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Killer View / Venice Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott International / Hotel Scams / Hotel Scandals / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Woes / Hyatt Hotels / Hyatt Regency Hotels / London Hotels / Grand Hyatt Hotels / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Austin Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Venice Hotels / Luxury Hotels / St. Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
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!)
Hotel Deals / Manhattan Hotels / New York City Hotels / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
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.)
Last time we talked about the JW Marriott Venice, we were getting overly excited about the infinity pool overlooking Piazza San Marco. Ready for more excitement? Because we have more news.
First piece of exciting news: the project is being overseen by Matteo Thun, he of Hotel Missoni (RIP) fame. There will now be 266 rooms (instead of 230), furnished with locally made materials: bricks, glass and tiles.
Second piece of exciting news: this isn’t just a private island hotel, it’s a private island with 16 acres of grounds. These will be landscaped with gardens, olive groves, “fruit arbours” and vegetable plots. There will now be four restaurants, five bars and – third piece of exciting news – a cooking school and wine academy.
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The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.
The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.
When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.
Hotel Uniforms / Designer Uniforms / JW Marriott Hotels / Houston Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Fashion / → All Tags
It's Fashion Week in NYC but down in Houston, Texas there's another fashion show of sorts taking place. The JW Marriott Houston Downtown, opening later this month, has just unveiled their new uniform collection for hotel associates (aka employees).
The seriously stylish collection was actually inspired by the 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building, which was Houston's first skyscraper and which now houses the luxury hotel brand. A custom blouse print even features a photograph of the building taken in 1910.
David Peck USA designed the men's and women's line which features classic silhouettes for the ladies in the form of pencil skirts, structured jackets, sheath dresses and blouses with neckties and chiffon panels and for the men, neutral tones with splashes of bright blue and peridot and some dandy accessories like bow ties and suspenders. Both the women's and mens lines features custom, hand-woven and fair trade tweed in several pieces.
“Traditional uniforms can mask individuality so we wanted the JW Marriott Houston Downtown associates to stand out and feel confident,” David Peck said n a statement. “The fashionable designs we’ve created empower the associates, both as individuals and as a team, to provide the guests with a quality of service guests that has become synonymous with the JW Marriott brand around the world.”
Take a look at these uniforms, if you can even call them that. They might just be the best ones we've seen yet. Even better, David Peck USA locally manufactured and custom tailored the women's line and used garments from a local shirt maker and menswear manufacturer for the men's line. #keepingitlocal
Now, we just hope these uniforms hold up after a few months of wear.