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Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. We figure, he won't be laying his salt-and-pepper head just anywhere, after all, he's big time now. So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we’ll give you some details on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city that’s sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
In this episode, our guy gets 36 hours in Atlanta, aka “The “A” the “ATL”, or if you’re truly looking to show you’re not from there “Hotlanta”. But Bourdain has thrown us a curve ball. For the first time in the series, he isn’t out and out boastful about his choice of hotel, so we were pretty much left guessing where he decided to stay, until we saw this pic and thought, "DUH!"
Though Bourdain mentions “there are a lot of hotel options in downtown and midtown” and gives us the two "official" mentions we list below, look where his ride is parked.
In Atlanta, eight luxury hotels opened in the past four years. Needless to say, tourism has been on fire in Hotlanta! Rosewood's Mansion on Peachtree's debut was promising though it ceased operation in May. Apparently, brand loyalty is especially huge in the deep south and, considering Rosewood was a relatively a newbie, the brand didn't catch on. So Mandarin Oriental Group decided to save ship, immediately taking over the property with a seamless transition.
Six months later, Mandarin is still captain of this prime piece of real estate in Buckhead (an affluent neighborhood), retaining all original structures but giving the property some major trademark MO influence. But, brand name aside, are they offering a better product?
We recently checked out Mandarin Oriental Atlanta to compare it with the former Rosewood Mansion On Peachtree.
We wanted to know, who is the fairest Southern belle of them all?
Movie Set Hotels / St Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Atlanta Hotels / Denzel Washington / → All Tags
It's not all in-room movies and #HurricaneSandy mania for all hotels. Others, like the St Regis Atlanta, are celebrating their fifteen minutes of fame in what many are hailing as the next movie to sweep the Oscars.
We received word that Denzel Washington filmed scenes for the upcoming Robert Zemeckis-directed film Flight, which comes out this Friday, November 2, at the Atlanta hotel. And if initial reactions at this month's New York Film Festival are anything to go by, then this is definitely a movie we want to check out.
An insider confirms that Denzel filmed three scenes for the movie inside the hotel, including the above shot, which was taken at the hotel's Wine Room. Additionally, the film will show the actor in the St Regis Bar, as well as the lobby. Even better: Denzel actually gets to call out the hotel in one of the scenes, with a quick one-liner, "Meet me at the St. Regis." We will, Denzel, we absolutely will.
Celebrity Chefs / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Atlanta Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Miami / → All Tags
It's not often one can get inside a hotel's kitchen, much less influence what's going to be on the menu, so InterContinental Hotels' new “Kitchen Passport” program is a fun twist that lets non-cooks go behind the scenes. The program, which started this month, invites bloggers and online editors to work with some of IHG's top chefs and mixologists to create a few new food and drink specials and recipes that can be downloaded via the brand's InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app mid-October. The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta began the experience this month and invited editor Anne Dolce of "The Daily Meal" to work with celebrated chef (and Oprah Winfrey favorite) Art Smith, head of the hotel's Southern Art restaurant. Together, they came up with a new appetizer (Southern Oysters Rockefeller), entrée and dessert. Dolce also paired up with Arianne Fielder at the Buckhead’s Bourbon Bar and helped design two specialty bourbon cocktails to go along with the new dishes.
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Gather your girlfriends this fall, and spend some time shopping, eating, drinking, and catching up. These hotels that are offering Girlfriend Getaway packages, designed for those who like to shop, drink,and be pampered.
Manicures, pedicures, cocktails and transportation to shopping trips within three miles of the hotel are just a few of the perks included in the Pampered Girlfriends package at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. Designed for a group of four, two more can be included for $75 each. Rates start at $359 per night for the group of four.
For ladies who prefer not to shop, and would rather de-stress and share plenty of laughs, the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans treats the ladies to a cocktail walking tour. Unfortunately the drinks on the tour are not free, and ladies best leave their stilettoes at home for this tour. Uneven sidewalks + alcoholic beverages + girlfriends = a major embarrassing moment in public and never hearing the end of it in the future. Eliminate that nasty old tension a little more with the included 60-minute Swedish massage. The package is $139 per day with a two-night minimum stay.
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Hip hop star Azealia Banks—whose hit song "212" went viral in early 2012—took a moment on Twitter yesterday to proclaim the wonders of sitting in hotel rooms eating fried chicken and watching BBC documentaries. Which we can totally identify with.
So for her sake (and partly our own), we decided to put together a handy Top 5 list of US hotels that serve awesome fried chicken, to be enjoyed either in-room or at the restaurant. As for the BBC docs? Less of a concern.
#5. Revel in Atlantic City made a big splash at the start of the summer by opening with a Beyonce concert. Well, we got to take a look around the hotel last month, and particularly enjoyed the fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes ($23) we sampled at Central Michel Richard. Who needs taco trucks anyway?
