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The Riviera South Beach was pretty proud of themselves for having scored some precious Banksy grafitti art tiles that are used in some of the public spaces, including lavatories, of their newest hotel addition. But The Miami New Times has discovered that these Banksy tiles are actually fake.
Apparently, the tiles were acquired from a Spanish company, Peronda, who has told the Miami New Times that the tiles are "Banksy-inspired" but are not actually his work. That's why the tiles are called, "Bansky." However, the Riviera South Beach's owners, the father-son team, Nathan and Alan Lieberman, believed that the tiles were really done by Banksy. In an email to the New Times' Ciara LaVelle, Alan Liberman wrotethe following:
Banksy was commissioned to do a series of different large tiles. There are a dozen different graffiti drawings of his most familiar and popular work. I was aware of his art being made available and contacted his agent and then placed the tiles throughout the new Riviera South Beach Hotel building's common areas.
Yet Banksy's own publicist has weighed in on the matter calling the tiles "fake." Whoops.
We're awaiting a reply from the hotel's PR rep but in the meantime, just know that you aren't in the presence of Banksy when going to the loo at the Riviera.
[Photo: Riviera South Beach]
We'd all but given up on the construction site at 138 Allen Street/139 Orchard Street ever morphing into an actual hotel. The saga of what will most likely be called the Allen Street Hotel is a long one, so here goes:
Development began all the way back in 2008 and quickly rose to 16 stories. But then, in late 2011, the still-unfinished hotel went into foreclosure when developers defaulted on their loan, and then went back on the market for $28 million.
Things went quiet for a while, but when we checked in the other day, we saw a sign with a completion date posted (January 1. 2014). As well as information that the project will be led by Richter + Ratner
Over the weekend, major, major, MAJOR hotel news happened--The Gansevoort Las Vegas, which was to be built from the remains of the Strip's Bill's Gambling Hall, was officially dropped by Caesars Entertainment. As VegasChatter reports, the why of it all is pretty messy. (When is it ever clean?)
Essentially, Caesars is eager to bring a new casino to Massachusetts but in doing their background checks, Massachusetts was not impressed with Caesars' Gansevoort project, namely because of an investor with alleged ties to the Russian mob. So Caesars, in an effort to appease Massachusetts, dropped the Gansevoort partnership. Buh-bye. Wipes hands.
So now, what will happen to the boutique hotel, which is currently under construction? Word is that it will move ahead with a new name (The "Real" Caesars Palace perhaps?) but the 188 sexy hotel rooms along with a rooftop nightclub and pool area created by Vegas club king, Victor Drai, and a restaurant from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis will remain.
We've walked in on some shady situations over the course of our hotel-staying careers, including beds that appear to have been "utilized" prior to our arrival. You could drive yourself crazy thinking about all the things that might have -- or worse, definitely have -- taken place in the room you are about to occupy.
That image firmly in place and acknowledged, we must admit that we're not very paranoid about room cleanliness. We pretty much trust the eye test, that the floors have been reasonably cleaned and the bathroom sterilized. But we've met our fair share of people who don't hesitate to cover the toilet with paper before sitting down, or who shake out all the sheets before slipping into bed. And that comforter has been known to raise a few eyebrows, without question.
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It's not always fresh towels, room service and chocolates on the pillows at hotels. No, there's a darker side of hotels you don't want to think about when you hand over your credit card at the front desk. But in the spirit of all things spooky this month, here's our list of 13 Things You Wish Didn’t Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do) .
1. Sex: No surprise here. People have been trysting in hotel rooms since hotels were invented. Business men, business women, politicians, actors, athletes, marrieds, not marrieds, married but not to each other, prostitutes, gigolos, gay, straight, bondage enthusiasts, bronies, furries, plushies. Really, everyone is having sex in hotel rooms. Everyone. Oh and let's not forget about sex with yourself. That's what all those on-demand movies are for. The best you can hope for is that housekeeping manages to clean up anything, um, left behind.
2. Drugs: Not only are people taking booze from the minibar but they are also smoking, snorting and yes, even shooting drugs all over the hotel room. Heck, some people even use hotel rooms as meth labs. And it doesn’t matter the class of hotel. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that more people do heroin in a luxury hotel where rooms cost $600 a night rather than a motel by the highway.
3. Guns: You often hear of passengers getting stopped at TSA for attempting to bring guns on board but there aren’t any metal detectors in hotels (that we know of anyways) so guests and their visitors are free to roam the lobby and the hallways carrying their firearms, unbeknownst to the rest of us. And as we learned from Walter White in season 4 of Breaking Bad, black market gun dealers sometimes make their transactions in hotel rooms. For “defense” purpose. Right.
4. Smoking: We understand that some folks need to light up and don’t want to have to go all the way downstairs to do it. But please, keep the smoking to a smoking room. There’s nothing worse than walking into a supposedly non-smoking room that smells as if someone has been chain-smoking in there for a month.
