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Freehand Hotels / Freehand Hostels / Downtown LA Hotels / Sydell Group / Hotel Hype / Hotel News / → All Tags
We're loving Downtown LA these days and so are hotels. On the heels of an Ace Hotel opening with its excellent historic theater and a new hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel comes news that Freehand Hotels/Hostels will open in DTLA in 2016.
The LA Times reports that the site of the Freehand Hotel will be the 13-story Commercial Exchange Building at 8th and Olive streets. The former office building, built in 1924 and once home to Edgar Rice Burrough's publishing company, was recently purchasedby the Sydell Group Ltd, the same company who did
the awesome Ace Hotel in New York and (see clarification below) the excellent Line Hotel in LA's Koreatown. The LA Freehand, like the original in Miami and the upcoming one in Chicago, will be developed in partnership with Yucaipa Cos., Ron Burkle's investment company.
With news having come down the wire that Andre Balazs will grace London with its own Standard Hotel, we had to head over to the city’s King’s Cross area to have a look ourselves. Smack in the middle of one of the city’s largest construction and regeneration projects, the former Camden Town Hall Annexe site (above) doesn’t bring a lot of aesthetic desirability to the table in its current form.
EstateGazette previously referred to “refurbishment” and “additional floors” being proposed, which could mean the existing structure will be used as a base. The additional floors are likely to upset some people, with debate about height restrictions for the building and in the area going back as far as two years. Nothing on or around the building indicates its future as a Standard Hotel at this point, aside from notices that the Camden council is moving. Initial information indicates it will take at least two years to redevelop the building.
Hotel Hype / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Riff Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Chelsea Hotels / New York Hotels / Jonathan Adler / Madonna / → All Tags
Shhh. There’s a new hotel – or hotel chain – gearing up to hit Manhattan, but it’s preparing under the radar. Why? Our best guess is that they don’t want any riff raff hearing about it.
Or any raff, at least. Riff is just fine – fitting, in fact. Because the chain will be called Riff Hotels, and the first property – opening next month – will be Riff Chelsea, a “musically-inspired” 44-room hotel at W30th St and 8th Avenue.
The creative theme is in its genes – formerly the Chelsea Star (indeed still the Chelsea Star for now – it’s remaining open, while being converted room by room, and will be officially rebranded in August), it was a pulling point for artists in the 1980s. Madonna stayed here, and
the hotel rumor has it that Lucky Star was inspired by the hotel.
The Chelsea Star looks pretty non-descript right now, but as the Riff, the hotel will be channeling the 80s: the lobby will house pictures of early New York Madonna by Richard Corman, there’ll be a performance space curated by artist collective Chashama, and rooms will be “retro-contemporary”, designed by Steed Hale, who worked on Studio 54. We don’t have pictures or even renderings yet, but you’ll need sunglasses at the ready if they’re anything like the hotel is promising:
Bold colors and eye-catching graphics will make every guest room different, with pop-art photography, edgy graphics, and bold, buzzy Jonathan Adler wallpaper.
Watch your back, 90210.
According to a just-released report from CityLab, Boston zip code 02199 — which reflects the city’s tony Back Bay neighborhood — is among the 10 Most Expensive Zip Codes in America. With median home values of $3.3 million, the Back Bay is #5 — not far behind Lisa, Kyle, and Brandi’s champagne-soaked stomping grounds ($3.5 million). And if that surprises you, it’s only because wealthy Bostonians are perfectly content to bankroll hospitals and universities instead of launching flavored vodka lines or publicizing-slash-embarrassing themselves on TV. [Sips tea.]
Point is, perhaps it’s no surprise that a new Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts in the Back Bay will make Boston one of only a few international cities with multiple properties from the brand.
Are you a thrill-seeker, but only in a conservative way? Like heights, but wouldn’t jump off them? Enjoy getting to know a new culture, but only in familiar surroundings?
If so, we have your 2018 vacations sorted. You’re going to China! Specifically, to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in Central China.
It’s in Wuhan that the tallest twin towers in the world are currently under construction, and the Telegraph reports that they will house hotels, among other things. Exactly where they will sit in the 3280ft towers is unclear, but let’s hope they’re nice and high.
A signature of ME by Melia Hotels is the rooftop bar, and this well-positioned one from the upcoming ME Milan this should not disappoint. Interestingly, this perspective appears to be taken from terraces of the hotel across the street, which quite frankly will have one of the best views of this new design feature.
