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This Was The Most Eco-Intense Thing We Found at an Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica

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  Site Where: Costa Rica
July 31, 2014 at 5:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we gave you an inside look at what eco-lodges look like in Costa Rica, highlighting the offerings and operations of several properties throughout the country. One of those, La Quinta de Sarapiqui, has achieved a five-leaf sustainability rating for its efforts.

It was not hard to see why during our visit. Located in an extremely rural area and tucked into the edge of the rainforest, it was easy to drive right by without realizing (which we did). Once inside, it doesn't take long to see how dedicated the property is to the environment. The hotel has a butterfly garden and caiman pond on site, organizes visits to local schools, runs chocolate and pineapple farm tours, and offers cooking classes and tree planting excursions.

But the most intense thing on the property - one that shows just how far eco-activities go in Costa Rica - was the presence of an ant farm, or ant colony. The name is completely deceiving, especially for those who are picturing a small fish tank with some tunnels to view. What the property has facilitated is actually an exterior ant farm, one that brings the ants outside their nest and allows visitors to view their hard-working lifestyle.

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Affordable Style in Bordeaux: An Inside Look at Hotel Burdigala

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  Site Where: 115, rue Georges Bonnac, Bordeaux, France, 33000
July 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

The 83-room contemporary chic Hotel Burdigala is found in Bordeaux’s Mériadeck district. About a block from the tram and across the street from a well-disguised mall, the hotel is apart from the action but close enough to it.

Part of Accor's MGallery collection, this hotel is billed as a five-star, but we would place it more at a solid four-star rating. This is not meant to deter you, though, as the hotel certainly has style and is at a budget-conscious price point.

Have a look at the pics in the gallery!

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Hold On To Your Margs: Hard Rock Hotel To Roll Into Cabo

July 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The brand has rocked the dining scene in Cabo San Lucas since 1995 (we'll let you be the judge of whether that's a good or a bad thing), but in all that time, Hard Rock fans have found themselves sleep bed-less in Los Cabos. In 2016, that will all change, however, when Hard Rock debuts a new beachfront hotel in the popular tourist town to go along with a long-running but now unauthorized cafe.

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TLC Makes Courtyard by Marriott Feel So Damn Unpretty With Their Rider Demands

July 31, 2014 at 11:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Lately, we've been digging Courtyard by Marriott Hotels, thanks to their new, functional room layouts, ever-present free WiFi, nifty media pods and their convenient Bistro cafes. But it turns out Courtyard by Marriott gets no TLC from the 90s R&B band, TLC.

The Smoking Gun uncovered a rider for the band's TLC Reunion Tour (which is just T-Boz and Chilli, RIP LEFT EYE) and after several food specifications--Nobu sushi for Chilli, turkey sandwiches with Miracle Whip for T-Boz, the contract demands suites for the singers in a "5 star hotel." A "4 star hotel" will do “if a 5 Star Hotel is not available in the applicable location.”

And more specifically, under no circumstances shall the ladies be put up in “motels, inns or Courtyard Marriot’s.” AW, SNAP.

TLC may not want no motel scrubs but Courtyard by Marriotts are certainly not on the same level as motels and inns. All you have to do is look at their room rates, which have gone up significantly in the past few years and rarely dip below $100 here in the U.S.

Oh well, TLC may not be chasing waterfalls to stay in a Courtyard but we don't mind. We'll creep, yeah, just keep it on the down low....

[Photo composite: HotelChatter]

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Whiteout Is Art at Palace Hotel Tokyo

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  Site Where: Tokyo, Japan
July 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

A casual glance at the above photo of the lobby at Palace Hotel Tokyo shows a number of things: gleaming grey marble, moss-green carpet and bench, painting, flower arrangement, chandeliers.

The painting isn’t the only piece of art in the photo though, with the white wall behind reception revealing its secret as you get closer: it isn’t just a white wall, it’s a whiteout wall. More specifically, it is a mixture of artificial marble, crystal powder, and whiteout correction fluid (!) brought together to depict endangered species of Japanese flowers. Talk about symbolism – a close up just below.

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The Attwater in Newport RI Will Light Your Fire With Its Sassy Lamp Collection

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  Site Where: 22 Liberty St [map], Newport, RI, United States, 02840
July 31, 2014 at 10:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have a bit of a thing for lamps here at HotelChatter. Classic lamps. Kooky lamps. Lamps with electric sockets in them. Lamps that take up the only socket in the vicinity of the desk. Tall lamps, bedside lamps, chandeliers swinging from the rooftop – we love them all.

