I am going to share a secret about myself. Although I have paid for a lot of interior decorations in my life, I never actually picked the stuff out. I was OK with whatever got delivered to my door. It was not until I divorced after 29 years and found myself in an apartment, with my desk and three la-z-boys, that I had to figure out what I liked.
After wandering through a bunch of second-hand furniture stores and browsing on Ebay, I discovered… I was an Art Deco guy. Who would-a-thought? Not that I don’t fully appreciate all sorts of design and fashion… I am an artist after all :) , but given my druthers, that’s what I am drawn to. My apartment is now pretty cool. Or at least it was until I re-married and have a seven year old son. Now it’s sort of an art deco foundation covered with legos. But I’m OK with that too.
Why am I telling you this, and what is the segway that introduces “new” luxury hotels for your edification and consideration? Let’s start with…
The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago, IL www.thegwenchicago.com
Located in River North along the Magnificent Mile, The Gwen does that fusing of “elegance and modern luxury” thing. Located in the McGraw-Hill Building, and “adorned” (I applaud them on using the word “adorned” in their PR) with panels created in 1929, The Gwen celebrates the energy and glamour of Chicago in the Art Deco era and is themed around art and the 1930s.
The 300-room Gwen has 15 meeting rooms and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space. A couple of cool features… The Terrace Rooftop with amazing skyline views overlooking the Magnificent Mile and the 16th floor, Grand Terrace Suite that can hold up to 75 guests.
OK, I admit, this next one is not really an Art Deco style hotel (and I forgive them for that), but… it definitely has it’s own historic thing going (with some deco elements mixed in). Let’s go south to…
The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio, TX www.thestanthonyhotel.com
The first thing I want to say about the St. Anthony... it was built in 1909 and was the first fully air-conditioned hotel in the world. Now that is, by definition, cool. It also had the first auto-opening doors in Texas, and even better… you could check-in from your car in the underground garage and go straight to your room to freshen up before heading down to the lobby bar to be “seen” (because who would want to be seen all covered in dust from driving across Texas? Certainly neither you nor me).
In round numbers, the 277-room hotel has 31,527 square feet of meeting space including a truly elegant 4,721 square foot ballroom (with crystal chandeliers). And yes, since their last renovation they have all of the modern stuff you need too.
And finally (for now)… this “new” hotel has nothing to do with Art Deco, but you really didn’t care about that anyway. Let’s go to Arizona and…
The Camby Hotel, Phoenix, AZ www.thecamby.com
Some of you may have known the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix. That’s the Camby, re-born. It’s now part of the Autograph Collection, which is Marriott, which is pretty much everything. But, they are good at the branding thing, so this will be one of the “whatever they say the Autograph Collection is” hotels. We can call it luxury because… why not.
The Camby now offers 277 guest rooms, 20,000 square feet of techno-smart meeting space, a roof-top pool “experience” and a “boutique” (probably means small) spa. And since I cannot resist de-constructing press releases, what is the difference between having a roof-top pool and a “roof-top pool experience”? Just asking).
The press release also states that the hotel design was based on Arizona’s Five C’s; cotton, cattle, citrus, climate and copper. I am sure it’s nice, and I would very much like to stay there, and I am sure they will do a fantastic job servicing groups for meetings. I have just one question and one statement. The question… who came up with the idea that Arizona has five C’s and the ones they picked are officially C’s? I mean… ok, never mind. The statement… Art Deco would have been fine with me.
And one more thing before I let you go… and this falls under the “Cool Online Resource Category”. My job is to share stuff with you, and so if you ever want a sort-of-complete list of all the press releases describing all of the new luxury hotels opening around the world, visit…
http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/luxury-hotels/luxury-hotel-news.php They don’t editorialize on this particular page, they just give you access to all of the press releases and you can hone your critical thinking skills and start de-constructing them too.