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Here is some news that will shake you out of your summer lull faster than even London’s unseasonably frigid temperatures could have: Singapore-based UOL Group Limited has acquired the site for the future Heron Plaza development on Bishopsgate and plans to open a hotel under its Pan Pacific brand inside.
Not only will that be the first Pan Pacific for Europe, and only the fifth outside Asia-Pacific (there is Seattle, Vancouver, and Whistler times two currently), it is also the end for what everyone had long accepted would be the third Four Seasons hotel in the city.
UOL paid £97 million for the land, which currently has planning permission for a 43-story tower with 109 residences, 190-room hotel, and retail. The group will “review” that configuration, so we assume that will mean room count will change.
It may be a remote national park, but the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has always been pretty well equipped with hotels. There's the El Tovar Hotel (above), which opened in 1905, right on the rim, of course. Dotted around it are other lodges making up the "Grand Canyon Village" with full and partial canyon views, and there are even a couple of motel-style options set a little back from the edge itself. But however many hotel rooms there are around the rim, they are almost always sold out months in advance.
You can also stay inside the canyon itself, at Phantom Ranch, but you can only get there on foot or by mule. But soon, there might be another way to get down - and more hotels on the canyon rim itself.
Ideas to develop the canyon further for tourism aren’t anything new - think the gulp-inducing Skywalk at the far off West Rim, which is run by the Hualapai tribe (who also have accommodation, but away from the rim). Now, both the LA Times and the Telegraph are reporting on something called the Grand Canyon Escalade, a proposed gondola ride down to the Canyon floor at “the Confluence, near Tusayan, where the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet. Down below, a restaurant and elevated riverside walkway would be constructed.
When we had our first drink at Gŏng at Shangri-La at the Shard a few weeks ago, we spied a number of cranes across the river working on neighboring hotel projects 10 Trinity Square and citizenM Tower Hill, and made a mental note to have a closer look on the ground.
So we did this past weekend, with above the imposing façade of the former Port of London Authority, due to become mixed-use complex 10 Trinity Square, with 120-room hotel, restaurant, club, spa, and 41 residences. The glass building you see poking out on the left is the car-melting Walkie-Talkie tower on Fenchurch Street.
Virgin Hotels are still working away on their first hotel in Chicago, four long years after Sir Richard Branson hinted to us there would be a Virgin Hotels brand, but the new locations are starting to populate.
Most recently, the brand announced plans for Nashville along with NYC and with Dallas, LA, Miami, and London on the horizon. And now possibly. Silicon Valley.
The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Virgin Hotels are looking to develop a hotel on a parking lot next to a Caltrain station in downtown Mountain View, which is home to Google and other tech companies. In typical Virgin Hotels fashion, details are scant on the project idea. But maybe some new info will come to light when it's discussed at the city council meeting on Tuesday.
Yet as the Virgin Hotel brand stays fully clothed from head to toe, they did give us 6 things we should know about the Virgin Hotel experience and they are all pretty perfect things for Silicon Valley's start-up culture. Except maybe the part about wooing women. Virgin might have teach some of those kids a few things about that.
[Photo: Virgin Hotels]
We are fans of architectural team Stonehill & Taylor's work on (to name just a few) The NoMad Hotel and Refinery Hotel, so we are pleased to see that, in a landscape of bland hotel development projects, they will be bringing their touch to two new Midtown Manhattan hotels.
The London Edition is all that for many reasons, and it has us properly excited for what’s to come: New York and Miami Beach are up first in the States, but after that Edition is heading for more exotic destinations – Sanya in China and Gurgaon in India. Virtually nothing is known about these hotels, but that didn’t stop us from unearthing these renderings already.
The Sanya Edition (above) will open in 2015 on the Chinese island of Hainan. Referred to as China’s Hawaii, nearly every luxury hotel group (from sibling Ritz-Carlton to Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski to One&Only) is rushing to claim their spot along Sanya’s beaches and vie for the attention of the increasingly wealthy and wanderlust-filled Chinese tourist. The curved building looks huge (spot the tiny cars under the soaring porte cochere for a sense of scale), with some kind of lattice wood construction over the main entrance, a design reflected again it appears in the façade.
Hotel News / Hotel Construction / Hotel Development / Tommie Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Commune Hotels / → All Tags
It's been seven months since we noted that construction was slowly but surely happening on the Tommie Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Seems we should have emphasized the slowly over the surely as we peeked in the other day and found only the beginning of excavations. On the brighter side, though, we also found a rendering pasted up -- albeit alongside a somewhat disappointing Spring 2016 estimated completion.
A peek at architect Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman's website throws up some more renderings revealing an interesting grid-like feature on the rooftop and at the front entrance.
Hotel News / Bali Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Hotel Development / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / → All Tags
We can rattle off a handful of hotels opening in Bali in the next few years without much effort (there is the Regent, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton again, Starwood (Luxury Collection and Westin), and Six Senses, among others), which, together with everything that’s already there, raises the pressure once again to slow down hotel development on the island.
While the discussion on overcrowding and what is right for Bali continues, so do the announcements of new openings, with this week the addition of a Waldorf Astoria resort in 2017. Only a short transfer from Ngurah Rai Denpasar airport, the resort will have 96 villas on a cliff facing the sea.
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UPDATE 3.17.14: The CitizenM Times Square will now open on March 25.
The long-awaited CitizenM Times Square keeps on keeping us guessing about its opening date, but after taking a walk past the site yesterday, we're feeling pretty confident that things are going to be happening very soon.
Like many of us, NYC's first outpost of the cool Dutch brand has been shedding its winter layers over the past couple of weeks, and, in the Citizen's case, this has allowed us a peek as what looks like some very funky interiors.
We spotted bright murals, chrome, steel lampshades, what appears to be a bookstore to the right hand side and, to the left of the front door, cool wall-mounted shelves filled with objets d'art including red horses' heads and little men.
Although we still await a firm date, CitizenM's website says that "bookings starting from March," which is, like, now so...
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We have been following the Peninsula Paris -- Peninsula Hotels' grand entry into Europe -- throughout its six year restoration of the former Hotel Majestic, a 1908 Beaux Arts building in the 16th arrondissement (fun fact: George Gershwin wrote part of "An American in Paris" here).
Now that its August 1st opening date draws closer, we have a peek at what some of the 200 guest rooms will look like. Spot the high-tech bedside tablet we told you about last Spring? Rooms will also feature curated artworks, elegant furniture, ambient lighting, expansive luggage and wardrobe space and a valet box. Marble bathrooms will have deep-soaking bathtubs, separate rain showers, double washbasins, inset televisions and toiletries by Oscar de la Renta.
Morris Moinian's Fortuna Realty may already have their hands full developing both the new Hotel Hugo and the Aloft New York Midtown (not to mention dealing with their neighbors), but in an article (we almost missed) at Hotels magazine he reveals details of another project in the works.
Armed with only the information that a 175-room luxury boutique hotel with spa, rooftop bar and lounge was to go in, we've had our eye on the Fortuna Realty development project at 25 West 38th Street for a while now.
Last thing we heard was that the developers were having some problems getting their neighbors, the Havana NY restaurant, to vacate the premises, so, taking a peek at the Starwood website we are happy to see that the project appears to be moving along, and that it will become an Aloft Hotel; the Aloft New York Midtown, to be precise.