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We are kind of at a loss for words right now. We just went into the Hello Kitty Suite at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles and it is all kinds of super kawaii.
The suite was created by a team of designers and artists led by Line designer Sean Knibb in honor of Hello Kitty's 40th birthday, which is also being celebrated with the first official Hello Kitty Con at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown LA, starting tomorrow. (Knibb was the vision behind the t-shirts on the ceiling at check-in at The Line.)
But there's so much more.
Yesterday, we gave you a sneak peek of the drastic overhaul of the old Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, which will officially reopen as The LINQ Hotel & Casino tomorrow (it was formerly known as The Quad, a transition brand of sorts.)
The new rooms at The LINQ are like nothing we've seen before in Vegas, but we've definitely seen that sleek yet functional furniture making the rounds with all the millennial brands. The LINQ is clearly targeting the younger generation of Vegas visitors but it has a lot of touches that really hit the mark...for everyone.
Like USB ports and outlets in the lamps so you don't have to hunt for a spare outlet to charge your phone. Like WiFi hotspots in every room to ensure the best internet connections. Like toiletry dispensers that are easy to use (no struggling to open a teeny tiny toiletry bottle) and are filled with good for you and the earth products from Zero Percent (a division of Gilchrist & Soames.) And the option to send up some old-timey board games to you room for some pre-gaming fun.
But downstairs at the hotel's lobby bar, 3535, is where we think the future of hotel bars should be headed.
Standard Hotels are well known for their naughty nude guests so we find it very cheeky of them to partner up NudeAudio to unveil a flesh-colored, portable speaker called, The Super-M. (What, Super-O was taken?)
The Bluetooth speaker is extremely compact, and if you were wearing pants, which you're obviously not doing at the Standard, you'd able to slip it into your back pocket. The speaker also promises to be be waterproof, sand proof, and shock proof. Here's some technical aspects that you engineers out there might be able to understand:
4 full-range, high-performance neodymium drivers are tightly packed on both sides of the Super-M, with each pair complemented by a passive radiator, for a total of 6 drivers.
These are driven by highly efficient amplifiers and a powerful Lithium-ion battery. A state-of-the-art Bluetooth 4.0 chipset ensures efficient battery use and the best possible signal.
Party monsters, you'll be happy to know the speaker can go for up to eight hours. No Molly, er battery changes, required.
The speaker is available in The Standard Shop for $99.
What has happened to Quikbook? I have had an account with them for more than 20 yrs.
Went to book a hotel today and could not find the usual log in button where I put in my user name & password. Normally, I log into my account and can book my travelers by their stored information in my account on Quikbook. I have about 50 travelers with all their stored personal info & credit card numbers. The Quikbook page looked the same except no way to log in to my account.
I thought maybe it was a page glitch for the day & proceeded to book and just manually enter all the info. Then, when I hit purchase I received an error message that said I would need to have an agent confirm.
The girl says she's with Expedia! When I tell her that's the number on the Quikbook site, she disconnects me. I pulled up an old Quikbook confirmation copy. The NYC number is disconnected. I have spent hours on the phone today and even called Expedia corporate office in Washington state & they too gave me the complete run-around. I talked with one of the major NYC hotel's that I frequently book through Quikbook. They said 2 wks ago, the hotel also could not get into their Quikbook account information & that they'd heard through the grapevine that Expedia has taken over Quikbook.
My question is, what happened to all my traveler's confidential credit card numbers & profile information that was stored in my Quikbook account that I can no longer access. If Expedia is now booking Quikbook's site, why isn't that disclosed? I have a corporate account with Expedia too. If I wanted to book with Expedia, I wouldn't have gone to Quikbook's website!
Sweet Suites / St Petersburg Hotels / Belmond Hotels / Russia Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
The Presidential Suite: so fancy, we're only showing you the gilt bathroom
All eyes are on Moscow this week, for the on-schedule opening of the Four Seasons, which unlocks the front door tomorrow. Nothing could possibly take away our Russian focus from this, the redevelopment of the Stolichnaya label building. Edit: nothing could take our focus away unless it’s the news that Russia’s original five-star hotel, the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, has just unveiled six new suites, including (sorry FS) the largest presidential suite in town. Only in lux-mad Russia, etc etc.
