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New Hotel Brands / Hotel News / Jaz in the City Hotels / Steigenberger Hotels / Amsterdam Hotels / Urban Lifestyle Hotels / Millennial Hotels / → All Tags
On the ever-expanding bandwagon of hip, urban lifestyle brands, Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts is officially getting on the bus with Jaz in the City, opening September 1 in the hipster city of Amsterdam.
This is the third brand for Frankfurt-based Steigenberger Hotel Group (after Steigenberger and InterCityHotel) who are mostly "Hotels made in Germany," with expansion planned in other parts of Europe, Egypt, China and the Middle East. Plus more in Germany.
For the Jaz in the City debut in Amsterdam, expect to be immersed in eternally hip Dutch culture and in particular, the music scene. While the Jaz web site has few renderings at the moment, when you "get down" to it, the overall message is pretty clear. Get down.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Chocolate / Hotel Stores / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / NH Hotels / Best Western Hotels / Brussels Hotels / → All Tags
Chocolates at turndown are all well and good, but here’s a hotel that’s going a step further – a chocolate store and workshop. This could only be in Belgium, of course – and it’s at the new NH Brussels Carrefour de l’Europe.
The hotel was previously a Best Western, but was taken over by NH this month. It’s in the Grasmarkt – a pretty square of medievalish buildings in the old town (though it’s very touristed, quite noisy, and even a little bit drunky – and most of those old buildings are now hotels). You’re right at the foot of the hill that leads to the Royal Palace, and a quick walk across from the Grand Place.
Hotel Openings / Chicago Hotels / Commune Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / Historic Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The historic Venetian Gothic tower, first built in 1893, has been under major restoration and renovation for the past two years We first profiled the plans for the building back in 2013 when contributor Nina K. Hahn peeked at what Harstone Plunkard Architecture and Roman and Williams had in mind for the place, as well as snapping what the spot looked like before it went under the knife.
Yet throughout the renovation process, the teams have kept much of the building’s 19th architectural elements such as the bas-relief woodcarvings on the fireplaces, stained glass windows and marble staircases.
Keep reading for a look at how the building used to be and for a sneak peek at the all-new guest rooms!
Like the looks of this shower? Don't get too attached.
Could there be any worse news for those of us that love a nice, long, hot shower, especially when we're on the road? We wish this were a bad dream but alas, the days of long showers - in hotels - may soon be over if the EPA has its way.
It appears the government wants to get in the shower with us and monitor how much water we use. A $15,000 grant has been issued to the University of Tulsa to devise a device that will track the water usage per guest room similar to a utility meter. Just the mention of the word "meter" suggests another possible charge to our hotel bill.
The wireless device would be attached to the shower head and transmit data to a central "water gestapo" in the hotel. We're not sure what (or if) adjustments are made based on how many people are sharing a guest room - key word sharing?
Hilton Hotels / Hilton Worldwide / Hotel WiFi / Hotel News / Loyalty Program News / HHonors / Free WiFi / → All Tags
It's been broughten.
Hilton Worldwide will begin offering ALL members of their HHonors program free WiFi starting in August. Additionally, HHonors Diamond members will receive premium WiFi complimentary starting in the second quarter of this year.
Currently, only gold and diamond members of HHonors can receive free standard WiFi. Average WiFi rates in-room at Hilton are about $12.95 a day while premium WiFi is $16.95 a day.
Hilton finally joins the ranks of Starwood, Marriott, and Hyatt who began freeing the WiFi for their loyalty members late last year. (But if you're keeping score, IHG was the first to do it for real in July 2013.)
You will have to book your room with Hilton to get the free WiFi and obvi, you need to be a member of HHonors but Hilton has also made the WiFi free for members who book through corporate travel partners, an advantage over other hotel brands.
Let the countdown to August begin!
Hotel News / Casino Hotels / Mohegan Sun / Connecticut Hotels / Hirsch Bedner Associates / Rockwell Group / → All Tags
After turning away almost a half million room nights last year, Mohegan Sun is rising to the occasion with a new hotel tower, expected to open in early 2016. Not soon enough for those half million but good news overall for casino dwellers and of course, the State of Connecticut.
Progress! The second townhouse from Zetter Hotels may not have made its 2014 opening, but along with a “Spring 2015” arrival now finally comes a website, on which The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone shares online real estate with its sibling in Clerkenwell.
Inside will be 21 rooms, two studio suites, and a rooftop apartment with terrace and “al fresco bath”. Bedrooms are “awash with artefacts from Uncle Seymour’s days as a loveable rogue and gambler” (if you recall, the hotel is on Seymour Street, and the hotel draws on the character of Wicked Uncle Seymour for inspiration). Quirky definitely comes to mind when looking at the first images above and below.
