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Now that the word is out regarding the sale of the Mondrian Soho to the Buddha-Bar Hotel Collection owner, Gerard Guez, we thought you might like to have a peek at the fairly-new Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (opened as a Preferred Boutique Hotel in June 2013) to get an idea of what all the brouhaha is about regarding these properties in Paris, Prague and Budapest.
The 56-room Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris is located right in the fashion heart of the 8th arrondissement (and is often used in fashion shoots), just off Faubourg Saint-Honoré but, when you enter, you feel as if you’re not in Kansas (or Paris) anymore. All looks standard-issue Paris on the outside of the 1734 building, but step inside to face the 120 red-glass lanterns hanging at the entrance, and you imagine that you’ve been thrown into the movie classic, “Shanghai Express.”
With just a hint of opium-den design, the hotel and its rooms are full of mahogany wood, red or black lacquered doors and tabletops, golden brown or yellow walls and carpets, and grey or red sofas and chairs. Greeting you in the lobby, besides the Buddha-like black cat, is the Chinese Dragon woven into the carpet – a motif you’ll find throughout the hotel – as the official protector of travelers to this, and other, foreign lands.
Have a look at the photo gallery!
Extended stay hotel, AKA Times Square recently unveiled a bi-level lounge with 1,000-square-foot warparound terrace deck designed by Piero Lissoni. The space, which is exclusive to residents, is located on both the 12th floor and the previously hidden 13th floor, named a.13.
The 3,000-sq.ft. lounge features slat walls created with Japanese charred wood, wide-plank white-oak flooring and furnishings that include designer Ingo Maurer’s lamps, B&B Italia's Charles Sofa and Arne Jacobsen’s iconic swan chairs. The 12th floor has a fitness center, media alcove and cozy nooks, while the 13th floor has giant windows and a private resident-and-guest-only bar with an a.vod vodka vault installation.
Residents are invited to booze it up in the space and the WiFi is blessedly free. Just be careful when emailing or Facebooking after drinking.
Rates at AKA Times Square start at $435 a night.
[Photo: AKA Times Square]
The announcement was made yesterday that The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will open on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah with 323 rooms, all with outdoor terraces and sea-front views. Fifty-three of the rooms, designed by Aedas Limited, will be either one or two-bedroom suites and 22 of those will have their own plunge pools. #todiefor
The restaurants, most of them al fresco, will range from Japanese to Arabic and Italian fusion while the Palm Court lounge will be modeled after the original at The Langham Hotel in London (remember, this was the first hotel lounge to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865.) The hotel will also feature a Langham Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage throughout the day, along with a dedicated concierge service. To peep on the Langham Club experience, read our story HERE.
There will even be a separate Travellers Lounge where guests can hang out before their room is ready or after check-out but before their flight. Aside from a library, entertainment options and light dining, this lounge will have showers and change rooms.
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Last week we told you about LA’s Four Seasons offering up a ½ oz shot of the revered Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 cognac for a healthy $1,000 a pop. Now we’ve found out that The Bar at The Dorchester in London has fired a shot over their bow, so to speak, thereby upping the cognac war ante.
To celebrate the launch of the Louis XIII Rare Cask 42, 6, the house of Rémy Martin asked this Dorchester Collection hotel to create the ultimate “Louis XIII Dorchester Experience.” For the first time ever, you can taste all four Louis XIII ‘expressions’ side by side: Louis XIII, Louis XIII Black Pearl, Louis XIII Rare Cask 43,8 and the recently launched Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6. With only 20 flights available and most of the Louis XIII Rare Cask and Black Pearl now sold-out worldwide, there’s no time to lose.
And it gets even better.
The Long Bar: High style almost overshadows the pricey drinks
In case you hadn’t noticed: cigars and hotels are a combination that’s all the rage right now. Fresh off our visit to London Fashion Week’s epicentre that is The May Fair Hotel, word comes that Le Royal Monceau Paris (part of Raffles Hotels & Resorts) is opening Le Club Viñales this fall.
Before you get your calendar out and start planning a visit, Le Club Viñales will be members-only, a “sanctuary for the happy few”. Those who are lucky enough to get inside will find leather club chairs, books, and international magazines, as well as a private terrace for the summer months.
Talking Stick Resort in Arizona has bragging rights not many other resorts can claim. This luxury resort has its own bourbon. It's officially called the Woodford Reserve Talking Stick Resort Personal Selection Bourbon--a mouthful of a name. The beverage, which will be sold in the resort’s Shadows Lounge, an indoor cigar bar, will debut on September 14.
The group of Talking Stick representatives who helped create the bourbon visited Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve Distillery where they worked with Chris Morris, master distiller. We are sure that an appropriate amount of tasting and mixing occurred, all in the name of providing a quality product for Talking Stick guests.
On the September 14th debut, guests can sample the bourbon during three tastings scheduled at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
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How much would we love it if the lobby at Hyatt 48Lex was our office? A lot. But how much work would we actually be getting done? Debatable.
The hotel has just launched a new members-only club for non-guests looking to use the hotel as a temporary office. Remind you a little of Westin's rentable hives? We thought the same thing.
The deal is this: business professionals who sign up for membership with Lex Club (and, be warned, there's a limited number of those available) will then be granted use of the hotel's entire second floor, including the four boardrooms and, of course, Lexicon Lounge, which, you will recall, with its long communal wooden table, cozy chairs, and fancy-pants coffee machine, is certainly not the worst of lobbies to end up in.
Since it opened in 1920, Chicago’s legendary Drake Hotel has always served up music in the background, as if it were a necessary feature of the posh, palatial scene. We’ve heard the harpist during afternoon tea in the grand Palm Court (so did Queen Elizabeth and Diana the Princess of Wales) and we’ve caught lounge acts and huge cocktails at Coq D’Or bar. But now, we’re going with more intention as The Drakes music steps out of the shadows for NextGenJazz, a three-month series featuring the freshest jazz playas in town.
Formed as a partnership between The Drake and the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and sponsored by Chicago Jazz Magazine, NextGenJazz is all about spotlighting rising talent as a way for Chicagoans and visitors to more easily experience the latest jazz in Chicago. The Drake is perfect to house the show, too, with its magical way of making the classics cool.
In many cases, the most exclusive hotel cocktail haunts (Bungalow 8, et al.) adhere to a hard and fast rule: If you're not on the list, don't bother sashaying up to the velvet rope, no matter how high your Louboutins. One of London's staple mixology lounges, however, has 86'ed the "Members Only" maxim in favor of a "come one, come all" approach to coincide with its recent reopening post-renovation.
Fact, plain and simple: London is not a cocktail town. A proper pint Londoners know, but the art of the mixed drink sometimes eludes those tending to liqueurs behind the bar. In recent years, however, a few chic speakeasies dedicated to crafting Prohibition era-inspired concoctions have opened their doors to discerning drinkers, raising the standard for cocktails in a city where ales and ciders rule.
Hotels are catching up in kind, with mixologists going for top-shelf gold with creative, original drink menus that shame those who dare order a Cosmopolitan as they sidle up to their boozy companions for the evening. And Appletinis? Don't even think about it. What follows are three hotels bars making an effort to reverse London's mediocre cocktail reputation and give it the cred to compete with the likes of New York. We'll drink to that.
Cocktails and Chanel Retrospectives — the perfect combo
Taschen and Assouline have won acclaim for releasing gorgeous fashion, art, and design tomes, going head to head for prominence in the realm of luxe book publishers. It seemed that the former had a leg up when the Trump Soho decided to stock its library with mint condition Taschen books, but Assouline is playing catch up as London's Halkin hotel welcomes the Assouline Culture Lounge to its lobby bar.
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We took a whirlwind tour through the newly-operational (well, almost operational) Hyatt 48Lex on Thursday morning. Amidst construction workers, multiple staff trainings, and other private tours, we got to peek the hotel's first-floor restaurant, Lexington Brass, the second-floor lounge area, Lexicon Lounge (above), and several of the rooms.
What struck us most, however, was the $15,000 WMF Bistro coffeemaker we spotted in the Lexicon Lounge. Not only will this machine be available to guests throughout their stay, they will even be able to use it to make coffee for themselves. Free coffee for all!