Luxury Hotels

Oslo – London – Macau

Oslo, and in fact Norway, as such is hardly ever mentioned in terms of luxury hospitality.  Why is that? Girlahead has enjoyed such happy times in Stavanger, in Tromsø, Hammerfest and even Longyearbyen on Svalbard Island, though the last place was in 24/7 darkness so it was impossible to see anything – but where are luxury hotels? Let us think fashion. Top Norwegian brands include Acne, Onitsuka Tiger and Wood Wood – do these sound luxury? Now when it comes to the arts, the story is completely different. On the music side, think composers Edvard Grieg and, today, 35-year old Erlend Oye. And now for general arts.

The image above shows one of the light installations that will highlight the second Fjord Oslo, 6-8 November 2020, at Oslo harbour. This year there will be eight new light-based installations together themed Anthropocene – a speculative geological epoch defined by human activity having the most significant influence on the environment, climate and ecology of the planet, and leaving a permanent legacy on the Earth.  Through light and colour, projection-mapping and movement, the works reflect on the relationship between humanity and the natural world, while also offering viewers a powerful, positive – and free – experience of art. Fjord Oslo has been compiled by co-founder and artistic director Anastasia Isachsen.

It is also worth mentioning that there are two other luxury associations with Norway. One is Norwegian salmon, which some gourmets prefer to Canadian, Chilean, Scottish or Tasmanian. The other is MONEY. Norway has the world’s biggest Sovereign Fund, over one trillion (US). Yesterday it was announced that Norway’s Parliament is considering tilting its investments from dominance in Europe to higher percentage in the USA, namely upping the US exposure would rise from 41.6% to 48% of the whole. Interesting?

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London, by contrast, is renowned as home of such luxury brands as Harrods and The Savoy and so much more. Girlahead would also cite The Beaumont, a brilliantly unique 73-room hotel that has a giant Antony Gormley ‘Crouching Man’ statue on the outside that, inside, is part of a bedroom (yes, really). Thanks to the hotel’s owner The Grosvenor Estate, GM Jannes Soerensen – he who really understands luxury – announced yesterday that The Beaumont will re-open in the Spring with a 25-room extension, including a light-filled mega-suite.

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When Macau’s SJM Holdings opens its new HK$39 billion (US$5 billion) Grand Lisboa Palace on Cotai later this year there will be many environmentally-friendly features. All 1,000 bedrooms, for instance, will have energy-efficient LED lights, temperature sensors, and smart-control so drapes close automatically when the room is empty, reducing solar heat cooling loads. Bathrooms will feature heat-recovery ventilation systems, dual-flush toilets, and faucets with low-flow fixtures. The hotel is run by Peter Finamore, and Girlahead is also 100% positive that the food, and drink, at the hotel will be nothing but the best – it is overseen by champion foodie Jonas Schuermann, who came from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.