United States Travel Guide

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Whoa. This UFO Hotel May Land in the California Desert, If You Help Pay for It

Where: CA, United States
May 29, 2015 at 3:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

To the fans of all things extraterrestrial, this one's for you. We kick off this special edition of Funky Friday by saying this may be light years away (aka, not gonna happen,) but if your network of SciFi buddies pitches in, you may just see the opening of The UFO Hotel.

Is anyone surprised? We figured it was only a matter of time before there would be a close encounter of the hotel kind. Except that this kind involves some home grown alien crowd-funding.

The UFO Hotel is the brainchild of Luis Ramallo, UFO enthusiast and owner of popular road stop Alien Fresh Jerky in Baker, California. Baker is small community in the Mojave Desert, conveniently situated along the Los Angeles – Las Vegas route, so there should be no shortage of guests, whether die-hard science fiction fans, or just plain curious.

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Independence Day: A Look at The Hollywood Roosevelt's Revamped Guest Rooms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90028
May 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

It comes as no surprise when we hear of Hollywood icons reinventing themselves. No, we’re not talking about stars of the silver screen, but rather an iconic hotel that has catered to them for the last 88 years--The Hollywood Roosevelt.

As we told you last month, the new owners of the hotel, David Chang and Goodwin Gaw, reclaimed management of the hotel, turning it back into an independent property that's now a part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection. (Meanwhile, former management company, Thompson Hotels, just announced their new Hollywood hotel yesterday.)

To go along with their newfound independence, the Hollywood Roosevelt now sports a new website, renewed top brass and oh, yes, revamped guest rooms, given the Midas touch by the house of Yabu Pushelberg.

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Chocolate on the Pillow? The Benjamin's Sleep Expert Says No

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 125 E 50th St [map], New York, New York , United States, 10022
May 28, 2015 at 5:26 PM | by | Comment (1)

Meet Rebecca Robbins, The Benjamin NYC's Sleep Expert

Last year this time, we wondered whether the new trend of sleep ambassador programs was a valuable hotel amenity or just another useless marketing gimmick. During an interview with one such ambassador, we learned about the steps travelers should take to get a better night's sleep at a hotel. Basically, it was a "do this, don't do that" sort of conversation.

But one thing we failed to discuss was whether a sleep ambassador had any impact on a hotel beyond guest suggestions. Is there any concrete impact, or just a list of dos and don'ts? On a recent stay at the Benjamin NYC, we discovered that a sleep ambassador's job is not all about pleading to guests to make good bedtime decisions. During its renovation, The Benjamin actually called upon sleep expert Rebecca Robbins to help design the room.

Turns out, she helped the hotel make decisions surrounding the room's design that are aimed at getting a better night's sleep. Some, like eliminating noise, are obvious. Others, like using analog clocks, go a little under the radar. And chocolate on the pillow? To that, Dr. Robbins says no. Read on to see the complete list.

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Both Tommie and Thompson Hotels to Take on Hollywood (Again)

May 28, 2015 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

That didn't take long. Just last month, it was revealed that the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel had left the Thompson Hotels collection to be an independent hotel (that's part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.) But Thompson won't be gone long from the Hollywood scene.

A press release put out by Thompson's parent hotel company Commune Hotels & Resorts announced an all-new Thompson Hollywood Hotel, opening on Wilcox Avenue, north of Sunset Boulevard. (FWIW, this will be incredibly close to the Mama Shelter Hotel, due to open next month.)

The Thompson Hollywood will be a 200-room hotel in a 10-story building with a nearly 5,000-sq.ft. restaurant, a 1,862-sq.ft. bar and an outdoor plaza. The rooftop "penthouse" level is promising views of the Hollywood sign and DTLA as well as an outdoor pool deck, a second restaurant and a fitness center. But that's not all.

A new build of Commune's made-for-millennials brand, Tommie Hotels, was announced for Hollywood as well.

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Graduate Hotels Start New Semester in Madison, Durham and Others On Horizon

May 28, 2015 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been almost a year since we first learned of Graduate Hotels, and since then the chain has been busy doing their thing—showing everyone how to relive the glory days of college but in hotel form.

The latest property just opened up in Madison, Wisconsin, and with it comes 72 rooms. The new Graduate Madison takes over for the former Campus Inn, and we can only imagine that brings quite an upgrade. Campus visitors take note, as this place is only a couple blocks from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus.

