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It didn’t take Hotel Hugo New York nearly as long to open as was expected after its name change earlier this year: rather than winter 2014, the hotel soft-launched in April, and today the hotel is officially saying “we’re here, come on in!”.
Located on Greenwich Street in Hudson Square, the hotel has 124 rooms with gleaming walnut headboards and lots of design features, but there are interesting amenities to be found outside too. We’re not just talking about the city and river views either: you can get your hands on a Vespa to tool around Manhattan with.
As expected it is full of "Mama" jokes. Well, actually, the skincare line itself is full of organic goodness made by Absolution Cosmetics like aloe, almond and sesame. The products are also without paraben, PE, phthalates, fragrance, synthetic dye, and aggressive surfactants. And they are made in France, to boot. (A 200ml bottle costs 14 Euros.)
But what really catches our eye are the names of the products. There are actually only three products--an all-in-one cleansing wash for face, body and hair; a body cream; and soap, but with the exception of the body cream, they all have different mama sayings..
Mama Loves You From Head to Toe
Mama Likes to Keep It Pure
Mama Wants To Cream You Up (Face and body cream)
Mama Loves You From Top to Bottom
Mama Only Wants What's Best for You
Mama Says Its Totally Natural
Getting clean has never felt so dirty.
Hotel Closings / Atlantic City Hotels / Hotel News / Trump Entertainment Resorts / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
Ugh. Another round of bad news for Atlantic City and its employees. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday and said that if it could not make "significant expense reductions", the casino will close on November 13. Nearly 3,000 employees will then be out of a job.
The odds of Trump Taj Mahal closing are very, very good. Trump Entertainment Resorts, which is a separate entity from the Trump Hotels company as using the Trump name is simply a licensing deal, did not pay property taxes on the Taj Mahal last month and cannot pay off $285 million in bonds. Not even a strip club could save the Taj.
Trump is hoping to cut labor costs but the unions are strongly opposing it, saying even if the workers accepted minimum wage with no benefits, there wouldn't be enough money to save the Taj Mahal. This is some dire stuff. You can read more of the nitty gritty here on this NY Times article.
Hopefully, this will be the last closing in Atlantic City for a while. At least until 2015.
And behind that black velvet curtain lies the fumed-oak interior of Antony Gormley’s ROOM, the sculpture-meets-bedroom inside The Beaumont, opening on London’s Brown Hart Gardens within the next month. With nothing but the bed inside and a single window with shutters, you are sleeping in pure darkness, with the walls and roof pieced together like a wooden puzzle around you. It’s certainly unlike anything we’ve seen recently.
Aside from the one-bedroom suite ROOM is part of, we got a preview of some of the other accommodation as well as the public spaces in the 73-room hotel. We were impressed with how atmospheric restaurant the Colony Grill Room was – and this was on an early morning while the finishing touches were still being done. Perhaps not a surprise given the famous restaurateurs behind it, but we cannot wait to see the end result and try it out, along with the rest of London that will be filing through the doors as soon as reservations open up.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Killer View / Fez Hotels / Fes Hotels / Morocco Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
A five star property, locally owned (huzzah!) and designed by architect Christophe Pillet, it’s a clever cross between a riad and a resort: 50 rooms, two restaurants (one French, one Moroccan), a rooftop bar, Givenchy spa (the first in North Africa) and hammam and gym – but in a very beautiful, entirely Moroccan building. Oh, and since it’s perched on a hillside, it also has panoramic views from its rooftop terrace over the medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the start of the year, we were raving about how Starwood Hotels was piloting a program for Starwood Preferred Guests members to use their smartphones to open hotel room doors. Recently, we heard that Marriott International, which already allows its guests to check-in and check-out via smartphone, was working on smartphone room entry as well.
But all that effort just got a little more complicated now that Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch, which will do the exact same thing.
During Apple's keynote today, it was revealed that the watch is partnering with Starwood's app to open room doors. Surely, the technology won't be limited to just Starwood, so we fully expect this to branch out to other hotel brands.
As with the smartphone room entry, two things need to happen in order for the doors to actually open. First, the doors themselves need to equipped with
RFID technology the technology that Apple Watch will be using which is NFC/Bluetooth (which was actually in place in a hotel in Sweden in 2010.) Most new hotels are built with RFID technology so that you simply hold your key card up to the door and it unlocks. (Here's what it looks like.)
But a lot of older hotels, even ones from a few years ago, will need to updated. And that costs money.
Second, the hotels need to create their app which is also a big investment. And because not everyone will fork out $350 for the Apple Watch when it hits stores later this spring, hotels will still need to keep up with their smartphone apps. Oh and don't forget the masses of people who still love the old room keys. (For another reason why the technology won't be universal, read the second comment below.)
We're not saying watch and smartphone entry are impossible. We truly believe it's going to happen and will happen quickly but it won't be universal.
