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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!
· DEBUT HOTEL GROUP TO MANAGE LIVE AQUA HOTELS IN THE US: This brief is a bit of a doozy but here's what's happening--Grupo Posadas, Mexico’s largest hotel operator, is bringing its premier luxury boutique hotel brand, Live Aqua, to major U.S. cities, courtesy of benefactor/private equity group, Bighorn Capital, Inc. Debut Hotel Group, a Hampshire Hotels Management company, who are in charge of the Dream, Night and Time Hotel brands, will manage the Live Aqua U.S. hotels which are expected to "debut" in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Washington, D.C. Interestingly, Chicago will be the first U.S. city to get a Live Aqua in 2017. Keep reading as the next brief is connected to this one.
· DREAM HOTELS TO OPEN IN CHICAGO: The Live Aqua hotel mentioned above will open in an 82-story high-rise in the West Loop area, which will actually be dual-developed as a Live Aqua and Dream Hotel. Yes, Dream Chicago is now happening. However, do not confuse this building with the other Mexican hospitality group Grupo Habita who are opening a hotel in Wicker Park, nor should you confuse it with the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. Meanwhile, a Time Hotel is expected to open in Nyack, NY. We'll have more on that later this week.
· INTRODUCING THE HOUSE COLLECTIVE: Forget luxury homes, when you can stay in luxury "Houses" from Swire Hotels. The Opposite House in Beijing, The Upper House in Hong Kong and the just-opened Temple House in Chengdu have always been united but now they've been consciously branded as The House Collective with a new website to boot.
More news briefs below!
When we heard about Swire Hotels expanding its House Collective to include The Temple House Chengdu, we said we really wanted a House to open nearer to home. The closest we will get so far is East Miami, which we just peeked into, but if our travels take us to China again, Chengdu will have to be on our itinerary: The Temple House should open next month.
That’s two years after we saw that first rendering of the hotel that includes 100 hotel rooms and 42 serviced residences, part of a conservation project surrounding the thousand-year-old Daci Temple. There is a new website up and running now, which includes only a few full images, like the above impression of the guestrooms.
They start with Studio 60, which kick in at a very large 60+ sq m / nearly 700 sq ft, and run up in various steps to Courtyard Suites and a Penthouse. We like the design – it feels very House-like, but with the addition of darker wood in comparison to Upper House (Hong Kong) and Opposite House (Beijing). It’s not quite as masculine as Rosewood Beijing, which we’ve said more than once we love, but very stylish. What we’re really onboard with, though, is the bathroom – check it out below.
A year ago, we learned the excellent news that Swire Hotels' East Hotels brand would be opening in Miami. Today, we've now got a look at what the hotel will look like thanks to the South Florida Business Journal.
The 263-room hotel will open in Fall 2015 in the Brickell City Centre Project, a mixed-used development in Miami's Brickell neighborhood. Designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, (who are also doing the Hyde Hotel in Midtown Miami), the East Miami will have two restaurants, a poolside bar and lounge, a rooftop bar, fitness center, and a banquet hall along with 89 serviced apartments known as East Residences.
Sadly, there aren't any room photos but if the hotel looks anything like the East Hotel in Hong Kong, we'll be very happy.
[Rendering via SoFla Biz Journal]
Two of our favorite hotels in China, The Upper House in Hong Kong and The Opposite House in Beijing, are getting a sibling late next year, with parent group Swire Hotels announcing The Temple House Chengdu. Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan province, situated pretty much in the middle of China, and one of the most important economic centers of the country.
Scheduled to open towards the end of 2014, the hotel will have 100 rooms and 42 serviced apartments, forming part of a conservation project surrounding the thousand-year-old Daci Temple in the heart of the city. The hotel itself will mix the old and the new, with the entrance in a restored Chinese courtyard building from the Qing Dynasty, and combining traditional Chengdu architectural elements.
Yesterday we heard the news that Marriott would be importing its European-based AC Hotels by Marriott brand into the U.S. Today, we've got news of another popular international brand now making its way stateside--East Hotels.
East is actually a very small brand within theSwire Hotels portfolio with just two properties--one in Hong Kong, the other in Beijing. We didn't even know the U.S. was an option for future East Hotels but we're glad it's starting.
According to the Miami Herald, the 236-room East, Miami will open inside the mixed-use at Brickell CityCentre complex at South 8th Street and Brickell Avenue. (The property is being developed by Swire Properties, so it makes sense that a Swire Hotels affiliate would operate the hotel portion.) The East, Miami will also have 89 serviced apartments, two restaurants, meeting space and a rooftop bar. And don't forget, free WiFi.
