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While Hard Rock Hotels might be the perfect place to party, it's not a brand that we usually associate with free WiFi. Typically, it's an additional charge or folded into a resort fee.
But lo and behold, when we signed on to the network at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, this is what greeted us:
Hard Rock Unplugged: Free Wireless Internet Access for Our Guests
Party on! For us, working nerds anyways.
In the mood for a quickie tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock? The property is actually sold out this weekend (weekends are typically sold-out at this resort.) But a deluxe room is available on Monday for $189 a night and there's no resort fee. Rocking.
We'll have more on the other rock star touches at the Seminole Hard Rock for you next week.
Design Thursdays / Hotel Design / Hotel Renovations / Boutique Hotels / Great Hotels of the World / Barcelona Hotels / Spain Hotels / Europe Hotels / Free WiFi / → All Tags
Three words come to mind when viewing the newly-reno’ed rooms and public spaces at the Hotel Barcelona Princess, re-done by Barcelona-based clothing designers Desigual: “kooky,” “quirky” and “vivid.” These are not rooms for lovers of cool minimalism but, rather, for hipster bohos looking for an eccentric room to call their own.
The 363-room Barcelona Princess Hotel, a member of London-based Great Hotels of the World, is located at the foot of Avenida Diagonal, about a 10-minute walk to the beach and next to the International Congress Centre. It was designed by Oscar Tusquets Blanca and opened in 2004.
Now, eighteen of the hotel’s rooms and two of their junior suites on the 23rd and 24th floors have been taken over and redecorated by Desigual to launch the Desigual Living Collection, created to fulfill the company's goal of bombarding homes with outrageous patterns and over-the-top color — the antithesis of neutral purity.
More pics below!
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The landscape of Aussie hotels will be changed for the better this month when the newest brand of hotels opens its doors. If you're planning a trip down under and don't want to smash your piggy bank doing so, then remember this name: Atura Hotels.
The newest option comes to us from a group called Amalgamated Holding Limited, but you might know them better by the work they've been doing with QT Hotels and Rydges Hotels. But instead of resting on their laurels with the cool edginess of QT and the family-resort of Rydges, they've gone a created a new concept that will be appealing to business travelers and those that don't want to miss out on cool hotel design to save a few bucks. (Which is like, everyone everywhere.)
Atura's first property is already checking in guests in Sydney's inner-suburb of Blacktown. Aside from cool design, guests will get free in-room movies, coffee machines and a business center completely outfitted with iMacs. But if you'd rather stay connected on the go, there is free WiFi throughout the hotel and in every guestroom. If you've ever been to Australia, you know this is a big deal since hotels charge a pretty penny for some connectivity.
Design Thursdays / Design Hotels / Hotel Design / Finland Hotels / Helsinki Hotels / Free WiFi / → All Tags
This summer we nipped into Helsinki’s Klaus K hotel, part of Design Hotels, for a look at this delightfully well-designed hotel.
To best describe the hotel, we’ll start with the ethereal premise on which the hotel’s design is based. Do your best to try to stay with us.
Klaus K is inspired by Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala--a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. Each of the 139 guestrooms represents a theme from the myth’s primary emotional elements: namely desire, passion, mysticism and envy. The room categories are broken down by these themes, so when you book a room, you book a Desire room, a Passion room and so on and so on. You can also book specialty rooms including the Passion for Mini room, art rooms and the Urban Nature rooms, all designed in collaboration with creative-type partners.
While you’re digesting that, here are some of the hotel’s other deets. It opened in 2004 in a late-19th-century building, and is the only Design Hotel in Helsinki. Located in the city’s hip Design District, it’s close to the Design Museum and plenty of great shops and cafes. Next door to the hotel (which you can enter directly from Klaus K) is the city’s first urban day spa, with various beautifying treatments, a gym and a sauna.
Don't miss the pics below!
Hotel WiFi / Free WiFi / Accor Hotels / United Kingdom Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Pullman Hotels / Mercure Hotels / Novotel Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
After a batch of 500 hotels last year, and upgrades in Latin America, Accor Hotels is taking another step towards its hinted-at group-wide free WiFi with the news that all properties in the United Kingdom will offer this gratis going forward.
That’s 194 hotels in one fell swoop, across ibis budget, ibis, ibis Styles, Novotel, Mercure, Pullman and MGallery brands. Pullman only recently entered the UK market amidst plans to double the number of upscale hotels carrying the name to 150 by the end of this decade. The three Sofitel hotels (London St. James, Heathrow and Gatwick Airport) already offer free WiFi today.
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The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
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We mentioned last year that ALT Hotels, baby sister brand of the chic Le Germain Hotels, was planning a Canada-wide expansion. They started in Québec City, then Montréal's Quartier Dix30, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and now? Halifax.
