United States Travel Guide

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Checking In On: The Soho House Chicago

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  Site Where: 113-125 N. Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
August 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM | by | Comments (3)

The Soho House Chicago has been open for a week now and since we're still, um, working on our Chicago travel plans, we thought we'd do a cursory check of recent internet reactions.

The hotel surprisingly lacks a TripAdvisor page, so we're unable to find out the nitty gritty details of like quirky elevators or loud vents or issues with WiFi. But here's what we've gleamed about the new hotel from both the mainstream media and the (probably more important) social media:

New York Times: There's a custom, on-site boxing ring coming soon.

New York Post: Nine different products from Cowshed line the showers.

Eater Chicago: Go inside the Chicken Shop and Pizza East, both London-based restaurants that have spun off to Chicago.

Chicago Mag: The "ultra-indulgent" treatment from the Cowshed Spa is actually just a pedicure.

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Novotel Times Square Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, With Hotel Room Ice Buckets

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  Site Where: 226 West 52nd Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
August 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral. What started on Facebook as an awareness movement/double dare (#ALSIcebucketchallenge) amongst friends, then friends of friends has moved onto athletes, celebrities and even billionaires like Bill Gates. And now, it's reached the hotel world.

Using hotel room ice buckets, the staff at the Novotel Times Square dumped ice on themselves last Friday to support ALS research. And so did a couple of guests. Check out the video of the dumping, done on their rooftop terrace, here:

Of course, the hotel passed on the challenge--to their general manager Marc, and to another hotel--The Sofitel New York (that's the Novotel's sister property, FYI.)

So far the FB page for the Sofitel New York has not addressed the ALS challenge. But we hope they do--either with ice buckets or money (preferably the latter.)

[Photos and Video via Novotel Times Square]

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First Renderings of the Conrad 'Un-Trump' Fort Lauderdale, Opening Next Summer

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  Site Where: 551 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd [map], Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
August 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

We told you earlier this year that the saga of the ill-fated Trump Fort Lauderdale would have a happy ending by summer 2015, opening as the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Beach Residences. A $30 million-plus investment would erase any signs of half a decade of vacancy and neglect, the result of which we can show you a few renderings of now.

Above the driveway and entrance to the 290-room hotel, with an interesting lattice wood-like sculpture above what looks like a water feature. All accommodations are either studios or suites and come with full kitchenettes.

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Shepard Fairey Has Brought Some 'Peace' To The Line Hotel

August 15, 2014 at 2:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

There are already so many cool things to see at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles from the ruched t-shirts that adorn the ceiling above the check-out desk to the crazy, geometric-shaped lobby seating to the "donuts" on the pillows and the Roy Choi restaurant, POT. But now, there's something else to admire at The Line Hotel.

Contemporary street artist, Shepard Fairey, the man behind the Obama "Hope" poster, has created a 10-story mural on the facade of the property called, "Peace Tree. Notice Fairey's trademark Obey Giant face in the center.

While the finished product is pretty sweet to look at, the time-lapse video is way better, especially the shot from inside one of the guest rooms.

The hotel says the Peace Tree is the first in a series of revolving art that will be featured on the hotel's wall. We just hope it's not too quickly revolving, we'd like to look at this Peace Tree for a while.

[Photos and video: The Line Hotel]

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The Best Room To Book at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn

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  Site Where: 80 Wythe Avenue [map], Brooklyn, New York, United States, 11249
August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we told you where to get the most killer view of Manhattan that's not actually in Manhattan at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. Today, we're showing you more of the The Best Room to Book, which is Room 702, a Manhattan View King room.

In truth, all Manhattan Views at the Wythe will give you a view of the city but the rooms above the 6th floor rooftop bar are slightly bigger and have more windows from which to admire the view.

Other notable amenities in the Wythe rooms:

· All natural and locally made Goldie's Soap products are in the bathroom.
· The locally curated minibar has not only a bottle of Tito's vodka in the freezer and a $100 bottle of Kings County bourbon on the top shelf but also La Quercia prosciutto and Plymouth Cheddar in the refrigerator.
· The Wythe toile wallpaper which we love so much.
· A Wythe Hotel tote which you can use during your stay or buy for $20.
· Heritage G2 radios that look straight out of the 1960s but which actually have an iPod/iPhone hook up.
· Radiant floor heating, in case you were worried about the lack of an area rug.
· Free WiFi

Check out all the photos of our room below!

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Revel Resorts Announces It Will Officially Close After Labor Day

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  Site Where: 500 Boardwalk [map], Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
August 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

In case you hadn't already heard, The Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City announced that it will officially close its doors and shut down all operations on September 10, only two and a half years after it first opened in April 2012. Hailed as the project that would revive Atlantic City, Revel was never able to turn a profit and was continuously battling bankruptcy issues.

The resort had been a curious case leading up to this announcement. Despite rumors of the potential closing, rates were as high as ever and the hotel is even sold out this weekend. The brass at Revel attributed the resort's demise to a "considerable non-controllable expense structure that financially burdened the property." To us, it sounds like a fancy way to say they didn't do their homework.

Revel said it is going to continue to try to find a buyer during the bankruptcy process, but that even if it does, it will not be until after the resort closes. In total, 3,100 jobs will be lost, which is, of course, sad. And the city is going to have to figure out what to do with the abandoned building if no one wants to give it another go. It's easy to shrug our shoulders at that as tourists, but the locals are the ones who have to bear the aftermath of a botched tourism effort.

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All About That Basil: Go On a Basil Cocktail Crawl at These NYC Hotels

August 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

You can’t beat basil this year as the herb of choice in hip cocktail bars the world over, and nowhere more so than in New York. Join us on a basil bar hop as we hit some of the coolest hotel bars this side of the Atlantic.

1) We’ll start at the nautically-themed Maritime Hotel, found in the Chelsea on the edge of Meatpacking District at 363 West 16th Street. La Bottega trattoria and lounge serves the basil-rich La Primavera cocktail.

La Primavera
1.5 oz Tanteo Tropical tequila
5 oz Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz lime juice
3 basil leaves

Combine ingredients, shake well and pour.

Cost to imbibe at the hotel: $14
Cost to stay at the hotel because you've imbibed too much: $425

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A Killer View of Manhattan That You Can't Get in Manhattan (But You Can at The Wythe Hotel)

August 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

Really, we don't need to say much more here except that this is the killer view that we found in room 702 at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn the other day.

While other rooms at the Williamsburg hotel have more "artistic views", only the Manhattan King rooms offer the amazing sight of the entire island of Manhattan.

Even better, the bathrooms have a little window too which overlooks the rest of the room, and the room's windows. You have to jostle yourself a little to see the Empire State Building but it's a cool feature. You'll probably end up in the shower longer than normal, too.

Don't worry. While you can see out into the room, the people in the room can't see into your shower, thanks to a mirror window.

Manhattan king rooms can go for well over $500 a night on the weekends (Williamsburg residents joke this hotel is where all the parents of the broke hipsters stay) but you can book a Brooklyn Queen size room for less and then head up to the hotel's Ides rooftop bar for completely unobstructed views.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more from The Wythe including their kick-ass minibar selections and the best room to book.

Disclosure: We paid a media rate of $200 for this room on Sunday night.

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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A First Look Inside Denver's Brand New Crawford Hotel at Union Station

August 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM | by | Comment (1)

Exterior of Denver's Union Station, location of the Crawford Hotel

If the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center has the most beautiful lobby in Denver, then the one at the brand new Crawford Hotel has the best buzz. Maybe that's because it's not really a lobby at all. Located in the freshly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver, the hotel sits above the main train terminal, home to ten bars and restaurants. If you're looking for a place to escape the vibe of the city, the Crawford Hotel is not the place to do it. As the newest refurbishment project in the city, Union Station has embraced the spotlight since opening in late July.

Dominating the scene in the "lobby" is the Terminal Bar, which, while having its own dedicated space, pours out into the terminal and offers about 40 Colorado beers on tap. Two shuffleboard courts sit in the middle of the main room, and a walk-up window allows easy access for those who prefer to have a drink in the common space and watch the coming and goings of the station. The rest of the restaurants and bars are located outside of the main room, designated by signs reminiscent of old-school train schedule boards, similar to the one below that marks the location of the Crawford's concierge desk.

