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Development news from 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami keeps catching us off-guard. Back in January 2012, there was this bait and switch where the development sneakily went from Cipriani Miami to a new Faena project. Now we hear that they've been keeping a star design duo under their belts: Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
The husband-and-wife movie director and costume/set designer duo will be collaborating on the design for the 168-suite hotel; handling the interiors, uniforms, and 'cultural programming' for the what was originally called the Saxony Hotel, which is just one part of Faena's huge Miami development project.
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Mick looking Grand
Ladies and gentlemen, forget Ian Schrager and Andre Balazs and even the Donald: there’s a new hotel baron in town. He’s a silver fox, he has a charming twinkle of the eye, and he definitely has a way with the ladies, by the looks of the people he’s pulled. His name? Mick Norcross.
Now, you may not have heard of him if you’re in the States. You may even not know the name if you’re in the UK; but you’ll definitely be au fait with what’s made him famous: The Only Way Is Essex.
For those who need to come up to speed: TOWIE is kind of like the UK equivalent of Jersey Shore (only way, way better), set in Essex, which is kind of a cross between New Jersey and Vegas, with a little bit of Reno thrown in. Kirk Norcross is one of the main characters, kind of a hybrid of Pauly D (though he owns a club, rather than DJs) and the Situation (pulls lots of ladies but appears to despise womankind). His dad, who’s the money behind the scenes, is Mick. Mick likes hanging out with Kirk’s friends and coming onto ladies a couple of decades younger than himself.
Caught up? Anyways, according to the fount of all knowledge, the Daily Mail, Mick has bought the dilapidated (or, as the
FailMail writes, “debilitated”) Grand Hotel in Leigh-On-Sea (a former grand dame, built 1896, that’s since fallen into gross disrepair), and plans to magic it into a boutique hotel, complete with restaurant and spa.
Whatever the status of relationship with hottie hotelier Andre Balazs may be, it's clear that rocker Courtney Love has not lost her love for the The Mercer Hotel. Stalkerazzi caught her smoking and checking her cell on the hotel's bench in front yesterday. And in a twist, we actually like what she's wearing, shoes and all.
We're not sure if she's still
forcing letting AB to comp her stay but if she'd like to be an independent woman, rates at The Mercer are firmly set at $595 a night this weekend. Or if things are getting too awk with her staying at The Mercer, she could try the Crosby Street Hotel, which is a HotelChatter fave or even kick at the original Soho "lifestyle" hotel, 60 Thompson (both hotels also have similar rates.)
Either way Court, there's a lot of other fishes in the sea...er we mean, cool hotels in Soho.
Apparently, someone at Bravo decided that the "Real Housewives of Orange County" was such a good show that they should do the same thing for Manhattan.
In theory, this should be a better show. Manhattanites dress better. They go to better parties and they fight for spots at prestigious pre-schools before their spawn is even born.
But yet, we couldn't even bring ourselves to watch this spin-off despite having seen a preview. Really, any show with "Housewives" in it from now on should be banned.
Gawker has a nice summary of the show so you shouldn't have to watch it but since one of the househubbies is Simon Van Kempen, who "runs"/is the general manager at the Hotel Chandler on E.31st, a rather unknown, so-so hotel in Murray Hill, we might be forced to watch it now.
Yet before we do, we wanted to know more about the Simon and the Hotel Chandler and thought you might want to too.
· His Housewife: Alex McCord, a former actress from Kansas who now works as a visual merchandiser.
· Official Website:: Eh.
· Studscore: Daily News only gave the Aussie a 4 out of 10.
· Hotel's Secret Past: Ok it's not so secret. But it was once the Hotel Le Marquis.
· Rude Manager?: The TripAdvisor reviews are pretty solid although one said, "The Manager could not have been any ruder."
· Opera Lover: Simon Van Kempen says belonging to the Metropolitan Opera will help the couple move up in NYC Society. Totally unrelated question: Any one know how much money a GM at this sort of hotel would make?
· A Favorite?: The NY Mag (and a few other places) think Simon is their favorite character. Some reasons why: He's an Aussie but named his children François and Johan and force them to speak French. He says to Alex, "I can see you at the Met in that!" when she tries on a leopard-print Cavalli dress. And he throws lavish compliments at his wife for her beauty.