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What was once a big-country town, Brisbane has really started to come of age as far as its hotel scene goes. From trendy boutique The Emporium Hotel, that regularly takes home top awards, to the first Tryp and a newly re-branded Pullman, Australia's third largest city is making a name for itself as one of the country's epicenter for cool hotels. So picking Brisbane to launch a new hotel brand, called NEXT Hotels, makes total sense.
The brand NEXT is new, but the folks calling all of the shots are not new to running hotels; the Singaporean hotelier, SilverNeedle has acquired the Constellation Group, who've been welcoming guests for decades not only in Australia, but in New Zealand, Thailand and Laos. SilverNeedle will now overhaul Constellation's Brisbane property, Chifley at Lennons, to the tune of $35 million.
Not only will NEXT Hotel double the amount of rooms from 150 to 300 at the property, but it will offer out-of-town guests and locals a hip hot spot overlooking the Queen Street outdoor-shopping mall. By adding a luxury retail section on the ground floor and a hot new pool deck a la The Standard Highline or Gansevoort for sipping cocktails, NEXT will once again be the city's hottest address.
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All this talk about IKEA getting ready to sweep Europe with a new chain of budget hotels got us thinking about some of the other cool brands out there. And it's a good thing there's so many of them—because while certain brands have managed to deliver on their promises, others have yet to open a single property. And yet we still remain hopelessly glued to the screen...
Take a look at these six other hotel brands we're most excited about, and see which openings are coming to a theater near you.
The world finally exhaled when Virgin made the announcement that the location of its first-ever hotel would be in Chicago. It's going to have a modest 250 rooms, and it will open in the city's historic Dearborn Bank Building, which will hopefully make good on Richard Branson's promise that all Virgin properties will become "the hippest most comfortable in any city." Well, sir, we'll hold off on judgment until we see one actually open. Construction began in May, with a projected opening date of Fall 2013.
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If all the new hotels look like the Indigo Shanghai, we'll up and move to China.
InterContinental Hotels Group will launch an entirely new brand this year in China to cash in on the booming economy there. This is on top of the launch of the Hotel Indigo brand in Shanghai we heard about in December and the 23 other hotels the company opened in 17 cities in the country in 2010.