Signs reminiscent of old-school train schedule boards hang on the walls of the terminal

One of the most unique things about the Crawford is that you can "go out" without really "going out." Sure, lots of hotels have restaurants in their lobbies, but most of the time, you feel like you're having dinner in a hotel. Because there is so much going on at the Crawford - and the fact that there's really no lobby - a guest instantly forgets they are in a hotel upon exiting their room. Eatery options range from small coffee shops to local favorites: Stoic & Genuine for seafood and raw bar, the Kitchen Next Door for farm-to-table fare, and Snooze, Denver's infamous "A.M. Eatery," known for its pancakes and Benedicts.

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Another Day, Another Hyatt Hotel In New York: This Time in Herald Square

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  Site Where: 30- 32 West 31st Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
August 12, 2014 at 4:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

The rooftop lounge of the Hyatt Herald Square New York offers a memorable historical perspective of Manhattan, worth the price of admission - or your cocktail

Hot on the heels of the newly opened Park Hyatt New York, work is well under way on another Hyatt branded hotel, due to open this October--the Hyatt Herald Square New York .

The Hyatt Herald Square New York has moved into the former Holiday Inn on West 31st Street, a tall, slender, 20-story building completed in 2011. Other than changing the sign on the door, the reported $6 million renovation is concentrated on the interiors and upgrades to Hyatt Hotels corporate standards. The hot new look that we're seeing so far is credited to local firm VLDG, with Paul Vega leading the process. VLDG is no stranger to Hyatt, having also designed the Hyatt Union Square. Vega's concept for this new Hyatt draws inspiration from the surrounding fashion industry and Herald Square’s publishing heritage. These are great subjects for hotel designs, especially when combined under one roof.

The interiors are looking good, featuring the warmth of natural woods, select implosions of color, and another great hotel wingback chair we haven't seen before and must add to our special photo gallery

Hyatt wants you to feel at home, and the Den really does have a comfortable vibe to it - not to mention a nicely stocked bar

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It's Decision Time for The Revel Casino as Room Rates Hold Steady

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  Site Where: 500 Boardwalk [map], Atlantic City, NJ, United States
August 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM | by | Comments (3)

UPDATE, 8.12.14: The Revel Resort and Casino will close on September 10. Over 3,000 jobs will be lost. The resort never turned a profit in the two years it was opened. #rip

It's been nearly two months since we learned The Revel Casino in Atlantic City was in danger of closing yet sadly, there doesn't seem to be much improvement in the boardwalk casino's financial health.

Revel is set to go up of auction on Thursday but NBC Philadelphia reports that as of today, there are no qualified bids. The resorts' board of directors are supposedly meeting this afternoon and will determine whether or not the resort will close. There should be an update on this later today. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, this weekend, rooms are sold-out on Saturday night and running about $499 a night for the next two weekends. Rates during the week are as low as $129 a night. And judging from the hotel's Facebook post earlier today, you'd never know anything was amiss.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Is This What The Edition West Hollywood Will Look Like? (NOPE)

August 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: We've been told this is NOT the rendering for Edition WeHo. Phew! We'll let you know when we've got a real one to share.

The Edition West Hollywood won't be opening until 2017 but when it does, it might look very similar to this rendering put forth by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

We first took notice of this design back in 2012 when it was revealed that an Edition hotel would open on the Sunset strip at Doheny. The hotel would take over the space occupied by the Scandia restaurant which served Scandinavian food to the stars before being replaced by a Mexican joint, Senoritas, in the 90s. (That place eventually closed in the early aughts.) Now, a tipster tells us there's more information about the design of the building:

A new, two story, 26 foot high retail building meets the intersection with a series of transparent, irregularly sloping glass planes – a “flying” glass ensemble. A 7,000 square foot ground floor restaurant with office on the second floor above, occupy theopening extends Sunset Boulevard into the site horizontally [in plan], and into the housing above, vertically [in section], visually associating the courtyard and retail spaces with the housing above. A variety of balcony sizes and configurations presents an irregular building volume, with clear glass and anodized aluminum panelized walls to the street below.

Um....ok. There's not much about the hotel component of the project to see, but we do know the property will have a courtyard, a pool and a spa, along with living gardens on the walls and the roofs. Still, with the opening about three years away and nary a construction crane in sight, we bet the design will change before then.

Now we wonder if there's a way to preserve some of the old Scandia restaurant's retro design? Or maybe Schrager will bring back the Scandia restaurant somehow? Ooo, we just got the shivers.

[Rendering via Eric Owen Moss Architects]