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Hotel Art / Hotel Art Galleries / Hotel Artists / James Hotels / Raffles Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Yotels / Andaz Hotels / → All Tags
Remember the old days where hotel art usually consisted of a bland landscape painting that was reproduced a hundred times over and hung in the same spot in every guest room? Thankfully, over the past few years, hotels have been paying close attention to the artworks they hang in their rooms and public spaces--choosing original art instead and even better, works from local artists instead of some mass-produced Van Gogh imitation.
But in the past month or so, we've noticed some hotels that are stepping it up even further when it comes to the art on display. Giant murals, entire galleries, and even live-in artists are among the trends we've begun to see.
For us, it's moreso about the overall vibe and decor of the hotel than it is about temporary art promotions and exhibits, although we do acknowledge that the latter can certainly contribute to the former. The personality of a property is as much of a selling point as, say, the hotel's location or the quality of its food, so it's no surprise hotels are quick to market their artistic aspects. Below, we've provided a roundup of what's happening this spring and summer at a variety of properties.
Hotel Fitness / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Yoga / James Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Killer View / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
A rooftop yoga class is making waves in New York, and it's taking place at none other than The James Hotel. Led by a local NYC yoga teacher, the class was launched last year and has been slowly gaining momentum, no thanks to the jaw-dropping views seen from the top of the hotel.
Another reason the class stands out? It's women-only.
Twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8am, ladies gather up on arguably the most scenic rooftop in the city and breathe and stretch and go 'ohm' in the company of other ladies. As in, all the mamas without the papas. As in, girls not guys. As in, the rooftop is called Jimmy, but he's the only dude allowed to the party.
Mad Men Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Manhattan Hotels / Don Draper / Mad Men / Peninsula Hotels / James Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Andaz Hotels / → All Tags
It's no secret that Mad Men has inspired a nationwide renaissance of classic, American-inspired cocktails (heck, AMC even dedicated an entire webpage to cocktails featured on the show). In honor of the two-hour season premier this Sunday, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of the top Manhattan hotel bars serving Mad Men-inspired drinks. Whom you invite back up to your hotel room afterward is entirely up to you.
One of our favorite chi-chi hideouts in New York is The Peninsula, whose second-floor Gotham Lounge offers seven different martinis. Alternatively, show off your insider knowledge and ask for the Ning Sling ($24, pictured), which consists of Absolut Mandarin, Soho Lychee liqueur, lychee and passion fruit juices, and fresh mint leaves—the drink is so exclusive, it isn't even listed on the menu.
Five more cocktails after the jump!
We don't know whether we instinctively knew to go check out the James Royal Palm on the specific day we were in Miami, or maybe the gods were smiling on us. Either way, we happened to show up at the hotel on opening day last week, and an eager staffer kindly offered to walk us around the property.
So! What did we think?
Because the hotel was pretty much empty—things were still so new, no guests had actually checked in yet—we actually got a pretty good, exclusive look at the long, corridor-like lobby. We've seen brief shots of the bright, "minty-fresh" bar already, but this time we walked past the front area into the back, where there is an entirely different theme. Large portholes are carved into the walls, and there's plenty of rich dark wood, glass, and more of that beach-y vibe we saw before in the rooms.
What we liked most about this "back section" of the James Royal Palm lobby is the sense of privacy. A long corridor stretches from the main entrance straight through the back of the hotel to the pool—kind of like its Miami Beach neighbor, The Delano—but off to the side, there are little clusters of chairs and coffee tables, perfect for a post-swim coffee or maybe a game of cards. Sophisticated, design-y...but not heavy-handed.
And the rooms?
Welcome to another hotel dispatch from our special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he spends about 70 percent of his time on the road, staying in all the hot hotels and checking out their restaurants and bars to see if the social scene and rooms are up to snuff. If you're deciding whether or not to take a chance on that hip boutique hotel in the city, read The Smooth Operator for his opinion first. (Or send us an email and we'll have him answer it for you!)
Last week he happened to be in Miami and we were curious about The James Royal Palm, which was supposed to open on October 1. We've been giving this hotel tons of pre-opening love, so we're disappointed with the recent turn of events. We asked the "powers that be" at The James if we could take a look around since we were under the impression (given our last report) that it would be open on time. Let's just say the response was less than pleasant and we don't dig that, especially when we've been good girls and boys. But, HC has NICE friends out and about, we asked Smooth and another pal to find out what was going on and what was behind all the hostility? Turns out, it's coming from a few directions. Read on for the report of The James Miami's progress thus far.
These images from the James Hotels website don't specify which space is which, but we know that there'll be at least two restos to check out--the first being the signature one for the hotel, Florida Cookery.
