United States Travel Guide

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An Inside Look at The Loews Chicago Hotel, Opening in March

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  Site Where: 455 N. Park Drive [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
December 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM | by | Comment (1)

With the dust still fresh in the air and the raucous sounds of construction all around, Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood has been pinned by the folks over at Loews Hotels for their latest property to open early next year.

Donning a hard-hat and safety glasses, we scored an exclusive sneak peak inside the for a first-hand look at the Loews Chicago Hotel.

Just east of the shopper's paradise that is Michigan Avenue and sporting views of Lake Michigan, this new build hotel in downtown is also just a five-minute walk to Navy Pier, making it a central spot to stay in Chicago. The hotel is actually comprised of two towers, one housing 400 Loews hotels rooms and the other Loews luxury condominiums. These are completely separate from the hotel with different entrances and amenities.

But we're here to talk about the hotel side. And away we go!

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Marina Del Rey Hotel to Reopen After Renovations This Christmas

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  Site Where: Santa Monica [map], Los Angeles, California, United States
December 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Marina Del Rey Hotel in Marina Del Rey, Calif. has announced that it will reopen on December 22nd after extensive renovations.

The $20 million renovation has turned the hotel into a four-star property, now with a full-service restaurant, 24-hour room service, concierge assistance, an outdoor, marina-facing pool, sundeck, marina-front wedding venue, and over 6,000 square feet of meeting space.

The guest rooms, shown in the cover photo, have been fully revamped, many now with private balconies. The details of the rooms have also been upgraded to include, among other amenities, Egyptian cotton linens. The new restaurant, SALT, is an indoor-outdoor eatery that will serve contemporary California cuisine and fresh seasonal seafood fare.

We’re looking forward to taking a closer look at the renovations sometime in 2015, and will certainly pass on an inside look when we do. Its location makes it one of the closest hotels in Santa Monica to Venice and LAX, so it should draw plenty of interest. Rates start at $239 a night.

[Photo: Pacifica Hotels]

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Oh Heyyyyy: Sneak Peek at What Virgin New York Will Look Like

December 9, 2014 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just last month, we heard that work would begin soon on the forthcoming Virgin Hotel New York. And now this Virgin is starting to show some skin. The rendering kind.

The 38-story hotel will go up at 30th and Broadway, smack dab in the middle of the oh-so-ho NoMad neighborhood. It will also be very close to the hotel that spurred the comeback of this random, in-between area--the Ace New York.

Now, is it just us or does this look like a USB flash drive plugged into the ground? #justus #butyoutotallyseeitright?

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Eden Roc's New Room Service Menu Encourages Gaming...Board Gaming

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  Site Where: 4515 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
December 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

An ocean tower suite

We're all about bringing the FUN! back into a hotel stay but sometimes, it's hard to motivate to leave the hotel room, especially after a long day of shopping travel, partying meetings or Instagramming your feet on the beach exploring.

Eden Roc Miami Beach totally understands how tired you are, which is why they are now offering to bring the fun up to your room, cleverly pairing traditional board games with decadent room service items. Here are the six new additions to the room service menu:

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What is The Q&A Residential Hotel Brand All About?

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  Site Where: 70 Pine Street [map], New York, NY, United States
December 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

New York City is never short on hotel rooms, that we know all too well, as it seems a new hotel pops up every other week. But hotel rooms that function as full-size apartments are a different story.

Furnished Quarters is a company that provides temporary furnished apartments in New York and Boston, but now they are actively launching a "residential hotel concept" in Manhattan, called Q&A, with its first hotel opening in the Financial District in the spring.

The hotel, located at 70 Pine Street, will have 132 suites throughout four floors of a thoroughly Art Deco skyscraper. (The lobby is Art Deco done to the max.) The suites will be "full-sized, furnished, turnkey apartments--most with separate office space."

And guests will have access to traditional business hotel services like complimentary continental breakfast, a concierge, fitness center, business center, and valet laundry and dry cleaning, as well aspreferential access to the rooftop lounge and restaurant.

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Kate Middleton Chooses The Carlyle for Her New York Debut

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  Site Where: 35 East 76th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10021
December 8, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Made in Manhattan Kate in Manhattan Middleton in Manhattan! If you’ve read any serious newspaper today, you’ll know that Kate and Wills, occasionally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, touched down in New York yesterday for a two-night stay - the first time either of them have been to the Big Apple. A historic occasion, then. Which lucky hotel did they pick to bestow their charms and future booking increase on?

The Carlyle.

The royals – or this couple, anyway – have history with the Carlyle. Princess Diana stayed there twice – first in 1995, and then in 1997, just two months before she died. This time around, a 200-strong crowd was waiting for five-months-pregnant Kate and William.

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Additional Amenities to Admire at The Miami Beach Edition

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  Site Where: 2901 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
December 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

See more from the Miami Beach Edition here--Guestrooms :: Market :: Minibar :: Basement

Art Basel is in full swing in Miami Beach, but we're still admiring the hotel work of art that is the Miami Beach Edition. Today, we're looking at the spa, fitness center and the pool area at the oceanfront resort.

The spa is located in the basement of the hotel, but on the opposite side from Basement, the Edition's recreational area. You have to take a separate staircase from the lobby, just before the Matador restaurant, to access the spa as well as the fitness center. It's not a far walk, but you can't take the elevator directly to the spa, so make sure towel off before you head back upstairs. When returning to your room after a massage, you will just have to be comfortable with your post-treatment face and hair. Or else, shower off in the locker rooms.

There are nine treatment rooms offering massages, body treatments, and facials, along with a Beauty Lounge where you can indulge in a manicure or pedicure, as well as a blow-out. (Not sure that's worth it though because, hello, this is Miami. Humidity will always win.)

