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DoubleTree Metropolitan, located on E 51st and Lexington Ave, has always struck us as a whacky spaceship hotel from the 1960s—and indeed, its unique Art Deco exterior, designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus in 1961, continues to be part of the hotel's charm. But now with the added bonus of top-to-bottom renovated guest rooms, which in turn pay tribute to the building's retro curves.
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a tech job. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
We rolled into Denver Friday night after staying in St. Louis with college friends for the night. We had intended to tent out both Friday and Saturday nights in Boulder but we ultimately decided that after 13 hours on the road that day and 40 hours total of driving that week, we would snag a hotel for another night before roughing it.
We used HotelTonight yet again to book The Curtis. The price, $81 including taxes and $71 after using a HotelTonight credit. The uniqueness of The Curtis particularly appealed to me and the hotel is a Hilton Doubletree property, but you'd never know it, aside from the signature warm Doubletree cookies handed to you at check-in.
Police cars barricading streets, helicopters hosting steel 280 feet into the air, sexy girls in hard hats – a whole new kind of
commotion construction is hitting one of Chicago’s most coveted rooftop scenes. And come May 9, ROOF, theWit hotel’s rooftop lounge, is upping the ante with the big reveal: a brand-new, all-glass-and-steel retractable roof that will turn this swanky, spacious outdoor bar into a year-round, rooftop destination.
Who knew those dancing babes could weather hard-core construction so well?
This is Chicago, folks, and that means rooftop season is impossibly short or fickle. A local ordinance also calls for outdoor patios across the city to close after midnight, which means even the most gorgeous of summer nights are cut far too short. But all that changes with theWit’s retractable roof -- a 30-foot wide by 21-foot tall behemoth -- which turns ROOF’s outdoor patio into a spectacular, all-glass nightclub after midnight. No need to shuffle back inside, instead you’ll be fighting to keep that outdoor seat on the 27th floor with top-to-bottom views of the Loop and its many high rises, Lake Michigan, the sky -- you name it.
Hotel Openings / Wyndham Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Tryp by Wyndham / → All Tags
The new lobby at DoubleTree Times Square South
We told you last month that DoubleTree was planning on taking over the Wyndham Garden Times Square South—which, we can safely report, officially transpired. However, the rooms remain intact, as well as the ground-floor cafe, Greenhouse 36, so not much has really changed except for the name. And the added bonus of a welcome cookie.
But this neighborhood hasn't seen the last of Wyndham! Oh, no. Just one block south, this month the brand is launching Tryp by Wyndham Times Square South. So we thought we'd do a little compare/contrast to see which of these two (verrry similar) hotels is worthy of your dollar.
For starters? The price. For a random date (we picked a one-night stay on Feb 22nd), Tryp's lowest starting rate is $179, which offers a queen bed, iPod dock, and free WiFi. Meanwhile, DoubleTree will do you one better with starting rates of $152, and pretty much all the same amenities.
Wyndham has already pulled the hotel off its website and we presume it's undergoing some slight updating to get ready for the DoubleTree takeover.
But the loss is really no big deal to Wyndham considering that they have another Wyndham Garden hotel just 12 blocks south in Chelsea on 24th Street. We guess the upcoming Tryp by Wyndham Hotel in Times Square, just one block over, will be re-routing guests to this property from now on.
However, we will mourn the loss of the hotel's free WiFi as DoubleTree will be charging $9.99 a day. Not sure a DoubleTree cookie will make up for that. Ok, it helps a little.
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Exactly one year since Mint Hotel Tower of London debuted its jaw-dropping panoramic Sky Lounge, the dreaded Hilton DoubleTree takeover that we announced back in September has finally come to pass. The hotel is now known as the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London- Tower of London (bit of a mouthful, eh?)—and this is just one out of eight Mint hotels across the UK and the Netherlands that DoubleTree plans to re-brand over the coming year.
Second up is the Mint Hotel London Westminster, which is now the DoubleTree by Hilton London- Westminster.
But things aren't looking so bad! Aside from their newly-extended tongue-twisty names, both hotels will get to hang onto the the design elements and amenities that guests have become accustomed to over the past year—like the Sky Lounge, the Living Wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, and the in-room iMacs (phew!) Hilton will extend its HHonors program to both of the Thames-facing hotels, making London stays even more attractive to repeat Hilton guests. And the cookie? Well, we don't mind if we do...