So we were totally in our (electrical) element during a recent stay at the Attwater in Newport, RI. Newport, of course, has plenty of exceptional lamps in all its Gilded Age mansions, but the Attwater could give The Breakers a run for its money with this lot.

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The Only Thing Better Than A Soho House Hotel: A Soho Farmhouse Hotel

July 31, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just when you thought Soho House was all about quietly colonizing the world, with Chicago on track to open next month, comes the welcome news that it’s not neglecting its origins. No, not the forthcoming City of London property, but something much better – another English country house hotel to rival Babington House.

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Sugar Highs, Bears and Cruise WiFi Costs, Oh My! The Latest From Jaunted and VegasChatter

July 30, 2014 at 8:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.

JAUNTED
· We All Scream for Ice Cream Aboard Air Berlin
· Out to Sea But Not Off the Grid: How to Save on Cruise Ship WiFi
· Take an 'Outlander' Tour of Scotland Before They Sell Out
· Where to Find the World's Smallest (and Therefore Cutest) Bear

VEGASCHATTER
· At Harrah's, A Food Hall Cometh, Plus Casino Changes
· Go Here, Not Here: FIVE50 vs. Pizza Rock
· Sugar Highs For Everyone At Suncoast
· Does Caesars' Best Rate Guarantee Actually Work For Anyone?

(Photo via Jaunted)

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Instead of Toasters and Coffee Makers, Consider Honeymoon Hotel Registries

July 30, 2014 at 7:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

When faced with the decision of choosing between a fancy coffee maker or a luxury suite someplace tropical, which would you choose? If you're like us, you'll choose the latter. But after the cost of the wedding, most brides and grooms can't afford the lavish, exotic honeymoon of their dreams. After all, not everyone can have Chris Harrison fund our romantic escapes.

But with the advent of honeymoon registries, more and more couples are getting what they really want--vacations instead of appliances for the kitchen.

Hilton Hotels launched their Hilton Honeymoon Registry earlier this year, allowing couples to register for specific rooms, suites, upgrades, amenities and other experiences, all bought for by their wedding guests.

Hyatt Hotels has done something similar for their U.S., Canadian, and Caribbean properties. You can peruse a sample registry here. And Fairmont Hotels is in on the honeymoon registry game too.

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This is What Eco-Lodges Look Like in Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
July 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

La Quinta Sarapiqui has 5-leaf rating on its Certification of Sustainable Tourism

We hit you yesterday with a very factual and proper rundown of what it means to be a sustainable hotel in Costa Rica, and now, let's go back down to earth and take a look at how these concepts translate into their design and everyday operations.

I was about four hours into my stay at Finca Rosa Blanca in the Costa Rican foothills outside of San Jose when the light bulb clicked on, when I noticed there was something incredibly awesome happening at the hotel. I don't say that theoretically. I mean it very literally. At dusk, as I was walking through the lobby, I saw the lamp overhead flick on, and realized that it was the first time all day I had seen a light on at the property.

This foyer at Finca Rosa Blanca is lit entirely by natural light during the day

When I met with Teri and Glenn, the owners of Finca Rosa Blanca, and explained to them my revelation regarding the incredible use of natural light around their property, they brought over a cup of coffee, which was grown and roasted on site. They offered me some breakfast. An egg, one that their hens had laid that morning. It was through these incidents that I learned how deep sustainability really goes in Costa Rica.

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Why You'll Want to Take The Elevator at The Westin Hamburg, Opening in 2016

July 30, 2014 at 1:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

The most eyecatching feature of the new Westin Hamburg is the seafaring wavy roof. We're guessing that means no helipad.

Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is getting larger and that means more hotels. According to HotelProjectsWorldwide, there are 23 new hotels in development in Hamburg, thanks in part to the revitalization of former riverfront warehouse district HafenCity. In 2016, HafenCity will be home to the new Westin Hamburg, located in one of the most highly anticipated new buildings worldwide— the Elbe Phiharmonic Hall.

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How Fraser Island's Kingfisher Bay Resort Gets Eco-Tourism Right

July 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we looked at what it means to be eco-friendly in Costa Rica. Today, we're looking at how Down Under does eco-friendly.

Tucked off the coast of Queensland, Australia sits Fraser Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers picturesque settings and incredible wildlife sightings. This contributor recently had the opportunity to experience first hand why many visitors rave about the island with a stay at the upscale, yet laid back eco-lodge, Kingfisher Bay Resort.

The entire stay got me thinking about what a hotel has to do in order to be considered an eco-resort.Thanks to a framed explanation in our room from the Ecotourism Association of Australia, we know that there are five points to consider.

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