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Notting Hill may have found a permanent place in the London visitor’s heart due to one minor Hugh Grant / Julia Roberts movie (by the way, are you ready to feel old? Yes? It was released fifteen years ago), but the number of (interesting) hotel choices in the area has always been limited.
The list of options will have a new addition by next summer though, with the planned opening of The Laslett on Pembridge Gardens, around the corner from Notting Hill Gate tube station and close to the bottom end of famous Portobello Road. Set within five Victorian mansions, The Laslett is named after Rhaune Laslett, a local community activist and organiser of the Notting Hill Festival, the predecessor of the current annual Notting Hill Carnival.
From the people behind Living Rooms, a small collection of apartments for short and long stays, The Laslett will have 51 rooms and suites, meant to give you the sense you’re staying in a friend’s stylish townhouse rather than in a hotel. The first image we have (above) does seem to strike that balance well, with a nice deep grey on the walls, carefully misaligned artwork, and the odd bit of color and pattern thrown in. The ground floor will be “part coffee shop, part bar-kitchen, part gallery, part concept store”.
We’ll have to wait to see more from inside The Laslett, but we can tell you that opening rates will start from £215 ($335) a night. Blame Hugh and Julia for Notting Hill having become so expensive.
[Photos: The Laslett]
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With the dust still fresh in the air and the raucous sounds of construction all around, Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood has been pinned by the folks over at Loews Hotels for their latest property to open early next year.
Donning a hard-hat and safety glasses, we scored an exclusive sneak peak inside the for a first-hand look at the Loews Chicago Hotel.
Just east of the shopper's paradise that is Michigan Avenue and sporting views of Lake Michigan, this new build hotel in downtown is also just a five-minute walk to Navy Pier, making it a central spot to stay in Chicago. The hotel is actually comprised of two towers, one housing 400 Loews hotels rooms and the other Loews luxury condominiums. These are completely separate from the hotel with different entrances and amenities.
But we're here to talk about the hotel side. And away we go!
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Dat rose chandelier though...
Now that was a surprisingly discreet way to launch yourself on the world. Last time we checked in on The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington, it was gearing up to launch without a proper website and by advertising on flash sale site Secret Escapes. We feared this meant it would be a bit woeful when launch came.
We were wrong (if you discount that rose-petal chandelier). Because now there are pictures. And it looks GOOD. Behold:
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The party floor is accessed through the lobby of the hotel through a staircase practically at the back of the hotel but there is a street-level entrance at Collins, making it very open to all, should this be your kind of scene. And we think it might be, if only for an hour.
Here's what you need to know, if you didn't already know:
· Basement Bowl: Sick of the usual beach and pool routine? You can now bowl for strikes at the four-lane bowling alley which features LED screen displays and interactive light shows, that synchronize with the bowler's actions. There's a small bar that fronts the lane with small tufted-leather booths and leather club chairs. Food is also served here by Edition's resident chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
· Basement Skate: Yes, there's an ice-skating rink here and hotelier Ian Schrager did it purely for the novelty of it all--ice skating in a tropical destination. (#thanksmarriott!) The rink is 2,000-sq.ft. and has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on Collins Avenue. The space is usually lit-up in a cool blue and is surrounded by sheer white drapes, although there is a constantly color-changing LED lighting design in place by Patrick Woodroffe. And of course, there is music. While you can rent ice skates yourself, there will supposedly be professional skaters in bikinis gliding on the ice, or otherwise, models who can skate decently enough. Bonus fact: the rink has its own Zamboni.
̭ Basement Nightclub: Schrager said he wouldn't call this an outright "throwback" to Studio 54 but he did recognize the power of the sensory overload experience that Studio 54 created which was dominated by a killer sound system and performance art shows. So the micro-club at Edition is attempting to recreate some of that with custom-made lighting, state-of-the-art sound systems and hosted party nights. But no one will be able to ignore the giant disco ball above the dance floor. Now, will you be able to get in? That remains to be seen.
Since we arrived at Edition before Basement was fully ready, we weren't able to snap any "official" photos, aside from this stealth shot of the bowling lanes above. Instead, we decided to let the Instagram photos do the talking here. You can find more via @EditionHotels or @BasementMiami or with the hashtag #miamibeachedition. Enjoy!
Nearly ten years ago, the existence of The Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square, a Beaux-Arts building that closed down to hotel guests in 1921 and operated as an office building ever since, was wiped away, with the exception of a sealed-off entrance to the subway. But come February 12, the property will once again open as a hotel.
We showed you a glimpse of the public spaces at the Knickerbocker back in April, but here's a look at one of the 330 rooms at the hotel. Very simple, rather understated and almost a little bland. But the amenities do sound good with SFERRA linens, 55" flat-screen TV, complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, Ted Gibson toiletries and free WiFi.
Elsewhere at the hotel, Chef Charlie Palmer, whose Aureole is across the street, will oversee Charlie Palmer at The Nick, a full service restaurant and bar; Jakes @ The Knick, a coffee shop; and St. Cloud, the outdoor rooftop bar overlooking Times Square which will feature a cigar lounge from tobacconist, Nat Sherman.
