Tag: Hotel News

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Not Four Seasons, But Pan Pacific Is Opening at London's Heron Plaza

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Bishopsgate, London, United Kingdom
August 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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So Long Sahara: The SLS Las Vegas Grand Opening Is Here

August 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM | by | Comments (2)

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.

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Starwood Hotels to Open 3 Very Important Hotels in China Next Month

Where: China
August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

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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Inside the Hoxton Holborn, Opening September 25

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 199-206 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7BD
August 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

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.

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You Can Now Check-In to The Ritz-Carlton From Your Phone

August 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've been keeping tabs on all the Marriott International hotel brands that have been rolling out the option of checking-in via their respective apps and now, Ritz-Carlton Hotels can be added to the list.

The luxury brand's newest app includes the options of doing both check-in and check-out, as well as folio reviews, exclusive local content, special offers, food and beverage orders (at select hotels), and most interesting, real-time service requests.

Ritz-Carlton is already pioneering this function at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, in Florida where guests can make food and beverage requests while at the pool. The order is sent from the guest phone to the bar and is fulfilled right away. That means you don't have to lay in your lounge chair, meekly calling, "Miss? Miss? Sir? Sir?" while servers fly by you, unaware that you'd like another margarita.

The app will also introduce a shareable "Travel Poster" feature on October 1. In short, it will be Ritz-Carlton's own version of Instagram where guests can pretty up their photos with retro-style special filters, titles and stamps. The photo will then be shared across social media or else, saved to the phone's camera roll. Start gathering your witty Ritz-Carlton hashtags now.

Go here to find our more about Ritz-Carlton app.

[Screenshot: Ritz-Carlton Hotels]

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The Newest Thompson Hotel Will Be In...(UPDATED)

August 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nashville!

Thompson Hotels, fresh off their Seattle hotel announcement, is now heading to Nashville (but probably not with a tan because you know, Seattle.)

The Thompson Nashville will have 224 rooms, a ground floor restaurant, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge when it opens in Summer 2016 in the Music City's The Gulch neighborhood. The building, which will start site work early next year, is being designed by Nashville-based Hastings Architecture Associates, LLC along with Atlanta-based design firm Reese Vanderbilt & Associates.

Parts and Labor Design, a NYC firm, will do the customized interiors to keep the look within the Thompson brand's signature look. So expect high-end design, interesting room layouts and custom furniture and lighting.

While we love the look of the building, we don't think Thompson will re-invent the wheel here as far as the interior design goes nor will they radically change up their amenities and services. But the location for Thompson is very cool, and may just be the ultimate selling point.

The Gulch is a revitalized urban area in downtown Nashville that's been steadily built up over the past 15 years, mixing in new buildings with renovated historic ones. Here's a bit more from The Gulch on their scene:

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Yes, The Hotel's Front Desk is Talking About You. Here's What They Are Saying

August 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Oh, if those computers could talk.

Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. But if start a screaming match with the front desk, or any other hotel employee, you can be assured they will "make a note of this." Here's what really goes on behind the front desk.

Most hotels have a system where information about each guests’ needs are documented and further highlighted upon check-in, so that all staff are aware of the profile of the guest and anticipate all their needs. These comments are further enforced during a typical 15-minute "stand-up" (a pre-shift run through of the day’s status, events, information and VIPs). A proper handling of these comments ensures that all staff has the same information and relays a consistent level of information and service to the guest.

However, some of the comments placed on a guest account go far beyond the rudimentary drink and pillow preferences, and instead highlight details pertaining to a specific incident during their previous stay or an extreme requirement that must be attended to when a guest checks in, or an alert about unorthodox behavior or a previous complaint placed by the guest.

Below is a glimpse of some comments that have graced guests' accounts over my years as part of the front desk team, and how we handled them.

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SLS Las Vegas Will Be Getting 'Fancy' for Their Grand Opening Party on Friday

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
August 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM | by | Comments (3)

GO HERE FOR HOTELCHATTER'S LIVE COVERAGE OF THE SLS LAS VEGAS GRAND OPENING!

We've been counting down the days until the opening of the SLS Las Vegas since, well, the last opening party that SLS had in South Beach nearly two years ago.

Yet the humble bell-ringing ceremony that we witnessed at the opening of the very first SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, at the start of a recession, has given way to a bacchanal celebration fit only for a town like Vegas.

SLS has cultivated "a guest list of over 3,000 VIPs, celebs, political figures, media and influencers" who will experience the jaw-dropping $400 million overhaul of the former Sahara casino this Friday night. The invited will sample gourmet cuisine, sip on specialty libations and scope out the guest rooms. Some folks may even decide to gamble!

Capping it all off will be a performance from Iggy Azalea, the hit maker of the summer, thanks to her song, "Fancy." Iggy Igz will perform at The Foxtail Pool stage with a special featured guest. Please dear God/Sam Nazarian, we hope it's Rita Ora.

