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The historic Grant Building at Market and Seventh streets in San Francisco, will turn into a 200-room Yotel after undergoing some extreme renovations. No word on the pricing but with such small rooms, one has to expect some small, er, low, rates.
Capsule rooms aside, the news of a Yotel is excellent for San Fran. The city might be home to some of the world's top tech firms (Twitter, Google, etc.), but its hotel scene has been lacking as of late, especially when you compare it to other big cities like New York, Miami and Chicago, which are readying not just new and hip hotel brands (Ace, Virgin, Edition) but also stylish reincarnations of established brands like Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.
Hopefully, the arrival of a Yotel will spur some other cool hotel brands to come in. Already, the mid-Market area is making way for a Hampton Inn and another 250-room hotel. Fingers crossed a Hotel Indigo or an Andaz Hotel is coming up next.
[Photo via SFist]
If you're a frequent guest of the Yotel New Yorkin Times Square, well, that's kinda cool. Tell us more about that. Oh sorry, we mean, you may want to join up with the hotel's new loyalty program called, TheClub@Yotel (all one word.) But there's a catch--it's only for business travelers.
Here's what repeat biz travelers and their companies can get with the new club program:
Yotel CEO Gerard Greene spoke to Hotels Mag about Yotel's latest expansion plans and OMG they are going to be everywhere. Here's where where they want to go in the U.S.--Boston, Chicago (deals are pending actually), San Francisco (yes, please!) and Atlanta near the airport (perfect.) Yotel also wants to triple its presence in NYC with new hotels in downtown and Brooklyn. Greene thinks they will get those deals signed this year as well.
Meanwhile, Yotel is also expanding into Asia, starting with a 600-room hotel in Singapore which will open in 2016. Also on the Asia wish list? Hong Kong, Seoul, Japan, Taiwan, Manila and Bangkok. And while they're at it, Australia too with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth being discussed too. There is even talks of a Yotel in Saudia Arabia.
The world could certainly use more Yotels which offer futuristic capsule-like hotel rooms at crazy doable rates. Yet while we wait for these Yotels to "come online", we'll just have to make do with the Yotel Times Square and the Yotels at Heathrow, Gatwick and Schipol Airports.
Never been inside a Yotel before? Check out our Yotel review here!
We've all been there with our jobs--so annoyed and frustrated and sick of the same damn BS that we've wanted to set it on fire and walk away. Ok, maybe we all haven't had that last thought but a hotel security director at the YOTEL in Times Square did and he acted on it too.
Fire marshals arrested Mariano Barbosa, Jr., over the weekend for setting fires at the Yotel in "an attempt to make the hotels less popular and his job more manageable." The NY Times reports further saying:
It appeared to fire marshals that Mr. Barbosa had grown tired of patrons at the hotels’ bars and parties, said a fire official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation. “He desired that the incidents would be blamed on the clientele, and if that was the case maybe they would curtail the parties, and the venues would be more manageable,” the official said.
Hotel Art / Hotel Art Galleries / Hotel Artists / James Hotels / Raffles Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Yotels / Andaz Hotels / → All Tags
Remember the old days where hotel art usually consisted of a bland landscape painting that was reproduced a hundred times over and hung in the same spot in every guest room? Thankfully, over the past few years, hotels have been paying close attention to the artworks they hang in their rooms and public spaces--choosing original art instead and even better, works from local artists instead of some mass-produced Van Gogh imitation.
But in the past month or so, we've noticed some hotels that are stepping it up even further when it comes to the art on display. Giant murals, entire galleries, and even live-in artists are among the trends we've begun to see.
For us, it's moreso about the overall vibe and decor of the hotel than it is about temporary art promotions and exhibits, although we do acknowledge that the latter can certainly contribute to the former. The personality of a property is as much of a selling point as, say, the hotel's location or the quality of its food, so it's no surprise hotels are quick to market their artistic aspects. Below, we've provided a roundup of what's happening this spring and summer at a variety of properties.
If this is Yotel's idea of an April Fools, then we gotta say…we're impressed. The hotel sent out an e-blast early Friday morning announcing their plans to launch the first ever zip-line into the heart of Times Square. Umm…really?
A few things come to mind when we read this. First off, it's not like you can just "drop into" one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections. Times Square is a big, teeming place populated by skyscrapers, giant LED screens, gawking tourists, naked singing cowboys, and other maddening obstacles. To attempt to cruise into such an area suspended from a steel cable would be both impractical and incredibly stupid.
Second, the hotel is calling the zip line a way for guests to "save time and avoid busy streets." Well, we can't argue with that. But if it's a question of walking an extra few blocks, or putting our lives at risk, we'd gladly choose to walk.
Third and finally, how do you build a zip line into Times Square anyway? With safety nets along traffic-congested 42nd St? With tunnels carved through office buildings to create a more direct route? Will the TKTS booth magically transform into a landing station? Though Yotel has been known to pull some pretty whacky stunts before, we're going to assume the answers to these questions are no, no, and no.
