Tag Archives: Project

Hyatt announces plans for first Andaz hotel in Canada

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market expected to open in 2016

Ottawa, Canada – 10 April 2015 – Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management contract with Claridge Homes for an Andaz hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. When Andaz Ottawa Byward Market opens in mid-2016, it will become the first Andaz-branded hotel in Canada as well as the city’s first hotel under Hyatt’s brand portfolio. Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will join Andaz hotels currently located in world-class cities including London, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - Opening in late 2016

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market – Opening in late 2016

The 200-room Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will be located at 325 Dalhousie Street in Ottawa’s famed Byward Market neighborhood. The neighborhood is surrounded by more than two dozen embassies and consulates and is located immediately east of Ottawa’s commercial office core, a short walk from Parliament Hill, and just north of the University of Ottawa campus. The area has become the center of Ottawa’s nightlife and is surrounded by residential towers, restaurants and bars.

Guests at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will experience the personal style, comfort and sophistication for which the brand is known in the hotel’s 200 guestrooms, including four two-bay Hyatt suites, two three-bay Junior suites, and a four-bay Executive Suite with a fireplace and large 560 square foot terrace. The hotel will also feature a destination restaurant and a rooftop bar and lounge including an outdoor terrace offering panoramic views of the city. Meeting facilities will feature six Andaz Studios as well as the prefunction and lounge area with an open kitchen totaling approximately 4,500 square feet.

“We are pleased to expand our brand presence in Canada. Andaz was a natural fit for Ottawa’s Byward Market neighborhood,” said David Tarr, Senior Vice President of Development – Americas for Hyatt. “Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will bring to life the brand’s mission of creating inspiring, indigenous experiences and immersing guests into the destination’s local culture. We believe Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will convey the vibrant, international spirit of Canada’s capital city.”

“We are delighted to bring the first Andaz hotel to Ottawa and Canada. We believe it will become the new center of social connections in the Byward Market as well as in Ottawa. The Andaz brand’s creativity and refined, yet casual atmosphere will elevate the neighborhood and will connect guests to the best of the local community,” said Neil Malhotra, Vice President of Claridge Homes. “Our capital city is host to a diverse group of business and leisure visitors, making it an international hub for Canada. Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will not only appeal to the local community, but will serve a broad group of Canadian and global travelers.”

“I am thrilled that Hyatt and Claridge Homes are working together to bring Andaz to Ottawa and to Canada,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “The Byward Market is one of the most vibrant parts of our City and Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will be perfectly situated within steps of many shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, and of course the historic Byward Market itself. With several LRT stops within walking distance, Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will be well-served by the coming LRT system and perfectly situated for guests to enjoy the celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday that will take place throughout 2017.”

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will collaborate with local artists, musicians, designers, and other cultural influencers to deliver events and programs on themes unique to its location in Ottawa. The Andaz Salon, the brand’s signature cultural program, features interactive, on-property and virtual events conceived to support and nurture each hotel’s community of emerging talent. The distinctive spaces at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market will stage creative Andaz Salon events, ranging from talks to exhibitions to live performances. These events can also be experienced through the Andaz Salon website at http://www.andazsalon.com, where unique content is shared by Cultural Insiders.

Times Square Set to Welcome Newest EDITION

Marriott International, Ian Schrager and The Witkoff Group Announce Second EDITION Hotel in New York City.

New York, NY – 03 April 2015 – Marriott International together with Ian Schrager and The Witkoff Group, Winthrop Realty Trust, New Valley LLC and Maefield Development announced plans for a second EDITION hotel in New York City. Scheduled to open in 2017 and located in the heart of Times Square, the new hotel will follow the expected 2015 debut of Manhattan’s first EDITION property located in the landmark Clock Tower building at 5 Madison Avenue. EDITION is a first class, full service, luxury lifestyle brand within the Marriott International portfolio, conceived in collaboration with legendary hotelier Ian Schrager. Marriott International will manage the hotel under a long-term agreement.

