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Fitting in a workout during a trip is getting a lot easier these days, but there are still many travelers who make excuses to avoid a sweat session while on the road. But if you're staying at The Westin Chicago River North there's no excuse to miss a workout, now that they've installed a treadmill desk right in the guest room.
All 429 rooms at the hotel have a fresh new look, thanks to a recent renovation, but if you're really interested in burning calories while checking email, you'll need to request room 404; the one room that features the treadmill desk.
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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination. Looking at the first YOO Hotel recently, on its way to tropical Boracay Island in the Philippines, got us thinking about the country’s capital, Manila. Perhaps not a city that surfaces very often on our radar, there are a few big openings in the works that will add nearly 2,000 new hotel rooms over the next five years:
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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination.
Oh, Bali. Perennially popular you may have been indeed, but Julia Roberts cycling magically sweat-free through rice paddies must have really kicked it up a notch. Overcrowding be damned, the list of hotels we can think of that will come to your shores in the next five years (all to “unspoiled” and “pristine” corners, of course) easily runs up to the fingers on both our hands (and that’s with a bit of doubling up as you’ll find out). Here are ten hotels coming to the Island of the Gods:
It’s maybe not quite six months since we last looked at the Hilton Bankside, but it’s worth checking in on the hotel now rather than wait for our usual twice-a-year update on the long-running project. Why? Because not only does less scaffolding give us a better view of the hotel’s exterior, we also have proof that this indeed will be a Hilton: the logo is right there. What’s more, it seems Starwood is preparing to attach its Westin logo to a project nearby. Read on for details.
If you need a little refresh on the Hilton and why you should care, here we go: yes, it is one in a long list of Hiltons London has, but we have our eye on it for the “new brand design” it will supposedly showcase, which based on renderings we saw looks very interesting. There will be a leisure club with pool, and location is just a block or so behind Tate Modern and the Thames. Despite the logo being up, there is still no sign of the hotel on Hilton’s website; let’s assume that cannot be far off.
The San Francisco hotel scene continues to be upgraded. The Westin Market Street hotel is no longer. Well, of course, the building and hotel still exist, however it is now going by the new name Park Central Hotel.
The change happened in late January when LaSalle Hotel Properties purchased the 681-room hotel and installed Highgate Hotel to manage it. The property will undergo only "modest renovations" and the restaurant MaSo will stay in place. The hotel will focus on bringing in some new programs and new partnerships with local affiliations.
As for the WiFi, which was free in the lobby and pay in the guest rooms under Westin, the Park Central plans on keeping it status quo.
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Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
It might be hard to believe this but up until a few weeks ago, the Westin St. Francis in touristy Union Square in touristy San Francisco had something no one else in America had--a Goyard boutique.
If you're not familiar, Goyard is one of the oldest luxury "trunk maker" from Paris that's still in business. But today instead of trunks, they are most well-known for their pricey colorful tote bags in the signature Goyard print (monogramming is available too and recommended.)
While several high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Barney's in New York, Boston and Beverly Hills carry Goyard bags, the Goyard San Francisco store was the only actual Goyard boutique in America. That is, until the Maison Goyard in NYC opened quietly a few days after Christmas.
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HotelChatter spent the day at Starwood HQ in Stamford, Conn., learning about the coming design refreshes for Le Méridien and Westin Hotel. We completed a full-on design immersion day, which included a guided tour of Westin and Le Méridien model rooms. What did we learn? Well, one brand wants to serve you craft cappuccinos, refreshing booze drinks and elegant eclairs. The other one wants to make sure you have work out gear, super foods and proximity to plants. Somehow this crazy juxtaposition seems to work. Obviously, there are more details to share. We showed you Le Méridien yesterday. Now it's Westin's turn..
The coming Westin Hotels 2015 refresh continues on the themes of aiding and abetting your travel well-being.
Westin has long wanted guests to leave healthier than they arrived, and to help continue that desire, the brand is giving guests plenty of ways to recharge while in their new guest rooms.
Here are three things that got our attention as we walked through the model room and checked out their new hotel design schemes.
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Howdy folks! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. Seriously, did all you hotelie people save it up for Labor Day Weekend? Sheesh. Anyways, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest. More news will obviously be forthcoming.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is Coming Soon: Get ready, Parrotheads! A beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will open on the beach in Hollywood, Fla. in 2015. It will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.