According to Yotel, the zip line launches today, April 1. Also known as April Fools Day. Did we just get punked?
Hotel Restaurants / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Events / Hotel Parties / Dream Hotels / Yotels / Standard Hotels / → All Tags
Hot on the heels of Fashion Week, the next big NYC event on everyone's lips is the Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival, which runs from Oct 11-14. Taking place in different venues all over the city, the various food-(and wine-, duh!) related events are a great excuse to indulge our two favorite hobbies: stuffing our face, and hanging out in hotels.Much of the finger-lickin' action will be restricted to a few select places that have made their mark as either a reputable dining establishment, or just a place where celebs like to hang.
Here's a look at what's happening at which hotels, and where you'll want to be staying.
By far, the most active hotel on the lineup is Standard High Line, which will be hosting a total of nine events throughout the four-day festival, many of which are part of a "Wine Seminars" series presented by Food & Wine magazine. And though the hotel will no doubt be jam-packed the entire weekend, rooms are still available, starting at $585/night for a Standard King.
Meanwhile, the following hotels will also get their fair share of the booze-y action...
Hotel WiFi / Hotel Lobbies / Manhattan Hotels / Indigo Hotels / Yotels / Tryp Hotes / Pod Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Finding a good deal on a room can be stressful enough—but when all you need is to duck into the hotel lobby to fire off a string of emails, or upload photos onto Flickr, or write up a hotel story, (as is often the case with us), the last thing you want to feel is rushed. Here are a few trusty hotspots we like to keep on our radar when roaming the Big Apple, looking for a chilled-out place to turn into our office for a quick hour or two:
1. Indigo Chelsea: Our buddies at Indigo Chelsea like to keep things simple in their ground-floor lobby on 28th St. They even did away (for the most part) with those floppy white plastic tubes that had us all scratching our heads for a while.
But with a new dining concept (Blu) that replaced the previous Bice Italian restaurant last year, and free WiFi all over the hotel, this midtown gem is a clean, friendly, reliable place you can go and get a bit of work done for a while. Which we do often, with a side of sweet potato fries ($8) to keep our appetite at bay.
After starting off small in a couple of UK airports before moving onto a massive operation in Times Square, Yotel is now ready to take their stylish hotel rooms aka "cabins", mood lighting and lovable Yobot nationwide.
The company has partnered with The John Buck Company (as well as with IFA Hotels & Resorts and the Kuwait Real Estate Company) to raise $250 million discretionary private equity fund with the goal of acquiring and developing more than $650 million worth of Yotels in North America over the next three to five years.
Cutting through all that mumbo-jumbo, this simply means: there are more Yotels coming including plans for a Yotel Boston and a Yotel Chicago. Ohhhh yeaaahhh.
Hotel Rooftops / Hilton Hotels / Conrad Hotels / Trump Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Bars / Killer View / Yotels / Dream Hotels / → All Tags
Yes, there are plenty of places to do it in NYC—by "it," we mean enjoy a cocktail in the open air from a hotel rooftop or terrace. But some places are more exclusive than others, some have better nibbles to munch on, and not all killer views are created equal. So to help you find the best hotel rooftop to suit your mood, we've broken down the top seven venues by each day of the week. Starting with...
We've already taken a gander inside the monumental lobby, but this summer we'll be riding the elevators straight to the top of Conrad New York to hang out at Loopy Doopy (above). The new rooftop bar, located on the 16th floor, is set to open in May with a full menu of cocktails and nibbles from Atrio downstairs. Oh, and in addition to the cool name (Loopy Doopy references the Sol LeWitt wall mural in the lobby), this summer the bar will be offering the perfect end-of-weekend hangover cure: boozy popsicles!
We feel we should preface this post by pointing out that Sunday is April Fool's Day, and though we have a lot of love for the Yotel Yobot, we also have our doubts about this new service being offered by the luggage-toting robot.
But in the interest of staying on top of the news, it was announced that guests can now have their bags "chuted" directly from Yotel Times Square to the airport at the touch of a button. Yup. Sounds unbelievable, but apparently, Yobot has already synced up with the JetBlue luggage handlers at JFK, with more airlines on the way. What's more, in the near future, the robot will also be able to tag the luggage so it can be tracked, via an app, as it makes its way from the hotel.
We hope Yobot is at least getting a raise to match all his new responsibilities.
Chinese New Year Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Yotels / Hotel Parties / Hotel Contests / Facebook / Hotel Cookies / → All Tags
2012 is Year of the Dragon, and In case you didn't know, the dragon is a pretty big deal on the Chinese zodiac. So, to match the excitement of the new year, New York's Cassa Hotel & Residences is running a pretty nifty Chinese New Year promotion.
Guests who "like" Cassa on Facebook (and prove it by showing their computer or smartphone to the Front Desk) will be given a fortune cookie. Which at first sounds like not such a great trade-off. But hidden inside one of the fortunes is a voucher that will let you book your next stay for only $47.10/night—roughly 80% off the normal rate. All those limestone tubs and minimalist rooms just by
eating opening a cookie? This might be our new favorite holiday.