United States Travel Guide
It's really happening! Gone is the wraparound red construction board at Chicago's eagerly anticipated hotel and in its place, a real live Virgin. Er, marquee.
That's right. Signage just went up at the Virgin Hotel Chicago and it is looking good. Of course, the entrance is predictably Virgin with its red sign lettering and the Virgin logo on the plaque next to the door, but still looking good. We're also chuckling at the cheeky window signage which says, "Is the plural of cheese, cheese or cheeses? Either way I could use a glass of wine." So could we. And some cheeses while we're at it.
Additionally, signage went up for Miss Ricky's All American Diner at the hotel, and a special VIP with some giant red lips stopped by to admire it. Lovely. And slightly scary.
Rates for the hotel, which opens on January 15 start at $229 a night for a Chamber King room. Interestingly, January 15 and 16 are sold-out so you'll have to settle for January 17.
Congrats to Virgin. Now just make sure the T, E, and L are always lit up. Otherwise, you'll have a real oxymoron on your hands there.
[Photo: Virgin Hotel]
Celebrity Scoop / Guy Fieri / Scottsdale Hotels / Arizona Hotels / Hotel Chefs / Hotel Events / → All Tags
Guy Fieri, the bleached-up Food Network chef and host of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", is killing it at his Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The Linq Hotel in Las Vegas. Seriously. We walked in on a random Tuesday morning and it was nearly full (the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
This was surprising, "fo' sho'," since Guy's New York restaurant didn't fare so well, at least not with the critics. But foodies and culinary snobs aside, Guy has a huge following. And if you're one of his fans, then you'll want to get a ticket to his interactive dinner at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain resort in Scottsdale on December 19.
The luck has gone from bad to worse to slightly better and then back to worse for the now-closed Revel Resort & Casino on Atlantic City's boardwalk. The Canadian firm who announced last month they would buy the resort for a bargain $110 million has decided to drop the deal.
Toronto-based Brookfield US Holdings LLC has simply said that it "terminated the Revel acquisition." The Press of Atlantic City first reported the news and said the reason for the termination was because " bondholders refused to rework debt connected to construction of Revel’s power plant." The power plant story is kind of a doozy. Read the Press' report to find out more.
So what does this mean for Revel? Well, a backup buyer was named at the bankruptcy auction, developer Glenn Straub. He even appealed the bankruptcy court decision to name Brookfield as owner. The good news is, he's still very interested but he doesn't seem keen to keep the aspect of Revel. Hey, something is better than nothing, right?
Keep reading for another update on the AC Hotel Scene
The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, which opened nearly a year ago, is making seriously good use of the historic United Artists Theater that's adjacent to the property. In September, Coldplay hosted a special concert for their latest album release and now, a special preview of Paul Thomas Anderson's surf noir based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon.
The movie/book is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows a private investigator/pothead named Doc through a series of strange criminal adventures. So it's only fitting that the movie will screen at the Ace DTLA with Anderson and actors Jena Malone and Joanna Newsom in attendance.
Even better, guests who are staying at the hotel that night will get a free ticket to the screening and custom vinyl records of the film score by Johnny Greenwood. Rooms are still open on December 1 for around $240 a night but if you use the promo code Doc, you'll get a medium room for just $200.
Expect to see more of "Inherent Vice" at the Ace in LA and also in New York and London as gallery exhibitions expanding on the "Inherent Vice" themes will open.
[Photo: Lindsey Best/Ace Hotel DTLA]
The former Roney Plaza/Gansevoort South/The Perry Hotel in Miami is almost finished with its $100 million renovation to turn into the naturally glam 1 Hotel South Beach, but you can reserve a room today for stays starting on March 1.
Not surprisingly for a luxury hotel in season in Miami Beach, the rooms are ridiculously expensive, with a king room going for $665 a night. Want a balcony with your room? That will be $712 a night. Prefer an ocean view? That will be $855 a night.
But we have to admit, these are some seriously good-looking rooms. Gone is the high-sheen of The Gansevoort and in its place is a eco-luxe look with reclaimed wood on the walls, natural poured concrete in the floors, overstuffed pillow on the couches, and peekaboo bathrooms. Don't forget, Chef Tom Colicchio is opening his restaurant downstairs while upstairs is a pool deck with similarly eco-luxe style cabanas and seating.
The room decor at The Cromwell is eclectically detailed, mixing a lot of modern with a bit of faux-vintage items. But we were impressed with the luxury touches like the welcome beverages that are given to all guests (we chose sangria), the high-tech Toto Neorest toilet, the Eataly snacks in the pantry and the flat-iron at the vanity.
There was also morning coffee available on our floor at the elevator bank. (No almond milk or iced coffee though, #firstworldproblems.) We especially loved the bright pink Muk Hair toiletries, which left our skin and hair silky soft.
