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There's tons of New York hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· CitizenM Times Square Is On Track For Summer 2013: European-based budget hotel chain CitizenM have been circling for a while now on a yet-to-open CitizenM Times Square property on 50th and Broadway. At the beginning of 2011, we were told the brand was shooting for a 2012 opening in Times Square (which obviously never happened). Now, CitizenM executive Michael Levie tells USA Today that construction is well underway, and that the 24-story, 240-room tower is set to open by next summer. What else? The company is also planning a second NYC location in Soho, set to open the following year.
BusinessWeek reports that some shady business went down in Miami Beach the other week. Well, in addition to whatever other shady business goes down there regularly. But, in this case, the perpetrator was Eden Roc, who attempted to pull off a Waikiki-style shakedown, launching an "egregious raid in the pre-dawn hours" on October 14.
Though the shakedown wasn't successful, it got the message across to Marriott, who's now seeking help from the court to prevent Eden Roc from trying again.
Hotel Lawsuits / Miami Hotel Mambo / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Owners / → All Tags
Ruh-roh. There's even more trouble in Miami Beach.
Just after we learned about the Setai Shakedown, we saw that the owners of another Miami hotel that made our sexiest bathrooms list, The Eden Roc Renassiance Hotel, are now suing Marriott Hotels and their Renaissance brand for grossly mismanaging the hotel after an extensive renovation. Business Week has this choice bit from the hotel owners' lawsuit:
“In the face of Renaissance’s failures, Eden Roc has quite literally shoveled money into the project to make up for Renaissance’s incompetence,” Eden Roc said in the complaint. “And while Eden Roc loses its shirt, Renaissance and its parent company and guarantor, Marriott International, have lined their pockets with management fees.”
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Hotel Kamp in Helsinki is owned by Starwood
The New York Daily News is reporting on a lawsuit between Wall Street banker Alison Fournier and Starwood Hotels, who gave an unknown man the key to Fournier's Helsinki hotel room, after he explained to the Front Desk that he was her husband. Creepy! And kinda unbelievable.
The surveillance video depicts an American man showing up at the Hotel Kamp's Front Desk, drunkenly explaining he had been locked out from his wife's room, and walking away with the key. Minutes later, he entered Fournier's room, took his clothes off and got into bed with her. Creepy again! Though half-asleep, and alone, Fournier immediately realized what was going on and ran straight out of the room. Starwood has called the event "very unfortunate" and is looking into the facts before taking any further action.
Like, um, an apology?
Hotel Woes / Hotel Fees / Hotel Credit Cards / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Lawsuits / Hotel Fraud / → All Tags
The WSJ is reporting that an auditor for Amsterdam Hospitality Group has greedily helped himself to the credit card information of 237 guests, drawing from three of the group's eight Manhattan hotels. Luckily, NYC's Fashion Week mainstay, the Empire Hotel, which the company owns, wasn't affected.
Phew! Though we dote happily on the Empire's ritzy Lincoln Center location and rooftop drinking accommodations, we'd rather not take our chances when handing over our credit cards for a $450-a-night stay. We have enough "mystery charges" showing up on our monthly statements (as we mentioned earlier this morning, our love of hotels is exceeded only by our love of shopping) as it is, and have no need for disappearing funds.
Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Edition Hotels / Aqua Hotels Hawaii / Hotel Lawsuits / Hotel Employees / Hotel Takeovers / → All Tags
Some late-breaking news yesterday--a New York judge has ordered M Waikiki LLC, the owners of the The Waikiki Edition who dumped the brand in favor of The Modern Honolulu, to reinstall the Edition team which is owned by Marriott Hotels.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
On Wednesday, a New York state judge issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that stated that Marriott should be allowed to return to its management role at the hotel by 2:30 p.m. local time, replacing Aqua Hotels & Resorts, the management company installed by the owners on Sunday, according to a copy of the judge's order.
But despite the ruling, the WSJ said that by late Wednesday Aqua was still in place and that a bunch of Marriott executives had arrived but then later left the hotel.
Still Marriott says they are accepting reservations for the hotel through Marriott.com and over the phone as well as through "numerous online and other travel providers." (Also of note; anyone who booked a spa deal through PlayHawaii.com are welcome back as well.) But will it still be a Marriott/Edition hotel when you get there? That remains to be seen.
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This used to be a happy place.
Uhoh. Remember that Edition Waikiki Lawsuit that the owners of the Edition Waikiki filed against Edition's parent company Marriott Hotels and visionary Ian Schrager a few months ago? Well things have just gotten really nasty.
The Wall Street Journal reports that over Saturday night, the owners changed the locks on the hotel doors, effectively shutting out Marriott.
In a dramatic move, the owners of the Waikiki Edition in Hawaii said Sunday that in the early morning hours they installed new management and changed the signs and locks on the hotel to reflect a new name, the Modern Honolulu. The changes were made in spite of a contract that allows Marriott to run the hotel as an Edition for 30 years.
The view from the Millenium Hilton in 2008.
Millenium Hilton hasn't had it very easy this past decade. When September 11 happened, one side of the hotel was completely blown out forcing closure of the hotel for nearly two years.
When we checked in with the hotel on the 5th anniversary of 9/11, things were settling down into a new kind of normal for the hotel, just like everyone else in the city was doing. But the hotel's proximity to Ground Zero with its strange mixture of 9/11 memorials and frenetic construction was unavoidable. And now five years later, it's gotten so bad the hotel is filing a lawsuit.
According to the NY Post, the hotel is suing both the Port Authority, which owns the site, and Silverstein Properties Inc., who is the developer of Towers 2, 3 and 4 for a total of $8 million claiming:
This story is for all the people who leave us nasty comments when we complain about annoying hotel fees. At least we haven't filed a lawsuit about them yet.
Yes, one man is so upset about being charged 75 cents for what he thought was a free copy of USA Today that he is suing Hilton Hotels in a federal class action lawsuit. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Rodney Harmon, 55, of Sacramento said he visited the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport on March 28 and saw a copy of USA Today outside his door.
"He did not request a newspaper and assumed it had been placed there by hotel staff," said the suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Harmon didn't realize until later that a 75-cent charge for the paper had been added to his bill. Harmon accused Hilton of deliberately hiding the newspaper charge by describing the fee in an "extremely small font which is difficult to notice or read" on the sleeve of the room card.
Hotel Lawsuits / Nick Hotels / Nick Hotels by Marriott / Family Suites Resorts / Viacom / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Things seem to have quieted down on the Waikiki Edition Lawsuit front but now thanks to a tipster, we can turn our full attention to a new hotel lawsuit brewing--this time involving Viacom, Nickelodeon, Family Suites Resorts and again, Marriott.
It turns out Family Suites Resorts, the owners of a Nickelodeon-themed hotel in Orlando, The Nickelodeon Suites Hotel, sued Nick's parent company Viacom last year for allowing Marriott to offer a bunch of Nickelodeon-themed getaways at their hotels throughout Florida. (Remember, we first reported Marriott's partnership with Nickelodeon way back in 2007.)
Apparently, Family Suites has the exclusive rights within 150 miles to operate Nick hotels and any Nick-themed hotel getaways, packages, what have you. Also, they are fired up that there could possibly be other Nick-themed hotels in America that which they have nothing to do with.
Hotel Lawsuits / Ian Schrager / Marriott Hotels / Edition Hotels / Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Hotel News / → All Tags
**A HotelChatter Exclusive**
Until now he's been referring all inquiries to Marriott but he's told HotelChatter he couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer.
Here is Ian's Schrager's official statement on the Waikiki Edition lawsuit:
I'm going to let the hotel, media and customer reviews speak for themselves. The Edition Waikiki, in its first 6 months, has received rave reviews. Marriott is the best operator in the business, but they can't stop the affects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. While its true I didn't build, develop, manage or make all the final decisions for this property, since my name and reputation are involved, I want it to be as good as it can be. This lawsuit, I can only speculate on their motives, is not only completely transparent and frivolous, it is an abuse of process. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously."
Your move, M Waikiki.
Hotel Lawsuits / Edition Waikiki Lawsuit / Marriott Hotels / Ian Schrager / Edition Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Industry News / → All Tags
Yesterday after a long day of working on the internet, we were looking forward to putting our feet up and reading the latest issue of
The National Enquirer The New Yorker when up popped a Google Alert in our inbox with the headline, "Owner of Waikiki Edition Hotel Files Lawsuit Against Marriott and Ian Schrager." Hmm...been there, read that.
But just as we were about to focus on Arnold's housekeeper, er, we mean the latest crisis in Syria, we noticed the source of that Google Alert--PR Newswire.
Yes, the owners of the Waikiki Edition put out a press release about their lawsuit, even after it was written up last week in the WSJ. As if this couldn't get any better, the press release included a PDF to the lawsuit filing. For hotel geeks, this is akin to shirtless pics of Bieber. So we clicked and began reading all 27 pages.
We totes recommend you read it in your spare time but allow us to pull out the juicy parts.