Charlotte Travel Guide
Hotel Christmas Trees / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / Hotel Holiday Decorations / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The Merrion Dublin's two Christmas trees pales in comparison to the holiday spectacular that the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte has put on, which includes three Christmas trees, a gingerbread cottage, and an edible sleigh pulled by edible reindeer. Best take out your handkerchief to wipe up the drool.
Let's start with the 17-foot-tall tree made of 789 recycled green bottles and bathed in equally green lights. Obviously, this one is strictly for admiring, not for eating. (It's also a nod to the hotel's LEED Certification.)
Starwood Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Dual Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / → All Tags
Not long ago, we wrote about the growing trend of the dual-branded hotel property. When a combined Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites opened in Denver last May, it reflected the tendency of these new-ish hotel concepts to pair an extended stay property with a limited service hotel. Starwood’s announcement last week,however, was the first we have heard of upscale brands getting in on the act.
The hotel company is planning to open a combined Sheraton and Le Meridien in Charlotte’s uptown business district, with each hotel occupying one tower each of a massive hotel complex that is currently operating as the Blake Hotel (run by Amsterdam Hospitality.) The two hotels will each have their own separate entrances and lobbies, but will share the fitness center, spa, pools, and meeting space. The two towers will have a total of six restaurants, and Le Meridien will feature a rooftop bar offering views of the Charlotte skyline.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Packages / Hotel Deals / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / → All Tags
Not long ago we reported on the Capella Georgetown which has no check-in or check-out hours. The concept has even made its way all the way to Australia and its Art Series hotels where Serena Williams tweeted about the hotel's policy of not kicking you out if there isn't a guest scheduled for your room. We thought this kind of perk would be limited to small, quirky hotels, but imagine our surprise when we received a news bit letting us know that The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte (apparently a favorite of Lenny Kravitz!) is now offering a guaranteed 24-hour stay for guests who check in on Saturdays.
That's right, with the new "Stay and Play 24" package, the hotel will accept check-ins at any hour on Saturday and allow departure a full 24 hours later – even if that means a Sunday evening check-out. For guests who check-in early on Saturday, check-out will be after 24 hours have passed or at noon on Sunday – whichever is later and offers more convenience for the guest. Let's hear it for a lovely leisurely weekend!
And, to top it off, the "Stay and Play 24" includes a $100 food and beverage credit that can be redeemed in the hotel's Bar Cocoa, lobby lounge, room service, or the Urban Sip restaurant. We're told that Bar Cocoa has a banging Sunday Brunch, so keep that in mind.
The "Stay and Play 24" package costs $379 a night and regular Saturday rates are $299 a night, so we're thinking with the $100 F&B credit and extra hours, this is a pretty decent deal.
[Photo: Ritz-Carlton Hotels]
Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Bed Bugs / DNC Hotels / POTUS Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / Hotel Drugs / → All Tags
Forget, for a minute, the glowing reviews of Michelle Obama's and Bill Clinton's speeches at the DNC. It turns out another thing reporters' minds were the rotten hotels they were assigned for the event, which took place this past week in Charlotte, NC. But cramped rooms and bad service were the least of it—we're talking drug dealers, prostitutes, and bed bugs.
The bed bugs in particular were an issue, as the Washington Times reported that several of the DNC media-hosting hotels have dealt with bedbug infestation complaints in the past year.
The scene was enough to make radio talk show host David Webb comment:
"It comes down to organizing a good event, and frankly, that says something about how they do things here."
Guess The Hotel / Lenny Kravitz / Celebrity Scoop / Charlotte Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Movie Set Hotels / → All Tags
We know, we know. What a random acting role for musician/hotel designer Lenny Kravitz! Just in case you haven't been up and up on the "Hunger Games" madness, Lenny stars as Capitol stylist, Cinna, in the movie which premieres this weekend.
Yet what befuddles us hotel geeks more than this role for Lenny is rather where he and the cast were staying during filming.
According to the NY Post, Lenny's "ritzy" hotel digs became the "unofficial hangout" for his co-stars.
“My hotel room became the after-hours joint,” Kravitz tells The Post. “Any given night there you’d see me, Stanley [Tucci], Gary [Ross], Woody [Harrelson], Elizabeth [Banks], Josh [Hutcherson], Jennifer [Lawrence.] It was fun.”
You know what this means--it's time to Guess the Hotel!!
