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HotelChatter Reviews / Montevideo Hotels / Uruguay Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Last month – was it really so long ago? – we showed you the view from the rooftop terrace of the Alma Historica, Montevideo’s newest hotel (it opened in January), and its first luxury boutique property. Appetites whetted? Hopefully so, because we promised to go inside. Let’s do it.
The Alma Historica is a restoration of a centuries-old palazzo with a couple of new floors (and that roof terrace) tacked onto the top. Where most hotels in Montevideo seem to be either new and slightly boring, or old and on the road to decay – if, admittedly, often in a rather beautiful way – Alma Historica is different. It’s embraced its roots, and its location on one of the historic core’s central squares, so the vibe is old school, with a hint of Victoriana – but adds an injection of very modern luxury. And it works beautifully.
The feel may be that of stepping into a posh house 100 years ago, but the theme is Uruguayan pride. All rooms are named after homegrown heroes, from artists to footballers. All the furniture was sourced locally. Even the bathroom soaps are made in Montevideo – and filled with local ingredients, like eucalyptus, lemon and yerba mate (which makes the national tea-ish drink), and red berries with seeds.
Hotel Renovations / Fairmont Hotels / Ottawa Hotels / Ontario Hotels / Castle Hotels / Photo Gallery / Canada Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Tripadvisor reviews haven't been very kind to Ottawa, Canada's historic Fairmont Château Laurier in recent years. The popular sentiment seems to be "time for a major renovation" and, luckily enough, that's exactly what the hotel has in mind. Better than that actually; the Château Laurier is in the midst of such a renovation of the guest rooms, replacing the former "grandma's guest bedroom" aesthetic with something much more modern, fresh, and bright.
Redecorated rooms finally offer lots of power outlets (including a desk with built-in console and bedside table lamps with outlets), Nespresso coffee makers and a variety of Fairmont proprietary tea blends, and bathrooms are equipped with both an ultra-flattering light-up mirror and a makeup mirror, not to mention toiletries from Le Labo's Rose 31 collection.
Only a small number of the hotel's 429 guest rooms have been redecorated with the fresher look, so guests should request one during booking or, at the very latest, during check-in.
Hotel Openings / Chicago Hotels / Commune Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / Historic Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
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!
Hotel Bedspreads / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Decor / Hotel Design / Kitsch Hotels / San Luis Obispo Hotels / Historic Hotels / Iconic Hotels / → All Tags
The new look
There are some things you don’t mess with. Vindictive people. Authoritarian governments. Icons – especially icons beloved of millions of people.
Sadly, the Madonna Inn, that icon of kitsch in San Luis Obispo lost the memo on that last one. Because in a breathless blog and Facebook post it revealed it’s getting rid of its famous bedspreads. You know, the vintage ones with mad patterns – paisleys, pomegranates, horses, bits of leather – those really famous, unique bedspreads that are integral to the crazy decor of the hotel.
What are they replacing them with? Crisp white sheets. A couple of cushions (sorry, “throw pillows”). And that most infernal item of chain hotel inroom décor: the utterly useless velvet stripe that goes across the end of the bed. Or, as the Madonna Inn says, “bed scarves”. They also say:
Pay for your room what you think your stay was worth. A brave initiative that was recently tried in Paris and now has made its way across the Channel and up to Scotland.
Cringletie House, a castle hotel in the Scottish Borders outside Edinburgh, has just launched a “20 in a bed” promotion. And before your minds end up in the gutter, know that it’s simply the opportunity to invite 10 couples to stay – in individual rooms – and, basically, let them know how they’re doing.
The stays are bed and breakfast, and there’s no set fee – they simply want your opinion, and you’re free to pay as much as you think it’s worth.
Celebrity Scoop / Lady Gaga / Haunted Hotels / American Horror Story / Hollywood Hotels / Historic Hotels / Hotel Legends / TV Set Hotels / → All Tags
If hotel occupancy begins to plummet next fall, we might know who's to blame---the Fox TV show, American Horror Story. The creepy show has announced its "theme" for its next terrifying season, which will be "Hotel." (Last year's was "Freak Show.") And no, we don't think it will be about some fancy luxury hotel. It will be a straight-up haunted spot. Also, Lady Gaga plans on joining the cast.
Huffington Post reports that the show could be based on the famed Garden of Allah, a legendary hotel on Sunset Boulevard, which opened in 1927 and was pretty much the Chateau Marmont of Hollywood's Golden Age, where famous people went to get into trouble. (Coincidentally, Chateau is across the street.)
Today it's home to a bank, a McDonald's and a Subway but nearly a hundred years ago, it was just starting out as a hideaway for many actors and creative types like Marlene Dietrich, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Humphrey Bogart and Orson Welles.
The hotel was demolished in the late 1950s but you can still see a replica of its ground at Universal Studios in Orlando. That's where we snapped this shot.
No word on what type of character Lady Gaga will play but we don't think playing an eccentric, possibly possessed, hotel guest would be a stretch.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Country House Hotels / Historic Hotels / Abbey Hotels / Worcestershire Hotels / English Country House Hotels / → All Tags
Normally, hotels in former monasteries are all spartan and pared back. Not so Stanbrook Abbey, which opens fully 1 March in the middle of England's pretty Malvern Hills in Worcestershire.
There are 52 rooms in the main building of the abbey, which dates back to 1625, though the current architecture is Victorian, by Pugin. There were more, when it was nuns living here; but the hotel has torn walls down to make the nuns’ cells into proper bedrooms, and adding distinctly non-monastic things like central heating and bathrooms.
One of Edinburgh’s treasured historic buildings is getting closer to becoming a luxury hotel. But don’t check your schedule yet, we can't tell you the name, the opening date, or the number of rooms. However, we do know it will bear a flag we all recognize and it will be a first for that flag in Edinburgh. Our thinking caps are firmly in place.
Built in 1829 on Calton Hill with an Acropolis-like presence, this Greek Revival building was originally a boy’s school, and has been empty and in need of TLC since 1968.
Converting the A-listed heritage site to a luxury “arts hotel” has been on the table since 2010 when developers Duddingston House Properties secured a 125-year lease on the property. Early plans raised both eyebrows and concerns from the public, preservation agencies, and city planning officials. Understandable but imagine the possibilities.
Historic Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
We’ve called out the Waldorf Astoria New York for the good (honoring room rates from long ago today) and the bad (cough – the rooms – cough) of its long history. That the hotel has seen a few things in its century-plus tenure is undeniable, and you can now take a walk back in time through its online archive.
The owner of a gorgeous Art Deco building in Downtown Fort Worth is eager to convert it to a 165-room hotel, specifically an Autograph Collection hotel. It is not a done deal yet, as there are many a design hoop to jump through, but things appear to moving forward, with an anticipated opening in late 2016.
It’s always great to hear of an endangered landmark that may be saved from the wrecking ball and given back to its city as a hotel. When such salvaging happens in Detroit, it especially thrilling as we are all rooting for Motor City to make a comeback. Here is what we know about the latest effort to turn an abandoned building in Detroit into a hip, hotel (as if there was any other kind.)
Brooklyn-based developers ASH NYC have a contract to buy one of the most delapidated, graffiti adorned, buildings in Detroit for conversion to a boutique hotel. The slender 14-story building, pictured above, was once offices and a retail music center for Wurlitzer, the American company acclaimed for its organs and pianos, but who also made jukeboxes and electric guitars. Yes, we're already imagining some of these musical instruments displayed inside the new hotel.
Every time we turn our heads away, a Paris hotel opens. Last week we had news of the ridiculously expensive La Réserve and the far more affordable Hilton Paris Opera; this week, we’re salivating over the opening (or should that be reopening?) of the Hôtel Les Bains.
Once a public bathhouse, then a cult nightclub, Les Bains, in the Marais district, was built in 1885 as Les Bains Douches, and was initially the most famous thermal spa in Paris – Marcel Proust took the waters here! Fast forward to 1978, and Andy Warhol and his ilk were living it up in the baths-turned-nightclub (designed by the then unknown Philippe Starck), which became the Studio 54 of Paris. The club closed in 2011, when it became a full-immersion art installation and artists’ residency. And now – draw breathe – it’s about to be a hotel.