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Marriott Adds a 'Chat' Feature To Their Mobile App

April 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Marriott Hotels officially rolled out a check-in and check-out function to their mobile app earlier this year, making it even easier for guests to get up to or get out of their rooms.

But now Marriott has gone one step further. Guests will now be able to "real-time chat" with the hotel with the Guest Service Requests function. The chat feature is available to Marriott Rewards' guests and allow for two-way text messaging, if you need an extra pillow or have issues with the WiFi. No word on if you can order up a club sandwich at 2 am, but room service is easy enough.

Right now, the text-like chat is only available at 15 properties around the country, and pending its success, will be rolled out to more cities by the end of the year. Right now you can chat with guest services at the New York Marriott Downtown, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina to name a few.

[Screenshot: iTunes/Marriott]

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Park Hyatt Bangkok Is Getting Its Twist

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Ploenchit Road, Bangkok, Thailand
April 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Having had such major openings recently as Sofitel So and W, Bangkok continues apace with new hotels over the next few years, from a Rosewood and a Capella to no less than three Hyatts (Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Hyatt Place).

The Park Hyatt will arrive first, scheduled to open next year in a mixed-use building on Ploenchit Road. While completion is still a while away, you can just about start to make out the “twisted coil” architecture that will give the building its distinctive shape. The white skeleton you see peeking out above the exterior cladding on the left swoops up into the tower element that will eventually house 173 rooms and 49 suites. Check out the rendering below to get a better sense of the end result.

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The Designers of the Upcoming W Milan May Want To Look At These 6 Hotels First

April 17, 2014 at 6:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

We recently shared the exciting news of W Milan coming in 2016 to the design capital of Milan. You’ve asked us for more information and trust us— we are working on it and will provide updates as we receive them. Yeah, we know, two years is a long time to wait and we share your pain.

We know that the new 76-room W Milan has a hot location in the artsy Brera District, within Milan's historical center. This area is a great fit for the W crowd, with its art galleries, hip boutiques, and plenty to see and do at night.

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This Inn in Ojai Seems Like it Could Belong in the Rainforest

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 108 Pauline St [map], Ojai, California, United States
April 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

The small town of Ojai often gets lost in the shadows of destinations such as Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Big Sur along California's central coast, but after a recent visit to the "Valley of the Moon," we began to understand what has made it a long-time getaway for those looking to escape L.A. and refresh in the powerful, healing aura that our bro Jaunted discovered.

Something that initially seems like a drawback is what turns out to be one of Ojai's best attributes: The fact that it is not located on the coast. Tourists coming to California understandably want to be near the ocean, yet same-state travelers (aka Cali locals) appreciate the change in scenery, change of pace, and the rejuvenating properties that live in the orchard-heavy landscape of Ojai.

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Virgin Hotels Will Strap on a Guitar and Head to Nashville in 2016

April 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

You can probably thank Taylor Swift for the latest announcement from Virgin Hotels. The burgeoning hotel brand has just revealed they will open a new hotel in Nashville in 2016 in a pretty prime location--One Music Row.

Virgin Hotels Nashville will have 240 guest rooms, multiple "concept" suites, along with food and beverage outlets and perhaps most necessary of all, a cutting edge recording studio.

“Based on its nonstop cultural and live events, food and beverage scene, and its ability to inspire both talented artists and TV viewers, Nashville’s time is now – and we’d like to be part of that excitement,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hotels will be our first venture in Nashville, and we’ll look at other opportunities for our US and international customers to enjoy the southern hospitality that Nashville is known for.”

Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels Chicago is apparently just "months away from opening" according to Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. After that, Virgin has its eyes set on NYC, Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, San Fran, DC and London.

We don't think we need to say it again but it bears repeating, "Hurry up because we can't hardly wait."

[Photo: Nashville CVB]

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Get 30 Percent Off in NYC with Starwood's 'Suite Week'

April 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Restaurant Week, Broadway Week et al are now all old hat. Courtesy of Starwood Hotels, we now have a new sweet promotion to spend our money on: Suite Week.

From now through April 29th, you can book a future stay (through March 31st, 2015) in a suite at any Starwood property in the New York City area for 30 percent off best available rate. Just book as normal through the hotels' websites.

