LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
October 20, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
The capital city's historic Old Post Office, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, has been tranformed into a five-star luxury hotel. Overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., offers the BLT Prime restaurant, spa, Old Post Office Museum Gallery walkway, escorted Clock Tower tours by the National Park Service, children's programs, and sumptous pet amenities. Learn more about the transformation in the article below from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan.
HBA brings D.C.’s Old Post Office back as Trump Hotel
Interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates completed a historical hotel preservation project and opened the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., formerly the Old Post Office. Working with Ivanka Trump, HBA associate Betsy Hughes and her team of interior designers and architects restored the European-style building to its original glory, creating a 263-room five-star hotel. Continue below the photo.
The 118-year-old historic and castle-like structure is located between the Capitol Building and the White House. Using the building's story as the design narrative, the space is defined by the architectural detailing of the clock tower, columns, archways and historic metal truss-work that spans the lobby. Designers used the framework as a support system for chandeliers that dot the public spaces.
The lobby faces the clock tower, reception and bar; it serves as the heart of the hotel, opening up to the nine-story atrium with glass skylights. Read more below the image.
There are 263 guestrooms, seven of them created within the previous attic space, and featuring floor-to-ceiling skylights in the roof. The former postmaster's offices were converted into four luxury suites. The largest of the group has restored wood-stained paneling, a fireplace and a reading nook in a turret. One suite is located in the clock tower with an arched window that HBA designers created a mezzanine around to keep from blocking the window. The Trump Townhouse suite has multiple stories and a private entrance from Pennsylvania Avenue.
The European-style suites have a color palette of creams, silvers and soft blues with pops of red and gold leaf trim along with crystal chandeliers. A standout feature is a canopied bed in the center of the bedroom.
Due to the historic restoration, each guestroom has a unique layout with distinct features. Arched windows on the upper floors offer views of the Capitol Building and Washington Monument, while historic columns were found and restored. Large bathrooms were built along the window walls of several rooms, while turrets, eaves, dormer windows and skylights are showcased within several guestrooms.
Canvas Art Consultants, the art consultancy division of HBA, also worked with the HBA interior design team and The Trump Organization. Canvas developed a guestroom and corridor art program that pays homage to the city's history through a collection of imagery specifically assembled to reference various aspects of Washington D.C. and the Old Post Office. Visual elements include signed original watercolor renderings of the Clock Tower and renderings of gilded architectural details.
The main restaurant, BLT Prime by David Burke, is a two-story marble-clad box overlooking the lobby. The two private dining rooms have views overlooking the main arrival lobby. Two function rooms with high ceilings, original millwork and stained wood floors are found in the main building. The Lincoln Library has navy velvet drapes and Empire-style bronze pendants in one room, while the second has painted millwork, cream silk draperies and crystal chandeliers. A conference space is located in an existing building on 11th Street, the edifice of which was built as a shopping mall in the 1980s. It is now the largest luxury ballroom in Washington D.C., Presidential Ballroom, modeled after Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Illuminate Lighting Design, the architectural lighting firm from HBA, provided lighting design for the public areas, including the Congressional Bells Museum and BLT Prime by David Burke. A standout lighting feature includes an integrated custom bar detail that illuminates restored post offices boxes as a backdrop in Benjamin Bar & Lounge, highlighting the building's history.
Check rates and availability at Trump International Washington D.C. >>
October 4, 2016
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Le Nolinksi, a newly opened deluxe boutique hotel under the EVOK brand, recently opened at the spectacular location of 16 Avenue l’Opera. The hotel offers a prime location within easy walking distance to many of the sites of Paris including the Louvre Museum, which is just a five minute walk away.
The hotel, a former apartment residence, has eclectic design elements and a muted color palate of grays, blacks, and golds, with fun pops of bright colors in the hallways and elevator lobbies. There's also a “Grand Salon”, the Rejane Brasserie, indoor pool, and full service spa to round out the hotel's offerings. In addition, a deli-style food outlet is currently under construction.
The small street level lobby is intimate, and the service is top notch as the staff gets you settled in and provides a nice orientation of the property.
A Classic room facing Avenue l’Opera was our home for two nights. The room was not very large, but high ceilings and substantial entryway doors gave it a cozy residential feel. Amenities included a welcome pastry and mineral water. The retro-style Marshall music player was a nice feature. Continue reading below the photos.
Complimentary smartphones are provided to each room, and they can be taken with you outside the hotel. The phone allows for direct access to the concierge and other sightseeing services. International calling is also included - a very nice perk, especially if your own mobile phone isn't set up for international data roaming and calling.
Our stay coincided with the Grand Opening reception on September 20, 2016. The party had a “Folie” or Parisian cabaret theme which was quite the event with attendees and entertainers spilling out in the streets.
Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome pastry or appetizer upon arrival, along with use of a smartphone with unlimited international calls and internet.
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*The content of this article is editorial content based on experience during a sponsored stay at Le Nolinski Paris.
By: Lucy LeTourneau
September 23, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
There's a new adaptive reuse hotel in Chicago. Kimpton's latest property, The Gray, is located along La Salle Street, 5 blocks from Millenium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Guest rooms offer sophisticated styling in a color palette of mostly gray and white. Baleo, the rooftop bar is a South American-inspired retreat on the 15th floor of the hotel, serving Argentinian and Peruvian street food. Steadfast is a chef-driven, ultra-seasonal restaurant with a zinc bar, stately dark wood chairs, plush banquets, and gold accents. For cocktails, Vol. 39 offers an opulent setting with gilded silver carts with caviar and charcuterie, and leather-bound legal books left behind from the previous tenants of the office building before it was transformed into the new hotel. Read more about the new property (below the photo) from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan.
Revamped New York Life Insurance Building opens as The Gray
Kimpton opened its latest property, The Gray, in Chicago’s former New York Life Insurance Building that was originally designed by William Le Baron Jenney, and is located on Monroe Street.
Involved in the historic revamp was Los Angeles-based studio Beleco, which worked with Kimpton’s global senior vice president of design and creative director Ave Bradley for the decor and interiors. Meanwhile, Gensler led the overall design duties for the building’s renovation.
Each of the 293 guestrooms now have blue accent colors inspired by the city’s flag; locally sourced artwork; and custom materials such as bathroom wall art reading “Relax, It’s Just Garlic”, a nod to Chicago’s namesake native garlic chicagoua plant. Continue reading below the photo.
For events, the property has almost 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
For dining, The Gray has two onsite dining options. Located on the hotel’s 15th floor, South American venue Boleo has a restaurant, bar, and 4,000-square-foot rooftop under an open-air, retractable glass roof. Meanwhile, the ground-floor eatery Steadfast has a woodfire rotisserie, shaved ice crudo bar and charcuterie room.
The lobby also has a bar, Vol. 39, which has a vintage encyclopedia collection discovered inside the property during renovations.
Petrosino’s Parlor salon is located on the second floor.
Interested in adaptive reuse properties?
Check out our Best Historic Buildings Turned Hotels List >>