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It's on. It's (maybe) off. It's back on again! The long saga of the hotel development project in the Meatpacking District, opposite the Chelsea Market, has taken some twists and turns, and, when renderings disappeared from Stonehill and Taylor's website disappeared recently, we wondered if developers had called it a day. The good news (from New York YIMBY) is that new plans have been filed and the project is apparently moving ahead.
While we may have had a brief glimpse the other week at what the social spaces of the upcoming Virgin Hotel in Chicago might look like, (before the illustrations were swiftly pulled from the internet) we still have a while to wait before we can actually stay there.
After pushing back a Fall 2013 opening to a Spring opening before pushing it back again to this summer, it now looks like the Virgin will open in September, according to an interview Virgin CEO Raul Lea gave to Hotels Mag. So what's the hold-up? It looks like the historic building, the former Dearborn Bank, is giving Virgin some issues:
“It has been a slow process with so many historic building considerations, but we have uncovered some great things like 30-foot ceilings on the second floor,” Leal said, adding that he expects the hotel to be Chicago’s rate leader in the lifestyle segment.
The good news is that Virgin is still at work on a hotel for NYC which will break ground in um, 2016. Hopefully, the Virgin Chicago will keep us busy before then. Virgin will also make announcements soon on two new locations. We're guessing Miami and London but then again, the last time we made a guess, it didn't turn out so well for us.
Hotel Delays / W Hotels / Beijing Hotels / Shanghai Hotels / China Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Way back in 2012, we snapped a few pictures of another newcomer: the W Beijing Chang’An, hoping it would be ready for what then seemed an eternity away – the first day of 2014. That, unfortunately, did not quite work out as planned, with the hotel now pushed back until late June. New Year’s day of 2014 was going to be a double party, with the joint opening of sister property W Shanghai – The Bund, but there we’re looking at June next year before we get to go inside. At least we have some glimpse of what the hotels look like for you now.
It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
Pictures of the rising skyscraper housing the hotel on floors 34-52 started us off way back in 2010, when we were ever so hopeful that it would arrive in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. We all know how well that turned out, but later that year we saw some promising signs go up.
We can’t tell you much that you don’t already know when it comes to Shangri-La at the Shard; we’ve documented its long and winding road to opening ad infinitum on this site. In fact, it’s nearly three and a half years ago we took our first pictures of the then under construction tallest building in Europe.
And no, unfortunately we still have no more specific window for opening than “first quarter of 2014”. But! The hotel has an updated, and slightly expanded, website, with details on room types, their views, and what looks like some actual photography from inside the hotel. While we pour over these snippets, we’ll go ahead and take it as confirmation – for now – that Shangri-La is indeed committed to making it across the finish line with its second western European hotel.
The hotel in May
We don’t really mean that of course: who are we to suggest the Kaiser would ever be late? But we couldn’t resist the alliteration, and the delay is very real for Sofitel So Singapore, now not opening until March 2014.
When we had a proper look around in May, we tried to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt when it came to a planned November opening (given the breakneck speed of construction in Singapore). Unfortunately, our innate skepticism was justified; now we are looking at another five months before this emblem, by the hand of Lagerfeld, will greet guests upon arrival.
Once upon a time
in a land far, far, away in London, there was a beautiful castle hotel being built high up in the sky amongst the clouds at the top of a very tall giant building called, The Shard. And the castle hotel on a cloud was given the name, Shangri-La London at The Shard.
castle hotel was meant to be open to everyone in the land and beyond by the time the great gladiators Summer Olympics came into town in 2012. But that didn't happen. Yet the hotel kept building and a new date of June 2013 was given. Then another new opening date of September 2013 was given. And then mysteriously, there was no new opening date to be found.
the people us very worried. Then behold, a super secret messenger arrived at our door inbox with a mysterious note that said, The hotel will not open for quite some time. The fairytale has turned into quite a bit of a nightmare.
Ditching the Grimm-speak for a bit, we've learned that The Shangri-la had some serious issues with their builders and so they are starting anew with a different group of builders. We're not quite sure if this means ripping out existing construction and starting fresh or just having them finish up the job to Shangri-La's expectations. (We suspect it's the former.)
