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A first Hyatt in Iraq

Hyatt Regency Photo: Copyright(C) Hyatt Development Inc.
Hyatt Regency
Photo: Copyright(C) Hyatt Development Inc.
Hyatt is set to become the first international renowned hotel chain to open a luxury establishment in Iraq. The news comes as the war-torn nation fights its way back to stability. A sign of this newfound prosperity is the fact that the new Hyatt Regency Sulaymaniyah will not fall short of the Hyatt brand name tradition, neither on features or grandiose.

This magnificent new development will be equipped with 210 guestrooms, an all-day open restaurant, over 17,500 square feet (1,660 square meters) of meetings space for corporate events.

As you may expect, the hotel will offer a complete quality of life infrastructure including a fitness center, five spa rooms, and 3 swimming pools.

The Hyatt Regency Sulaymaniyah will be the single hotel in Hawary Shar Park, a 240 acres leisure and entertainment park currently under development. The new region will also offer a shopping mall, a golf course and zoological gardens. Sulaymaniyah is located at 210 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Collage of Sulaymaniyah photos.  Photo: Diyar Se / Wikimedia Commons
Collage of Sulaymaniyah photos.
Photo: Diyar Se / Wikimedia Commons

“Bringing the Hyatt brand to Iraq is one of the most exciting projects we have in development. Kurdistan is a stable and prosperous area of Iraq, and as a result, the economy is growing and demand for lodging accommodations is rising,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president, real estate and development, for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “There is great potential for growth in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, and we look forward to introducing the Hyatt brand to guests visiting the region. Hyatt Regency Sulaymaniyah will offer a full range of services, amenities and dining options to meet the needs of both business and leisure travelers.”

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Hotel lobby named after Leona Helmsley’s dog

Most of us have only due bills named after us. Though The Queen of the Palace Hotel, or “The Queen of Mean” to some, probably paid some heavy duty bills during her lifetime, her little dog, Trouble, never needed to be concerned with the collectors.

In fact, her former little rich friend just got paid a tribute by the New York Palace Hotel crew: a bar named after him. Now when you head over to the Palace, you will enjoy a nice time at Trouble’s Trust.

For those who haven’t met him yet, Trouble was Helmsley’s relatively unknown dog until her death in 2007 at 87 years old, when it was widely reported that he, the dog, had inherited $12 million dollars making it the richest four legged being on this planet. Trouble passed away in 2011, just 4 years after his human.

The inheritanced was not too bad – but it was nothing compared to the riches left behind by Leona, whose estate is worth U$ 8 billion in today’s money. Still, Helmsley was no stranger to trouble(with a t), having faced jail for tax evasion in the late 1980’s, as you can see on the following not-so-flattering mugshot.

Cheers Mrs. Helmsley!
A smile from Mrs. Helmsley!

No troubles for Trouble as he’s now immortal at The Palace Hotel. If you happen to be anywhere near, then by all means stop by Trouble’s Trust and enjoy your favorite boutique cocktail.

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Interesting Facts Of The Watergate Hotel

In June of 1972, an extravagant but otherwise forgettable hotel in Washington became infamous and synonymous with political scandal, leading to the only presidential resignation in United States history. What later came to be officially known as the Watergate scandal began at 1:55 AM on June 17th 1972, as security guard Frank Wills found evidence of a break-in and called the police.

The resulting arrest of seven men, all later found to be part of President Nixon’s reelection committee, led to one of the biggest scandals in American history. During the investigations it was revealed that the President and his Chief of Staff were recorded discussing using the CIA to obstruct the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in, a fact which made President Nixon’s situation unsustainable. During the height of the Cold War, the United States of America was to lose a popular and just reelected President.

Photo: United States National Archives
Photo: United States National Archives

But political infamy is not what the Watergate Complex in Washington DC was all aobut. Here are 10 lesser-known facts we thought you’d like to know about the Watergate Hotel Complex!


In the 1950s, the World Bank considered building its international headquarters on the property where Watergate resides.


The construction of the Watergate complex was the largest renewal effort to use private funds exclusively in the District of Columbia’s history.


The name was derived from the terraced steps west of the Lincon Memorial that lead to the Potomac River.


