Want To Be a Hip Hotel? Launch a Clothing Line

Last Updated Sep 24, 2009 4:38 PM EDT When Starwood's W Hotels decided it would sell non-hotel items, such as flash drives and cuff links, the hotel chain cemented its status as the hip, progressive brand. Now W is going a step further with a whole new product offering: a clothing and jewelry line. The new line, called Global Glam, will be designed by 34 new and established designers and inspired by new W properties in downtown Manhattan; South Beach, Miami; Santiago, Chile; Hong Kong; and Istanbul. Apparel and accessories will range from $50 to $500, with two collections released each year. W officially launched Global Glam on Sept. 10 in conjunction with New York's Fashion's Night Out, a night of festivities that kicked off the latest fashion week. Some of the line's designers, which include Foley + Corinna, Lauren Merkin and David Aubrey, made appearances at W Times Square and W New York. What better way to create buzz for your brand than to insinuate yourself into the biggest fashion event in the United States? This isn't the first time we've seen W use fashion to up its cool factor. The hotel company previously hired popular music star Gwen Stefani to design hotel uniforms. Starwood has actually done something similar with other brands, namely Sheraton, whose Salobre Golf Resort & Spa in Spain has offered a package deal with La Perla, a high-end swimsuit and lingerie company. And other hotels have since used fashion to give their brands credibility: Hyatt's Andaz outfits its employees in hip designs by Los Angeles-based designers, and ACE Hotel NYC has teamed up with Converse to design sneakers exclusively for the hotel's employees. Even the Wyndham Orange County Hotel in Costa Mesa, Calif., is holding a fashion exhibit. While fashion brands -- Missoni, Moschino, Armani, Versace -- have been known to start their own hotels, that road hasn't necessarily been traveled in the other direction. W's move into the world of fashion could make it ever hipper than Continue Reading

Presidential stay: Hotels that hosted the commander in chief

Presidents’ Day Weekend is this weekend, and if you are still looking for some inspiration as to where to spend a few days’ getaway, take a look at hotels and resorts around the USA where U.S presidents have stayed before, during and after their time in office for a bit of inspiration. AlaskaWhen he traveled to Anchorage in 2015, Barack Obama stayed at the Hotel Captain Cook. CaliforniaIn San Diego, Hotel del Coronado welcomed the first in-office U.S. president to visit San Diego when President Benjamin Harrison met with a delegation of dignitaries during his visit in 1891. Additional U.S. presidents to have stayed at The Del include William Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.The Manchester Grand Hyatt, also in San Diego, has welcomed presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton through its doors.The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside saw its first presidential visit in 1903 when Theodore Roosevelt stayed while on the campaign trail. In fact, the four-bedroom suite in which he stayed was named the Presidential Suite in honor of his visit. The Mission Inn’s presidential history continues with a visit from Howard Taft in 1909 – a custom-made chair was commissioned to fit his portly shape and today sits in the lobby for guests to take a seat; Richard and Patricia Nixon were married here in 1940 and were staying at the inn when Nixon received a telegram informing him he was Eisenhower’s running mate for the 1952 election; and in March 1952 Ronald and Nancy Reagan spent their honeymoon in the Alhambra Suite. Additional U.S. presidents to have stayed in the inn include George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford.Long before he became a U.S. president and was still an actor, Ronald Reagan stayed at The Oasis at Death Valley on March 13, 1948, during which time his hotel tab totaled $133.50.The Hacienda at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Continue Reading

Smoke, flame erupt at Times Square Sheraton hotel

A smoky fire erupted Thursday in a Midtown hotel, possibly caused by a burning car in the underground garage, officials said. The fire broke out around 11:50 a.m. at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel at 7th Ave. and 53rd St., the FDNY said. Firefighters were on scene to combat the blaze, which generated heavy smoke. There were no immediate reported injuries, officials said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Lots of new hotels going up. Here’s where, why

Westchester's newest hotel on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers comes with complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and an indoor swimming pool, along with easy access to New York City through a shuttle to a Metro-North station."It’s a perfect location for guests, anyone who’s looking to do business in the area as well as to get to and from New York," said Andre Clarke, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Yonkers-Westchester, which opened for business in early September. "And they can still be able to get out and enjoy what Westchester has to offer.”The Hampton Inn, owned by Alfred Weissman Real Estate of Rye, is one of the several new hotels that have been opened in the lower Hudson Valley in the past few years, among them a Holiday Inn Express in Peekskill, The Cambria Suites in White Plains and the Time Hotel just across the Hudson River in Nyack.In Yonkers, four new hotels have opened since 2009, and two more are in the pipeline. In New Rochelle, a proposal to build a 78-room hotel on Church Street has been approved, though construction has yet to begin. In Tuckahoe, developers are proposing to build a Marriott Springhill Suites hotel on Marbledale Road, though there has been community pushback. TUCKAHOE: Planning board delays hotel site vote WHITE PLAINS: The Galleria mall in White Plains gets new owner "Southern Westchester certainly provides opportunities to build hotels that are alternative to hotels in Manhattan," she said. "It’s a pretty convenient location in terms of getting into the city. That’s one of the things why people are looking at Westchester."Until recently, the number of hotel rooms had remained flat in southern Westchester. That changed in 2009 when Yonkers' first Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and the Residence Inn by Marriott both opened in the South Westchester Executive Park. In Continue Reading

