Last week, we had a general manager living in a bubble to promote his hotel. This week, a hotel manager has abseiled off the side of building to support a charity.
Sally Beck, who works as manager of the Lancaster London, joined 100 thrill-seeking volunteers today in plunging down the side of the hotel, which is one of London's tallest hotels. Of course, they were all safely strapped in and wearing helmets but still, that's quite a big commitment to make.
Yet the experience is worth it as all funds will go towards Springboard's “Kickstart Programme”, which supports young school and college leavers with their first step onto the career ladder.
A brave soul who abseiled off the hotel last year.
Want to glimpse the gorgeous views of London from the Lancaster without hurling yourself off the building? Rates this summer start at $200 a night.
Are you a general manager about to engage in a wacky stuff either to promote your hotel or to help out a charity? We wanna hear about it! So send us all the crazy details here.
[Photos: Lancaster London/Smile Photography]
Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Hotel Delays / → All Tags
Three years ago, we told you to mark your calendars for the 2014 opening of Four Seasons New York Downtown. Well, here we are in 2013 and not much progress has been made. In fact, we were juuust getting ready to strike said reminder from our iCal when we stumbled across this article yesterday throwing our hopes back into the air.
The reports says that the project is once again moving forward—now that financing has been secured—and that the 185-room luxury hotel is now set for a 2016 opening. Originally, this hotel was slated to open in 2011 (ha!), though by now we've come to understand that projected opening dates mean diddly squat and any hotel that opens on time is a rare thing indeed.
But back to the Four Seasons: the report doesn't give us too much new information except that the building will be 926 feet tall (one of the tallest hotels in NYC) and that the lobby will be a three-story atrium with lounges, a ballroom, a restaurant, meeting spaces, and a spa.
Hotel Anniversaries / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Deals / Hotel Events / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Over in Manhattan, New York Hilton Midtown is celebrating the big 5-0 by launching a new website that fills people in on the hotel's colorful history (did you know this was the first hotel to replace keys with keycards? Yeah, neither did we!).
But there's more happening here than just reminiscing over old black-and-white photos (see above).
Another component of the birthday celebrations are what the hotel is calling 50 Random Acts of Hospitality, which calls for New York Hilton Midtown employees to "engage in random acts of hospitality". In case you're wondering just what that means, the acts will include: offering complimentary room upgrades, handing out umbrellas on rainy days and helping guests score tickets to local attractions and events.
In other words, everything a hotel is supposed to do anyway.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Hospitality Design Expo / Hotel Furniture / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
This week we attended the Hospitality Design Expo Conference in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and never before have we seen so much hotel furniture in one spot--from chairs and beds to desks and lamps and beyond. It was thrilling for hotel nerds like us.
We'll have more from what we learned at the show next week (keyword: MILLENIALS) but for now, we thought we'd simply show you what we saw. Take a, um, seat and enjoy!
We were hoping we would get some answers at the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas yesterday but the panel about the Nobu Hotels brand was cancelled.
Still, there are definitely plans for more Nobu Hotels including Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which is set to open this year as well as London and Bahrain. While the Nobu Riyadh has a rather fleshed-out website, the London and Bahrain are simply listed as "Coming Soon!" We also found a report that said Nobu is thinking about opening a hotel in the Caribbean which would, of course, be amaze.
But then we stumbled across this report which said that a Nobu Hotel may open in the hottest hotel market right now--Chicago. For reals!
Since we're all on social media these days, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or FourSquare, we frequently see folks posting their recommendations for seemingly everything from restaurants to bars to skin care products, music, shops and of course, hotels.
Most of the hotel recs are pretty straight-forward--"I loved this hotel!" "Great spot on the beach!" "The kids love it!" and the like--but since we follow so many peeps that are frequent travelers as well as those in the hotel industry, we often see this kind of mention in a hotel recommendation, Be sure to mention my name to the GM and he will hook you up. Um, wha-what?
While we've personally never phoned a GM for a "hook-up", we have heard some experiences of guests who got preferential treatments from the hotel whether it be because they are return guest, or because the hotel was trying to make-up for a boo-boo or because they were there for a special occasion. So based on what we've seen and heard, a "hook-up" can mean a few different things:
Hotel Openings / Florida Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple TV / → All Tags
All right, so here we go: Apple TV is digging its heels in the hotel industry.
When The Pearl, a 55-room luxury resort, opens in July on Rosemary Beach Florida, it will offer Apple TV in all its rooms. Is it ironic that an establishment on a beautiful stretch of beach is upgrading your television-watching ability? Totally!
