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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!
SLS NEW YORK TO OPEN SUMMER 2016 WITH JOSE ANDRES IN THE KITCHEN: SLS New York announced today that it received $109 million financing from Fortress Investment Group for their 190-room luxury lifestyle hotel at 444 Park Avenue South. That's enough change to get their favorite chef José Andrés installed in the kitchen at the hotel. Word is Andrés will bring his The Bazaar by José Andrés concept to the hotel. This marks the third Bazaar for the world but the first JA restaurant in NYC. The hotel should open by Summer 2016.
AND HERE'S WHERE JOSE ANDRES WON'T BE OPENING (OR SO HE HOPES): Andrés recently backed out of opening a restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C, set to open next year. He did so because of The Donald's unsavory remarks about Mexicans and illegal immigrants. However, Trump won't let him get away so fast. According to a statement from Donald Trump, Jr.: “In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10 year term together with all attorneys’ fees and additional damages we may sustain. We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés’ obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous." Gulp.
HILTON LOS CABOS HAS OFFICIALLY REOPENED: After getting pummeled by Hurricane Odile last September, the Hilton Los Cabos is now back open for business and better than ever. The resort has reimagined culinary concepts, including a swim-up bar; renovated guest rooms; and a new El Sombrero hat shop. In August, the resort will also open its hotel-within- a-hotel concept, called La Vista Club which features 65 Club-level rooms and suites.
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Penthouse + obscenely expensive chocolate = sweet suite
That Donald Trump – he may have controversial political views but he doesn’t half know the value of chocolate. What is the value? $260 for 1.5oz, apparently.
Because only the finest chocolate will do for The Donald, Trump SoHo has launched a package celebrating what purports to be (and almost certainly is) the most expensive pure chocolate in the world: To’ak (us neither, it's from Ecuador).
The going rate for a 1.5oz bar of To’ak is $260, but the hotel is upselling it for its Sweetest Thing To’Ak Tasting Package. It’s really pretty sweet, if you let yourself entertain the idea of blowing half your annual salary in a night. You’ll get:
In his bid for presidency, Donald Trump made some derogatory remarks (to say the least) about illegal immigrants in America, leading Univision and NBC Universal to drop Trump and his "Miss Universe" which he partially owns. Trump was also recently dropped by Macys department store who announced that due to his remarks they would no longer be producing or selling his clothing line.
Now, we can't help but wonder if Trump Hotels will be on the receiving end of a ban themselves?
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There's more to Miami than people-watching and partying in South Beach.
A world away from the hectic scene of the beach, and just a few minutes from Miami International Airport sits The Trump National Doral Hotel, an oasis for golfing and relaxation. The actual resort has been open for over 60 years, attracting some of the best golfers and spa-goers, but in 2012 Trump purchased the property and brought the entire 800-acre resort firmly into the 21st Century.
Once we pulled into the private drive, we knew we were gearing up for something a lot more extravagant than just being surrounded by four PGA-level golf courses. The drive circled around an impressive fountain and ended at the equally impressive clubhouse for check-in. Once we were handed our key card and given a map to find our way to one of eight villas all named after some pretty renowned golfers; incidentally we were led to the Tiger Woods villa.
For some hotel properties, bidding fond adieu to the minibar is part of the new and improved way of operating efficiently. For others, they've gone different routes--like Kimpton and Andaz, who include certain minibar items in the room rate. But as for the cream of the crop, some luxury hotels are going overboard and stocking some of the coolest stuff and, subsequently, charging out the nose for them.
Take for instance a recent stay of ours at the Trump National Doral just outside Miami. After exploring the comfy Ivanka Trump-designed interiors accented with lots of signature gold trim, we opened up the minibar drawer and almost had to catch our jaw from smashing down into the immense selection of gourmet treats that rolled out of the cabinet.
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The rooftop bar, where classes will take place
How are your chakras today? Did you eat your breakfast mindfully this morning? If you answered positively to both those questions, go forth and have a blessed day. If you didn’t, you may need a little help. And Trump SoHo wants to be the one to do it.
The hotel’s spa just launched its summer fitness program, and is starting meditation courses along with more standard classes like sunrise yoga and aqua aerobics. Craig Hunter is the man to lead the meditation – classes are 45 minutes long and will “walk participants through various forms of traditional and contemporary meditative practices”. Does that sound like a lot of faff and not much time to get deep into a meditation? Possibly, but this might be a chance to work out the style that works best for you, plus he will also include “creative cycles of breath work”.
