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It’s nearly the weekend, there's lots of hotel news that is worthy of your attention, so here are a few snippets to keep you up to date on the latest from around the world.
Four Seasons Carmelo, Uruguay: we could almost do a weekly feature called the Four Seasons Chronicles, because the news about the Canadian group keeps coming in. Upping its hotels in South America with two new properties in Colombia just a few weeks ago, now it’s down one again by virtue of the departure of the resort in Carmelo, Uruguay by March 31 this year. By early March we should find out which brand will come in its place.
Shangri-La in Mauritius and Sri Lanka: having gotten the opening of its hotel at the Shard in London out of the way in 2014, this year Shangri-La Hotels will have islands on its mind. First, in Mauritius, the former Oberoi Le Touessrok will become Shangri-La Le Touessrok in September following a major renovation. On Sri Lanka, Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa should open just before that, with a second property in capital Colombo to follow in 2017.
Hot hoteliers, listen up: Starwood is hiring!
Frits van Paasschen has resigned as president and CEO of Starwood Hotels. Director Adam Aron, 60, has been named the interim CEO while Starwood searches high and low (internally and externally) for Paasschen's replacement.
Paascchen was hired by Starwood in September 2007, despite not having any hospitality experience (he did, however, work on global expansion for Disney, Nike and Coors.) Just last week, Paasschen oversaw the earnings call for Starwood where he announced a new
unnecessary soft brand for Starwood. But despite that bit of news and despite the portfolio growth under Paasschen, Starwood has been underperforming compared to its rivals (cough, Marriott, cough) and thus, the board at Starwood decided it was time for a change.
Officially, Paasschen will "stay on as consultant" (#blessed) during the leadership transition but some of the remarks from his colleagues on his departure are way harsh. You can tell this did not end very well.
Loews Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
2015 is going swimmingly for Loews Hotels. The Loews Chicago is just a few weeks away from opening its doors while the crazysexycool OE Collection is coming together and now, Loews is keeping on with its growth spurt by purchasing the 158-room Mandarin Oriental San Francisco in the city's financial district.
The deal is expected to close in late March which means a name change will happen shortly after that. Given that the hotel was just renovated in 2012, we're not so sure an extensive renovation is needed but we suspect Loews will go through the property and touch up what they can.
We're sad to lose a Mandarin Oriental for the West Coast (the only other one now is in Las Vegas) but Loews is on an exciting trajectory so we'll have to put our faith in them. Besides, nothing can change this killer view from the guest rooms.
Looking for one last night with MOSF? Rates this weekend start at $359 a night with a $50 dining credit.
These guys (Jason Pomeranc, Stephen Brandman and Pomeranc's two brothers) have been hard at work on transforming former Thompson hotels into sleek Sixty Hotels (you can read about one such transformation here) which may explain why there's a delay on the opening of Nautilus. Then again, several big name Thompson Hotels often failed to make their opening dates as well. #oldhabits
The hotel was set to open by the end of 2014, but now the date is simply "spring" and we're not sure if that means March, April or (gasp) May.
Instagram Hotels / Hotel News / Conrad Hotels / Hilton Worldwide / Hotel Technology / Social Media / → All Tags
We love Instagram. It's a simple social space where we can enjoy family and friends' intimate photos while at the same time stalk celebrities, pick up fashion tips, laugh at animals doing adorable things, drool over dishes from exotic restaurants and best of all, admire crazy killer views from all over the world.
But is it a place where eyou want to book your hotel room? Conrad Hotels hopes so.
The Hilton Hotels brand has partnered ups with Like2Buy technology to allow followers to book a hotel through Instagram. Here's how it works:
Prince Farming is plowing through his contestants this season on The Bachelor, and on Monday, February 16, ABC will air an episode where he takes his remaining ladies to Dubuque, Iowa’s Hotel Julien to give out some
tongue kisses roses.
Pffft, some of you snobby types might be thinking. Dubuque, Iowa? Really? But actually Dubuque is quite lovely and so is the boutique-y Hotel Julien with 133 rooms and suites. This isn’t where the overnight dates will take place, but if they did the Fantasy Suite would probably be the hotel’s two-bedroom Capone Suite, described as such:
Hyatt Centric / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hyatt Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / South Beach Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / → All Tags
Remember the other day when we gave you the lowdown on the high season hotel happenings in Miami? Well, there's already been a change to the list. A BIG ONE. Sit down for it. Or at least stop glancing at Facebook while you read this important news.
