United States Travel Guide

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A New Tower Will Rise At Mohegan Sun in 2016

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  Site Where: 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard [map], Uncasville, CT, United States, 06382
March 17, 2015 at 10:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

After turning away almost a half million room nights last year, Mohegan Sun is rising to the occasion with a new hotel tower, expected to open in early 2016. Not soon enough for those half million but good news overall for casino dwellers and of course, the State of Connecticut.

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The Madonna Inn Gets Rid of its Vintage Bedspreads, Kitsch Fans Get Furious

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  Site Where: 100 Madonna Rd [map], San Luis Obispo, CA, United States, 93405
March 17, 2015 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

The new look

There are some things you don’t mess with. Vindictive people. Authoritarian governments. Icons – especially icons beloved of millions of people.

Sadly, the Madonna Inn, that icon of kitsch in San Luis Obispo lost the memo on that last one. Because in a breathless blog and Facebook post it revealed it’s getting rid of its famous bedspreads. You know, the vintage ones with mad patterns – paisleys, pomegranates, horses, bits of leather – those really famous, unique bedspreads that are integral to the crazy decor of the hotel.

What are they replacing them with? Crisp white sheets. A couple of cushions (sorry, “throw pillows”). And that most infernal item of chain hotel inroom décor: the utterly useless velvet stripe that goes across the end of the bed. Or, as the Madonna Inn says, “bed scarves”. They also say:

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SLS LUX Redux is Now in The Works in Philadelphia

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  Site Where: 301 S. Broad Street [map], Philadelphia, PA, United States, 19107
March 16, 2015 at 5:51 PM | by | Comments (2)

Philippe Starck, developer Carl Dranoff and Sam Nazarian

The first SLS LUX Hotel is set to open shortly in the Bahamas but already work is underway on another one—this time in Philadelphia.

We told you about SLS coming to Philly in December 2013 but it looks like the plan has been upgraded to make the property an SLS Lux brand.

Going up at Broad and Spruce Streets, the SLS LUX Philadelphia will have 152 hotel rooms, along with 90 SLS International Residences, all developed by Dranoff Properties. All residents and hotel guests will share the SLS LUX amenities which include a landscaped sun deck, a 75-foot indoor pool, a full service spa, concierge services, 24-hour room service, and SLS F&B concepts, which have yet to be announced but could totally include Katsuya, Cleo and Umami restaurants.

SLS’s fave designer, Philippe Starck will design the hotel and residences which will be built on the site of the former home of Phildelphia International Records, which was responsible for putting forth “The Sound of Philadelphia” out in the world, as well as racking up 175 gold and platinum albums. Starck and sbe chairman Sam Nazarian both pledged to honor the history and importance of the PIR at an event announcing the project last week.

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The Ultimate 'Jinx': Robert Durst Arrested for Murder at the JW Marriott New Orleans

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  Site Where: 614 Canal Street [map], New Orleans, LA, United States, 70130
March 16, 2015 at 12:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Jinx--it's all anyone (on social media) could talk about last night. The HBO documentary series had a shocking ending that coincided with its subject, Robert Durst's arrest the day before in New Orleans.

Durst is a wealthy and eccentric but very disturbed heir to one of New York's richest real estate families who agreed to be interviewed about his life and the headline-making incidents that have gained him much notoriety.

We'd like not to spoil the series for you but it will be pretty hard, so if you're keen on watching this show, look away now. Go ahead. Be gone. Alrighty, you've been warned.

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Grab a Spork! Going Vegan at The Four Seasons Los Angeles

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  Site Where: 300 South Doheny Drive [map], Los Angeles, CA , United States, 90048
March 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hotels offering vegetarian and vegan options is nothing new but the Four Seasons Los Angeles is now serving two vegan renditions of dishes most commonly found at food trucks.

Here's what we found on the menu at the hotel's poolside cafe, Cabana, located on the hotel's fourth floor rooftop. Aside from gluttonous casual fare such as nachos, burgers and fish tacos and lighter items like salads and salmon, the menu now holds a few special creations from Spork Foods, an organic and vegan cooking class in West Hollywood.

Such items include the Battered Avocado Tacos ($25) filled with house pickled purple onions and ranchero black beans and the Red Bean Veggie Burger Sliders ($21) served with a beet ketchup and veganaise on a gluten-free bun topped with a battered pickle.

Even if you don't adhere to a vegan diet, you can't deny how good these taste. C'mon, fried avocados? Also that beet ketchup is sweeter than it sounds.

Of course, these dishes might be food-truck inspired but the prices are totally Four Seasons. #treatyoself

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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More Photos of The Thoroughly Modern Le Meridien Hotel in New Orleans

Where: 333 Poydras Street [map], New Orleans, LA , United States
March 12, 2015 at 3:51 PM | by | Comments (2)

Modern Mad Men style on display at Le Méridien New Orleans

Earlier this year, we oohed and ahhed over the sophisticated transformation of the old W Hotel into the Le Méridien New Orleans on Poydras street but now we have a full gallery of the thoroughly modern and Le Méridien public spaces, guestooms and the Urban and Luxury suites along with close-ups of the crazy cool hallway wallpaper we previously admired and the updated pool area.

