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As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
Hotel Uniforms / Fashion Hotels / Designer Hotels / Christian Lacroix / Accor Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Bangkok Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Thailand Hotels / → All Tags
It makes sense for a French hotel portfolio, such as Accor to recruit a French fashion designer such aslike Christian Lacroix to design not only the rooms, but the uniforms for their ultra hip Sofitel So Bangkok. As expected, these digs and outfits are So over the top while managing to maintain traditional Thai themes.
Lacroix married East and West elements into his unique designs that make each staff member a walking fashion plate. Using traditional Thai silk and silhouette the designer brings a little Paris runway show to the streets of Bangkok with his brightly colored uniforms for both men and women. Each piece is different from the next by using the basic elements and mixing and matching tops, bottoms, and sashes so everyone looks like a top model.
Last week, we gave you a sneak peek into Bangkok's shiny new W Bangkokand now we'll pull back the bejeweled curtain and show you the glam rooms. Being in a world-class city, you can expect a new hotel to have all glitz and shine; the W Bangkok doesn't fail the 'come to the party' test with its rooms fit for a jewel smuggler.
From the moment we stepped foot in the door, we knew we were somewhere special. Not only did we notice that 'new hotel' smell--it welcomed guests just 2 months ago--we may have been blinded by the shimmer and sparkle of the rhinestones, like everywhere. We will admit, we like a hotel that can successfully use lots of bling and, in true W style, this hotel has pushed the envelope.
What could be better than sexy design, familiar, yet thoughtful amenities, all the pizazz you can imagine and that new-hotel smell? Not much and that's why we are absolutely loving everything about recently opened W Bangkok.
Here's a little peek into the glam that is one of the city's newest hotels hotspot. Everything you expect from the edgy brand and more featuring glass block room dividers, rich jewel tones and more sparkles than any hotel room we've stayed in, these are the digs that inspire home renovations that fail to hit the mark.
There is a little part of us that feels like we'd been teleported from Southeast Asia to a jewelry gallery mixed with a prize fighters house. Stay tuned for a full review and pics of all of the little touches and pieces of sparkle from the lobby to the room. In the meantime, just simmer in these sexy snaps.
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak for HotelChatter]
Swimmers with a strong stomach have more and more options these days when wanting to take a dip. From the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (55 stories up in the air) to the Joule in Dallas, we previously looked at 10 Death Defying Rooftop Pools and received many more suggestions from you.
Today we’re adding another one to our list, this time in Thailand at the Okura Prestige Bangkok. If something looks off in the picture above, believe us when we tell you it’s no Photoshop: set on the 25th floor, the pool juts out of the curvature of the Park Ventures Ecoplex building, of which the hotel is part. The curved shape, widest at its middle and tapering at both ends (reflecting the Thai symbol of “wai” – thanks and welcome), literally gives you a sense of floating over the edge. Open from 6am to 9pm, an early or late swim as the city wakes up or evening falls will have to be added to our to do’s during a next trip to Bangkok.
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Listen, we dodged that whole Doomsday thang (though we are Girl and Boy Scouts of preparedness, nonetheless), so let’s try and celebrate some good times, shall we?) We’ve clued you in on some Choice New Year’s Eve parties being held at hotels across the world. So, we hope you've decided (for once) to relax, relate, and release and get your party on!
But do you know which hotels to book if you want front-and-center views of fireworks and the action come midnight, whether you feel like going out, or prefer to stay in?
We've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite spots to trip the lights fantastic! Here are their around-the-world faves:
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Park Hyatt Bangkok
With the Grand Hyatt Erawan already open, the group’s selection of brands in the city is nearly complete. So Mister Hyatt, will an Andaz be next? While we wait for that announcement (we just heard about a Tokyo addition), read on for details on the two new hotels.
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It's beginning to feel a lot like...a tropical Christmas?
Hotel delays exasperate us. Booking last-minute hotels sometimes stresses us out. So excuse us while we take a minute and just focus on the one thing that's guaranteed to bring us some joy: big, bright, colorful, and unnecessarily elaborate hotel Christmas displays.
Go on, click through our photo gallery and let the holiday magic unfold!
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With big things happening for Tune Hotels in the UK and Australia, it kind of makes sense that the expansion waves would also carry over to Asia, where the chain is actually based.
This September, Tune will open its third Thailand hotel, a 130-room outpost on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Soi 14, a few blocks away from Lumphini Park, and encircled by pricier hotel choices like Westin Grand Sukhumvit, Grand Millennium Sukhumvit and Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit.
But while basic rooms at those places generally go for around $150-$220 USD, Tune will be swinging into town with rates of just $15 USD/night.
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These days, amenities can make the difference between booking one hotel and kicking another to the curb. So, properties are upping their A-game. The latest trend? Wooing potential guests with two sure-fire hits: booze and technology. These hotels have got it right with these tasty and techy treats.
The Opus Vancouver goes a step beyond just offering in-room iPads. Guests are actually allowed to take those iPads anywhere off property, since the devices are equipped with GPS. Plus, customers will save money by avoiding international data charges if they forward their calls to the iPad and check emails there instead of on their smartphones. Genius!
What would you say if we told you that a hotel just opened today that has rooms with private courtyards, with private pools and rooftop terraces, and yet it's in a giant metropolis and not on some deserted island? Well, you'd probably ask where and how much. The answers: Bangkok, Thailand and starting at $516 per night for no pool and $1000 per night with the pool.
It's called The Siam and in a town where luxury rooms can usually be had for as little as $100 per night, it's a hotel with a certain demographic in mind, specifically high-spenders looking for maximum privacy with minimum big city feel.
We at Hotel Chatter like to indulge our desires on a regular basis (cake from the Mandarin Oriental Paris, anyone?) and few come any more passionate than chocolate.
The Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok with its splendid setting on the banks of the Chaopraya River is home to a confectionery cornucopia called, simply, The Chocolate Boutique.
The classy signature outlet is located on the lobby level and a heaven for chocoholics. After being greeted at the imposing entrance to the hotel by pith helmeted and putteed doormen, a homage to colonial style, head inside the chandeliered lobby, go forward and turn right and there you see it. The duck egg blue and rich mahogany exteriors and subdued lighting are enticing and suggest the dark pleasures that await.