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JUN/JUL 2012
micePLACES.COM The Magazine
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planners options many previously never knew existed.
At the same time, a lot of meeting and incentive groups were
experiencing “accommodation fatigue” after years of being housed
at the MGM Grand, Hilton, Hyatt, or Sheraton – properties with
great meeting space and basic amenities, but otherwise providing a
nameless, faceless experience for guests.
The result was that these smaller, unique properties began to
attract groups looking for something other than the same old thing – a
point that wasn’t lost on the big chains, which almost
immediately began spinning off their own luxury
and boutique nameplates like Starwood’s W, Hyatt’s
Andaz, Marriott’s EDITION, and IHG’s Indigo, among
others.
Both Ends Of The Spectrum
Whoever the owner may be, today’s boutique and
luxury hotels can be found in virtually every market
and metro area. And meeting and incentive groups
are increasingly favoring them for the unforgettable,
“destination-style” experience they provide.
Take a property like the W Barcelona, an avant-
garde architectural gem rising iconically above the
city’s skyline. Designed by world-famed architect
Ricardo Bofill, the 473-room hotel hardly qualifies
as a boutique property, but the combination of its
sail-like silhouette, rooftop Eclipse Bar (with resident
DJ), pool terrace, Bliss Spa, and over-the-top room
designs makes it easy to see why this locale was
chosen for Europe’s first W Hotel – it’s the prototype
of contemporary luxury; a destination property; the
place in Barcelona to see and be seen.
At the other end of the spectrum there’s the
Hotel Cap Estel, located in southern France between
Nice and Monaco, honored as the Best Seafront
Hotel in France in 2011 by World Travel Awards. On
a secluded peninsula and surrounded by palms and
terraced gardens, this exclusive 5-star retreat’s 8
deluxe rooms and 12 suites certainly put it squarely
in the boutique camp. There’s a private beach, indoor
(freshwater) and outdoor (saltwater) pools, sauna,
steam room, fitness center, and fine dining on site
overseen by Chef Patrick Raingeard, who formerly
cooked at the Port Palace in Monaco, and before
that at Ledoyen and L’Arpège in Paris. There’s even
meeting space for small groups that want to add a
little business to their classic French Riviera-style
pleasure.
Be Among The First
Another unique property, the Hotel Castello di Casole, will open this
July in the Tuscan countryside near Siena, Italy. This luxurious five-
star property is the centerpiece of an historic 4,200-acre estate that
dates back to the 10th century. In 2005, Colorado-based Timbers
Resorts acquired the estate and immediately began a painstaking
and authentic restoration of all the buildings, including the historic
Be it a business presentation,
a meeting or a fast Internet access,
Austria’s leading hotel group can provide just the right support:
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and versatile conference facilities for up to 5,000 participants - we
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COVER
STORY
continued from cover
Boutique & Luxury Hotels Provide a Unique Backdrop
continued on page 8