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AC Hotels by Marriott are working towards opening their first hotel in New Orleans in October, followed by South Beach, and Kansas City with JFK Airport and Chicago on the (tentative) horizon as well. And now, AC will open in Asheville, North Carolina too.
According to the Citizen-Times newspaper, design review approval was given to the owners of the BB&T building's parking garage. The garage will be razed and in its place a nine-story hotel--with 132 guest rooms, a restaurant and a bar--will be constructed.
Yay, exciting and that jazz. But what's also interesting, is that the BB&T building itself will be turned into an upscale, boutique hotel topped with six floors of condos. Naturally, we assume this brand has to be a Marriott-branded hotel as well. And if we had to place our bets, we'd put our money on a Renaissance Hotel which is definitely Marriott's boutique brand, after Edition of course. But the condo element has us a bit thrown off. So...what will it be? We're gonna go with Renaissance but only time, and maybe a loose-lipped developer or designer, will tell. Hint, hint.
[Rendering via AC Hotels]
It's been a while since we last checked in on the U.S. development plans for AC Hotels by Marriott but boy, are we glad we did. That's because we've discovered that the first AC Hotel for the U.S. won't be opening in Miami Beach.
Instead, Antonio Catalan's design forward boutique hotel concept will open inside the former Cotton Exchange Building in New Orleans in October. Miami Beach will follow in late 2014/early 2015 as will Kansas City.
So now, let's take a closer look at what to expect for the AC in NOLA. Looking at the hotel's website, there isn't much to go on from a visual standpoint. We've got a shot of the exterior of the building--a National Historic Landmark built in 1871, as well as a photo of the lobby, the AC Kitchen restaurant, the bar and the suave AC Lounge area, where all the action should be happening.
We're loving the glass bar that extends from the wall to the ceiling but we're also anxious to see a guest room too. Unfortunately, there aren't any shots of those but we do know that free WiFi will be found throughout the property.
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Millennials at work. And probably a little bit of play. Or at least some tweeting.
How do you solve a problem like Millennials? Well, if you're a hotel company, the answer is "easy"--simply create an entirely new hotel brand for this up and coming, creative class of tech-toting, over-sharing, individuals. Here's a list of new hotel brands that have opened or will open in the coming years aimed at Millennials. These hotels will put a ton of emphasis on social spaces and technology (all have free WiFi) as well as design (carefully curated yet extremely functional.)
But servicing Millennials isn't limited to the hotels that are on this list. Several older brands have been rejiggering their brand standards to cater to Millennials like Courtyard By Marriott with their new Next Gen Rooms. So expect most hotels in the future to be copying some of these new offerings.
Except the old-ass, old-school luxury hotels, that is. It doesn't matter what year you were born, there comes a time in your life when you'd rather just sit in a quiet lounge sipping on some fine wine while LiteFM plays overhead.
The spin-off brand from Thompson Hotels (and parent company, Commune Hotels) should open sometime next year in 2015. Tommies guestrooms will be space-efficient “crash pads” rather than tricked-out hotel rooms with emphasis being given to the communal spaces like the Reading Rooms which will have curated programming and the casual dining experiences, like the gourmet “grab and go” marketplace. Check-in will be done via tablets but given Tommie’s “help yourself” attitude we wouldn’t be surprised if Tommie employed a self check-in process.
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Last week, a tipster pointed us to a new location for AC Hotel by Marriott, the Spanish hotel brand that Marriott is now importing into the U.S. But unlike the other announced locations of Miami Beach and Chicago, this one has us a little, well, underwhelmed--AC Hotels By Marriott JFK Airport.
The 450-room airport hotel will open sometime in 2016, according to property manager, New Castle Hotels and Resorts. This hotel will actually be one of 16 AC Hotels by Marriott under contract (and totaling 3,215 rooms) around the globe. Need a refresher on what the AC By Marriott brand is all about? Go here.
Fortunately, AC won't be sticking to U.S. airports. The Dallas News reports that the developer NewcrestImage, LLC is working on bringing an AC Hotel By Marriott to historic downtown New Orleans. Now, that has us excited.
Marriott is also hard at work on its other hotel brand for Millennials--Moxy Hotels. The first one will open in Milan in August with more properties expected in six other European markets for 2015. In 10 years, Moxy hopes to have 150 contemporary designed hotels with affordable prices. Ciao Bella!
[Photo: AC Hotels By Marriott Nice]
When it comes to hotel rooms, is Chicago maybe, possibly, likely overbuilding? Whatever, who cares?! Clearly, hotels don't. On the heels of news about a few new Hyatts coming to town, we've not got word that Marriott's AC Hotels brand is set to open in the popular River North neighborhood.