However, the co-ed Relaxation Lounge is a large and stylishly serene place to relax, pre and post-treatment, since the spa actually offers mini-treatments here, like the Power Nap, which uses electro-stimulation to give you the benefits of a four-hour nap in 20 minutes. There's also an oxygen treatment where you essentially put on an oxygen mask while lounging on a daybed and flipping through Vanity Fair in the back of the room. It sounds ridiculous and decadent and we want to try it.

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Fairmont Ditches Corporate Coffee For a Small, Artisanal Cup

December 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

For those that follow this site regularly, you know we take our in-room cup of coffee seriously.

With that in mind, it is in good spirits that we pass on the word of Fairmont Hotels' partnership with a southern artisanal micro-roaster from Birmingham, Alabama called H.C. Valentine Coffee Company.

We haven't yet sampled the coffee personally, but it sounds promising, or at the very least, interesting, since most corporate brands tend to offer corporate coffee, like Starbucks.

The partnership is only for Fairmont's North American line of properties, and you can find a list of participating hotels here.

[Photo: Fairmont Hotels]

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Temps are Going Down But Hotels are Heating Up with Hot Chocolate Pop-Up Shops

December 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

What says, “Let’s snuggle in from the cold” better than a cup of hot chocolate? The hot choco cups coming from these three hotels should give Hershey's Cocoa Powder an inferiority complex.

The Mark Hotel in New York (a Preferred Hotel) has opened up their Mark Cocoa Kiosk just outside the hotel’s doors. The festive Kiosk has their signature Jacques Grange black and white stripe and serves The Mark Glazed Gingerbread to go along with their decadent, over-flowing with whipping cream, Jean-Georges Cocoa concoction. If you’re in the neighborhood and need a break from shopping on Madison, stop in and enjoy: the price is $8 for the cocoa and $4 for a two-pack of the cookies (guests enjoy them at no cost). Open daily throughout the holidays.

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Sleep in a Nate Berkus-designed Suite at Loews Regency New York

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  Site Where: 540 Park Avenue & 61st [map], New York, NY, United States, 10065
December 5, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

We said over the summer that entry-level Luxury Kings at the newly renovated Loews Regency Hotel in New York are a pretty excellent room choice already, but now, as the hotel wraps up its overhaul, it’s adding more choice with six designer-led Signature Suites.

You guessed right that one of those designers is Oprah’s own go-to guy Nate Berkus, who redid a 1,000 sq ft one-bedroom suite on the 21st floor. Above the bedroom, which we have to say, like most of his designs, we like a whole lot. It’s contemporary, uncluttered, and with interesting patterns, colors, and materials. More shots of the suite, and others, below.

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Party Down in The Basement at The Miami Beach Edition

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  Site Where: 2901 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
December 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've shown you the guest rooms, the lobby, the Market and the minibar items, and now, at last, it's time to talk about Basement at The Miami Beach Edition.

The party floor is accessed through the lobby of the hotel through a staircase practically at the back of the hotel but there is a street-level entrance at Collins, making it very open to all, should this be your kind of scene. And we think it might be, if only for an hour.

Here's what you need to know, if you didn't already know:

· Basement Bowl: Sick of the usual beach and pool routine? You can now bowl for strikes at the four-lane bowling alley which features LED screen displays and interactive light shows, that synchronize with the bowler's actions. There's a small bar that fronts the lane with small tufted-leather booths and leather club chairs. Food is also served here by Edition's resident chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

· Basement Skate: Yes, there's an ice-skating rink here and hotelier Ian Schrager did it purely for the novelty of it all--ice skating in a tropical destination. (#thanksmarriott!) The rink is 2,000-sq.ft. and has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on Collins Avenue. The space is usually lit-up in a cool blue and is surrounded by sheer white drapes, although there is a constantly color-changing LED lighting design in place by Patrick Woodroffe. And of course, there is music. While you can rent ice skates yourself, there will supposedly be professional skaters in bikinis gliding on the ice, or otherwise, models who can skate decently enough. Bonus fact: the rink has its own Zamboni.

̭ Basement Nightclub: Schrager said he wouldn't call this an outright "throwback" to Studio 54 but he did recognize the power of the sensory overload experience that Studio 54 created which was dominated by a killer sound system and performance art shows. So the micro-club at Edition is attempting to recreate some of that with custom-made lighting, state-of-the-art sound systems and hosted party nights. But no one will be able to ignore the giant disco ball above the dance floor. Now, will you be able to get in? That remains to be seen.

Since we arrived at Edition before Basement was fully ready, we weren't able to snap any "official" photos, aside from this stealth shot of the bowling lanes above. Instead, we decided to let the Instagram photos do the talking here. You can find more via @EditionHotels or @BasementMiami or with the hashtag #miamibeachedition. Enjoy!

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Room Demolition Has Begun at The Historic Mayflower Renaissance Hotel

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  Site Where: 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW [map], Washington, DC, United States, 20036
December 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Long as I got my suit and tie (and drill), I'm a leave it all on the floor tonight...."

Calling Hotel PR people! Hot new hotel construction awareness trend alert! No longer are time-lapse videos of hotel room renovations the way to spread the news about a hotel's make-over. Instead, it's time to photograph your general manager suited up and wielding a drill. That's right, we fell for it. Now onto the real news at hand.

Perhaps seeking to eradicate all traces of Eliot Spitzer, the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC has kicked off a $20 million renovation project with general manager John Montano overseeing the jack hammer work for demolition for the very first hotel room.

The renovation will fix up all 583 rooms and 74 suites at the historic hotel, which will remain open for business during the work with construction happening floor by floor.

Here's what the new rooms will look like when the makeover is completed, hopefully by March 2015:

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