Tag: Christmas Hotels

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Three NYC Hotel Cafes for a Winter Hot Chocolate Fix

December 13, 2011 at 5:06 PM | by | ()

Our hot chocolate at Stumptown

Despite all the weird weather of late, it's finally cold enough in New York City to warrant sitting down and ordering a hot chocolate. Luckily for you, we're kind of pros at this, as we frequently turn the cafes of NYC hotels into our makeshift drawing rooms. Here's three of our favorite hotel spots for a hot chocolate:

Ace Hotel — Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Don't expect to snag a free seat in scenester lobby, but rather take your tall glass of hot chocolate (ever so perfectly whip cream-topped) to the window and stand, idly gazing out and enjoying these ten minutes of pure nothingness. Take a tiny, shiny pastry to go.

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Guess The Weight Of The Langham's Gingerbread House To Win A Tea

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1C Portland Place, London, United Kingdom, W1B 1JA
December 9, 2011 at 4:18 PM | by | ()

4.5ft high. Four days to make. Hundreds of sweets stuck onto it: those are the stats for the incredible gingerbread house at the Langham London.

The house has been set up in Palm Court (the tea room), in order to coincide with the Festive Afternoon Tea that the hotel is offering as well as the sconegasmic Bijoux Tea. We popped by last week and - wow. It's incredible. Little wonder everyone is queuing to get their photo taken in front of it.

But it's not just a pretty face - you can actually win an afternoon tea for two if you guess the weight of the gingerbread house. Or rather, the amount of gingerbread used in its construction.

Entries should be rounded to the nearest kg and entered on the Langham's Facebook page by 23 December - so you have a little time.

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Seeking Out the Lobby Christmas Tree at the Fairmont Chicago

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 200 North Columbus [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60601
December 8, 2011 at 4:41 PM | by | ()

Getting in the Christmas spirit may be easy for those who love wearing kitschy knit vests, or going shopping amid crowds, or baking in general, but we pretty much rely on hotel lobbies to jolt us from our pre-winter malaise. When the trees go up and the garlands come down the staircases, it's pretty hard to resist the warm fuzzies that rise in our gut, and thus we typically go seeking out hotel lobbies with classic scenes.

A few days ago in Chicago, we popped into The Fairmont for this very reason.

The Fairmont is a hotel we tend to forget exists, since it's behind the stocky business buildings of Michigan Avenue and covered from the south by the monolithic Aon Center. Oddly it's been the presence of the new Radisson Blu Chicago that's drawn us back to the area. Guess what, though—the Blu doesn't have a tree! So across the street it is.

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A Classic Tree for Public Chicago's First Christmas

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1301 North State Parkway [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60610
December 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM | by | ()

The Public Chicago may still be quite the newbie on the hotel scene in Chicago, but it's already got the Gold Coast glamor down pat, as evidenced by the classic, non-fussy look of their very first lobby Christmas tree.

It's a simple affair to compliment the low-key lobby, and it's surprisingly placed a bit off to the side. Why? Because even the tree knows that the real highlight of the lobby—during cold Chicago winters—will be the Library Bar's fireplace and the way it beckons guests up into cozier surrounds.

Having experienced the Public and its Pump Room when it was still the old Ambassador East, we can say that the Public at least carries on the building's tradition of being the place in the neighborhood for a bit of white-gloved hot toddy service, though these days those white gloves have morphed to little black dresses.

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Hop in the Holiday Fray at These London Hotels

November 30, 2011 at 3:10 PM | by | ()

Make it a very British holiday at the Zetter Townhouse

Those twinkling fairy lights (that's "Christmas lights" to you Yanks) around central London don't lie: the holiday season is most definitely in full swing. So much so that last Saturday, a portion of Oxford Street was shut down, leading to what can only be described as gridlock hell around some of the city's most trafficked shopping areas.

Monstrous as crowds of slow-strutting tourists and rabid holiday shoppers may be, London is still a magical place to spend a winter holiday, especially upon first snow. (Curiously, none has fallen yet.) With news of designer Christmas trees hitting swanky lobbies, we thought it an appropriate time to survey the local hotel scene: the digs, the availability, and the prices. Find out what we found after the jump.

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The Plaza Has Possibly the Pinkest Christmas Tree Ever

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 5th Avenue and 59th Street, New York, United States
November 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM | by | ()

First there was the Betsey Johnson-designed Eloise suite, then came the Betsey Johnson pop-up shop and now The Plaza in New York has a whole Betsey Johnson Christmas tree as well.

Just completed and lit during a tea service yesterday, the Betsey Johnson/Eloise tree is perhaps the hottest pink tree you'll ever see; it's 18 feet high and some of the ornaments are stuffed with Betsey goodies (like jewelry and underwear).

It's free to stop in and see the tree, which is not in the lobby but nearer the Palm Court, but it'll only be shining that fuchsia glow through January 4. Meanwhile if you'd like to buy a few things off the tree, the pop-up in The Plaza's downstairs shops will be open longer—until January 9.

For a whole slew of photos of the tree's decorating and Betsey striking poses, hit up the Facebook gallery.

