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There's tons of hotel news flying around today and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· Mondrian Soho Is Really No Mo' But Morgans Won't Go Down Without a Fight: In June, we heard whispers that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name. And now, it's official. A Delaware court ordered parent company, Morgans Hotel Group, out of the hotel. However, Morgans isn't going without a fight. NY Daily New's Confidential column got a hand on some of the court filings between Morgans and property owner, Suchin Downtown Realty, and it's ugly.
Morgans has alleged that the hotel owners cut costs, including the elimination of an extra generator which really could have come in handy when Sandy happened and by skimping on the size of the penthouse suite. Meanwhile, Suchin says that Morgans mismanaged the property, causing it to place last in REVPAR results compared to its competition.
Right now, Morgans is appealing the decision and apparently, it's business as usual at the hotel. Rates start this weekend at $409 a night.
Check out more interesting hotel news after the jump!
We’re still recovering from a major week in London hotels; who wouldn’t be when it was book-ended by the likes of Ace Shoreditch and The London Edition? That’s not so say of course we’re taking our eye of the ball when it comes to the future, as we know the list of openings is long - and continues to grow for that matter.
A recent walk by the Mondrian London on Southbank showed some interesting progress, with scaffolding starting to come down the front façade. Even more, an entire wing has shown up on the western side of the building, with a rather different design than the original Sea Containers House. We have a before and after picture for you after the jump.
We won't lead you on any longer. The answer is a big fat NO. Here's what happened:
Five years ago, long before the economic collapse, Mondrian Hotels announced their plans to develop a hotel across from the Palm Springs Convention Center at Calle Alvarado and Amado. The hotel was shelved for obvious reasons after the markets tanked but yet was revived back in 2011. A Mondrian was still expected to rise with 200 hotels room and residences.
But somewhere along the road, that deal fell apart. (Perhaps because of Mondrian's parent company's internal woes.) And it was only just this past March, that developer CDI Ventures actuallyl got the official go ahead from the city of Palm Springs to purchase the land and develop a five-star luxury hotel. And guess who will be running it?
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To quickly get you up to speed, OTK Associates (one of the largest shareholders of the Morgans stock), has sued fellow board members to stop them from doing a deal with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa company and from recapitalizing assets. It’s an extremely complicated situation but a Delaware court recently ruled in favor of OTK, who is now trying to replace the exist boardmembers with picks of their own.
In their recent letter to shareholders with their boardmember suggestions, OTK Associates revealed that foreclosure proceedings began in January for the Mondrian Soho. But that's not all:
In February 2013, the owner of Mondrian SoHo, a joint venture in which Morgans Group owns a 20% equity interest, gave notice purporting to terminate our subsidiary as manager of the hotel. It also filed a lawsuit against us seeking termination of the management agreement. We intend to vigorously defend our rights to continue managing the property under our management agreement and related agreements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful.
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We might have talked about Morgans Hotel Group most recently given the drama surrounding The Delano South Beach, but on the other side of the pond there’s positive news to share: some first details on both Mondrian and Hudson London.
Having looked at some early shots of Sea Containers House as it began its transformation, and watched its Jubilee-inspired wrapping, we see construction progressing week after week, which should lead to Mondrian London opening early next year.
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With all the design details in hotels, it's no wonder they're the perfect place to get creative with Instagram photos. We're kind of obsessed with browsing the #hotel tag, and every once in a while, we bring you 5 of our favorite shots that impart major wanderlust. And don't forget to follow our own shots on Instagram under "hotelchatter," "jaunted" and "vegaschatter."
· The above shot was taken by us during a visit inside the Coach Suite at Martha's Vineyard's Charlotte Inn. Not bad, eh?
· Photo via claudialesti — Boy, this looks fun: lounging by the Hotel Santa Tecla Palace's square pool, gazing out at the Ionian Sea.
[Photo above: HotelChatter]
When it comes to pop-up restaurants in NYC, there's no one more experienced than Guerilla Culinary Brigade founder Alan Philips (we like to think of him as the Ian Schrager of pop-up hotel restaurants).
We've experienced our fair share of Philips-masterminded meals at places like The Sanctuary, THOR and THOR again. So we were impressed to hear he was setting up a temporary space over at Mondrian SoHo.
Make that double impressed once we got there and saw that the dining room was hidden behind a secret revolving bookcase...
The site of a Mondrian...maybe
The hotel hype actually comes from a Crain's real estate article on the neighborhood saying that Mark Hunt and his M Development company might try again to turn the Cedar Hotel, a defunct hotel, into a Mondrian. M Development enlisted architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to draw up some renderings back several years ago for the possible Mondrian but the dreams of acquiring and adding several floors to the building were effectively killed by the economic crisis of 2008.
Now that those dark days are behind the hospitality industry, especially in Chicago where the boutique scene is burgeoning, the plans to rework the property into something hip and cool have returned.
Hey all you cocktail-loving, rooftop-dwelling lounge lizards, here's a bit of hotel bar news to perk you up: a new space has opened on top of Mondrian Soho. And though the hotel continues (for reasons unknown to us) to keep its rooftop area restricted to private events, we have to admit, this might be the one invitation-only event actually worth finessing.
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The Mondrian SoHo—romantic? Yes. But apparently not so liberal when it comes to people wanting to sex it up in the rooms.
The Daily News is telling us that a members-only swingers club called School of Sex (yes, they do have a Facebook page) was holding an event at the hotel over the weekend when security found out what was going on, and promptly shut the whole thing down.
Luckily, as the School of Sex puts it, "members were given ample time to exit the venue and say their goodbyes." Phew. Well, that's a relief.
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Just last week we were reminiscing about the days when The Delano would strike out for the wilds of Las Vegas and Dubai but thanks to the great economy meltdown of 2008, those desert dreams were merely mirages. Same goes for these Delano duds.
But today, we've got word that The Delano, under parent company Morgans Hotel Group is actually giving it another go--this time in Morocco.
Morgans has partnered up with Moroccan entrepreneur Ahmed Bennani and Hivernage Collection to open a Delano Marrakech in September 2012 (this year!) followed by a Mondrian Marrakech in late 2013. Here's the brief description on the 73-room Delano Marrakech:
Following the footsteps of its South Beach predecessor, Delano Marrakech will provide world-travelers with another sophisticated world-class urban resort marked by unparalleled style and five-star service. As a self-contained destination, Delano Marrakech will offer a haven of luxury and relaxation in heart of the vibrant, magical city.
We have a bit of a confession to make. Even though we live in London, and were not far from all the Queen's Diamond Jubilee festivities, the weather during the long weekend - particularly on the Sunday of the flotilla - was so miserable we largely stayed inside.
That's how we missed Sea Containers House, soon to be The Mondrian London, being wrapped in a giant black-and-white picture of the 1977 Jubilee, featuring Queen Elizabeth and various members of the royal family during the requisite balcony scene. Cycling across the river this weekend was the first we saw of it. How cool is that though?
We're pretty sure this must have gotten a lot of attention from anyone being on, or around, the river that day, and garnered some extra publicity for the upcoming hotel conversion. The Huffington Post has a time-lapse video of the whole thing being put together.
We have some more construction shots from just over a month ago here, including a number of other hotels in the immediate area. We also saw that CitizenM, which we missed at the time, is nearing completion - we'll share an update on that when we can.