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Bold and Brave: Three hotel debuts in the time of COVID-19

Zentis Osaka

While the hospitality industry may be suffering at the hands of COVID-19, hotel openings that have continued as planned attest to a level of hope and optimism around travel bouncing back. 

Here are three hotels that have stayed the course:

Zentis Osaka
Zentis Osaka, the first hotel of a new hospitality brand, opened in July this year, right as travel came to a grinding halt as COVID-19 was making its presence felt the world over.

Top UK designer, Tara Bernerd, was tapped for the property’s modern interiors while Café Co. – the esteemed operator behind the one Michelin-starred CRAFTALE in Tokyo – developed and operates the hotel’s restaurant, bar and lounge.

An entirely new build, the 16-storey property features 212 guestrooms with a contemporary feel that take inspiration from the intuitive functionality of bento boxes.

The culinary direction of UPSTAIRZ, the hotel’s dining venue, is guided by the acclaimed head chef’s wealth of experience in France and Japan.

Alma Resort Cam Ranh
Alma Resort on Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Peninsula opened in May at the very height of the world’s anxiety over the coronavirus. Years in the making, the resort unveiled 580 oversized, ocean-view and ocean-front suites and pavilions, a broad spectrum of restaurants, a food court with an array of local and international cuisine, as well as a sports bar, pool bar and beach bar.

There were 12 swimming pools cascading down to the beach, a waterpark, 13-treatment room spa, 70-seat cinema, convention centre, amphitheater, art gallery, science museum, gymnasium and yoga room, 18-hole mini golf course, a youth centre with virtual reality games, a kid’s club, watersports centre and even an ‘Alma Mart’ mini supermarket.

Meliá Koh Samui
Two days before Meliá Koh Samui, the first property in Thailand launched under Spanish hotel group Meliá Hotels International, celebrated its grand opening on January 10 this year, the first suspected case of COVID-19 was detected in Thailand.

This case was confirmed as the first outside of China three days after the luxury 159-room and 41-suite resort cut the ribbon on a lagoon pool that meanders through the resort’s grounds like a river, a two-level infinity pool with sunken seating, two restaurants, an executive lounge, a swim-up bar, lobby bar, spa, fitness center, ballroom and other MICE facilities and, for families, a kid’s club, outdoor playground and mini water park. 

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