The Fontainebleau inches toward its Las Vegas opening, new Airbnb regulations in New York may not boost hotel profits, and the World’s 50 Best Bars are announced. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
The $3.7 billion Fontainebleau Las Vegas (finally) nears its launch
A debut nearly 23 years in the making, the Fontainebleau is slated to open in Las Vegas on December 13th. Located on the north end of the Strip, the property’s façade will be visible from the new Formula One course that’s expected next month, writes CNN Travel. The journey for the 3,644-room resort, the sister property to the iconic Miami Beach outpost, began in 2000 when Fontainebleau Development chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer purchased the land. Construction stalled in 2008 amid the Great Recession, and the property sat incomplete for years until 2021, when Soffer and Fontainebleau Development partnered with Koch Real Estate Investments to reacquire it. An all-star team—David Collins Studio, Carlos Zapata Studio, Rockwell Group, Lissoni & Partners, Jeffrey Beers International, and John Rawlins, Fontainebleau’s executive vice president of design—completed the 67-story resort, which will be home to 36 F&B venues. Four of those, from David Grutman’s Groot Hospitality, will include a Vegas dayclub iteration of Miami’s famed LIV nightclub.
New York’s short-term rental rules may not boost hotel demand
New York City’s recently enacted restrictions on short-term rentals might not lead to an uptick in hotel bookings. In a recent Hotel News Now podcast episode, Kelsey Fenerty, manager of analytics at STR, noted that it’s too early for any definitive answers but recent trends offer some clues. “Performance data shows there may be a little pressure on rates,” she said, according to a write-up from commercial real estate data firm CoStar, adding that extended-stay properties, which make up approximately 5 percent of the city’s supply, have a similar guest profile as short-term rentals. “How many of those people staying in Airbnbs were really considering staying in a hotel to begin with? Was there a lot of demand?” At the same time, she noted, more visitors looking for places to stay will likely allow some pricing power in the city. Sean Hennessey, CEO of Lodging Advisors and clinical associate professor at NYU’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, added that pricing power could be boosted given the number of New York hotels currently being used for migrant housing, and with new city approval regulations that will lead to fewer hotel projects entering the pipeline.
These are the 50 best bars in the world
This year’s 50 best bars in the world, as ranked by the 50 Best voting body (which comprises 680 bar industry experts, including bartenders, drinks writers, and other cocktail specialists), were recently announced at a ceremony in Singapore. Sips in Barcelona, tops the 2023 list. Located in the Eixample neighborhood, Sips “specializes in craft cocktail theater, featuring lots of smoke and edible clouds, and geometric glassware topped with idiosyncratic adornments,” writes Li Goldstein for Bon Appétit. Rounding out the top three are New York’s Double Chicken Please and Handshake Speakeasy in Mexico City. The honors also include awards for individual venues. Newly introduced this year, the Bareksten Best Bar Design Award (selected by a judging panel including HD contributor Alia Akkam) went to Night Hawk in Singapore, which is inspired by American artist Edward Hopper’s painting, Nighthawk. Bar director Peter Chua partnered with Jakarta-based Studio DinDing to design the 25-seat space, which pairs a color palette that nods to the painting with splashes of chrome and silver for a futuristic touch.
Barnes & Noble doesn’t care about design rules
Barnes & Noble—the brick-and-mortar bookseller that has been mounting a comeback following its 2019 sale to hedge fund Elliott Advisors—has introduced a new look at several dozen of its 600 locations. But, as The New York Times details, don’t expect a unified palette or any design consistency. “Any design agency would have a heart attack if they could see what we’re doing,” CEO James Daunt, who initiated the redesign in 2020, told journalist Maureen O’Connor. “We don’t have any architect doing our design at any stage. There’s no interior designer.” A Brooklyn location features polished concrete floors, for example, while at a California outpost, the internal store planning team opted for cerulean walls. The idea is “to embrace lighter, brighter interiors with modular shelves designed for maximum flexibility,” in line with Daunt’s mission to operate the chain more like indie bookstores.
The Platinum Circle Awards gala is only two weeks away!
Kicking off BDNY weekend, HD’s annual Platinum Circle Awards gala, which will honor six hospitality luminaries for their contributions to the industry, takes place Friday, November 10th at Gotham Hall in New York. Join us as we induct Martin Brudnizki, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio; Ted Carroll, the Carroll Adams Group; Raul Leal, SH Hotels & Resorts; Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Flag Luxury; and Libby Patrick, Sims Patrick Studio into HD’s hall of fame. We will also celebrate NEWH, Inc. CEO Shelia Lohmiller, who is being honored with the 2023 Manfred Steinfeld Humanitarian Award. Buy yours today!