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#Thatawkwardmomentwhen you’re in Brussels staying in your favorite hotel and realise you totally promised to share it with your HotelChatter family a while back but then time passed and life zoomed by and you forgot.
Sorry about that. Way back in February, we showed you the beer bar at the Zoom Hotel, a new opening in Ixelles, the trendiest part of the Belgian capital. We promised to take you inside the photography-themed rooms, too. And now, just in time, we’ve remembered.
This stay marks our third time at the Zoom. Why do we stay so loyal? Firstly, because it’s always fairly priced (rates are an obscenely low €65, or $72, right now for the low summer season, while the highest we’ve paid in high season winter is about €100).
View from the roof - and those $100 rooms
Paris: one of the prettiest cities in the world, but doesn't she half know it. As do her hotels - we can’t quite remember the last time one opened that we could actually afford (only slight exaggeration thanks to citizenM).
But here’s one that should fit our wallets - Les Piaules, a hotel-hostel crossover in the 11th arrondissement (Belleville), opening in September.
The creation of three entrepreneurs (with no hotel experience - bonne chance!), Les Piaules has architectural cred - it’s set in an art deco building - and that quintessential Paris hotel amenity - a rooftop bar overlooking the Eiffel Tower (bonus: this also has views of Sacré Coeur). And the obscenely low rates start from €25 ($27) per person - so what’s the catch?
Hoxton Hotels has officially gone international this week: The Hoxton Amsterdam is now open. We hope one of you had a chance to play that online fruit machine and win a free stay, which would mean you’d be lucky enough to lounge around these lovely public areas right now. These photos will probably be the only time you get to see them this empty before the millennials and digital nomads set up camp permanently in the vintage chairs and leather sofas.
As we type this, a Shoebox Twin is still available for this coming Friday at an outstanding €139 ($155) a night. Split between two, you’re getting a chance to be one of the first to stay here for the equivalent of a bunk bed in an eight-bed hostel dorm – quite the no-brainer. More photos below.
In yet another sign that SE1 Waterloo/Southbank/Southwark has become "a postcode you pay for", as we’ve been told on more than one occasion (London, raise your hand with us if you feel like you missed that memo), Hoxton Hotels is expanding to a triple-threat in the city’s hotel market with the announcement that their third hotel, The Hoxton Southwark, is in the works.
Generator Hostels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Rome Hotels / Affordable Hotels / Affordable Rome Hotels / → All Tags
The good news: Generator Rome is open! The bad: it’s not a proper Generator yet.
We weren’t expecting it for a while, so we were amazed to find the Generator site allowing bookings for stays in Rome. We like the look, too – less modern than the other Generators we’ve seen lately – think Generator crossed with G-Rough.
But don’t get too excited yet – we asked Generator why they’d been hiding their light under a bushel, and they told us that the hostel has had a “light refresh” and is operating, but isn’t a proper Generator yet.
The public spaces will be renovated “later this year” and the place will officially open early 2016.
The owners of the Halcyon Apartments are Bath’s toned-down version of Sam Nazarian: They own The Halcyon Hotel, the Halcyon Apartments (which is really what we’re talking about here today), Circo Bar & Lounge (at The Halcyon), The Basement – a hopping nightclub, The Porter Bar and Lounge, and Clayton’s Kitchen, which is headed up by yet another Bath-based Michelin-starred chef, Rob Clayton (which begs the question: Do all Michelin chefs move to Bath?).
These hotel and lounge mini moguls opened the Halcyon Apartments, consisting of one two-bedroom and six one-bedroom suites, in a Georgian townhouse conveniently located on George Street, at the very foot of Bath’s main shopping street that also leads to its most well-known attractions.
The suites are done in a comfortable chic style that you can book for one night or 100 nights (online, though, you can only book for up to 14 days) so if you’re looking for a long-stay option or just want to spread out for a few days with the family, this is the place for you. (If you’re looking for a room-room you can book into The Halcyon hotel, found at the other end of the historic area on South Parade.)