Will you open your hotel room door with the AppleWatch? Sound off in comments below!
[Photos: Gizmodo and HotelChatter]
Hotel Hype / W Hotels / Phuket Hotels / Thailand Hotels / Starwood Hotels / New Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
This will be the third W Hotel in Thailand and fortunately, it does seem a bit different from the other W hotels out there, at least in terms of layout. The interior offerings are W all the way.
Here's how the property is described:
W Retreat Phuket will be located on Koh Yao Noi, one of the largest islands in the Phang Nga Bay archipelago between the eastern coast of Phuket and western coast of Krabi on the mainland. The W Retreat will provide an integrated lifestyle experience with 79 standalone villas, starting from 155 square meters in space. All villas will feature private outdoor areas and plunge pools as well as superlative views of the limestone cliffs that dot Phang Nga Bay.
W Retreat Phuket - Phang Nga Bay will also offer a lobby lounge, an all-day dining restaurant and a specialty restaurant and bar. It will feature 120 square metres of modern meeting and event space; FIT, a well-equipped workout facility and swimming pool; and a contemporary spa with six treatment rooms. The W Retreat will be accessible from both Phuket International Airport (HKT) and Krabi Airport (KBV), with a fleet of high speed sea vessels, a private jetty and helicopter landing pad for ease of guests transfers.
And don't forget about Whatever/Whenever service! We'll circle back with more news on this property...in 2017.
New Hotels / Universal Studios Orlando Hotels / Orlando Hotels / Loews Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel News / → All Tags
Fresh off the March opening of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Hotels of Universal Studios in Orlando has just announced they will open their fifth hotel at the theme park. (No, it is not a Harry Potter-themed hotel. Go back to your working on that spell.)
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will open in the summer of 2016 with a "colorful Carribean atmosphere" featuring a tropical lagoon with waterfalls and 1,000 guest rooms, including 77 suites. The hotel will be located between Cabana Bay and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. There will also be an air-conditioned covered bridge which will connect the Loews Sapphire hotel to the Loews Royal Pacific. Wahoo!
When the hotel is completed, there will be a total of 5,200 hotel rooms from Loews at Universal Studios. Surely, some of those could be transformed into Gryffindor rooms? Pretty please?
Keep reading to see a rendering of the property!
Last year, the erstwhile St. John’s Hotel just off of London’s Leicester Square got picked up by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, having gone into administration less than two years after its arrival in 2011.
Being part of Loh’s Unlisted Collection didn’t create the magic the renamed One Leicester Street was looking for, so it’s going for another reinvention as part of the Honky Tonk Group this fall. This is the first foray into the hotel world for Honky Tonk, which runs two “American-inspired” restaurants with live music in Chelsea and Clapham.
Hotel Hype / Hotel News / Millennial Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Dubai Hotels / Venu Hotels / → All Tags
Oh lawd. Do we have another millennial-friendly hotel brand on our hands?
This morning, Jumeirah announced its plans for a “new contemporary lifestyle brand”. It’ll be called VENU, and the first hotel will be on Bluewaters Island in, fittingly, Dubai.
Here’s why we think it’s millennial-friendly (the first inkling was the logo):
VENU is designed to appeal to the modern traveler whose expectations revolve around their own lifestyle – clean, contemporary, cool and effortless… The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.
Coming to a VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, built around and anticipating the needs of the modern, savvy traveller.
Travelers [will] be inspired by the energy of the VENU brand… where technology is seamlessly integrated into the hotel experience, where the world comes together – a happening place full of energy and a cosmopolitan crowd.
It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.
W Hotels / New Hotels / Brisbane Hotels / Australia Hotels / Hotel News / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we checked in with W Hotels' plans to relaunch the brand down under, Melbourne was the city to be rumored in the running for W's return to Australia (W once had a property in Sydney for a few years in the early aughts.) That fell through, so the folks over at W decided that Oz'z third largest city, Brisbane, would be the perfect place. Hence W Brisbane, opening in 2018.
In an announcement last week, W said the hotel would be a par of a brand spanking new building complex on the western side of the central business district, just steps from the city's namesake river. The entire development will result in three tower rising from the ground, with W Brisbane staking claim to one of them; the other two will be office spaces and luxury high-rise living.
Amid some big openings in London this month (Hoxton, Mondrian), a small UK hotel brand is venturing into the capital with an equally petite property: Artist Residence, currently to be found in Brighton and Cornwall, is opening a 10-room townhouse in Pimlico today.
Inside are 8 individually designed bedrooms and 2 suites, ranging from “Small” to the “Grand Suite” and the above “Loft”, which brings on the quirky and artistic in its mixture of exposed brick, recycled headboard, and most appealing to us, the green velvet (we think?) armchair in the corner. The hotel’s website is still light on images, but on Instagram you can get a better impression of the brand.