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Tierra Chiloé Shows Us That a Small Carbon Footprint Can Also Be Luxurious

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  Site Where: San Jose Playa, 217 Castro, Chiloe, Chile
August 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America, is undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of the world, with scenery that could actually make us forget to check our email. But not all of us want to experience the best that Mother Earth has to offer from the inside of a tent. And now, pampered adventure travelers won't have to with the debut of Tierra Chiloé, due to open on September 1.

Tierra Chiloé, formerly the Refugia hotel, is located the banks of the Rilan Peninsula in South Chilean Patagonia. With just 12 rooms, the hotel sits unobtrusively low on a hilltop while taking full advantage of the views to the Andes Mountains and the (dormant) Corcovado volcanoes in the distance.

But all you hair-drying, TV watching, bath-soaking guests take note--the hotel was designed to operate almost entirely off the grid, not that there were many other options given the location.

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Santa Barbara's Newest Hotel is a Hostel, But It's For More Than Just Backpackers

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  Site Where: 12 E. Montecito Street [map], Santa Barbara, California, United States, 93101
August 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Known for a hotel scene that bears a burden on the budget traveler, Santa Barbara's newest hotel, which is actually a hostel, looks to fill that void. Opened this week in the Funk Zone neighborhood, The Wayfarer is a 31-room hostel that offers both private and shared accommodations.

The opening of the Wayfarer is especially interesting given its location in the Funk Zone. An "artsy" neighborhood filled with murals, a surf museum, wine tasting rooms, breweries, a distillery, and small restaurants, it displayed a touch of grit in its early days that Santa Barbara had always lacked. But as its popularity has grown, so have the price tags on its restaurants and urban wineries.

Last year, our bro Jaunted noted that the local media was concerned that the growing gentrification of the neighborhood would ultimately be what killed it as higher-end concepts and projects, including hotels, looked to capitalize.

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5 In-Room Tech Touches at Park Hyatt New York, Opening Today

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  Site Where: 153 West 57th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
August 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

We took you all around the Park Hyatt New York a few weeks ago but in honor of the luxury hotel's official opening day, we're spotlighting 5 tech touches in the guest rooms that we thought you'd like. Rooms for tonight are holding steady at $725 for a Park Deluxe King.

CLEARLY MARKED BEDSIDE BUTTONS. Turning on and off the lights with the press of a button can actually be accomplished here. (Shout-out to the extra outlets!)

NEWEST NESPRESSO MODEL. Even the pods are different!

INTELITY iPAD MINIS. Each guest will have one of these on the nightstand to use during their stay. (The iPads were not installed yet during our visit so, just imagine.)

GADGET HOOK-UP. A power/gadget hook-up strip is installed at each desk.

TOTO TOILETS. Yes, this matters.

Check out all the photos of a Studio Suite below!

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This Hotel in Athens Has a Designated Selfie Spot

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
August 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.

But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.

The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.

[Photo: SPG Greece]

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Kimpton to Open Their 5th Hotel in Chicago in 2016

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  Site Where: 37-43 South LaSalle [map], Chicago, IL, United States
August 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

That old saying, "Three's a crowd", clearly never bothered Kimpton Hotels who have had not three, but four hotels in Chicago for quite some time. And now, the boutique brand is working on their fifth hotel for the Windy City. Fifth!

Kimpton recently purchased a historic office building in the Central Loop neighborhood. Built by architect William Le Baron Jenney in 1894, the building was previously known as the LaSalle-Monroe Building and before that, The New York Life Building.

Kimpton will renovate and refurbish the property to open by early 2016. The hotel will have 281 rooms, 9,500-sq.ft. of retail space on the ground floor, a restaurant and bar and a top floor ballroom with views of LaSalle street. We're guessing that means the Starbucks and Subway, shown in the photo above, will probably move out.

New York-based architect Gensler and Los Angeles-based design firm Beleco, will work with Kimpton's senior VP of design, Ave Bradley, to create a "locally appropriate" style.

And of course, all the Kimpton amenities that we love will be in play like free WIFi for Karma members, complimentary wine hour for guests and fun animal-print bathrobes.

Meanwhile, we hear that Kimpton will make yet ANOTHER new hotel announcement very soon, regarding a new hotel in the South. Our sources say it will be in Palm Beach but a Kimpton spokesperson would not comment on that. We'll just have to wait it out then.

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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4 European Health Retreats That Kate Moss Would Definitely Approve Of

Where: Europe
August 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)


Zening, in Cyprus

You know a detox break is going to be too grueling for ordinary mortals when it sends a supermodel running for the hills before their stay is up; and by all accounts, that’s what happened when Kate Moss recently visited the LifeCo in Turkey (she apparently turned up drunk at Bodrum airport and jumped straight on an EasyJet flight back to London).

For once, there’s a brilliant rundown of exactly what to expect from the LifeCo in the Daily Mail (no, we can’t believe we said that either).

But if tongue scraping, a cryosauna (don’t ask) and The Angel (definitely don’t ask) seem a bit too intense, fear not. Here are four of our favorite detox places in Europe:

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The Verdicts Are In For Peninsula Paris, And They're Mixed

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  Site Where: 19 Avenue Kleber, Paris, France, 75116
August 19, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been open a full two weeks now, and although we haven’t quite found the $1000 to stay at Peninsula Paris (give us another week or 500), others have – and a newspaper has checked it out too. Here’s what they say about the $999,000,000 project.

