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So says his Twitter stream.
Even if no one cares whether or not "Real Househusband" Simon Van Kempen works at the Hotel Chandler, we're still committed to finding some evidence that he really does work at the hotel and that it's not a Tori Spelling sort of sham.
The online evidence is slim but it's there. In fact, Simon even tweeted about "work" today saying:
Heading off to work where #Realhousewives is banished for the day while the real work happens.
We're hoping work is his work as General Manager at the hotel but it could always mean work on his book promotion or his house renovation out in Brooklyn. Yet we still have reason to believe he is on-property some days. Prior to this, his last Tweet about the hotel was done on February 9 in which he wrote:
it's barely snowing yet 2mrw we'll wake up 2 Snowmageddon. School's off & Francois wants me 2 stay home but 120 occ rooms in the hotel await
Real Housewives Hotels / Celebrity Scoop / Simon Van Kempen / Manhattan Hotels / Reality TV Hotels / → All Tags
He's on Real Housewives of NYC, he's on Twitter, he has a new book coming out about kids in the city that he co-wrote with his wife but is Simon Van Kempen still working at Hotel Chandler? You know the Murray Hill hotel which people once thought he was the owner of but really, he was just the general manager?
All signs point to no. Simon seems way to busy now with RHNYC and other activities to deal with any day-to-day hotel job.
And in his bio on his notorious website, the text mysteriously cuts off just after he gabs about his Australia hotel career. Of course, maybe we shouldn't read too much into that. On his Facebook page, not only is it his birthday today but his "Info" page says he's still the General Manager of the Chandler. Maybe at a small property like the Chandler it's possible to be both a GM and reality TV star. Who knows?
Oh, goodness: an ambitious newspaper reporter has finally done it. The Chicago Sun-Times has gone into The Hotel Chandler, the hotel managed by Real Housewives of New York City's real hubby Simon van Kempen, and they've lived to tell the tale.
The hotel has received curiously little press coverage and, frankly, we don't know too much about the place but the Sun-Times went where we were scared to: inside, on a guided tour with Simon himself, who says, "we have had guests who've refused to check out until they get my autograph or photograph. It doesn't happen every day, but it happens." Interesting.
The purpose of the article, we assume, was to shed a bit of light on the hotel itself and, um, settle once and for all what exactly goes on during Simon's fabled day job.
I remember at the time hoping that as it was so noisy that the microphones might have missed that line but alas the editors subtitle it for all to see. While I corrected that error later when speaking to Bruno it's now been broadcast across the land. I've worked with the owners of Hotel Chandler for going on 10 years first in a consultancy capacity and then in 2001 as the hotel's General Manager.
So it's Bring-Your-Own-Stripper, huh? I wonder if I can request a "bellboy."
· Disappointed Criss Angel Reviews Return!: This time TerryBerry tells us how the show is a waste of money.
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Tee-hee. Last week, after watching yet another riveting episode of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City, we were forced to do a bit of detective work to find out exactly what was going on with the ownership of the Hotel Chandler in NYC. See, despite what he may have implied on the show, the hotel did not, in fact, belong to real hubby Simon van Kempen rather, he was simply the GM of the property.
But! This week, we found out that he does seem to oversee the marketing for the hotel. A very astute tipster wrote in to call our attention to this:
I was scouting aroung the pages of the Hotel Chandler today, and Simon is so cheap that if you go to the photo gallery on the hotel's web page, the bottom right photo is of his wife and one of his sons in their robes!!!!! - either too cheap to pay for a model or paid her over the top for her services.
Yup, that's Real Housewife Alex Mccord, all right. We're not sure how we feel about this but at least she's not naked, right?
Apparently, after Tuesday night's episode of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City" aired, some people have been claiming that Alex's hubby Simon van Kempen whom we know as the General Manager of the Hotel Chandler in NYC allowed himself to be introduced by someone as the owner of the Chandler. Knowing a thing or two about, um, the vast differences between owning and operating a hotel, we raised an eyebrow...and then we went digging.
Turns out: yeah, no. Simon does not, as we suspected, own the Hotel Chandler. He is the General Manager (and has been for quite some time), but the hotel belongs to a company called Triumph Hospitality (unless, that is, Triumph has not updated its website to reflect their latest portfolio in a long, long time). Triumph, spearheaded by a hotelier named Shimmie Horn, also owns the Iroquois New York, the Washington Jefferson Hotel and the Hotel Belleclaire.
The Chandler opened its doors in 2001 under the name Le Marquis; but in 2004, the hotel changed its name "following the amicable resolution of a dispute with another party."
Got any more info on the curiously secretive behind-the-scenes hierarchy at the Hotel Chandler? Let us know.
There's tons of 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.
· Remember Simon Van Kempen?: He's one of the "Real Housewives of NYC's" hubby who also is the general manager of the Hotel Chandler in Murray Hill. On his family's website he has begun addressing his career as a hotel manager and offered this advice to anyone how wants to work in the biz:
Since season 1 started airing I’ve received many emails from students considering embarking on a similar career path and I can say that it’s an industry that through hard work, a commitment to guest service and the ability to continually juggle different demands can be tremendously rewarding. One of the best things I learned through my own experience is that you can only learn so much in a college environment and there really is no substitute for on the job learning.
