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Some Interesting Hotel Tidbits We Found in Our Hotel News Stocking

December 18, 2014 at 6:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Ho, ho, ho! There is so much news flying around this week, we can hardly keep up. Also, the numerous holiday cocktails we've been virtually imbibing have made it difficult to stay focused. So we wrapped up all that's new and noteworthy and put into one giant red stocking with Hotel News written on it. In glitter. You're welcome.

· Jose Andres to Open a Restaurant at the upcoming, Trump D.C. Hotel. (It is clearly going to be the biggest and bestest and most successful Jose Andres restaurant to ever open in the history of the hotel world, right?)

· Auberge Resorts will open their second VieVage Resort in Cabo in 2016 (Let's revisit the name VieVage in 2015, mmmkay?)

· Morgans Hotel Group Sells Their Stake In The Light Group to Hakassan (Let's hope this sale helps the struggling Morgans refocus on their hotel brands)

· Another Conrad Hotel coming to Chicago's Mag Mile in (The existing Conrad will move to a new location a few blocks away)

· Stayful, the bidding booking site for boutique hotels, now has an iPhone app (Fingers crossed your first bids get accepted!)

· The b2 Miami Hotel from B Hotels is no longer. Now it's all about YVE Hotels, from Destination Hotels (Yup, you guessed right. This is the start of a millennial brand.)

· Ford's Filling Station is now open at JW Marriott at LA Live (Yes, Ford as in Harrison Ford's son, Ben, whose original Filling Station was an oft-packed joint in Culver City.)

[Photo: Lilblueboo]

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India Is Getting Millennial Too with Zone by the Park Hotels

December 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Millennial brands are popping up left and right, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that one is surfacing in the second most populous country in the world: India.

And honestly, when the brand logo uses the word “ideate”, what else could it be than a millennial brand? Everything else we’re reading about the new Zone By The Park Hotels tells us it will fit right in with the Moxys (Moxies?) and Tommies of the world: the Connect – Ideate – Create – Inspire, the focus on design at affordable rates, public spaces that are all about social interaction in different “zones” that will make the connection between the guest and the local environment.

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Well, It's About Time: All SPG Members Who Book Through Starwood Will Get Free WiFi

December 17, 2014 at 3:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Go ahead. Update your TPS report from your guest room.

The time we champions of free hotel WiFi have longed for has finally, FINALLY!, come. No longer do you have to put down the Snickers bar, hurriedly throw on sweatpants and scurry down to the lobby to access the free WiFi to answer an important work email at Starwood Hotels.

The company just announced they will be offering property-wide complimentary WiFi to all SPG Members, of all levels, starting on February 2. Previously free WiFi was only given to Gold or Platinum members.

But there is a catch. You have to book your stay through Starwood, whether it be the website, the mobile site or the SPG app. Which really you should be doing anyways so you can earn points to your SPG account.

We've been waiting for this moment for a long time, or well, since rival chain Marriott announced they would be giving free WiFi to all their Marriott Rewards members at least.

Now travelers looking to stay at Starwood Hotels, which include W, Westin, St. Regis and Le Meridien, will have to decide what's a better deal--the discounted rate on a booking site or a last-minute booking app or paying the rack rate on Starwood and getting free WiFi. We say, the latter. Always. We just hope the WiFi is fast.

[Photo: Starwood Hotels]

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So Long, Sam: Nazarian No Longer Running The SLS Las Vegas

December 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last August was undeniably the peak of hotelier Sam Nazarian's career. After a few years of stagnancy followed by some fast and furious renovations, the worn down Sahara Las Vegas casino and hotel was set free from its Rat Pack history days and transformed into the modern, design-forward, and frankly, thrilling SLS Las Vegas.

We attended the opening (you can read that coverage here) and even though we knew Nazarian didn't single-handedly breathe new life into a rather depressing end of the Las Vegas Strip, he was the visionary behind everything that is now in place at the resort--from Chef Jose Andres Bazaar Meat restaurant to Philippe Starck's stylish guest rooms, Umami Burger, LiFE Nightclub, Griddle Cafe and a handful of retail boutiques from Fred Segal.

Making the opening night of the SLS more meaningful for Sam was that he and his dad rang in the SLS opening bell in a ballroom where Frank Sinatra and other legends once performed.

But now, those legendary moments are over. At least for Nazarian in Las Vegas.

Stockbridge Capital, the company that owns 90 percent of the SLS Las Vegas to Nazarian's SBE's 10 percent, announced yesterday that Nazarian will no longer be involved in the management of the SLS Las Vegas.

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Smyth Tribeca Launches New Public Spaces, Fresh Rooms Will Come Soon

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 85 West Broadway & Chambers [map], New York, NY, United States, 10007
December 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Thompson Hotels may be planning to head west (Seattle) and south (Nashville), but they’re not forgetting their NYC properties: Smyth Tribeca, which arrived after a much-delayed start just shy of six years ago, finished the first phase of its complete redesign last month.

