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The answer to our question when Philippe Starck’s yoo Hotels would make its debut is here: January 2014. Just last week, yoo2 Taksim Square opened the doors to its 59 rooms and suites in the heart of Istanbul, across from Gezi Park.
Yoo2 is the more affordable of two yoo Hotel brands, with yoo Collection aimed at the luxury market. While we heard last year that Acqua Boracay in the Philippines would be the first yoo Collection hotel to open (in 2015), it is not listed in the directory of upcoming hotels, though a separate website is very much up and running. Additional projects include will include yoo Collection Lepang, Bali, yoo Collection in the British Cotswolds, and yoo2 Sinapati, Jakarta - all scheduled for 2016.
Back in 2009, we learned about a new hotel brand conceived by yoo, the design company founded by Philippe Starck and developer John Hitchcox. Though we're familiar with a number of yoo-designed hotels all over the world (Mondrian South Beach, The Hempel Hotel, or Vienna's new Hotel Sans Souci which we visited in January), we still wonder what happened to that alleged yoo hotel brand.
Well, it turns out that not one, but two, yoo brands exist—the only trouble is they haven't been very active yet. yoo2 is the more affordable of the two, and describes itself as a "boutique hotel [elevated] to glorious new heights" through "the element of surprise." Meanwhile, a second brand is titled yoo Collection, which focuses on hotels that are "handcrafted by a world-renowned designer in a way that enhances the lives of discerning guests." Tall order!
To add to the conf-yoo-sion, Travelbite reports that the first-ever yoo Collection hotel, Aqua Boracay, is set to launch in the Philippines later this year. But according to this article by Business Mirror, the resort isn't due to be completed until 2015. Hmm.
The resort's Facebook page shows definite signs construction, though from the photos it's clear that this place won't be opening for at least another year. On the positive side, the finished Aqua Boracay resort will sit directly on paradisiacal Bulabog Beach, and will be located near an airport serviced by regional and domestic flights.
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Photo Gallery / Preferred Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Design / Philippe Starck / Vienna Hotels / Austria Hotels / → All Tags
If you've been to Vienna you already know it’s a fascinating city that upholds its formality and grand architecture as a point of pride, but you don’t need to dig very deep to also find its modern charms--hip museums, neighborhoods, and cafes. This is the city that bred Falco, after all.
The new 63-room Hotel Sans Souci, a member of the Preferred Boutique Hotel Group, had its soft opening on December 20, but it rocked Amadeus (check the Falco reference!) yesterday during its grand opening event.
Designed by yoo, Philippe Starck’s design company, the hotel has La Véranda restaurant, Le Bar and a spa. Interiors are modern and refined in shades of grey (heh!), gold and white with opulent little touches, such as chandeliers overhanging the pool, Arne Jacobsen egg chairs, and the Roy Lichtenstein paintings found in the suites and public areas.
Also worth noting, just in case you’re a Johann Strauß groupie, Hotel Sans Souci is actually the former inn where the composer performed his “Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka“ for the first time in 1858. Just sayin’.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Openings / Miami Hotel Mambo / Miami Hotels / SLS Hotels / Sam Nazarian / Philippe Starck / → All Tags
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
If you've been following the ups and downs of the Miami hotel scene this year, you already know that the opening of SLS South Beach was a big deal. Beachfront property on a prime stretch of Collins Ave, dazzling Philippe Starck design (with a little help from Lenny Kravitz), and, of course, those absurd 750lb silver ducks.
But SLS South Beach also managed to assert itself as a key player in the international hotel scene as well, transcending its local celebrity status to become something people all over the world were talking about. It didn't hurt that, several months after opening, it was primed to host VIP events during Miami's buzziest time of the year: Art Basel.
Needless to say, we had some pretty high expectations when we checked into the SLS in June. And the hotel didn't disappoint one bit. In fact, we enjoyed hanging in our City View King room so much, we barely even noticed it was missing the complimentary iPad (which is supposed to be included with all the rooms).
From the cozy day bed to the compact pink-and-white bathrooms to the well-stocked minibar, it was clear that this hotel not only looks good but is incredibly functional too.
We're no strangers to French designer Philippe Starck putting his masterful mark in hotels (seeLe Royal Monceau, The Delano, and SLS South Beach, among our faves), but there's a new project brewing that has our ears perking right up: The Stairs, a new resort in Bali will be the first top-to-bottom Philippe Starck-designed villa resort in Asia.
And we're not talking about a lamp here and there. No, Starck will be handling the whole 215,278-square foot villa's design, from layout to the furniture (though hopefully this time, he'll ease off the pink). Construction is slated to begin this February, with an estimated opening date of early 2014.
Comprised of 12 villas, The Stairs will be located in Petitenget, a stylish nabe in Bali's Seminyak region, which has been called "The Island of the Gods". And we don't think that's just hyperbole.
Celebrity Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Raffles Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Philippe Starck / → All Tags
Well, the illustrious Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his team of master sushi-makers have decided to winter in Paris, and what a home they’ve chosen: Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris located in the tony 8th arrondissement. The 149-room luxe hotel re-opened in October 2010 after a complete design reno orchestrated by Philippe Starck.
