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We were excited to step into the lobby at San Francisco's Hotel Carlton, part of the
Joie De Vivre—ahem, Commune—family, mainly because the hotel offers a free wine tasting every afternoon from 5:30pm to 6pm. Very Kimpton of them, indeed.
But we got more than we bargained for. Yes, the wine was wheeled out on the dot at 5:30, and, sure enough a crowd (comprised mainly of middle-aged Dutch and German couples) began to form there in the Middle Eastern-decorated lobby.
What we weren't anticipating: Theo, one of the hotel's Front Desk agents, setting up in the corner of the lobby with aviator sunglasses, a Yamaha keyboard, and some of the sickest synth beats we've heard since Flight of the Concords was still airing on HBO.
It would be hard to come up with a single genre to classify the strange music we were bopping our heads to, though if we had to pick a word that best sums up the whole experience, it would be this: snazz.
Primly perched above one of the city’s most coveted lakefront neighborhoods and paired with a reclaimed design that nods entirely to local color and history, Hotel Lincoln is bound to be a game changer for the booming Chicago hotel scene. Oh, and it’s kind of taken our breath away.
As you can see from this room shot above, what makes The Saguaro Scottsdale stand out from most other hotels is the abundance of eye-popping colors. And these happy hues aren't found just in the guest rooms but rather throughout the hotel's public spaces and even down by the pool area.
The duo responsible for the colorful look is the design team of Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat of Stamberg Aferiat Architecture who used "12 vibrant tones found in native desert wildflowers" as the foundation for the color scheme. The colors also follow the light spectrum which then creates different perspectives of the hotel depending on the time of day. It's crazy scientific yo!
While we recommended that other hotels start using more happy colors as part of our New Year's resolutions for hotels, it turns out you can learn how to use color in your own home, thanks to The Saguaro's new The Colors of Modern package which includes a private home consultation with Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat!
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The Belgraves as seen last week.
Today is a huge day today for several hotels as it's their first (or second) day in business. Here's a quick round-up of the hotels that have just opened and what their room rates are for tonight:
· Trump Toronto: Trump took Toronto yesterday when they opened their seventh eponymous hotel. Last we checked opening rates were nearly $600 but we were relieved to see that rates tonight are down to $474 a night and that includes a deluxe king room starting at a whopping 550-sq.ft., breakfast for two, internet, local calls and a suite upgrade for an extra $50. The offer is good through February 29.
· The Belgraves: The very first Thompson Hotel has opened in London today. Last we checked room rates were a $381 night but yesterday, Jetsetter.com began offering rooms for just $275 a night. If you're thinking of staying there, you better get on it before rooms go above the 400 pound mark. Or you could wait to see what we think of the place. Wink, wink.
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With his hard hat on and patent leather sneakers, our Chicago man about town, Jared Hatch, headed over to forthcoming Hotel Lincoln last week to see what Joie de Vivre has in store for their second boutique property outside of California.
The Hotel Lincoln, situated toward the south end of Lincoln Park, is still pretty raw for an overnighter but Joie de Vivre has assured us it'll be ready and pretty (all 184 rooms) for a March 9th opening. This includes three family suites with bunk beds, lobby with details like a community events cork board and one hell-of-a tricked out rooftop.
It's been inching on completion since last summer when Joie de Vivre decided to take over the previous tenant's construction efforts which just weren't grand enough. Since this happened all the furniture has been altered or upcycled, they've bought original artwork from Marwen, and added an express elevator up to the rooftop.
This is Chicago's time in the hotel limelight, there's no doubt of that. The next property to open in the Windy City will have an excellent neighborhood, prime lake views, and a top-rated restaurant all to itselfthis is the Hotel Lincoln, due to fling open its doors this spring at the intersection of Lincoln, Wells and Clark Street in Lincoln Park.
This is the second property outside California for Joie de Vivre Hospitality (following The Saguaro in Arizona), and totally out of their comfort zone. Chicago is a long way from LA, baby.
The Lincoln looks to be going with a quirky nautical vibe for the 184 rooms, which are small, yes. The first bookable night is March 30, and only the standard room type is available for $199. Playing around with dates in later spring, we were able to find rooms for $139.
Hotel Mergers / Thompson Hotels / JDV Hotels / JT Hospitality / Hotel Websites / Hotel News / → All Tags
UPDATE, 1.5.12: We just heard that the JT Hospitality name is still a "provisional" name. Yippee! The official name is going to be revealed sometime in Q1. We'll let you know as soon as we hear!
It seemed like such an odd-pairing but when you broke down the dynamics (Thompson has the style; JDV has the money), it made sense.
Yet while we were hoping for a sophisticated name change, we stumbled across the website for JTHospitality.com, leading us to believe that the JT Hospitality name is sticking around.
There's not much to the website--just a few shots of glam hotel rooftop spaces, info about the merger and who to contact for development opportunities (that would be Mr. Brandman.)
We're guessing more information will be forthcoming when the hotels do their official rebranding/merger announcement, which should be any day now.
Know of any cool things happening with JT Hospitality? Send it to us!
HotelChatter 2011 Awards / Chicago Hotels / Public Hotels / Radisson Blu Hotels / Virgin Hotels / JDV Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / Hotel Openings / Hotel Art / → All Tags
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 the comments below.
This year marked the introduction of not one but three major hotel brands to the good ol' US of A. And the midwestern city they all chose as a launching pad? Why, Chicago! Where else?
After Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago and Public Chicago opened literally within a month of each other, we then got sideblinded by the news that, when it debuts in 2013, Virgin Hotels' first location will be Chicago (specifically, in the North Loop, next to The Wit and Trump Chicago). We wondered for a minute whether this had been Virgin's plan all along, or if they simply got wind of the burgeoning hotel scene going on in Chicago right now, and decided to forgo the coastal cities like New York and LA.
Either way, we see this as the city to watch in 2012, and we can hardly wait for 2013 to come so we can get inside the world's first Virgin Hotel. Until then, however, there will be plenty going on in this city—we're looking at you, Waldorf-Astoria and JDV!—to keep us distracted.
The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale hasn't even been open for more than a month but it's already doing well enough to expand to Palm Springs. The LA Times reports that the Saguaro will take over the old Holiday Inn at Sunrise Way and East Palm Canyon Drive.
We've got word that the Saguaro Palm Springs will be very similar to the Scottsdale property featuring a complete redesign done by Stamberg Aferiat using vibrant colors inspired by the indigenous flowers of the region. And we presume there will also be a great F&B scene and a mucho affordable price point.
All this fun stuff means that the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, the reigning fun boutique spot in town, will have some fierce competition. (Not that it really matters though because the Sydell Group which owns the Ace is also opening the Saguaro PS.)
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If wearing corduroy pants was all you had planned for 11-11-11, think again. The auspicious once-in-a-century date is prompting hotels all over the country to go 11-11-11 crazy, and in a good way. Weddings have been planned. Carlos Santana tickets have been set aside. Scenic Best Westerns in coastal California are even getting in on the action!
If you wanna rock
Big spenders can reap the full rewards of Vegas' Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with a VIP "Extravagant Package." Though of course the trip would be ideal as a getaway (as in, get away into a giant bathtub and stay there forever), this package will be keeping you busy. Included are: a two-night stay in a platinum penthouse, dining at the hotel's "35 Steaks + Martinis" steakhouse, Carlos Santana tickets, spa treatments, and bottle service at Vanity. The asking price? $11,111, of course. But you'd better act fast—the package is only being offered this Friday 11 through Sunday 13.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hotel Design / JDV Hotels / Scottsdale Hotels / → All Tags
Fresh off the news that Joie De Vivre Hotels has merged with Thompson Hotels, the California-based hotel collection has just announced the opening of its very first hotel outside of the Golden State--The Saguaro in Scottsdale.
Previously, this hotel was to be called The Drinkwater but the owners changed the name to Saguaro to reflect the hotel's tie to the Southwest region and the experience that will be offered to guests. Also, saguaro is a type of cactus and is prominently featured on the hotel's website and throughout the hotel.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
If you've got an extended layover near Los Angeles International Airport, then you will certainly be able to occupy your time at the newly relaunched Custom Hotel just a few miles up the road which has all sorts of fun airline and airport-themed amenities on site.
Just don't while away your time wondering what this doodad is in the window. We're here to tell you that is actually the mood lighting fixture. Each room in the hotel is equipped with one of these "lamps" and guests can change the colors of the lights as they please, using this color-coded remote control below.