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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Cheetos and johnnie Walker
What’s In: Locally-made or healthy alternatives
Sometimes it’s late in the day, dinner was hours ago and you’ve got the munchies bad, or it’s early and you just want to grab something before you rush out the door to your meeting. Your eyes drift over to the minibar, but that ubiquitous, teensy can of Pringles isn’t going to keep you fuelled, never mind toned. What’s a road warrior to do?
Fifteen Beacon goes beyond the standard M&M's and sodas to include local faves like Boston Baked Beans and Cape Cod all-natural potato chips, plus healthy alternatives including coconut water, protein bars and Emergen-C. To top it off, they even offer pampering products like cucumber eye-cream and Sprayology -- a holistic product for your travel-stressed immune system.
Local products abound at the Fairmont Pittsburgh including Betsy Ann Chocolates, Torn Ranch snacks, Naturally Yours trail mixes and local beers (Penn Pilsner and Yuengling). And here’s the best part: in keeping with the idea of “be good to your body, be good to the earth” they also offer complimentary, refillable glass bottles for you to fill with filtered water from dispensers located on each floor.
For you appreciative craft beer lovers, the minibar at Enchantment Resort in Sedona has swapped out mass-produced beer brands for locally-made Grand Canyon Pilsner. They also keep full bottles of local Arizona wines, chocolates, snacks and full-size bath products atop cabinets and vanities to really tempt you to indulge yourself.
Hotel Packages / Spring Training Deals / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Scottsdale Hotels / Sports Hotels / → All Tags
Hard to believe, but baseball is back with spring training under way down South. Florida is hosting its half of the action as well, but the unique thing about the scene in Phoenix is how close all the teams are (see map comparing Arizona and Florida facilities). Not only does this mean lots of options for games, it also means lots of hotel choices. And seeing as this is one of the best times of the year to visit the southwest weather wise, it's time to check in on some of the hotel discounts and packages happening in the desert that will help make your childhood dream of jet-setting down to spring training a bit more feasible:
Hotel Palomar: This Kimpton property is offering the "Batter Up" package that gets you 25% off the best available rate, two local beers, a baseball-themed welcome treat, and complimentary access to Gold's Gym Elite in case you want to hold your own spring training.
The Westin Phoenix Downtown: The 2013 Baseball Package has rates starting at $189/night Thursday through Sunday -- nice for a long weekend trip. It includes overnight parking, high speed internet access, and baseball “snack pack” amenities (there better be some Cracker Jacks!).
Hotel Fitness / Fairmont Hotels / Scottsdale Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Arizona Hotels / Yoga Hotels / → All Tags
You know you should be heading to the gym soon, right? You made some New Year's resolutions, and this is juuuuust about the time where you start getting a case of the "screw its". That's because you haven't found the right workout for you, honeylamb! But see, we have sacrificed and done the research for you and found something hella fun. They call it aerial yoga.
Here's the thing about aerial yoga: it's better than mat yoga. Not only do you get a better stretch (you use your body weight rather than muscles) but it's a crack up! In that Spiderman kinda way. And the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is one of the few places in the country that offers this class. So grab your yoga mats, people, we're going to Arizona.
The class launched in January (right when Willow Stream Spa unveiled its $60 million renovation) and is so popular, they have to turn people away. Talk about Burning Man syndrome. Thankfully they recently brought more instructors on board to expand classes. Guests who take aerial yoga will also have access to the resort's spa facilities. Fairmont Princess Scottsdale is the first resort in the US to bring Well & Being to life, basically a new program that combines health, wellness, nutrition, integrative medicine, fitness and advanced skincare together.
Go shorty, it's your birthday, Arizona Biltmore's gonna party like it's your birthday…
We'll warn you now: this song may be playing in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore when you check in.
This historic Waldorf Astoria property totally digs you getting one year older, so they're offering a free room for you during your birthday month (a minimum of two nights booking is required). To make it a serious party, they're also throwing in a cupcake and balloons delivered straight to your room. Bring your own party hats, though.
We suggest rounding up an active crew as this birthday bash is going to be off the hizzle: there's eight swimming pools, including a 92-foot-long water slide; 18-hole PGA golf course; seven tennis courts; mountain biking; hiking; life-size chess lawn and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
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It seems cliche, but it happens every year -- people get straight up dumped around the holidays.
And what happens? You grit your teeth through Santa's hearty laughter, thinking about all the fun you should have been having. Soon you're kiss-less at the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, and when you wake from this misery, Valentine's Day is looming around the corner. Crap.
Well, we feel your pain (seriously, we were tossed recently, too). And so do hotels, so they're offering what we refer to as "Lonely-Hearts Packages" (many dressed up as "Guys Getaways").
Here's a rundown of some ideas to pitch to your good buddies. Remember to play up how much your heart hurts and give them the proper guilt trip to come along and get you back in the game. You would do it for them!
Fantasy Friday / Celebrity Scoop / Lady Gaga / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / → All Tags
The past few Fantasy Friday's have been so completely downright dope and expensive that, at first, we pushed the $5,000 a night Villa Retreat at the Boulders Resort outside of Phoenix to the other side of the desk. We'd been talking $60,000 New Year's Eve packages and $20,000 diamond desserts, and $5,000 seemed a lot closer to reality than fantasy.
Well, guess what? We can't afford five grand a night any more than we can afford fifty grand, and if it's good enough for Lady Gaga, we suppose it's good enough for us.
