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Hotelier of the Year: Sam Nazarian Lights Up SLS (and Others)

December 31, 2012 at 5:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Between last Friday and today, we're 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...

2012 was exactly the exciting year for the hotel world we hoped it would be with more new hotels open than we've seen in a long time. And as we've already mentioned, one of those hotel openings that had us crazy excited was the SLS South Beach.

After years of speculation--will it open or will it just fade away?--hotelier Sam Nazarian managed to open the long-awaited spin-off to the SLS at Beverly Hills. And the SLS South Beach does not disappoint from its kinky bedrooms (hello, mirrors on the ceilings) to its so-hot-right-now selection of restaurants and lounges to the celebrity designers who put their rock star touches on the place.

While the SLS South Beach is not for everyone--once could successfully argue that it's just a nightclub and restaurant with rooms attached--the Shah of SLS has managed to transport his nightlife je nais se quoi into the hotel realm. After all, who doesn't want to party in Lenny Kravitz's poolside bungalow or eat sushi at Katsuya and get wasted at Hyde? Certainly most of the people who head to Miami for its lively party scene. And Nazarian's only just getting started.

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Best Hotel Opening of 2012: SLS South Beach

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach , FL, United States, 33139
December 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM | by | Comments (2)

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.

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W SoBe Owner and SLS Master Finally Admit To Buying Miami’s Raleigh Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1775 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
December 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM | by | Comments (4)

Today, David Edelstein – owner of W South Beach – and Sam Nazarian – the wizard behind the sbe brand and owner of the new SLS Hotel South Beach announced plans to join ranks and buy Miami’s Raleigh Hotel.

Now, when we chatted over this in August, no one wanted to make an official comment. It was like some weird FB relationship status--"I won't change mine until you change yours!" OK. Now we know you're together.

Both men, famous for their hotel business savvy, will scoop up the landmark Raleigh from the Brilla Group and set out to revamp the Art Deco property that was the place to be when it opened in the ‘40s on Collins Avenue.

Listen, this is a powerful partnership—Edelstein is known for the trendy W hotel and developing such areas as Miami’s Lincoln Road mall, and Nazarian’s sbe group has dominated the swank SLS brand for a minute. Big $$ and big dream at work, here.

But, will these forward thinkers respect and keep the hotel’s historical identity in mind?

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The SLS South Beach Opening Party Was Like a Dream, Except Weirder

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
November 13, 2012 at 9:03 AM | by | Comments (2)

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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Start Spreadin' The News! SLS New York Opens Next Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 444 Park Ave South [map], New York, NY, United States, 10016
July 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM | by | Comment (1)

Oh boy, we hope the neighbors who are suffering from the Gansevoort Park's rowdy pool parties are stocking up on more ear plugs. That's because another party spot is coming to the block in mid-2013--SLS New York.

The NY Post reports that Sam Nazarian has announced that the Philippe Starck-designed SLS outpost for the Big Apple will open at 444 Park Avenue South, which is literally just a block away from the Gansevoort. The hotel will have 190 rooms, presumably with Ciel toiletries in the bathrooms.

While our source inside SLS says a José Andrés restaurant at the ground-level is not confirmed, we hope it happens as we can't imagine SLS without José. There will also be rooftop scene of some sort and we hear that the S bar brand might be revived. There might even be an outpost of Hyde at the hotel,too.

But that's not all Nazarian has planned for NYC. He's also expanding the LA's Umami burger chain with five Umamis set to open within the next 18 months. (Hint: put one in the SLS and make it a "secret" spot.) He's also hoping to spin off the Redbury Hollywood in SoHo or Tribeca or even open up a second or third SLS hotel down there.

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SLS South Beach's Secret Weapon: The Front Terrace

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
May 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM | by | Comment (1)

Much of the hype around the SLS South Beach has been over the food truck or the Kravitz Design Inc-ified bungalow by the pool. But there's one other aspect of the new hotel that sbe founder Sam Nazarian is pretty excited about--the front terrace.

Here's what Nazarian told us about the space that is still shaping up along Collins Avenue:

Hotels by definition need to be additions to the community—a place where people congregate, have meetings, people celebrate special occasions, a place where business is done. Like at SLS Beverly Hills, or at The Redbury in Hollywood, that’s what we’ve been planning for SLS Miami Beach – it’s a place where people can come.  

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SBE's Sam Nazarian Dishes On The Star Designers of SLS South Beach

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
May 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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The SLS Las Vegas is Definitely Happening Now

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
May 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's been nearly a year since the Sahara Las Vegas closed its doors to make way for the forthcoming SLS Hotel but after the high drama of closing day, not much has happened on the hotel grounds since.

No construction, no renovations, no nothing (except for city approval of the renovation plans back in November.) As you can see from this picture, which we snapped yesterday, the property is completely dead.

Yet today with the announcement that SLS parent company, SBE has secured a $300 million round of financing from Stockbridge Capital, LLC, we bet bulldozers and scaffolding will appear mighty quick. Here's a little summary of what to expect from the anticipated SLS Las Vegas:

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The SLS South Beach Sure Looks Sexy (Thanks to That Mirror on the Ceiling)

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM | by | Comment (1)

The SLS South Beach doesn't open for another two months but we're finally getting a little more insight as to what the second-ever SLS Hotel will look like.

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.

Eeeeeeeee.

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Showering at SLS South Beach Will Make You Pretty in Pink

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (2)

With the opening of The SLS Hotel at South Beach coming up in April, we're officially in stalking mode.

Don't worry, we're not creeping around the construction site, a bunch of roses and unrequited love notes in hand. But we are checking out the hotel's website and Facebook page religiously, anxiously awaiting any new crumb of a detail or sneak peek of what's to come in one of the most anticipated hotels of the year.

This week, our devotion was rewarded: look at the pretty-in-pink renderings of the guest bathrooms that were just posted!

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The Old Sahara Las Vegas Gets Approval to Turn Into a Trendy SLS Hotel

November 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

It looks like things are moving forward now at a rapid pace with SLS Hotels. After yesterday's surprise announcement that the SLS South Beach will open in April of next year, we now learn that SLS Las Vegas aka The Sahara has just gotten its massive casino-renovations approved by Clark County. Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

According to the plan, the existing room towers, the Tunis, Tangiers and Alexandria, will be renovated. The roller coaster will be dismantled and a 2,830-square-foot beer garden will be constructed. The number of hotel rooms will be decreased from 1,700 to 1,622.

Retail, tenant and restaurant spaces will be added, and the casino floor will be renovated. A 21,000-square-foot nightclub will be built, and 41,000 square feet of meeting and convention space will be added with a new pool deck area.

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'Something Lovely's Starting': SLS South Beach Will Finally Open in April 2012

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
November 2, 2011 at 2:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's finally official--the long awaited SLS South Beach will open in April 2012! This will mark the second SLS Hotel to open after the flagship one in Los Angeles and hotelier Sam Nazarian is pulling out all the stops, combining pretty much all of his restaurant and nightclub hotspots under one roof.

First off, the hotel will feature room designs from SLS hotel designer Philippe Starck. While we only have that above rendering to go on, the rooms still retain the airy and effervescent quality of the SLS in LA but this looks a little, how do we say this?--cozier?

There are no "floating" glass beds and cramped low ceilings, although there will be oversized chaise lounges and the beds do look as if they are levitating ever so slightly. Starck is also doing something a little unusual behind the bed with curtains that feature a painted-on bedroom scheme. Same goes for the "armoire" that "holds" the TV opposite the bed (we saw this in another smaller rendering.) Oh and don't forget to look up, because there's a mirror on the ceiling!

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