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It’s rendering time! Having semi-stalked W Amsterdam for well over a year now, with our latest look at the hotel just behind Dam Square showing discreet signage in place, the moment is here: an impression of what will be inside the 238-room hotel.
Take a gander at what is labelled as a Wow Suite above. There’s a lot to look at, but we're digging the 70s Amsterdam vibe, with the corner fireplace, the carpet, the dual-faced sofa, and the yellow / white / grey / black in the modular bookcase. Then there is the circular bed, with what looks like a sheer curtain that can be drawn around it. We’re not sure if that’s actually a balcony or just a ledge for the plants, but given what we’ve seen of the two buildings, we doubt there would be the kind of rooftop views the rendering would suggest. Keep reading for so. Much. More.
The W London Lounge
Last week, I found myself in central London with a colleague, with an hour to spare between meetings. It was lunchtime. We both had work to do. We’d been out and about all morning.
We were near Covent Garden. My colleague suggested a restaurant. I mooted the Lounge at the W London. I won.
But when we got there, he was shocked. It was so fancy! All the staff were so beautiful! Everyone around us was so… rich looking! “Do you have to be Scandinavian to work here?” he asked me. He called his wife to marvel at the “eurotrash” and the “too beautiful” people surrounding us. He brought it up in the meeting we went to afterwards. The other meetingees were equally baffled and entranced by the idea of going to this insane, snazzy, eurotrashy hotel, when we could have gone to Starbucks.
While Chicago temps are going down and the streets are piling up with snow, we can always rely on the folks over the W Chicago City Center to keep us warm and toasty with delicious libations. We scored a chance to catch up with the hotel's head bartender and resident mixologist, Lauren Parton, to get her thoughts on industry trends and what we can see for the spring thaw when it comes to drinking.
(Coincidentally, Parton was tasked with creating the cocktail menu for the renovation relaunch party for their sister property, W Chicago Lakeshore, and whipped up some edible cocktails that were passed around like hors d'oeuvres. We can't argue with this concept.)
The genius mind behind a specialty cocktail menu in the W's Living Room, Parton has more than just cocktails in her repertoire. Her industry career began creating some culinary masterpieces in a few of Chicago's greatest eateries. When she made the move to hotel bartending--at Raffaello's Drumbar--Parton was shipped off to Bourbon Camp and the rest is libation history!
Keep reading for our Q&A with Lauren Parton
Marrakech Hotels / Hotel News / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Much like Bali, the hotel openings keep coming for Marrakech, no matter how crowded it is already. A year after we looked at that long list of options, here are four big name hotels that will open in the next few years: Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton.
First up: the second attempt of Mandarin Oriental, which should arrive this year after missing a planned 2014 opening. Like Milan, the hotel now has a dedicated website, with a first few interior images. The hotel will have 54 villas, 7 suites, and 2 spa suites – all with their own pool. The seven suites have rooftop plunge pools and are part of the main hotel building, with the spa suites giving over 4,000 square feet and infinity lap pools.
W Paris – Opéra, the W brand’s one and only property in France, has opened their new cocktail bar focused on American whiskeys, Bar Brûlé. This Thursday-Saturday soon-to-be hotspot is tucked away on the first floor of the hotel and overlooks the grand Garnier Opera house.
Bar Brûlé, which the hotel is dubbing the “embassy of American whiskeys,” takes its name from the French word for burnt, which was sparked by the entire hotel’s creative concept of "a spark triggered by the fusion of the energy of New York and the city of light."
Headed up by chief barman Emeric Aguilar, the bar menu features over forty rare American whiskeys from micro-distilleries and cocktails that are divided into three categories: Old-Fashioned, Modern Classics and Originals.
Nearly a year has passed since we last walked by the upcoming W Amsterdam, right behind the city’s Dam Square, due to open sometime in the Fall of 2015. We’re glad to report that aside from news about expansion into an additional building (more on that in a second) W Hotels is making lots of progress.
On the left the 1903 Telephone Exchange Building as it was twelve months ago, on the right what it looks like today: a series of windows has been removed (you can just about make out the brick inserted on the right), the all-glass rooftop floor that will house Living Room, restaurant, and bar is clearly visible (go here for a rendering), and of course, the W is proudly displayed on the corner. More photos, including of the KAS Bank Building next door the hotel will spread out to, below.
