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Renaissance Hotels wants you to ignore the “Do Not Disturb” sign and discover what’s behind door #1. It could be Cee Lo Green.
They’ve just launched the “Discovery Doors” online contest which they describe as a “new interactive film-based digital gaming experience.” We like gaming as much as the next guy or gal, so we couldn’t resist gettin’ all interactive with Renaissance and tell you how it plays.
The online game is directed by award-winning director Jason Zada, creator of the oh-so-creepy Take This Lollipop Facebook phenom. You enter the lobby of a real life Renaissance hotel filled with a cast of characters who give you keys to unlock doors that have a surprise behind each. We’re not going to tell you what those surprises are, but to give you an idea of the coolness factor, for the contest kick-off Renaissance Hotels surprised an unsuspecting family at the Renaissance New York Hotel 57 with an intimate serenade. When they opened their door they entered a room full of candles, flowers and Cee Lo Green.
Renaissance Hotels have partnered with Jose Garces, Food Network’s Iron Chef and the chef of Mercat a la Planxa inside the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago, to come up with a limited-edition Bloody Mary menu to honor mothers everywhere.
These bloody good drinks get their inspiration from some of the world’s most captivating cities and regions (where one can also find a Renaissance hotel of course: Chicago, Hong Kong, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Juan, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Tuscany).
Sip on Chi-Dog Juice featuring sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard, mimicking the famous Chicago hot dog of Chef Garces’ hometown; taste the zest of New Orleans with ‘Dat Eye Opener, with strong creole seasoning, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce; close your eyes and go to Hong Kong with the Bloody Pearl which includes Chinese black vinegar, Chinese hot sauce and ground caraway seeds; or float away to a tropical destination with San Juan’s Puerto Maria, a blend of Spanish onions, green bell peppers, cilantro and aijes dulces.
Downtown LA Hotels / LA Hotels / Hotel Hype / Virgin Hotels / King and Grove Hotels / Ace Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
It's been a longtime coming but it looks like Downtown Los Angeles is about to get the hotel renaissance it so desperately needs. With the exception of the awful tragedy last month, the chatter about the downtown LA hotel scene has us tremendously excited. Here are updates on the hotels we look forward to seeing:
ACE HOTEL DOWNTOWN LA: So far things are still very much a go for the Ace Hotel and its website promises a 2013 opening. Yay! We can't wait to see what they do with the landmarked United Artists building, a former movie theater built in 1927. We're guessing the vibe will be film noir heavy but don't forget, this Ace will also have a pool.
Hotel Renovations / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Washington D.C. Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel just announced they’ve completed a redesign of all 807(!) guest rooms and suites to the tune of $30M. Wow -- talk about investing in the economy. Good on ‘em.
The hotel is located across from Mt. Vernon Square and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, close to DC’s Chinatown and Penn Quarter districts.
The rooms, designed by Dash Design in New York, are meant to complement the hotel’s recent lobby redo and are done in khakis and cocoa-browns with splashes of reinterpreted denim blues and reds. Each room is accented with clean and modern furniture. The leather lounge and desk chairs are inspired by twentieth-century modernism. LED reading pin lights are mounted on headboards with easy to reach plugs for guests to plug in their own mobile devices.
Meanwhile, in October, a second Renaissance opened in Barcelona, the 357-room Renaissance Barcelona Fira, with a great deal more pizazz.
Why do we use the word pizazz? Because of an extremely original design by French architect Jean Nouvel. The hotel's two towers are connected by a lush, 27-story vertical garden, filled with over 300 palm trees, running up the center of the building. Now, there are 'green hotels,' and then there's this. We like!
Airport Hotels / Hotel Openings / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Canada Hotels / Alberta Hotels / → All Tags
Edmonton’s set to get its first Renaissance Hotel this summer (the first in Alberta, as it turns out). The new 213-room hotel will open at the recently-expanded Edmonton International Airport. As the only hotel attached to the airport terminal, this is good news for those of you who find a bed more comfortable than your airport chair.
The hotel was originally scheduled to be a Courtyard by Marriot property before that was kyboshed and it was decided to make the property the more boutique-like upscale Renaissance. The owners felt that the new airport terminal was so modern that the Renaissance was a better fit with the airport re-do.
Hotel News / Hotel Shakedowns / Marriott Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Lawsuits / Renaissance Hotels / → All Tags
About a month ago, we reported that Marriott was suing the pants off Eden Roc for attempting to kick Marriott out during an "egregious raid in the pre-dawn hours"—something that sounds good on paper, or maybe in a Nicholas Cage movie, but isn't actually that practical in real life.
Well, now, after Marriott took the Eden Roc owners to court, a judge has decreed that Marriott is still the legal manager of the hotel, and cannot be removed by any underhanded sneak tactics. Well, those weren't the judge's words per se, but you get the gist.
Interestingly, the judge, New York State Supreme Court Justice Melvin L. Schweitzer—we'll just call him Melve—made it known that he actually took a personal interest in the case, having spent some time at the Eden Roc himself. In an aside, Melve mentioned he was "a fan of Eden Roc from years back when I passed over Fontainebleau and went next door." But both Marriott and Eden Roc were too busy making nana-poo-poo faces at each other to acknowledge the compliment.
BusinessWeek reports that some shady business went down in Miami Beach the other week. Well, in addition to whatever other shady business goes down there regularly. But, in this case, the perpetrator was Eden Roc, who attempted to pull off a Waikiki-style shakedown, launching an "egregious raid in the pre-dawn hours" on October 14.
Though the shakedown wasn't successful, it got the message across to Marriott, who's now seeking help from the court to prevent Eden Roc from trying again.
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We feel we should preface this post with a big 'but...'
Yes, it's true that Beyonce will be the official act for the Super Bowl halftime show this February. Yes, it will probably be a better show than whatever weird Egyptian thing Madonna did last year. And yes, even you, who's left planning 'til the very last minute, can find a way to see Beyonce perform and have a place to stay.
But (we told you it was coming!) don't expect to find a hotel in New Orleans proper, as, from what we can tell, they're all pretty much sold out. A quick look online shows that not only are our usual NOLA faves fully booked, even the crumby ones on the outskirts of town are unavailable too.
So, what's a Beyonce fan to do?
Airport hotels get a pretty bad rap. Sure, there are the greasy, grimy ones, but we like to think that for every one of those, there's a perfectly clean business-friendly oneor, even better, an airport hotel with the luxury of an airport view. All this week we'll be taking a look at a few of our favorite hotels for plane spotting.
Today: Renaissanceat London-Heathrow Airport.
Full disclosure: Though we haven't yet stayed at the Renaissance, our usual choice of the Sofitel has just been switched thanks to an ad in Airliner World magazine, where the Renaissance advertised a Plane Spotter Package. That's right; they know exactly who'll pay good money to hang out at the airport and not be traveling anywhere. This is why they absolutely deserve a nod in our plane spotting series.
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.