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Miami has been getting new hotels on a regular basis for a few years now but in the next six months (give or take a few weeks), 5 important hotels will open in South Beach. Here's who they are and what they are all about:
The Thompson Miami Beach: The long-awaited, official, outpost of the Thompson Hotels brand will open on November 14 at 4041 Collins Avenue with 380 rooms. Rates start at $389 a night for a special "Preview" offer which includes $100 food and beverage credit to use at the Michelle Bernstein restaurant on site called Seagrape. There is a $25 resort fee per night which includes WiFi, two chaise lounge beach chairs, access of fitness center and fitness classes and a daily newspaper.
The Edition South Beach: The first stateside edition of Edition Hotels will open in November at 2901 Collins Avenue with 294 rooms. Despite the November opening. the hotel is only accepting website reservations for December 1. Rates on that date start at $429 a night. That will include free WiFi but there's also a $25 resort fee which includes beach chair service, beach towels, bike rental and "more."
Obviously, an older photo
Nautilus Sixty South Beach: Interestingly, the original founders behind Thompson Hotels--Jason Pomeranc and Stephen Brandman--will be readying their own hotel at 1825 Collins Avenue under their newly formed Sixty Hotels brand. There is no concrete opening date other than "Fall 2014" but our insiders say the 251-room hotel will open this year. We don't have a price point but expect it to be similar to the Thompson, with a resort fee as well which is sadly, more ›
Artist rendering of the new Sonesta Ocean Point
Despite already having two resorts on St. Maarten, Sonesta will open a third property this October in the form of the Sonesta Ocean Point. If you're already thinking that's a lot of properties for a small island, consider the fact that all three are on the Dutch side of the island, and that this new one will be adjacent to its Maho Beach Resort.
So what's the deal? Well, the two existing properties offer pretty different vibes despite being similarly run. The Maho Beach Resort is known for its killer views and nightlife, and the Great Bay Resort puts guests on the quiet shores of Great Bay in Philipsburg. Turning up the level of luxury, Ocean Point will be an all-suite, all-adults concept aimed at the higher-end crowd.
Ocean Point will have 129 suites, ranging in size from 480 to 2,600 square-feet. It will have three pools, a roof top bar, and one of those questionable wristband systems. Guests will have access to the facilities at the Maho Beach Resort, but guests of Maho will not have access to Ocean Point.
It’s stayed so under the radar during its pre-opening period that you could practically call Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera a phantom. But now it’s time for the great unmasking, since the hotel will open 22 September.
There’s not a vast amount of information about – 57 rooms (“very spacious”, according to the hotel website) including 12 suites and duplex apartments – some of which have views of the Eiffel Tower. The location is peaceful: a pedestrianized street near Place de l’Opéra, yet still in the middle of the business area. Before the year-long remodel, it was the Edouard VII hotel.
Rooms promise "unique murals celebrating Paris" and from the photos, they look rather lovely - theatrical but understated, with feature walls draped by curtains.
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.
It’s been open since September 1, though Raffles Istanbul seems to have been hiding its light under a bushel – no real photos on the website, only coy shots of various details on Facebook, and a promise to a FB fan that they’ll be having a photoshoot later in September.
But we’ve just found this sneak preview article in Turkish, and all we can say is, please hurry up with that photoshoot, because this looks phenomenal.
OK, the lobby and the bar look pretty nice hotel standard, but look past the artfully posed reporter in picture number 5. Marble staircase, columns, chandeliers. Is it one of the “nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, photographs and video installations” mentioned (via Google Translate) in the article? Is it a mirror? A wall of glass? Is it – as is implied in the article – the spa (the largest in Istanbul)? We’re assuming it’s not real, since Raffles is a modern building, but these are questions to which we need answers.
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.
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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.
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It's Fashion Week in NYC but down in Houston, Texas there's another fashion show of sorts taking place. The JW Marriott Houston Downtown, opening later this month, has just unveiled their new uniform collection for hotel associates (aka employees).
The seriously stylish collection was actually inspired by the 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building, which was Houston's first skyscraper and which now houses the luxury hotel brand. A custom blouse print even features a photograph of the building taken in 1910.
David Peck USA designed the men's and women's line which features classic silhouettes for the ladies in the form of pencil skirts, structured jackets, sheath dresses and blouses with neckties and chiffon panels and for the men, neutral tones with splashes of bright blue and peridot and some dandy accessories like bow ties and suspenders. Both the women's and mens lines features custom, hand-woven and fair trade tweed in several pieces.
“Traditional uniforms can mask individuality so we wanted the JW Marriott Houston Downtown associates to stand out and feel confident,” David Peck said n a statement. “The fashionable designs we’ve created empower the associates, both as individuals and as a team, to provide the guests with a quality of service guests that has become synonymous with the JW Marriott brand around the world.”
Take a look at these uniforms, if you can even call them that. They might just be the best ones we've seen yet. Even better, David Peck USA locally manufactured and custom tailored the women's line and used garments from a local shirt maker and menswear manufacturer for the men's line. #keepingitlocal
Now, we just hope these uniforms hold up after a few months of wear.
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.
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Luxury and the Galapagos Islands go together like peanut butter and jelly (it should be wrong, but it’s actually very right), so put your hands together for the opening of Pikaia Lodge on Santa Cruz island in the center of the Galapagos archipelago.
It’s a carbon neutral property, but green doesn’t mean grimy here – it’s a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group, and plonks 14 rooms amid 31 hectares of extinct volcanic craters, straddling the dry savanna of the national park and the tropical highland forest. There are also, of course, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
The hotel runs land and sea tours, and there’s a restaurant, bar, pool and spa on site. So far so expected – what isn’t expected is the in-house giant tortoise reserve.
Beijing is adding a few more big names to its roster of hotels this fall: the W should arrive after some major delays in by the end of the month and Rosewood Hotels is set to open its first Chinese hotel in October.
What slightly confuses us is that on the weekend we were able to make reservations from October 20, but right now the availability calendar is blocked out well into 2015. We’ll just assume that’s a temporary glitch and not an indication of the opening date being at risk.
When it does open, Rosewood Beijing will have 283 rooms opposite the twisting CCTV Tower by Rem Koolhaas. Above an impression of what you’ll find inside, which we saw – and liked – for the first time a year ago: clean lines, dark woods, whites, and a bit of burnt orange (cognac?) in the swivel chair. There is of course a variety of rooms and suites, including a number of Spa Suites that have in-room treatment areas.
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Wait! There's one more hotel
Pasadena, a city well-known for its New Year’s Day Rose Parade as well as its historic bungalow residences, is actually building quite a cool hotel scene, with several new hotels set to open in the next few years.
Kicking it off is the DusitD2 Constance Pasadena, opening on September 8 with a bright contemporary design (and a bright outlook for Pasadena as a SoCal destination.)