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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.
Hotel Boycotts / Sultan of Brunei / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
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:
Hotel Snitches / Standard Hotels / Hotel Woes / Celebrity Scoop / Solange / Jay-Z / Beyonce / → All Tags
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]
Hotel Boycotts / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel Woes / Luxury Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Boycotts / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel Woes / Beverly Hills Hotels / Hotel New / → All Tags
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!
Women-Only Hotels / Hotel Woes / Copenhagen Hotels / Female-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Lawsuits / → All Tags
Last year at this time, we wondered how long women-only hotel rooms and floors would last? Well, for the Bella Sky Comwell Hotel in Copenhagen, the end is already here.
The Eastern High Court has ruled the hotel's 20 women-only hotel rooms on the Bella Donna floor to be "unlawful" after two men and the Danish Board of Equal Treatment sued the hotel for discrimination. Apparently, these two men never even visited the hotel, nor did any male guests complain about the women-only rooms.
In a press release, the hotel's owner, Allan L. Agerholm expressed frustration at the ruling but said the hotel will comply with the order.
"We had of course hoped to win the case, since, in our opinion, we do not discriminate the opposite sex, since the same product in the same high quality is available for men in our remaining rooms. We were of the opinion that a hotel should be allowed to differentiate between guests and between the sexes, as long as we do not put them at a disadvantage."
Considering that this lawsuit has been going on for nearly three years, we don't blame the hotel for giving up the fight. That said, the hotel only offered 20 rooms out of 812 just for women. The women-only rooms did offer different amenities including high-end moisturizers and healthier food options but they also gave women a sense of security when traveling alone.
For now the Bella Donna floor is still up on the hotel's website (the URL calls it the Lady Floor) but we imagine that will come down soon. For posterity's sake, here's what the floor included:
What happens behind closed doors could have serious consequences in Brunei.
The Dorchester Collection hotel group is coming under fire from the fashion world and it could mean the loss of some very high-profile, and high-paying, guests.
The LA Times reports that the owner of the luxury hotel collection is the Brunei Investment Agency, an extension of the Brunei government just upped the penalty for being a homosexual from 10 years in prison to death by stoning.
Shoe designer Brian Atwood was the first to call attention to this new penalty on Instagram , then other fashion designers and those well-connected in the fashion world began to boycott the hotel groups in Europe during Fashion Week. That includes Principe di Savoia in Milan, Le Meurice in Paris and the flagship Dorchester Collection. It also includes our personal fave, The Beverly Hills Hotel. You can see the full list of Dorchester Collection Hotels here.
Given that the Dorchester Collection has a major stake in the fashion world--they offer the annual Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize and they teem up with various designers for promotions and offerings--this could have some very serious ramifications.
The hotel group, however, is trying to reassure its guests and its bold-named clientele in the fashion industry by reminding them that the laws of Brunei do not apply to their hotels. Here’s the statement they gave to the LA Times:
Hoteliers / Sant Singh Chatwal / Vikram Chatwal / Hampshire Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
Usually when we hear of a Chatwal hotelier in the news, it's often about Vikram Chatwal, the troubled hotelier behind The Dream Hotel brand. But today, it's Vikram's father who's in the news. And it's pretty serious.
The Daily News reports that Sant Singh Chatwal, the chairman of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts which includes his namesake, The Chatwal Hotel, pleaded guilty to "recruiting straw donors to make illegal campaign contributions to three federal candidates." He also pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness who he allegedly told to lie to the FBI and the IRS.
Chatwal stepped down as CEO of Hampshire Hotels earlier this month (probably because of the charges) but remains on as chairman. Eric Danziger, formerly CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, took Chatwal's place. Wyndham franchises the Dream and Night hotels which were started by Chatwal.
Meanwhile, Chatwal faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $200,000 when he's sentenced on July 31. He also offered to pay the U.S. government $1 million in restitution.
This is not the first time Chatwal has been in trouble with the government. Back in 2012, it was discovered that The Chatwal Hotel pretended to be a church for several years to avoid paying taxes. (It's a long story but the hotel was previously a church and the hotel never changed that status.) Let's hope this is the last of the Chatwal crimes.
[Photo of Chatwal and Danziger via Rediff]
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It looks like CitizenM Hotels were getting ahead of themselves when they opened up bookings for their Times Square property. When we stopped by earlier today to take a peek, we were told that, while a few guests are staying tonight (the projected opening date) opening date has now been pushed back to April 12. Given that this is the rather unwelcoming scene we were greeted with at the front door, we'd say that's a wise decision.
Just last week, we got overly excited about the opening date for the Park Hyatt New York (according to the website it's August 28th; according to hotel insiders, it's sometime earlier in the summer.) But then a reader tipped us off to this report from DNAInfo.com which said the hotel had been denied a liquor license from the community board. Oh sh*t.
Neighbors who live behind the building sent their recommendation to the State Liquor Authority to not approve a liquor license for their hotel because they are worried a second-floor terrace will host loud outdoor parties "that would echo through their rear courtyard." They're also pretty fed up with all the 24-hour construction drama that One57 has caused in the past few years and so this might be a little way to exact some revenge for all the nuisance the building has already caused.