United States Travel Guide

/ / / / /

Mario Batali to Bring His Italian Dishes (and Orange Crocs) Into NYC's Maritime Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 363 West 16th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10011
August 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

La Bottega at Manhattan's Maritime Hotel has long been a HotelChatter favorite spot, thanks in part to their killer outdoor dining spot. But now, La Bottega is on the way out and coming in is chef Mario Batali and his partner, Joe Bastianich.

The duo and their B&B Hospitality Group will take over the entire food and beverage program at the hotel, featuring "cooking of the Italian coast and islands." Here's what Batali said in a statement:

“The Maritime has just as much, if not more, outdoor space than any other hotel in Manhattan. It’s the sort of place I like to spend time. We’ll bring our perspective on Italian food and a little old-school New York to this Chelsea landmark,” Batali says. “The neighborhood is ready for a new hangout. I look forward to working with Richard Born and Sean MacPherson and their expert team.”

(FYI: Richard Born and Sean MacPherson are the hoteliers behind The Maritime.)

This is not the first time Batali and Bastianich have opened a restaurant within a hotel. The two run Carnevino, B&B and the Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

According to Eater, La Bottega has not announced an exact closing date but it's probably pretty soon. The new B&B resto should open at The Maritme sometime next year.

/ / / / /

Before and After: The Hotel Teatro Unveils New Restaurant and Lobby Concept

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1100 14th Street [map], Denver, Colorado, United States, 80202
August 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.

As new hotels continue to open up across the city of Denver, the Hotel Teatro is not letting the new kids in town steal the entire spotlight.

This month, the hotel showed off its recently transformed common areas, including a brand new lobby and restaurant concept. The changes keep the marble and architectural detail of the original 1911 building, but definitely inject a sense of modernism. Let's take a look inside with some before and after photos:

more ›

/ / / / /

Graduate Hotels Want You to Relive Your 'Glory Days' of College

August 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (6)

UPDATE: We've received more room photos below. Give your Cliff Notes in comments below.

In recent years, we've seen major hotel brands rushing to grab the attention of Millennials as the young, design-savvy, and tech-centric crowd enters the workforce and begins to travel, whether for business, leisure or (most likely), bleisure.

Marriott Hotels is ramping up their Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott brands, while Radisson Hotels have gone and created Radisson Red. Thompson Hotels are queueing up their Tommie brand while Virgin Hotels is getting closer and closer to opening their first hotel. All these brands are offering amenities that are important to Millennials, such as--great design, social spaces, useful tech, free WiFi and reasonable prices. Which, really, any modern traveler will like these days.

But now there's a new brand of hotels ready to compete with the big boys--Graduate Hotels. Surprisingly, the brand is not aimed at Millennials but we don't believe them. Here's what Graduate promises to be about:

more ›

/ / / /

The Parker Palm Springs Wants Your Wallet To Think It's 2012

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 424 E Palm Canyon Drive [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92264
August 28, 2014 at 8:50 AM | by | Comments (2)

You may have realized by now that the Parker Palm Springs is one of our favorite hotels on earth. You may even have noted that one of the best ways to stay is through the Spa Junkie package, which gives you credit to PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club, the spa) with your room rate.

The package used to cost $199 plus tax, and give you $200 spa credit. This year, they changed it to a $250 room rate and $250 credit – not so cool, since the taxes and fees take it up to $324.

However, the Parker just announced it’s dialing back the prices for September - $199 for your stay, $200 spa credit. The deal is bookable until midnight tomorrow by clicking here.

more ›

/ / / / /

Don't Forget: The Delano Las Vegas is Opening This Weekend

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3940 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
August 27, 2014 at 5:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

All eyes were on the grand opening of the SLS Las Vegas last weekend, but now the spotlight is heading down The Strip to The Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, which will officially open on Tuesday, September 2.

Back in May, we admired the "different yet still designer" look of the Vegas version of the Delano Hotel in South Beach, one of the original boutique hotels created by master hotelier in the '90s with designer Philippe Starck, who recently put his mark all over the SLS.

But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so.

Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand.

Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!

more ›

/ / / /

Game Changer? Next Week, Portland Begins Issuing Permits for Home Rentals

August 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM | by | Comments (2)

Legislation that was passed at the end of July will officially go into effect this weekend in Portland, Oregon, legalizing short-term home rentals. As AirBnb has come under attack from the hotel industry and city governments across the country, Portland has decided to legally address how residents can use their house as a source of income.

Emphasis on the world "house," as the law includes individual houses, duplexes, and accessory dwelling units but excludes condos and apartments, even if the unit is owned. The reason for this, according to Oregon Live, is that "under the city's interpretation of the state building code, [apartment and condo buildings] would have to meet similar safety requirements as commercial hotels. Few apartment and condo buildings would live up to that standard." The law also does not include the renting out of the entire home - only a portion of it, such as a bedroom or two.

The law requires that the renter file for a permit from the city, which will cost $180 per year. The owners of the property must live on-site for at least nine months a year, limit the length of stays to less than 30 days, and agree to 1) inform their neighbors of their rental contracts and 2) allow for safety inspections by the city. The owners of the home get to keep the profits of their rentals, minus an 11.5% occupancy tax that is collected and paid to the city by the rental agency (AirBnb, for example).

more ›

/ / / /

From Movies To Drag Shows: 5 Reasons Why The Hard Rock Palm Springs Is Not Your Standard Hard Rock

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 150 S Indian Canyon [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
August 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Never judge a book by its cover, people, especially if that book is the Hard Rock Palm Springs.

Because the Hard Rock is launching a “dive in” movie season this Friday at 8pm. That’s right – not a pool party. Not a rave. Granted, the movie is Tommy, but even so – a genteel movie screening on a Friday night. In conjunction with the Palm Springs International Film Society, no less. Whatever next?!

But the Hard Rock Palm Springs is not your usual Hard Rock. This is Palm Springs, darlings, and they go after a different crowd. Eclectic. Open-minded. Party-orientated, yet not necessarily of a bro disposition. Some more reasons why it’s not your typical Hard Rock:

more ›

/ / / / / / /

10 Ways to Do The SLS Las Vegas (Without Spending The Night)

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
August 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM | by | Comments (5)

We've just taken you inside a World Tower room at the SLS Las Vegas but the beauty of this casino, and all casinos in Vegas really, is that you don't need to stay the night to take it all in. Here are 10 ways to see, like and savor the SLS Las Vegas without spending the night.

1. Werk Your Arrival: The grand entrance to the SLS is rather spectacular. After admiring the Philippe Starck-designed sculpture/caricature of SLS Hotels CEO Sam Nazarian out front, you walk through simple glass doors into an entryway that features a mirrored ceiling (perfect for #selfies!) and light-up floor squares which make you feel a little like Michael Jackson in the "Billie Jean" video. This "stage" of sorts then gives way to the casino floor. Overall, it just gives you a baller sense of arrival.

2. Gamble In Style: The casino is smaller than most Vegas casinos, but it's filled with shiny, new things like flat-screen TVs in the gambling pits and funky Starck-inspired figures atop some of the slot machines. There's also a throwback slot machine for the Sahara in the center of the casino if you're missing the good old days.

more ›

/ / /

Tonight, Reno Will Be Getting Weird

August 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

The opening of Burning Man, the weeklong yuppie hippie festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, has been cancelled due to rainstorms which have flooded the dried-up lake where the festival is usually held. "Burners" headed to the festival, some in expensive, custom RVs, are being turned away at the gate and sent back to Reno, the closest major city, until at least tomorrow morning. And boy, are the Reno hotels and casinos, happy to have them.

Here's a list of the hotels that are open to the Burners. Fortunately, all of these options are pretty affordable and there are even reports that the hotels will not be price-gouging the dejected burners, just because they can. Also, doing a quick look on Expedia, we see plenty of hotel rooms open with the most expensive one being the Peppermill Resort for about $150 a night. In short, if you're going to be in Reno tonight, it's probably going to be a little weird.

Reno is an interesting "biggest little city", with many believing that lowkey Reno is what Downtown Vegas used to be like--loose slots, good bargains, relaxed atmosphere etc--before Downtown Vegas got all Vegas-ified. But at the same time, Reno might just be a little too lowkey for the techies that frequent Burning Man.

