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All eyes were on the grand opening of the SLS Las Vegas last weekend, but now the spotlight is heading down The Strip to The Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, which will officially open on Tuesday, September 2.
Back in May, we admired the "different yet still designer" look of the Vegas version of the Delano Hotel in South Beach, one of the original boutique hotels created by master hotelier But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so. Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand. Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so.
Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand.
Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
Every so often, the mainstream media gets fired up about hidden hotel fees. This usually happens when it's revealed how much hotels are making off these miscellaneous yet maddening fees. This year it will be about $2.25 billion, according to a new NYU report.
Us, being both regular hotel guests and hotel trend watchers, have become somewhat accustomed, but no less outraged, to the random fees that pop up during a hotel stay.
Back in 2010 we detailed 10 Most Ridiculous Hotel Fees, included the heinous WiFi charges, the confusing room service charges and the annoying resort fees.
The next year, we followed that up with 5 Hotels That Are Acting Like Airlines with Extra Fees and made it clear we did not like the fees for making a reservation over the phone, nor the early check-in fee and certainly not the baggage storage fee.
Just last year, we uncovered more hidden fees, including the fee for the bottled water on the night stand, the towel at the pool and the safe in the closet. And soon after that, we were blindsided by a random newspaper charge. #GRR. Most recently, we uncovered another sinister type of fee creeping around London, the minimum spend fee during peak hours at the bar.
But hotels want to make money, so fees for things you would expect to be free have long been how they do business. The only way to avoid these fees is to assume that everything you use inside your hotel room, save for the water, towels, and toiletries, will cost extra. Study the little notes placed around the room by the hotel, whether it be the mini-bar menu, or the note about WiFi placed on the desk, to see if there is a charge and how much it will be.
And of course, if a fee pops up unexpectedly on your bill, head right down to the front desk to dispute it. Just make sure you know how to effectively complain to them.
[Photo: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]
Legislation that was passed at the end of July will officially go into effect this weekend in Portland, Oregon, legalizing short-term home rentals. As AirBnb has come under attack from the hotel industry and city governments across the country, Portland has decided to legally address how residents can use their house as a source of income.
Emphasis on the world "house," as the law includes individual houses, duplexes, and accessory dwelling units but excludes condos and apartments, even if the unit is owned. The reason for this, according to Oregon Live, is that "under the city's interpretation of the state building code, [apartment and condo buildings] would have to meet similar safety requirements as commercial hotels. Few apartment and condo buildings would live up to that standard." The law also does not include the renting out of the entire home - only a portion of it, such as a bedroom or two.
The law requires that the renter file for a permit from the city, which will cost $180 per year. The owners of the property must live on-site for at least nine months a year, limit the length of stays to less than 30 days, and agree to 1) inform their neighbors of their rental contracts and 2) allow for safety inspections by the city. The owners of the home get to keep the profits of their rentals, minus an 11.5% occupancy tax that is collected and paid to the city by the rental agency (AirBnb, for example).
Hotel News / Hoxton Hotels / Affordable Hotels / London Hotels / Amsterdam Hotels / New York Hotels / Paris Hotels / → All Tags
Having just taken you inside The Hoxton Holborn, opening on September 25, we’re continuing as promised with an update on the international expansion of the brand, which will include Amsterdam, New York, and Paris within the next two years.
First up is The Hoxton Amsterdam, which as we looked at earlier this year will open in what was the Rembrandt Classic Hotel on the city’s Herengracht canal. While our January snap showed guests walking in and out, the hotel has been closed since April for its much-needed renovation to Hoxton standards. Opening should be in 2015.
Hotel Openings / SLS Las Vegas / SLS Hotels / Viva Vegas / Las Vegas Hotels / Casino Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We've just taken you inside a World Tower room at the SLS Las Vegas but the beauty of this casino, and all casinos in Vegas really, is that you don't need to stay the night to take it all in. Here are 10 ways to see, like and savor the SLS Las Vegas without spending the night.
1. Werk Your Arrival: The grand entrance to the SLS is rather spectacular. After admiring the Philippe Starck-designed sculpture/caricature of SLS Hotels CEO Sam Nazarian out front, you walk through simple glass doors into an entryway that features a mirrored ceiling (perfect for #selfies!) and light-up floor squares which make you feel a little like Michael Jackson in the "Billie Jean" video. This "stage" of sorts then gives way to the casino floor. Overall, it just gives you a baller sense of arrival.
2. Gamble In Style: The casino is smaller than most Vegas casinos, but it's filled with shiny, new things like flat-screen TVs in the gambling pits and funky Starck-inspired figures atop some of the slot machines. There's also a throwback slot machine for the Sahara in the center of the casino if you're missing the good old days.
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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.
The opening of Burning Man, the weeklong
yuppie hippie festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, has been cancelled due to rainstorms which have flooded the dried-up lake where the festival is usually held. "Burners" headed to the festival, some in expensive, custom RVs, are being turned away at the gate and sent back to Reno, the closest major city, until at least tomorrow morning. And boy, are the Reno hotels and casinos, happy to have them.
Here's a list of the hotels that are open to the Burners. Fortunately, all of these options are pretty affordable and there are even reports that the hotels will not be price-gouging the dejected burners, just because they can. Also, doing a quick look on Expedia, we see plenty of hotel rooms open with the most expensive one being the Peppermill Resort for about $150 a night. In short, if you're going to be in Reno tonight, it's probably going to be a little weird.
Reno is an interesting "biggest little city", with many believing that lowkey Reno is what Downtown Vegas used to be like--loose slots, good bargains, relaxed atmosphere etc--before Downtown Vegas got all Vegas-ified. But at the same time, Reno might just be a little too lowkey for the techies that frequent Burning Man.
Now open! Say hello to this caricature of Sam Nazarian, designed by Philippe Starck.
If you followed our live-blog on Friday, then you were privy to one of the first images from inside a room at the SLS Las Vegas, which officially opened at midnight to the public. Today, we're showing you all around that room.
This here is a superior room in The World Tower, which is standard SLS fare in terms of design and amenities. The Story Tower has smaller, budget-type rooms with bright yellow-tiled bathrooms, while the Lux Tower has larger plusher rooms and suites, with more of designer Philippe Starck's ethereal elements like mirrors on the ceilings, peekaboo bathrooms and illustrated draperies.
The decor in the World Tower is simple but with alternating soft and bold touches like a white sofa at the foot of the also white and extremely comfortable king bed, an armchair with a silver tree stump table next to it, baby pink and black wallpaper design, and giant mirrors on three walls, including one which lights up.
The minibar amenities offer up SLS Saints and Sinners goodies (including SLS's Culinary Director Jose Andres' brand of potato chips!) along with fancy cocktail glasses to use. In the bathroom are SLS's Ciel Spa toiletries which are thankfully gentle on your skin and hair. There's an open closet and an open shelf for storing your clothes as well as an ironing board and iron to crisp up for a night out.
Our favorite part, however, was the desk.
Hotel News / London Hotels / Pan Pacific Hotels / Hotel Development / Four Seasons Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Here is some news that will shake you out of your summer lull faster than even London’s unseasonably frigid temperatures could have: Singapore-based UOL Group Limited has acquired the site for the future Heron Plaza development on Bishopsgate and plans to open a hotel under its Pan Pacific brand inside.
Not only will that be the first Pan Pacific for Europe, and only the fifth outside Asia-Pacific (there is Seattle, Vancouver, and Whistler times two currently), it is also the end for what everyone had long accepted would be the third Four Seasons hotel in the city.
UOL paid £97 million for the land, which currently has planning permission for a 43-story tower with 109 residences, 190-room hotel, and retail. The group will “review” that configuration, so we assume that will mean room count will change.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Parties / SLS Las Vegas / Viva Vegas / Hotel News / SLS Hotels / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
Something lovely starts today.
SLS Las Vegas has officially completed its $400 million renovation of the iconic Sahara casino and will be opening their doors at midnight tonight to excited and skeptical guests alike.
Currently, we're in the "excited" group because it's been a hell of a ride to watch SLS grow from one boutique hotel in Los Angeles to a full-fledged casino resort in Las Vegas, with a property in South Beach opening along the way, and several more to come.
We toured the SLS back in May and even though the rooms were not ready and the casino floor was just beginning to get its finishing touches, we could envision the sort of fun playground it will be, with big names and brands installed at the restaurants, nightclubs and retail that surround the casino floor.
Yet aside from a few touches that honor the old Sahara resort, made famous by the Rat Pack, the SLS has done away with anything old and replaced it with everything new. Folks still clinging onto memories of the Sahara may enter SLS with skepticism (or perhaps, it's bitterness) but we'll go in excited--you know how we love new things--and hopefully, we'll come out excited too.
Below are our on-the-scene observations. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for some other live coverage. For even more dedicated coverage on the SLS Las Vegas, head on over to VegasChatter's own live blog.
China Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / St Regis Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / W Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
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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Having opened reservations earlier this summer, the Hoxton Holborn is now just a month away from opening, with the official date being September 25. Not only did we hear that directly from the hotel, we also had a chance to step inside and see for ourselves how the east London favorite travels to a midtown environment.
Above a snap from inside a Cosy Room, the third category out of four. While the 174 rooms differ in size (Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy), all share the same design and features, like the wood-and-leather headboard you see here.