Tag: Hotel Amenities

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Only in Belgium Will You Find a Hotel with a Chocolate Laboratory Downstairs

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  Site Where: Rue du Marché aux Herbes 110, Brussels, Belgium, 1000
March 20, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Chocolates at turndown are all well and good, but here’s a hotel that’s going a step further – a chocolate store and workshop. This could only be in Belgium, of course – and it’s at the new NH Brussels Carrefour de l’Europe.

The hotel was previously a Best Western, but was taken over by NH this month. It’s in the Grasmarkt – a pretty square of medievalish buildings in the old town (though it’s very touristed, quite noisy, and even a little bit drunky – and most of those old buildings are now hotels). You’re right at the foot of the hill that leads to the Royal Palace, and a quick walk across from the Grand Place.

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Tell Us: Do You Really Take ALL the Toiletries Home with You?

March 13, 2015 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (8)

(Some of) the toiletries in question

Last week, I stayed in an extremely exclusive hotel in Italy – one of the old-school, iconic ones. It was beautiful – totally over the top, ridiculous décor, old masters in the bar, and hushed, reverent service. The bathroom was an explosion of marble, with large-sized toiletries – Acqua di Parma, should you care to know – by the bath, the shower, and the sink.

Naturally, when it came to check out, I did my usual whipround, collecting notepaper and envelopes, one of the notepads and pens, and most of the toiletries. That’s par for the course, right? It keeps your cupboards fully stocked and helps keep fond memories of the hotel going. Everyone wins.

I checked out, went for a wander, and came back half an hour later. I asked the concierge – who were in charge of the keys – to order me a taxi. He did so, but not before the other concierge had asked him quietly, “Il luogo è apposto?” Is the place ok? “Si, tutt’apposto,” said the other, and gave a slightly embarrassed smile.

And obviously I immediately assumed that the only possible thing they could be talking about in such a covert way was me and the fact that I had filched the stationery and the shampoo, and that they were wondering whether to confront me over it.

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Why Does This Hotel in Florence Want to Know Your Favorite Hobbies?

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  Site Where: Via dei Servi 38/A, Florence, Italy, 50122
March 10, 2015 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Pre-stay questionnaires: yay or nay? Yay because it implies some kind of effort on the part of the hotel; nay because it’s a hassle to fill them in. Right?

At least, that was our thinking as we filled in the two (yes, two!) forms before our stay at the newly opened Grand Amore Hotel & Spa in Florence this week.

One form was for breakfast – what flavor jam did we prefer? How do we like our eggs? Cheese, cold cuts? Cappuccino with whole milk or skimmed? Would you prefer it served on “Old England”, “modern” or “fashion” crockery? Argh! #toomuchchoice.

The other questionnaire was a general one. Preferred hardness of mattress. Pillow type. Beverage preference. Preferred fruits. Bread or Tuscan schiacciata. Favorite flowers. Favorite essential oils. Favorite “hobbies and passions”… Wait, what?

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Brussels' New Zoom Hotel is All About the Beer

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  Site Where: Rue de la Concorde 59, Brussels, Belgium, 1000
February 20, 2015 at 9:06 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last time we checked in on Brussels, we were all about the beer bar at the new Zoom Hotel in Ixelles (up the hill from the medieval bit, but where all we the cool kids go). 50 Belgian beers, selected by a top Belgian sommelier? Oui, s’il vous plait.

So obviously, when we were in Brussels last week, there was only one place we were going to stay. More on the hotel another time, but for now, here is the beer bar.

Yeah, it’s not what we were expecting either. Discreet. Grown up. Who knew boozing could be like this?

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The St Regis NYC Has a New Bentley Fleet, Especially for 2015

February 11, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

House cars. There are Rolls Royces. There are vintage beauties. There are Bentleys.

And then there are the Bentleys that go out of date and get replaced by a new fleet of Bentleys, so swish is the hotel that they work for. The hotel in question? The St Regis New York.

Running a little later than the year, the St Regis has just unveiled its “2015 Bentley fleet” (because the 2014 Bentley fleet is over). It’s not just any Bentley fleet, either; this is one with a separate car for day and night (the only Bentley house car service in the world to do this, although if you have enough money to buy a fleet of Bentleys, why wouldn’t you switch them up when night falls?).

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The Ampersand Hotel Will Engrave Your Heart (and Your Pillows) This Valentine's Day

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  Site Where: 10 Harrington Road, London, United Kingdom, SW7 3ER
February 3, 2015 at 8:28 AM | by | Comment (1)

Ah, the first days of February when the cold is holding you tight in its embrace and hotels are trying to warm you up with “sexy” and “sizzling” Valentine’s Day packages that actually make only your stomach sizzle – with that unsexy sick feeling. What’s worse, this year, lots of hotels are going all out with Fifty Shades of Grey packages (#pray4hotelchatter as we approach our inbox with trepidation each morning).

