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It's been over a month since we slept with the Virgin Chicago and a few things have already changed since we did it.
Opening next week is Miss Ricky's All American Diner a 23-hour spot serving "new classics" such as a Great Lakes Reuben, The Biggie Grilled Cheese, Short Rib Pie and decadent donuts and dessert. You can see Virgin CEO Raul Leal's recent tweet for confirmation of such decadence:
Dessert items in Ms. Ricky's at Virgin Hotel Chicago. pic.twitter.com/wvTHm6ViBg— Raul Leal (@VirginHotelier) February 25, 2015
The hotel has also rolled out a partnership with Tesla Motors, giving all Virgin guests the option to be ferried around town in a Model S P85D. It's color? Bright red of course. #howVirginsdoit
Now, these things are all fun to talk about, but it's time to see what real guests are saying about the hotel. And for that, we head to TripAdvisor. Even though everyone knows to take TripAdvisor with a grain of salt (seriously awful reviews can never be trusted, neither can the gushing ones) it's still a place all guests go to when thinking about booking a hotel.
Idly surfing TripAdvisor the other day, we noticed that 25hours is now number 20 of 663 hotels in Berlin. Slash off a few negative reviews for those bathrooms and the fact not everyone who books a trendy hotel does so knowing it’s a trendy hotel, and that is actually quite astonishingly good.
“Jungle rooms” are the obvious winning rooms – these overlook the elephant enclosure and ape house in the Berlin zoo below (“Jungle M” category rooms even have a hammock from which to observe the animals). Comfy beds, spacious rooms and free bike ‘rental’ are the name of the game, here. We’re less keen on the glass-walled bathrooms, but nobody else seems to mind and they have a privacy curtain, so we’ll give them a break and categorize them as not totally peekaboo. (No, totally peekaboo would be the public ones.)
Checking In On / Montenegro Hotels / Regent Hotels / Tivat Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
The Regent Porto Montenegro has kept pretty much under the radar since its August 1 opening – though that looks set to change with their “most glamorous opening party” tonight (to which our invite must have got lost in the post).
There are only five reviews on TripAdvisor so far, but all are positive – the only negative seems to be the price (well, it is a Regent, and it’s the only hotel in Porto Montenegro). What is exciting us though are the new photos of the property.
The Soho House Chicago has been open for a week now and since we're still, um, working on our Chicago travel plans, we thought we'd do a cursory check of recent internet reactions.
The hotel surprisingly lacks a TripAdvisor page, so we're unable to find out the nitty gritty details of like quirky elevators or loud vents or issues with WiFi. But here's what we've gleamed about the new hotel from both the mainstream media and the (probably more important) social media:
New York Times: There's a custom, on-site boxing ring coming soon.
New York Post: Nine different products from Cowshed line the showers.
Eater Chicago: Go inside the Chicken Shop and Pizza East, both London-based restaurants that have spun off to Chicago.
Chicago Mag: The "ultra-indulgent" treatment from the Cowshed Spa is actually just a pedicure.
Back in 2010, before it actually opened, we speculated, along with the rest of the neighborhood blogs, on The Nolitan's odd "tetris-inspired" exterior. Adding insult to injury, not only was the design critiqued, Curbed also revealed that the hotel was having issues with zoning laws, which in that neighborhood only permit eight floors, despite the fact that the finished structure ended up having nine.
Fast forward two years, and the hotel is still not quite done fighting that battle. Bowery Boogie reports that on Thursday, the Nolitan headed into a meeting with Community Board 2 to seek "approval" on the extra ninth story.
Um, everyone knows this hotel's already been open for over a year now, right? OK, just wanted to make sure.
Checking In On / London Hotels / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel Reviews / TripAdvisor / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
Last summer, we watched some pretty big-time hotels open all around the world. London made a contribution to the ultra-luxe Dorchester Collection. New York got its first unofficial skateboard hotel. Trump invaded Panama. And now, twelve months into the game, we can't help but let our curiosity get the better of us. What are these hotels up to a year later?
Right off the bat, we had a pretty good feeling about 45 Park Lane when the announcement was made, pre-opening, that the hotel would be housed in London's old Playboy Club. But this hotel has managed to wow in all the right places: excellent service, Hyde Park views, fully pimped out bathrooms, and free WiFi.