Because in today’s Russia, a standard room in a crazy-luxury hotel wouldn’t even make the grade on Facebook, let alone Instagram, the hotel has converted 19 rooms into these six suites, and added 24-hour butler service for good measure.
OK have one of the bedrooms too
The 3770 sq.ft Presidential Suite is accessed through a domed, gold-leaf-encrusted lobby, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fitness center, dining room, games room, living room (with bar), kitchen, music room (with antique grand piano), hammam and a study-cum-library-cum-secret-door-into-bedroom-one. The price? “Available on request”.
Millennial Hotels / Ibis Styles Hotels / Ibis Hotels / Accor Hotels / Edinburgh Hotels / Brussels Hotels / Liverpool Hotels / → All Tags
Ibis Styles Liverpool
As hotel group after hotel group rushes to create new brands that will appeal to millennials, with what feels like new launches bragging about social media-friendly spaces every week, one brand has been quietly reinventing itself. There’s been no real fanfare around it – no extravagant boasts, no flagrant appeals to the self-obsessed generation – just a focus on stylish, unchainlike rooms, low prices and free WiFi. The name of that chain? Ibis Styles.
Not too long ago, Ibis was a byword for budget – in a bad way. Ibis rooms were dark, boring, fusty. They weren’t hotels you planned to stay in, they were hotels you ended up in when you couldn’t find or afford better. (I say this with the hindsight of adulthood – when I was a child, going on holiday to France and staying in an Ibis – or Eebis, as they called it – seemed like the most exciting thing in the world.)
But Ibis Styles are different from proper Ibises (Ibes?) – they have style and verve. Even better, they’re different from each other, too, and relate to the cities they're located in. There’s nothing in the design that screams Ibis, and, speaking (just) as a millennial, that is what we like.
Ibis Styles Brussels
My Ibis Styles revelation came this summer, when I was walking down Avenue Louise in Brussels and noticed two giant smiley faces staring out at me from a nearby window – it was the lobby of the Ibis Styles Brussels Louise, whose chic, startling white rooms start at just €71. Then I read about Ibis Styles Liverpool (from just £71) and was sold.
Another day, another mysterious hotel with a masculine name planning to open in New York City.
Meet The Paul NYC, a 117-room hotel planned for 32 W 29th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in the heart of the happening NoMad nabe, where millennial hotel brands go to drink craft beer and have serious discussions about the ethics of Instagram filters.
There's not much to learn about Paul from his website. However, on his Facebook page, he's given a little peek into what he's all about.
Obviously, Paul is a millennial. But from his photos, we also learn that Paul's favorite colors are blue and red, he likes cake, magazines and Paul McCartney and he believes in "the more the merrier." Hence, the bunk beds.
There are other room options aside from the bunk beds, including king beds and double beds. But the bunk beds make us think Paul might be an affordable type of spot. And affordable in NYC these days is somewhere between $250 and $300. Ugh.
A lodging report has the 21-story hotel listed for a February opening (even though the website says "Fall 2014") but as this Google Street View from last month shows, there's still a hell of a lot of work to be done. Tsk, millennials.
[Screengrabs: HotelChatter; Room and exterior renderings: The Paul NYC/Facebook]
Best Room to Book / Azores Hotels / Portugal Hotels / Island Hotels / São Miguel Park Hotel / Sao Miguel Hotels / Marina Atlantico Hotel / → All Tags
When you arrive on an island, the first thing that comes to mind is to set up shop as close to the water as possible. This makes complete sense, and it explains why Ponta Delgada’s harbor is the busiest part of the small city. There are a number of hotels to choose from along the waterfront, including what is considered the nicest hotel in town, the Marina Atlantico, but if you want the best room in the city, we recommend you head inland a few blocks.
For the most part, the São Miguel Park Hotel is just like any other. In fact, the rooms themselves are nothing to write home about, simply on par with the rest of the offerings found throughout Ponta Delgada. Two specific rooms, however, have earned our pick as the best rooms to book in the entire city. Despite the hotel’s location away from the water, it has everything to do with the view.
