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Joie de Vivre Hotels is the latest hotel brand to debut a new, friendlier website that goes way beyond looking at room photos and making a reservation.
Instead of being a cold-hearted point of transaction, JDV's new site wants to take you on a "joy ride" with their "Explore" tool which seeks to match up an ideal hotel for you based on where you want to go and what your interests are. (This is pretty much Yvette, JDV's friendly matchmaker, for the millennial generation.)
Speaking of millennials, the site has "enriched social integrations", meaning Instagram feeds show up, and there's even a new Joy Ride" travel blog, chronicling all aspects of life in cities where JDV hotels can be found.
The design, done by NYC-based digital advertising and marketing agency, Sideways, is top-notch and the site is also "optimized for all devices," meaning it's easy to read from your phone and tablet. But it's not exactly the high-stakes adventure you think of when you hear the words "joy ride." That said, the photos are big and pretty so you can see up close what's in a room. And that's still the most important function we want from a hotel's website.
The Miami hotel scene shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and now there's another big name in boutique to add into the mix--Thompson Miami Beach.
Thompson, under its former owners, tried to make the Hotel Victor their original Miami hotspot but the brand's new owners, Commune Hotels and Resorts decided to attach themselves to a different project.
Located at 4041 Collins Avenue in a former cone building, close-ish to the raging hotspot that is the Fontainbleau, the Thompson Hotel will have 380 hotel rooms featuring "beach-inspired accommodations and mid-century, international resort style." Designer Martin Brudnizki is in charge of the design which will (of course) preserve the building's Art Deco flair and 1950s architecture.
The Thompson will also have two pools, a small spa, three bars and a 267-seat "classic brasserie" from James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Miami native Michelle Bernstein.
Downtown NYC Hotels / Hotel Hype / Financial District Hotels / Commune Hotels / Thompson Hotels / → All Tags
It's been two years since we last checked in on the progress at 5 Beekman Street, an old, historic office building downtown that was revealed to have incredible glass roof over its atrium, but according to the NY Times article, the hotel will now open in summer 2015.
Everything else at the hotel is coming along as scheduled. The owners snapped up an adjacent parcel next door to 5 Beekman to build more hotel rooms as well as condos. The whole shebang will have 287 hotel rooms spread out over the two buildings, and 68 residences in the new building which will also house two restaurants and a lounge on its ground floor. The hotel will be called The Beekman Hotel and it will be operated by Commune Hotels under the Thompson Hotels brand.
Some cool design features of the historic building that The Beekman will keep include "gold brackets shaped like dragons, metal grilles patterned with leaves, and even some walls with peeling paint...."
We know what you're thinking, how very "Ace" of them. So it's no surprise that one of the companies developing the Beekman also helped developed the Ace and The Noman.
There's no early word on pricing but given that everything is a little cheaper downtown we're keeping our fingers crossed for no more than $350 a night.
After the Thompson Hotel founders split from Commune Hotels, they managed to walk away with most of their NYC properties, save for Gild Hall (pictured above) and Smyth Tribeca. The other properties have since been rebranded as Sixty Hotels.
But now Commune is working on opening two new hotels in Manhattan. That's in addition to the two tommie hotels that are expected to open in 2015 and 2016.
Crain's reports that Commune will open a new Thompson hotel in 2016 along with an entirely new hotel which will have a residential component. Say what? UPDATE: A Commune rep told us this will not be a new brand but rather they aren't ready to divulge the brand name for the new hotel. Our apologies for getting too excited about this.
Hotel News / Hotel Construction / Hotel Development / Tommie Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Commune Hotels / → All Tags
It's been seven months since we noted that construction was slowly but surely happening on the Tommie Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Seems we should have emphasized the slowly over the surely as we peeked in the other day and found only the beginning of excavations. On the brighter side, though, we also found a rendering pasted up -- albeit alongside a somewhat disappointing Spring 2016 estimated completion.
