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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.
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A few years ago, the planned Trump Hotel in Fort Lauderdale was still "blowing in the wind" without an operator and it continued that way until last month, when Conrad Hotels announced they would be taking over the property (in partnership with CFLB Partnership LLC) and renaming it the The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the 290-roomproperty will be a condo-hotel with different residential layouts which will be rented to guests when the owners are not staying in them. Prices for the units will start at $450,000.
But since the building was left unoccupied for so long, it will now require some loving care to get it up to Conrad Hotels luxury standards. Word is the property will get about $34 million in enhancements that will also include a fitness center, a Conrad Spa, a swimming pool and an oceanfront restaurant. It will open in 2015. Better late than never at all.
Hat tip to Thackftl for the on-the-scene observation.
[Photo: Michael Graves Design]
You know you scored a hotel room with a killer view if you walk in to find a telescope at the window.
For many hotel guests, scoring such an amenity is pure luck; however, for travelers who know what they want (and it's an in-room telescope), there are a few properties that make such an offering part of the experience.
Three hotels with in-room telescopes:
It's no secret that hotel rooms are used for trysting but we were in for quite a shock when we saw this happening at the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo. Yes, that's right. We're talking about the two teddy bears getting too close in a cup inside one of the guest rooms.
All joking aside, the snapshot from Ken E. Lee in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool gives us an up close and personal look at the sweet teddy bears, which are only available to guests. (The hotel also gives guests a Conrad duckie too.) You can purchase these directly from the hotel but you know, you have to go to Tokyo to get it. Otherwise, eBay it.
Rates start at around $400 a night for a King City room with seriously stunning views of the skyscrapers in Ginza and Shiodome. Check out more of Photo: Ken E. Lee/Flickr]
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For most of us, we're just happy that our hotel room in Manhattan doesn't look out onto a brick wall. But for those of you who are particular about your views, we've rounded up the best hotels in lower Manhattan for river gazing. And no, you don't have to spend a fortune to do it, which is another reason to consider downtown versus uptown when planning your stay.
5 SCENIC WATERFRONT HOTELS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
1. It's all about the views at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which also took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy (everything's back to normal now, though). The 298-room hotel often gets overshadowed by its uptown counterparts (Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons New York), but actually this place outshines all of them put together when it comes to fresh sea breezes and plenty of open spaces around the hotel The rooms even come with telescopes!
Rates from $395/night.
Four more after the jump!