United States Travel Guide

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As Expected, Hotel Room Rates for Art Basel are Getting Insanely Expensive

November 11, 2014 at 4:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

Art Basel will swing back into Miami Beach from December 4-7 and if you're interested in heading down to the hot mess art party, you better book your hotel room now.

The good news is there are still plenty of rooms open but the bad news is that rates are rising fast. Room rates could drop at the last-minute depending on availability but otherwise, if you've got a preference of where you want to be, book now. And yes, expect to pay $500 and up for a centrally located hotel room that is about the size of a closet.

Is it your first time going to Art Basel? Read our Art Basel virgin's experience here.

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Work on The Virgin Hotel New York Should Begin Soon

Where: 1225 Broadway [map], New York, NY, United States
November 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

We are counting down the days until we can stay at the Virgin Hotel Chicago, (64 days to go!) but in the meantime, work is starting on the next big Virgin Hotel--Virgin New York.

The Real Deal Blog reports that developer, The LAM Group, filed permits yesterday for the Virgin Hotel in the hot-to-trot NoMad neighborhood at 1225 Broadway between 29th and 30th streets. That lot will be demolished and a 38-story hotel with 447 hotel rooms will be built with duplexes on the 34th and 35th floors.

Downstairs will have 100,000-sq.ft. of retail space. Upstairs it looks like there will be a rooftop lounge and possibly a pool. The architect for the project is listed as Brian McFarland of VOA Architecture, the company behind plenty of hospitality projects, including the remodel of The Tides in Miami Beach.

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A Funky Philly Deco Building May Be The Next Uber-Urban Address For AC Hotels by Marriott

November 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

A former film distribution center for Warner Brothers may become the new Philadelphia address for AC Hotels by Marriott.

As faithful readers of HC already know, AC Hotels originated in Spain by designer Antonio Catalán as an urban contemporary hotel collection. Marriott announced its plans to import the brand back in June 2013, starting with AC Hotel New Orleans (which just opened), followed by Kansas City (December) and Miami (March 2015.) More locations have also been announced for Chicago, Asheville (North Carolina) and Irvine, Calif. And now Philadelphia.

The proposed Philly hotel, located at 13th and Florist Streets, is in the early planning and design stages, and an opening date has not been established. The Warner Brothers building is a two-story, Deco-inspired design dating back to 1947. There's really not much to work with here, so why not just build what you need on top of what you got?

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Don't Forget About The Hyatt South Beach, Opening This Spring

Where: 1600 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
November 10, 2014 at 4:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

We've been so dazzled by the new big name hotels opening in Miami over the next few months--Thompson, Edition, Sixty, Aloft and AC Hotels to name a few--it's been hard to keep up with all the others. But we've been doing our best, dishing what we know so far on hotels like The Gale Suites and Villa Bagatelle. And now we've got an update on the forthcoming Hyatt South Beach.

Even though we once hoped this hotel would be an Andaz, it is still going ahead as a Hyatt hotel, the first such branded hotel for Hyatt in South Beach (there's a Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami.)

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First Kanye, Now Karl Takes Over The Mercer Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 147 MERCER ST NEW YORK [map], New York, NY, United States, 10012
November 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

Way, way, way back before Kanye West turned into one-half of Kimye, he once semi-permanently lived at Soho's ultra cool Mercer Hotel. He then later hooked up The Mercer star with tickets to his concert. An employee even wrote in to tell HotelChatter just how nice Kanye was to them.

We wonder if Uncle Karl will be just as nice.

Page Six reports that fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has taken over three floors of the hotel while he's in town to celebrate his item for Louis Vuitton--a $175,00 punching bag emblazoned with LVs. Hmmm...we also can't help but wonder if he's looking to The Mercer for ideas for his next hotel project?

While regular guests were apparently turned away because of Lagerfeld's presence, the good news is he won't be in town forever. Rooms are still sold-out at the hotel but they will open back up on Thursday...for $750 a night, before tax.

GO INSIDE KARL LAGERFELD'S WORLD AT THE SOFITEL SO SINGAPORE HERE

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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The Tub in The Cromwell's Parlour Suite: A Different Kind of Jackpot in Vegas

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3595 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
November 7, 2014 at 5:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

There is no shortage of killer hotel views in Las Vegas, especially at night, but give us a room where we can admire the Strip from the comfort of a warm, bubble bath and well, that's almost as good as winning the jackpot. Almost.

This is the view from room 528, a Parlour Suite at The Cromwell Hotel, the boutique hotel which opened in May (Previously, the hotel was the old Bill's Gambling Hall.) The suite has over 700-sq.ft. of space with a living/entertaining room that has a small kitchenette and a powder room as well as a bedroom with a large bathroom. The tub, however, is placed in the corner of the bedroom so that it overlooks the Strip. Smart thinking.

Just remember, the windows work both way so you might be putting on your own Jubilee! show for the guests over the way at Bally's.

Next week, we'll have more on what it's like to spend the night at The Cromwell. But if you can't wait, the Parlour Suite is going for $869 and $889 a night this weekend. It drops down to its normal rate of $609 on Monday.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Disclosure: Juliana stayed at The Cromwell as a guest of the hotel.]

