United States Travel Guide

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Another Hotel Shootout, This Time at the Omni Downtown Austin Hotel

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  Site Where: 700 San Jacinto at 8th Street [map], Austin, TX, United States, 78701
July 6, 2015 at 8:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have a few fears about staying in hotels, usually centered around someone breaking into our room and the hotel overcharging us for WiFi, but now we have "shootout" to add to the list.

A gunman walked into the lobby of the Omni Hotel Downtown Austinand killed a 60-year-old cab driver, before being shot to death by police offers. The incident happened at around 5am on Sunday morning, after 911 received a call from the hotel with a report of a man walking around the lobby carrying a gun. Police arrived on the scene to find a man carrying a rifle and a body on the ground. When the suspect pointed the gun at police, they returned gunfire, killing him near the hotel's restaurant.

The gunman was later identified as Michael Holt, who rented a desk from a start-up incubator called Capital Factory, which has operations inside the Omni Hotel's building. This shooting comes nearly a week after another deranged gunman killed 27 tourists in Tunisia.

We suspect the restaurant will be out of service at the Omni Hotel for at least a few days while the crime scene continues to be investigated but you'd never know that from the Omni Hotel's website which makes no note of the incident or of any closures. Omni Hotel's Facebook page has also remained silent on the matter. We reached out to an Omni rep but have not heard back with a comment on the shooting.

Tomorrow, the hotel is hosting Trailer Food Tuesdays and according to that group's Facebook page, the event is still on. We found rooms at the hotel tomorrow night starting from $269.

[Photo: Omni Hotels]

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A Sneak Peek at SLS LUX Brickell, Opening in 2017

July 6, 2015 at 3:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Museum quality art for all to enjoy is part of the SLS LUX experience, like this iconic Fernando Botero bronze sculpture whose new home is now in Miami.

SLS LUX’s mission is to “indulge the senses,” though “sense the indulgence” also comes to mind. Especially in Miami, with all eyes - certainly ours - on the upcoming SLS LUX Brickell Hotel & Residences.

The dynamic duo of sbe and The Related Group can already boast a sellout crowd – as in all 450 condos are gone with the Florida wind. Ah, but the SLS LUX hotel awaits us, rather we wait for it, and a 2017 opening. From the looks of things, we already thinks it’s a keeper.

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1 Hotel Central Park Should Open This Month, Is Indecisive About What to Charge You

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  Site Where: 1414 Ave of the Americas [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
July 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

It wasn’t fall 2014, it wasn’t March this year, but it really, definitely should be July (this July) when the 1 Hotel Central Park – the eco-luxury brand’s flagship hotel – will open. And they’d better, because we’re planning on spending the night with 1CP soon, and we’d hate for the hotel to pull a Baha Mar (let’s just go ahead and make that an industry term, shall we?) and cancel on us.

Reservations are only open from August, but on the rate front the hotel still seems to be all over the place. Breakfast wasn’t $70 per person, but we’ve been quoted $40 over email and the website says $38 in places, despite the confirmation that it should be $35 per person. Equally, rates for the same room on the same night seem to differ depending on the route you take to get there, which just shouldn’t be the case. Expect to pay about $250 a night for an Alcove Queen during the slow month of August, but double- and triple-check your rate before you commit to anything.

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There's No 'Time' Like The Present for These Two NY Renovations

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  Site Where: 224 West 49th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
July 3, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

This "time" it's a short commute for visionary architects Rockwell Group to their latest renovation and transformation of the Time Hotel New York

One of the hotel brands we've had a recent eye on is in fact a multi-brand, multi-hip lifestyle company that’s “debuting” all over the country. The Debut Hotel Group is the team behind brands such as Dream, Night, Time, and in 2017, a two-fer in Chicago of Dream and Live Aqua.

In New York, meanwhile, the countdown is on as renovations are underway this summer at Manhattan's The Time Hotel New York, with a second location reflagging in the Hudson Valley as The Time Hotel Nyack. Both hotels anticipate a timely completion this Fall.

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The Ritz-Carlton Is the Next Florida Hotel Set for an Upgrade

July 2, 2015 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Over in Fort Lauderdale the best keeps getting better, as the next property in town—following some news from the W—to get a nip and tuck is The Ritz-Carlton.

The place hasn’t even been open ten years, but it’s already time to get some work done. They were the first property in town to score an AAA Five Diamond rating, so we guess they don’t want to just rest on their laurels. All in all they will be spending $8 million to upgrade and improve the place, as they work with the architecture and design group over at Streetsense.

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The Langford Hotel Will Open in Downtown Miami in September

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  Site Where: 121 SE 1st St [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33131
July 1, 2015 at 4:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Another day, another stamp on the Miami Hotel Mambo dance card. This time, however, the action is taking place off the beach, over in downtown Miami, where The Langford Hotel will open in September.

