Tag: Hotel Amenities

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Why We're All 'Meh' About Marriott Hotels' New Wireless Chargers

October 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM | by | Comment (1)

Last week, Marriott International was fined $600,000 by the FCC for jamming up guests mobile WiFi hotspots at the Gayord Hotel in Nashville (a Marriott entity), thus forcing guests to join the hotel's network and pay the ridiculous WiFi fees. This week, Marriott wants to win back some love by announcing that a whopping 29 Marriott hotels will sport wireless charging stations for guests to charge their devices on.

We heard the news the other day and we were just like, well, this:

The gesture is appreciated, especially since it came about from a survey of real travelers on Marriott's TravelBrilliantly.com platform, meaning that Marriott is really listening to what guests want. And we've all been there when we roll up into a hotel and our phone dies. Or we forget our charger completely.

We can also respect the type of charging stations being used--a KS Portable from Kube Systems which uses the Qi wireless charging technology. Simply place your device, whether it be an iPhone or a Galaxy so long as it's equipped for wireless charging, on one of these black cubes and voila! You're charging. Up to six devices are allowed too.

But let's be real, it's hard for us to get excited about charging our devices in a hotel that is charging us for WiFi.

UPDATE: A publicist for Marriott Hotels wanted to clarify that WiFi is free in the lobbies at Marriott Hotels.

[Photo: Marriott Hotels; GIF: Giphy.com]

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Well, Here's One Way For a Hotel to Draw Attention to Itself

Where: Macau
September 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Rolls Royce Phantom

Here's one way for a hotel to drum publicity before opening: Place the world's single-largest order for Rolls-Royces ever.

Set to open in 2016, the Louis XIII Hotel in Macau has bought 30 - yes, 30 - Rolls Royce Phantoms to use as shuttles for guests. Two of the cars will be the most expensive models ever commissioned.

There were no figures released on how much the cars were purchased for, but given that the hotel recently raised another $135 million in funding, we're guessing money was no issue. The total cost of the hotel, shown in rendering format below, will be about $1 billion.

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Would You Book This Security-Conscious Package For Solo Women Travelers?

Where: New Delhi, India
September 16, 2014 at 9:23 AM | by | Comment (1)

What women want from hotels is a subject that’s been on our minds recently. We’re pretty sure the answer isn’t cooking lessons and a candle. And we gave a few of our own suggestions here.

Now a hotel in New Delhi has come up with another idea: a pretty extreme, security first, female-only package, to combat the appalling crimes against women that have been engulfing India in recent months (one rape every 30 minutes, if you’ve missed it).

The Kamal Single Lady Traveller program (“kamal” is Hindi for lotus flower) at the Leela Palace includes:
· Airport transfers with a trusted driver;
· Female staff for all interaction (check-in, concierge, butler, housekeeping);
· Room on a female-only floor (with restricted elevator access);
· Improved security cameras in all public areas;
· Security screening of people entering the hotel;
· Access to the spa on a private or female only basis;
· Option of booking female guides for city tours.

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In Praise Of Hotel Toiletries

September 15, 2014 at 8:53 AM | by | Comments (2)

Our name is HotelChatter and we are addicted to hotel toiletries.

Designer, cult, no-name motel brands – we can’t get enough. We stash them away every night in our suitcase, so housekeeping gives us more. We check out with bagfuls of the stuff. We haven’t bought soap or shampoo in years.

Hotel toiletries are the first things that always crop up in those articles that always crop up – the ones asking what is ok and not ok to take from hotel rooms. (Spoiler: it’s always the toiletries and stationery that’s ok, everything else is off limits.)

Recently we’ve noticed a decline in hotel toiletries. Smaller bottles. Fewer restocks. A sparser selection of products. Those wall dispensers that, much as we want to be eco, we can’t quite get around to accepting.

We live, of course, us inhabitants of HotelChatter Towers, surrounded by hotel toiletries (a shoebox of soap, one of shampoo and conditioner, one of body lotion). And we tend to grab them without much thought – it’s hard to remember just where that bottle of CO Bigelow came from, after all.

But, spring cleaning this week, we stumbled upon another shoebox full of body lotion – one collected in happier times, around 2006-2008. Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it’s pre-financial crisis, but we noticed that most of these bottles had been personalized to the hotels – and we had a Proustian moment, there in the bathroom, remembering the various trips.

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Stay Warm in One of Loews Santa Monica’s New Beachcomber Fire Pit Rooms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1700 Ocean Avenue [map], Santa Monica, California, United States, 90401
September 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

You can now stay warm while you chill out in front of your own personal fire pit at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel’s new Beachcomber Fire Pit Rooms and Suites, where temperatures December through February can plummet to a horrifying 50 F (that’s a shout-out to all of you tough northerners out there who can endure -20 F in January – we’re looking at you Fargo).

With direct access to the beach, these four stylin’ rooms all have terraces with private fire pits so that you can roast some wienies or pig out on s’mores in a more civilised way than backpacking with a tent in tow and searching for kindling (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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When A Hotel Ride Is A Hotel RIDE

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 10 Basin St [map], Astoria, OR, United States, 97103
September 3, 2014 at 7:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

There are rides, and then there are Rides. This is definitely a Ride.

This is a 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne and it’s the house car at the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, Oregon. One of the house cars, to be precise – there’s also this 1937 Studebaker:

The vintage cars come complete with chauffeur, and will ferry you in and out of town for free on weekend nights. You don’t have to reserve a slot, though it’s recommended – we didn’t, and had to wait an hour or so until there was space.

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Your Afternoon Delight Comes For Free At The Hyatt Palm Springs

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 285 N Palm Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
August 22, 2014 at 9:33 AM | by | Comment (1)

You’re in your room in the middle of the day, taking shelter from the aggressive Palm Springs heat. There’s a knock on your door: “Housekeeping!” Urgh. What do they want?

