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Remember all the hype when Starwood introduced its Aloft brand? They had us waiting and waiting for Lexington (MA) to be the first ever Aloft destination, and then Canada got the scoop. That was only four years ago, and believe it or not, there are now over 60 Alofts worldwide. On this side of the pond, we’ve so far had to make do with Aloft London ExCel (where we witnessed some Photoshop battling), and more recently Aloft Brussels Schuman.
That’s set to change with the announcement of two new hotels in Germany, Aloft Munich and Aloft Stuttgart, both scheduled to open in 2015.
According to TMZ, the story goes a little something like this. A German tabloid YAWN reports a maid from the Meliá Düsseldorf claims to have been fired for politely knocking on the room door and asking the pop-star for an autograph.
"Jenny From the Block" struck back against the news by taking to Twitter as pop-stars do defending her reputation and crying foul. "C'mon thought you knew me better than this.. Would never get anyone fired over an autograph. 1st I heard of this was on twitter. #hurtful". Yet, Lopez' camp confirms an 'incident' involving a maid. So here we go, another somebody done somebody wrong song.
Hotel News / Element Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Germany Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Airport Hotels / → All Tags
Is Europe ready to balance itself out?
This week it was announced that Element, the brand that once gave out free rooms to guests who showed up with recyclable plastic bottles, is finally making the move across the pond. Starting with...Frankfurt, Germany. Though from the sound of it, Starwood is just scratching the surface, as it plans to embark on a full-blown European expansion of the eco-conscious brand.
Hope those Germans have a soft spot for smoothie stations and healthy breakfast wraps!
Photo Gallery / HotelChatter Reviews / Hamburg Hotels / Germany Hotels / 25Hours Hotels / Design Hotels / → All Tags
Sling leather chairs. Old shipping containers turned conference rooms. Complimentary bike and BMW Mini rental. Atari. We're dangerously close to declaring the 25Hours Hamburg HafenCity our own personal vision of hotel heaven.
We've already discussed our room, the semi-secret video game booth and even the nautical wallpaper, but the best comes last with this reveal of all the 25Hours HafenCity's public spaces, from funky restaurant to chill vinyl lounge.
A final thought on the design, which sees "elements and materials from the shipbuilding industry interpreted with a little wink, and spun together with some seaman's yarns." It's almost like the hotel has combined all the best bits of the various Ace Hotels, infused it with a clever continentality and then, somehow, managed to also make it a joy (instead of a scene-y thing) to sleep over.
HotelChatter Reviews / Hamburg Hotels / Germany Hotels / 25Hours Hotels / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Confused by the name? Well, 25Hours is a small chain of design-focused hotels, but they have two here in Hamburg, Germany. "HafenCity" is their harbor city location and it happens to be the only hotel within this very cool, very up-and-coming area that's also the largest rebuilding project in Europe.
According to some staff with whom we chatted during breakfast in the Heimat restaurant, Europeans (and especially Germans and Swiss) know the 25Hours brand very well; it's rare for them to see someone like us, Americans, choosing it over, say, any of the other large chain, international hotels located closer to the city centre.
Looks like we—along with the rest of the world—may have gotten a wee tad ahead of ourselves following IKEA's announcement last week that it will be launching a new chain of budget hotels across Europe.
Though we readily accepted the fact that the Swedish brand wouldn't have its name on the hotels, what wasn't immediately clear was that the hotels won't actually contain any IKEA furniture. Sad, but true.
In a statement to Reuters, here's what a senior exec at IKEA's parent company, Inter IKEA, had to say:
Though they've dabbled in the real estate business for a while now, internationally-known furniture megastore IKEA is getting ready to dive into the hotel business with a string of 100 "budget design" hotels across Europe—and the first one is scheduled to open in Germany.
The announcement came yesterday, about a week after the company's net worth was revealed to be a staggering €9 billion.
