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The Sun Palace, Cancun
We at HotelChatter know Spring Break exists even though our school days are long gone. March and April seems to be the months when kids from elementary to college age are let loose upon the world, meaning vacation time for some lucky adults too. So you know what? We decided we want in, too. There’s still enough time to book a getaway, so with that in mind, here are some vernal equinox escapes, in case you want to get on the bandwagon.
If there’s one place we’d love to have a blowout on New Year’s Eve, it’d be Edinburgh. Which is unfortunate, because it means we’re sorely tempted by the deal that the George Hotel has going for Hogmanay right now.
It’s auctioning off its massive Panorama suite – which comes with a roof terrace looking over Edinburgh Castle and across as far as Fife – for the 31st. And, even more winningly, it’s in aid of charity, too.
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While on a recent trip to Edinburgh, we spent our last night gorging ourselves at 21212, a restaurant opened in 2009 by Chef Paul Kitching and his partner, Katie O’Brien, and staying in one of the four upstairs bedrooms in the Georgian house that they renovated.
Whatever you do, though, don’t call 21212 a “bed and breakfast.” That just gets their kilts all a-ruffle. We were told, quite strictly, that 21212 is a “restaurant with rooms.” Hmm...we wish all boutique hotels stateside could be so honest. It would safe us a lot of trouble!
Upon arrival, we checked on our dinner reservation at the Michelin-starred restaurant, and made our way upstairs to the four bedrooms to have a look around. This is a former house, so all the rooms are different.
Welcome to our regular feature, Pitch Your Hotel, where we let hoteliers, general managers and other hotel execs tell us on-camera what makes their hotels so different from all the rest. And believe us, the competition is fierce these days. So sit back, relax and listen to them explain why their hotels are worthy of your hard-earned dollars or rewards points.
Between the scotch sipping and nighttime ghosts and ghouls tours in Edinburgh last week, we holed up at the stylish Hotel Missoni, right in the heart of the Royal Mile.
Since we’ve already brought you an inside look at the fabulous guest rooms and the swinging lobby and bar, this time we found the coolest kilted doorman at the hotel and asked him to to make a video for our regular Pitch Your Hotel series.
The lobby at the relaunched Chicago Mart Plaza Holiday Inn
Not only is the huge Holiday Inn chain in the midst of renovating and "relaunching" their hotels, but they're also getting their act together to be the official hotels of the 2012 Olympics in London. For this reason, we're not super surprised that the honor of being Holiday Inn's 2,000th relaunched hotel goes to a UK property: the Holiday Inn Express at Edinburgh Waterfront.
It's a huge milestone for a such a small hotel, and now that the chain has reached 2,000, they're two-thirds of the way through the massive chain facelift, which began back in 2007.
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Mal Edinburgh - the original Malmaison
We’re fans of the British Malmaison chain for decent value in interesting locations (all their hotels used to be some kind of cool old building) so we’d be up for trying their latest package – a Tale of Two Scottish Cities.
It’s no quicky break –you’ll spend a whole week between Glasgow and Edinburgh – but you won’t be stuck for things to do in either of those places. Split seven nights either way (we suggest three in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow, for ease of reaching the Highlands in the day time), and for £500 per person, you’ll get one Brasserie meal at each hotel, a bottle of whisky at one, and champagne at the other.
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We've already taken you on a tour of our room inside of the first (and currently only) Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh, but a look at a hotel with this much detail and vibrancy wouldn't be complete without a tour of the public spaces.
Although we opted not to add the breakfast onto our room bill, we still explored the hotel's Cucina Restaurant, the lobby bar/lounge, and we even made it to the small gym on the hotel's second floor, which is called the first floor in Europe. We were thrilled to see that the Missoni touch was not lost on anything, and even the gym featured brightly-painted walls, Missoni towels, and the quirky addition of a mini Smeg refrigerator. You'll only find our tour of reception and the bar in the video above, but after the jump, we've got a full gallery of all the public spaces inside of the Missoni Hotel Edinburgh.