Our sister site, VegasChatter, also explored Reno earlier this year. You can read about those adventures here and here.

[Photo: Flickr]

/ / / / /

Inside a Room at the Just-Opened SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
August 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (3)

Now open! Say hello to this caricature of Sam Nazarian, designed by Philippe Starck.

If you followed our live-blog on Friday, then you were privy to one of the first images from inside a room at the SLS Las Vegas, which officially opened at midnight to the public. Today, we're showing you all around that room.

This here is a superior room in The World Tower, which is standard SLS fare in terms of design and amenities. The Story Tower has smaller, budget-type rooms with bright yellow-tiled bathrooms, while the Lux Tower has larger plusher rooms and suites, with more of designer Philippe Starck's ethereal elements like mirrors on the ceilings, peekaboo bathrooms and illustrated draperies.

The decor in the World Tower is simple but with alternating soft and bold touches like a white sofa at the foot of the also white and extremely comfortable king bed, an armchair with a silver tree stump table next to it, baby pink and black wallpaper design, and giant mirrors on three walls, including one which lights up.

The minibar amenities offer up SLS Saints and Sinners goodies (including SLS's Culinary Director Jose Andres' brand of potato chips!) along with fancy cocktail glasses to use. In the bathroom are SLS's Ciel Spa toiletries which are thankfully gentle on your skin and hair. There's an open closet and an open shelf for storing your clothes as well as an ironing board and iron to crisp up for a night out.

Our favorite part, however, was the desk.

more ›

/ / / / / /

The Night Hotel Dallas Was Only Just a Bad Dream

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2645 L.B.J. Freeway [map], Dallas, TX, United States, 75234
August 25, 2014 at 2:15 PM | by | Comment (1)

A while back we had heard that Dream Hotels was dreaming about a Dream Hotel for Dallas but we had no idea that Dream's sister brand, Night Hotels, creeped into Dallas seemingly overnight.

Yet, this Night Hotel may have been more like a nightmare.

A reader tipped us off to the recent reviews on TripAdvisor and they are horrifyingly bad. Since American Airlines seems to be using this hotel as a place for displaced/delayed passengers, the reviews have come fast and furious. Here are two that are still fit to print:

Walked into the room, two of the light fixtures were non operational, room was dark and the air conditioner was so noisy that I would have needed ear plugs. Windows were beyond filthy. I turned around, walked to the front desk and tossed them my keys. I asked to be given a ride back to the airport immediately and was. The guy at the front desk asked if I was going to catch a late night flight so I told him "yeah, something like that".

I did not feel safe at this hotel. Their shuttle took forever to arrive at the airport, took 2 calls to find out where they were, and was so old and rickety I couldn't talk on my cell phone. The lobby night club attracts an unsavory crowd and people are lurking around everywhere. The halls are dark. The front desk is covered with graffiti and the staff couldn't answer basic questions. My room furniture was covered in vinyl upholstery with lights around the bed. Everything is painted black. The bathroom needs a total make-over. Somehow they thought I'd be fooled by a new shower curtain.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

So Long Sahara: The SLS Las Vegas Grand Opening Is Here

August 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM | by | Comments (2)

Something lovely starts today.

SLS Las Vegas has officially completed its $400 million renovation of the iconic Sahara casino and will be opening their doors at midnight tonight to excited and skeptical guests alike.

Currently, we're in the "excited" group because it's been a hell of a ride to watch SLS grow from one boutique hotel in Los Angeles to a full-fledged casino resort in Las Vegas, with a property in South Beach opening along the way, and several more to come.

We toured the SLS back in May and even though the rooms were not ready and the casino floor was just beginning to get its finishing touches, we could envision the sort of fun playground it will be, with big names and brands installed at the restaurants, nightclubs and retail that surround the casino floor.

Yet aside from a few touches that honor the old Sahara resort, made famous by the Rat Pack, the SLS has done away with anything old and replaced it with everything new. Folks still clinging onto memories of the Sahara may enter SLS with skepticism (or perhaps, it's bitterness) but we'll go in excited--you know how we love new things--and hopefully, we'll come out excited too.

Below are our on-the-scene observations. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for some other live coverage. For even more dedicated coverage on the SLS Las Vegas, head on over to VegasChatter's own live blog.