Times Square New York City

Located at 701 Seventh Avenue, this will be the first hotel of this scale to be built in Times Square in over two decades. The world-class hotel design will feature floor to ceiling windows with unobstructed views of Manhattan in seventy percent of the property’s 452 guest rooms. The Times Square EDITION will be one component of a mixed use development which will feature 100,000 square feet of flagship retail, dining, entertainment and event space, as well an 18,000 square foot HD LED sign – one of the largest in the world. In keeping with the identity of EDITION, Mr. Schrager will lead all creative design and positioning for the hotel, as well as the entertainment programming offered within the property.

“New York is one of the most important destinations in the world, and we are delighted to have secured yet another iconic Manhattan location for our second EDITION hotel in the city,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and chief executive officer. “Following the hugely successful opening of The London EDITION last year, we couldn’t be more excited about the potential for this brand,” said Mr. Sorenson. “The Witkoff Group is an ideal partner for a project of this magnitude and we are thrilled to be working together,” said Mr. Sorenson.

“We are excited to team up with Marriott International, Ian Schrager and our partners to complete the most significant new development in Times Square in a number of years,” stated Steven Witkoff, Chairman and CEO of The Witkoff Group. “In addition to introducing the extraordinary EDITION brand to Midtown, the project will feature a significant amount of prime retail space in one of the world’s most trafficked and successful shopping districts.”

“We are honored to be working with such extraordinary partners in creating a world-class, transformative project in Times Square,” stated Mark Siffin, CEO of Maefield Development. “It is a remarkable vision that could only be realized through the many talents and capabilities of Marriott, Ian Schrager Company, The Witkoff Group, and our entire JV team.”

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. and iStar Financial Inc. provided to the ownership group an $815 million construction loan for the mixed use project which includes the hotel and retail space. In addition, Starwood Property Trust, Inc. and Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC and its affiliates have an equity interest in the transaction. As additional collateral for the loan, Marriott International has agreed to provide the lenders with the right (upon an uncured event of default under the loan agreement) to require Marriott to purchase the hotel component of the property during the first two years after opening for $314.6 million (i.e., $696,000 per room).

Mark Elliott of Hodges Ward Elliott acted as a hotel advisor to The Witkoff Group and partners.

Most recently, The London EDITION opened to rave reviews and this month was awarded “Best Hotel, 100 or More Rooms” by Travel + Leisure as part of the magazine’s annual design awards. The modern and luxurious hotel opened this past September in the historic building formerly known as the Berners Hotel, located in the city’s Fitzrovia neighborhood. Future EDITION hotels are planned for Miami Beach (2014), New York City (2015), Abu Dhabi (2015), Gurgaon, India (2015), Sanya, China (2015), Bangkok (2016) and West Hollywood (2017).

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Fuels Innovation with Debut of Starlab in New York’s Garment District

New York City – 03 March 2015 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide unveiled Starlab, the company’s new brand innovation studio located in Manhattan’s pioneering Garment District. Design-led with the spirit and agility of a start-up, Starlab brings together a cross-section of the company’s digital, design and luxury brand teams in one urban office for the first time. The 46,000 square foot, bi-level office is an evolution of Starwood’s approach to new style workspaces, following the debuts of the Starwood Experience at the company’s global headquarters in Stamford, CT as well as its former Tribeca-based design center.

Starwood unveils Starlab, the company's new brand innovation studio, bringing together a cross-section of the company's digital, design and luxury brand teams in the heart of Manhattan's Garment District.

Starwood unveils Starlab, the company’s new brand innovation studio, bringing together a cross-section of the company’s digital, design and luxury brand teams in the heart of Manhattan’s Garment District.

“In today’s world, it is more important than ever for our teams to collaborate and think differently about our business,” said Phil McAveety, Chief Brand Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Starlab has been designed to easily allow teams to interact and engage across functions in order to create innovative and more personalized experiences for our guests before, during and after each stay.”

Starlab merges Starwood’s high-touch business with high-tech thinking and serves as a creative hub to immerse associates, owners, developers, customers and partners in the company’s latest two- and three-dimensional design work, leading-edge guest technology and unique brand programming. Designed by Starwood’s in-house creative team with VM Architecture Studio PC, StarLab is pursuing LEED certification, reinforcing the company’s commitment to reducing energy use by 20%, water use by 30%, and carbon emissions by 30% by 2020.

