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Almost two years after The Sahara, a Vegas hotel-casino owned by Sam Nazarian,
fell apart at the seams shuttered, sbe officially broke ground yesterday to re-adapt the site into the long-awaited SLS Las Vegas. But don't start booking those flights to LAS just yet.
The press release declares a Fall 2014 opening, though our pals at VegasChatter wonder if that might be a little unrealistic, considering how much work has to be done to turn the place into an "entertainment-driven resort and casino" (and how much money has to be spent—a reported $415 million is being pumped into the project).
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.
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.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel News / SBE Hotels / Hotel Management / Sam Nazarian / Florida Hotels / Historic Hotels / Miami Hotels / → All Tags
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?
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!
SLS Hotels / Hotel Hype / Sam Nazarian / Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / SBE / Hotel News / New York Hotels / → All Tags
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.
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.
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 / Viva Vegas / SBE / Sam Nazarian / Hotel Hype / Hotel News / → All Tags
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:
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.
Miami Hotel Mambo / SLS Hotels / Hotel Openings / SBE / Sam Nazarian / Philippe Starck / Hotel Bathrooms / → All Tags
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!
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.