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Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / Manhattan Hotels / NoMad Hotels / New York Hotels / Triumph Hotels / → All Tags
You knew it as The Gershwin. But it appears the chic little NoMad hotel has quietly undergone gender reassignment; because without letting anyone know, or closing down, it’s just come out of a $30m renovation and is celebrating by changing its name to The Evelyn.
At least, it’s just finished the first renovation phase. All 160 rooms have now been redone. Next year, they’ll be tackling the public spaces.
The new rooms have been designed by Silvia Sofio, and reference Art Nouveau (we would have guessed Deco, tbh, but what do we know). So think sweet, sinuous lines, natural materials and old-style telephones (although we’re not sure what Art Nouveau types would think of the new peekaboo bathrooms).
Hotel Rebrandings / Best Western Hotels / Tryp by Wyndham Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / New York Hotels / Hampshire Hotels / → All Tags
The Best Western President Hotel in Times Square used to be one of our favorite Best Western hotels ever with its purple hued decor, high design and free WiFi. We say "used to be" because the Wall Street Journal has reported that the hotel will soon change into a Tryp by Wyndham Hotel.
The owners of the hotel, Hampshire Hotels & Resort (who also own the Dream and Night brands, which are licensed by Wyndham), have modified their mortgage due to the increased competition in NYC which has seen the hotel occupancy rates rise but not the actually price of the rooms. (Sidenote: how is this possible? It seems like all NYC hotels are charging insanely higher prices these days.)
Anyways, Tryp is planning a renovation of the property that will make it more millennial-friendly.
It’s planning a “multimillion-dollar” upgrade at the Times Square property which will include adding “lobbyfriend,” a social networking system for hotel guests, and making the hotel’s public spaces more inviting places to hang out, says Bill Hall, a senior vice president (of Wyndham.)
The rebranding should happen early next year. In the meantime, you can check out the Tryp Times Square South at 345 W. 35th St. where rates start around $400 a night on the weekends in December. Rates at the Best Western are about $430.
[Photo: Best Western President/Facebook]
A B Hotel!
This is an interesting turn of events. The other day we reported that the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, formerly The Yankee Clipper, would stop being a Sheraton on December 1 but there was no clue as to who or what brand would go in its place. Now, we have an answer. A tipster tells us that the hotel will be a B Hotel. And indeed, it's been confirmed on the B Hotels website with an opening date of December 1.
You might remember the B brand opened its very first hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but that has now changed into a Sonesta Hotel. B went onto open a spot in Orlando as well as Savannah and they launched their b2 brand in Miami.
No doubt all the B programming will be installed in their FLL spot, including mood lighting, free WiFi and variety of amenities and services that all start with B. Hopefully they will let the Yankee Clipper's Wreck Bar and the Dos Caminos restaurant just "b."
Australian hotel brand, Vibe Hotels, is tackling two things at once--expansion and rebranding--when they open their newest property next year, near the Yarra Ranges National Park, outside of Melbourne.
The new Vibe design is a far departure from the lime green and purple color scheme sported at other properties. Those dated hues are being traded for a more sophisticated and modern blue, which is more reflective of the local surroundings.
Tucked away near the Yarra Ranges National Park, this property will be a sub-alpine retreat that features local artwork and locally sourced seasonal produce in its new signature restaurant Radius Bar & Grill. Vibe's riverside location will also make for a perfect escape from the city, thanks to its jumping-off point at the state's pristine wilderness areas. Each of the 101 rooms will feature free WFi, modern design and even, local treats in the mini bar.
Regent Hotels / Hotel Drama / Hotel Rebrandings / Bali Hotels / Boston Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
What was the Regent Bali
Between the friendly rebranding of a property here and some owner-operator drama there, it’s part of hotel reality that the name above the door may change. But we struggle to think of a brand that is guilty of a more continuous stream of, “Whoops, that didn’t work out as planned, we’re leaving” as Regent Hotels. Let’s recap.
Travel back well into the last decade, and there was The Regent South Beach, which became a Vincci, then a De Soleil, before settling on Z Ocean South Beach as a name, while sort of being a Crowne Plaza.
A second, more recent attempt at a Florida hotel was equally unsuccessful, with The Regent Bal Harbour, having tried on its own as One Bal Harbour, now being a Ritz-Carlton. Further north, The Regent Battery Wharf in Boston never made it to opening, arriving as Fairmont, which now has also said its goodbyes to the harbor-side property.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / London Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Oetker Collection / Starwood Hotels / St. Regis Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
We may have known that The Lanesborough London was going for a full-scale renovation (including auctioning off all furniture and trinkets from inside the hotel), but in a surprising twist on the road to its reopening next year, it will no longer be a St. Regis Hotel, but become part of the super-posh Oetker Collection instead.
That means a whole range of things: an exit for St. Regis from the London market, Starwood being one property down (Luxury Collection’s Park Tower is a few minutes west, Sheraton Park Lane a few minutes east), and Oetker Collection debuting another major capital property in addition to its Parisian palace Le Bristol (the seven other hotels lean towards resorts, like the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc).
Along with the announcement, we have a first glimpse of the Albert Pinto-designed interiors, with a rendering of a suite above. While brand new, the interiors look to stay true to the Regency era the hotel took its design cues from before. The suite brings in red / burgundy tones, while a room rendering below goes for a warm green.
Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / One and Only Resorts / Australia Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Now that One&Only Hayman Island is up and running (the $80 million renovation wrapped up this summer), the brand is moving on to add another Australian property to its portfolio: it will manage Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa for owner Emirates from early next year.
Yes, that is Emirates as in the airline, with the hotel officially becoming Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. A few hours’ drive northwest of Sydney, Wolgan Valley lies within the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, built around an 1832 Heritage Homestead. There are 40 freestanding suites, each with private pool and outdoor terrace.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Reopenings / Capella Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Cabo Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
UPDATE, 11.7.14: Capella just got reinstated. Scroll down to see the court decision and Capella statement.
Here's a mixed bag of news--The Capella Pedregal Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is still set to reopen in January, after extensive renovations which were necessary when Hurricane Odile had its way with the resort area in September. However, it will no longer be a Capella Hotel.
Instead, the resort will have a new name and identity--The Resort at Pedregal. Already, the Capella Pedregal's social media presence has been wiped away and The Resort at Pedregal's branding, complete with a turtle logo, is now in place (it seems there's a lag with the Facebook page but we bet that will be online any minute.)
The change is shocking especially considering that Capella corporate ponied up a hefty donation to help the employees of the hotel after Hurricane Odile hit.
When we inquired about an explanation, we were told, "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction. "
Not Vegas. A lobby
With hotels piling in to chase the millennial dollar, it’s reassuring to see one brand going back to what hotels always used to do to get clients – pile on the superlatives.
After three months of work and millions of euros, NH Hotels have just reopened the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding (definitely not a millennial name), now the biggest hotel for the brand. NH may not be a big deal to American ears but they’re one of Europe’s most reliable brands, treading the line between business and boutique quite impeccably (also, delicious toiletries, if you ask my mum). Anyway, this is the flagship property for the NH Collection brand, and it’s pushing the boundaries of hotel technology. Basically, they have what we’re looking for in a hotel down pat:
Well-equipped rooms: “Brilliant Basics” is the name for the thinking behind the room design. All 431 rooms have specially commissioned mattresses, rain showerheads, Nespresso machines, professional hairdryers and “next generation LED” TVs.
VIP level if you want it: If you stay on the “five star floor” you get access to the VIP lounge, too.
All the services you need, plus fun extras: Spa, fitness center, event spaces, rooftop solarium with a fake beach, two fine-dining restaurants (including DiverXO, Madrid’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant), a lounge and a sushi bar.
Fashion-forward technology: An LED vault screen (the largest in Europe, and the largest in the world for hotels) in the lobby projects digital art and “special sound” across the lobby. Think the Fremont Street Experience in Vegas, but in a hotel lobby. Insanity!
Cutting-edge tech: Here’s the really interesting part – there are four ”Living Lab” bedrooms (plus communal areas) that are trialing the latest hotel tech – not just wireless mobile charging, but tablets providing a video link to reception for when you need to ask a pressing question. The Living Lab isn’t just about hotel guests – it’s apparently an initiative to “identify and encourage entrepreneurial talent by fostering pioneering projects in the hotel industry”. They will be running contests and promoting hotel tech-related start-ups. We dig.
Beverly Hills / Hotel Rebrandings / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / → All Tags
It’s astonishing to us we have to go as far back as early 2010 for the news that Raffles L’Ermitage would become Viceroy Beverly Hills, with a “significant refurbishment” to follow in the months after.
That relaunch date soon became “early 2011”, but three and a half years later, the hotel still carries its L’Ermitage badge, rooms shows essentially the same décor, and the group’s directory has it listed as a “future Viceroy”.
But! It looks like half a decade is a lucky window for L’Ermitage, because the latest we hear is that renovation is meant to start in January. While we hate thinking about it too much as the year passes us by, that’s only three months away. Details and visuals of what the interiors will look like are still to come, and while we expect a more Californian vibe, taking a cue from Viceroy New York’s stylish rooms we’d have no issue with. We'll keep you posted as we find out more.
As for the official name change to Viceroy Beverly Hills, we haven't received official confirmation but a new name to go with a new look could be nice.
In the meantime, a Deluxe King with balcony at L’Ermitage starts about $430 a night in November.
[Photo: Viceroy Hotels]
Hotel Closures / Hotel Rebrandings / Four Seasons Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Dublin Hotels / Jakarta Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re looking to capture the last moments of Four Seasons Hotels before they close, your itinerary is no longer limited to Hawaii’s Lana’i this year (one of the two hotels there, The Lodge at Koele, will shut early January for most of the year, as part of Larry Ellison’s plans for the island).
You’ll be heading to the Irish capital Dublin and Jakarta, Indonesia, too – quite the reach for a three-country jaunt, isn’t it? In Ireland, the goodbyes are forever, with the announcement that the group will cease management of Four Seasons Dublin on December 31 this year. Luxury hotels in Dublin have had a tough run since the 2008 crisis, with probably some of the lowest rates we’ve seen of any European Four Seasons, often hovering around the €200 ($250) mark, if not just below, at the hotel. The Irish Times reports that the hotel was sold in 2011 for €15 million, believed to be a quarter of what it cost to develop the hotel in 2001. Another “five-star international brand” will be taking over, so we’ll have to wait and see which one that is – perhaps InterContinental?
And by that we mean, the Japanimation-inspired Hotel Tomo in San Fran's Japantown has gone from a Joie de Vivre Hotel to a Kimpton Hotel. (For those not in the know, JDV's loyalty program is called Joy of Life while Kimpton's is called Kimpton Karma.)
So far, it doesn't seem like anything has changed from the JDV days (except possibly the toiletries in the bathroom which were once Japanese but are now from LATHER.) Here's a more in-depth TripAdvisor review from a Kimpton Karma member who stayed there as the changeover was happening:
I was happy to learn at check-in that Hotel Tomo is now a Kimpton Hotel as I'm a huge fan of Kimpton.
The changeover literally took place the day we arrived so there are still many, many things that need to be ironed out before Hotel Tomo satisfies Kimpton's usual standards.
The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We were given an upgrade which was nice. The room was quite large, especially by San Francisco standards. The view from our room on the eighth floor was great.
What Hotel Tomo looked like in 2010 when HotelChatter visited