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So Long, Sam: Nazarian No Longer Running The SLS Las Vegas

December 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last August was undeniably the peak of hotelier Sam Nazarian's career. After a few years of stagnancy followed by some fast and furious renovations, the worn down Sahara Las Vegas casino and hotel was set free from its Rat Pack history days and transformed into the modern, design-forward, and frankly, thrilling SLS Las Vegas.

We attended the opening (you can read that coverage here) and even though we knew Nazarian didn't single-handedly breathe new life into a rather depressing end of the Las Vegas Strip, he was the visionary behind everything that is now in place at the resort--from Chef Jose Andres Bazaar Meat restaurant to Philippe Starck's stylish guest rooms, Umami Burger, LiFE Nightclub, Griddle Cafe and a handful of retail boutiques from Fred Segal.

Making the opening night of the SLS more meaningful for Sam was that he and his dad rang in the SLS opening bell in a ballroom where Frank Sinatra and other legends once performed.

But now, those legendary moments are over. At least for Nazarian in Las Vegas.

Stockbridge Capital, the company that owns 90 percent of the SLS Las Vegas to Nazarian's SBE's 10 percent, announced yesterday that Nazarian will no longer be involved in the management of the SLS Las Vegas.

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The Four Seasons Resorts on Lana'i are Now Sporting Wristbands

December 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

A few months ago, we put out a poll that asked readers how they felt about hotels replacing traditional keycards with electronic wristbands. A few people liked the convenience of having everything on their wrist and not keeping track of a key, but most, including this writer, balked at the idea.

Part of it is that the hotel chain in question, EVEN Hotels, is charging guests $8 for them. The other part of it was the belief that if anything is going to replace our beloved keycards, it should be smart phone technology. Who needs one more thing?

Alas, it looks like enough people are at least interested in the concept to give the trend a chance to become a mainstay. But this time it’s no small potatoes. This time, it’s Four Seasons touting them as a perk.

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Dee Dee Ramone Has Returned to Hotel Chelsea

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 222 W 23rd St [map], New York, NY, United States
December 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

We may be waiting a while for the Hotel Chelsea to reopen – 2016 if the updated website is anything to go by, though the new logo still says 2015, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it took longer – but the spirit of the place has just returned to the Hotel Chelsea Storefront Gallery, with the opening of a Dee Dee Ramone exhibition.

Dee Dee, of course, was the author of Chelsea Horror Hotel: A Novel, a semi-autobiographical novel about the hotel. The exhibition has been curated by his estate; on display are Dee Dee’s records, clothes (leopard-print robe FTW) and, more importantly, art – paintings, drawings and cartoon strips. Although you may want to visit on an empty stomach; according to Newsweek:

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Smyth Tribeca Launches New Public Spaces, Fresh Rooms Will Come Soon

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 85 West Broadway & Chambers [map], New York, NY, United States, 10007
December 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Thompson Hotels may be planning to head west (Seattle) and south (Nashville), but they’re not forgetting their NYC properties: Smyth Tribeca, which arrived after a much-delayed start just shy of six years ago, finished the first phase of its complete redesign last month.

That includes the entire ground floor, which has been divided in a series of smaller spaces, filled with a mixture of Scandinavian and American mid-century furniture. Above is the Den, with a fireplace that uses Guastavino tile – and if you wonder why that’s significant, it is the same that is used for the ceilings of city landmarks like Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall.

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The Fairmont Copley Plaza Will Pop Up All Festive on Friday

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 138 St James Ave [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02116
December 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Trees, gingerbread houses, insane glass bottle installations – Christmas hotel decor is all well and good, but sometimes you want to bring a taste of it home.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean stealing the towels at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston – because they have a holiday-themed, farmer’s market-style pop-up store in the tea court this Friday.

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Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week 2014: The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue [map], Riverside, California, United States, 92501
December 16, 2014 at 5:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

‘Tis the season to celebrate and there’s no better way than with a holiday-inspired beverage. And, as we all know, a holiday cocktail a day keeps the Grinch away. For Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week, we’ve scanned the globe for some delectably delicious cocktails that will leave you humming a merry tune that doesn’t include, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch.”

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, California has a 12 Days of Christmas cocktail menu on offer during its 22nd Annual Festival of Lights celebration, which turns the property into a glowing spectacle of four million sparkly lights.

