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Is This Where The Abu Dhabi Edition Hotel Will Be?

September 15, 2014 at 4:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

We can't hardly wait for the November opening of the Miami Beach Edition Hotel but a self-described "hotel enthusiast" is more excited for the Abu Dhabi Edition Hotel, which is slated for 2016.

Admittedly, we haven't heard much about Edition's first Middle Eastern property but our curious reader did some sleuthing and has uncovered its location of in the Al Bateen Harbour complex in Abu Dhabi Marina. He also determined that the hotel will most likely be within a complex called Al Marasy.

There's no mention of a hotel project on the complex's website but our curious reader thinks that the Abu Dhabi Edition could open in one of the nearly finished, but still empty buildings on the waterfront. If that's true, the Abu Dhabi Edition could totally open in 2016. If construction still hasn't started, then we can kiss that date goodbye. Anyone know what's going on with the Edition in Abu Dhabi? Send your sleuthing to us!

Interestingly, Marriott has already sold the Edition Hotels in London, Miami and NYC to the Abu Dhabi government. Marriott will, of course, manage the properties. And as long as each one is run like London Edition, we won't mind.

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Inside The Soho House Chicago, Not Just for Members Only

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 113-125 N. Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
September 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM | by | Comment (1)

A few weeks ago, Soho House opened their newest, exclusive hideaway in Chicago. We finally went to check it out for ourselves and we think, this might just be the one of the best hotels in Chicago.

The property has 40 bedrooms, three restaurants (all open to the public), a private cinema and a retro-styled gym with a vintage boxing ring and aerial yoga classes. Soho House is also located on a back street in the West Loop neighborhood behind the hottest restaurant precinct in town. (Since you can clearly work off whatever you ate the night before, there's no reason not to take a few steps to some of the eateries found on Randolph Street.)

Take a look around a "Medium" room at the Soho House Chicago

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Those Controversial Tip Envelopes Will Now Be Found in Marriott Hotels

September 15, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (3)

When we spied a tip envelope for the housekeeping staff in our guest room at The Ace Hotel Los Angeles, we thought it was a genius idea. The envelope served as a both a gentle reminder to tip and as a designated spot to put the tip, saving us the trouble of worrying about where to tuck a couple of dollars so that the housekeeper would see it.

Now, it looks like Marriott International thinks tip envelopes are genius as well.

The hotel company has partnered up with Maria Shriver and her "A Woman's Nation" organization to put envelopes in 160,000 Marriott hotel rooms, across all brands from Ritz-Carlton to JW Marriott and Residence Inn. The envelope will list the name of the housekeeper along with this little note:

"Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts."

We're behind this initiative 100 percent but we do realize it may cause some more anxiety amongst guests who aren't used to tipping the housekeeper, especially if they don't have any extra cash on them. While Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson says it's customary to tip $1 to $5 a night, we say anything you can hand over during your stay will be appreciated. Most housekeepers are only paid minimum wage and most of the time, they don't receive tips. (Hence this campaign.)

Of course, that leads to another argument that Marriott and other hotel companies should pay housekeepers more per hour, instead of relying on tips from guests but sadly, that won't change any time soon. (Our contributor, Will McGough, actually thinks the envelopes are tasteless and tacky because of that reason.) In the meantime, we expect tip envelopes to be found in more and more hotels, not just Marriott ones.

What do you think about tip envelopes--helpful or annoying? Sound off in comments below!

[Photo: Marriott Hotels]

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Taj Bows Out Of 'Sex and the City' Marrakech Hotel And Sydney

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Palmeraie, Marrakech, Morocco
September 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

Double departure this summer from Indian group Taj Hotels: as of last week, it has said goodbye and farewell to the Taj Palace Hotel in Marrakech, which you’ll perhaps remember was conveniently located in Abu Dhabi for the purpose of Sex and the City 2 (when in real life it was meant to be a Mandarin Oriental).

A very short statement has replaced the former hotel website, and as of now we can’t see what name the hotel will carry going forward. We’re curious what caused the breakup of this marriage though; perhaps it’s the overcapacity of luxury hotels in the Moroccan city?