The Villa Retreat is a Bali influenced five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath home situated amongst the boulder piles (dated at 12-million years old) on property, and floor to ceiling windows help take it all in. There's an infinity-edge pool, jacuzzi, fire pit, and two patios to go along with two kitchens, an elevator, a private driveway and a courtyard. Obviously, you get some service perks, including a butler. Oh, and on-property helicopter access should you need a quick getaway.
Hotel News / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Westin Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / → All Tags
One of the most surprising things about Phoenix is how uninvolved its downtown has been in the overall scene of the city. It's the sixth largest city in the United States, yet there are only two -- that's right, two -- leisure-focused hotels in downtown Phoenix (you can get a great perspective on the small part downtown plays in the greater area from the top of South Mountain, where you can see the entire valley almost tip to tip, about 60 miles).
Kimpton's Hotel Palomar, which opened this summer, hopes to create a spark and start bringing some of the business that's currently going on out in Scottsdale back between the skyscrapers. The hotel, built amongst the shops and restaurants of CityScape, features a rooftop pool and bar with views of downtown and the sports' stadiums -- which, currently, the downtown social scene revolves around.
While the city certainly doesn't want to let that go, it has begun to embark on the chicken-and-egg game of attracting tourists, locals, and businesses all at the same time. Could a modern rooftop pool scene from Kimpton light a fire in the desert heat? The concept sure worked in Philadelphia when they built a rooftop lounge next door to Independence Mall.
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We have been spending so much time on cocktail culture (well, it has been a rough few months), we figured we should be a little more balanced with our beverage coverage.
We started a bit by paying some attention to another one of our favorite pasttimes--afternoon tea. That can mean a simple cuppa for some of you--a jolt of caffeine to carry you through the day, or for more leisurely sorts, a more elaborate weekend high-tea filled with all sorts of yummy delights. We want to focus on that one--so much more fun, yes?
Now that chillier climates prevail in many parts of the country, the call for afternoon tea is in full demand and these hotels put out what we think are mighty fine spreads. We’ve seen quite a few people duck in to a hotel around the 4’o clock hour and chill over a demitasse of Darjeeling, a curried-chicken finger sandwich, and a jam-filled tart. We heartily approve.
Just remember, pinkie's up!
Hotel Desserts / Hotel Restaurants / Phoenix Hotels / Miami Hotels / W Hotels / LA Hotels / Arizona Hotels / → All Tags
Wish you could have your cake, and drink it too? Well you’re in luck as we've found hotels that will serve you after-dinner booze for dessert!
That’s right: boozy desserts. This liquor food trend is hitting hotels from east to west. From zany liquor-infused marshmallows to drunken ice cream, choose your poison.
We've found three hotel restaurants sure to keep you merry until the very last bite.
Different Point of View restaurant at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix serves a unique mash-up of liqueur-infused marshmallows complimentary to any guest buying drinks in the lounge. That’s right- they’re free! But wait, there’s more. The lounge includes a ridiculously swanky outdoor patio with 360 views of downtown Phoenix where a cozy fire pit awaits the roasting, ahem, buzzing. Each hand-made marshmallow features a different liqueur flavor including Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico (hazelnut), Amaretto (almond) and Kahlua (coffee) and comes with a variety of dipping sauces like caramel or vanilla cream. They're also equipped with long sticks so you don’t burn yourself alive while roasting—but we must say, the taste is acquired. If you like booze, you’ll like these. But be careful roasting as they do drip up a storm and a bib isn't included.
Talking Stick Resort in Arizona has bragging rights not many other resorts can claim. This luxury resort has its own bourbon. It's officially called the Woodford Reserve Talking Stick Resort Personal Selection Bourbon--a mouthful of a name. The beverage, which will be sold in the resort’s Shadows Lounge, an indoor cigar bar, will debut on September 14.
The group of Talking Stick representatives who helped create the bourbon visited Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve Distillery where they worked with Chris Morris, master distiller. We are sure that an appropriate amount of tasting and mixing occurred, all in the name of providing a quality product for Talking Stick guests.
On the September 14th debut, guests can sample the bourbon during three tastings scheduled at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
Hilton peeps say that the 25,000-sq.ft. eforea spa at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa (formerly known as The Spa at Hilton Sedona) will open on October 5 for relaxation, including their solarium and a 25-meter pool overlooking Sedona's Red Rocks mountain range.
And much like the first eforea spa in New Jersey, Hilton Sedona's eforea spa offers guests the choice of three different types of "journeys" to embark on during their visit, such as the Essentials journey anchored by an advanced, non-invasive Signature Correcting Facial; the Escape with organic products, holistic experiences and traditional healing practices such as the Hilton Head-to-Toe revitalization treatment and lastly, a Men's Journey, made for men and featuring a variety of treatments form facials to massages.
We've all had that moment of fear when we've checked out of a hotel and felt a little itchy. Uhoh, did we just spend the night with bed bugs? Now imagine if not only you were itching and scratching but your cat was too!
That's what a woman is claiming happened to her and her pet after they both spent a few nights at a Holiday Inn in Glendale, Ariz. The woman, who is only going by the name Elena, says she developed red itchy bumps on her neck after checking out the hotel. A doctor determined she had bed bug bites but her cat ended up in worse condition. ABC15 local news reports:
"I noticed she was starting to pull her hair and itching," Elena said. "I said let's see in a couple of weeks if it gets any better. Within that time, it had gotten much worse. There were bald spots throughout the cat's body and (pus)."
Elena took her cat to Apollo North Animal Hospital in Glendale. Dr. Patricia Bennett treated the cat. Bennett tells me the cat had "damage due to scratching an itch." Bennett said there were "scabs, bumps, and lesions" from "head to toe."