South Florida is not short on golf resorts with championship golf courses, but only the Trump National Doral outside of Miami has bragging rights to the new Jack Nicklaus Villas, a collection of 172 guest rooms and suites with views of the resort's famed "Blue Monster" golf course which Nicklaus frequently played, and won.
The villas, a part of the $250 million renovation Trump has done on the property, were designed by architects WATG with interiors by Ivanka Trump who went with her usual elegant palette of ivory and champagne with a bit of caramel mixed in. Mahogany wood and gold leaf Spanish revival details were also added and each room features photos and mementos of Nicklaus' career.
In short, it feels more like a Trump Hotel than a themed-golf suite and that's a good thing. If you've had a bad back nine, the last thing you want to see when you get back is more reminders of your crappy play.
A view from the Trump Central Park
Getting an upgrade at a hotel is never a sure thing, but there are ways to increase your chances of moving on up from a standard room category to a suite with a killer view. And now Trump Hotels is dishing out the secrets to upgrade success in this new post on Ivanka Trump's new site.
Some of the tips from Trump Hotel Collection's director, Nathan Crisp, we already knew about such as booking directly with the hotel, calling the hotel versus booking online, being a frequent guest and simply asking for it.
But there was one tip we thought was really smart. Don't book the starting room category and expect a suite. Instead, book the room just below the room you really want. Here's the full tip:
Do your research and find a hotel with a high number of suites. Just like the airlines, hotels will overbook their entry-level rooms. Don’t try to book the absolute cheapest room you can find. Book yourself into the room category directly below a suite—as the rooms fill up, guests will start getting moved into the next tier. It’s not guaranteed and yes, you might spend $100 more for a premier room as opposed to a deluxe, but that gamble could wind up saving you $300-$400 when you get bumped into a suite.
Noice. Here's hoping you'll have more upgrade success in 2015 with this tip. (And let us know if you do!)
If you still wear contact lenses, then chances are you've probably done this trick while staying at a hotel when you've realized that you forgot your contact lens case--you fill up the two glasses in the bathroom with contact lens solution.
We've done this before. (After cleaning out the glasses of course. We'd like to keep our eyeballs, no matter how poorly they function without corrective lenses.)
However, we've always been careful not to drink from these glasses. Sadly, the same can't be said for actress Mindy Kaling during her recent hotel stay in New York. Check out her recent post to Facebook:
So this morning I drank my best friend @joce808 contact lenses. They were sitting in this glass unguarded in a shallow pool of contact solution. I drank it with my morning glug of water and we are debating whether I should have known better given context clues.
Or maybe, having contact lens cases on hand for guest who've forgot theirs is something that Trump Hotels should do. Kimpton does it. That way, Mindy's friend wouldn't have to improvise with the bathroom glasses. (The toiletry on the sink is a giveaway of her hotel stay.)
Either way, we think the incident would be perfect for "The Mindy Project", which chronicles Dr. Mindy Lahiri and her revolving door of boyfriends. #DiamondDanForever
[Photo: Mindy Kaling/Facebook]
It’s not really a surprise, though it pains us to say it on a Monday morning: Donald Trump has just been awarded five stars for his Scottish hotel.
Macleod House & Lodge in Aberdeenshire has been given the full shebang by Visit Scotland, who called it a “marvelous achievement”. Apparently they particularly like the range of options in the bar and restaurant (which are hopefully a little less overpriced than Andy Murray’s Cromlix hotel).
The hotel is an adjunct from last year to Trump’s golf course, the creatively named Trump International Golf Links course. It has 19 rooms, ornate Italian marble-clad bathrooms (how very… Scottish) and a “whisky snug” in the basement for booze sampling.
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It's been rumored for several years that the iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport would one day turn into a hotel. And once again, the rumor mill is working overtime with reports that a new hotel brand will soon install themselves at the terminal.
Earlier this year, negotiations between hotelier Andre Balazs and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey fell through . Now it seems the Port Authority is out shopping for a new Sugar Daddy.
Following the release of a formal Request For Proposal last month, the word on the street— runway rather— is that interested parties may include Yotel, who made their name with their capsule concept at UK airports; developer Related Companies; Marriott International and even, Donald Trump.
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Today's the day, although it's not a day we should really be excited about.
The Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, which cost $2 billion to build and only opened two years ago, is closing today. Here's a statement on the hotel's website regarding the logistics of the closure. Guests were actually checked out of the hotel yesterday at 11am. No late check-outs! Although, apparently there was a fire alarm that went off at 1am but the nigthclubs at the hotel partied on, mostly filled with employees. Here's an excellent article on the last hours of the casino. Below are our photo galleries from when we first went inside Revel.