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You might have heard of Chicken Shop, the ever so trendy (but tiny) restaurant chain owned by the people behind Soho House. You might have heard that its fourth London outpost opened this weekend in the Hoxton Holborn. You might pop along to the Hox, and stride confidently past the people flooding the open-plan bar and lobby area, towards the restaurant at the back.
“Is this the Chicken Shop?” you might ask the perfectly made up, beautifully dressed ladies looking you quizzically up and down at the restaurant entrance. And they will say: no.
You see, the restaurant in the lobby is Hubbard & Bell, “dishing up Brooklyn grill style grub”, as the website says. Chicken Shop, on the other hand, is an underground restaurant. As in, it’s actually underground. And unmarked. And the closest to a secret restaurant you will get in the London hotel scene.
September may have only two days left, but when it comes to London hotels, it’s intent on making them count. Today, restaurateur duo Corbin and King can add ‘& hotelier’ to that oft-used description, with the opening of their Mayfair hotel The Beaumont.
Following sculpture-unveiling, interior renderings, room photos, and a peek inside, we now have a shot as well of the American Bar (above), found straight ahead as you walk across the black-and-white marble lobby floor. Behind it are the red-leather banquets of the Colony Grill Room, where we’ll be headed as soon as we can to sample its cross-Atlantic cuisine.
Are you ready to get busy with hotel openings, London? Before the month is out, we’ll have the Beaumont, Mondrian at Sea Containers, and, as first of the pack, you can now check out The Hoxton Holborn in all its east-meets-midtown glory.
We ran over to the hotel on opening day yesterday for a quick wander around its ground floor lobby and restaurants, which we last saw a month ago as raw spaces. Above the entrance, just this side of the divide between the two divergent buildings that make up the hotel. If you’re in the area, there’s a 50% off promotion running at the restaurants until tomorrow, Saturday the 27th. A few more shots below.
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Based right on the promenade in Camps Bay, with the Twelve Apostles mountains behind it, it has 11 rooms – or, technically, suites. The hotel is named after the French Chateau de Marly (a 17th-century palace for Louis XIV), which is slightly random, given its location and all, but does at least give you an idea of its lux factor.
Because these are seriously swish rooms. We’re talking huge, marble-clad bathrooms with rolltop tubs and walk-in showers. Floor-to-ceiling windows opening out onto balconies overlooking either the mountains or the sea. Ceiling height coffered headboards and modern chandeliers overhead.
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Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. At least, so think Starwood, who are on track to open a Sheraton in Koh Samui. It will join their current roster: a W Retreat, a Le Méridien, and Vana Belle, part of the Luxury Collection.
The Sheraton will take over the current Imperial Samui Beach Resort, which had 141 rooms. It’s on the same beach as the Vana Belle, and only two hotels away.
Unfortunately, all good things come to those who wait. The Sheraton was down to open in December, but it’s not yet listed on the Starwood website, and (HT Flyertalk) it’s now showing up on Starwood’s forthcoming hotels list, and is down for March 2015. Although, since it’s not yet available to book, even that may be optimistic.
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Rolls Royce Phantom
Here's one way for a hotel to drum publicity before opening: Place the world's single-largest order for Rolls-Royces ever.
There were no figures released on how much the cars were purchased for, but given that the hotel recently raised another $135 million in funding, we're guessing money was no issue. The total cost of the hotel, shown in rendering format below, will be about $1 billion.
Now is a great time to be in Greece. We are writing this from the island of Patmos, where the temperature is dropping to toasty but bearable, the hordes have gone, and the hotels are still open – at least for a few more weeks.
But if going end of season feels a bit grubby, fear not – because if you go to the tiny island of Milos, there’s a new hotel waiting for you. Eiriana Luxury Suites is one of that new breed of Greek hotels – tiny (just four rooms) but perfectly formed.
