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There's tons of New York hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Setai Fifth Avenue Changes Hands: After two years of being open, the lovely Setai Fifth Avenue, which famously promised to leave guests "breathless", has been taken over by Langham Hotels. Up til now, Langham didn't operate any properties in New York, so this is an exciting first for them. But having spent some time in their Boston, London and Hong Kong properties (and Chicago on the way!), we know they'll do a great job keeping up the Setai's classy vibe.
·Novotel Will Become Novel All Over Again: The Real Deal reports that Novotel New York has just launched a spiffy $85 million renovation that will focus on infrastructural improvements to the building, plus guest rooms and public spaces. Basically, the whole nine years. Owners of the 480-room property are reportedly hoping to "cash in on higher room rates," which currently hover at around $250-$300/night.
When The Langham Hotel London first opened its doors in the mid 1800's, gin was one of the most popular drinks in town, with so-called Gin Palaces numbering in the thousands throughout the city. Londoners had fallen so deeply in love that a Gin Craze followed.
Nearly two centuries later, The Langham is celebrating the return of the Gin Palace.
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If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong this month, make sure you pack your appetite for fine food. The Langham Hong Kong and Langham Place will be hosting a massive Food & Wine Festival featuring world-class chefs, award winning wineries, and famous industry enthusiasts. The city will become a foodies dream with this culinary journey.
Both Langham properties are playing host to a culinary experience designed for guests that love food, wine and lots of laughter. The chefs from the Hong Kong and Shanghai hotels will work side-by-side with a grocery list of highly-acclaimed chefs such as Benjamin Bayly and Claude Bosi.
We hinted at the handover a a few months ago, but now everything is official; The Observatory Hotel in Sydney has new owners, The Langham Hotel Group. And they have some big plans for the luxury property. After all, it is the first Langham in city and they have to come into the scene with a bang, even changing the hotel's name to The Langham Sydney. (Sniff.)
Situated in the historical area of The Rocks, the new hotel will put guests within walking distance to the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and high street shopping venues. With 96 rooms, Langham plans on updating each room's decor and amenities (which are in desperate need of a refurb), but will keep the legendary Observatory Suite.
And good news for guests who want to get on the internet (i.e. all guests around the world), the Langham Sydney will provide free internet in the rooms. Woohoo! That's desperately needed in Sydney where most luxury hotels charge over $25AUD for wifi.
The 320-room hotel will open in one of the last buildings from architect Mies van der Rohe on the riverfront which has long been known by Chicago folks as the IBM building. Oh and as we pointed out last year, it's right next to the Trump!
Aside from well-appointed guestrooms on floors 2-13, the Langham Chicago will also feature a full-service restaurant, a Palm Court restaurant for afternoon tea, a holistic Chuan spa showcasing traditional Chinese medicine and access to all the riverfront activities, namely leisure cruising.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Mandarin Oriental Milan is coming in 2013: The luxury brand, Mandarin Oriental have long had their eyes set on Italy but now we've got word that the MO Milano will open in 2013. The hotel will have 104 guestrooms including 34 suites set throughout three 19th century buildings on Via Monte de Pieta, a rather swank address. A GM has just been appointed for the property which is a good sign that the 2013 opening date will stick.
· Trump Lands in Miami: It's finally happened. Trump Hotels have officially assumed management of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa outside Miami. Over the next 18 months, Trump will put in about $200 million in renovating the almost-800-acre resort. The place will be fully re-branded when the new look is complete.
After several years of showing up at hotels, causing mass hysteria among fans while they wait outside, and causing hotels themselves to bang their heads against the wall while they deal with all the craziness, the Biebs has finally been booted from a hotel. Though, in all fairness, it wasn't anything he did specifically.
The Langham became overwhelmed this past weekend when fans somehow got a hold of Justin's room number, and began calling the hotel non-stop trying to speak to the singer.
And knowing the kind of crowd that hangs around wherever the Biebs sets up camp (we hear they mobilize through Twitter), we don't doubt that this pretty much spelled disaster for the hotel and its staffers, who likely didn't have time to be dealing with thousands of shrieking pre-teens blocking the phone lines from actual paying guests.
So the Langham said bye bye Bieber, and asked him to leave.
After our last-minute reminder yesterday, all you Bostonian hotel geeks should already have 'pink' on the brain. Which might make this other piece of news more applicable. Following on the success of its signature hot pink taxis, Langham has partnered with beauty product wizards at O.P.I. to manufacture a line of "Langham Pink" nail polish.
Now, we realize this may not be for everyone. After all, not all men and women like to paint their nails. And the ones who do might not necessarily jibe with the Langham's ludicrously bright color of choice. But for the discerning eye, this little bottle of pantone 707C will be taking its rightful place in a long line of must-have hotel knickknacks.
Are you in Boston or do you know someone in Boston who'd be game to do you a favor TODAY in exchange for a possible trip to London? If your answer is yes, then awesome. You see, the Langham Hotel Boston has a classic London cab that drives around town, but instead of the traditional black, it's blush pink (Langham's signature shade). Spot the cab, snap a pic of it and upload it to the Langham Facebook to be entered into the contesta contest that ends tomorrow night at 11:59pm.
What do you win, you ask? Oh let's see:
· Two roundtrip tickets on Virgin Atlantic in Premium Economy (which is very nice, we've been)
· A 3-night/4-day stay at Langham Boston's sister property across the ocean, the Langham London
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Though we don't know what exactly goes into converting a British car to fit fit US driving standards, we're grateful the work's already been done by Langham Boston. Eager to show off their imported London-style taxi, the hotel has started a promotion which will award a plane ticket to London, plus a three-night stay at sister hotel the Langham London, to anyone who spots the taxi on the streets of Boston and posts a photo onto the Langham's Facebook page.
Sound easy? Well it's about to get easier. As you can tell from the above photo, the taxi has been painted a bright, though still rather elegant, shade of pink, in honor of the hotel's signature color. So now, instead of just hunting through Boston for a rare model of car with the steering wheel on the wrong side, now you'll be hunting for a rare model of car with the steering wheel on the wrong side, and one that happens to be pink. Already, this contest sounds a lot easier than the art thief tournament going on in Melbourne.
4.5ft high. Four days to make. Hundreds of sweets stuck onto it: those are the stats for the incredible gingerbread house at the Langham London.
The house has been set up in Palm Court (the tea room), in order to coincide with the Festive Afternoon Tea that the hotel is offering as well as the sconegasmic Bijoux Tea. We popped by last week and - wow. It's incredible. Little wonder everyone is queuing to get their photo taken in front of it.
But it's not just a pretty face - you can actually win an afternoon tea for two if you guess the weight of the gingerbread house. Or rather, the amount of gingerbread used in its construction.
Entries should be rounded to the nearest kg and entered on the Langham's Facebook page by 23 December - so you have a little time.
'Tis the season for cocktails whose appearance might cause you to retch at first sight. If you can stomach faux toasted Colombian giant ants and Mopani worms sitting atop your beverage—a finishing touch conceived of by the mixologists at London's Langham Hotel—then sip and you'll be rewarded with a top-shelf concoction.
The seasonal Vieux Carre cocktail was inspired by a drink originally created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at New Orleans' Monteleone Hotel. With a gothic, Southern influence as its jumping off point, cognac and rye whiskey is "aged with bespoke infused vermouth, bitters, and herbal liqueur in a glass bottle for a period of two weeks with wooden stave charred and cut into," giving the combination of spirits (get it?) a subtle, semi-oaky taste.
Served at the hotel's Artisan Bar and priced at a scare-inducing £16.50, it's going to cost you quite a lot to get trollied.