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Not to state the obvious, but it’s winter and you’re in need of some TLC to bring you out of your dark-day doldrums. We get it. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most authentic local spa treatments to kick-start your spring recovery.
Fairmont Mayakoba -- Riviera Maya, Mexico Well the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012 as the Mayans predicted, but don’t give up on them yet. They still got game. In a private canopy overlooking the mangrove forest, guests of the Willow Stream Spa can enjoy treatments that utilize Mayan ingredients such as Conchera, fossil stone and wood from the local Zapote tree. For a bliss-out treatment, try the Mayan Clay Purification which incorporates local Mayan clay and involves a massage using sage oil and Mexican obsidian stones.
Four more blissful, all-natural spa treatments after the jump!
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Think about the adjectives typically associated with Frankfurt, Germany. They're not exactly the most pleasant, are they? Perhaps that's why the Goldman 25Hours Hotel shakes up the scene with confident use of colors and whimsical design touches. In any case, our stay (1 night, paying a standard prepaid rate of 92 Euros) blessedly brightened what had been a dreary, sleep-deprived week
Never heard of the 25Hours boutique chain? Well neither had we until last year, when we found their Hamburg HafenCity location and promptly fell head over heels. Their Goldman Frankfurt property is not as new or large as Hamburg, but the brand's bravery with design and affordable rates are very much in house at all locations.
There’s been so much activity on the hotel app front this past year that we named it the Must-Have Hotel Amenity in our HotelChatter 2012 Awards. From booking stays and checking in, to ordering room service and finding things to do and see at your destination, it’s all a click away. There is of course the front desk or traditional concierge you can prod for more personal recommendations, but what to do when you are looking to get the true insider track on the city you’re visiting based on your own interests?
Enter the concept created by Plus One Berlin, which allows you to book time with one of over 30 locals and be their “plus one” when getting to know the city. Here’s how it all works.
Hotel Fitness / Hotel Swag / 25Hours Hotels / Germany Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Design Hotels / → All Tags
While more and more hotels realize that perhaps their guests prefer a fitness experience other than a musty gym, we see more and more yoga mats in closets and jogging maps on desks. Recently, during a stay at the Goldman 25Hours in Frankfurt, Germany, we checked in at reception next to this little "Jogging Corner" cart.
The Jogging Corner is all the basics you'd need to have an enjoyable run, while traveling light. That means they provide the water bottles, the small sweat towels, wristlet keychains or branded sweatbands, all complimentary to guests.
We went for the sweatbands, since we quickly figured out that these serve more than the function of storing the tiny specially made jogging map of the area; we wore the sweatband and stored our bus and tram coins in it. Perfect! No fumbling in a wallet while trying to board public transportation.
When we took an early look at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam last week, we promised we’d follow up with more details on its sister hotel in Berlin, which is now officially open. Set within the brilliantly named Zoofenster skyscraper in West Berlin, the Waldorf Astoria Berlin first popped up on our radar four years ago this month.
We won’t spend much time dwelling on their missed 2011 opening and move right on to what you can expect at the 232-room hotel.
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.
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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!
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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.
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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.