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That Prince de Galles, Starwood’s Luxury Collection entry in the Parisian palace bracket, was going full Art Deco in its design to pay homage to its 1920s roots, we knew from our preview earlier this year.
Back then, the finishing touches were still being done, so we wandered down ultra-chic Avenue George V during a recent stop in Paris to check out the final result. If the Twenties are your era and Art Deco is your style, Prince de Galles should be high on your list of places to stay in the city. From the ever so stylish black-and-white prints that line the walls and luscious black marble floor in the lobby to the moodily-lit bar and mosaic-tiled courtyard, Twenties glamour is what it’s all about.
Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Renovations / London Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
When we talked about the impending closure – and auction of contents – of The Lanesborough, we mentioned that the closest option for those wanting to stay within the Starwood family while in London was the Park Tower in Knighstbridge, a few minutes’ walk west towards the department stores of Harvey Nichols and Harrods.
Turns out, just as the Lanesborough is going in for its makeover, the Park Tower has finished its own. Part of the group’s Luxury Collection, the hotel finished a redo of its public spaces this summer, with a new lobby, lounge, and bar.
We've said our piece about how impressed we are with Denver's up-and-coming hotel scene (seriously, we think we've done more stories on the Mile High City in the past few months than we ever have), so we'll get right to the new juicy deets on two new Starwood properties: The opening of a Westin at DIA Airport in 2015 and an Aloft downtown in July of 2014.
Westin DIA: Once the train is complete that will connect DIA with downtown, a Hotel and Transit Center (shown above) is on track to open that will house entertainment and restaurant options as well as lodging. Thus far, the only announcement has been a 519-room Westin. Details of the hotel are scarce at this point, other than that it will open in 2015 and include "nearly 26,000 square feet of meeting and conference space as well as restaurants, a health club and swimming pool and a parking garage." There's also no word yet on whether there will be other hotels on-site, but we'll keep you posted.
So we were all sorts of excited when W Hotels announced it would be opening its first Italian hotel in Milano, but had not even a hint of an image to go with it. Now we do, if only of the exterior of the five-story structure on Via Brera, in the middle of the city’s artsy and nightlife quarter.
To get the worst news out of the way: that 2013 opening that floated around at the time did not quite work out – obviously – and if you’re eager to check in, pace yourself. It’ll be another two and a half years until April 1, 2016 (no April Fool’s joke, we hope) before that will be possible.
Actors Navid Negahban who plays terrorist Abu Nazir, and Nazanin Boniadi, who plays CIA analyst Fara Sherazi, were joined by former CIA Directorate of Operations Jack Devine, and journalist and former government official John Miller (hunky Damian Lewis, alas, was not present). Together they discuss the television series as well as -- amongst other things -- issues of national security, interviewing Osama bin Laden (Miller in 1998), representations of strong female Muslim characters on television and plotholes.
"There's no cell phones allowed in CIA buildings," Miller pointed out. "However, I've learned that every time I see something on the show and say that would never happen, I read about it in the New York Times six months later." Yikes!
Guests staying on the Club Floors were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and mingle afterwards during the Sheraton Social Hour while sipping on Sheraton Selects wines.
Starwood Hotels / Hotel Apps / Hotel News / Starwood Preferred Guest / Loyalty Program News / → All Tags
The new app, which was built from scratch to run on the iOS 7, was created in response to a massive increase in mobile traffic for Starwood, and launched simultaneously in Chinese.
The company has optimized more than 50,000 images of their properties for iPad retina display, with the result that scrolling through the app is just like flipping through your favorite glossy travel magazine, except that you can make a reservation without leaving the app -- and with just one click, if you've preloaded your information.
New York Hotels / Queens Hotels / New Hotels / Dual Hotels / Elelment Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Hotel Development / → All Tags
While we had already been told that the eco-conscious brand was making its way into Flushing, Queens, of all unexpected places, we were pretty floored to hear today that the new property will be a dual-hotel development alongside Starwood stablemate Four Points by Sheraton.
There's nothing new about the fact that a AAA membership gets you 20% off participating Starwood properties, but if you're anything like us, you typically a) don't really want to stay at whatever hotel happens to be "participating" or b) completely forget that you're a member of AAA when planning your travel.
Well, with the leaf-peeping season and the holidays on the way, it's Starwood and HotelChatter to the rescue. We've just reminded you that Starwood has extended the AAA discounts to its stylish yet affordable Four Points, Element, and Aloft hotels, most of which are found along major highways and near major airports. Thankfully, they look nothing like the "roadside" hotels of yesteryear.
Starwood has even created a map that highlights popular road trip routes in the States. A few of them would be great options for leaf peepers, such as the east coast down through Virginia and the Carolinas or the Great River Road through the Midwest. For more realistic purposes, it has a locator to help you find hotels along the highway for when you hit the road to visit family for the holidays.
Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / Rome Hotels / Dorchester Collection / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Here’s an interesting titbit we picked up last week: the Dorchester Collection is trying to make a move on the Eternal City, having entered into discussions to acquire the Hotel Eden in Rome, currently branded under Starwood’s Le Méridien flag.
It would be the second Italian property for the group, joining the Principe di Savoia in Milan. The deal isn’t signed, sealed, delivered quite yet; the official line is that it is “currently in discussions with Starman, owner of the Hotel Eden in Rome, concerning the purchase of the hotel” with “an official statement [to follow] once the transaction is completed”. Given that the Sultan of Brunei is behind the Dorchester Collection and that the company is hoping to have 15 hotels in their portfolio by 2015 (currently they have 9), we’re sure they can work out something on the financial side.
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
HotelChatter Flashback / Denizen Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Lawsuits / → All Tags
It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!
What we didn't know then is that the story of Denizen would end, not with a glamorous hotel opening in an urban market somewhere, but rather in federal court with Hilton being forced to pay Starwood Hotels $75 million for stealing ideas from their rival hotel company, largely through Hilton's hiring of Ross Klein, the so-called godfather of Starwood's W Hotels. Hilton also had to agree to "certain business restrictions" as well as agree not to buy or franchise any Starwood Lifestyle Brand hotel that Starwood operates nor hire anyone from Starwood for two years.
But guess what? The two years are up! And we've heard whispers that Denizen is being resurrected, although with a completely different name and look. Even though we hated Denizen when it was first introduced we can't wait to see what the new incarnation will look like.
Hotel Happenings / Hotel Music / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / New York Hotels / Hotel Packages / Hotel Cocktails / Downtown Manhatten Hotels / Downtown New York Hotels / → All Tags
NYC’s W Hotels are immersed in their own version of gangland warfare with their new musical soundclash, “W Gangs of New York.”
This curated music series, inspired by the cult classic film, The Warriors, explores the progression of how New York music has evolved, and invites some of the city’s finest record labels to compete against each other by defending their respective musical turf to determine who is the ultimate (musical) Gang of New York.
“We’ve found that different genres of music, as well as various fashions and attitudes, unite people and challenge the classic idea of neighborhood gangs,” said Michaelangelo L’Acqua, W Hotels Global Music Director (BTW, how cool would that job be?). “ ‘W Gangs of NY’ will create new cultural turf to defend, grouped by musical style rather than zip code and using performance as the communicator to protect reputation.”
Each gang of DJs and live music acts will be wearing limited-edition jackets designed by 2013 CFDA Swarovski Menswear Award winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne in order to show their colors to the crowds.
Here’s the fierce upcoming line-up so far: