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Millennials at work. And probably a little bit of play. Or at least some tweeting.
How do you solve a problem like Millennials? Well, if you're a hotel company, the answer is "easy"--simply create an entirely new hotel brand for this up and coming, creative class of tech-toting, over-sharing, individuals. Here's a list of new hotel brands that have opened or will open in the coming years aimed at Millennials. These hotels will put a ton of emphasis on social spaces and technology (all have free WiFi) as well as design (carefully curated yet extremely functional.)
But servicing Millennials isn't limited to the hotels that are on this list. Several older brands have been rejiggering their brand standards to cater to Millennials like Courtyard By Marriott with their new Next Gen Rooms. So expect most hotels in the future to be copying some of these new offerings.
Except the old-ass, old-school luxury hotels, that is. It doesn't matter what year you were born, there comes a time in your life when you'd rather just sit in a quiet lounge sipping on some fine wine while LiteFM plays overhead.
The spin-off brand from Thompson Hotels (and parent company, Commune Hotels) should open sometime next year in 2015. Tommies guestrooms will be space-efficient “crash pads” rather than tricked-out hotel rooms with emphasis being given to the communal spaces like the Reading Rooms which will have curated programming and the casual dining experiences, like the gourmet “grab and go” marketplace. Check-in will be done via tablets but given Tommie’s “help yourself” attitude we wouldn’t be surprised if Tommie employed a self check-in process.
Last week, we nearly lost our minds when we heard of a new underwater hotel that was hoping to open in Australia. Aside from our general dislike of underwater hotels (do we really need them?), we had major issues with this hotel looking to set up shop, literally, at the Great Barrier Reef. NO.
Fortunately, like all other underwater hotels we've heard about in our decade here at HotelChatter, this hotel will probably never see the light of day, or the darkness of the ocean floor. But now today, we've got to put up with yet another stupid hotel idea. And the only thing we hate more than underwater hotels are Space Hotels.
“If we can get enough people wanting to fly [to space] we can start building Virgin hotels in space, we can start doing trips to Mars, we can colonise Mars, we can start pulling asteroids back to Earth to see what minerals they have got in them."
Oh brother. We like how Branson dreams big, like intergalactic big but c'mon. Please open Virgin Hotels here on earth first and then we can start talking about your space hotels and colonizing other planets.
Now, this is a great sign for the upcoming Virgin Hotel Chicago, opening in September--the hotel just named their general manager.
Anna Anderson brings more than 25 years of hotel management experience to Virgin, having worked most recently at the Mosaic Hotel and the Maison 140 Hotel in Beverly Hills. She's also worked in the midwest before, at the motorcycle-themed Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee. So should Sir Richard Branson want to arrive in Chicago on his hog, she'll know what to do.
Virgin Hotels CEO, Raul Leal, had this to say about Anderson:
"Anna's innate ability to motivate her team to consistently deliver high levels of customer service made her the ideal candidate to lead the opening of our first property."
We love that she's wearing Virgin red in her photo too.
According to the Chicago Biz Journal, The Virgin Hotel Chicago will have 250 guest rooms, 40 one bedroom suites and 2 "rock star suites." Say what? This Virgin sure knows how to keep us hanging on.
[Photos: HotelChatter and Chicago Business Journal]
The story that is sending everyone to the office water cooler--it was announced that entrepreneur/hotelier Andre Balazs will NOT be developing a hotel in the world-famous architectural icon that is the TWA Flight Center at JFK. Previous negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Andre Balazs Properties have fallen through, and we have little more information than that. Design-savvy Balazs was to develop a Standard Hotel beneath the lightweight concrete “wings” of the former TWA building, designed over 50 years ago by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen.
The re-development of the TWA Flight Center was also to incorporate a conference center, retail, and of course, a flying museum. This is an unquestionably daunting task for any developer, especially given that the project involves an international airport. Again, little is being said about the status of this project going forward.
Keep reading to see who we think should operate a hotel inside the historic terminal instead!
While we may have had a brief glimpse the other week at what the social spaces of the upcoming Virgin Hotel in Chicago might look like, (before the illustrations were swiftly pulled from the internet) we still have a while to wait before we can actually stay there.
After pushing back a Fall 2013 opening to a Spring opening before pushing it back again to this summer, it now looks like the Virgin will open in September, according to an interview Virgin CEO Raul Lea gave to Hotels Mag. So what's the hold-up? It looks like the historic building, the former Dearborn Bank, is giving Virgin some issues:
“It has been a slow process with so many historic building considerations, but we have uncovered some great things like 30-foot ceilings on the second floor,” Leal said, adding that he expects the hotel to be Chicago’s rate leader in the lifestyle segment.
The good news is that Virgin is still at work on a hotel for NYC which will break ground in um, 2016. Hopefully, the Virgin Chicago will keep us busy before then. Virgin will also make announcements soon on two new locations. We're guessing Miami and London but then again, the last time we made a guess, it didn't turn out so well for us.
**The illustration has been removed at the request of Rockwell Group**
We're getting pretty impatient with Virgin Hotels. The first-ever Virgin Hotel in Chicago on Wabash Street is just months away from opening (sometime this summer, they say) yet we know very little about what's going to be inside. Heck we hardly know what's on the outside since much of the Virgin has been wrapped in red
sheets tarps and tape.
