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View from the far side of the lake of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
We've highlighted the natural beauty of the Fairmont Banff Springs in the past, but its lesser-known sister property, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, is no slouch when it comes to killer views herself.
A few years ago, we dreamed about what it might be like to stay there, and now we have experienced it first hand. We'll dive in a little deeper next week, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what attracts people to this property. It is positioned next to Lake Louise, which is fed by several glaciers that trickle down from the surrounding jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Austin Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
Sean attends to his typical Savoy clientele
They’re contractually obliged to fulfill all the desires of the other party, they submit to ridiculous demands whatever their personal preferences, and they’ll go to great lengths to satisfy the other person. No, we’re not talking about gruesome Fifty Shades packages, but those bastions of English propriety, the butlers of the Savoy.
There are around 25 butlers at the Savoy, providing 24-hour service to all suites (of which there are 73). Sean Davoren here is their chief. And the hotel has got him to open up a little about all the weird and wonderful facets of being a butler.
Of course, this interview having been commissioned by the hotel, there’s nothing really mindblowing or naughty, but we like these facts:
Mayakoba Hotels / Rosewood Resorts / Fairmont Hotels / Banyan Tree Resorts / Rivera Maya Hotels / → All Tags
The Mayakoba resort community near Playa del Carmen, Mexico sits on 240 acres of tropical forest with eco-friendly lagoons and surrounded by the Caribbean shoreline.
Unlike many resorts in Mexico, there is much more to do than just drink margaritas on the beach (although we like that too). Biking via the extensive shady paths, golfing and scenic boat tours around the canals are just a few.
The hard question is this: Which of the three resort properties should you choose for your stay-- the Fairmont, Rosewood or Banyan Tree? Here is a brief overview of each:
The Fairmont Mayakoba struck us as the most kid-friendly with its waterslide and kids pool, even though all three resorts have kids clubs. It’s also apparently dog friendly as we saw this little number poolside (sadly the Paris Hilton-y owner was not actually Paris Hilton). Casitas are scattered throughout the property, some of which are beachfront with stairs leading right to the ocean and some have oceanfront private plunge pools. The Mexican craft beer tasting with tapas is a must do. The Fairmont is the largest of the three with 401 rooms but it is also the least expensive (although certainly just as lovely as the others.) Off-season prices start at less than $300 per night.
If you like traditional elegance in a hotel, you can’t really beat the star wattage at London’s Savoy hotel. The place oozes fine service and, to be honest, we were pretty impressed. But great service, location and iconic status often comes with a price tag to match. Luckily, what we were shown as the best room to book at the hotel was not a status symbol suite, but a Luxury King River View--specifically, room 514.
Rooms at The Savoy are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style--although all Luxury King River View rooms are done up in Edwardian--and are pretty darn spacious. But what makes this room so special? It’s the commanding view over the River Thames and the British Eye. We stayed on a higher floor that also looked out over the Thames, but there is something about being a bit lower down at tree-level that makes one feel more "at one" with your green surroundings and dappled sunlit room.
Check out the photo gallery!
Hotel Holiday Decorations / Hotel Christmas Trees / Hotel Pop-Ups / Fairmont Hotels / Boston Hotels / → All Tags
Trees, gingerbread houses, insane glass bottle installations – Christmas hotel decor is all well and good, but sometimes you want to bring a taste of it home.
The Savoy Hotel has had more than its share of legends stay at the hotel since its opening in 1889 – Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart are but a few. To honor these celebrities and captains of industry The Savoy’s deeply dramatic Beaufort Bar has created a series of Character Cocktails and, we gotta tell ya, this is cocktail theater.
For those that follow this site regularly, you know we take our in-room cup of coffee seriously.
With that in mind, it is in good spirits that we pass on the word of Fairmont Hotels' partnership with a southern artisanal micro-roaster from Birmingham, Alabama called H.C. Valentine Coffee Company.
We haven't yet sampled the coffee personally, but it sounds promising, or at the very least, interesting, since most corporate brands tend to offer corporate coffee, like Starbucks.
The partnership is only for Fairmont's North American line of properties, and you can find a list of participating hotels here.