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'Endless Summer' Begins Here at The Laguna Beach House

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 475 N Pacific Coast Highway [map], Laguna Beach, CA, United States, 92651
May 27, 2015 at 7:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Laguna Beach has always been a favored destination for quick weekend getaways along the California coast. Yes, even before LC and her crew made the laid-back surf town infamous. And now that summer has (unofficially) arrived, there's no better time to seek out a little R&R by the beach.

While Laguna is home to some pretty fabulous resorts such as Montage, St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton, the newly renovated Laguna Beach House perfectly captures the "Endless Summer" vibe you might be looking for.

Designed to reflect a funky beach cottage, the Laguna Beach House has skate and surf decor accents throughout from the surfboards mounted above the guest beds, to the vintage-inspired Laguna Beach travel posters hanging on the walls, the giant framed California flag near check-in, the G&S skateboards that serve as towel racks to the daily surf reports written on a chalkboard in the lobby. A sure sign of a redesign done well? Every nook and cranny of the hotel is Instagrammable (even the parking garage has been prettied up with string lights.)

And with only 36 rooms, the "house" is able to give guests an intimate inn experience yet in a totally updated way.

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Your Body Will Say Mahalo After a Visit to the Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1571 Poipu Road [map], Koloa, Hawaii, United States, 96756
May 27, 2015 at 2:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

There’s a reason the Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa routinely makes top spa lists – it’s simply fabulous.

At 45,000-sq.ft., it’s the largest on Kauai and each treatment suite opens up into its own tropical garden. So while you are being massaged, polished and scrubbed, the birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing and you actually know you are in Hawaii, unlike some staid, common spa treatment rooms where you can’t tell if you're in Hawaii or North Dakota.

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Cleveland's New Hilton Wants Your Snapshots For Its Art Installation

May 27, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

A new Hilton isn’t generally that exciting a prospect, but with a little local flair and art it certainly can be. That’s the case over in Cleveland, as hotel developers are asking for snapshots and shares of The Forest City—yep, we had to look the nickname up on Wikipedia.

Hotel officials are asking locals to show off some of why Cleveland rocks, and that’s what they’re going to use to decorate bits and pieces of the new property. According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, the arts and crafts is all taking place as part of construction at the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown.

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Even More Hotels To Look Forward to in Philadelphia

May 26, 2015 at 5:12 PM | by | Comments (2)

Come 2017, this mega-modern tower will be home to W and Element Philadelphia, and we can't help but notice their next door neighbor--The Ritz-Carlton

Philadelphia is on a (redevelopment) roll with more upcoming hotels to choose from than there are cheese steak stands. VisitPhilly, the source of all information for incoming travel, has rounded up 10 new hotels coming to town.

But we too, have been following hotels such as the Starck-designed SLS LUX; Four Seasons' new home; Kimpton'smove into a former court building; and an AC Hotel by Marriott which is set to engulf a funky Deco building.

If that's not enough for the option-oriented traveler, here are four more hotels to add to the mix. And expect even more behind these.

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Fairmont Copley Plaza Doorman Does Sick Kid A Solid

May 26, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

Here’s a warm and fuzzy story to keep that holiday buzz going, and well—it’s actually something warm and fuzzy. One doorman in Boston went above and beyond, and in doing so the Fairmont Copley Plaza might just have become the go-to property in that city.

From the folks over at CBS Boston, Michael Eades has worked at the hotel as doorman for well over 20 years. Recently he has found a special place in his heart for a 12-year old boy living at the hotel with his mom, as the little guy seeks treatment for a rare disease at a nearby hospital.

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Conrad Will Come Back to Chi-Town

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 101 E. Erie Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States
May 26, 2015 at 8:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

This is a bit of a pattern: day one, a brand’s exit from a certain market is announced. The clock starts ticking, and by day two or three, re-entry – in something newer, bolder, shinier – follows. So it was with Four Seasons in Bangkok, and now the same happens for Conrad Hotels in Chicago.

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Maui's Grand Wailea Goes for a Grand Refresh

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive [map], Wailea, HI, United States, 96753
May 22, 2015 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

“Families look no further than the Grand Wailea”, we said last year when we listed our Must Stay Hotels for Wailea, Maui. The vast resort has an almost overwhelming list of pools, activity slides (including this, which looks terrifying) and other things on its 40 acres of grounds to keep the kids happy.

In order to keep things fresh as well, a major renovation project kicked off last October, which will last throughout this year. Those pools and activity slides were re-tiled in December, and all rooms are getting an overhaul – above, the end result.

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