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The hotel, originally built in 1923, has seen plenty of stars through out the years; it was where Hollywood's movers and shakers stayed while visiting the Texas city. It has seen everyone from Elvis Presley, Judy Garland and Katharine Hepburn in its glory days, to Jessica Simpson and Lebron James more recently after a 2008 refurb.
The new owners, HEI Hotels, plan to update the lobby-bar with modern furniture and take advantage of the unique courtyard to attract Dallas' social-set to the Uptown area hotel. Already, the landmark Beaux-Arts building has changed the restaurant name to T/X, and serving up revamped Latin-American cuisine. We do appreciate when hotels give their properties a little love and spruce things up a bit, even when they're historical legends.
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Halloween got upstaged by Mother Nature who spooked the hell out of us in the form of Hurricane Sandy. We’ve been rattled so much that we'd like to circle back to what we wanted to show you--one of the freakiest "hotel" ideas we've ever heard--not counting the Japanese toilet one (that's just strange, and we've seen a few).
I doubt it’s by accident that Australian businessman Hadyn Pearce coordinated his most recent announcement with the end of October: He is hoping to convert a former mortuary in southern Tasmania into a hotel, concrete deathbeds and all. The original surgical equipment and a stainless steel bathtub once used to wash bodies would also highlight the dark décor.
Republican Senator Rob Portman, whose family owns Lebanon, Ohio's 200-year old Golden Lamb Inn, recently gave a tour of the state's oldest (and some say haunted due to three deaths) hotel to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a stop along his campaign trail.
According to a local news source, there was a bit of gentle teasing on the Inn's rates.
“He calls it The Golden Lamb. But I think when you look at the prices, you'll determine it's the golden fleece,” Romney quipped. “Careful,” Portman responded, with a smile. Romney clarified, “Actually it's modest, it's a modest price point. I mean this is like $130 a night... for history!”
While walking around the Inn, which 12 presidents (including George W. Bush and John Quincy Adams) have visited, Sen. Portman's wife said “This is great. We can't wait to have a Mitt Romney room.”
There's a funny about a binder full of presidents, right? Right?
New hotels abound in Australia's largest city. Sydney has seen an influx of new hotels, spruced-up stand-bys and complete rebrandings. M Gallery has officially thrown their Akubra hat in the ring with their newest property, the Harbour Rocks Hotel.
Sitting on the grounds of the city's very first hospital, the complete renovation has kept a good portion of the past while still creating a comfortable modern living space. Melding old and new by using the original sandstone facade and the adjacent workers cottages to keep with the look and feel of the neighborhood that's dripping with historical relevance. With plenty of vintage buildings housing boutiques, restaurants and cafes, the new hotel is a perfect fit.
All 59 guestrooms offer a contemporary and comfortable style, yet still incorporate the history of the building with exposed brick and vintage-style windows. Because the hotel is in one of the hottest tourist spots in Sydney, it's just a hop, skip or jump away to the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. Location is key for this place.
For some strange reason we are kind of hooked on the new TLC show, Long Island Medium. And with this latest episode, we can now pass off our viewing as "work related".
This is a series about a woman named Theresa Caputo from Long Island (duh!) who is a psychic "medium", meaning she communicates with people from the afterlife. People call her in to get closure from family and friends who have passed away. Or they just want her to remove bad "juju" from their businesses. This is why we were so interested when an episode lead her to the The Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, California. She was only there to crash for the night, wasn't summoned by the hotel at all, and yet somehow, "Spirit" got to her. And our psychic Caputo doesn't keep quiet when these things happen (or is she quiet about anything, really), so that's when things got bananas.
Turns out, this "spirit" is a child--one of a few--that died in a tragic fire at the Padre Hotel, which was built in 1928. it's also been the site of several suicides. This girl had a lot to say to Caputo, who apparently took notes on a writing pad while half sleep--notes she maintains are in a handwriting not her own. This is creepy, and it's not even Halloween yet! Here's a bit of Long Island Medium in action.
Lest we get carried away by new hotels and fun in-room amenities, let's revisit the scary side of hotels for a hot minute. Because we all need a downer to start of the New Year, right? (Ugh.)
Barb Delollis at USA Today picked up on ESPN Columnist Bill Simmon's recent stay at the haunted Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. You know the hotel that last year's Knicks blamed for a poor performance when playing The OKC Thunder.
When Simmons was in town, he actually asked to stay on one of the hotel's haunted floors but didn't really expect to get spooked. Then the Skirvin Crying Baby made an appearance. He writes:
I decided to turn on the light. Stretching to my right for the switch, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of (what sure as hell sounded like) a baby crying urgently to my far left (right near the window). Wahhhhhhh. Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhhh. The urgency freaked me out just as much as the crying itself.
