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Now, this week, the hotel officially broke ground on construction. Well, actually it was just a ceremonial groundbreaking since the hotel will be rise within the bones of the historic Old Post Office building.
Here's a snapshot of the Trump family of hoteliers--The Donald, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump--along with DC dignitaries Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, and Norman Dong, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service for the U.S. General Services Administration. Is it just us, or are those shovels plated in gold? #trumplyfe.
Our former front desk has given us many helpful tips from how to deal with getting walked and how to effectively complain to the front desk. He's even doled out some tips for hoteliers too. Now he's back with some ways to enjoy a grand old dame...hotel.
Staying at a historic hotel is one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to experience a city and get engulfed in its history.
Many hotels carry with them fascinating stories of yesteryear from being World War shelters to long-term residences for prolific authors and politicians to venues of scintillating scandals and tales. Most of these hotels are over 100 years old with marvelous exterior architecture and opulent interiors, of which guests can spend hours staring at. These historic properties are often protected by dogged conservationists, who want to ensure the protection of the city’s culture and heritage.
Unfortunately, sometimes with the history come challenges in standardized hotel operations and the ability to provide consistent service and product across all guest rooms and public areas. Having worked in multiple historic hotels, I have come to not only appreciate these challenges but also have tried to identify ways for guests to really get the most out of these historic wonders and be transported back in time!
Hotel Okura might be preparing itself for a multi-year closure–demolition–redevelopment cycle next year (if the Monocle petition to keep it won’t throw a spanner in the works), but another iconic Tokyo hotel will have shrugged when they read that news and thought: been there, done that, way ahead of you.
Above is what Palace Hotel Tokyo looked like in late 2008, presiding over its own moat in its second incarnation, after starting life as the government-run Hotel Teito just after WWII. The following year it closed and reinvented itself over the span of three years into something worthy of the theme “Before and After” – check it out after the jump.
Hotel Board Games / Manhattan Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Eloise / Historic Hotels / Central Park Hotels / → All Tags
Looking for a new board game to play during rainy days this summer? If you're a hotel nerd like us, then look no further than the Plaza-opoly from The Plaza Hotel in New York.
The iconic hotel has created its own version of the famous Monopoly game using Plaza-inspired instructions, themed board spaces, and game tokens inspired by residents and amenities of the hotel (Eloise's dog Weenie, a champagne bottle and a tea cup). Here's how the game kicks off:
After checking in at the Front Desk, players roll the dice to move around the entire board and begin their journey through the wondrous world of The Plaza via The Rose Club, The Eloise Suite, The Plaza Food Hall and even Home Alone 2-- a pop culture favorite filmed at the hotel.
Players can take their winnings straight to the bank and purchase their favorite Plaza destinations such The Champagne Bar, explore The Great Gatsby in The Fitzgerald Suite, The Grand Ballroom and The Shinn Murals. Each space has a corresponding Title Deed Card that provides a value and details of each of the location.
Gamers are further drawn into the world of The Plaza with cards such as “Order Room Service,” “Carriage Ride in Central Park,” The Grand Army Plaza and more. However, gamers have to play their cards right to avoid being sent to Hotel Security.
And whoever picks up the most expensive suites and other themed spaces, wins.
Hotel Renovations / Switzerland Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Katara Hospitality / Wellness Retreats / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Nestled 1600 feet up from the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, a luxury resort is recreating itself--The Burgenstock Resort, scheduled to re-open in 2017. When all is said and done, there will be three hotels: The Burgenstock Hotel; the circa 1906 Palace Hotel; and the Waldhotel, a medical wellness destination. Add to that a spa the size of a football field, a conference center, residences, and several dining options.
The Burgenstock Resort is being developed by Katara Hospitality, who are also presently transforming the Royal Savoy Lausanne. Katara has again retained London-based MKV Design to take on the interiors of the Burgenstock Hotel, as well as the Palace Hotel renovation and the mega Alpine Spa. Right now, we're getting an early look at the Burgenstock Hotel.
Hotel Reopenings / Venice Hotels / Venice Lido Hotels / Historic Hotels / Regent Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
The Hotel Des Bains in its heyday
Che fortuna amici, che bella notizia. This is big news. Huge! Venice’s historic Hotel des Bains, the grande dame of the Lido that inspired Death in Venice, hosted a bajillion movie stars for the film festival, and was shuttered in 2010 and sentenced to be redeveloped as luxury apartments (vomit) – will most likely be refurbished into a hotel once more.
