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Corpses, Cemeteries, and Tarot Cards are On Offer at The W New Orleans in the French Quarter

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  Site Where: 316 Chartres Street [map], New Orleans, LA, United States, 70130
October 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

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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Vieques Just Got A Whole Lot Cooler With The Opening Of El Blok

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  Site Where: Isla De Vieques [map], Puerto Rico, United States, 00765
October 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Shiva Hotels Will Renovate Kingsway Hall, Build New London Hotel

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  Site Where: Covent Garden, St James's, London, United States
October 28, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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These Exotic Openings and Renovations Will Make You Go Mmm

Where: Mozambique, Mauritius, Maldives
October 28, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hotels in exotic locales (starting with M-), they’re just like buses. You wait for one to open, then three come along at once.

First, hot on the heels of the jaw-dropping slick of sand that is Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa comes another Mozambique property, Avani Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa.

It’s not quite as idyllic as Medjumbe – but then that bar is set pretty high. Instead of on a private island, it’s in the north of Mozambique, in pretty Pemba (a sandy peninsula sticking out from mainland Africa). Pemba is also the gateway to the Quirimbas archipelago, where Medjumbe is. Also, Avani is Anantara’s sister chain. Maybe time for a sibling visit?

The hotel sits on the headland overlooking the Indian Ocean, and all 185 simply styled rooms have terraces or balconies, overlooking either the ocean or the gardens. There’s a bar, two restaurants and a Grab & Go deli and “coffee corner”. There’s also a fitness center, spa, tennis courts and not one but four swimming pools. A room this weekend starts from a very reasonable $245.

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Have Pasta, Will Travel: Massimo Bottura Comes to the Connaught For One Night Only

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  Site Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1K 2AL
October 28, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

He was the beautifully understated world-class chef. She was the equally lauded chef at a top London hotel. Together, they came together for the good of the people – coming to the capital for one night only, on Monday 10 November.

Yes, on 10 November Hélène Darroze is lending her kitchen at The Connaught to Massimo Bottura, who, along with the team he’s bringing over, will serve an eight-course menu taking all the best bits from Osteria Francescana, his restaurant in Modena.

If you haven’t heard of it, you should have – it’s twice been ranked the third best restaurant in the world. Luckily for Londoners, the Connaught is one of Bottura’s favorite hotels – hence the collaboration.

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Kimpton's 'Forgot It? We've Got it!' Extends to Halloween Costumes at The EPIC Hotel

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  Site Where: 270 Biscayne Boulevard Avenue [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33131
October 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've long been a fan of Kimpton Hotels' Forgot it? We've got it!" amenity program, which sends up, on request, any toiletries that guests may have forgotten to pack from contact lens solution to straightening irons. But now at The EPIC Hotel in Miami, the amenity program extends to Halloween costumes.

That's right, if you've forgotten to pack your sexy ladybug costume, or just decided on a whim to go trick or treating, the EPIC Hotel can lend you a costume to wear for the night.

We inquired about the Halloween costume choices and they include the following:
· Clown make up
· Clown noses
· Rainbow bow tie
· Child & adult cat costume
· Bunny ears
· Various mustaches
· Venetian masks

And if you stay at the hotel on Halloween, you can indulge in special pumpkin oil aroma therapies and massages from the hotel's Exhale Spa during the hotel's complimentary wine hour. A Halloween candy buffet will also be on display. Over at the hotel's bars and lounges--LILT, Area31 and a the rooftop pool deck, speciality Halloween cocktails will be served too.

Rooms at the EPIC start at $249 a night.

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Waldorf Astoria is Searching for a New 'Taste'

October 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

We may have issues today with the "meh" rooms at The Waldorf Astoria New York but the luxury hotel holds an important place in culinary history, thanks to its inventions such as eggs benedict, red velvet cake, Thousand Island dressing and of course, The Waldorf Salad.

Now, the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts brand is hoping to create another classic dish by teaming up with chefs from the James Beard Foundation.

"Taste of Waldorf Astoria" is sending five emerging chefs to five different Waldorf Astoria properties around the world. At each property, the chefs will apprentice with Michelin-starred Waldorf Master Chefs such as Heinz Beck, Pierre Gagnaire, and the Galvin brothers.

Throughout the fall, the paired-up emerging and master chefs will spend a week working on a signature recipe, which will then be unveiled in February in New York for a panel of "culinary luminaries." The winning "Taste" will then be featured on the menu at 29 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts worldwide.

Indeed, the search for the new "Taste" has already begun.