And the rates ain't bad, either.
Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / 2011 Hotel Openings List / Checking In On / Hotel News / → All Tags
It's hard to believe but 2011 is practically coming to an end. Once Halloween has come and gone, the holiday season will begin and before you know it you will be too tipsy at a crowded New Year's Eve party grasping for someone to kiss before the clock strikes.
While you're doing that, we'll be busy readying our 2012 Master Hotel Openings List. And in the interest of making that story easy to complete, we'd thought we check in on how the hotels on the 2011 Master Hotel Openings List have fared.
Are there any hotels that we are going to have to carry over to 2012? Yes, quite a bit. So let's begin with everyone's favorite hotel hotspot--New York.
We gave you the complete lowdown on Ian Schrager's brand new Public Chicago hotel the other week but today we decided to check in with the rest of the general public on TripAdvisor to see what their reactions are. And so far, so good. Or as good as it can be with just three reviews.
The first reviewer claimed to stumble across the hotel by accident but is now a devoted fan, especially of the delicious The Pump Room: The other thing...I don't often eat in hotel restaurants, and I've NEVER done this before but I stayed two nights and ate lunch and dinner in the hotel both days. The Pump Room may very well be my favorite restaurant, so even if you aren't staying there definitely go for lunch or dinner. There's a great bar on the other side of the lobby too where you can get some some of the lunch entrees.
The other thing...I don't often eat in hotel restaurants, and I've NEVER done this before but I stayed two nights and ate lunch and dinner in the hotel both days. The Pump Room may very well be my favorite restaurant, so even if you aren't staying there definitely go for lunch or dinner. There's a great bar on the other side of the lobby too where you can get some some of the lunch entrees.
HotelChatter Video Tours / Photo Galleries / Thompson Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Checking In On / → All Tags
Three and a half years is an eternity in hotel time. Especially in Manhattan, where new properties seem to sprout every month. Which is why we like to return to once-hot-and-new hotels and see how they're faring. Today: Six Columbus, which HC had not slept in since 2007.
When we saw a Quikbook rate for $120 on a Saturday night a few weeks back, we grabbed it. As you can see from our video and photo gallery, the 175-square-foot Pod Room is mini. But size isn't all that matters!
Checking In On / Home2 Suites / TripAdvisor / Utah Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
It's been almost two months since Hilton's contemporary Home2 Suites brand launched in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the second hotel just opened March 10 in Layton, Utah. So we figured it was a good time to check in to see what people have been saying about the stylish all-suite hotels, which comes with free WiFi, iPhone and iPad iHome docking stations and a complimentary continental breakfast.
We checked in on TripAdvisor to see what the buzz is. But there's only one TripAdvisor review, likely because the hotels aren't in major cities.
The W London Leicester Square may have only been open two weeks but it's already hosted the official BAFTA aftershow party, the Vogue.com 15th Birthday Party and the NME Awards aftershow party. But what about those who make it up to the rooms? The paying guests, what do they think of it? Time to check TripAdvisor.
The reviews so far are pretty mixed: it seems people either love it or hate it. In a nutshell, here's what both sides are banging on about.
Haters: Two things stand out: the general lack of cleaners, which apparently is pretty poor for a five-star hotel, and the noise levels, which are not conducive to sleep. The conclusion: make no mistake, this is a party hotel.
Lovers:: The hotel's uber trashy, flashy decor seemed to impress with the lovers stating this as the feature which most impressed. Party animals also loved the noisy, bustling bar and the chirpy, friendly staff who even when mistakes were made (and there seemed to be a few) did their best to rectify them.
It's been two weeks since the Mint Hotel, Tower of London opened its doors, so we thought we’d check in to see how things are going.
The hotel opened on December 20th and it looks like it's all going very well. So far there haven’t been any press reviews of the hotel but there has been three TripAdvisor reviews which are all pretty sweet. All three praise the hotel with one user stating "Overall... cannot find a single fault!”
SkyLounge the hotels rooftop bar and garden, with views over the Thames and Tower Bridge seems to be going down a treat. On NYE the bar was packed with revelers watching the fireworks and incase you missed them they were some fireworks! Check out the view pictured -- we're guessing this will be the place to do cocktails this summer.