Tag: Delta Hotels

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What the Heck’s Going On in the City in the Center(re) of Canada?

October 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Ever vigilant, we’ve noticed that there’s been a real buzz in the hotel world in the geographic center of Canada—unassuming Winnipeg. We decided to find out why two new locally-owned boutique hotels are or have just opened, why Groupe Germain decided to build the soon-to-be-open ALT Hotel, and why the Delta Winnipeg decided to embark on a top-to-bottom reno that sets them up to be the one of the first Delta Hotels to unveil the chain's new room design blueprint.

We first spoke with Neil Fishman, GM of The Grand, a boutique hotel that just opened on September 23 at Winnipeg's international airport. The property is Winnipeg’s first member of Preferred Hotels, falling under the Sterling Design label. We asked him what was behind the decision to open the hotel now? His response:

In October 2011, the Winnipeg Airport Authority built a brand new state-of-the-art airport [which we at HC just happen to know was designed by Caser Pelli & Associates, architects of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur]. We thought it was important to build a hotel that would be adjacent to the new terminal while offering our guests a new, unique boutique hotel experience. It was our goal to build a property unlike any other hotel in Winnipeg—to offer amenities and services no other hotel was able to offer. Winnipeg is a booming market and there is a tremendous amount of growth in the airport area.

The Grand is a vision in glass, making it unique in the city. We’re told that the property has spa-like bathrooms, iPads in every room, Smart TVs with free access to Netflix, and, for you Starbucks fanatics out there, Starbucks coffee in the rooms and the lobby. (We’ll be reviewing this hotel later in the year so you’ll get the full inside scoop then.)

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The Free Port At The River Inn Will Get You Rolling On The (Mississippi) River

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  Site Where: 50 Harbor Town Square [map], Memphis, TN, United States, 38103
August 5, 2011 at 10:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.

Chocolate, schmocolate. Turndown service usually leaves us slightly cold – or rather, it did until our stay at the River Inn of Harbor Town in Memphis two weeks ago. Because there, turndown not only means a gussied up bed. It not only means posh, round, Ferrero Rocher-like truffles rather than a tasteless slab of sugar on the pillow. No, at the River Inn, turndown also means a little carafe of port.

Why mention Memphis in HotelChatter's official Mississippi Delta Week? Because if you’re traveling to the Delta, it’s most likely that you’ll start off (and end up) in Memphis. Not only is it the closest major airport to the Delta, but it’s a fitting place to top and tail your trip, seeing as Memphis was the town all the blues musicians wanted to get to.

We’ve been to Memphis a couple times now, but never had much luck with hotels, the Benchmark being the low point, and the surprisingly snazzy Motel 6 in Horn Lake the high – but it’s a 20 minute drive from town. And though we’ve hung out and watched the duck parade at the Peabody, it’s always been out of our budget or fully booked.

But this time was third time lucky in Memphis, and not just because of the port.

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No Blues And No Biscuits, But That's A Good Thing

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  Site Where: 501 2nd Street [map], Indianola, MS, United States, 38751
August 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.

Indianola is a place that many people seem to skip when they’re in the Delta. We made this mistake our first time, too, with a drive-through visit to the (incredible) BB King Museum. This time, we decided to stay overnight – and were recommended the Blue Biscuit Bungalows.

The Blue Biscuit itself is a blues bar open at weekends opposite the BB King Museum in downtown Indianola. As a bar, it’s pretty and charming; but as a place to stay, it’s one of the best in the Delta.

You have two options: one, a shotgun cottage that, unlike the Tallahatchie Flats, has been done up: painted yellow outside and converted into a modern house inside with awesome kitsch everywhere (yes, Elvis is in the building). That’s out on the road by the bar.

The other option is the one we stayed in: the summer house. It’s tucked away in the owners’ garden, by the pool and next to their main house. So your bed is about 10ft from the swimming pool. While we’re on the subject: swimming pool. Mississippi Delta. Two things we never thought we’d see together. Wow.

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Clarksdale's Lofts May Cost More Than A Dime, But They're Probably Worth It

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  Site Where: 211 Yazoo Avenue [map], Clarksdale, MS, United States, 38614
August 2, 2011 at 10:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.

So you want to visit the Mississippi Delta, but the Tallahatchie Flats seem just a little too dirty, you don’t want a chain motel, and the Alluvian, lovely as it is, could be anywhere. Never fear, though – you shan’t be robbed of your authentic Delta experience. You just have to move an hour north of Greenwood to Clarksdale. There, you’ll find The Lofts At The Five And Dime.