The hotel, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, has rooms available on February 12 for $495 a night for a superior room with a king bed.
[Photo: Knickerbocker Hotel]
Last time we talked about the JW Marriott Venice, we were getting overly excited about the infinity pool overlooking Piazza San Marco. Ready for more excitement? Because we have more news.
First piece of exciting news: the project is being overseen by Matteo Thun, he of Hotel Missoni (RIP) fame. There will now be 266 rooms (instead of 230), furnished with locally made materials: bricks, glass and tiles.
Second piece of exciting news: this isn’t just a private island hotel, it’s a private island with 16 acres of grounds. These will be landscaped with gardens, olive groves, “fruit arbours” and vegetable plots. There will now be four restaurants, five bars and – third piece of exciting news – a cooking school and wine academy.
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If hunting for hidden Mickey Mouse ears isn’t your thing, perhaps some wildlife spotting sounds more appealing? It may not have made the summer opening we were hoping for, but Four Seasons The Westcliff in Johannesburg is now welcoming guests, after a $56 million renovation of the hotel.
As we showed you earlier this year, the refresh isn't afraid of a little zebra print, across a number of different styles and colour schemes. The hotel has 117 rooms and suites, ranging from entry-level Superior Rooms to the Royal Suite, which has its own plunge pool.
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Next stop: Italy
While the rest of the world is courting millennials, Italy, apparently, is going after the budget market. According to a new report, budget accommodation is predicted to be the fastest growing sector globally for 2014-2018; and Italy – land of ridiculously lavish palace hotels – is playing catch up.
Swift on the heels of the Moxy launch in Milan, the Meininger group from Germany is planning an Italian invasion: from next year, they’ll be opening in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome.
You may not have heard of Meininger before, but they bill themselves as a hotel-hostel fusion, have been in operation for 15 years, and currently have 16 hotels in 10 European cities: mostly in Germany and Austria, plus one each in Brussels, London and Amsterdam.
Looking for a hot beachfront getaway that will knock your socks off, and quite possibly the cell phone right out of your hand? Check out Bulabog Beach on the eastern shores of Boracay, Philippines, a small and heavenly island that is gaining momentum as the next "it" beach destination. And guess which seriously stylish hotel group will open the first branded resort on the island? "YOO" guessed it, it's YOO, whose design-driven brand will debut later next year as Aqua Boracay by YOO.
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Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was a Marxist politician and co-founder of the Italian Communist Party, who was imprisoned by Mussolini and died soon after his release. He is still a god for Italy’s Left. So what better thing to do with his former home than convert it into a luxury hotel?
Uhh, quite. This is what’s kicking off in Turin at the moment, where the four star NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlino opened on Monday to major controversy in the city. Last week, people protested – again – with their red flags outside the building, as they have done for the past two-and-a-half years, during its conversion.
This is the fifth NH hotel in Turin (who knew?) and has 160 rooms, which are suitably spartan, in a way, with understated hardwood floors, plain white walls and the palest of neutrals for the curtains.
There are two rooftop terraces (from which views should be great, as this is plum in the city center), with a bar and aromatic herb garden up there; a fifth floor panoramic fitness room, another ground floor bar on the square below, Piazza Carlina. The building itself is an enormous, grand palazzo dating back to the 17th century, with a plaque outside noting the working class Gramsci link.
Boat hotels: they’re the shiz if our recent experience in Yangon is anything to go by. You know what other boat hotel we were really looking forward to? The QE2, which was meant to undergo a $90m renovation to turn it into a 400 room floating hotel in China.
Except the QE2 is currently languishing in Dubai, as it has done for the past six years, awaiting the renovations. Looks like it isn’t happening – and the Oceanic Group, which owns the boat, is staying silent.
In the meantime, says the Daily Mail, it appears to have morphed into an impromptu BBQ area. The ignominy!
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Yesterday, we spent the night at the Miami Beach Edition, which soft-opened a few weeks ago, but is now ready to usher in the Art Basel
madness festivities. We already gave you a sneak peek at the guest rooms, which thanks to the elegant touch of design firm Yabu Pushelberg, look very much like an Edition Hotel. Now, we’re ready to show you the full Edition. And there’s so much to show.
Just keep in mind, that aside from being the first Edition hotel in the continental U.S. (Waikiki in Hawaii is no more), this is very much a resort property.
See, what we lurved about the London Edition when we stayed there last March was that it felt like a place where we could hide away for a while. It was warm and cozy, yet very sophisticated and seductive. As for socializing, Berners Tavern restaurant is a must-do for dinner as is the reservation-only Punch Room for drinks. But those are both very short distances from the guest elevators. So dropping down for dinner or a drink is incredibly easy.
At the Miami Beach Edition, things are far more spread out, across three and a half acres in fact. But it truly is a triple the space, triple the pleasure kind of place. And it will take us triple the amount of time to talk about it all. So today, we're starting with the lobby.