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The opening of 1 Hotel South Beach has been a very long time coming.
The luxury 1 Hotels brand, with its eco-friendly focus, was first announced in 2006 by Starwood Capital Group, led by Barry Sternlicht, the man largely credited with bringing boutique hotel experiences to the masses with W Hotels.
But 1 Hotels was quickly put on hold once the economic crisis hit in 2008. (As evidenced by this hole in the ground.)
Then nearly two years ago, word came that 1 Hotels would be resurrected, with their first property opening in South Beach, inside the old Gansevoort South Beach which was formerly the Roney Palace, an apartment building (many apartments still remain, although they are separate from the hotel.)
Today, after extensive, estimated $270 million renovation (not including the $230 million spent to buy the property), 1 Hotel South Beach is officially up and running, with the second 1 Hotel-- 1 Hotel Central Park--not that far behind (It's expected opening date is now mid-June.)
We were able to tour 1 Hotel South Beach, and we were wowed by the transformation from the affected Gansevoort days. 1 Hotels has filled all the empty and wasted space throughout the building with meaningful design. For instance, the guest rooms feature not just a bed, a desk and a chair, but rather a bed upon a raised platform, along with a cozy seating nook facing out the balcony, and a long (reclaimed) wood desk that runs the length of the room. The bathroom is a good-size, with a generous shower. Yes, it's peek-a-boo but there is a curtain to close in case you're shy.
You'll also notice these "filled in" spaces in the lobby where comfy white couches and armchairs take up much of the front area.
Yet while the luxury element of 1 Hotels is easy to distinguish thanks to their $700 a night room rate, there are more than a few eco-friendly initiatives you may not realize during a stay or even a visit. (This too is by design as the hotel wants to be sustainable without being preachy.)
We were seriously astounded by some of these practices, which go beyond just being LEED certified. You may have heard of small independent hotels doing some of them, but not in a beachfront hotel with 426 guest rooms, four pools, five F&B outlets, a rooftop pool and a spa and fitness center.
Allow us to list the ways.
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We've been known to obsessively collect hotel key cards from our stays but at the just-opened 1 Hotel South Beach (formerly the Gansevoort South Beach), we will, begrudgingly, give back their incredible room key.
Just slightly bigger than a silver dollar coin, the key card is made out of recycled wood. But that's not all. It's equipped with RFID, so you simply wave it in front of the door and boom, your room is unlocked. However, on the backside of the key it says, "Recycle Everything", a gentle encouragement from the hotel to guests, to send the key back so that it can be reused.
This key and its message are just one of many eco-initiatives that 1 Hotels have created not just for the South Beach property but for the upcoming 1 Hotels in Central Park and Brooklyn as well.
Tomorrow, we'll have more on those initiatives, the likes of which we've never heard being implemented in a hotel of this size before. But for now, we'll tease you with a shot of the guest room. It's pretty AND it's good for you.
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: If you sign up for 1 Hotels email list, you'll get 11 percent off bookings for 11 years. This is FOR REAL. The deal ends on April 2, 2015 at 10:22:22pm. So enter your email soon!
We're only a few weeks away from the opening of the very first 1 Hotels and the eco-luxury hotel brand is starting to reveal a bit about themselves on Instagram. Check out this little takeaway "seed bag" the 1 Hotel South Beach is planning on giving to guests.
As we told you a few months ago, the hotel give guests a "goodie bag" on arrival filled with healthy snacks. So perhaps the seed bomb is the takeaway gift. Either way, we approve. It's always the little freebies, er, touches that keep us coming back.
The former Roney Plaza/Gansevoort South/The Perry Hotel in Miami is almost finished with its $100 million renovation to turn into the naturally glam 1 Hotel South Beach, but you can reserve a room today for stays starting on March 1.
Not surprisingly for a luxury hotel in season in Miami Beach, the rooms are ridiculously expensive, with a king room going for $665 a night. Want a balcony with your room? That will be $712 a night. Prefer an ocean view? That will be $855 a night.
But we have to admit, these are some seriously good-looking rooms. Gone is the high-sheen of The Gansevoort and in its place is a eco-luxe look with reclaimed wood on the walls, natural poured concrete in the floors, overstuffed pillow on the couches, and peekaboo bathrooms. Don't forget, Chef Tom Colicchio is opening his restaurant downstairs while upstairs is a pool deck with similarly eco-luxe style cabanas and seating.
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Well, lookie here. Luxury eco-hotel brand, 1 Hotels has unveiled a new website for the 1 Hotel Central Park AND they are even taking reservations for March 2015. (We had a feeling that a fall opening wasn't going to happen.)
A tipster let us know about the new website for 1 Hotel Central Park, and it is rather cool. Not only is the site full of details and gorgeous photos, but it's incredible easy, and pleasant, to navigate, dropping in hotel information with city information and general eco-conscious lifestyle information. We also like how the room categories are listed with starting rates attached. Speaking of rooms, here is how the Alcove Queen room is described:
Reclaimed wood, raw materials, painted brick walls and accents of blackened steel and copper surround a plush, queen-sized bed in the heart of the city, complete with a generous closet for your belongings.
Other room categories are Alcove Kings, and Studio, City and Park rooms with king beds. (The latter two denote the type of view.) There's a handful of rooms with two beds too.
Amenities in the guest rooms include a Keesta mattress, a triple filtered water system, complimentary Oogave Natural sodas in the minibar, yoga mat, in-room coffee and tea, and exclusive, organic 1 Hotels toiletries.