The 169-room ALT Hotel opened at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Monday and is the fourth ALT in Canada. The hotels combine good design and stylish interiors with a “no-frills found here” concept that works.
This morning, we rounded up some of the planned luxury hotels coming to this world and while we're excited to stay in those future hotels, that's, like, years away at this point. We need something to satiate our new hotel fix now. Luckily, we don't have to fly around the world--just to Los Angeles. Here are three hotels that are now taking reservations:
· The Line Hotel, Los Angeles: The first Korean-American-inspired hotel in Los Angeles will open now on September 16. Rates on the website are going for about $349 a night, $319 if you use your AAA card. Inside the hotel will be a bar from the Houston Brothers, food options by Chef Roy Choi of the famous Kogi Korean BBQ food trucks and a "carefully curated" art boutique concept store. Los Angeles based designer Sean Knibb did the interiors.
· The Moment, Hollywood: This hotel was supposed to have its big moment in February but now it's happening on June 1. An introductory offer, called "Start Your Moment", has rates at $239 a night and includes two drinks on the Moment Roofdeck, breakfast for two and the staff's Hot Hollywood picks on sights, bites and activities.
· Palihouse Santa Monica: We got the scoop in March on the third hotel from the Paligroup set in a residential nabe of Santa Monica. Now it's your turn to peep the goods, starting on June 1. Rates are going for $299 a night and yes, that includes free WiFi.
[Photo courtesy of Paligroup]
Hotel WiFi / Hotel Technology / Dallas Hotels / ZaZa Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Free WiFi / → All Tags
Often times, when we plead our case for free hotel WiFi, we hear that setting up a network or upgrading an existing network is an expensive investment for hotels and in order to recoup the costs, they need to charge guests to use the WiFi.
Now, every hotel is different but there are plenty of hotels out there that have been updating their networks to provide faster speeds and more bandwidth to guests and they still aren't charging for WiFi.
For example, The Hotel ZaZa in Dallas which recently added a new fiber data network throughout the hotel. Hotel president, Benji Homsey, explained the reason for the network upgrade saying:
We designed this network with special attention to the increased presence of Apple iPad, iPhone and Google/Android users in conjunction with the typical laptop usage. We want every Hotel ZaZa guest to have the best, from coverage and access points to best of breed fiber data network to the newly installed bedside power docks in every room.
And the charge to access the internet? It's still totally free.
On the heels of our 2013 Hotel WiFi Report, we've got some very good news from the upcoming Virgin Hotels. The hip four-star hotels from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin company will be offering not just free WiFi in their hotels but "secure, reliable and fast" WiFi. Glorious!
Here's what Doug Carrillo, Virgin Hotels VP Sales and Marketing told us:
Virgin attracts travelers who like to mix business with pleasure, whether they are checking their inbox during a getaway or checking out new restaurants and local entertainment inbetween business. Like our sister Virgin companies, we at Virgin Hotels will offer guests a distinct and better experience at a great value and product innovations that aren’t bells and whistles but that will result in a productive and enjoyable stay. We already love our guests so much that we plan to give them all the tech amenities they need -- starting with wifi that is secure, reliable, fast, and free.
In the important quest for the mighty "pink-dollar", the folks over at Hilton have introduced a creative way of attracting more gay and lesbian travelers to check-in to their hotels. Last week, the company re-launched a campaign to turn a few heads when it comes to same-sex relationships.
Hilton originally started the program in 2012, but have added more hotels and revamped the offering; the package will include perks like complimentary internet, two welcome drinks, late checkout and a full-year digital subscription to OUT magazine. Of course nothing says 'gay' like free WiFi and booze, right? Pfft. But hey, we'll take it. An effort is being made.
With a slogan like "Stay Hilton...Go Out", the brand plans to pull in the reservations by sponsoring some major gay-themed events around the world. From Chicago's North Halsted Marketdays to San Fran Pride, the chain is slapping their name on various gay events. Along with the sponsorship, they've created a gay newsletter highlighting major gay global events like Amsterdam Pride and Sydney Mardi Gras.
It's hard to believe that in 2013, there are hotels that charge for WiFi. We're not talking the budget places, either: while several wallet-friendly chains actually do provide comp internet access, it's the luxury brands that typically nickel-and-dime you for connecting fees, sometimes as much as 20 Euros a day (we're looking at you, Rocco Forte.)
In 2009, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts took a bold move and became the first international five-star brand to drop WiFi charges at all of their hotels, and later did the same for many of their Kerry and Traders brand properties. To keep up with technology—and their tech-savvy guests—Shangri-La last week announced that they are taking connectivity even further by offering free WiFi access in all their hotel cars by the end of 2013.