United States Travel Guide

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Mandarin Oriental Has Yet Another New Fan...

October 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Move over, Morgan Freeman. Lucy Liu is the latest celebrity to come out as a "fan" of Mandarin Oriental Hotels for their ongoing advertising campaign.

Photographer Mary McCartney (yes, as in that McCartney) has photographed Liu arriving at her favorite MO hotel Mandarin Oriental New York. Liu was actually born in NYC and says she loves the hotel's proximity to Central Park, along with their "delicious and comforting" Chinese breakfast. We assume that's the Mandarin Oriental breakfast served at the Asiate restaurant (for $36) and through room service and which includes "Soy Chicken Rice Congee, Poached Egg, Chicken Shu Mai Roasted Pork Steamed BunGinger, Cilantro, Pickled Mustard Greens with a Choice of La Colombe Coffee or Tealeaves Green Teas."

Hopefully, being a fan of the MONY means Liu will now have the $1,000 room rate waived.

Liu joins 27 other existing fans of Mandarin Oriental including Freeman, Cecilia Bartoli, Caterina Murino, Sir Peter Blake, Lin Chiling, Karen Mok, Kevin Spacey, Christian Louboutin, Sophie Marceau, IM Pei, Michelle Yeoh, Jane Seymour, Kenzo Takada, Jerry Hall, Vanessa Mae, Vivienne Tam, Barry Humphries, Frederick Forsyth, Darcey Bussell, Bryan Ferry, Liam Neeson, Dame Helen Mirren, Maggie Cheung, Sigourney Weaver, Sir David Tang, Hélène Grimaud and Sa Ding Ding.

[Photo: Mandarin Oriental Hotels]

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Woot, Woot? The World's Tallest Holiday Inn to Open in NYC on Friday

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 99 Washington Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10006
October 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM | by | Comment (1)

While we are on the subject of prolific hotel cookie cutter maker architect Gene Kaufman, another one of his projects is set to open on Friday near Manhattan's World Trade Center---the world's tallest Holiday Inn. Um, yay?

We wrote about this hotel back in April 2012 and much of the announcement specifics are the same. The 50-story hotel at 99 Washington Street will have a whopping 490 rooms, many with killer views of the city and the Hudson River. It also promises to be full-service but we're not seeing much that's full-service about it, aside from the St. George's restaurant on site ("where kids eat free and the cuisine is sure to delight even the most discerning palate") and the complimentary "dinner snacks" that are served.

Judging by the photos on the website, the rooms look horrifyingly bland and boring but the lobby is a looker. Hello chevron floor design! And we're in love with the orange bar stool and high back armchairs. Here are the pictures on the hotel's website so far.

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Looks Like You Can Crash Downtown with Tommie This Summer

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 231 Hudson Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10013
October 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, news about new hotel brands for Millennials came fast and furious. While the momentum has died down a little bit, there's still news percolating out there. Like this bit about a Tommie Hotel from Thompson Hotels opening in Tribeca on Hudson Street next summer. [Insert clapping hands emoji right here.]

Yes, we've known about this property since Tommie Hotels were first announced in May 2013. But it's always been the other Tommie Hotel on E. 31st Street that we've been checking up on, each time getting slightly depressed that Spring 2016 seems like forever away.

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A Giant, Pink Over The Shoulder Boulder Holder is Now On The Front of This Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 300 Gravier Street [map], New Orleans, LA, United States
October 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

Once again, hotels are going all out for Breast Cancer Awareness month, offering up pink cocktails, pink sheets, and pink-themed room packages.

Yet while we love the pink passion that hotels have this month (especially since costs for your pink hotel purchases go to a breast cancer awareness charity), we're really in love with this giant pink bra that's been hoisted upon the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.

The 12-foot-high, 25-foot wide, 300-pound pink bra was constructed by artist Jonathan Bertuccelli of Studio3 inc. on behalf of the breast surgeons at The Omega Breast Center at The Omega Hospital in Metairie. It was raised up onto the hotel's exterior by crane on October 15, which was National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day.

But the bra will get its moment to shine tonight as it will greet hundreds of breast cancer survivors who will be honored tonight at The Pink Gala, hosted by Omega Hospital and New Orleans Living Magazine, at the Windsor Court Hotel.

