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Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Concorde Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Paris Hotels / Berlin Hotels / → All Tags
Hotel rebrandings happen – they are a fact of life in the industry, whether a result of lawsuits or some other drama, or just a desired change in direction or repositioning. The difference for guests can be substantial if major renovation is involved, and sometimes it is simply a case of one name on the door coming down and another going up.
We’re not entirely sure though what to call it when a hotel group loses half of its portfolio in the span of a single year, which seems to be the case for Concorde Hotels. Earlier this year, Hyatt swooped in and took over the management of four of its hotels (two in Paris, two on the French Riviera), newcomer The Set will be closing the Lutetia soon for yet another full-on French palace hotel renovation, and now Hilton is taking over Concorde Paris Opéra and Sofitel the Concorde Berlin. Seven hotels in twelve months is quite the stampede for the door marked “exit,” is all we’re saying.
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Most high-end hotels take great care in creating impressive dining spaces, often luring in celebrity chefs and extra business along the way. But lately we have noticed a solid restaurant scene isn't always enough to draw in some extra business and hotels are going to greater lengths to bring in dollars, from opening up their pools so patrons can enjoy the sun and a cocktail, to installing full-blown art installations. Some hotels have taken to blending art and dining and the results certainly make for an eye-catching environment. Take a look at these six hotel restaurants where diners can take in both a five-star meal along with a helping of art and design:
SBE as a whole is an artsy and progressive name when it comes to hospitality and dining, working with big names to produce memorable venues like Katsuya and the SLS-branded hotels. The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles is no exception with an eclectic design created, like most of their projects, by master Parisian designer of interiors Philippe Starck. Filled with seemingly random artistic pieces and a rainbow of colors, The Bazaar is anything but boring with a practically exhaustive small bites menu to match with everything from classic dishes to creations made using molecular gastronomy.
Design Hotels / Nhow Hotels / Hotel Check-Ins / Front Desks / Karim Rashid / Hotel Design / Berlin Hotels / Hotel Recording Studios / → All Tags
Berlin is known for their funky, eccentric, quirky and sometimes, just plain weird hotels but right now, we're crushing hard on this massive pink check-in desk at the Hotel nhow.
We found this snapshot in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool, taken by Ken E. Lee, one of our regular photo droppers. He mentioned that the desk is a work of DJ/designer Karim Rashid who has been populating design hotels around the world with his installations.
Indeed, the nhow, a "music and lifestyle" hotel, was touched by Rashid throughout from the lobby spaces to the guest rooms. Which is fitting considering that Rashid has a musical background as well. Here's some more on the concept of this nhow hotel (there's another one in Milan):
There are times when we truly feel there is much progress being made on the free hotel WiFi front, and we dare to dream of a day where we hardly remember it ever being any other way. And then there are moments that bring us right back down to earth, like at the Berlin Marriott.
It was over four years ago we first came across its costly WiFi options, running all the way up to €379 ($500+) for the privilege of browsing the internet for a month. 2013 it may be, but the Berlin Marriott is still living in 2009, with the exact same options today:
- €5.95 ($8) for an hour of in-room access
- €19.95 ($27) for 24 hours
- €99.75 ($135) for one week
- €379.05 ($510 in today’s dollars) for one month
That month-long option wouldn’t be far off a month’s rent for an apartment, this being one of the most affordable European capitals. Please Mr. Marriott, even Edition can offer it for free throughout the hotel, so could we move along with the times?
Airport Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Cheap and Chic Hotels / Germany Hotels / Meininger Hotels / → All Tags
We have a thing for colorful hotels. We could hardly contain our excitement when checking out the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale and we snapped the whirlpool at the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore, to name a few. So when we saw Flickr member Ken E. Lee drop this snapshot of the Hotel Meininger near the Berlin Airport in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool, we instantly perked up.
If you haven't heard of Meininger Hotels before (and we hadn't), the brand can be found throughout Germany and also in London, Amsterdam and Vienna. It's one of those cheap but stylish hotel chains that is just a notch above hostel accommodations (although most Meininger hotels do have "dormitory" options.) And while it does bill itself as great for everyone--families, business travelers and backpackers--we're not sure you'd want to do more than two nights here. That said it's crazy affordable. A single room at Berlin Airport hotel starts at 35 Euros a night while the dormitory rooms start at just 15 €. And of course the WiFi is totally free.
Yet while all Meininger hotels boast colorful interiors (see this shot here), we think this one is the only one that's colorful on the outside as well. Now, how do you say "Sunglasses at Night" in German?
[Photo: Ken E. Lee/Flickr]
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Germany just became a little more appealing to Marriott Rewards members, as the brand announced yesterday it will be adding Berlin's Hotel Am Steinplatz to the Autograph Collection later this summer. That's even more reason to get excited about Berlin right now (aside from the fact that it's a kick-ass city), as Waldorf-Astoria just popped up there in January.
