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Morgans Hotels are rather infamous for their gift shop offerings such as the kinky vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach called "Automat" which once sold (or maybe still does) 24-karat gold handcuffs from Kiki de Montparnasse. The automat also sold rentals for premium luxury cars like a Rolls Royce or a Benz.
When the machine made its debut at the Hudson Hotel in New York, it sold an $8,000 photo shoot with photographer Ben Watkins and a rental of a red Ferrari 599 GTB.
However, the gift shop offerings at the Essence shop at the new Delano Las Vegas aren't quite that risqué, although they are still rather expensive. You can get a small discount on the items if you're a member of the M Life rewards program but for the most part, be prepared to spend.
Here's what we found while admiring the wares at Essence the other week.
The Delano Las Vegas, while strongly inspired by the original Delano in South Beach, is very much its own hotel.
We like to think of it as, "Delano Does the Desert", since much of the hotel's design and subsequent vibe, was inspired by the surrounding area. Like the towering boulders, sourced whole from the Nevada desert that now, split in half, grace the entrance to the hotel. And the long narrow carpet in the lobby that's meant to be a picture of the winding Colorado River. And just before you approach the reception desk, you're greeted by a a few hundred rocks hanging from the ceiling (an installation piece from Korean artist Jaehyo Lee.)
Up in the all-suite guest rooms, however, there's less Nevada and more New York with white leather furniture, gold accents and black and white photography. That cosmopolitan style carries up to hotel's 28 penthouse suites, which are found on floors 60-62. Each suite averages about 1,642 square feet but there are a couple of different layouts. Allow us to tell you about two of them.
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South Beach meets the desert...Delano style.
The Delano Las Vegas may have technically opened to guests over Labor Day Weekend but the desert outpost of the Delano South Beach made it official last night with a grand opening party that was hosted by model/actress Jaime King and included South Beach-inspired cocktails and appetizers, a Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show from designer Charlotte Ronson, and a small acoustic set from the Toronto-based reggae band, Magic!
You've probably never heard of this band before but you haven't gone anywhere without hearing their hit song, "Rude." (Come on, sing it--"Why ya gotta be so ruuuude? Don't you know I'm human too?")
The opening party was actually a trial event of sorts for the Delano as the hotel hopes to put on more exclusive shindigs and events like this in the future. While the hotel's bars and restaurants--Franklin, Della's, Mix and 3940 Coffee +Tea--are open to the public, folks who book the all-suite rooms at the hotel will have priority access to these events. Rates for the rooms start at $599 on the weekends and around $150 during the week.
Stay tuned next week for more from inside The Delano! In the meantime, peep a room below and head on over to VegasChatter for more info!
All eyes were on the grand opening of the SLS Las Vegas last weekend, but now the spotlight is heading down The Strip to The Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, which will officially open on Tuesday, September 2.
Back in May, we admired the "different yet still designer" look of the Vegas version of the Delano Hotel in South Beach, one of the original boutique hotels created by master hotelier But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so. Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand. Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so.
Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand.
Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
Yesterday, we showed you a cool piece of technology inside a room at The Delano Las Vegas, opening on September 1 at The Mandalay Bay--telephones with USB ports in them. Today we've got photos of the rest of the room and there are even more design and tech touches to admire.
The Delano is in the midst of renovating THEhotel's old rooms but there are quite a few that are already completed...and hosting some special guests (more on that later.) We were able to look inside a king room suite on the 37th floor. These suites start at a spacious 725-sq.ft. and include a separate sitting area, wet bar and an extra half-bathroom.
The design is merely reminiscent of the original Delano in South Beach rather than a replica. Indeed, the white sheer curtains and a white leather headboard that nearly covers the entire wall behind the bed are the only two items that will make you think of the original.
Instead of mirrors and chrome accents, the Delano Las Vegas has gone for gold with tasteful gold trim on the wardrobe closets, gold table legs, gold sconces (with outlets in them), gold cabinet handles, and even a gold luggage rack. (Of course, it it not real gold. You know what we mean.)
We usually associate the Delano brand with design and not necessarily technology but when we peeked into a model room of the Delano Las Vegas, opening September 1 at the Mandalay Bay, we geeked out over the room phone. Yes, the room phone which we actually thought was nearly extinct.
While the phone may look like an ordinary cordless phone with the requisite hotel buttons on the front, on the side, it has a USB port so you can directly plug in your phone for charging.
No more schlepping over to the desk to the plug panel. No more bringing both the outlet charger and the USB cord. Just plug and charge while you sleep.
This is the first time we've seen this sort of phone in a hotel room, anywhere. But we sure hope it gets picked up by hotels, everywhere.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more photos inside The Delano Las Vegas!
It's been a long time coming but the Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay has opened its reservations line for stays beginning on September 1. Today, our sister site VegasChatter is touring the property (which is still undergoing its transformation from the existing THEhotel) and will be answering some of our hard-pressed questions like, "What's the best room to book?" and "What makes this hotel so special from others?"
But for now, you can peep some room photos and lobby photos that the hotel released today. You can also view a video here.
