Posts tagged with "Luxury Hotels":

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Sony Tower will now be turned into offices instead of luxury apartments

Rising to 647 feet on Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets, the Sony Tower (formerly the AT&T Building) has been a long standing icon of the Postmodernist movement.

Designed by Phillip Johnson in the early 1980s, developer Joseph Chetrit last year hired Robert A. M. Stern to transform 22 floors in the 37-story tower into 96 luxury apartments. Units were set to start at $11 million. In 2015, The Real Deal reported that a $150 million penthouse, complete with a marble staircase and spanning three floors was in the making. Covering floors 33 through 35, the space was previously a corporate boardroom. Additionally, eight floors would be home to a five star hotel under the Oetker Collection. Holding 170 rooms, the hotel was also set to be designed by Stern.

Now, however, it seems such plans have been drastically curtailed.

After purchasing the Sony building for $1.1 billion in 2013, Chetrit this week agreed to sell the tower for $1.4 billion to the Olayan Group and Chelsfield. According to the New York Times, both firms have said that the building will now become an office building.

Sony, then it seems, appears to have cashed in at the right time three years ago when the upper echelons of the real estate market were in high demand. Chetrit's sale is indicative of the market slowdown. The "one percenters" looking for luxury in the city have dropped off the radar of late, as plans for a "superluxury tower" by Central Park South have also been abandoned. Meanwhile, another who had proposed a similar project on York Avenue and East 76th Street is reportedly in bankruptcy court.

“Even breaking even is a win,” said luxury condo consultant Nancy Packes speaking of Chetrit's selling of the Sony building adding that “The appetite of that group of investors has dimmed,” and the market has gone from “mush to ice.”

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TEN Arquitectos tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury development in the Cayman Islands

Mexico City– and New York–based architecture firm TEN Arquitectos has been tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. The $250 million project’s developer, Beach Bay Land Ltd, announced the selection this week at Art Basel. The project, which will be located in St. James Point, Grand Cayman, will feature a 200-room hotel with more than 90 residential units, high-end retail, restaurants, and, of course, spaces for water sports activities. According to the developer, it will create “a unique experience with service levels unprecedented within the region.” Sensitivity to the existing tropical environment will be an important component of the design scheme. As described by the architect, the mixed-use resort will integrate architecture “in harmony with nature while offering the highest standard of luxury accommodation.” “Providing more integrated environments for living and travel, without their losing connection to nature or sense of place, is key to the success of a project like this,” said Enrique Norten of TEN, in a statement. “We have a unique concept here that will fit harmoniously within the landscape.” The development will “provide everything necessary for St. James Point to compete successfully,” Cayman Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell told the Caribbean Journal. Slated to open in Fall 2018, the project represents TEN Arquitecto’s first in the Caribbean. The firm’s latest project, CENTRO, a cross-disciplinary university focused on the creative fields, opened this past October in Mexico City. Another recent TEN project includes the Mercedes House, one of the new luxury rental additions to Manhattan's Midtown West. Enrique Norten, who founded TEN in 1986, was also this year’s recipient of the Richard Neutra Award for Professional Excellence, joining the ranks of renowned architects Samuel Mockbee, Thom Mayne, and Tadao Ando.
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M-Rad unveils design for a many-colored Hudson Yards hotel

Though New York has over 100,000 hotel rooms, developers on Manhattan's Far West Side feel there's room for more. Matthew Rosenberg, founding principal of Los Angeles–based M-Rad Architecture, has completed the concept design of Hudson Americano, a 740-foot-tall, 160-suite hotel at Hudson Yards. Commissioned by New York developer Black House, Hudson Americano is targeted towards wealthy international visitors. Per the luxury amenities arms race, the hotel will have a three level spa and two pools. The checkered glass, metal, and concrete facade reflects excess light during the warmer months and absorbs heat in the winter to balance the ambient temperature inside. M-Rad will strive to achieve LEED Gold certification for the completed structure. Hudson Americano is not M-Rad's first try at a splashy facade. Earlier this year, the firm unveiled a live-work tower for downtown Las Vegas that requires residents to travel through community spaces—a cafe, grocery stores, or an extensive spiral ramp—to reach their destination.
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Report finds the Middle East could soon be too hot for human inhabitation as Dubai moves forward with its own indoor rainforest in a skyscraper

In an ironic twist, the global fuel powerhouse that is the Middle East is at risk of becoming too hot for human life due to the emissions produced as a result of creating that fuel. Such news evidently means little to the city of Dubai which is currently in line for two new luxurious skyscrapers, one of which will feature its very own rainforest. Jeremy Pal and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir recently published "Nature: Climate Change" which outlines how rising temperatures in the Persian Gulf will render the area inhospitable. The study compares a standard model of CO2 emissions over the course of 80 years to the temperatures deemed viable for human life. The more shocking news is that the research factors in mankind's predicted future efforts to curb emissions. The climate variables that were used to determine that human life was unsupportable were complex, though Pal and Eltahir simplified it, using a measurement called "wet bulb" heat. This was described as “a combined measure of temperature and humidity, or ‘mugginess'” by which a maximum exposure time of six hours to the conditions (of 95 Fahrenheit) was stated. Anything more “would probably be intolerable even for the fittest of humans,” they noted, adding that "even the most basic outdoor activities are likely to be severely impacted.” Toronto-based architect firm ZASA, however, has different ideas. Situated off Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) in Al Thanyah First, two luxury towers in exuberant Dubai style will offer nothing other than the flamboyant panache that made the city famous: the complex boasts its own rainforest and an artificial beach. The 3.2 acre site will encompass the two, 47-story-high towers, a five storey podium, and two basement levels. Both towers will include a "sky lobby" and "sky pool." Meanwhile, the 450-room Key Hotel will offer fine dining restaurants, spa, a health club, and meeting rooms. The other tower is being called a "Serviced Apartment Tower." ZASA says that the architecture is meant to represent contemporary life in Dubai, while the "modernist" structures utilize "active frontage" via the implementation of podiums that proportion the towers. (h/t  The New York Times for Nature: Climate Change)
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This enormous collection of towers in Mecca will become the world’s largest hotel in 2017

