Even though the hotel biz is having a tough time, new properties are still opening, so here are four hip brand-spenkin’ new hostelries that TICKET readers should know about:
NEW YORK: I had an outstanding stay earlier this winter at the brand new Hotel Indigo on W. 28th St near the Fashion Institute of Technology. The hotel is located in Chelsea on a block full of commercial florists which makes for a beautiful walk to or from the hotel. While the hotel is out of the bustle of midtown, there’s a subway stop a block from the hotel on 7th Ave where trains can get you up or downtown in a flash. What do I really like about this hotel? It’s brand new from the ground up—something you don’t see a lot of in NYC. There’s free wi-fi. Only downside: Rooms on lower floors have poor views. Lowest rates in late March range from $175 to $200.
CHICAGO: We’ve not actually visited the brand new, ultra-glam Elysian hotel, but we’ve been hearing about it from TICKET readers and colleagues at Leading Hotels of the World. It’s all-new from the ground up which is nice in a town with a lot of old hotel stock. While it’s new and has all the latest techie bells and whistles (flat screen TVs, free wi-fi, built in stereo speakers) it’s got old world touches like a cobblestone driveway, marble bathrooms, fireplaces, outdoor terraces and windows that open. In late March, rooms range from $300 to $600, putting it in competition with the likes of the Peninsula and Four Seasons. If nothing else, you must see it’s gorgeous website. (PS: When in Chicago last week, my frequent-traveling mother Julia checked out the Elysian and gives it a big thumbs up.)
LOS ANGELES PT 1: The brand new glitzy and glamorous W Hollywood Hotel opened last month in a new mixed use development in the heart of Tinseltown at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Guests are given star-studded treatment in true Hollywood fashion as they walk the plush “red carpet” to check in. As usual at any W Hotel, there’ll be a party in the lobby— here’s what an opening press release says: “Guests, residents and LA insiders can sip and socialize on the adjoining outdoor terrace and ground-floor lounge, featuring black tufted leather sofas, lounge chairs and a decadent backlit lobby bar crafted of glowing Onice Fantastico onyx.” Rates in late March start at about $220.
LOS ANGELES PT 2: The JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE officially opened Feb 17. The long-awaited hotel is a cornerstone of the $2.5 billion L.A. LIVE sports, residential and entertainment district, located in downtown Los Angeles, across the street from the LA Convention Center and Staples Center. (Photo below) The 878-room property, which plans to be LEED-certified, shares space with the much smaller 123-room Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles (with a 4000 sq foot spa) in a unique 54-story tower. This is one of several new developments in the once-blighted downtown area that should help it shed some of its grittiness. Rates in late March at the J.W. start at $229. At the Ritz (opening next month), lowest rates are closer to $350.
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That hotel was originally a Hilton, until funding issues with the city fell through. Glad to see it took off again.