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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.
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.
That's right: we're not done babbling about SLS South Beach. There's lots to love about this hotel and we've only experienced some of it.
During our visit, this hybrid pool/lounge/day club wasn't fully operational, but the Katsuya kitchen was sending sushi down and a few of the cocktails were being previewed. Personally, we loved the laidback vibe and were thrilled to get a swim in before Hyde Beach opens for real and becomes the hottest of all South Beach hotspots.
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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...
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Forgive this crappy lopsided photo that we snapped on Sunset Boulevard the other week but as the SLS South Beach prepares to open to hotel guests tomorrow, we thought it was interesting to see where and when SLS is opening next.
As the billboard above shows, SLS New York should happen sometime in 2013 while SLS Las Vegas is gearing up for a 2014 opening. Our sibling, VegasChatter has been all over the SLS Las Vegas stuff but we haven't heard much about New York in a while.
According to Curbed.com, the building is planned for 140 6th Avenue which is in Soho between Spring and Broome Streets. Yet aside from the killer location (just a block east of the Trump Soho), there's really not much we can dig up about SLS New York.
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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.
After picking Lenny Kravitz's brain about his designs for SLS South Beach, we wanted more. So without further ado, here's Part 2 of our interview with Kravitz, where we delve deeper into his design inspirations and his hotel must-haves as he travels the world for that other day job of his...
What do you need in a hotel room to be happy and comfortable?
More than just one thing, I like hotel rooms to be thought through. A lot of times there are lots of elements missing. I have to live in a hotel when I’m on the road and it’s not just a place for me to sleep; I have to entertain there. So it’s really about how it flows; it has to feel like a home away from home for me. I want to feel comfortable—like I’m going to be happy chilling out in the room all day. Like I don’t ever want to leave the room.
So, what inspires your designs?
You know how people are … I’m a musician, and people like to keep other people in a box. But you know for me, I design, I’m a photographer, I make music, I’m an actor—amongst other things. That’s the kind of person I am. I have always be influenced by so-called Renaissance men—or women. People in general. I love using different mediums to express myself.
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We've heard why sbe founder Sam Nazarian wanted to work with Kravitz Design Inc.—yeah, that'd be Lenny Kravitz to you—on SLS South Beach. But we wanted to hear from the designer himself. Who wouldn't, right?
Here's what Kravitz had to say about his work on the SLS SoBe penthouse and special bungalow suite...
What made you want to work on the SLS South Beach?
I have always loved this building. And Sam Nazarian is a great hotelier. I love the different things he is doing. Philippe Starck, what can you say? The design icon, guru, whatever you wanna call him, he has just done so much for the world of design and has been an amazing supportive figure for me. I love that we have Jose Andres doing the food — he is a mad scientist, an artist.
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.
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Just in time for the opening of SLS South Beach with their pretty pink bathrooms, sbe has unveiled their Ciel Spa toiletry line which will now be found in all sbe hotels (SLS at Beverly Hills, The Redbury and the Four Points by Sheraton at LAX).
Named after the SLS spa, the Ciel line includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and two soaps, all in stylish black packaging. It's a win-win for everyone--the guest gets some cool-looking, non-anonymous bath toiletries (especially the folks at the airport hotel) while the spa gets non-stop advertising.
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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: