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Summer is almost upon us, and along with all the regular seasonal delights (rooftop cocktails, long weekends in Cape Cod, ice creeeaaam), one thing we hate, hate, hate about summer in the city is the exorbitant hotel rates.
We've seen numbers climbing to $600, $650, and even $700/night for a standard room, and we feel someone needs to take a stand against such preposterousness. So that someone may as well be us.
At a glance, we found several hotels overstepping the line with $700+ rates on a weeknight in June. Sheraton Times Square must be really raking it in, as they claim their "lowest available rate" is $749/night. Meanwhile, less than three miles away, the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor is offering a room on the same night for $289. For the difference in price, we could treat ourselves to a steak dinner at Peter Luger's and still wind up saving money.
Our question is: considering that hotels can justify these kinds of rates because it's the summer season, would you pay $700/night to stay at a Sheraton? Or would you look elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts below!
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Openings / Langham Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
Though we gave you a heads up about the change last fall, Langham sent out a formal announcement late last week, confirming that tomorrow, May 7, the former Setai Fifth Avenue will become Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. The announcement mostly tells us what we already knew, except for a few minor details. It turns out the hotel will indeed undergo some cosmetic changes—including new permanent artworks, updated decor, a Chuan spa, and a new lounge/bar concept.
And good news for folks visiting NYC this week: the opening of the new lounge, featuring a menu by former Maialino chef Jeffrey Seizer, coincides with the re-branding of the hotel tomorrow. So come hungry!
(For those of you wondering about the fate of the hotel's celebrated restaurant, Ai Fiori, rest assured. It's staying put for now.)
We called it one of our hotel openings to get psyched about back in February, and yet while The Langham Chicago will not open in May as expected, a July date is now on the books. And to whet our appetite while we wait, the hotel's Facebook page has been giving us plenty of photos to ogle.
Set within the Mies van der Rohe building - the famous architect’s last work - The Langham Chicago is right on the riverfront, and as we’ve pointed out, cozily next to Trump. Known locally as the IBM Building, it has been a Chicago Landmark since 2008. So what can we expect inside?
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The brand has decided to take over the Delta Chelsea in Toronto, which, at 1,590 rooms, is Canada's largest hotel.
As of July 1, the hotel will officially be known as Eaton Chelsea, thus becoming the first Eaton hotel to open in North America. (For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Eaton is an offshoot brand under the Langham umbrella, with several properties throughout Asia, including Eaton Hong Kong and Eaton Smart New Delhi Airport.)
Langham's parent company has owned the
Delta Chelsea Eaton Chelsea for nearly two decades, but has finally decided to take over management duties as well. This is most likely due to Langham's steadily growing presence in the US, with The Langham Chicago one of the most anticipated openings of 2013 (and not just because of the free WiFi!).
Similar in many ways to Langham, Eaton is known for its "smart, modern and uncomplicated interiors and an enthusiastic 'can do' service culture," as explained by Eaton Chelsea Regional VP Josef Ebner. The hotel itself will undergo major renovations to the exterior, lobby, Market Garden restaurant, and meeting facilities.
One of its main attractions is the "Corkscrew," downtown Toronto's only indoor waterslide.
Rates from $131/night.
[Photo: Eaton Chelsea]
Even though Langham Hotels is prepping to open in Chicago and have recently taken over the Setai Hotel in NYC and the Observatory Hotel in Sydney, they've actually closed the door on the Langham Yangtze in Shanghai.
Sophie Friedman, a Conde Nast Traveler contributor based in China, emailed us last week to say the hotel, a place we once called "practically perfect", parted ways with Langham (i.e. the management contract was not renewed.) Instead, the building's owners are doing their own thing and the hotel has been renamed Yangtze Boutique Hotel.
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Tea is a big thing. Really big, especially at hotels. Just last week, Shangri-La Sydney announced the introduction of a very special tea blend that is exclusive to their property and will brighten up even the perkiest of high tea services. The hand-picked single origin 100% pure Dilmah Ceylon tea is available in all 563 rooms and can be sipped in any of the restaurants including their new signature high-tea service. The special tea bags will also be found in all Shangri-La properties around the world.