Like the name suggests, it will serve up "hyper-regional Florida fare" and be helmed by local chef Kris Wessel. If his low-key cool Red Light Little River over on Biscayne Boulevard is any indication, this place is going to make quite a splash. (Red Light is one of the few amazing restaurants in Miami that doesn't give you sticker shock.)
OK, so we know The James Royal Palm is opening in October and will slide comfortably into South Beach's $300-400 a night hotel scene. But what will it look like inside?
The answer, as you can see from these photos now up at the James Hotels website, is: a blend of The James hotels in New York and Chicago (earthy, streamlined) and a decidedly beachy vibe.
We're not sure about those clam-shell-shaped rugs on the floor, but they're probably nicer to walk on than ice-cold slate or tile.The lamp cord looks like it's made from Silly Bandz and the Ctrl-Alt-Del cushions seem a little mid-2000s, but we appreciate the effort to get quirky.
What we do love here is the wooden headboard and the built-in nook for the little table. The clean lines anchor the room, which is important when you're competing with that big blue thing out the foor-to-ceiling windows.
Yep, that's pools, plural. But before we even step outside of the brand new The James Royal Palm when it opens in October, we're going to want to linger in the hotel's mint-fresh lobby.
Wouldn't you? Stepping out of the crazy-humid and crazy-crazy South Beach atmosphere of Collins Avenue into this cool looking space seems mighty appealing. Especially if there are nice, strong Mojitos waiting on that pretty green bar.
With the hot Lollapalooza music fest hitting Chicago’s Grant Park August 3-5, hotel rooms in the Windy City are growing scarcer - and more expensive - by the minute. And tickets for the event have long sold out, which might leave you thinking the Lolla ship has sailed. Not so, friends, or at least not so for our friends with benjamins to toss around.
The James Hotel Chicago is calling it its Very Important Rocker Getaway Weekend package and there are two levels to choose from:
The first level includes:
- Three nights in a residentially-styled suite
- Two VIP Three-Day passes to Lollapalooza (already sold out to the general public and valued at $2,000)
- Two tickets to the House of Blues After-Shows on Friday and Saturday nights (Tune Yards and Washed Out play on Friday, with Monsters and Men and Yellow Ostrich on Saturday)
- Audi car service from The James to Grant Park during the festival
- Two Classic American Breakfasts from David Burke's Primehouse each morning
Or ditch the car service for the second level:
- Three nights in a residentially-styled guestroom
- Two VIP Three-Day passes to Lollapalooza
- Two tickets to the House of Blues After-Shows on Friday and Saturday nights
- Two Classic American Breakfasts from David Burke's Primehouse each morning
The James Royal Palm Miami isn't opening until later this fall but to all your eager hotel beavers out there (you know who you are), we've just got word that reservations for the hotel are now open!
Hopping onto the hotel's website we found a special pre-opening rate of $299 a night for October 1. That rate gets you a 275-sq.ft. room with a king bed, views of the Miami cityscape and Biscayne Bay, a cocktail and snack bar (hopefully like the ones they have at James Chicago), a 42-inch plasma TV, gloriously free WiFi, a private work/dining niche, nightly turndown, custom robes and slippers and Intelligent Nutrients bath amenities. Bigger rooms with partial ocean views are also available for $379 a night.
Hotel Snapshots / Chicago Hotels / James Hotels / Hotel Projectors / Movie Set Hotels / Hotel Movies / Hotel Amenities / Hotel DVD Players / Twitter / Instagram / → All Tags
In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These pics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we commemorate our favorite "Twitpic of the Week." Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
It's no secret that the James Chicago likes to offer fun little "extras" at the hotel: whether that's a pop-up ice cream shop, or a noteworthy artist-in-residence program or an in-room cocktail amenity. And so we weren't too surprised to see a recent guest tweet this photo of one of the hotel's 26 in-room DVD projectors.
Ever wish you could crack open one of those beautiful in-room bottles of bourbon or gin and concoct a fancy cocktail right in your own room? We can’t tell you how many times we wish we could, especially as hotel rooms keep getting swankier and harder to leave.
Sadly, enjoying your own fancy cocktail in the comfort of your own fancy room has typically meant some kind of trip out of the cozy environs, whether to the drug store or the hotel gift shop for the bare minimums. Who wants to do that? Desperation may drive you to the ridiculously overpriced mini-bar for a sad pour of vodka and seven, but that never compares to the more beautiful elixirs available in the lobby or bar.
If you’re not one to settle for mediocre cocktailing but pine for more hotel room downtime, you’re gonna love The James Chicago’s new In-Room Cocktail Experience.