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Hotel Victor Unveils Its New Look (And Plans to Merge With Versace's Mansion Too!)

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  Site Where: 1144 Ocean Dr [map], Miami Beach, FL , United States, 33139
September 24, 2013 at 3:29 PM | by | Comments (2)

The other week we could scarcely believe the news that the new owners of Gianni Versace's South Beach mansion-turned-hotel would want to merge their new acquisition with their existing hotel--The Hotel Victor. After all, we though the Victor was supposed to be property of the Pomeranc brothers, formerly of Thompson Hotels.

But no, the Victor is now solely under the Nakash family who owns Jordache Enterprises. We know, Jordache Jeans and Versace in one place? Only in South Beach.

As for the Victor, the hotel has officially reopened after an impressive $8 million renovation that gave the hotel more of a "beachhouse vibe" with new guestrooms and oceanfront suites as well as an updated pool scene and cabanas, and a new lobby designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Amenities now include free WiFi, communal computers and complimentary beach cruisers, which let's face it, is the fastest way to get around South Beach in high season. Unless you've brought your own rollerblades, of course.

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The Original Founders of Thompson Hotels Will Release a New Brand Name Soon

September 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM | by | Comments (2)

It's only been about six weeks since Thompson Hotels parted ways (and ceded their name and brand) with Commune Hotels & Resort, but the boutique hospitality world is anxiously awaiting to see what Thompson's original founders will do next.

When we bumped into suave hotelier Jason Pomeranc a few weeks ago, he told us "the old band was getting back together" meaning himself, his brothers Michael and Larry and their right-hand operations whiz, Stephen Brandman.

Today, Brandman confirmed to us that the "four original founders of Thompson Hotels are back to doing what we do." And what they do is create cool boutique hotel experiences with hot restaurants and exclusive bars attached. And hotel owners and developers want in on it.

"It's a nice feeling for all of us," Brandman said. "Because people are so interested in what we are going to do next and so many hotel developers are approaching us, saying, 'We want to work with you guys.'"

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Hotel Victor Miami Remodel Moves Forward Without Thompson Hotels

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1144 Ocean Dr [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
August 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (3)

A month ago we told you South Beach's historic Hotel Victor would undergo a huge change--they'd become a Thompson Hotel. Joining such a prestigious group would have been a welcome face-lift for the weary Victor, especially in a town where there's a new hotel or refurb on nearly every block.

But, the partnership to become Thompson Ocean Drive apparently wasn't meant to be because it was recently announced the deal was off. The Hotel Victor will remain with owners Pomeranc brothers who have sold the Thompson name in their portfolio. The details of that tale are here. Meanwhile, the Hotel Victor will eventually be branded under a new hotel company thanks to the assistance of former Thompson CEO Stephen Brandman, who's paired up with the Pomeranc brothers. The name of this new company? TBD. Dazzling news.

However, renovations started six months ago and the Victor officially closed in April, so it was decided to finish what had been started and run the property under the Commune brand until told otherwise. But the name will remain Hotel Victor. Period.

Get all that? No? You're not the only one. To say it's been an adjustment for everyone is an understatement.

We were fortunate enough to look at the progress and we must say, it's looking good!

Take a look at our photos and see the transformation in progress!

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Thompson Hotel Founders Part Ways with Commune; Some Thompson Hotels To Rebrand

August 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The other week, we were searching hard for information about the reopening of the Thompson Ocean Drive hotel in Miami Beach yet we were met with absolute silence when it came to the matter of the hotel's name change--would it go ahead with the Thompson name or stick with the original moniker, Hotel Victor?

Well, today's HUGE news from Commune Hotels has answered that question. No, it will not be a Thompson hotel in name, mainly because Thompson Hotels' founders--Jason Pomeranc and his brothers, have sold out the rest of the company, including the Thompson name, to Commune. Get comfortable, because this is going to take a while to explain.

Way back in 2011, Joie de Vive Hotels linked up with Thompson Hotels and the two formed Commune Hotels and Resorts. Joie de Vivre was fresh off its own acquisition from Geolo Capital, founded by Hyatt heir, John Pritzker (he has nothing to do with Hyatt Hotels today btw.) The two companies, Geolo Capital and Thompson BP, were equal partners in the formation of Commune Hotels although Thompson Hotels would be its own brand, as would Joie de Vivre, as would the spin-off brand of Thompson Hotels, Tommie Hotels.