A peek at architect Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman's website throws up some more renderings revealing an interesting grid-like feature on the rooftop and at the front entrance.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel News / Trump Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Commune Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / SLS Hotels / Nobu Hotels / → All Tags
Yo. There is so much hotel news flying around this week--way more than usual--and in between checking out Vin Diesel's latest Facebook video and signing petitions to get Bieber deported, we just don't have enough time to focus on all the new hotels news. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
TRUMP HOTEL RIO DE JANEIRO: So our guess yesterday about Trump Hotels' latest announcement had to do with China but we were so wrong. The luxury hotel group is actually planning a 13-story, 171-guestroom hotel in the Jardim Oceanico sub-district of the famous Barra da Tijuca borough. It will open in 2016 just in time for the Summer Olympics. The Rockwell Group will be doing the interiors and the hotel will have a rooftop pool deck with private VIP cabanas, a nightclub, a spa, a fitness center and all the signature Trump services and amenities.
THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Commune Hotels + Resorts have announced a second Thompson Hotel for Mexico--Thompson Playa Del Carmen. The hotel will have 125 rooms and suites with a rooftop pool as well as a spa. It will be the only hotel in Playa to have a both a central 5th Avenue--a 2-mile-long shopping and entertainment pedestrian thoroughfare--and a beachfront location. It will open in 2015. The other Thompson in Mexico, Thompson Los Cabos, is currently under development.
ROSEWOOD SANYA: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts have announced yet another new property. Rosewood Sanya will open in 2017 in a new development in Haitang Bay in Southern Hainan Island. The resort will actually be integrated with the International Finance Forum convention center which will open in 2015. Designed by Chicago-based architectural firm, Goettsch, the Rosewood Sanya will have 229 ocean-facing guest rooms and suites, an infinity-edge "sky pool" (i.e. located way up high), a Sense spa and five restaurant options.
Keep reading below for even more hotel news.
Sixty Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / Thompson Hotels / Commune Hotels / Hotel Woes / Hotel News / → All Tags
On the heels of Jason Pomeranc's announcement that he would be rebranding his hotel company as Sixty Hotels comes some sour news about the fate of 6 Columbus. Specifically, the hotel's owners are asking Pomeranc and his partners to leave their management contract.
Crain's New York reports that the hotel's owners were not aware that Pomeranc's former partner, Commune Hotels, who is now the sole owner of the Thompson Hotels brand, was no longer managing the property. Um, what? Sounds like the 308 Hotel Corp needs to start reading HotelChatter a little more often.
When Thompson Hotels' Jason Pomeranc and his partners left the Commune Hotels collection the other month, they walked away with Thompson's prized NYC properties but had to leave a few choice hotels behind as well as the beloved Thompson name.
Now, as Pomeranc and co. toil away on their new boutique hotel brand, we're getting word from some super secret hotel insiders that the Hollywood Roosevelt wants out of the Commune. We're not exactly sure of the reason but there is speculation that the hotel's owners liked the Pomeranc association. But again, this is purely speculation.
Indeed, a spokesperson for Thompson and Commune told us that the Hollywood Roosevelt "will remain a Thompson-branded property under Commune's management."
Keep reading for some hotel rumor mongering!
A month ago we told you South Beach's historic Hotel Victor would undergo a huge change--they'd become a Thompson Hotel. Joining such a prestigious group would have been a welcome face-lift for the weary Victor, especially in a town where there's a new hotel or refurb on nearly every block.
But, the partnership to become Thompson Ocean Drive apparently wasn't meant to be because it was recently announced the deal was off. The Hotel Victor will remain with owners Pomeranc brothers who have sold the Thompson name in their portfolio. The details of that tale are here. Meanwhile, the Hotel Victor will eventually be branded under a new hotel company thanks to the assistance of former Thompson CEO Stephen Brandman, who's paired up with the Pomeranc brothers. The name of this new company? TBD. Dazzling news.
However, renovations started six months ago and the Victor officially closed in April, so it was decided to finish what had been started and run the property under the Commune brand until told otherwise. But the name will remain Hotel Victor. Period.