According to local paper La Nuova, the Des Bains and its sadsack teammate, the Excelsior, are no longer for sale. The owner? The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – a government-owned company. Regent and Starwood are still battling it out to run the properties (Raffaele Costa is out), but whoever wins will be the operator, not the owner.
But most exciting of all is the news that it looks likely that the Des Bains will make a spectacular return. From La Nuova (our translation):
It seems probable that the Des Bains, after its refurbishment, will return to being exclusively a hotel, putting a stop to the project that would have transformed part of it into hotel-residences – as was the initial plan – because the market conditions and the convenience of taking it forward are no longer in existence.
Historic Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / Amsterdam Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Having walked by and peered through the windows at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam on a number of occasions, we finally had a chance to look inside the six 17th and 18th century canal houses on the city’s Herengracht that were converted into the hotel.
That included these beautiful sculptures, part of a rather pretty staircase with skylight inside the "Marot" house at number 548, now the main entrance of the hotel. The six houses were cobbled together to offer 93 rooms and suites and a host of other facilities, including an unusually large and private garden, all opened just shy of two months ago.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Historic Hotels / South Beach Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel Architecture / → All Tags
South Beach's famous, and occasionally infamous, Collins Avenue is known for both for its VIP residents and wild parties as it is for its Art Deco architecture. And for those of us who love to travel or party, or both, we are really fortunate that most of these historic gems are hotels, as they were originally intended.
Now, four such historic hotels on Collins Avenue are presently being restored and expanded under the watch of a single design firm. It's kind of like design group therapy, with each hotel having a fresh new outlook when the works are completed in 2015.
Miami-based ADD Inc., an award-winning architectural and interior design firm, will take on the role of restoring the four hotels. Some of their other Miami hotel projects include the Gale South Beach and Shelbourne South Beach.
Here's a brief round-up of the four hotels that are getting some extra special attention.
It's one of the most recognisable buildings in England's second city, and now it might become a hotel: Manchester's historical Corn Exchange is up for redevelopment.
The vast, triangular-shaped building in Northern England is a Grade II listed property dating back to 1897 (though its predecessor, the Corn and Produce Exchange was the place for farmers and merchants to flip their goods as early as 1837). Having suffered bomb damage in World War II, and then again in 1996, by the IRA, the building had some constructive surgery and a name change in 2000 to “The Triangle,” essentially a retail arcade. In 2012, the building took back its original name, followed by a proposal to expand its dining facilities.
Now its owners, Aviva Investors, are planning a £30m ($50m) redevelopment project for the Exchange - which is set to include an 86-room hotel. according to the Manchester Evening News. The complex will also include up to 13 restaurants - now there’s an amenity.
Madrid already has a a plethora of beautiful (and affordable) boutique hotels, but in August one more will open. Hotel Urso (or "bear") is a design-driven modern boutique at the crossroads of three central neighborhoods: Chamberi, up-and-coming Tribunal and fabulous LGTB hub Chueca (we'll leave the bear jokes to you). The hotel is operated by Marugal who also manage the boxy Viura in Rioja, and the art-infused Square Hotel in Paris.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans renovated its guest rooms and club level rooms last year, giving the spaces a modern luxury look that's still very New Orleans. Hello, silk purple armchair! But for the exterior, the hotel is going back in time.
The historic terra cotta facades of the Maison Blanche and S.H. Kress Co. buildings which make-up the Ritz-Carlton are going under an extensive restoration project this summer, worth $2 million, that will restore them back to their early 20th century look.
Kimpton can't get enough of Southern hospitality. Fresh off opening The Brice Hotel in Savannah, the friendly boutique hotel chain is now taking over a historic office building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The R.J. Reynolds Building, the longtime headquarters for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was built in 1929 by Shreve & Lamb, the same architects who designed the Empire State Building. The lobby is decorated with ornate murals, gold leaf millwork in the ceilings, and nickel and brass elevators throughout. You can see some photos of the building's Art Deco interior design here.
The building has been vacant since 2009 but now PMC Property Group will turn the office space into 175 hotel rooms, 36 suites, a hotel fitness center, and a 120-seat restaurant and bar, along with plenty of meeting and event space. Of course, the developers and Kimpton will do what they can to preserve the building's original design but we're gonna guess they won't be bringing back the museum of tobacco that once graced the tobacco building's ground floor. Heck, Kimpton probably won't even allow smoking in the guest rooms. Ain't that funny?