By the Staff
Photos by Manos Angelakis
Kudos & Brickbats
In addition to restaurants, many of our readers have commented over the years about hotels they have stayed in. Comments are mostly positive, but they are negative as well. We will mention the properties that seem to stand out as offering a real luxury experience. Many of the ones that have garnered the best comments are located in the Far East or are members of hotel groups with corporate headquarters in Asia.
Bangkok seems to have some of the best hotels in the world, as a number of establishments have received considerable accolades. The Oriental Bangkok, The Peninsula and the 137 Pillars Suites and Residences Bangkok, have all received consistent and repeated kudos.
Hotels of the Peninsula Group and the Mandarin-Oriental, wherever they might be located, seem to receive top honors. L’Ermitage, a Los Angeles member of the Raffles group and Shutters on the Beach, in Los Angeles as well, are very much liked by many readers. In Europe, the Corinthia Hotels properties, especially the Malta hotels are receiving excellent mentions. Ritz Carlton hotels in New Orleans and Los Angeles seem to have a very loyal following and so do the Ritz Carlton Resorts in Maui and Palm Beach.
In addition to the aforementioned hotels that are members of larger hotel groups, the following properties have received frequent commendations: Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas; Enchantment Resort in Sedona and the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, both in Arizona; the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town and the Michelangelo in Johannesburg, South Africa; the Saher in Vienna, Austria; the Kempinski Corvinus in Budapest, Hungary and the Grand Hotel Europe, another Kempinski property in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Hotel Ritz in Madrid and the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain; the Kulm in St. Moritz, the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva and the Lausanne Palace and Spa in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo; the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, New York, for its fabulous French-American restaurant and the extensive wine cellar and the Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley, only 90 miles north of New York City.
In the international 5-star arena, we have seen many previously independent hotels go under the ownership or management of Mandarin Oriental or Belmond (the brand known in the past as Orient Express Hotels). Both these groups try to maintain the high level and quality of services. However, luxury hotel groups that have been acquired by Marriott, a brand that has also been in a buying and merger spree for the last few years, have unfortunately seen services fall to a less than 5-star level, though the rack-rates remain high giving the hotels a “delusion of grandure” according to a very unhappy reader.
Some properties are consistently receiving negative reviews. The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts in Egypt as well as the Windsor, an Oberoi property in Melbourne, Australia seem to be slipping into less than 4 star quality according to a number of detractors. The Oberoi Mena House, now a Marriott Hotel that is a magnet for foreign travelers with its exceptional view of the Pyramids in Giza, received a number of very mixed notices. The Okura Garden Hotel in Shanghai has been described by an irate guest as a “third-world caravanserai”. The Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, Arizona, has many rooms that “look shabby and are in need of complete renovation”. For The Trump International Hotel & Tower NYC, there were numerous negative comments: “beware of this place, it seems like a nice hotel on the outside but we slept there a night and our whole family woke up with BITES. This place has BEDBUGS, STAY AWAY! A very similar comment can be found on Yelp.Ian Schrager’s Hudson Hotel in New York City has been variously described as “a haven for hipster wannabes” and “the microscopic but very high priced rooms will give you claustrophobia”. At the Mercer, also in New York City, the atmosphere is being described as “terminally hip” and having “stuck-up service with a bad attitude”.
Be guided accordingly.
© June 2021 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.
In this issue: