The iconic Taj Mahal has undergone major renovations since the terrorist attack Ocean Club in the Bahamas was named as the best resort in the country by Forbes Magazine

Hotels Brochure is about fabulous hotels. Not just a place for accommodation, but a place that lets you be part of a certain lifestyle and feel what it is to be truly free from the rigors of daily life. Looking out over a bustling city from your hotel suite or gazing at the azure waters of the tropics from your beach hut, the variety of hotels in the world is astounding. In major tourist destinations such as Europe, North America, the Caribbean Southeast Asia and the South Pacific there are thousands of hotels all catering to different kinds of travelers. In the world as a whole, there are many hundreds of thousands of hotels. The global hotel industry is vast and is on the road to recovery and this site aims to provide a snap shot of it.

Forbes releases its list of ‘best beach hotels’

Forbes Magazine is the worldwide trusted authority on everything to do with the best of anything and the jet setting lifestyle. The hotel industry has therefore been eagerly awaiting the published list of best beach resorts in the world.

In the Bahamas, Ocean Club, a resort located on Paradise Island, was chosen as the best beach resort in the Caribbean. The resort overlooks the capital city of the Bahamas Nassau, but is far enough away and isolated within its own private estate that guests are completely unaware they’re so near the commercial and transport hub of the country.

Paradise Island is more famous for the Atlantic resort than Ocean Club, but this much smaller gem (with just 100 rooms compared to Atlantis’ 1,500) is a diamond at the edge of the tropical Caribbean Sea with a transplanted 12th-century Augustinian cloister (a kind of rectangular courtyard) that has amazing views of Nassau Harbor.

In Australia, a country with many, many thousands of miles of coastline, there is a wide variety of beach resorts, but just one was singled out by Forbes, the Hayman Hotel. Hayman is located on the beach amid thick green bush and tropical undergrowth looking out over the waters that swirl around that most famous of natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef.

This part of Australia is truly magnificent, the northeast coast is a wonder in itself and makes any stay at the hotel worthwhile, but what sets the hotel apart from all others, according to Forbes, is the level of service as well as the interior comfort and luxury following the resorts $15 million renovations.

Taj Mahal Palace reopens after post-terror attack renovations

The Taj hotel is easily the most iconic and famous of hotels in India, on-par with London’s Savoy or New York’s Ritz Carlton, but on an infamous day in 2008 it became the epicenter of a coordinated terror attack that brought Mumbai to a standstill and sent shock waves rippling through the largest democracy in the world.

For several hours on the 26th of November in 2008, a group of men took up positions within the hotel and started shooting guests as they left their rooms and gunned down diners in the hotel’s restaurant. The most iconic of hotels in India was taken siege and explosions rocked the building as the terrorists destroyed the palace wing of the hotel.

As black smoke billowed in the air like a warning beacon, residents of Mumbai watched in horror as chaos descended on their city, many unable to believe that the Taj Mahal hotel had been taken, that most beautiful and welcoming of havens in the bustling metropolis.

But taken it was and many people were killed. The nation of India has soldiered on despite these attacks and the Taj, like the resilient city in which it is located, reopened its door on India’s Independence Day after 21 months of extensive renovations.

The entire hotel was renovated due to the vast level of damage it suffered during the siege, but the palace wing, a 5000 square foot block of uber-luxury suites on the 6th floor, was entirely rebuilt due to the destruction it faced.

The renovations have converted some of the former suites into even larger duplex suites, which, along with all the other palace wing apartments will feature multi-media entertainment systems as well as a heavily fortified escape route. This section of the hotel will also have its own Palace Lounge, an exclusive retreat for guests to mingle and enjoy a selection of fine teas, hot chocolate, cocktails, coffee and many more offerings.

All the hotels bars and restaurants, especially those at street level have been renovated and restored. Guests of the hotel and Mumbai residents can now enjoy once again the delights of the Sea Lounge, Golden Dragon, The Taj Ballroom, the Harbour Bar and Wasabi by Morimoto.

The reopening marks a significant step in the history of the hotel. First built in 1903 and opened with just 17 guests staying in its opulent rooms, the hotel has grown into a landmark of not just Mumbai but India as a whole. The hotel has stood as a majestic witness to the changes occurring around it.

It survived the Great Depression, the struggles that took place for independence in India, it watched as the world went twice to war and as the Berlin Wall came down. It has accommodated princes, presidents, kings and queens and now it has defiantly shown that it will survive this current age which will undoubtedly be remembered as the War on Terror.

London’s Savoy Hotel making progress

The Savoy is London’s most iconic hotel and is probably one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in the world. Opened in 1889 on the Strand next to the River Thames, the hotel quickly rocketed to worldwide iconic status as it was the first truly world-class hotel in London which, back then, was the heart of the massive British Empire.

Through the centuries the hotel has undergone many changes, small renovations projects here and there, changing furniture, new carpets and other odds and ends, but it has never undergone a renovation comparable to the project that took place between 2007 and 2010.

At the end of 2007 the hotel closed its doors and sold most of its furniture, except the truly historical 19th and early 20th century items. A huge restoration and modernization of the property then got underway that is costing hundreds of millions of pounds due to its ‘no expense spared’ nature. For example, a Royal Suite is being built at a cost of $4 million, which is enough to build a mid-market 100 room hotel. But, as the hotel has said, it is “the details that define character”.

One side of the hotel will reportedly feature modern art deco interior design while the other will go back to the roots that everyone loves so much and feature rooms that retain their historical classiness.

All this work is designed to ensure that the hotel, the QE2 of hotels, remains true to what Rupert Carte, then the Savoy Hotels chairman, once said in 1930:

“The Savoy is always up-to-date and, if possible, a little ahead.”

That is the company’s intended goal with the project which is by all accounts the largest hotel renovations ever undertaken in the history of Britain. The man in charge of all the re-designing is Pierre-Yves Rochon who will ensure that Edwardian style still influence the hotel’s public spaces while art deco inspires the bars and restaurants, without any clashes in-between.

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