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Rosewood London may have dominated headlines for the past six months as the new kid on the block in Holborn (sorry Boris, we’re still not down with calling it ‘Midtown’), but this year should see two new hotels opening in the same area, albeit in a very different segment: citizenM and Hoxton, both representing the much appreciated wave of stylish but affordable options that most cities need more of.
It’s also seconds for both when it comes to the British capital: citizenM Bankside is a twenty-minute walk across the river, and Hoxton Shoreditch has been doing its things just east of the Old Street roundabout for eight years. We walked past both hotels to check out what the buildings are like and how construction is coming along.
Looks like those expansion plans of Hoxton Hotels are indeed taking shape: only yesterday we looked at a potential opening in New York, and Amsterdam is in the works too. Before those we'll first get a sibling in home city London, opening May next year in Holborn. Among the good news is that affordability will continue to be part of the brand’s key attraction, with rooms starting from £69 ($110) a night. We presume that the £1 flash sales will pop up here as well.
The Hoxton Holborn will have 174 rooms in a Grade-II listed building in three categories: comfy, cosy and tiny. We don’t have exact square footage yet, but those labels tell you enough on what to expect in the space department. Each will have a black-and-white en-suite bathroom, and free WiFi and a complimentary breakfast bag of granola, yoghurt, banana, and orange juice is thrown in. Public spaces will be managed by the Soho House group, with both a Hoxton Grill and Chicken Shop planned.
With new hotels both in London and elsewhere, the original Hoxton needs to keep up, so a refurbishment of guestrooms is underway – we’ll have more for you on that soon.
[Photo: Hoxton Hotels]
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We mentioned last year that ALT Hotels, baby sister brand of the chic Le Germain Hotels, was planning a Canada-wide expansion. They started in Québec City, then Montréal's Quartier Dix30, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and now? Halifax.
The 169-room ALT Hotel opened at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Monday and is the fourth ALT in Canada. The hotels combine good design and stylish interiors with a “no-frills found here” concept that works.
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It's the same song every spring and summer--people begin to make their travel plans to Europe, but international airfares can sometimes kill a budget. However, if there's any consolation, you can make up for that top-dollar ticket by staying at these new and affordable hotels.
Generator Hostel, Barcelona
Imagine bedding down in one of Spain's most intoxicating city's for less than the average dinner tab? That's what's up at the new Generator Hotel, which opened mid-March.
Part of a popular, trendy chain, the rooms are located on the top floor of a building. Each unit has its own balcony with views of the city, as well as private bathrooms--a rarity. Fiesta Gracia, the restaurant, is a great meeting place to bond with other hostelers and is open until 2 a.m. There's a surprisingly long, world-wide list of beer, wine & cocktails and even local DJs come to entertain the crowd while they chow on tapas and Instagram using the free WiFi. Continental breakfast is served at La Plaça café. Anwar Mekhayech (of Soho House fame) is the design master behind this hostel's boutique look.
And since you're in Barcelona, more art is minutes away as the hostel is only five-minutes from both Diagonal and Verdaguer metro stations en route to local museums (and even the beach!).
A range of rooms and layouts are available, with rates for dorm rooms (6-8 beds) starting at €13($17) per night and go up to €41 ($53) for more private single/double occupancy rooms.
You may have heard of something called the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a lake (Israel's largest freshwater lake, in fact), which is also called the Kinneret in Hebrew, and which makes several big cameos in a book called the Bible.
Jesus, who spent a lot of time here, never really had the option of staying at nice hotels, or snapping photos of the view from his balcony. However, for travelers like us, a killer hotel view is one of the supreme joys of visiting new places. Which is why the Poriya Guest House made such an impression on us during a recent trek through Israel.
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As usual, we were leafing through the NY Times Travel section this weekend, making mental notes about how we should plan on visiting East Frisia to try the tea, and, how we need to check out that newly reopened "Shalom" hotel in Tel Aviv, when something caught our eye.
It was in an article talking about the new trend of "stylish hostels" popping up in places like Mexico City, Singapore, Reykjavik and São Paulo. Of course, one of the more interesting "hotels" we recently reviewed was Freehand Miami, a hip $21/night hostel that's run by the Sydell Group (the same company responsible for The NoMad, Ace New York and Saguaro Palm Springs.)
Now, for the exciting part: the article casually mentions that the Sydell Group is planning to take the Freehand concept nationwide (yay!), and the next location will be New York (double yay!).