Green Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Stayin' Green / → All Tags
Move over recycling bins and bulk shampoo dispensers: the hottest new green accessory, at least at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, is an electric vehicle charging station, available to guests free of charge. The LEED-certified hotel unveiled the new gizmo last week in collaboration with local electric car company Li-Ion Motors, which brought out an Inizio roadster to show off.
The property is the first Ritz-Carlton to install a guests-only electric car charging station. The two power ports will fuel up cars that are completely tapped out in 10-12 hours and also top off in under an hour rides that still have some juice. There are plans to add additional, similar charging stations around Charlotte.
The holiday hotel decorations extravaganza is in full effect and the nearly life-sized, eco-friendly gingerbread house we reported on last week has risen!
Jaunted alerted us to The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte's TweetPhoto of the finished product and we have to say, it's not as fugly as most gingerbread candied houses are. It's actually quite sweet-looking (No pun intended! Ok, maybe a little pun intended.) Next year, we think the Ritz should make an entire gingerbread suite for hotel guests. Then upon checking out, we could eat the bed. Mmmm....
Pshaw. This is child's play.
Not only do hotels like to dream up some Holiday Cocktails for lushes like us but they also like to go crazy with Holiday Decorations. So until the holidays are over, we'll be profiling some of the more outrageous ones we hear of and see. Know of an over-the-top decoration we should check out? Send it to us!
Move over John Galliano-designed Christmas Tree at Claridge's. Here's comes The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte's ginormous gingerbread house. The LEED-built hotel is creating a 10x14' environmentally-friendly, all-organic Gingerbread House that will be available for public viewing on Friday, November 27.
The structure will be overseen by Chef Jon Farace and the structure will be built by Jonathan Gellman of Skyward Builders, "using efficient framing practices, recycled nails and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified lumber and OSB panels obtained from within a 500-mile radius of the hotel." So it truly is green.
Now here's what it takes to build something this big:
Are you one of those crazies who get up at the crack of dawn to haul out for Black Friday shopping? Honestly, we’re more the online shopping types — fewer black eyes, more time spent in PJs. But leave it to the new Ritz-Carlton Charlotte to make even that sound luxe.
In fact, their L3 shopping package — “Laptops, Lounging and Libations” — makes us think we’ve been doing something seriously wrong. Designed for Black Friday cyber shoppers, the package includes an extended one-night stay and a private special online shopping lounge, on the 15th floor, that offers free Internet, hand and wrist massages, holiday cocktails and champagne, and light snacks to last from 12:01 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. (Though for your bank statement’s sake, we’d have to advise you go easy on the booze.)
Devoted readers know just how much we like to hype new hotels — and, well, chronicle their delays and opening flubs. But what it boils down to is that we love new hotels, and we especially love new hotels that open on time.
And so with that we offer congratulations to the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, which successfully opened today, as planned (albeit a very long time coming)! And even better: When we called to check on availability, we found out the 146-room hotel is all sold-out tonight and through the weekend. (Just don't break out the confetti — remember, this place is all about the green scene.)
In fact, the first day the online reservation system showed availability is for next Friday, Oct. 9, with introductory rates starting at $199 for a standard room (1 king or 2 queen beds). In the meantime, you’ll have to get your Charlotte Ritz fix at the hotel’s two restaurants: BLT Steak and the Lobby Lounge, featuring organic fare and signature cocktails.
Earlier this month we told you about the green spa at the coming-soon Ritz-Carlton Charlotte (set to open Oct. 1!). The latest word from the North Carolina city’s first Ritz? The hotel also claims five “business travel firsts” to help stressed-out, working travelers feel at home.
1. The Nook, located on the hotel’s executive floor, will offer fully equipped, free private offices, complete with desktop computers, printers, office supplies, teleconferencing equipment, Wi-Fi, copy/fax machine access, and even tech help. This is in addition to the hotel’s full 24-hour biz center.
Not only is the long-awaited Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte opening Oct. 1 with $199 rates, but the place seems genuinely committed to the environment in an “it’s easy to be green” sort of way. A first for both the city and the brand, the hotel has been built using LEED practices and also features an eco-friendly new spa called the Wellness Center.
The 13,000-square-foot, bi-level penthouse spa will use all-organic products and services and four oversize treatment rooms, complete with Tempur-Pedic memory foam bed-tops, a complete Fitness Center with personal TVs (hmm…not sure how green that is!), a sunlit movement studio with floor-to-ceiling windows, and an Aqua Lounge with saline-treated swimming pool and whirlpool.