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Cancun, Cabo, Madrid ... and, er, Vienna ... ME Hotels sure do love to set up shop in the party places, so we are not surprised to hear where they will be making their next move: the Balearic Islands. Rave on!
ME will be bringing their super-cool vibe, minimalist design, Aura Managers and, we hope, 4AM DJ's to Ibiza in June 2014 and to Mallorca in May. The 200-room Ibiza property will be situated bayside in Santa Eulalia and will have direct access from boat to the hotel. There will be 21 ME+ Suites, which usually means a dedicated host looking after you and a complimentary spa treatment, and the hotel will have two pools, Bali beds, an on-site fitness centre and roof top Skinc spa. Don't expect to sleep because DJs at the rooftop cocktail bar will be playing Ibizan classics deep into the night. Rates start at £200 ($320).
Aside from its rooftop offering far-stretching views of the city, one of the most distinctive features of Foster-designed ME London is the giant marble pyramid that houses reception, shooting up from the first floor towards its glass pinnacle inside Radio bar up top. Already a regular backdrop for video projections of star-filled galaxies and floating jellyfish, the hotel is taking things a step further during its street art exhibition ‘The Outside In’, running until August 4. We stopped by for a preview last week.
Five international graffiti writers and street artists (BRK, Christiaan Nagel, Thierry Noir, RUN and Zomby – for those who are well-versed in this particular genre) are displaying their work throughout the hotel’s public spaces, including projection onto the 30-metre high white marble walls. If you’re keen to unleash the inner street artist in you, now is also your chance with a dedicated hotel package.
We’ve kept you up to date on ME London on its long journey from when we first heard about it, through fires, delays, its Aura Managers, and the view from the roof, all the way to the much-delayed soft launch.
Today, March 1, is a brand new day however as ME London really, truly, opens its doors. Check out that lobby above, stepping into which, given the pitch black corridors (below), we likened to floating out into space, especially with the galaxy-like video projections on the angular walls at the time.
It’s World Travel Market in London this week, and the soon to open ME by Mélia London used the occasion to host a preview of its Radio rooftop bar and terrace. We jumped at the chance to attend, having been tempted by ME with an experience that would “connect with each guest’s aura”.
Located on the corner of Aldwych and Strand, Radio certainly delivers when it comes to views: you get the full panorama over Somerset House (lit up in red above, with the skating rink being prepared for the winter) of the river Thames, down east to The Shard, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s, and the City, with the London Eye and Big Ben to the west. On the other side Covent Garden and the West End stretch out in front of you.
Far be it from us to judge another’s idea of fun – that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla – but we’ve been having a good old-fashioned chuckle about the upcoming promotion from ME Cancun: A “pooch pawty” weekend getaway that pampers pets and their owners with what is essentially a couple’s spa experience with joint manicures, 'paw'-dicures, and massages.
It gets funnier. Each furry guest will have their photograph taken upon arrival, framed and given to their owners as mementos. After the treatments and feasting on a buffet of cookies, kibble, and liver, the duo can return to their room for relaxation, where dog amenities – a plush bed, blanket with hood, and toys – await. We do like that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local animal rescue, Tierra de Animales.
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South Place Hotel
If you follow HotelChatter, you know hitting up a good hotel rooftop is high on our list of favorite things to do (and if it’s a rooftop that's normally off-limits and comes with a once-in-a-lifetime view of the retiring Space Shuttle, we’re definitely in). That’s why, though the seasons have now officially changed, we gave you our list of last chance rooftop romps. Seems like Indian Summer is giving us a break, and places are still open for business. Hurrah!
Living in London, we know having a back-up for any outdoor plan is a good idea, so should the weather discourage you from outdoor eating and drinking, fear not! Not only do our two al fresco picks Angler and Radio come with hotels attached to them, there are lots of other places to check out (and check in) this fall.
We recap below what’s been happening since our last London Hotels to Watch List and what you can expect by year's end.
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As August has officially rolled into September, we’ve had to say goodbye to the summer that never really was in London (weather-wise that is) and turn our hope towards the early fall months to still be able to hotel rooftop at some of the city’s newest hotels.
