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On the first day of Christmas, Andaz Liverpool Street gave to me… a giant box that looked gorgeous on the outside but was ultimately empty, perhaps as a representation of the hollow emotional void of consumerism.
Nah, as if – this is the Festive Folly in the Andaz lobby, and it’s no damning take on modern society; rather, it’s an East London art installation. As you walk through the folly, its comforting glow will warm the cockles of your heart, and its festive scent – there’s a Fornasetti candle inside, plus it’s made of birch– will arouse your scent glands into a Christmas frenzy. Buy buy buy!
The other week we showed off a funky hotel bed, shaped like a wine cask. Today, we're here to tell you that you can now shower with wine during your next hotel stay.
Ok, technically, it's not an actual bottle of wine but rather, a line of hotel toiletries made with anti-oxidant grape extracts. Still, being winos that we are, we're going to latch onto the idea of lathering up with some vino.
The toiletries come from Spanish brand, VIÑALI, which is an organic, vino-cosmetic company and are being distributed by Groupe GM. The line includes shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bath gel and bar soap. Here's what makes them so classy, like a glass of fine wine:
The products in the VIÑALI amenities range are enriched with organic grape water and organic grape extracts and will give hotel guests an experience as refreshing and detoxifying as it is luxurious. Across the product line, water has been substituted by 100% organic grape water extract rich in resveratrol, VIÑALI’s flagship ingredient, which carries detoxifying properties, essential oils, minerals and trace elements found in the plant which actively promote healthy skin and are environmentally friendly.
In short, you won't get a buzz but you should feel a little more relaxed.
Since the product is brand-new, it's not clear if hotels have picked this item up yet. We'll let you know when someone uncorks it.
One of the more aloof members of Atlanta staff
Yesterday we introduced you to the Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok and its militant anti-sex tourist policy. The Atlanta is a budget hotel – rooms start from 800THB ($24) and go up to 1950THB ($59). But despite its low prices, it’s run with a rod of iron – it opened in the 1950s and checking in today is like stepping back in time a few decades. And its attention to detail is certainly better than plenty of five star places we’ve stayed in. Why? These 10 reasons why, for starters:
We've long been a fan of Kimpton Hotels' Forgot it? We've got it!" amenity program, which sends up, on request, any toiletries that guests may have forgotten to pack from contact lens solution to straightening irons. But now at The EPIC Hotel in Miami, the amenity program extends to Halloween costumes.
That's right, if you've forgotten to pack your sexy ladybug costume, or just decided on a whim to go trick or treating, the EPIC Hotel can lend you a costume to wear for the night.
We inquired about the Halloween costume choices and they include the following:
· Clown make up
· Clown noses
· Rainbow bow tie
· Child & adult cat costume
· Bunny ears
· Various mustaches
· Venetian masks
And if you stay at the hotel on Halloween, you can indulge in special pumpkin oil aroma therapies and massages from the hotel's Exhale Spa during the hotel's complimentary wine hour. A Halloween candy buffet will also be on display. Over at the hotel's bars and lounges--LILT, Area31 and a the rooftop pool deck, speciality Halloween cocktails will be served too.
Rooms at the EPIC start at $249 a night.
Getting picked-up from the airport or dropped off for your dinner reservation by your hotel is a luxury that many hotels offer for either an extra charge or as part of the room rate. More often than not, hotels will whisk you away in some sort of luxury sedan like a BMW, Mercedes or Porsche but occasionally, you just have to hide your face when they pull up in an 8-person van or mini-bus.
However, there are a few hotels that totally nail the idea of cool wheels for a courtesy cars. This is a smart move for a few good reasons. One, it shows the hotel has some personality by choosing an interesting or historic car over some predictable corporate whip. Two, it's good advertising around town and three, it gets guests talking about it well after they check-out.
Now, here are some of our favorite rides from around the world.
Not exactly a desk, but totally sexy – the map of Singapore on the coffee table at Sofitel So Singapore
One thing we’ve noticed over recent coverage of millennial hotel brands and trendifying revamps – hotels think the way to pull in punters is to focus on design. And to focus on design, plenty of hotels are considering doing away with what most people take for granted in a hotel room: the steadfast hotel desk.
There’s just one problem: people like desks. They need them, too, if they’re grownups. First case in point: our room at Moxy Milan a couple of weeks back. Instead of a desk, there was a shallow glass plate poking out of the wall, just big enough to balance a laptop on. Instead of a chair, there was a stool – as in a footstool – under the glass shelf. It was an impossible set up, if you were planning to work – uncomfortable on the back, and with no space for anything like papers. (There was also a giant, sexy swivel armchair by the bed – great for Instagram, but impossible, again, for work.)
Second case in point: the current Le Méridien refresh program with slimmer, stand-up desks.
Third and final case in point: the Westin redesign, which has shrunk desks. Westin says its research shows that people are abandoning desks. If our comments this time, and last time we discussed this, are anything to go by, there’s a sizeable group of us that isn’t. So while hotels are rushing to court millennials, they risk alienating their already loyal customers.
Problem is, other than the general downsizing of rooms, this move seems to be based on the premise that hotel desks are ugly. But they don’t have to be! Hotel designers, here are some ideas for how to have trendy rooms, but keep the desks. We present:
The Ultimate HotelChatter Compendium Of Sexy Desks
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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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.
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.
Female-Friendly Hotels / Women-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Marketing / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Security / Hotel Packages / New Delhi Hotels / Delhi Hotels / India Hotels / The Leela Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Memories / Snapshot / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Rants / NH Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Bathroom Amenities / → All Tags
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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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).
There are rides, and then there are Rides. This is definitely a Ride.
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.