United States Travel Guide
We've long been a fan of James Hotels in Chicago, Soho and Miami, with their cool art, minimalist but comfortable rooms and happening nightlife so the news that they are coming to the West Coast has us, in short, thrilled.
The LA Times reports that The James Los Angeles will open in 2016 on the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienaga boulevards in a new $300 million complex called, Sunset La Cienaga, which will also have apartments, retail and eateries.
The James itself will have 286 rooms done in a "warm modernism" interior style and two James-branded bars and restaurants, including a rooftop bar. Woot! Oh and don't forget, James Hotels also offer free WiFi. Even better.
The hotel already has a website up, although it only has a press release announcing the property. This marks a return to the west for The James which used to operate a hotel in Scottsdale, which then later turned into a Mondrian before finally becoming The Saguaro, a JDV Hotel.
This is excellent news. We just got word that Soho House Chicago will open in August. Last time we dished on this exclusive, London-based chain we expounded on the coolness of West Loop location. Here are some more details about the property:
There will be a scant 40 guest rooms (told you it was exclusive) on the building's third and fourth floors. The rooms, a press release tell us, will be "comfortable" and "airy," and they'll have rainforest showers and products from Cowshed. Rates start at $160, and bookings will be available this spring.
Billed as a "lifestyle boutique hotel alternative," the ACME Hotel in River North has a hip, young—dare we say "alternative"—way of doing things.
First, there are blueberry-lavender "doughssants" in its coffee shop and a bar made out of leather belts in its lobby. Then, there's the technology. If you thought the Smart TVs and loads of iPod docking stations were cool, wait till you hear what the hotel is doling out now as a guest amenity: Google Glass.
This Sunday, we're springing forward for daylight saving time which means we lose an hour of sleep but we gain an extra hour of daylight. And after a long, hard winter, we're really looking forward to that.
In the past, changing clocks for the time change was kind of pain. Today, not so much since most of use cellphones and tablets and those automatically adjust to the change. Sure, there's a watch or a kitchen clock to change here and there but usually it's pretty easy. However, if you're a hotel with nearly 2,000 hotel rooms, preparing for daylight savings time is a major event.
General manager Terry Lewis of the The Sheraton Times Square Hotel, the third largest hotel in NYC, with 1,781 rooms and her staff are tasked with not only updating their clocks but also reminding guests staying at the hotel that daylight savings is happening. And it goes way beyond slipping a note under the door. Here are 12 Ways The Sheraton Times Square Gets Ready for Daylight Saving Time (#8 is REALLY important to read.)
As part of a big upcoming year for Denver's hotel scene, The Crawford Hotel will open in the repurposed Union Station this summer on July 12th. Looks like the momentum will continue into 2015, as Kimpton has announced it will build a property nearby in the same "LoDo" neighborhood.
Details are very slim, but we do know that the new hotel, which is currently without a name, will have 200 rooms and become the city's second Kimpton property and the third in the state overall, joining the Hotel Monaco a few blocks away and the party-oriented Sky Hotel in Aspen.
It's hard to believe that the Hotel Monaco opened over 15 years ago in 1998, and we're happy to see Kimpton make a return to the Mile High City, which has been absolutely blooming of late. The new property is slated for a late 2015 opening, and we'll be sure to pass on details as they are announced over the next year.
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If you’re not only a hotel geek but kinda a science geek too, you probably already know that March 14 is Pi Day (because the mathematical constant π, or Pi, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is approximately equal to 3.14, but with 1.2 trillion digits after it).
If you didn’t know that, you might want to know this: Some hotels are using this as an excuse to bring out their best pies for the occasion. And who doesn’t like a nice pie?
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC is offering a scrumptious-looking Apple Pi Tartlet (that's it above) that’s made with 3 Pi (9.42) Granny Smith apples. The tartlet is topped with decorative apples made of white chocolate—can you stand it?
The Godfrey, slated for late 2014, will be Boston's next grand opening
There’s a spate of hotel developments afoot in the Hub. But according to a recent report released by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the next hotel opening to hit the city will be The Godfrey in late 2014.
