It may be a few years away—three to be precise—but excitement is still in the air after yesterday's announcement from Virgin Group founder and chairman Sir Richard Branson that he's building a Virgin Hotel property in New York City.
To be located in Manhattan's NoMad neighborhood (at 29th Street and Broadway), the 300-room hotel is the second confirmed rollout of several more under the Virgin Hotels chain. In 2014 a Virgin Hotel will debut in Chicago, as was announced in 2011.
Other cities where the hotel will pop up include London, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, and San Francisco. New York City, however, is a natural fit for a CEO who has founded a jet-setting airline (Virgin Atlantic Airways), two music labels (Virgin Records and V2), and a wireless-communications company (Virgin Mobile). This isn't the first time Branson has entered into the hospitality world. Necker Island, his private-island resort near Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, is one of six Virgin Limited Edition Collection luxury resorts.
As Branson said in an interview with USA Today yesterday, "At long last, the city that never sleeps will get a beautiful and irresistible Virgin Hotel to play, eat, work, mingle, and yes, even to sleep."
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credit: Screenshot via Virgin Hotels