While the world has been mired in a slowdown, ambitious hotel projects continue. From futuristic projects like Dubai’s Water Discus Hotel to mega-complex resorts, fantastic destination properties are being planned. The art of doing one better than the last big thing will continue to drive innovation until the most incredible projects seem ordinary. With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 of the most ambitious hotels built to date.
With a price tag topping 8 billion dollars, the complex features three towers with an incredible top section connecting them. Termed the SkyPark, it sets astride the towers and features an infinity swimming pool with incredible views. Everything from theaters to an ice rink and the world’s largest atrium casino await travelers in search of the ultimate resort experience.
Another Singapore property with a huge price tag, costing over 6.5 billion. Resorts World Sentosa actually has six hotels. A theme park, a spectacular aquarium that is the world’s largest, and the choreographed Lake of Dreams show are among the enticements.
It’s the crown jewel in the Kempenski Hotel crown. Located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, the main building stretches out over a kilometer from wing to wing. A look around the property explains why the construction costs neared 5 billion dollars.
The latest Vegas hot spot for celebrity sighting is a testament to the ever-evolving glitz of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s the largest German-owned property in Vegas because the original developers defaulted to Deutsche Bank. The eventual 4.9 billion dollar construction price brought to life a destination party resort that features terraced cabana-style rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass. The Boulevard Pool is the see-and-be-seen summer spot on the Strip.
Taking the grandeur of the Las Vegas Venetian a step beyond is the property in Macau. Essentially a bigger version of the original in Las Vegas, but with even more grandeur, the hotel ups the “wow” factor for Macau. Built for 2.4 billion, it was the largest casino in the world at completion and features upscale accommodations and amenities.
It’s actually a complex featuring three hotels. The Hard Rock Hotel, Grand Hyatt Macau, and the Crown Towers make up the room space. The rest of the development is everything one would expect from a spectacular destination casino resort. Cost overruns pushed the price tag to well over 2 billion dollars before the first openings in 2009.
The hotel strives to kindle romantic fantasies of splendors past and present in its design approach that melds old with new. The Ottoman Empire meets the modern Mediterranean resort. Developer Telman Ismailov spent 1.4 billion dollars to create a palatial resort. The largest swimming pool in the Mediterranean boasts a sunken aquarium. The property opened in 2009 in what was termed the largest hotel launch in history.
Construction on what has been called the “Hotel of Doom” began way back in 1987. Delay after delay was supposed to come to an end in 2013 when the huge triangle-shaped structure was rumored to be opening as a Kempenski property. But alas, that fell through, and any opening has been set back once again. Total costs are estimated at around 750 million, or 2 percent of the North Korean GDP. The Ryugyong Hotel is listed with the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest unoccupied building.
It’s construction took place over six years at a cost of 650 million. When the iconic sail-shaped spire opened in 2000 it was the tallest hotel in the world. It’s the most recognizable luxury hotel anywhere and a striking symbol of Dubai’s experimental architecture. The striking view of a 1000 foot sail with hotel rooms inside rising from a small island is recognized the world over.
Patterned after the property with the same name in the Bahamas, Atlantis, The Palm is the epitome of what one expects from a top-notch beach resort. Located on the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis truly takes on the persona of a city melding with the sea. The hotel’s aquarium and water features complete the immersion. The building costs of about 1.5 billion were used to create a dynamic environment wherein spectacular water features blend with marine life.
The properties talked about represent some of the most exciting destinations in the world and are but glimpses of what may come.
Pierre Fortier is General Manager for Palmex International.