travelnews WINTER 2010I sea& iI27 THOMPSON IN TORONTO S uper- cool Thompson Hotels is taking its success beyond the USA to open its doors in Toronto, Canada next March. The 100- room hotel, with interiors by Studio Gaia and Estudio Mariscal, will have a fabulous restaurant, an exclusive 24- hour burger bar, a roof-top infinity pool, and a members' bar with views over Toronto's fashion and design district. A nightclub, winter ice- rink ( convertible to summer dining area), 40- seat cinema and ballroom add to the attractions. The new Toronto hotel joins the brand's five New York properties, two LA hotels, and Donovan House in Washington DC. www. thompsonhotels. com Ritz- Carlton goes eco It is busy times for the Ritz- Carlton, as the hotel chain celebrates three openings. In October, it launched its first eco hotel with 146 technically advanced rooms, a penthouse wellness centre and an aqua lounge with a saline- treated pool. Gracing the uptown district of Charlotte in the US, the eco hotel scores on numerous levels environmentally, from the vegetated roof that insulates the 18- storey building, to its recycling policies and sustainable ingredients. The chain is also opening a $ 300 million resort in Lake Tahoe ( left) in Northern California, just in time for the ski season. Finally, the first Ritz- Carlton Reserve property ( above left) is set to launch in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. The Reserve concept - a new venture for the company - offers one- of- a- kind boutique resorts in secluded, exclusive locations around the world. www. ritzcarlton. com Art in Miami The most important art show in the US takes places on 3- 6 December. Art Basel Miami is the sister event of Switzerland's prestigious Art Basel. The Miami show combines an international selection of top galleries with special exhibitions, parties and music, film and design events. www. artbaselmiamibeach. com English retreat A new hotel has opened just outside London in England's idyllic New Forest. Lime Wood is a luxury country- house hotel and invites guests to consider it their own home - albeit one with a Michelin- starred chef and a luxury spa, which is due to open in 2010. www. limewoodhotel. co. uk Snow mean feat Thrill- seekers should sign up now for the Cain's Quest Snowmobile Endurance Race on 13- 20 March. For the hardcore only, it involves over 2,500 kilometres ( 1,500 miles) of racing across frozen lakes, woods and deep snow in Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada. www. cainsquest. com NEWS IN BRIEF.
28Isea& iIWINTER 2010 BORNEO IDYLLManhattan double New York is looking forward to welcoming a new 144- room hotel to its fashionable Bryant Park area in Midtown Manhattan early in the new year. Andaz Fifth Avenue has factory style sash windows reflecting an old- style New York, while graphic artwork represents the modern city. This arrival is joined by another new Andaz property opening in early 2010: Andaz Wall Street, a 253- room hotel in Lower Manhattan. One of the latest creations of the award- winning architectural design firm The Rockwell Group, it is sophisticated, luxurious and the perfect venue for impromptu socialising. www. andaz. com THE BEIRUT RIVIERA C apitalising on Beirut's growing reputation as the Riviera of the Middle East, CampbellGray Hotels is making its mark in the area with its new Le Gray hotel. Promising the same service as its Caribbean sister Carlisle Bay, and London successes One Aldwych and Dukes Hotel, Le Gray is set in the smart Beirut Central District in the heart of the city, close to shopping and entertainment offerings. Among its 87 rooms and suites it has two presidential suites with private terraces. It also has a rooftop restaurant with views of the Mediterranean and Mount Lebanon. A Cigar Lounge, PureGray Spa, state- of- the- art gym and outdoor swimming pool ensure complete relaxation. www. campbellgrayhotels. com Re- Orient yourself After a 20- month renovation, the Mandarin Oriental Jakarta ( below) has reopened in the Indonesian capital. The 272- room property now has 56 oversized rooms and six suites, four new restaurants, a fitness centre and an outdoor pool. www. mandarinoriental. com New stores open doors Haute designer Louis Vuitton will launch stores in both Lebanon and Mongolia before the year is out. It has also opened its first global store in Dubai. Meanwhile, its flagship boutique at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, will be enshrined in a glass and steel crystal pavilion that appears to float on water. This is due to open next year. www. louisvuitton. com City of Dreams The Grand Hyatt Macau at the Chinese island's City of Dreams resort is now open and offers 791 rooms. The luxury complex will primarily be used for business travel and events. www. hyatt. com