Clearly, they've got the dough to build whatever the heck kind of hotels they want to. But, in the interest of making even more money, the company has decided to focus on the trendy (and lucrative) budget hotel market. And though the hotels will not be branded or operated by the company, IKEA will build, develop and own them.
We assume, of course, that they'll also be supplying all the furniture.
Our love for the city of Hamburg, Germany is new and yet oh so exciting. We only fell head over heel for the maritime metropolis a couple months ago, and it was the HafenCity that tipped the scales from "liking" to "loving."
Luckily this most-nautical-of-all districts has a hotel: the 25Hours Hotel HafenCity. It belongs to a small chain of four properties under the 25Hours brand: Frankfurt, Vienna, Zurich and here in Hamburg. This chain just posted a particularly impressive Hamburg view on their Facebook page, and we can absolutely confirm that this is the typical view from the rooms at the HafenCity Hamburg hotel...although they've got the added special visitor of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in at dock.
And luckily the hotel understands that some of their guests have chosen this location for its prime ship-spotting address. Inside the rooms at the 25Hours Hamburg, there's a handy-dandy pamphlet with a schedule of ship arrivals and departures, with a special focus on the main cruise liners.
There's travel talk everywhere about how expensive it'll be to fly and drive this summer, so there has to be some savings somewhere, yes? The most obvious place will be in hotel rates, and so our gift to you this week will be one hotel a day that comes in under $100 a night. Now, we're not saying every place will be of Ritz quality, because then it would be...well, the bloody Ritz. But the places will be nice enough for you to sleep at night.
Our Pick: Hotel Pension-Funk, Berlin
Hotel Club Lounges / Hilton Hotels / Airport Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Hilton HHonors / Germany Hotels / → All Tags
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented lately for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the Executive Lounge at the very new Hilton within The Squaire complex at Frankfurt International Airport.
When you're an executive lounge at an airport hotel, it's probably a good idea to mirror the upscale airline lounges found next door, right? Right. So when the Hilton Frankfurt Airport finally opened last December, they kept that jet set appeal all the way up through the executive lounge.
We popped into the lounge only a few days ago, thanks to one of our buddies at Australian Business Traveller and his Hilton status. Upstairs in the shiny, zeppelin-like SQUAIRE complex, the Hilton's lounge overlooks the atrium lobby andif you're luckythe glass roof will give you brief glimpses of airplanes taking off right overhead.
Hotel Art / Hotel Wallpaper / 25hours Hotels / Hamburg Hotels / Germany Hotels / Design Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Is the WiFi free? Does the gym have good machines? All these things get noticed when checking into a hotel, but what about the atmosphere of the placespecifically the art on the walls or on the floor? We're highlighting properties around the world that do their artwork right, and the specific pieces you should stare long and hard at when next you drop by.
Today: The 25hours Hamburg Hafencity's's in-room wallpaper.
The 25hours didn't win Travel + Leisure's 2012 hotel design awards for nothing. The place is an homage to the seafaring history (and the current hip culture that adores it) of Hamburg, Germany. Every little detail is considered, and twisted to conform to the hotel's theme, that of a international maritime trading post. At breakfast, your chair may actually be a pile of rugs. Need a meeting room? It's inside a repurposed Hapag-Lloyd shipping container.
Travel to Germany is all the rage right now, so it’s no surprise new hotels are popping up left and right. One of the latest is the Swissôtel Dresden, which opened last month in the center of Old Town.
Many properties in the Swissôtel brand look like they’re straight out of Business Traveler’s Digest (if there were such a thing) with their staid décor, but this one’s got personality. Check the Alice-in-Wonderland-like gigantic lamp doubling as a sitting area and the oversized jewel-toned chairs.
Hotel restaurants can be hit or miss with the cuisine, but the Swissôtel’s breakfast buffet is tops because there’s cake! Namely, Dresden’s traditional Eierschecke, a custardy-cheesecakey loveliness that jumpstarts the day.