Fast forward to today and all brands are expanding to new locations as everyone hoped they would. Commune even managed to snag Niki Leondakis away from Kimpton Hotels. And now, Commune has bought out the Pomeranc brothers. Here's the parting statement Jason Pomeranc gave today:

"After nearly 15 years, my brothers Lawrence, Michael and I are incredibly proud to see how Thompson Hotels has evolved into an enormously impactful global hospitality brand," said Jason Pomeranc. "We now look forward to exciting new endeavors and wish John Pritzker and the entire Commune family well."

So the pressing question is, who gets what in the deal? Here's how it all shakes out:

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Construction is Slowly But Surely Happening on The Tommie Hotel

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  Site Where: 11. E. 31st St. [map], New York, NY, United States, 10016
August 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tommie Hotel from Thompson Hotels and Commune Hotels won't open until at least 2015 but the good news is, it's really happening.

We drove by the construction the other day at 11 E. 31st St. and saw that the official construction barricades are up, with notices and all. The lot of land doesn't look all that different from when we snapped it on Google Street View last year but there's definitely been some progress. We even spied some building materials at the front of the site.

This will supposedly be the first Tommie Hotel location for the brand with 250 rooms. Tommie is also planning to open another spot in West Soho, also in 2015, with 329 rooms. Since its target guest will be the Millenial market, rates shouldn't get too crazy, somewhere in the mid-$200s a night.

Incidentally, the hotel is right across the street from the Hotel Chandler which has just spiffed up its restaurant and bar. But we don't think either side should fret as they seem to be going after two different age groups, er, audiences.

And yeah, we snapped this picture of the back of a cab. #dedicated #nerd.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Victory! Thompson Ocean Drive Set To Open In August

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1144 Ocean Dr [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
July 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Usually the Thompson Hotel Group is very chatty when it comes to their projects, except when it comes to this one—transforming Miami Beach’s legendary Hotel Victor into the new Thompson Ocean Drive.

Though we mentioned this story in 2011, we’ve been asking questions for nearly a month on news regarding the last phase of this development since the hotel was to originally be re-branded in early 2012. Plus there was the issue of the name change which kept going back and forth and at one point was referred to as Hotel Victor, a Thompson Hotel. Obviously that’s been rethought. Construction will soon be completed and the grand re-opening is scheduled for mid-August.

However, the Art Deco property is still being referred to as the Hotel Victor, even on the Thompson Hotels’ own website, which is odd. However, given that no one on the Thompson public relations team has returned any of our communication, we can’t be shocked there may be a bit of disconnect, especially when the company is also focusing on growing its Commune Hotels brand, thanks to its merge with the Joie de Vivre hotel group.

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5 Reasons Why We're Looking Forward to October in July

July 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hot days on the beach and cool dips in the ocean. Joy riding on sailboats. Crab fests washed down with cold beers. Feeling the breeze in your hair from the top of the ferris wheel. Chomping on salt water taffy. Enjoying chocolate-covered frozen bananas as you watch the world go by. Yup, summer is in full swing right now. But we're already looking forward to the chilly sweater season, thanks to these new hotels expected to open in October.

Here are 5 hotels that have us looking forward to October even in the middle of summer. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in comments below!

· THOMPSON CHICAGO: Set to open on October 1, the old Sutton Place Hotel promises rooms starting at 320-sq.ft., city views, REN spa amenities, 24-hour room service and a fully stocked minibar with Dean & Deluca snacks. We found rates on opening night for $263 a night for a 21-day advance purchase rate.

· HARD ROCK PALM SPRINGS: The latest rock star resort will open on October 5 out of the old Hotel Zoso. The place has been completely redone to include 160 rooms, including a VIP rock star suite along with a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants and a rocking pool scene. We found rates on opening night for $262 a night.

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Damn, Thompson Chicago Looks Good

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  Site Where: 21 E. Bellevue Place [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
July 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM | by | Comments (3)

Back in December, the old Sutton Place Hotel in Chicago shut down in order to get Thompsonized by Thompson Hotels. We admit, we were a little worried about when that hotel would open back up. But today our fears have been laid to rest. The Thompson Chicago will show off its seriously foine rooms on October 1.

We found rooms then starting at $263 a night for a 21-day advance purchase rate. Or you spring for a more flexible rate of $329. There's also an AAA rate of $312.55 which should save you some dollars. That rate takes care of a 320-sq.ft. king superior room with a city view, REN spa amenities, 24-hour room service, a fully stocked minibar with Dean & Deluca snacks and what appears to be a velour banquette in your room. Different but totally cool. We're also loving that bed too. And that artwork has us intrigued.

