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It took a year from taking the first picture of Hudson London to it quietly disappearing from the Morgans Hotel Group website. Though not a complete surprise given some of the struggles the group had, we did welcome Mondrian at Sea Containers during that time and learned that there would be suites running at £10,000 a night (which would almost seem a steal compared to what we just saw in Paris), before the rumor mill told us Malmaison would be moving into the building on Great Scotland Yard instead.
Morgans Hotel Group / Morgans Hotels Global Club Card / Loyalty Programs / Morgans Hotels / → All Tags
It's been a while since we checked in on Morgans Hotel Group's exclusive Global Club Card. Indeed, we didn't even think they issued this invite-only membership card anymore. But a tipster tells us they have and this is what it looks like.
Gone is the fancy artwork of years past and in its place is a very simple, understated card.
Back in 2010, the Global Club Card got you perks such as a complimentary night at new Morgans hotels within six months of opening, a dedicated concierge, room upgrades and "guaranteed entrance" for the guest and up to two friends at all Morgans Hotel Group bars.
Four years on, the benefits have been upped a bit to include more discounts, free WiFi and even "direct access to the CEO". Keep reading below for the full list of benefits. (And you can skip over to Loyalty Traveler to see the full envelope presentation.)
Sorry, we're still not sure how you can get invited for this card. You have to be a sort of select "tastemaker" or you have to spend a lot of nights at a Morgans Hotel.
Viva Vegas / Morgans Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Delano Hotels / Hotel Gift Shops / Las Vegas Hotels / MGM Resorts / → All Tags
Morgans Hotels are rather infamous for their gift shop offerings such as the kinky vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach called "Automat" which once sold (or maybe still does) 24-karat gold handcuffs from Kiki de Montparnasse. The automat also sold rentals for premium luxury cars like a Rolls Royce or a Benz.
When the machine made its debut at the Hudson Hotel in New York, it sold an $8,000 photo shoot with photographer Ben Watkins and a rental of a red Ferrari 599 GTB.
However, the gift shop offerings at the Essence shop at the new Delano Las Vegas aren't quite that risqué, although they are still rather expensive. You can get a small discount on the items if you're a member of the M Life rewards program but for the most part, be prepared to spend.
Here's what we found while admiring the wares at Essence the other week.
As of last night, a a 1950's-inspired Italian beach club has taken over the penthouse rooftop at the Mondrian Soho. But there will be cocktails and gelato to go along with the party beats.
Sonny's Soda Shoppe is an homage to the Italian resort town,Forte Dei Marmi, and is decked out in classic Italian umbrella stripes with a 30-foot photo mural of the Tuscan coast from designer DeVinn Bruce that.
And what's a trip to Italy--either real or inspired--without ice cream? Indeed Sonny's Soda Shoppe will serve rotating flavors from delicious gelateria Laboratorio Gelato, signature pizzas and snacks by Isola executive chef Victor LaPlaca ($10 a slice; $18-20 a pizza); and market fresh Italian cocktails, "Gelato Floats", and frozen Limoncello by mixologist Julio Torres.
The soda shoppe will open from Wednesday to Friday from 6pm to 12am and from Friday to Sunday from 4pm to 12am.
[Photo: Mondrian Soho/Instagram]
Would you like to wake up with this man?
The New York City Wine & Food Festival is happening this weekend, and the Hudson Hotel is getting into the spirit by inviting top celebrity chef Guy Fieri, he of the bleached spikes and full-throttle delivery, to get into bed with its guests. In a sense.
Here's what's going on: Fieri has recorded a series of wake-up calls that will be played for any guest at the Hudson (the official hotel of the NYCWFF) who requests such a call from Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20. The general gist of the message will be Guy letting guests know they'd better "Wake Up Hungry At Hudson" because there will be a lot of eating to do at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, but we expect the message will be delivered in a rather more exclamatory tone. Let's hope he keeps his yelling to a minimum; it sounds like it could be too much excitement first thing in the morning. We'd probably need our coffee first.
We have a bit of a confession to make. Even though we live in London, and were not far from all the Queen's Diamond Jubilee festivities, the weather during the long weekend - particularly on the Sunday of the flotilla - was so miserable we largely stayed inside.
That's how we missed Sea Containers House, soon to be The Mondrian London, being wrapped in a giant black-and-white picture of the 1977 Jubilee, featuring Queen Elizabeth and various members of the royal family during the requisite balcony scene. Cycling across the river this weekend was the first we saw of it. How cool is that though?
We're pretty sure this must have gotten a lot of attention from anyone being on, or around, the river that day, and garnered some extra publicity for the upcoming hotel conversion. The Huffington Post has a time-lapse video of the whole thing being put together.
