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The Best Geek Hotels in the World for 20.11

May 25, 2011 at 3:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

Congratulations fellow humans, we've made it to the second decade of the new millennium. We've not only survived Y2K but also, The Rapture and each year, we've acquired new tech skills and gadgets.

We've cycled through countless cell phones (Sidekick anyone?), we've read books without turning a page, everyone and their mother now knows how to text and we're not afraid to put our junk on the internet -- actual junk thanks to Craigslist and eBay, and emotional junk thanks to Facebook and Twitter.

The same tech trends can also be applied to hotels. Wireless internet is practically a compulsory amenity (whether it's free or not is a different story), flat-screen TVs are commonplace, and putting an iPad on the nightstand is not unusual.

So if all these are the norm for hotels in 2011, what makes a hotel geek worthy this year? SciFi decor, keyless entry, karaoke cabins, an underground suite and a Batmobile, to name a few. Go ahead, let your geek flag fly and take a gander at this year's Best Geek Hotels. It is Geek Pride Day after all.

The Tron Hotel: Shangri-La Vancouver
The Tron Suite at the Icehotel may have melted but you can still don your homemade electroluminescent suit and check into the Shangri-La Vancouver. This hotel was transformed during the 2009 filming of Tron Legacy into the headquarters of Encom complete with futuristic lighting and a large Encom logo. All that's gone now but somewhere in the Digital World, they remain. And like all Shangri-La hotels, the internet here is free. Which is good because the room rates go for about $600 a night.

The Tweet-Up Hotel: Yotel Times Square
This soon-to-open Yotel already won us over with their luggage Yobot but we were equally geeked out when we heard about their Club Cabins. These mod pods are available to rent by the hour or the day (rates are still TBD) and feature white leather banquette seating, a coffee table that can flip out to a full-sized table, a flat-screen TV and a video game console. It's also wired to work for both business presentations and get this, karaoke. Can you say Tweet-Up? The hotel will officially open on June 1 with rates at a special price of $140 a night. And yes, the WiFi is free.

The James Bond Hotel: The Eccelston Square Hotel
This looks pretty much like your average hotel room but much like James Bond had weapons hidden in his attache case, the Eccelston Square Hotel has tricky technology you wouldn't know about unless you poked around. Like the high-tech Hastens bed which have their own mini-massage system. Or the switch in the bathroom that turns the glass from see-through to opaque in case you have visitors, what better way to hide a Bond girl in distress? Q would be so proud. Of course you can't miss the iPad2s on the nightstand and the 46-inch 3DTV which comes with two pairs of active 3D Panasonic glasses. The hotel will officially open on July 4 with rates of 250 GBP and yup, the WiFi is free here as well.

The Howard Roark Hotel: Hotel Silken Puerta America Madrid
This is an architect and designer's wet dream hotel. It features the works of 19 architecture and design studios in the world from thirteen different countries. Each architect/designer was given an entire floor to work with. Jean Nouvel did the suites on the 12th floor which feature giant photography from Araki and Fleischer, Zaha Hadid went futuristic on the first floor and Norman Foster did the airport lounge-inspired rooms on the second floor. For science fiction enthusiasts, stay in one of Hadid's Space Club rooms with its totally white floor and walls and winding forms (shown above.) These rooms start at around 200 Euros a night and include free WiFi.

The App-as-a-Key Hotel: Blow Up Hall 50 50
Keyless rooms should have been the wave of the future by now but not many hotels seem to be catching on. Which is why you'll have to get your keyless fix at the interactive art hotel, Blow Up Hall 50 50, in Poznan, Poland. Guests here receive an iPhone to open their guestroom doors. And since none of the guestrooms are numbered, IT recognition technology is used to match the guest with their room. (Simply point your phone down the hallway and a small screen outside the correct door will light up.) Even picking a room is scientific as it's assigned via a picture, color, number test. Just be mindful of what you do during your stay as your comings and goings are all being filmed and then shown on an interactive CCTV collage in the lobby. Rates cost about the same as an iPhone 4 or $500 a night.

