FLORIDA Travel Guide
Now that we know rooftop and terrace season is alive and pippin', we'd be remiss if we didn't address one thing--these booze-fueled outdoor antics can get pricey. It seems the higher the floor the bar's located, the more expensive the drink!
That's why we decided to head south to that delicious city called Miami where you can find a variety of hotspots showcasing happy hours for a song. Some are rooftop situations, others aren't. The point is you can have a good time without breaking the bank.
We urge other hoteliers to figure out a way to emulate these four fantastic bars.
This Biscayne Blvd hotel's Area 51 rooftop terrace has a nightly "Veuve on the Clock" Happy Hour beginning at 5pm with $5 champagne by the glass until 6pm. The flute cost raises by just one dollar until 8pm. There's also a new menu of small bites, grilled fare, and curated cocktails to celebrate summer. To make those bubbles even more fun to sip, there's a DJ mixing for the crowd from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Great for the afterwork crowd and those who can't manage to hang until midnight when most Miami clubs get started.
Hotel Openings / Florida Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple TV / → All Tags
All right, so here we go: Apple TV is digging its heels in the hotel industry.
When The Pearl, a 55-room luxury resort, opens in July on Rosemary Beach Florida, it will offer Apple TV in all its rooms. Is it ironic that an establishment on a beautiful stretch of beach is upgrading your television-watching ability? Totally!
We've hashed out our torn opinions about the value of in-room technology and its effects on the art of travel, especially when it drives up the room rate, but we do know that there are many travelers who will be quite pleased by this news (some of us included!). For those who've just come out of hibernation, Apple TV will allow you to stream shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix right to your hotel room.
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A small part of us chuckles that the world's largest Econo Lodge will humbly boast under 300 rooms, but we suppose it's a nice step for the typically small motel chain as far as novelty goes. Perhaps more important than the size of the property is the extra perks that are not normally seen at Econo Lodges such as an on-site delicatessen and free in-room Wi-Fi, coffee makers, refrigerators, and ironing boards. It will also have a partnership with the adjacent YMCA Aquatic Center, allowing guests free access to its three indoor pools, fitness center, and indoor racquetball courts.
The Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel opened this morning in Miami where the old Hotel Milejan used to be (don't we sound like your grandparents?), becoming the first Portuguese-owned hotel to open in the States. The property offers 97 rooms and suites throughout four historically preserved Art Deco buildings, a retro cafe (see photo below) and a pool bar set on a 1940’s inspired patio with an outdoor pool (see above).
Pestana picked South Beach for the location of its initial US property because of the area's existing reputation and popularity among its current clients in Europe and South America.
“North America is a very attractive and strategic market for the Group Pestana. This is our first investment in this market and Miami is a natural starting point because it is a gateway for Europe and South America where our brand is quite strong,” said José Roquette, Pestana’s development director for the North American market.
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Snowstorms in New York, cold front in LA. Who doesn't want to be in Palm Beach, Florida, where the palms are forever swaying to ocean breezes? We're heading there STAT with a cocktail in mind and talk about good timing now that HMF is officially open at The Breakers Palm Beach.
HMF (which stands for Henry Morrison Flagler, who founded The Breakers) is bringing back West Palm Beach's cocktail scene in a major way. Slated as a modern social drinking and eating destination, the bar is uber-nostalgic for that timeless American glamor allure. It's fancy-pants, but in that island style we heart.
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The idea of a luxe Four Seasons hotel at Disney World might seem sacrilegious to some, but as we first reported well over a year ago, it will be happening next year in Orlando. Wealthy Four Seasons fans have kids too, you know.
That 2014 opening hasn’t changed – this is a from-the-ground-up construction after all – so imagine our surprise when we stumbled on a dedicated website for the hotel, even though it’s not yet listed among upcoming properties over at Four Seasons, let alone in the list of destinations. So what’s there to know about Four Seasons at the Magic Kingdom?
Singapore-based GHM hotels oversees some pretty cool properties (the elephant-themed Chedi Club outside of Ubud, Bali is a particular favorite), and The Setai has long been considered the brand's flagship. It's a serene, Asian-inspired sanctuary amid the hub-bub of Miami's South Beach. (Side note: Did you know the word "Setai" is actually a made-up combo of the Balinese words for "south" and "beach", or SoBe? It's the Brangelina of hotel names...)
So as fans, it was with some trepidation we took the news that The Setai had left the GHM roster for the management of Dallas-based Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group. (Especially given the way it all went down.) With all the hotel buzz in Miami—including the arrival of instant-hotspot The James—was The Setai looking to pump up the volume? Were DJs going to appear in its mellow courtyard—or worse, would it make like its neighbors and start charging for beach chairs?
It's Monday and just the right hour to take a minute and play Witty Wordsmith with us, whydontcha? That's right, it's time to Name.This.Caption!
We've all heard of those people. They get up at the break of dawn and go treasure hunting. Be we have never seriously seen anyone like this until we paid a visit to the Marriott Marco Island Resort Golf Club And Spa in Florida.
