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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.
Hotel Booking Sites / Flash Sales / Jetsetter / London Hotels / UK Hotels / Hotel Sales / → All Tags
Safari flash sale, anyone?
Belonging to the gilded family of flash sale sites that is Gilt Groupe, Jetsetter capitalizes on the mildly frugal habits of its largely monied clientele. The same shoppers purchasing Nina Ricci and Valentino at a "bargain" (typically meaning prices in the hundreds rather than the thousands) turn to Jetsetter for deals on some of the world's most desirable hotels and resorts.
Bye bye free in-room iMac
According to Caterer Search, the chain (seven in the UK plus a new one in Amsterdam) was bought on Friday (for £600m) by Blackstone, which plans to convert them all into the aforementioned Hilton brands.
Ghastly news! What will happen to the tech-savvy rooms, mental special air con, living walls, cheap lunch deals and awesome little walking tours. A cookie at check in won't make up for that. Or the imminent demise of the free WiFi (Hilton Garden Inns offer WiFi for free while Doubletrees typically do not.)
All we can do is hope for the best. Until then, let's have a minute's silence now.
All good things must come to an end but normally if they’re hotels, we expect them to last longer than a year.
So it’s with sadness that we read that Hotel Verta, the swanky Battersea property by the London heliport, has been put up for sale.
Although its future looked a little shaky in April, when Von Essen went into administration, the fact that the Verta was retained by Von Essen’s founder, Andrew Davis, gave us a little hope.
But now, Eat Out says that it’s been listed for sale. According to Christie & Co, which is handling the sale:
Its situation near the London Heliport, its views over the Thames and its commitment to style and luxury make Hotel Verta one of the unique hotel experiences in the capital.
Here's a fun little story. Last time we stopped into the Metropolitan London, we were on a hunt for a free WiFi signal and they had one. Well that working over the free WiFi signal morphed into an expensive, decadent evening at the Met Bar, owing to the comfy-cozy bordeaux booths and menu items like bacon-wrapped dates.
Now, you have a chance at taking that sort of hotel-specific experience home, since the Metropolitan is selling off the contents of the Met Bar to make way for a total renovation of the space. We kind of can't believe it, but then all proceeds will go to the charity Teens UniteFighting Cancer.
The bar has been doing its thing since 1997, so it's seen its share of high-profile partying. The press release drops a few names: "Everything is for sale including the famed private booths, the DJ decks used by renowned DJs and artists including Oasis, Roger Taylor, Boy George, and even Bruce Willis, and glassware, tables, chairs, and bar stools." Yes, but what isn't clarified until you check out the eBay listing is that they're selling off the bar as one piece, with a starting bid of 5,000 GBP ($8,195).
The Oxford, Denver
There’s nothing like a hotel sale, especially when it’s not only valid for one particular day at one particular property. So we love the sound of this: 48 hours to book one of 39 Sage properties at half off.
Starting tomorrow at 9am (we're waiting to find out which timezone, but we assume it's EST) and ending Friday at 5pm, the sale will take half off the best available rates for stays between May 26 and September 5. The brands are listed here, including Courtyard By Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Renaissance, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites – but there are other hotels in the sale that aren’t included in that list, such as the Hilton San Diego Del Mar.
Room Rate Gimmicks / Travelodge Hotels / Hotel Deals / Hotel Sales / London Hotels / UK Hotels / → All Tags
Make sure you set your alarms this Wednesday and do not oversleep! That's because UK budget hotel chain, Travelodge, is holding one of its famous £9 room sales.
The sale kicks off at 6am UK time with thousands of rooms available at Travelodges all over the UK.
The £9 rooms (approx $14 USD) will be available on selected dates throughout the whole of next year. Yes, that's right-- we said the whole of next year, from 1st January 2011 - 28th December. 2011. And we thought Christmas was already over!
So if you’re after a cheap room for the night, log onto the website this Wednesday, December 29 at 6am. All rooms are subject to availability, and are valid for a limited time only.
With over 300 Travelodges in the UK, 10 of which are located in London there are plenty to choose from. But remember, most of the good dates and locations sell out fast so be super quick!