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We can only hope the recent layoffs at Morgans Hotel Group will turn the ship towards calmer waters and sunnier shores, because there are still a few properties in the pipeline that we want to see being completed.
In London at least that seems to be a bit of a question mark, because all reference to the Hudson London – planned in an Edwardian building on Great Scotland Yard formerly used by the Ministry of Defense – has been removed from the group’s website.
For now, the Mondrian London continues to progress towards opening sometime this summer (we hope), having just received its new “Sea Containers” sign (the name of the building) and its new trademark blue lighting. The first three floors of guestrooms in the middle of the building look to have river-facing balconies.
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This morning we spent some time updating the Master Openings List but there's one update we're really intrigued by--The Baha Mar Resort, opening in December in the Bahamas with no less than FIVE different hotel brands inside. We knew it was gonna be big but this is crazy big.
In total, the complex, nicknamed the "Bahamian Riviera", will have a total of 2,900 hotel rooms and residences, a 100,000 square foot casino, an 18-hole, 72-par Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, an ESPA spa and more than a dozen pools. Plus, a 200,000 square feet convention center. We know, insane!
Of course, we're most interested in the hotels that will open and it's quite a mix. The five resorts are as follows:
London Hotels / London Hotel Openings / Hotel Openings / Firmdale Hotels / Andre Balazs / Corbin & King / Morgans Hotel Group / Mondrian Hotels / Clermont Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / → All Tags
London has had a few big years in hotels, including our best opening for 2013, but the next twelve months should give us plenty to pore over too. Just like the five worldwide openings we lifted out of our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings, here are 6 London hotels you should keep an eye out for this year.
Firmdale's Ham Yard Hotel : we’ve been taking pictures for a long time of the construction site, but this year should really be the year when Firmdale adds a new flagship to its quirky collection of individually Kit Kemp-styled hotels. Located just off of Piccadilly Circus with 90 rooms and suites and a whole range of amenities (bowling alley anyone?), the hotel will complete a piece of the puzzle in this revamped area between Regent Street and Soho. Recruitment has started, and based on the website, we think it will actually be called the Ham Yard Hotel when it opens in May.
There's tons of hotel news flying around today and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· Mondrian Soho Is Really No Mo' But Morgans Won't Go Down Without a Fight: In June, we heard whispers that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name. And now, it's official. A Delaware court ordered parent company, Morgans Hotel Group, out of the hotel. However, Morgans isn't going without a fight. NY Daily New's Confidential column got a hand on some of the court filings between Morgans and property owner, Suchin Downtown Realty, and it's ugly.
Morgans has alleged that the hotel owners cut costs, including the elimination of an extra generator which really could have come in handy when Sandy happened and by skimping on the size of the penthouse suite. Meanwhile, Suchin says that Morgans mismanaged the property, causing it to place last in REVPAR results compared to its competition.
Right now, Morgans is appealing the decision and apparently, it's business as usual at the hotel. Rates start this weekend at $409 a night.
Check out more interesting hotel news after the jump!
We’re still recovering from a major week in London hotels; who wouldn’t be when it was book-ended by the likes of Ace Shoreditch and The London Edition? That’s not so say of course we’re taking our eye of the ball when it comes to the future, as we know the list of openings is long - and continues to grow for that matter.
A recent walk by the Mondrian London on Southbank showed some interesting progress, with scaffolding starting to come down the front façade. Even more, an entire wing has shown up on the western side of the building, with a rather different design than the original Sea Containers House. We have a before and after picture for you after the jump.
We won't lead you on any longer. The answer is a big fat NO. Here's what happened:
Five years ago, long before the economic collapse, Mondrian Hotels announced their plans to develop a hotel across from the Palm Springs Convention Center at Calle Alvarado and Amado. The hotel was shelved for obvious reasons after the markets tanked but yet was revived back in 2011. A Mondrian was still expected to rise with 200 hotels room and residences.
But somewhere along the road, that deal fell apart. (Perhaps because of Mondrian's parent company's internal woes.) And it was only just this past March, that developer CDI Ventures actuallyl got the official go ahead from the city of Palm Springs to purchase the land and develop a five-star luxury hotel. And guess who will be running it?
Morgans Hotel Group / Hotel Woes / Mondrian Hotels / Soho Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Boston Hotels / → All Tags
To quickly get you up to speed, OTK Associates (one of the largest shareholders of the Morgans stock), has sued fellow board members to stop them from doing a deal with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa company and from recapitalizing assets. It’s an extremely complicated situation but a Delaware court recently ruled in favor of OTK, who is now trying to replace the exist boardmembers with picks of their own.
In their recent letter to shareholders with their boardmember suggestions, OTK Associates revealed that foreclosure proceedings began in January for the Mondrian Soho. But that's not all:
In February 2013, the owner of Mondrian SoHo, a joint venture in which Morgans Group owns a 20% equity interest, gave notice purporting to terminate our subsidiary as manager of the hotel. It also filed a lawsuit against us seeking termination of the management agreement. We intend to vigorously defend our rights to continue managing the property under our management agreement and related agreements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful.
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We might have talked about Morgans Hotel Group most recently given the drama surrounding The Delano South Beach, but on the other side of the pond there’s positive news to share: some first details on both Mondrian and Hudson London.
Having looked at some early shots of Sea Containers House as it began its transformation, and watched its Jubilee-inspired wrapping, we see construction progressing week after week, which should lead to Mondrian London opening early next year.
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With all the design details in hotels, it's no wonder they're the perfect place to get creative with Instagram photos. We're kind of obsessed with browsing the #hotel tag, and every once in a while, we bring you 5 of our favorite shots that impart major wanderlust. And don't forget to follow our own shots on Instagram under "hotelchatter," "jaunted" and "vegaschatter."
· The above shot was taken by us during a visit inside the Coach Suite at Martha's Vineyard's Charlotte Inn. Not bad, eh?
· Photo via claudialesti — Boy, this looks fun: lounging by the Hotel Santa Tecla Palace's square pool, gazing out at the Ionian Sea.
[Photo above: HotelChatter]
When it comes to pop-up restaurants in NYC, there's no one more experienced than Guerilla Culinary Brigade founder Alan Philips (we like to think of him as the Ian Schrager of pop-up hotel restaurants).
We've experienced our fair share of Philips-masterminded meals at places like The Sanctuary, THOR and THOR again. So we were impressed to hear he was setting up a temporary space over at Mondrian SoHo.
Make that double impressed once we got there and saw that the dining room was hidden behind a secret revolving bookcase...
The site of a Mondrian...maybe
The hotel hype actually comes from a Crain's real estate article on the neighborhood saying that Mark Hunt and his M Development company might try again to turn the Cedar Hotel, a defunct hotel, into a Mondrian. M Development enlisted architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to draw up some renderings back several years ago for the possible Mondrian but the dreams of acquiring and adding several floors to the building were effectively killed by the economic crisis of 2008.
Now that those dark days are behind the hospitality industry, especially in Chicago where the boutique scene is burgeoning, the plans to rework the property into something hip and cool have returned.
Hey all you cocktail-loving, rooftop-dwelling lounge lizards, here's a bit of hotel bar news to perk you up: a new space has opened on top of Mondrian Soho. And though the hotel continues (for reasons unknown to us) to keep its rooftop area restricted to private events, we have to admit, this might be the one invitation-only event actually worth finessing.