In hotel news, Hilton cuts the ribbon on a dual-branded project near Los Angeles International Airport; Manhattan welcomes a pair of new properties; Marriott opens a Meridien/AC Hotel combo in downtown Denver, and Hilton gains a new presence there as well; an iconic hotel in the nation’s capital joins the Hilton family; and a Chicago classic reopens.
Less than a mile from LAX at 6151 West Century Boulevard in Los Angeles is a newly-opened, dual-branded Hilton affiliate. Its two parts are the 122-unit Homewood Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport, and the 168-room H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio Collection by Hilton. The double hotel offers 24-hour shuttles to the terminals and car rentals from MCar Rental. The Homewood Suites has studio and one-bedroom accommodations with full kitchens and separate living/sleeping areas. The H Hotel provides “high-end accommodations that currently do not exist at LAX,” Hilton said. Its rooms feature Nespresso machines and Google Chromecast on their TVs. Breakfast and dinner service is available to guests of both properties at Waypoint Kitchen in the H Hotel – “an American-style pub with modern California cuisine.” There’s also a coffee shop and a Subway Fresh in the lobby. Each hotel has its own fitness center, but they share a pool. The H Hotel has an open-air rooftop deck called H Overlook with views of the LAX runways, and guest-requested amenities and snacks are delivered to their rooms by a robotic butler. Rates begin at $160 for the Homewood Suites, and at $170 at the H Hotel.
Did you know that the Hotel Nikko San Francisco closed down for three months for a top to bottom re-do earlier this year? It reopened this past spring and, based on our recent visit, feels like a brand new hotel. TravelSkills was there last week as the hotel celebrated its 30th anniversary in the spectacular white-marble-sheathed lobby– part of the $60 million renovation that included all public spaces and rooms (seen above.) Even if you are not staying there, it’s worth a walk through or a meal or drink next time you are in SF near Union Square. Rates start at as low as $180 per night but of course vary based on demand. Check out this video walk through.
In New York City’s NoMad neighborhood, at Park Avenue South and 30th Street, a former 15-story office building constructed in 1915 has added five floors during its conversion into the 20-story Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel. The newly opened Mondrian has guestrooms with “plush bedding and spacious bathrooms, as well as neutral woven leather furnishings and floating desks,” the hotel said. Managed by Journal Hotels, the Mondrian has a signature restaurant called Cleo with Eastern and Southern Mediterranean-inspired cuisine; a rooftop lounge and outdoor terrace called Fifteen Stories; and an underground nightclub called Yours Truly “catering to the who’s who of New York City with a dedicated hidden entrance.” Rates start around $350.
Across town at Seventh Avenue and 36th Street, meanwhile, the 110-year-old New Mills Hotel building has been overhauled and converted into Marriott’s new Moxy Times Square. (How far does a hotel have to be from Times Square before it’s not allowed to have Times Square in its name?) It has 612 guestrooms ranging from 150 to 350 square feet, each with fast, free Wi-Fi; Bluetooth soundbars, and big HDTVs that can stream Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. The hotel has a seafood restaurant, an “egg-centric all-day breakfast spot,” a big rooftop bar/lounge that Marriott says is New York’s largest, a lobby bar, and a grab-and-go market, as well as a newsstand/convenience store called New Stand. Marriott Rewards member rates start as low as $148 (after the holidays).
Dual-branded hotels are getting ever more popular. Besides the Hilton project at LAX mentioned above, Marriott has just opened its own double hotel in downtown Denver, a block from the Colorado Convention Center at 15th and California. The 20-story structure includes the upscale 272-room Le Meridien Denver Downtown and the 223-room AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown. Le Meridien has 12,000 square feet of meeting space, lots of original artwork, and coffee and cocktail service in the lobby. The European-inspired AC Hotel “is designed to feel like a modern ski lodge, with peaked roofs, strong lines, geometric language, and bold interior gestures,” Marriott said. Guests of the hotels can get American comfort food at Corinne, open for three meals a day; imbibe at The Lobbyist, Le Meridien’s cocktail lounge; and check out the mountains from 54thirty, Denver’s “highest open-air, seasonal rooftop bar.” Rates start at $162 at the AC Hotel and $229 at Le Meridien.
Given Marriott’s big new double-hotel presence in downtown Denver with Le Meridien and the AC Hotel, it may no longer need the 613-room Denver Marriott City Center, two blocks away at 17th and California – and that’s good, because the owner of that hotel, Chesapeake Lodging Trust, plans to change its affiliation on December 1, when it will become the Hilton Denver City Center, according to the Denver Post.
Long a landmark in downtown Washington D.C. not far from the White House, the Madison Hotel has ended its affiliation with Loews Hotels and has been rebranded as The Madison Washington DC, a Hilton Hotel, making it part of Hilton’s Honors program. That makes it Hilton’s third major property in the nation’s capital along with the Capital Hilton and the Washington Hilton. The 356-room Madison has 27 suites, eight meeting rooms, a 24-hour business center, restaurant and bar and a fitness center. Rates start at $131.
After a $100 million renovation job that kept the property closed for a year and a half, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago has finally reopened. The big renovation of the property started just after it became an official member of the Ritz-Carlton group; before that, it was a Four Seasons hotel – even though it carried the Ritz-Carlton name. The work included the creation of a 15th-floor Ritz-Carlton Club lounge, an expansion of the hotel’s spa, and the addition of an Italian steakhouse restaurant. The hotel, located along North Michigan Avenue – the “Magnificent Mile” – is known for its spacious guest accommodations, which start at 300 square feet. Advance purchase rates start at $275.