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You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Because of the landscaping along the road, you can't see the slums from the car. I walked on the sidewalk and was amazed by the living arrangements. The hotel very cleverly constructed its grounds to keep this out of sight.
This is the view across the street from the hotel, but a lot of guests wouldn't even see it, which we suspect is a pretty good thing. The hotel website explains its location as being "in the heart of the downtown business district", which is, well, not that far away, judging by this photograph.
But despite all that, people like it. TripAdvisor reviews have calculated it the #2 hotel in Albuquerque, out of well over a hundred choices; although several did suggest the area was not the kind you'd want to walk through alone at night. Average room rates of $182 make it relatively reasonable but many suggest you should stay inside the hotel and forget the surroundings completely.
Embassy Suites has announced the five winners of last year's "Do Not Disturb" sign design contest, and, if this was the best of the lot, we imagine that the other 7,000-plus entries must have been truly and excruciatingly unfunny.
The winners, who came up with slogans like, "Aww Mom, just five more minutes. Please?" and "Shh... I'm hatching a plan to bust some little soaps out of here," receive a three-night stay at select Embassy Suites locations and, beginning March 5, will see their designs displayed at the hotelier's 190 properties.
But not all of the winning slogans are as embarrassingly childish for a grown adult to hang on his or her door as "I've built a pillow fort and I am not opening the door for anybody!" Clever selections include, "Pillow fight in progress" and "There are days when I wish I could wear this around my neck," which is what we guess the Embassy Suites marketing team was thinking when they came up with this contest.
Because out of all these creations, we still prefer Embassy Suites' own variation on the "Do Not Disturb Sign": "There's a good reason for you NOT to knock right now."
· While Trump Soho rises, Donald Trump and his spawn are presenting the Trump Hotel Collection which includes properties in Chicago, Las Vegas and Dubai. Each will come with a Trump Spa, Trump Attache service (think butler/concierge) and superior accommodations. And don't forget Trump Steak, Trump Water, Trump Vodka and Trump Suits.
· Room rates are on the rise. Smith Travel Research reports that rates increased 12.1 percent to an average of $108.90. Sadly, all the hotels we want to stay in cost quadruple that.
· Disaster at the Embassy Suites in Baltimore.
A glass roof covering the interior atrium fell approximately eight floors to the center of the hotel.
Fortunately, no one was hurt but the hotel is closed.
The hotel contests just keep coming.
So, we already give kudos to the Embassy Suites Hotels for changing their boring "Do Not Disturb" sign to ""There's a Good Reason for you NOT to Knock Right Now." But now they're wanting us to all get creative and dream up a few more.
The Do Not Disturb Door Hanger contest began last week and you have to get your entry in by October 31 at the Embassy Suites Do Not Disturb Sign Contest website. Winners with the most "clever, outrageous and inspiring" door hanger mottos will receive a 4-night stay at an Embassy Hotel. And the honor of seeing your own clever door hanger being pinched by tons of Embassy guests. Good luck!
Hotel News / Guest Satisfaction Survey / Hotel Noise / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Embassy Suites Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Marriott Smoking Ban / → All Tags
We've had it with thin walls and smoke. We also prefer Ritz-Carlton Hotels for our luxury trips.
That's according to the results of a JD Power and Associates Guest Satisfaction Survey, who surveyed 47,634 travelers to discover that the overall #1 complaint about hotels is noise and the best in service is the Ritz.
Hotel guests are also tired of cigarette smells, they like their free continental breakfast and most would really like to know if the hotel they are staying in has environmentally-friendly programs in place or not.
We love when people comment on HotelChatter stories because aside from making us tingle inside, we like to encourage conversation about hotels, hotel trends, hotels with good or bad WiFi, Tori and Dean, Paris going to jail, etc., etc.
But it's hard to keep track of all the latest comments, especially if they are written about year-old stories. And some of you readers have great things to say. (Spammers, this does not mean you at all whatsoever.) So from time to time we will be highlighting some of the funny and informative things recent commenters posted.
I work as a bell man for an Embassy Suites and all I can say is HIDEOUS. The only reason this uniform "won" in the voting I am sure is because it was probably the least offensive. Can't wait for the summer temps to hit 100+ and your outside helping unload bags. Shirts look like surgical scrubs...atrocious. My tenure at Embassy is done for this very reason!
And they looked so pretty coming down the runway. Looks like runway fashion can never be trusted.
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· Embassy Suites Gets "Apprentice" Unis [HotelChatter]
Not all hotel mavens get to stay in splashy hotels for sexy parties and lounging around on modern furniture with mojitos in hand. (Though wouldn't that be great?) So this week, The New York Times has Sam Sifton's report on the Embassy Suites Fort Myers-Estero. It's the perfect place, Sam says, for when "You have to stay somewhere."
But what's on offer? Flat-screen TVs, WiFi throughout the property, a hotel happy hour and made-to-order omelets in the morning. The rooms are fine, if not inspiring
Each front door opens onto a living room replete with a couch, a coffee table, an easy chair and a library desk, itself with a comfortable office chair and a couple of hardbacks for visitors. The color scheme recalls Tommy Bahama clothes, bland fluorescence, "The Office" TV show.
Nothing says taking it easy in Florida like "bland fluorescence." Although, we can just picture Dwight hanging at the pool in his short-sleeve shirt.
· Check In, Check Out [NYT]
Embassy Suites is catering to families instead of business travelers with their Kids-Eye View Passport program which highlights the most kid-friendly attractions in the city such as Best Pizza, Best Burger, Best Ice Cream, Best Outdoor and Education activities and Best Shopping.
For example the Best Pizza in NYC is Lombardi's, the best burger in Austin is the Hut's Hamburgers and the best family outing in Boston is the Duck Tours.
The kiddie passports look almost like real passports and even include a spot for kids to paste their photo and fill in their information. Plus they can keep their passport for future trips and collect a "What to do in..." sticker from each Embassy Suites they stay at. Right now the program is available at the Embassy Suites in major markets including the newest property in Mexico City.
Other reasons why Embassy Suites could be considered kid-friendly? The hotels offer two-room suites with a Playstation console, and the complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast.
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quoted here were captured on April 3, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
We started poking around looking at Memorial Day weekend deals and found a $169 rate at the Ritz-Carlton Phoenix (this week's Good Rate) on Orbitz. It looked like a few other hotels were dropping their own rates as a result for that weekend, but not the Embassy Suites. In one of those weird twists you see when one company takes longer to blink, it'll cost you more to stay at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix than it will to stay at the Ritz-Carlton a few blocks away.
Now we understand that you'll be able to go downstairs to get breakfast without paying extra at the Embassy Suites, as well as more room to stretch out on a couch, but we get those things at home too and don't get all that excited about them. If you're going to get away somewhere for the weekend, and pay the same price, go for the fine linens and toiletries in a place where everyone is trained to suck up to you instead of leaving you to your own devices.
Our guess is that this rate won't stick, so if you need some extra room in Phoenix over Memorial Day, check back in a week or two and see if the nightly price has dropped. As a bonus, you'll get valet parking for $8 a day, which is one-third what a spot will cost you at the Ritz.
· Good Rate: Ritz-Carlton Phoenix for Memorial Day Weekend [HotelChatter]