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Skate The London Fog Away With Myhotels This Winter

November 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM | by | ()

It may be more foggy than chilly in London right now, but that won’t stop us getting into the Christmas spirit with some ice skating. Last night, the Somerset House rink (sponsored by Tiffany, no less) opened up with the overexposed ubiquitous delightful P Middy christening it for the rest of us.

Turns out we’re not the only ones who like Pippa Middleton skating, because myHotels have teamed up with the rink to offer a skating package.

For your money, you get a night at either myhotel Bloomsbury or myhotel Chelsea, cocktail on arrival, breakfast, a late check out and two skating tickets. According to the hotel:

Guests will also be able to choose from one of the many Club Nights available at Skate this year – including names such as Joey Negro, Winterwell Festival feat The Next Men, Ministry of Sound Radio, Time Out presents Nite Sessions and many more.

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Claridge's Avoids Controversy with a New Designer Christmas Tree

Where: 49 Brook Street, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4HR
November 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

After John Galliano effectively ousted himself from the House of Dior earlier this year, owing to an anti-semitic tirade caught on camera, the luxury label has lagged in finding a permanent replacement. WIth so much tumult at the company, it's no surprise that London hotel Claridge's has chosen a different designer to take on their annual holiday tree decor. (Dior was responsible for the tree from 2009-2010.)

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Pretty in Pink for the Holidays at Betsey Johnson's Plaza Pop-Up Shop

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 5th Avenue and 59th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
November 15, 2011 at 4:35 PM | by | ()

Love pink stuff? Love New York City's The Plaza Hotel? Hate the high prices ($75 headbands!) of the pink-perfect Eloise shop at The Plaza? We're with you all the way. There's some relief however, as The Plaza has just opened a Betsey Johnson holiday pop-up shop in the lower-level Shops arcade at the hotel.

We just went and roamed around it ourselves, and though it's itsy-bitsy, it definitely packs the pinkest punch. The store associates told us that Betsey wanted the shop chock-full of accessories, and that it is; her sparkly jewelry, funky watches, quilted clutches and even winter hats are everywhere. Rest assured they've got Betsey's signature clothing line as well, in all its crinolined, punky princess glory. The only thing is—when we expressed interest in a particularly stunning necklace but in a larger size—we were told that items are already beginning to sell out. Thankfully if you're that hard-up for something sparkly to wear to your holiday shindig, there are other Betsey shop locations around the city.

If you go, the Betsey Johnson pop-up is only open until January 9.

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Where to Have Christmas or Hanukkah in Your Hotel Room This Holiday Season

November 11, 2011 at 2:23 PM | by | ()

Like it or not, the holiday season has officially begun. So while you're drawing up your Christmas wish lists or plotting out the best strategy for door-busting on Black Friday, don't forget to plan out your hotel stay. From now through New Year's Eve, we'll be pulling out the holiday hotel news, deals and events we think are the best (or the worst.) Got a question about booking a hotel over the holidays or what to do when staying in a hotel over the holidays? Let us know!

So you've decided to stay in a hotel over Christmas or during Hanukkah but you're worried you might be missing out on all the holiday fun up in your room. Well, if you're staying at these places below you can have the holidays delivered straight to your door.

At the Four Seasons Whistler in Canada, the hotel's "Deck the Halls" package includes a four or five-foot Christmas tree already on a stand and brought up to your room with lights, bulbs and a star for the top, along with hot chocolate, milk, freshly baked cookies, a Christmas music CD and one stocking per guest with their name embroidered on it.

Naturally, this makes the already pricey Four Seasons resort a bit pricier at $1,200 CAD a night before taxes. There's also a minimum stay of four nights. But there's a chance you could see a hunky Australian action star.

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Après-Ski in the Heart of London, Minus the Whole Skiing Bit

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 15 Montague Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B 5BJ
October 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Us Hotel Chatter-ers on the ground in London were recently unnerved at the site of boxed minced pies in our local Marks & Spencer. Holiday season: it has begun. Shudder.

Local hotels are gearing up in kind, crafting robust packages to spread a little Christmas cheer to their winter patrons (and cheer to those handling the profit-raking side of things). The Montague on the Gardens has gone over the top in conceiving of yule tide offerings, cobbling together a—wait for it—"magical winter wonderland" on their Wood Deck. And yes, there will be reindeer.

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A Fully Dressed Tree, Roaring Fire and a Christmas Discount at the Royal Horseguards

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2 Whitehall Court, London, United Kingdom, SW1A 2EJ
November 24, 2009 at 9:20 AM | by | ()

Last time we heard about the Royal Horseguards in London, it was doing its bit for charity. Now we’re delighted to report it’s doing its bit for us as well, by knocking 30 percent off its rates over the Christmas season.

Stay between December 18 – January 17 and you can get 30 percent off the best available winter room rate. Not only that, but the hotel promises to be “lavishly decorated” over the hols, with a “roaring coal fire” and a “fully trimmed Christmas tree”. Fully trimmed? We thought that was for the turkey only.

The hotel’s bang on the Thames, so you should get an eyeful of the South Bank, which is always dressed up pretty for Christmas. And of course, there’s always the chance of a festive Secret Service ghost if you like that sort of thing.

To book, use code NNN27, and be warned - you'll need to pay up front and the rooms are non-refundable.