High Tech Meets High Touch
Inspired by the rise of social connectivity reshaping global business, Starwood brought digital and social content to the forefront of Starlab’s design. At the office entrance, a smart mirror doubles as a digital display showcasing Starwood’s latest video news, photography and user-generated content. A digital chandelier splays down the internal staircase – part art installation, part news ticker – bringing real time guest twitter comments into the office environment, while five digital feed frames rotate guests’ Instagram posts in a gallery-style space adjacent to the communal dining area.

“Starlab serves as our rally cry for innovation, a proving ground for new ideas, and a way to encourage collaboration among our design, digital and brand teams,” said Mike Tiedy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Design and Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “In addition to creating a dramatic sense of arrival, we used every square foot of real estate available to tell our brand stories in new ways.”

Starlab also houses a Tech Lab to experiment and test the company’s latest digital innovations, such as the recent game-changing introductions of SPG Keyless, allowing travelers to opt out of traditional check-in for a truly mobile guest experience.

New Style Working: Balancing “We” and “Me”
Starlab has been designed to promote cross-functional collisions and foster creativity, which means there are a variety of workspaces that afford more or less privacy for associates, as needed. “Many of the guest trends we’re seeing in our hotels became relevant as we started to design Starlab,” continued Tiedy. “People seek out inspiring spaces to conduct casual meetings, flexible seating to scroll through a tablet presentation or individual work areas that offer some privacy – our associates are no different.”

Individual desks can be personalized for associates to sit, stand or balance on a stability ball, while modular seating areas with banquettes and objects d’art bring smaller groups together to ideate. The Library provides a semi-private space for informal meetings with bleacher-style seating and flexible tables, design boards and projectors; and dining areas, including an outdoor terrace, feature communal tables with flexible seating options.

Starlab has also reinvented the traditional staid conference room with designer suites representing The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W and Le Méridien brands. For instance, the W Suite channels the brand’s cocktail culture, replacing the conference table with a bar inset with LED lighting that highlights a beverage display, bar stools flanked by smoked bronze mirrors and a revolving “art wall” dedicated to storytelling from W hotels and resorts around the world.

With the opening of Starlab, Starwood has also launched a virtual Starlab, http://www.starlab.tumblr.com, showcasing the innovations and behind-the-scenes creative stories of Starwood teams from around the world.

The Miami Beach Edition: A City Comes of Age – Ian Schrager and Marriott International Reinvent The Urban Resort For The 21st Century

Miami Beach – 03 December 2014 – There is a moment that comes in the life of a city. With the arrival of a single new project or development, forces that have been building for years suddenly become clear, and the city as a whole is propelled to a new place, a new stage of growth, a new status on the world stage. For Miami, that moment has come. With the opening of the Miami Beach Edition, a spectacular next- generation urban resort by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International, the city not only gains a unique oceanfront complex designed for 21st century recreation, socializing, networking, and business, but also takes its next great leap into the future.

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In many ways, the new Edition represents the most important step forward for the city since the moment when Schrager’s last Miami hotel, the Delano, opened in 1992—and changed everything. “Up until then, there hadn’t been a new hotel built in Miami Beach in almost 40 years,” Schrager recalls. For decades, the great mid-20th century resort city and its hotels had slipped into stasis and decline, as the jet age allowed vacationing Americans to flock to Europe and the Caribbean in place of their old Florida standby. But in the early 1990s, Schrager sensed that something exciting and fresh was emerging in the historic Art Deco blocks of South Beach: a new population, and new kind of cultural energy. Building on that realization, he created the Delano—and suddenly Miami Beach was on the map again, the hotel’s cutting-edge design and stylish atmosphere drawing sophisticated travelers back to the city for the first time in a generation. “The fundamentals were always there: the ocean, the beach, the weather, the frequent flights,” Schrager notes. “All one had to do, it seemed to me, was create something special and comfortable; it was an example of ‘build it and people will come.’”