We have some more construction shots from just over a month ago here, including a number of other hotels in the immediate area. We also saw that CitizenM, which we missed at the time, is nearing completion - we'll share an update on that when we can.
Riding a bike in Manhattan can indeed be lethal—you've always got to keep your guard up, and you should never EVER assume a taxi driver has seen you (even if you're riding around in a neon pink unitard). But in the warmer seasons, like now, bike riding can be one of the best ways to enjoy some incredibly scenic parts of the city.
Here's our guide to free hotel bike rentals. Just remember to wear a helmet!
You might have to step up your wardrobe a little bit to compete with the fashion crowd that usually hangs around at the Mondrian Soho, but the rooms (and public spaces) are totally worth it. And free Public C7 bikes? Even more worth it.
Valentine's Day Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Loews Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Morgans Hotels / → All Tags
BLT Steak at The Betsy
The Valentine's Day hotel packages have been running hot and heavy for awhile now. But with the day upon us, we though you might appreciate these last-minute options. Here are Three Tasty Hotel Valentine's Day specials being served up today:
1. BLT Steak and The Betsy Hotel
This restaurant (a favorite of ours for its pretty decor and meat-alicious menu) is offering a poem with dinner all this week--you can request one from your server although they'll probably offer it up when they bring your bread basket and water. Guests can choose from poems by Maria Rainer Rilke, Hyam Plutzik, Campbell McGrath, EE Cummings, and other lovelorn souls. They're free to take, and of course read to your dining partner at your leisure. Apart from being old-time romantic, the poetry idea seems to have sprung from the fact that the hotel owner's late father was himself a poet. (You can request one of his poems, too.)
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Know what's crazy boring and frustrating? Trying to decide whether or not to stay at a hotel by looking at their tiny, staged room photos on a website. This is why we do our best to get in and give you some massive photo galleries to flip through, but now hotels are taking it upon themselves to get creative by using the iPhone photo sharing app Instagram.
To put it plainly, Instagram allows its users to post their own shots (most taken on the fly, via iPhone) applied (or not) with filters to jazz it up the visual oomph. The community is crawling with design, travel, architecture, photography and foodie geeks, which makes it a perfect place to show off your property if you're a hotel.
We've recently joined Instagram ourselves (search hotelchatter & jaunted in the app to find our photostreams) and we're sharing original snaps from our own hotel stays. Still, we searched to find the hotel accounts on Instagram to follow right now:
Celebrity Scoop / Ashton Kutcher / Demi Moore / Hawaii Hotels / Morgans Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
The couple were seen together several weeks ago on an emergency reconciliation camping trip near Santa Barbara.
Now that their divorce news has come and gone, Demi and Ashton are planning their next moves carefully—well, mostly Demi. While much of Ashton's time is devoted to his new role on the hit TV show Two And A Half Men, Demi is doing the only thing she knows how to do in times of duress: seek refuge in a hotel. The NY Post reports that Moore hopped a plane to Hawaii to do "some soul-searching."
The name of the hotel has not yet been released, but we're guessing she's staying well away from The Waikiki Edition. Too many unhappy marriage associations, you know? Plus, we know Demi likes her privacy. More likely than not, she's pitched a tent in the forest just to keep away those pesky hotel maids.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Morgans Hotels / Florida Room / The Dutch / W Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / Hotel Valet / Hotel Crime / → All Tags
As the high season gets closer in Miami Beach, there's been a hurricane (too soon?) of activities happening around the hottest hotels.
Miami New Times reports that Blue Door Fish will close sometime after Art Basel and will reopen as something called, Bianca. Brian Massie, a chef from the nightlife and resto outfit in Las Vegas, The Light Group, will take over the cuisine.
There's no word on what's replacing The Florida Room just that it will close at the end of December but reopen sometime before New Year's as whatever new club it's going to be.
Fashion Week / Fashion Hotels / Morgans Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Toys / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Fashion week doesn't all have to be about VIP appearances, plus-ones, and cramming sixteen shows into one lunch break. It can also be fun! Take the vending machine at Hudson Hotel, which elevates the concept of the gift bag to a whole new level—though the stuff isn't actually free, any fashion hound with some extra cash is going to want to buy this stuff.
$14 copies of Catcher In the Rye have been switched out for items like a Ruby Kobo diamond-and-wood bracelet, a SANG A python clutch (above), Public School hand-made wool ties, and a Jolibe rabbit fur jacket. So, really, something for everyone here. And if you happen to like Tumblr (the easy-to-use digital media platform used by millions of musicians, artists, photographers and fashion writers), there's something here for you too.