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Nine hotel openings to look out for in the coming year

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Richard Branson comes to San Francisco, Rosewood raises the luxury stakes in Hong Kong, Nobu makes its long-awaited debut in Cabo San Lucas and the Shinola empire continues its brand extension in Detroit. These are among the more intriguing hotel openings scheduled for the end of 2018 and the first half of 2019.

Virgin Hotels San Francisco

The Punakha lodge is one of five properties that Six Senses will open in Bhutan in November 2018.
The Punakha lodge is one of five properties that Six Senses will open in Bhutan in November 2018.  (SIX SENSES / The New York Times)

The second location of Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels (the first is in Chicago), this 196-room property, opening in December, is situated near Yerba Buena Gardens and the new Central Subway station, which is scheduled to open in 2019. It will have multiple dining and drinking outlets — including the brand’s flagship space, Commons Club, which hosts events such as fashion shows and lectures — and one of the few rooftop bars in the city. Virgin has plans to open several more locations in the United States in the next several years, including in Nashville, Tenn. and Miami.

Nightly rates from $215 (U.S.).

Rosewood Hong Kong

The Rosewood is located in Victoria Dockside, a blossoming food, art and design district on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront of Hong Kong.
The Rosewood is located in Victoria Dockside, a blossoming food, art and design district on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront of Hong Kong.  (ROSEWOOD HONG KONG)

Hong Kong has no short supply of luxury hotels, but this 413-room property, scheduled to open in March, is one of the few in the heart of Victoria Dockside, a blossoming food, art and design district on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Nightly rates from $540.

The Fife Arms

This hotel, set in the village of Braemar, Scotland, a few kilometres from Balmoral Castle, and scheduled to open in December, was once a 19th century hunting lodge for the Duke of Fife. Recently restored by the Swiss art power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, the Fife Arms has 46 rooms, Victorian interiors designed by Russell Sage and a collection of world-class art, including new commissions from leading international artists.

Nightly rates from 250 pounds ($325), including breakfast.

Belmond Cadogan

Situated in the neighborhood of Chelsea, and once a stopping point for famed actress Lillie Langtry and playwright Oscar Wilde, this 1887 property is scheduled to open in December after a three-year, $48-million restoration. The 54-room hotel is made up of five adjoining town houses with many of the original design details (working fireplaces, mosaic floors and wood paneling) kept intact. Guests have access to the square’s private garden.

Nightly rates from 470 pounds.

NoMad Las Vegas

The bar at the NoMad Las Vegas, scheduled to open in mid-November.
The bar at the NoMad Las Vegas, scheduled to open in mid-November.  (NOMAD LAS VEGAS)

A hotel within a hotel, the NoMad Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open Nov. 14, is situated in the recently opened Park MGM and has art deco-inspired interiors designed by Jacques Garcia. The 293 rooms have oak hardwood floors, beds with leather headboards, original vintage artwork and minibars that were constructed from steamer trunks.

Nightly rates from $199.

Six Senses Bhutan

Six Senses comes to the kingdom of Bhutan with five lodges set in the western and central valleys of the country. Three — Thimphu, Paro and Punakha — will open in November, while the other two — Bumthang and Gangtey — will open in March 2019. In total, there will be 82 rooms and each lodge offers its own activities. In Punakha, for example, guests can meditate at a prayer pavilion overlooking the giant Buddha statue across the valley and go on hikes; in Paro, they can have a private dinner in the middle of 15th-century stone ruins.

Nightly rates from $1,500, all inclusive.

The Hoxton, Chicago

A growing chain with global ambitions that’s already a huge hit in its home base of London, The Hoxton, Chicago, scheduled for a spring opening, is being constructed in Fulton Market on a site that was formerly home to a carmaker and meatpacker. It’s the brand’s third United States outpost (the others are in Williamsburg and Portland, Ore.) along with branches in Paris and Amsterdam. The 175-room Chicago property will be home to a still-unnamed restaurant and bar, a rooftop pool that’s open to the public and lively public spaces. Guests will get free Wi-Fi and one hour of free international calls.

Nightly rates are still being determined and will include breakfast.

Nobu Los Cabos

Robert DeNiro’s and chef Nobu Matsuhi’s fast-growing hotel collection is finally expected to make its Mexico debut in the summer of 2019, after first being announced for 2018. The Japanese-beach-house-style property will have 200 rooms, all with ocean views and an aesthetic that’s a combination of contemporary Japanese minimalism and touches from Mexico (think wood-soaking tubs, shoji-inspired closet doors and Japanese lanterns). On site will also be a branch of the Nobu restaurant and a farm-to-table restaurant called Malibu Farm, as well as an Asian-influenced spa. Nobu Hotels is also scheduled to open a location in Riyadh next year, though recent events involving Saudi Arabia may complicate that development.

Nightly rates still being determined.

Shinola Hotel

The entrance to the new Shinola Hotel, the latest addition to the downtown Detroit hotel scene.
The entrance to the new Shinola Hotel, the latest addition to the downtown Detroit hotel scene.  (SHINOLA HOTEL)

The revitalization of downtown Detroit continues with a partnership between the luxury watchmaker Shinola and the real estate firm Bedrock, two local brands that have invested deeply in the city in the past few years. They are now teaming up for the first Shinola Hotel, located in the downtown shopping district, scheduled to open in December. The property, which joins two recent additions to downtown Detroit — the hipster hangout of the Foundation Hotel and the formerly private Detroit Club — is a combination of two restored buildings, the former T.B. Rayl & Co. department store and a former Singer sewing-machine store. It will have 129 rooms, a food and drinks program from New York City chef Andrew Carmellini and an outdoor beer hall. Most of the furniture and other décor was produced in the United States and minibars are stocked with beers produced by Michigan breweries. Library Street Collective, a Detroit gallery, is curating the art for the property and plans to showcase a combination of international and local artists.

Nightly rates from $195.

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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)

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(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at marriott.com.

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel

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(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on Marriott.com.

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!

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Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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