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Monthly Archives: August 2006

Google's amazing catch of Happy Hotelier

Only 7 days after Happy Hotelier is airborn and thanks to the intro of Willem on Weekendhotel, the search term “Happy Hotelier” gives this weblog a Google search rank rank # 2 after Willem’s intro as # 1

Usually it takes a lot more time until Google spots you.

The Hoxton Urban Lodge: One day til opening

Thanks to Hotelchatter and The Observer I came across this new 205 rooms Urban Lodge that will open 1st September, 2006.Opening promotions included rooms for just an amazing one (1) UK pound per night – sold out off course, but the Hoxton site promises more similar promotions for the near future. Normal rates start at UK pound 59 and become higher the nearer to the night of your choice you make your reservation.

The “Pret a Dormir” has been created by the take away sandwich (Pret A Porter) mogul Sinclair Beecham. The breakfast included in the roomrate is a nice “Pret” sandwich.

The Observer:

Everywhere you look in Beecham’s hotel there are no-nonsense feel-good touches: the internet is free, so is the coffee and the mineral water in the bedrooms, and the Pret breakfast left on a hook outside each morning. Instead of a ruinous minibar, you buy wine, champagne, beer and snacks at the reception desk for normal shop prices.

But all this is window-dressing next to the really revolutionary idea: a room pricing system borrowed from the budget airlines….

There’s no denying you get a lot of room for your money. The mattresses are by Hypnos (‘same as at the Metropolitan’, says Beecham), the towels thick and fluffy (‘same as Claridge’s’) and the lighting soft and discreet (‘done by same company as the Schrager hotels’). The TVs are flat screen and swivel so you can watch in bed, the bathrooms small but swanky, with huge shower heads and full-length mirrors.

The corridors on each of the six floors are lit with different coloured lights and there’s lots of exposed metal, giving a slightly unwelcome echo of Beecham’s previous business. The decor isn’t exactly exciting and the lobby’s industrial design – polished concrete floor, exposed bricks, dark wood – is getting slightly passe in this cutting-edge part of London. But let’s be frank: for the money, and compared with Britain’s other mid-range hotels, it’s jaw-droppingly good.

Hotelier's Horror: Hotel Bed Jumping

If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t believe it: For many people the ultimate experience of a hotelroom is the first jump in the plush luscious bed, according to Hotel Bed Jumping HQ:

This Site Celebrates Hotel Beds. And we poke fun at them too.

There is something completely intoxicating about today’s hotel bed. Plush, deep, luscious, thick…and oh so bouncy. Don’t deny yourself the indulgent luxury of taking a running start and launching up over that mattress and box-spring that will surely propel you back up into the stratosphere.

The Birth of Happy Hotelier

Birth Stork

This is the first official post of Happy Hotelier.

Since June, 2004, I act as co author on the Dutch language weblog Weekendhotel.

My aims are:

  • Making interesting Weekendhotel’s Blog posts available in the English Language.
  • Addressing issues not suitable for Weekendhotel’s Blog.
  • Giving our foreign guests a bit more insight in Dutch accommodation.
  • Having a place to publish Happy Hoteliers’ own hotel reviews/observations.

Prior posts

Happy Hotelier went public on August 23, 2006. The translations of older posts of Weekendhotel’s Blog will keep their original time stamps. Hence posts appearing on both sites will have equal timestamps. the first blogpost of the blog is Why and When?

Slowly but gradually you will see the posts above grow in pace with my inspiration and time available and below until I have catched up translating two years. I do hope Willem, the other author of Weekendhotel’s Blog is willing to give me a hand in catching up with all the translation work…..

More about Happy Hotelier on this blog’s About page, or in its 101 Happy Hotelier category.

Last edited by GJE on March 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Anti Cool: Ian Schrager again on a new tack

Ian Schrager

I am not sure whether now 60 years young New Yorker Ian Schrager is into yachts and yachting, but I do know for sure that Philippe Starck is (as is the other famous hotel creator Anouska Hempel, or Lady Weinberg). Ian has created a couple of hotels together with Philippe Starck. Hence the title.

In any case Schrager is a man of theater and renewing concepts and slogans.

In the seventies and eighties he creates renowned nightclubs, studio 54 and Palladium, where the rich and famous repose themselves. There the DJ phenomenon is born.

Then he changes tack and starts in hotels:

In 1984:

  • He opens Morgans in New York city, “Home away from Home”,
  • He sets up the Ian Schrager Hotel Group, now known as the Morgans Hotel Group.

I think Morgans was the first “Boutique” hotel.

Then, together with Philippe Starck,:

  • Royalton, NYC, “Hotel as Theater” that at the same time put Philippe Starck on the map as a hotel designer,
  • Hudson, NYC, “Hotel as Lifestyle”,
  • Sanderson, London, “Lavish Urban Spa”,
  • Sint Martenslane, London, “Urban Resort Reinvented”,
  • Mondrian, West Hollywood (LA), “Sophisticated modern Urban Resort” and
  • Delano South Beach, Miami, “Casual Chic Urban Resort”

In the middle of 2005 Schrager resigns a as CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, but remains tied with is as a consultant with a lucrative consulting contract (use of a luxurious private jet, a luxurious car, a luxurious secretary and free stays at the (then) 9 hotels of the group) and as a shareholder(?). The group comes in a financial dip due to 9/11 and the fact that mega hotel consortia start fighting themselves into the market for the hip and famous guests. Up to and including 2005 Morgans Hotel Group reports heavy loses. The first six-month period of 2006 after a financial reorganization with an IPO the results improve. The involvement of Schrager after the financial reorganization is not entirely clear.

However, recently, through his new Ian Schrager Company, and again on a new tack, Ian Schrager avails of one of the newest design hotels which recently was opened in New York city: Gramercy Park Hotel.

Gramercy 01

Now not the tight chic and sometimes contrary of Philippe Starck, but the “Anti Cool”, “Bohemian Eclectic” of Julian Schnabel, painter, sculptor, film director and musician. According to Schrager it became time for something else then the many times copied and now obsolete “Boutique Hotel”, “home Away From home”, “hip” etc.. Well, if you look well to the copper nails of the chair he is seated on, the style has something of Garcia’s Costes, L’Hotel and LeMeridien Des Indes….the style en vogue between roughly 1850 and 1890….a style which, here in the Netherlands, we simply call “Eclectic”…..

Moreover he now is heavily involved in developing very luxuriously apartments. One project is being developped next to the Gramercy park hotel. The owners of the very luxurious and expensive apartments can, if they want, use the hotel facilities. A phenomenon that we see also at other larger hotels.

Look here at 50 Granmercy Park North for a video interview with him concerning those luxurious condos.

If I listen to the his voice, I inadvertently have to think of The Godfather…

Funny to see Ian undergo the reverse development, from nightclub owner to hotelier to property tycoon, when it is usually the other way around: a property tycoon getting involved in the hotel business.