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Hotelier boss-dog Ian Schrager talks with HC on hotels, politics, and a side of disco
We're not very good at hiding when we have a crush on a hotel brand, so we'll fess up to being Public Chicago devotees. It was launched by hotelier-extraordinaire Ian Schrager on October 11, 2011 and is celebrating its one-year anniversary.
To mark the occassion, Schrager brought in his buddy, old-school Studio 54 DJ John "Jellybean" Benitez (you wouldn't know Madonna without him)to man the turntables and rock the crowd.
We were thrilled to be invited to a party where even Billy Zane couldn't stop grooving, but before we danced, we took a few minutes to ask Schrager about his latest hotel plans and what financial advice he'd give Chi-Town's own President Obama.
Hot Hotelier News / Hotel News / King and Grove Hotels / Ben Pundole / Ed Scheetz / Jeff Klein / Ian Schrager / → All Tags
It's been a busy year for King & Grove Hotels, the boutique hotel brand started by former Morgans Hotel Group CEO Ed Scheetz and Ben Pundole, the former Director of Entertainment at Morgans. (You may remember him as the man who brought SPiN Ping Pong to the Mondrian LA.)
King & Grove started out just over a year ago with two boutique properties in the Hamptons before going on to assume management of The Tides South Beach, the Hotel Williamsburg, the Hotel Chelsea and the Hotel Lola as well as plotting out two hotels for downtown Los Angeles. But it looks like all the fast expansion has taken its toll on the brand's foundation--specifically Pundole.
The NY Post reports that Pundole resigned from K&G on Thursday after the promise of ownership and control of the company from Scheetz and K&G's other owner Joseph Chetrit--whose Chetrit Group has bought several of the hotels that K&G is operating--fell through. A source gave the lowdown on the exit to the Post:
Ben has been treated pretty unfairly. Ben created Ruschmeyer’s, which has been a wild success, and was the creator of this new hotel brand. He found and hired most of the employees and even found the Williamsburg, which they purchased on his suggestion, and now he’s walking away with nothing. Chetrit and Scheetz are taking his hard work, contacts and hip following.
You've seen this photo of Public's re-imagined Pump Room, you know, the one that makes you want to go there NOW.
Ever wonder what Public Chicago used to look like in its former Ambassador East glory? We often do. Originally opened in October of 1926, the hotel has a long history of being the place to be well before it became Public. First a luxury haven for the upper echelon, the Ambassador later drew celebs in droves following the opening of the Pump Room in 1938. That interest definitely petered off in the years before Public opened (September 2011), but the point is that this hotel was once as hot as it is today.
Here's The Pump Room under the former Ambassador East umbrella. Yowza.
During a recent visit to Public, we dug around for more clues about the hotel’s past life and scored, getting our hands on a bunch of old images of the former Ambassador East. We couldn’t resist sharing so take a look and a gander down hotel memory lane. Of course, you won't miss Public's totally crushing design and might even start wondering what it means to be hot both then and now.
Just a mere 12 days ago we had hoped that the announcement of Hoxton Hotels expansion into NYC would light a fire under Ian Schrager's Public Hotels but now comes this bit of devastating news from the NY Post: the real estate deal for a Public Hotel at 855 Sixth Avenue is dead.
Apparently, the financials didn't work out between Schrager and Durst Fetner Residential. Yet before you put your dollar bills back into your pockets, Schrager did tell the Post that he is "in contract for another, undisclosed, site."
So Public New York is still happening, we just don't know where (Schrager did express interest in the Bowery nabe) and we don't know when, but we're guessing 2014 is still the estimated opening date. To be continued!
$1 room or not, you can still lounge with coffee or a sexy cocktail in the Library at PUBLIC Chicago
Word is out today that another One Dollar Sale is coming from Ian Schrager’s bright white Chicago gem, PUBLIC Chicago. For those unfamiliar with the online hotel sale, it’s an amazing chance for would-be guests to book a room at PUBLIC for just one buck. For those who swung and missed at the last sale -- you know, the vast majority, including yours truly at HotelChatter – the one dollar offer might feel more like the ultimate tease as rooms ended up selling out in less than five minutes flat.
Still, we’re not about to give up. Real live people picked up all 270 available rooms in the last sale so we know it can be done. And since we really, really want to stay at the PUBLIC for a buck, no less, we’re gonna play it smart this time. Which is why we talked to a PUBLIC Chicago insider for some tips on how to get a leg up at the hotel’s next dollar sale.
Friends of PUBLIC, if there ever was a way, than this is how you score a $1 room at PUBLIC Chicago.
Conde Nast Traveler interviewed hotelier Ian Schrager about the three biggest trends he expects to see from hotels in 2013. Sorry, all you good-looking bellmen currently employed by too-cool boutique hotels--you might be out of the job.
Schrager says that hotels will start stripping down and getting rid of "flourishes" like elaborate room service menus, fine china and even bellman.
If you’ve gotten your bag through the airport, you can likely get it up to your room without six guys—and the need to tip each one.
Whoa. Has Schrager been reading our hotel diary? (Apparently so.) Schrager also says functionality is in, while fancy schmancy is out.
