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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's a round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know!
A salad in every sip: Complementing the trend we told you about in our What’s Out, What’s In column where the drink IS the meal, we’re finding that crafty mixologists are making our drinks a wee bit healthier and sneaking veggies into them to make sure that we’re getting all of our daily recommended vitamins.
Splashes at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has a VegGin’ on the Rocks made with Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, agave nectar (which is said to have a low glycemic index, BTW, which means your blood sugar won’t spike), lime juice, and baby arugula–-all muddled together and topped with house made soda water. You can really taste the goodness.
The Fairmont Chicago’s Green Goose Cocktail features a trio of super foods: kale, celery and granny smith apples. The juiced greens are mixed with Grey Goose, fresh lime juice, chartreuse, and simple syrup for a nutrient-filled flavor explosion.
The appropriately-named Salad Cocktail from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto is a heart-healthy concoction of juiced celery, spinach, beet, apple and pear combined with 1.5 oz of gin. To top it off, it’s garnished with sherry vinaigrette soaked raspberries and sous vide beets and crisp romaine leaves. We’re getting into the realm of “drink as dinner” with this one.
At Caesars Entertainment Resorts and Casinos in Atlantic City you can find the savoury Red Pepper Margarita–-a mix of red pepper juice, jalapeno rings, five-spice simple syrup and tequila with a smoked salt rimmed glass. Next trend below!
Hotel Deaths / Cory Monteith / Glee / Celebrity Scoops / Hotel News / Vancouver Hotels / British Columbia Hotels / Canada Hotels / → All Tags
Last week, we reported on the untimely demise of one of Canada’s stars, Cory Monteith of Glee fame, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver. We were impressed with the hotel’s low-key and respectful response to the crisis for the sake of Cory’s family, friends and fans, many of whom flocked to the hotel to pay their respects and leave flowers and other memorials to the star.
But we thought we’d check-in with the Fairmont Pacific Rim this week to see what the plans were for all of the mementos and memorials being left outside the hotel.
We were told that the hotel is removing the flowers, but will be donating all other items to charity. This means that if you left a teddy bear at the memorial site, Teddy will be going to a better place too.
Meanwhile, it was discovered that one of Cory's last public meetings with his girlfriend and "Glee" co-star Lea Michelle was at The Crescent Beverly Hills during her photoshoot for Marie Clarie magazine. No memorials have been reported at the hotel yet but you never know.
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OK – so every city has its share of restaurants that serve local, sustainable cuisine, but believe us when we tell you that forage restaurant takes this concept to the nth degree.
Forage is located in one of Vancouver’s most eco-conscious hotels, The Listel. This hotel goes out of its way to be a good citizen in, arguably, one of the greenest cities on the planet (did you know that if a corporation wants to build a structure in Vancouver, they need to give something back to the community, like public green space or art?). The hotel has a zero waste policy, solar panels and a heat capture system. And in the late fall of last year, forage opened and continues that tradition of sustainability.
Chef Chris Whittaker attacks this philosophy with a vigor that is quite astounding. He grows his own vegetables, catches his own fish, make his own preserves, composts all of his food waste, hunts for the purpose of feeding his family, and forages to connect himself with nature and remind himself where our food comes from. Pretty impressive, right? The man evens keeps mason bees to pollinate his crops.
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Back in February we told you that rumors were swirling in cyberspace that a Trump Hotel & Tower might be coming to Vancouver. Well, stop the swirling because we can confirm that Mr. Trump is coming to Canada’s biggest west coast city.
The Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver is expected to open in summer 2016. Here are some of the tantalizing deets:
• 147 guest rooms, 218 residences
• Vancouver’s first pool bar nightclub (details on what this is all about are scarce right now)
• A champagne lounge
• A signature restaurant
• Canada’s first Mar-a-Lago Spa by Ivanka Trump, a new line of boutique spas
• Trump Attaché – a dedicated department that offers guests personalized attention with no service off limits (we can only imagine!)
Read the full story for some more pics!
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We mentioned last year that ALT Hotels, baby sister brand of the chic Le Germain Hotels, was planning a Canada-wide expansion. They started in Québec City, then Montréal's Quartier Dix30, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and now? Halifax.
The 169-room ALT Hotel opened at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Monday and is the fourth ALT in Canada. The hotels combine good design and stylish interiors with a “no-frills found here” concept that works.
Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / Langham Hotels / Eaton Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / → All Tags
In April we told you about Toronto’s Delta Chelsea becoming an Eaton-branded hotel on July 1 – the first Langham property in Canada and the first Eaton Hotel in North America. If you've been waiting with bated breath for more details, now's the time to exhale.
Langham Hotels has been pouring millions into transforming the soon-to-be Eaton Chelsea hotel. The renos to the lobby and Market Garden Restaurant (which, when we were there many, many years ago, seemed to be the biggest buffet restaurant on the planet) will be the first of a few changes to the hotel.
Aside from the restaurant and lobby renovations, the hotel is also replacing the former Elm Street Lounge with the more modern T|Bar (an Eaton brand signature feature). The hotel is expecting that one of the things that will make this one of TO’s go-to spots will be their take on that most famous of Canadian cocktails: the Caesar. (For you Americans, it's a clam-infused version of the Bloody Mary.)
