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We're bringing you a double-dose of QT Hotel news this week, because we couldn't resist the announcement of a new ski resort in Australia. Huh? Australian ski resort? Surely, we meant Austria? Nope! It's true, the sunburned land Down Under actually has some areas that get snow and with the new QT Falls Creek, now's the perfect time to head down to the slopes.
The mastermind hotel designers have taken over the perfect après–ski location situated in the mountainous Great Dividing Range in South Eastern Australia. Just over four hours drive from Melbourne, QT's newest outpost, which was previously Quay West Falls Creek, has 63 alpine one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments that'll have the quirky touch we've come to expect from the brand. Most of the apartments will have private balcony hot-tubs but all will have uninterrupted views of the snow-capped peaks surrounding the resort.
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The hotel, originally built in 1923, has seen plenty of stars through out the years; it was where Hollywood's movers and shakers stayed while visiting the Texas city. It has seen everyone from Elvis Presley, Judy Garland and Katharine Hepburn in its glory days, to Jessica Simpson and Lebron James more recently after a 2008 refurb.
The new owners, HEI Hotels, plan to update the lobby-bar with modern furniture and take advantage of the unique courtyard to attract Dallas' social-set to the Uptown area hotel. Already, the landmark Beaux-Arts building has changed the restaurant name to T/X, and serving up revamped Latin-American cuisine. We do appreciate when hotels give their properties a little love and spruce things up a bit, even when they're historical legends.
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Though we gave you a heads up about the change last fall, Langham sent out a formal announcement late last week, confirming that tomorrow, May 7, the former Setai Fifth Avenue will become Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. The announcement mostly tells us what we already knew, except for a few minor details. It turns out the hotel will indeed undergo some cosmetic changes—including new permanent artworks, updated decor, a Chuan spa, and a new lounge/bar concept.
And good news for folks visiting NYC this week: the opening of the new lounge, featuring a menu by former Maialino chef Jeffrey Seizer, coincides with the re-branding of the hotel tomorrow. So come hungry!
(For those of you wondering about the fate of the hotel's celebrated restaurant, Ai Fiori, rest assured. It's staying put for now.)
Back in early 2011, London’s West End welcomed the white spaceship that is the W Leicester Square in a whirlwind of celebs and experimental theater. The hotel made such a big splash that it was bound to overshadow the opening shortly after, of its small neighbor, the St. John Hotel.
Having struggled through several delays due to the unforeseen reconstruction needed to prepare the building for its new lease on life, the St. John unfortunately went into administration less than two years after opening. Following an acquisition by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, the man behind the Unlisted Collection, the hotel will officially become part of this group today under the new name One Leicester Street Hotel.
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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.
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The brand has decided to take over the Delta Chelsea in Toronto, which, at 1,590 rooms, is Canada's largest hotel.
As of July 1, the hotel will officially be known as Eaton Chelsea, thus becoming the first Eaton hotel to open in North America. (For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Eaton is an offshoot brand under the Langham umbrella, with several properties throughout Asia, including Eaton Hong Kong and Eaton Smart New Delhi Airport.)
Langham's parent company has owned the
Delta Chelsea Eaton Chelsea for nearly two decades, but has finally decided to take over management duties as well. This is most likely due to Langham's steadily growing presence in the US, with The Langham Chicago one of the most anticipated openings of 2013 (and not just because of the free WiFi!).
Similar in many ways to Langham, Eaton is known for its "smart, modern and uncomplicated interiors and an enthusiastic 'can do' service culture," as explained by Eaton Chelsea Regional VP Josef Ebner. The hotel itself will undergo major renovations to the exterior, lobby, Market Garden restaurant, and meeting facilities.
One of its main attractions is the "Corkscrew," downtown Toronto's only indoor waterslide.
Rates from $131/night.
[Photo: Eaton Chelsea]
While one part of the country seems to still be suffering with snow, the other part is at last enjoying decent weather. What does that mean? Everyone's in the mood to think about vacations.
We have our handy-dandy Caribbean Guide, fantastic European picks, and even the most anticipated hotel openings, so you've got a lot of choices to fantasize over. But be honest, many of you are dreaming of sun, sand, and sea. We are too, so that's why we're excited for a new resort--Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa.
Technically this is a renovation of the old all-inclusive LaSource resort, which we visited a few years ago. Honestly? We're happy it's getting new blood pumped into it because it was looking pretty damned sad. Big Daddy Caribbean company Sandals slapped a cool $19 million on the table offered to take over the resort. LaSource was smart enough to say "yeah, mon".
Sandals CEO Adam Stewart said in a conference that this resort will "blow your mind." We believe him, and here's why.
We’ve been giving you doses of news about the new NYLO Hotel scheduled to debut on New York’s Upper West Side (77th and Broadway to be exact) this summer. Well today, we’ve been given the chance to show HotelChatter fans a few shots of the rooms.
You can read all about NYLO's back story here, but the fast and furious version is this is the first New York outpost of the chain (the other four hotels are scattered around Texas and Warwick, Rhode Island). It'll replace the existing On The Ave Hotel (which will remain open during renos) and it’s immediate competition will be the Hotel BelleClaire we recently uncovered as an UWS hidden gem.
The hotel’s “Roaring 20’s and Jazz era” theme is being designed by Stonehill & Taylor, the powerhouse firm behind the city’s NoMad, The Ace and Crosby Street hotels--so in short, NYLO is expected to be one nifty property.
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New York is a fast-moving place. People are on the go. Neighborhoods get gentrified. And hotels don't just sit around either. This month, the 210-room Stay Hotel in Times Square got bored and decided to reinvent itself with a new name: Night Hotel Times Square. This makes it the second "Night" hotel in Manhattan after the original Night Hotel on W 45th St, just two blocks away.
So…what else is changing aside from the new name? Well, as it turns out, not a whole lot.
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When we reported just over a week ago on the arrival of Rosewood London later this year, we completely blanked on this technically being the return to the British capital for the group: before The Lanesborough in Knightsbridge was a St. Regis hotel, it was a Rosewood.
With that little lesson in hotel history out of the way, it now looks like one European hotel might not be enough, with word on the street being that Rosewood is also in talks to take over the venerable Hotel de Crillon in Paris.
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As many people already know, Austin, TX is currently in the midst of the South By Southwest festival, in which music venues, event spaces, and, yes, hotels, are overrun with artists, musicians, filmmakers, tech start-up hopefuls, and pretty much anyone with a bent towards modern-day media culture.
Which makes this a pretty good time for Hyatt to announce their recent acquisition of the city's historic Driskill Hotel. The Statesman reports that Hyatt bought the iconic hotel (and classic SXSW celeb hangout) for $85 million, and plans to spend another $8 million renovating the place over the next two years.
Comprised of 189 rooms, and originally built in 1886, the Driskill occupies a bustling corner of downtown Austin and remains the city's most beloved historic hotel.
According to hotel lore, the original structure was named after Jesse Driskill, a cattleman who wanted to build the "finest hotel south of St. Louis." Looks like he had the right idea, as 126 years later, the hotel is not only thriving, but also incorporates its colorful past into its current identity (case in point: the Cattle Baron Suite).
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After Accor Hotels acquired quite a large portfolio in Australia, we began to see the brand domination in the country. Since then, they've become the largest international hotel chain in Oz and now they're adding M Gallery's Reef House Palm Cove to their list of hotel havens.
Originally built as a family residence in 1958, the 69-room beach resort overlooks the Coral Sea. It will be brands sixth Australian property located in the tranquil, yet glamorous town of Palm Cove, about 30 minutes north of Cairns. A palm lined esplanade not only gives the town its namesake, but denotes your arrival to, what many consider, Eden.
Settle in and get ready to be pampered. The beach over the road provides a good view and the tropical setting is completed while sipping the complimentary, house-made 'Brigadier's Punch' under candlelight on the Plantation-style front porch. Along with the happy hour, guest rooms include a tropical breakfast to start your day right.