Luckily, there is one hotel offering something so gloriously insane that it starts at vomit-worthy and turns right round into awful but inspired.

The Ampersand in London is offering people who stay during February the chance to personalize your pillows “with a special message or image”. That means either your names, as per the photo, or… erm… something else. No word on whether there is anything they won’t print.

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If There is To Be a Women-Only Floor, You May as Well Fill It Up With Chopard

January 29, 2015 at 12:01 PM | by | Comment (1)

Dubai is never short on luxurious experiences. And Dubai never goes for "understated." Everything in this desert city is done bigger and better than anywhere else. So it's no surprise that the Ladies Only Floor at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers is one of the luxurious women-only floors we've seen yet.

The hotel, which was built in 2000, was one of the first hotels in the Middle East to have a Ladies Only Floor. Located on level 40, there are just 10 guest rooms (including some with twin beds #ladiesgetaway) and the entire floor is staffed only by female Jumeirah employees. Oh and the rooms come with in-suite yoga facilities, a make-up fridge, soft bathrobes and kimonos and exclusive Chopard toiletries. Yes, please.

Rates at the hotel start around $345 USD a night. Guests also get complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark and the beaches at sister hotels, Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Madinat Jumeirah.

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How Refreshing to Hear That 'WiFi is a Right' at Virgin Hotels

January 23, 2015 at 2:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nearly a week later, we ares still fondly remembering our time with the Virgin Hotel Chicago, the first-ever Virgin Hotel to open.

While wining and dining the Virgin was great, as was experimenting with new positions chambers, there was something that Doug Carillo, vice president of sales and marketing for Virgin Hotels, told us that has really stuck with us this past week. And that's Virgin Hotels commitment to free WiFi.

For us, it’s always been that we feel WiFi is a right, and we need it to live. If we don’t have it and its not working fast enough, then we are failing the guests.

Wow. It's only taken more than a decade but someone finally understands this.

Indeed, getting on the WiFi network at Virgin--whether a hotel guest or a visitor elsewhere on property--is effortless. Just find the Virgin Hotels network and hop on. It's that easy.

Because WiFi networks can be expensive to build and maintain, or rather, because hotels often use this as their excuse for charging for WiFi, we asked Carillo if maybe Virgin was bumping up the room rate to make up for the cost of offering unlimited free bandwidth to guests and pretty much anyone just passing through. Nope. Here's what he said:

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Breakfast is Once Again a Buck at Four Points by Sheraton Hotels

January 6, 2015 at 12:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

Four Points New Orleans French Quarter

There's no such thing as a free lunch, but breakfast for a buck sounds pretty good.

Four Points has brought back its Breakfast for a Buck package that gives guests a full American breakfast and coffee for just $1, each morning of their stay.

The promotional offer is available at all 200 Four Points by Sheraton locations from now through March 2015. You can search for a participating hotel and the accompanying starting rate here. (You also need to book through that link to get the free brekkie.)

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Could this Hotel Umbrella Be the Best Hotel Umbrella Ever?

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  Site Where: Dublin, Ireland
December 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we’re on the subject of the simple amenities being the best, check out this offering we picked up at Clontarf Castle in Dublin the other week.

Yes, it’s an umbrella. No, it’s not your standard hotel umbrella. Because although it’s large, and although it’s sturdy, it is completely unmarked. No funny colors. No embarrassing logo. Nothing that says “I’m a tourist, please mug me.”

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QT Sydney's Goodie Bag May Just Be the Best Thing About NYE Down Under

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  Site Where: 49 Market Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2000
December 29, 2014 at 9:03 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sydney is one of the first places on the planet to ring in the New Year, and along with a stellar fireworks display over the Harbour Bridge, the folks over at QT Sydney want to make sure that you have everything you need to ring in 2015 in comfort. All guests who stay on 31 December will get this stonking goodie bag filled with items that range from sexy to sensible and everything in between.

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What’s in the Bag at the Dean Dublin?

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  Site Where: 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland, 2
December 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hotel amenities. They can be crazy or sensible. They can be extravagant or parsimonious. But sometimes, they can be simple, sensible and also super-cool. Like at The Dean, Dublin’s newest (and, probably, trendiest) hotel.

We checked into a pod-like Punk Bunk last week to be greeted with these three bags hanging up by the bed. Early Christmas stockings? Laundry bags with the last guest’s stuff left over? Nope, amenities. A hairdryer. A clothes steam cleaner (in addition to the iron – pretty novel). And, the best one:

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