FWIW, the rest of the hotel looks as tasty as a powdered sugar covered beignet from Cafe du Monde. Except that thanks to Le Méridien's new eclair program you can find that sumptuous treat in the Le Méridien Hub (the lobby) instead.

Rates start at $329 a night this weekend for a classic room.

[Photos: Le Meridien Hotel New Orleans]

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Level DTLA Will Give DTLA Another Level of Accommodations

Where: 888 South Olive Street [map], Los Angeles, CA , United States
March 12, 2015 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

Downtown Los Angeles is quickly becoming the neighborhood to stay in, or at least visit, in Los Angeles with options ranging from The Ace Hotel, the quirky Hotel Figueroa and the luxe Ritz-Carlton. And now here comes Level DTLA, an residential-style, extended stay property, from LEVEL Furnished Living, set to open this summer.

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A Look Inside Kimpton's Brand New Sedona Property

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  Site Where: 100 Amara Way [map], Sedona, Arizona , United States, 86336
March 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sedona is known for its incredible outdoor scenery, which translates into killer views for its low-rise hotels positioned just outside the red-rock canyons and beside its river, Oak Creek.

Six months ago, Kimpton put its hand in the cookie jar and got its first property there, taking over and transforming an existing property into the the Amara Resort and Spa.

The 100-room creek side hotel is located near Uptown Sedona and positions its rooms to face Bear Wallow Canyon and its infamous Mitten Ridge. But the best views might come from the courtyard that splits the property in half and extends outward from the lobby and its adjoining restaurant and patio, continuing on and fanning out as it approaches the creek.

A grassy sitting area occupies the middle ground while the pool and hot tub give you a front row seat to take in the creekside trees (which were still a few weeks away from blooming during our visit) and mountain views. It is especially nice during Kimpton's free wine hour.

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Is Reese Witherspoon Joining the Nashville Hotel Revolution?

March 12, 2015 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Printer's Alley, soon to be home to a Virgin, an Ace and... a Witherspoon?

Perhaps it was the ludicrously over the top travel experiences offered to the Oscars nominees in their party packages. Perhaps she wanted some luxury after the wilds of Wild. Whatever – rumor has it this week that Reese Witherspoon is to open a hotel in Nashville.

US Weekly claims that Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth have been down “a few times to look at properties”, and have already met an architect and decorator (before they buy? Dedication).

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An Early Preview of The 21c Museum Hotel in Durham

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  Site Where: North Corcoran Street [map], Durham, NC, United States
March 11, 2015 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Time flies when you're building a cool, arty 21c Musuem Hotel.

Last October will learned that a 21c would be opening in downtown Durham with 125 rooms, a chef-driven restaurant, a lounge, a fitness center and a spa. And of course, a contemporary art museum. Initially, we thought the hotel would open in May, but a hotel rep told us that a February/March opening would be likely. Lo and behold, the museum hotel will now open on March 23.

Admission, er, room rates start at $239 a night on opening night for a deluxe king room with 42" HDTV Flat Screen Televisions, free WiFi, complimentary, Nespresso Coffee Machine, and Malin + Goetz toiletries. We managed to get our hands on a sneak peek of the hotel lobby, pictured above, but only black and white room renderings are available on the website.

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Viceroy Palm Springs Will Rebrand as The Avalon Palm Springs, a New Brand from Proper Hotels

March 11, 2015 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (3)

Do you have new hotel brand fatigue? Sorry, there's nothing anyone can or will do about it.

In today's new brand news, Skift reports that Viceroy Hotels' ultra-chic, ultra boutique property, the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, will be spun-off under former Viceroy founder but now current Proper Hotels founder and CEO Brad Korzen and his newly formed Proper Hospitality Group. (Korzen's Kor Group parent company already owns the Avalon.)

Yes, this is rather confusing. We were going to break down the whole transaction for you, complete with a flow chart, but really, all you need to know is that Avalon Beverly Hills will move over to the Proper Hotels group as a part of the new Avalon Hotels. Additionally, the Viceroy Palm Springs will rebrand into the Avalon Palm Springs. Skift says you should be able to book the either hotel from the new Avalon Hotels brand site in April.

In short: Proper Hotels now includes Proper and Avalon Hotel brands. Viceroy Hotels include only Viceroy Hotels and Resorts (along with the L'Ermitage. No idea when that name change will happen.)

Meanwhile, the first Proper Hotel will properly open in San Francisco later this year.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Miss Ricky's at Virgin Chicago is More Than A Greasy Spoon

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  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60601
March 10, 2015 at 6:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, something happened in Chicago that made us crave diner food and now we can share how our appetite was whet the moment we stepped foot into Virgin Hotel's newest food outpost, Miss Ricky's. In true Virgin fashion the diner menu has been re-invented consisting of old stand-bys, with a cheeky twist and clever take on Branson's name.

When we originally stayed, the all-day dining restaurant off the lobby was still shrouded with paper as the menu and space was being finalized, but last Thursday, the diner welcomed it's first guests, tempting them with giant burgers, Reuben sandwiches and milkshakes.

With a menu that goes well beyond the normal flat grill of a truck-stop, the restaurant claims to be "a modern American diner for early morning noshes, late night bites and everything in between", and with hours starting at 6am to well after midnight on the weekends, you won't be disappointed.

Oh, a full cocktail menu will probably help with that too.

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