Do you have new hotel brand fatigue? Sorry, there's nothing anyone can or will do about it.
In today's new brand news, Skift reports that Viceroy Hotels' ultra-chic, ultra boutique property, the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, will be spun-off under former Viceroy founder but now current Proper Hotels founder and CEO Brad Korzen and his newly formed Proper Hospitality Group. (Korzen's Kor Group parent company already owns the Avalon.)
Yes, this is rather confusing. We were going to break down the whole transaction for you, complete with a flow chart, but really, all you need to know is that Avalon Beverly Hills will move over to the Proper Hotels group as a part of the new Avalon Hotels. Additionally, the Viceroy Palm Springs will rebrand into the Avalon Palm Springs. Skift says you should be able to book the either hotel from the new Avalon Hotels brand site in April.
In short: Proper Hotels now includes Proper and Avalon Hotel brands. Viceroy Hotels include only Viceroy Hotels and Resorts (along with the L'Ermitage. No idea when that name change will happen.)
Meanwhile, the first Proper Hotel will properly open in San Francisco later this year.
Last week, something happened in Chicago that made us crave diner food and now we can share how our appetite was whet the moment we stepped foot into Virgin Hotel's newest food outpost, Miss Ricky's. In true Virgin fashion the diner menu has been re-invented consisting of old stand-bys, with a cheeky twist and clever take on Branson's name.
When we originally stayed, the all-day dining restaurant off the lobby was still shrouded with paper as the menu and space was being finalized, but last Thursday, the diner welcomed it's first guests, tempting them with giant burgers, Reuben sandwiches and milkshakes.
With a menu that goes well beyond the normal flat grill of a truck-stop, the restaurant claims to be "a modern American diner for early morning noshes, late night bites and everything in between", and with hours starting at 6am to well after midnight on the weekends, you won't be disappointed.
Oh, a full cocktail menu will probably help with that too.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Amanresorts / Aman Resorts / Luxury Hotels / China Hotels / Dominican Republic Hotels / → All Tags
We may have been off the mark thinking Aman Tokyo wouldn’t make a 2014 opening (it did), but our guess that Aman Resorts was not far off from adding a third hotel in China turned out to pretty accurate: Amandayan, in Lijiang, and Aman number 28, is now open.
Equally, that photo we dug out from the depths of the internet back in October was indeed from inside the all-suite resort. With a total of 35 suites, that’s a few more than the 32 we talked about at the time, but still a very small affair.
‘Dayan’ (lower case in the end in the resort’s name) is the historic name of Lijiang, established in the 13th century by the Southern Song dynasty. The old town of Lijiang, which Amandayan overlooks (see a photo below), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is in the Yunnan province, which puts it in far southwestern China, towards the border with Myanmar.
Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple Watch / Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG / Keyless Entry / Apple Watch Apps / → All Tags
As promised when the Apple Watch was first announced last September, Starwood Preferred Guest has announced their app will allow guests to check-in and open their room door using the watch. No paper, no phone, no kiosks needed.
With today's new presentation on the Apple Watch revealing just how much it can do (SO much), how long it can go without charging (18 hours) and how much it will cost (starting from $349 up to $17,000), SPG has also detailed how their keyless room entry for watches will work.
Just like using your phone as a room key, the watch will only work at hotels that are equipped with the technology. Right now, that is for select Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels and W Hotels, but not all of them. If you're a member of SPG, you're staying at one of the participating hotels mentioned above, and you have an Apple Watch, then you
must be loaded can use your watch to open the room key.
We're assuming it works much like the phone app, where you can check-in and learn your room number all from the app, and then all you'll have to do is wave your watch in front of the door. But we'll find out soon on April 24 when the Apple Watch becomes available to us all.
[Photo via SPG]
Miami Hotel Mambo dances again!
The 393-room beachfront Collins Avenue hotel was recently sold to Chesapeake Lodging Trust, who have named HEI Hotels & Resorts as the manager with Starwood Hotels & Resorts as the franchisor. Here's the official farewell notice from The James as posted on their website:
While we maintain our commitment to community, art and design, we will be moving on from Miami - as of March 9, The James Royal Palm will no longer be part of The James Hotels. Endless thanks to the South Beach community, our local partners and especially to you - our guests - for supporting us as we evolve. During our time in Miami, we were proud to be acknowledged by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s and Forbes.
We hope you’ll join us for inspired James experiences in Chicago and New York, and look forward to welcoming you at The James Los Angeles in 2016.
All existing reservations will be honored, and we hope you enjoy your stay on South Beach. Should you have any questions about an upcoming reservation in Miami, please call the hotel directly at 305-604-5700.