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There are 141 rooms, all looking swish enough – a bit more stylish than your average business hotel, but nothing outrageous. There’s a dark, rich palette with parquet floors and lots of wood; some suites and junior suites have balconies overlooking the cityscape, too.
That goal is another step closer with the addition of The Park Lane Hong Kong, the first hotel that isn’t called just “Pullman” (officially, it’s The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman hotel). The 826-room hotel is number 91 for the brand, with a full renovation being completed to bring the hotel up to date. A few more interesting stats? It’s the 600th hotel in Asia Pacific for Accor, with an average of one Accor hotel opening per week in the region at the moment. Holy cow, that’s a lot of hotels.
While the announcement talks about this “full renovation program”, it mentions specifically the Park Lane and Premier Suites, executive floors, dining outlets, lobby, and executive lounge. Images on the current website vary between and within room types, with above a Deluxe Room with that looks slightly more modern (hardwood floors, light wood) than some others. We'll wait until it's joined Pullman officially (that happens on January 1) to form an opinion on them.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / The Hague Hotels / Netherlands Hotels / Holland Hotels / Novotel Hotels / Accor Hotels / → All Tags
Hotels in shopping malls - they're catching on. First the Intercontinental Chengdu Global Center in Chengdu's New Century Global Center. Then Manchester's forthcoming Corn Exchange hotel. And now the trend has spread to the Netherlands (you know it's a trend when it hits the Netherlands), with the opening of Novotel Den Haag City Centre.
The hotel forms part of the fancy new Nieuwe Haagse Passage mall in The Hague, which opened in September with 10,500 square meters of shops, itself connecting two major shopping thoroughfares in the city: Grote Marktstraat and Spuistraat.
The Novotel - or SuiteNovotel to be precise (it's an all-suite property) - is gunning for long-stay guests with offers of "flexible furnishings", but there's plenty to offer the short-term traveler: 106 suites, all of them large (looks-wise, it's 'business competent', if not especially sexy); a bar and restaurant; a fitness center and free bike use; and, apparently, free massages (though it's not clear how you earn these).
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While we wait for Mama Shelter to open in Los Angeles (more on that in a second), some major news came out about the future of the funky brand last week: Accor Hotels, the French mega hotel group, has acquired a roughly 35% stake and is planning on making Mama much bigger.
Mama’s current five locations (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Istanbul, and Bordeaux) will be joined by another twenty over the next five years. That’s a lot of groovy and affordable hotels to welcome, and the destination list looks very good: New York, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Seoul, Mexico City, Zurich, Lille, Paris round two, and of course, Los Angeles.
Little word so far on specific locations in each of those cities, but we will keep our ear to the ground. First addition will likely be Los Angeles, which we’ll have to be patient for until February 2015 unfortunately. Go here for our snaps of the Wilcox Avenue building in Hollywood from back in August.
Millennial Hotels / Ibis Styles Hotels / Ibis Hotels / Accor Hotels / Edinburgh Hotels / Brussels Hotels / Liverpool Hotels / → All Tags
Ibis Styles Liverpool
As hotel group after hotel group rushes to create new brands that will appeal to millennials, with what feels like new launches bragging about social media-friendly spaces every week, one brand has been quietly reinventing itself. There’s been no real fanfare around it – no extravagant boasts, no flagrant appeals to the self-obsessed generation – just a focus on stylish, unchainlike rooms, low prices and free WiFi. The name of that chain? Ibis Styles.
Not too long ago, Ibis was a byword for budget – in a bad way. Ibis rooms were dark, boring, fusty. They weren’t hotels you planned to stay in, they were hotels you ended up in when you couldn’t find or afford better. (I say this with the hindsight of adulthood – when I was a child, going on holiday to France and staying in an Ibis – or Eebis, as they called it – seemed like the most exciting thing in the world.)
But Ibis Styles are different from proper Ibises (Ibes?) – they have style and verve. Even better, they’re different from each other, too, and relate to the cities they're located in. There’s nothing in the design that screams Ibis, and, speaking (just) as a millennial, that is what we like.
