FOR cinephiles, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences, has opened a room devoted to the big screen in St James's in London.
The Cinema Suite, by Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, references motion-picture classics and their creators, from Hollywood in the 1940s and '50s to Indian movies of the '50s.
At its centre is a two-metre plasma television with a home theatre system and more than 300 movies. There are shades of Marilyn Monroe in the bedroom, Francis Ford Coppola in the study, and The Stepford Wives in the kitchen.
It's the second designer collaboration for 51 Buckingham Gate, after the opening of the Jaguar Suite in 2011. The Cinema Suite costs from $7811 a night.
Worth leaning on
THE 14-metre Long Bar at Singapore Raffles, host to the likes of Somerset Maugham and Ernest Hemingway, will be re-created when the hotel group opens this month in the financial district of Makati in the Philippines capital, Manila.
Raffles Makati, with 32 suites, will be housed within a 30-storey building that also includes Raffles Residences, with 237 one- to four-bedroom residences, and the Fairmont Makati hotel with 280 rooms.
In keeping with the original bar, traditional punkah fans, black, ivory and terracotta-tiled floor, and long-stemmed ceiling fans will feature.
Each of the Raffles's suites has floor-to-ceiling windows, wooden floors, and silk velvet, hand-tufted rugs, with satin and damask furnishings.
Restaurants and bars — patisserie, two lounges and the Long Bar included — will be open to guests of both Raffles Makati and Fairmont Makati.
As well, there are two outdoor swimming pools, each with a wading pool and children's pool, day spa and gym.
It's the first new hotel in 18 years in the area. See raffles.com.
Islam art for the asking
FOR travellers planning an extended stay in the Qatar capital, Doha, the Ascott has opened serviced residences of up to three bedrooms in the city's diplomatic centre.
Situated at the north end of the Corniche waterfront promenade, the apartments front Doha Bay with views of the Arabian Gulf Coast. Naturally, in a city with a July average high of 42 degrees, there's an indoor pool alongside sauna, Jacuzzi and steam rooms.
The extraordinary Museum of Islamic Art, which also houses the Alain Ducasse restaurant IDAM, is a short taxi ride away.
It's part of the Singapore company The Ascott, which includes the Citadines and Somerset brands in its stable.
Rooms cost from QAR 850 ($225) a night. See the-ascott.com/qatar/doha.
Slide on in
THERE'S no excuse for guest inactivity at The Standard, High Line, in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, with the opening of its outdoor ice rink, an annual specialty.
Set on the hotel's plaza, the rink is open noon to midnight with lessons available and crepes on the apres skate menu.
Come summer, the 18-storey boutique hotel with opening floor-to-ceiling windows has a disco, rooftop bar, and free bikes to explore the area. Rink admission is $US12 ($11.50), skate hire an extra $3.