· Langham Place New York Is Happening: The Setai Fifth Avenue will officially become the Langham Place, New York next month after a major rebranding that was first announced back in October. No renovations or remodeling or anything (and really—what could you possibly change about this place?), just a name change. In addition to a new temporary website, the hotel is showing rates of $695/night for the month of April, which is when the change will occur.
· The Bronx, Not Brooklyn, Is Where It's At: A NY Times article reports on a 117,200 sq ft mansion, built in 1924, along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, NY, that has been converted into a 10-room upscale hotel with rooms going for around $130-$250/night. Apparently, Marriott was at one point interested in purchasing the property, but no matter: they've still got a Residence Inn opening in the borough next year. And that's on top of another, separate boutique hotel, converted from an old opera house, that's set to open next month. The point of the Times article is that the Bronx is getting its groove back, and we say, it's about time!
· The Shelborne Is Reborn As A Wyndham: Back in December, we heard rumblings about Miami's famed Shelborne Hotel being taken over by Wyndham. When we asked the parent company (Menin Hotels) for a confirmation, they flat out denied it, but now it looks like the change has indeed taken place. According to our tipster, Wyndham officially took over as management of the Shelborne, (with new staff email addresses and all!) as of Feb 1, though Menin remains as the owner.
· A Four Seasons In...Madrid?: We told you last month which new hotels to get really psyched about. Well here's another, though it won't be opening for another four years: Four Seasons Madrid was announced just yesterday, marking the company's first venture into Spain. The 215-room hotel will be comprised of a series of heritage buildings in the Canalejas complex, next to the Puerta del Sol, and will also neighbor a set of Four Seasons luxury residences and a shopping center. Construction is set to begin at the end of 2013.
[Photo: Radisson Plaza Warwick Philadelphia]