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UPDATE 3:41pm: Even Hotels informs us that while the 44th St property is the first one they've announced, it won't actually be the first Even Hotel to open. Keep an eye out for more Even news in the coming months!
Considering how much love NYC's been getting from various hotel brands, we're not too surprised to hear Even will be marking its territory there too.
IHG first announced the new healthy, fitness-oriented brand back in February. And though we learned a ton about what to expect inside the hotels (free WiFi, sparse furniture, peppy slogans written on the bathroom walls, extra-healthy food), we still didn't know where—or when—we would get to see one.
TravelPulse reports that the first Even Hotel in New York will open in 2014 at 219 E 44th St, which strikes us as a bit of an odd location, since it's practically on the East River, and nowhere near the subway. But unless that's the point? To compel guests to do even more exercise getting to and from the hotel? As if the in-room yoga mats and weight benches weren't enough?
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All this talk about IKEA getting ready to sweep Europe with a new chain of budget hotels got us thinking about some of the other cool brands out there. And it's a good thing there's so many of them—because while certain brands have managed to deliver on their promises, others have yet to open a single property. And yet we still remain hopelessly glued to the screen...
Take a look at these six other hotel brands we're most excited about, and see which openings are coming to a theater near you.
The world finally exhaled when Virgin made the announcement that the location of its first-ever hotel would be in Chicago. It's going to have a modest 250 rooms, and it will open in the city's historic Dearborn Bank Building, which will hopefully make good on Richard Branson's promise that all Virgin properties will become "the hippest most comfortable in any city." Well, sir, we'll hold off on judgment until we see one actually open. Construction began in May, with a projected opening date of Fall 2013.
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We teased you a little bit yesterday with some scoop on the new, health-oriented Even Hotels from InterContinental Hotel Group (namely that there will be free WiFi in the rooms and burgers and wine downstairs). So today, let's dig a little deeper. You can do it, just five more! Push! Think of the end result! Don't give up! You can do it! Er, sorry, we got a little carried away with the fitness theme here.
Our biggest question for IHG's Christian Hempell, vice president of new brand development, was can a regular traveler feel comfortable at an Even Hotel? You know, not one of the 17 million healthy-minded main stream travelers that IHG estimates are out there?
Hempell admitted that "the brand is not for everyone. It's for folks who like healthier travel." Yet, he said that doesn't mean the Even brand is "health-obsessed." Instead, Even will be offering different options for people so they choose their own specific formula for a healthy balance. For some, Hempell said, that might mean working out so that they can enjoy a burger and wine downstairs (albeit healthier versions of such revered hotel comfort foods)
For others, it could just mean eating right and at Even, guests will have access to healthier foods and snacks. Even will even offer more vegetarian and vegan fare in their restaurants.
The other day the hotel world was abuzz with news of InterContinental Hotel Group's newest hotel brand, Even Hotels, designed for the "healthy-minded mainstream traveler."
We got the chance to speak with IHG's Christian Hempell, vice president of new business development and delivery, and he gave us a ton more insight into what Even is about and what it will be offering to guests.
We'll have the full story on that tomorrow but we wanted you to know upfront that Even Hotels will have even offer guests free WiFi. Woot. And we're guessing you can probably access the free internet while you're on the treadmill too since Even is all about healthy living.
As for the hotel guests who aren't crazy about working out while traveling (or at all), Hempell said there are options for everyone. And if you were worried the food at Even Hotel would be wheatgrass juice and alfafa sprouts, Hempell let us know there will be burgers and wine available downstairs, just healthier kinds.
Stayed tuned for our full interview with Hempell on Even Hotels, coming tomorrow!
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With this morning's announcement of IHG's newest hotel brand, Even Hotels, we started to look at the names of a few other new hotels that have come about in recent years and there's something kinda innnereesting about them. Take a look:
· Even Hotels: The new fitness-conscious brand from InterContinental Hotels. The first Even Hotel will be announced shortly and will open in early 2013.
· Commune Hotels: The new parent company of JDV and Thompson Hotels. Previously, a temporary name of JT Hospitality was being used. Commune plans to announce a new brand later this year.
· Public Hotels: Ian Schrager's new affordable chic hotel brand. The first location opened in Chicago last September (and quickly became one of our fave stays.) A New York location is expected next year.
· Edition Hotels: The brainchild of Schrager and Marriott Hotels opened first in Waikiki but was shut down last year. Another Edition is now open in Istanbul with South Beach, London, New York and Bangkok hotels all coming online "soon."
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The mid-market brand is aimed at "travelers who want guest rooms with space to exercise and amenities such as hypoallergenic linens and healthier food options." Even Hotels will feature in-room fitness equipment, workout tips from the staff, LED dimmers in the guest room, natural lighting, coat racks that double as pull-up bars and oddly enough, anti-bacterial wipes. We guess even those with OCD can stay at Even Hotels.
The Wall Street Journal has even (heh) more scoop on the fitness-oriented hotel room amenities like exercise mats and benches at the foot of the bed that double as workout benches. The fitness centers on-site at the hotel will be right next to the lobby and will be three to four times bigger than most hotel fitness centers. The cafe menu will also feature health-conscious options on their menu.
It sounds good but boy, you REALLY have to be dedicated to your workout routine to stay in a hotel that is pretty much all about working out. Can you imagine staying here on your "cheat day"? You will probably want to check-out fast. And forget about walking into the lobby with a Mickey D's bag in your hand.