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Hotel Rebrandings / Loews Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel News / YouFirst / → All Tags
Loews snapped up the property as one of its first steps in expanding the brand. There is already a Loews in Los Angeles on the beach in Santa Monica but the property at Hollywood and Highland is not only larger (632 rooms), it will get far more exposure and traffic as over 80 shops, 26 restaurants, two nightclubs, seven movie screens, eight bars, 12 bowling lanes and the Dolby Theatre (previously the Kodak) are all right there next to the hotel.
For now the rooms and public spaces at the Loews Hollywood will remain the same but Loews will begin a $26 million renovation later this year. The good news is, the hotel will stay open during the work.
Bummer for those guests who liked to use their Marriott Rewards points to stay at the Renaissance but with Loews' YouFirst loyalty program, after two stays you can get free WiFi.
Rates for the hotel in June start around $299 a night.
[Photo: Kalboz/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
Celebrity Scoop / Kanye West / Kim Kardashian / Celebrity Hotels / London Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / → All Tags
The other month we reported that Kanye West and a few other rappers were living it up at The Lanesborough. Little did we know that West's new main squeeze, Kim Kardashian—as well as the entire Keeping Up With The Kardashians film crew—would be following him there. And so quickly!
The Mirror reports that Kim has officially landed in London, and though Kim's hotel hasn't been confirmed, it is likely that the pair will be spending a significant amount of time at The Lanesborough, where West has booked an entire floor.
Knowing how much both Kim and Kanye love holing up for weeks at a time in the world's trendiest hotels, we shudder to think what their hotel-hopping powers combined might accomplish. A flour-bombed, hot-boxed, multifunctional naked yoga and recording studio? With any luck, yes.
Twitpic of the Week / Twitter / Star Wars Hotels / Austin Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Snapshot / → All Tags
In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These pics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we commemorate our favorite "Twitpic of the Week." Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
We don't know exactly what might have prompted this awesome public display of nerd-dom (Star Wars convention? Flashmob? Family reunion?), but we are so very glad @k4ng took the time to capture these saber-wielding Jedis in the lobby of the Renaissance Austin. And what better place: with all the rooms looking down onto the lobby, pretty much every guest had front row seats to the show!
On our last visit to Austin, most of the hotels were full up with SXSW musicians, filmmakers, attendees and media types. But clearly, the real magic happens about a month later...
Hotel Lawsuits / Miami Hotel Mambo / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Owners / → All Tags
Ruh-roh. There's even more trouble in Miami Beach.
Just after we learned about the Setai Shakedown, we saw that the owners of another Miami hotel that made our sexiest bathrooms list, The Eden Roc Renassiance Hotel, are now suing Marriott Hotels and their Renaissance brand for grossly mismanaging the hotel after an extensive renovation. Business Week has this choice bit from the hotel owners' lawsuit:
“In the face of Renaissance’s failures, Eden Roc has quite literally shoveled money into the project to make up for Renaissance’s incompetence,” Eden Roc said in the complaint. “And while Eden Roc loses its shirt, Renaissance and its parent company and guarantor, Marriott International, have lined their pockets with management fees.”
Antonio Gaudi's Park Guell
On April 26, The Renaissance Barcelona will open in the city's downtown nabe near the Paseo de Gracia with 211 rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, the CRU Steak House, CUIT bar and lounge and perhaps best of all, La Terrassa roof top bar and lounge with flowing waterfalls and lounge furniture.
Despite the opening being less than a month away, there's no website up and running yet so we can't determine what the room rates will be like. But given that Renaissance is Marriott's boutiquey design brand, we'd expect rates somewhere upwards of 250 Euros. In the meantime, do not confuse this about-to-open property with the Renaissance by the airport.
For the Sake of Hotel Art / Hotel Art / Renaissance Hotels / New Orleans Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Lots of hotel lobbies are trying to be hipper, cooler, and more action-packed these days. And while the Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel is not necessarily any of those things, we were repeatedly lured out of our room to enjoy the hotel's indoor sculpture garden, an eclectic collection of local art nestled among plenty of plants and trees on the mezzanine level.
Housed under a giant glass ceiling, the entire atrium gets plenty of natural light, and all the rooms look down onto the garden. The open design means some guests can look out at the sculptures from their rooms, but why would you want to limit yourself like that?
With all the light pouring down from above, and all the leafage framing the art, strolling around the "garden" actually feels like being outside.