The W London always brings a bit of color to its Leicester Square location, whether frosty white during the day, or something more vibrant at night, but the bright red you see above was for a specific occasion: World AIDS Day on December 1.
Now W Hotels have taken things a step further, with a collaboration with (RED), the organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and people in the fight against AIDS. At the Ws in London, Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul, or Verbier, there have been and continue to be a number of things to see and do, and a number of ways to add your support, from film screenings and art installations to drinking a (RED) cocktail, the proceeds of which will to the Global Fund.
If you upgrade your room at the W London, 15% of the difference in price will go to the Global Fund, and you’ll get two cocktails to boot. At the W Paris, a (RED) suite package comes with a whole range of perks and goodies, with 20% of all proceeds going to the Global Fund. Check out the W Facebook page for more.
Rooms at the W London start at a hefty £400 ($623) a night this coming Friday. That is super steep but just try to remember it's for a good cause.
[Photo: W Hotels]
Hotel News / Amsterdam Hotels / Starwood Hotels / W Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
The uber-eco friendly Element Amsterdam is wonderfully--or dangerously--close to a shopping mall, but you can still feel good about "going green" while spending some green.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is bringing two of its design-driven brands to one of Europe’s hippest cities, with Element Amsterdam and W Amsterdam both opening next year. Here’s the latest on these upcoming hotels. Just two more reasons to love Amsterdam.
Hotel Development / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Millennium Hotels / Hotel Woes / W Hotels / → All Tags
One of the most talked about mixed-use developments in the history of Hollywood is having a hard time getting off the ground, mostly because of what is going on below the ground. Millennium Hollywood, aka "MillHoll," is an ambitious live-work-stay destination that aims to add about a million square feet, and a 200-room luxury hotel, onto a couple of vacant parking lots. MillHoll is located next door to the iconic Capital Records Tower, which is to be a highlighted feature of the mega-urban project.
The hottest issue that may be keeping MillHoll from advancing past renderings form is whether or not the land is sitting on top of an active earthquake fault. If it's true, that's one hell of a "no-no."
SPG Keyless / Aloft Hotels / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel News / Keyless Entry / Mobile Check-Ins / → All Tags
UPDATE: Hilton Hotels also announced a "mobile room key deployment" today for four of its brands – Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. HHonors members can open their hotel room doors via smartphones starting in spring 2015.
Back then, you had to be an SPG member (duh) and an Aloft reservation, but also, you had to apply to be a tester of the keyless entry. Now, starting on Wednesday, November 5, all you'll need is the SPG app on your smartphone and a reservation at one of the participating W, Element or Aloft Hotels, made directly through Starwood.
Here's how it works (you can watch the video above or read the step-by-step instructions below):
Hotel Openings / W Hotels / Beijing Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
What’s more, we actually have a photo from inside the hotel: we present to you, above, what a Spectacular Room looks like. A step up from entry-level Wonderful Rooms, they run at $318 under the “Extraordinary W Offer”. That shoots up to $451 for a fully flexible rate. The room comes in at nearly 540 sq ft, with the prerequisite open plan bathroom and some interesting purple herringbone-style art-slash-headboard. That pattern comes back in the hardwood floors and what we think could be quite a pretty blue area rug.
The exterior of the hotel leaves no doubt about this being a W either: check it out below.
This hotel may have missed the mark with its insane asylum themed floor but the The W New Orleans is making the most of its location in the French quarter this Halloween with a "Feel the Spirits" package that is just the right amount of spooky.
The package includes a two-night stay in a Tarot-inspired guest room along with two tickets to the creepy Walking Cemetery Tour by Gray Line Tours and two Corpse Reviver cocktails from the hotel bar, SoBou. The Corpse Reviver is made with equal parts gin, Lillet, lemon and Cointreau and served in a glass misted with Absinthe, designed "to bring you back to life." You'll also be close to the city's Krewe of Boo Halloween parade on the 30th.
Rates for the package start at $391 a night on October 30 and 31st for a wonderful room and $401 for the Mega room with the tarot them. This room is actually available year-round so if you can't make to Nola for the Halloween festivities, you can go another time and have the same creepy experience.
[Photo: W New Orleans French Quarter]