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Clothe yourself in your best Italian knitwear and hunker down for this story, since we're taking you inside of one of the most anticipated new hotels: The Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Scotland. After making a special detour to Edinburgh just to get up in the place during a European trip last week, we now have tons of photos and the room tour video above to share; the largest look at this fashion hotel, the first in what will become a worldwide chain.
We stayed for two nights, after scoring an unbeatable advance purchase rate of $130 per night on Orbitz. Considering how their usual nightly price is closer to $250, we already counted this a bargain, but would their interiors and service live up to the hype and our expectations? We broke out our Missoni scarf and headed for Scotland to see...
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Although the first Missoni Hotel has been open now in Edinburgh, Scotland for over two months, not many pictures or reviews have come out of it. We want to see every striped nook and polka-dotted cranny of that place, and especially what the staff is wearing.
Luckily Flickr yields a few tantalizing pictures, like this one of the dizzyingly patterned crockery in the Missoni Cucina. Still, this is a fashion hotel and its bartenders and room attendants and waiters have got to be wearing the chicest hotel duds this side of the Versace Resorts, right?
Finally, we get another picture (the restaurant) from the interior of the Hotel Missoni which opened today in Edinburgh, Scotland. You'd think that during their recent visit to the property, the Guardian UK would have taken a few more shots, but instead they focused their energies on asking Missoni matriarch Rosita her reasons for choosing Edinburgh for the first hotel of her brand. Her response, after citing comfort over pretentiousness, is even-handed:
I admit that in the rain, Scotland can seem cold and dark and terrible, but in the sun you see its true beauty. I first came here 30 years ago for the festival, and went walking, out through the highlands, and I remember the heather and land - the colours were magnificent. Edinburgh is severe but very stylish and I tried to reflect that in the designs.
It probably also worked out in favor of the city that it's not already crowded with boutique or fashion hotels like in Milan; the Missoni Hotel will become the spot. That is, if brunching Scots can handle those blue walls and bright patterns pictured above after a night out on the town.
[Photo: Richard Davies/PR]
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Where can we score a Missoni kilt for ourselves? Oh yes, perhaps at the almost-open Hotel Missoni Edinburgh! This first entry into what will be a series of Missoni HotelsKuwait's coming in fallis prepping their Italian espresso machines and straightening out the creases in the striped bedsheets with only a few days until their June 8 opening to guests.
This past weekend however, the Missoni family themselves stopped in to survey how their fashion brand has translated into a physical hotel property. As you can see in the picture above, Scottish hospitality showed in spades as the family was welcomed by Missoni kilt-wearing waiters from the Cucina Missoni restaurant as well as a traditional bagpipe player.
Rooms for this month are looking quite within range as well$283 for a regular room, or $386 for deluxe room with breakfast. If you aren't anywhere near Scotland this summer, you can bet that all the big glossy interior design publications will be flashbulbing the heck out of the hotel later this month. After all, it's Missoni from top to bottom and that means reconciling crazy patterns and colors with the desire to create the restful environment of a hotel.
[Photo: Hotel Missoni Edinburgh]
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Search the back of your closet for that Missoni piece you totally splurged on at a sale last year, because the first Missoni Hotels property is on the brink of throwing open its brightly-patterned doors in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It'll be all the colors and patterns your weary tourist eyes can handle in June, when the hotel opens and we finally get to see more than renderings of what looks to be a vibrant Italian fashion fantasyland plopped into Scotland.
The opening itself will be quite an imported spectacle, with Rosita Missoni herself cutting the ribbon to the 136-room property on the Scottish capital's historic Royal Mile. Not to mention that some of the furnishings are from her own home, and a majority of the rest are previews of the latest Missoni home lines, debuting at the hotel first.
So what's the nightly damage to your credit card for a room alone? A reasonable $268, considering that includes WiFi, laundering of 2 items of clothing, premium movies and a newspaper in the world's newest fashion hotel. Add another $22 if you'd like a Missoni breakfast delivered to your Missoni linen-otfitted bed. Here's hoping that even the room service features Missoni-branded toast and pats of butter.
[Photo: Hotel Missoni]