It was only last June that Marriott announced that it was importing its AC Hotels brand from Europe into the U.S., starting with Miami. Now Chi-town will get a piece of the Spanish brand. According to Crain's Chicago, the AC will open in the existing Four Points by Sheraton hotel at 630 N. Rush Street. The hotel will have 217 rooms and all the design elements of an AC hotel, namely lots of cool, design-forward, public spaces for the millennial guests to socialize in. Oh and free WiFi, too.
No word on when the conversion will happen but we'll guess sometime after Miami opens, so probably. 2015.
[Photo: AC Hotels by Marriott/Google Street View]
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Earlier this summer we were crazy excited about Marriott's plans to import their Spanish design hotel collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, into the U.S. The stateside version of the brand plans to keep its design-forward integrity as well as remain affordable. Oh and have free WiFi too. (Yes, a Marriott hotel brand with totally free WiFi is happening.)
Now the Miami Herald reports that the first hotel will open in Miami Beach. Claro.
Looking at the developer's Robert Finvarb Companies website, the address for the 150-room hotel is listed as 2912 Collins Avenue which puts it right across the street from the Edition Miami Beach, opening sometime next year. Interestingly, this developer is the same one behind the new Hyatt South Beach in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue. (More to come on that soon.)
While detes are scant on the developer's site, you can expect the following from the hotel:
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· OMNI HOTELS "SUMMER PASSPORT" DEALS: Omni Hotels has just launched their new "Summer Passport" deals which give 15 percent off rates at all their hotels. If you're a member of the Omni Select Guest program, you'll get up to 25 percent off room rates. The program is free to join so we say sign-up and then book your summer vacay. The deal is good from June 3-August 25 but there is limited availability and blackout dates do apply, depending on the hotel.
· W NEW YORK FOR UNDER $200 A NIGHT: We thought finding a hotel room in NYC for under $200 was damn near impossible. Yet we stumbled across this great deal on Expedia for the W New York on Lexington for June 14-17 for just $187 a night. Clearly, midtown on a weekend in the summer is the way to go if you want a hotel deal. Yes, it's in a small aka "Cozy" room and you will have to pay $15 and up for WiFi but still, it's well under $200 a night.
· TEACHERS, TREAT YOURSELF AT THE SAGAMORE IN MIAMI BEACH: Sagamore, The Art Hotel, in Miami Beach is offering teachers 20 percent off room rates with their "Teachers and Educators" package which is available through September 30. The deal also includes free WiFi. Rates start at as low as $175 a night. Teachers must show their teacher ID card upon check-in in order to get discount. The offer is also based upon availability and subject to blackout dates.
· EXPERIENCE AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT BEFORE THEY COME TO THE STATES: Heading to Europe? Specifically Spain, Italy, Portugal or France? You can stay at an AC Hotel by Marriott for 15 percent less if you book within two weeks of your stay. That way, when AC Hotels open here in the U.S., you can tell everyone you were an "early adopter" of the brand.
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Marriott Hotels announced today that they would begin importing their stylish European select service brand, AC Hotels by Marriott into the U.S. and the rest of the Americas, specifically targeting the Generation X and Y travelers aka The Millennials by offering design-forward public spaces and guestrooms at affordable prices. Oh yeah, and with free WiFi too.
Marriott first acquired the Madrid-based AC Hotels from its namesake and designer, Antonio Catalan, back in 2010. Marriott then rebranded the collection as AC Hotels by Marriott and have since grown the collection to about 80 hotels across Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.
The American incarnation of AC Hotels by Marriott will stay true to Catalan's design aesthetic which Brian King, global brand officer for Marriott's endorsed brands, described as "sleek sophistication" with open metal closets and an unusual bath experience. The decor will be a tone-on-tone palette of warm greys and soft charcoal and which King likened to a "beautiful, nicely tailored, gray business suit with an interesting tie." While the design may have a European sensibility, guestrooms will include more American amenities such as full-sized beds, hard-surfaced flooring and lots of outlets and USB ports.
Yet the heart of all AC Hotels will be found in the lobby downstairs.
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The AC Vilamari Hotel in Barcelona.
This brand, sprung from the loins of AC Hotels headed by Antonio Catalan who will remain on board, will aggressively go after the business travel and urban-leisure markets in Europe, particularly Spain, and Latin America.
“AC by Marriott” will incorporate the concept and business model of AC Hotels’ urban-style four-star hotel product, characterized by a unique blend of quality, comfort, design and technology, with Marriott International’s global systems, distribution, and sales platforms, particularly Marriott Rewards, one of the world’s largest hospitality loyalty programs with 33 million members.
Yup, that's right. Guests staying at AC By Marriott will be able to tap into the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, earning and using points during their stays.