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Last night guests who came to celebrate the official re-opening of Manhattan's legendary Essex House into the JW Marriott Essex House, was treated to another classic treat--the musical stylings of Jon Bon Jovi!
The rock legend told the crowd he'd stayed at the hotel "many, many times" (though we couldn't get anyone to confirm if he was staying that night in the occupied Presidential Suite!). He serenaded the crowd with favorite hits like "Dead or Alive" and "Living on a Prayer", who got a kick out of singing the words back to him.
The 40-story Essex House, which overlooks Central Park and has been open since 1931, officially resumed its JW name in September 2012 after operating under the Jumeirah brand. When Strategic Hotels & Resorts acquired the hotel in 2012 from the Dubai Investment Group, they invested several million dollars for a modest make over that you can see in the 509 rooms, spa, and restaurant.
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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
You may not want your children to read this, but it's for their own good, so keep it a secret, if you know what's best for you. In keeping with the well-intended goal of some hotels to provide healthier food choices for the smaller set, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts partnered with nutritionist and author Keri Glassman to create a new JW Kids Menu, helping the 'tween set try to build better eating habits that can be continued at home.
The idea is to present an interactive menu, which will debut in JW hotels this spring with kids favorites, but with a healthy twist. In other words--nix the fake chicken nuggets in favor of grilled organic chicken tenders and say "peace" to processed meatballs and instead, offer the fresh, turkey-made variety.
We like anything that will keep our kids away from The Colonel, but will it go over well when the little ones want to let their hair down (just like parents do), while on vacation?
“With kids’ food choices becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking to create dining options that are fresh, healthy and imaginatively tasty,” said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president & global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “These items will not only delight kids from a culinary standpoint, but will also let parents know the JW Marriott brand cares about the well-being of their entire family.”
As parents, we love the idea of organic foods nd no doubt we'll try this out with our little ones, not yet jaded by BK and McDs ads. But we can't help feel hesitant that our older kids will go for the whole "locally-sourced" spiel. Has JW met a 12-year old growing boy? We've rarely seen a carrot or celery stick win in any food choice with this set--ranch dressing dip or not, without a buffalo wing on the side.
The 266-room JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is set to open on a private island located in the Venice lagoon in 2014. This will be Marriott’s first hotel in Italy under the luxury JW moniker.
The hotel is just a short boat ride from the historic heart of the city, St Mark’s Square. There’ll be an array of restaurants and bars, of course, a health club and spa, and pools galore--one outdoors, one indoors, and one on the roof.
We think the renderings (more after the jump!) look impressive, with a Mediterranean vibe thing goin’ on–-all white and seafoam green--right in keeping with the whole “private island” business.
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By now an inseparable fixture of the Dubai skyline, the 77-story twin tower JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is gradually introducing itself into the city. After an initial November opening, this month, the hotel begins service at its nine restaurants and five bars, including Vault, a cigar lounge and bar occupying the 71st and 72nd floors of the hotel.
Think that's too many restaurants and bars for one hotel? Think again. Guiness Book of World Records officially recognized the JW Marriott Marquis as the world's tallest hotel, with a current total of 804 rooms.
And don't forget: that's still only half of the hotel. Though we expected the final unveiling sometime this year, the second tower isn't expected to open until late 2014.
That will bring the hotel's total room count to a whopping 1,600, allowing major conventions and meeting groups to house their attendees all under one roof. Like a giant slumber party, only instead of making popcorn and watching Sixteen Candles, guests will be gobbling steak at Prime 68 and whiling away their evenings soaking in the tub overlooking the twinkling lights of Business Bay.
Rates start at $217/night.
Can't wait 'til Christmas Day to see Les Miserables hit the big screen? Then hightail it to Washington D.C. this weekend, Dec. 21-23, and catch the latest live performance of the world's most famous musical at The National Theater. (It's been staged some forty-five thousand times in over 300 cities. Crazy!).
This weekend, though, is your only chance to snag a room after the show next door at Pennsylvania Avenue's JW Marriott for a mere $149 a night. This is thanks to the hotel's "Last-Minute Weekends" deal. Unsurprisingly, rates rocket to $329 a night from Christmas Eve til New Year's.
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We hope you remembered back in the Spring when we told you the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade route would change this year and booked your hotel stay accordingly.
However, Hurricane Sandy and early snowfall in parts of the country has caused cancelled travel into the city, so some late birds (we won’t call you turkeys) may luck out and score last-minute hotel bookings and get a glimpse of those awesome floats in the flesh.