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Meet Tommie: The New Hotel Brand from Commune and Thompson Hotels

May 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

Commune Hotels & Resorts have finally unveiled the name of the long-awaited, “value-conscious” spin-off brand to Thompson Hotels. That would be TOMMIE. As you can probably tell from its name, Tommie is going after the hottest demographic right now, The Millennials (aka younger folk.)

The brand is described as being “borne from the savvy of Thompson Hotels and the playful approachability of Joie de Vivre, defining utilitarian chic." In case you forgot, Thompson merged with Joie de Vivre to form Commune. This is the first brand from the merged companies. Here’s what proud father, Jason Pomeranc, had to say about the new addition to his Thompson family:

“Tommie is about stripping away the non-essentials to create a functional efficiency. Everything is beautiful, but also has a purpose,” said Jason Pomeranc, co-chair of Commune Hotels & Resorts and founder of Thompson Hotels. “We are creating hotels that will appeal to youthful, design savvy, connected, and discerning travelers seeking responsible and immersive experiences. Tommie will be a choice, not of economy but of desire.”

So what's there to "desire" about Tommie? Hint: It begins with Wi and ends with Fi! Keep reading to find out!

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HotelChatter Flashback: Remember When Prince Played The Hollywood Roosevelt?

May 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter Flashback!

On this day back in 2007, we were chattering about the staggering $3 million paycheck plus room and board for the artist once again known as Prince and his seven-week residency at the Hollywood Roosevelt.

The concerts took place only on Friday nights in the hotel's Blossom Room and had a starting time of 11pm. The shows typically didn't finish until 4 in the morning, although the hotel did serve food at 2am. While the shows gave the hotel some amazing press and real rock star cred, getting tickets to the show was a nightmare for people who weren't celebrities or rock stars themselves. Not to mention the ticket price was $312 for standing room only.

Yet, this was done in the days before social media took over our lives so we can't help but wonder how this would have gone down using Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, etc. Think Prince would be up for a reunion show?

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Is No News Good News With The Thompson Chicago?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 12 S Michigan Ave [map], Chicago, IL , United States, 60603
May 1, 2013 at 9:37 PM | by | Comment (1)

UPDATE: We initially had this Thompson property (the old Sutton Place hotel) confused with the hotel planned for the old Chicago Athletic building. Thanks to commenter hapmonk for pointing out our mistake.

Last we checked on the status of Thompson Chicago was back in December but six months later, there's not much to add.

Right now, the hotel's website is saying this:

Located in the heart of Chicago’s affluent Gold Coast, Thompson Chicago will represent the sophisticated luxury that the Thompson brand is known for. Positioned just steps from Michigan Avenue, boutiques on Oak Street, and downtown dining and nightlife destinations, the 246-room hotel will offer unparalleled views of Lake Michigan. Featuring bold interior architecture with rich accents by acclaimed British designer Tara Bernerd, the Thompson Chicago will also feature a new signature restaurant by One Off Hospitality.

In short, it will be very Thompson-y.

Initially, we had heard this hotel would open in December but now the website is just saying, "2013." What could this ever mean? We won't hold our breath but god, we hope it's sooner rather than later. And who knows? Maybe Thompson is also working on some killer WiFi network that's fast and reliable and totally free! Ok, that's asking too much. Sigh.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Dennis Rodman May Have Fouled Out at the Thompson LES As Well

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  Site Where: 190 Allen Street [map], New York , NY, United States, 10002
March 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

It turns out the Time Hotel wasn't Dennis Rodman's first choice of hotels in New York City.

A tipster emailed us to say that Rodman was also asked to leave Thompson LES Hotel on Sunday morning after being on the property for less than 24 hours. A guest of the hotel during that time had this to say about their up close encounter with the former NBA bad boy (who, btw, has a new children's book out):

We came down to the bar after putting our luggage away, and arrived at the bar on the second floor. We were greeted by the obnoxious Dennis Rodman who was inappropriately speaking to my wife and making us feel so uncomfortable that we left. We went out to dinner and arrived back to the hotel and tried to have drinks again.

Once again Mr. Rodman was being inappropriate trying to sit on my lap and screaming and clapping while gesturing to my wife. Mr. Rodman was with a group of people who did nothing but stand there and make sure we did not say anything to him. He was rude VULGAR and extremely inappropriate telling my wife unacceptable things that we proceeded to leave the second floor bar and go to bed..."

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