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Ask anyone in Denver about the city's oldest hotel, and they'll either point you towards the Oxford Hotel or the Brown Palace (technically, the Oxford opened a year earlier, in 1891, but in our eyes, they're both pretty special). However, in terms of star power, we think the Brown Palace wins out.
The hotel, which recently became an Autograph Collection property in September, has hosted every president since Teddy Roosevelt, with the exception of Calvin Coolidge and Barack Obama. And on the ground floor, the room that Henry C. Brown (the hotel's founder) used as his office is now a kick-ass cigar lounge named Churchill, with a customized humidor of over 60 cigars.
But our favorite feature about the hotel is the thing you see above. It's a water fountain, yes, but the story goes deeper than that.
Oh no they didn't!
Marriott announced this week they'll open a third - yes, a third - hotel inside Houston's historic Humble Oil Building by converting 82 apartments into hotel rooms. A new 166-room SpringHill Suites, slated to open in 2015, will join the 191-room Courtyard and the 171-room Residence Inn already residing in the building.
Apparently, Marriott doesn't think three's a crowd. We have seen examples of two brands under one roof, but we can't come up with another site that houses three hotels of the same parent company. There will be 528 hotel rooms in total if you treat them as one conglomerate, but it's not even close to being the biggest dog in town. The Hilton Americas-Houston, for example, has 1,200 rooms.
It's been about a year since trouble first started brewing down at Miami's famed Eden Roc Hotel. The property, which has been around since the 1950s, is managed by Marriott, but the relationship between Marriott and the hotel's owners was bad. So bad, in fact, that the hotel tried to boot Marriott from the premises during an after-dark siege. Serious drama, right?.
A judge (who happened to be a self-professed Eden Roc "fan"") declared back in November that Marriott has the legal right to remain as manager of the hotel.
Or should we say, 'had.'
Yesterday, the hotel's attorney announced that Eden Roc has won in a New York Appellate court the right to oust Marriott as manager of the property. The attorney called it "a vindication," and believes the outcome of this bitter lawsuit will help settle future disputes between hotel owners and management:
"A hotel manager is barred from commandeering a property against the owner’s wishes. Any doubts in that regard have been laid to rest."
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.
Poor Pompano Beach must feel like the ignored older sibling sometimes in the shadow of attention-greedy Miami. After all, it's Miami where flashy new hotels like SLS, The James, and Freehand are opening, and it's Miami that attracts all the celebs.
But Pompano Beach is getting tired of playing second fiddle. So it's taking affirmative action with a buzzy new hotel opening in July: the 219-room Ft Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Oceanfront will be the area's first hotel in over a decade.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Hotel Construction / Hotel Closings / Hotel Renovations / Turks and Caicos Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Florida Hotels / Abu Dhabi Hotels / Naples Hotels / → All Tags
Today seems to be a banner day for Ritz-Carlton Hotel news, we've got three pieces of juicy goss that just needs to be shared. Here's the tea:
In our recent Abandoned Hotels story, we lamented the construction of Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort had been languishing untouched in the Turk and Caicos since 2008 (it began in 2001) and showed no signs of ever coming to fruition. Well, a miracle has happened and the project is back on! According to HotelsMag.com, they've received confirmation on the private (you can only arrive by boat, small plane or helicopter) 125-unit resort's opening from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
HotelChatter also checked with our RC sources, and the luxury Caribbean resort is indeed a go. We were told an official release will soon come. European developers have taken over with an apparent $130 million investment to complete a project that's already had $300 million sunk into it by previous interested party, Logwood Development. Construction is expected to resume this year (keep your fingers crossed).
But wait, there's more Ritz-Carlton rumblings for ya!
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In honor of St Patrick's Day coming up this Sunday, we thought we'd take a look back at a few hotels that just can't seem to catch a break. If any leprechauns are reading this right now, take note. You've got your work cut out for you!
#7: Le Parker Meridien.
We thought it was bad enough when a random construction accident managed to flood the entire Knave Cafe at LPM. But it turned out the hotel had more bad luck coming, when Hurricane Sandy tore through Manhattan, toppling a nearby crane, and causing Le Parker Meridien to be evacuated. Here's to a cheerier 2013.
#6: JW Marriott Chicago.
The JW Marriott Chicago made plenty of headlines (though not the good kind) this past fall when an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease claimed the lives of three guests who stayed there over the sumer. The Chicago Dept of Public Health reported that the hotel "fully cooperated with the ongoing investigation," and concluded by saying there was no further health threat at the hotel. Still, we're probably going to lay off those hot tub parties for a while.
#5: Revel Resort.
This $2.6 billion resort was supposed to be the saving grace of Atlantic City, but after barely a year of being open, it announced it was planning to file for bankruptcy. Ouch! Hurricane Sandy couldn't have helped things either. We feel like they need a lucky charm or something to bring them back from the dark side, but then again, if a four-night Beyonce run during opening weekend didn't manage to do it, we're not sure what will.