“Ian Schrager will once again redefine the destination with the opening of Miami Beach Edition and a one-of-a-kind experience that only he could create”.  – Arne M. Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International

Two decades later, the Miami Beach Edition represents the next great seminal event in the life of the city. Like its predecessor, it is built upon a realization about the profound shifts and changes that have transformed Miami in the years since the Delano opened. No longer merely a getaway spot for people seeking a break from winter, or the place, as Lenny Bruce put it, “where neon goes to die,” Miami has emerged in the last two decades as world-class capital, a 24-hour gateway city whose cultural scenes— in art, architecture, music, fashion, cuisine, design—now rival any of the world’s urban centers, and attracts people from every corner of the globe. The explosive growth of Art Basel Miami has made the city a focal point of the international art world, while the rise of lively new areas such as the Biscayne Boulevard corridor, Wynwood, the Design District—along with downtown Miami itself—have given it the kind of resurgent, bustling, creative districts that cities like New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London have long enjoyed.

Above all, a tectonic shift is placing Miami at the fulcrum of 21st century culture, as the longtime cultural primacy of East and West Coasts, built in part on their ties with, respectively, Europe and Asia, is now being supplemented by the emergence of a third great “coast,” looking south, and energized by its links to the vibrant energies of Latin America—in music, fashion, art, design, food, entertainment—energies which are being funneled through Miami as nowhere else, and turning it into a new kind of global capital. “The old ‘bicoastal’ cultural model,” Schrager notes, “is really now more ‘tricoastal’: a kind of golden triangle of New York, L.A., and Miami.” The arrival of the new Edition, like the Delano two decades ago, will at once ratify the city’s new stature—and propel its evolution even further.

“There are thousands of boutique hotels out there—some are good, some are not so good; but they’re all replicating what Steve [Rubell] and I did. This is something else, a step forward. It’s a new kind of place—it’s the next-generation urban resort, and the next-generation business and lifestyle hotel. There’s nothing else like it on the beach or anywhere else.”  – Ian Schrager

Located in the Mid-Beach area—the historic “heart of Miami Beach” between South Beach and North Beach—on a three and a half-acre private enclave stretching from Collins Avenue to the ocean shoreline, the Miami Beach Edition is not merely a hotel, but an elegantly designed, intricately interlinked complex of structures, spaces, and settings that together offer a new kind of resort environment, where every aspect of the traditional beach hotel has been re-imagined for the needs and desires of a new generation, and every thought given to enhancing a guest’s stay: for vacation, for relaxation—and for work.

Indeed, the Miami Beach Edition is the first resort hotel to embody a lifestyle revolution that has only begun to make itself felt in the world of hospitality. For a new generation of businesspeople, the era of the traditional office environment is coming to an end. Today’s entrepreneurs, creatives, and professionals have little interest in doing business in a formal or traditional corporate setting; instead, they want to work in places of comfort, and style, and human interaction, places where they can feel completely at home, fully connected, and part of a larger experience. Nor do they see any need to isolate their work from the rest of their lives, and, thanks to the power and connective universality of their laptops and handhelds, they can carry out business almost anywhere.

A few small venues, mostly catering to the tech world in the Pacific Northwest, have begun to recognize this, but Miami Beach Edition will carry the idea to an entirely new level, the first not only to integrate into its very design this new dynamic of working, networking and socializing, this blurring of the lines between work and play, but the first to combine it with the elevated experience and superior level of comfort, convenience, and features expected by the most sophisticated patrons. And, of course, it will be the first to offer all of this in a resort hotel, located in one of the greatest oceanfront settings in the world.

“We’re rethinking the relationship between a resort and a businessperson,” says Schrager, “and we’re saying, you’ll be able to come here for your business, and why shouldn’t you be able to have fun, and enjoy life while doing business, and networking, and being with a lot of like-minded people, in a new kind of space that is almost a kind a business club.”

“The sophisticated approach to modern luxury through design, culinary and entertainment elements so unique to Ian Schrager, combined with Marriott’s well-known service and operational culture, is what makes Edition one of the most intriguing brands in the industry. The experience we’ve been able to co-create with Edition—beginning in London and now in Miami—is one that excites a new generation of travelers. The future is bright for Edition,   and we are thrilled to introduce such a stunning and extraordinary project to Miami Beach.” –  Arne M. Sorenson

Two overall goals have informed the concept and program of the Miami Beach Edition. The first is “one- stop shopping,” providing everything a guest could imagine—dining, nightlife, socializing, recreation, culture, work and meeting space—within the complex. Once there, in other words, one has no reason to leave. (Needless to say, however, it is one of the great attractions of the Edition to offer beyond its walls the entire metropolitan landscape of Miami, a true 24-hour place whose myriad offerings far surpass most resort areas and indeed most other cities.)

