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It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Ryan Giggs. We said almost.
He’s all excited, gearing up to launch Hotel Football, his imaginatively named hotel in Manchester, and if those drawn-by-a-teenager renderings weren’t embarrassing enough, this week it emerged that he's been using a convicted killer to promote the hotel.
Kevin O’Dea was part of a gang that attacked and killed student Sion Hardy in 2008, as he left a nightclub. Since he was released from prison in 2011, he’s reinvented himself as a model, which is how he turned up on the Hotel Football website, being poured a beer by a not-at-all-patronising stock sexy woman (we read today that 91% of women feel misunderstood by advertisers – can’t think why), in front of a spectacularly misplaced sign saying “Attack The Day”.
(Two things we’re not commenting on: just how big the dearth of models in the Manchester area must be if O’Dea makes the cut; and just how it’s possible to spend a mere three years in jail for killing someone.)
Hotel Openings / Manchester Hotels / Football Hotels / Soccer Hotels / Celebrity-Owned Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we heard about Hotel Football, the Manchester hotel being built by former Manchester United footballers Ryan ‘scumbag’ Giggs and Gary ‘the only nice guy in football’ Neville, we were transfixed (in a not altogether good way) by the renderings.
Today, we have an opening date: 8 December. We also have some more, equally transfixing renderings courtesy of the Manchester Evening News. We're being slightly mean - the room rendering looks like something we might have created in Paint circa 2003 – but, looking past that, the rooms themselves actually look pretty stylish and not fanatically ‘football’. In short, we could go here.
There will be a rooftop “pitch” and events space, all rooms will have 40-inch TVs and full Sky packages to watch matches on, the restaurant Café Football will serve sausage rolls and burgers as well as posher food, and there will even be betting facilities(!!!) on site.
No word on rates yet, but we’ll keep an eye out.
Sports bars and lounges are nothing new, but a hotel devoted entirely to the international sport of football?
The World Cup may be over but now, excitement is building, literally, for the opening later this year of Hotel Football. What better city to deliver this hotel concept than the home of Manchester United Football Club, and who better to deliver this hotel than former United players themselves? Their goal, so to speak, is to create a true match day experience for both home and visiting team fans.
Manchester United Football Club goes back to 1878 (originally under a different name) and the organization is not shy about its claim to be the most popular football club in the world. If you agree with that, then a hotel right next to the stadium makes a whole lot of sense.
Hotel Football is the first hotel developed by GG Hospitality, founded by former United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs. Neville and Giggs, along with a few other “Class of 92” teammates, sampled more than enough hotels--and sports bars-- on the road and have come together as inspired hoteliers. GG Hospitality also operate the popular Café Football in London.
Philadelphia Hotels / Football Hotels / Home2 Suites / Sofitel Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Extended-Stay Hotels / → All Tags
It's no secret the Philadelphia Eagles aren't repping the NFC East to the fullest these days--their offense is so bad Benjamin Franklin has risen from the belly of Lincoln Financial Field to harness some electricity (and bifocals) for the teams key players. We kid! Still, what the city is lacking in football fortune it's making up for it in the hospitality sector.
Not only did they bring the fab Kimpton's Hotel Monaco Philadelphia last year to the historic area of Center City, but they've created what can be described as a seriously grown and sexy rooftop scene with their Stratus bar. It's open year-round, so if you haven't been, they've got heated banquettes and a now working fireplace which will keep you toasty. Plus Kimpton has introduced the "Raid the Bar" amenity for their loyalty program. Now Kimpton InTouch members can use their $10 credit per visit toward a delicious craft cocktail or drink of choice at a Kimpton bar. And remember, there are two Kimptons in Philly. (Rates from $199)
If you're looking for luxury, there's the Sofitel Philadelphia, which seems like the sophisticated European secret near Rittenhouse Square. It's all French, all the time right down to bell staff wishing you a "bonjour". And taking inspiration from Paris, they're bringing the French Art of Living to your home this month with #SoBoutique, their bed and linens line. So that fluffy duvet is yours if you want it, madam. (Rates from $156)
Things are tough all over! Some hotels and travel apps are whining about our reports that their Hurricane Sandy fees aren't unfair at all, and now it looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers are in trouble! They'll have to march right back home after their game against the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. scheduled for 4:25pm on Sunday.
Why? There’s simply no room at the inn. Any inn,(not even the no-tell motels?), to take on the 53-man football team.