From the outside, The Delano is still the best-looking building on Collins Avenue, built in 1947, at the time the tallest art deco tower in Miami. It was completely renovated on the inside in 1994 by one Philippe Starck. The inside remains largely unchanged since Starck had his way with it. The billowing curtains still dance with the breeze in the lobby and the oversized furniture still greets guests at the entrance. But we particularly loved the back patio of the hotel, just before the pool area begins, which has an interesting topiary arrangement.
The Delano still commands a high rate, especially now as we move into "the season" ($600 and up) but service can be spotty and the white-on-white guest rooms are pretty small, according to recent TripAdvisor reviews. Then again, that sounds about right for a hotel in Miami Beach.
Update: Morgans Hotel Group has sent over this statement regarding the situation:
"Morgans Hotel Group reached the difficult decision to terminate its management agreement for Delano Marrakech and discontinue all affiliation with the hotel, including the removal of the Delano name and management of the property, effective November 12, 2013. This unprecedented action was taken as a result of severe and recurring breaches of contract by the ownership group. Morgans Hotel Group took this necessary recourse to preserve Delano’s reputation, the integrity of the company and the high standards that our guests expect from the Delano brand."
Just a little over a year after the Delano Marrakech opened, we've now got word that the Delano Hotels brand is OUT at the property. The hotel 71-room hotel has reverted back to its original, pre-renovation, name--The Pearl.
We're not sure of the details behind the departure (if you've got them, let us know) but Delano Marrakech has been removed from the Morgans Hotel Group website. Interestingly, Delano still has plans to expand to Las Vegas, Cesme (Turkey), Moscow and Cartagena.
In other Morgans Hotel Group news, the company still hasn't officially appointed a new CEO since Michael Gross stepped down in early September. Jason Kalisman, whose investment firm OTK Associates, is the company's largest shareholder, has been appointed interim CEO. This, after he led a takedown of the Morgans board and its celebrity investor, Ron Burkle. Now, Burkle has offered to buy the hotel group for $8 a share. No word yet on whether Morgans will accept.
So with all that going on, we can kind of understand this recent development. But what does it mean for all those future Delanos? We're not sure and we're not so sure we want to find out.
[Photo: Delano, er, The Pearl Marrakech]
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The hotel that launched a thousand
ships pages of court filings
According to Bloomberg News, investor Ron Burkle threatened to "crater" some of the hotel group's other deals (like in Moscow and Las Vegas) if the Morgans board members did not approve the Delano South Beach buyout bid from his Yucaipa companies as well as his proposed recapitalization plan.
One of Morgan's largest shareholders, OTK Associates, has already filed a lawsuit against other Morgans board members to stop this arrangement. OTK also wants to overhaul the board and in effect, the company. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that Morgans with its 13 hotels has lost money in every quarter since 2007.
If this sounds terribly confusing, it is. Essentially two board members are fighting each other over direction of the company and who gets most of its assets. Like we said last month, this may not immediately affect your experience at a Morgans Hotel right now, but it certainly could in the future.
More importantly, if the hotel group hasn't turned a profit since 2007, we're not so sure how many of their new hotel projects will actually come to life. To be continued....
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Last week we were stunned to hear that Morgans Hotel Group was selling off its prized possesion, The Delano South Beach. But once we waded through the legal mumbo-jumbo and found that the Delano would remain the Delano and that Morgans would still be running the shop, we were cool with all of it. But we shoulda known better. These hotel sales are never easy.
OTK Associates LLC, the largest stockholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co., has now filed a lawsuit to stop Morgans from re-arranging The Yucaipa Companies interest in the company. (Currently, Yucaipa holds Morgans stock, stock warrants and convertible notes. Morgans' directors want Yucaipa to take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group instead.) OTK Associates believes that the switcheroo would favor the Yucaipa company over other stockholders (like OTK) and is also, you know, like totally illegal according to Delaware law.
OTK also has issues with the looking to stop the postponement of the company's annual meeting which is usually held in May but which is now set for July because OTK believes that stockholders will be denied the right to review the transaction.
As of this afternoon, OTK actually secured a right of postponement on the "recapitalization plan" and released this statement:
OTK is pleased that the Morgans Hotel Group agreed to delay the rights offering, as OTK had requested in its motion for a temporary restraining order. All shareholders should be deeply troubled by the current board of directors’ continued waste of corporate assets to advocate for a coercive and dilutive transaction that OTK believes is invalid. Further, the use of company funds to change shareholder voting rules and diminish voting rights calls into question this board’s fiduciary duties and responsibilities.
Again, we don't think this is going to affect your next Morgans Hotel stay but you never know what might happen in a few months. Lawsuit and other problems at the top always trickle down, even down into your hotel room.
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Just ten days from now, Award Season will reach its peak during Oscar weekend. We’ve already given you a set of drink recipes courtesy of hotel bartenders, and today we’re following up with five hotels with Oscar-worthy screening rooms.
Over in South Beach, the Delano only opened its fancy Media room last summer. Those sofas look perfect for curling up and settling in for the long haul (and we know that telecast gets a little wordy sometimes), and it’s already done a Weinstein Screening Series, which featured Oscar winners like The King’s Speech.
See four more schmancy hotel screening rooms after the jump!