I fumbled for the switch, couldn't find it, fumbled, fumbled some more, then finally turned the light on. The crying sound stopped. I hopped out of bed and turned on every other light in the room. I turned on the television and jacked up the volume. Then I grabbed my BlackBerry and Googled "Skirvin crying baby. A slew of results came up."
With Halloween coming up there was one place we had to go during our stay in Denver last week: the Stanley Hotel up in Estes Park.
The Stanley, of course, is where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining and is known as one of the most haunted hotels in America. Obviously, we took the ghost tour – they run on the hour and cost $15. You can add in a tour of the haunted Concert Hall for $5 but they only run on certain days.
You definitely get bang for your buck, even if you don’t see any spooks – our tour ran for two hours thanks to our guide, Kevin, who was one of the most sweetly enthusiastic tour guides we’ve had before. He was funny, interesting and even knew how to deal with some annoying brats who kept saying like a broken record “that’s not scary” until we were itching to show them what is scary.
What surprised us most was that it wasn’t a gratuitously spooky ghost tour – about half of it was taken up with genuine hotel history (FO Stanley and his brother, who built the hotel, also invented the first hybrid car, made violins and all sorts – clever gents).
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Halloween may be several weeks away, but now's the time to start planning that killer costume and how you'll celebrate. All Saint's Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means that you can make it a weekend-long bash. We'll tell you the best ways to party at a hotel, whether you want a place that's family- or pet-friendly, that'll give you lots of treats or will make you wet your pants because you're so spooked.
Check out our top five Halloween hotels after the jump.
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Erm, maybe not, as our favorite mailout Popbitch pointed out this morning. Given that Hendrix died in a hotel (the Samarkand, not the Cumberland – he just used to live in the Cumberland) – it’s actually a little bit distasteful, no?
We always love a good hotel ghost story here at HotelChatter so on this cold day, kick back and get spooked.
Four ghosts have reportedly taken up residence at the historic Hotel Bethlehem but instead of conducting exorcisms or ghost evictions, the hotel has embraced these "guests" by offering up a special hotel room that's supposed to witness all the paranormal activity.
So who's haunting this place? The most well-known guest during the days of the Eagle Hotel, Hotel Bethlehem's predecessor, was May Yohe. The actress/singer was born in the hotel, which her grandpa owned, in April 1866. As a child, Yohe would sing and dance for guests in the lobby.
Even though she ended up performing in Europe in her later life and subsequently married and left Lord Francis Clinton (the owner of the Hope Diamond), Yohe was supposedly most happiest in life at The Eagle. So she may have chose to return there in the afterlife as people say they hear her singing in the lobby.
And randomly, she's been seen chilling in the exercise room. Ghosts need to work on their fitness, who knew?
Have you ever stayed at a haunted hotel, or had a paranormal travel experience? Comment below and share your story.
Northern California's Brookdale Inn & Spa, nestled amongst redwood trees in between Saratoga and Santa Cruz, has a rich legacy attached to its name. Famous formers guests include Marilyn Monroe and President Herbert Hoover, and in recent years, it has served as a music venue in addition to a conventional inn and providing apartment housing. Interest in the Brookdale, especially from a contingent of would-be ghost hunters and believers in the afterlife, remains high, as it's also said to be haunted.
Considering its past—which is equal parts nefarious and revered—speculation about the cause of a recent fire began to fly after the ashes had settled. The Silicon Valley Mercury News reports that flames began to consume the property late Tuesday afternoon, though the guest portion of the inn and its restaurant were seemingly not affected. Apartments on site, however, fell victim to the fire. Regarding the cause of the unfortunate events, the Mercury had this to say:
A maintenance worker at the inn speculated the fire could have been electrical because it appeared to start in a vacant room filled with mattresses. Some of the apartments behind the inn also burned in 2005.
The owners were working to restore the hotel to its 1920s splendor, when it was one of the most popular lodges in the country. The lodging area where people can rent rooms for the night had been remodeled, she said. Workers' quarters and one other building had yet to be completed.
What causes a fully-grown (possibly even more than fully grown, *ahem*), athletic man (who has no problem with objects coming at him at 85 miles per hour) to sleep with a baseball bat beside him while he stays in an opulent, luxurious old hotel? Ghosties, of course.
Apparently, a bunch of ballplayers are going around claiming that the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee where many, many pro baseball and basketball teams stay when they're in town to play the Milwaukee teams is totes haunted.