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Will The TWA Flight Center at JFK Turn Into a Trump Hotel?

September 30, 2014 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been rumored for several years that the iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport would one day turn into a hotel. And once again, the rumor mill is working overtime with reports that a new hotel brand will soon install themselves at the terminal.

Earlier this year, negotiations between hotelier Andre Balazs and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey fell through . Now it seems the Port Authority is out shopping for a new Sugar Daddy.

Following the release of a formal Request For Proposal last month, the word on the street— runway rather— is that interested parties may include Yotel, who made their name with their capsule concept at UK airports; developer Related Companies; Marriott International and even, Donald Trump.

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The W Marrakech is Happening (But Not Until 2017)

September 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

Two signs that Marrakech is a hot destination? One, the newly-married Clooneys are honeymooning there and two, a W Hotel is set to open in the cosmopolitan city in 2017.

Located in the city's Hivernage district, the W Marrakech will have 148 guest rooms nd suites, include one Extreme WOW suite, along with residences. there will also be a signature restaurant, an all-day dining venue, a bar, an outdoor bar, WET pool deck, an Away Spa and FIT, the W's branded fitness center. And of course, Whatever/Whenever will also be in place.

GA Design International, the folks who did the W Taipei and the St. Regis Osaka, will handle the interiors fror the property which is expected to be "cutting-edge" and "contemporary lifestyle." In a hotel scene, that's dominated by old world luxury hotels, we think this W will be very much necessary.

Up next for W Hotels? Quite a lot, actually. The group plans on opening 15 hotels by 2018.

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You Probably Won’t Be Able to Get a Room at the Hotel Lanai For the Next Year... Here's Why

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  Site Where: 828 Lana‘i Avenue [map], Lanai City, Hawaii, United States
September 30, 2014 at 11:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

By now, we're all up to date on the situation regarding Lanai and new-ish owner Larry Ellison. He has a plan, but no one is exactly sure what it is or how it will play out. While that's generally accurate, there are a few truths that have come to light since Ellison started pouring money into the island. We discovered one earlier this week during a visit to the Hotel Lanai: You won't be able to get a room here for the next year.

As the big plan continues to take shape, Ellison has begun work on a number of specific projects, including rebuilding community infrastructure and partially renovating the Four Seasons Manele Bay, one of the two Four Seasons properties on the island (there are three properties total on the island, the two Four Seasons and the Hotel Lanai). As you might imagine, these changes require a lot of construction, and many workers are being brought in from off the island. Due to the shortage of housing that already exists on Lanai, going forward, workers are being housed at the Hotel Lanai.

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What To Order At Chicken Shop At The Hoxton Holborn

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  Site Where: 199-206 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7BD
September 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we told you how to find Chicken Shop, the new underground restaurant at the Hoxton Holborn. Today, we’re talking what to order (apologies in advance for the photos, it's very, very dark underground).

In a way, there’s not much advice to give, because the menu at Chicken Shop is limited. Very limited – your options for your main course are:
· A quarter chicken (£4.50)
· A half chicken (£8.50)
· A whole chicken (£15)

To jazz it up, there are sides, which all cost £4. These are:
· Crinkle cut fries
· Coleslaw
· Corn on the cob
· Butter lettuce and avocado salad

There’s no wine list – your choices are “house”, “decent” or “good” – by the glass or jug. There are four beers on draught, and four (plus a cider) in bottles. Food is served on enamel plates, wine in battered jugs. The whole thing sounds overly simple, and it is. But it is one of the best overly simple meals you’ll have had in ages.

The chicken is free range, from a named farm (Banham’s) in Norfolk. It’s marinated overnight, steamed, then stuck on a rotisserie spit and cooked over charcoal. They chop it up with machetes at the open-plan kitchen, hurl on some extra seasoning as they plate up, and bam, it’s on the way to your table. This is very fast (almost too fast) restaurant food – ours arrived within a couple of minutes of ordering.

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The Lancaster London Will Be Sweet Like Honey Next Week

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  Site Where: Lancaster Terrace, London, United Kingdom, W2 2TY
September 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

The bees of the Lancaster London

Uh huh honey! If Kim and Kanye are still in Europe next Monday, one place they may want to pop into is the Lancaster London which – already known for its resident bees – is now going one further by hosting the London Honey Show on 6 October from 6-9pm.

Your £1 entrance fee (to be donated to a bee charity) gets you access to tastings (including the Lancaster’s), a hive display, talks from bee experts and various stalls and exhibits. There will be food, drink and honey on sale, and it’ll also host an awards ceremony, in case you’ve always wanted to meet the London Beekeeper of the Year (oh, beehave!).

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Is Malmaison Moving In On The Planned Hudson London?

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  Site Where: Great Scotland Yard, London, United Kingdom
September 30, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

The week that Mondrian at Sea Containers will make its official London debut (in fact, opening is today, so stay tuned for the lowdown on that), some interesting news has come out on what was to be its sibling, Hudson London, on Great Scotland Yard, not even fifteen minutes’ walk across the river.

Earlier this year, following a lot of drama at Morgans Hotel Group, the Hudson listing disappeared from the group’s website, replaced with silence about the fate of the former Scotland Yard headquarters. The Telegraph reports that British chain (though now US-owned) Malmaison is set to purchase the building for around £200 million.

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Miami's Shore Club is Joining the Condotel Club

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  Site Where: 1901 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
September 29, 2014 at 6:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

We don't call it Miami Hotel Mambo for nothing.

Today, we discovered that the beachfront party spot that is The Shore Club will move into a condotel operation. Yup, the dreaded condotels, once all the rage in the pre-recession era, are back. GROAN.

