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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]
Last fall, we let you know that NYC would soon be getting its first Homewood Suites Hotel and now today, we've got pictures from inside the spot, opening on June 1.
Located in Times Square South at 37th Street and 8th Avenue, this Homewood has two big amenities that we love--full kitchens (with a full-sized fridge, microwave and oven) and free WiFi. It's also got all-suite accommodations, free hot breakfast every day and complimentary dinner and drinks Monday-Thursday.
We especially dig the "homey" part of this Homewood suites. The rooms look quite...well...pretty to be honest. We like the hardwood floors, the color scheme and even the wall paper that looks like flecks of light behind the bed. Much better-looking than this Homewood Suite.
Rates for opening night start at $279 for a king studio suite, which is a nonrefundable rate. A more flexible rate of $301 is also available. A one bedroom suite starts at $379 a night.
Keep reading for more photos
But now Marriott has gone one step further. Guests will now be able to "real-time chat" with the hotel with the Guest Service Requests function. The chat feature is available to Marriott Rewards' guests and allow for two-way text messaging, if you need an extra pillow or have issues with the WiFi. No word on if you can order up a club sandwich at 2 am, but room service is easy enough.
Right now, the text-like chat is only available at 15 properties around the country, and pending its success, will be rolled out to more cities by the end of the year. Right now you can chat with guest services at the New York Marriott Downtown, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina to name a few.
Hotel Construction / Bangkok Hotels / Hotel News / Park Hyatt Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Having had such major openings recently as Sofitel So and W, Bangkok continues apace with new hotels over the next few years, from a Rosewood and a Capella to no less than three Hyatts (Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Hyatt Place).
The Park Hyatt will arrive first, scheduled to open next year in a mixed-use building on Ploenchit Road. While completion is still a while away, you can just about start to make out the “twisted coil” architecture that will give the building its distinctive shape. The white skeleton you see peeking out above the exterior cladding on the left swoops up into the tower element that will eventually house 173 rooms and 49 suites. Check out the rendering below to get a better sense of the end result.
Virgin Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Sir Richard Branson / Raul Leal / Nashville Hotels / → All Tags
You can probably thank Taylor Swift for the latest announcement from Virgin Hotels. The burgeoning hotel brand has just revealed they will open a new hotel in Nashville in 2016 in a pretty prime location--One Music Row.
Virgin Hotels Nashville will have 240 guest rooms, multiple "concept" suites, along with food and beverage outlets and perhaps most necessary of all, a cutting edge recording studio.
“Based on its nonstop cultural and live events, food and beverage scene, and its ability to inspire both talented artists and TV viewers, Nashville’s time is now – and we’d like to be part of that excitement,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hotels will be our first venture in Nashville, and we’ll look at other opportunities for our US and international customers to enjoy the southern hospitality that Nashville is known for.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels Chicago is apparently just "months away from opening" according to Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. After that, Virgin has its eyes set on NYC, Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, San Fran, DC and London.
We don't think we need to say it again but it bears repeating, "Hurry up because we can't hardly wait."
[Photo: Nashville CVB]
Admit, it. You've probably thought about what it's like to actually live in a hotel. The thought is totally normal, especially when you think about the daily housekeeping, trendy design and staff often responding to most every want. Well, this idea can be a reality with a trip to the desert of Palm Springs and your own little slice of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Hard Rock is looking for people, regular people like yourself, to invest in the luxury 163-room resort in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. With a little professional help from RealtyMogul.com, interested (and cashed-up) parties will register their desire to be part of the America's first fully online crowd-funded hotels.
Benefits for signing a check with a few more decimals than a night's stay extend way beyond bragging rights. Individual investors in the hotel will receive VIP benefits ranging from free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates and free room upgrades. Even if you're not a regular to Coachella Valley Music Festival, this might be a good reason to get away to the desert more often.
Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.
