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Two years ago, we showed you all, in excruciating detail, just why the Milford Plaza Hotel was in need of a renovation. Well, here we are in 2013, and the hotel's 1,300 rooms are looking waaay better (thanks to a $140 million renovation), with bright neon headboards, iPod docking stations, and 32" flatscreen TVs. But we're still wondering when that dang scaffolding will ever come down.
We're not the only ones losing sleep over this, either. The NY Post recently hinted that the hotel "could set a record for the city's longest-standing sidewalk sheds…with permits for the hideous covering going back to 1990." Come on, Milfy P! There are kids graduating college now who were born after that!
One of the reasons this place is on our radar again is, the other day we were walking back to the subway from Paramount Hotel, which we've been unabashedly having a mini love affair with all week. And after being enchanted by the latter's museum-worthy lobby and light-filled Italian cafe, the Milford Plaza's hulking, wooden plank-shrouded exterior seemed almost offensive.
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While in Quebec City last week, we had the chance to stay at the infamous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and discovered it'll undergo a multi-million dollar renovation project to celebrate its 120th year. Don't worry, though, retaining the historic charm that's been the hotel's backbone since day one is part of the construction plan.
The renovations will include the guestrooms, main lobby, banquet areas, health club and restaurants. The various projects will be carried out in different phases between May 2013 and early 2014. The hotel will remain open during it all and says "special care and extra efforts will be devoted in order to minimize the inconvenience, visual impact and noise-related nuisance for clients during the renovations." We believe them, considering we toured a room right next to one that was being overhauled and we didn't hear a peep.
Fairmont has dedicated a website to the renovations where you can follow along with the progress being made. The photos in this post show the layout, design, and decor of two prototype rooms, though the hotel said the final product could differ slightly. We found the changes to be most welcome, especially in the bathroom. What say you? Are you liking the new look?
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But it seems like the Paramount is poised for its big comeback, after it reopened this week flaunting a $40 million renovation, including updated guest rooms, a redesigned two-story lobby, a new restaurant and bar, an Italian cafe, and a retail concept to rival the Ace's hipster goodie shops, Opening Ceremony and Project 8a.
Coolest of all, perhaps, is the fact that Diamond Horseshoe, the hotel's legendary supper club from the 1920s, is going to be resurrected this fall in its original basement location. Developer Aby Rosen told the WSJ that the new 21st century Diamond Horseshoe will "be a nightspot akin to the Box, but without the raunchy content."
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Today seems to be a banner day for Ritz-Carlton Hotel news, we've got three pieces of juicy goss that just needs to be shared. Here's the tea:
In our recent Abandoned Hotels story, we lamented the construction of Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort had been languishing untouched in the Turk and Caicos since 2008 (it began in 2001) and showed no signs of ever coming to fruition. Well, a miracle has happened and the project is back on! According to HotelsMag.com, they've received confirmation on the private (you can only arrive by boat, small plane or helicopter) 125-unit resort's opening from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
HotelChatter also checked with our RC sources, and the luxury Caribbean resort is indeed a go. We were told an official release will soon come. European developers have taken over with an apparent $130 million investment to complete a project that's already had $300 million sunk into it by previous interested party, Logwood Development. Construction is expected to resume this year (keep your fingers crossed).
But wait, there's more Ritz-Carlton rumblings for ya!
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Swissôtels has recently revealed the first of its new “signature rooms” at Geneva's Swissôtel Métropole in the city's shopping and business quarter and close to the Old Town. Twelve rooms in total have been renovated for the launch of this category that focuses on design and comfort, with some pretty nifty tech advances, too.
Naturally, being a Swiss brand, the design follows an alpine motif as inspiration, including parquet wood floors and--the show stopper--a colorful wall that's reminiscent of Swiss Alp mountain flowers. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? The exclusive wallpapers for this scene were designed for the hotel by renowned Swiss textile manufacturer Jakob Schlaepfer, who supplies luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood with material goods.
Then there's the good stuff for hotel tech geeks out there.
Now that Cinderella, Prince Charming, and a 1,500-lb dog have all graced the New York Palace with their presence, the midtown luxury hotel will tend to a little housekeeping. And by little, we mean a royal $120 million renovation.
Set to be completed in June, the first phase has kicked off in the top 14 floors, also known as The Towers. It's where, if you can afford it, the name of the hotel begins to make sense with its 176 residential-style accommodations and skyline views.
So, yada yada, another hotel renovation... why do we care? Well, we feel that renovations give a glimpse into changing (or not changing) hotel trends, and for this one in particular, we're looking outside the box at two things: The death of the light switch and the end of the overpriced, in-room movie.
It seems this whole Crestron control unit thing a ding we told you about is catching on with hotels across the country, meaning less wandering around the room looking for the appropriate switch. In addition, the rooms at The Towers will all be equipped with television systems that can sync with computers and personal Netflix accounts. We're sure we've said it somewhere before, but let us once again wave adios to the ten-dollar in-room movie rental(that we fall asleep halfway through). Good riddance, and let's keep this trend rolling, please.
Signing over a check for $168 millions dollars to refresh their rooms, the Hyatt Regency Chicago has created a haven for the most tech-savvy travelers. The hefty cost is not just for new coats of paint and a few new pillows, it creates an oasis for those that need to stay connected from check-in to check-out.
Mimicking the check-in hall of the world's largest airports, Hyatt's lobby with offer guests plenty of ways to collect room keys and start the unpacking process. In addition to the traditional face-to-face check-in, the hotel will offer iPads to track your arrival. If you prefer to be a little less futuristic, self-service check-in kiosks will be available too. Of course, we just discussed whether customers want this kind of non-personalized service.
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It's a move we've witnessed before—an out-of-date Manhattan hotel seeks to reinvent itself with a sexier design and a shortened name. Hence, the Roger Williams became The Roger. And now, the former Radisson Lexington will now be known as The Lexington.
The hotel actually dates back to 1929, when it was originally known as The Lexington (so essentially it's come full circle). But the hotel isn't just returning to its roots by name alone: the owners hired Dash Design, who's worked on flashy renovations at the W Union Square and the J House in Greenwich, CT, to breathe new life into the 84-year-old hotel. The theme of the new multimillion dollar re-design? the glamorous, jazz age of New York.
That 1920s theme is definitely trending right now—we've also seen it appear at Manhattan's two newest hotels, The Refinery and The Jade—though we don't mind since part of New York's charm lies in its past.
If you're wondering exactly what "glamorous, jazz age New York" entails, take a look at the photo above, or read this tidbit from the hotel's press release:
"Brilliant gold elevator doors with whimsical songbirds will offer a taste of the Lexington New York City's original construction and serve as the entry point to the upstairs area of the hotel.
Photographs and drawings reflective of the Lexington New York City's storied past will compliment imagery of today's music scene and hang salon style above the bed…a verse from Irving Berlin's Russian Lullaby will dance through the room, embroidered into elements such as the lamp shade, bed cover and drapery."
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The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel just announced they’ve completed a redesign of all 807(!) guest rooms and suites to the tune of $30M. Wow -- talk about investing in the economy. Good on ‘em.
The hotel is located across from Mt. Vernon Square and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, close to DC’s Chinatown and Penn Quarter districts.
The rooms, designed by Dash Design in New York, are meant to complement the hotel’s recent lobby redo and are done in khakis and cocoa-browns with splashes of reinterpreted denim blues and reds. Each room is accented with clean and modern furniture. The leather lounge and desk chairs are inspired by twentieth-century modernism. LED reading pin lights are mounted on headboards with easy to reach plugs for guests to plug in their own mobile devices.
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After months of renovation work, costing around $20 million, Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter has officially opened inside the former Atlanta Perimeter Hotel and Suites. Of course, you remember the back story on this place, right? It originally opened as the W Atlanta Perimeter back in 1999, then Starwood sold it off in 2012, and it became an independent hotel.
Lots of work went in to transforming the hotel—including top-to-bottom renovations of all guest rooms, suites and public spaces, as well as a new Club Lounge, two club floors, and a new restaurant and bar. Biggest of all, the hotel took away all the balconies and replaced them with floor to ceiling windows.
But the hotel is nearing the end of its metamorphosis: on Thursday, the hotel officially re-opened as Le Meridien, with four out of twelve floors now open to guests. Though the restaurant is still under construction, the Longitude Bar is open, and the rest of the property is set to be completed by early June.
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The main complaint we've heard/read about the Sierra Nevada Lodge at Mammoth Lakes is that it's a little outdated in its decor, that the rooms are a bit old.
Well, they certainly addressed that comment card with a three-year multi-million dollar renovation, including the new construction of six chalets and 15 fireplace suites. The resort officially "re-opened" on February 1, although it never really closed, and now has a total of 149 rooms.
The chalets (pictured above) are located next door to the lodge and have full kitchens with butcher-block countertops and wood burning fireplaces. We dig the old-school snowshoe lights on the wall -- that's the good kind of "outdated" decor -- and the wood-burning fireplace is a mountain treat that's becoming less and less common thanks to liability and lawyers.
"Meet. Eat. Play. Stay." That's the motto at Reno's "CommRow," the 16-story, 60,000 square foot complex that opened downtown in 2011 right next to the arch as the biggest little city's premier "urban adventure destination" (i.e. a "non-gaming," "non-smoking" anti-casino funpark).
Not only is the world's tallest climbing wall (164 ft.) plastered to its facade, but inside, this place is stuffed silly with a 7,000 square-foot bouldering park, two live music venues, a cabaret-themed nightclub, and eleven different food and beverage "vignettes." (A martini bar! A tequila bar! A juice bar! Oh my!).