The bra will stay on the hotel until October 20. If you're in New Orleans, hurry by to see it!

[Photos: Windsor Court Hotel]

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Howdy, Dude: Hard Rock to Open in Texas at an Indoor Ski Resort

October 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Move over Dubai. Americans will now have a much easier way of skiing indoors. They will simply just need to fly to Texas.

The newly announced Grand Alps Village development for Grand Prairie, Texas will have an indoor snow facility on-site. Here's what is expected inside:

This expertly designed facility is 1,220' in length, 570' wide and just under 300' tall featuring the longest indoor ski run in the world. Multiple ski runs accommodate beginner, intermediate and expert skiers, and thrill snowboarders with an Olympic half pipe and snowboarding course. The snow center includes a snow play area, snow tubing, tobogganing, a luge track and a winter wonderland for kids of all ages.

Accompanying the indoor ski resort will be the Hard Rock Hotel Dallas-Fort Worth, a 300-room hotel with a rooftop pool complex, a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness center and tons of music memorabilia throughout. Construction will being in January and the hotel is expected to open by January 2018 with 86 of its hotel rooms expected to overlook the indoor ski resort.

At first glance, this might seem like a random sort of move for Hard Rock but when you consider how family-friendly the brand has gotten recently, it makes sense. Having recently announced theirHard Rock Roxstars Kids Program, this indoor ski resort hotel is the perfect follow-up move for appealing to the family travel market.

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The One Where We Hear Moxy Hotels are Coming to the U.S.

October 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM | by | Comment (1)

If you liked the man meat that you saw at Moxy Milan earlier this week, then keep your fingers crossed that Moxy Hotels will open in the United States.

We can't reveal our sources but there is word going around that a Moxy Hotel is being developed for New Orleans, which really could not be a more perfect city for the young and fun Moxy brand. It's also a favorite city for Marriott International.

The hotel company already has 18 Marriott-branded hotels in or just outside the city, with several more within an hour's drive. And every brand is represented there from Residence Inn to Couryard, Springhill Suites, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott and even the first-ever AC Hotels by Marriott in the United States. That hotel is opening next month.

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1 Hotel Central Park to Open in March and It Will Be the Most Eco-Chic Hotel Yet

October 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Well, lookie here. Luxury eco-hotel brand, 1 Hotels has unveiled a new website for the 1 Hotel Central Park AND they are even taking reservations for March 2015. (We had a feeling that a fall opening wasn't going to happen.)

A tipster let us know about the new website for 1 Hotel Central Park, and it is rather cool. Not only is the site full of details and gorgeous photos, but it's incredible easy, and pleasant, to navigate, dropping in hotel information with city information and general eco-conscious lifestyle information. We also like how the room categories are listed with starting rates attached. Speaking of rooms, here is how the Alcove Queen room is described:

Reclaimed wood, raw materials, painted brick walls and accents of blackened steel and copper surround a plush, queen-sized bed in the heart of the city, complete with a generous closet for your belongings.

Other room categories are Alcove Kings, and Studio, City and Park rooms with king beds. (The latter two denote the type of view.) There's a handful of rooms with two beds too.

Amenities in the guest rooms include a Keesta mattress, a triple filtered water system, complimentary Oogave Natural sodas in the minibar, yoga mat, in-room coffee and tea, and exclusive, organic 1 Hotels toiletries.

There's also a goodie bag given on arrival filled with healthy snacks and each room has a floor-to-ceiling slot of living plants so you're greeted with a "fresh boost" every time you walk in the door. Smells, er, sounds wonderful!

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A Different Way to Saddle Up at The Alisal Guest Ranch

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  Site Where: 1054 S. Alisal Road [map], Solvang, CAa, United States, 93463
October 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

The last time HotelChatter checked in on the Alisal Guest Ranch, we were taking in the scenery of the working cattle ranch, just outside of Solvang, Calif., on horseback. But now, you can cruise around the scenic Santa Ynez Valley in a quicker way--by cycling.

The Alisal Guided Cycling Package includes a two-night stay for two people in a studio room at the resort; breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, a welcome basket, two guided rides a day, Alisal logo cycling jerseys (whoa, they mean business!), and two massages at The Alisal Spa. Guests will also have access to all the other activities at the resort like horseback riding, golf (green fees included), tennis and fishing at the 100-acre spring-fed Alisal Lake. (See why it's an especially great spot for families here.)

