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When is it clear that a new hotel is a destination hotel? When we are reluctant to write about the hotel because we know as soon as we do it will be much harder for us to get a room at said hotel when we are in town. Case in point, the inimitable Hotel Saint Cecilia, a 14 room rock n roll hotel out off South Congress Street in Austin Texas -- actually, describing it as a rock n roll hotel isn't quite right, this is an acoustic rock hotel through and through -- uncluttered and pure.
This hotel sits on the incredible grounds of an old Austin mansion. Everything from the sitting area to the rooms exudes a level of detail that makes this place incredibly photogenic. We even saw one fellow guest taking photos of the trees outside the hotel sitting area -- yeah, how often do you see that.
Think we are getting over the top with hotel hyperbole? Well that is what happens when a long time hotel lust object lives up to our pre-stay expectations. Ok, moving pictures are worth a thousand words, so check out room #8 first during our night time arrival (above) and then during a daytime filming session (after the jump).
Downtown Portland's Hotel deLuxe (formerly the Mallory) opened last year and has quickly established itself as the Portland downtown hotel for business travelers, well-to-do parents visiting their kids in Portland, folks who want to stay downtown, and even locals.
The hotel was completely renovated into an up-to-date, yet old Hollywood style, hotel. What does that mean? The mood, the lighting, and the bar and restaurant all feel as exclusive as we imagine 1940's Hollywood felt, while the hotel itself accommodates the demanding guest of 2007 with iHome for iPods, flat screen HD televisions, super attentive service, and by welcoming pets. So you get to bring your dog, watch Sportscenter or CNN in HD, and walk around feeling like Jimmy Cagney.
The rooms are not huge by any stretch, nor are the public spaces, but this hotel isn't about size it is about an old Hollywood experience--thus the 400+ classic film photos on property. Plus, they have a blog written by staffers.
Who Should Stay Here: Classic film buffs, business luxury lovers, guests who like the mix of old and new, your parents.
Who Should Avoid This Hotel: Folks who expect an Embassy Suites sized standard room, guests who crave large lobbies and boatloads of on-site amenities, and people who dislike staying downtown.
Bottom Line: Hotel deLuxe is smoothed out on the glamour film tip with a pop feel, appeal, to it.
Ko Samui Hotel Reviews / Chaweng Beach Hotels / Destination Hotels / Architecture Hotels / → All Tags
The blood-red tiled pool is dramatic enough for us to perk up when we heard about Chaweng Beach's Library Hotel, which was recently named to Conde Nast Traveller's Hot List.
The aforementioned red pool serves as the focal point, with daybeds, Thai antiques, and an open air mini-library.
Minimalism dominates the studio rooms, but the spaces include iMacs and bedside lights. This place is gorgeous--a five-star architectural marvel, so what is not to like? The only downside could be that Chaweng Beach is extremely crowded, and this five star hotel is surrounded by three star hotel neighbors, meaning The Library common areas receive an abnormal amount of daily gawkers.
Expect this property to eventually go to a more private show-your-key-for-entry policy, much like many high end Miami Beach hotels employ.
Wanna little insight into HotelChatter? Here is the breakdown of our daily inbox: 25% great tips and reviews, 50% press releases, 25% evil spam. As far as the press releases go, most of them are run-of-the-mill, from PR folks that obviously have never even read HotelChatter. Thus, catching our attention with a press release is like trying to kill a DDT immune mosquito with DDT. How do you do it? Top shelf tequila and winter whale watching visits at a kick ass hotel on the Bay of Banderas near Puerto Vallarta. No, no, not to bribe us, to bribe potential guests, of course.
Apparently, in January and February, Verana Hotel co-owner and designer Veronique Lievre and her staff will follow you around their 8 room luxury hotel with Don Eduardo Anejo drinks as you watch humpback whales do what they do, hike around the lush 5 acre grounds, chill in the sun, and soak in "moonlit" hot tubs.
Sounds nice, right? So what are the drawbacks. Well, don't go if you have a weak heart. No, not because seeing a tequila induced humpback whale hallucination will give you a gripper, the hotel is atop Yelpa, which can only be reached by boat, and from the dock you have to hike 20 minutes up-hill through the jungle (there is a path, it isn't Man vs Wild or anything), and then, depending on your room location you will have an additional hike once you reach the hotel grounds. The hike sounds invigorating, and it is a big part of what you do on Yelpa (you can hike along the river, to sandy beaches, and to town) but those with bad tickers might not find that to be the case.
One more thing. The photos above are from actual guests, not from posed press photos, and guess what? In our opinion the guest photos are actually better than the press photos. Gotta love a place that can hold up during the candid digital camera test.
[Photos: Randy King]
· Verana [TripAdvisor]
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven Picky Chick let's us know what California girls dream of, when they dream about destination hotels. Enjoy.
