Tag: Historic HotelsView All Tags
Lately we've been taking a closer look at abandoned hotels, and recently on a walk through Panama's historic Casco Viejo district, we spotted a place in desperate need of some
loving deep-pocketed investor to get the ball rolling again.
The crumbing Antiguo Club Union on First Street was built in 1917 and functioned for years as an exclusive members-only club for Panama's elite—former dictator Manuel Noriega even took over the club during his reign in the 1980s. However, since then, the historic building has fallen into disrepair, and these days, its shabby, weed-choked exterior is mostly just an eyesore along one of Panama's most scenic streets.
So, what's the deal?
Say what you want about Detroit and its bad rap, we think it’s a seriously inventive city that won’t let hard knocks destroy its spirit and we've said just as much on our brother site, Jaunted. It’s the place that'll take an old 1929 brick firehouse and decide to turn it into a $23 million boutique hotel.
The Detroit City Council is being asked to approve a deal to sell the Hans Gehrke-designed building across from Cobo Center to developer Walter Cohen and his group, 21 Century Holdings. The price? Just $1.25 million. That’s cheaper than a Brooklyn condo, to give you some perspective.
The last few years has seen a major transformation of London’s King’s Cross neigborhood, an area dominated by the railway station of the same name and its international sibling, St. Pancras. The latter saw the opening of the much-hyped Renaissance hotel (Spice Girls reunion and all), and next month King’s Cross will see its own classic hotel revival with the reopening of the Great Northern Hotel.
Originally opened in 1854, the curve-shaped hotel (to the left in the above picture) is fully integrated in the spectacular redesign of the station’s Western Concourse, which soars like an inverse steel waterfall overhead. Inside, you’ll find just over ninety rooms over six floors, as well as a restaurant, bar, and take-away bakery.
Well, apparently a few positive changes have been made since then, as the hotel's doorman made headlines this weekend after helping to rescue a baby.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a couple who lives across the street from the hotel panicked on Saturday night when their baby's lips turned blue and started having breathing problems.
But the situation took a turn for the better when Talbott doorman Dwayne Neff spotted them across the street frantically trying to hail a cab. Neff immediately came to their aid, flagging down a nearby squad car (an ambulance would have taken too long), which then sped the couple and their struggling infant to Lurie Children's Hospital. Long story short, the baby turned out fine.
Meanwhile, Neff the doorman, described by the Tribune as a "spiritual man," who "believes the baby's rescue was a 'divine intervention' because everyone was seemingly at the right place at the right time," is now emerging as one of the story's heroes, for his quick thinking and pragmatism. In many respects, he might have been the difference between the baby's life or death.
He told the Tribune simply:
"I could sense the panic."
All in a day's work, we suppose.
Hotel News / Austin Hotels / Historic Hotels / SXSW Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / → All Tags
As many people already know, Austin, TX is currently in the midst of the South By Southwest festival, in which music venues, event spaces, and, yes, hotels, are overrun with artists, musicians, filmmakers, tech start-up hopefuls, and pretty much anyone with a bent towards modern-day media culture.
Which makes this a pretty good time for Hyatt to announce their recent acquisition of the city's historic Driskill Hotel. The Statesman reports that Hyatt bought the iconic hotel (and classic SXSW celeb hangout) for $85 million, and plans to spend another $8 million renovating the place over the next two years.
Comprised of 189 rooms, and originally built in 1886, the Driskill occupies a bustling corner of downtown Austin and remains the city's most beloved historic hotel.
According to hotel lore, the original structure was named after Jesse Driskill, a cattleman who wanted to build the "finest hotel south of St. Louis." Looks like he had the right idea, as 126 years later, the hotel is not only thriving, but also incorporates its colorful past into its current identity (case in point: the Cattle Baron Suite).
Hotel News / Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection / Berlin Hotels / Germany Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Germany just became a little more appealing to Marriott Rewards members, as the brand announced yesterday it will be adding Berlin's Hotel Am Steinplatz to the Autograph Collection later this summer. That's even more reason to get excited about Berlin right now (aside from the fact that it's a kick-ass city), as Waldorf-Astoria just popped up there in January.
The Hotel Am Steinplatz building originally opened in 1907 with a design by August Endell (also responsible for Berlin's Hackesche Hoefe), though it didn't become a hotel until 1913. Which makes 2013 its one hundredth hotel-iversary. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
To mark the occasion, Marriott's spruced the place up with an "extensive renovation," and the result is an 87-room property with 3 luxury suites, a restaurant, and a spa.
Knowing what we know about Autograph Collection (and having stayed at one in Budapest), we fully trust that the brand's German debut will be a stunner. The hotel is described as having once been "an exclusive meeting point for artists, writers, philosophers and even aristocratcy." Well. We'd expect nothing less.
Hotel News / Kimpton Hotels / Milwaukee Hotels / Savannah Hotels / Historic Hotels / Holiday Inns / → All Tags
Kimpton is planning its first property in Georgia with the purchase of the historic Mulberry Inn in Savannah. The 145-room property is interesting because it was built in 1982 on the site of a former Coca-Cola bottling plant, then went bankrupt, and then became a Holiday Inn.