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A Roundup Of The Latest Hotels Coming To Downtown Charleston

November 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM | by | Comments (4)

Charleston is in the midst of a hotel boom that will just not quit. With a projected 4.5 million visitors a year pouring into one of the most popular cities in the US, do the math - the need for rooms sure seems justified. In our concerted effort to keep up with all the new developments we reached out to the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, who shared a 'cheat sheet' of new hotels planned, proposed, or trying really hard to happen across the "Holy City."

Here's a status report on some of the hotels that are a "go", specifically in the much loved historic and Downtown neighborhoods.

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Virgin Hotels Flaunt Their Free WiFi Around Chicago

November 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Once again, Virgin Hotels is harassing driving by other hotels in town, flaunting what they got. This time, it's free WiFi which will be available for every guest at the Virgin Hotel Chicago when it opens in January.

Virgin took the streets of Chicago in a branded van the other night and parked at the intersection of Wells and Adams St., which is conveniently near both the JW Marrioott and the W City Center hotels, two hotels that charge for WiFi in the guest rooms. (Although, internet access is available in the lobby for free.)

But not only did Virgin be like, "Look what we have that they don't have!", they also offered free high-speed WiFi from the van so passerbys could experience the Virgin WiFi network.

Virgin will also not charge for early departure fees, room service delivery fees, minibar stocking fees, and business center fees so expect this van to come back around. again.

[Photo: Virgin Hotels]

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The St. Regis Bal Harbour Has a New Cabana Designed By Miami's Hot Shop, The Webster

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 9703 Collins Avenue [map], Bal Harbour, FL, United States, 33154
November 5, 2014 at 5:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Winter season is practically here and that has us thinking of another kind of season, one where no puffy coats are needed--hotel cabana season.

Kicking off the season of private poolside enclaves is the St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami, who has partnered with the high-end fashion boutique The Webster to create a special Webster Cabana for the hotel. Conveniently, The Webster has a store in the Shops at Bal Harbour.

You may also remember The Webster from their summer collection for Target. Now, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, CEO and Co-Founder of The Webster, has filled the 600-sq.ft. St. Regis cabana with her signature style, which is "Luxe Miami" all the way.

The cabana reflects The Webster’s love of color and print with striking interior features including The Webster’s signature patterned wallpaper, rattan furniture by Paul Frankl covered in a lively floral print and a custom coffee table topped with turquoise glass.

Additional design elements inside the space include a bar accessorized with Webster candles, Murano glass pieces and other unique items curated by Laure. Perfectly complementing the cabana’s interior, pink and brown lounge chairs, which are situated next to a dining table with chairs covered in the same playful color combination, will be enjoyed while relaxing on The Webster Cabana’s outdoor terrace.

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Four Seasons Confirms Oahu at Ko Olina, Renovates Mexico City

November 5, 2014 at 9:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

The bit of rumor we passed on back in August about the JW Marriott Ihilani’s future has been confirmed: it will become Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina.

The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.

The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.

When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.

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Bagatelle, a Restaurant Brand, Will Try Their Hand at The Hotel Biz in Miami

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 220 21st Street [map], MiamI Beach, FL, United States, 33140
November 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Bagatelle, a popular restaurant brand that originated in NYC's Meatpacking District before expanding to Sao Paolo, St. Tropez and St. Barth (with a brief stint in Las Vegas), is now heading to Miami Beach. But instead of opening another hot restaurant or beach club, owners Aymeric Clemente and Remi Laba are opening a restaurant + hotel + pool club, called Villa Bagatelle.

Located at 21st and Collins in the current Boulan Hotel, Villa Bagatelle will take about 18 months to fully open. The first phase of the renovation is happening now, with a cosmetic touch-up of the hotel's common areas and guest rooms. The rooms are actually all suites and have at least one bedroom with a deluxe Tempur-Pedic bed, a fully equipped epicurean kitchen with dining areas, living room with queen-bedded sofa bed, and oversized marble spa-inspired bathroom. Some suites have private terraces with either views of downtown or the ocean.

The second renovation phase will transform the rooftop pool deck into a "complete Bagatelle St. Tropez experience" with a full service food and beverage concept. The courtyard at the hotel will also transform in to The Bagatelle Gardens where guests can enjoy breakfast, light lunch, dinner, coffee and cocktails. Is that Bagatelle enough for you?

You can actually stay at the hotel now, although the Villa Bagatelle branding is not complete. Rates start around $379 a night but we found a suite king in a few weeks for $289 a night.

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A Fire Damaged Church May Be Revived Into 'The Most Luxurious Hotel in Palm Springs'

November 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

In September of 2013, Palm Springs lost one of its most treasured buildings to fire, the Community Church of Palm Springs, a city landmark dating back to 1935. The photo below shows the church post-fire. Also damaged was the adjacent Orchid Tree Inn property which included several historic bungalows.

So now, what better news could we share other than not only are these endangered buildings being saved, they are getting a new life as a luxury hotel, The Orchid Tree Resort and Spa.

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