We've hashed out our torn opinions about the value of in-room technology and its effects on the art of travel, especially when it drives up the room rate, but we do know that there are many travelers who will be quite pleased by this news (some of us included!). For those who've just come out of hibernation, Apple TV will allow you to stream shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix right to your hotel room.
Hotel WiFi / Hotel Technology / Dallas Hotels / ZaZa Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Free WiFi / → All Tags
Often times, when we plead our case for free hotel WiFi, we hear that setting up a network or upgrading an existing network is an expensive investment for hotels and in order to recoup the costs, they need to charge guests to use the WiFi.
Now, every hotel is different but there are plenty of hotels out there that have been updating their networks to provide faster speeds and more bandwidth to guests and they still aren't charging for WiFi.
For example, The Hotel ZaZa in Dallas which recently added a new fiber data network throughout the hotel. Hotel president, Benji Homsey, explained the reason for the network upgrade saying:
We designed this network with special attention to the increased presence of Apple iPad, iPhone and Google/Android users in conjunction with the typical laptop usage. We want every Hotel ZaZa guest to have the best, from coverage and access points to best of breed fiber data network to the newly installed bedside power docks in every room.
And the charge to access the internet? It's still totally free.
We know it doesn't look like much now, but this shrouded warehouse building has some big shoes to fill in the future. If all goes to plan, by the middle of next year, this vintage brick structure will get a new makeover and become Australia's first Tryp by Wyndham.
Tryp Brisbane will bring an edgy and locally-inspired design to Australia's third largest city. Situated in the city's Fortitude Valley area, guests will be within walking distance to the area's hottest nightclubs, boutique shops and trendy restaurants. But if you don't want to leave the hotel, the lobby will feature a ground-floor restaurant and hip bar, that's posh enough for Brisbane's elite scene as well as gives travelers a taste of the local nightlife.
Hotel Packages / Ferragamo Hotels / Dan Brown / Lungarno Collection / Florence Hotel / Italy Hotels / Europe Hotels / → All Tags
With the launch this week of Dan Brown’s next magnum opus, Inferno, the Ferragamo (as in Salvatore) family-owned Lungarno Collection of hotels has come up with an Inferno Package that lets you follow in the footsteps of our intrepid hero, Robert Langdon, as he searches the hidden passageways of Florence to learn the hidden secrets to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio and the house of Dante are just three of the places on this three-hour special access tour you'll go to before the film crews arrive and take them over to shoot the next Robert Langdon AKA Tom Hanks movie.
But that ain’t all, folks. You’ll also get:
Hotel Bars / Hotel Wine / Wine Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
In our experience, hotel bar wine lists can be hit-or-miss. You either show up in the lobby ready to drink a mediocre (and, often, overpriced) glass of vino, or you go on Yelp! and find the nearest best-reviewed wine bar or bistro. Easy.
But over the past year, Sheraton has been changing things up with their exclusive (and verrry popular) Sheraton Social Hour. The program, which partially debuted last year in select Sheraton hotels, is awesome because it allows Sheraton guests to sample top-notch wines that have been given the thumbs up by Wine Spectator magazine.
Unsurprisingly, the program was a hit. So much of a hit that, as of yesterday, Social Hour has officially been rolled out to all 430 Sheraton hotels around the world.
Sheraton hotels and resorts in Hong Kong, Bali, Edinburgh, Santiago, New York, Waikiki—pretty much everywhere in the world, actually—all celebrated the launch with a 24-hour "toast around the world" (if you don't believe us, just type in the hashtag #sheratontoast on Instagram, and be prepared to see photos from the biggest, most extensive global wine fest ever known to man).
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Spas / Hotel Check-In / Manhattan Hotels / Plaza Athenee Hotels / Hotel Packages / → All Tags
Nothing is worse than showing up bleary-eyed to your hotel and being told your room isn't ready yet. Worse still if your bones ache from sitting on a plane all day and you've been dragging around your suitcase for so many hours that your hand has become permanently locked in claw grip position.
Thankfully, the Plaza Athenee in New York has come up with a solution to the whole early check-in conundrum: the "Rest and Refresh" package. By reserving ahead of time, guests can kill time in their own private Spa Suite, which comes with a marble bathroom and private steam shower. In addition, they can request a facial or massage, and even sneak in a quick breakfast or lunch at the hotel's Arabelle Restaurant.
With pampering like this, who needs the guest room?