Scottsdale’s SkySong complex lands Starwood hotel

A Starwood-brand hotel could soon join the growing list of tenants at south Scottsdale's SkySong development, where a mix of mid-rise office towers, apartments and restaurants are rising around the complex's iconic tentlike canopy.Arizona State University Foundation officials in early July told city leaders they've landed a  hotel for the mixed-use project but needed City Council approval before the deal could move forward. The council signed off with a 6-1 vote on July 6, with Councilman David Smith casting the dissenting vote.SkySong, located on the former Los Arcos Mall site at Scottsdale and McDowell roads, launched in 2004 as a joint venture with Scottsdale, ASU and private developer Plaza Cos.The project was billed as a business incubator and research park that officials hoped would help revitalize the blighted McDowell Road corridor. Scottsdale paid more than $40 million for about 40 acres.SkySong's first two office buildings opened in 2008. A 325-unit apartment complex opened in 2014, followed by a third office tower last year. Construction on a fourth office building along with a restaurant complex is underway.The new SkySong hotel is expected to be a Starwood brand, according to Don Couvillion, vice president of real estate for ASU Foundation. The hotel developer paid $75,000 for a franchise agreement with Starwood and wants to move forward quickly to avoid complications from Starwood's impending merger with Marriott International, he said.Starwood brands include Westin, Sheraton, Aloft and Elements, among others. Officials have not announced which brand would open at SkySong but have said the hotel will feature 120 rooms and a ground floor restaurant open to the public.The hotel is planned for the southwestern corner of the SkySong complex, near Scottsdale Road and Enterprise Drive.RELATED: SkySong starts construction on 4th building | Foodies wanted Continue Reading

‘Luminary Hotel’ to rise along Fort Myers riverfront

Luminary Hotel & Co.That’s the full name for the long-awaited riverfront convention hotel and garage complex to be built next to Fort Myers’ Harborside Event Center.Informally, most folks are likely to call it the Luminary Hotel or maybe even the Luminary.Tampa-based Mainsail Lodging & Development revealed the name Thursday morning in front of about 200 city and county dignitaries, business people and others gathered at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, just a few blocks from the future construction site."We're not going to let you down," Mainsail President Joe Collier told the crowd.The hotel will employ more than 200 people, and will be worthy of civic pride, Collier promised: "It's not going to be a cookie-cutter hotel."It's too early to be sure, but Collier estimated starting rates for guestrooms would be in the upper-$100 to low-$200 range.The lodgings company is aiming for a ground-breaking ceremony in June. The plan is for the hotel to open in early 2019.It will be a 12-story high-rise with 237 guest rooms and suites overlooking the Caloosahatchee and Fort Myers historic River District.The hotel will join the Autograph Collection Hotels, a Marriott International portfolio of high-end, boutique properties.City and business leaders long have yearned for a hotel-event center combination that works.In the mid-1980s Sheraton Harbor Place opened with great fanfare, a few blocks to the east of Harborside. Occupancy never supported the hotel's expenses, though.Over the years, it went by many names, officially closing in 2008. Today, it's undergoing a transformation into Campo Felice, an upscale, high-rise retirement community.Hotel Indigo, a much smaller boutique property, debuted on downtown's Broadway during the recession. It survived rocky times and foreclosure — but couldn't supply all of the rooms that a re-energized Harborside Event Center would need.The hotel and convention center idea has been on Continue Reading

New, beautiful airport hotels are real places where one might reasonably stay longer than a single night

Airport hotels have always been necessary but unloved stopover spots for the depleted traveler, places to shower, rehydrate, and let the body recuperate from the merciless rigors of flying. But as I check into the Hilton Frankfurt Airport, which opened in December, I find much more than that. It is an example of the emerging generation of airport hotels that are intended to function as destinations, real places where one might reasonably stay longer than a single night. Or, as Andrew Flack, vice president of global brand marketing for Hilton, frames it, “Guests desire something more experiential, not just transactional.” GALLERY: MORE AMAZING AIRPORT HOTELS Some of the best and most spectacular airport hotels are in Asia: the Regal in Hong Kong; the Crowne Plaza in Singapore. Now the rest of the world is catching up, and the newest airport hotels in Europe, the United States, Latin America, and elsewhere are responding to the generalized craving for experience Flack describes. And there’s more going on than that: the increasing sophistication of these hotels parallels a reemergence of civilization—daring architecture; edible food—in airports themselves. Courtesy of Marriott Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway The improved hotels are one component of a backlash against that shiny one-world placelessness that airports have long cultivated. Moreover, they are being retooled for a new breed of business traveler. “The nature of work is changing,” says Erin Hoover, head of design for the Sheraton and Westin brands, “and it’s very collaborative.” AMERICA'S TOP COLLEGE HOTELS These days, far-flung colleagues gather at convenient hubs and regard the airport hotel as the functional equivalent of a rural retreat—one that is, at the same time, seamlessly connected to the world. That’s more or less the point of the daylight-flooded Sheraton designed by Rome-based King Roselli that opened Continue Reading

