Largest Hotel in the World to Open in Mecca

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Saudi Arabia will soon be home to the largest hotel in the world, Abraj Kudai, Arabian Business reported yesterday. Set to be completed in 2017, the luxury hotel, designed by architectural firm Dar Al Handasah will house 10,000 rooms in 12 separate towers. Luxury hotels are nothing if not for their amenities, and this one will feature 70 restaurants, a shopping mall, rooftop helipads, and a full-size convention center. The 3.5 billion dollar site is not-so-coincidentally located 2 kilometers away from Mecca’s holy mosque, Masjid al-Haram, and parts of the complex will be dedicated to Hajj visitors.

The artist rendering of Abraj Kudai (pictured above) shows how its design is meant to depict a “traditional desert fortress.” The center dome will soon be one of the largest in the world (but who’s keeping track?), and of the towers that surround it, 10 will have certified four-star accommodations and two will be five-star, catering to the elite of the elite. So far, its pastel hues and literal towering height make it a very plausible setting for a Grand Budapest Hotel sequel set in the Middle East. Although instead of a funicular, there are car parks and a bus stop.

When it opens, the luxury hotel will upstage the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the largest hotel in the world, which has a little over 6,100 rooms.

Andaz Wall Street

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The only hotel on Wall Street, perfect for storming into town to pitch an IPO, or sleeping off that nasty trial separation. Mixed use, Rockwell Group designed ultra-modern building starts with 250-plus hotel rooms, caps off with two dozen floors of residential condo. Dramatic all-white, all-steel staircase sets the mood for stylish accommodations. Dark oak on the floor, textured walls, mad views. Bar Seven Five is a power-cocktailing hotspot.

Hotel on Rivington

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Design-fueled destination amid the hood’s booming restaurants and rock nightlife. Stylish and slick, with glass walls and Moby endorsement. Definitely a place to use the upgrade. Arty entry, concierge lounge on the second floor to check the action at Economy Candy. Euro crowd mixes it up with assorted members of the art-istocracy. “Regular” rooms offer “the feel of old New York.” Think tenement proportions.

Conrad New York

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Guests at this luxe spot are greeted by a towering Sol LeWitt painting in the dramatic atrium, setting the tone for what is veritably a hotel-as-contemporary-art-gallery. Indeed, the Conrad’s collection includes site-specific installations by Pat Steir and Imi Knoebel, as well as works by Mary Heilmann and Elizabeth Peyton. Anthony Zamora helms the Atrio restaurant, presciently named Loopy Doopy rooftop bar offers life-altering views of the Hudson. Extravagant!

Hyatt Union Square New York

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First hotel in the hood in over a decade, feels like it took at least that long to put up. Historic façade incorporated into the lower floors, lux berths on the set-back cube above. Corporate incursion into a prime downtown corner a Yunnie magnet. Courtyard rooms for quiet nights, city views on the “urbane” fronts. In-house bites from The Fourth and single-malt boozing at the Singl Lounge.

Flatiron Hotel Toshi

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Unexpectedly grand entry, with big lobby and mezzanine, connected by glass staircase spiraling around a fat column of tropical fish swimming to the beat of live music (JK, fish have no rhythm). Upstairs, find stylish rooms finished with marble and granite. Lush linens, iHome entertainment system, mix of Jacuzzis and Swiss rainfall showers. Bathroom TVs, because you’re classy like that.

Gild Hall

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Petit Trianon to the Versailles that is Wall Street. Chic-sleep Thompson crew does another stylish stunner, fully exorcising Holiday Inn ghosts and wallpapers. Private library, champagne bar, Slim Aarons photographs. Sferra linens, Frette robes, Dean & Deluca stocks your mini bar. Continental ‘40s and ‘50s vibe more mod-rustic than anally modern. Live out your Gilded Age fantasies within easy stumbling distance of Jeremy’s.