The Real Deal reports that the hotel's new owners, HFZ Capital Group, who acquired the property late last year, are splitting the hotel into 85 luxury residences and 100 hotel rooms. Currently, the historic hotel has 309 hotel rooms.

Word is the residences will start to go up for sale in early December, just when all the moneyed art collectors arrive in town for Art Basel. However, if you're keen to reserve a spot, limited reservations will open next month.

What's crazier than someone attempting the condotel operation again is the fact that neither HFZ Capital nor their sales agents, Douglas Elliman, have released any info on how these luxury residences are to come about. There are no renderings, no construction plans, no nada. But whenever this "transformation" happens, just know that the Shore Club will never again be the same. Fingers crossed, the condotel thing works out for them.

[Photo: Shore Club/Facebook]

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This is Not What You Want to See At Your Hotel

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  Site Where: | Setor Hoteleiro Sul, Quadra 02 - D, Brasilia, Brazil
September 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

This looks like more than just a "case of the Mondays."

A guest at the Saint Peter hotel in Brasilia today took a hotel employee hostage, forcing him at gunpoint to wear a vest containing explosives and then paraded his hostage around on a 13th floor of the 424-room hotel in front of news cameras.

Ultimately, the hostage-taker released the victim and surrendered to the police, with no physical harm done to anyone (although we imagine the hotel worker will probably be affected for the rest of his life. As it turns out, the kidnapper was using a fake gun to order around the hostage and to warn the other guests in the hotel.

Apparently, the whole thing was done out of political motivation as the hostage-taker was calling for "stricter enforcement of a Brazilian law that forbids politicians convicted of corruption from running again for office." Well, we can certainly understand the frustration over that but taking an innocent hotel employee hostage and forcing him to wear a vest of explosives is probably not the best way to go about it.

Then again, here we are talking about it. Sigh. For now, let's just file this under "Things we never want to see at our hotel."

[Photo via the WSJ]

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The Gift Shop at The Delano Las Vegas is No 'Automat' But It's Far From Basic

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  Site Where: 3940 Las Vegas Boulevard S [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
September 29, 2014 at 1:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Morgans Hotels are rather infamous for their gift shop offerings such as the kinky vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach called "Automat" which once sold (or maybe still does) 24-karat gold handcuffs from Kiki de Montparnasse. The automat also sold rentals for premium luxury cars like a Rolls Royce or a Benz.

When the machine made its debut at the Hudson Hotel in New York, it sold an $8,000 photo shoot with photographer Ben Watkins and a rental of a red Ferrari 599 GTB.

However, the gift shop offerings at the Essence shop at the new Delano Las Vegas aren't quite that risqué, although they are still rather expensive. You can get a small discount on the items if you're a member of the M Life rewards program but for the most part, be prepared to spend.

Here's what we found while admiring the wares at Essence the other week.

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A Few Resorts in Cabo Will Begin Reopening Next Week But Most Remain Closed

September 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort after Hurricane Odile

Two weeks after a category four hurricane tore through Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the popular vacation destination is still working hard to get back on its feet. The airport remains closed but it should reopen on October 8. And the Los Cabos Tourism Board is doing its job on Facebook, hyping future events in Cabo such as a golf tournament, a fishing tournament and and upcoming half marathon. However, most of the resorts in Cabo need a little more time to recuperate. Here are some notable reopening dates.

Hilton Los Cabos is closed through at least January 15.

The Esperanza Resort will reopen on November 15. Same with the Dreams Cabo.

Capella Pedegral is still assessing the damage and does not have a current reopening date. The resort is closed through at least October 31. The Westin and The Sheraton are expected to be open by October 31 as well. That's actually good news considering the extensive damage that the resorts received.

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Hotels in Hong Kong Are Open But Cautious as Protests Continue

Where: Hong Kong, China
September 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (2)

The view from a room at The Upper House

One of Hong Kong's most luxurious hotels, The Upper House, was forced to cancel its Anniversary Party, which was scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, due to the pro-democracy demonstrations in the city's Admiralty and Central districts.

The demonstrations began over the weekend and have carried on today, forcing the city to cancel its fireworks show in honor of National China Day. A central issue for the protestors are the 2017 elections for the city's chief executives. Hong Kong, formerly a British colony, was promised full "universal suffrage" but then China said only candidates fully-vetted by a Beijing-friendly committee could participate. A police crackdown on Sunday involved the use of tear gas, pepper spray and batons but only resulted in having the opposite effect as people, outrage by the use of force, joined the protests .

As the demonstrations continue, more and more of Hong Kong's hotels are being affected. Here's a snapshot taken about an hour ago of the Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel:

Indeed the hotel has even pulled down steel gates over its entrance:

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If You're Off To The Hilton Athens, Make Sure It's After 6pm

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  Site Where: 46 VASSILISSIS SOFIAS AVENUE, Athens, Greece, 11528
September 29, 2014 at 9:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we visited the Selfie Spot at the Grande Bretagne in Athens the week before last, we remembered the other hotel bar with truly jaw-dropping Acropolis views (as opposed to other hotels which pretty much all have a glimpse of the Acropolis): the Galaxy Bar at the Hilton Athens. So, with a couple of hours to spare in Athens last week, we headed over.

The Hilton is back a bit from the center of Athens – out by the Byzantine Museum, around a 10-15 minute walk from Syntagma Square. But what it lacks in ease of location, it makes up for in views – because thanks to the low-rise buildings all around it, it has a straight on view of the Parthenon. It is extraordinary.

Sadly, we tell you this from memory, because on arrival we discovered the Galaxy Bar isn’t open all day, like the GB roof terrace; it opens at 6pm. Instead, we settled at Aethrion Lounge on the ground floor for some lunch and drinks.

We suggest you don’t follow our example.

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