Even after joining the franchise, though, people continued referring to it as the Mulberry Inn rather than Holiday Inn because it just didn't 'feel' like a Holiday Inn. (Ask Rudy Giuliani--he stayed here once).
Apparently the timing is right for this next phase of the hotel's evolution because even though folks love the Mulberry Inn as a historic landmark, recent Yelp reviewers have called the place "noisy," "musty," and in need of an update. Hopefully, Kimpton's planned eight-month renovation project will make those complaints a thing of the past.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Reopenings / Manhattan Hotels / Historic Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel News / → All Tags
It's a move we've witnessed before—an out-of-date Manhattan hotel seeks to reinvent itself with a sexier design and a shortened name. Hence, the Roger Williams became The Roger. And now, the former Radisson Lexington will now be known as The Lexington.
The hotel actually dates back to 1929, when it was originally known as The Lexington (so essentially it's come full circle). But the hotel isn't just returning to its roots by name alone: the owners hired Dash Design, who's worked on flashy renovations at the W Union Square and the J House in Greenwich, CT, to breathe new life into the 84-year-old hotel. The theme of the new multimillion dollar re-design? the glamorous, jazz age of New York.
That 1920s theme is definitely trending right now—we've also seen it appear at Manhattan's two newest hotels, The Refinery and The Jade—though we don't mind since part of New York's charm lies in its past.
If you're wondering exactly what "glamorous, jazz age New York" entails, take a look at the photo above, or read this tidbit from the hotel's press release:
"Brilliant gold elevator doors with whimsical songbirds will offer a taste of the Lexington New York City's original construction and serve as the entry point to the upstairs area of the hotel.
Photographs and drawings reflective of the Lexington New York City's storied past will compliment imagery of today's music scene and hang salon style above the bed…a verse from Irving Berlin's Russian Lullaby will dance through the room, embroidered into elements such as the lamp shade, bed cover and drapery."
Historic Hotels / Relais and Chateaux Hotels / Turkey Hotels / Cave Hotels / Sweet Suites / Killer View / → All Tags
The newest hotel to join Relais & Chateaux isn't actually that new at all—in fact, it's made up of dozens of caves and stone dwellings that date back thousands of years. As you can see from the photo above, Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey is a modern, luxury five-star property with seriously old roots.
The entire renovation project took four years, and there are even some nifty photos on the hotel's website showing the dramatic transformation from archaeological site (apparently, the Hittites, Persians, Romans and Ottomans all dwelled here at one point) to a 30-room boutique hotel, complete with restaurant, bar and outdoor pool.
If you've ever wandered the legendary Arizona Biltmore Resort, you've likely stumbled upon a photo of the "Mystery Room," though never the room itself as the location has long been — you guessed it — a mystery. That's all about to change; last week we were among the first to learn that this mysterious room will soon be revealed and restored to a version of its former self as a speakeasy lounge.
Back in the day, the cozy club masqueraded as a "Men's Smoking Room" requiring a secret password for entry and accessible only through a secret passage that started behind the resort and traveled up a hidden staircase from the kitchen. In many ways it was a true man cave, where gentlemen could kick back to smoke cigars and pipes, swap news about the stock market and sip on bootleg setups of gin and juice.
A clever fuzz buster was in place, too, with a spotlight that was officially known to guide guests at night, and unofficially used to search the desert for police raids. Whenever a raid approached, the spotlight would shine through the Mystery Room's stained glass roof, signaling guests to return to their rooms and the booze to be tucked back into the room's hidden bookshelf.
Hotel News / Celebrity Scoop / Celebrity Hotels / Scotland Hotels / Historic Hotels / Tennis Hotels / US Open Hotels / → All Tags
Andy Murray is only 25, but his resume is already pretty full: third ranked tennis champion in the world; first British male to win the US Open since 1936; gold medal winner at the recent 2012 Olympics; sexy Scotsman. But you know what was missing? Hotelier. He hadn't quite crossed that one off the list yet.
Murray announced yesterday that he has taken over the Cromlix House, a 139-year-old Victorian mansion in central Scotland (about 45 miles northeast of Edinburgh), and plans to turn it into a 15-room luxury hotel. Though, don't expect him to be answering telephones or delivering room service trolleys, though. Having purchasing the 50-acre estate for £1.8 million, Murray will contract the services of Inverlochy Castle Management International to actually run the place.
CNN reports that Murray in fact has a bit of history with the Cromlix House, since not only did Murray grow up a few miles from the property, but his brother Jamie (also a tennis player) was married there in 2010. As of now, Murray hasn't commented too much on his specific vision for the hotel, which is set to open in 2014. Though, if he's seeking a creditable interior designer, we hear Venus Williams is looking for new projects to work on…
We told you earlier this year that Donald Trump has designs of opening a hotel in Washington D.C., in one of the city’s beloved landmark’s, the Old Post Office.
Well, now he doesn’t want to pay taxes on the property, which could delay the project. The Old Post Office is a federal building, so property taxes aren’t required, but possessory interest tax--established in 2000 to tax companies operating on federal land—are still in order.
According to The Washington Business Journal, The Old Post Office's tax bill could start at $3 million a year. The article said Trump has been trying to get unspecified "relief" on the tax from the city—so far to no avail.