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Like Cocktails? You Have to Get to This Venice Pop-Up in April

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  Site Where: Venice, Italy
March 25, 2015 at 10:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Walter Bolzonella at the Cipriani

Having a drink in one iconic hotel is good enough. Having a drink in one iconic hotel that’s mixed by the staff from another iconic hotel – even better. Having a drink from one iconic hotel that’s made by the staff of another iconic hotel while on the most iconic train on the planet? We need a drink. Preferably one made by the Ritz Paris bartenders, but made at the Belmond Cipriani in Venice, or served on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

In a collaboration between the two hotels and the famous train, the head bartenders of the Ritz Paris (Colin Field - who, of course, is currently homeless, since the hotel is closed, and is going around the world staging pop-ups) and the Cipriani (Walter Bolzonella) will run a pop-up bar at the Cip from 9-15 April.

But wait! It gets better than that.

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Z Hotels Opens Early in Shoreditch, Adds Sixth London Hotel on Fleet Street

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  Site Where: 136-144 City Road, London, United Kingdom, EC1V 2RL
March 25, 2015 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

How about that: when we first learned about The Z Hotels heading out to Shoreditch (like everyone else), we thought the opening of its hotel in The Bower complex wouldn’t happen until second half of the year. Wrong – The Z Shoreditch opened on March 9.

But before we get to that, the budget-chic group is throwing a sixth London hotel in the mix on Fleet Street, right across from the Royal Courts of Justice. That will be the building above, a former office that will have 110 rooms between the lower ground, ground, and three upper floors. Behind the hotel is a beautiful courtyard with the Temple Church, built by the Knights Templar and famous from the Dan Brown novel. A few more shots below.

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Jumeirah's Doing Good in Dubai by Helping All These Sea Turtles

March 25, 2015 at 8:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

This turtle stayed at the Burj Al Arab and all he got was this lousy Facebook tracking system...

Normally our hotel pets tend to be dogs. Occasionally cats. Once, in Cambodia, we’ve even seen crocodiles. But turtles? Here’s a new one.

It’s a little known fact (at least to us) that two Jumeirah properties in Dubai – the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah – have a turtle conservation program. The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project is run by the two hotels in conjunction with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office. It rescues and rehabilitates poorly turtles, releases them back into the wild, tracks them, and works with both locals and guests to educate them about the plight of sea turtles. Have a look at their Facebook page. They're doing pretty wonderful stuff.

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Who's Charging Resort Fees in Miami? Pretty Much Everyone

March 25, 2015 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ah, Miami. Sun, fun, mojitos and...resort fees?

Yes, sadly most hotels in Miami are charging those dreaded and annoying resort fees. According to ResortFeeChecker.com, 100 hotels in Miami have resort fees and the average fee is around $20.04 a night. That's about the same as Vegas' ubiquitous resort fee average.

But Miami is also home to two resort fees that exceed $100. Yes, you read that right. Those resorts are the Provident Luxury Suites ($107 a night) and The Fisher Island Club (also $107 a night), both of which are located on the extremely ritzy Fisher Island.

We've decided to list the resort fees of some of the most chatted about Miami hotels here on HotelChatter. Hide your wallets!

These fees are per day, plus about 20 percent tax, so the final cost will be a little higher than the number you see here. These fees usually include internet access, and additional amenities and services on site like beach chairs and access to the fitness center. (At the Surfcomber it includes iced coffee!)

But not everyone is charging a resort fee. We applaud the Loews, The W South Beach and The Setai for being resort-fee-free. (Never mind that rooms are hovering at $1,000 alight right now.)

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The W Bellevue to Open in 2017, Conveniently Next to The Westin

March 24, 2015 at 7:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last year we gave you three top hotels to consider in Bellevue, Washington for "luxury, location and design", one of which was the Westin Bellevue. But in a couple of years, you'll be able to check out the Westin and the upcoming W Hotel in one stop.

The W Bellevue Hotel, which was announced this morning will be built on Bellevue Way between NE 4th and NE 8th Streets, and adjacent to The Westin Bellevue.

“W Bellevue is being designed with a unique narrative that represents our Eastside community,” says Kemper Freeman, Chairman and CEO, KDC, the developer behind the project. “The hotel’s cutting-edge design brings our community’s heritage into modern times with a contemporary interpretation of the joy and wonder that we all feel in a welcoming lakeside summer house. This hotel will truly represent all that we celebrate about our community and will bring an amped up W energy to Bellevue.”

Right now, the hotel is planned to have 245 guest rooms, including 25 suites and one Extreme Wow suite; FIT, a state-of-the-art workout facility; three restaurants and bars, one of which will be outside on a terrace with modern porch swings and a pool table; a library stocked with pulp fiction novels; and an oversized fireplace commonly found in traditional lodges, but with a W twist.

We can't wait to see what that twist may be. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until 2017. Still, this is exciting news because it's the irst new W Hotel for the United States in a while. The W Philadelphia which was announced a few years ago won't open until 2018.

[Rendering: W Hotels]

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The Mandarin Oriental Singapore Has Some Cute Swimsuits Waiting for You

March 24, 2015 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Are you hitting the gym everyday? Restricting your intake of carbs? Drinking lots of cold-pressed juice? No? Well you better get started on that since swimsuit season is practically here. #Ugh #No #Winterbutt.

Speaking of swimsuits, The Mandarin Oriental Singapore is helping guests ease into bathing suit season with their new Swim in Style package. The offer includes accommodations in the Ocean Grand room overlooking the city and the and the South China Sea, along with a private yoga class, a spa cuisine meal for two, new blends of "Refresh, Renew, Revitalise" coconut water and a therapeutic thai massage in a pool cabana.