Andaz Hotels / Hotel News / Maui Hotels / Papagayo Hotels / Costa Rica Hotels / Hotel Delays / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
Andaz Hotels was supposed to open their Maui property yesterday but alas, that's been pushed back to September 1st.
The good news is room rates have dropped a bit from $509 to $409 a night.. We hope this new opening date sticks. But in the meantime, we'll be fantasizing about the next Andaz to open--Andaz Papagayo.
Reservations for this Costa Rican resort will start in December. The property is planning 153 guest rooms along with 21 funky luxury suites and should feature "modern designs with touches of local character." There will also be three restaurants, a bar, two swimming pools, a private beach and an 11,000-sq.ft. spa, along with other amenities. No word on room rates but we should
hope think it will be cheaper than Maui.
[Photo: Andaz Papagayo]
Hotel Openings / London Hotels / Edition Hotels / Ian Schrager / Shangri-La Hotels / Hotel Delays / → All Tags
While the viewing platform at the top has been open for months, and a number of restaurants have moved into Europe’s tallest structure as well, Shangri-La looks to have a classic of hotel delay. Initially scheduled to be ready for the Olympics (ha!), we’ve had end of June, the more non-committal “summer”, and end of September as D-day for the group’s first UK property at various points in time. As of now, there is still no confirmed opening date – all we hope is that it will make it this year.
Meanwhile, rates at Edition are holding steady at £270 (about $420) a night for a queen room, which will get you 237 square feet of hotelier Ian Schrager’s latest work. About $50 extra takes that up to a Superior Room at just over 300 square foot.
[Photo: JasonD for HotelChatter]
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Three years ago, we told you to mark your calendars for the 2014 opening of Four Seasons New York Downtown. Well, here we are in 2013 and not much progress has been made. In fact, we were juuust getting ready to strike said reminder from our iCal when we stumbled across this article yesterday throwing our hopes back into the air.
The reports says that the project is once again moving forward—now that financing has been secured—and that the 185-room luxury hotel is now set for a 2016 opening. Originally, this hotel was slated to open in 2011 (ha!), though by now we've come to understand that projected opening dates mean diddly squat and any hotel that opens on time is a rare thing indeed.
But back to the Four Seasons: the report doesn't give us too much new information except that the building will be 926 feet tall (one of the tallest hotels in NYC) and that the lobby will be a three-story atrium with lounges, a ballroom, a restaurant, meeting spaces, and a spa.
If you thought the only exciting thing about Cassa Hotel was its abrupt re-branding into a Viceroy hotel last year, you're wrong. It turns out that the hotel's proposed restaurant, BLT American Brasserie is causing even more drama than the hotel itself—and it hasn't even opened yet!
Chef Laurent Tourondel created a lot of buzz when he attached himself to the hotel back in 2011. He was famous for his BLT restaurants, so that's what we all expected to open at Cassa. And as of last February, that was still the plan.
However, nothing ever happened, and the other day we received an anonymous tip that the "BLT coming soon" sign has been removed from the hotel.
Hotel News / North Korea Hotels / Kempinski Hotels / Hotel Delays / Hotel Woes / Ryugyong Hotel / → All Tags
We know, we know. The Ryugyong Hotel saga has gone back and forth so many times now, we're beginning to just stop caring. In November, we told you (with some surprise, we admit) that Kempinski was set to become its daddy.
Well, that's not happening anymore.
Not that you really needed to hear it from us, though. As big bad North Korea keeps the whole world watching on the edge of our seats, the city of Pyongyang (or any other in the nuclear state, for that matter), is hardly a place major hotel chains want to be investing in right now.
A WSJ article states that Kempinski's plans for the Ryugyong Hotel (which, apparently, were never formalized) are "on indefinite hold." A spokeswoman for Kempinski said:
"There is no possibility to enter the market right now."
Of course, the world has bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether a pesky hotel will open or not, but we've got to hand it to the Ryugyong: we can't think of a single other hotel that's managed to cause such a stir for so long without a single guest ever having checked in, or even a single room having been completed. Let's just hope when this hotel does open, it'll be a sign that tempers have cooled and neighbor South Korea no longer has to worry about rogue rockets from the north. The sooner, the better.
[Photo: Ryugyong Hotel]