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All right, so here we go: Apple TV is digging its heels in the hotel industry.
When The Pearl, a 55-room luxury resort, opens in July on Rosemary Beach Florida, it will offer Apple TV in all its rooms. Is it ironic that an establishment on a beautiful stretch of beach is upgrading your television-watching ability? Totally!
We've hashed out our torn opinions about the value of in-room technology and its effects on the art of travel, especially when it drives up the room rate, but we do know that there are many travelers who will be quite pleased by this news (some of us included!). For those who've just come out of hibernation, Apple TV will allow you to stream shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix right to your hotel room.
Bahamas Hotels / Beach Hotels / Atlantis Survival Guide / Family-Friendly Hotels / Kid-Friendly Hotels / HotelChatter Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
Bad-ass player pictured here can be found with his friends in the Atlantis Predator Lagoon
For those who have never been to Atlantis on Paradise Island, the sprawling megaresort can be daunting.
Like Disney World, there is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. And like DisneyWorld, Atlantis has the power to strike fear in the hearts and minds of parents who shudder the thought of wearing adult mouse ears almost as much as they dread hemorrhaging endless streams of cash.
To complicate matters, Atlantis is hard to describe as it's so many different things rolled into one: a gorgeous five-hotel Caribbean island resort, a 140-acre Aquaventure water park, the largest open-air marine exhibit in the world complete with dolphin and seal habitats, countless beaches and pools, a casino, a true culinary scene with restaurants from Bobby Flay and Nobu Matsuhisa, a seriously pimpin’ marina, and more.
All the confusion can make it hard to wrap your head around a visit. Where should you stay? How should you spend your day? What’s awesome and what’s overrated? How expensive will it be? Is there a shred of hope for some adult downtime or is it a kid bonanza all day all the time? You might be tempted to throw in the towel.
Just back from a recent visit, we thought it was time—at long last—to demystify the epic resort. The ins and outs, the highs and lows, and every reason why we’ll be back, slide wedgie and all; find it here in our Atlantis Survival Guide.
Beach Hotels / Photo Gallery / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Snapshot / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.
Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!
We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.
Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.
More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.
Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!
Not interested in spending one night in Bangkok? Then head to the Thailand's resort town of Pattaya where Sukosol Hotels has just launched its third property.
Only 21 rooms, the new Art Deco-style, four-storyWave Hotelis supposed to reprise Miami Beach with big splashes of color from the blue outside walls to the retro pink Cadillac in the driveway.
There's just two room categories--the Sunset and Twilight rooms, but they all offer views of Pattaya Bay, free WiFi, and Tiffany Blue decor. The Twilight rooms are larger though, and have romantic four-poster beds.
Despite being in Thailand, the hotel has decided to go with an American diner restaurant called the Cadillac Café, but there is also the poolside Cabana Bar which will host DJs and evening parties. We're hoping that space will remind people they're in Asia.
Wave joins Sukosol Hotels collections, Siam Hotel and The Sukosol Bangkok. Rates are around 5500 Baht ($192) including breakfast.
[Photo: Sukosol Hotels]
Hotel Renovations / Photo Gallery / Beach Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Restaurants / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
It's Guess the Hotel revealed!
We could have picked plenty other parts of LA for our West Coast jaunt this weekend: Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, or maybe, if we were feeling reaallly generous with ourselves, Beverly Hills. But no, we had to be stubborn about it and go after beachy, balmy Santa Monica.
The sun, the sand, the waves, we wanted it all. The only problem was, luck wasn't on our side, and the weather all weekend stayed cloudy and in the 60s.
This gave us a good chance to acquaint ourselves with our room, a spacious Ocean View Suite at the Oceana Santa Monica (ocean views are normally a good thing, but this time it just reminded us how we were missing out on quality sprawled-out-on-the-beach tanning time).
Inside the room, we caught up on work, watched Gladiator on TNT, and even played a few rounds of checkers with our friend. (Yup, that's right! The mystery flip-top checkers board table we showed you yesterday is indeed found at the Oceana Santa Monica.)
Then, just as we were getting ready to check out, we saw shadows start to become defined on our wall, and realized—gasp!—the sun was finally coming out! And just in the nick of time. So we did what any hotel geek would do and scoured the property to take photos of the hotel the way it's meant to be seen.
Click through for our photo gallery of the sun-drenched lobby and pool courtyard!
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Packages / Luxury Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Beach Hotels / Maldives Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We’ve seen some pretty nice amenities offered by hotels -- luxury car service, designer robes, a concierge for everything –- but this one from Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives may be the most OTT one yet.
It’s a Thursday afternoon and you’re thinking to yourself, “What should I do this weekend?” Maybe you should think about fueling up that jet of yours and taking off to the Shangri-La in the Maldives. With the resort’s new private air terminal located just five minutes by speedboat from the resort, AKA "paradise," your beach weekend starts NOW.
Beach Hotels / Fiji Hotels / 8 Hotels Group / Island Hotels / Tropical Hotels / Killer Views / Private Island Hotels / Resort Hotels / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Go with us as we escape on a private island about 75 miles off the coast of mainland Fiji that will make the shoulders of even the highest strung relax just a bit. We're talking about Tokoriki Island Resort in the outer surroundings of the Mamanuca Islands--where it takes a 90 minute catamaran ride and fishing boat transfer to reach. This boutique resort is the quintessential definition of Fiji-time because there is little to worry about since the only thing you might be late for is snorkeling.
One very important feature of Tokoriki is the staff. Arriving on the island to a hearty BULA!, wooden bead lei and a traditional island song made us feel like we had truly arrived somewhere special. Bordering a personal concierge, we were escorted to our hut and shown around the grounds. Mysteriously, it made us feel familiar, as if we had been here before; that's what Fiji does!
Hotel Trends / Hotel Art / Hotel Art Colllections / Hotel Packages / Rosewood Resorts / Fairmont Hotels / Beach Hotels / Santa Fe Hotels / New Mexico Hotels / Canada Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Dallas Hotels / Texas Hotels / → All Tags
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.