Fashion TV network to open branded hotel in Dubai

Armani helped design his namesake hotel in the Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Diane Von Furstenberg has her own designed suites at Claridge’s in London. Missoni opened two hotels – Edinburgh and Kuwait – to help promote the line’s home decor. The Verscace legend lives in on at his mansion, now the Villa by Barton G, in Miami Beach. So it was only a matter of time before fashion took over the hospitality industry (or at least took over one hotel).

News from the Middle East is that global satellite network Fashion TV signed a deal with Al Habtoor Group to open the world’s first Fashion Hotel in Dubai. Al Habtoor will own and operate the 5-star, 200-room hotel, which will feature a 100-m (328-foot) LED screen on the exterior of the 30-story building broadcasting the latest Fashion TV highlights from around the globe.

Inside the hotel, all 30 of the Fashion TV network’s channels will be broadcast in guestrooms, and guests will also have access to a library of 50,000 DVDs related to the history of fashion. There are plans to open restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs, spas and cinemas inside the hotel, although details haven’t been leaked on what the concepts will be.

What we do know: This won’t be the only Fashion Hotel. Al Habtoor Group and Fashion TV said in an interview that plans are to open other Fashion Hotels in high-style locations around the world. We have our bets on Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Milan.


First U.S. shopping festival arrives Chicago this summer

Impulse buyers, hang on to your wallets. The nation’s first shopping festival is being held this summer along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and it’s looking to be quite the extravagant affair.

Organized by The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, In-Fashion: The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ begins on Friday, August 26th with an interactive celebrity event featuring renowned stylist and television star, Carson Kressley (best known for his styling efforts from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a regular guest on Oprah Winfrey’s shows, and host of the new make-over show Carson-Nation).

The Chicago shopping celebration will also include appearances by top designers (who haven’t been announced yet), celebrity chefs and personal stylists. Trunk shows and sample sales will also take place. Note to potential festival goers: if you don’t know what trunk shows and sample sales are, please hand your measurements over to someone who does and let them manage the shopping scene.

In-Fashion: The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival, is taking its cue from other shopping festivals that occur around the world in international cities including Dubai, Singapore, and Cannes. The Chicago festival will also include events by local restaurants and retailers, and there will be a raffle that rewards lucky winners luxury prizes including a 5-night stay at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park valued at $20,000.

The event kicks off Aug. 26 and concludes on Sept. 8 with Chicago’s version of Fashion’s Night Out.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne celebrates diamond anniversary with bling

A 10th anniversary has many milestones, most notably a piece of diamond jewelry. For the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, a 10th anniversary means $10 deals (diamonds potentially included).

On July 1, the Five Diamond resort is offering $10 specialty priced meals, Champagne, rums and spa treatments, and room packages for the entire month. These offers are limited so you have to book fast to get the deals. Here’s what’s in store for the celebrations:

  • Ten resort view guestrooms for $10 each are available July 5-7, 10-13, 18, 25, 26. Caveat: Reservations may only be made June 10 from 10 am to 2 pm EST by calling 305-365-4582. Set your calendar now.
  • Every Wednesday during the month of July $10 spa treatments including the Key Lime Body Treatment (50 minutes) or Deluxe Sundae Pedicure (45 minutes).
  • On July 14, sip $10 glasses of Moet Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne or sink your teeth into $10 Kobe Beef Sliders.
  • From July 10-15, sip $10 Diamond Mojitos at the resort’s live Latin music venue.
  • Also from July 10-15 and July 17-22, indulge in $10 three-course meals at the resort’s Italian’s restaurant Cioppino. As a bonus, hidden inside one menu each night will be a note that reads, “Celebrate with a complimentary bottle of Champagne!”
  • Every Wednesday in July, purchase $10 mango candles from the spa (regularly $20).

And we did promise you diamonds…

During the month of July, 10 overnight Ritz-Carlton guests will find a 14K white gold pendant necklace featuring a half carat of brilliant round-cut diamonds under their pillow.

But there’s more…For the truly indulgent experience (and for the traveler who wants to make a seriously good impression), the Ritz-Carlton is rolling out the Blue Diamond Escape Package for $60,310.

