CT Travel Guide

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Inside an Even-Numbered EVEN Hotel Room

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  Site Where: 426 Main Ave [map], Norwalk, CT, United States, 06851
October 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM | by | Comment (1)

Have you ever gone to the gym and seen those guys with biceps bulging like just-fed anacondas, chests broad enough to land a small plane — and legs as thin as angel hair spaghetti?

In fitness, as with everything, it’s all about the details. Miss a spot, and “sexy” becomes “silly.” Fast. Luckily, Intercontinental Hotel Group’s newly launched brand, EVEN Hotels, sweats the small stuff.

It could have coasted on its concept: A line of properties that is designed entirely around wellness, from in-room mini-gyms to an onsite restaurant, Cork & Kale, that offers healthy meals worlds apart from the calorie-loaded grub you’ll find at most lobby bars. (The cocktails even use organic spirits.)

It’s sort of shocking that no one thought to do this already, and there’s assuredly a huge market out there for a fitness-focused hotel chain. I mean, somebody’s watching “Dr. Oz.” EVEN could have phoned it in. Thankfully for us, they worked hard to get it done right.

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Funky Friday: Inside The Helicopter Suite At Winvian

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  Site Where: 155 Alain White Road [map], Morris, CT, United States, 06763
September 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

One of our hotel picks for leaf-peeping this season is the all-cottage, no-two-are-alike Winvian, located in northwestern Connecticut. One would never know from the idyllic setting what lies within these standout design cottages. We couldn’t help but notice one in particular, The Helicopter Suite, and we just had to have it for Funky Friday.

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EVEN Hotels is Now in Beast Mode, Er, Opening Mode

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  Site Where: 426 Main Avenue, Route 7 [map], Norwalk, CT, United States, 06851
June 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been a longtime coming but EVEN Hotels, the new wellness-oriented brand from InterContinental Hotel Group, has finally opened its very first location in Norwalk, Conn.

We've spent a lot of time talking about what's inside the EVEN Hotel concept such as the in-room training zones, the Cork & Kale restaurant, the extensive fitness centers and the knowledgeable-about-exercise-staffers, but today, we're actually looking inside the EVEN Hotel concept.

Below are photos of the property from the exterior to the guest rooms (with so much exercise equipment), to the lobby and the restaurant. Have a look around, then put on your most serious judging face and score this performance in comments below.

Wanna get fit for the night at this EVEN Hotel? Rates for tomorrow start at just $108 for a wellness king room.

[Photos: EVEN Hotels]

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Mayflower Grace Officially Launches With Chic New Dining

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  Site Where: 118 Woodbury Rd. [map], Washington, CT, United States, 06793
February 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

Following an extensive refurbishment, this month Grace Hotels formally takes over Washington, Connecticut’s Mayflower Inn & Spa — and introduces an impressive new dining destination that would put the first Thanksgiving to shame. The 58-acre property, a favorite respite for moneyed New York power brokers and politicos, is now the Mayflower Grace: the second American location for the luxury hotel group.

The centerpiece of the acquisition involves the launch of a fine dining restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, showcasing modern European cuisine: pretty contemporary plates that you probably wouldn’t expect in the quintessential Yankee environs of rural Connecticut. For instance, smoked lobster served in small, clear, egg-shaped orbs with screw tops is a bit more “Lady Gaga” than “First Lady,” but coming from Cartwright, a five star-awarded grand chef Relais & Chateux, the results remain unsurprisingly sophisticated and polished for the teeth-gnashing upper crust clientele.

It hews to the formula of his muse at The Vanderbilt Grace in tony Newport, Rhode Island. (Next: Kennebunkport’s White Barn Inn is re-launching as White Barn Grace later 2014, according to a press statement, though it has already adopted the new name on its website.)

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Prince Harry May Be Blacklisted By St. Regis Hotels For Defeating Their Polo Team

May 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Oh, who are we kidding? We're sure St. Regis Hotels and their polo team, captained by hunky Nacho Figueras, let Prince Harry and his Sentebale Land Rover team win the match with a final tally of 4-3. After all, the hot ginger Prince Harry even scored the winning goal.

The polo match took place last week as part of the Royal Salute Sentebale Polo Cup at the Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut. The match was the opener to the polo season and it's primary goal was not to give us pictures of Prince Harry and Nacho together but rather to raise awareness and support for healthcare and education of the children of Lesotho, Africa.

Several other St. Regis Connoisseurs came to cheer the St. Regis team on--which includes Dawn Jones (wife of Tommy Lee Jones)--such as fashion designer Jason Wu, Starwood’s SVP Brand Management Dave Marr, Greenwich Polo Club Co-Founder Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour, Nacho's wife Delfina Blaquier (pictured above), model Karolina Kurkova and Olivia Palermo.

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Despite High-Tech Toilets Aplenty, The J House Got Peed On

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  Site Where: 1114 E. Putnam Ave. [map], Greenwich , CT, United States, 06878
September 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

The J House in Greenwich is a swank boutique hotel that opened in May inside a former HoJo. TripAdvisor reviewers so far have had nice things to say about it, like the service is excellent, rooms are super-clean, modern decor, nice pillows, etc.

