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Bigger is always better, of course – or mas grande, mas bueno, as
people who don't speak Spanish they say in Madrid. Because not content with the three Novotels Accor already owns in the city; they’re getting another – and this one is going to be the biggest Novotel in the world.
The Hotel Convención – a gargantuan four star hotel a few blocks away from Retiro Park – is going to be completely redesigned, refurbished and will debut as a Novotel in 2016. Plans include a rooftop pool, business floors, and a children’s corner.
Six months after we first cycled past Michael Achenbaum’s future London hotel, phase one of the project seems to be complete: razing the drab 3-story office building that stood between the hotelier and the British version of his rooftop pool parties.
JW Marriott Hotels want you to relax. Wait. Actually they want you to "demystify and re-imagine the spa experience" with their new spa concept---Spa by JW.
While JW Marriott hotels around the world often have a spa component of some sort, the hotel brand is now officially getting into the spa game with Spa by JW. Not very creative but at least, we know whose spa it is.
The first Spa by JW will open at the new JW Marriott Hotel in Houston Downtown when the hotel itself opens in September. Another Spa by JW will open at the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar in December followed by at least 20 more.
Through a variety of treatments--short and long--Spa by JW will concentrate on four purposes--Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew. Here are some examples of that:
Believe it or not, but this sad-looking vacant block of red brick has uninterrupted, million-dollar views of London’s Tate Modern museum, with that little bit of murky water actually being the river Thames. Why are we showing you this? Because a few years from now this might turn into a glassy new mixed-use complex, centered around a new 224-room hotel a few blocks away from St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Referred to at the moment as the Queensbridge House Hotel & Apartments, the 7-story building would replace three existing office blocks, which sit tightly between the Thames and the busy street right behind, as well as above it – more pictures to get a sense of how that works below.
The latest Starwood hotel to hit Miami won't open until March 19, 2015 and judging by the pictures, we're even a little skeptical of that date. Yet it is interesting to see how Aloft is updating the old Motel Arkana, keeping much of the motel's existing structure but also adding another tower adjacent to the lot. (See the rendering on the Aloft Miami Beach website to get a better idea of how it will look.)
Late last year we asked the question whether the Hilton London Bankside was being revived, with construction having picked up after several years of silence to the point where the multi-story hole in the ground had been filled up.
The revival question we can now answer with a resounding yes, with the hotel recently having “topped out”, i.e. reached its highest point. It also sounds like it will open mid next year, with the rather bland interior renderings we looked at previously now updated on the architect’s website to reflect a much warmer, interesting design which apparently follows “Hilton’s newly launched brand standards”. Above one of the 292 rooms, further below lobby, restaurant and bar.
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.
Given how little information we could parse together about the two new Montcalm Hotels potentially opening in London, we headed into town to see what we could find in person. Double-checking addresses, we struck one of our list before we even left the house, with the hotel on Finsbury Square no longer featured on the website.
What we found in Shoreditch was a little more encouraging in terms of actual construction going on, with the hotel at or very near its highest point. Just north of Old Street Station, the pointy building is very nearly without horizontal lines, sitting next to a fancy apartment complex (on the left) also in progress.
A tipster whispers in our ear that despite the ongoing construction under the Montcalm banner, a number of other groups, including Virgin Hotels, are interested in acquiring the property. While we can’t verify that bit of delicious hotel gossip, we’re all over it – especially since Montcalm doesn’t seem quite sure of anything when it comes to the hotel.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Borneo Hotels / Malaysia Hotels / Sarawak Hotels / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
View from our Superior Poolside Room at the Damai Beach Resort
The Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers, especially the area surrounding the city of Kuching. A short drive outside the city sits the Sarawak Cultural Village and Mount Santubong, where you can learn about Iban longhouses and explore the exotic wildlife of the rainforest.
There are a number of hotels in Kuching that are very affordable and within a 45-minute drive, but if you want to stay on the coast, the area's flagship resort is the Damai Beach Resort in Sarawak. It recently underwent a series of refurbishments that included upgrades to the main pool, children's pool, and dining areas, and further renovations are taking place as we speak.
Damai is in the midst of adding a new ballroom and parking facilities, which it hopes will attract more events to the property. One other addition that's not being advertised but we saw while on site is the addition of a swim-up bar in the main pool.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel News / Edition Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Yabu Pushelberg / Ian Schrager / Luxury Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Ladies and Gents, pull out your credit cards. The Miami Beach Edition is now taking reservations.
We got the email alert in our inbox today (although it was announced on Facebook yesterday) and quickly clicked over to the site. There we discovered that while the hotel will "premiere" in November, rooms aren't actually available until January 19, 2015. (UPDATE: We've been told that the hotel is definitely opening in November and that the reservations will get moved up as the opening date gets closer.) For now, rates on that opening Monday in January start at $579 a night for a standard king room. Someone pass us the smelling salts.
Only a few months in as a newly branded hotel company, Belmond Hotels, formerly Orient-Express Hotels, has snapped up a prime property in London. Well, it will be prime once the renovations are over.
Belmond has signed a management agreement with Cadogan Estates Limited to operate The Cadogan, an intimate, 64-room hotel on Sloane Street in the Chelsea nabe. Alas, guests won't be able to stay at the newest Belmond, and the only one in London, right away.
The Cadogan, originally built in 1887, is closing at the end of this month to undergo an astonishing $48 million renovation process that will completely redo the public areas and maximize the space individual guest rooms. Therefore the room count will actually drop down to 54 rooms. A gourmet dining experience" will also be installed, opening out onto Sloane Street and with views of Cadogan Place gardens. GA Design International and their London team will do the interior design work.
When the property reopens in Summer 2016 (long time away!), it will go by the name of Belmond Cadogan.
Currently, The Cadogan is advertising rooms at £209 a night. We even found a room next week on July 24, the hotel's last week open for just £190 a night. Expect those rates to double when Belmond moves in, darling.
[Photo: The Cadogan/Facebook]
The hot tub at the Scarlet. The Spaceport might be on the headland right behind it
Hot on the heels of the news that the Hotel Encanto De Las Cruces in New Mexico has been selected as the official spaceport hotel for Virgin Galactic passengers, comes word that the UK is planning a spaceport of its own – and Newquay Airport in Cornwall is the frontrunner to get it.
According to the West Briton, the aim is to build the spaceport for commercial flights by 2018. Which got us to thinking… which hotel could they partner up with?
Cornwall, and Newquay in particular, is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, of course, but space travellers will be after something a little classier than the town’s standard crummy guesthouses. But here’s our pick of three posh Newquay-area hotels (note: you don’t have to be a space traveller to stay here).