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We’re always up for a hotel stay, but when it comes with the chance to take in that freshly opened new hotel smell? We’re all over it. Such was our luck at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, where we walked through the front door the day after the ribbon was cut last week.
One of the tallest structures in Tokyo, Toranomon Hills tower (the big one in the middle in the above photo, with a bonus appearance of Tokyo Tower on the left) dominates the skyline south of the vast green expanse surrounding the Imperial Palace. Andaz spreads across six floors of the building, with reception on floor 51, rooftop bar, function space and wedding chapel (yes, really) on floor 52, spa on floor 37, and 164 guestrooms between floors 47 and 50.
We had high hopes for our Andazm at Andaz no. 12 and we left pretty satisfied after a night in one of its rooms. Why? Here are five things that made it work for us.
The fact that Andaz Tokyo is indeed very much open is something we can vouch for, typing this as we do in one of its rooms on the 50th floor of the equally new Toranomon Hills tower, with the above view over the city and the Imperial Palace stretching out in front of us.
We paid an opening rate of about $370 USD (39360 JPY) but we're clearly getting a lot of bang for our buck. From big views to small amenities (the minibar and WiFi are complimentary), there is lots to talk about, which we’ll do soon.
In the meantime, here are a few shots to whet your appetite: from the lofty heights of the 52nd floor rooftop and expansive lap pool to old-timey switches on the nightstand, paper artwork in the elevators and bonsai trees in the lobby. Stay tuned for much more.
Almost 50 years after it first opened in 1967, Atlanta’s famous revolving restaurant, Polaris, will rotate once again atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on June 10.
This is a big deal: to locals, design buffs, and to Hyatt Hotels, who are planning all kinds of pre-opening events. In Times Square celebratory fashion, the blue-domed spaceship that once had no taller buildings surrounding it was darkened, then officially re-lit in ceremonial pomp.
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Park Hyatt’s first incursion into Austria, the hotel opened June 2, just a day late (unless you count the original plan to open in 2013). It’s in a nice, slightly different position from most of the other lux hotels: on the slightly less touristy northwestern side of the Innere Stadt.
There are 143 rooms, and a restaurant, bar, and cigar and whisky lounge (possibly copying the nearby Kempinski’s). The spa boasts a pool in the old bank vault, and uses Sodashi products for its treatments.
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Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the recently renovated Grand Club Lounge at the Grand Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok, Thailand.
While the mixed-use complex that will eventually house the Park Hyatt Bangkok is still going up, the Tony Chi-led renovations at sister hotel Grand Hyatt Erawan are now complete, including the 17th floor Grand Club lounge facing Radjadamri Road.
A small number of rooms are located on the same floor, but if you have access to the Grand Club, it’s worth seeing whether you can get one – if not there – on floors 16 or 18. These are connected to the 17th by a staircase, which beats taking the elevator up and down. We loved some of the artwork on display, like the sculpture above at the entrance.
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Having had such major openings recently as Sofitel So and W, Bangkok continues apace with new hotels over the next few years, from a Rosewood and a Capella to no less than three Hyatts (Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Hyatt Place).
The Park Hyatt will arrive first, scheduled to open next year in a mixed-use building on Ploenchit Road. While completion is still a while away, you can just about start to make out the “twisted coil” architecture that will give the building its distinctive shape. The white skeleton you see peeking out above the exterior cladding on the left swoops up into the tower element that will eventually house 173 rooms and 49 suites. Check out the rendering below to get a better sense of the end result.
If you're a Hyatt lover who's looking for a Cancun getaway, we've got some bad news--The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt as of May 1, 2014. Here's the note that is now on their website:
The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt-managed or a Hyatt-branded property effective 11:59pm local hotel time on April 30, 2014. As of May 01, 2014, the hotel will be known as “Krystal Grand Punta Cancun.”
Hyatt will continue to sell stays at the hotel up to 11:59pm local Cancun time on April 30, 2014. Please note that due to the management change, Hyatt Gold Passport members will not be eligible to receive Hyatt Gold Passport program benefits, including Hyatt Gold Passport points and Gold Passport free nights redemption for stays after April 30, 2014 and beyond. Redemption of Hyatt Gold Passport free nights requested and confirmed prior to March 14, 2014 will be honored as booked.