OpenThread / Hotel Food / Room Service / Manhattan Hotels / Atlanta Hotels / Orlando Hotels / Switzerland Hotels / London Hotels / Taiwan Hotels / Grand Cayman Hotels / → All Tags
When we posted your hotel check-in rituals, some commented on Twitter and Facebook that ordering room service is the first thing they do when settling in. We're a bit nosy, so we asked a few hoteliers and Food & Beverage folks what y'all are ordering--hoping there would be some extreme weirdness going on like anchovies on PB&J. But, bearing a little skepticism about the guest who asked for live tarantulas, you're just like us! You love a simple club sandwich. You crave a grilled cheese! Our mini-survey shows your faves.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta: Folks love to order the strawberry-stuffed French Toast, a breakfast dessert that is a Southern quiet riot made with brioche, toasted pecans, fruit, and sea salt.
Beau-Rivage Palace, Switzerland: Europe can be such a complex place, and this Lausanne, hotel shows us that their guests demands are no different! The most popular items? The pricey duck foie gras terrine at CHF 39 ($40.10) and on the complete opposite spectrum, chicken nuggets at CHF 18 ($18.50)!
It's hard to believe after so much hype (and so many new hotel openings) that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are coming to an end. If you didn't get the chance to celebrate these past two weeks at these hotels, never fear, there's still time to show your Olympics spirit.
1. The Reefs Hotel and Resort, Bermuda: "On your marks, get set, sip" might be an appropriate start to the Afternoon Tea service here at the Reefs in Bermuda. Executive Chef Karl Blunden working in tandem with the pastry chef has added cupcakes to the Afternoon Tea menu. The fan favorite? Cupcake contenders are running a close race; you may find vanilla or pina colada, perhaps banana and peanut butter, or strawberry champagne, double chocolate, tiramisu, red velvet, raspberry or marshmallow leading.
Tea is served every day from 4 to 5pm in the Reefs Lounge and is complimentary to all resort guests. Rates at the resort start around $670 during peak season (i.e. now) for a poolside room.
Here's yet another hotel that's playing off the success of the erotic E.L. James novels, Fifty Shades of Grey,-- W Atlanta in Buckhead , who is offering up its own Fifty Shades of Stay with two different packages. And just in case you happen to live under a rock, characters in the Fifty Shades of Grey novel participate in bondage, dominance and other naughty adult-themes.
The press release promoting the deals promised that you’ll be able to get your own naughty release from either package. How? Well. both packages include a copy of the novel, a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année Rosé, and a stay in an Extreme WOW suite (to get your WOW on) but the first package--at a cost of $3,240--includes a helicopter ride with a luxurious car ride to and from the airport, (sadly, Christian Grey does not pilot the chopper for you), a diamond tennis bracelet, a consultation from a personal shopper, and lacy lingerie, and a silk-eye mask for the turn-down service.
Get ready. It’s coming. Aloft Atlanta Downtown, formerly a Days Inn, will open in the spring of 2013 with 263 rooms and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
This new Aloft hotel will be in a prime location in Atlanta, close to the thriving hub of Georgia State and Georgia Tech as well as tourist attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca Cola. The CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Dome are also in the neighborhood.
As with all Aloft Hotels, you can expect a room that looks like the one above, a w xyz bar, the re:fuel 24/7 pantry, the re:mix lounge, a pool, free WiFi and affordable rates. It's too early to know the specific hotel rates for this location yet, but Aloft rooms usually start at about $125 per night.
While you wait for Aloft Atlanta, the newest Aloft in the U.S. is set to open at San Francisco International Airport on August 30th. Rates there start at around $200 a night.
We told you back in March how Mandarin Oriental hotels will manage the Mansion on Peachtree in Atlanta. Well, now the deal is done. The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta is in effect and we are ready to report some of the changes around there, starting with the spa.
Formerly called 29 Spa, the Spa at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta has changed up its treatment offerings to include an Oriental essence massage and a Peaches and Cream treatment with cream, peach oil, and a red clay scalp massage. (We love the way the Mandarin gave that treatment a local focus.) Other Asian touches are also on the horizon like the Mandarin Oriental foot ritual which goes a little something like this:
We can almost see the English bagpiper, playing away at sunset. We envision high tea, 24-hour butlers and a lavish hotel reminiscent of those in the United Kingdom. A resort modeled after Pennyhill Park in England and the Ballastone Inn in Savannah is planned for good old Atlanta, opening in 2013.
The proposed Balmoral Court Hotel and Spa will include a hotel and ten English-style cabins situated on up to 125 acres of land. Each thatched-roof cottage, estimated at booking for $275 to $500 a night, will have five bedrooms, a butler, and a garden. We don’t know the exact location for the hotel, but we hear that it will be either in North Fulton or Cherokee county and plans include a lake and an 18-hole golf course.
Resort developer and operator Tarby Bryant envisions a 60-seat five-star restaurant, a parlor, meeting rooms and library inside the resort’s main building. We followed all of that, and we could envision those things, too. Then he informed us that there will be a large field with a dog, a border collie. We gave that a nod. We love animals!
That's not all folks. On that lush field somewhere near a lake and a golf course, with our friendly bagpiper, there will be a shepherd herding his sheep. Sheep in Atlanta? We are still talking about Atlanta, right? Tony Tortorici, a spokesperson for the project reminded us that “the Peabody Hotel in Memphis has ducks. We have sheep.” So, there you have it. The groundbreaking is planned for later this year.
[Photo:Balmoral Court Hotel and Spa]]