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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.
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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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UPDATE 9.6.13: A rep for the hotel emailed us to say, "We're having our most successful year on record since reopening in 2008. We're averaging over 80% occupancy a year and have the highest revenues in the history of Fontainebleau. In fact, Fontainebleau is one of the most profitable non-casino hotels in the world." In other words, party on.
It's unbelievable that even in the face of financial troubles, Miami Beach's legendary Fontainebleau is still partying like all's right in the world.
The hotel capped off their summer of BleauLive concertsthis past weekend with a performance by singer Robin Thicke and Grammy-winning producer/musician Pharrell Williams. The duo took to the stage and performed their monster summer hit, "Blurred Lines."
Meanwhile, the details are equally blurry regarding the upcoming sale of The Fontainebleau to South Florida developer Turnberry Ltd. Dubai World, who has 50 percent stake in the hotel, has already unloaded other assets to repay $25 billion worth of debts, with the SoBe hotel the most recent on the chopping block.
According to an article in Reuters, the sale of the hotel will be completed in a few weeks, but the price is being kept hush hush according to their source, and Dubai World's spokesman would not comment.
Depending on who you talk to, the sale of the trendy Hotel Le Bleu couldn't have come at a better time.
For some, the 48-room Park Slope property, which came on the scene in 2007, has steadily gone down hill despite being located in Brooklyn's up-and-coming Fourth Avenue neighborhood. Not only is it close to the Barclay's Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets, but also to the restaurants and bars in the increasingly popular Gowanus neighborhood.
So, why is Hotel Le Bleu on the market for $12 million?
To be clear, the eight-story property, owned and managed by family-owned, California-based Globiwest Hospitality Group, is not shutting down completely. No, GHG is merely seeking to transfer their 99-year lease, and set sights on other endeavors. Sean Kelly, a managing director for CPEX Real Estate, which is handling the sale told The Brooklyn Paper, owners "would like to roll that cash flow into some other real estate ventures.” This is a good thing, as it appears they aren't putting money into Le Bleu.
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The late Leona Helmsley's Park Lane Hotel is about to go out in history, just like its famous owner. It's in the process of being offloaded to a mysterious buyer who sought the help of New York-based developer Witkoff Group to help facilitate the private sale.
Once the $660 million (give or take $10 mil depending on your source) deal is done (the expected date is in November) word is the new owners intend to turn the prestigious hotel into…condos. Decisions are still being made on whether a hotel/condo model will work or whether to completely demolish the building and rebuild.
If these super-secret investors decide to continue on the real-estate route, they'll be building a tower of high-end condos thanks to the 46-story Park Lane's Central Park South location, but we can't help but feel sad this will be the end of an era in the hotel world. We were waiting to get just a little older to sit in Harry's Bar and order a $19 martini and not feel like an insolent kid for daring to be in such a grown-up place.
It's big news for the Delano Hotel South Beach, a hotel that's been a Miami institution since, well, forever-and-a-day. Their owner, NYC-based Morgans Hotel Group announced it's selling its stakes in the hotel and associates The Light Group, and would offer $100 million to help settle the current debt of $230 million to a buyer. Whoa.
The hotel group has apparently been trying to unload the Delano since 2002, and has apparently posted a financial loss since 2007, according to OTK Associates LLC, the largest shareholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co. So, no doubt they had a hand in pressuring Morgans to dump the Delano, pronto.
Morgans has signed agreements with The Yucaipa Companies, a firm owned by uber-wealthy Ron Burkle, to desist Yucaipa's interest in Morgans stock, stock warrants, and convertible notes, and instead take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group. However, Morgans would still operate the Delano thanks to a pre-agreement asking for long-standing management agreement.
Are you hella confused yet? No worries, we were too, and had to read this manifesto post-and-pre-cocktail time. So we're agree there are no plain words to explain this business. But hold on, keep still, there's more after the jump.
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The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sold the luxurious, 447-room InterContinental London Park Lane to an affiliate of Constellation Hotels last week for about $460 million, building upon a fire sale that's been going on for the past decade. Since 2003, IHG has sold 191 hotels, at a rate of about 19 hotels a year, for a $6.1 billion profit.
