Tag: Hotel Hype

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W Hotels Announce Another New Property, This Time in Phuket

Where: Phuket, Thailand
September 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM | by | Comment (1)

2018 is still a long time away but W Hotels is getting very excited for it. Just after announcing plans for W Brisbane, the Starwood design brand has announced W Phuket Phang Nga Bay.

This will be the third W Hotel in Thailand and fortunately, it does seem a bit different from the other W hotels out there, at least in terms of layout. The interior offerings are W all the way.

Here's how the property is described:

W Retreat Phuket will be located on Koh Yao Noi, one of the largest islands in the Phang Nga Bay archipelago between the eastern coast of Phuket and western coast of Krabi on the mainland. The W Retreat will provide an integrated lifestyle experience with 79 standalone villas, starting from 155 square meters in space. All villas will feature private outdoor areas and plunge pools as well as superlative views of the limestone cliffs that dot Phang Nga Bay.

W Retreat Phuket - Phang Nga Bay will also offer a lobby lounge, an all-day dining restaurant and a specialty restaurant and bar. It will feature 120 square metres of modern meeting and event space; FIT, a well-equipped workout facility and swimming pool; and a contemporary spa with six treatment rooms. The W Retreat will be accessible from both Phuket International Airport (HKT) and Krabi Airport (KBV), with a fleet of high speed sea vessels, a private jetty and helicopter landing pad for ease of guests transfers.

And don't forget about Whatever/Whenever service! We'll circle back with more news on this property...in 2017.

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Loews Hotels Will Open Yet Another New Hotel at Universal Studios in Orlando

September 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM | by | Comments (2)

Fresh off the March opening of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Hotels of Universal Studios in Orlando has just announced they will open their fifth hotel at the theme park. (No, it is not a Harry Potter-themed hotel. Go back to your working on that spell.)

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will open in the summer of 2016 with a "colorful Carribean atmosphere" featuring a tropical lagoon with waterfalls and 1,000 guest rooms, including 77 suites. The hotel will be located between Cabana Bay and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. There will also be an air-conditioned covered bridge which will connect the Loews Sapphire hotel to the Loews Royal Pacific. Wahoo!

When the hotel is completed, there will be a total of 5,200 hotel rooms from Loews at Universal Studios. Surely, some of those could be transformed into Gryffindor rooms? Pretty please?

Keep reading to see a rendering of the property!

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Jumeirah Is Planning A New 'Venu' For Millennials

September 9, 2014 at 7:52 AM | by | Comment (1)

Oh lawd. Do we have another millennial-friendly hotel brand on our hands?

This morning, Jumeirah announced its plans for a “new contemporary lifestyle brand”. It’ll be called VENU, and the first hotel will be on Bluewaters Island in, fittingly, Dubai.

Here’s why we think it’s millennial-friendly (the first inkling was the logo):

VENU is designed to appeal to the modern traveler whose expectations revolve around their own lifestyle – clean, contemporary, cool and effortless… The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.

Coming to a VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, built around and anticipating the needs of the modern, savvy traveller.

Travelers [will] be inspired by the energy of the VENU brand… where technology is seamlessly integrated into the hotel experience, where the world comes together – a happening place full of energy and a cosmopolitan crowd.

It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.

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Graduate Hotels Want You to Relive Your 'Glory Days' of College

August 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (6)

UPDATE: We've received more room photos below. Give your Cliff Notes in comments below.

In recent years, we've seen major hotel brands rushing to grab the attention of Millennials as the young, design-savvy, and tech-centric crowd enters the workforce and begins to travel, whether for business, leisure or (most likely), bleisure.

Marriott Hotels is ramping up their Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott brands, while Radisson Hotels have gone and created Radisson Red. Thompson Hotels are queueing up their Tommie brand while Virgin Hotels is getting closer and closer to opening their first hotel. All these brands are offering amenities that are important to Millennials, such as--great design, social spaces, useful tech, free WiFi and reasonable prices. Which, really, any modern traveler will like these days.

But now there's a new brand of hotels ready to compete with the big boys--Graduate Hotels. Surprisingly, the brand is not aimed at Millennials but we don't believe them. Here's what Graduate promises to be about:

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Virgin Hotels are Spreading Rumors...About Virgin Hotels

August 26, 2014 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

At long last, Virgin Hotels are getting ready to strip down for guests.

Since 2011, we've been not so patiently awaiting the opening of the Virgin Hotel Chicago, which will be the first hotel for the brand. Making the wait more frustrating, aside from the repeated opening delays, is that we're still rather in the dark about what the Virgin Hotel concept is about.

