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When it comes to European destinations, W Hotels has all the major cities covered--London, Paris, Istanbul, Barcelona, St. Petersburg and coming soon--Switzerland with their first-ever ski resort, along with Milan and Athens in 2016. And now you can add Amsterdam to the list.
A super secret spy sent us this picture the other day of the forthcoming W Amsterdam which will be created out of the city's old telephone switchboard exchange building. Admittedly, it's not much of a first look but in classic Amsterdam fashion, there's a man pedaling by on a bike.
According to our source, it will be a 172-room hotel. Right now, there's not much happening to the building but we hear it is being gutted and that real work should start soon. We're guessing W Amsterdam could totally open in 2015. Ja!
Update 10.8.13: Another Amsterdam tipster gave us an address-- Raadhuisstraat 2. They also said the building is "awful" but it's in a great location near Dam Square. Apparently, there's an Albert Heijn on one side (like Dutch Walgreens) which will be convenient if you forget your toiletries.
[Photo: HotelChatter Super Secret Spy]
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Once again, the hotel openings and announcements news is coming fast and furious. So here's a short list of hot hotels coming to a city near you.
· The Dolce Palm Springs, which we told you the other month was intended to be a Mondrian Palm Springs, now has an opening timeframe. Construction will begin early next year and should be completed by 2015. We've also got a rendering of the resort on East Amado Road. We're loving the pops of bright color throughout. Aside from 210 rooms, the Dolce Palm Springs will have 15,000 sq.ft. of flexible function space, landscaped outdoor event space, two restaurants, a lounge, a recording studio, screening room, outdoor pools spa and fitness center.
· Kimpton Pittsburgh: Kimpton Hotels is heading to Pittsburgh with their Hotel Monaco brand.
An adaptive reuse of the city’s iconic James H. Reed Building, originally built in 1903, the new Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh will feature 247 rooms, nearly 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a chef-driven, 120-seat restaurant with a prominent corner entrance. Slated for a late 2014 opening, the nine story property is located at the intersection of 6th Avenue and William Penn Way, across from prestigious Mellon Square and in the heart of the city’s bustling Golden Triangle area. The new hotel’s interiors will reflect a locally inspired and distinctive take on the vibrant and whimsical Hotel Monaco style.
Kimpton also has new hotels planned for Savannah, Georgia, Palm Springs, Milwaukee and San Antonio, all opening by 2015.
· Ritz-Carlton Opening Seemingly Everywhere: Ritz-Carlton Hotels announced a major openings and expansion plans last week with the goal of having 100 properties by 2016. That's 20 more than what they have now. Six new RC hotels are expected to open this year, including The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, Israel and The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore in India. Next year, RC will open in Kyoto, Japan; Nanjing, China; Rabat, Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; Manesar, India, and Bali. Then in 2015, it will open in Cabo San Lucas (!); Oman, Muscat; Bali (again); Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Tunis, Tunisia; and Haikou, China.
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The first same-sex wedding performed at W Retreat and Spa, Vieques Island
Same-sex marriage rights are being honored more and more across the country and now Puerto Rico's The W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Islandhas become the first hotel to exclusively partner with an LGBT wedding planner.
The resort has joined with Bernadette Coveney Smith and her customized “14 Stories Wedding Day” business to offer same-sex couples an opportunity to exchange vows on Vieques.
Coveney Smith's 14 Stories is said to be the first business in the U.S. to specialize in planning legal gay and lesbian weddings.
Couples who host their nuptials at the W's deluxe hotel can expect the following:
· A legal marriage ceremony performed in NYC or Boston
· 45 off-site planning hours
· One pre-wedding tasting and planning on Vieques Island with Coveney Smith and the W's culinary team
· Coveney Smith’s attendance fee to personally oversee the Vieques ceremony and rehearsal
· Post-marriage resources specializing in the LGBT community
· A personalized website for guests to book hotel rooms, view photos, learn about wedding festivities and the couple’s complimentary registry
· A donation to a marriage equality charity on the couple’s first anniversary
· 12,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points which can be redeemed towards a free night at W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island and other onsite options.
This December, W Hotels will debut their first ski resort, the W Verbier, in the heart of the Swiss Alps and two hours from the Geneva airport.
