Tag: Hotel WoesView All Tags
It's starting to look like a bummer summer for Atlantic City.
First, came the news that the Revel Hotel, a brand new, gorgeously modern resort and casino could shutter as soon as next month if it didn't find a new buyer. Now, comes news that weathered Trump Plaza, located next to Caesars Atlantic City, could also close in September due to low revenues. Unless Trump can find a buyer or get an injection of money from somewhere, then the casino will shut down and roughly 1,000 workers will be laid off.
Despite having an excellent location in the center of the boardwalk across from the beach, the Trump Plaza has seen better days. There might be Chihuly (or Chihuly-inspired chandeliers) found on the casino floor, but overall, the property is in bad condition. We were shocked at the level of disrepair we saw last year in the public spaces. And the room photos on the website have us scared. It looks like nothing has been updated since the 1980s.
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The NY Post reports that real estate bigwigs Rotem Rosen and Alex Sapir in a partnership with Buddha Bar founder/owner Gerard Guez, have bought the Mondrian Soho hotel for $205 million. The hotel was previously owned by a financial institution that took over the property when it was in foreclosure.
The hotel will remain a luxury boutique hotel but no name or brand has been designated. However, anybody can see that this will clearly become the Buddhar Bar and Hotel New York. After all, Guez, already operates three Buddhar Bar and Hotels in Paris, Prague and Budapest.
That excites us tremendously but we're also a little sad, since Mondrian just opened their breezy new rooftop soda shoppe called Sonny's. Hopefully, we'll have one last chance to try it this summer. Rates at the Mondrian this weekend start at $295 a night.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]
Whoa. The Revel Resort in Atlantic City, home to an expensive taco truck, sent out a letter to employees recently saying that if the resort couldn't find a buyer before August 18, it would close down. Did you catch that? REVEL COULD CLOSE.
But it's not surprising. Revel has had drama from the start when its groundbreaking coincided with the global financial collapse of 2008. After finally receiving the funds to finish the construction job, the resort was open, and losing money, for just six months before Hurricane Sandy walloped the Jersey Shore. Then in early February, Revel filed for bankruptcy. But despite picking up new owners and having a ton of debt removed, the resort is still struggling.
Now, Revel is asking interested buyers for about $300 million. But we're not so sure there are many folks out there who want to buy a resort that's losing even more money than when it first opened. (Gothamist pointed out that Revel lost $130 million last year versus $110 in its first six months open.)
So, with all these money woes at Revel, perhaps room rates will be cheap? Think again.
The Virgin Hotel in Nashville, which is set to open at One Music Row in 2016, has not even been built yet but is already suffering from some ED issues--Ex-Developer issues.
The Tennessean reports that developer David Chase, executive vice president of D.F. Chase Inc. and the lead developer behind the Virgin Hotel, was arrested last week for twice assaulting his girlfriend. In one day. Chase faces charges of aggravated assault by strangulation, vandalism and interference with a 911 call.
The investors behind the Virgin project are now trying to figure out how to get Chase to "step aside" but his ownership stake in the lot where the hotel will go up has complicated matters. Still, a Virgin spokesperson gave this statement to the Tennessean: "We are aware of the situation and while we cannot comment on a pending investigation, we have no tolerance for domestic violence."
Meanwhile, construction on the hotel was to start this summer but that could be delayed until a new developer is found.
[Photo: Nashville CVB]
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Possibly aware of the controversy her visit might cause, or possibly to prevent any more wardrobe malfunctions, she arrived in a blacked out car, arrived and left via the back door, and took nine protection officers with her.
Meanwhile, Princes William and Harry hit up another Dorchester Collection venue at the weekend: Coworth Park, for a celeb charity polo event.
While the boycott of the Dorchester Collection Hotels is still in effect (kept alive by big names like Richard Branson, Jay Leno, Sharon Osbourne and several top fashion designers), employees of the hard-hit Beverly Hills Hotel have
been instructed by a crisis PR team taken it upon themselves to create their own Twitter feed-- @WeAreTheBHH.
The profile pic on the account is a simple "Stand With Us" message while the header photo is a portrait of all the men and women who work at the hotel, from housekeepers to groundskeepers to chefs and clerks.
Recent tweets on the account have included a shout-out to Russell Crowe and Rose McGowan, who have stood up for the hotel's employees (McGowan actually hosted a "gay-in" party at the hotel); a retweet of HotelChatter's last article on the boycott; and a link to this interesting blog post from a server at the Beverly Hill Hote's legendary Polo Lounge.
The Sultan of Brunei has implemented the harsh Sharia law, like he said he would, and the CEO of the Dorchester Collection has publicly said that the Sultan would never sell his hotel collection. So where does the boycott go from here?
HR Magazine in the UK has a new list of why the boycott is wrong with the #1 reason being that all profits from the Dorchester Collection are re-invested back into the hotels.
The Dorchester Collection has annual revenue of £300 million, an insignificant amount compared to the estimated $30 billion in assets managed by the BIA. All profits from Dorchester Collection hotels are re-invested back into the hotels, according to DC vice president of people and organisational development Eugenio Pirri. Using it as a financial lever would have no impact on the BIA
(Hmm...why didn't the Dorchester Collection come out with this right away instead of saying that these situations are just a part of "every day life"?)
The article also listed several more hotels and hotel properties that are owned by Kingdom Holding Company of Saudia Arabia, which also punishes gay people with the death penalty. (To be more accurate, Kingdom Holding Company owns only about half of those companies.)
So is the boycott really doing any good? One HotelChatter commenter thinks not:
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Your elevator shenanigans at The Standard New York are safe once again.
According to the Washington Post, The Standard Hotel has identified and fired the person who sold the elevator surveillance video of Solange beating up Jay-Z last week. Word is TMZ bought the video for a reported $250,000.
The hotel hasn't named the person (darnit) which only fuels our new theory that Beyonce leaked the footage because she was pissed at Solange for beating up her man. But drunk in revenge conspiracies aside, The Standard also said they would turn over "all available information to criminal authorities.” It's safe to say this person will never work in hotels again. So spend that $250,000 quick!
Also, whoever you are, The Dorchester Collection thanks you very much for taking the heat off them for a little bit.
[Photo: The Standard Hotel/Facebook]
The Standard Hotel in NYC came under fire yesterday after the surveillance footage of Solange slugging her brother-in-law Jay-Z was
sold released to TMZ. And they should be feeling the heat. Are elevator rides no longer sacred?
But we digress. Apparently, the hotel has released this statement to the media and as we suspected, they are cleaning house when it comes to their surveillance team.
"We are investigating with the utmost urgency the circumstances surrounding the situation and, as is our customary practice, will discipline and prosecute the individuals involved to our fullest capacity."
Meanwhile, every hotel that caters to celebrities (and non-celebs!) better redo their security and surveillance contracts.
[Photo: The Standard Hotel/Facebook]
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Another day, another big name is boycotting the Dorchester Collection Hotels because of the new laws imposed by their owners in Brunei.
Sir Richard Branson tweeted this over the weekend:
That's a very strong statement from a luxury jet-setter like Branson who probably visits Dorchester hotels across Europe and in Beverly Hills on the regular. And we're glad he's done it. Expect more big names to follow Branson's lead.
Meanwhile, the city of Beverly Hills is actually working on a resolution condemning the government of Brunei and forcing them to "divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel." The council will meet tomorrow evening to officially vote on the resolution.
Given that the Dorchester Collection hoped to have 15 hotels in its portfolio by next year (they currently have 10), we can only wonder how this boycott will affect their expansion plans.
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The Sultan of Brunei--whose Brunei Investment Agency owns the luxurious Dorchester Collection of hotels--announced yesterday that the first phase of the adoption of Sharia law for his country has begun.
This first phase, which is guided by Islamic principles, will administer fines or jail terms for offenses like pregnancy out of marriage, failure to perform Friday prayers and propagating other religions. The second phase will start next year and will issue amputations and/or whippings for thefts or alcohol consumption. Later next year, the law will introduce the death penalty by stoning for adultery, sodomy and insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad. While most of the tiny country is Muslim, about 15 percent of the citizens are non-Muslims yet they will still be subjected to Sharia law.
The law was supposed to go into effect a few weeks so there is speculation that the Sultan was wavering but clearly, he decided to go ahead with it.
Meanwhile, the boycott of Dorchester Hotels in Beverly Hills is heating up.
We don't want to quit you!
It looks like The Dorchester Collection has a very serious problem on their hands.
Last week, when the fashion world told people to boycott the hotel group because of their association with the government of Brunei, which will now stone people to death for being homosexual, Ellen DeGeneres also publicly tweeted that she too, will be boycotting both the Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel.
We've actually seen Ellen at the Beverly Hills Hotel, aka The Pink Palace, where her and wife Portia dined downstairs in the Fountain Coffee Shop, a popular spot for not just celebs but locals too. The hotel collection is clearly caught between a rock and hard place (no pun intended) as they continue to be open to all guests and have indeed said as much in a public statement last week:
Dorchester Collection’s Code, endorsed by the company’s ownership, emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”
Yet it doesn't sound like there's much more they can do without biting the hand that feeds them. It's sad because we pretty much love all the Dorchester Collection Hotels. At least to visit for lunch or drinks as we couldn't regularly afford the pricey hotel rooms anyways. So our problem is solved. But rich people with a conscious may have to wait a while.
What do you think--should guests boycott a hotel based on what the hotel owner says or does (see also: Donald Sterling or should guests put that aside and enjoy the hotel experience for what it is? Sound off in comments below!