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We talk hotels all day long here at HotelChatter but over at Condé Nast Traveler they’ve put all the hotels we love to dish about in their annual Hot List.
There are hotels on this list that even we have yet to investigate like the Daniel hotel in Vienna which looks like an upscale Ace hotel with free WiFi, glorious showers and Vespa rentals. Or the Cooking and Nature Hotel in Alvados, Portugal which lives up to its name with a communal kitchen for guests (there are staffers who help do the prep work.) They've also highlighted hotels we've got the skinny on, like the Wythe in Brooklyn, the Saguaro Palm Springs, The Palihotel in LA and the Inn at the Presidio in San Francisco.
The only problem is the Affordable Luxury list features 63 hotels and we just don’t have the time to visit all 63 of them! We're gonna be making some tough decisions soon.
This hotel received an official "thumbs up" from the Queen.
Despite our initial pause about the term "Royal Warrant", no one at The Goring Hotel in London's swank Belgravia nabe is getting arrested. Rather, the Royal Warrant decree establishes the hotel as the Royal Family's "official favorite hotel of choice." It's the first time ever the Queen has bestowed the award on a hotel.
Not that we needed some fancy schmancy decoration from the Queen to understand how much the Royal Family loves the spot. After all, this is where Kate spent her last night as a commoner in the hotel's top floor suites. It's also where several of the royals retreated post-nuptials to let their hair down and have some real fun. Perhaps too much fun in Prince Harry's case. But the hotel isn't just a joint for stuffy royals. In fact, a pretty sexy bridal lingerie photoshoot inspired by Kate also happened at the hotel in 2011.
Find out why this hotel in the Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the Top 100 in the World
Conde Nast Traveler recently released its 2012 Reader's Choice Awards in which over 46,000 participants weighed in on over the 1,300 of the best hotels, airlines, cruises and all things travel. We've said before that this compilation is what real travel is about--how the consumer gets to bypass all the PR hype that we see floating in our inboxes and really get in there and give the lowdown and report back on their findings. Naturally we wanted to know their hotel favorites, so here's a taste of what they love.
Gasp! The Langham, is not tops in London! Guess who gets it?
TripAdvisor is doing away with their infamous dirtiest hotels list and is instead focusing on their Traveler's Choice lists like the "Top 25 Hotels in The U.S." as decided by the most favorable reader reviews.
Topping the list is the luxury Chicago hotel, The Elysian, which is now a part of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Taking the #2 spot is The Grand Del Mar in San Diego who won us over with their less stuffy teatime. Coming in with the bronze is the perennial award-winner Four Seasons Maui.
Also making appearances on the list are the Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square (which we called a semi-secret, super luxe option in EssEff back in 2010), The Hotel Palomar Chicago (see our gorgeous photos of the hotel here) and the Sky Lodge in Utah where we fell in love with their freestanding waterfall bathtubs.
And while we are certainly familiar with most of the hotels on the list, we haven't actually stayed the night at many of them. But maybe you have? Please, fill us in.
London Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Business Travel Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Hotel Awards / → All Tags
We've seen many a posh businessman quaffing whisky cocktails at the Mandarin Oriental London
File this under "Painfully Obvious": per results from the annual Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards, London was voted the U.K.'s favorite city, with 14 of the top 15 U.K. business hotels located in London. Right. Because we expected Wolverhampton to give the nation's capital a run for its money in both categories.
It was when news popped into our inbox of Lough Eske Castle winning the title Best Luxury Countryside Hotel In The World at the Luxury Hotel Awards that we had two burning questions. What is Lough Eske Castle? And what are the Luxury Hotel Awards?
According to the website:
The World Luxury Hotel Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels worldwide. This Award was established as a celebration of ultimate achievement in hoteliering. It is about congratulating hotels that have taken the extra step & such differentiated themselves from "good hotels" to "exceptional hotels".
The list of this year’s winners is here, if you want to take a look. But in the meantime, what’s more interesting to us is a peek at Lough Eske Castle – especially as, apparently, it’s won the same award for the past three years.
We were idly minding our online business the other day when a photo popped into our inbox. It didn’t have a press release with it – it didn’t really need one. It just had a caption. The picture was of two grinning people holding an award and the caption read “The Langham, London scoops top award at BT Visit London awards for Best Large Hotel in London”.
But it got us to thinking: what’s so great about the Langham? Let us count the ways:
Hotel Awards / Paris Hotels / Hotel Staff / Hotel News / Dorchester Collection / Hotel Receptionists / → All Tags
So, Beyonce and Taylor Swift scooped up all the Grammys last night, but elsewhere in the world, another fierce competition was recently decided. We’re talking about the award for Receptionist of the Year.
This is no Office Space joke, but a very serious honor for the winner—which, this year, was Francois Lenne of Le Meurice in Paris. Lenne was granted the award at the Presidium of the International Association for Deputy Managers and Front Office Managers of Luxury Hotels, held in Madrid in January.
Curbed recently put out the first of what will be many lists across the internet universe, saying goodbye to the aughts. But this being Curbed, they focused on the The Best New Buildings of The Decade for New York City. And wouldn't you know it? The Standard Hotel is the #1 best building of the decade.
Yes, The Standard. Since we tracked the opening of this hotel pretty much from its inceptions, we're a little surprised to see it top this list. We say it looks way better from the inside looking out then just on its own. But we guess naked people in the windows helps.
Here are some of our favorite moments of the Standard NYC...through the years.
While Florida is well-represented by a number of Ritz-Carltons, this is quite the milestone for Fort Lauderdale, which is still trying to do-away with its Spring Break reputation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been to Fort Lauderdale recently, however. Have you seen the size of those yachts tied up on the Intracoastal?
Even more interesting is that this honor comes just over a year after the property joined the Ritz-Carlton family. Prior to August 2008, it was a St. Regis—and even then only for a year. So maybe Ritz-Carlton should carefully consider their restructuring strategy.
Being from London, when we think about sexy hotels, we don’t immediately think London. We think a little lovenest on the Seine, private beaches on the Med, that kind of thing. But now we are thinking again, because Boundary in little East London just got named the most stylish hotel in Europe at the European Hotel Design Awards.
We’ve kept meaning to visit Boundary since it opened in January, but were put off by the fact that it’s a Terence Conran project and we think of him as a bit posh for our tastes (we once went to his Bluebird restaurant in Chelsea to find we’d missed Kate Middleton – AKA Ms Prince William – by a couple of minutes).
But turns out we were wrong.
Hotel Awards / Conde Nast Traveler / Four Seasons Hotels / Airport Hotels / Maui Hotels / → All Tags
The stunning coastal views from Hotel Du Palais
They say the customer is always right, and we generally agree. PR pushes and clever marketing can often make a hotel sound better than it is, but leave it to a consumer to give you the inside track with merciless honesty. This is precisely why Readers Choice lists are more trusted than other carefully cultivated round-ups.
Last week, Condé Nast Traveler's unveiled its 22nd Annual Readers Choice Awards, a respectable overview of the best cities, islands, resorts, airlines, and other travel-related miscellany. It's the location-specific hotel and resort "Top Three" lists that caught our eye first, of course, but there were some questionable standouts as well.
Some of the top picks were self-evident, like Biarritz' Hotel Du Palais, honored by readers as the Top European Resort and called out by our discerning HotelChatter family for its stellar beach and pool views. Here on the mainland, meanwhile, Pebble Beach's Inn at Spanish Bay was named one of the Best U.S. Resorts. Having taken in the coastal surroundings along Monterey Peninsula's famed 17-Mile Drive last year, we can vouch for the Inn's luxury credentials.