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Last time we talked about the JW Marriott Venice, we were getting overly excited about the infinity pool overlooking Piazza San Marco. Ready for more excitement? Because we have more news.
First piece of exciting news: the project is being overseen by Matteo Thun, he of Hotel Missoni (RIP) fame. There will now be 266 rooms (instead of 230), furnished with locally made materials: bricks, glass and tiles.
Second piece of exciting news: this isn’t just a private island hotel, it’s a private island with 16 acres of grounds. These will be landscaped with gardens, olive groves, “fruit arbours” and vegetable plots. There will now be four restaurants, five bars and – third piece of exciting news – a cooking school and wine academy.
Hotel News / Four Seasons Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Oahu Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Mexico City Hotels / Hotel Renovations / JW Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.
The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.
When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.
Hotel Uniforms / Designer Uniforms / JW Marriott Hotels / Houston Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Fashion / → All Tags
It's Fashion Week in NYC but down in Houston, Texas there's another fashion show of sorts taking place. The JW Marriott Houston Downtown, opening later this month, has just unveiled their new uniform collection for hotel associates (aka employees).
The seriously stylish collection was actually inspired by the 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building, which was Houston's first skyscraper and which now houses the luxury hotel brand. A custom blouse print even features a photograph of the building taken in 1910.
David Peck USA designed the men's and women's line which features classic silhouettes for the ladies in the form of pencil skirts, structured jackets, sheath dresses and blouses with neckties and chiffon panels and for the men, neutral tones with splashes of bright blue and peridot and some dandy accessories like bow ties and suspenders. Both the women's and mens lines features custom, hand-woven and fair trade tweed in several pieces.
“Traditional uniforms can mask individuality so we wanted the JW Marriott Houston Downtown associates to stand out and feel confident,” David Peck said n a statement. “The fashionable designs we’ve created empower the associates, both as individuals and as a team, to provide the guests with a quality of service guests that has become synonymous with the JW Marriott brand around the world.”
Take a look at these uniforms, if you can even call them that. They might just be the best ones we've seen yet. Even better, David Peck USA locally manufactured and custom tailored the women's line and used garments from a local shirt maker and menswear manufacturer for the men's line. #keepingitlocal
Now, we just hope these uniforms hold up after a few months of wear.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / JW Marriott Hotels / Venice Hotels / Private Island Hotels / → All Tags
The last time we heard anything about the JW Marriott Venice, it was March 2013 and it had an expected opening date of this year.
It was not to be. But the good news is that it’s now expecting to open in March 2015 – and the website is taking reservations from 12 March.
When we think of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, we mainly think of two things: its gigantic 60,000+ sq ft meeting facilities (a sit-down dinner for 1,200 people? No problem!), and its very Mayfair décor (think dark woods, deep reds, heavy drapes).
The latter made us take notice of the pictures of its new Executive Lounge, which goes in a very different direction design-wise, with a much lighter, more contemporary look. There’s even a ‘media wall’ near reception, which we assume is visible above on the far left with digital images of the greenery of Hyde Park. Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the revamped space was opened recently; check out a few more snaps below.
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That’s right: the latest news coming out of Hawai’i is that Four Seasons might get its hands on a fifth hotel in the island state. Above the current JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina, which Pacific Business News is reporting will close early next year for extensive renovations and reopen “under one of the top luxury brands in the world”.
While there is no official confirmation yet from either the developer or Four Seasons, the latter has registered a business in Hawaii under the name “FS Ko Olina Inc.”, which seems to suggest something is indeed in the works.
JW Marriott Hotels want you to relax. Wait. Actually they want you to "demystify and re-imagine the spa experience" with their new spa concept---Spa by JW.
While JW Marriott hotels around the world often have a spa component of some sort, the hotel brand is now officially getting into the spa game with Spa by JW. Not very creative but at least, we know whose spa it is.
The first Spa by JW will open at the new JW Marriott Hotel in Houston Downtown when the hotel itself opens in September. Another Spa by JW will open at the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar in December followed by at least 20 more.
Through a variety of treatments--short and long--Spa by JW will concentrate on four purposes--Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew. Here are some examples of that:
JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. recently underwent a $25 million top-to-bottom renovation that saw the spiffing up of its 884 guestrooms and suites as well as the vast lobby atrium and upgrades to its two championship golf courses. But don't worry, the quaint boat rides that go around the resort's lakes remain, dock and all, at the far edge of the lobby. Oh and of course the exotic birds that line the bottom of the lobby are still there, providing endless entertainment for passerbys.
The resort also introduced a few new dining concepts including the Rockwood Grill (previously the LakeView Grill), the Blue Star Lounge, and a Fisherman's Landing outpost. While Rockwood serves an out-of-this world breakfast buffet and the Blue Star Lounge has cozy outdoor seating and fire pits, it's still Mikado's Japanese Steakhouse, which will be packed on weekend nights (seriously, do not go without a reservation.)