They made a pretty penny on the Park Lane property, too, flipping it for 62% more than its December 2012 book value, by selling it to a Middle Eastern private investment group, and continuing a trend of Middle Eastern investment in London.
Recently, Qatar purchased Harrods department store and helped to finance the construction of the Shard skyscraper.
IHG says the profits will be used for "general corporate purposes," which we figure will include champagne parties, backstage passes, and pillow fights involving supermodels. Seriously though, we see big numbers thrown around all the time, so we're always more focused on the practical questions, like, will anything change as far as the consumer is concerned?
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SuperClubs has removed the clothing-optional, adults-only Hedonism II Jamaican resort from its dossier of all-inclusive properties. This comes after it unloaded unprofitable sister resort Hedonism III in 2011 and in earlier 2012 sold Breezes Trelawny to a Canadian tour company called Sunwing. Breezes Montego Bay was also let go in 2009.
The company recently announced that the sale of the Negril hotel has finally been completed to an investment group named Marshmallow Ltd., headed by financier Harry Lange, and made up of partners Jon Gross of UnWind Travel (aka Fluffernutters), some of SuperClubs' own chairman's family members, and Kevin Levee, the hotel's current general manager.
The sale will not change Hedonism’s name, however, a $10 million room renovation is planned, which will certainly be welcome for the 30-year old hotel.
More importantly, what will remain the same will be the resort’s day-to-day operations, which include saucy, devil-may-care fun that its patrons, often repeat guests, relish.
[Photo: Ack Ook's Flickr]
$1 room or not, you can still lounge with coffee or a sexy cocktail in the Library at PUBLIC Chicago
Word is out today that another One Dollar Sale is coming from Ian Schrager’s bright white Chicago gem, PUBLIC Chicago. For those unfamiliar with the online hotel sale, it’s an amazing chance for would-be guests to book a room at PUBLIC for just one buck. For those who swung and missed at the last sale -- you know, the vast majority, including yours truly at HotelChatter – the one dollar offer might feel more like the ultimate tease as rooms ended up selling out in less than five minutes flat.
Still, we’re not about to give up. Real live people picked up all 270 available rooms in the last sale so we know it can be done. And since we really, really want to stay at the PUBLIC for a buck, no less, we’re gonna play it smart this time. Which is why we talked to a PUBLIC Chicago insider for some tips on how to get a leg up at the hotel’s next dollar sale.
Friends of PUBLIC, if there ever was a way, than this is how you score a $1 room at PUBLIC Chicago.
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Not being accustomed to buying antique barber chairs, we can't say for sure whether $1,600 (about the cost of 50 haircuts) is actually a deal or not. But at an auction, which took place on Saturday at Balsams Grand Resort in New Hampshire, the century-and-a-half-old hotel certainly succeeded in cleaning itself out to make way for a major renovation project.
Set to re-open in mid-2013, the new Balsams first had to get rid of its ties to the past. Plates, towels, sheets, a ski lift—pretty much the entire contents of guest rooms and other public spaces—were put on the block. And the buyers didn't disappoint!
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OK. It happened. The Public Chicago's $1 sale came and went in the blink of an eye, and by the end of it (five minutes later), we were left still clutching our measly dollar, and cursing the hotel gods above. But it eases our conscience—slightly—to know we weren't the only ones duped into thinking we were actually going to score a $1 hotel room yesterday.
So what was going on? Well, just like with any place that gets inundated with too many customers all at once (eBay, Ticketmaster, Missoni for Target), some people simply got lost in the shuffle. Of course, some actually did end up scoring reservations. And hooray for them. But understandably, we were a little curious to know how—three times in a row—one minute we managed to snag a room, and the next, it was gone. So we spoke with a Public Chicago manager to find out her take on the whole melee. See below to read her response!
For starters, some folks, including us, never got an email from Public Hotels announcing the start of the sale. This is pretty crappy as signing up for the email was the preferred way of learning about the sale.
Yup, i got a room for 1 date, gave them my card details and get an error message.
Meanwhile inside HotelChatter's HQ ASchechter had three separate reservations go through but each time was thwarted by an "Error!" message at the end.