COMO Hotels and Resorts
Number of locations
COMO Hotels and Resorts, a member of the COMO Group, is an international hotel group operating boutique hotels and resorts. The group currently operates twelve properties in Miami Beach, London, Bangkok, the Turks and Caicos islands, the Maldives, Bhutan, Phuket and Bali.
Before she created COMO Hotels and Resorts, Ong was the founder of Club 21, a luxury retail boutique that manages fashion brands like Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani. In 1991 she established The Halkin, a boutique hotel in London's Belgravia district. This was followed by Metropolitan London in 1997 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.
The name COMO is derived from the initials of Ong and her daughter Melissa: Christina Ong Melissa Ong.
List of properties
The group currently manages 12 properties, which are divided into three basic categories: Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, and Adventure Retreats. Included among these is the COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, a partnership with sister-company COMO Shambhala.
- Uma Ubud, Bali
- Uma Paro, Bhutan
- Uma Punakha, Bhutan
- COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali (formerly Begawan Giri Estate)
Parrot Cay's popularity with celebrities
The Parrot Cay resort is noteworthy for being popular with many celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears and Paul McCartney. It has hosted the weddings of Bruce Willis and Emma Heming in 2009, and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2005.
COMO Hotels allows people to buy or build villas in Parrot Cay, and some celebrities have done so. Fashion designer Donna Karan owns a villa on the island, as does Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
Restaurants of note
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 (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, and is currently ranked Asia's Best restaurant. nahm originally opened in The Halkin in 2001 where it received a Michelin star until 2011. A new branch was opened in Metropolitan Bangkok in 2010, and the original London branch was closed in December 15, 2012.
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. It opened in February 1997.
Nobu is said to be one of the Top 10 restaurants in London to spot celebrities.
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
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, and her father Juan Mari Arzak. It opened in March 2013. 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
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 wellness centers are 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.
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