Some people daydream about sun on the skin, sand in the toes, flip-flops as "dinner attire." Well, since I live in California, I get that everyday. What I miss is shaded mountains, pine trees, exotic wildlife (coyotes do not count!) and the sweet smell of sap.
Montana's, Crazy Peak Cabin may just have to be my next destination for a good nights sleep and a nice morning hike:
"Breathless! Man definitely did not create this! What beauty! The highs and lows of life are like the Mountains, always changing with the clouds rolling over wind blowing colors and yet the mountains are always there."
I am sure someone is in that "crazy" cabin enjoying all the "crazy" mountain views, sipping on some "crazy" concoction of coffee and liquor as I sit here under my fluorescent light in SoCal. Bitter? Nah, I'm fine...really...fine.
[Photo: Susan and Bobby]
While Ian Schrager is shouting from the hilltops, "the boutique hotel dead, long live the scary gothic sex castle on Lex", over in Italy, Ron Arad is not listening, thank god.
Meet Rimini Italy's DuoMo hotel, where Arad recently unveiled his version of the hotel of the future. Turns out, like Jamiroquai, Arad believes the future is made of virtual insanity. While worldwide many design wonks are gushing, turns out the locals aren't sure they like what they see:
The police were in earlier, officiously playing around with their tape measures in the hotel's impressive entrance corridor as if they were hoping to find just something a millimetre out of line. People stop and stare at the bronze facade and peer through the red lacquer doors at the ring-of-steel reception as though it might have landed from Mars, or somewhere equally un-Italian. "People here are used to a more rustic place," explains Alessandro, a wood importer who lives down the road. "I think it's fantastic, it's perfect. But I'm not sure they will all accept something so new." Even Matteo's sister declares it "over-the-top".
Furthermore, according Jonathan Bell, who reviewed the hotel for New York Times Style Magazine, the hotel's unique design does not extend to the guest rooms:
Initially, the room feels claustrophobic, since the bathroom wall intrudes into what becomes a narrow corridor leading to the sleeping area. There you'll fin little more than a double bed, a slender writing desks, a skinny flat-screened television, and slivers of deep-pile carpet placed over a springy linoleum floor.
However, despite the rather tiny guest rooms, and the local's uncertainty, potential guests are still phoning constantly from all over the world to spend a night in one of the 41 rooms, many with outdoor Jacuzzis. Whether or not these potential guests are frothing at the bit to get a room because this is the only hotel in the Rimini's historic centre, or because of Arad's truly unique hotel design is for you to decide.
Put us on the list of folks that want to stay at Duomo. Without question DuoMo hotel qualifies as one of our rare destination hotels.
When Saturday's snail mail delivered up Travel & Leisure's Hotels Issue we got a bit overexcited--yeah, welcome to our lives.
The issue is chalk full of good glossy hotel info, but when we read the Viewing Rooms piece on 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, we realized this brand spankin' new hotel might just be worth of destination hotel consideration. Hotels that combine art and hospitality always pique our interest. Throw in the fact that this project is part of a larger, and judging from the photographic evidence on Flickr, rather successful revitalization of downtown Louisville and we were in.
21C Museum hotel just opened in April, but already guests are raving about the service and the 42 inch flat screen plasma televisions. Let's be honest, giant plasma televisions help guests forgive most beta hotel service hiccups anyway. Now that the Derby is a thing of the past it shouldn't be all that difficult to snag one of the 90 rooms here if you are set to travel to Louisville in the near future. If you do go, take some photos and share them with us, will ya?
As for us, we are seriously considering booking a HotelChatter trip here for the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Despite Barbaro's horrific and tragic injury, which was really hard to watch, attending a Triple Crown race ranks fairly high on our to-do list. If you are thinking along the same lines, the cool girl at 21C said to call back "late summer" when they would begin accepting reservations for next year's Derby (May 5, 2007). Stay tuned.
Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, ND, is said to be one of the best boutique hotels in the United States. We know, you might be thinking: Fargo? Best anything? Ha! But if you are a hotel maven, and we know you are, you should take a look at this place.
On their website, Hotel Donaldson professes: "A hotel stay should do more than just refresh the body. It should renew the senses, inspire the mind, revive the soul and connect a person with their surroundings."
We couldn't agree more, and when we find a hotel that appears to personify experience, we get that tingly feeling all over. Even though this hotel is in the middle of Fargo, this is the kind of place that makes us consider jumping on a plane and heading to Fargo for a night, just to experience this hotel for a night.
Inside, the Donaldson feels more like hip San Francisco or New York than midwestern Fargo, and its hotel roots run deep. Starting as a "working man's hotel" in 1917, Karen Burgum bought the property in 2001 and spent two years on an inspiring renovation.
Work of local artists hanging on the wall, LCD flat screen tv's, and the coup de gras, heated bathroom floors.
We are going to spend the rest of the day looking for some excuse to go to Fargo. There is a sentence we never thought we would utter...