It's hard to believe it, but one of the hotels we named in our "Favorite Hotel Beds Ever" list only had one location...up until this week. That's rightthe EAST Hotel in Hong Kong now has a sister property in Beijing, China.
The 369 guest rooms (including 23 suites with executive lounge access) of the EAST Beijingdebut with a special opening rate starting from 798 RMB ($126) per night, through December 31. This includes a location as the only hotel within the massive Indigo development in the Chaoyang area (a 15-min drive to the Central Business District), an iPod Touch and iHome in each room, Elemis amenities and free and fast WiFi throughout the entire hotel.
What is This / Hotel Bathtubs / Beijing Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Swire Hotels / Design Hotels / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
If you're looking for a luxury boutique stay in Beijing, look no further than the Opposite House in the city's Chaoyang District and which is also attached to the upscale shopping mall, Sanlitun Village. (Remember when the Apple store in Beijing got bombarded before the new iPhone release? Yeah, that's right near the Opposite House.)
But once you get inside one of the cool and modern guestrooms designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, you might find yourself asking what is this white boxy thing in the bathroom?
We love luxury hotels but we can't always afford to stay in them. Thankfully, hotels these days are way more than just rooms for paying hotel guests. Between visiting the lobbies, bars, restaurants, and spas inside these upper echelon hotels, it's practically as good as staying the night. Here's our latest installment of how to quench your champagne tastes on a Coca-Cola budget with a Hotel Day Trip.
You don't have to be a paying hotel guest to enjoy the swank luxury of The Upper House in Hong Kong which sits atop the J.W. Marriott at Pacific Place (There's no connection between the two hotels, just FYI.)
Here's how you can fake it and enjoy some of the best public hotel spaces Hong Kong has to offer while saving yourself about $515 a night:
1. Lay Out on The Lawn: Up on Level 6 (just after you ride escalators up to the elevator bank), there's a rooftop lounge with real grass, a rarity for Hong Kong. Here you can order coffee or cocktails, read the paper, flip through a magazine or check your email using the hotel's free WiFi. No room key necessary!
Is the WiFi free? Does the gym have good machines? All these things get noticed when checking into a hotel, but what about the atmosphere of the placespecifically the art on the walls or on the floor? We're highlighting properties around the world that do their artwork right, and the specific pieces you should stare long and hard at when next you drop by.
Today: The East Hotel Hong Kong's dinosaurs by Sui Jianguo.
His teeth are bared, glistening and his foot, a menacing step forward. That's about as threatening as the dinosaur sculptures of the East Hotel get, however, considering that they're about 3-foot tall, plastic and in pop-bright colors like cotton candy pink. They stake out the corners of the hotel's top suites, a lighthearted feature in a room full of modern tech updates and clean design.
The artist, Jianguo, is extremely famous in China with the dinosaur series among his most recognized works. The focusif you look closer and spot the proud "Made in China" on the dinosaur's bellyis on the consumer culture and industrial strength that flipped China into the world power it is today.
The Chinese New Year is on Thursday, and if you're heading to China for it, you know that like nothing will be operating properly and everyone will be celebrating. In other words, it's the perfect time for a little treat in the form of a couple nights away. For the next couple days, we'll be looking at some last-minute hotel for Chinese New Year:
Although they're all booked up for Friday night, the New Year itself and the weekend is still open at Beijing's Opposite House, starting from $300 per night. As with their sister hotel in Hong Kongthe Upper Housethe Opposite House includes free WiFi, goodies in the minibar, and use of the room's tech goodies.
We stayed here for two nights on our most recent visit to Hong Kong, and frankly had no idea what to expect from this hotel, a sister of the far fancier Upper House, but branded a "business hotel" and situated further away from Central Hong Kong. If by business hotel they mean an under-the-radar hotel for totally modern, design- and tech-conscious businesspeople, then yes, it is a business hotel. Now let's go deeper inside...
WIth a hotel like the East, one of the newer additions to the Hong Kong hotel scene, you've just got to set yourself apart. Thus, they've adopted the tagline "A business hotel with a life." While it's true that the East, where we stayed for two nights, is ideal for the business traveler so long as they don't mind being 20 minutes from Central (but easily reachable on the subway), the hotel is also one we'd hugely recommend to those who appreciate modern technology and good design, because this hotel is bringing it in spades. Not to mention that it's a sister hotel of our recent crush, The Upper House.
For another thing, there's the doors to each guestroom. Where's the doorknob? There is none. Instead, your room key card is embedded with a chip that unlocks your door after touching it to the orange pad, just above the doorbell and below your room number. Then slightly apply pressure to the circle that sits where the doorknob would be, and you're in.