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Just a few weeks ago, a (not-so) little slice of Chicago swung open its doors to show the entire city how cool a vintage athletic facility-turned-hotel can be. Housed in a pretty ornate building on South Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Athletic Association calls upon the 120- year history of being the place to swim, play basketball, fence or catch a few laps on the running track as well as making for one of the neatest hotels we've checked out.
We had an opportunity to explore the finished product of the massive project of transforming this landmark into a lifestyle hotel that might even attract the folks that used its facilities decade before.
The pool at Alila Manggis, Bali
Not so eagle-eyed readers will have noted in recent weeks that HotelChatter has a bit of a crush on Alila, the small chain which does a rather fine job at subtle, aware-of-their-location hotels and resorts around Asia and the Middle East.
Well, Alila isn’t quite so small anymore – it’s just been swallowed up by, and amalgamated with, Commune Hotels & Resorts.
Hotel News Briefs / Four Seasons Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Commune Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Vīb Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world, from shiny new things in Paris to reservations in Milan and new global partnerships.
· Ritz-Carlton Chicago to Become a Proper Ritz-Carlton: There has been a lot of changes to the Four Seasons portfolio lately and here comes another one--The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, which despite its name, has been a Four Seasons property for quite some time--will drop all association with Four Seasons and become a real deal Ritz-Carlton on August 1. A FlyerTalk member posted this message on the board:
"On July 31, 2015, Four Seasons will be concluding its management of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel). Effective August 1, 2015, the Hotel will become a full participant in the Ritz-Carlton system. This means that the Hotel will no longer be a Ritz-Carlton in name only, but it will be a part of the Ritz-Carlton family of hotels."
Now the hotel will no longer have to correct guests when they get excited about staying at a Ritz-Carlton. Fortunately, those lake views won't change.
· The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Has At Last Declared Independence: After experiencing a rebirth under Jason Pomeranc's Thompson Hotels before becoming a Commune Hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt is striking out on its own again. The nearly 90-year-old hotel announced that "owners have once again taken over the management reigns, while maintaining a consulting agreement with Commune Hotels & Resorts." There were whispers two years ago that the Roosevelt wanted to go its own way so this looks like a nice a little compromise. The hotel won't be completely independent though as it is now a part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
Hotel Openings / Thompson Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Resort Fees / Hotel News / Commune Hotels / → All Tags
Today, the news has been made official, at least for Thompson in Cabo San Lucas, with reservations open for June 13 and beyond.
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel is located along Monuments Beach, a secluded setting popular amongst surfers. That in itself is pretty special as the water's edge at most beachfront hotels in Cabo are too rough for swimming. The location also offers great views of the iconic Arch in Cabo, which the hotel says can be seen from all 161 rooms, especially since all have private terraces. Or you can gaze at the Baja landscape from the hotel's rooftop lounge and garden.
About the rooms, The Cape will offer one, two, and three-bedroom guestrooms, along with bi-level suites with private rooftops. Certain rooms will also have hanging utdoor daybeds and plunge pools.
The design was headed up by Mexican architect Javier Sanchez of JSa Arquitectura, in collaboration with Arquitectura de Interiores. Here's a bit on the vibe for The Cape, which is billed as "mid-century modern aesthetic with a vibrant 1960s Mexico-meets-Southern California."
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You guys. Omg. tommie hotels, the eagerly anticipated millennial hotel brand from Commune Hotels, finally have a real deal hotel website up, complete with room photos of tommie Hudson Square, amenity descriptions and a working reservations system.
The website is currently taking reservations for October 1 starting at $245.67 a night, although the hotel could open earlier since "Summer 2015" was the last official word. But let's put the opening date specifics aside for a moment and focus on what's inside the hotel.
To show off what they are all about, tommie has the ultimate millennial video , which shows a millennial couple entering the room and doing a quick fall-onto-the-bed-together move. Then the dude, who has in-between beard growth and enviable hair pulled back into a low but short ponytail sits on the bed and strums a guitar while his hot girlfriend captures the results of her vision board on her iPhone. Then the two of them put on their jackets (he: a smart casual suit jacket; she: a to-die-for leather biker jacket) and head out the door. Not before checking themselves out in the mirror, though. Really, all that's missing is a selfie photo shoot.
After a bunch of clicking, you'll finally get to the room amenities and room descriptions for the tommie Hudson Square property, although we suspect the features will be present in other tommie hotels, especially the one that's planned for NYC's NoMad nabe.
Here's what you can expect in the room at tommie:
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The historic Venetian Gothic tower, first built in 1893, has been under major restoration and renovation for the past two years We first profiled the plans for the building back in 2013 when contributor Nina K. Hahn peeked at what Harstone Plunkard Architecture and Roman and Williams had in mind for the place, as well as snapping what the spot looked like before it went under the knife.
Yet throughout the renovation process, the teams have kept much of the building’s 19th architectural elements such as the bas-relief woodcarvings on the fireplaces, stained glass windows and marble staircases.
Keep reading for a look at how the building used to be and for a sneak peek at the all-new guest rooms!
Joie de Vivre Hotels is the latest hotel brand to debut a new, friendlier website that goes way beyond looking at room photos and making a reservation.
Instead of being a cold-hearted point of transaction, JDV's new site wants to take you on a "joy ride" with their "Explore" tool which seeks to match up an ideal hotel for you based on where you want to go and what your interests are. (This is pretty much Yvette, JDV's friendly matchmaker, for the millennial generation.)