We did learn 6 important things about the Virgin brand this past spring and about their 6 F&B concepts in Chicago, but largely, we've just been speculating as to what will be inside the Virgin Hotel. In true tease fashion, Virgin wants us to keep guessing.

Today, Sir Richard Branson himself is spreading rumors about the Virgin Hotel and wants you to spread some of your own too.

The Branson-sanctioned rumor-mongering is all part of a gimmick to drum up attention for the Virgin Chicago property as well as give fans an opportunity to win a two-night stay at the hotel. Here's how it works:

Branson has shared some Virgin rumors here in this video including one that says he personally tucks in every guest at night and that the hairdryers have a "beard setting."

You can submit your own Virgin rumors over the next five weeks by tweeting here on the Virgin Hotels website. Be sure to hashtag this entry with #virginrumors. Whoever submits the best rumor will be win the two night stay at Virgin Hotels, plus airfare and transport to the hotel's opening party. A rep for Virgin also cryptically said the "rumors will play out on the streets of Chicago this week" so we'll be sure to report on that as we see them.

Alas, there's no hint as to when the actual hotel opening will be but if the contest is running for five weeks, then we know the hotel won't be open before then. Ooo, did we just come up with our own entry for #virginrumors? Indeed we have.

Another sign Virgin Hotels is getting closer to opening? You can follow them now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Starwood Hotels to Open 3 Very Important Hotels in China Next Month

Where: China
August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has done exactly what they said they would do in their expansion into China and the Asia Pacific. There are, and have been for quite some time, more hotels in the works than we can keep up with. Almost all Starwood brands have or will soon have an address in China, including Element Hotels, which is opening next year.

We've tried to list all that we know of that's happening with Starwood in China on our Master Openings List, but as seasoned readers of the list know, things change quite a bit and most hotels, get pushed onto the next year.

However, Starwood has three important openings in China in September, with properties that are very big on design and luxury. Here they are:

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The Newest Thompson Hotel Will Be In...(UPDATED)

August 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nashville!

Thompson Hotels, fresh off their Seattle hotel announcement, is now heading to Nashville (but probably not with a tan because you know, Seattle.)

The Thompson Nashville will have 224 rooms, a ground floor restaurant, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge when it opens in Summer 2016 in the Music City's The Gulch neighborhood. The building, which will start site work early next year, is being designed by Nashville-based Hastings Architecture Associates, LLC along with Atlanta-based design firm Reese Vanderbilt & Associates.

Parts and Labor Design, a NYC firm, will do the customized interiors to keep the look within the Thompson brand's signature look. So expect high-end design, interesting room layouts and custom furniture and lighting.

While we love the look of the building, we don't think Thompson will re-invent the wheel here as far as the interior design goes nor will they radically change up their amenities and services. But the location for Thompson is very cool, and may just be the ultimate selling point.

The Gulch is a revitalized urban area in downtown Nashville that's been steadily built up over the past 15 years, mixing in new buildings with renovated historic ones. Here's a bit more from The Gulch on their scene:

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Kimpton to Open Their 5th Hotel in Chicago in 2016

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 37-43 South LaSalle [map], Chicago, IL, United States
August 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

That old saying, "Three's a crowd", clearly never bothered Kimpton Hotels who have had not three, but four hotels in Chicago for quite some time. And now, the boutique brand is working on their fifth hotel for the Windy City. Fifth!

Kimpton recently purchased a historic office building in the Central Loop neighborhood. Built by architect William Le Baron Jenney in 1894, the building was previously known as the LaSalle-Monroe Building and before that, The New York Life Building.

Kimpton will renovate and refurbish the property to open by early 2016. The hotel will have 281 rooms, 9,500-sq.ft. of retail space on the ground floor, a restaurant and bar and a top floor ballroom with views of LaSalle street. We're guessing that means the Starbucks and Subway, shown in the photo above, will probably move out.

New York-based architect Gensler and Los Angeles-based design firm Beleco, will work with Kimpton's senior VP of design, Ave Bradley, to create a "locally appropriate" style.

And of course, all the Kimpton amenities that we love will be in play like free WIFi for Karma members, complimentary wine hour for guests and fun animal-print bathrobes.

Meanwhile, we hear that Kimpton will make yet ANOTHER new hotel announcement very soon, regarding a new hotel in the South. Our sources say it will be in Palm Beach but a Kimpton spokesperson would not comment on that. We'll just have to wait it out then.

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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The Verdicts Are In For Peninsula Paris, And They're Mixed

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 19 Avenue Kleber, Paris, France, 75116
August 19, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been open a full two weeks now, and although we haven’t quite found the $1000 to stay at Peninsula Paris (give us another week or 500), others have – and a newspaper has checked it out too. Here’s what they say about the $999,000,000 project.

