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We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Previously known as Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, the resort was rebuilt with a stylish beach club vibe in mind and includes: seven new dining options for a total of 16 restaurants, the Ochi Beach Club, upgraded accommodations and a refurbished lobby among other improvements. Above is what the Great House Lobby looked like before. And now it is, well, wow.
Hotel Rebranding / Sheraton Hotels / Fort Lauderdale Hotels / Historic Hotels / Starwood Capital Group / Barry Sternlicht / Hotel News / → All Tags
Not long after Starwood Hotels dissolved its management of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. (the hotel is now known as The Diplomat and it's part of Hilton's Curio Collection), comes another big brand loss in nearby Fort Lauderdale.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, remembered by most as the Yankee Clipper Hotel, will cease to be a Sheraton on December 2, 2014. However, no one knows yet what sort of brand, if any, will take over the cruise-ship inspired building which is also home to the Wreck Bar and Dos Caminos restaurant.
Interestingly, the building was sold in 2005 to the Starwood Capital Group, which is actually hotelier Barry Sternlicht's company and not Starwood Hotels'. So could this turn into a 1 Hotel or a Baccarat Hotel? Highly unlikely, as the building is rumored to be for sale, but we're dying to find out what will end up happening.
Got any inside scoop? Let us know!
[Photo: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale]
When it comes to hotel rooms, is Chicago maybe, possibly, likely overbuilding? Whatever, who cares?! Clearly, hotels don't. On the heels of news about a few new Hyatts coming to town, we've not got word that Marriott's AC Hotels brand is set to open in the popular River North neighborhood.
It was only last June that Marriott announced that it was importing its AC Hotels brand from Europe into the U.S., starting with Miami. Now Chi-town will get a piece of the Spanish brand. According to Crain's Chicago, the AC will open in the existing Four Points by Sheraton hotel at 630 N. Rush Street. The hotel will have 217 rooms and all the design elements of an AC hotel, namely lots of cool, design-forward, public spaces for the millennial guests to socialize in. Oh and free WiFi, too.
No word on when the conversion will happen but we'll guess sometime after Miami opens, so probably. 2015.
[Photo: AC Hotels by Marriott/Google Street View]
Some sad news for W Hotels fans, there's going to be one less W Hotel in the world. But great news for Le Meridien Hotel fans as Le Merid will take over the W New Orleans on Poydras Street (near but not in the French Quarter.)
The hotel was recently sold to the Chesapeake Lodging Trust for $65 million in April with a $29 million renovation expected to begin in April of 2014 (just after Mardi Gras) that will transform it into a proper Le Meridien Hotel. Here's what you can expect when the Le Meridien New Orleans opens in late 2014.
Le Méridien New Orleans will offer 410 fully renovated guestrooms and bathrooms as well as upgraded fitness center, rooftop pool and more than 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting facilities, ideal for weddings and business functions.
Le Méridien New Orleans will also feature the Le Méridien Hub™ experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange.
And as dedicated Le Merid fans know, the Le Meridien UNLOCK ART program with its LM100 artist-designed key cards will also be in effect, offering not just cool key card souvenirs but also access to the Le Meridien affiliated cultural centers in Nola.
Just to be clear, the hotel is still a W New Orleans and will be until April 2014. We did a rate check for next weekend and you can get a Wonderful room for $194 a night or 10,000 SPG Starpoints. We bet those rates and Starpoints will increase when the Le Meridien opens.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Renovations / South Africa Hotels / Hotel Design / Cape Town Hotels / Hilton Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
Last week, Hilton Worldwide opened the 183-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside, the brands first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but we can swallow that if it means a new affordable option for Cape Town.
We’ve noticed lately Hilton’s been stylifying (yeah, made that word up) their DoubleTree brand, and this newly reno’ed, upscale property is no exception. The lobby is filled with white latticework and vibrant nature colors of green and blue. Rooms are a mix of earthy browns, greys and whites. The Rooms range from executive and suites to two-story loft rooms located on the penthouse floor with sweet views of the city’s skyline.
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The raison d’être of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is to provide not just a place to lay your weary head, but to give you an experience based on different themes like Culinary Delight, Artistic Getaway, Urban Excitement or Sporting Adventure. (For added fun, you can visit their Facebook page and have your autograph analysed to see which theme suits you best. It was shockingly accurate.)
Now they’re bringing that concept to the UK for the first time with the addition of two upscale hotels: Threadneedles in London and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh.
Threadneedles is set in the heart of the Square Mile, the original site of the Roman settlement that started it all. Being in The City, you’re close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Borough Market and the Tower of London.
The hotel is in a former Victorian bank and blends the traditional with the contemporary. The lobby is dominated by an elaborate stained-glass dome from 1856 and the hotel has a see-and-be-seen restaurant and bar for the business crowd, Bonds. For those of you who have really latched on to the theme idea, you’re looking at Urban Excitement, Culinary Delight, Wedding Celebrations and Historic Explorations at this boutique hotel.
Even though Langham Hotels is prepping to open in Chicago and have recently taken over the Setai Hotel in NYC and the Observatory Hotel in Sydney, they've actually closed the door on the Langham Yangtze in Shanghai.
Sophie Friedman, a Conde Nast Traveler contributor based in China, emailed us last week to say the hotel, a place we once called "practically perfect", parted ways with Langham (i.e. the management contract was not renewed.) Instead, the building's owners are doing their own thing and the hotel has been renamed Yangtze Boutique Hotel.
Just over a week ago we told you that the Observatory Hotel in Sydney will leave the Orient-Express Collection come summer to be part of Langham Hotels. By then, Orient-Express will no longer have a presence in Australia; earlier this year its other property Lilianfels Blue Mountains made the transition to Starwood's Luxury Collection, marking this collection's debut in the country at the same time.
Lilianfels is set a few hours outside of Sydney in the village of Katoomba, the heart of the Blue Mountains national park in New South Wales. As you can see from the aerial shot, the famous Three Sisters are just a few minutes' walk away. Inside the historic mansion that was once the residence of New South Wales Chief of Justice, Sir Frederick Darley, you'll find 67 traditionally decorated rooms and 4 suites, with 22 of the rooms and 3 suites having views of the Jamison Valley.
We took a little peek at Tempo Hotel Miami the other day (more on that soon because it is quite lovely), and came away with some scoop: The hotel is getting a new name starting March 1.
Yep, after Rock Resorts failed to spend much more than a year running the new property and skedaddled out of town, Tempo is shedding its old image, ditching the Tempo, and will instead be called Casa Moderna Miami Hotel & Spa.
It's all part of an attempt to re-brand the hotel as a more upscale place and, perhaps, wipe the slate clean.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel News / Thompson Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / Stephen Brandman / → All Tags
When Thompson Hotels peaced out of the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach way back when, they got busy expanding their hotel collection elsewhere--New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and even London. But now Jason Pomeranc and co. are strapping on their roller blades and coasting along Ocean Drive once again.
If you're a frequent guest at Hyatt's Summerfield Suites, things are going to get a lot more homey during your next extended stay. That's because Hyatt Hotels has announced they are rebranding all of their Summerfield Suites hotels (38 in total) as well as the Hotel Sierra hotels they just acquired (16 of these) into a new Hyatt brand called Hyatt House.
Hyatt Hotels made the announcement this morning saying:
Inspired by extensive research and consumer insights, Hyatt House seamlessly combines form and function to create a warm, inviting, and comfortable environment. Upon arrival, guests are encouraged to relax with design elements and amenities that feel closer to home, allowing them to easily connect with others through enhanced social spaces.
Santa Barbara is getting Hyattized, though too bad not in time to capitalize on the royal couple fever that hit the local hotel scene earlier this month. The 80-year-old Hotel Mar Monte has been transformed into the city's first Hyatt, the Hyatt Santa Barbara.
As part of its new persona, the oceanfront hotel has been getting renovations since February. The hotel has redone 92 of its 171 rooms, lobby, and pool and deck areas.