The other goal is to draw upon and enhance the deepest traditions of glamour and sophistication of one of the world’s greatest resort destinations: postwar Miami Beach—or the “Billion Dollar Sandbar,” as it was known in the 1950s. A stylish and thoughtful renovation of the landmark 1955 Seville Hotel by architect Melvin Grossman—whose “tower-on-a-pedestal” design represented a key step in the evolution of “Miami Modern” hotel architecture—the Edition not only preserves much of the historic fabric, but evokes in its interiors the spirit of tropical elegance that defined Miami at its greatest.

This will be evident from the moment guests step into the hotel lobby, whose pristine white marble floors and polished white pearl Venetian plaster walls, highlighted with subtly variegated tones of gold and the deep green of indoor palm trees, will bring to mind such iconic gathering places as the world-famous Coconut Grove in the golden age of Hollywood. One of the few hotel lobbies in Miami Beach to offer a view of the ocean, the spirit of the space, like the hotel itself, can be summarized as “barefoot chic” or “new tropical”: a sense of casual elegance well suited to the soft air and gentle breezes coming in from the sea, along with certain sense of informal glamour. “You might see people in golf attire, a bathing suit, a Pilates uniform, formal evening clothes  or jeans,” Schrager notes, “all comfortable, all being themselves, all connected by a certain sensibility.”

Filled with a variety of comfortable seating groupings and intimate lounging areas, the lobby will embody the Edition’s next-generation spirit, a place where the lines between work and play, socializing and networking, begin to blur. A couple enjoying a romantic moment, a family on holiday, businesspeople gathered for an informal work session, an entrepreneur polishing a marketing plan, a fashion model being interviewed by a creative director—all will be happening at the same time, in the same great room, all embraced by the understated décor and grand proportions of the hotel’s historic architecture.

Just off the lobby, guests will find the Market—an imaginative reinvention of the classic 24-hour Miami Beach coffee shop by the Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Offering its own street entrance on Collins Avenue and inspired by the great century-old markets of San Miguel in Madrid and La Boqueria in Barcelona, this 21st century food bazaar—part patisserie, part boulangerie, part salumeria—will offer next-generation casual gourmet fast food around the clock at a series of bustling counters, an open-air café (overlooking the avenue), and a take-out area; an enticing range of healthy international items—from pizza and panini to baked goods, from ceviche and tapas to shakes and smoothies—will be found on its constantly rotating menus. “Just like the great old coffee shops on Collins Avenue,” Schrager notes, “it’s a place that can be your first stop of the day, and your last stop of the night.”

Over on the beach side of the hotel, meanwhile, two stylish interior spaces will evoke classic Miami Beach elegance and sophistication: the Ocean Bar, a chic, elegantly designed lounge whose wide glass walls overlook the Atlantic, and the Matador Room, the hotel’s main restaurant—a grandly proportioned, glamorous oval-shaped space that recalls all the excitement of Miami Beach’s heyday (the kind of place, Schrager says, “one might expect to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers waltzing through”), where Jean- Georges will create a modern interpretation of Latin cuisine influenced by Spanish, Caribbean and South American flavors. The seasonal menu, composed of small and large plates, will utilize a bounty of the freshest Floridian ingredients.

These rooms in turn will link to the hotel’s extraordinary outdoor resort area, named “Tropicale” in honor of the historic 1950s Havana nightclub that inspired it, the Tropicana. Landscaped by Madison Cox, a series of landscaped outdoor “rooms,” each with its own personality, will offer guests different kinds of experiences over the course of the day, but link together seamlessly to create a single relaxing environment— one that transforms in the evening into a magical outdoor nightclub, where couples can dance under the stars as the moon rises over the sea. Guests can enjoy a drink under a romantic pergola, or sit in the Terrace Bar overlooking the pool area, or wander a little ways—past a second, even larger landscaped pool—to find a private beach, complete with an outdoor movie screen (like a “drive-in movie theater,” Schrager notes, “but without the cars”), an outdoor fire pit, and a village of private bungalows— all arranged within a lush pastoral landscape whose handsome trees, lawns, and plantings feel more like a botanical garden than a conventional hotel. One lovely discovery will be a freestanding “Hot Shoppe” for delicious healthy snacks and shakes—an homage to the original Washington, D.C., A&W root beer stand, founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott in 1927, from which the Hot Shoppes and eventually today’s vast Marriott International arose.