The folks at the Shangri-La aren't the only tea connoisseurs. There are plenty of other exclusive brews at hotels around the world. Here's a sampling of what you can sample while staying or playing at these properties:
· The Langham: As the creators of the original English high-tea service, you could have imagine they would stake claim to one variety. In fact, the pink-hued hotels have four different house blends to tempt guests' taste-buds. The aptly named Langham Blend, Silk Road Blend, English Flower Blend and Palm Court Exotic Blend are all offered on their own or accompanying some freshly baked scones.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· The Next Radisson Blu Will Be In Philly: In other Radisson news today, the Radisson Plaza Warwick in Philadelphia is undergoing a $17 million renovation that will see the hotel converted into a Radisson Blu property by this summer. This will be the fourth Radisson Blu to open in America, after this month's Mall of America opening. The Warwick, which originally opened in 1926, contains 297 rooms, 4 suites, a fitness center, 3 dining venues, and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more juicy hotel news, read on!
Admittedly one of our favorite luxury hotel chains, The Langham is well-known for things like afternoon tea, pink taxis and a 19th century-inspired gin cocktail lounge. No surprise, then, that the Langham is exactly the kind of classy joint where Justin Bieber would want to have his first foursome.
The 18-year-old pop star was staying in London this week gearing up for his big UK tour, and he certainly kept busy "getting to know" his British fanbase. The Daily Mail caught photos of Bieber in and out of several nightclubs around London on Tuesday night, before finally ending up back at the Langham London with his new lady friend, Ella-Paige Roberts Clark.
A few minutes later, though, two other girls from the same club showed up at the hotel and were admitted up to his room.
You could argue that the girls were only after a quick nightcap in the hotel bar, or maybe they needed to use the bathroom, and they just happened to stop in the same hotel where the Biebs was staying. Except no, they weren't. Photographers also snapped one of them leaving the Langham the next morning, dressed in the same clothes, just a few minutes after Justin left the hotel himself. Busted!
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We're only two months into 2013 and while we've had our share of disappointments, there's still a bunch of new hotels to start saving your pennies for. So because we can't get enough of that new hotel smell, here are 10 More Hotel Openings To Get Psyched About:
W VERBIER: There are only two W Hotels opening in 2013 and this winter wonderland in Switzerland is one of them. This will be the very first "alpine escape" from W and will feature 123 rooms and suites, each with their own fireplace, balconies and signature W beds. Being cold has never gotten us so hot.
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You have to feel good for Herbert, who, after failing to find the love of her life as a participant on the 15th season of "The Bachelor", was able to narrow down a large field of men to one in the 7th season of "The Bachelorette". Television host Chris Harrison officiated the recent ceremony in front of a congregation of family and friends, but mostly video cameras and former participants of the show.
From Wetpaint Entertainment:
“Their proposal was one of the most tender and romantic in television history, so it’s only fitting that the Dec. 1 nuptials of Bachelorette Season 7 stars Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena was equally personal, intimate and, above all, filled with love.”
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The hotel, in the city's financial district, popped both a theoretical and literal first cork when it revealed its $6 million lobby renovation. Big deal, you say? That's what we thought, until we heard the lobby came with the new Reserve, a luxury European Champagne Lounge that will, for now, pair light cuisine with global selections of bubbly and wine.
For the first few weeks, it looks like it’s all mimosas and munchies: The Reserve will serve continental breakfast, lunch, and plenty of champers until it opens for dinner later this month (it will join BOND Restaurant and Café Fleuri as a third option for dinner within the walls of the hotel).
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While hotels had plenty of seemingly self-serving and more cutesy-than-caring promotions for October's Breast Cancer Month, many are taking a more serious and hands-on approach during November's Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Hotels across the globe are opening their doors and inviting guests to take a proactive approach to end their smoking habits once and for all and reduce their chances of lung cancer, which, according to the Lung Cancer Alliance, "is the deadliest cancer in the world that takes more lives than breast, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined."
Is quitting smoking on your New Year's resolution list? A trip to the UK might be in order.