Ad Group. Tshuva bought the iconic New York hotel in 2004, and turned most of it into Central Park South’s most luxurious residences, with subterranean high end retailers and an integral hotel (run by Fairmont). Now on board as The Plaza President and CEO is Ronen Nissenbaum, who most recently oversaw the hotel operations of Sheldon Adelson’s 2,651-room Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
There will possibly be two Plazas in Las Vegas. Nissenbaum and his team are creating a beauty on The Strip site of the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino, deliberately imploded in 2007 (Tshuva bought the property from Phil Ruffin). After a major refurb, the 1,037-room hotel reopened last September, with an Oscar’s restaurant overseen by Oscar Goodman, the three-time mayor of Las Vegas.
The 3,000-room Monte Carlo Resort and Casino undoubtedly encourages followers to visit the original. Monaco thrived throughout 2011, not only because of the annual Grand Prix but also for the glorious wedding of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock last July. SBM’s Hôtel de Paris and its neighbor, Hôtel Hermitage, were taken over completely by the palace. Wedding buyouts in the principality are, it seems, popular. Ivory Coast soccer legend Didier Drogba took over another SBM property, Monte-Carlo Bay, for his marriage to his long-time love, Malian Lalla Diakité.
But many elite travelers continue to opt for small and intimate. Anyone wanting to stay in the Art Deco-meets-modern gem that is the 40-room Monte-Carlo Beach hotel in 2012 should book now—it ran at 100 percent occupancy last July and August.