It’s located in Trypiti, near the old-style windmills, and is on a hilltop so all the rooms have panoramic views (including some of the sea). The décor is very Greek with a hint of madness – traditional all white rooms, but with pops of lurid color in the drapes, cushions and bathrooms. We’re not convinced by the color tbh – nothing feels as Grecian as a pure white room – but at least they’re trying something different, and we’re not about to criticize the aesthetic of the island that brought the world the Venus de Milo. (Milos is also known as the Island of Colors, so we should probably give them a break.)
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Switzerland: a country that takes pride in being completely unaffordable for anyone from outside of it. Edit – a country that did take pride in being completely unaffordable. For this summer, we have seen the emergence of a New Switzerland – one that pities us, one that wants us to come stay without having to remortgage our house, one that suddenly wants to thrust budget accommodation at us. Not you’re your standard crappy budget digs, of course; no, the New Switzerland is a place of hip ‘hostels’ that other countries would class as nice hotels.
Of course, you already know it’s a trendy kind of place – it was clearly named to be a hipster magnet, after all – but listen to what it actually has. It has a pool (and separate children’s pool). It has a spa with saunas, a herbal steam bath, hydromassage showers, and a ‘gorge balcony’ (presumably it looks over a gorgeous, rather than being especially gorgeous). It offers a hotel-level massage list. And all this stuff comes with humungous windows overlooking the mountain landscape.
2014 is proving to be a busy year for Motel One (not to be confused with Motel 6). Its first English property opens in London at the end of the year (an Edinburgh hotel opened in 2012), and the last couple of months have seen two other openings: a major one in Brussels and a slightly more minor one in Leipzig (sorry Leipzig).
Motel One Brussels opened in June on the spectacular Rue Royal, which straddles the old and new parts of town. At 490 rooms it’s pretty enormous but has kept a sense of location with (subtle) Belgian lace trim on the sofas and Arne Jacobsen chairs, artwork of the Belgian royals and even a chocolate display.
Back in May, when King & Grove Hotels changed their name to Chelsea Hotels, in honor of their flagship property, we noticed that the King & Grove New York on East 29th Street would be reopening soon as the Martha Washington Hotel. Lo and behold, that day has come.
The 265-room, full service hotel has reverted back to its original name, used when it first opened in 1905, but its original purpose--a hotel exclusively for women--has since changed to a hotel "Exclusively for Everyone."
The guest rooms at the NoMad hotel start at a "Cozy" size, which is essentially a twin bed stuffed into a 140-sq.ft. room. The "Standard" room has 175-sq.ft with a queen bed, while the "Deluxe" size has a king bed wedged into a 300-sq.ft. room. The suites are a little more generous with their space but not much. And as far as we can tell, the room decor has not changed much since the hotel was the Hotel Lola.
If staying here, you'll probably spend most of your time downstairs at Veronica's lobby bar and lounge or at Marta (no "h"), the new Italitan restaurant from NYC restauranteur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group (and of Shake Shack fame.) But should you be too exhausted to leave your room, Marta does do room service.
Rates for the Martha Washington Hotel start at $335 a night for a standard room with a queen bed.
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Last time we heard about Hotel Football, the Manchester hotel being built by former Manchester United footballers Ryan ‘scumbag’ Giggs and Gary ‘the only nice guy in football’ Neville, we were transfixed (in a not altogether good way) by the renderings.
Today, we have an opening date: 8 December. We also have some more, equally transfixing renderings courtesy of the Manchester Evening News. We're being slightly mean - the room rendering looks like something we might have created in Paint circa 2003 – but, looking past that, the rooms themselves actually look pretty stylish and not fanatically ‘football’. In short, we could go here.
There will be a rooftop “pitch” and events space, all rooms will have 40-inch TVs and full Sky packages to watch matches on, the restaurant Café Football will serve sausage rolls and burgers as well as posher food, and there will even be betting facilities(!!!) on site.
No word on rates yet, but we’ll keep an eye out.
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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!