You open the door. There is a man with a cart outside it. “Hello!” he says. “I’m part of the management team. I was wondering whether you would like anything from the cart? I have fruit, soft drinks, water and cookies.”

You look at him, suspicious. Is it a new, cookie-shaped travel scam? Is he going to murder you? Or just your wallet, once he tells you the markup he’s put on the cookies (don’t forget room service charge, service charge plus ‘optional’ gratuity)?

And then he notices your hesitancy and says a weird thing. “It’s complimentary.”

And once you ascertain that it is indeed free, and that he has not roofied the cookies, you pillage his cart as best you can and take your spoils back to bed and eat until the sheets are crackling with cookie crumbs.

This is no hotel-cookie-fetish fantasy, though. At least, it’s not if you’re staying at the Hyatt Palm Springs. Their “wow cart” (so called because that’s what most people say when they’re told it’s free) does the rounds of every room on property each afternoon, starting around 4pm (depending on how many people are in their rooms, it can take anything from 20 minutes to two hours to make the full round). It's normally staffed by management, like Josh here, who's Director of Operations. This is so they can also find out how your stay is going (this is a brilliant idea, since we had issues during our stay and chatting about them over a cookie would have been a much more pleasurable experience than having a go at the front desk staff in front of other guests).

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What Do Women Really Want (From a Hotel)?

August 15, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comments (2)

What do women want? It’s the question that has, since the beginning of time, puzzled men, other women, Mel Gibson and more recently the Westin New York Grand Central. That pesky fairer sex. Why can’t they all just be the same?

We could go into that, of course, but we won’t. What we will do is take a look at what (some) women want from hotels. Of course, all women are different, and one lady’s hair straighteners can be another girl’s symbol of patriarchal oppression – but hopefully these might be a few pointers to any hotels who are trying to put together a non-offensive female-friendly package.

Here’s the gender-specific wishlist from the ladies of HotelChatter, plus a tidbit from superwoman super world traveler and CEO of Peek, Ruzwana Bashir:

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The Best Room To Book at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 80 Wythe Avenue [map], Brooklyn, New York, United States, 11249
August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we told you where to get the most killer view of Manhattan that's not actually in Manhattan at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. Today, we're showing you more of the The Best Room to Book, which is Room 702, a Manhattan View King room.

In truth, all Manhattan Views at the Wythe will give you a view of the city but the rooms above the 6th floor rooftop bar are slightly bigger and have more windows from which to admire the view.

Other notable amenities in the Wythe rooms:

· All natural and locally made Goldie's Soap products are in the bathroom.
· The locally curated minibar has not only a bottle of Tito's vodka in the freezer and a $100 bottle of Kings County bourbon on the top shelf but also La Quercia prosciutto and Plymouth Cheddar in the refrigerator.
· The Wythe toile wallpaper which we love so much.
· A Wythe Hotel tote which you can use during your stay or buy for $20.
· Heritage G2 radios that look straight out of the 1960s but which actually have an iPod/iPhone hook up.
· Radiant floor heating, in case you were worried about the lack of an area rug.
· Free WiFi

Check out all the photos of our room below!

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Introducing This Year's Newest Hotel Service Trend: Water Waiters

August 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

Infinity pool at the Four Seasons Punta Mita

Gaining a competitive advantage has always been part of the hotel business, but as the number of properties worldwide continues to increase and marketing efforts such as "beachfront," "all-inclusive," and "luxurious" become diluted, resorts are now going to the next level in order to distinguish themselves from the pack. For example, this hotel in Peru hired help that will literally bend over backwards for its guests, and lord knows we've seen our fair share of interesting hotel packages.

Enter the latest move by the Four Seasons Punta Mita, who recently launched what we're calling water waiter pool service. That is, waiters who wade into the water so you don't have to leave the edge of the infinity pool to retrieve a fresh drink. The new service is like clockwork. Beginning at noon, these "amphibious waiters" suit up and make a delivery to swimmers every half hour, whether its a smoothie, coffee, or adult beverage.

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The Attwater in Newport RI Will Light Your Fire With Its Sassy Lamp Collection

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 22 Liberty St [map], Newport, RI, United States, 02840
July 31, 2014 at 10:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have a bit of a thing for lamps here at HotelChatter. Classic lamps. Kooky lamps. Lamps with electric sockets in them. Lamps that take up the only socket in the vicinity of the desk. Tall lamps, bedside lamps, chandeliers swinging from the rooftop – we love them all.

So we were totally in our (electrical) element during a recent stay at the Attwater in Newport, RI. Newport, of course, has plenty of exceptional lamps in all its Gilded Age mansions, but the Attwater could give The Breakers a run for its money with this lot.

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Meet The Coachella Valley Hotel With Its Own Waterpark

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 41-000 BOB HOPE DRIVE, Rancho Mirage, CA, 92270
July 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we were writing about Palm Springs all last week, we were trying to stick to hotels in Palm Springs itself. But as well as the 10 in town that we already mentioned, there’s another desert pool that deserves a mention: that of the Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage.

We say pool – but actually, it’s a waterpark. Yes, a hotel with its own waterpark. Splashtopia Water Playground is 2 acres of family-friendliness, with a sandy beach, 100-foot waterslides, a 450ft ‘lazy river’ (traversable by inner tube), a ‘cliffside’ Jacuzzi, water play zones with sprinklers and fountains, as well as an adults-only pool, Azure. As if that wasn’t enough, they also have ‘dive-in movies’ every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, featuring animated family-friendly films, like Frozen and Despicable Me 2.

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