The 3-day package (named from the traditional 10th anniversary color, which is blue) includes:

  • Rolls Royce Phantom transfer to/from Miami airport to The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
  • Helicopter tour of Key Biscayne and Miami Beach
  • Access to the exclusive Club Lounge and Club on the Beach
  • Unlimited Spa treatments all three days
  • Private Sensory Odyssey Dinner in the romantic oceanfront gazebo with specially prepared five-course dinner and live music in candle-lit surroundings
  • Dune Cabana experience with Dom Perignon Champagne
  • Private catamaran sail and snorkel adventure with personal butler, lunch and water tour of Stiltsville, an historic group of houses in the middle of Biscayne Bay
  • Around the World Culinary Tour (includes appetizers and signature cocktails) at each of the resort’s internationally inspired restaurants: Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge, Cantina Beach, Cioppino and RUMBAR.
  • Private culinary class with resort chef or a private wine tasting with wine expert and resort Sommelier, Jorge Mendoza.

And yes, there’s another diamond. The package also includes a Natural Blue Diamond pendant necklace from Sabbia jewelers (a rare find) to be placed under your pillow in the evening or presented as you wish.

Just a reminder: All the offers mentioned are on limited availability at the discretion of the hotel, so call ahead!

We’re just wondering: How does this compare to what you did for your 10th anniversary?

Trump SoHo puts a spa in guest rooms suites

Travelers are becoming more aggressive today with their hotel amenity “must haves.” Everything from free WiFi to in-room coffee machines top the list of essential amenities for hotel guests. To help ease the demand, more hotels are offering these guest requests and some are even designing rooms that include everything from Disney characters to luxury car services.

But what if your hotel stay included a spa and fitness center in your room? What if you didn’t have to leave your room to sit in the sauna or get in a quick yoga class? That’s the premise behind Trump SoHo’s new concept, the 24/7 in-room spa suite.

The luxury New York hotel will unveil three new luxury spa suites on May 1 for the guest who needs some serious pampering. The suites include a private treatment room, hydrotherapy showers, and one suite is equipped with a sauna for two.Some more deliciousness from the spa suites:

  • The spa suites plus bedroom and living room suite range in size from 741-825 square feet
  • A 32-inch-deep Jacuzzi tubs with a view of Manhattan cityscapes
  • Stocked mini bar customized with healthy snacks and beverage options
  • Technogym Wellness Rack in your room, complete with custom-sized dumbbells and an in-room yoga kit
  • Private entrance to The Spa at Trump

As you would expect, this lap of luxury comes with a price. The spa suites start at $789 a night and come with a $200 spa credit per night.

How’s that $14.95 a day wireless access looking now?

Readers: Would you prefer to have your spa in your room, or do you enjoy the full experience of a full spa service?

Brooklyn gets its groove on with new Hotel BPM

Brooklyn is becoming the new hot-spot for New York hotels. Starwood is set to open its 50th Aloft hotel in Brooklyn on June 1, and now comes word that a new boutique hotel, Hotel BPM, will open later this summer.

Hotel BPM, named for the music term “beats per minute,” is the brainchild behind hip-hop deejay DJ Bijal. The boutique-style property will feature 75 guest rooms, environmentally-conscious amenities and a DJ Bijal-selected soundtrack that will stream through the hotel’s public spaces.

“As a deejay, I’ve had the opportunity to travel often,” says DJ Bijal, Visionary and Founder of Hotel BPM, in a statement. “This hotel is the culmination of the best hotels I visited when I was on the road: BPM will offer great value, great comfort, and great style.”

Guests of Hotel BPM will find environmentally-friendly amenities including Gilchrist & Soames BeeKind bath products. Each room has 40-inch HDTVs; laptop-size safes; personal Keurig coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi. A lounge off the lobby area will serve lite-bites and cocktails, and there is also guest parking and a fitness center for use.

The price for a room at Hotel BPM start at $160 per night for a King room and $180 per night for Doubles. In comparison, the new Starwood Aloft Brooklyn offers room rates from $195 this summer.

The verdict: New York travelers wanting a bit of cost savings without compromising room quality and comfort might consider trekking it over the bridge to trendy Brooklyn for a night.