2015 will see two new ME hotels--the extreme ME Dubai and the ME Milan II Duca, a previous modern classic that will be re-affirmed. ME’s first hotel in Italy will be moving into the former Il Duca di Milano hotel, a simple yet balanced contemporary design by the late Aldo Rossi, a Pritzker Prize winning architect and designer, referred to as “a poet who happens to be an architect.” You don't hear that comparison often.
Even capricious Paris was on best behavior yesterday for the preview of its latest palace hotel arrival, framing The Peninsula Paris with blue skies, cotton clouds and a blazing summer sun. Now five weeks away from official opening on August 1, we had a chance to peek inside the spectacularly restored 1908 grand hotel on Avenue Kléber – above in an official early evening photograph showing off its scale and symmetry in a way that the former makes difficult to capture closer up.
Yesterday, news came out that hotelier Ian Schrager was boasting about his new hotel and residences project at 215 Chrystie St. on New York's Lower East Side and today, it's been officially, officially confirmed that the project will be a Public Hotel. (We also heard that earlier this year.)
The building was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects, Herzog & de Meuron, the team behind the Olympic Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing and the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, as well as Schrager's 40 Bond residential project. With such a stellar design team on the project, it's no surprise that much attention is being paid to the 11 full floor and half floor apartments with interiors by British designer John Pawson. (Those are likely the residences in the rendering above.)
Yet there is still lots to get excited about with the Public Hotel which will have 370 hotel rooms and be ruled by the popular Public ethos, which, given what we saw in Chicago, is to let people live the high life without high room rates.
No word on construction or completion but we sincerely hope it's soon.
[Rendering: Public Hotels]
Washington DC’s uber high-end mixed use and all-one-word development, CityCenterDC, will also have a high-end hotel brand inside--Conrad Hotels, which is anticipated to open in early 2018. This will be the first time Conrad has opened in DC and it will also be the only hotel planned for CityCenterDC. But what exactly is CityCenterDC? Allow us.
CityCenterDC is a micro-planned, urban “neighborhood” encompassing 10 acres in downtown DC. It’s been constructed in phases over several years and includes residential, retail and dining, offices, and a luxury hotel that now has a name.
Speaking of names, The Conrad DC has a distinguished team working out the details of its design-- a duo of architects in Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron Architekten and Dallas based HKS Architects, Inc, and Rottet Studio as interior designer. Based on their previous work, it's safe to say this Conrad will be no ordinary hotel.
Andaz Hotels / Hotel Openings / Tokyo Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
We’re always up for a hotel stay, but when it comes with the chance to take in that freshly opened new hotel smell? We’re all over it. Such was our luck at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, where we walked through the front door the day after the ribbon was cut last week.
One of the tallest structures in Tokyo, Toranomon Hills tower (the big one in the middle in the above photo, with a bonus appearance of Tokyo Tower on the left) dominates the skyline south of the vast green expanse surrounding the Imperial Palace. Andaz spreads across six floors of the building, with reception on floor 51, rooftop bar, function space and wedding chapel (yes, really) on floor 52, spa on floor 37, and 164 guestrooms between floors 47 and 50.
We had high hopes for our Andazm at Andaz no. 12 and we left pretty satisfied after a night in one of its rooms. Why? Here are five things that made it work for us.
The fact that Andaz Tokyo is indeed very much open is something we can vouch for, typing this as we do in one of its rooms on the 50th floor of the equally new Toranomon Hills tower, with the above view over the city and the Imperial Palace stretching out in front of us.
We paid an opening rate of about $370 USD (39360 JPY) but we're clearly getting a lot of bang for our buck. From big views to small amenities (the minibar and WiFi are complimentary), there is lots to talk about, which we’ll do soon.
In the meantime, here are a few shots to whet your appetite: from the lofty heights of the 52nd floor rooftop and expansive lap pool to old-timey switches on the nightstand, paper artwork in the elevators and bonsai trees in the lobby. Stay tuned for much more.
They paved a parking lot and put up paradise?
The developers behind The Beekman Hotel in lower Manhattan are now looking across the Brooklyn Bridge for their newest hotel project.
GFI Development Company and GB Lodging have partnered up with Spruce Capital Partners and Alex Rovt to create a lifestyle hotel at 252 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn. The hotel will rise out of an 18,000-sq.ft. corner parcel which is currently home to an open-air parking lot.
There's not much else to go on here except that the hotel's central location between the Boerum Hill, Carol Gardens and Fort Greene neighborhoods will make it easy for future guests to get around the BK.
But we hope the developers don't take the same naming tactic as they did with The Beekman as this Brooklyn address doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Picture it: "Hey man, where you staying tonight?" "Um, the Shermanator, Sherman-horn, Shamer horn? Here, let me pull it up on my phone."
[Photo via ParkMe]