· Three New Travel Apps to Add to Your Homescreen
· Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Thailand, for Beach Days and Night Markets
· US Airways Tweets NSFW Photo: What Actually Happened
· Got $100? Then You've Got Access to the Captain's Seat of an Emirates A380
(PHOTO: Yury G. on Foursquare)
East & West, a new dining and lounge concept from China Grill Management, opened in the hotel last week and features a menu by Executive Chef Bradley Day that features shareable small and large plates and pays homage to the best of the eastern and western worlds -- kinda like the hotel itself.
Hotel Technology / Google Glass / Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Apps / → All Tags
Google Glass hit the market for the general public yesterday for one day only (and for $1,500 a fully tricked out pair) and already, a hotel brand is catering to the
Glassholes new owners.
Starwood Preferred Guest announced this morning that they will soon be releasing its SPG app for Google Glass. Here's what you'll be able to do with Glass and SPG:
· Search and Book: Voice search Starwood's 1,150+ hotels worldwide and then book your room
· Explore: Get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and explore photos of amenities, rooms or local areas
· Check Your Account: Access your Starpoints balance
· State Aware: The state aware technology already found on SPG's mobile app will be implemented here so guests can display upcoming stay details, recognize arrival, and customize experience.
In essence, it's not that much different from what you do on your phone, except you'll be showing off your Glass-ware.
The app has not yet been released to the Google Glass store but it is coming soon. SPG's Glass website also says that the app will be updated based on member feedback and of course, any new Glass features that come out.
[Photo: SPG for Glass]
The announcement was made yesterday that The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will open on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah with 323 rooms, all with outdoor terraces and sea-front views. Fifty-three of the rooms, designed by Aedas Limited, will be either one or two-bedroom suites and 22 of those will have their own plunge pools. #todiefor
The restaurants, most of them al fresco, will range from Japanese to Arabic and Italian fusion while the Palm Court lounge will be modeled after the original at The Langham Hotel in London (remember, this was the first hotel lounge to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865.) The hotel will also feature a Langham Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage throughout the day, along with a dedicated concierge service. To peep on the Langham Club experience, read our story HERE.
There will even be a separate Travellers Lounge where guests can hang out before their room is ready or after check-out but before their flight. Aside from a library, entertainment options and light dining, this lounge will have showers and change rooms.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / Luxury Hotels / Amsterdam Hotels / → All Tags
Looks like the order in which Waldorf Astoria’s latest hotels are coming across the opening finish line is Beijing – Jerusalem – Amsterdam in the end. A few months ago, when we doubted Amsterdam would be completed by March, the official word was still exactly the other way around, but Beijing is open (pretty parasols and all), Jerusalem caught us by surprise by being ready a few months’ early (though there is very limited view of what it’s like inside yet), and Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is now scheduled for May 1.
Spread across six historic town houses that date back to the 1600s on one of the city’s central canals, the hotel will have 93 rooms and suites. The restaurant still awaits its name, but there will be the usual Peacock Alley, in this case on the Bel Etage, the principal floor of the town house accessed by a grand staircase from the entrance. Other things to look forward to are the private garden, the indoor swimming pool, and the Vault Bar, taking advantage of the building previously housing a private bank.
Reservations start from May 7 at the moment; we found a King Deluxe Room on that day for a not-inconsiderable €445 ($615). You can shave just over $90 off of that if you are willing to book an advance purchase rate. The 1,324 sq ft Brentano Suite will set you back €3,735 ($5,163) a night.
[Rendering: Waldorf Astoria Hotels]
Nightclubs with hotels attached are no longer a punchline or the start of a bad review on TripAdivsor. They are the real thing.
Just a few months after Hyde Hotels was announced, comes news that MGM Resorts have partnered up with nightlife company, Hakkasan (they of restaurant and nightclub fame) to create MGM Hakkasan Hospitality.
The new venture will, according to an official statement, "focus on the design, development and management of luxury non-gaming hotels, resorts and residential offerings under the Bellagio, Hakkasan, MGM Grand and SKYLOFTS brands in key international gateway cities and prime resort destinations across the globe. "