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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!
SLS NEW YORK TO OPEN SUMMER 2016 WITH JOSE ANDRES IN THE KITCHEN: SLS New York announced today that it received $109 million financing from Fortress Investment Group for their 190-room luxury lifestyle hotel at 444 Park Avenue South. That's enough change to get their favorite chef José Andrés installed in the kitchen at the hotel. Word is Andrés will bring his The Bazaar by José Andrés concept to the hotel. This marks the third Bazaar for the world but the first JA restaurant in NYC. The hotel should open by Summer 2016.
AND HERE'S WHERE JOSE ANDRES WON'T BE OPENING (OR SO HE HOPES): Andrés recently backed out of opening a restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C, set to open next year. He did so because of The Donald's unsavory remarks about Mexicans and illegal immigrants. However, Trump won't let him get away so fast. According to a statement from Donald Trump, Jr.: “In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10 year term together with all attorneys’ fees and additional damages we may sustain. We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés’ obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous." Gulp.
HILTON LOS CABOS HAS OFFICIALLY REOPENED: After getting pummeled by Hurricane Odile last September, the Hilton Los Cabos is now back open for business and better than ever. The resort has reimagined culinary concepts, including a swim-up bar; renovated guest rooms; and a new El Sombrero hat shop. In August, the resort will also open its hotel-within- a-hotel concept, called La Vista Club which features 65 Club-level rooms and suites.
The JW Marriott Bodrum, which opens May 15, will be just outside Bodrum proper (no real sacrifice), in Yalikavak. It has 107 rooms, all with views of the Aegean Sea, as well as seven villas, most of which have their own pools.
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Adding 2,000+ hotel rooms to your group’s portfolio in the space of four months is pretty impressive, but JW Marriott is doing that by opening just two hotels. Last month, we welcomed JW Marriott Austin, at 1,022 rooms the beginning of a little hotel boom in the city, and on May 27 it will finally be time for JW Marriott Macau to open its 1,015 rooms. Between these two and the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai (1,600 rooms), JW Marriott is clearly going big, while at the same time not being afraid of a little private island action (or a little creative CGI).
Above a rendering of an entry-level Deluxe Room inside the hotel, part of the $1.9 billion Galaxy Macau complex. They come in at around 500 sq ft and seem to price around 2,388MOP (that is Macau Pataca), or $300 a night for an “Unlimited Urban Escape” package that includes breakfast, WiFi, and a “Grand Opening Welcome Gift”.
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This view is not what it seems
It seems like only yesterday that we were freaking out over the amazing renderings of the JW Marriott Venice, which, at that point, was soon to open on its own private island in the Venetian lagoon. The major freak-out point? Those dreamy views from the rooftop pool, overlooking St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, we were in Venice, saw where the JW Marriott is located, and got a hold on the view situation. And you know what?
It is, let’s say generously, a rather free interpretation of the actual view.
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Back in November, we told you about the gas explosion that occurred at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, which led to the evacuation, and subsequent closure, of the hotel. The “foreseeable future” time frame that was attached to that closure was sad to see, but we can tell you that things are looking up: after four months, the hotel is open again.
We can find a King Room this coming Friday for £290 ($433) a night, which goes up £40 ($60) if you include breakfast. An additional bit of good news is that the hotel has taken the closure to not only do the repairs necessary after the incident, but kick off a multi-million pound renovation of the rooms and suites as well. That renovation should be complete by the summer; we don’t have any visuals of the changes yet, but will share them when we have more details.
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So when we were in town last week, we couldn’t help popping over to get a peek of both of them from the rooftop bar at the Hilton Molino Stucky.
The Jinx--it's all anyone (on social media) could talk about last night. The HBO documentary series had a shocking ending that coincided with its subject, Robert Durst's arrest the day before in New Orleans.
Durst is a wealthy and eccentric but very disturbed heir to one of New York's richest real estate families who agreed to be interviewed about his life and the headline-making incidents that have gained him much notoriety.
We'd like not to spoil the series for you but it will be pretty hard, so if you're keen on watching this show, look away now. Go ahead. Be gone. Alrighty, you've been warned.
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Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
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That’s what’s on the menu this spring in Italy, where both Starwood (by way of St. Regis) and Marriott (by way of JW Marriott) are entering the Venetian hotel scene with a splash (ha!) on Isola di San Clemente and Isola delle Rose, respectively. But who will be victorious? Let’s look at what each brings to their corner before things get real around March / April time.
We’ve established they're fighting for your attention in the same category: private islands, ensuring the ultimate Venice experience of hopping on a complimentary shuttle when you want to be whisked away from the crowds on San Marco. We’ve known for a while that the JW Marriott would be opening in March, but the St. Regis is now confirmed for the month after. If all goes as planned, then Marriott will have a (minor) head start.
Wowie zowie! We thought we had exhausted our hand-picked list of hotels worthy of a little friendly poke on Funky Friday. Well, lo and behold, a new supply may be surfacing as 2015 gets under way. We love it so bring it on. But for now, we’ll keep things informal with an occasional visit to Funky Friday.
For our first unofficial poke of 2015, we’re taking a (virtual) visit, more like a trip, inside the psychedelic fantasy of the Razzmatazz Cocktail Bar & Lounge at JW Marriott Abershon Baku in Azerbaijan.
The inspiration behind the design of Razzmatazz stems from the beautiful Persian rugs of Azerbaijan and the stories these rugs tell. Whether or not this bar clearly tells a story, or needs to, it sure speaks volumes in its amped up display. Floors, walls and ceilings play mind games with guests in kaleidoscope-friendly patterns in neon purple, hot pink, and red. If these are rug patterns then they could have been designed by Jimi Hendrix.
The JW Marriott Austin is set to open on February 13 and when it does it will be the largest JW Marriott in North America and the second-largest JW Marriott in the world with just over a 1,000 guest rooms.
That's all fine and good but we are far more excited for the planned Burger Bar on Congress restaurant, which is actually a walk-up food truck-style window . Burger Bar on Congress will be open at lunchtime and in the early evening and will serve the holy trinity of burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes.
Right now, we see no other reason to eat anywhere else when staying at the JW Marriott Austin but the hotel does have a few more restaurant options should you be sick of burgers. (Never!)
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The weather in January in New York is not ideal but the hotel deals are. This is prime-time low season for New York City hotels and it's one of the few times that you can stay in a hotel without feeling completely ripped off. Just looking quickly on Expedia for hotel rooms next weekend and we are seeing loads of hotels that are under $200 a night. It kind of feels like post recession 2008, doesn't it?
While everyone is dropping this rates, Marriott International is going a bit further and taking off an additional 20 percent for guests who make their reservation in the next 48 hours for stays through April 30, 2015.
You have to make the rezzie online through Marriott.com using the code ADV or you can call it in old-school at 1-800-228-9290 mentioning the same code. The big catch is you will have to prepay the stay at the time of booking, so be sure you can absolutely follow through.
Here are just a few of the participating Marriott hotels that you can choose from. (There's about 20 in total, in various neighborhoods of NYC.)