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Which Ritz-Carlton Hotel Do You Think Is The Ritziest?

October 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM | by | Comments (13)

Rich, er Ritz Chocolate Cake

We've learned which Four Seasons Hotel you heart the most, as well as your favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels, Andaz Hotels and the Le Meridien Hotels. Now, we're getting ritzy with it.

We want to know where in the world is your favorite Ritz-Carlton Hotel? This may be a tough question considering that Ritz-Carlton has opened up all over the world lately from Palm Springs to Kyoto, alongside expensive renovations of existing properties. But there's got to be a Ritz-Carlton you prefer above all the rest.

Maybe it's because your favorite TV show films there or maybe it's because they spoil your leather shoes or perhaps you just like their funky bar concept. Heck, maybe you just like their signature cake.

Whatever the ritzy reason, share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in comments below. Don't have a favorite but instead have a Ritz-Carlton you wouldn't visit again? We want to know that too!

Dish on your favorite Ritz-Carlton below!

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We're Trying to Keep Cool But The SLS New York May Open in February

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  Site Where: 444 Park Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States
October 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

For us, hotel opening dates are very much like blind dates--we have very low expectations of them turning out to be good and most times, we don't even expect them to show up. So we're taking the new opening date of the SLS New York very casually.

But there's a little part of us that is hopeful the hotel will be the man of our dreams, er, open in February as planned.

The website for the Park Avenue hotel in the NoMad nabe is still listing "2015" as the their opening date but a recent lodging report has it pegged for February. The hotel will have 190 rooms, designed by Philippe Starck, along with different restaurant and lounge concepts from other SLS hotels and a rooftop "experience." The timing could be great too, since the New York Edition will open in April.

We peeped at the hotel's exterior and signage last Fall and there wasn't much to report, but we're keeping the faith that the hotel is further along in the process a year later. After all, we've been waiting for this hotel since 2012 when they promised a 2013 opening date. So, you know, it's kinda like they owe us to open in February now.

[Rendering via SLS New York]

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Bulgari Sets Its Sights On the 'Sophisticated Elite of Beijing'

Where: Beijing, China
October 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Here’s a little glamor for a Monday morning: Bulgari is opening a hotel in Beijing.

Right after Shanghai (now 2016, but previously 2015) and before Dubai (2018), Bulgari Beijing is slated for early 2017, next to the Liangma river in the Embassy District. Its 120 rooms will, apparently, be some of the largest in the Chinese capital. There will also be an Italian restaurant, bar, spa and – wait for it – a private park.

The hotel will be designed by Bulgari’s regular team from Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, and the look will be “contemporary Italian”, though there are no renderings yet. But know that Bulgari has high hopes – according to the website, “It is conceived as a link between the discerning traveler in search of nature and art, and the sophisticated elite of Beijing.” Backhanded compliment or clumsy wording? We can’t decide. Either way, let's hope it's not Vulgari.

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Sheraton Park Lane London Is Starting Its New Story

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  Site Where: Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom, W1J 7BX
October 27, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

We were thrilled to hear earlier this year that London’s Sheraton Park Lane would be getting its long overdue makeover, ripping out dated and faded guestrooms and freshening up public spaces. Now we can we show you a bit more of what you can expect post-renovation in the 303-room hotel.

Starting with accommodation, by mid-next year all rooms will look like the above, a huge leap forward compared to today. There is the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed at the heart with the requisite fresh white sheets, Art Deco influences in lighting fixtures and furniture, and what looks like an etched glass mirror panel above the bed.

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Andaz Liverpool Street Will Now Give You A Creepgazm

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  Site Where: 40 Liverpool Street, London, United Kingdom, EC2M 7QN
October 27, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve been to Andaz Liverpool Street, you’ll know about the creepy Masonic Temple that lies in its bowels (yes, Americans, masons are considered kinda creepy across the pond). You’ll also know that it’s not often accessible, and usually opens for special events only. Luckily, though, there are two such events coming up.

The first is a screening of the new Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe film, Horns, coming up this Wednesday, its day of release. Sadly, Radcliffe himself won’t be there but the director of the film will be doing a Q&A. It’s part of the East End Film Festival, and tickets cost £10 – details here.

But far more exciting (unless Harry turns up) is the event – or Andaz Salon – on 19 November, which will see the Grand Secretary of the Freemasons, Nigel Brown, discussing freemasonry and all its ins and out (including the secret handshake? Who knows). This one is free, but you’ll need to RSVP here as tickets are limited. At least, that’s the reason they’re giving.

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