Hotel Rebranding / Sheraton Hotels / Fort Lauderdale Hotels / Historic Hotels / Starwood Capital Group / Barry Sternlicht / Hotel News / → All Tags
Not long after Starwood Hotels dissolved its management of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. (the hotel is now known as The Diplomat and it's part of Hilton's Curio Collection), comes another big brand loss in nearby Fort Lauderdale.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, remembered by most as the Yankee Clipper Hotel, will cease to be a Sheraton on December 2, 2014. However, no one knows yet what sort of brand, if any, will take over the cruise-ship inspired building which is also home to the Wreck Bar and Dos Caminos restaurant.
Interestingly, the building was sold in 2005 to the Starwood Capital Group, which is actually hotelier Barry Sternlicht's company and not Starwood Hotels'. So could this turn into a 1 Hotel or a Baccarat Hotel? Highly unlikely, as the building is rumored to be for sale, but we're dying to find out what will end up happening.
Got any inside scoop? Let us know!
[Photo: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale]
Yesterday, we gave you a brief look at the first AC Hotel by Marriott to open in the U.S. We'll have more on the rest of the property and the AC experience next week but we thought we'd leave you with this snapshot of a staple breakfast item at all AC Hotels going forward--croissants.
The buttery, perfectly flaky breakfast pastry is served daily in the AC Kitchen along with other sweet and savory fare, as well as the all-important coffee. (You can get it hot or iced.) But these aren't any old croissants. The dough was made in France, frozen and shipped to New Orleans. It is near perfection. (Perfection is obviously a croissant made and eaten in Paris.)
Breakfast at the AC Kitchen costs $14 for all you can eat. There's no lunch at the kitchen but in the evenings, the adjacent AC Lounge serves up small plates alongside specialty cocktails. We'll have more on that next week as well. Stay tuned!
Up in New York, it's been sort of a hotel marketing trend to present the hotel as a mysterious, manly-named place with as few details as possible, like Paul. Down in Miami, the same sort of awareness/unawareness ploy is going on with Washington Park Hotel. except this time, the hotel is looks like a lady.
The Washington Park Hotel is set to open in early 2015 at 11th and Washington Avenues. Judging from its website, the hotel looks like a pretty place to hang out. (Indeed, there's a picture of two lady surfers.) But other than its pretty and feminine style, including a floral entwined logo, there's not much we know about the hotel. At least not on its website.
Like any good millennial hotel, the WPH does have aFacebook page but there's not much else there either, except for a mention about their upcoming curated cocktails, which is pretty par for the course in Miami. However, there is a sexy side to the hotel. Like, literally, a sexy side as the hotel
shares the space withis on the same block as The World Erotic Art Museum as well as a propaganda museum.
More details on the hotel, such as how many rooms, photos, amenities, services, etc, should be coming soon. But you know they already had us at "erotic art museum."
[Screengrab from WashingtonParkHotel.com]
Extreme fitness might just be the newest amenity that hotels try to lure healthy travelers while on the road. Things like sunrise yoga, enhanced gyms and heathly room service are a perfect start, but Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort is kicking the sweat-making up a notch with a new CrossFit-inspired offering.
The “Performance, Fitness and CrossFit Package" allows guests looking to burn serious calories, a two-nigh stay in a Studio Suite (opening in early 2015), a healthy amenity upon check-in, an opportunity to sit down with a personal trainer to discuss goals, a video analysis of your movement patterns (which might be motivation enough to stay fit) and two personal training sessions and an athletic performance prescription to keep up the hard work at home.
Sneak Peek / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / AC Hotels By Marriott / New Orleans Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Ever since we first heard about Marriott International's plans to import the AC Hotels brand from Europe into the United States, we've been incredibly curious to see the finished product. And now we have--at the AC Hotel New Orleans. #hotelnerdalldayeveryday
Since we're still in the midst of exploring the hotel, we're only sharing a few photos today but we'll have more to talk about, a lot more, on Friday and Monday. So far, we can absolutely say the hotel, which was kept very well under wraps during the construction process, is hitting all the right marks.
Way back in early 2013 we learned that prolific hotel architect, Gene Kaufman, would be building two Cambria Suitesfor New York City. Today, we learn that one of those hotels is getting ready to open soon.
Cambria Hotel & Suites New York - Chelsea on W. 28th Street, will open next month, according to a hotel rep. But there's a chance it could be delayed further. The website says reservations will begin for stays on February 27 and beyond but we couldn't make reservations for those dates either. So we'll just say the Cambria Suites is opening sometime in the very near future.
All 135 highly stylized rooms at the hotel promise to have "free wireless high-speed Internet access, a coffee maker, desk, hair dryer, microwave, refrigerator, private bath, sitting area, flat-screen television and sofa sleeper." The hotel will also have a rooftop terrace, a lounge and dining area, a ground-floor meeting room and a fitness center.
This Cambria Suites will actually set the model for the other Cambria Suites in the city. So far, there's only one other one coming to midtown at West 46th Street but who there is always room, somehow, for more.
[Rendering: Gene Kaufman Architect]