Like a number of hotels in other cities, this one finds its home in a former bank building, which from the get-go makes this a little different than the proliferation of sleek and modern new builds that have been popping up in South Beach.

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This Four Seasons Is Bringing the Concierge Desk to the Beach

Where: HI, United States
July 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

There’s plenty of good uses for the concierge, but what we’re looking for is something above and beyond. That’s where Four Seasons comes in, as they’re taking the title of concierge and taking it to the next level of fancy.

At Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu on the Big Island of Hawaii the hotel has introduced something they’re calling Oceanfront Concierge Service—um, yes please. Basically the concierge team will be roaming about the beaches and pools in hopes of helping you plan this, that, or the other thing. Between 8am and 5pm you'll get assistance with the typical like dining reservations, but they’re also up for creating customized adventures and all kinds of ocean activities.

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Inside and All Around The Paul NYC

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  Site Where: 32 W 29th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
June 30, 2015 at 10:40 AM | by | Comments (2)

Yesterday we asked which butch hotel had a surprisingly feminine wallpaper game with these trompe l’oeil post-it notes. Nobody took a guess! Way to make us feel popular… But instead let’s feel superior – because it was (of course) The Paul which just opened in Midtown and is part of the boutique Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels. So without further ado, let’s go inside.

The Paul is in the NoMad area, with the Ace on the next block of 29th Street and the Nomad a block away on Broadway. Other than that, there isn’t a huge amount to do in the immediate area but it’s handily right around the corner (literally) from the 28th St subway and an easy walk from Penn Station where we dropped off the rental car.

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The Ace New York is the Spiritual Home of Keyboard Warriors

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  Site Where: 20 W 29th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
June 30, 2015 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (5)

It’s a class or a convention of some kind, right?

This was the scene that greeted us when we went into the Ace New York last Saturday and took this (really crappy, sorry) photo. Not a seat to be had in the lobby, whether at the official computer tables or in the chairs. Surely, we thought, there had to be some kind of event going on?

No, they said in the Breslin as we shamefully had lunch, mortified that we only had a smartphone. No, they confirmed today when we called to make entirely sure. There are events going on all the time at the Ace (many of which are open to the public) but that’s normal. “We have free WiFi and we’re open to the public,” we were told. Come in this afternoon and it’ll be even busier.

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Too Cool for School: Graduate Charlottesville Makes Its Debut

June 30, 2015 at 8:56 AM | by | Comment (1)

More college fun in a hotel setting, as another location from Graduate Hotels is now open for business. As is the case with most of their properties this one is located in close proximity to a center of higher education. This time it’s the University of Virginia, as Graduate Charlottesville is now open for business—Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

It’s quite an upgrade if you ask us, as it’s replacing a former Red Roof Inn. There’s 135 rooms in all, and it’s just blocks away from the school and The Rotunda. The location sets it in walking distance to great shops and restaurants, but if you’re looking to stay on campus—of the hotel that is—they have you covered as well. Sheepdog Coffee will open this fall along with a rooftop bar just in time for the kids to return back to class.

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Taking the Bather's Elevator at the Royal Hawaiian

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  Site Where: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue [map], Honolulu, HI, United States, 96815
June 30, 2015 at 8:23 AM | by | Comments (4)

There is no escaping the modern day scale of development when you’re in Waikiki, but inside the 1927 historic wing of The Royal Hawaiian, we found a few things that remind you of a different age. One of them was this sign: the "Bather’s Elevator”. Despite 1920s bathing suits leaving the minimum amount of skin exposed, it was considered improper to take the normal guest elevators between room and swimming pool / beach. The solution: a dedicated elevator.

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Too Cool for Pool: The Purple Billiards Table at the New York Edition

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  Site Where: 5 Madison Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10010
June 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we took you all around the Clocktower Restaurant and Bar at The New York Edition last month, we couldn't share with you any of our own photos due to a photo embargo. That's since been lifted so we thought we'd share with you one of our favorite rooms in the house--the billiards room.

Featuring a gem toned purple felt table and an ornate, original chandelier that was colored to match the pool table, the parlor is not very big in size but the high ceilings, elaborate mahogany entrance and collage of photos in French baroque gold leaf frames give the room a powerful presence. And a seductive one too.

Much like the fur throws found on the bed, the billiards tables are an Edition Hotel standard. There's a white carrera marble table with ocean views at the Miami Edition and an antique table in the lobby of the London Edition. We can't wait to see what they do for Sanya, China, Bangkok and Guragon, India, all opening sometime next year.

[Photo: Juliana Shallcross/HotelChatter]