When we checked into the JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Springs the other weekend, we were tickled to see the Aromatherapy Associates line of toiletries in the bathrooms. Mouthwash included!
Last year, we had heard that JW hotels would be rolling out these upscale toiletries but now they are officially in place at every JW Marriott. Designed for business travelers to fight off skin dehydration after long flights and fatigue due to changing time zones, the line is made with all-natural ingredients and has a scent that appeals to both men and women.
During our stay we realized we forgot to pack our face wash, which nearly gave us a panic attack but the Aromatherapy Associates soap worked amazingly well, without overly drying our skin. (Of course, this being the desert, we slathered on moisturizer followed by sunscreen so our skin didn't have much time to feel dry.) And we loved the fragrant shampoo and conditioner. Even better, our hair was smooth and soft after blowdrying it too.
Shockingly, we forgot to grab our toiletries before we checked-out but if this happens to you, don't fret. You can buy the entire toiletry line on the Shop Marriott site.
The JW Marriott folks reclaimed the legendary Essex House across from Central Park nearly a year ago but just in case you forgot that this was no longer a St. Regis or a Jumeriah or any other luxury hotel brand, JW Marriott has plastered the scaffolding out front with JW Marriott logos (They are doing some construction on the right side of the building.) They've also changed the golden marquee in front to say JW Marriott.
By the front of the door, JW Marriott added a small logo to the left of the door while the Art Deco-style logo for Essex House remains on the right side.
Yet despite all the poshness--CP location, JW Marriott name, golden marquees, etc--rates at the hotel start at just $389 a night and include free WiFi! Don't mind if we do.
Another shot of the entrance is after the jump.
National Tequila Day / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Tucson Resorts / Chicago Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / LA Hotels / Miami Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
Oh, how we love made up holidays that give us an excuse to pig out (see National Burger Month), bliss out (check July's National Ice Cream Month details) or…and this is our favorite by far, get out-and-out liquified. Yes, it's National Tequila Day folks, and that means you have permission, nay, an obligation, to celebrate the fruits of the beloved agave plant. Oh, and if you get this confused with National Margarita Day, it's OK, no one will get mad.
Where to honor this day? Good question. The following hotel bars pay tribute to this sanctified holiday in their own special way, or they just happen to pour a damn good marg, in our humble opinion. And while we know tequila comes from Mexico, if you're not there already, you'll need an alternative locale to indulge (or..like everyday). So, pull up a barstool and place your order. It's 5pm EVERYWHERE today.
Can't make it to a bar midweek (aw, you poor thang), we've got some recipes here so you can get to sippin' at home.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, AZ
This working dude ranch is truly legit. You'll learn how to properly ride a horse, wield a lasso, hike trails, and even mountain bike in the desert. So after all that, you'll want a beverage, and you'll get it in the Doghouse Saloon. It sounds like you're in trouble, and you might be after a few of the Prickly Pear margaritas. Interestingly enough, the prickly pear used is harvested right on site, so it's the real thing. They even use it in syrup for pancakes! But guess what, we loved the Red-Neck Margarita even more, which subbed the tequila for Jack Daniels! Whoa. But that's a story for another holiday.
Hotel Palomar, Chicago
The "Enemy of the State" tequila cocktail was created by bartender, Alex Renshaw and includes Milagro Reposado, Lustau PX sherry, Dark Matter cold brewed coffee and Angostura bitters. Perfect for those who anticipate needing a dose of caffeine and some liquid courage to handle Chi-Town's sassy attitude.
The Bowery Hotel, NYC
An agave accented take on the traditional vodka Moscow version, the Mexican Mule combines tequila with ginger and bitters to create one knock-your-socks-off cocktail. The mixologist at the hotel makes it with Qui Platinum Extra-Añejo tequila, 3 oz of fresh ginger, 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, and tops of the glass with an orange twist.
We’re not saying that we don’t appreciate a mint on the pillow or a single chocolate on the side table at turndown when we are staying in a hotel. Not at all: it’s just that sometimes we’re tired and grumpy after traveling and could really use a little something extra to help us unwind at the end of a travel day.
With this in mind, we are loving the idea of JW Marriott’s new turndown service, the Nightly Refresh Program, which features a rotation of complimentary amenities designed to help guests relax and rejuvenate.
The program, which is available at participating JW Marriott properties worldwide this summer, includes a nutritious snack bar filled with serotonin-releasing organic oats and skin-replenishing antioxidant-filled blueberries; as well as an essential oil featuring a blend of pink grapefruit, rosemary, and juniper berry that was created in partnership with Marriott partner, Aromatherapy Associates.
The healthy snack and essential oils sound lovely, but don’t mind us if we go straight for the wine samples from Treasury Wine Estates, and chocolates by Astor Chocolates. Hey, we’ve probably earned it.
[Photo of the JW Marriott Essex House in NYC by Chanize for HotelChatter]