Robb: Phoenix’s hotel fiasco is even worse than you thought

The City of Phoenix’s adventure in the hotel business has obviously been a fiasco. But the fiasco is actually much deeper than commonly understood, and radiates from the city to engulf the entire state.The fullness of the fiasco should be absorbed as a lesson for the future.The saga begins in 2001, when the city asked voters to approve $300 million in bonds to expand the convention center. The expansion made no sense unless downtown also got a lot of additional hotel rooms. Not to worry, said city officials, if voters approve the expansion, private investors will build the additional rooms.City officials made the same representations in 2003, when they were successfully lobbying the Legislature to pony up an additional $300 million from state coffers. Private investment would supply the hotel rooms.Except that it didn’t. In the event, no hotel developer was willing to stump up the cash.At this point, the light should have come on. If people who are in the business of building and operating hotels aren’t willing to put their money on the line, perhaps this ain’t such a hot idea.Undeterred, the city decided in 2004 to build the hotel itself. It cost $350 million to build. Phoenix still owes more than $300 million on it. But the city is now proposing to sell it to a private owner for $255 million.No big deal, claims the city. General taxpayers aren’t affected. Dedicated taxes on tourism built the thing and will take the hit.That’s far from being true. The city likes to depict the taxes dedicated to the convention center as being paid by out-of-towners, but that’s a distortion. Earmarked revenues include a portion of the city’s tax on advertising, construction, restaurants and bars, to name just a few of the taxes that fall on locals.Crying in your beer at the local pub? Cheer up, you’re contributing to the convention center fund.At this point, the convention center expansion and the hotel have to be considered Continue Reading

Summer hotel deals in New York City

Vacations are good for your health, medical research has shown; science proves it. Various studies have revealed how going on one can reduce stress. Who wouldn't love two weeks in Tahiti or in the South of France? Sadly, the days of splurge vacations are gone for most of us, but the good news is that a simple change of scenery is all that's needed to give your body a boost. So why not take advantage of some of the great summer deals being offered at hotels right here in the city. The city is pretty vacated in the summer, making it a great time to take in a show, soak up some art at a museum or get a reservation at a hot restaurant that's not at 5 or 10 p.m. Here are some deals and packages available through September. Sheraton deals Sheraton Hotels is offering three nights for the price of two for select dates at select locations. Arrive Thursday, Friday or Saturday, stay two nights and get a third night free. Marriott deals Marriott hotels are offering a Find Your New York Exploration Package that includes: NYC comprehensive travel guide; NYC subway guide pop-up map; $25 Marriott bonus bucks valid toward a future stay; Disney on Broadway gift. Be sure the promotional code CUE appears in the corporate/promotional code box when making an online reservation, or call 1-800-834-6418 and ask for promotional code CUE. Additional incentives are available at these Marriott locations: Marriott Eastside is offering an 11% VIP discount at Bloomingdale's plus two tickets to the Top of the Rock observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The Marriott Downtown is offering ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty, MTA subway and bus passes, admission at select downtown museums and World Trade Center Tribute Visitor Center for up to two guests. Up to two kids under age 12 eat free. Courtyard Marriott/Upper East Side is offering admission to either the Guggenheim Museum or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check www.marriott.com for rates and details or call Continue Reading

Families of victims killed by cops unite after death of Walter Scott

The South Carolina shooting death of an unarmed black man at the hand of a white cop has ripped open the wounds of people whose loved ones have suffered a similar fate. The widow of Eric Garner, the Staten Island father of six who died in a police chokehold in July, broke down in sobs Wednesday during an emotional panel discussion on police brutality. “I was in my room and I looked at the news and they showed just a small clip of his (Garner’s) video and I started crying,” said Esaw Garner. “My son came in the room and he said ‘Ma, what’s wrong?’ I said, ‘Eric, I just feel so alone.’ ” The widow joined the relatives of four other people killed by cops in New York City and across the county at the annual National Action Network Convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The family members were scheduled to speak of the heartbreak they’ve endured in the aftermath of their own nightmares. But the event was overshadowed by the Saturday shooting of Walter Scott, 50, in North Charleston, S.C. Cellphone video released Tuesday captured the unarmed Scott, a Coast Guard veteran, being shot in the back by Officer Michael Slager, who was immediately arrested on murder charges. ACCUSED KILLER COP MICHAEL SLAGER FIRED, REMAINS IN JAIL Mayor de Blasio told the 6,000 attendees that the video of Scott being gunned down as he tried to get away from Slager was “disturbing and painful.” “You can’t watch that as a human being and not feel pain,” de Blasio said. “It makes no sense, according to what our core notions of humanity and decency and justice are.” Ben Carson, a potential Republican presidential contender, also condemned the shooting during a speech at the NAN convention. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, called Scott’s death “an execution without a trial in the streets of Continue Reading