But it also includes two swim sets from the eco-friendlyFINCH designs (shown below), a Shanghai-based company. We suggest these suits on at the end of your stay, you know, after the coconut water, yoga class and massage.

The package will be offered from April 1 to August 31 with rates starting at SGD 1,450 a night for double occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required. Regular room rates for an Ocean Grand room start at SGD 590.

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Hilton Huanying is Taking Off, Here's What Chinese Guests Can Expect

March 24, 2015 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Back in 2011, Hilton Worldwide began welcoming the emerging class of Chinese travelers with their Hilton Huanying program, which itself means “Welcome” in Mandarin. In the nearly four years since it was introduced, the program has grown from 30 Hilton hotels to 113 in 32 countries and 65 cities. Hilton Huanying has also "huanyinged" over a million independent Chinese travelers at not just Hilton Hotels but also Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton.

Because of this popularity, and the expected growth of Chinese travelers around the world (to about 200 million travelers by 2020), the offerings of the program are expanding as well.

When it first launched, Hilton Huanying gave Chinese guests a welcome letter in simplified Chinese at check-in, tea kettles ands slippers placed in the guest rooms, dedicated Mandarin channels on the TV, along with a few traditional Chinese breakfast offerings downstairs such as congee and dim sum.

Today, guests will still get all of the above but the breakfast offerings have expanded and more importantly, Hilton will offer 24-hour translation phone service in case a Mandarin-speaking Hilton team member is not on site.

Best of all, the program is at no extra cost to the Chinese traveler. Not a bad deal.

Below are some photos of what the Huanying presentation looks like at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront Hotel and the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a property that sees around 800 Chinese guests within a specific three-week window, and many more throughout the year. This Hilton Hotel was also one of the first Hiltons to begin offering special services for Chinese guests in 2008. These services later made up some of the official components of the Hilton Huanying program.

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Soon Keyless Entry At Fontainebleau Miami Beach Will Allow You To Phone It In

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  Site Where: 4441 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
March 24, 2015 at 12:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

The magic that is keyless entry is nothing new, but we can’t help but feel a little chill at check-in when we learn that it’s an option.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is the latest property to get the pieces in place before flipping the switch, as they’ve partnered up with StayNTouch to enable mobile check-in among a few other tech treats.

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More Private Member Club Hotel Rooms at The Arts Club London [Updated]

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  Site Where: 40 Dover Street, London, United Kingdom, W1S 4NP
March 24, 2015 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

First The Hospital, now The Arts. London has its share of private members clubs, and here is the second one this year that is not just adding hotel rooms to its facilities, but allowing non-members to stay the night, too. [UPDATE: Turns out, our understanding of how the hotel rooms at The Arts Club are going to work, along with what is reported elsewhere, was not correct. Speaking again to the reps of The Arts Club, hotel rooms will only be available to members or guests of members. So if you want to check into The Arts Club, better sign up for membership or start cultivating an inside contact...

The Arts Club on Dover Street (just off of Piccadilly in Mayfair, a minute walk from Green Park) will be adding 16 rooms and suites by the summer. Guests will have access to all of the Club’s facilities, which includes three restaurants, a garden, and a nightclub. In contrast to The Hospital Club (further east just around the corner from Covent Garden), the rooms here will be much bigger, with suites going up to over 1,000 square feet.

Above a rendering of one of the rooms: high-gloss hardwood floors, some subtle greys and blues, and a touch of Art Deco to its design. Its feel reminds us a little of what we’ve seen at The Beaumont, don’t you think?

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Starwood and Hilton to Square Off in Lake Como

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  Site Where: Via Per Cernobbio 41A, Lake Como, Italy, 22100
March 24, 2015 at 9:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sheraton room

Lake Como is so hot right now, and we don’t even have George Clooney to blame. Right in time for an overnight break from Milan’s Expo (an easy hour away), Starwood is hitting the lake this week with a Sheraton, while Hilton has announced plans for a hotel, too.

The Sheraton Lake Como is taking over the Grand Hotel di Como, a four-star hotel located between the lakeside towns of Como and Cernobbio, with 112 rooms, 4 suites and a ridiculously futuristic meetings space. The website mentions a “complete refurbishment” of the property, and indeed it looks pretty nice - the simple rooms may be nothing to write home about but the floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of the surrounding mountains, certainly are. There’s a pool, out in the garden, which should be lovely come summer, and there are three restaurants and two bars to choose from, too.

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Booze, Broads and, Err, Clubs, Are on the Menu at Omni Rancho Las Palmas

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  Site Where: 41000 Bob Hope Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, 92270
March 24, 2015 at 8:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Wine glasses: not pictured

The Coachella Valley, home to dates, intense heat, plastic surgery, and (related) a lot of ladies who lunch. But one brave hotel is stepping up a gear, offering ladies not lunch, but afternoon golf and – to help your aim – booze.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas is starting a Women, Wine & Nine program, in which ladies can come in for a glass or two of wine and nine holes at the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club, every Thursday between 4.30pm and 7pm.

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Four Seasons Costa Rica Did Not Monkey Around With Their New Look

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  Site Where: 26Km al Norte del Doit Centre Liberia, Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 5000
March 23, 2015 at 6:01 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.

When contributor JetsetCD toured the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo in 2011, she was impressed with the pool and beach options, the bi-level spa, a putt-putt course (in addition to an Arnold Palmer 18-hole course), a grass tennis court and the surprise sightings of white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, Coatis and iguanas.

All this and more made it not surprising that the room rate hovered at nearly $400 a night. But now there's even more to be wowed about at the resort, thanks to a new "property enhancement" aka renovation.

Above is how the resort looked when JetsetCD popped in. Keep reading to see what the resort looks like today!

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