The property comes from the same team behind the just-opened Godfrey in Chicago, a Cubist-influenced building that, to those of us without art history degrees, could also be described as “Jenga chic.”
Looking for a place to lay your head while 'Hanging 10' in the seaside surf town of Narragansett? Well look no further, Daddy-o, ‘cause The Break, with its retro chic surfer vibe, is set to open in June.
Part of Lark Hotels, who have boutique coastal properties throughout New England, The Break is decked out by local designer Jocelyn Chiappone, who has tapped into the late 60s, vintage surfer feel of the place. Bold modern textiles pop with color palettes of bright orange, earth tones, crisp white and shades of green and blue. Furnishings combine dark woods with wicker chairs and chandeliers, mid-century inspired armchairs and sofas, fabric headboards and ceramic tables.
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If you thought it was cool that the hotel you last stayed in offered jogging maps, then wait until you hear what the Four Seasons Westlake Village is offering--the Ultimate Performance Triathlon Training Camp.
The one-time only camp will run from April 16-20 and it includes a five-day, four-night stay at the luxury hotel, just outside of Los Angeles. Guests will be trained by professional triathlete coaches in a variety of exercises along with some personalized programming at the on-site California Health and Longevity Institute that includes diagnostic testing (VO2 lung capacity tests for example), nutrition consulting and sleep and recovery education.
Back in September, we heard that Ace Hotels was considering opening their second NYC hotel in the old Salvation Army building at 225 Bowery. Today, the sale of the building has been completed and it was announced, officially, that Ace Hotels would be taking it over.
Here are the deal basics: Eastern Consolidatd arranged the $30 million+ sale of 223-225 Bowery, which was also owned by the Salvation Army, to Omnia Group Ltd and North Wind Group. The 55,00-square foot building's first two floors have been occupied by the SA's Chinatown Corps Community Center while the other eight floors have been vacant for more than 13 years. The shelter and community center will now be moving out to a new spot in Brooklyn.
Ace Hotels has plans to "re-imagine" the building but will probably salvage whatever original or historical bits they can. And since the original Ace Hotel in Seattle was created out of an old Salvation Army building, we trust that Ace will handle this properly.
But as we learned back in September, this Ace will be even
grungier more rugged than the other Ace Hotels with smaller rooms and less frills (not like Ace is a frilly brand to begin with.) The hotel will still have a happening lobby and bar scene. No word on when it will open but possibly late 2015.
[Photo: Google Street View]
With a wave of super-charged, high-tech vending machines in the airports dispensing everything from phone chargers to make-up and even iPhones, it was only a matter of time before hotels got in the automated dispensary 2.0 game as well.
Of course, vending machines in hotels is not a new concept. Hotels have long offered vending machines to service the late-night munchies or thirst of their guests. But the upscale vending machine is rather new. The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas launched a U*Tique vending machine a few years back that sells high and low items like souvenirs, make-up, and expensive headphones. Meanwhile St. Martin's Lane used to have an automated machine that sold goodies from Selfridge's department store. Indeed, The Hudson Hotel was a sort of pioneer with their Semi-Automatic Vending Machine which they first showed off in 2010.
But now, The Wellington Hotel in Times Square has installed a modern type of vending machine that sells everyday goodies from souvenirs to snacks to essentials that you actually need (chargers and toothpaste.)
The last time we saw a crowd of this size flock to South Florida was for Art Basel. While both events draw a champagne-chugging, hors devours-loving bunch, the vibe at SOBEWFF was so much more relaxed (read: not snobby) and we found people to be a lot friendlier to their fellow SOBEWFF attendees.
Maybe it’s the beach. Maybe it’s the booze. Maybe it’s the fact that no one attending SOBEWFF is a grouchy, starving artist. Not for long, anyway.
At times, the crowds can be a claustrophobic cluster and the humidity deadly, but we enjoyed the excuse to day drink, wander about some of SoBe’s coolest hotels and reveled in the many opportunities snap selfies with some of our favorite celebrity chefs. After four days spent in Miami living on small bites and booze, we discovered that the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the bucket list item we never knew we had. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit: