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The Excelsior, up for sale
Last week we learned that one struggling Venice island hotel had finally had its prince come along, in the shape of St Regis, and it got us thinking: what’s happening with the grande dames of the Lido?
The glorious old Hotel des Bains – which was the setting for Death in Venice and, more recently, one of the venues of the Venice Film Festival – closed in 2010, to be redeveloped into luxury apartments within a year.
But in Venice a few months ago, we couldn’t help noticing that it was still a building site.
According to Il Sole 24 Ore, everything is up in the air. There’s some complicated real estate fund stuff going on, but basically Est Capital, which bought the properties off Starwood, has foundered, and they’ve been passed to Hines Sgr, which is mulling over the options.
Baha Mar just announced the switcheroo this morning of SLS taking over the operations of a 300-room property at Baha Mar which Mondrian was previously set to run.
Renowned for its high concept design aesthetic that fosters social engagement, SLS Hotels is the brand that introduced the idea of the hotel as a social experience. SLS at Baha Mar will feature 300 distinctively styled rooms that continue the brand's tradition of celebrating creativity, culture, fashion and art as part of the pursuit of our guests' passions.
Indeed, the Mondrian has been wiped from the website and the entryway of the SLS at Beverly Hills has been slotted in on the SLS page instead.
After starting out life as an independent hotel back in 2006, the stylish Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis (directly across from the Target headquarters) has been managed by Wyndham Hotels for the past four years, with the original owners--the Graves Hospitality Corporation--still involved. But that's soon going to change.
Loews Hotels announced last week that they would be buying the 255-room hotel in a deal that is expected to close next month. There's no word on what exactly the new name will be. We're guessing the Graves name will be taken off and something traditional like Loews Minneapolis will be put forth. And of course, all of the Loews standard amenities and services (like free WiFi) will be put in as well.
Right now, room rates at the Graves 601 are at $359 for a superior king or a superior double. The website is completely junky (there's even music playing) so we hope Loews can fix that up real quick.
[Photo: Graves 601/Facebook]
Starting today, all King & Grove hotels will be a part of the new Chelsea Hotels. The tag line is: "Different kinds of more. Different kinds of less."
“We wanted a name that reflects what we stand for as a brand, and Chelsea Hotels does just that. In the spirit of our most iconic property, Chelsea Hotels welcomes all to become part of a community rooted in culture, creativity and shared experiences,” said Edward Scheetz, CEO of Chelsea Hotels, in a statement.
But its not only the hotel group that's getting a new name. The King & Grove Williamsburg Hotelwill now go by the name McCarren Hotel + Pool while the King & Grove New York will go by the name Martha Washington. The original King & Grove property, Ruschmeyer's in Montauk will stay the same. Chelsea Hotels will also unveil the Astor Hotel on Lafayette street in 2016.
If you're a Hyatt lover who's looking for a Cancun getaway, we've got some bad news--The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt as of May 1, 2014. Here's the note that is now on their website:
The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt-managed or a Hyatt-branded property effective 11:59pm local hotel time on April 30, 2014. As of May 01, 2014, the hotel will be known as “Krystal Grand Punta Cancun.”
Hyatt will continue to sell stays at the hotel up to 11:59pm local Cancun time on April 30, 2014. Please note that due to the management change, Hyatt Gold Passport members will not be eligible to receive Hyatt Gold Passport program benefits, including Hyatt Gold Passport points and Gold Passport free nights redemption for stays after April 30, 2014 and beyond. Redemption of Hyatt Gold Passport free nights requested and confirmed prior to March 14, 2014 will be honored as booked.
We're not so sure of the reasons for Hyatt's departure but thankfully, the hotel brand still has another property in the area--Hyatt Zilara, their new all-inclusive resort brand.
Meanwhile, we'll update you on what the Krystal Grad Punta Cancun will have when it takes over the old Hyatt. There's already a Krystal resort in Cancun so perhaps this will be their luxury property.
Meanwhile, rates start around $165 a night during the Hyatt's last week in operation.
[Photo: Hyatt Regency/Facebook]
One of Portland’s most revered landmarks, and one of its prettiest buildings, has now been re-branded as Sentinel Hotel (No "THE" needed.)
Formerly the Governor Hotel, Sentinel retains its predecessor’s legacy and provides a great example of repositioning a historic property into a 21st century hotel.
The hotel takes its new name affectionately from a design detail that is repeated along the roof parapet. The consensus is that these robot-looking, terra cotta carvings represent sentinels--protectors or guardians--looking out over the city.
The building, robot sculptures and all, opened in 1909 as the Seward Hotel and in 1932, was renamed the Governor Hotel. Following a rather sizeable stint as a carpet store post WWII, the "Governor" was re-elected, so to speak, as a luxury hotel in 1992. This incorporated a circa 1923 building next door, which is now a National Landmark and provides the beauteous historic backdrop for the hotel’s main public areas and event spaces.
Provenance Hotels purchased the Governor in April 2012 in partnership with Woodbine Development Corporation. Together, they dropped $6 million on renovations for the hotel that included the guest rooms, four floors of meeting space and the lobby along with new F&B--Jake's Restaurant and the Jackknife bar.
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Well, after only four years of operating under the Radisson Blu brand, the property has been bought by Riu Hotel & Resorts for $45 million and will undergo a name change to the Riu Palace St. Martin on June 1st.
While it has yet to be announced whether Riu will make any physical changes to the property, we do know that it will become an entirely all-inclusive resort under the new ownership. There was an all-inclusive option under Radisson, but it was not an all-inclusive property.
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Another San Francisco hotel has gotten a major makeover and we expect more to follow.
The Huntington Hotel in Nob Hill, originally built in the early 1920s, will reopen in May after a rather sexy and racy renovation (to the tune of $15 million) that will also bring with it a name change--The Scarlet Huntington.
The hotel is now a part of Singapore-based hospitality group, Grace International, who have made the Huntington into a spin-off of their Scarlet Hotel in Singapore, a very sexy property which uses words like "uninhibited", "bold" and "naughty" to describe itself.
While the rooms of The Scarlet in San Francisco will have a similar boudoir look to the Scarlet in Singapore (think lots of red, gold, black and "daringly dim lighting") the staff of the hotel will be familiar to previous guests as many of the Huntington's former staffers, including the concierge who has been there for 30 years, are expected to return to the hotel.
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We can always count on New York, Chicago and Miami for a new hotel but San Francisco? Those are few and far between. So when we got news that a new boutique hotel was opening this summer in Union Square, we immediately perked up.
The Hotel G, located on the corner of Geary and Mason Street, was formerly known as the Hotel Frank before it closed down in 2012. (We even stayed in it way back when!) So it's not exactly a new build. But after an extensive renovation of all 13 floors and 153 guest rooms, the hotel will emerge with a new design that is "simple yet functional and complements the building's unique architectural environments," said general manager, Steve Rizzo.
The hotel will also get a simple yet functional new name, The Hotel G.
Guest rooms will have "fog-colored walls, wood finishes and earthy fabrics and textiles." Expect some pops of bright color along with cool decor accents like Victorian settees (a nod to the hotel's past), vintage school house chairs, banker's lamps and mid-century writing desks. Modern amenities will include flat-screen SmartTvs, docking stations, Nespresso coffee makers and not surprisingly, complimentary WiFi.
The rooms we've peeped on the website are waaaay more subdued than the Frank's old rooms. We liked the Frank's quirky design but the G Funk Era, er, the Hotel G, is much, much, much easier on the eyes.
We have been following the extensive renovations at the hotel formerly known as the Milford Plaza, now The Milford for some time. Now, more than years and $140 million later, the hotel is ready to relaunch on March 1st under the new name, Row NYC.
When we last checked in we showed you some of the 1,331 bright, subway line color-inspired bedrooms with Times Square billboard inspired graphics over the beds (rates start at $279), as well as the fun hallways that take you on a walking tour of NYC’s downtown neighborhoods via commissioned images of Soho, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. But that's not all that's new at the new Row NYC, which is the creation of architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates (who are also working on the nearby and also soon to relaunch, Knickerbocker Hotel). It has come a long way since its budget hotel days.
This is rather unexpected: Orient-Express, which includes hotels like the Cipriani in Venice and the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a number of river cruises and train journeys around the world, will be known as Belmond from March 10 onwards.
The group has never owned the Orient-Express the name, instead licensing it from SNCF, the French transportation company; moving to Belmond will give them greater control and independence. Five million dollars is being invested in marketing in the first year, with an additional $10 million in the following years. The one element that will still carry the Orient-Express name is the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train.
One point we picked up on in the official statement is about making the group “attractive to property owners as we advance in our strategy of expanding into the third-party management of assets that complement our existing collection.” That sounds to us like we should be on the lookout for news of additional hotels joining Belmond in the future.
The current Orient-Express website will start redirecting to Belmond.com on March 10, the latter currently being a single landing page. Just in case you were looking for the website of Belmond, Iowa – the previous owner of the Belmond.com url – they’re now at belmondiowa.com.
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Just a few short months after unveiling their logo, The Sixty Collective has made the full-blown separation from its former company, Thompson Hotels. But remember, the Sixty Hotels moniker only applies to four hotels, per the separation terms with Commune Hotels & Resorts (you can get up to speed on that break-up here.)
And yes, that means the lovely 60 Thompson Hotel has to lose the Thompson bit. It will go by the name Sixty Soho.
We first noticed the name change on the brand's social media channels. Here's what their Twitter bio (@SixtyHotels) now reads: