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Considering it’s right on Venice Beach (or pretty much right on Venice Beach, anyway), the Hotel Erwin was always going to have top notch views of the Pacific from its rooms.
But, on a recent visit to the rooftop bar, High, we couldn’t help but noticing that not all views are created equal.
From High, the coastline was spectacular – both north, towards Santa Monica, and south, beyond LAX – and the whole rooftop was in the sun.
Riverside room in the Krungthep Wing
Like Los Angeles, Bangkok is a city that seems to go on forever, sprawling out over a total area of over 600 square miles. This means that there’s no shortage of hotels and no shortage of neighborhoods. But if you’re looking for the finest lodging in the city, it doesn’t get much better than the Shangri-La.
Although its location puts you well outside the city center and quite far from many of the attractions (such as the Grand Palace), cheap taxis, nearby river taxi and public transit stops allow guests to maintain their mobility while indulging in the five-star comfort of the Shangri-La. We don’t need to say much more in that sense – the Shangri-La’s reputation for luxury definitely precedes it – but given that the property in Bangkok has two separate wings with two separate entrances, you might be wondering which is the best room to book.
The Loews Hollywood, smack dab in the middle of all things well, Hollywood (like the Dolby Theater, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl), recently completed a $31 million renovation which has transformed nearly every inch of the property from a former Renaissance by Marriott hotel into a sleek, stylish and cosmopolitan Loews hotel.
While all the guest rooms are sporting the new, heavy-on-the-grays look, the best room to book is clearly this junior suite on the top floor. Room 2017 to be exact.
There isn't a separate sitting room but the suite does has 622-sq.ft of space to spread out in and a sleeper sofa to accommodate an extra guest (or two.) But what's really the star of the show here is the killer view of the Hollywood sign which is entirely unobstructed. You are actually looking out on the hillside where the iconic sign stands. (Our nighttime picture really doesn't do it justice.)
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The Harrah's Resort Southern California, an all-encompassing Vegas-style gaming resort just north of San Diego, has not only undergone a name change (it used to be Harrah's Rincon) but it also added an entirely new tower to its property.
Called The Resort Tower North, the 403-room tower joins the resort's two existing towers and bump up the total room count to 1,065 rooms. But these new tower rooms are clearly the ones you want to book with their modern furniture and decor and upgraded amenities. (Rooms in the older towers are very outdated.)
And if you really want to splurge, book one of Resort Tower North's 48 suites which have a killer views of the neighboring mountains. Check out two of the suite types below!
The Pullman Montparnasse, formerly a Le Meridien, is in an interesting little neighborhood in Paris' 14th arrondissement. Anchored by the Tour Montparnasse (essentially, a sky scraper) and the Gare Montparnasse (train station), the area lacks some of the gorgeous architecture of central Paris but the hotel's location on Rue de Commandant René Mouchotte puts it near the shops and boutiques of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with a Metro stop closeby and a taxi stop out front.
We liked the neighborhood for its non-touristy feel, even though the hotel itself caters to business travelers, thanks to the Pullman conference center next door and the SNCF headquarters across the street. Still we felt more like we were just amongst local Parisians doing their everyday thing.
But the area is not entirely devoid of history or landmarks. Tucked behind the 25-story hotel is the Montparnasse Cemetery, where many intellectuals and artists are buried such as Claude Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and even Kiki, the Queen of Montparnasse. And several of the cafes and restaurants in Montparnasse which were patronized by American expats/writers/artists in the 1920s are still operating today.
While it's not across from the Jardin des Tuileries or the Eiffel Tower, it's a different side of Paris to see, especially if you've been to Paris a few times before. So, if you do decide to stay here, what's the best room to book?
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Yes, once upon a time the Hotel Victor hosted a party with P. Diddy and penguins, in the middle of South Beach no less, but today the hotel has a decidedly upscale beach house vibe, rather than over-the-top party spot, all thanks to the new interiors from Yabu Pushelberg.
We got to peek at the $8 million worth of renovations in person the other week and right away we were impressed with the bright and airy lobby area which features communal tables topped with shiny new iMacs and plenty of other comfy lounge seating. (This is a vast improvement from the old days, aka 2006 when a bouncer stood watch at the door and the lobby had weird, dark and stormy vibe, complete with jelly fish sconces.)
At the front of the hotel, near the old entrance, (the new entrance is just off to the side of the existing one and leads guests right to the elevators) is a small but mighty bar that during the day, folds up and looks almost look like an ordinary cabinet. But at night, and during other lobby events, the cabinet unfolds to reveal a beautiful mirrored bar.
Peruse the photos below and keep reading for the Best Room to Book!
The Esperanza Resort in Cabo, Mexico has long been a favorite luxury retreat for celebrities and discerning hotel guests alike. And with a super private location nestled above the Sea of Cortez, we can totally see why.
Of course, in a property as luxe as this Auberge resort, all the rooms here could be considered one of the Best Room to Book but we took a particular liking to this one when we strolled through Esperanza last month--Garden Casita 23.
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Now that we've actually seen one of the properties in person, we're even more ready to give the all-inclusive experience a whirl.
We peeped at the former Barcelo Cabo in Mexico as it was undergoing some last-minute touch-ups to turn into the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, a family-friendly resort. (Hyatt Zilara in Cancún will be adults-only.)
The good news is that the Barcelo property is rather new (it opened in 2009) and so the rooms, public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, pools and even the kids' club area are all in excellent condition. (We especially loved the giant flat-screen TVs which also accessed the internet as well.) All Hyatt really had to do was make some cosmetic adjustments, change up the signs and tweak the all-inclusive plans.
You can read more about the plans here but the basic all-inclusive plan includes not just food and alcohol from the eight restaurants on-site (most are a la carte and only two are buffets) but also entertainment options, daily and nightly activities, fitness center, kids club and WiFi. The Club Premium Plan gets you a few more perks like private check-in, access to the Exclusive Premium Level Lounge, 20 percent off spa and salon services, welcome amenities and other goodies.
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It finally happened. At 2pm on September 1st, the highly anticipated Andaz Maui at Wailea finally opened for business, after being delayed from their original August 15th debut date.
We were front and center for the emotional blessing ceremony led by the respected Kahuna Nui, Kapono'ai Molitau. The kahuna told us he's particular about the places he'll perform his chants, and felt the Andaz's space was very special.
Indeed, there's history here. The hotel was once a Renaissance Hotel that was beloved by long-time vacationers. After sitting empty for many years, the Hyatt group came in and decided to turn it into one of the hottest hotel brands today.
The Andaz Maui is the 10th of its kind to open, and there are more on the way. But right now let's focus on this gallery of first looks at this resort that's made a huge effort to embody the spirit of Hawaiian aloha.
Plus, we'll tell you which is the Best Room to Book, after the jump.
We recently named The Quin Hotel near Central Park as one of the reasons why we are wishing October would hurry up and get here already. And after seeing it in person, that still holds true.
Located near Central Park on the corner of 57th and 6th Avenue, the old Buckingham Hotel is being transformed into a new luxury lifestyle hotel with plush amenities in each guestroom such as handcrafted Duxiana beds, Sferra linens, Fresh toiletries, in-room Nespresso machines and Evolve technology panels. The hotel won't officially open until October 15th but already we've got a tip on Best Room to Book and that would be the Premier Suite.
We've been chronicling the story of The Langham Chicago since it was first announced in early 2011. But now that the big opening day is just a little over two weeks away, we thought it best to chat up general manager Bob Schofield about The Best Room to Book.
Fortunately, all 316 rooms at the Langham are good rooms to book. That's because the hotel's Grand rooms start at 516-sq.ft. and feature king or double beds, 55-inch flat-screen TVs (the largest in the city, Schofield said), master lighting controls, both a shower and a tub and a "reveal wall", a glass partition that separates the bathroom from the bedroom but goes opaque at the touch of a button. The rooms also include complimentary amenities such as internet, Nespresso machines, and free overnight pressing for up to three clothing items.
Still, Schofield told us best rooms to book are the Langham Grand River View Rooms, specifically the ones that end in 02 (502, 602, etc.) As you can guess, these rooms have views of the Chicago River but also the lake as well, thanks to their position in the southwest corner of the hotel.
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Like we get with so many new hotels, we're extremely antsy about the new Mondrian Soho Hotel. We know we can sleep there as soon as February 22nd (for just $229 a night) and we know that the hotel's restaurant, Imperial No. 9 from chef Sam Talbott will open on March 1. But we wanted to know more.
So we chatted up the hotel's general manager, Gary Thomas, and asked him point-blank, "What are the best rooms to book?"
His answer? Rooms 2004 or 2003 which are deluxe queen corner rooms facing uptown. There's floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides of the room and Thomas said the views are simply "phenomenal."
He also told us that the showers will have a big cut-out window and then joked, "you can't be modest showering here." But he assured us that no one can see into the shower simply because there are no other buildings nearby that are taller than the 26-story Mondrian. And it's technically not a peekaboo bathroom because it's properly separated from the rest of the guestroom.
The risk of flying Peeping Toms aside, we found these rooms going for $309 on opening night using the introductory rate code, SPINTR.