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As usual, we were leafing through the NY Times Travel section this weekend, making mental notes about how we should plan on visiting East Frisia to try the tea, and, how we need to check out that newly reopened "Shalom" hotel in Tel Aviv, when something caught our eye.
It was in an article talking about the new trend of "stylish hostels" popping up in places like Mexico City, Singapore, Reykjavik and São Paulo. Of course, one of the more interesting "hotels" we recently reviewed was Freehand Miami, a hip $21/night hostel that's run by the Sydell Group (the same company responsible for The NoMad, Ace New York and Saguaro Palm Springs.)
Now, for the exciting part: the article casually mentions that the Sydell Group is planning to take the Freehand concept nationwide (yay!), and the next location will be New York (double yay!).
Indian Hotels offer to buy the Orient-Express luxury brand is met with a "no"
Orient-Express Hotels Group has turned down the surprise buyout offer from Tata Groups’, Indian Hotels Company, saying the proposed $1.2 billion price tag was not enough and came at an inappropriate time.
Though Orient-Express said they would take three weeks to decide, they made the decision earlier, stating, The Indian Hotels proposal “..is deeply unattractive from a financial perspective," said Orient-Express Chairman Robert Lovejoy. Further, "The board believes the current macroeconomic environment, conditions in the luxury hotel business and factors unique to Orient-Express would make this a highly disadvantageous time to sell the company to realize its true value."
Indian Hotels’ initial offer was $12.63 a share for stocks (a 40% premium). Meanwhile OEH closed yesterday at $10.55 a share.
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Will the Orient-Express hotels in Cusco keep their names? In three weeks we'll know for sure
This news appeared in our inbox this weekend from an unknown source and we weren’t sure whether it was fact or fiction. Orient-Express Hotels up for sale? Really? Trouble in paradise?
Add the news that the unsolicited all cash offer from Tata Group’s Indian Hotels of $12.63 Per Share (a 40% premium on that day’s closing share price), was a tad on the bold side and we were even more uneasy--why go so high? Yet that would mean a cool $1.86 billion sale for Orient-Express. At least they're getting a higher bid, unlike the discount Jetsetter.com had to offer for its company sale.
Subsequent news briefs confirmed the proposal was definitely real, bold, and that U.S.-listed Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., while in $615.6 million debt wasn't seeking bailout. However, in a statement the company said it will evaluate the proposal carefully and respond in due course in accordance with the best interests of the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. and its shareholders.
For a while now, there's been rumors swirling of a possible Viceroy New York. You know, a proper Viceroy. Nothing against Cassa Hotel: yes, technically it became Viceroy's first NYC hotel last January. But since it falls under the "Urban Retreat" heading, it's technically in a different category than the other Viceroy-branded hotels.
However, things seem to be moving forward, ever so slightly. Viceroy CEO Bill Walshe played coy with a group of reporters yesterday when the topic of a Viceroy New York came up, saying that a Manhattan property "very well may be" opening within a year, and furthermore that, if such a property were to open, it would likely sit within a 15 block radius of Times Square. Of course, nothing could be confirmed.
The site of a Mondrian...maybe
The hotel hype actually comes from a Crain's real estate article on the neighborhood saying that Mark Hunt and his M Development company might try again to turn the Cedar Hotel, a defunct hotel, into a Mondrian. M Development enlisted architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to draw up some renderings back several years ago for the possible Mondrian but the dreams of acquiring and adding several floors to the building were effectively killed by the economic crisis of 2008.
Now that those dark days are behind the hospitality industry, especially in Chicago where the boutique scene is burgeoning, the plans to rework the property into something hip and cool have returned.
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Update: We just want to reiterate that the Dream Downtown's possible sale to the Sahara Group is just speculation at this point. Now get back to your regularly scheduled Dreaming.
Everyone's going down, down, down downtown, including some deep-pocketed Indian investors who recently fronted $570 million for a controlling stake in the Plaza.
The Sahara Group, who also picked up the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in late 2010, is reportedly on a spending spree, and New York hotels are hot, so hot right now. The NY Times reports that Sahara Group may be about to acquire Chatwal's Dream Downtown.
There's never any shortage of gossip in the hotel world and we do our best to keep up with all of it. Here's the latest odds and ends we've heard recently, all concerning NYC-area hotels. Got your own to add? Send it our way!