The 26 TripAdvisor reviews are mixed, leaning towards the negative – though a good tranche are from people who’ve just eaten, rather than stayed at the hotel.

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Here's Your First Look at Mama Shelter Los Angeles, Opening Later This Year

Where: 1557 Wilcox Avenue [map], Hollywood, CA, United States, 90028
August 18, 2014 at 7:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Mama Shelter in Bordeaux

There's been no formal announcement but there's been no secrecy surrounding it either. We're talking about the pending Mama Shelter Hotel for Los Angeles. See, it's right there on the Mama Shelter Twitter bio.

But aside from a LinkedIn job listing looking for a hotel restaurant and general manager, we were having a hard time uncovering the exact whereabouts of Mama Shelter LA. But today, we've found our Mama.

Previously, we've heard West Hollywood and Hollywood flung about as possible locations but those are two very different areas. West Hollywood is trendy and expensive. Hollywood is gritty chic and more affordable. Since the latter practically describes Philippe Starck's Mama Shelter concept to a T, we suspected that's where it would open.

We put in a request to our contact at Mama Shelter hotels on the exact location, but while waiting to hear back, our resourceful European editor uncovered this article. Even if you don't understand French, you can understand what it says.

Des négociations sont aussi en cours pour l'ouverture dans un ancien hôtel des années 1920, dans le quartier de Hollywood, à Los Angeles, «fin 2013».

So Hollywood, it is. And an old hotel from the 1920s too. But still, we wanted to know exactly where. So, we dug a little deeper.

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Is This What The Edition West Hollywood Will Look Like? (NOPE)

August 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: We've been told this is NOT the rendering for Edition WeHo. Phew! We'll let you know when we've got a real one to share.

The Edition West Hollywood won't be opening until 2017 but when it does, it might look very similar to this rendering put forth by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

We first took notice of this design back in 2012 when it was revealed that an Edition hotel would open on the Sunset strip at Doheny. The hotel would take over the space occupied by the Scandia restaurant which served Scandinavian food to the stars before being replaced by a Mexican joint, Senoritas, in the 90s. (That place eventually closed in the early aughts.) Now, a tipster tells us there's more information about the design of the building:

A new, two story, 26 foot high retail building meets the intersection with a series of transparent, irregularly sloping glass planes – a “flying” glass ensemble. A 7,000 square foot ground floor restaurant with office on the second floor above, occupy theopening extends Sunset Boulevard into the site horizontally [in plan], and into the housing above, vertically [in section], visually associating the courtyard and retail spaces with the housing above. A variety of balcony sizes and configurations presents an irregular building volume, with clear glass and anodized aluminum panelized walls to the street below.

Um....ok. There's not much about the hotel component of the project to see, but we do know the property will have a courtyard, a pool and a spa, along with living gardens on the walls and the roofs. Still, with the opening about three years away and nary a construction crane in sight, we bet the design will change before then.

Now we wonder if there's a way to preserve some of the old Scandia restaurant's retro design? Or maybe Schrager will bring back the Scandia restaurant somehow? Ooo, we just got the shivers.

[Rendering via Eric Owen Moss Architects]

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The Sunset Strip May Soon Be Known as Los Angeles' Hotel Strip

August 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

We first heard of the grand hotel aspirations for Los Angeles' iconic Sunset Boulevard way back in 2010 when the news came out that the House of Blues would be replaced by a crazy hotel condo complex. Two years later, we learned an Edition Hotel was opening up at Sunset and Doheny. And now, it looks like both of these projects are coming to fruition, along with a few others.

Bloomberg News reports that the House of Blues will close down in the near future and make way for a 149-room hotel which will open sometime in 2017. The property will also have residences attached.

But the House of Blues is not the only spot to lose their presence on the Sunset Strip. Larry Flynt's erotic Hustler Store will also be closed up and replaced by a luxury hotel. Meanwhile, Ian Schrager and Marriott are still working on plans for their Edition Hotel at Sunset and Doheny. And a James Hotel is set to open at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega some time in 2016. Also opening near the Hustler store is yet another luxury hotel hotel with about 190 rooms.

We're not so good at math but to us, that looks like 5 new hotels for West Hollywood within the next three to four years. Way back when in 2010 we wondered if West Hollywood could even sustain two new hotels. But now with the area's hotels reporting 82 percent occupancy, we guess we have our answer.

For a better understanding of our Sunset Strip is being colonized by hotels, head over to Curbed LA which put together a nifty map.

[Photo: Flickr]