The Diplomat Becomes a Curio Hotel: The Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale, a massive convention center hotel, is doing away with the white green tea scent in its lobby as it rebrands from a Westin to a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton. The hotel was recently acquired by the Thayer Lodging Group who will make the change to Hilton in October. The property will also undergo a $100 million enhancement. The new name will officially be The Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Waldorf Astoria Naples Will Be No More: TripAdvisor reviewers were mumbling about the changes that are coming to this luxury hotel in Naples, Fla. Apparently, the hotel was recently sold and is now undergoing renovations and will go back to its former name of The Naples Grande Beach Resort. Which is perhaps best since most reviewers complained the property was not up to Waldorf standards. Renovations are expected to be done in January 2015. The name change could come at the same time too.
Auberge To Launch New Brand in Napa, After St. Regis Drops Out: Uh-oh. This is not good. A luxury resort in Napa, Calif. has not even opened yet and already it has switched management hands. The 117-room resort on Stanley Ranch has gone from a St. Regis to an Auberge Resort. It will open, possibly in 2017, as a "VieVage" resort which is a new brand from Auberg, that will be less expensive, more casual and more family-friendly than other Auberges. Here's more on VieVage. We'll be thinking good thoughts.
Question: is it ever ok to ask a woman what her childbearing status is? (Answer: not unless it is particularly vital to the conversation, or if she brings it up.)
Another question: how many 21st-century women do you know who define themselves by their childbearing status? (Answer: unless they’re joking about ‘mom brain’, or write "proud mom!!" on their Twitter bio, not many, presumably because it’s the 21st century and in general society believes that women have brains and souls and vocations that don't necessarily include breeding, and the virgin/whore/mother categories were put on fade when we got the vote.)
Last question: in light of the above, just how much sense does it make for a hotel to market a new package for
barren sterile heartless unfulfilled childless women?
Personally we’d say not much sense at all, but the Westin New York Grand Central seems to think barren is the new black, because they’ve just launched a package called Womanhood Redefined, aimed at women of childbearing age who – the horror! – don’t have children. It is, they claim, an ‘industry first’. Guys, sometimes there’s a reason for that.
The Womanhood Redefined package aims to “create a new definition of happiness” for women (whose happiness meter is, of course, generally contingent on the number of offspring that have swum through their birth canal). The hotel has teamed up with Melanie Notkin, author of the gloriously titled book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind Of Happiness. Together, they have decided that this is what childless women want from a hotel stay:
· A bed for the night (presumably unwarmed, just like your single mattress at home);
· A copy of Otherhood (to help you find happiness despite your stale loins);
· A $25 food and beverage credit towards cocktails at the bar (because SATC, woohoo!) or in-room dining (in case you are ashamed to show your single self in public);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s executive chef, who will tell you about superfoods and growing home gardens (crucial question: is he single? MAYBE YOU CAN MARRY HIM);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s Running Concierge (careful now, overexercise can lead to fertility issues);
· 10% discount on yoga classes at a nearby studio (bcs you childless girls looove your yoga);
· A complimentary Westin White Tea candle (clutch it to your never-lactated bosom, it smells almost as good as a baby);
· Loaned exercise gear (because nothing feels as good as working out in second-hand sneakers).
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The most eyecatching feature of the new Westin Hamburg is the seafaring wavy roof. We're guessing that means no helipad.
Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is getting larger and that means more hotels. According to HotelProjectsWorldwide, there are 23 new hotels in development in Hamburg, thanks in part to the revitalization of former riverfront warehouse district HafenCity. In 2016, HafenCity will be home to the new Westin Hamburg, located in one of the most highly anticipated new buildings worldwide— the Elbe Phiharmonic Hall.
Ever wonder how environmentally friendly reusing those towels and switching off the lights in your hotel room makes you? The new Westin Singapore has the answer, in the form of that little red indicator you see on the left of the in-room TV screen: it compares your energy use to that of an average hotel guest, based on analysis of elements like electricity, water, and so on. Moving up or down, you can track just how ‘good’ you are being green.
Opened last November, The Westin sits on top of Asia Square, a two-tower vertical city of 12,000+ office workers in the financial district southwest of Marina Bay Sands. With Singapore’s highest hotel lobby (on level 32), and rooms up from there, there are some good views to be had, but the best way to enjoy them is from the gorgeous infinity-edge swimming pool. Check it out after the jump.