5. Murder: It’s bad enough when someone kicks the bucket in a hotel room due to natural causes, but it’s way worse when someone is stabbed, shot or suffocated in a hotel room. Sadly, this happens regularly at hotels. We just hope whichever unfortunate hotel employee who found the body got some extra vacation time and a nice bonus.
Still brave enough to plow through the rest of the list? Keep reading after the jump. It gets better. Ok, not really.
After the tragedy in Boston earlier this year, we explained the importance of terrorism insurance for hotels: It protects a property and its assets from any damage that results from an act of terror, which in today's world is unfortunately not so far fetched.
The whole concept came about after September 11th when private insurance companies ran for the hills and decided to exclude "acts of terror" from their polices. Former President Bush and the government stepped in and passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) to pump confidence back into investors who had grown timid due to the fact that they could lose it all to another attack.
TRIA has been extended twice since its inception back in 2002, once in 2005 and again in 2007. It is now set to expire on Dec 31st, 2014, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association sent a letter to the Senate yesterday pressing for a third renewal. The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold the first hearing on the matter this week.
There was a ton of backlash this year about different brands "commemorating" the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, especially when those brands were inserting their product into the "remembrance." (yeah AT&T, we're talking about you.) But this Marriott Hotel's tribute to those who died on 9/11 is just bewildering.
The San Diego Marriott Mission Valley decided to put out mini muffins and free coffee from 8:45am to 9:15am yesterday (the time span when both towers were hit by hijacked airplanes.)
A hotel guest tweeted this pic of the perplexing offering. After the photo blew-up on Twitter with folks mostly making fun of the offering but a few also thinking it was pretty offensive and cheap, Marriott Hotels then issued their own tweet-pology:
We are aware of the picture shared of an offer at one of our hotels, and we sincerely apologize for any perceived insensitivity.— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) September 11, 2013
Oy vey. But we can understand the hotel was coming from a good place, giving guests a chance to remember the national tragedy together. Maybe next year, put more emphasis on the remembering and not mention the mini muffins.
What do you think--misguided, offensive or totally ok? Sound off in comments below!
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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.
Halsey Minor, the man who founded CNET.com is not only a crappy millionaire, he's a crappy hotelier too. Minor, who at one point was worth nearly half a billion dollars, filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this summer yet made news again yesterday when his posh Bel-Air estate went up for sale in a bankruptcy auction.
But being hotel nerds, we're more interested in the hotel he planned in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Minor created Minor Family Hotels sometime in the mid-2000s with the sole purpose of building a nine-story, 100 hotel room in downtown Charlottesville. However, by 2008, construction had stalled on the project and by September 2010, it had already been the subject of eight lawsuits in two different states. By then, Minor Family Hotels filed for bankruptcy.
To this day, the nearly-finished hotel remains untouched, although it did get snapped up for $6.25 million by Dewberry Capital last year. Even though the company has not touched the abandoned project since buying it, they reportedly still have plans to turn it into a functioning hotel and are even working on a new luxury hotel brand.
Doesn't time fly? We can hardly believe that it's been almost two years since we first started getting excited about the Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible. Now our favorite "hotel fixer" is back for a third series, which takes him to failing hotels in California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Costa Rica.
Hotel Closings / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel News / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
It may be the offseason in Miami but in this town, the hotel drama never slows down. First up, a major hotel closure.
The National Hotel on Collins Avenue was shut down by the city for failing "numerous" safety inspections.
The Miami Herald writes:
Jacques Roy, the National general manager, said the 154-room hotel could reopen as soon as next week once it resolves unspecified safety and building-code issues with Miami Beach. The city’s fire marshal and building department declared the hotel unsafe after recent inspections, according to Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez. In an email, Rodriguez said “it will not reopen until all work is completed.” The 1939 hotel has been undergoing lengthy renovations.
While the hotel's general manager sounded optimistic that the hotel would reopen soon, in the meantime, all 74 of the hotel's employees have been laid off with no hint as to when they might start again.
UPDATE: We've just got word that THE WIFI IS NOW FREE! Glorious!
Back in early June, we learned that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name, thanks to the behind the scenes drama going on with parent company, Morgans Hotel Group. We also reported then that the Ames Hotel in Boston was in peril of losing its management contract with Morgans Hotel Group. And just like that, POOF, it's gone.
We received a press release today announcing that StepStone Hospitality, a Rhode Island-based hospitality management firm, has taken over The Ames Hotel.
“This unique property contrasts modern style with historic sophistication to provide a unique guest experience,” added Blair Wills, StepStone Hospitality president and chief operating officer. “We’re committed to assuring that the level of service matches the quality of the surroundings.”
StepStone currently manages a Hampton Inn and a Springhill Suites in Massachusetts so having the Ames in their portfolio is certainly a stepping stone to greater things.
So far, we don't anticipate many, if any, changes to happen at The Ames. However, it would be excellent if the Ames decided to offer free WiFi under their new management. Currently, the hotel charges $15 for 24 hours.