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How many NYC hotels welcome you like this?
We’re always asked where to stay in New York City and now, more than ever, the choices are plentiful. Everyone is hyper-focused on the new builds coming to town, but there are also some that don’t get the love and attention they should. We’ve got four that fall in both these categories—new jacks and under-the-radar specialsomethins.
This new sister hotel to the St. Giles Court threw open its doors in January. Appealing to guests digging its midtown location (the Chrysler and Empire State buildings are blocks away), the 123-room 1920s landmark building was once a Doral and then a W Hotel. But they’ve dialed the clock back and discovered treasures including original raised ceilings and fireplaces. The lobby restaurant is called Audrey in homage to Ms. Hepburn who once sipped coffee there back in the day.
The hotel’s infamous “Cherry Room”, scene of boisterous soirees, will transform into a sophisticated restaurant when the right celeb chef is selected. Also high-end are spacious rooms (starting at 375 square-feet), keeping the building’s NYC resident beginnings. Red velvet chaise lounges, leather headboards, original hardwood flooring, and Molton Brown amenities help maintain a classy atmosphere.
Rates begin at $269 per night, though we've seen specials on HotelTonight as the property is in still working out kinks.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and subsequent NRA backlash, two of the country's biggest hotel chains are now getting some, er, not-so-hot press for the discounts they offer to NRA members.
The defendants, Best Western (a.k.a. "The World's Biggest Hotel Family") and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, have for years offered special rates and rewards to gun owners. According to Avaaz.org, an international activist group, it just ain't okay for "mainstream companies" to "be in bed with the NRA."
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One of our favorite commercials is the Staples jingle, touting August as being the most “wonderful time of the year”. It's back-to-school time, and for parents, that means shopping for a laundry list of supplies, clothes and the like. But for those without rugrats, ‘tis the season to build a fall wardrobe! Luckily, these smart hotels are jumping on the retail bandwagon and put together Shop-Sleep packages.
Hotel Abri, San Francisco, CA
This hotel is just two blocks from Union Square and tony stores such as Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Macy's, as well as the nine-story Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre, which has a three-level Nordstrom and new Bloomingdale's. Your scores will be picked up by the hotel’s shopping valet and delivered straight to your room. The package begins at $275 per night (minimum two-night stay) and includes a $100 certificate to Westfield San Francisco Centre as well as free backpack, with notebook and pencil kit.
Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA
The newly renovated Westin Gaslamp Quarter in the city’s downtown area offers a Back-to-School shopping package that gives a $100 Macy’s gift card for every night booked plus an 11% discount at the nearby Macy’s Horton Plaza Mall store. Package rates start at $179 per night, but with the gift card, you’re really only paying $79 per night! Use promo code CMY at www.westingaslamp.com
This morning we got an announcement that Best Western Hotels recently opened two new Best Western Premier hotels (one in Melbourne, Australia and one just outside of Moscow) and it got us wondering--have you ever stayed in a Best Western Premier hotel before?
In case you aren't familiar, BW's Premier brand offers guests upscale amenities, personalized guest services and an overall luxury hotel experience but at a value price point that folks come to expect from the Best Western name.
The Best Western folks are so gung-ho about this Premier brand they are plotting quite a busy and exotic expansion path with openings for Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nairobi and Oman expected for this year. In the next 12 months, the number of BWPs (can we call them that?) in North America will increase by 50 percent thanks to the opening of nine hotels throughout US, Canada and the Caribbean.
So if you haven't stayed in one yet, you very well may in the next year.
Hotels Under $100 / Best Western Hotels / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Budget hotels / → All Tags
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: Best Western Kuta Beach, Bali
This kind of seems like an April Fool's Day joke but according to USA Today, Best Western Hotels are seriously going to start using blacklights as housekeeping tools to ensure that their rooms get a deep clean.
In response to what it says is travelers' insistence on cleanliness, Best Western is equipping its housekeeping crews with equipment you'd most likely see on the forensic investigation TV series: black lights to detect biological matter otherwise unseen by the human eye, and ultraviolet light wands to zap it.
Ah, that last bit is key--the ultraviolet wand (like the one pictured above) to get rid of all those nasty, nasty germs like e-coli, H1N1, salmonella and norovirus.
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If you are any kind of food snob at all, you already know that New York's best dim sum, hand-pulled noodles, crispy whole duck and bubble tea are found not in Manhattan's Chinatown, but nine miles east of Times Square, in Flushing, Queens.
So, you already know that. Good. But do you know how to turn your NYC visit into a mock Chinese "staycation"? Your wallet (and your stomach) will thank you after you book a room at one of these three affordable Queens hotels, all of them just a twenty minute subway ride from Times Square, and a fifteen minute cab ride from LaGuardia Airport.
The sign outside Best Western Queens Court (above) proves this isn't just any old Best Western. In addition to the rooms and free WiFi, the lobby has its own Chinese restaurant, Liang's Kitchen, an offshoot of a popular Southern California-based chain that specializes in Taiwanese dishes. Rates here start at around $140/night.
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If wearing corduroy pants was all you had planned for 11-11-11, think again. The auspicious once-in-a-century date is prompting hotels all over the country to go 11-11-11 crazy, and in a good way. Weddings have been planned. Carlos Santana tickets have been set aside. Scenic Best Westerns in coastal California are even getting in on the action!
If you wanna rock
Big spenders can reap the full rewards of Vegas' Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with a VIP "Extravagant Package." Though of course the trip would be ideal as a getaway (as in, get away into a giant bathtub and stay there forever), this package will be keeping you busy. Included are: a two-night stay in a platinum penthouse, dining at the hotel's "35 Steaks + Martinis" steakhouse, Carlos Santana tickets, spa treatments, and bottle service at Vanity. The asking price? $11,111, of course. But you'd better act fast—the package is only being offered this Friday 11 through Sunday 13.
Welcome to our newest new feature, Design Thursdays! Thursdays are now our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walkthroughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know!
When you look at the above photo, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't "Best Western". And yet that's exactly what the Artmore Hotel's owners faced when they bought the building in 2009. Since then, the place has been a little spruced up: a central courtyard now features a fountain of fire and water, and the building's facade has been restored to its original brightly-colored Spanish Colonial design (the structure itself has been around since 1929).
Now, after having transformed an average roadside motel into a popular city destination, the folks at Artmore—understandably—are eager to be recognized for their efforts. The hotel's GM writes us:
For photos of the inside spaces, see below!
"We want you guys to know about us- we are confident that we deserve a little HotelChatter love ourselves. Artmore Hotel is currently ranked #13 out of 197 hotels in Atlanta, and we are up against mostly branded hotels, so we are doing something right."
The "world's biggest hotel family" just got a little bigger. The Phoenix, Arizona-based mega franchise recently opened Best Western Vega Hotel & Convention Centre in Russia—the largest Best Western so far, out of 4,000 hotels worldwide in 95 countries.
Comprised of 970 rooms, the hotel was actually built for the 1980 summer olympics, but got remodeled in 2007. Certainly this will provide a welcome low-budget alternative to the extravagances of certain other Moscow hotels. But if we remember correctly, Holiday Inn was also planning to open their largest hotel in Moscow too. Oh, the indecision.
Now this is an interesting partnership. The stylish Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with not-so-stylish Best Western Hotels brand to offer guests up to 500 Flying Club miles when they stay at any Best Western Hotel in the world.
High-low fashion senses aside, since there are over 4,000 Best Western International in 90 countries worldwide, there are plenty of opportunities for you to earn Flying Club miles. Some of the hotels aren’t bad either, even Carey Mulligan stays in them.
To celebrate this partnership Best Western have created a cheeky modern remake of Virgin Altlantic’s 25th anniversary video which played homage to the 1980s when the company was founded.
This might just be the hardest-working hotel, um, chair in the business. Seven women claim that the receptionist's chair at the Best Western Moore Place Hotel in Milton Keynes, England got them pregnant over 18 months.
Not "got them pregnant" in a bizarro errant sperm-on-the-seat sort of way but rather, with its mysterious fertile powers." The Daily Mail reports:
Elaine Ledster, Kim Gidley, Laura Burchill and Gina Ripley were the first to fall pregnant while working as receptionists at the Best Western Moore Place Hotel.
They were swiftly followed by the three remaining receptionists, Alyce Grisley, Claire Fitchett and Seran Daines.
General manager Giles Shaw said: 'The chair is just a typical office swivel chair, but we now have staff refusing to sit on it.'