The vision of a next-generation resort hotel that is also a business hotel—embodied everywhere from lobby to guest rooms—comes to a culmination in the Forum, a 10,000 square-foot amenity (among the largest of its kind in Miami Beach) that reimagines the traditional conference center and event space.

Accessible both from the lobby and its own entrance on Collins Avenue, the Forum features a large daylighted reception room and landscaped exterior event space that together create a kind of indoor/ outdoor “cultural park,” with gallery openings, art exhibitions, film festivals, and cultural programs not only during Miami Art Basel but year-round—along with a ballroom designed in a contemporary style that avoids the ornate chandeliers and fittings of the typical conference space. Stylish, intelligently laid-out meeting spaces—equipped with state-of-the-art A/V, projection, teleconferencing and networking—will host everything from product launches and media events to academic conferences and corporate retreats.

Downstairs, in the evenings—and late into the night—hotel guests and visitors (who can arrive through a separate street entrance) can find another world altogether: a new kind of multidimensional entertainment hub—“a sort of red-light district, but legal,” Schrager says, “for the wild at heart”—to raise to a new bar what is already (with Ibiza) one of two greatest nightlife capitals of the world. Here guests will be able to choose among a dazzling range of environments, to be experienced one at time, or together across a night. At its heart is a select and fashionable “micro-club”: a sexy, modern-day version of Schrager’s legendary Studio 54, with world-class DJs, dance floor, and soundstage-quality sound and lighting systems (by Patrick Woodroffe, designer of films and concerts for Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and the Rolling Stones) that will transport patrons in ways they have never experienced. (“This picks up where Studio left off,” Schrager says, “a visual riot, sensory overload, a truly serious dance club.”) Continuing to explore, guests can don customized shoes (by famed artists) to find a bowling alley and lounge—reimagined with sound, lighting, luminescent bowling balls, and midnight bowling leagues into a place of 21st century spectacle, socializing and fun. And beyond that, a truly startling, almost Alice-in- Wonderland sight: an indoor ice-skating rink, its skaters gliding to the beat of a superb sound system, its ice surface become the canvas for spectacular lighting effects, its wide windows onto the street providing a surreal, almost Dali-esque sight for those driving or walking along Collins Avenue on warm evenings.

Every luxury hotel, of course, is ultimately judged by its guest rooms and its service. Miami Beach Edition’s rooms and suites will be luxurious by every standard—generous and elegant in their design, their warm wood finishes and relaxed, beach-house feel offering a “refuge,” in Schrager’s words, with “everything your need and everything you want.” Embodying his deep belief that “simplicity is true luxury,” the rooms will also carry through the hotel’s mission to become a place where recreation and work can blend into one comfortable whole, through features—from oversized desks to ergonometric seating to sophisticated lighting—that allow them to serve equally well as micro-workspaces as places of retreat.

That contemporary approach to luxury, in turn, will inform the hotel’s extraordinary service, which offers all the personalized attention one might want in a luxury hotel, but in a friendly, unpretentious, and modern way, with superb training and efficiency, but without the gold epaulettes or obsequious formalities.

In the end, few individuals have done more to put Miami Beach at the forefront of global culture than Ian Schrager, whose Delano hotel captured and compressed the excitement of a city being reborn, and propelled it into the future. Now, partnering with Marriott International for Edition, he once again gathers in a single extraordinary place the energies of a new cultural moment for Miami and pushes it forward— providing a thrilling new direction for the city as it fully takes its place on the world stage.

Viceroy Hotel Group Announces European Debut – International Hotel Group Will Open Viceroy Algarve at Quinta Da Ombria, Portugal in 2017

Algarve, Portugal – 12 November 2014 – Viceroy Hotel Group announced today its long-anticipated entry into Europe with the launch of Viceroy Algarve at Quinta da Ombria, set to debut in 2017. Upon completion, the luxury destination property will offer distinguished jetsetters and thrill-seekers an exclusive coastal enclave in one of Europe’s most seductive locales.

Viceroy Hotel Group Algarve

Viceroy Hotel Group Algarve

Never one to play coy, Viceroy Hotel Group will use the hotel and residential property, situated amongst centuries-old villages, to create a boldly immersive and unforgettable experience that merges a traditional Algarve feel with a modern, and distinctly Viceroy, vibe.

Boasting 147 stylishly-curated hotel guestrooms in addition to 99 Viceroy-branded residential units available as apartments, villas and townhouses, Viceroy Algarve will reflect the vision of world-renowned architectural design firm WATG, whose classic villa aesthetic will be delicately juxtaposed with Wimberly Interior’s sleek, modern decor.

Playing off a backdrop of neighboring centuries-old villages, the property will offer easy access to the region’s exquisite beaches and will feature seven innovative dining venues ranging from casual to elegant from world-class chefs, two expansive outdoor swimming pools, an 18 hole golf course and designated golf clubhouse, an exclusive spa with ten treatment rooms and reflexology path, a state-of-the-art fitness center, children’s center with various indoor and outdoor play areas, a library lounge, and over 6,000 square feet of cross-functional event and meeting space. Complete with top-tier amenities, the resort will bring an unparalleled travel experience to Europe.

“We are truly delighted to bring Viceroy’s ethos, ideology, and vibe to Europe,” commented Viceroy CEO, Bill Walshe. “Authenticity, individuality and a sense of place are critical components in our commitment to create life-long memories for our guests, rewarding careers for our colleagues, and a positive legacy for the community of Quinta da Ombria.”

Ville Tallbacka, CEO Quinta da Ombria, comments that “Viceroy at Quinta da Ombria will be a new and unrivaled concept in the Algarve that will take advantage of its natural, un-spoilt surroundings and beauty – a haven of peace whilst offering a great number of activities for all age groups. Viceroy’s impeccable track record and ability to produce highly individual, luxury properties was decisive to appoint Viceroy Hotels & Resorts to manage the operation.”

Since its inception in 1999, Viceroy Hotel Group continues to deliver highly sought-after luxury hotels and resorts, conceptualizing a separate, unexpected and sophisticated design philosophy for each individual property.  The reputed brand is known to execute inventive culinary experiences with critically acclaimed menus by celebrated chefs, as well as sumptuous spas with unique and memorable treatments. Additionally, the brand garnered a distinct reputation of excellence among trendsetters and discerning travelers throughout each of the 16 destinations within its ever-expanding portfolio.

Hilton Worldwide Signs Management Agreement For Hilton Hotels & Resorts Development In Santa Marta, Colombia

Hilton brand logoMcLean/Virginia, USA – 28 October 2014 – Hilton Worldwide today announced the signing of a management agreement with Fideicomiso Santa Marta Hotel to operate a new build Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the Caribbean port city of Santa Marta, Colombia. Scheduled to open in 2017, this new Hilton Santa Marta hotel represents the company’s 14th hotel project in Colombia including its portfolio of seven existing operating hotels and seven currently under development. This latest agreement furthers Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to growth throughout the country.

“We’re excited to bring the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand to Santa Marta,” said Rob Palleschi, global head, full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. “Hilton Santa Marta will be a welcome addition to our established portfolio in Colombia, perfectly complementing our successful Hilton Bogota and Hilton Cartagena properties, and introducing Santa Marta’s business and leisure travelers to Hilton’s signature brand amenities and hospitality.”

Located on one of the most sought after beach sites in Santa Marta, the beachfront Hilton Santa Marta will form part of the Irotama mixed-use complex in the Bello Horizonte tourist corridor. Just 15 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from Santa Marta’s downtown and historic city, Hilton Santa Marta will offer guests a prime location on the Caribbean Sea to enjoy the area’s best beaches.

“As Hilton Worldwide continues focusing on Latin America growth, Colombia represents a prime market for our efforts. We couldn’t be happier to work alongside the team at Fideicomiso Santa Marta Hotel to further our expansion and introduce the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand in this resort area,” said Tom Potter, senior vice president, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Worldwide. “With seven existing hotels in Colombia and seven in our pipeline, we look forward to playing a part in the country’s consistent tourism growth and welcome travelers to explore this dynamic destination.”