Each hotel will also be creating its own package that comes with early check-in, late check-out, complimentary WiFi, complimentary parking and then three unique amenities that are specific to each hotel. Here's the rundown:

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Can a Crowd-Funded Hotel Actually Work? Hard Rock Palm Springs Will Find Out

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 150 South Indian Canyon Drive [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM | by | Comment (1)

Admit, it. You've probably thought about what it's like to actually live in a hotel. The thought is totally normal, especially when you think about the daily housekeeping, trendy design and staff often responding to most every want. Well, this idea can be a reality with a trip to the desert of Palm Springs and your own little slice of the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Hard Rock is looking for people, regular people like yourself, to invest in the luxury 163-room resort in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. With a little professional help from RealtyMogul.com, interested (and cashed-up) parties will register their desire to be part of the America's first fully online crowd-funded hotels.

Benefits for signing a check with a few more decimals than a night's stay extend way beyond bragging rights. Individual investors in the hotel will receive VIP benefits ranging from free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates and free room upgrades. Even if you're not a regular to Coachella Valley Music Festival, this might be a good reason to get away to the desert more often.

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Tool Around Tokyo in a Peninsula Rolls-Royce or Audi R8

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 100-0006
April 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve been to Tokyo, you know it’s possible to go from historic serenity in one of its temples to futuristic frenzy among its skyscrapers in a split-second. That proximity of the traditional and modern comes through at the Peninsula Tokyo as well; pick the right aspect and you can gaze out from your technology-filled room over the Imperial Palace, and when it’s time for a ride in the house car, your options range from a restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II to a very 21st century Audi R8 sports car.

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Welcome to Pricey Las Vegas for Memorial Day Weekend

April 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM | by | Comment (1)

Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.

VEGASCHATTER
· Want To Spend Memorial Day Weekend In Vegas? Here's A Look At Rates
· Restaurant Rumblings At Bellagio
· Peeking Into The Cromwell
· It's Okay To Do Vegas Alone

JAUNTED
· Three New Travel Apps to Add to Your Homescreen
· Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Thailand, for Beach Days and Night Markets
· US Airways Tweets NSFW Photo: What Actually Happened
· Got $100? Then You've Got Access to the Captain's Seat of an Emirates A380

(PHOTO: Yury G. on Foursquare)

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Eva Longoria and Lisa Rinna Give Us Inspiration for Next Year's Spring Break Vacation

Where: Mexico
April 16, 2014 at 4:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Spring Break is in full effect and we sincerely hope you're reading this from your tablet poolside with a margarita or pina colada in hand. If not, well, don't worry, you're not alone. We're right here with you.

But you can daydream about where to go for next year, starting with these two celebrity retreats in Mexico.

Eva Longoria spent her break with close friends at the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, located in between the beach and the jungle of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Word is the star and her friends have been making good use of the resort's Hamara Spa as well as relaxing on the beach. Longoria also had a special dinner celebration in honor of her birthday last month, complete with fireworks. Cheers!

The resort is currently in the middle of a 48 hour sale for travel through December 23, starting at $179 a room. All-inclusive options are available too. Sorry, the fireworks are extra.

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Yotel's New Restaurant Looks East and West

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 570 10th Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10036
April 16, 2014 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Futuristic pod hotels are dime a dozen these days, keeping brands on their toes. The Yotel New York is keeping things interesting by upping their dining offerings with a brand new restaurant.

East & West, a new dining and lounge concept from China Grill Management, opened in the hotel last week and features a menu by Executive Chef Bradley Day that features shareable small and large plates and pays homage to the best of the eastern and western worlds -- kinda like the hotel itself.

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'Ok Glass, Access My Starpoints': SPG Creates an App for Google Glass

April 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Google Glass hit the market for the general public yesterday for one day only (and for $1,500 a fully tricked out pair) and already, a hotel brand is catering to the Glassholes new owners.

Starwood Preferred Guest announced this morning that they will soon be releasing its SPG app for Google Glass. Here's what you'll be able to do with Glass and SPG:

· Search and Book: Voice search Starwood's 1,150+ hotels worldwide and then book your room
· Explore: Get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and explore photos of amenities, rooms or local areas
· Check Your Account: Access your Starpoints balance
· State Aware: The state aware technology already found on SPG's mobile app will be implemented here so guests can display upcoming stay details, recognize arrival, and customize experience.

In essence, it's not that much different from what you do on your phone, except you'll be showing off your Glass-ware.

The app has not yet been released to the Google Glass store but it is coming soon. SPG's Glass website also says that the app will be updated based on member feedback and of course, any new Glass features that come out.

[Photo: SPG for Glass]