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If wearing corduroy pants was all you had planned for 11-11-11, think again. The auspicious once-in-a-century date is prompting hotels all over the country to go 11-11-11 crazy, and in a good way. Weddings have been planned. Carlos Santana tickets have been set aside. Scenic Best Westerns in coastal California are even getting in on the action!
If you wanna rock
Big spenders can reap the full rewards of Vegas' Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with a VIP "Extravagant Package." Though of course the trip would be ideal as a getaway (as in, get away into a giant bathtub and stay there forever), this package will be keeping you busy. Included are: a two-night stay in a platinum penthouse, dining at the hotel's "35 Steaks + Martinis" steakhouse, Carlos Santana tickets, spa treatments, and bottle service at Vanity. The asking price? $11,111, of course. But you'd better act fast—the package is only being offered this Friday 11 through Sunday 13.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
Though it looks somewhat like an emergency brake, there's nothing protective about this mystery gadget. As with most other What Is This items, this isn't something you need to have as much as something you might enjoy having. The "driving" metaphor isn't entirely inappropriate—you would only use this thing when you were sitting down, and it would be very helpful when trying to steer things the right way. Uh oh, we've said too much. Got any idea what it could be?
Do Not Disturb Signs / Hotel Snapshots / Hotel Design / Hotel Renovations / Affinia Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
We sure do love hearing from our readers. Not that we're trying to take the burden off our own reporting, but being told about a new hotel feature still rocks our world. Yesterday, reader Pam sent in this photo of the Do Not Disturb Signs at the renovated Affinia Manhattan—which, we should add, we toured and reviewed here back in July.
One reads, 'the day is short,' the other, 'the night is long.' Coupled with the nifty flower designs in the rooms, we find these little placards pretty cute! With all the new toys to play with at Affinia hotels, you'll be needing those extra hours in the night to properly enjoy them.
Call us weird, but we like to wander through hotel bathrooms. Sexy bathrooms. European bathrooms. Pink bathrooms. You name it, we're into it. We stumbled upon this one during a tour of the newly renovated rooms at Affinia Shelburne, and had to spend a good minute admiring what we saw in the mirror. No, we're not vain! Well, maybe a little. But we couldn't help feeling like movie stars under the glow of this lighted bathroom mirror.
Plenty of hotels go for that immaculate, monochromatic look that makes us feel like we're in a hospital. And while that can sometimes appeal, we prefer the balance that comes with a little color variation and texture. Yup, we like our bathrooms dark and moody. We said it!
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Affinia Hotels is still on track to be the hotel leader of all things cute (here's a refresher: cupcakes, toys, and flower-painted walls). Yesterday, the group launched its newest customer service initiative, the Tender Loving Comfort Movement (that's TLC to you), which uses behavioral science to anticipate exactly how guests want to be treated, and what treats to treat them with.
The brand's new Chief Comfort Officer (that's CCO to you!), Christina Denihan, was on hand last night to show off the new "comfort cart," which is available starting today in all the Affinia hotels during a trial period, in which guests can try any of its amenities for free. We chatted with Denihan about her history with the hotel, the idea behind the TLC movement, and what her favorite pillow is.
How long have you worked for the hotel?
I've been working for the company for five years. I've done every position at the hotel—housekeeping, concierge, front desk—so I know the people really well. In order to ignite the TLC movement, it's important that I know all the associates, because they're the people that are going to make this work. They're the ones who know our customers most, they're here every day.
When was the last time a hotel gave you a cupcake? If you're a New Yorker and answered "never," then today's your lucky day! Over on 7th Avenue, across from MSG, a well-stocked Cupcake Stop truck will be parked in front of Affinia Manhattan, giving out free cupcakes to anyone who wanders by.
The occasion? This month marks the final unveiling of Affinia's $25 million renovation, as we documented here—and a renovation is as good a reason as any to stuff your face with cupcakes. Funny, The Roosevelt is also undergoing some restoration work, yet we haven't heard any mention of cupcakes there. Now, we're trying not to pick favorites, but these free baked goods might end up tipping the scales!
HotelChatter Questions / Hotel Deals / Affordable Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Thompson Hotels / James Hotels / Affinia Hotels / → All Tags
We've gotten a few requests this week for affordable hotels in NYC, and thought we'd take a minute to examine the crazy roller coaster that is September hotel rates. First off, three major overlapping events—a UN conference, two consecutive Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and the NYC WIne & Food Festival—make for a severely congested "back-to-school" season. Go figure.
As a result, almost all NYC hotels—including normally-affordable "budget" hotels (Holiday Inns, Fairfield Inns, Hampton Inns)—raise their rates during this time of year. But as we showed earlier this week in San Francisco, there are always exceptions to the rule—just as long as you're willing to hunt for them. Luckily for you, that's what HotelChatter is here for.
Well, that's a relief! It seems we're not the only ones who get excited about hotel toys. After waiting eagerly for some like-minded souvenir hoarder's response—photos, url links, tips, anything!—our patient geekery was rewarded yesterday when we received this photo from reader Pam.
For a moment there, New York was feeling pretty special. With its "outdoor bedroom" package, AKA Central Park had become one of few hotels offering actual outdoor sleeping arrangements for deep-pocketed guests.
Now, Chicago puts one foot forward with the new "inside out suite" available at Affinia Chicago. Ever wanted your own private outdoor movie screening? You can have it. Breakfast in bed while you sunbathe? You can do that too.
Just when we had them pegged, Affinia goes and pulls another trick out of their burger-grease-stained sleeve. Affinia Manhattan is in the midst of a major renovation—and though not all of the floors are complete, we got a peek inside four of the new flower-iffic rooms.
$24 million has been poured into this project, which will be unveiled in its entirety this fall (lobby renovations won't be complete until early 2012). As of now, 91 rooms have been added. Track lighting has been successfully installed. Hallway carpets have been 'energized.' And we can't say we hate the new look. Click below for photos.
Either business is slow, or some marketing executive ran away with himself. Or maybe Affinia is just really, really proud of their chefs. Either way, we're loving their newest food-centric promotion: a national BBQ hotline. Yes, you read that right.
Three Affinia hotels across the country (The Liaison Capitol Hill, C-House, and Affinia Shelburne) will help launch this interactive new feature which encourages people (not necessarily guests) to submit all their BBQ-related questions to this address, at which point your query will be forwarded to the appropriate hotel (DC handles all southern-inspired BBQ, while burger-specific queries go to NYC.) After 24-48 hours of agonizing suspense, you may then expect a reply. On Monday, we decided to test out the hotline for ourselves. Read on to see the response we got!
To celebrate the start of the weekend, here's a fun fact we recently discovered about the Affinia Manhattan. Though probably not as gratifying as Chromebooks at the Ace, nor as intentional as the plastic bamboo shoots at the Indigo Chelsea—this feature was unmistakable.
As we stood by the elevators in the grand lobby, waiting to ascend from the din of Seventh Avenue, we looked up and noticed something funny about the large framed mirrors hanging overhead. Curved, swollen, distorted images jumped around like eggs in boiling water. What we were looking at, we realized, was a huge fun house mirror. And there was one for each elevator.