How do you wash theWit? Very carefully...or rather gracefully as if it's a dance, if you're one of the window washers we watched prance across the glass of theWit Hotel in Chicago earlier today. No, they weren't messing around; they were just doing their job, which involves the very cool combination of walking and washing a piece of stunning modern architecture, while rappeling down it at the same time.
No awkward window washer carts here, which is a good thing considering what can sometimes happen if a cart goes rogue in the wind.
One more thing: let this be a reminder to always yield those warnings about window washing happening while you're staying in a hotel. Typically a little note will be placed on your pillow or desk regarding washing times, along with advice to keep your curtains closed. We know these guys probably have some great stories...
Historic Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Restaurants / Seattle Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
In 1918, the building that currently houses the DoubleTree Arctic Club Seattle originally opened as a gentlemen's club called (unsurprisingly) The Arctic Club. Its clientele? Successful business men who had become wealthy from the Klondike Gold Rush. These days, the hotel attracts locals and visitors alike to its restored Northern Lights Dome Room, a restored ballroom whose leaded glass domed ceiling (above) simulates the effects of the Northern Lights. Luckily you don't have to go mining for gold in Alaska to enjoy it!
Inside and around the hotel, there is plenty to look at. Unique architectural details—like the 27 carved walrus heads on the exterior of the building, or the stairways lined with Alaskan marble—make the place feel less like a regular old DoubleTree and more like an independent boutique hotel. Which it is. Plus free cookies.
DoubleTree has made their baked-fresh-daily walnut chocolate chip cookies an important part of the operation. So important, that the brand decided to embark on a Cookie CARE-a-van tour this summer, spreading joy (and sugar highs) all over the country.
But, as it turns out, people want more. What else is new? According to a rep for the hotel, Doubletree regularly fields requests from guests all over the world to experiment with different variations of the recipe. Add coconut in Costa Rica (DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Puntarenas shown above). Add more nuts in Siberia. But what the kitchen wants those people to know is: it ain't happening!
Admit it, you're a toiletry hoarder. But that's ok because we are too! And like any good hoarder, we're always on the lookout for the newest kinds of toiletries to collect.
Last week, we told you about the new Peter Roth Thomas toiletries that can be found at Hilton Hotels. Now this week, we learn that DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Hotels are carrying two new bath and body care lines from Crabtree & Evelyn.
At DoubleTree hotels, you will now find the Citron line featuring natural extracts of lemon, honey and coriander. (Gone are the Neutrogena products.)
Embassy Suites Hotels will be carrying Crabtree & Evelyn's Naturals line which is 99 percent naturally derived from botanicals using an avocado, olive and basil formula. (The brand previously used Bloom toiletries.)
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Last night in a terrifically rainy Chicago, Virgin top dog Richard Branson filled up theWit Hotel with VIPs and held court on the roofdeck, joined by celebrities just in on one of Virgin America's first flights to Chicago from LAX and SFO. We caught Tim Meadows in the elevator, Adrian Grenier shying away from cameras, and Creed Bratton from The Office chilling...just to name a few. Of course Creed was our absolute favorite spotting of the eve.
It was a motley bunch, but in true Virgin style. The purpose of the whole thing was to announce to the Windy City that Virgin America has finally begun flights here, after three straight years of battling it out with the legacy airlines. It's such a big deal, that the party to celebrate the flights' arrival was also a Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Wines affair. And it's rumored that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Branson in his suite for pow wow.
Here's some good news for anyone who's ever ooh'd and aah'd over DoubleTree's warm chocolate chip cookies: to celebrate the Hilton-owned brand's 25th anniversary, a "CAREavan" cookie truck will be making its way across "the roads of America" starting this Thursday, May 26. There's one way to ruin your appetite before dinner!
Wondering why DoubleTree would go to all this trouble just to wish itself a happy 25th birthday? The anniversary conveniently coincides with the steady unveiling of DoubleTree's $3 billion makeover that was begun in 2006, including: flat screen TVs, softer linens, and the addition of "by Hilton" to their logo.
But don't worry, fellow sweet-tooths, it's not all marketing mumbo jumbo—DoubleTree's global head, Rob Palleschi, revealed the singularly philanthropic appeal of the now internationally-renowned cookies: "We also understand that in today’s dehumanising travel environment small acts of kindness, like providing our warm chocolate chip cookie welcome, can have a positive impact on people all over the world."