Verbier is considered one of the best ski destinations in Europe and equally famous for its party scene, so it's a fitting location for the party-centric W brand.
The property will be made up of a 123-room hotel as well as 15 full-service private residences located adjacent to the four housing chalets on the Place Blanche main square, conveniently located next to the main gondola. This means direct, ski-in, ski-out access to slopes like the 3, 330 meter Mont-Fort and 400 km of ski runs.
Also, each room includes a fireplace as well as a private balcony--what is sure to be a killer combo.
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We loathe saying goodbye to summer before it's time, but back-to-school commercials always perform hateful Jedi mind-tricks on us. We begin to believe there's only a short time left between swimsuit and turtle neck season come end of August.
That's why we're presenting this "Last Chance Rooftop Party" guide designed to get you out there before the scene packs up and heads to warmer pastures. Those of you in warmer climates have little to worry about, but for those whose barometers are already dropping, this one's for you!
Le Bain at The Standard NYC
This bi-level roof bar and club in the Meatpacking District is as trendy as it gets. In fact, it might be a tad intimidating to those unfamiliar with The Standard's unofficial "live and let live policy". In other words--the pool area? There may be some toplessness about. The best thing to do is don your shades and focus on the choice music, indulging in wicked drinks, and chowing down on freshly made crepes--savory or sweet. And turn your attention to the glittery Hudson River if your eyes are being assaulted by the bumping and grinding of hips dancing. Join party-girl Susanne Bartsch's outlandish Tuesday soirees, groove to house music all night long (4 am on Friday's) and more. BTW, there's no cover charge to partake in all this fabulousness, but there may be a line. Hit up Facebook for guest list entry.
The SLS Hotel at South Beach
Starting at 12pm on Sunday's, the hotel's trendy Hyde Beach pool area turns into the jumping J'Adore party. Live DJs pump up the jam and bikini-and-Speedo clad party people dance the day away. In between shaking their groove thangs, serious cocktails and loads of bubbly is poured and folks dine off a special snack or Brunch menu. How does churrasco con chimichurri (grilled skirt steak with herb salad )or market ceviche prepared Peruvian style with cancha corn sound? Here's where the beautiful SoBe people show up in droves to snag a cabana or lounger, so reserve early and wear your best bathing attire.
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NYC’s W Hotels are immersed in their own version of gangland warfare with their new musical soundclash, “W Gangs of New York.”
This curated music series, inspired by the cult classic film, The Warriors, explores the progression of how New York music has evolved, and invites some of the city’s finest record labels to compete against each other by defending their respective musical turf to determine who is the ultimate (musical) Gang of New York.
“We’ve found that different genres of music, as well as various fashions and attitudes, unite people and challenge the classic idea of neighborhood gangs,” said Michaelangelo L’Acqua, W Hotels Global Music Director (BTW, how cool would that job be?). “ ‘W Gangs of NY’ will create new cultural turf to defend, grouped by musical style rather than zip code and using performance as the communicator to protect reputation.”
Each gang of DJs and live music acts will be wearing limited-edition jackets designed by 2013 CFDA Swarovski Menswear Award winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne in order to show their colors to the crowds.
Here’s the fierce upcoming line-up so far:
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Last week, the National Park Service flipped the switch on nearly 500 scaffolding lights that surround the Washington Monument and now these new "night lights" are the big buzz in D.C. The monument remains closed as it undergoes repairs for damage sustained from the freak East Coast earthquake two years ago but the night lights are giving it a new life.
And judging from this shot above, one of the best places for a killer view of the monument in its new lit-up glory is from P.O.V., the rooftop bar at The W Washington D.C.. P.O.V. also has a killer view across the street to the White House making it the perfect spot to stay during Inauguration Time.
Rates right now are totally doable at around $229 a night but of course, you don't need a room to head up to P.O.V. Just a love of tapas and cocktails. The bar is closed this weekend on July 28 but after that it will resume its normal hours of 3pm to midnight during the week, 3pm to 2am on Friday, 11am to 3am on Saturday and 11am to midnight on Sunday. And this is D.C. so fellas, please don't try to rock your baseball hats, tank tops or sneakers. Collared shirts are actually preferred.