Our man was on a serious treasure hunt. He had all the accoutrements of someone who was an EXPERT at digging for diamonds, pearls, or whatever could be lurking underneath the golden sand of this south Florida haven. Now, he wasn't a nuisance, (we don't think) even with his handy dandy shovel, headphones and all kinds of tools. We were intrigued! And we were wondering if he'd be creating pot holes in the
lawn sand with his intense investigation. But nope, he seems to be a regular and no one bothers him much.
And that seems to be the way of life on Marco Island in particular, which we kind of like and will talk about more soon.
We didn't interrupt him and ask him what kind of booty he's been lucky enough to behold (that was probably a mistake on our part), but that's because we were trying to respect his hustle. Also, we didn't want him to think we were going to muscle in on his turf!
So, what's the caption for this "Diggin' for Silver Dollars?" "They Call Me The Trezhure Huntah" "Beach Bounty Hunter"? Yeah, you can def do bettah.
Help us out! Have a humorous hunch about what's happening here? Let us know in comments below!
[Photo: Chanize Thorpe for Hotel Chatter]
This Fantasy Friday offers is one you might be able to pull off! Imagine, no need to cry in your coffee that you haven't a spare 5-figures (or more!) to drop on a flash hotel experience. Well, today we're going to actually take it down a notch because the amenities on this one are so swank, we couldn't pass up spreading the news.
This time we head to Florida's Four Seasons Hotel Palm Beach, which apparently has a big polo scene with its access to the International Polo Club. Well, alright. We're down with trying the "Sport of Kings (or at least future ones--how ya doin' Wills?).
The Four Seasons Hotel Palm Beach has built up three bonus offers to go along with their rate--and you get to choose which one that appeals most to you. Which would you rather have: an hour-and-a-half personal lesson with the sport’s top talent team, a private gourmet picnic at the Club where you’ll watch a match, or VIP brunch at the Club with preferred veranda seating during the match. Oh, and the kicker for all this? Whichever you pick,you'll be transported to The Club in a sleek Maserati and given copious amounts of Veuve Cliquot champagne during your adventure. Yeah, that's the business, baby!
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Florida Hotels / Cape Coral Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Westin Hotels / → All Tags
The Westin opened its first full-service property in southwest Florida last week in Cape Coral at Marina Village, located 18 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport and overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay.
Why come here? Well, Cape Coral is called the "Waterfront Wonderland" as it has more miles of canals than any other city in the world (400 miles of navigable waterways), so the 263-room Westin (previously known as The Resort at MarinaVillage) capitalizes on the location. The hotel is ensconced in the waterfront community of Tarpon Point, and, as a result, boating, fishing, and marine activities are big draws here.
While we love us some pool time, the hotel is close to Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Fort Myers Beach, which screams "day trip" to us.
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Attention, jetsetting bookworms: The Brazilian Court in Palm Beach recently announced its line-up for the 9th Annual Author Breakfast Series—and it's looking pretty sweet.
Presented by Parker Ladd, an exec at Scribner & Sons and famous for being married to noted fashion designer Arnold Scaasi, the Author Breakfast Series offers six author breakfasts, beginning on January 11th and concluding on March 29th.
Gracing the AAA-Four Diamond resort will be Michael Connelly, known for his #1 NYT bestsellers, and Tony Mendez, author of Argo. (If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that Mr. Mendez was played by Ben Affleck himself.) Oh, and we can't forget Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day Lewis. Swoon!
Like every year, the author breakfasts will be held at The Ballroom (pictured) at Cafe Boulud (yes, that Boulud), so it's probably not a good idea to show up wearing flip-flops and jam shorts. A $100 ticket gets you breakfast, valet parking and a copy of the featured book, but all reservations must be booked in advance.
Ah, Miami. The city of pristine white beaches, fake boobs, and more Art Deco than you can shake a geometric tail feather at. Hotels, too. Plenty of hotels. Some of them classic, some of them new and flashy, and some of them places where people get stabbed.
We checked into our mid-range South Beach hotel on Tuesday night, pleased with ourselves for scoring a centrally-located hotel within our budget (under $200). Except that when we walked into the lobby, the first thing we saw was crime scene tape, and a whole bunch of police officers.
"Um, what happened?" we asked as calmly as possible.
"Oh, there was an incident this morning. A pimp stabbed one of his hookers," the concierge told me.
"Did anybody die?"
"Oh, no," he answered, as though we'd asked if someone had fallen and scraped their knee.
Not interested in saying much more, he swiped our credit card, handed us our room key, and invited us to happy hour in the bar at 7pm. We weren't exactly thrilled at the idea of staying some place a stabbing had occurred just hours earlier, but then again, we'd already been on the road for nine hours, and we needed a shower and a nap. So we reluctantly picked up our bags, got into the elevator and pressed "3."
Read on to find out the name of the hotel we stayed at!