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Back in December, Cambria Suites broke ground on its first two Manhattan hotels. A third was also begun in White Plains but frankly that interests us less for two reasons: one, it's in Westchester (yawn). Two, unlike the pair of upcoming Manhattan properties, the White Plains Cambria Suites isn't being designed by serial hotel architect Gene Kaufman.
Choice Hotels, the parent company of Cambria Suites, announced yesterday that Kaufman will take charge of the two new hotels in Chelsea and midtown, both opening in 2014.
Kaufman is keeping quite busy these days, as we happen to know he's also working on The Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn, as well as a Holiday Inn in lower Manhattan, set to be the world's tallest Holiday Inn. In all, Kaufman's design firm, GKA, has completed over two dozen new hotels in Manhattan in the last 10 years. Wonder what he's got up his sleeve this time!
See a rendering of both towers after the jump!
After breaking ground on a new 130-room hotel in White Plains on Friday, the team then headed to Manhattan on Saturday, where they officially broke ground on a 196-room property in Times Square, followed by another 135-room property in Chelsea (rendering shown above).
The gimmick was meant to underscore Cambria Suites' renewed commitment to entering the New York hotel market. Though the brand first launched in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2007, not much headway has been made on conquering larger cities like New York, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco. Now, Cambria seems to be re-thinking its game plan. On Friday, Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce told the Washington Post:
"When you start a brand — no offense to anybody from Wisconsin — but that's not usually where you want to start."
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How good are you at coming up with excuses? We consider ourselves pros. Whether we're wriggling out of an event we should never have committed to, or lying full-on to ourselves about why it makes more sense to stay out for another round of cocktails instead of heading home at a reasonable hour—we've got the whole "little white lie" thing down pat.
Which is why we get a kick out of a new holiday-themed contest by Cambria Suites/Choice Hotels, which asks people to share their tactics for avoiding house guests. The prize? A $500 hotel gift card. Simply submit whatever "little white lie" you use to stave off unwanted family members, and you could wind up with $500 in hotel cash that could ensure you won't have to host anyone all holiday season long. How's that for choice?
Weep your salty, solitary tears on this bed
It’s been a week since Valentine’s Day now. Have those seven days seen you walking on rose petals, fuelled by Cupid’s darts? Or have you comfort eaten a burger on the hour, every hour, to deal with the fallout?
If it’s the former, well done, we’re happy for you, now please jog on. But if you fall into the latter category, worry ye not, because you could reap the rewards of your crap V Day.
You have until the end of the month to relate your crappy Valentine’s story to the people of Cambria Suites, and, if yours is deemed one of the three worst, you get a prize to console you for, you know, the humiliation.
Top prize is airfare for two (your BFF please – they’ve put up with your moans, after all), a three night stay in a premier suite at a Cambria Suites hotel of your choice, $150 dining credit, welcome package worth $100 and – get this - $1000 Visa giftcard.
Second and third prizes aren’t bad, either – second is a two night stay at any property, plus flights, $100 dining credit and welcome package. And third prize is the same, minus the flights.
Note: We are working on trying to bump up the volume on the vid a bit. Stay tuned!
The Cambria Suites Roanoke in Virgina has filmed a very special edition of Pitch Your Hotel just for us. Here is Joy Barlow, director of sales, letting us know why guests should stay Cambria Suites on their next trip.
Here are some highlights--all-suite accommodations (see below), a huge lobby space for socializing, an indoor pool and spa and our fave, free WiFi. As is to be expected, all this goodness means rates are a bit higher than the other Choice Hotels, around $129 a night. But new hotel + suite + free WiFi = A-OK in HotelChatter's books.
Have you stayed at a Cambria Suites lately? Tell us what you thought!
On Monday, we asked to hear from our readers about their experiences ”Adventuring Into Aloft”. Based on some of the responses we got, we thought that it might be equally productive to ask if any of you have tried out a Cambria Suites lately. Speaking of which, has anyone even heard of Cambria Suites?
How long does it take to earn 100k Choice Privileges points? Just one night, if you're one of nine lucky winners.
This is a pretty straightforward deal. No complicated equations to run or formulas to calculate to maximize your earnings. Nope. Just stay in a Cambria Suites. That's it. Oh, and be a member of Choice Privileges rewards program (duh).
For every night a guest stays at a Cambria Suites brand hotel, franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc., they'll be automatically entered into a giveaway for a chance to win 100,000 Choice Privileges points. One winner will be randomly selected each month from September 1 until June 30, 2009.
You've already missed your chance for September - some lucky schmoe has already claimed his 100 grand points. But it's not too late for October. And hey, there's nothing stopping you from staying every month. We may not be great at math, but it's not too hard to figure the more you stay, the more chances you have to win.
And Choice will make it even easier. Don't have to go away overnight anytime soon? You can register for the drawing online.
So where would you go with 100,000 Choice Privileges points? We're daydreaming about a little European tour, with stops in the classics - London, Paris and Rome.
Are you ready for some travel by plane, train or automobile? Wait, since most of us are scrounging around in our couches for enough cash to fill up the car, just make that plane or train.
Here's your chance, Choice Privileges members, to score some air miles or Amtrak rewards to make that travel happen.
Now through December 31st Cambria Suites guests are earning new triple Airline Rewards or Amtrak Guest Rewards points for qualifying stays. 12 airline partners are included, among them all the majors as well as Southwest.
But we think we'll pass on the airline points - what with the shrinking baggage allowance and growing fees, we'd rather take a nice leisurely train ride - and we predict more and more of you out there will follow us. Train travel will be where it's at (sooner rather than later, we hope).
The 22-story, 239-room property will be across 8th Avenue from Madison Square Garden, roughly half way between the Javits Convention Center and Times Square. (It's replacing the Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church, pictured.) This'll be the second Cambria in to New York; a 300-room hotel is under way in Brooklyn. Both are being developed with PLC Partners, which plans to have both locations open by 2009.
Amenities are what you'd expect from a business hotel, including free wired and wireless internet. Rooftop bars are of course in the works. And the Midtown Cambria might have a bit of spice to it, too, because it's been designed by architect David Helpern--who did the Soho Grand and W Lexington Avenue among others.
Ah, Boise, land of hotel hype and glitz-filled nights. Wait, Boise? Seems so, now that Cambria Suites has rolled into town. It's the first property for the latest brand from Choice Hotels, which has been in the works since January 2005.
A mid-range business-centric hotel, we're not predicting that Veronica Mars will show up. But she'd probably have a decent time if she did: the Cambria has loads of amenities. The suites sport flat screen TVs, iPod hookups, DVD players, free WiFi and fridges. The place has a sort of Drury Inn thing going on.
There's no introductory pricing, per se, but rates start at $149 and can only go up from there.
· Choice, Summit Unveil Cambria Suites [HotelMotel]