The Hotel Am Steinplatz building originally opened in 1907 with a design by August Endell (also responsible for Berlin's Hackesche Hoefe), though it didn't become a hotel until 1913. Which makes 2013 its one hundredth hotel-iversary. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
To mark the occasion, Marriott's spruced the place up with an "extensive renovation," and the result is an 87-room property with 3 luxury suites, a restaurant, and a spa.
Knowing what we know about Autograph Collection (and having stayed at one in Budapest), we fully trust that the brand's German debut will be a stunner. The hotel is described as having once been "an exclusive meeting point for artists, writers, philosophers and even aristocratcy." Well. We'd expect nothing less.
There’s been so much activity on the hotel app front this past year that we named it the Must-Have Hotel Amenity in our HotelChatter 2012 Awards. From booking stays and checking in, to ordering room service and finding things to do and see at your destination, it’s all a click away. There is of course the front desk or traditional concierge you can prod for more personal recommendations, but what to do when you are looking to get the true insider track on the city you’re visiting based on your own interests?
Enter the concept created by Plus One Berlin, which allows you to book time with one of over 30 locals and be their “plus one” when getting to know the city. Here’s how it all works.
When we took an early look at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam last week, we promised we’d follow up with more details on its sister hotel in Berlin, which is now officially open. Set within the brilliantly named Zoofenster skyscraper in West Berlin, the Waldorf Astoria Berlin first popped up on our radar four years ago this month.
We won’t spend much time dwelling on their missed 2011 opening and move right on to what you can expect at the 232-room hotel.
Jet Lag / Hotel Packages / Hotel Amenities / InterContinental Hotels / London Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Swissotels / → All Tags
No doubt many of you are traipsing around the world this holiday season, visiting friends and family. But unforch, the downside of jetsetting is the inevitable jetlag setting in. We’ve read and written about nearly every cure out there and damn near tried them all. Many are bunk, but these hotels’ jet-lag packages, spa treatments, amenities have actually worked on us, so we’re passing the info along so you can recover more quickly.
London: The Flotation Bed therapies (75 minutes/$185) at the InterContinental London Park Lane’s spa have been a godsend after a transatlantic flight that’s too long to consider a hop, but too short to get Ambien-ed out. Businessmen swear by the day spa’s quick and efficient capsule-like bed where you’re wrapped in a foil blanket.
The dry, weightless flotation device almost immediately eases the strain of being cooped on an airplane seat for hours. There’s a variety additions for the floats a less intense 45-minute Exotic Frangipani and Coconut Milk therapy, but for hardcore refreshing the Musclease Aromas Spa Ocean Float involves a scented pressure point facial massage and scalp treatment, which relaxes the tensest of muscles. We were knocked out in minutes and awoke feeling as if we could bike around Hyde Park, just outside the hotel, without breaking a sweat. And we did.
There's travel talk everywhere about how expensive it'll be to fly and drive this summer, so there has to be some savings somewhere, yes? The most obvious place will be in hotel rates, and so our gift to you this week will be one hotel a day that comes in under $100 a night. Now, we're not saying every place will be of Ritz quality, because then it would be...well, the bloody Ritz. But the places will be nice enough for you to sleep at night.
Our Pick: Hotel Pension-Funk, Berlin
No, this isn't the first time HotelChatter has taken a look at Berlin's art-tastic Propeller Island City Lodge, a collection of 34 rooms individually designed and crafted by German artist Lars Stroschen. But to end the week on a more positive note, we thought we'd re-visit one of our favorite odd hotels.
The themes at PICL, which range from "Prison Cell" and "Grandma's Room" to "The Upside Down Room" (above) and "Coffin Room," mostly draw on places where you'd never, ever want to sleep, but then again we've stayed at far more sensible (read: boring) hotels that charge way more per night.
Interestingly, rates here vary among the different rooms, so a night inside the Prison Cell will only set you back 79 EUR, while a night in the "Two Lions" suite, which, yes, comes with a cage, goes for 190 EUR. We browsed through the hotel's collection of photos and have picked out the ones that appeal most to us. And just for kicks, we put them into a gallery for you to look at.
Click below to take a peek at the odd, odder, and oddest rooms!
Hotel Art / Hotel Photography / Manhattan Hotels / London Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Oslo Hotels / → All Tags
We're not sure whether to be jealous or just plain creeped out—we're a little of both, actually—but we have to give credit to artist Anja Niemi, who really brushed up on her hotel knowledge for a new exhibition, titled Do Not Disturb. In each of the photographs, Niemi takes on a different female character who essentially becomes a 'part' of the hotel room. See if you can spot her in the above shot, "Room 833." Creepy, right?
But rather than settling for just any old hotel, Niemi instead researched for months to find exactly the right room for each shot. Jealous much? Seriously, artists really live the life sometimes. For this project, Niemi traveled to hotels in New York, Vienna, Berlin and Oslo; and when she arrived, all she had to do was play dress-up and pose for the camera. The desire to change career paths completely and become a photographer's assistant has never been stronger.
Read on to find out where you can check out the entire collection!