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If you managed to snag yourself a date for Valentine's evening, here's a brand new bar to take (and impress) them. Opening on February 14th, Bar 54 at the newly opened Hyatt Times Square is Manhattan's highest rooftop lounge, rising 54 floors above street level and offering spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, from the Chrysler Building to the World Trade Center, and even the Times Square ball. We're already thinking New Year's Eve reservations.
Designed by SPAN Architecture, Bar 54 is a 122-seat indoor/outdoor lounge serving specialty cocktails, fine wines and a selection of small plates. Outside, colorful lounge seating is warmed by cozy outdoor fireplaces while the inside section features a variegated wood ‘trunk' and laser cut ceiling panels.
Confirmed: Hyatt is taking over NYC.
Chesapeake Lodging Trust appointed the brand to take over an existing Holiday Inn on W. 31st Street and rename/rebrand it to the Hyatt Herald Square. Not to be confused with Hyatt Times Square or Hyatt Union Square. And for those keeping count, this will be the 8th Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.
The hotel will actually close down in August and undergo a multimillion dollar renovation, reopening by the end of September. Everything will be upgraded from the 122 guest rooms to the lobby/social spaces. Paul Vega, founder of VLDG designs of New York, will be leading the redesign and is expected to borrow from the hotel's surrounding Herald Square nabe and the nearby Fashion District. In other words: rinse, lather, repeat.
Right now, rates at the Holiday Inn are just $133 a night this weekend. No doubt that will increase a lot when it reopens as a Hyatt.
[Photo: Holiday Inn NYC Midtown ]
While many hotel brands are getting in on the juicing trend (Kimpton Hotels just announced a hotel-wide program too), we were beyond excited to see that the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles embrace a new, healthy-eating trend with a special Paleo Menu at their Breeze restaurant, a first of its kind for a hotel restaurant.
For those not familiar, the Paleo diet is based on the food groups of our "pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors." Cavemen, really. Essentially, the diet is all meats and vegetables but only "clean" meats and vegetables, nothing processed is allowed. And sorry, dairy is not allowed either.
The diet not only claims to help with weight loss but also to help with autoimmune disorders and systemic inflammation. (Note: I personally try to follow Paleo for an autoimmune disorder that I have but goddammit, cheese is too often too good to resist.)
Like all diets, Paleo requires careful selection of ingredients (read your labels!) and time to prepare the foods. While it's possible to order around the menu options at a restaurant to meet your Paleo requirements, most of the time dining out Paleo-style can be difficult and near impossible when staying at hotels. But not at Breeze, Hyatt's all-day dining restaurant.
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Having looked at new Amsterdam hotels that start with a W (the W and Waldorf Astoria), we backtrack through the alphabet to the letter H, where we find two additional, and somewhat polar opposite, future openings: the business-focused Hyatt Regency and budget-chic Hoxton.
The 211-room Hyatt Regency will be located in the former Emma Kinderziekenhuis (a children’s hospital) between Sarphatistraat and Spinozastraat, down the street from the Amstel InterContinental and an easy stroll away from the city’s outpost of the Hermitage museum. Comparing what we found in person with Google Street View, a series of low-rise buildings has been levelled, creating what looks like the perfect space for the hotel’s driveway, entrance, and any gardens or terraces the architects might have in mind.
Andaz Hotels pride themselves on their connection to the authentic, local experience, so when we heard that they may be opening up far off the beaten track in Aruba, we got pretty excited.
Though it's still very much in the early, unconfirmed rumor stage, we hear a whisper that there may be a new Andaz coming to Isla di Oro in Aruba, a site thick with mangroves where there used to be a restaurant on the water reachable via a pier. From what we can figure out, Isla di Oro is a diving spot, so how they plan to construct a hotel here kinda makes our heads spin. We'll just wait to see if it actually happens. Our source says there will be a decision made in the spring.
