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Remember when we told you that a new London hotel would open with rooms under $100 (£59) a night? Between December 15 and March 15, even better value is to be had, with five rooms every day at Qbic London City available at the magic £1 rate.
All proceeds will go to a good cause, only a small part of a charitable ethos that runs throughout the hotel. We sat down with Qbic’s CEO and founder to find out more about the brand and have a chance to see what exactly a ‘Cubi’, which integrates both bed and bathroom, is. Think of it as high-quality flat-pack furniture, which has allowed Qbic to turn this former office building into an operating hotel in six months.
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The Freehand Miami
The Freehand Chicago will open in the old Tokyo Hotel at 19 East Ohio Street and according to Chicago Real Estate Daily will have 250 beds. Key word: Beds, not rooms. The beds will be split between private rooms and dormitory-style suites with four to eight beds in a room. There will also be an onsite bar, called Broken Shaker, and a café that hopes to bring in both international travelers staying at the Freehand and locals. (The existing sushi restaurant, Ginza, will close later this month after 26 years in business.)
The interiors will be done NY-based Roman & Williams Buildings & Interiors who did the original Freehand in Miami and who is also redesigning the Chicago Athletic Association which will turn into a hotel next year. You can read HotelChatter's article on the design duo here. Better yet, you can tour every inch of the Freehand Miami here.
As much as we love exploring the latest luxury hotel, news of another affordable option coming to town - particularly when well-executed (see also: citizenM) - makes us all sorts of happy. London will soon have more choice for those wanting a stylish place to stay on a limited budget, with Qbic London City opening mid-October.
The best part? Rates will start below – BELOW - $100 a night (or £59), and include breakfast and WiFi. Qbic will be in east London on Adler Street, a few minutes' walk from Liverpool Street station and close to Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street. Inside, guests should find: “immaculate cleanliness, a comfortable bed, a great shower, soundless bedrooms and free WiFi.” Read on for more.
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A few months ago we dished on a few Oahu properties for those traveling to Hawaii on a budget, featuring hotels we thought were a value with rates under $200. It looks like we have another promising one to add to the list, as the new 125-room boutique Vive Hotel Waikiki recently opened its doors last month with rates starting at $189.
And from the looks of the photos and the list of amenities, it seems like it's going to fit right in with its location two blocks from Waikiki Beach. The rooms either have a view of the ocean, the mountains or Diamond Head, and the hotel provides complimentary daily continental breakfast as well as complimentary WiFi.
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In response to a growing number of toiletry bags being left behind at its hotels, Travelodge conducted a study of UK travelers that revealed they were grossly underestimating the value of the bag and its contents.
Louis Vuitton and other designer bags are obviously worth a pretty penny, but we're talking about the contents of everyday toiletry bags that, while seemingly meaningless, carry a surprisingly high replacement cost. The study found that while the average toiletry bag and its contents are worth about $240, the British travelers estimated that they were worth only $80.
This, obviously, got us thinking. How much is our bag and its contents worth? We must admit we are very simple travelers -- we don't have a lot of stuff -- but a quick inventory revealed that even the most basic items would still be kind of annoying to replace. Here's a rundown of our bag:
In a quest to raise money for charity as well as for purposes of publicity, Travelodge constructed a demo of their new room design at the summit of Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (4,409 feet), at the end of June. A team of 36 made the 11-mile round trip journey, including the construction of the room, in about eight and a half hours. It was built upon the still-remaining snow and consisted of two walls, a bed, a duvet, a sheet with four pillows, a chair and a picture.
Not quite an ice hotel, but close!
The effort, while on one hand only a novelty, was able to raise almost $79,000 for charity, which we obviously applaud. Apparently this is not the first time Ben Nevis has hosted a hotel. The Temperance Hotel operated at the summit from 1894 to 1916 as a barracks for climbers during the summer months.
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Matachica in Belize is all about the chill, at a great rate...
The great thing about traveling to the Caribbean now through December is that rates are least 40%, below high season rates. Sometimes even more than that. And face it, this is the time of year when most folks are taking their vacations anyway, so you may as well go somewhere that’s inexpensive, right?
We've got 5 Caribbean hotels that are pretty easy on the budget year-round, but are an even better deal now. So, pack your strongest SPF (those sun rays are HOT) and shades and get island bound with the quickness.
This Starwood brand is new to Cancún, and opened just a week ago, so things are likely in tip-top condition. This is pretty important in hotel-glut filled Cancún, where choices can sometimes be hit or miss. We’re also happy to see the Aloft favorites such as the w xyz bar, the 24/7 pantry fuel by Aloft and re:mix lounge, where we are certain the DJ will make sure to remind you you’re in Mexico with some serious salsa beats (and don't forget to drink tequila too!) It should go without saying—but the free WiFi is a plus. Coming soon will be a rooftop pool, but for now you’ll have to walk about five minutes to the beach and the sparkling blue sea. But at these rates, it’s no problema. Rates from $99 per night.
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There are over 3,500 Marriott hotels on Earth. There could be 3.5 million and that still wouldn't be enough to satisfy the world's traveling population, and so, for your future travel pleasures, we present three small hotel chains you've probably never heard of but should totally book because they're awesome (and growing):
P.S. - they all have free WiFi!
They just rebranded with a new tagline, "come as you are," and we couldn't be more in love. 25hours have become our number one choice for a hotel when staying in the four cities where they have locations, and we've reviewed two right here on HotelChatterFrankfurt-Goldman and Hamburg-HafenCity.
Let's all say "namaste" to Tune Ahmedabad, the first-ever Tune Hotel for India. Located in the "Science City", the hotel officially welcomed its first guests but not before hosting a colorful ceremony blessing the new building with flowers and other offerings.
Keeping with the Tune model of pay-for-what-you-use, a Comfort Package is available now for about an extra $9, which gives a full 24-hours of wifi, TV, and air conditioning access. If you're looking to dive into some vindaloo to start your day, for just over $3 you can tuck into breakfast in the lobby's XO Cafe.
The hotel is perfect for travelers looking to save a few rupees and still get a full Indian experience with some shopping and sport. Along with being annexed to the city's newly developed 4D Square Shopping Mall, Tune is also a short walk to the local cricket stadium, after all this is 'cricket country'. (the sport, not the insect)
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We mean "tomorrow" as in the future.
"Back where it all began." HotelTonight founder and CEO Sam Shank reflects for a moment, and takes a bite of a kettle-cooked potato chip.
We're chilling at the bar in the far back of the bustling lobby of The Ace, where, in late 2010, Shank launched HotelTonight and which now inspires the interior design of the HT headquarters on the other side of the country.
Has it already been more than two years?! HT still seems like the hot new thing, though they've grown to a staff of over 80 and now support 5 languages and 6 currencies for properties on sale in 12 countries. Their most recent "big news" came only last week, as they welcomed hotels in Rome, Florence, Madrid and Barcelona to the app and showed off their snazzy SF digs in a episode of TechCrunch's TC Cribs. Heck, you know we're already fans; last week we booked three nights in two countries using HotelTonight.
To celebrate its first hotel above a comedy club, Travelodge has rolled out a "loo laughs" campaign at London's new 131-room Bethnal Green location in hopes of keeping its guests entertained at all times. That's right -- there are jokes and cartoons on the toilet paper.
The idea was inspired by the hotel's position on top of British comedian Lee Hurst's Backyard Comedy Club, but it was also backed up by a bit of data. Travelodge ran a survey of 2,000 Britons that revealed 49% of them like to read on the loo.
Based on what we've seen, it doesn't appear they got much professional help with the joke writing, despite its location. The two samples we've seen haven't exactly been side-splitters. For example, Why are men better than dogs? Because they have only two muddy feet to walk into the house. Or, worse: How many men does it take to change the roll of toilet paper? We don't know... it's never happened. Oh, dear.
Finally we conclude our several-week-long dilemma of where to stay in Madrid for just one night, for a first timer to the city. After settling on the Hotel de Las Letras based on your strong recommendations, we checked in (right behind another couple who had also been on our same flight from Istanbul!) and hunkered down.
We booked the lowest room category for 112 Euros, but adding 20-30 more would've bumped us up to a category with an ornate balcony overlooking the Gran Via. As it was February with near freezing temperatures, this would have been a waste. One night's stay, when we expected to spend much of the time out at museums and restaurants, doesn't call for much.