Speaking of millennials, the site has "enriched social integrations", meaning Instagram feeds show up, and there's even a new Joy Ride" travel blog, chronicling all aspects of life in cities where JDV hotels can be found.
The design, done by NYC-based digital advertising and marketing agency, Sideways, is top-notch and the site is also "optimized for all devices," meaning it's easy to read from your phone and tablet. But it's not exactly the high-stakes adventure you think of when you hear the words "joy ride." That said, the photos are big and pretty so you can see up close what's in a room. And that's still the most important function we want from a hotel's website.
The Miami hotel scene shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and now there's another big name in boutique to add into the mix--Thompson Miami Beach.
Thompson, under its former owners, tried to make the Hotel Victor their original Miami hotspot but the brand's new owners, Commune Hotels and Resorts decided to attach themselves to a different project.
Located at 4041 Collins Avenue in a former cone building, close-ish to the raging hotspot that is the Fontainbleau, the Thompson Hotel will have 380 hotel rooms featuring "beach-inspired accommodations and mid-century, international resort style." Designer Martin Brudnizki is in charge of the design which will (of course) preserve the building's Art Deco flair and 1950s architecture.
The Thompson will also have two pools, a small spa, three bars and a 267-seat "classic brasserie" from James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Miami native Michelle Bernstein.
Downtown NYC Hotels / Hotel Hype / Financial District Hotels / Commune Hotels / Thompson Hotels / → All Tags
It's been two years since we last checked in on the progress at 5 Beekman Street, an old, historic office building downtown that was revealed to have incredible glass roof over its atrium, but according to the NY Times article, the hotel will now open in summer 2015.
Everything else at the hotel is coming along as scheduled. The owners snapped up an adjacent parcel next door to 5 Beekman to build more hotel rooms as well as condos. The whole shebang will have 287 hotel rooms spread out over the two buildings, and 68 residences in the new building which will also house two restaurants and a lounge on its ground floor. The hotel will be called The Beekman Hotel and it will be operated by Commune Hotels under the Thompson Hotels brand.
Some cool design features of the historic building that The Beekman will keep include "gold brackets shaped like dragons, metal grilles patterned with leaves, and even some walls with peeling paint...."
We know what you're thinking, how very "Ace" of them. So it's no surprise that one of the companies developing the Beekman also helped developed the Ace and The Noman.
There's no early word on pricing but given that everything is a little cheaper downtown we're keeping our fingers crossed for no more than $350 a night.
After the Thompson Hotel founders split from Commune Hotels, they managed to walk away with most of their NYC properties, save for Gild Hall (pictured above) and Smyth Tribeca. The other properties have since been rebranded as Sixty Hotels.
But now Commune is working on opening two new hotels in Manhattan. That's in addition to the two tommie hotels that are expected to open in 2015 and 2016.
Crain's reports that Commune will open a new Thompson hotel in 2016 along with an entirely new hotel which will have a residential component. Say what? UPDATE: A Commune rep told us this will not be a new brand but rather they aren't ready to divulge the brand name for the new hotel. Our apologies for getting too excited about this.
Hotel News / Hotel Construction / Hotel Development / Tommie Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Commune Hotels / → All Tags
It's been seven months since we noted that construction was slowly but surely happening on the Tommie Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Seems we should have emphasized the slowly over the surely as we peeked in the other day and found only the beginning of excavations. On the brighter side, though, we also found a rendering pasted up -- albeit alongside a somewhat disappointing Spring 2016 estimated completion.
A peek at architect Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman's website throws up some more renderings revealing an interesting grid-like feature on the rooftop and at the front entrance.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel News / Trump Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Commune Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / SLS Hotels / Nobu Hotels / → All Tags
Yo. There is so much hotel news flying around this week--way more than usual--and in between checking out Vin Diesel's latest Facebook video and signing petitions to get Bieber deported, we just don't have enough time to focus on all the new hotels news. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
TRUMP HOTEL RIO DE JANEIRO: So our guess yesterday about Trump Hotels' latest announcement had to do with China but we were so wrong. The luxury hotel group is actually planning a 13-story, 171-guestroom hotel in the Jardim Oceanico sub-district of the famous Barra da Tijuca borough. It will open in 2016 just in time for the Summer Olympics. The Rockwell Group will be doing the interiors and the hotel will have a rooftop pool deck with private VIP cabanas, a nightclub, a spa, a fitness center and all the signature Trump services and amenities.
THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Commune Hotels + Resorts have announced a second Thompson Hotel for Mexico--Thompson Playa Del Carmen. The hotel will have 125 rooms and suites with a rooftop pool as well as a spa. It will be the only hotel in Playa to have a both a central 5th Avenue--a 2-mile-long shopping and entertainment pedestrian thoroughfare--and a beachfront location. It will open in 2015. The other Thompson in Mexico, Thompson Los Cabos, is currently under development.
ROSEWOOD SANYA: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts have announced yet another new property. Rosewood Sanya will open in 2017 in a new development in Haitang Bay in Southern Hainan Island. The resort will actually be integrated with the International Finance Forum convention center which will open in 2015. Designed by Chicago-based architectural firm, Goettsch, the Rosewood Sanya will have 229 ocean-facing guest rooms and suites, an infinity-edge "sky pool" (i.e. located way up high), a Sense spa and five restaurant options.
Keep reading below for even more hotel news.