The exit in Marrakech comes after a change on the other side of the world in July, when Taj sold Blue Sydney (what once was the W) to the Ovolo Group. While it’s still operating as Blue Sydney at the moment, the hotel will officially become an Ovolo by the end of October.

[Photo: Taj Hotels]

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In Praise Of Hotel Toiletries

September 15, 2014 at 8:53 AM | by | Comments (2)

Our name is HotelChatter and we are addicted to hotel toiletries.

Designer, cult, no-name motel brands – we can’t get enough. We stash them away every night in our suitcase, so housekeeping gives us more. We check out with bagfuls of the stuff. We haven’t bought soap or shampoo in years.

Hotel toiletries are the first things that always crop up in those articles that always crop up – the ones asking what is ok and not ok to take from hotel rooms. (Spoiler: it’s always the toiletries and stationery that’s ok, everything else is off limits.)

Recently we’ve noticed a decline in hotel toiletries. Smaller bottles. Fewer restocks. A sparser selection of products. Those wall dispensers that, much as we want to be eco, we can’t quite get around to accepting.

We live, of course, us inhabitants of HotelChatter Towers, surrounded by hotel toiletries (a shoebox of soap, one of shampoo and conditioner, one of body lotion). And we tend to grab them without much thought – it’s hard to remember just where that bottle of CO Bigelow came from, after all.

But, spring cleaning this week, we stumbled upon another shoebox full of body lotion – one collected in happier times, around 2006-2008. Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it’s pre-financial crisis, but we noticed that most of these bottles had been personalized to the hotels – and we had a Proustian moment, there in the bathroom, remembering the various trips.

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Hotel Indigo Paris Opera: No Longer a Phantom, Opening Next Week

Where: 2 Rue Edouard VII, Paris, France, 75009
September 15, 2014 at 8:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s stayed so under the radar during its pre-opening period that you could practically call Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera a phantom. But now it’s time for the great unmasking, since the hotel will open 22 September.

There’s not a vast amount of information about – 57 rooms (“very spacious”, according to the hotel website) including 12 suites and duplex apartments – some of which have views of the Eiffel Tower. The location is peaceful: a pedestrianized street near Place de l’Opéra, yet still in the middle of the business area. Before the year-long remodel, it was the Edouard VII hotel.

Rooms promise "unique murals celebrating Paris" and from the photos, they look rather lovely - theatrical but understated, with feature walls draped by curtains.

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Check-Out Folio: A Floating Snowflake Hotel Is Happening, EOM

September 12, 2014 at 6:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's our weekly wrap-up, Check-Out Folio where we round up the best (Credits in folio-speak) and worst (Charges) hotel news of the week. Got a scoop? Or just want to share a recent hotel story? Tell us all about it!

CREDITS
· A FLOATING HOTEL WE COULD SEE OURSELVES LIKING

· FIVE BEST HOTELS IN WARSAW

· SNEAK PEEK AT THE BEAUMONT LONDON

ALSO: Seriously stylish new hotel uniforms at the JW Marriott Houston Downtwon

CHARGES

· THIS IS JUST GROSS.

· TRUMP TAJ MAHAL WILL PROBABLY CLOSE SOON

· A CHARGE FOR CHARGING YOUR HOTEL CREDIT CARD

ALSO: How the heck did that random person end up in your hotel room?

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Funky Friday: All Night Interactive Fun at Hotel Parchi Del Garda

September 12, 2014 at 4:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Meet Aki, your master of ceremonies for a night of 4D interactive fun, where special effects are the best amenity in the room

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Lake Garda, Italy – images of scenic beauty, historic summer villas, and romantic escapes come to mind, right? That might have been the case if you had been there before 1975. Lake Garda now has very different scenery and could be regarded as Italy’s answer to Orlando. The shores are now populated with ginormous resorts and theme parks unique to Italy (Gardaland) as well as a few we know well (Medieval Times.) It should be no surprise then, to find hotels that seek to extend the entertainment value of the area to the accommodation. One hotel in particular, Hotel Parchi Del Garda, offers a unique interactive experience that highlights the fun in this week's Funky Friday.

