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This is a bit of a pattern: day one, a brand’s exit from a certain market is announced. The clock starts ticking, and by day two or three, re-entry – in something newer, bolder, shinier – follows. So it was with Four Seasons in Bangkok, and now the same happens for Conrad Hotels in Chicago.
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Cork: Often enjoyed, rarely appreciated before it’s cruelly cast aside in favor of opening another bottle. But one hotel is out to change all that. The Conrad Algarve, in Portugal, wants you to reevaluate your relationship with cork.
There are two things we like about its new Cork Route Experience. One is that it’s weird and intriguing, and that’s the best kind of hotel excursion. In fact, it follows on from their popular clam-picking excursion - no words. The other is that it’s affordable: €100 ($112) for a half day or €132 ($147) for a full day – for an entire family.
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So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!
· Conrad Chicago, shown above, will cease to be a part of Hilton Hotels later this fall and will instead join Starwood's Luxury Collection group. No word yet on what the new name will be. [Source: Hotel News Resource]
· Fresh off opening their New York property, EDITION Hotels will open next year in Sanya, China; Thailand and Abu Dhabi with Shanghai and Times Square to happen in 2017 and West Hollywood in 2018. Paris has inexplicably dropped off the website although Edition folk say it is still happening. Also happening that's not yet listed? The Reijavkik Edition in Iceland. We cannot wait. [Source: Edition Hotels website]
· The 342-room JW Marriott Minneapolis, which will have direct access to the Mall of America, is set to open in November. However, the website is accepting reservations right now for stays from January 1, 2016 and beyond. [Source: JW Marriott Hotels]
· A tipster wrote into tell us that the W Retreat Kanai in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which last we heard was opening in July 2015, is now opening in January 2018, according to the W Hotels website. Yup, that seems about right for W Hotels. [Source: Tipster and W Hotels]
· After announcing a Hilton Garden Inn for Hawaii, Hilton is now going to install their DoubleTree by Hilton brand in the iconic Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Club on the Big Island. The hotel is currently closed as it goes under a $16 million renovation. It should reopen as DoubleTree later this year. [Source: Pacific Business News]
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An all-party cocktail coalition
Royal Baby fever is over in the UK; it’s the General Election today, the most confusing and closely contested political battle in recent history. If you have any about being told how to vote (possibly more irritating: the “I don’t care who you vote for, just vote!!!” martyrs), we suggest you stay off Facebook today, and make instead for the Conrad London St James, where the Blue Boar bar (yes, the one that just gave champagne away in a fit of #royalbabyfever) is mixing up political cocktails all night long.
The Blue Boar is, of course, a popular bar with MPs, what with being right around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. Luckily, they’ll all be in their constituencies tonight, so it’s safe to go down for the election party.
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the Executive Club Lounge at the Conrad St James in London.
This hotel originally opened in 2012 as an InterContinental but Conrad Hotels, Hilton's luxury brand, took over management in September 2014.
Because the hotel is still rather new, not much has changed in the guest rooms since HotelChatter last looked at them in December 2012. (The cheeky Do Not Disturb signs, which depicted parliament snoozing, have been replaced.)
The beds are incredibly comfortable, there are showers and separate bathtubs in all rooms, free WiFi, a comprehensive plug panel at the desk and complimentary Nespresso coffee. We especially liked the futuristic screen that housed the TV. It looked like a giant tablet but the TV screen inside was normal-sized.
In short, the hotel checks off every box when you are looking for a modern luxury hotel--it's central (The St. James' tube stop is across the street), it's comfortable (we laid in bed for an entire day, not kidding), and there are several restaurant and bar options on-site (such as the Blue Boar Bar where they will celebrate Royal Baby #2 with free bubbly. But what puts Conrad over the top here is their Executive Lounge.
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Forget the beer, you'll be having the bubbly
Half of London (and all of America) seems to be on Royal Baby Alert currently, with mini Middleton #2 due in the second half of April. “I don’t care,” you may say. “What has the royal baby ever done for me?”
Well, nothing yet. But that may be about to change. Because if you’re in London the day it is born, it may just earn you a free glass of champagne.
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We love Instagram. It's a simple social space where we can enjoy family and friends' intimate photos while at the same time stalk celebrities, pick up fashion tips, laugh at animals doing adorable things, drool over dishes from exotic restaurants and best of all, admire crazy killer views from all over the world.
But is it a place where eyou want to book your hotel room? Conrad Hotels hopes so.
The Hilton Hotels brand has partnered ups with Like2Buy technology to allow followers to book a hotel through Instagram. Here's how it works:
We had the opportunity to play with the tweaked and updated app at a recent stay in Chicago and we're pretty excited about it.
Right from our mobile phone (or iPad, if we wanted), we could access as much info about the property as we could from the in-room compendium. But the real magic was exposed on our way home from a night out in River North.
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It’s less than two years ago we welcomed a second InterContinental hotel to London, with the Westminster outpost setting up next to New Scotland Yard, a walk across St James’s and Green Park to its Park Lane sibling. It’s less than a year ago we talked about a third InterContinental coming to the city, this time much further east at the O2 arena.
Things have taken a very unexpected turn though this month, with the InterContinental Westminster going and now gone, becoming the surprise return of Conrad Hotels to the city. As of now, the hotel on Broadway is known as the Conrad London St. James, a major move up from the previous Conrad location in Chelsea Harbour (now a Millenium Monogram Collection if you recall). Still with us? It’s all in the hotel rebranding game.
We told you earlier this year that the saga of the ill-fated Trump Fort Lauderdale would have a happy ending by summer 2015, opening as the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Beach Residences. A $30 million-plus investment would erase any signs of half a decade of vacancy and neglect, the result of which we can show you a few renderings of now.
Above the driveway and entrance to the 290-room hotel, with an interesting lattice wood-like sculpture above what looks like a water feature. All accommodations are either studios or suites and come with full kitchenettes.
Washington DC’s uber high-end mixed use and all-one-word development, CityCenterDC, will also have a high-end hotel brand inside--Conrad Hotels, which is anticipated to open in early 2018. This will be the first time Conrad has opened in DC and it will also be the only hotel planned for CityCenterDC. But what exactly is CityCenterDC? Allow us.
CityCenterDC is a micro-planned, urban “neighborhood” encompassing 10 acres in downtown DC. It’s been constructed in phases over several years and includes residential, retail and dining, offices, and a luxury hotel that now has a name.
Speaking of names, The Conrad DC has a distinguished team working out the details of its design-- a duo of architects in Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron Architekten and Dallas based HKS Architects, Inc, and Rottet Studio as interior designer. Based on their previous work, it's safe to say this Conrad will be no ordinary hotel.
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The hotel's Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar is reopening for the season on May and along with its signature Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktail – an alcohol-infused ice pop served in a glass of Prosecco from the bar’s very own tap, the bar is partnering with the NYC-based people’s pops brand, to serve seasonal boozy ice pops.