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The hotel that launched a thousand
ships pages of court filings
According to Bloomberg News, investor Ron Burkle threatened to "crater" some of the hotel group's other deals (like in Moscow and Las Vegas) if the Morgans board members did not approve the Delano South Beach buyout bid from his Yucaipa companies as well as his proposed recapitalization plan.
One of Morgan's largest shareholders, OTK Associates, has already filed a lawsuit against other Morgans board members to stop this arrangement. OTK also wants to overhaul the board and in effect, the company. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that Morgans with its 13 hotels has lost money in every quarter since 2007.
If this sounds terribly confusing, it is. Essentially two board members are fighting each other over direction of the company and who gets most of its assets. Like we said last month, this may not immediately affect your experience at a Morgans Hotel right now, but it certainly could in the future.
More importantly, if the hotel group hasn't turned a profit since 2007, we're not so sure how many of their new hotel projects will actually come to life. To be continued....
Hotel Bikes / Manhattan Hotels / Brooklyn / Bangkok Hotels / London Hotels / Australia Hotels / QT Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Santa Monica Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Element Hotels / → All Tags
As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
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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.
Hotel Industry News / Hotel Woes / Delano hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Hotel Lawsuits / → All Tags
Last week we were stunned to hear that Morgans Hotel Group was selling off its prized possesion, The Delano South Beach. But once we waded through the legal mumbo-jumbo and found that the Delano would remain the Delano and that Morgans would still be running the shop, we were cool with all of it. But we shoulda known better. These hotel sales are never easy.
OTK Associates LLC, the largest stockholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co., has now filed a lawsuit to stop Morgans from re-arranging The Yucaipa Companies interest in the company. (Currently, Yucaipa holds Morgans stock, stock warrants and convertible notes. Morgans' directors want Yucaipa to take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group instead.) OTK Associates believes that the switcheroo would favor the Yucaipa company over other stockholders (like OTK) and is also, you know, like totally illegal according to Delaware law.
OTK also has issues with the looking to stop the postponement of the company's annual meeting which is usually held in May but which is now set for July because OTK believes that stockholders will be denied the right to review the transaction.
As of this afternoon, OTK actually secured a right of postponement on the "recapitalization plan" and released this statement:
OTK is pleased that the Morgans Hotel Group agreed to delay the rights offering, as OTK had requested in its motion for a temporary restraining order. All shareholders should be deeply troubled by the current board of directors’ continued waste of corporate assets to advocate for a coercive and dilutive transaction that OTK believes is invalid. Further, the use of company funds to change shareholder voting rules and diminish voting rights calls into question this board’s fiduciary duties and responsibilities.
Again, we don't think this is going to affect your next Morgans Hotel stay but you never know what might happen in a few months. Lawsuit and other problems at the top always trickle down, even down into your hotel room.
It's big news for the Delano Hotel South Beach, a hotel that's been a Miami institution since, well, forever-and-a-day. Their owner, NYC-based Morgans Hotel Group announced it's selling its stakes in the hotel and associates The Light Group, and would offer $100 million to help settle the current debt of $230 million to a buyer. Whoa.
The hotel group has apparently been trying to unload the Delano since 2002, and has apparently posted a financial loss since 2007, according to OTK Associates LLC, the largest shareholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co. So, no doubt they had a hand in pressuring Morgans to dump the Delano, pronto.
Morgans has signed agreements with The Yucaipa Companies, a firm owned by uber-wealthy Ron Burkle, to desist Yucaipa's interest in Morgans stock, stock warrants, and convertible notes, and instead take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group. However, Morgans would still operate the Delano thanks to a pre-agreement asking for long-standing management agreement.
Are you hella confused yet? No worries, we were too, and had to read this manifesto post-and-pre-cocktail time. So we're agree there are no plain words to explain this business. But hold on, keep still, there's more after the jump.
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Menus are great and all, but sometimes you want to feel like you're ordering something really special. We hunted around for Manhattan's best "secret" hotel cocktails. You won't find any of these listed on the menu, but they exist alright. Now, can you keep a secret?
Upstairs at The Chatwal, the red leather booths and jazz trio humming along in the corner certainly set the mood, but our favorite part about the Lambs Club bar is definitely the cocktails. Next time you go, try something different and order the Guillermo Wallace ($18), a tangy blend of Milagro Blanco tequila, lime, grapefruit, honey, a spritz of peated Scotch and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yes, part of this cocktail's charm is watching the bartender add the final 'spritz and a sprinkle'—the other part is drinking it!
3 more off-the-menu cocktails after the jump!
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The original Delano Hotel in Miami.
Another day, another hotel to cross off the Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings
Today, it's the Delano Las Vegas which was set to open in Mandalay Bay's THEhotel by December 2013. But now VegasInc.com reports the opening will most likely happen in the first quarter of 2014. The hotel's own website is actually saying "January 14" but we know better than to trust that. However, once the renovations are complete, the Delano will stick around for at least ten years. In case you need a refresher, here's what Delano has in store for Vegas:
But it seems the new-ness doesn't stop there. We heard rumors about a new venue that would be opening up in the hotel "later this month", and we, of course, immediately set about doing a little detective work.
Here's what we found out: remember Private Park, the hotel's snazzy overgrown terrace, located behind the lobby? Well, now they've covered it with a tent so it can stay open year-round, and changed the name to Hudson Lodge. In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, Hudson Lodge will also serve chili, fondue, and hot drinks—just like a winter lodge!
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Guess who got to take a peek at Hudson Hotel's new rooms? And boy did we photograph the crap out of them.
As many of you already know, the Hudson's recent renovations have been a long, long time coming. In fact, the hotel—which is housed inside a former YWCA and contains a staggering 836 rooms—hadn't really been worked on at all since opening in 2000. And yet with room sizes being what they are (small), and room rates being what they are (disproportionately high), it kind of goes without saying that the hotel's main asset is its Philippe Starck design.
Now, with re-installed Brazilian Cherry wood floors and wall paneling, new lighting, additional storage space under the beds, and Prada-inspired furniture, the space has finally gotten the refresh it deserved. The resulting look? Click through our photo gallery to see for yourself!
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Rebrandings / Manhattan Hotels / Langham Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Novotel / → All Tags
There's tons of New York 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.
· Setai Fifth Avenue Changes Hands: After two years of being open, the lovely Setai Fifth Avenue, which famously promised to leave guests "breathless", has been taken over by Langham Hotels. Up til now, Langham didn't operate any properties in New York, so this is an exciting first for them. But having spent some time in their Boston, London and Hong Kong properties (and Chicago on the way!), we know they'll do a great job keeping up the Setai's classy vibe.
·Novotel Will Become Novel All Over Again: The Real Deal reports that Novotel New York has just launched a spiffy $85 million renovation that will focus on infrastructural improvements to the building, plus guest rooms and public spaces. Basically, the whole nine years. Owners of the 480-room property are reportedly hoping to "cash in on higher room rates," which currently hover at around $250-$300/night.
There’s something about hotels that have their own screening rooms and movie theaters that say “schwanky”, so it’s no surprise that beginning today, South Beach’s luxury Delano is partnering with The Weinstein Company and presenting the "Weinstein Screening Series" in the hotel’s brand new 20-person Media Room which opened last month. It will be the location where some of the company’s most popular movies will be shown on an 85-inch screen.
On the agenda for the next few months:
The King’s Speech: October 8th
My Week with Marilyn: October 22nd
Nowhere Boy: November 5th
Our Idiot Brother: November 19th
Undefeated: December 3rd
Vicky Cristina Barcelona: December 17th
Admission will be offered to Delano guests and by invitation only. Invitees will sit in the intimate, 800 square-foot lounge on earth-toned leather couches, and enjoy free movie candy and popcorn (that is sooo sophicated!) Movie-themed cocktails, like the "Dirty Girl", made with Jack Daniels, blood orange and ginger beer, "The Artist", a concoction of Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Amaretto, and Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and "Inglourious Basterds", a mixture of Bacardi Oakheart, St. Germaine, lime and mint, will be available for purchase.
Rates at The Delano begin at $299 per night.
[Photo:Morgans Hotel Group]
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Some very lucky people got to enjoy never-before-slept-in rooms at the Delano Marrakech this weekend, as the brand new 71-room hotel—and its four dining spaces, including Bon R, by Michelin-starred chef Michel Rostang—celebrated its official opening on Friday. As we reported last month, this was quite a quick turnaround for Morgans, who only announced the hotel as recently as June.
What we don't get—but are very, very happy about—is the new "special offer" Delano Marrakech is advertising on its website: for a limited time, guests can book a room at the swank hotel for just $197/night. That's a good chunk of savings right there that can go directly toward your plane ticket to Morocco (which will cost significantly more, in case you had any doubts).