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Marriott International announced today that it will open five new hotels for Edition – the company’s boutique, luxury lifestyle brand – on three continents. Plans are underway for Editions in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Bangkok, while contracts have been signed for additional hotels in Los Angeles and Gurgaon, India. Marriott Edition enlisted the help of Ian Schrager, hotelier and real estate developer, to pioneer the creative design and positioning of the hotels. Schrager is well known for Studio 54 and the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, among others.
Manhattan’s Clock Tower building, on Madison Avenue, will be home to the New York Edition; the renovation and transformation of the historic building are set to begin in late 2012. The Bangkok Edition, opening in 2015, will be in one of the tallest buildings in the city, and will be part of a mixed-use development. Read more
2011 has been a big year for hotels—we’ve scooped dozens of exciting hotel openings across the globe. On the flip side, we must bid farewell to a few monumental hotels that have closed. Here are a few of the goners we’ll miss most. A moment of silence, if you will.
Sahara Las Vegas (closed May 16)
One of Sin City’s last Rat Pack-era hotels has closed for good. The landmark casino-hotel held court on the northern Strip for 59 years. Scads of musical legends had graced its ballroom stage (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli, to name a few).
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya (closed June 6)
We know Mexico tourism has taken a beating these last few years, but is the Mandarin’s closing an upshot? The luxury beach resort had been enduring increasingly low occupancy rates. Perhaps there’s hope—the property’s website indicates that the hotel will re-open in due course. We shall see.
The Chelsea Hotel (closed in August)
The historic artist enclave was sold to developer Joseph Chetrit and closed in August, save for its 100 permanent residences. Future plans are vague but Chetrit intends to keep the Chelsea a hotel. Phew! We can only hope that the history-packed rooms retain their legendary rocker grit post renovations.
The Plaza’s Oak Room (closed in May)
The celebrity-loved Oak Room will no longer host its famously outrageous afternoon parties, thanks to a rent dispute between restaurant operators and hotel owners. No word yet of what will become of the historic space.
Ritz Paris (temporarily closing in summer for renovations)
The oh-so-fancy Parisian landmark is, in truth, not so ritzy at the moment. The old gal is looking a little tired and will close for two years this summer for an extensive refresh.
We’ve seen our fair share of unique hotel design elements, but the sheer number and grandiosity of on-property hotel aquariums took us by surprise. While some are in locations where you might expect to find elaborate shrines to the local ocean flora and fauna – Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Philippines – mega-aquariums have turned up in some unexpected places, like central Berlin and midtown Manhattan. A pair of Vegas showstoppers, a duo of Florida hideaways, and a monstrous aquatic playground only possible in everything-to-the-extreme Dubai round out our list of the largest and most extravagant. And unlike the tanks you may have encountered during grade school field trips, these 10 hotel aquariums aren’t just for pressing your nose against the glass: Some allow guests to plunge right in through scuba or snorkeling sessions, stingray feedings, or dolphin encounters. So take it from us – it really is better down where it’s wetter, under the (artificial) sea! Check out our Top 10 Hotel Aquariums to get a sneak peek of these watery wonders.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
- Loews Hotel: Get 20 percent off at 15 hotels, with rates from $104. Available all day today.
- British Colonial Hilton, Bahamas: With rates from $129/night, you’ll save 30 percent on stays December 10-23. Sale ends today!
- Fairmont Mayakoba: This Five Diamond Riviera Maya hotel is on sale for $199/night.
- Z NYC: This brand new hotel will offer rates of $128/night on the 28th of the month for the first six months of 2012. Hurry! You can only book from 12:00pm to 12:28pm today!
- Kura Hulanda Resorts, Curacao: Get the third night free at one of two luxury properties on the island.
- Viceroy Palm Springs: Facebook fans of the hotel can score rates of $75/night, plus some stellar perks.
- Charles Hotel, Boston: The Four Diamond Boston property is slashing rates 50 percent, to start at $99/night. The low rates are only bookable between 11:28am and 12:29:28pm.
- Hotel Thirty Thirty, NYC: Stay at this Midtown NYC hotel for just $129/night. The sale ends Tuesday.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, cruises, and more travel deals.
Summer may be just about over, but later this month New York City will heat up with one of the world’s most exciting tennis tournaments: the U.S. Open. If you plan on coming to the Big Apple for this premier event, be sure to book one of these tennis-themed hotel packages to sweeten your stay.