After listing some of his hotel experience (mostly F&B and then accounting) he goes on to talk about his favorite menswear designers. Although we are wondering who put him in that brown leather jacket. Blech.
In other news:
· Top Model Auditions Will Go On: Despite the stampeded that erupted outside the Park Central Hotel on Saturday, auditions for "America's Next Top Model" will still go on, says Tyra Banks. [NY Times]
· Spend a Night in Ice, Win a Ticket to Space: The Ice Hotel in Sweden is now selling tickets for Virgin Galactic's space trips. Those should start in 2012 and the tickets cost $200,000. No joke. [AP News]
· W Fort Lauderdale Close to Opening: The opening date is now set for April 2nd. [Sun-Sentinel]
· La Lohan Loca is Back!: Hotels, guard your suites and now, apparently your walls. Lindsay Lohan's driver crashed into a wall outside the valet at the long-suffering Mondrian Hotel. [E! News]
Hotel Reality Shows / TV Set Hotels / Hotel News / Tori Spelling / Jenny McCarthy / Welcome to the Parker / Simon Van Kempen / → All Tags
The just-ended first (and final, we hope) season of The Real Housewives of New York City was the latest reality TV show to feature a hotelier and/or a behind-the-scenes look at a hotel.
But if you look at some of the other reality shows about hotels and how they work or who's running them you will see a not-so-startling pattern: reality shows featuring hoteliers and hotels suck.
That may be a harsh statement but let us now present the evidence: Casino, Party @ the Palms With Jenny McCarthy, Inn Love, Welcome to the Parker and Real Housewives of New York City.
Keep on reading for more of the hard evidence.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel News / Simon Van Kempen / Viva Vegas / Hotel Indigo / Hotel WiFi / → All Tags
· Everyone's favorite househubby/hotelier Simon Van Kempen and his wife Alex McCord have a family website. At first we thought this wasn't real but we actually think it's legit now. Poorly designed but legit nonetheless. Here a bio Simon wrote for himself. Note to users: Skip the bios of their young sons. You will feel guilty for having even clicked on those pages.
· The old Adams Mark hotel in Denver officially changes into a Sheraton.
· The Luxor showed some promise earlier this year of actually being a cool place to stay with the LAX nightclub, the CatHouse bordello lounge and the Company restaurant with actual Top Chefs in the kitchen. However, Eater LA reports the chefs at Company have all left. CatHouse also shut down in February for structural damage. Yikes.
· Hotel Indigo expands the brand with a location in Wilmington, No. Carolina which will also be the official accommodations for the nearby convention center. But it will still retain its boutique-y feel with only 160 rooms.
A 79-woman is suing the hotel for negligence to the tune of $79 million after a too-hot shower caused her to faint. The Houston Chronicle reports:
Ethel Tropez, a Hurricane Katrina refugee from New Orleans who lives in Live Oak, Texas, says in court papers she was badly burned and suffered scarring and disfigurement in the mishap on March 29, 2007, in the Hotel Chandler. The hotel, where deluxe rooms go for up to $510 a night, is on East 31st Street near Fifth Avenue, three blocks south of the Empire State Building.
When the paper interview Van Kempen, he said "no idea about any of this." His response is still being awaited.
Apparently, someone at Bravo decided that the "Real Housewives of Orange County" was such a good show that they should do the same thing for Manhattan.
In theory, this should be a better show. Manhattanites dress better. They go to better parties and they fight for spots at prestigious pre-schools before their spawn is even born.
But yet, we couldn't even bring ourselves to watch this spin-off despite having seen a preview. Really, any show with "Housewives" in it from now on should be banned.
Gawker has a nice summary of the show so you shouldn't have to watch it but since one of the househubbies is Simon Van Kempen, who "runs"/is the general manager at the Hotel Chandler on E.31st, a rather unknown, so-so hotel in Murray Hill, we might be forced to watch it now.
Yet before we do, we wanted to know more about the Simon and the Hotel Chandler and thought you might want to too.
· His Housewife: Alex McCord, a former actress from Kansas who now works as a visual merchandiser.
· Official Website:: Eh.
· Studscore: Daily News only gave the Aussie a 4 out of 10.
· Hotel's Secret Past: Ok it's not so secret. But it was once the Hotel Le Marquis.
· Rude Manager?: The TripAdvisor reviews are pretty solid although one said, "The Manager could not have been any ruder."
· Opera Lover: Simon Van Kempen says belonging to the Metropolitan Opera will help the couple move up in NYC Society. Totally unrelated question: Any one know how much money a GM at this sort of hotel would make?
· A Favorite?: The NY Mag (and a few other places) think Simon is their favorite character. Some reasons why: He's an Aussie but named his children François and Johan and force them to speak French. He says to Alex, "I can see you at the Met in that!" when she tries on a leopard-print Cavalli dress. And he throws lavish compliments at his wife for her beauty.