COMO Hotels and Resorts

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COMO Hotels and Resorts
Type Private
Industry Hospitality
Founded 1991
Headquarters Singapore
Number of locations 9
Key people Christina Ong
Products Hotel
Parent COMO Group
Website www.COMOHotels.com

COMO Hotels and Resorts, a member of the COMO Group, is an international hotel group operating boutique hotels and resorts located around the world. The group currently operates nine properties in London, Bangkok, the Turks and Caicos islands, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Bali.

COMO Hotels and Resorts was founded by Christina Ong in 1991. Ong was listed as one of Asia's 50 Power Business Women by Forbes in 2012,[1] and is the wife of Malaysian hotelier Ong Beng Seng.[2]

History[edit]

Photograph of Dhoni suites in Cocoa Island, Maldives

Before she created COMO Hotels and Resorts, Ong was the founder of Club 21, a luxury retail boutique that manages established fashion brands like Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani. In 1991 she established The Halkin, a boutique hotel in London's Belgravia district.[3] She followed this with Metropolitan London in 1997[4] and the private island resort Parrot Cay in 1998. The company quickly expanded a few years later, adding five more properties between 2002 and 2005.

In 2012, COMO Hotels bought the old Traymore Hotel in Miami Beach for US$17.5 million and turned it into their first US property, the Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach.[5]

The name COMO is derived from the initials of Ong and her daughter Melissa: Christina Ong Melissa Ong.[5]

List of properties[edit]

The group currently manages 11 properties, which are divided into three basic categories: Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, and Adventure Retreats. In addition to these, COMO Hotels also manages the COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, in a partnership with sister-company COMO Shambhala.

Urban Hotels[edit]

The lobby of Metropolitan Bangkok

Island Resorts[edit]

Adventure Retreats[edit]

Parrot Cay's popularity with celebrities[edit]

Main article: Parrot Cay

The Parrot Cay resort is noteworthy for being very popular with many celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears and Paul McCartney.[6] It has hosted the weddings of Bruce Willis and Emma Heming in 2009,[7] and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2005.[8]

COMO Hotels allows people to buy or build villas in Parrot Cay,[9] and some celebrities have done so. Fashion designer Donna Karan owns a villa on the island,[10] as does Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.[11]

Restaurants of note[edit]

Three of COMO Hotels and Resorts' properties contain restaurants of note: nahm in Metropolitan Bangkok, Nobu in Metropolitan London, and Ametsa with Arzak Instruction in The Halkin.

nahm[edit]

nahm (styled with lowercase letters) is a Thai restaurant by Australian chef David Thompson. It was named #13 of the world's 50 best restaurant in 2014,[12] and is currently ranked Asia's Best restaurant.[13] nahm originally opened in The Halkin in 2001 where it received a Michelin star[14] until 2011. A new branch was opened in Metropolitan Bangkok in 2010,[15] and the original London branch was closed in December 15, 2012.[16]

Nobu[edit]

Nobu is a Michelin-starred Japanese-Peruvian restaurant by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Nobu London is also co-owned by Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, a friend of Matsuhisa.[17] It opened in February 1997.[18]

Nobu is said to be one of the Top 10 restaurants in London to spot celebrities.[19]

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction[edit]

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction is a Michelin-starred Basque restaurant headed by a team that includes chef Elena Arzak, who was voted Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in 2012,[20] and her father Juan Mari Arzak. It opened in March 2013.[21] The Arzak family is famous for running Arzak, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, and Ametsa is their first foray into a new restaurant.

Connections with sister companies in the COMO Group[edit]

In 2000, Christina Ong founded a wellness brand called COMO Shambhala (Shambhala is Sanskrit for "a place of peace and harmony"). COMO Shambhala's award-winning[22] wellness centers can be found in every COMO Hotels property except for The Halkin, as well as COMO Shambhala's range of body lotions. The COMO Shambhala Estate resort in Bali is also a partnership between the two sister-companies.

Sister-company Club 21 manages many luxury fashion brands, and its fashion influence can be seen in the design of COMO Hotels' properties and its hotel uniforms. Hotel staff in Metropolitan Bangkok are dressed by Comme des Garçons and Calvin Klein.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen - Christina Ong" Forbes
  2. ^ "Ong Beng Seng". www.AsianTaipans.com. 
  3. ^ Roberts, Sophy (Nov–Dec 2002). "The World of Christina Ong". Departures.com. 
  4. ^ "Metropolitan". Eat Sleep Drink Magazine. 13 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Sampson, Hannah (6 June 2013). "COMO Hotels making first US push in Miami Beach". The Miami Herald. 
  6. ^ Valhouli, Christina (22 October 2002). "Fantasy Island". Forbes. 
  7. ^ "Where the stars get married". AOL Travel. 
  8. ^ "Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner wedding". www.celebritybrideguide.com. 
  9. ^ "Villa ownership". www.comohotels.com. 
  10. ^ Thurman, Judith (December 2009). "Donna Karan's Island Getaway". Architectural Digest. 
  11. ^ Malle, Chloe (18 July 2012). "Anything Goes: Keith Richards and Patti Hansen". Vogue. 
  12. ^ "The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2014". The World's 50 Best Restaurants. 2014. 
  13. ^ "A temple of Thai gastronomy in more ways than one". The World's 50 Best Restaurants. 
  14. ^ "Chef David Thompson of nahm - Biography". www.starchefs.com. March 2012. 
  15. ^ "nahm: Top London Thai restaurant coming to Bangkok". travel.cnn.com. 31 March 2010. 
  16. ^ Ivett, Alex (27 November 2012). "Aussie chef's London restaurant nahm set to close". www.australiantimes.co.uk. 
  17. ^ Elfman, Doug (30 April 2013). "De Niro on Nobu: 'I love doing this'". www.reviewjournal.com. 
  18. ^ "Nobu London - Experience". www.noburestaurants.com. 
  19. ^ "Dining with the Stars: Top 10 restaurants in London to spot celebrities". www.anglotopia.net. 11 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef 2013". The World's 50 Best Restaurants. 
  21. ^ O'Ceallaigh, John (1 March 2013). "New London restaurant and bar openings, March 2013". The Daily Telegraph. 
  22. ^ "Awards". www.comoshambhala.com. 
  23. ^ Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok Press Kit

External links[edit]