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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...
Hotel News / Tommie Hotels / Commune Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Niki Leondakis / Jason Pomeranc / Hotel Hype / Millennial Hotels / The Millennials / → All Tags
Commune Hotels & Resorts have finally unveiled the name of the long-awaited, “value-conscious” spin-off brand to Thompson Hotels. That would be TOMMIE. As you can probably tell from its name, Tommie is going after the hottest demographic right now, The Millennials (aka younger folk.)
The brand is described as being “borne from the savvy of Thompson Hotels and the playful approachability of Joie de Vivre, defining utilitarian chic." In case you forgot, Thompson merged with Joie de Vivre to form Commune. This is the first brand from the merged companies. Here’s what proud father, Jason Pomeranc, had to say about the new addition to his Thompson family:
“Tommie is about stripping away the non-essentials to create a functional efficiency. Everything is beautiful, but also has a purpose,” said Jason Pomeranc, co-chair of Commune Hotels & Resorts and founder of Thompson Hotels. “We are creating hotels that will appeal to youthful, design savvy, connected, and discerning travelers seeking responsible and immersive experiences. Tommie will be a choice, not of economy but of desire.”
So what's there to "desire" about Tommie? Hint: It begins with Wi and ends with Fi! Keep reading to find out!
Hard to believe it's been exactly nine months since we first learned that Joie De Vivre (JDV) and Thompson merged under one brand known as Commune. In March, Thompson announced their takeover of the historic 5 Beekman building in the Financial District (making it Thompson's sixth Manhattan hotel).
But now it sounds like things are really picking up over at Commune HQ, with two big announcements coming out in the past few weeks. First off, the company appointed a new CEO, Niki Leondakis, who, interestingly, comes straight out of Kimpton, where she served as COO.
Secondly, and this is the biggie: TravelWeekly tells us that JDV will be opening their first-ever New York hotel, a 250-room property. No deets on location, rates, or opening date yet, but—we're excited.
After all, New York could do with a little joie de vivre right about now...
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It looks like Chicago will be adding another boutique hotel to its rapidly-growing scene in 2014, with the conversion of the historic Chicago Athletic Association building into a 240-room hotel.
Located in the MIchigan Avenue landmark district, the building used to function as a hangout for wealthy Chicago bachelors in the early 1900s. A place where, according to the Chicago Tribune, "one could exercise, enjoy a fine meal in a beautiful setting, and then retire to a comfortable room for the evening, all under one roof." Sounds pretty good to us.
Just add in a flat-screen TV and an iPod/iPad docking station, and you're pretty much caught up to the demands of today's hotel guests.
Insert new Commune Hotel here.
When Thompson Hotels merged with Joie de Vivre hotels earlier this year to form Commune Hotels and Resorts, there was plenty of talk from Commune sources about the creation of a new hotel brand. Indeed we heard in April that Thompson was working on a Thompson-like budget brand.
Well, the time has come for a new Commune brand to go public...kinda.
Commune has let us know they are launching a new hotel concept that is "stylishly ergonomic" with "efficient guestrooms and communal dining in a dynamic and unique urban environment." Here's a little more verbiage from Commune on the new brand:
Complementing Commune's existing brands, Thompson Hotels and JDV, the new concept will be defined by intelligence and simplicity. This brand will appeal to a distinct type of traveler: educated, involved, and socially conscious global citizens who believe in the blending of form and function, beauty and responsibility. Commune's new concept will be innovative, creating evolving destinations that are sustainable, affordable, efficient and beautiful.
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We were excited to step into the lobby at San Francisco's Hotel Carlton, part of the
Joie De Vivre—ahem, Commune—family, mainly because the hotel offers a free wine tasting every afternoon from 5:30pm to 6pm. Very Kimpton of them, indeed.
But we got more than we bargained for. Yes, the wine was wheeled out on the dot at 5:30, and, sure enough a crowd (comprised mainly of middle-aged Dutch and German couples) began to form there in the Middle Eastern-decorated lobby.
What we weren't anticipating: Theo, one of the hotel's Front Desk agents, setting up in the corner of the lobby with aviator sunglasses, a Yamaha keyboard, and some of the sickest synth beats we've heard since Flight of the Concords was still airing on HBO.
It would be hard to come up with a single genre to classify the strange music we were bopping our heads to, though if we had to pick a word that best sums up the whole experience, it would be this: snazz.