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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.
WTF Hotel News / Haunted Hotels / Estes Park Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Historic Hotels / Hotel Competitions / → All Tags
What to do for some January fun when you’re known as the most haunted hotel in America, so spooky that Stephen King penned The Shining after one terrifying night at yours?
Why, in addition to the ghost tours and looping the film on your entertainment system, you realize the one thing missing that would really cement your reputation is a Shining-style maze. So you build it.
Hotel Hype / New York Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Brooklyn Hotels / Marmara Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Just as 2014 was a banner year for hotel openings across New York City, 2015 and beyond should not disappoint. With some big name hotels coming from SLS, Edition, Public, and Baccarat, there are also some great boutiques and independents in the works that we're following.
Here are 4 special hotels that we are looking at today. Of course, there are more. We're not blind. We'll have those for your shortly. But for now, take a look at these lovely spots:
1. The Beekman Hotel, 5 Beekman Street - Opening 2015
1. The Beekman Hotel, 5 Beekman Street - Opening 2015
Things are looking up, literally, at The Beekman, a luxury hotel and condo development in lower Manhattan. We've been covering the upcoming Thompson hotel ever since it was announced and we're excited to see and share this rendering - the one we've all been waiting for. Pictured above is the spectacular 9-story atrium lounge/bar/dining space that is clearly the showpiece of the Beekman.
This circa 1883 New York City landmark, formerly known as Temple Court, just oozes with great detailing, most notably the graceful wrought iron railings and floor bracing. The hotel's interiors are being designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (images to follow) and will offer 287 rooms and suites, a rooftop lounge and restaurants by Keith McNally and Tom Colicchio. The hotel is slated to open later this year. We'll see you in the lounge.
Hotel Hype / Hotel Openings / Bespoke Hotels / Manchester Hotels / Historic Hotels / Art Deco Hotels / → All Tags
Three things out of the many things we love about hotels: first, well thought through themes. Second, all things retro. Third, going in a totally unexpected direction.
We told you about the Gotham before – the extraordinary new project taking over the historic Midland Bank HQ, a brooding, art deco building that’s perfect for the Gotham theme. And the art deco theme. And the exotic theme, all of which we’ve been promised.