Hotel Design / Hotel Architecture / Art Hotels / Hotel Packages / Museum Hotels / Jaunted / Fairmont Hotels / Canada Hotels / Vancouver Hotels / → All Tags
If you consider yourself a true hotel nerd, pack your bags: You’re going to Vancouver! The Vancouver Art Gallery has an installation so perfect it ain’t even funny. It’s called Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life (on until September 15) and it’s broken out into four themes: Travel, Social, Cultural and Design (see our full-blown review of the exhibit on sister site, Jaunted).
Not to get too arty on you, but here’s our take on how these themes play out in real life using the fine Fairmont Pacific Rim as our specimen.
Travel: Yes, travel can be getting from Point A to Point B but the underlying driver for most is adventure and escape.
Everything about the Fairmont Pacific Rim says “escape,” particularly the amazing Willow Stream Spa with its outdoor sun deck, where you can hang out with your pampered peeps around heating lamps and fireplaces, or in the whirlpools with flat-screen TVs above you to catch your favorite show.
Social: Hotels are social hubs full of interpersonal machinations.
We told you about the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s hot-spot Lobby Lounge earlier this week, but then there’s their Oru Restaurant or their hopping giovane café: coffee bar by day (reputed to have the best in the city) and wine bar by night. To say these spots are popular with locals and guests would be the understatement of the day. Social hubs? Absolutely!
Stay with us -- two more themes to go!
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Should You or Shouldn't You? A HotelChatter Review
We decided it was high time to check out one of the newest hotels that make up Vancouver’s skyline, the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Opened in 2010 for the Olympics, this beautiful “ode to glass” building is not only chic, but is a happening destination unto itself.
Check-In: We took advantage of the hotel’s car service and had a great chat with our driver about the hotel and living in Vancouver. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by dapper doormen whose uniforms can best be described as a cross between Armani and 1940s movie gangster in a very fashionable grey. It was a very good start.
As we were ushered into the long, cool and white marble lobby we noticed immediately the hotel's bespoke Indian Jasmine fragrance. Our driver, who was part of the concierge team, never left our side. Once given our keys we were escorted to our room, passing the serene-but-not-for-long Lobby Lounge that spans the entry space.
Room Reaction: We entered our room on the Fairmont Gold floor and were immediately dazzled by the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Vancouver harbor and port. We were introduced to the iPad2 waiting for us and the hi-tech lighting system (which also controls the drapes) with its pre-set mood makers – Day, Evening, Relax – and in the bathroom, there’s a setting for Groom or Spa.
It’s midnight when we return to the Fairmont Pacific Rim after a night out on the town in Vancouver. When we walk into the Lobby Lounge, the place is overflowing with well-dressed lookers--locals, guests and residents of the hotel. And we know why.
Yes, it’s partly because of the atmosphere – West Coast cool with loads of glass, some woody features and a clean white background overall – but mostly, ladies and gentlemen, it's because the cocktails are to die for.
We took it upon ourselves to try a few of the bevvies on order but we kept coming back to the seriously tasty Absolut Beta Martini. This cocktail was created by the oh-so-charming head bartender Grant Sceney. With it, he won the Absolut Vodka Martini Competition and is carrying the flag to compete in Sweden. If it’s not the winner, we think the competition’s fixed.
The cocktail is both tart and sweet but with complex flavors that make it impossible to discern any one element over another. If you think you have the wherewithal to re-create it yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
Hotel News / Langham Hotels / Eaton Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
The brand has decided to take over the Delta Chelsea in Toronto, which, at 1,590 rooms, is Canada's largest hotel.
As of July 1, the hotel will officially be known as Eaton Chelsea, thus becoming the first Eaton hotel to open in North America. (For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Eaton is an offshoot brand under the Langham umbrella, with several properties throughout Asia, including Eaton Hong Kong and Eaton Smart New Delhi Airport.)
Langham's parent company has owned the
Delta Chelsea Eaton Chelsea for nearly two decades, but has finally decided to take over management duties as well. This is most likely due to Langham's steadily growing presence in the US, with The Langham Chicago one of the most anticipated openings of 2013 (and not just because of the free WiFi!).
Similar in many ways to Langham, Eaton is known for its "smart, modern and uncomplicated interiors and an enthusiastic 'can do' service culture," as explained by Eaton Chelsea Regional VP Josef Ebner. The hotel itself will undergo major renovations to the exterior, lobby, Market Garden restaurant, and meeting facilities.
One of its main attractions is the "Corkscrew," downtown Toronto's only indoor waterslide.
Rates from $131/night.
[Photo: Eaton Chelsea]
Okay, so apparently this contest was not an April Fool's joke despite what our spam folders decided -- we really are going to vote on America’s best bathroom this summer. America’s Best Restroom Contest is looking for the “top 10 places to go when you’ve got to go.” A battle of the bowls, if you will.
The contest is open to any non-residential restroom in the U.S. that's accessible to the general public. Entries will be judged on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.
“Nominees and finalists run the gamut, from historical buildings or five star luxury hotels and restaurants in big cities, to gas stations along remote highways and mom & pop style diners in the rural Midwest,” says Sabrina Zimring, Survey Editor for Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Contest.