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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!>
· RITZ-CARLTON PHOENIX TO BECOME AN AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION HOTEL: There's one less Ritz-y place to stay in Phoenix as the Ritz-Carlton there will be rebranded into an Autograph Collection Hotel, run by Destination Hotels. Per this press release, the property will close in July and will reopen in early 2016 as an Autograph Collection hotel. Perhaps they took note of this commenter's observation on our OpenThread in October:
However, the Ritz Phoenix is startlingly dilapidated and dated. I'm surprised it still meets the chain's standards. The lobby is pleasant enough but the rooms and especially bathrooms are ancient and unpleasant.
So far, there's no message on the Ritz site about the closure and we were able to make reservations for July online so the exact closing date doesn't seem to be so set in stone. We're sure that will change soon though.
James Hotels / Hotel Books / Hotel Literary Programs / Joel Stein / Hotel Services / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Coctails / → All Tags
While most hotels are introducing new services to guests via in-room tablets, James Hotels are going a different route.
The boutique brand has partnered up with writer, author and humorist Joel Stein, who we first fell in love with during his stint on VH1's "I Love The 80s" show, to create a new literary program for guests.
Stein has chosen four paperback books for each James location--New York, Chicago, Miami and the upcoming Los Angeles hotel--which guests can read during their stay. The books will be available in the living libraries at each hotel but in New York and Miami, the books can be also uploaded to the eReaders and Kindles that are available (So, it's still a tech-forward program.)
But that's not all. Master mixologist Johnny Swet who does the libations at JIMMY in New York, has created cocktails that pair with each city's corresponding books and personalities. Hmm, we're seeing a pattern here--James, Joel, Johnny. Maybe with my name, I could get a job too?
Here's what on the James summer reading list, as selected by Stein and the corresponding cocktail as crafted by Swet:
· The Big Short by, Michael Lewis: “Sure, there’s advertising and media, but this is actually a one-industry town and that industry is money. Michael Lewis explains how our economy depends entirely on a bunch of traders who don’t entirely know what they’re doing and how they messed up in 2008.”
· A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan: “Unfortunately, you have to finish the novel to feel all the disparate stories come together, but I hereby give you permission to steal it. I’m guessing I’m empowered to do that.” Heat by, Bill Buford: “Everyone in New York is a part-time restaurant critic. You’re going to spend a lot of time talking about where to eat and what you thought of where you ate. So you might as well read this and find out how hard it is to cook that meal.”
· From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by, E.L. Konigsburg: “Yes, it’s a kid’s book. But that’s exactly what you have time for in a hotel. And if you take the book’s advice and check out of this hotel, hide in the Met after it closes, sleep there and buy street food with the coins you find in the fountain, you’ll save your company a lot on your expense report.”
· New York Cocktail Pairing: Blood & Sand - a classic cocktail that blends Chivas Regal Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Herring and Orange Juice.
Reading isn’t the first thing we’d imagine the cool kids of Shoreditch doing of an evening, but clearly we’ve underestimated their literary aspirations – because tonight the Hoxton Hotel launches its new book club.
Not just any book club, either – it’s in association with Elle magazine and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (AKA the former Orange Prize).
The club starts off with Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth – who will be there in person to give a reading, answer questions and lead the club discussion in the courtyard garden.
Sadly it’s not free, even for guests – tickets cost £20 (and have sold out for tonight). They do, though, include a signed copy of the book in question, a year’s Elle subscription, canapés and a tipple of Baileys.
Hotel Books / Luxury Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Venice Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Germany Hotels / Spain Hotels / Historic Hotels / Hotel Stories / → All Tags
If you're feeling wistful this weekend, a good way to kick back and set out on a magical hotel journey—without ever leaving your home—is to flip through Assouline's new 160-page Luxury Collection book, which is part of their Hotel Stories series.
The Luxury Collection: Hotel Stories devotes a mini-chapter to each of the 80+ hotels under Starwood's chi-chi Luxury Collection brand. There's history, and celebrity interviews, and design details—but you can technically find those things anywhere on the internet. What really makes the book stand out are the photos. Rich, full-color, splashy images of ITC Mughal, Gritti Palace, Al Maha and tons more.
While drooling over the images, we managed to scan a bit of text too. Here are five takeaway facts about Luxury Collection we didn't previously know:
Hotel Shops / Standard Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Books / Pop-Up Hotels / Hotel Art / → All Tags
Ever since Rudy's, a Portland-based hipster barbershop chain, vacated its spot at The Standard Hollywood earlier this year, the hotel has been experimenting with different pop-up concepts. And currently, an LA-based art book shop called Book Stand has installed a 30-day retail residency in the space, based on the theme of plants.
Yup, plants. An entire assortment of art books, magazines, vintage tomes, films, art, pottery and "ephemera" all glorifying nature's different forms of greenery. Kind of a nice change of pace for a hotel mainly known for blacklisting guests and publishing ads of people peeing and drooling.
Out of curiosity, we hunted down a few of the titles that will be included in the shop, and found neat-o items like the zine Sunday Mornings at the River, or photographer Arno Fischer's 1978 monograph The Garden, or Avec, the first issue of a Korean lifestyle magazine devoted entirely to flowers.