But we did stumble across this design concept from a Rockwell Group illustrator which was posted last April (Update: It's since been taken down.) While we doubt it's the actual design concept for the hotel (Virgin has put any and all design concepts on lockdown) it has us thinking....Hmmmmm.
There are a few illustrations to peek at, all for the public spaces of the hotel. None of the 250 guest rooms. But if this concept is something to go on, it's clear the Virgin will be all about socializing. We love the headphones that hang from the ceiling of one lounge and the swinging chairs in another. The restaurant and bar will have lots of communal seating along with banquet seating. There are also what appears to be personal workstations and crazy cool lighting.
Again, we highly doubt this is what the Virgin Hotel will actually look like when it opens. But if it did, we wouldn't mind.
[Photo Via Behance.net]
There are many things we want to know about the Virgin Hotel Chicago, set to open this summer as the first-ever Virgin Hotel from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin empire.
For starters, we really want to know what the guest rooms are going to look like. We're also curious about the food and beverage options. Lastly, we want a concrete opening date other than "Summer 2014."
While we are going crazy guessing over the answers to some of these questions, another person is wondering about the spa offerings, specifically if there will be a hair salon. The dear reader writes:
Hello, I am a Chicago based hair.makeupartist.photographer. I am inquiring to know if the new Virgin hotel to open in the summer will have a hair salon/spa within it. I'm sure it will include spa amenities [sic] but will it offer hair salon services as well? Tried to find info online but could not. Here is an international ad I did several years back with Richard himself.* Thank you for any insite [sic] into this.
Well, we asked and got this succinct answer from a Virgin Hotels' rep: No hair salon but yes spa.
Also, not opening at the Virgin Chicago anymore? The Virgin Clubhouse. Fortunately, the rooftop bar and lounge is still on. We're hoping to have more details on this mysterious Virgin in the coming months. But if you've got any inside scoop right now, let us know!
* Keep reading to see the picture!
UPDATE Nov. 5, 2013: The hotel is now opening next Summer, not Spring as initially planned/hoped by everyone eager to sleep with this Virgin.
A while back we were stoked to find out that the Virgin Chicago, due to open next
spring summer, would have not just a rooftop bar but also a Virgin Clubhouse. Granted, we weren't exactly sure what would be in the Clubhouse, but if it was anything similar to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses found at airports around the world, we knew it had to be something cool.
But now the clubhouse may not even happen.
The hotel's developer, Lionstone, has pulled the information referencing the Clubhouse from their website. Boo. But fortunately, the rooftop bar and lounge remains. (They also pulled this rendering of the hotel's entrance which a Virgin rep told us was not accurate at all.)
One of our operatives skipped by the hotel the other month but the Virge was pretty well-covered up. Such a modest Virgin! But still, we hope it won't be much longer before we get some real news out of this joint.
Hotel Developments / Lam Group Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Virgin Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
When we recently attended the grand opening of Hotel Indigo Brooklyn we nodded our heads when someone made the cheeky comment that Duffield Street (home also to the Sheraton Brooklyn and the Aloft Brooklyn) should be renamed Lam Street. They had a point, but the Lam Group's development vision can not be confined to one Brooklyn street. Oh no, they are all over the city, with two Aloft hotels under construction (in the Financial District and in Long Island City); a Four Points in the Financial District, and a five-block patch of Midtown Manhattan that will soon see a Virgin Hotel , the next door Le Meridien Midtown Manhattan and something only known as the Chelsea Full Service Hotel Project at 112 West 25th Street.
The Virgin Chicago gets photobombed by Trump Chicago
We'd be lying if we said we're not excited about any news that comes out of the Virgin Hotel camp and since our last stroll by the Chicago property, we're even more excited about seeing some hard-core construction going on.
There's already a lot of action going on in this particular Chicago 'hood with a few handfuls of hotels, a city college, and plenty of office space surrounding the Loop building. But with concrete barricades and construction workers cleaning up the Virgin building's vintage detail, this is the action we're most excited about.
We also spied Virgin-red tape securing every window as wells as a red fence and a giant red tarp at the top of the building. Alas, the scaffolding is a boring beige color.
The Virgin Hotel Chicago won't open until next year with NYC to follow in 2016 but we've already known that Richard Branson's hip hotel brand wants to be in all the right places.
Earlier this year, Virgin Hotels announced they want to open in "Dallas, LA, London and beyond". But now it looks like they are getting closer to opening in Miami.
The Miami Herald reports that Virgin Hotels opened an office in Coconut Grove last month with about 10 employees. Currently, five employees work out of the New York office. According to Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal, having an office in Miami gives them access to South Florida but also the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. And of course, it makes it easier to do the scouting for their Miami hotels. That's right, Leal said Virgin is planning two Miami hotels--one in Miami Beach and one in the hot new downtown area of Brickell. Leal even went so far as mentioning Fort Lauderdale. Caliente!
We will soon be drinking way up there.
When we first heard there would be a Virgin Hotel opening in Chicago, we speculated about it having a rooftop pool. Well, that won't be happening but what will be happening is a rooftop bar and lounge.
We found this exciting bit of info on the website for Lionstone Development, the developers behind the hotel. We also got a look at a rendering for the entrance, although you should know that renderings don't always look like the finished product. Still we're digging those Virgin logos next to the front doors, not to mention what looks like an outside dining spot. (Update: Virgin Hotels said the rendering is not accurate and it will be removed from the Lionstone website.)
But most intriguing are the plans for a Virgin Clubhouse.