That includes the entire ground floor, which has been divided in a series of smaller spaces, filled with a mixture of Scandinavian and American mid-century furniture. Above is the Den, with a fireplace that uses Guastavino tile – and if you wonder why that’s significant, it is the same that is used for the ceilings of city landmarks like Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall.

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Now Virgin Hotels Has Released Their Own Loyalty Program, The Know

December 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Piece by piece, the layers are coming off the Virgin Hotels brand.

Last week, we learned that Virgin America's Elevate members would get certain perks at Virgin Hotels, which will open first in Chicago on January 15. Now we have the full details of Virgin Hotels own loyalty program, excuse us, preference program, called The Know.

Here's what to know about The Know. t's pretty simple.

Visit VirginHotels.com/the-know to fill out a short questionnaire. (You'll also have to submit your email if you haven't already signed up.) The questions asked include cheeky ones such as, "What do you really want to be called?" "Afraid of elevators?" "Do you have any allergies?" and "Special requests? Pet peeves? Ghost concerns?" You can also tell them your favorite drink, favorite snack, your "dream" minibar item and what should NEVER be found in your minibar.

Once you've enrolled, and stayed at a Virgin Hotel, you'll be eligible for perks such as:

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Kimpton Karma Loyalty Program is Not Going Anywhere after IHG Acquisition...For Now

December 16, 2014 at 10:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday when we learned that InterContinental Hotel Group will acquire the 62 hotels that make up Kimpton Hotels, our first thought was, "Nooo!", followed by "Whyyyy?" and then finished up with, "Wait, what happens to the Kimpton Karma loyalty program which was just unveiled this summer?"

As it turns out, the program is not going anywhere. At least not right away. Kimpton Karma will continue to work as it always has with no crossover into IHG's Rewards Club. But you know that won't last. We expect members to be able to use and earn points at both brands sometime in 2015.

With that out of the way, let's look at all the other concerns Kimpton loyalists have about their cute boutique brand being acquired by a big corporation.

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London's Hilton Bankside Is Starting to Come Together

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Great Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom
December 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s time for our six-monthly check in with the longstanding London hotel project that is the Hilton Bankside. A year ago, we thought the dormant site behind Tate Modern had finally picked up again, with construction reaching street level. Then, over the summer, we stumbled upon some much-improved renderings of the interiors, which were described as according to Hilton’s newly launched brand standards.

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Kimpton Hotels' Secret Santa Turned Out to Be InterContinental Hotel Group

December 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM | by | Comments (4)

This is major. MAJOR. InterContinental Hotel Group has just announced that they will be acquiring one of our most beloved boutique hotel brands, Kimpton Hotels. Right? We know. We can't even. Someone please start spiking the eggnog. Now.

An agreement was made for IHG to purchase Kimpton for $430 million CASH. IHG said that Kimpton and its portfolio of hotels, restaurants and bars will nicely compliment IHG's own growing boutique business which includes Hotel Indigo and the new fitness-oriented EVEN Hotels. And of course, IHG thinks Kimpton is going to make a lot of money.

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Opening This Month: New Hotels for December 2014

December 15, 2014 at 2:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked. But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!

OPENINGS

AMAN TOKYO: The first ever city property for the Aman resort brand will open on December 22, with more urban locations to follow in cities like for “city retreats” in New York, London, Paris, and Singapore. There are just 84 rooms and suites between floors 33 and 38 and each room has a combined living and sleeping area, and a soaking tub (a furo) overlooking the city. Deluxe Rooms start at 75,000JPY, but you need to add a whopping 20%+ in taxes, which takes you to about $800 a night.

GANSEVOORT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: The former Ocean Club Luxury Residences is turning into a Gansevoort this month. The property has 48 luxury suites, in one and two-bedroom loft layouts, along with three-bedroom apartments and a handful of four-bedroom penthouses, each with their own private rooftop jacuzzi. Rates range from $595 to $5,000 a night and include breakfast for two along with roundtrip transfers from and to Puerto Plata Airport (POP). You can also choose to have breakfast, lunch and dinner added into the rates for an extra $200 or so a night.

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Nira Montana Brings Luxe and Affordable Skiing to Mont Blanc

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Località Arly, 87, La Thuile, Italy, 11016
December 11, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

When you think of skiing close to Mont Blanc, France’s Chamonix will probably come to mind first of all, but if you have a case of been-there-done-that, there is a new hotel to check out this season in the Italian town of La Thuile, which will still give you the proximity to Il Bianco, or “the White One” as the mountain is called.

And if it’s new experiences you are looking for, Nira Montana, as it’s called, fits the bill in other ways too: you may not have yet had a chance to stay at a Nira Hotel, a small group with only a few properties, disparately encompassing Nira Alpina (in the Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz), Shanti Maurice (a beach resort on Mauritius), and Nira Caledonia (a city hotel in Edinburgh, of all places).

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Here's What Virgin America's Elevate Members Will Get at Virgin Hotels

December 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

As the opening day gets closer and closer for the very first Virgin Hotel, the brand's loyalty program is also getting closer to coming out.

We reported two months ago that a Virgin Hotels loyalty program would be "integrated into the airlines' current loyalty programs." Today, we know exactly how that will work.

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