A visit to the spa can really bring a sense of rectitude to the body and mind -- especially in these tough early January weeks. What we really like about the Hyatt Regency Aruba's ZoiA Spa, though, is that this virtuous feeling extends to the surroundings.
Open since 2012, ZoiA Spa’s architecture and design incorporates sustainable products and materials throughout the entire space. Fabrics are made from recycled materials and decorations make use of cork, recycled glass tiles, and qurt -- a granite-like stone made from seashells. The hotel itself has continued the sustainable ethos by recently becoming the first high-rise on island to install solar panels to heat water.
Work has just started at 120 West 41st Street on yet another chain hotel designed by serial hotel architect, Peter Poon.
According to permits found by New York Yimby, the new building will rise 26 stories and contain 130 guest rooms. California-based Stanford Hotels is the developer and a quick peek at its website reveals that the hotel will be called the Hyatt Place Times Square -- not to be confused with the Hyatt Place Midtown, a five-minute walk south.
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Hotel rebrandings happen – they are a fact of life in the industry, whether a result of lawsuits or some other drama, or just a desired change in direction or repositioning. The difference for guests can be substantial if major renovation is involved, and sometimes it is simply a case of one name on the door coming down and another going up.
We’re not entirely sure though what to call it when a hotel group loses half of its portfolio in the span of a single year, which seems to be the case for Concorde Hotels. Earlier this year, Hyatt swooped in and took over the management of four of its hotels (two in Paris, two on the French Riviera), newcomer The Set will be closing the Lutetia soon for yet another full-on French palace hotel renovation, and now Hilton is taking over Concorde Paris Opéra and Sofitel the Concorde Berlin. Seven hotels in twelve months is quite the stampede for the door marked “exit,” is all we’re saying.
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Since 2011, Andaz Hotels has worked with Women for Women International (WfWI) to provide women in war-torn countries with economic opportunities and be positive catalysts for change. Through these efforts, the Andaz Holiday Bazaar was born.
The Andaz Holiday Bazaar is a virtual pop-up shop offering locally inspired, unique gifts with proceeds donated to WfWI. The hotel brand collaborated with its Cultural Insiders from around the globe to curate the bespoke online Holiday Bazaar available through e-retailer, Joyus.
With everything from custom created home décor to one-of-a-kind artwork and artisanal food, here are a couple of our favorites:
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
We knew it was snowing on the East Coast but in San Francisco? What's that about?
Well, once again, The Hyatt Regency San Francisco has transformed its lobby, one of the largest in the world, into a virtual, over-sized “snow globe” with 30,000 lights that cascade down the hotel's 17-story atrium, a 30-foot Christmas tree and best of all, daily snowfall.
The snow falls daily at different times throughout the day (see below) which is sure to delight the children (and adults) of the world who don't usually see snow. For the snow-weary folks, don't worry, the snow will only "fall" until December 30th.
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Hyatt Hotels are going big in the big city this week. Not content with opening up the brand's largest NYC build in the past 30 years, today the Grand Hyatt New York is launching its first-ever artisanal chocolate line.
Available at the hotel's Market cafe, located in the lobby, the line features milk, dark, and white chocolate bars, and truffles in five flavors, each with a signature color and design: passion fruit, citrus, gianduja & white truffles, coffee, and dulce de leche (given that the chef is Argentinian, you've got to try that last flavor).
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Today is opening day for the Hyatt Times Square and we are fresh from a opening-eve visit to bring you a first look.
The 54-floor, 487-room property is Hyatt's largest new build in the city in more than 30 years and sports a striking, shimmering glass exterior by SLCE Architects and a bright LED sign that changes colors. Stepping into the almost entirely white George Wong-designed lobby, you will first come across a line-up of iPad check-in stations, with a human check-in counter to the right and the (also Wong-designed) T45 Diner to the left. The diner is not quite ready to go yet -- they are hoping to open in a couple of weeks -- but it will feature a menu of classic diner dishes given a modern twist, retro decor, a milkshake bar, back wall of moving lights and a photo booth off to the side.