The Steelers' regular hotel in Jersey City is without power for their booking tomorrow night and they can't find alternate lodging. This will force the team to fly the great distance to Newark (an hour) on the day of the game (the NFL requires visiting teams to arrive at least one day before kickoff) and return to Pittsburgh that same day. But again, take note of the game time: 4:25 p.m. So, we’re not talking a break-of-dawn flight, here, buddies. Perspective!
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Apparently, we aren't the only ones who enjoy spending inordinate amounts of time inside hotel bathrooms. According to Bleacher Report, ESPN reporter Jenn Brown began a hilarious Tweeting storm last Wednesday when she realized she had locked herself in the bathroom of her hotel room. Hey, it happens to the best of us!
Jenn, who goes by @JennBrownESPN on Twitter, began by announcing: "Another first today, got locked inside my hotel room's bathroom bc handle's stuck. Called front desk from cell phone & now waiting on help!" But as the help took a longer and longer to arrive, Jenn began randomly tweeting back to her followers, answering questions about everything from the bathroom's toiletries to the general purpose of bathroom doors. See below for the exchange.
The Ames in Boston is actually a great place to watch sports--you can watch games from the shower!
Ah, pre-season football is here! And with it, the start of the hotel football packages.
But one in particular caught our eye, mostly because it is so bizarre. The La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, just outside of Houston, is offering a Fantasy Football Widows Package, for "loved ones who slowly become widows to the digital fantasy roster that consumes a football fan’s every thought through the very last day of the NFL season."
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It's a dream of ours to hit the road and go to NFL games all around the country--hell, we'd even go and see the Browns play the Bills. In December. So we love that Expedia helps football fans save money on last-minute trips to see their teams.
If we hadn't just returned from Miami, we'd totally be Jett-ing down there this Sunday for New York's game against the Dolphins. Who doesn't want to be there to see if Rex Ryan flips off Dolphins fans all over again?
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For many, Christmas weekend will be a time of screaming matches, heckling, and cursing under one's breath. These forms of anti-cheer have nothing to do with Aunt Mable's fruitcake or Uncle Tim's drunken dinner table insults, but football, everyone's favorite helmet colliding sport of the season.
Fans are hightailing it to San Francisco en masse to catch the Emerald Bowl on December 26, where USC and Boston College will go at it just 24 short hours after tinsel and wrapping have been cleared away. Finding a place to stay over the holidays, especially in a choice destination like San Francisco, is no easy feat, but several Kimpton properties in the city are offering convenient Emerald Bowl packages. Overnight tailgating in frigid weather is no fun, don'tcha know.
Well, the Cincinnati Bearcats lost yesterday's Orange Bowl to Virginia Tech and they officially cannot blame the loss on P. Diddy or anything else that could have been distracting players at the shiny and newly-renovated Fontainebleau Miami...at which the team did not stay before the game.
The New York Times' Pete Thamel reports that while the team was scheduled to stay over at the resort, there a little bit of a pre-bowl scramble to switch hotels after coaches realized exactly how glitzy and potentially-distracting the place was:
I noticed a large contingent of Cincinnati Bearcat players were waiting outside [the Fontainebleau]. That wasn’t the only thing I noticed, as the swanky digs were filled with scantily clad women returning form the pool, loud conversations in all sorts of foreign languages and just a wild medley of people.
But it was moving day for the Bearcats because Coach Brian Kelly knew that his desire for New Year’s peace and quiet wouldn’t likely happen. Diddy, the star rapper whose fame transcends his many name changes, was hosting a New Year’s party at the Fountainbleau.
We're not hating, but we're just saying: all of this pre-game scrambling could have been prevented if someone had just read a bit of HC before checking the team into one of the most hyped-up hotels in recent memory. Not that it would have helped anyone win an Orange Bowl, really.
[Photo: Fontainebleau Miami Beach Flickr]
NCAA football fanatics, you know who you are (and judging by your poor hygiene on game days, we know who you are too). Fall weekends mean a few key things: Beer. Those adorable mini hot dogs. Foam fingers. More beer. And Sheraton Hotels.
Uh, what? Now, we already knew Sheraton was the official hotel partner of the NCAA, but they've announced further infiltration on your team-loving. No, your mini hot dogs won't be branded with the Sheraton crest (though we wouldn't put that past them in the future!). But in addition to holding a monopoly on ad spots and billboards, Sheraton has now teamed up with TripAdvisor to present the NCAA Big Game Travel Center.