Lucrative gains from annual religious pilgrimage has the Saudi Ministry of Finance clamoring to build the world’s largest hotel in the desert of Mecca, featuring 10,000 guest rooms, four helipads, and 12 tightly clustered towers on a 10-story plinth. Crowned at its summit by one of the largest domes in the world, the $3.6 billion mega-hotel has five off-limits floors earmarked for Saudi royalty, 70 restaurants, and an entire multi-function commercial space at its base for a shopping mall, food courts, a bus station, conference center and a lavishly appointed ballroom. Construction conglomerate Dar Al-Handasah designed the mammoth edifice to model a “traditional desert fortress,” sporting flourishes such as fluted pink pilasters framing arched blue-mirrored windows. The two towers within the dome will rise up 45 storeys above the Mecca desert, while two more towers will attain 35 floors, with the remaining eight towers at 30 storeys tall. London-based interior design firm Areen Hospitality has signed on to appoint the interior spaces in the palatial luxury typical of the region. While deep pockets are an unspoken mandate, guests can choose between four and five-star luxury accommodations. The hotel occupies a 646,000-square-foot site in the Manafi district, and is less than one mile south of the Grand Mosque, thronged by two million pilgrims per year and currently undergoing a $61 billion expansion to accommodate seven million worshippers by 2040. The world’s largest hotel by number of hotel rooms, soon to be dwarfed by the Abraj Kudai, is the MGM Grand Las Vegas at 6,198 guestrooms. The gargantuan construction, opening in 2017, is the latest in a spate of residential and commercial developments galvanized by rising tourism revenue, currently raking in more than $9.2 billion annually. An example is the Jabal Omar development along the western edge of Mecca, which will accommodate nearly 100,000 people in 26 luxury hotels, as well as a six-story prayer hall. “The city is turning into Meca-hattan” Irfan Al-Alawi, director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told The Guardian. “Everything has been swept away to make way for the incessant march of luxury hotels, which are destroying the sanctity of the place and pricing normal pilgrims out.”
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Amangiri Resort blends with Utah’s dramatic desert landscapes for one luxurious getaway

One of hospitality’s hottest hideaways is located—where else—on barren desert land solely accessible via a treacherously winding road. Booked to nearly full capacity for the first two years of operation, the Amangiri resort is nestled in a desert region called the “Four Corners,” where the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona converge. The resort was crafted by architects and designers Wendell Burnette, Marwan Al-Sayed, and Rick Joy, and guest rooms overlook a sea of sand billows, presenting unhindered views of the Stud Horse Point of the Glen Canyon to the majestic Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A bird’s-eye-view of the estate hints at an unimpressive, boxy encampment, but staying in this luxury enclave will set you back $1,100 a night for a desert-view suite and $3,600 for the Amangiri Suite. Designed to blend into the surrounding monoliths, the building features natural materials and textures, with a concrete facade subtly tinted pink, ocher, and light yellow to soften the building’s profile. The pavilion and main pool (which is heated to more than 80 degrees at all times) are configured around a dramatic stone escarpment which is more than 150 million years old. Adjacent to it is a communal great room with four fireplace niches, which serves as a reception area, dining room, gallery, library, and living room—as well as an optimal vantage point for drinking in the sunset. Two accommodation wings stem from the pavilion—the Desert Wing contains 16 suites, with 18 suites and the Aman Spa located in the Mesa Wing. In designing the building the architects deferred to the geometry of the looming cliffs, often slanting walls towards each other to provide slot canon views of the desert and mesa. Desert-dwelling pastimes touted by the resort include hot air ballooning, helicopter rides, equestrian excursions, hikes, and day trips to Lake Powell. The luxury resort is the brainchild of Singapore-based company Aman Resorts, which specializes in developing small, exclusive properties in locations that stray from the beaten path. [h/t Fubiz.]

Lexington’s 21c Museum Hotel by Deborah Berke Partners Delayed

Those planning Lexington’s 21c Museum Hotel say the $40.5 million project will take longer than expected, but should come sometime in 2015. The growing Louisville-based hotel company bought the historic First National Bank building and an adjacent structure in Lexington's downtown last year, winning city approval for design plans shortly after. Once planned for office tenants, the boutique hotel in Lexington’s downtown apparently sustained more water damage than previously thought. New York–based Deborah Berke Partners has been tapped to design the boutique hotel. The firm also designed 21c Museum Hotels currently operating in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Bentonville, AR. As for its design, 21c CEO Steve Wilson told Kentucky.com:

As in the 21c hotels in Louisville and Cincinnati, the restaurant will be its own entity, with a high profile.

The hotel will not be pretentious, Wilson said: "No gilt mirrors."

Despite the pared-down aesthetic, it will be luxurious, with top-flight service, bedding and amenities; there will be light in all the right places, Wilson said.

There might be polished concrete floors or a chandelier of scissors, he said.