The Custom Technology Hotel: Peninsula Hotels
Any hotel that has its own proprietary technology laboratory is a must on the Geek Hotels list and with Peninsula Hotels, there are 10 different hotels to try. All the room tech for these hotels have been researched, developed and custom-built in Peninsula's own R&D facilities in Hong Kong. They are overseen by Q, er, Ingvar Herland the general research manager. Most of the gadgetry the lab involves master control panels so guests can control the elements of their room at the touch of a button. But in the end, Ingvar's team is really pulling the strings as they have the power to control the electronics in every single guest room around the world from their lab.

The Groupon Hotel: Avenue Hotel Chicago
No, no, we are not saying this hotel can be reserved on the daily deals email goliath. However, if you are looking to visit Chicago's hottest tech company (that employs a mind-blowing 1,500 workers in Chi-town alone), for business, or pleasure, The Avenue Hotel is where Groupon Geeks stay. Located in downtown, the hotel offers special Tech Rooms that come with dedicated T1 lines with "turbo speed" internet connections, iMac computers, LCD TVs with premium cable channels and color printers. Yes, in-room. The hotel's business center also boasts "interplanetary speeds" downstairs in their business center, so you will never miss a skydiving daily deal again. Groupon headquarters is 20 minute walk, or if you get tired you can hop on the L part of the way. Rates for the Tech Rooms start around $400 a night.

Sleeping with Tesla's Ghost: The New Yorker
When you can't get you iPhone app approved by Apple, you need to seek solace on the 33rd floor of the New Yorker. More specifically, room 3327, the two-room suite where prolific patenter Nikola Tesla spent his last years. Tesla earned a bit of a mad scientist rep later in life but he is still credited with pioneering modern electrical engineering, although he got stiffed for his work on wireless power transmission and X-rays. In fact, Thomas Edison may have lifted most of his ideas from Tesla, who died penniless. Aside from sleeping where a misunderstood genius slept, the hotel's Art Deco architecture and now defunct subterranean passage (that once led to Penn Station) will satisfy your inner history geek as well. Another geek fact--the hotel is owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church and leader of the Moonies. Rates start around $265 a night. You have to call and ask for this room specifically but it's often booked so be flex with your dates.

The Underground Hotel: Grand Canyon Caverns
If the End of Days is really coming on October 21st, your best bet for riding out the destruction might be in this underground Cavern Suite at the Grand Canyon. It took 65 million years to form but today the cave, er, suite is stocked with two double beds, a living room with a fold-out sofa, an archive of National Geographic magazines dating back to 1917, a record player and plenty of lighting options. Water is hand-carried down and up by staff and there's always an employee up at ground level should you need assistance. But if you need to hide away from baby mama drama of Schwarzenegger proportions, the suite is actually along a guided tour route so your privacy is nil during tour hours. Rates start at $700 a night for two people and increase $100 for every friend you bring (up to six friends total.)

The Batman Hotel: Eden Hotel
This themed hotel room, modeled after Batman's Batcave, is truly for the diehard Batman fan. For starters, it's all the way in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Second, it's located inside an erotic hotel with hourly rates. Third, the hotel reportedly gives away lubrication and lingerie around peak holiday times. Finally, the Batman logo is everywhere--behind the bed, behind the TV, on the mirrors, on the walls and yes, on the Batmobile. If you must go, we urge you to wipe down the Batmobile with sanitizer before you use it. You never know what Robin was doing in there. Rates are around $50 for three hours.

[Photos: Cinema Spy; HotelChatter; Eccleston Square; Ken Lee; Blow Up 50 50; HotelChatter; Avenue Hotel; New Yorker Hotel; Grand Canyon Caverns; Eden Hotel]

Know of a Geek Hotel we missed? Enter your command in comments below!

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Avenue -> Crowne Plaza Avenue Hotel

The Avenue Hotel is actually the "Crowne Plaza Avenue Chicago Downtown" now. Just sayin' :)

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