· Hotel Indigo Takes Over Hotel 718: It looks like the Hotel 718 in Brooklyn will never open as an independent hotel. According to the Brownstoner, the property has been sold to the Lam Group, which plans on installing the Hotel Indigo brand. Admittedly, this is one of our fave brands out there thanks to hardwood floors, spa-style showers, in-room haikus and of course, free WiFi. But still sad to see an indie not make it, especially in BK of all places. The Hotel Indigo Brooklyn (we're just guessing on that name) is expected to open on August 1.
· Will The Essex House Become the Marriott House?: A tipster wrote in last week to tell us the Essex House on Central Park, currently a Jumeirah Hotel but which has been up for sale since March, will become a Marriott. We're not sure if Marriott themselves will be fronting the asking price of $300-400 million (we doubt it) but this does have us wondering if the hotel will become part of their Autograph Collection or could it become--dare we say--an Edition? Either way, we'll be curious to see how the rebranding goes down. UPDATE 8.17.12 USA Today reports it will become a JW Marriott.
The one, and only, Ace Hotel New York
We've long suspected that Ace Hotels had another hotel up their sleeve, maybe for Miami or even the hot market of Chicago.
We know they are working on an LA property but we still can't shake the feeling that their aiming for a second hotel in NYC. Which is why this latest bit of news from the Bowery Boogie gave us quite a start--Ace Hotels is headed to the Lower East Side!
Alas, it's not true. When we checked in with an Ace Hotels rep we found out that Ace Hotels has no plans to open in the former Jarmulowsky Bank Building at the corner of Orchard and Canal Streets. However, it is very likely that a hotel will open in the Beaux Arts building and Bowery Boogie reports that an LES-based architectural firm, Studio Castellano, is in charge of the conversion.
Whoever comes in here, we ain't complaining. The more options in NYC the better. We just have one teensy request--free WiFi please!
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A food-lover's paradise...too bad they'll have to walk allll the way from their hotel to get here
Someone please tell us how we missed this bit of Manhattan hotel madness news: Chelsea Market, which houses over a dozen of Manhattan's most beloved food vendors (Amy's Bread, Fat Witch Bakery, Jacques Torres Chocolates, Ronnybrook Dairy, The Lobster Place, among others) was for a while being considered as the site of a new hotel. However, it now looks like those plans may take a while to come to fruition, if ever.
Jamestown Properties, the building developer, wanted to celebrate the former Nabisco factory's history as the birthplace of the Oreo 100 years ago by adding two new towers onto the complex, one of which was slated to be a hotel. And while that expansion might still totally happen, it might be offices, rather than a cookie-themed hotel, that go up. Boo!
UPDATE: SIKE! It's not going to be an Ace Hotel but rather A Thompson Hotel, the sixth Thompson for Manhattan!
Now, we can add another entry to the "maybe" column on our list of upcoming Ace Hotels. While nothing has been confirmed, The Real Deal reports that an abandoned nine-story office building from the 1880s has been purchased by a joint venture partnership, one of whom is an owner of the Ace New York.
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After playing coy with us the other week, Mandarin Oriental Hotels has now officially confirmed that they will be taking over management of the Mansion On Peachtree in Atlanta's posh Buckhead neighborhood.
Starting May 2012, the 127-room hotel will be rebranded as The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. The 25 luxury residences attached to the hotel will also undergo a name change to the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Previously, the hotel was managed by Rosewood Resorts.
So far it doesn't look like much will be changed inside the hotel, although the Atlanta SkyRise Blog did report that Del Frisco's will take over the restaurant spot in the hotel which once belonged to Craft from Top Chef's Tom Colicchio.
We'll keep you posted on anything more we hear with the MO ATL but as always, if you've got some scoop, send it to us!
As you can see from our snapshot above, the work on The SLS Hotel at South Beach is in full gear. That's the building at the rear of the hotel that will house the poolside bungalows (including one by Lenny Kravitz Design) looking very close to what the rendering promised. But: will the hotel still open in April?
We checked in with the hotel's rep but they still don't have a hard opening date to announce. Yet according to local industry tipster Dee Theconciergeliaison, the scheduled opening date is now May 8.
The good news is, we can't see this hotel joining the hotel delay merry-go-round--not with the amount of buzz it has in Miami and with the amount of work we see going on at the site on a daily basis.