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Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Concorde Hotels / Crowne Plaza Hotels / Lyon Hotels / → All Tags
When we looked at the number of hotels leaving the Concorde group last month, we asked the question how long its remaining properties would stick around for. Now we know the answer for at least one of them: not very long.
Kind tipsters let us know in the comments and via email that Hotel de la Cite Concorde in Lyon (one of the largest French cities outside of Paris) would become the Crowne Plaza Lyon – Cite Internationale on March 1st. What’s more, while the website for Concorde Berges du Lac in Tunisia is still live, the hotel has since also disappeared from the group directory, and online reservations takes you to a booking system that doesn’t even include Tunisia as an available destination.
Keeping the group website up to date no longer seems to be a priority either: various Google links take you to a directory page that lists a generous 25 properties, and sub-pages liberally link to hotels now with Hyatt or elsewhere. Are we watching the demise of a hotel group here?
Looks like Indian group Taj Hotels is grabbing 2014 by the horns and using a new year to clean up an old oddity in its London portfolio. For years it has owned two hotels on Buckingham Gate: 51 Buckingham Gate, with its Jaguar and Cinema Suites, and the Crowne Plaza St. James next door. Yes, that is Crowne Plaza as in the InterContinental Hotels Group brand.
Together, the two hotels occupy parts of eight six-story houses from the late 1800s: King’s, Queen’s, Prior’s, Falconer’s, Minister’s, Almoner’s, Duke’s, and Regent’s House, surrounding a shared courtyard. While the hotels will remain separate, the Crowne Plaza name is officially disappearing from the doors as of this week, with the hotel being reflagged as The St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel.
Montage Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / South Carolina Hotels / Auberge Hotels / Hotel News / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We're only on the third day of the new year, but we've got word of a big change at Montage Hotels--the luxury hotel company just snapped up the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, their first-ever East Coast property. The hotel was previously an Auberge Hotels.
While the official name change will happen on February 1st, Crescent Communities, a diversified real estate investment, development and operating company, will also put more than $100 million in to expanding the resort. That money will go towards adding 150 luxury rooms to the Inn's 50 individual cottages (spread out over a few buildings) as well as creating a premium Spa Montage and Fitness Center and expanding meeting facilities and dining options. Montage-branded residences will also be offered. But we're guessing the Auberge-branded Alligator Tracking adventure will probably disappear.
The Athens Group will be the development partner, leading a design team that includes Hart Howerton, HKS Hill Glazier Studio and Wilson Associates. Rates are currently going for about $420 for a forest view cottage at the end of January and remain the same after Montage takes over in February. Of course, rates could be adjusted upwards when the expansion is complete.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Concorde Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Paris Hotels / Berlin Hotels / → All Tags
Hotel rebrandings happen – they are a fact of life in the industry, whether a result of lawsuits or some other drama, or just a desired change in direction or repositioning. The difference for guests can be substantial if major renovation is involved, and sometimes it is simply a case of one name on the door coming down and another going up.
We’re not entirely sure though what to call it when a hotel group loses half of its portfolio in the span of a single year, which seems to be the case for Concorde Hotels. Earlier this year, Hyatt swooped in and took over the management of four of its hotels (two in Paris, two on the French Riviera), newcomer The Set will be closing the Lutetia soon for yet another full-on French palace hotel renovation, and now Hilton is taking over Concorde Paris Opéra and Sofitel the Concorde Berlin. Seven hotels in twelve months is quite the stampede for the door marked “exit,” is all we’re saying.
If we were a betting person, which we really aren't, we'd place some HUGE bets on the new name for Bill's Gambling Hall (which was supposed to be the The Gansevoort Las Vegas until that deal crapped out)--THE CROMWELL.
VegasChatter reported on the rumor on Monday, initially uncovered by Vegas Seven who cited sources as saying "the deed is done." Indeed, when we hit up the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, we found The Cromwell to be registered to Caesars (So have several websites, according to Vegas Seven.). Everything else planned for the property should remain the same including 188 sexy, boutique-style guestooms, 19 suites, a Strip-side restaurant from Giada de Laurentiis (yes, that Giada) and the return of Drai's nightclub, which will include a rooftop pool and day club.
And now given the news that Caesars' player's club, Total Rewards, has partnered up with SPG we fully expect some new SPG Moments to include a cooking class with Giada and a poolside cabana at Drai's.
We're just wondering how The Cromwell, which is such a staid sort of name, will fare in Sin City. Then again, we thought The Cosmopolitan was silly at first. So the name is not the only game here.
Los Angeles Hotels / San Fernando Valley Hotels / Hotels Near Universal Studios / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
While you might be decorating your house with garland right now, we're thinking of another kind of Garland right now. Los Angeles' North Hollywood neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley is finally getting a much-needed boutique hotel, giving visitors to Universal Studios a stylish place to rest their head for the night (as opposed to settling for a budget chain nearby.)
The existing Beverly Garland Hotel, founded by the actress in 1970, has just started a $20 million, multi-phase redesign that will culminate in the reopening of the hotel this summer as The Garland. The renovation will upgrade all 242 guest rooms, 14 suites and public spaces with a new look designed by Forchielli Glynn, who have designed the suites at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. The Garland will also get a pool bar and a new "secret garden" outdoor venue for weddings and social events.
While the rooms do look gorgeous, we're most excited for Executive Chef Warren Schwartz's new restaurant. Previously, Schwartz worked at the Viceroy Santa Monica before leaving to open the Westside Tavern on Pico in West LA (which is still one of our fave pre/post-movie dinner spots.) Here at The Garland, Schwartz will open The Front Yard when the hotel reopens this summer. In the meantime, he's running Warren's Blackboard, an experimental sort of restaurant that will show off the "culturally diverse Los Angeles food culture." Eater LA says, "Think Korean braised short rib with spiced pumpkin and spinach; pappardelle with lamb tomato ragu; and churros with dulce de leche ice cream."
Yum. Heading out to the Valley never sounded so good.
As you can tell, the hotel is open through the renovations. We found rooms for next weekend for $169 a night.
[Photo: The Garland]
Just as we suspected back in March, Paris' iconic Hotel Crillon will become a part of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts when it reopens in 2015. Here's a statement from the hotel's owners on why they chose this luxury brand for their precious hotel:
“It was essential for us to find an operator who was able to grasp the uniqueness of this iconic property,” says Ramzi Wakim and Laurent Dusonchet, managing partners of Avangard Advisory, the owner’s representatives. “We were seduced by Rosewood’s tailor-made approach, its A Sense of Place® philosophy and its understanding of true luxury.”
Currently, the Crillon is undergoing a major restoration project that will preserve its late 18th century history but add some much-needed new interiors. Perhaps they will be more lax about letting folks into their lobby when they reopen.
Meanwhile, Rosewood continues to expand its luxury brand. They just opened in London and have plans to open hotels in Beijing, Riyadh and Baha Mar in 2014. More hotels are also planned for Phuket, Bali and Bangkok. Everything is coming up Rosewods it seems!
Here's another Miami Hotel Mambo move for you. As of just the other day, the Angler's Hotel on Washington Avenue, has become a Kimpton Hotel. This marks the third Kimpton Hotel in the Miami area. They already have the EPIC and the beachfront Surfcomber Hotel.
As far as we can see, not much has changed since we last stayed there.. There was an addition that opened in early 2008 and now, another expansion is planned for next year that will add 83 new rooms as well as a rooftop pool and a new lobby.
The Angler's has always had free WiFi but now you'll have to be a member of Kimpton's InTouch loyalty program to get it. The Angler's has also already begun Kimpton-izing the rest of the hotel to include hosted wine hour, yoga mats and animal-print bathrobes in the closet, a "You Forgot It, We Got It" list of complimentary toiletries and complimentary morning coffee and tea service from 6am to 10am every day.
Rates this weekend start at $339 a night.
The 215-room hotel in the city's River North neighborhood is currently open as the Amalfi Hotel but it's undergoing a multi-million renovation and will officially reopen as The Kinzie in February. But aside from lounging in upgraded rooms and public spaces done by the Gettys Design Group Chicago, guests will also be getting quite the history lesson with their stay.
The hotel's namesake, John Kinzie, is often referred to as "Chicago's first civilian" who was involved in the city's first controversial murder (he was later acquitted) and then had some wild escapades during the War of 1812. During that time, he identified first as a British citizen (even though he was born in Quebec) and then was captured by the British for treason. Naturally, when he escaped British imprisonment somewhere in Nova Scotia, he quickly re-identified as a U.S. citizen and spent his last years in Chicago. His son later opened the city's first hotel and restaurant. The Kinzie Hotel now stands just blocks from where John Kinzie's original mansion once stood (the street is even named after him too.)
The Kinzie's new Double Cross lounge will be the most obvious homage to the man. Inspired by a silver piece Kinzie designed in the shape of a double-barred cross as well as for his "mercurial" reputation, the sixth floor lounge will be open from 5 to 8pm and will give guests an assortment of complimentary small bites and a cocktail to kick off their evenings.
Keep reading for more on the guestrooms at The Kinzie!
Hilton Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Super Bowl Hotels / Meadowlands Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The long-standing Sheraton near The Meadowlands Complex in New Jersey, where the Giants and Jets play, has turned into a Hilton Hotel, with some brand new rooms, a new lobby and hallways. (The remaining rooms and meeting space are scheduled to begin renovation later next year.)
Aside from a prime location near the Meadowlands and the MetLife Stadium, the hotel is just four miles from NYC and 15 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport, making it an affordable alternative to Manhattan. But should you want to stay at this hotel sometime in early February, try again. The hotel is the host hotel of Super Bowl XLVIII which means rooms are probably sold-out.
And we say probably because there isn't an official Hilton site for the hotel right now. The existing Sheraton site is still up but when we tried to make a reservation for next week, no dice. Until the Hilton site comes online, you may want to call the hotel at (201) 896-0500 to book your stay. Who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky with a room for the Super Bowl.
[Photo: Sheraton Hotels]
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Indigo Hotels / Anaheim Hotels / Disneyland Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The Hotel Indigo is thataway!
Indigo's parent company, InterContinental Hotel Group, has converted the Holiday Inn Express at 435 Katella Avenue, near the convention center, into The Hotel Indigo Anaheim, a"retro-style" hotel with 104 rooms, a pool, a fitness center and restaurant, The Chambers Bar & Bistro. (The rebranding was made possible by New Century Enterprises, LLC who poured about $5 million into the property.)
As with all Hotel Indigos, the surrounding area and its history play an important in the hotel's identity. But how does this work when the surrounding area is ruled by Mickey? Well, Indigo went way back for inspiration. Apparently, the hotel is located near what used to be a wagon trail that connected several ranches responsible for producing nearly half of America's walnuts in the early 1900s. Seriously. So the Hotel Indigo Anahemi now features mosaic murals with blooming walnut trees. (No nutcrackers in the minibars though.)
Additionally, the hotel's restaurant is an homage to the Chambers Ranch which was home to the families who made their living growing walnuts.
HotelChatter Interviews / Hotel Development / Hotel Growth / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Autograph Collection Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
We’ve been receiving a steady stream of news and tidbits over the past few months about the ever-growing portfolio of properties that are joining Marriott’s Autograph Collection (not to be confused with AC by Marriott).
Within the past month alone, properties that have fallen under the Autograph Collection umbrella are The Lexington (the Collection’s third property in New York), the Siena Hotel in North Carolina, the Castle Hotel in Florida, the Powerscourt Hotel in Ireland, The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, and—this just in—the not-yet-built Civic Hotel in Surrey, British Columbia. With its 50th hotel being announced later this month, this begs the obvious question: Is the Autograph Collection aiming to take over the world?
To get to the bottom of this, we approached Amanda Altree, VP of marketing for Autograph Collection, to give us the straight scoop.