Hotel Parties / Palm Beach Hotels / Florida Hotels / Hotel Books / Hotel Restaurants / Daniel Boulud / → All Tags
Attention, jetsetting bookworms: The Brazilian Court in Palm Beach recently announced its line-up for the 9th Annual Author Breakfast Series—and it's looking pretty sweet.
Presented by Parker Ladd, an exec at Scribner & Sons and famous for being married to noted fashion designer Arnold Scaasi, the Author Breakfast Series offers six author breakfasts, beginning on January 11th and concluding on March 29th.
Gracing the AAA-Four Diamond resort will be Michael Connelly, known for his #1 NYT bestsellers, and Tony Mendez, author of Argo. (If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that Mr. Mendez was played by Ben Affleck himself.) Oh, and we can't forget Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day Lewis. Swoon!
Like every year, the author breakfasts will be held at The Ballroom (pictured) at Cafe Boulud (yes, that Boulud), so it's probably not a good idea to show up wearing flip-flops and jam shorts. A $100 ticket gets you breakfast, valet parking and a copy of the featured book, but all reservations must be booked in advance.
It may be a bit too early to consider holiday gifts, but it's always the right time to blow some cash on hotel-themed coffeetable books. Our latest pick comes from photographer Andrew Hetherington, who just self-published A Room With a View, featuring unsettlingly droll hotel interiors contrasted with the breathtaking (or spirit-breaking) vistas out their windows.
Each entry includes details like reason for stay, amenities and attractions in the area. It's not a hotel guide, however; it's still very much a book to be savored for the images, but the inclusion of a few details satisfy our hotel geek need to know things like which hotel and which room. We have our own series showcasing stellar (and sucky) hotel room views, but they're not meant to become print pages in your bookshelf.
Hotel Books / Los Angeles Hotels / Andre Balazs / Eva Longoria / Usher / Celebrity Scoop / Celeb Hotels / Hotel Art / → All Tags
A new photography book depicting celebrities in various states of slumber at the Chateau Marmont will be released next month. According to a review on Artbook, Asleep At the Chateau will be the first illustrated book devoted to the iconic West Hollywood hotel, despite plenty of afterparty recaps, Lindsay Lohan-related gossip, and other tabloid stories published about the place on an almost weekly basis.
However, despite being one of the most publicized hotels in all of Los Angeles (and maybe even the world), the Chateau remains notoriously private, rarely allowing photographers inside the rooms. The fact that Jork Weismann was given an all-access pass, and managed to capture stars like Orlando Bloom, Justin Theroux, and Usher looking all cute and snuggly, only adds to the book's hype.
Well, that and the above photo of Eva Longoria's butt.
Opened in 2003, the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston is credited by some as helping to revive the surrounding Kenmore Square neighborhood (its clean, cozy rooms and close proximity to Fenway are certainly a big part of its charm).
Our stay there back in 2010 proved a lot of fun, pampered as we were by the hotel's then-popular Girls In the City package. But for a different, mellower kind of indulgent experience, try cozying up in the hotel's one-of-a-kind Reading Suite, where guests can leaf through a 50+ collection of author-signed books, local magazines, newspapers, and an original letter by Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes).
Warning: for serious hotel geeks only!
Step into a suite (they're all suites) at the Anantara Resort and Spa Seminyak, Bali as we did last week, and you'll notice the seamless smooth stone walls, the huge sitting area, the view to the ocean, the fresh passionfruit on the coffeetable...but in the bathroom it's a coffeetable of another sorta coffeetable book.
On the bath tray above a deep soaking tub sits a coffeetable book titled Overnight Sensations. The bath oil and bath salt also on the tray are things you'd expect to see in a bathroom, but this giant book? What if it gets wet? No matterit's a whole tome that addresses hotel design details such as this very thing; the book features other stunning properties around the world, perhaps the better to help you plan your next stay from the comfort of this one. And they're not all Anantaras eitherthey're any property worth profiling and we love it.
Cool Hotel Jobs / Hotel News / Travelodge Hotels / Celebrity Hotels / Budget Hotels / Hotel Books / → All Tags
Most of the time, a writer's fate is to be stuck behind a blank computer screen, itching for an excuse to get up and go do something else. Once in a while, however, some writers actually score gigs worth envying, as in the case of celebrity journalist Neil Sean, who's become the first-ever writer in residence for budget hotel chain Travelodge.
As part of the deal, Sean will travel to some of the brand's 504 European hotels throughout England, Ireland and Spain, while writing his latest book, How To Live Like A Celebrity For FREE. Interesting title. In the guide, Sean will apparently share some money-saving tips he's learned over the years from interviewing A-listers like J-Lo, Simon Cowell and Beyonce.
Step one, we're guessing, involves saving piles of money by staying at a—wait for it—Travelodge!
London's undeniably posh West End plays home to some of the city's most impressive—and oftentimes hoity toity—hotels: The Ritz, Langham, and Dorchester all cater to an upper crust clientele who know luxury and expect its delivery in spades.