Marble fixtures don’t equal luxury anymore. What’s luxurious is at least three square feet on which you can spread out your toiletries.
Hotel News / Edition Hotels / Ian Schrager / Marriott Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / London Hotels / Miami Hotels / → All Tags
Though we felt some faint ripples in the Edition pond back in October, it looks like things are moving along at a pretty steady clip. The WSJ is reporting that Marriott has invested $800 million of its own money into three of the five new Edition hotels it hopes to open over the next three years (Hmm, haven't we heard this one before?).
Those three properties include: the Berners hotel in London; the Seville Beach Resort in Miami; Abu Dhabi; Bangkok, and, of course, New York's Clock Tower (above). Consider Waikiki and Istanbul the "test drives" of the Edition brand. Now, it kind of comes down to a do-or-die situation. Either the five new hotels soar, or they sink fast. But with so much of its own money at stake, and Ian Schrager's reputation on the line, Marriott should certainly have the momentum it needs for lift-off.
Public Hotels / Hotel Deals / Room Rate Gimmicks / Ian Schrager / Chicago Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We never once thought the rooms at the hot new award-winning Public Hotel in Chicago were too pricey (we stayed there on opening night for $135 and have recently seen specials for $100 a night) but it looks like hotelier Ian Schrager is staying true to his promise to make Public available to the public--because he's just announced the hotel's first ever ONE DOLLAR SALE.
For a 90-day period starting on a secret date, Public will offer three special guest rooms per night, each with a rate of just $1. Not $10, not $5, ONE DOLLAR.
Once the sale goes live, prospective guests have 48 hours to book a room for $1 within the 90-day booking period (meaning you can book your stay either 10 days or 90 days in advance.)
It is first come, first served so there is no time to think it over, text with your boyfriend, DM your roommate or ask your friends on Facebook if you think you should book it. You just book it. Right there, right away. And then you can use the savings to have a seriously gluttonous meal down at The Pump Room.
It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.
Incredibly, in the history of HotelChatter Awards*, we have never given the Hotelier of the Year Award to Ian Schrager. But he's finally earned the honor in 2011 and that's all thanks to his well-executed vision for Public Hotels.
Sure, this year wasn't entirely perfect for Ian, thanks to a pesky lawsuit from the owners of the Waikiki Edition, now the Modern Honolulu, who claimed that Schrager has essentially bailed on the development in order to focus on Public. (You can read his official statement on the "frivolous" lawsuit here.)
He also gave up control of the Gramercy Park Hotel late last year which was pretty shocking, given how much fanfare went into the hotel's opening, the parade of celebrity guests who spent the night and how could we forget, the discriminating door policy for the Rose Bar.
But not only did we like what Public turned out to be, we liked how Ian took this new hotel brand public, if you will.
Good news for people who love the Public Chicago hotel. Ian Schrager is officially bringing his new Public Hotels brand to the Big Apple. The WSJ reports that Schrager has teamed up with developer Douglas Durst to put in a 250-room Public Hotel in the lower 16 floors of a 56-story residential building in Manhattan's hottest new hotel nabe, Herald Square.
Much of what we found (and loved) at the Public Chicago--simple but stylish rooms, the Public Express room service, a happening restaurant and bar scene (over 10,000-sq.ft)--will be at the Public New York but along with a nightclub, a health club, pool and an outdoor garden. And for what it's worth, residential tenants in the building will also have access to the hotel amenities including room service. (Rents for a one-bedroom unit will start at $4,500 if you're interested.)
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That said, since we visited Public Chicago last month and practically made out with it, allow us to show you all around the property...virtually. After you're done reading through our online diary and want to book a room, rates are currently hovering at $195 a night this weekend for a standard king.
If you're not in Chicago or don't have plans to go to Chicago, don't fret. Schrager is serious about his Public expansion plans as Business Week reports that he has acquired land in both London and New York for his next Public Hotels......aakdj;OIEU8920[paksjfal;wieu0[23prw;/. Sorry, we just passed out on our keyboard from excitement. Public is going worldwide! Shots for everyone!
We'll have more on the Public developments tomorrow but until then, here's all you need to know about the Public Chicago:
We gave you the complete lowdown on Ian Schrager's brand new Public Chicago hotel the other week but today we decided to check in with the rest of the general public on TripAdvisor to see what their reactions are. And so far, so good. Or as good as it can be with just three reviews.
The first reviewer claimed to stumble across the hotel by accident but is now a devoted fan, especially of the delicious The Pump Room: The other thing...I don't often eat in hotel restaurants, and I've NEVER done this before but I stayed two nights and ate lunch and dinner in the hotel both days. The Pump Room may very well be my favorite restaurant, so even if you aren't staying there definitely go for lunch or dinner. There's a great bar on the other side of the lobby too where you can get some some of the lunch entrees.
The other thing...I don't often eat in hotel restaurants, and I've NEVER done this before but I stayed two nights and ate lunch and dinner in the hotel both days. The Pump Room may very well be my favorite restaurant, so even if you aren't staying there definitely go for lunch or dinner. There's a great bar on the other side of the lobby too where you can get some some of the lunch entrees.