Now, when you check in to the hotel, you’ll be given a L’Occitane gift bag – shampoo and conditioner, shower gel and body lotion, soap, make-up wipes and a nail file.
Private pool at Rumah Surga
Sometimes being a hotel fan feels like it’s all about what’s new and pricey, where has the best pillow menu or tanning butler. But as I realized this past couple of weeks, sometimes a cheaper experience can be a much more real experience.
I was in Bali and had 10 days scheduled in Ubud. Initially I had fantasies of trying out all these kinds of fancy new places. Then I remembered I couldn’t afford even one night in most of those hotels. So I booked a villa instead: Villa Rumah Surga. It was $58 a night instead of the $250+ most of the decent hotels were, and I wasn’t expecting great shakes. But great shakes is what I got.
A stop at the Abbey Hotel’s Allium Brasserie for dinner one night prompted us to pop in the next day for an impromptu tour of this three-star arty, contemporary hotel. What this fateful stop proved to us once and for all is that many three-stars in Bath have pretty much everything you need for a comfortable stay and don’t charge you an arm-and-leg for it. (See also our piece on The Queensberry Hotel as a case in point.)
The hotel has 60 rooms (when we walked through last fall, the rumor was that there were plans for expansion to 99) set in a row of three 270-year-old townhouses. Situated close to shopping, restaurants, the Roman Baths, the Thermae Bath and Spa and Bath Abbey, you’re in really good company location-wise.
All rooms are decorated in a bright and sunny modern style, with a hint of English garden design evident. Light oak furniture, houndstooth and plaid patterns on the beds and windows, and original artwork make up the décor. Rooms also carry bespoke Hypnos beds, iPads, free WiFi and REN toiletries.
Bathrooms are kinda plain Jane but they're in the process of being reno’ed and will be completed by November.
The Queensberry Hotel is one of those small hotels made up of several townhouses – in this case, four Georgian ones – that is nicely designed in a contemporary way but with some little oddities added in that only seem to properly come from the British.
Things like having an elevator that jerks and hesitates like it’s not going to make it, and moves so slow you’ll probably beat it if you take the stairs. We used it as an opportunity to grab a few winks on the way up and down.
Then there’s the oddly placed monkey statue set on the modern bar.
And stairs that seem to come out of nowhere.
And the bulldog pillows.
The thoroughly surprising picturesque walled courtyard in the back.
The antique dresser that we could open to put our clothes in but then couldn’t get them back out.
And, finally, the best meal we had in Bath, hands-down.
All of this serves to create an oddly satisfying stay where you feel like you’re privy to a place whose eccentricities perhaps outweigh your own.
We certainly do have pics in the photo gallery!
Here’s why you should stay at Alila Manggis:
Hotel Openings / Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Canadian Hotels / Affordable Hotels / Groupe Germain / Winnipeg Hotels / → All Tags
Let's just pause for a moment to think about how lucky we are to be living in a time when hotels are spreading their design wings and letting creativity flow. And we’re not being irreverent here -- we mean it. Remember the old days when hotels looked like they were all cut with the same dull cookie cutter? Dullsville, right?
ALT Hotels, baby sister brand of Le Germain Hotels, is a leader out of Canada that specializes in good design at a good price (think Mama Shelter or citizenM but where the private space is as important as the public space size-wise). The hotels are designed in a sorta industrial chic look, with enough comfy pockets for you to nestle into. They mix high-end furnishings with low-end services, meaning you get Italian designer chairs but not a concierge. This is how they manage to keep their uber-cool properties at a reasonable rate: in Winnipeg we’re talking $149 per night, every night.
While ALT Hotels all share a certain style, each ALT Hotel that opens has some unique features that make it its own, and the ALT Winnipeg – just opened two weeks ago – is no exception and we’re digging what we’re seeing.
If you want to see what we're seeing, go to the photo gallery!