The 26 TripAdvisor reviews are mixed, leaning towards the negative – though a good tranche are from people who’ve just eaten, rather than stayed at the hotel.

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Will the JW Marriott Ihilani Oahu Become a Four Seasons?

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  Site Where: 92-1001 Olani Street Kapolei [map], Oahu, Hawai'i, United States
August 19, 2014 at 9:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

That’s right: the latest news coming out of Hawai’i is that Four Seasons might get its hands on a fifth hotel in the island state. Above the current JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina, which Pacific Business News is reporting will close early next year for extensive renovations and reopen “under one of the top luxury brands in the world”.

While there is no official confirmation yet from either the developer or Four Seasons, the latter has registered a business in Hawaii under the name “FS Ko Olina Inc.”, which seems to suggest something is indeed in the works.

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Here's Your First Look at Mama Shelter Los Angeles, Opening Later This Year

Where: 1557 Wilcox Avenue [map], Hollywood, CA, United States, 90028
August 18, 2014 at 7:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Mama Shelter in Bordeaux

There's been no formal announcement but there's been no secrecy surrounding it either. We're talking about the pending Mama Shelter Hotel for Los Angeles. See, it's right there on the Mama Shelter Twitter bio.

But aside from a LinkedIn job listing looking for a hotel restaurant and general manager, we were having a hard time uncovering the exact whereabouts of Mama Shelter LA. But today, we've found our Mama.

Previously, we've heard West Hollywood and Hollywood flung about as possible locations but those are two very different areas. West Hollywood is trendy and expensive. Hollywood is gritty chic and more affordable. Since the latter practically describes Philippe Starck's Mama Shelter concept to a T, we suspected that's where it would open.

We put in a request to our contact at Mama Shelter hotels on the exact location, but while waiting to hear back, our resourceful European editor uncovered this article. Even if you don't understand French, you can understand what it says.

Des négociations sont aussi en cours pour l'ouverture dans un ancien hôtel des années 1920, dans le quartier de Hollywood, à Los Angeles, «fin 2013».

So Hollywood, it is. And an old hotel from the 1920s too. But still, we wanted to know exactly where. So, we dug a little deeper.

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Your Monday Morning Coffee… Cocktails

August 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

Tea-infused cocktails have been very “in” the past couple of years, and they still are, but now there’s something for all us coffee lovers to enjoy apart from the after-dinner Spanish Coffee: iced coffee cocktails. So kick start your day or night with one of these caffeine-spiked cocktails when your energy starts to wane.

The New York Palace’s team at their French pastry shop, Pomme Palais, teamed up with illy’s Master Barista, Giorgio Milos, to create a cold brew using illy’s single origin Mono Arabica Coffee from Brazil. In honor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the hotel combined this exclusive cold brew with cachaça to create an idyllic summer cocktail that couldn’t be simpler to make.

The Brewzilian at Trouble’s Trust and Tavern on 51 at The New York Palace

4 oz cold brew
3 oz coconut water
1 oz cachaça
1/2 oz coconut syrup
Fresh coconut

Combine cold brew, coconut water, cachaça and coconut syrup in a shaker and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh coconut.

Cost to drink: $19
Cost to sleep it off: $493

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Checking In On: The Soho House Chicago

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  Site Where: 113-125 N. Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
August 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM | by | Comments (3)

The Soho House Chicago has been open for a week now and since we're still, um, working on our Chicago travel plans, we thought we'd do a cursory check of recent internet reactions.

The hotel surprisingly lacks a TripAdvisor page, so we're unable to find out the nitty gritty details of like quirky elevators or loud vents or issues with WiFi. But here's what we've gleamed about the new hotel from both the mainstream media and the (probably more important) social media:

New York Times: There's a custom, on-site boxing ring coming soon.

New York Post: Nine different products from Cowshed line the showers.

Eater Chicago: Go inside the Chicken Shop and Pizza East, both London-based restaurants that have spun off to Chicago.

Chicago Mag: The "ultra-indulgent" treatment from the Cowshed Spa is actually just a pedicure.

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Novotel Times Square Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, With Hotel Room Ice Buckets

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  Site Where: 226 West 52nd Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
August 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral. What started on Facebook as an awareness movement/double dare (#ALSIcebucketchallenge) amongst friends, then friends of friends has moved onto athletes, celebrities and even billionaires like Bill Gates. And now, it's reached the hotel world.

Using hotel room ice buckets, the staff at the Novotel Times Square dumped ice on themselves last Friday to support ALS research. And so did a couple of guests. Check out the video of the dumping, done on their rooftop terrace, here:

Of course, the hotel passed on the challenge--to their general manager Marc, and to another hotel--The Sofitel New York (that's the Novotel's sister property, FYI.)

So far the FB page for the Sofitel New York has not addressed the ALS challenge. But we hope they do--either with ice buckets or money (preferably the latter.)

[Photos and Video via Novotel Times Square]

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