Ibis Styles Brussels
My Ibis Styles revelation came this summer, when I was walking down Avenue Louise in Brussels and noticed two giant smiley faces staring out at me from a nearby window – it was the lobby of the Ibis Styles Brussels Louise, whose chic, startling white rooms start at just €71. Then I read about Ibis Styles Liverpool (from just £71) and was sold.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Phuket Hotels / Beach Hotels / Accor Hotels / Novotels / Novotel Hotels / → All Tags
One can never have too many hotels on Phuket, and for Accor, nine just isn’t enough. Hence the arrival of Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, which opened three days ago on Karon Beach (not exactly an exclusive location, but good if you want the feel of a resort).
The fourth Novotel on Phuket, it’s newly built with 224 rooms, which look rather nice, if not groundbreakingly original. There are three restaurants, two bars, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool (this rendering on the Facebook page looks nice, though we’re a little suspicious there’s no photo on the website yet).
There’s even a “video games area” (shudder) and a kids club.
Located in the capital city, Nay Pyi Taw, the newly built hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden overlooking a tranquil lake. Guests are greeted at the hotel entrance by three imposing bells, reminiscent of the Great Bell of Mingun (thought to be the second largest bell in the world) and the inspiration behind the hotel's logo and theme. The giant bell is also home to one of the hotel's three restaurants featuring regional cuisine, from local Myanmar to its neighboring dishes.
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Shoreditch may seem to be the destination of choice for hoteliers at the moment, but there are other parts of London that are ripe for an accommodation invasion – like Greenwich, for example, where Accor has just announced a forthcoming Ibis Styles property.
Ibis Styles, of course, are trendy Ibises – millennial-focused, one might even say, with the budget roomrates you’d expect from an ibis proper, but with a focus on swish, boutique-style interiors. And Greenwich – or, the Greenwich Peninsula, to be precise, is in the midst of a vast regeneration project, with £5b ($8b) investment being pummeled into the area, overseen by the Mayor of London. It’s where the O2 (Millennium Dome) events arena is based, and is well connected to central London, despite being out in the sticks. It’s also an easy 10-minute journey from London City Airport.
Pop quiz: what does London need more of? Sometimes it seems the only answer is: more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms. Today we’re back at Leicester Square, where a new mixed-use complex is likely to go up at its southern end, and Accor Hotels is now throwing another 600+ rooms in the mix by 2017.
Right on the square will be the return of its MGallery brand (gone since the St. Ermin Hotel went Autograph Collection) in Victory House (above). We don’t know much more than that it will have just 80 rooms, that it will open at the end of 2016, and that unless you camp out among the crowds on the square, you couldn’t get any closer to the city’s tourist action.
Much larger will be the Ibis Styles, with 583 rooms in the Trocadero complex, midway between Leicester Square and the famous neon of Piccadilly Circus. Opening in 2017, it will have “a distinctly ‘London’ personality reflecting the colourful, bright and energetic brand persona of the ibis Styles brand, with a hint of humour perfectly matching the electric eccentricity of the Trocadero”.
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It’s a Novotel, but not as you know it. Because this Novotel is wrapped around the ancient city walls.
It’s the Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire, and is built around the Tour Noire – or Black Tower – which was built in the 13th century behind the St Catherine church as part of the original city walls. We’re looking at it here from outside the old walls.
Here's the front entrance:
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As you know, we like a good cocktail over here at HotelChatter so we’re always on the lookout for the best bevvie to order when we’re hoteling on the road.
Located right in the heart of things, Mama Shelter Bordeaux’s bar is one huge space resembling the basement rec room in your parent’s house when you were growing up but with more technology lying about. Wooden tables and chairs, wooden posts with screens attached to some of them to show off your digital pics, and a long wooden bar the size of Baja California, take up most of the space. The boho crowd is young-ish and, like the bartenders, ready to have fun. There’s a DJ on hand every Friday and Saturday night.
We had the Mama Tai for €14 ($18), which included rum, Cointreau, lime juice, sirop d’orgeat, and had a luscious black cherry garnish. Now, you can sip on that cocktail in the newly-opened rooftop bar/restaurant.
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The 83-room contemporary chic Hotel Burdigala is found in Bordeaux’s Mériadeck district. About a block from the tram and across the street from a well-disguised mall, the hotel is apart from the action but close enough to it.
Part of Accor's MGallery collection, this hotel is billed as a five-star, but we would place it more at a solid four-star rating. This is not meant to deter you, though, as the hotel certainly has style and is at a budget-conscious price point.
Have a look at the pics in the gallery!