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Last week we started a new weekly 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: Cooking classes
What’s In: Creative classes
Not so very long ago, we realized that more and more hotels the world over were bringing in art concierges to help guide you through their hotel’s art collection, or to steer you in the right direction if you wanted to take in the local art scene or perhaps buy a couple of noteworthy pieces from local artistes. Well some hotels have taken this further and are hooking their guests up with local artists to give them a hands-on experience with the added bonus of giving you a pretty nifty souvenir to bring home.
Here are some prime examples:
Hotel Openings / Boutique Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Turkey Hotels / Bodrum Hotels / Hotel Design / Beach Hotels / Nikki Beach / → All Tags
A couple of things need to be said here: One, wow -- Turkey is on fire right now, and two – so is this Miami-based hotel brand. Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts likes a good beach party, and soon you’ll be able to join the revelry and then sleep over in not only Bodrum, Turkey, but in Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Thailand and Lebanon as well.
But back to Turkey, where this boutique hotelier, who also has a host of Beach Clubs that specialize in catering to swanky sophisticates who take their enjoyment of life very seriously, has announced that they’re opening the Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum in early spring 2014.
Bodrum is about 500 miles south of Istanbul, and people can get downright poetic about the beautiful bays of Torba and Türkbükü and the whitewashed quaintness of the city’s buildings. But don’t be fooled; at night it sheds its innocent demeanor and becomes party-central. The Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum will open on the shores of Torba, only about four miles from Bodrum’s city center if you should feel the need to ever leave the resort.
Ever spent a beach holiday watching (wind)surfers graciously taking on the waves and thinking: I wish I could do that? Four Seasons wants to help you get there with a number of packages for both beginners and experienced surfers to step up to the challenge or up their game.
Few places are probably more associated with the surfer lifestyle than California, and the Four Seasons Westlake Village hooks you up with Learn to Surf LA, which will take you to Malibu for a 105 min lesson, ranging from safety and surfing etiquette to catching a wave in the Pacific.
It's not too late to head down under and soak up some rays while the rest of your friends are freezing their patooties off back at home. Nothing says summer like enjoying some ice cold beers while overlooking one of Australia's most iconic beaches, Bondi. The Swiss Grand Hotel, in Sydney's north side, is hosting a pop-up bar filled with summer goodies for guests to relax and watch the happenings of Bondi Beach.
The Accor resort has opened a bar on its, aptly named, Bondi Deck featuring buckets of beer, jugs of freshly mixed cocktails. Even the nibbles menu screams summer with handmade burgers and buckets of fresh prawns.
Just over the road from the sand and surf of Bondi, the resort boasts killer views of the Pacific and everyone who calls it their playground. The pop-up bar will serve up summer sippers and seafood until March 31st and will be open until 10pm everyday of the week. With plenty of restaurants on the Campbell Parade, there won't be a shortage of fun after they call it a night.
Hotel News / Necker Island / Richard Branson / Virgin Hotels / Luxury Hotels / All-inclusive Resorts / Beach Resorts / Beach Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Island Hotels / Eco-Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Well, now the world is saved! Okay, we’re being facetious, of course: It’s a noble thing to take a stand and do some good for the planet and, after all, we all need to do our part.
But we do have to ask: Just how much bottled water are they consuming over there on Necker Island? There are only six houses (aka rooms) holding a maximum of 28 guests. And at a cool $29,000 (single or double) for a seven-night stay during “Celebration Weeks” (the only time you can book individual rooms; otherwise it’s the whole island or nothing for $42,500 per night.
Is his British Virgin Island's nirvana really fully booked all the time to need to make a big deal of letting us know Sir Richard is trying to get green while collecting that green? Forgive us if we smirk just a tad.
Celebrity Scoop / Holiday Hotels / Cabo Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Gstaad Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Madonna / Jennifer Aniston / Angelina Jolie / Brad Pitt / Turks and Caicos Hotels / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
We're not haters or anything, but we've had to endure reruns and all types of holiday delays. And then we had to get back to work on the 2nd. Hell, some of us working stiffs didn't get much vaca at all. So, we're just wondering why these celebs still seem to be taking a break. Do they not have movies to shoot? Tracks to record?
OK!We admit it--from the pics we're seeing we're just jelly we're not in their spots. So we'll once again just live through them. And seethe from afar.
Madonna and her brood (including her 25-year-old boyfriend Brahim Zaibat) headed to the resort town of Gstaad, Switzerland, for New Year’s. It seems Anne Hathaway and new hubby Adam Shulman were around for the holidays, too. While the Material Mama spent time attempting to ski and bit the dust a few times, it seems 16-year Lourdes was smoother on the snowboard.
Hotel Rooftops / Rooftop Bars / Romantic Hotels / Venice Beach Hotels / Warm Weather Hotels / Beach Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / California Hotels / Lindsay Lohan / → All Tags
Even though its winter, you can still take advantage of the relatively drama-free weather on the Left Coast where the rooftop shenanigans live-on. Remember, these haunts are available year-round and come with a side of schwanky--hold the frostbite. So grab your date and enjoy these rooftop destinations for your next romantic romp west of the Mississippi.
Suite 700, Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica, CA
Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica's Suite 700 open-air bar & lounge is the epitome of swank with its Art Deco Hollywood glamour combined with epic views of the Pacific sunset. It's no wonder the hotel was named after the earthly paradise James Hilton spoke of in Lost Horizon. Treat your date to a fire pit and some popcorn chicken avec cocktail, and get lost watching the flames. Or watch the killer sunsets. The nice thing about Shangri-La is you can stay indoors in the lounge if it's breezy, or venture onto the rooftop, so its the best of both. Weekends can be crowded, so try a weeknight or just come early if you want some elbow room.