We've mentioned before how The Jade is done up in "1920s French Deco" style, and what that basically means is: rich dark wood and brick everywhere, geometric motif headboards and rotary telephones in the rooms, and, best, of all, a royal purple velvet-accented lobby (those drapes! that couch!). The vibe is kind of Gramercy Park Hotel meets Holiday Inn, since it's got the great location and the luxury, medieval castle vibe, but it's a new build and its price point is (thankfully) a little lower than GPH.
And speaking of which, the hotel is offering a pretty sweet rate of $180/night during the soft opening phase. Which is now. And we get that it's the slow season and all, but you generally don't find prices like that in the Greenwich Village area, like, ever.
It's getting more and more expensive to visit Oahu, and, for once, it has nothing to do with the cost of coladas or airline tickets. This time, it's actually the hotel industry that's pumping up prices by turning budget-friendly accommodations into luxury lodging. Grr.
Now, don't think this is malicious -- there's a lot of good work being done -- but the fact is that budget-friendly hotels are disappearing. Smith Travel Research reports the number of budget rooms on Oahu and Waikiki has decreased by 10% over the last ten years.
In 2006, Oahu had 33 budget properties but by the end of last year there were only 27 (less than 700 budget hotel rooms in total). Because of the high cost associated with building new on Waikiki, developers are deciding to renovate older buildings, turning them into newer, nicer, and pricier properties.
Despite that trend, you can still find a cheap hotel on Oahu. For our purposes, we consider anything under $200/night in Waikiki during high season a "budget property." Here's a sampling of some of the options we found, based on guest feedback as well as our own. Keep in mind it's currently the high season in Hawaii, meaning you can get even lower prices (and less crowds) if you visit in the late spring or summer...
After the recent craziness that was Art Basel, we're guessing you're in one of two boats: either you were there, and can confidently say you've gotten Miami out of your system for a while, or all the stories about Jay-Z and Beyonce sipping champagne in galleries and dining at Soho Beach Club have inspired you to do a little beachside cavorting of your own.
In which case, we're here to help you save a little dough. With Miami's peak season just beginning, rates tend to skyrocket from now through April. But it's not all bad news: here are a few decent hotels with peak season rooms for under $200...
1. Cadet Hotel—We've already sung this hotel's praises after our recent stay there last month. With the hotel's classic style, gorgeous courtyard pool area (with decent WiFi!), and cute attention to detail (the lavender sprigs in the curtains made a great first impression), it's no wonder why this place goes straight to the top of our list. Be sure to ask for a corner room at the end of the hall, as those are the quietest and most peaceful. Rates from $170.
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On a recent quickie trip through Miami, we checked into the Cadet Hotel in Miami Beach. Though our eyes got big as we walked by iconic buildings like the Delano, The Raleigh and SLS South Beach, we stuck to our original plan of doing Miami on a budget, and tried not to be tempted by anything fancy.
But as soon as we walked into our room, we knew we had made the right choice. The hotel was quiet, clean, and elegant. What's more, its location was unbeatable. Plenty of Miami first-timers will be drawn to all the landmark hotels listed above—not to mention the beach—but that's all super easy to get to from the Cadet, since the Collins Ave hub sits just one block away.
First impression: Walking into the hotel, we were greeted by a small lobby with obvious Art Deco accents like a giant circular mirror, baby grand piano, and an inlaid floor with a compass rose mosaic. A small liquor bar with espresso machine sat at one end of the room, and the Front Desk was at the other.
The staff was friendly, and even let us check into our room early—a huge help since we were running ahead of schedule and needed a place to drop our bags.
Read on to see the rest of the review!
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While shacking up at a beachfront resort in Tulum is a no-brainer, we're making an exception for Gardenias Inn Tulum. This downtown boutique (just one block from the main drag) will serve a plateful of culinary awesome in Riviera Maya's most bohemian-minded, yoga-centric, beach-bum paradise--a place not particularly known as a gastronomic destination. But you'll have to wait until mid-December to see for yourself.
The three-room hotel theoretically works as a fancy B&B (it's that "home-y") yet it still stands as a super intimate hotel. Foodies and non-foodies alike will surely fall for it, but make no mistake, Gardenias Inn is all about food. And good food, mind you. Owner Francois is a James Beard scholar, veteran of Philly's Chanterelle and has worked amongst chefs like George Perrier and Jean Marie Lacroix. She will feed well-heeled guests with eclectic global flavors (obviously with a French twist) like foie gras mousse with fresh fruit chutney. And if you hanker for local chow, the in can arrange gastronomic day trips to Merida to sample authentic Mayan regional cooking.
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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.