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There are over 3,500 Marriott hotels on Earth. There could be 3.5 million and that still wouldn't be enough to satisfy the world's traveling population, and so, for your future travel pleasures, we present three small hotel chains you've probably never heard of but should totally book because they're awesome (and growing):
P.S. - they all have free WiFi!
They just rebranded with a new tagline, "come as you are," and we couldn't be more in love. 25hours have become our number one choice for a hotel when staying in the four cities where they have locations, and we've reviewed two right here on HotelChatterFrankfurt-Goldman and Hamburg-HafenCity.
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Think about the adjectives typically associated with Frankfurt, Germany. They're not exactly the most pleasant, are they? Perhaps that's why the Goldman 25Hours Hotel shakes up the scene with confident use of colors and whimsical design touches. In any case, our stay (1 night, paying a standard prepaid rate of 92 Euros) blessedly brightened what had been a dreary, sleep-deprived week
Never heard of the 25Hours boutique chain? Well neither had we until last year, when we found their Hamburg HafenCity location and promptly fell head over heels. Their Goldman Frankfurt property is not as new or large as Hamburg, but the brand's bravery with design and affordable rates are very much in house at all locations.
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While more and more hotels realize that perhaps their guests prefer a fitness experience other than a musty gym, we see more and more yoga mats in closets and jogging maps on desks. Recently, during a stay at the Goldman 25Hours in Frankfurt, Germany, we checked in at reception next to this little "Jogging Corner" cart.
The Jogging Corner is all the basics you'd need to have an enjoyable run, while traveling light. That means they provide the water bottles, the small sweat towels, wristlet keychains or branded sweatbands, all complimentary to guests.
We went for the sweatbands, since we quickly figured out that these serve more than the function of storing the tiny specially made jogging map of the area; we wore the sweatband and stored our bus and tram coins in it. Perfect! No fumbling in a wallet while trying to board public transportation.
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With all the design details in hotels, it's no wonder they're the perfect place to get creative with Instagram photos. We're kind of obsessed with browsing the #hotel tag, and every once in a while, we bring you 5 of our favorite shots that impart major wanderlust. And don't forget to follow our own shots on Instagram under "hotelchatter," "jaunted" and "vegaschatter."
· The above shot was taken by us during a visit inside the Coach Suite at Martha's Vineyard's Charlotte Inn. Not bad, eh?
· Photo via claudialesti — Boy, this looks fun: lounging by the Hotel Santa Tecla Palace's square pool, gazing out at the Ionian Sea.
[Photo above: HotelChatter]
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Sling leather chairs. Old shipping containers turned conference rooms. Complimentary bike and BMW Mini rental. Atari. We're dangerously close to declaring the 25Hours Hamburg HafenCity our own personal vision of hotel heaven.
We've already discussed our room, the semi-secret video game booth and even the nautical wallpaper, but the best comes last with this reveal of all the 25Hours HafenCity's public spaces, from funky restaurant to chill vinyl lounge.
A final thought on the design, which sees "elements and materials from the shipbuilding industry interpreted with a little wink, and spun together with some seaman's yarns." It's almost like the hotel has combined all the best bits of the various Ace Hotels, infused it with a clever continentality and then, somehow, managed to also make it a joy (instead of a scene-y thing) to sleep over.
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Confused by the name? Well, 25Hours is a small chain of design-focused hotels, but they have two here in Hamburg, Germany. "HafenCity" is their harbor city location and it happens to be the only hotel within this very cool, very up-and-coming area that's also the largest rebuilding project in Europe.
According to some staff with whom we chatted during breakfast in the Heimat restaurant, Europeans (and especially Germans and Swiss) know the 25Hours brand very well; it's rare for them to see someone like us, Americans, choosing it over, say, any of the other large chain, international hotels located closer to the city centre.
Our love for the city of Hamburg, Germany is new and yet oh so exciting. We only fell head over heel for the maritime metropolis a couple months ago, and it was the HafenCity that tipped the scales from "liking" to "loving."
Luckily this most-nautical-of-all districts has a hotel: the 25Hours Hotel HafenCity. It belongs to a small chain of four properties under the 25Hours brand: Frankfurt, Vienna, Zurich and here in Hamburg. This chain just posted a particularly impressive Hamburg view on their Facebook page, and we can absolutely confirm that this is the typical view from the rooms at the HafenCity Hamburg hotel...although they've got the added special visitor of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in at dock.
And luckily the hotel understands that some of their guests have chosen this location for its prime ship-spotting address. Inside the rooms at the 25Hours Hamburg, there's a handy-dandy pamphlet with a schedule of ship arrivals and departures, with a special focus on the main cruise liners.
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Is the WiFi free? Does the gym have good machines? All these things get noticed when checking into a hotel, but what about the atmosphere of the placespecifically the art on the walls or on the floor? We're highlighting properties around the world that do their artwork right, and the specific pieces you should stare long and hard at when next you drop by.
Today: The 25hours Hamburg Hafencity's's in-room wallpaper.
The 25hours didn't win Travel + Leisure's 2012 hotel design awards for nothing. The place is an homage to the seafaring history (and the current hip culture that adores it) of Hamburg, Germany. Every little detail is considered, and twisted to conform to the hotel's theme, that of a international maritime trading post. At breakfast, your chair may actually be a pile of rugs. Need a meeting room? It's inside a repurposed Hapag-Lloyd shipping container.