There's also a goodie bag given on arrival filled with healthy snacks and each room has a floor-to-ceiling slot of living plants so you're greeted with a "fresh boost" every time you walk in the door. Smells, er, sounds wonderful!
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1 Hotels are getting closer to opening their first-ever hotel but not close enough. We swung by the site for the upcoming 1 Hotel Central Park at the corner of 58th and 6th Avenue and well, things are coming along but not as fast as we'd like.
Above is how the property looked last week. Now, here's how it looked last August.
It looks like most of the exterior work is complete but lord knows what's on the inside. And while the 1 Hotels & Home brand has lined up their superstar chefs, they haven't announced any opening dates other than Fall 2014.
But if we had to guess, we'd say 1 Hotel Central Park is at least a few more months away from opening. Know any differently? Tip us off.
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We still have to pinch ourselves to believe that 1 Hotels are really real and are really happening.
The eco-friendly luxury hotel brand that quickly launched and quickly disappeared, thanks to the fallout from the economic recession, is now hard at work at completing its three hotels in New York (near Central Park), Brooklyn (near the bridge) and in Miami (in South Beach.)
And they've just added a trio of superstar chefs to do the hotels' farm-to-table restaurants.
Jonathan Waxman, Tom Colicchio and Seamus Mullen will do the restaurants for 1 Hotels Central Park, Miami and Brooklyn, respectively. The announcement was brief, only mentioning that the chefs would "celebrate nature in both design and food" and that all restaurants would use local purveyors. Also, the restaurants will all be totally different from each other (as we would hope.)
Things have finally begun to move forward with 1 Hotels who are planning open the 1 Hotel Central Park in the spring of next year. 1 Hotels are also working on properties in South Beach and Brooklyn. And now we've learned that the brand has changed their name ever so slightly to 1 Hotel & Home.
Tipster Andrew alerted us to the moniker change-up and pointed us to the 1 Hotels website for the proof. Indeed, 1 Hotels is going by 1 Hotel & Home with the tagline, 100% Natural, which is no doubt a reference to the hotel brand's green and sustainable practices. Here's who some1 describes it:
Once in a while a brand comes along that does what’s right and makes you feel good. We’re creating a new place that brings the sounds and textures of nature inside and engages the community outside. A place to experience the sensual goodness that comes from the use of reclaimed materials, the freshest organic ingredients and a considered way of doing things. A place to relax, connect and celebrate something that has never been done before.
"A place to experience sensual goodness." That's a tall order for any hotel brand, especially one that is hoping to use reclaimed materials and organic ingredients in an urban setting. But we're excited to see how 1 Hotels, er 1 Hotel & Home pulls it off.
[Screengrab: 1 Hotels]
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We did say we knew better when we had a first look at the new The 1 Hotel Central Park on 58th and Sixth Avenue last month: that projected fall construction finishing date was just a wee bit optimistic.
We stopped by the other day to check on progress and the site has a new rendering up and an updated estimated completion date of spring 2014.
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We already knew that 1 Hotels, the luxury but eco-friendly hotel brand created by former Starwooder, Barry Sternlicht, had been resurrected from the ashes of the 2008 economic collapse with plans to open 1 Hotels in Brooklyn and South Beach. But because we're so jaded about 1 Hotels actually coming to life (remember this hole in the ground in Seattle), we kinda skipped over the mention of another 1 Hotel ---The 1 Hotel Central Park on 58th and Sixth Avenue, just one block from the park.
Yet there it is and it is rising fast with plans to be finished in the fall of this year. Of course, we know better. This is New York and hotels are almost always delayed. However, it is rather exciting to see 1 Hotels making some real progress.
Detes are scant on the project (which is being built out of a former office building) but it will have the 1 Hotel brand signature amenities such as organic sheets, fresh ingredients, sounds and smells of nature and an overall "good" feeling about your hotel stay.
Another pic of construction is after the jump.
It's officially off-season in Miami and that means the Miami Hotel Mambo is heating up. In this week's number, Miami man Gregg Rory Holland told us that The Perry South Beach which once upon a time not too long ago used to be known as The Gansevoort has closed down for a $100 million renovation.
That's big news in itself. But what's even bigger about it is that the hotel will reopen as a 1 Hotels and Residences from Barry Sternlicht. This will be the first 1 Hotel to open and it will have 417 hotel rooms and 163 residential units.
For the hotel noobz out there, Sternlicht introduced his luxury 1 Hotels concept back in 2006. But the brand was whacked down by the economic fallout of 2008. It took a while but there have been encouraging signs of life again, with 1 Hotels and its sister luxury brand, Baccarat Hotels, planning to open five new hotels by 2015--two of which will be in NYC.
And now the 1 Hotel South Beach is poised to open in 2014.
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Quick history lesson: in 2006, we first learned about 1 Hotels, a newly conceived brand by Barry Sternlicht, head of Starwood Capital (which is different from Starwood Hotels, though Barry was a former exec at Starwood, and founded the W brand). Locations were planned for Seattle, New York, Washington DC, Scottsdale, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Fort Lauderdale. Lots of hype was made. The NY Times wrote about it.
Then, bad things happened to the economy, Sternlicht's grand visions unravelled like a sweater caught on barbed wire, and pretty much all of the projects sadly collapsed.
Fast forward to last night, when we received an email from Starwood Capital officially announcing the revival of both brands (1 Hotels and Baccarat Hotels). And not just that: a new timeline has been put in place to open five properties over the next two years.