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It’s been almost a year since we first learned of Graduate Hotels, and since then the chain has been busy doing their thing—showing everyone how to relive the glory days of college but in hotel form.
The latest property just opened up in Madison, Wisconsin, and with it comes 72 rooms. The new Graduate Madison takes over for the former Campus Inn, and we can only imagine that brings quite an upgrade. Campus visitors take note, as this place is only a couple blocks from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus.
HotelChatter Questions: In which, the intrepid HotelChatter editors and our hotel maven readers answer hotel questions that pop into our inbox. Have a question for us? Send it along. Think you have a better answer than we gave, or better yet, want to give a vote of confidence to our answer? Comment away below.
Here's one question from a reader whose daughter begins at NYU this fall:
"Since you have the inside NY Hotel scoop, do you know where to find any of the good promotional codes for the hotels you suggested? Also is it better to book on-line or call and negotiate since I will be [in NYC] 7 nights. Lastly, if I wanted to stay right by NYU - Washington Sq, where would you recommend?
Yale students donned their caps and gowns this past weekend for graduation. To celebrate the Ivy Leaguers, the Study at Yale gave away a graduation present. Unfortunately, it wasn't a new car. But it was still pretty cool: The hotel handed out Moleskine notebooks embossed with the Study logo and with the Yale commencement 2011 insignia.
Moleskine, of course, is the mother of all travel notebooks/journals/etc. It's a favorite for its simple design, durability and infinite uses. All guests who stayed at the New Haven, Connecticut, hotel this past weekend got a big black Moleskine—a big upgrade from the usual hotel pad that falls apart when you use it.
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If you're looking to celebrate can't-come-soon-enough spring, you could do it at the brand-spankin'-new Westin Phoenix Downtown, which will open next week, sort of.
Although the hotel's set for a March 10 opening, reservations are currently only being accepted starting March 17. When we called to ask whether that meant the hotel wasn't opening until then, we were told that no, they are pretty sure it'll open March 10 - but just to be certain, they aren't taking reservations yet. Although, the nice man said, within a couple of days, they should open up the 10th for booking. All being well. Let's hope they do, else someone's gonna have an empty hotel for the first week!
Anyways, rooms on March 17 officially start at $199 a night, but if you use the code "FMOPEN" when booking online, all of the rooms will cost $179, even those that originally cost more than $199 a night. Hotel loyalty points alert: If you stay there between March 25 and April 30, you'll earn double Starwood Preferred Guests Starpoints.
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The Study at Yale is settling in for the 2010-2011 academic year in New Haven, Conn., but could the 124-room Ivy League hotel be gearing up for new locations as well? That's what it sounded like when we chatted with Paul McGowan, the Study at Yale's creator and owner.
The Study at Yale has already impressed us with their spacious rooms, complete with reading chairs and ottomans as well as with their seersucker bathrobes, gingersnap cookies at the front desk and reading glasses on loan. But there are even more little touches at the hotel that we learned about from McGowan.
For instance, during reunion weekends, the hotel's bellstaff will wear hats commemorating the years of the graduating classes being honored that year. The bellstaff also gets in on the college gear year-round by wearing jeans and rugby shirts.
Yet an amenity that definitely scores top marks is the hotel's Daily Events Bulletin Board which is updated every day with the events happening in, on and around campus from athletic games, to talks and seminars and art and music exhibits.
With only three more months left to go in 2010, we're already turning our thoughts to hotel openings for next year and it looks like early 2011 will be quite active. We've got 45 Park Lane, Trump Ocean Club Panama and now The Westin Phoenix which was just announced this morning as opening in March 2011.
The 242-room hotel will actually be located in the Phoenix Civic Plaza, adjacent to the Arizona State University Downtown campus, making it an ideal spot for college visitors. But it will also be across the street from a METRO stop where trains connect to the Sky Harbor International Airport and we're all about not having to fork over money for cabs from the airport.
You can also expect the Westin Heavenly bed, Heavenly toiletries, a Westin WORKOUT fitness center and the Province, restaurant which will serve Latin American and Spanish-inspired cuisine. Even better, this new Westin should get some of those fancy new room designs we talked about a few weeks ago. Reservations are not being taken yet but we will let you know when they open. Still, the new year is looking very bright indeed.
When the Study at Yale opened near the Ivy League campus two years ago, we got all excited about the fun perks at the hotel like complimentary WiFi,leather reading chairs and the bathrobe which featured a seersucker design stitched with the hotel’s logo--a pair of reading glasses.
Speaking of reading glasses, the hotel has another fun perk, well, actually it's more of a necessity. If you've forgotten your reading glasses on your trip, you can borrow a stylish pair from the hotel who has partnered up with designer Amy Sacks.
And if you like them, you can end up purchasing them from the front desk or ordering a new pair from the Amy Sacks catalogue (Frames range from $60 to $90.) Which means no more desperate purchases of granny glasses from CVS. Now that's service!
Room rates at The Study at Yale start at around $239 a night but popular weekends on campus tend to sell out quick.
A few months ago, The Study at Yale opened on campus at the Ivy League school in October and back then, we were chomping at the bit for some real photos rather than renderings. And now that the hotel has officially opened today we finally got 'em.
A ribbon-cutting is being held today at 4pm to celebrate the opening. Not sure if it will be a kegger because kids are either wrapping up their last exams or they have already headed home for the holidays.
Here's what you can expect:
At 4 pm, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano will join [Hospitality 3's developer Paul] McGowan to cut a ceremonial ribbon at the entrance of the 124-room hotel at 1157 Chapel Street. A reception featuring the Yale Whiffenpoofs*, America's first and oldest collegiate a cappella group, will be held immediately after at The Study at Yale’s restaurant, Heirloom.
The a capella group! Andy Bernard is probably jealous.
The rooms at The Study do sound extremely inviting for an on-campus visit. Each guest room has a leather reading chair and ottoman, an expanded desk area, marble and glass showers and wireless internet. But what really stirs the preppy inside of us is the bath robe. Each room also comes with a custom designed seersucker bathrobe, stitched with the hotel’s logo which is a pair of reading glasses.
More photos after the jump. Thanks Susie!
The New York Times recently wrote about a new hotel opening in New Haven, Conn., that's actually within the storied Yale campus.
Too bad this hotel just opened, otherwise it could have made a cameo feature in this week's Gossip Girl episode when the kids go to Yale for the weekend.
Nevertheless, the hotel is now open and despite the crap economy, The Study at Yale might actually fare well. The hotel is located on Chapel Street, across from the Yale School of Art and near the School of Architecture, the university art gallery and the Center for British Art.