One of the places on our list to hop into the express elevator for as soon as possible is Radio, the 10th floor rooftop bar, lounge & terrace at ME by Mélia London.
The last time we talked about the hotel, and as part of our London hotel openings to watch for this year, we were hoping for a September 1 opening. We still saw plenty of people with hard hats wandering around this past weekend, and the reservation system allows bookings from September 28.
What else is there to look forward to at ME by Melia London? Stay tuned to find out!
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If there's one thing we know goes well with a new hotel opening, it's a hotel opening delay. So is the story for ME by Meliá London, which, like many new hotels in London, was planning to open in time to welcome the crowds set to descend on the city for the Olympics. Crowds that could afford the expected £400 ($626) nightly rates, that is.
Walking by the hotel several times a week, the projected mid-July opening seemed aggressive to us, judging from the ongoing construction. Latest news confirms that reservations are now accepted from September 1.
London will be only the fifth ME by Meliá hotel in the world, the others being in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid) and Mexico (Cancún, Cabo). These "experience-based personality hotels in global capitals of culture & cool" belong to Spanish Meliá Hotels International group, so you'll hear Spanish first when you ring global reservations.
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As the Summer Olympics get closer, we expect a rush of hotels in London to open, like the ME by Melia London. The hotel initially was set to open on June 4 but today we navigated the dizzying ME website and found the hotel is instead opening on July 15 at nearly 400GBP a night.
That's for a deluxe room which includes a rain shower, music speakers, free WiFi, built-in adaptors for Europe and USA, an integrated digital media hub, mood lighting, a sitting area, an in-room spa menu and a bunch of other amenities, standard (mini-bar) and not (pillow menu.)
Rooms on the desirable Level (which are the 8th and 9th floors of the hotel) start around 552GBP a night and include balconies with seating areas and killer views of either Covent Garden or the Thames.
Regardless of what room they book all guests can partake in the
On Top Radio rooftop (named after the adjacent Marconi House and former home of the BBC) with seating for 140 people as well as the downstairs STK steakhouse.
Shockingly, we did still find rooms available for £455 a night on July 27, opening night for the Olympics. Sure, that might be close to a $1,000 USD but it's a new hotel on the opening night of the Olympics! Some one out there must want to splurge, no?
It's been a while since we checked in on the construction of some of London's newest hotels set to open just before the Summer Olympics but thanks to a London tipster we've got some recent construction shots of the ME by Melia Hotel opening sometime in 2012.
We first heard about this hotel back in October which will have 173 rooms over 10 floors, two restaurants and bars, along with a lounge promising "astonishing urban views". However, our tipster noticed some signs about apartments being above the hotel so it could possibly be a mixed-used residential project.
Our tipster also says there was a "pretty massive" fire in part of the construction back in June which delayed things for a while but judging from these pics, it looks like things might be back on track.
The current Melia offering for London: the White House Hotel in Regent’s park
ME is the lux arm of the Sol Melia brand (there are other hotels in Spain and Mexico with one another planned for Vienna) and to make sure the London branch is glam enough, they’ve recruited Sir Norman Foster to design the hotel, and are dropping €180 million on the project.
What’s more, it’s going to be a green one - it will have “Biosphere Hotel” certification when it opens in 2012.
You know how in Europe various attractions and monuments give discounts to holders of European passports? Kind of annoying, isn’t it? Well finally, flashing your U.S. passport will get you something other than a dirty look.
Time’s got the scoop on the ME Madrid Reina Victoria, where an American passport gets you 20 percent off room rates when you book at least three nights, plus a bottle of cava and strawberries en suite, free breakfast, and 50 percent off dinner for two at the hotel’s Midnight Rose restaurant.
Rates start at about $240, and the offer is good through March, which might not be warm enough to take advantage of The Penthouse, the hotel’s Rande-and-Scott-Gerber-helmed rooftop terrace, but you will get to stay at one of Madrid’s more trendy hotels—and we know Madrid's got a lot of trendy hotels, but trust us on this one. When we passed by last May, the crowd was terrifyingly hip—so terrifying we didn’t go in.