Both the Gansevoort Meatpacking and the year-old Gansevoort Park Avenue are participating in the brand’s Gans, Set, Match package. In addition to nightly accommodations, the promotion includes Champagne and sliders for two at the rooftop lounge, two Lacoste polo shirts, two portable seat cushions, two Gansevoort caps, and an unlimited weekly MetroCard for subway transport. The hotels can even secure tickets to the matches, for an extra fee. Rates start at $462/night at the Gansevoort Meatpacking and $492/night at the Gansevoort Park Avenue for stays August 29-September 11.
We’ve been excited about the Nolitan since we first heard about its summer opening – summer 2010, that is. Now the hotel will finally open its doors on August 1. Officially, the year-long wait is explained as part of “unforeseen delays or changes in the timetable for completion” that can happen at any new construction. I recently had the chance to tour the new property, and the Nolitan is still worthy of excitement.
Located in New York City’s Nolita (North of Little Italy) district – south of the East Village and just east of trendy Soho – the hotel is noteworthy for its connections to the neighborhood from which it takes its name. Rotating artwork from a local gallery appears in the lobby. A shopping program with some of the employees’ favorite neighborhood boutiques scores discounts and personalized services for guests. Bathrooms sport products from local vendor Red Flower. Free bicycles and skateboards are on hand for exploring the surroundings. On the other hand, the area immediately surrounding the Nolitan isn’t the greatest, and the modern glass structure stands out from the older neighborhood buildings.
The new high-tech Yotel in New York’s Times Square employs a “Yobot” (bag-checking robot) to do it’s heavy-lifting. Essentially a 20-foot robotic arm parked in the lobby stores luggage in lockers for guests pre- and post-check-in/out (no Johnny 5-like bot qualities, unfortunately). And the techie fun doesn’t end there. Instead of a front desk manned by clerks, guests check in via airport-style kiosks that pop out key cards and receipts. Most rooms are dubbed “cabins” for their petite proportions (170 square feet) but their smart ergonomic design, thanks to aircraft designers, makes great use of the mini space, with convertible beds, glass-enclosed bathrooms (with towel-warming racks), built-ins, and big windows. Swish suites come with hot tubs, mechanical beds that transform into sofas, and a “technowall” with TV/music pug-ins. Eatery and lounge Dohyo has hydraulic tables that sink into floor after dinner to make room for cabaret performances and dancing patrons. Best of all, Yotel, one of the largest new city hotels with 669 rooms, has going rates for just $180/night, including free Wi-Fi, domestic calls, yoga, and breakfast muffins and coffee. Note to NYC locals looking for an outdoor drinking spot: Yotel has the largest hotel terrace in the city. www.yotel.com
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The Jane New York is a West Village landmark home to cool little “cabin-style rooms” and the remade Jane Ballroom, a trendy Victorian-style lobby bar with three spaces brimming with old-world ambience and overflowing with hipsters. One claim to fame is the hotel’s affordable teeny-tiny rooms (50 square feet) with communal baths, priced from $99/night. The larger Captain’s Cabins (250+ square feet) come with ensuite bathrooms, wainscoting, and vintage furnishings, and typically go for $350/night. The deal: Save $100 off this June 27 through September 6 with discounted rates from $250/night. Room amenities include free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, and iPod docks. www.janenyc.com; 212-924-6700
Just two weeks after New York Governor David Patterson signed a bill that makes it illegal to rent condo and apartments out for less than one month, the state passed a measure that will tax hotel booking agents such as Expedia and Orbitz on any rooms reserved through the sites (as well as more traditional travel agencies).
Though the InterContinental New York Times Square actually opened July 12, the ribbon cutting ceremony last week – keynoted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – officially heralded this new property as one of the greenest in the city. As part of its bid for LEED certification, the hotel employed sustainable building materials and recycled three quarters of its construction waste. More visibly, there are green roofs on the 4th and 7th floors as well as a lobby-level garden, but guests are not permitted out onto these areas.
The 36-story, 607-room hotel is the largest built in New York in the past 10 years; all but the top two floors are currently open (they’re still perfecting that two-story Presidential Suite). The eponymous Times Square is actually a couple of blocks from the InterContinental, and the hotel straddles the Hells Kitchen neighborhood. This works to InterContinental’s advantage, however: A quirk in zoning laws caps most buildings in that neighborhood at seven stories, so the upper floors of the hotel boast killer views of western Manhattan. Some corner suites can even see all the way north to Central Park.
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