When you walk down the hall towards the ocean on the sixth (top) floor, you’ll notice that it dead ends into a glass door. Upon inspection, you’ll notice that it no longer opens. That’s because what was presumably once a public terrace has been converted into private balconies for rooms 625 and 628, which are located across from one another at the end of the hall.
Sneak Peek / Viva Vegas / Caesars Entertainment / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Millennial Hotels / Las Vegas Hotels / → All Tags
There’s yet another new hotel in Las Vegas.
The past year in Las Vegas has seen the opening of The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s Gambling Hall), The SLS Las Vegas and The Delano. Now, here comes The LINQ H Hotel & Casino. Except, it’s not entirely new.
Most recently, The LINQ Hotel & Casino was known as The Quad, the millennial-friendly casino adjacent to The Linq entertainment district, which is anchored by the High Roller observation wheel. (It’s also home to The Brooklyn Bowl and the Yard House.)
But before it was The Quad, this casino was long known as the Imperial Palace, which first opened in 1979 and was consistently built up throughout the 80s. The 90s saw some interesting revelations about the IP’s owner at the time (he apparently had a Nazi memorabilia room on site.)
By 2005, the casino was acquired by Caesars Entertainment (the company went by the name Harrah’s back then) but was in desperate need of repairs. Then the recession hit. But once the economy improved and once construction began on The Linq district, the Imperial Palace was discarded and The Quad was born in late December 2012, sporting a shiny, eye-catching, LED-popping exterior. But much of the old Imperial Palace remained, including the rooms and the distinctive pagoda rooftops.
As parts of The LINQ promenade were finished, The Quad gradually changed too, renovating the reception area, adding new bars and restaurants and making the hotel accessible to The LINQ and vice versa. But still no change on the rooms.
Then in July, Caesars Entertainment announced that The Quad would turn into The LINQ Hotel, accompanied by complete renovations of the rooms, the exteriors, the pool area and the spa, along with new F&B concepts.
And now, the official opening day of The LINQ is nearly here.
The room renovation has been kept tightly under wraps but HotelChatter was able to get a sneak peek at the rooms which will officially open to the public on Thursday, October 30.
KEEP READING BELOW FOR MORE PICTURES OF THE LINQ
This hotel may have missed the mark with its insane asylum themed floor but the The W New Orleans is making the most of its location in the French quarter this Halloween with a "Feel the Spirits" package that is just the right amount of spooky.
The package includes a two-night stay in a Tarot-inspired guest room along with two tickets to the creepy Walking Cemetery Tour by Gray Line Tours and two Corpse Reviver cocktails from the hotel bar, SoBou. The Corpse Reviver is made with equal parts gin, Lillet, lemon and Cointreau and served in a glass misted with Absinthe, designed "to bring you back to life." You'll also be close to the city's Krewe of Boo Halloween parade on the 30th.
Rates for the package start at $391 a night on October 30 and 31st for a wonderful room and $401 for the Mega room with the tarot them. This room is actually available year-round so if you can't make to Nola for the Halloween festivities, you can go another time and have the same creepy experience.
[Photo: W New Orleans French Quarter]
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One of the coolest and "greenest" new boutique hotels to surface in the Caribbean is on the popular island destination of Vieques, Puerto Rico. El Blok, located in the town of Esparanza, at the southern end of Vieques, is putting on its final touches and will be fully open by this weekend.
El Blok, designed by San Juan based Fuster+ Architects, goes for the softer side of modern minimalism, with a curvalineal shape that compliments the natural coastline and Esparanza's beachfront promenade. The hotel offers just 22 rooms, thus keeping its footprint small both literally (the hotel occupies the site of a former home) and environmentally (El Blok is LEED Gold Certified.) Virturally every aspect of the hotel's design has an environmental benefit.
Never heard of Shiva Hotels before? Neither had we, but we have a sense they’ll be on our radar going forward. Why? They may be behind the new Hilton at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 and the even newer Hampton by Hilton at London Waterloo, but the small UK group seems to be upping its profile further with more properties in the city.
First up is the Kingsway Hall Hotel, just east of Covent Garden, in what was once a Methodist Church. Shiva recently acquired the hotel and is planning on sinking £15 million into a renovation. Check out the 'before' below.