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Will this be the Hudson London?
If you thought London would be taking a break when it comes to hotel openings after a rather frenetic Olympic year, think again: the next few years look to be filled with all sorts of exciting stuff to keep us happy. We’re listing the hotels we have our eyes on for you below, and stay tuned as we will be taking you inside when we can.
- A rebirth rather than a brand new hotel, the former St. John Hotel became One Leicester Street on May 1, including a refurbished restaurant and outdoor terrace
- Over in King’s Cross, the Great Northern Hotel also got a new a lease on life as part of the revitalization of the entire station, with sleeper compartment-inspired rooms called Couchettes
- South Kensington got a new boutique hotel contender this month in the form of the 99-room Xenia Hotel on Cromwell Road, not far from the Ampersand we showed you last year
- Affordable-chic brand base2stay is re-branding itself as Nadler Hotels, and its flagship The Nadler Soho will open on June 1, a stone’s throw from the likes of Dean Street Townhouse and Firmdale’s the Soho Hotel
- This isn't really a new hotel but it is newsworthy--The Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park has now been downgraded to just the Hilton London Syon Park. A Hilton Worldwide spokesperson told Business Insider that, "Having operated the property since March 2011, we've mutually agreed with our owner that the new positioning will be the best fit for the local market."
2013 is a year full of hotel openings (we have a handy Master List for you), and it’s marked in our calendar as the possible time Andre Balazs pulls the curtain from his latest venture, the expected Mercer London.
To find out whether this year is likely to happen, we headed over to the fire station on Chiltern Street in Marylebone this past weekend to look at the construction progress, and things are moving on, if still far from being finished.
But as we were reading through the list of room service, minibar and cigarette charges, we did wonder how this notoriously private hotel--they won't allow any publication to take pictures inside the hotel ever--let this happen. We assumed maybe the hotel was finally fed up with Lohan and leaked the documents to embarrass her.
We also considered the more likely possibility that TMZ greased someone who works in the hotel's back office. But according to the Daily Mail, the hotel (which is owned and run by hotelier Andre Balazs) is absolutely horrified the letters were released and they actually blame someone in Lohan's entourage.
The other day we gave you a sneak peek at the hotel in London that hottie hotelier Andre Balazs has been working on but now we've got another bit of info from a well-connected tipster--it's going to become an outpost of AB's legendary Mercer Hotel in New York. Whee!
This is actually what we suspected would happen way back in December when we found out the old fire station on Marylebone Place would not be a Standard. And considering our man on the street in London said the building was small, we thought it would be prime for a Mercer outpost as the original Mercer is quite an intimate place to stay. In fact, our exact words were:
Back then our spy told us the building was not very big and that if indeed AB turns it into a hotel, it would be a very small one. We agreed it was too small for a Standard outpost but it might be a perfect spot for another sort of Mercer Hotel.
We found it almost hard to believe when we realised it was as long ago as October 2010 when we first took pictures of the rumoured site of André Balazs' new London hotel. With very little detail available at the time, we wondered what the hotelier had in mind for this old fire station close to Marylebone High Street, not far north of Oxford Street.
Then in December of last year, we learned this was not going to be a Standard Hotel, but a "higher price-point in the ABP portfolio", and that it would not open until 2013.
Having passed by the hotel this week to check out for ourselves how far things have come along, we'd say that next year wouldn't surprise us; from the looks of the major construction going on at the moment, the property still has some way to come. Yet that didn't stop us from finding out what it will look like when completed.
The Chateau Marmont has had its share in the spotlight, most recently in the Sofia Coppola-helmed flick Somewhere. But now the West Hollywood hotel will have its own starring role in a new miniseries from Office star John Krasinski and Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin, Deadline Hollywood reported.
The duo will executive produce the hotel-set HBO show with hotelier Andre Balazs and his daughter Alessandra. (Aha! So this is that TV show Andre was working on.) It will be based off the book Life at the Marmont by former hotel co-owner Raymond R. Sarlot and Fred Basten.