The expected Hyatt South Beach at 16th Street and Collins Avenue will actually open as the Hyatt Centric South Beach, making it the very first Hyatt Centric hotel to open. If you aren't familiar with Hyatt Centric, you can read all about that here. In short, it's a hotel for millennials.
Since the name change was pretty sudden (or at least we think it was), the hotel's layout has not changed much since its initial description. But here's what you can expect from the 105-room hotel:
Just over a year ago, when marijuana first became legal in Denver, we wondered when - or if - the city's hotels would begin to openly allow pot smoking in the rooms. One particular small inn made headlines when it began marketing itself as a "bud and breakfast," but overall, in the face of all the hype over marijuana tourism, the question of smoking pot in hotel rooms has been met with resounding silence from all major hotels over the last 13 months, especially the corporate-owned variety.
Despite the desire for out of town tourists to toke up, hotels wouldn't even so much talk about it, let alone discuss what might happen in the future. When asked directly, the common refrain was that there is a $250 or more charge for smoking anything in the rooms.
Flash forward to last week, when something peculiar happened, something that could suggest a slight loosening of the collar. The Curtis Hotel, known for its funky floor decor and big personality, offered a pot-friendly Valentine's Day package that included - get this - a ride to the dispensary, in-room munchies (brownies, Cheetos, Red Vines, water) and a vase of Colorado weeds in place of romantic roses (seriously!).
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Austin Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel Design / Hotel News / Florida Hotels / Key West Hotels / → All Tags
The furniture’s arriving, paint is setting and staff is training: preparations are well underway to herald the opening of the 245-room
boutique lifestyle property, The Gates, in Key West’s New Town.
Scheduled to open in April, the property is aiming to be the sophisticated design hotel that hasn’t been seen in these parts before. It will combine “refined luxury, modern design, organic touches, and Floridian flare to recreate the verve of Hemingway's ‘old school Key West.’ " What that means, in less marketing speak, is that you should expect lots of white and grey, whitewashed wood, blue sky- and ocean-colored accents, and some contrasting modern design touches just to make it interesting.
The Gates is designed by Andrea Henzlik of AHD in Atlanta and her goal was to make the property feel home-grown, chic, convivial and relaxed. To this end, the hotel will have a residential feel without the traditional front desk and has partnered with locals including photographer Jorge de la Torriente of De La Gallery, whose work will be found in the public spaces and rooms, the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery will be supplying their farm-to-bottle craft-distilled blends at Rum Row, the hotel’s bar, and Rodriguez Cigar Factory, the oldest cigar maker on the island, will be providing its premium cigars to be savored in the hotel’s Cigar Garden.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Reflaggings / JDV Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel News / Huntington Beach Hotels / → All Tags
Looks like Kimpton is wasting no time snapping up new properties now that it's got a bigger hotel company behind them.
Sources tell us the management change happened while the hotel was in escrow with new owners. Apparently, JDV Hotels was supposed to manage the property but Kimpton swayed the new owners. Right now, the hotel's JDV website is dead. But the new Kimpton website is up and running.
The property first opened in 2009, but now with a new owner and a new managing company, we wonder if a renovation will be coming soon too. Rates start at $254 a night this weekend with breakfast included. Also included is free WiFi for Kimpton Karma Rewards members and a hosted evening wine hour. Oh and a selfie stick too.
Read our review of the Shorebreak Hotel HERE
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Baccarat Hotels / Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Barry Sternlicht / Starwood Capital Group / → All Tags
But now, in checking the hotel's website, we see that the hotel will actually be open on March 2. And the price has dropped down a bit to $729 for a classic king. Here's what you'll get for that rate, aside from the glittery Baccarat decor:
The Classic King’s refined palette of champagne, ivory, platinum, stainless steel and chocolate brown feels both classic and contemporary, setting off such considered accents as cashmere throws, marble-topped nightstands and hand-painted panels, plus Baccarat crystal sconces and tabletop pieces. Crisp white custom-made Mascioni jacquard linens cover the beds, and delicacies from Parisian gourmet shop Fauchon fill Baccarat-red enamel minibars. In the white-marble bathrooms, meanwhile, Italian robes await and amenities created exclusively for the hotel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris abound.
Guests will also be able to control their lighting, climate, entertainment and more by a tablet, which will also be wired into housekeeping, valet, a 24-hour concierge and in-room dining. Another cool touch is that the oversized, flat-screen TVs are "concealed within smoked mirrors." Sounds very "Fifty Shades of Grey" and we like it.
The steep rate, fortunately, does include complimentary WiFi. #richpeoplelikefreeWiFitoo