Four more unlucky hotels after the jump!
UPDATE: We were informed after press time that the "privileges" for Courtyard guests at the Ritz Carlton come with a $25 fee when using the fitness center, pool, and spa (if not making an appointment)-- a resort fee, if you will. Disappointing, for sure and not our understanding when originally approached with this story. So, we now turn the question to you, reader: Is this still a deal you'd be interested in? Would you pay the $25 with the cash you save on the rate to take a dip or workout at the Ritz while staying at the Courtyard?
Looking for a deal at the Ritz Carlton? Aren't we all. But now, thanks to an emerging hotel trend, you can crawl out of the bowels of the Internet: In New Orleans, the cheapest room at The Ritz-Carlton is actually next door at the Courtyard.
"Say what?" We can hear your disbelief right now. But it's true! The two hotels are connected by a shared elevator, and guests of the Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Iberville are allowed access to the Ritz-Carlton's fitness center and pool for a $25 fee (fee is normally $75 for non-Ritz guests). They can also charge back to their room at the Courtyard when hanging at the Ritz restaurants, lounges, and spa. We find this great for business travelers, their expense accounts, and anyone looking for perks that up their swag from mid-market to luxury level.
Property sharing among sister brands isn't exactly a new concept, but this is one of the first we've seen to offer budget and business travelers the chance to live well above their room rate. Prices for the Ritz start at $249 a night while the Courtyard will run you only $129 per night. Food for thought!
Seems like the Fairfield Inn & Suites Brooklyn is having neighbor issues lately, as a NY Times article this weekend spotlighted a noise dispute going on between the hotel and an arts organization located across the street.
According to the article, Fairfield guests have repeatedly complained about "late night drumming" being heard up until 2am. Ugh. On the other side of the argument, the Gowanus Arts Building claims that Fairfield is acting too high and mighty—the hotel opened just last year, while the Gowanus Arts Building's been around since 1985.
Understandably, Fairfield fears losing valuable guests due to ongoing complaints, yet they're up against an important neighborhood cultural institution. So, who's right?
Well…we're not really asking. We'll leave it up to the city to sort through all the legalities and decide.
In the meantime, we wanna know: have you ever stayed at a noisy hotel? Did it keep you from sleeping through the night? Or, even worse, make you never want to return as a guest?
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Starwood Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood Hotels have all made changes to their reward/loyalty programs as of late, and while there may be a silver lining here or there in terms of hotel participation and member benefits, the long and short of it is that your points won’t go as far. Here’s the down and dirty:
Citing pricing and popularity as the main motivations, Marriott rearranged its tier structure, moving 36% of its hotels into a higher point category while making only 1% less expensive. Marriott also created a new category for its 12 most popular properties, raising the cost of a night’s stay to 45,000 points from 40,000. These changes will go into effect on May 15th.
Changes are coming much earlier for Hilton on March 28th when it will add a 10th category for its top hotels and charge approximately 95,000 points per night. Stays during peak periods (i.e. the holidays) will see the harshest increases in point requirements, but Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will enjoy a 5th night free when they book consecutive nights.
Hotel News / Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection / Berlin Hotels / Germany Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Germany just became a little more appealing to Marriott Rewards members, as the brand announced yesterday it will be adding Berlin's Hotel Am Steinplatz to the Autograph Collection later this summer. That's even more reason to get excited about Berlin right now (aside from the fact that it's a kick-ass city), as Waldorf-Astoria just popped up there in January.
The Hotel Am Steinplatz building originally opened in 1907 with a design by August Endell (also responsible for Berlin's Hackesche Hoefe), though it didn't become a hotel until 1913. Which makes 2013 its one hundredth hotel-iversary. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
To mark the occasion, Marriott's spruced the place up with an "extensive renovation," and the result is an 87-room property with 3 luxury suites, a restaurant, and a spa.
Knowing what we know about Autograph Collection (and having stayed at one in Budapest), we fully trust that the brand's German debut will be a stunner. The hotel is described as having once been "an exclusive meeting point for artists, writers, philosophers and even aristocratcy." Well. We'd expect nothing less.
We’ve often made jokes about IKEA-type furnishings in hotel rooms, and we even talked last summer about the upcoming IKEA hotel, and now the word is out--Marriott is indeed joining with the Swedish furnishings company to create Moxy Hotels. This will be be the company’s European, three-star budget brand, with the first hotel scheduled to debut in Milan in early 2014. And we suppose if any place needs a budget hotel, it would be Milan, no?
Thinking of the young, budget traveler, Marriott turned to Inter Hospitality Holding, IKEA’s real estate division and expressed interest in working together to create rooms that will cost around €60 ($78) per night. But here's the thing, like we said before--IKEA furniture won't be used in the rooms. Huh. So then, why the partnership?