Hotel Rebrandings / Viceroy Hotel Group / St. Lucia Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
After what seems like an interminable amount of time (really, about four years in the making) St. Lucia's Jalousie Plantation, originally to be called "The Tides", was named Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, on December. 1st.
We visited the property about three years ago where renovations (which eventually topped out at $100 million) had already begun on transforming Jalousie into a more sleeker resort. Coincidentally that's when the Viceroy Hotel Group had taken over Tides properties in Mexico and renamed them Viceroy as well.
Although there's a new lobby and reception area, the resort's most evident and beautiful change are the additions of the new luxury villas that come with their own plunge pools and butler service. Another improvement is the Rainforest Spa, which now has seven treehouse treatment cabanas to experience more authentic and organic therapies such as the sulphur and lime body wrap or papaya and sea salt body polish.
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Events / California Hotels / Point Reyes Hotels / Beach Hotels / Fishing Hotels / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
Window washing pulley or ancient repelling gear? Not at Nick's Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages on Northern California's Tomales Bay, where you'll spy the above ropes and hooks once used to haul in crab pots and fishing nets now in the boat shack at the end of the pier. As recreational Dungeness crab season kicks off this fall, more of that crab-fetching gear will be showing up on November 11, when Nick's Cove hosts its inaugural Crab Catch competition and celebration.
Never heard of the Cottages at Nick's Cove? Tucked within the West Marin coast just 50 miles north of San Francisco, Nick's Cove may be better known for its locally sourced California cuisine than its totally charming overwater bungalows, but it's about time we right that equation. Nostalgic and nautical with down comforters and wood burning stoves, each of the 12 cottages comes with either a waterfront location or waterview and names like Nicolina and Bandit's Bungalow. Part coastal cabin and part hunting lodge, each of the cottages are unique, cozy and awesomely kitschy.
The crab catch offers a great time to check out Nick's cottages. But what the heck happens at a crab catch anyway?
Film Festivals / Hotel Packages / Celebrity Hotels / California Hotels / Beach Hotels / Dog-Friendly Hotels / Carmel Hotels / → All Tags
Lesser known but no less worthy, the fest has got former mayor Clint Eastwood weighing in on his namesake award, lectures and workshops, and VIP cocktail parties. There’s also a seaside cache no big city fest can touch with a Saturday night movie on the beach, the Filmmakers Beach Bash (think boatloads of Monterey County wine) and the elegant, pooch-tastic Cypress Inn.
Just two blocks from Carmel Beach, the 44-room landmark inn makes especially good sense during the Carmel Art and Film Fest not only for its vintage Hollywood beauty but also because of its co-owner, legendary cinema star Doris Day. Belonging to a collection of Carmel Boutique Inns and around since 1929, Cypress Inn is hodgepodge of charm and style with a Mediterranean vibe, in-room fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and that magically compact grandeur only seen in Carmel-By-The-Sea. You’ll get this right away on site of the hotel’s elevated, vintage entrance, something that always grabs us from the start.
Hotel Deals / Hotel Packages / Hotel Promo Codes / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Westin Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Beach Hotels / Tahiti Hotels / → All Tags
Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Today, we've got a few to tickle your fancy before we unveil our Fall Package Specials next week! As usual, don't forget to tell us about your stay!
·The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix has an “Autumn Enchantment Package” that promotes reduced room rates, a complimentary night and other extras such as breakfast for two daily, and a reduced resort charge of $10 from $28 (which entitles you to WiFi, fitness center and putting course access, and more). Rates begin at $279 per night with the 3rd night free (3-night min). Use booking code "Autumn" when reserving online or call 800-950-0086.
Air Tahiti Nui has a few five-night value-season packages starting at just $1949 per person, double occupancy. One option:
Magical Moorea with Tahiti! ($1949 pp)
Includes five nights on two islands
•Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete on Air Tahiti Nui
•One night in Tahiti at the InterContinental Hotel Resort Tahiti in a Standard room
•Round-trip ferry transfers to Moorea
•Four nights in Moorea at the InterContinental Hotel Resort Moorea in a Lanai room
•Daily breakfast for two
•Welcome flower lei, all transfers and all taxes
Must be booked by October 31, 2012, for travel from November 1 to December 14, 2012 and January 7 to March 31, 2013. Reserve through 800-217-3300 or through Air Tahiti Nui.
Hotel Openings / Beach Hotels / Belize Hotels / Ambergris Caye Hotels / San Pedro Hotels / → All Tags
We can't seem to keep our mouths shut. Every time we find an under-the-radar hotel, we swear we'll keep the good fortune to ourselves so the place won't get spoiled. But, we end up spilling the beans anyway when it comes to our latest find which is actually fun, because you know...we're givers here at HC. It brings good hotel karma.
Note:When seeking seclusion, a resort that takes at least two flights and a boat ride to reach it is a good place to start. Lots of properties like to market themselves as being private and remote, but many times that's manufactured by man-made barriers that restrict access and boundaries that box you into isolation rather than expose you to it. El Secreto Resort opened this week just off the northeast coast of Belize, and we find it to be a pretty good example of what a true hideaway should be. Guests catch a boat from San Pedro to make the 11-mile trip up the coast, past mangroves, and escaping civilization almost entirely as the resort is not accessible via car.