[Photo: Fairmont Hotels]
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OhEmGee. There is already so much hotel news flying around this week and it's ONLY MONDAY. Needless to say, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· FAIRMONT NO LONGER IN PLACE AT BOSTON'S BATTERY WHARF HOTEL : The Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston was recently sold and the Fairmont brand was ousted as of October 27. The hotel will now be known as The Battery Wharf Hotel & Spa. It will be managed by a Canadian company, Westmont Hospitality Group.
· FAIRMONT ALSO HAVING ISSUES IN BERMUDA BUT PICKS UP BARCELONA: Just after the $90 million redevelopment of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, and their brand new marina, The Princess Marina, the hotel's owners are now trying to ditch the Fairmont brand. A report came out today about a lawsuit filed in NYC by the hotel's owners and as expected for these type of owner-manager lawsuits, it's not pretty. Read the full list of accusations, and Fairmont's response, here. Meanwhile, Fairmont has announced they will pick up the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I in Barcelona.
· ANOTHER AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT IN THE WORKS: We're closing in on the grand opening of the first AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. (in New Orleans) but we've got a tip on another AC location. Sorry, it's not as exciting as NOLA. Woodbine Development, Inc is bringing the AC brand to the Park Place Development in Irvine, Calif.
Charges for keeping your own stuff in the hotel minibar – that’s so Vegas. Our sister site VegasChatter spotted a $50 “restocking fee” at MGM Grand last year, and the story went round again last month at MGM’s sister property Mandalay Bay.
But a “corkage fee” for merely having a bottle of water in your room? Now that’s a new one.
This was a note we saw in the info book at the Fairmont Monte Carlo when we stayed earlier this year. The Fairmont is one of Monaco’s iconic hotels, right on the Mediterranean. At check in, we were impressed that staff went out of their way to tell us that we should sign up for the President’s Club in order to get free WiFi (if you can’t be bothered to do it now, do it at some point during your stay and we’ll take the charge off at check out, they said, which was awesome).
And then we stumbled upon this note. This penny-pinching, parsimonious note. “A corkage fee will be charged on an item purchased outside and consumed at the hotel”, it said. €15 for champagne and spirits. €10 for wine. €5 for soft drinks and water – water! Not bottles illicitly stored in the minibar, remember – bottles merely kept in the room.
There are so many problems with this. For starters, the sign wasn’t prominent – it was buried in the info guide, which is only read properly by geeks like us. Not a peep on the minibar, not a squeak on the bedside table.
For another, how can the hotel distinguish between drinks consumed in-room and bottles from drinks you bought earlier and didn’t bother to throw away? Chuck out that empty bottle of water in your bag you’ve been carrying around all day, and suddenly it’s chargeable.
Celebrity Scoop / Oprah Winfrey / Fairmont Hotels / Sweet Suites / Washington DC Hotels / → All Tags
...keep track of the visions in her eyes?
Spies told the paper that Oprah trooped down to the Balance Gym at the Fairmont Washington DC in Georgetown and hit the treadmill.
Sporting black athletic pants and a pink top, Winfrey was all smiles and friendly to fellow patrons, we’re told. The only clue that this wasn’t your typical convention attendee burning off last night’s buffet dinner in between sessions: the Divine Ms. O wore fashionable dark sunglasses during her session, spies say.
From now on, we will be wearing sunglasses in the hotel gym. Fake it 'til you make it, ladies! At the very least, it will help us feel slightly less mortified about tripping over the equipment in front of everyone (this actually happened to us last week.)
We've been longtime lovers of The Plaza Hotel in New York, even after the hotel was renovated and turned into a branded Fairmont Hotel with residences. But we had no idea The Plaza had such a racy side.
When Donald Trump owned The Plaza Hotel from 1988 to 1995, the Polynesian restaurant in their basement briefly ran a weekly Sunday night GAY PARTY called "GAUGUIN"! I know, because I used to attend it.
I unfortunately cannot remember the exact year it operated this party but I do remember the exotic Polynesian decor & the fruit-infused tropical drinks served. This short-lived party ended after some fights broke out at closing time & the restaurant's liquor license was threatened with being revoked.
That's a fascinating description (oh, how we wish we could have been there if not for our geometry homework!) but it's not quite accurate.