We're not so sure of the reasons for Hyatt's departure but thankfully, the hotel brand still has another property in the area--Hyatt Zilara, their new all-inclusive resort brand.
Meanwhile, we'll update you on what the Krystal Grad Punta Cancun will have when it takes over the old Hyatt. There's already a Krystal resort in Cancun so perhaps this will be their luxury property.
Meanwhile, rates start around $165 a night during the Hyatt's last week in operation.
[Photo: Hyatt Regency/Facebook]
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts may be opening their luxury brand Grand Hyatt in this rather pronounced building in Barcelona, known as the Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower.) It’s not the tallest building in Barcelona (at 38 stories, it’s the third tallest) but it is certainly one of the most talked about.
Anyone who lives or visits this artsy city cannot avoid the presence of this glass-enclosed missile. The locals have their own name for it, which we hesitate to print. Let’s just say there is a similar shaped building that graces (or not) the London skyline, known affectionately as the “guerkin.” However, we and others may see this tower of power, Hyatt sees it as their Barcelona address for Grand Hyatt.
The list of places present and future to have an Andazm is growing rapidly (hello Munich), but nearest on the horizon is Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, opening this summer. Most of the visuals we’ve seen so far of the 52-story tower have been renderings, but now we have what looks like actual photography of the rooms.
There will be 164 of them on the tower’s top six floors, which means stupendous views of both Tokyo’s urban maze and, if on the right side of the building, the Imperial Palace in the distance – giving local cousin Park Hyatt some serious killer view competition. A ten-minute walk from Andaz takes you to Shinbashi station, connecting you to the Yamanote line, which loops through central Tokyo and is sure to be one of your main modes of transport when exploring the city.
If you managed to snag yourself a date for Valentine's evening, here's a brand new bar to take (and impress) them. Opening on February 14th, Bar 54 at the newly opened Hyatt Times Square is Manhattan's highest rooftop lounge, rising 54 floors above street level and offering spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, from the Chrysler Building to the World Trade Center, and even the Times Square ball. We're already thinking New Year's Eve reservations.
Designed by SPAN Architecture, Bar 54 is a 122-seat indoor/outdoor lounge serving specialty cocktails, fine wines and a selection of small plates. Outside, colorful lounge seating is warmed by cozy outdoor fireplaces while the inside section features a variegated wood ‘trunk' and laser cut ceiling panels.
Confirmed: Hyatt is taking over NYC.
Chesapeake Lodging Trust appointed the brand to take over an existing Holiday Inn on W. 31st Street and rename/rebrand it to the Hyatt Herald Square. Not to be confused with Hyatt Times Square or Hyatt Union Square. And for those keeping count, this will be the 8th Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.
The hotel will actually close down in August and undergo a multimillion dollar renovation, reopening by the end of September. Everything will be upgraded from the 122 guest rooms to the lobby/social spaces. Paul Vega, founder of VLDG designs of New York, will be leading the redesign and is expected to borrow from the hotel's surrounding Herald Square nabe and the nearby Fashion District. In other words: rinse, lather, repeat.
Right now, rates at the Holiday Inn are just $133 a night this weekend. No doubt that will increase a lot when it reopens as a Hyatt.
[Photo: Holiday Inn NYC Midtown ]
While many hotel brands are getting in on the juicing trend (Kimpton Hotels just announced a hotel-wide program too), we were beyond excited to see that the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles embrace a new, healthy-eating trend with a special Paleo Menu at their Breeze restaurant, a first of its kind for a hotel restaurant.
For those not familiar, the Paleo diet is based on the food groups of our "pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors." Cavemen, really. Essentially, the diet is all meats and vegetables but only "clean" meats and vegetables, nothing processed is allowed. And sorry, dairy is not allowed either.
The diet not only claims to help with weight loss but also to help with autoimmune disorders and systemic inflammation. (Note: I personally try to follow Paleo for an autoimmune disorder that I have but goddammit, cheese is too often too good to resist.)
Like all diets, Paleo requires careful selection of ingredients (read your labels!) and time to prepare the foods. While it's possible to order around the menu options at a restaurant to meet your Paleo requirements, most of the time dining out Paleo-style can be difficult and near impossible when staying at hotels. But not at Breeze, Hyatt's all-day dining restaurant.