Get all that? No? You're not the only one. To say it's been an adjustment for everyone is an understatement.
We were fortunate enough to look at the progress and we must say, it's looking good!
Take a look at our photos and see the transformation in progress!
Commune Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Joie de Vivre Hotels / Tommie Hotels / Jason Pomeranc / Hotel News / → All Tags
The other week, we were searching hard for information about the reopening of the Thompson Ocean Drive hotel in Miami Beach yet we were met with absolute silence when it came to the matter of the hotel's name change--would it go ahead with the Thompson name or stick with the original moniker, Hotel Victor?
Well, today's HUGE news from Commune Hotels has answered that question. No, it will not be a Thompson hotel in name, mainly because Thompson Hotels' founders--Jason Pomeranc and his brothers, have sold out the rest of the company, including the Thompson name, to Commune. Get comfortable, because this is going to take a while to explain.
Way back in 2011, Joie de Vive Hotels linked up with Thompson Hotels and the two formed Commune Hotels and Resorts. Joie de Vivre was fresh off its own acquisition from Geolo Capital, founded by Hyatt heir, John Pritzker (he has nothing to do with Hyatt Hotels today btw.) The two companies, Geolo Capital and Thompson BP, were equal partners in the formation of Commune Hotels although Thompson Hotels would be its own brand, as would Joie de Vivre, as would the spin-off brand of Thompson Hotels, Tommie Hotels.
Fast forward to today and all brands are expanding to new locations as everyone hoped they would. Commune even managed to snag Niki Leondakis away from Kimpton Hotels. And now, Commune has bought out the Pomeranc brothers. Here's the parting statement Jason Pomeranc gave today: "After nearly 15 years, my brothers Lawrence, Michael and I are incredibly proud to see how Thompson Hotels has evolved into an enormously impactful global hospitality brand," said Jason Pomeranc. "We now look forward to exciting new endeavors and wish John Pritzker and the entire Commune family well."
"After nearly 15 years, my brothers Lawrence, Michael and I are incredibly proud to see how Thompson Hotels has evolved into an enormously impactful global hospitality brand," said Jason Pomeranc. "We now look forward to exciting new endeavors and wish John Pritzker and the entire Commune family well."
So the pressing question is, who gets what in the deal? Here's how it all shakes out:
Tommie Hotels / NoMad Hotels / Hotel Construction / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel News / Thompson Hotels / Commune Hotels / → All Tags
We drove by the construction the other day at 11 E. 31st St. and saw that the official construction barricades are up, with notices and all. The lot of land doesn't look all that different from when we snapped it on Google Street View last year but there's definitely been some progress. We even spied some building materials at the front of the site.
This will supposedly be the first Tommie Hotel location for the brand with 250 rooms. Tommie is also planning to open another spot in West Soho, also in 2015, with 329 rooms. Since its target guest will be the Millenial market, rates shouldn't get too crazy, somewhere in the mid-$200s a night.
Incidentally, the hotel is right across the street from the Hotel Chandler which has just spiffed up its restaurant and bar. But we don't think either side should fret as they seem to be going after two different age groups, er, audiences.
And yeah, we snapped this picture of the back of a cab. #dedicated #nerd.
It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter Flashback!
Three years ago today, we heard the news that Chip Conley's indie boutique hotel chain, Joie de Vivre Hotels, would be expanding outside of California for the very first time, thanks to a new partnership with investor, John Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain and his Geolo Capital private equity firm. This was a big deal back then as JDV was strictly a California-based hotel company.
Fast forward to today and Joie de Vivre is now a part of the bigger Commune Hotels which is also made up of the too-cool lifestyle hotel brand, Thompson Hotels, and the just-announced new hotel brand, Tommie Hotels.
JDV has still made good on its 2010 promise to expand opening hotels in Chicago, Scottsdale (above) and even Hawaii, although California still makes up a good deal of its heart and soul. We're not sure if JDV will ever break out into Seattle, Miami or New York as it will probably leave that up to Commune but you never know...