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The Line Hotel Will Be The Official Hello Kitty Con Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3515 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90010
September 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hello Kitty, not actually a kitty, is turning 40 years-old this year and to celebrate, Sanrio is hosting the first ever official Hello Kitty Con 2014 in Los Angeles from October 30-November 2. EEEK!

If you're a huge Hello Kitty lover (as if there is any other kind), then you should book your room at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, STAT. The hotel, which is the official Hello Kitty Con Hotel, has put together a "Hello Kitty Sweet Stay" Package which includes an exclusive Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Welcome Kit at check-in, and lots of "super cute" Hello Kitty themed surprises throughout the hotel like HK limited edition items at the hotel's Poketo gift shop and Hello Kitty food. Yes, food. There will even be Hello Kitty-styled theme rooms, although we're not quite sure what those will look like. We do know that LA-based designer Sean Knibb will be designing a special Hello Kitty Suite that will be open to the public.

The Line is also hosting a Hello Kitty Birthday Party on Saturday, November 1 with the Hello Kitty suite serving as the VIP room. Tickets were available through the package but the hotel is now sold-out on Saturday night. Saddies. Rates are still available for Thursday and Friday nights at $344 and $229 respectively. At least you can still get that welcome kitty. Er, we mean, welcome kit.

[Screengrab: The Line Hotel]

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A New Way to Split The Cost of Hotel Room

September 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

While no one likes sharing a hotel room with an unexpected guest, a lot of you purposely share hotel rooms with your friends, families and sometimes, coworkers (the ones you like, of course) simply so you can split the cost of the stay.

But figuring out who owes what and how to split the cost of the room can get a little hectic. Once you figure out the money details, then you have to go back and forth with how to pay each other--"Write me a check?" "Just give me cash for my cab ride and we'll be even?" "I'll get dinner if you get breakfast?" That's too complicated, especially when you can just do it all over the phone.

We've often used the Venmo app to split costs of events, dinners, bar tabs and the like amongst friends and of course, many folks still use Paypal, the granddaddy of the payment services, to take care of IOUs.

But now there's also Square Cash which allows you to send and request money directly to and from your bank account. You can do these transactions from a web browser, from the Cash mobile app or even by emailing the recipient, so long as you cc cash@square.com and put the dollar amount in the subject line. It's like, the perfect way for Millennials to split the cost of their hotel room during Coachella.

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Hotel Hugo NYC Opens Today, Will Loan You a Vespa During Your Stay

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 525 Greenwhich Street [map], London, NY, United States
September 12, 2014 at 9:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

It didn’t take Hotel Hugo New York nearly as long to open as was expected after its name change earlier this year: rather than winter 2014, the hotel soft-launched in April, and today the hotel is officially saying “we’re here, come on in!”.

Located on Greenwich Street in Hudson Square, the hotel has 124 rooms with gleaming walnut headboards and lots of design features, but there are interesting amenities to be found outside too. We’re not just talking about the city and river views either: you can get your hands on a Vespa to tool around Manhattan with.

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In India, Fall Means Luxury Camping With Leopards And Tigers

Where: Rajasthan, India
September 12, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

The bad news, guys, is summer is ending.

The good news is, winter means opportunities to do things you couldn’t face in summer – like sleeping outdoors in India. Especially when it’s tiger season.

This month sees the (re)opening of three tented camps from Sujan in Rajasthan: Sher Bagh, in Ranthambhore, the Serai in Jaisalmer, and Jawai Leopard Camp.

Sher Bagh (top pic) isn’t new, but it’s been completely renovated for the 2014 season, with all tents getting their ensuite bathrooms refurbished and enlarged (yes, ensuite bathrooms being enlarged - as you can imagine, these aren’t your ordinary tents). Two new suites have also been created – one with a walled garden, one with a private pool (and both with butlers). The location, meanwhile, is tiger central – 81% of visitors last year saw at least two per day.

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