Well, last week, it got peed on. According to Patch, a "very intoxicated" man was arrested at the hotel on Thursday night after three witnesses saw him drop trou and urinate all over the lobby. Which didn't make us laugh as hard as when we remembered that, yes, we've stayed at this hotel, and, interestingly, one of the first things we commented on about the room was the high-tech Neorest R 550 Dual Flush 1.6 GPF Japanese toilet. It even came with a remote.

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First Look: The J House in Greenwich, CT

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  Site Where: 1114 E. Putnam Ave. [map], Greenwhich, CT, United States, 06878
June 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

Ah, Greenwich, Connecticut, home to finance and insurance companies plus blonde monied madams (both young and old) sporting twin-sets and driving fast cars. Corporate viking GE is in nearby Fairfield, and they also come to play here. So, it's fitting that an old HoJo hotel was torn down to make way for the new J House opened last month care of Brenwood Hospitality Group. We drove our beat-up minivan to the hotel, handed it to the valet with nary a blink, and went inside for a look.

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What Commencement Guests Got for Their 'Study' at Yale Stay

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  Site Where: 1157 Chapel St. [map], New Haven, CT, United States, 06511
May 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yale students donned their caps and gowns this past weekend for graduation. To celebrate the Ivy Leaguers, the Study at Yale gave away a graduation present. Unfortunately, it wasn't a new car. But it was still pretty cool: The hotel handed out Moleskine notebooks embossed with the Study logo and with the Yale commencement 2011 insignia.

Moleskine, of course, is the mother of all travel notebooks/journals/etc. It's a favorite for its simple design, durability and infinite uses. All guests who stayed at the New Haven, Connecticut, hotel this past weekend got a big black Moleskine—a big upgrade from the usual hotel pad that falls apart when you use it.

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The Trade-off of Staying at a Hilton Garden Inn for Its Free WiFi

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  Site Where: 85 Glastonbury Boulevard [map], Glastonbury, CT, United States, 06033
March 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.

While the internet charges at Hilton Hotels vary in price, you can usually count on their budget brand, Hilton Garden Inn, to offer up free WiFi. But the tradeoff? This anti-view from your room. Yeah, and the snow piles aren't doing much to help.

HotelChatter Flickr member Bnilsen dropped this in our Flickr pool last month and while we don't expect much from a suburban budget brand hotel, this view still put us in funk.

And the scene looking in wasn't that much better either.

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Foxwood Sexes Up Its Fun Options with a High Rollers Bowling Alley

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  Site Where: 39 Norwich Westerly Rd [map], Ledyard Center, CT, United States, 06339
January 7, 2011 at 8:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

It turns out you don't have to go to Vegas, Dubai or Macau to experience some high roller fun--you can just go to Connecticut!

That's because the Foxwoods Resort and Casino has completed a brand new High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge with 20 bowling lanes (six of 'em for VIPs), billiards tables, a two-level lounge with a piano and 50-seat marble bar, two full-service bars and more than 60 HDTVs. Already this place, which actually opened back in October, is fulfilling our New Year's Resolutions list for 2011 (see #4.)

In an article from Hospitality Design, we learn that the inspiration for the bowling lanes was actually "evoking the glamour of Las Vegas in the '20s and '30s." Interestingly enough, Vegas casinos weren't actually around in the 20s and the 30s.

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Could We Be Doing More Studying in the Future?

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  Site Where: 1157 Chapel St [map], New Haven, CT, United States, 06511
October 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Study at Yale is settling in for the 2010-2011 academic year in New Haven, Conn., but could the 124-room Ivy League hotel be gearing up for new locations as well? That's what it sounded like when we chatted with Paul McGowan, the Study at Yale's creator and owner.

The Study at Yale has already impressed us with their spacious rooms, complete with reading chairs and ottomans as well as with their seersucker bathrobes, gingersnap cookies at the front desk and reading glasses on loan. But there are even more little touches at the hotel that we learned about from McGowan.

For instance, during reunion weekends, the hotel's bellstaff will wear hats commemorating the years of the graduating classes being honored that year. The bellstaff also gets in on the college gear year-round by wearing jeans and rugby shirts.

Yet an amenity that definitely scores top marks is the hotel's Daily Events Bulletin Board which is updated every day with the events happening in, on and around campus from athletic games, to talks and seminars and art and music exhibits.

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The Study at Yale Lets You Be More Studious-Looking with Eyeglass Rental

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  Site Where: 1157 Chapel Street [map], New Haven, CT, United States, 06511
September 23, 2010 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

When the Study at Yale opened near the Ivy League campus two years ago, we got all excited about the fun perks at the hotel like complimentary WiFi,leather reading chairs and the bathrobe which featured a seersucker design stitched with the hotel’s logo--a pair of reading glasses.

Speaking of reading glasses, the hotel has another fun perk, well, actually it's more of a necessity. If you've forgotten your reading glasses on your trip, you can borrow a stylish pair from the hotel who has partnered up with designer Amy Sacks.

And if you like them, you can end up purchasing them from the front desk or ordering a new pair from the Amy Sacks catalogue (Frames range from $60 to $90.) Which means no more desperate purchases of granny glasses from CVS. Now that's service!

Room rates at The Study at Yale start at around $239 a night but popular weekends on campus tend to sell out quick.