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Element Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Westin Hotels / Green Hotels / Free WiFi / Hotel Bicycles / → All Tags
We have made no attempts to disguise our love for Element Hotels here at HC HQ. We just wish there were more of them.
We toured the property back in 2010 when it first opened, and recently had the chance to stay at the hotel while in NYC for a super-quick jaunt. Between the location near Times Square and Port Authority, the killer views from the little but somehow-still-secret rooftop, and all the thoughtful ways the hotel caters to guests of the 21st century, we were won over again, two years later.
Looks like the old and new worlds are getting along just fine in India where ITC, India’s second-largest hotel chain, has just launched the Grand Chola in Chennai. This new hotel was designed and inspired by the architecture and traditions of the Chola dynasty, Southern India’s greatest maritime power of all time (interesting considering the hotel isn't on the water).
Towering columns and stairways, granite carvings and vast spaces are meant to make visitors feel like they’re in the presence of something bigger than themselves. It's a place that embraces the cultural traditions of the region’s past and sets out to transport guests back to a time where size and grandeur was a direct indication of wealth and power. The dramatic staircase at the entrance seems to scream "cash money millionaires", no?
The in-room mini bar and work desk at Ivy Hotel Chicago, or the web of wires
Remember when The Ivy Hotel opened and we were told this would be the ultimate in Chicago boutique luxury? Ivy was aiming high but we were down with that program; who wouldn’t want to see something more beautiful and posh than the likes of Chicago’s Waldorf Astoria?
To quote that first conversation, the hotel’s managing director, James Cazares, said this of the then-forthcoming Ivy: “There is no one else in the city who will be so small and so luxurious.” Even the hotel website starts with this: “Welcome to The Best Of Boutique Hotels in Chicago.”
Sigh. We recently stopped by the hotel after its opening last month and are sad to report it doesn’t quite reach that pinnacle of luxury. Though the boutique hotel has definitely made good on its promise to build a green property, another kind of green vibe is showing up and reflects a newbie hotel that may need some time to pull it together.
Sydney Hotels / Australia / Hotels / Hotel News / Swissotels / Green Hotels / → All Tags
A unique green initiative has hit the shores of Australia and we hope that other hoteliers pick up on the trend. Sydney's Swissotel now offers free valet service for guests who rock up in a hybrid vehicle. This offer is a first for any hotel across the city and, to our knowledge, across the country.
Sydney can be considered, Australia's most congested city, with as many as 700,000 cars clogging up the thoroughfares everyday. The environmental consideration prompts visitors to rethink their choices for cars when at the rental agency. In all, this is not only good for the planet, but good for your credit card since valet parking will set you back $55AUD per night.
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San Francisco's a pretty green town but when the U.S. Open golf tournament comes to town on June 11, the place will get even greener. And if you happen to be staying at the Four Seasons San Francisco, you just might be the greenest of them all thanks to the Nissan Leaf that's available for you to rent.
Booking the hotel's new Nissan LEAF package will get you a room at the hotel, two tickets to the California Academy of Arts and Sciences, breakfast for two at the Seasons restaurants and complimentary rental of the Nissan LEAF. If you're not familiar with the LEAF, it's a completely electric vehicle which uses no gasoline and can go about a 100 miles on a single charge. And thanks to the LEAF, The Four Seasons is now the city's first and only hotel to have an electric vehicle rental program as well as charging station.
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As Earth Day approaches, and hoards of organizations attempt to "raise awareness" about the environment by giving away tons of free, useless crap like tshirts, mugs and stickers, the Milennium Hilton New York has made a big step in the right direction by installing a power plant that converts natural gas into electrical and thermal energy.
The combined heat and power plant will consist of two 250 kilowatt cogeneration units inside the actual hotel. Now, if anyone wanted to write in and explain what that actually means, we'd be grateful. But for now, we're content just knowing that Hilton has been proactive about cutting down on its energy consumption.
As far as we know, this won't put any pressure on the hotel to increase rates. Which is good, since a hotel room in lower Manhattan sure is expensive enough without having to worry about subsidizing a power plant too. For upwards of $400/night, you'd at least like to feel that your money has done something good.
Hotel Fitness / Eco-Hotels / Green Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Gyms / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
It feels like ever since Even Hotels announced their new brand of health-conscious, fitness-oriented hotels, we've been seeing similar amenities start to pop up in other places. Now, Element Hotels, known for healthy breakfast wraps, 24-hour fitness centers, rentable bikes and en suite kitchens, are installing bike charging stationsUnlike Even Hotels and Tryp's fitness rooms, these stationary bikes will be placed in the actual fitness centers, not next to your bed. Because, really, plugging your laptop into the wall is much less exciting when you're doing it in your room.
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The rumor is true: a new boutique hotel is indeed opening this Spring in Chicago, whose burgeoning new hotel scene is really starting to gather some serious momentum.
Just over a block from Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, the new Ivy Hotel has staked its claim on a 15-story, vacant office building set to open in April as the only true boutique luxury hotel in the city.
“There is no one else in the city who will be so small and so luxurious,” said the hotel’s Managing Director and family rep, James Cazares. A big claim, but we're ready to play along; especially the way they’re selling it. Picture a modern high-rise spanning 15 stories with only five rooms per floor—the majority of which will be suites (52 out of 63, to be exact)—plus espresso machines, mirror TVs, and sea salt soaking tubs.
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If there's one thing that Miami and hotel openings have in common it's that they both make you wait longer than you'd like. Especially when you need to get permits from City officials to open your doors.
The hotel's website is saying Opening February 16--but taking reservations from March 1. A rep for Element tells us it's safe to say it will be open in 'late February.' And the earliest night we could find a room is March 11, for $159 a night.
It's been a while since we checked in on the hotel habits of the POTUS but yesterday we we were psyched to see that Barack Obama stayed at a hotel that we've actually stayed at before...twice!
When visiting Las Vegas on the campaign trail, Obama eschewed the hotel casinos on the Strip and instead took over the entire Element Las Vegas hotel in Summerlin, about 15 minutes from the Strip. 8newsnow.com reports:
Onlookers were curious as to why President Obama chose to stay farther away from the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. "This Element is earth friendly, and I think he's trying to promote that on his visit," Carol Bieganowski said.
Aside from having stylish and green guestrooms with Pacific Oceans views, an eco-friendly fitness center and an upcoming Blue Plate Taco restaurant, The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica has now added a bit of fun for their guests in the form of a digital photo booth.
Found in the lobby near the check-in desk the photo booth lets guest take either a single image or an old-school photo strip with the Shore Hotel logo (as you can see in the gallery below, the hotel's logo is everywhere!).
And keeping in line with the hotel's emphasis on being green and conserving waste, the photos are only emailable (no paper waste here) and you can share them on Facebook and Twitter as well. Cheeeeese!
Room rates at the hotel start around $220 a night.
After touring the hotel the other day, we're not so sure we've ever seen a more stylish yet totally green hotel from the construction of the building to the materials in the rooms down to the recycling bins under the desk. The hotel even employs its own Green Concierge. And below is the shot of the hotel's fitness center where we found the water bottle water fountain and which has a floor made from recycled rubber and tires.