Although the Lofts are the swankiest places to stay in Clarksdale, they’re not exactly a hotel – they’re six mini apartments above the old Woolworth's building in downtown Clarksdale. They’re all owned privately but rented out pretty much permanently. All this really means to you is that you get a full kitchen, living room and washer-dryer included with your bedroom (score), that each loft looks different from the next (fine) and that, occasionally, you’ll see marks of the owners (in Loft D, for instance, there was a photo of the family in the bathroom).

You won’t feel all adrift as you might in a normal apartment, though, because the whole outfit is overseen by Bubba O’Keefe (to be honest, it’s really worth staying there just to say you’ve stayed with a man called Bubba). If we tell you Bubba is the epitome of southern hospitality, you probably won’t believe us, so we’ll just tell you that we met him as he was showing a guest – and, now, a friend – round the WROX museum in town, which he owns, and our quick museum tour turned into a two hour sit down and chat on the original sofas upstairs where Ike Turner used to work and Elvis popped in to play. Amazing.

So, yeah, Bubba will be your friend/concierge in town. Don’t worry about that.

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Second Time Around, These Delta Shotgun Houses Gave Us The Blues

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  Site Where: 58458 County Road 518 [map], Greenwood, MS, United States, 38930
August 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM | by | Comment (1)

All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.

It’s almost exactly two years since we visited the Mississippi Delta to follow the Blues trail, and we were so entranced by what we found there that we’ve spent the last two years fantasizing about a return. Finally, two weeks ago, we made it out there, and for old time’s sake, we chose the Tallahatchie Flats in lovely little Greenwood as our first stop.

Last time, we adored it – comfy bed, gorgeous setting and, the Flats’ jewel in the crown, their fantastic manager Les. This time, though, we couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, and not just because it turned out Les was no longer chez Tallahatchie (he’s been replaced by an equally nice lady).

No, what bugged us this time was noticing that the cleaning standards had gone down a steep hill. Last time we’d noted that our bathroom sink could have been cleaner; this time, it wasn’t just the streaky sink that was the problem; the toilet didn’t look as it if had been cleaned, the shower almost certainly hadn’t (it had the label off someone’s facecloth on the dirty shelf, and we had to rinse black dirt from the shower tray) and the entire bathroom smelled a little, err, steamy.

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Buy Everything But The Bed (But Try The Bed) At The Alluvian

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  Site Where: 318 Howard Street [map], Greenwood, MS, United States, 38930
August 25, 2009 at 4:45 PM | by | Comments (2)

We’re always suckers for hotel tat – whether it’s nicking a pen and notebook from the room, buying branded crockery or saving up for one of those Kimpton animal print bathrobes.

So imagine our excitement when we popped in to see the posh Alluvian hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi and found that, as well as the beds in the rooms (which we couldn’t hunker down on, what with not being hotel guests), there’s a bedroom for visitors to try out in the hotel shop across the road.

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Inside The Shotgun Houses of The Shack Up Inn

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  Site Where: 001 Commissary Circle [map], Clarksdale, United States, 38614
August 24, 2009 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

After we loved our stay in the Tallahatchie Flats last week, a friendly Mississippi local told us we should see the Shack Up Inn about five miles outside of Clarksdale (home to Morgan Freeman’s blues club, Ground Zero and restaurant, Madidi).

So we popped along and, sure enough, we thought it was great. The Shack Up is set on what remains of the Hopson Plantation (part of the official Blues Trail). It’s bigger than the Tallahatchie Flats – there are 10 shacks, one house, and 10 “bin” rooms in the old cotton gin. Shacks cost from $60 a night, and the bin rooms from $65.

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Back To Basics, Shotgun Style: Inside The Tallahatchie Flats

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  Site Where: 58458 County Road 518 [map], Greenwood, MS, United States, 38930-7324
August 21, 2009 at 3:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. Not only can it make you think fondly of the bad times (Wham! reunion, anyone?), it can also make spending the night in a little shotgun house off a cornfield in the Mississippi Delta sound like a good idea. So when we found out about the Tallahatchie Flats - a collection of six original plantation cottages, transported to a field outside Greenwood, Mississippi - we had to go straight there.

Room Reaction:
We asked for the cheapest cottage – which costs $65 – but the manager/all-round man about the flats, Les, upgraded us to the bigger Red House, worth $85, because he’d already turned the air con on in that one. Nice! So we ended up with a choice of four beds (a king in the master bedroom, two singles in the second bedroom, and a sofa-bed in the living room) and a living room, dining room and kitchen as well – plus two porches to sit on and chew tobacco.

It was big, but don’t expect luxury – it’s as you’d expect a shotgun house to be, with plain wooden floors and walls, old pictures of JFK and Martin Luther King on the walls, and a seriously teeny bathroom. But the bed was comfy and we slept like logs – the only noise out here is from the frogs outside (don’t underestimate them, though, they’re loud little buggers).

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