Movie Set Hotels / Sofia Coppola / West Hollywood Hotels / Hotel News / AB Hotels / Stephen Dorff / → All Tags
The critics so far have loved Sofia Coppola's latest movie, Somewhere, which takes place (as every hotel geek already knows) in the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. And now, we can finally go see it for ourselves.
The movie was released on Wednesday in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington and we just happen to be in one of those cities right now. The movie will have a wider national release in January.
In case you haven't read our previous stories on the movie, this is what it's about:
Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a bad-boy A-List actor stumbling through a life of excess while living at Hollywood’s legendary Chateau Marmont Hotel. His days are a haze of drinks, girls, fast cars and fawning fans. Cocooned in this celebrity-induced artificial world, Johnny has lost all sense of his true self. Until, that is, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) unexpectedly shows up and unwittingly begins to anchor him.
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Well, OK, it was director Sofia Coppola who snagged the Golden Lion for Best Film--but the real star of that film, Somewhere, is the West Hollywood celeb haunt. (Sorry, Dorffy.)
Coppola said that the award would help the film's chances once it is released in December--and we're betting that the movie will also make the Chateau's decadent allure even more irresistible.
As Jennifer Aniston can attest, old hotel habits die hard. Lindsay Lohan has only been out of rehab less than a week but she's already making her way around town. And her first hotel stop out of rehab? The Chateau Marmont of course. At 11pm at night. Radar Online reports:
Lindsay drove to hotel in a brand new $150,000 Maserati Gran Turismo, with her friend Eilat Anschel arriving there at about 11 pm. They stayed for just over two hours, hanging out in the lounge with other friends.
Movie Set Hotels / Sofia Coppola / Stephen Dorff / West Hollywood Hotels / AB Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
These days it's impossible to flip through the gamut of television channels fed in by eager cable providers without spotting a hotel as the setting for a reality show adventure or a competition/contest or even a highly sought-after news interview (Remember Rihanna at GPH?). Heck, even Boomer Esiason and the Geico Caveman were shilling for Westin Hotels during the Super Bowl Pre-Game show.
Yet when it comes to true hotel stardom, the big screen still rules. Case in point: Hilton Hotels got a huge lift from being prominently featured in George Clooney's Oscar-nominated pic, Up in the Air. The same goes for any hotel featured in the Sex and the City movies. And the entire Couples Retreat movie was shot on-location at the St. Regis Bora Bora. But as usual, we're more interested in the indie scene.
Director Sofia Coppola's first big hit, Lost in Translation, prominently featured the Park Hyatt Tokyo and in her soon-to-be-released film, Somewhere, the legendary Chateau Marmont has a starring role.
There's a lot to love at Chateau Marmont, where the starlets are plentiful and the security practically fortress-like: a hotel bar you actually want to visit, and elaborate dishware for lattes that we once saw Gael Garcia Bernal ogling in person, for instance.
When you're shelling out the kind of cash that le Chateau requires for its doting service (and, oh, how they dote on their famous friends), unsolicited perks are common—more than your simple chocolate on the pillow at turndown, that's certain.
Andre Balazs's Sunset Beach on Long Island will open for the season on May 15th. But there are two things you should know before we continue: number one, Andre Balazs has a property on Long Island (Shelter Island, actually). Number two: not many of us are aware of this because, as we like to say, it's kinda his deep, dark secret. Last we checked, we had some outdated rooms, dirty linens, and decidely un-Balazs-y decor.
But who knows: that was two seasons ago in '07, and maybe the place has been spiffed up since then.
Our point here is that the place with its 20 rooms will open up on Friday, and rates are slightly lower than last year's seasonal rates. This year, you can get a room at $220 during the week and $420 on the weekends; last year's were $245 on weeknights and $420 on weekends.
Also, this year the hotel's restaurant is serving boatside from Sunset Beach's very own dingy. And oh, the wine is already on ice for you: Andre's launched his private-label Rose for the season. Yes, really.
[Photo: Lucifer Bumps]