Got a layover, need a room, but dreading a stay at an airport hotel? We feel your pain. Our Front Desk Guy has put together a list of basics airport hotels should offer for its guests to make staying in an airport hotel pleasant for all.
Airport hotels are often seen as the stepchild of the hospitality industry, that are typically characterized by boring interiors, empty lobbies, noisy rooms and bland F&B outlets.
But lately, airport hotels have started to up their game, offering facilities and amenities that often rival or at least mimic, downtown upscale hotels. True, not all airport hotels are created equal but they should all serve one common purpose: to give guests the convenience and accessibility of an airport hotel while not skimping on the comfort and warmth of an urban, city hotel.
Below are a few key requirements of facilities, amenities and offerings that airport hotels should offer if they want our tired, jet lagged and laid-over dollars.
Soho House Chicago
Amsterdam has quietly been upping its hotel scene in the past few months.
Recently, we've told you about the upcoming Generator Hotel/Hostel, The Hoxton, two new Sir Hotels, the Hyatt Regency, The W and Element Hotels, and the millennial-friendly Student Hotel. That's in addition to recent notable openings like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (last May) and the Andaz Amsterdam (late 2012.)
And now comes Soho House.
Nearly two years ago, news came out that Sunset Tower hotelier Jeff Klein had purchased a "clothing optional gay motel" in West Hollywood. At the time, the spot was known not just for its lax clothing policy but also for the drug habits of its guests. Its nickname was "Sin Bin."
But a year after purchasing the property, Klein had done significant upgrades to the 29 bungalows and the pool they surround (the jacuzzi was removed) to warrant a feature article in the NY Times. Today, the hotel goes by the name San Vicente Bungalows and looks like a chic little oasis in the middle of WeHo. But it is by no means luxe.
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As we said before, they’ve souped up the amenities – so there are complimentary (non-alcoholic) minibars, blazing fast WiFi, Hypnos (ie great) beds and that infernal, ubiquitous Nespresso machine in every room.
The beginning of March should have allowed us to cross the first of our five London hotel openings for 2015 off of our list, but it was not to be: the M by Montcalm Shoreditch has been delayed until mid-April.
Where reservations had been moved up to March 1 previously, we’re now looking at April 14 as the first day to stay at Montcalm’s “manifestation of glory”. Rates have crept up slightly with the six-week delay, starting at £187 ($289) a night rather than £170 ($262) before.
Room descriptions continue to ramble on about Deluxe Twin rooms that have “a super comfortable king size bed” (?), that “ooze personality”, and are designed with “oodles of luxury”. Two new photos have shown up, which we will say make those rooms look slightly more appealing than before.
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Many have spent the night with old lady Waldorf, but few have owned her – until now. Because the new owners of the Waldorf Astoria New York, Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group, which finally sealed the deal last month, have announced that they’ll be converting some of the rooms into condos.
The rooms in question are in the Waldorf Towers, which currently operate as a hotel-within-a-hotel on the 27th-42nd floors of the building, with suites and apartments accessed via a separate entrance. (They’re “somewhat nicer” than the notoriously in-need-of-help rooms in the main building, according to our secret correspondent.) According to Wu Xiaohui, the company chairman, the plan is “to renovate the two towers into luxury residential apartments with world-class amenities and finishes to reflect its culture and social status.”
The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Calif. is one of the luxest hotels on the Southern California coast, boasting 128 glam bungalows and opulent villas with room rates close to $900 a night. (There's also the on-site pasta room, among other amenities and services.) Make no doubt about it, this place is heaven, if you can afford it. But if you can't, there's a fun alternative to try.
The company behind the resort, The Irvine Company, which started out as the Irvine Ranch, recently upgraded The Hotel Irvine, on Jamboree Road, to be an independent lifestyle hotel that millennials and business travelers alike will feel comfortable staying at.
The hotel has a central location in Irvine, close to the John Wayne Airport and Disneyland, and although it has a very corporate exterior (it looks like an office building), the property is shiny and happy on the inside. And there's also a lot of orange, which is fitting for this Orange County hotel.
Is it us or are those the famous 21c red penguins on the roof of the lobby?
Is it us or are those the famous 21c red penguins on the roof of the lobby?
More exciting news for fans of 21c Museum Hotels, but you’ll have to hang in there until late 2017/early 2018. The quirky art/design hotel chain is coming to downtown Indianapolis, and the project involves one of the city’s prized possessions, the Old City Hall.
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The Oscar Awards were so last week, but just as the water cooler talk about which movies won and which movies should have won, so continues talk about someone's glamorous dress. Only this is so much more complicated than, "Who are you wearing?"
Just before the weekend, news came out that last year's Oscar winner, Luptia Nyong'o had her expensive Calvin Klein pearl dress stolen from her suite at The London West Hollywood the day after the awards show. At the time, the hotel issued a statement saying the "unfortunate" incident, first reported by TMZ (of course), was true and that they were helping the police in their investigation.
Things took a weird turn on Friday when the dress was RETURNED to the hotel, stuffed inside a garbage bag and left under a bathroom sink in one of the public bathrooms at the hotel. Making the return of the beautiful dress even stranger was that the thief called TMZ (of course) to say that the dress was not worth the estimated $150,000 talked about in the press, because a jeweler told him the pearls on the dress were fake.
You would think that despite the fakery and despite not catching the thief, the case of the missing dress would be largely shut. After all, the dress was returned, no harm, no foul, except maybe two easily replaceable pearls were missing. But no, it gets even weirder.
We took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Loews Chicago back in early December but now it's your turn to actually stay in one of the 375 guest rooms, or if you prefer some larger space, one of the 25 suites inside the 52-story tower in downtown, just a block north of the Chicago River and close to North Michigan Avenue.
Rates tonight start at just $133 as part of the hotel's First Impressions rate, which is 30 percent off the usual rate. That's for a 377-sq. ft. superior room with a king bed, free WiFi, Garnier Thiebault linens, a work desk and chair, and a Keurig coffeemaker. A premium room with great city views is only $140 while a 621-sq.ft. junior suite is just $182. #BOOKIT #WORTHIT.
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In all the stories about the Grammys and the Oscars that have come out over the past few weeks, there was one that really intrigued us – John Legend pulling out of a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, because of opposition to the Sultan of Brunei.
Very worthy, Mr Legend, we thought – but no more than we’d expect from the man who hired a food truck for Eric Garner protestors in New York.
But then we thought, wait. If Hollywood is boycotting the BHH, why has a top Grammys party been booked there in the first place? Has the boycott silently ended? Does sympathy with people who face an Isis-lite stoning for being gay go out of fashion?
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It’s been a while since we had a hotel acting kinda jerky online … too long, some might say. Too long no more – enter the Charleville Lodge in Dublin, which celebrated the announcement of some upcoming Ed Sheeran concerts by telling his fans… that they’d be better off staying in a homeless hostel.
The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Croke Park, the venue for the concerts, and as one might expect, raised its rates for the Sheeran dates (24-25 July). A lot. To €279 ($313).
Sheeran fans took to the hotel’s Facebook page to complain. The shame! How dare a hotel which recently ran a New Year’s promotion with rates for €20.15 pull a stunt like this? What kind of business runs on supply and demand?
And in response to their complaints, the hotel (or rather, Paul Stenson, the owner) posted a long, long status update (well worth looking on the Facebook page – it’s still up), claiming that the cheapest room in Dublin for those dates is €229, and telling people that “if you are expecting reduced rates… you need your head examined more than I do.”