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Montage Hotels Breaks Ground on New Gaslamp Hotel, The Pendry

Where: 5th Avenue and J Street [map], San Diego, California, United States
October 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, San Diego broke ground on its newest hotel project, a 317-room, 12-story Montage Hotel in the city's Gaslamp Quarter.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the hotel will have just 36 rooms with only one and two-bedroom suite options. The property, which will not be called Montage, but rather Pendry San Diego, will also have two restaurants, a spa, a rooftop pool, a nightclub, and a beer hall. Is it expected to draw both business and leisure travelers with its location three blocks from the convention center in the heart of the city's main leisure district, the Gaslamp.

The hotel says it will "appeal to young, hip guests looking for both superior personal service and high-quality design and amenities," and rates are projected to start between $250 and $300 a night. Few details have been released about the restaurants, nightclub, and beer hall, but the hotel hopes to attract locals as well as visitors and become a destination in themselves.

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Napa Valley's Historic Acacia House Will Become Las Alcobas, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1915 Main Street [map], St Helena, United States, 94574
October 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM | by | Comment (1)

Need an excuse to start planning another trip to the wine country? Starwood Hotels has got your back, with the announcement that historic Acacia House, on Main Street in St. Helena, will be renovated and become Las Alcobas, one of its Luxury Collection Hotels.

True, you need a little bit of patience, with opening planned for somewhere between autumn 2015 and early 2016, but it’s never too early, right?

The renderings of the site and the building above are all we were able to dig out from the architect’s website, which shows how everything around the main house will be razed to make way for a number of new annexes that we presume will house the majority, if not all, 57 rooms. The above doesn’t scream luxury hotel to us, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve seen more. Meeting facilities, a signature restaurant, and spa with outdoor pool will be added as well.

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What's Behind The All-New Golden Door Retreat?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 777 Deer Springs Road [map], San Marcos, CA , United States, 92069
October 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

Nowadays, it's rare for a hotel to open up without some sort of spa component--whether it be its own state-of-the-art spa facility or simply, a partnership with a local spa. But while it's convenient to have a massage therapist who's just a button on the house phone away, guests in need of a deeper physical work, and emotional healing, should head to a real spa, one that just happens to have hotel rooms attached.

Like the new incarnation of Golden Door near San Diego which has reopened for week-long, spa intensive stays.

Golden Door first opened in 1958 and was a favorite for screen stars like Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, and Elizabeth Taylor. It remained a fave of the A-list, through an expansion in the 1970s, up until the late 90s when the retreat was acquired by a larger corporation and lost a little bit of of its soul. But in 2012, the spa was given back to private ownership (Joanne Conway to be exact, a frequent guest and wife of billionaire philanthropist, Bill Conway) and has since undergone its own dramatic transformation.

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Mindy Kaling Drank Her Friend's Contact Lenses at a Trump Hotel

October 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (2)

If you still wear contact lenses, then chances are you've probably done this trick while staying at a hotel when you've realized that you forgot your contact lens case--you fill up the two glasses in the bathroom with contact lens solution.

We've done this before. (After cleaning out the glasses of course. We'd like to keep our eyeballs, no matter how poorly they function without corrective lenses.)

However, we've always been careful not to drink from these glasses. Sadly, the same can't be said for actress Mindy Kaling during her recent hotel stay in New York. Check out her recent post to Facebook:

So this morning I drank my best friend @joce808 contact lenses. They were sitting in this glass unguarded in a shallow pool of contact solution. I drank it with my morning glug of water and we are debating whether I should have known better given context clues.

Or maybe, having contact lens cases on hand for guest who've forgot theirs is something that Trump Hotels should do. Kimpton does it. That way, Mindy's friend wouldn't have to improvise with the bathroom glasses. (The toiletry on the sink is a giveaway of her hotel stay.)

Either way, we think the incident would be perfect for "The Mindy Project", which chronicles Dr. Mindy Lahiri and her revolving door of boyfriends. #DiamondDanForever

[Photo: Mindy Kaling/Facebook]