The Watergate project faced serious opposition from city and zoning officials. But no opposition was more stern than that of a religious group known as Protestants and other Americans United for Separation of Church and State whose national letter-writing campaign to oppose the project flooded Congress’ and the White House’s mailboxes. Unfortunately for them, the project went forward as planned.


The Vatican owned a portion of SGI, the company which built the Watergate Complex.


To date, the Watergate has changed hands many times. However some of the hands it has gone through are very surprising: in addition to property management companies, the Watergate has been owned by a Coal worker’s pension fund company and a cruise ship company.


Monika Lewinsky hid out at her mother’s room in Watergate during the political scandal involving President Bill Clinton.


In 1970, a second Watergate Complex, named Watergate II, was proposed in Alexandria, Virginia across the Potomac River. It never materialized due to overwhelming opposition by city residents.


A surprising number of people who had ties– however oblique– to Richard Nixon stayed at the infamous complex. Amoung them, Anna Chennault, one of the first occupants of the building, was a Republican fundraiser who worked on President Nixon’s 1968 campaign. Many of the President’s aides also stayed at the Watergate, including Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans and John Mitchel, Nixon’s attorney general. His speech writer, transportation and secretary also called the Watergate “home”.


Just as with the most famous robbery in Watergate’s history, the first robbery that ever happened there was every bit as costly to it’s victim. In March 1969, Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary, had thousands of dollars worth in jewelry stolen from her apartment.

With a complex historically as rich as the Watergate in DC, home to more political figures and parties than any other residential building in Washington DC, the mind reels at the possibility of its stories that will never be told.

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Mega Hotels of The World

Not surprising, many of the world’s largest hotels are situated in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States, what might surprise you, however, is where the world’s largest hotel is located.

10) Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas – 4,008 Rooms

One of the most famous Las Vegas hotels, the Excalibur is an expansive 3 star resort.

9) Venetian, Las Vegas – 4,049

Boasting a 120,000 square foot casino floor, the Venetian is a five star hotel without peer.

8) Ambassador City Jomtein, Pattaya – 4,219

Forty acres of rolling hills that overlook the beach and nearby mountains, Ambassador City offers guests access to many restaurants, nightclubs and Asia’s largest swimming pool.

7) The Hotel and Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas – 4,332

In a city based on luxury, this 4 star resort sets itself apart with an 11 acre indoor beach property with rentable cabanas, day beds and a 1.6 million gallon wave pool.

6) Luxor Las Vegas, Las Vegas – 4,408

The distinctive glass pyramid of the Luxor dominates the Las Vegas skyline and offers guests a unique four star experience with internal balconies, and 120,000 square feet of gambling floor space. Located in the heart of the strip.

5) Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, Las Vegas – 4,734

The ‘twin towers’ of Las Vegas combine art and ultra modern design in a five star package with 74,000 feet of gaming space and all the trappings of room service and a beach club that turns into a nightclub when the sun goes down.

4) Disney’s All-Star Resort, Orlando – 5,524

Occupying 39 miles of space, fans of fantasy can escape from the mundane and slip into a fantasy world the likes of which that no other resort can offer. There are multiple theme parks, water parks and golf courses for kids and parents alike.

3) First World Hotel, Malaysia – 6,118

An amazing hotel in Malaysia with its own theme park that stretches more than 500,000 square feet and offers something for the entire family, even a place for mom and dad to lay back in the huge spa.

2) MGM Grand Las Vegas, Las Vegas – 6,852

The second largest hotel in the world and the first in the United States, the MGM Grand has a plethora of shows and features catering to every taste on earth. The MGM also holds the record for the largest sized gaming floor in all of Las Vegas, at 171,500 square feet with machines ranging from oene penny to one thousand dollars at a pull of the lever.

1) Izmailovo Hotel, Moscow – 7,500

Everything is bigger in Russia, and the Izamallovo is no different; started the same year it was completed, in 1979, it stands as the largest hotel in the world. To accommodate and entertain all it’s 7,500 possible guests, the Izmailovo has plenty of recreation such as a bowling alley, yoga classes, sports center and fishing nearby, afterwards guests can partake of the full-service spa.