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The other week we could scarcely believe the news that the new owners of Gianni Versace's South Beach mansion-turned-hotel would want to merge their new acquisition with their existing hotel--The Hotel Victor. After all, we though the Victor was supposed to be property of the Pomeranc brothers, formerly of Thompson Hotels.
But no, the Victor is now solely under the Nakash family who owns Jordache Enterprises. We know, Jordache Jeans and Versace in one place? Only in South Beach.
As for the Victor, the hotel has officially reopened after an impressive $8 million renovation that gave the hotel more of a "beachhouse vibe" with new guestrooms and oceanfront suites as well as an updated pool scene and cabanas, and a new lobby designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Amenities now include free WiFi, communal computers and complimentary beach cruisers, which let's face it, is the fastest way to get around South Beach in high season. Unless you've brought your own rollerblades, of course.
If ever there was a town that the much-overused words "quaint" and "charming" seem made for, it's Hanover, New Hampshire.
Located in the state's Upper Valley, along the Appalachian Trail, and separated from Vermont by the Connecticut River, Hanover is most famously home to Dartmouth College, an elite Ivy League university -- and all of the fortunes that brings.
That being said, quaint and charming (not to mention the phrase "elite Ivy League ...") can rub some of us the wrong way, and so we approached the Hanover Inn, a storied hotel that occupies a building dating from 1780 and overlooks Dartmouth Green (scene of Conan O'Brien's epic 2011 commencement speech) with some trepidation.
The feeling was not initially assuaged by our first glimpse of the hotel lobby, which felt a little stuffy with its fireplace, leather armchairs, black and white photographs of alumni, rocking chairs on the patio, and a lot of deep green (Dartmouth College colors). Closer inspection, however, revealed modernist touches such contemporary works of art and a centerpiece table created from big slab of granite; an homage to New Hampshire's "granite state" moniker.
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The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
Back in January we told you that the Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont was undergoing a major reno. Shortly after that, the hotel closed up shop as it entered the final stage of its makeover. But now the hotel is nearly ready for its close-up and will re-open on June 28.
A Preferred Boutique and Preferred Pride hotel, the fruits of Topnotch's multi-million dollar refurbishment include:
• A more contemporary entryway that opens to a spacious new lobby designed to showcase soaring mountain views
• A brand spanking new bar
• Two new restaurants: The Flannel & The Roost
• 68 newly renovated rooms and suites
• New wedding & events venue
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Nothing like a little celebrity appearance to make a hotel re-opening event really sparkle, and that's what happened last week when Sheryl Crow turned up at the Sam Houston (which used to be called The Alden).
The 100-room hotel recently completed renovation work on all guest rooms, suites, and public spaces (the rooms now "combine clean decor with contemporary touches," which is a good thing, since the hotel's been around since 1924!), and has spent the past month celebrating its grand re-opening. Meanwhile, Sheryl Crow has a new album coming out, and she was in town doing promo at a local radio station.
The opportunity was too good to pass up!
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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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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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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.
"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!).
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On January 1, the former Hotel Conrad in Brussels changed hands and reopened as the Steigenberger Grandhotel. We don’t hear much about the brand in North America, so here’s the scoop. They’re a Germany-based group that manages 81 hotels all over Germany and in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Egypt and now Belgium. This includes their upper mid-range hotel brand, InterCity Hotels and the higher-end Steigenberger Hotels.
The hotel is located on the swishy Avenue Louise with its high-end boutiques and restaurants. We had the chance to get a look inside the hotel this past summer when it was still a Conrad and then, as now, the hotel falls into the deluxe category. It has an old-school glam feel to it with a great “gentlemen’s club” type bar and lounge. There’s even a smoking lounge if that’s your thing which, as you know, is quite scarce these days. Their restaurant, Cafe Wiltshire, has a lovely terrace overlooking the hotel’s courtyard.
The last time we’d talked about the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Miami’s Coconut Grove section, things weren’t faring well. To be blunt—it was becoming a downright dump. In fact a friend who stayed there this past April told us that the previously named Mayfair House Hotel still hadn’t looked that great.
Well, it seems things have changed and the hotel has undergone a major renovation and will relaunch as a luxury property on September 21st. And if the images we’ve seen are any indication—they’ve put in major work.
The 179 suites, spa, and rooftop deck have all been overhauled to a South Beach sleekness that has us well intrigued. They’ve added Amazon ironwood fixtures, stained-glass windows, and sculptures plaster ceilings crafted by talented artisans.
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Natural disasters, like earthquakes, can paralyze travel plans, sometimes months and even years later. The February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, which pretty much closed down the city to tourism, was no different. But we've got good news--things are bouncing back, including the September 4th re-opening of the Ibis Christchurch Hotel, which has been closed for two years.
The South Island city of Christchurch experienced a 6.3 magnitude quake that caused 185 deaths. Slowly, but surely, the city has been rebuilt and people are moving back to the region.