Let’s be clear though, many of these rooms may more now than normal, and some come with a minimum night’s stay (which won’t be so bad if you’re staying on for Black Friday shopping! anyway! Whee!). And if ANY of the hotels below show up on HotelTonight at noon? Grab 'em up, and schmooze like heck for a good room!
Just a few other things to know:
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Fly into Peru's Lima Airport anytime soon and, even before you hit the streets, you'll be face-to-face with a huge ad for the two JW Marriott properties in Peru: the JW Marriott Lima and the JW Marriott Cusco. For now we focus on the JW Marriott Cusco, as it's only just opened and we just missed it by a few days. Still, we managed to snap a few preview shots.
The property sits within a former monastery and numbers 153 rooms and suites, all with supplemental oxygen to combat the effects of Cusco's high altitude. This feature they "borrow" from the Orient-Express Hotel Monasterio just up the street, which originated the unique offering. In fact, the JW and the Monasterio will go head-to-head in competition for guests; who will choose Orient-Express and who will choose Marriott?
GulfNews reports that the hotel is predicting 80% occupancy over the first two years of its opening—that's roughly 1,300 out of the hotel's expected 1,600 total rooms, all filled. Never mind that Dubai is one of the world's most hotel-saturated cities, JW Marriott Marquis has apparently found its "sweet spot" (their words, not ours), and isn't at all worried about whether the demand will meet the supply.
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Thanks to our far-flung, adventurous and nonstop jetsetting contributors who never enter a hotel room without photographing the place from top to bottom, we've been able to get a peek into hotel rooms around the world by flipping through our numerous Photo Galleries.
We have so many good shots from so many great hotels, it's getting hard to keep track of all of them. So from now on, we'll be rounding up our favorite photo galleries. Some will be pulled together by hotel brand others will be done by city, design, style, amenities or just plain old hotel lust.
Got a hotel you'd like to see more of? Ask us, we probably have pictures of it!
Today, we've got food on the brain and thinking about what tasty treats will be on offer this fall. Chefs scouring farmer's markets in search of fantastic produce to create comfort food dishes and fancy teas that'll knock our socks off (or put them on--we've been barefoot all summer). Here are a few places that like to showcase their culinary offerings. Hope you're hungry!
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New this May, JW Marriott Chicago's chlorine-less pool touted a UV-light filtration process
Here’s what we know so far: an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease has been connected to 10 guests who visited or stayed at the JW Marriot Chicago between mid-July and mid-August. As of this past Friday, three of those guests died from the disease. The same strain of legionella bacteria found in the ill guests was also found in JW Marriott Chicago's pool, whirlpool, and decorative fountain in the main lobby, all of which have since been drained. The bacteria was also found in the men's and women's lockers rooms.
The Chicago Department of Public Health reported last week that the JW Marriott was fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and had taken the recommended measures to reduce the risk of exposure. They now believe there is no ongoing health threat at the hotel.
It's heavy hotel news, but sadly, legionnaires' happens in the hotel (hot-tubing, cruise-shipping and hospital-going) world. Last year alone, it sickened two guests and claimed the life of another at Luxor, and sickened six at Aria, both in Vegas.
Essentially a severe pneumonia, legionnaires’ is caused by high concentrations of legionella bacteria that show up in water. It can survive for many months in that wet environment, especially in warm water. Transmission isn’t totally understood, but the gist of it is that it’s not spread by person-to-person contact but by inhaling or ingesting the legionella microbes (read: drinking the water, breathing in the vapor above and around the water). Once contracted, legionnaires’ can take anywhere from two to eight days to show up.
Deep in the hotel trenches, we also know that the new-in-May pool at JW Marriott was very unique in its UV filtration process—an important fact absent from the majority of news on the outbreak. Dubbed a high-tech pool by the hotel, the 11.2 meter chlorine-less pool was instead filtered by UV-light. According to the hotel’s original press release on the pool, “the water flows through UV-light chambers to eliminate 99% of all toxins and bacteria resulting in less chlorine in the pool than in average drinking water.” The release continues, “The absence of chlorine eliminates allergies and irritations and offers the feeling of swimming in a fresh water lake.”
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They say history has a way of repeating itself. And apparently, so do hotels, because Jumeirah Essex House is set to become a Marriott once more, after previously flying the Marriott flag between 1969 and 1985.
The hotel has been on the market since March, with plenty of people speculating on just who would be replacing Jumeirah. Nothing was confirmed until late last week, when USA Today announced that JW Marriott would be hanging its sign over the front door.
The new owners, Chicago-based Strategic Group, are happy to be reuniting Marriott with its long-lost Essex House, which Marriott says it has spent the last ten years trying to get back. And Marriott is happy because it finally gets to show off its JW Marriott brand in Manhattan. Winners all around!