If you too, are wintering in Paris, now would be the time to check out why Nobu is famous around this great big globe of ours. His restaurants can be found in 16 cities, from Vegas to Hong Kong.
Each evening for the next two months, lucky diners at Raffles' La Cuisine restaurant will be able to try some of his inventive dishes that combine Japanese with South American influences. You can choose to eat à la carte or you can grab the chance to experience ‘Omakase’ -- the traditional Chef’s Choice tasting menu. Seven dishes are served for the whole table, including black cod with miso and yuzu, tuna sashimi salad, and a whisky cappuccino dessert, for €150 ($192) per person.
Hotel Parties / SLS Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Openings / Hotel Restaurants / Lenny Kravitz / Philippe Starck / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
One afternoon last week, we were loitering in the lobby of the semi-new SLS Miami, when a young man wearing pantaloons and a bandana, dancing by himself and making strange, slow-motion gestures, caught our attention. No, the local insane asylum hadn't reported any escapees—this guy was just part of the Gallim Dance Company, an experimental dance troupe who'd been hired for the hotel's grand opening bash the following evening.
Like any conscientious performer, he was simply rehearsing his moves (he eventually got escorted out to the pool, though, since a few guests complained).
Sure enough, when we showed up the following evening, an ensemble of fairies, geishas and Marie Antoinette lookalikes cavorted near the entrance to the hotel, greeting the 1,000+ guests who turned up to the party. A red carpet was even rolled out along the hotel's side entrance for big-name attendees like Rumor Willis (who performed with her band), Reggie Bush, Emilio Estefan, several cast members from the Real Housewives, and, of course, Lenny Kravitz, who designed the hotel's penthouse suite.
For more deets from the event, click below!
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If you follow our Miami Hotel Mambo coverage, you'll know that the South Beach hotel scene has been dominated by buzz for one hotel and one hotel only in 2012. There's lots of rebrandings and renovations and reality shows going on but nothing has captured our attention quite like SLS South Beach.
We've been dying to see how SBE would build on its Beverly Hills blueprint and what design maestro Philippe Starck could do to top his groundbreaking work on next-door neighbor Delano. This weekend, we finally found out, as we checked into a City View King Room on the hotel's second official night in business.
Not all of the suites are ready yet, but the rooms that were ready were sold out this weekend. The hotel itself was buzzing with chic guests and restaurant patrons, and there was a surplus of friendly, helpful staff on site to kick things off. We'll have more on the restaurants and other public spaces later this week, but for now, take a spin through a room courtesy of our video and photo gallery...
Miami Hotel Mambo / SLS Hotels / sbe / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / Hotel Art / Hotel Pools / Philippe Starck / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
Despite rumblings of a soft opening soon after Memorial Day, SLS South Beach has yet to thrown open its doors and much ballyhooed front terrace. (That's happening on Thursday, see below for more.)But that doesn't mean no one has checked in--last week, this giant duck did.
With design god Philippe Starck at the drawing board, we knew to expect the unexpected--but a giant silver duck never once entered our visions of this hotel. We should have known, we guess. When he walked us through his designs for the property, Starck said:
Outside in the garden, is a long swimming pool, the kingdom of the duck toy you had in your bath as a child.
OK, now we know. He's a literal kind of guy.
Design Thursdays / Interviews / Miami Hotel Mambo / Philippe Starck / SLS Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
Welcome to Design Thursdays! This is our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walk-throughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know.
We've seen the renderings and they sure look pretty. But as we all know, nothing can capture the feel of a hotel room quite like checking into it for real.
We're just weeks away from being able to do that at SLS South Beach, and in the meantime we have the next best thing to walking through the hotel itself--uber-designer Philippe Starck walking us through his designs.
We asked what we could expect from the rooms and where his inspiration came from. His answer took on a life of its own...
Miami Hotel Mambo / Sam Nazarian / sbe / SLS Hotels / Lenny Kravitz / Philippe Starck / Hotel Design / → All Tags
It's no secret that we're psyched for the upcoming June opening of SLS South Beach. As June 14 gets closer (and we hear rumors that the hotel will soft open even sooner), details of the room decor is starting to trickle out. But what's the official line?
We spoke to sbe founder Sam Nazarian and asked what we can expect from the SLS South Beach rooms designed by Philippe Starck.
SLS Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Philippe Starck / Jose Andres / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
And like most things, in South Beach, it will be oozing sex appeal. But only up in the guestrooms. The rest of the joint is taking an eclectic design approach.
USA Today has some scoop on the interior design details of the hotel including a retro American camp theme at reception:
The reception desk is made from a distressed slab of wood; the lighting, from an antique wood kayak hanging from the ceiling. Vintage shots of camping trips reinforce the camp theme.
Down at Bazaar, the restaurant from Chef Jose Andres (which is also found in the first SLS Hotel in Los Angeles), Philippe Starck designed a room that is to be covered in grandma-approved art in only one color, acid yellow.
Expect love-it-or-hate-it acid yellow touches throughout the room - in photographs, on book shelves and in paintings.