If you’d also like to get a glow on head to the hotel’s Presidential Lounge where the festive cocktail menu includes 12 drinks named for, and inspired by, the classic song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The menu starts with A Partridge in a Pear Tree made with Absolut Pears, lime juice, pear nectar and Baileys Caramel and goes all the way to Twelve Drummers Drumming made with Starbucks liqueur, Godiva Chocolate liqueur, and hot chocolate garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

If you prefer to get lit at home, try this recipe based on the most pivotal point of the song - the Five Golden Rings – where everyone gets it together again after flailing about with the rest of the lyrics.

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The Ever Funky Yoo Hotels to Open Spin-Off Brand, Yoo2, in Rio De Janeiro Next Year

Where: Brazil
December 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Got plans for the holidays next year? YOO Hotels & Resorts do as they expand into South America with their "diffusion" lifestyle brand YOO2. The campaign kicks off in Rio de Janeiro with the opening of YOO2 Botafogo in December 2015.

This sounds like the start of something big, with a newly formed alliance between YOO Hotels & Resorts and Intercity Hotel Group, who will manage all YOO2 hotels in Brazil. We hear there are up to seven in the works, but could there be more?

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Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Opens in Jamaica With Adjacent Zilara Property Not Far Behind

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  Site Where: Rose Hall Road , Montego Bay, Jamaica
December 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Aerial view of Hyatt's new Ziva and Zilara Rose Hall joint properties in Montego Bay

After debuting its first all-inclusive resort last year in Cabo, Hyatt has announced the opening of its second Ziva property, the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The resort is Jamaica’s first Hyatt-branded all inclusive resort, and will be followed next week with the opening of a sister property, the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, whose opening has been delayed until December 20th.

In case you forgot, the Ziva and Zilara are Hyatt's two new all-inclusive brands. The difference between the two is that Ziva is a family-friendly resort while the Zilara is an adults-only resort. In Montego Bay, the properties are located adjacent to one another where the the Ritz-Carlton used to be.

The Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall has 496 suites, including 28 swim-up suites with large terraces. The all-inclusive perks include the usual suspects of food and booze, but also airport transfers, a private airport lounge, a round of golf at one of the two courses, and a catamaran excursion.

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Now Virgin Hotels Has Released Their Own Loyalty Program, The Know

December 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Piece by piece, the layers are coming off the Virgin Hotels brand.

Last week, we learned that Virgin America's Elevate members would get certain perks at Virgin Hotels, which will open first in Chicago on January 15. Now we have the full details of Virgin Hotels own loyalty program, excuse us, preference program, called The Know.

Here's what to know about The Know. t's pretty simple.

Visit VirginHotels.com/the-know to fill out a short questionnaire. (You'll also have to submit your email if you haven't already signed up.) The questions asked include cheeky ones such as, "What do you really want to be called?" "Afraid of elevators?" "Do you have any allergies?" and "Special requests? Pet peeves? Ghost concerns?" You can also tell them your favorite drink, favorite snack, your "dream" minibar item and what should NEVER be found in your minibar.

Once you've enrolled, and stayed at a Virgin Hotel, you'll be eligible for perks such as:

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Kimpton Karma Loyalty Program is Not Going Anywhere after IHG Acquisition...For Now

December 16, 2014 at 10:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday when we learned that InterContinental Hotel Group will acquire the 62 hotels that make up Kimpton Hotels, our first thought was, "Nooo!", followed by "Whyyyy?" and then finished up with, "Wait, what happens to the Kimpton Karma loyalty program which was just unveiled this summer?"

As it turns out, the program is not going anywhere. At least not right away. Kimpton Karma will continue to work as it always has with no crossover into IHG's Rewards Club. But you know that won't last. We expect members to be able to use and earn points at both brands sometime in 2015.

With that out of the way, let's look at all the other concerns Kimpton loyalists have about their cute boutique brand being acquired by a big corporation.

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Get on Your Bike and Tour Downtown at the Ace DTLA

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 16, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

There was one thing we missed while skulking around the Ace DTLA last week; we were so entranced by the gingerbread hotel that we totally missed the bikes in the lobby.

Not just any bikes, either (obviously – this is the Ace); they’re bikes from tokyobike.

This isn’t the first collaboration with tokyobike for Ace; the London hotel has them for guests to use. But unlike London, which is all cold and full of British reserve and lets guests get on with it by themselves, the Ace DTLA is all fuzzy and friendly and American – so they are giving free guided bike tours of Downtown LA.

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London's Hilton Bankside Is Starting to Come Together

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Great Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom
December 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s time for our six-monthly check in with the longstanding London hotel project that is the Hilton Bankside. A year ago, we thought the dormant site behind Tate Modern had finally picked up again, with construction reaching street level. Then, over the summer, we stumbled upon some much-improved renderings of the interiors, which were described as according to Hilton’s newly launched brand standards.

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