·Hudson Finally Springs For A Renovation: Perhaps most exciting is a news item we received several weeks ago from Morgans Hotel Group but somehow skipped over until now: the monstrously large Hudson Hotel, whose rooms we have long criticized for being too small, too dark, too...meh, has finally completed renovations on its 836 rooms. Yup! Highlights from the refreshed rooms include removal of all "popcorn" ceilings in the rooms, new Venetian blinds, illuminated bathroom mirrors, new storage options and new art work displayed in light boxes. Seems as though they've tackled the "too dark" problem head-on—the size issue, well, that remains to be seen.
·The Caterpillar Helmsley Is Now A Butterfly Westin: ...or something like that. As we reported back in February, the Helmsley New York was set to undergo a $65 million renovation that would eventually turn it into a Westin. Well, the work is finished, and the new Westin New York Grand Central—with refreshed 774 rooms, 12,000 sq ft of meeting space, and fitness studio—has finally emerged. Welcome to the world, Westin NY!
·The Hotel Chandler Gets Touched Up: In other renovation news, the 138-room Hotel Chandler was also recently on the receiving end of some major cosmetic work—specifically, a $10 million renovation that focused on a new guest room design, upgraded lobby and meeting spaces, and a new restaurant. The latter two won't actually be finished until earl 2013 (these things take time!), but in the meantime, you can check out new features in the rooms like the "calming neutral palette with pops of blue," bay windows, cherry wood armoires, tufted headboards and rainfall showerheads.
One feature of the new "Chandler Lounge" that caught our eye were the "18th century clock hands." Now, are we to believe they are attached to an actual clock? Or did they just add in the clock hands as a conversation piece? Mysterious...
Well, you can bet we'll be heading into these newly-refurbished hotels over the next few weeks and reporting back on all the fancy changes—from the new color of paint on the walls to the mystifying standalone clock hands. Stay tuned!
[Photo: Setai Fifth Avenue]