[Photo: The W Washington D.C.]
Can W Paris Opéra live up to the hype? A HotelChatter Review
After winning our hotly-contested Worst Hotel Hype award all the way back in 2011 for not just missing its July 1 opening date, but failing to open that year altogether, W Paris Opéra flung open its doors late February 2012 in the end. Countless fashionistas click-clacked their Manolos through the stone-tiled entrance and swooshed up the elevator to spend the night in this former Parisian bank, but we only coveted it from afar. None of that matters anymore now, because 2013 goes down as the year we finally did sleep with W Paris Opéra. Read on to find out how it was.
Check-In: we arrived after midnight in a taxi from Gare du Nord train station, wanting to get to sleep as soon as possible. We were happily surprised by the complete lack of attitude our cynical side was expecting from the staff; the guys checking us in were unfailingly friendly, offering to walk us to our room and show us around. We foolishly declined, thinking we’d find our own way. That turned out to be a bad idea once we got to our room.
The possibility that W Hotels might be returning for a "walk-about" Down Under is getting closer with a new proposal in the central business district of Melbourne. Thanks to the deep pockets of Jinshan Investments, the hometown firm wants to turn the land into a 30-story tower featuring the on-trend hotel brand. If you remember, W used to be open in Sydney (this was the very first international W Hotel) but peaced out about 5 years ago. The hotel is now known as the Blue Hotel.
Currently, the plot in Melbourne is home to the Palace Theatre, a heritage-listed building that is a popular venue for music concerts. Even thought the Palace is steeped in history from the 150 years its been hosting the arts, if the plans move forward, the theater will be completely demolished to make way for the 205-room hotel and 145 apartment building.
We promised you a closer look at W Sentosa Cove when we discussed those nifty moveable phone ‘booths’ in the lobby just over a month ago, so here we are today with a gallery full of shots from the 240-room resort on Sentosa Island, a short hop from Singapore’s CBD.
Particularly popular with Singaporeans for a weekend stay-cation, the hotel has everything you expect from one of the latest W properties: slick rooms, lots of facilities that incorporate a W in their name (WET pool, AWAY spa, W lounge, Wired Business Center), and an atmosphere that is, let’s say, party-friendly. We wouldn’t bring the kids, is all we’re saying (notwithstanding that we did see some).
We let you know last week about more and more hotels getting involved in cool collaborations with fashion companies and the like. Now we've learned of another pairing--this time with another of our favorite funky brands, the W Hotel Group. Known for throwing a good party and surprising us left and right with amenities up the ying yang (please don't ever break up with Bliss y'all) , now they're getting in bed with Manhattan-based lingerie designer Arielle Shapiro of ARI DEIN.
The W South Beach Hotel has a special July promo where guests who check into one of the 31 VIP suites like the E-WOW (we've shown you how New York gets down with that suite) gets a custom-designed, take-home ARI DEN pajama set. If you aren't aware of the designer, Arielle's work is a celeb fave, and her clothes appeared many a time on Gossip Girl. Seems like Blaire Waldorf had a thang for the line.
We do too, as it goes, for the pajamas. This 100% cotton short-sleeve and matching shorts number for the W South Beach is a deep heather-grey color with bright pink accents. Kinda girly, but not gaggingly so, it seems right on for hot summer nights when you're forced to wear something to sleep in for decency's sake.
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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS if you will) has just smacked down the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the 1996 law which denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. That means the U.S. can now "immediately" extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples. Woot!
While this doesn't change any state laws regarding same sex marriage, it still is a major victory for gay rights. And what better way to celebrate than with a hotel stay? :) Here are four getaways to consider:
· RITZ-CARLTON, WASHINGTON DC: Celebrate the landmark decision in our nation's capitol at the Ritz-Carlton with their OUT in DC Pride Package. It includes: overnight deluxe room accommodations, a donation made in your honor to the Human Rights Campaign, two welcome cocktails, a Pride Weekend "Survival Kit", American breakfast for two, overnight valet parking, complimentary internet and access to Sports Club/LA fitness center connected to the hotel. Rates start at $354 a night and the package is available through August 31st.