The hotel recently underwent a complete renovation of guest rooms and meeting spaces—everything from new carpeting to refrigerators to artwork was installed—though when we hopped over to the website to inspect new photos, we noticed one pre-existing design motif that had been left in place: ten foot tall chess pieces in the lobby.
To say the little statuettes stick out like a sore thumb would be an understatement (in a Renaissance? really?), but don't just take our word for it. We found a user review from a previous guest who seemingly had his whole world shattered by the offensive knight and rook sculptures.
Take a look at his assessment below:
Gay Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Hotel Parties / Palm Springs Hotels / → All Tags
Maybe we got hit with the Valentine's Day bug a little early, but we're feeling extra-romantic this week. So we're channeling that energy into this list (as promised), of some of the country's gay-friendliest hotels and resorts. But don't worry—it's not all rose petals and glasses of champagne. Whether you want a DJ, a mountain view, or vintage patio furniture, we're pretty sure you'll find what you're looking for here.
Hilton Sedona, a 219-room resort located in northern Arizona's Red Rock country, was recently TAG-approved for its commitment to LGBT travelers. What's more, last September, it hosted the Sedona Pride on the Rocks Festival, which drew all sorts of fun-seeking folks from the entire Verde Valley region. And if the 2012 bash is anything like last year's, guests at the hotel can expect a private pool party, a drag show "Gay-La," and of course, the main festival itself, which takes place among the resort's three heated pools, two restaurants and 20,500 square feet of event space.
Rates start at $179
London Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Hotel Architecture / Historic Hotels / Hotel Renovations / London Hotel Scene / Hotel Reviews / London Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
File this story under "Ouch": London's much vaunted and hyped St. Pancras Renaissance has received a less than stellar review by The Telegraph, whose reviewer describes rooms in the sprawling property as "bland" and "overpriced," with "lacklustre service" to match.
Among writer Fiona Duncan's main gripes: loud street traffic, curiously absent employees to answer questions, non-functioning internet, and no business centre for guests' use.
The first complaint comes as no surprise to those of us on the ground in London; anyone that's emerged above ground from King's Cross International Station, site of the Eurorail link and a major tube station, can attest to the constant swarm of travelers, buses, and horn honking taxi drivers around the area and the headache-inducing cacophony they produce.
Additionally, the noise complaint was brought up just after opening by The Daily Mail who mentioned that the "room shakes gently" when a train pulls out of the station. The non-functioning internet is new, however, and such a shame as it costs £6 an hour or £15 pounds for 24-hour access. Ugh.
Halloween Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Suites / Celebrity Scoop / Blake Lively / Leonardo DiCaprio / → All Tags
Don't be scared, Blake, it's just make believe!
OK, we'll be honest. When we first saw this photo, and read the caption about a special Halloween suite at the Renaissance Times Square being decorated by Madame Tussauds, we thought they were referring to a wax sculpture of Ms. Lively. Sorry, Blake! Your features just looked so....erm,
Blake Lively stopped by last week for the debut of the hotel's "Dare To Check-In" Halloween suite. And since she is on the rebound from her short-lived relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio, Renaissance made sure there were plenty of toys to keep her distracted. Like tarot cards. Obviously, when you've just had your heart broken on the national news, a fortune teller is exactly the person you want to speak to.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Design / Hotel Spas / Renaissance Hotels / ELLE Spa / Hotel Toys / → All Tags
Look at that adorable critter! No, we're not talking about Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights (although she's pretty darn cute, too). We mean the life-sized mama and baby unicorns who live at the new ELLE Spa at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
Now, we have to admit: we spent some time working in this spa for its launch, and no matter what kind of spa-stress was going on (yes, it happens), we were always charmed into a smile when we passed these guys. But beyond that, we had no idea who the unicorns belonged to, and why the hell they were hangin' out. So, we did some investigating and it turns out that, in fact, these unicorns are local.
Hotel Criminals / Hotel Drinking / Renaissance Hotels / Hotel Police / Illinois Hotels / Convention Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
It was 4:58am this past Saturday morning—late Friday night, whatever you want to call it—and a Mundelein, IL, local was hungry. So he did what every other red-blooded, stumbling-drunk opportunist would do at five in the morning: break into a nearby Renaissance banquet hall and raid the kitchen.
While we've never done anything like this (well, at least not at a Renaissance—this is New York, after all, so inevitably there's always better grub to chase), we can see how the allure of an empty banquet hall kitchen's refrigerator, on a hot summer night, would be a literal beacon in the night. What is unclear is how the suspect, Michael Young, actually ended up inside the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel And Convention Center, a forty-five minute drive from his hometown.