These early New York buildings will be forfeited to make way for a new hotel tower that will be over the top in luxury, if not over the top of some of the neighbors' views
Manhattan’s posh West 57th Street, commonly known as "Billionaires Row," is slated to become the address for New York’s first seven-star hotel. The yet to be flagged luxe hotel is being developed by Vornado Realty Trust and Le Frak Organization, who individually or collectively snagged the three small buildings shown above, now under demolition.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Vornado’s head honcho Steven Roth announced plans for a seven-star hotel, and that’s really all anyone has to go with at the moment. We haven’t seen any renderings yet, but we will, obviously, be tracking the hotel's progress, its design, and its seven-star attributes.
While visiting Maui in May, we often looked across the beach from Wailea where we were staying, over towards the island of Lana'i.
One time, while staring at Lana'i, a passerby told us, "Do you know who bought that island? Larry Ellison of Oracle." Wow, we thought. That's how rich he is. He can buy an island in Hawaii. An island that contains two Four Seasons Resorts. Turns out it's not that simple.
Technically, Ellison owns 97 percent of the island, not the whole thing but as the New York Times pointed out, that's still a lot. The cost to buy the island in 2012 was $300 million and Ellison, who stepped down as CEO of the Silicon Valley company last year, wants to turn the Lana'i into the "first economically viable, 100 percent green community." Ellison, under the guise of his management company, Pulama Lanai, expressed interest earlier in the year to build a fourth resort (Ellison also bought the Hotel Lanai, the other resort on the island) and hoped to extend the island's airport, along with other modern modifications to the island.
However, not all the plans that Ellison has for the island are working out, like the extended airport and the desalination plant. Also, a renovation of the Four Seasons Manele Bay was apparently downsized. Not that it has mattered to guests. The TripAdvisor reviews are still off the charts. The hotel did renovate all of its rooms and they do look rather incredible on the website. Here's how the general manager explained the renovations to the NY Times:
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Tommie, Moxy, Venu, Graduate, Virgin, Red, AC – so many new hotel brands created to court the elusive Millenial. A hotbed of hotel activity like London can’t stay behind on this big a trend, so later this year another very Millenial-sounding hotel brand will arrive in the city: every Hotels.
Lower-case every is a “limited feature, four star product, targeted at the global quality-conscious business professional and the savvy city explorer”, according to parent group Glh., which with every is now up to three new brands in the last year (there was Clermont and Amba before).
Three words are key for every: connect, explore, and relax. That means “the fastest free Wi-Fi in the hotel sector” (the signal even shows up in the logo), “up-to-date, intuitive technology”, “knowledgeable hosts”, and “outstanding locations”.
Just like sibling Amba, there will be four hotels to start with: every Piccadilly, every Hyde Park, every Leicester Square, and every Bloomsbury. All are former Thistle Hotels, but by the time it’s 2020, there should be up to 50 every Hotels around the world.
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Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. At least, so think Starwood, who are on track to open a Sheraton in Koh Samui. It will join their current roster: a W Retreat, a Le Méridien, and Vana Belle, part of the Luxury Collection.
The Sheraton will take over the current Imperial Samui Beach Resort, which had 141 rooms. It’s on the same beach as the Vana Belle, and only two hotels away.
Unfortunately, all good things come to those who wait. The Sheraton was down to open in December, but it’s not yet listed on the Starwood website, and (HT Flyertalk) it’s now showing up on Starwood’s forthcoming hotels list, and is down for March 2015. Although, since it’s not yet available to book, even that may be optimistic.
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Rolls Royce Phantom
Here's one way for a hotel to drum publicity before opening: Place the world's single-largest order for Rolls-Royces ever.
There were no figures released on how much the cars were purchased for, but given that the hotel recently raised another $135 million in funding, we're guessing money was no issue. The total cost of the hotel, shown in rendering format below, will be about $1 billion.
Now is a great time to be in Greece. We are writing this from the island of Patmos, where the temperature is dropping to toasty but bearable, the hordes have gone, and the hotels are still open – at least for a few more weeks.
But if going end of season feels a bit grubby, fear not – because if you go to the tiny island of Milos, there’s a new hotel waiting for you. Eiriana Luxury Suites is one of that new breed of Greek hotels – tiny (just four rooms) but perfectly formed.
It’s located in Trypiti, near the old-style windmills, and is on a hilltop so all the rooms have panoramic views (including some of the sea). The décor is very Greek with a hint of madness – traditional all white rooms, but with pops of lurid color in the drapes, cushions and bathrooms. We’re not convinced by the color tbh – nothing feels as Grecian as a pure white room – but at least they’re trying something different, and we’re not about to criticize the aesthetic of the island that brought the world the Venus de Milo. (Milos is also known as the Island of Colors, so we should probably give them a break.)
Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.