Ideal for both leisure and business travelers visiting Colombia’s oldest surviving city, the 17-story Hilton Santa Marta will offer 261 guest rooms, executive rooms and suites, all outfitted with the Hilton Serenity CollectionTM of amenities. Guests staying in an executive room or suite will enjoy the added benefit of the hotel’s executive floor service and executive lounge, which will offer light snacks and beverages throughout the day.

Dining options will be plentiful with six restaurants and bars, featuring a signature restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; an executive lunch restaurant; and four bars including a grill bar, pool bar, sky bar and refreshment bar. Guests of Hilton Santa Marta will also enjoy recreational amenities including outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and world-class spa.

A great base for events and business travelers, Hilton Santa Marta will provide more than 11,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including a nearly 4,500 square foot ballroom. A business center boasting cutting edge work spaces and seamlessly integrated technology will also be available for guests to work with efficiency and style.

“This is an exciting time for our company as we celebrate this historic joint venture with Irotama S.A.S., and work with Hilton Worldwide once again. Following the great success of Hilton Bogota, we look forward to bringing Hilton Worldwide’s 95 years of renowned service standards and exceptional guest experiences to Santa Marta,” said Felipe Gamez, principal, Felipe Gamez & Cía Arquitectos S.A.S.

Hector Mario Diaz, principal, Irotama S.A.S. added, “We are delighted to partner with Felipe Gamez & Cía Arquitectos S.A.S. and work with Hilton Worldwide on the development of this new upscale full-service Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the stunning Colombian Caribbean.”

Accessible via direct flights from Bogota and Medellin, Colombia, Santa Marta is the oldest surviving city in the country. Known as a sister city of Miami Beach, Florida, this Caribbean haven welcomes visitors with everything from beaches and mountain ranges to national forests and cultural heritage.

The hotel will participate in Hilton HHonors, the only guest rewards program that allows members to earn Points & Miles® for the same stay and redeem points for free nights with No Blackout Dates at more than 4,200 hotels worldwide.

Hilton Worldwide currently has a portfolio of 64 hotels and resorts open and welcoming travelers in Latin America, including seven hotels in Colombia. The company is actively pursuing additional Latin American growth opportunities and currently has a development pipeline that includes seven projects in Colombia.

Hard Rock International Announces Collaboration with NYS Funding LLC for Resort Casino in Rensselaer, NY

Application To Be Submitted to Develop World Class Facility Located on the Hudson River

Orlando, Florida – 1 July 2014 – Hard Rock International –  owner of one of the world’s most iconic and recognized brands – announced it is working with NYS Funding LLC for the potential development of a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Rensselaer, NY. The proposed entertainment destination would be located at the DeLaet’s Landing site along the Hudson River in Rensselaer, NY, and would feature a mix of gaming and non-gaming amenities, including casino table games, slots, hotel rooms, and world-class food and beverage options.

Hard Rock International Rensselaer

Hard Rock International Rensselaer

“Hard Rock International is thrilled to collaborate with NYS Funding LLC to potentially create a world class facility in Rensselaer within the Capital Region, as it would become an important economic engine for the community,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “We look forward to lending our global recognition, strong legacy of philanthropy and entertainment, and proven experience to this project. We are confident that this Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will positively impact the community’s economy.”

“Hard Rock is an internationally recognized brand known for high quality offerings across the globe,” said Dan Dwyer, mayor of Rensselaer. “Introducing the Hard Rock brand to the region and to our city greatly elevates the excitement around this project and will make the resort casino even more attractive and successful as a destination for the local community and visitors alike.”

More details about the proposed casino project will be released in the Request for Application submitted by NYS Funding LLC by the June 30 deadline.

Internationally recognized as a world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos offer stylish and contemporary design, unparalleled service and the thread that unites them all – music. Hard Rock’s current Hotel and Casino portfolio is located in the world’s most desirable resort destinations, as well as urban gateway cities. The dynamic properties cater to the evolving and distinctive needs of today’s cosmopolitan, modern travelers, who seek a reprieve from traditional, predictable accommodations, whether for business or leisure travel, and who connect with the authentic and powerful Hard Rock vibe.