The special grand opening concert is being put on in partnership with Pepsi. SBE, SLS Hotels parent company, hinted at future headliner events such as this, saying:

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Just Uber It! (From The Hyatt App During Your Next Stay)

August 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

Since ride-sharing services are practically a part of everyday life in the big cities, it's not unusual for hotels to pair up with these taxi alternatives for special packages. Indeed, we've seen it done before. But Hyatt Hotels has gone to a whole 'nother level with their latest app update.

Now you can call up Uber from within the Hyatt app. An Uber button will appear under the "My Reservations" section of the app from the moment you check-in until the end of your stay. So let's say you have a Tindr date business meeting across town. Once you finish with that, you can call up an Uber from the Hyatt app and it will have your Hyatt hotel's address already pre-set, thus saving you the time of having to figure out where your hotel is located. You know, in case you forget where you are staying and all. #biztravelerlife.

The Hyatt app will also show the regular list of available Uber options and the recommended prices for the trip. First-time Uber users will have to create their own Uber account but the usual Uber sign-up credit will apply.

The Uber upgrade is a nice add-on to the revamped Hyatt mobile apps as well as their new website which is way easier to navigate and has a useful "View Hotels Near Me Tonight" function. You can download the Hyatt app for iPhone here. For Android, go here. And remember, the Uber function only works in cities where Uber is active.

[Screenshots: Hyatt Hotels]

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The Moxy is Looking Foxy as Opening Day Nears

August 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Buona giornata! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.

· THE MOXY MILAN HAS SOME GOOD-LOOKING STAFFERS: The first-ever Moxy Hotel from Marriott International,is set to open on September 1 in Milan and if the rooms look as good as the hotel's crew members (who are reportedly singers, dancers, martial artists, photographers, DJ’s and musicians by night), then we think we're going to like this place very much. Rates start at 85 Euros a night. You can follow more of the hotel's opening antics on Facebook.

· COLDPLAY TO PLAY THE ACE LA: The first major, major act is coming to the old United Artists Theater at The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Coldplay will play songs from their newest album, Ghost Stories (and some of their older albums too) on Wednesday, September 18 at 8:30pm. You can win tickets to the show via the host, CBS Radio, or by entering on Radio.com. Or you can simply peruse our photos of the awesome theater here and then imagine yourself listening to Coldplay there.

· THIS GUY AGAIN: The Sultan of Brunei, whose Dorchester Collection of hotels suffered a major setback earlier this year when the Sultan's brutal anti-gay policies in Brunei came to light, is now looking at scooping up NYC's iconic Plaza Hotel. We're having a hard time imagining the precocious Eloise under the Sultan's rule but we'll stay optimistic that he turns his attention elsewhere instead.

· A HOTEL FOR LADIES, NOW OPEN TO MEN: While we're on the topic of what women really want from a hotel, perhaps we should consider "Men" on the list? That's what The Martha Washington Hotel in NYC's NoMad nabe will have when it re-opens next month. It was originally built as a home for unmarried women in 1903. Danny Meyer of Shake Shack fame will open an Italian restaurant in the hotel, to be called Marta.

[Photo: Moxy Milan Malpensa]

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Hotel MdR Marina del Rey Is Ready for Its DoubleTree Debut

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 13480 Maxella Avenue [map], Marina del Rey, CA, United States, 90292
August 20, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Warm chocolate-chip cookies at check-in have arrived harbor-side in Los Angeles, with the Hotel MdR in Marina del Rey completing its renovation and joining DoubleTree Hotels.

$7.5 million of refreshments went into both an interior and exterior spruce-up, ranging from a new lobby and revamped pool area to refreshed guestrooms. The last stop on the renovation track has been the opening of restaurant Barbianca Local Kitchen. More shots from inside below.

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Kimpton to Open Their 5th Hotel in Chicago in 2016

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 37-43 South LaSalle [map], Chicago, IL, United States
August 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

That old saying, "Three's a crowd", clearly never bothered Kimpton Hotels who have had not three, but four hotels in Chicago for quite some time. And now, the boutique brand is working on their fifth hotel for the Windy City. Fifth!

Kimpton recently purchased a historic office building in the Central Loop neighborhood. Built by architect William Le Baron Jenney in 1894, the building was previously known as the LaSalle-Monroe Building and before that, The New York Life Building.

Kimpton will renovate and refurbish the property to open by early 2016. The hotel will have 281 rooms, 9,500-sq.ft. of retail space on the ground floor, a restaurant and bar and a top floor ballroom with views of LaSalle street. We're guessing that means the Starbucks and Subway, shown in the photo above, will probably move out.

New York-based architect Gensler and Los Angeles-based design firm Beleco, will work with Kimpton's senior VP of design, Ave Bradley, to create a "locally appropriate" style.

And of course, all the Kimpton amenities that we love will be in play like free WIFi for Karma members, complimentary wine hour for guests and fun animal-print bathrobes.

Meanwhile, we hear that Kimpton will make yet ANOTHER new hotel announcement very soon, regarding a new hotel in the South. Our sources say it will be in Palm Beach but a Kimpton spokesperson would not comment on that. We'll just have to wait it out then.

[Photo: Wikipedia]