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· You'll Want Delano's Bathrobes On Your Body... And Under Your Face
· Sh*t You May Have Missed Wondering How Viva Veracruz Could Close Before It Opened
· Mirror Mirror on the Wall, What North American Airline Has the Most Legroom of All?
· New Details on the Reopening Date for Cabo San Lucas' Hurricane-Damaged Airport
· $102 for a Carry-On Bag? Watch Out for Spirit's Newest Holiday Fees
· The 5 Most Complex Corn Mazes in the Midwest
(PHOTO: Getty Images)
And by that we mean, the Japanimation-inspired Hotel Tomo in San Fran's Japantown has gone from a Joie de Vivre Hotel to a Kimpton Hotel. (For those not in the know, JDV's loyalty program is called Joy of Life while Kimpton's is called Kimpton Karma.)
So far, it doesn't seem like anything has changed from the JDV days (except possibly the toiletries in the bathroom which were once Japanese but are now from LATHER.) Here's a more in-depth TripAdvisor review from a Kimpton Karma member who stayed there as the changeover was happening:
I was happy to learn at check-in that Hotel Tomo is now a Kimpton Hotel as I'm a huge fan of Kimpton.
The changeover literally took place the day we arrived so there are still many, many things that need to be ironed out before Hotel Tomo satisfies Kimpton's usual standards.
The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We were given an upgrade which was nice. The room was quite large, especially by San Francisco standards. The view from our room on the eighth floor was great.
What Hotel Tomo looked like in 2010 when HotelChatter visited
The damage of Hurricane Odile last week in Cabo San Lucas has been well-documented and now, the relief efforts are starting to come together. Since many of Cabo's residents are hospitality employees, fundraisers have been started by individual hotels and resorts.
We've already told you how to help the employees of the Las Ventanas Resort and their families who were affected by the storm. While a generous soul has already donated $10,000, you don't have to reach that deep into your pockets. But indeed, every little bit helps.
A fundraiser has also been started for the employees and their families of the Capella Pedegral. The Capella Hotel Group, LLC has donated $10,000 to kick it off.
For the Hilton Los Cabos, a Hilton Worldwide Responds disaster fund has been set up to support the Hilton Team Members and the community affected. Hilton Worldwide will also match donations up to $25,000.
Due to the outpouring of support that we've received thus far, we have set up an Esperanza Hurricane Relief Fund for those that want to assist our employees in their efforts to re-build their lives - we will be sharing this link shortly! For those of you who would like send a check, please make out checks to “Esperanza Employee Disaster Relief Fund” and send to: Auberge Resorts LLC, Administrator P.O. Box 8000 Mill Valley, CA 94942
Here's a random video to make your day go by a little faster: A pilot from GoFast Jet Packs took a spin around the top of the Four Seasons Denver this summer as part of a training exercise. The flight lasted about 30 seconds as he lifted off, circled, and then returned to the hotel's roof.
We were certainly pumped to see this video, partly because we didn't realize jet packs actually existed and partly because it helped to draw attention to the Four Seasons, a hotel that has lived in the shadows over the past year as new hotels celebrated their openings across the city. Despite this, the Four Seasons remains, along with the Ritz-Carlton, the city's highest-end property. Right now, the hotel is in the process of redesigning its in-house restaurant, Edge, to be a little more, well, edgy.
The videos below show the stunt. The kid in us wishes that this experience will be offered down the line as part of a hotel package. Any takers?
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Were you one of the lucky ones to
wait in a line forever pick up an iPhone 6 last week? Congrats! You've now got a bendable phone in your pocket. Er, we mean, you can totally get bonus hotel rewards from The Grand Hyatt New York.
The hotel is offering iPhone 6 users complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport points, although there are a few catches. First, you have to actually stay at the Grand Hyatt New York with your new phone. Then, upon check-out, show the front desk that you posted a photo of your hotel stay somewhere on social media from your iPhone 6. You have to have tagged the hotel in the photo in some way too.
If all looks well, then 600 complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport points will be dropped into your account. If you don't have an account, the hotel will help you set one up. That's pretty cool, you know, if you were already planning on staying at the hotel.
The offer is available through October 16, 2014. Rates at the hotel start at $299 a night next weekend.
[Photos: Grand Hyatt New York/Facebook and Apple]
Fall is around the corner for London: the air is crisp and leaves have started to color. Sofitel St. James is using the change of seasons to make sure you eat your vegetables (better be healthy for when temperatures inevitably drop), drink some of them (because anything goes into cocktails these days) and while you’re at it, look at some outsized, shiny sculpture versions by French artist Patrick Laroche too.
Above is a shot from the hotel’s lobby off of Waterloo Place, around which you’ll find a number of Laroche’s art displayed as part of an exhibit called, as expected, “Vegetables”. Brightly colored and very shiny, they are at the hotel until the end of October.