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With the opening of the 1,000th Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (the Courtyard by Marriott Walla Walla in Washington State), Marriott International is giving away 50 million Marriott Rewards points to guests checking into Courtyard properties worldwide today.
That's right. Marriott Rewards members arriving at Courtyard today will receive 1,000 bonus points a piece. (That sound you just heard is a bunch of folk pulling out their phone to make a quick reservation for today at a Courtyard.)
With this 1,000th property, Courtyard is now the single biggest brand in the Marriott portfolio (by number of properties) and the 8th largest hospitality brand worldwide. There are Courtyards in all 50 states, along with 38 countries and territories.
While Courtyard was commonly found near airport or in office parks, in recent years the brand has gone urban--to New York City and downtown LA--as well as tropical--to Bali and Waikiki Beach--and nearly everything in between (Middle East and Europe.) Inside the Courtyard, the room design now reflects today's traveler and free and fast WiFi is a priority. Food and beverage offerings have been upgraded as well, with most Courtyards offering at least a Grab-n-Go or Bistro concept, if not a full-fledged restaurant.
So with 1,000 properties all over the world, chance are some of you dear readers have stayed at a Courtyard hotel before. And now, we want to know which ones you like the most.
Rich, er Ritz Chocolate Cake
We've learned which Four Seasons Hotel you heart the most, as well as your favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels, Andaz Hotels and the Le Meridien Hotels. Now, we're getting ritzy with it.
We want to know where in the world is your favorite Ritz-Carlton Hotel? This may be a tough question considering that Ritz-Carlton has opened up all over the world lately from Palm Springs to Kyoto, alongside expensive renovations of existing properties. But there's got to be a Ritz-Carlton you prefer above all the rest.
Maybe it's because your favorite TV show films there or maybe it's because they spoil your leather shoes or perhaps you just like their funky bar concept. Heck, maybe you just like their signature cake.
Whatever the ritzy reason, share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in comments below. Don't have a favorite but instead have a Ritz-Carlton you wouldn't visit again? We want to know that too!
Bathrobes at the Four Seasons Los Angeles.
Today, we're taking stock of the changing seasons...Four Seasons Hotels, that is.
With Four Seasons making expansion a top priority in the next years--the Four Seasons Orlando will open this weekend while Four Seasons Dubai is now taking reservations for December--it's a good time to take stock of what Four Seasons has done right, and where they still need some improvement. In other words, what to do and not to do with future Four Seasons Hotels.
The Le Mérdien Bora Bora
This art-centric Starwood Hotel has been coming out of its shell in recent months, picking up a few new properties here and there. And they aren't stopping. Last week, Le Méridien announced they will be opening 11 new hotels over the next 12 months, which will triple its portfolio in the Americas since the French-born brand was acquired by Starwood in 2005.
Here's where Le Méridien will plant their flag over the next year: Tampa (inside a century-old Federal Courthouse); Bangladesh; Chicago-Oakbrook Center; Bangkok; Charlotte; Gujarat, India; Mahabaleshwar, India; Indianapolis; New Orleans (formerly a W, will undergo a $29 mil renovation); Thimphu, Bhutan and Qingdao, China.
But where is your favorite Le Méridien hotel today? Clearly, some Le Méridiens are better than others but we want to know which ones. So help us out by sharing your experiences with us. And SPG-ers, we know you know the dirt so don't hold back!
[Photo: Le Meridien Bora Bora/Facebook]
We've talked about our favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, the best Kimpton Hotels and the Sofitel Hotels we're most thankful for but now, on the eve of Love Day (which is what our three-year-old calls February 14), it's time to talk about our favorite place to have an Andazm.* For those not in the know, we're talking about Andaz Hotels.
The HotelChatter team has been in just about every Andaz out there, (except for Peninsula Papagayo which just opened in late December), and the general consensus is that Andaz Hotels are awesome. What's not to love? Personalized check-in, free wine hours, complimentary minibar snacks and free WiFi. Each Andaz also has its own distinct design, ensuring that no two Andazes are exactly alike.
Keep reading to see this editor's personal fave Andaz Hotel!
There are about 120 Sofitel Hotels, in about 40 countries, so that's a lot of Sofitels to get talking about. But with all major hotel brands, not all the individual hotels are created equal. We've had some great experiences at Sofitels in Asia and Europe and then just so-so ones here in America. Meanwhile, Sofitel is also expanding their So brand which is more design-conscious and art-centric while at the same time remaining luxurious. So Sofitel is a mixed bag indeed.
Now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell us which Sofitel Hotel you're most thankful for in comments below!
[Photo: JasonD For HotelChatter]
It's hard for us to hate on a hotel brand that offers a complimentary wine-tasting hour at every single property, animal print bathrobes in the closet and free WiFi (so long as you join the loyalty program.) But alas, not all Kimpton Hotels are created equal.
While almost every Kimpton retains the brand's friendly personality along with truly helpful services and amenities (we especially love the "Forgot It? We Got It!" toiletry service), not every Kimpton is a stand-out property. That's just the way of the hotel world, we guess. We've seen our fair share of Kimptons at HotelChatter and clearly, the new-build ones tend to be the better ones with cooler designs, fresher rooms and a happening F&B scene. Given that Kimpton is on a major expansion roll, that's good news for their loyalists. But now it's even more important to call out the properties that might need a little bit of a boost. What do you think?
Tell us your favorite Kimpton Hotel in comments below! (Or your least favorite Kimpton)
San Francisco has always been a bit of a tough hotel scene to figure out.
On the one hand you have a ton of touristy hotels clustered around the city's Union Square. Most of these are small and independent places but of course, the bigger brands like Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and even Kimpton are found here too.
There are more luxe options nearby at Market Street like the St. Regis, the Four Seasons and the W and then down at Fisherman's Wharf the bigger hotel chains dominate again. There are just a handful of cool boutiquey hotels to stay at like The Clift from Morgans Hotel Group and the Hotel Vitale in the Embarcadero from Joie De Vivre but there are plenty of funky spots like the Personality Hotels and even a few stay-if-you-dare options like the Cova Hotel in the Tenderloin district. There's now even a small inn open in the city's Presidio park.
Yet while San Fran has seemingly many hotel options for all types of travelers, there's not one hotel that we get really excited about.
Opening in 2013, the Park Hyatt Busan will be part of a new mixed used development comprising three residential towers, one office tower and the ubiquitous retail space located at Haeundae Beach in Busan.
The hotel itself will have 268 guestrooms, including 69 suites, two restaurants, a lobby lounge, fitness center, seven-treatment room spa, and an indoor pool. The hotel is being designed by New York starchitect, Daniel Libeskind and the Tokyo-based design firm with the super cool name of Super Potato will do the interiors.