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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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Will this be the Hudson London?
If you thought London would be taking a break when it comes to hotel openings after a rather frenetic Olympic year, think again: the next few years look to be filled with all sorts of exciting stuff to keep us happy. We’re listing the hotels we have our eyes on for you below, and stay tuned as we will be taking you inside when we can.
- A rebirth rather than a brand new hotel, the former St. John Hotel became One Leicester Street on May 1, including a refurbished restaurant and outdoor terrace
- Over in King’s Cross, the Great Northern Hotel also got a new a lease on life as part of the revitalization of the entire station, with sleeper compartment-inspired rooms called Couchettes
- South Kensington got a new boutique hotel contender this month in the form of the 99-room Xenia Hotel on Cromwell Road, not far from the Ampersand we showed you last year
- Affordable-chic brand base2stay is re-branding itself as Nadler Hotels, and its flagship The Nadler Soho will open on June 1, a stone’s throw from the likes of Dean Street Townhouse and Firmdale’s the Soho Hotel
- This isn't really a new hotel but it is newsworthy--The Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park has now been downgraded to just the Hilton London Syon Park. A Hilton Worldwide spokesperson told Business Insider that, "Having operated the property since March 2011, we've mutually agreed with our owner that the new positioning will be the best fit for the local market."
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The hotel that launched a thousand
ships pages of court filings
According to Bloomberg News, investor Ron Burkle threatened to "crater" some of the hotel group's other deals (like in Moscow and Las Vegas) if the Morgans board members did not approve the Delano South Beach buyout bid from his Yucaipa companies as well as his proposed recapitalization plan.
One of Morgan's largest shareholders, OTK Associates, has already filed a lawsuit against other Morgans board members to stop this arrangement. OTK also wants to overhaul the board and in effect, the company. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that Morgans with its 13 hotels has lost money in every quarter since 2007.
If this sounds terribly confusing, it is. Essentially two board members are fighting each other over direction of the company and who gets most of its assets. Like we said last month, this may not immediately affect your experience at a Morgans Hotel right now, but it certainly could in the future.
More importantly, if the hotel group hasn't turned a profit since 2007, we're not so sure how many of their new hotel projects will actually come to life. To be continued....
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As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
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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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Last week we were stunned to hear that Morgans Hotel Group was selling off its prized possesion, The Delano South Beach. But once we waded through the legal mumbo-jumbo and found that the Delano would remain the Delano and that Morgans would still be running the shop, we were cool with all of it. But we shoulda known better. These hotel sales are never easy.
OTK Associates LLC, the largest stockholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co., has now filed a lawsuit to stop Morgans from re-arranging The Yucaipa Companies interest in the company. (Currently, Yucaipa holds Morgans stock, stock warrants and convertible notes. Morgans' directors want Yucaipa to take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group instead.) OTK Associates believes that the switcheroo would favor the Yucaipa company over other stockholders (like OTK) and is also, you know, like totally illegal according to Delaware law.
OTK also has issues with the looking to stop the postponement of the company's annual meeting which is usually held in May but which is now set for July because OTK believes that stockholders will be denied the right to review the transaction.
As of this afternoon, OTK actually secured a right of postponement on the "recapitalization plan" and released this statement:
OTK is pleased that the Morgans Hotel Group agreed to delay the rights offering, as OTK had requested in its motion for a temporary restraining order. All shareholders should be deeply troubled by the current board of directors’ continued waste of corporate assets to advocate for a coercive and dilutive transaction that OTK believes is invalid. Further, the use of company funds to change shareholder voting rules and diminish voting rights calls into question this board’s fiduciary duties and responsibilities.
Again, we don't think this is going to affect your next Morgans Hotel stay but you never know what might happen in a few months. Lawsuit and other problems at the top always trickle down, even down into your hotel room.
It's big news for the Delano Hotel South Beach, a hotel that's been a Miami institution since, well, forever-and-a-day. Their owner, NYC-based Morgans Hotel Group announced it's selling its stakes in the hotel and associates The Light Group, and would offer $100 million to help settle the current debt of $230 million to a buyer. Whoa.
The hotel group has apparently been trying to unload the Delano since 2002, and has apparently posted a financial loss since 2007, according to OTK Associates LLC, the largest shareholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co. So, no doubt they had a hand in pressuring Morgans to dump the Delano, pronto.
Morgans has signed agreements with The Yucaipa Companies, a firm owned by uber-wealthy Ron Burkle, to desist Yucaipa's interest in Morgans stock, stock warrants, and convertible notes, and instead take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group. However, Morgans would still operate the Delano thanks to a pre-agreement asking for long-standing management agreement.
Are you hella confused yet? No worries, we were too, and had to read this manifesto post-and-pre-cocktail time. So we're agree there are no plain words to explain this business. But hold on, keep still, there's more after the jump.
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Menus are great and all, but sometimes you want to feel like you're ordering something really special. We hunted around for Manhattan's best "secret" hotel cocktails. You won't find any of these listed on the menu, but they exist alright. Now, can you keep a secret?
Upstairs at The Chatwal, the red leather booths and jazz trio humming along in the corner certainly set the mood, but our favorite part about the Lambs Club bar is definitely the cocktails. Next time you go, try something different and order the Guillermo Wallace ($18), a tangy blend of Milagro Blanco tequila, lime, grapefruit, honey, a spritz of peated Scotch and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yes, part of this cocktail's charm is watching the bartender add the final 'spritz and a sprinkle'—the other part is drinking it!
3 more off-the-menu cocktails after the jump!
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The original Delano Hotel in Miami.
Another day, another hotel to cross off the Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings
Today, it's the Delano Las Vegas which was set to open in Mandalay Bay's THEhotel by December 2013. But now VegasInc.com reports the opening will most likely happen in the first quarter of 2014. The hotel's own website is actually saying "January 14" but we know better than to trust that. However, once the renovations are complete, the Delano will stick around for at least ten years. In case you need a refresher, here's what Delano has in store for Vegas:
But it seems the new-ness doesn't stop there. We heard rumors about a new venue that would be opening up in the hotel "later this month", and we, of course, immediately set about doing a little detective work.
Here's what we found out: remember Private Park, the hotel's snazzy overgrown terrace, located behind the lobby? Well, now they've covered it with a tent so it can stay open year-round, and changed the name to Hudson Lodge. In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, Hudson Lodge will also serve chili, fondue, and hot drinks—just like a winter lodge!
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Guess who got to take a peek at Hudson Hotel's new rooms? And boy did we photograph the crap out of them.
As many of you already know, the Hudson's recent renovations have been a long, long time coming. In fact, the hotel—which is housed inside a former YWCA and contains a staggering 836 rooms—hadn't really been worked on at all since opening in 2000. And yet with room sizes being what they are (small), and room rates being what they are (disproportionately high), it kind of goes without saying that the hotel's main asset is its Philippe Starck design.
Now, with re-installed Brazilian Cherry wood floors and wall paneling, new lighting, additional storage space under the beds, and Prada-inspired furniture, the space has finally gotten the refresh it deserved. The resulting look? Click through our photo gallery to see for yourself!
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Rebrandings / Manhattan Hotels / Langham Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Novotel / → All Tags
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.