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Should You or Shouldn't You? A HotelChatter Review
We decided it was high time to check out one of the newest hotels that make up Vancouver’s skyline, the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Opened in 2010 for the Olympics, this beautiful “ode to glass” building is not only chic, but is a happening destination unto itself.
Check-In: We took advantage of the hotel’s car service and had a great chat with our driver about the hotel and living in Vancouver. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by dapper doormen whose uniforms can best be described as a cross between Armani and 1940s movie gangster in a very fashionable grey. It was a very good start.
As we were ushered into the long, cool and white marble lobby we noticed immediately the hotel's bespoke Indian Jasmine fragrance. Our driver, who was part of the concierge team, never left our side. Once given our keys we were escorted to our room, passing the serene-but-not-for-long Lobby Lounge that spans the entry space.
Room Reaction: We entered our room on the Fairmont Gold floor and were immediately dazzled by the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Vancouver harbor and port. We were introduced to the iPad2 waiting for us and the hi-tech lighting system (which also controls the drapes) with its pre-set mood makers – Day, Evening, Relax – and in the bathroom, there’s a setting for Groom or Spa.
Hotel Rooftops / Rooftop Bars / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / London Hotels / Washington DC Hotels / Vienna Hotels / Philadelphia Hotels / → All Tags
The Graham's new rooftop is guaranteed to be Georgetown's summer hotspot
Mother Nature has played serious havoc with the weather. Suffice to say, those of us located in climates where partying on rooftops is limited to a few months of the year? We are giving M.N. serious sideeye. It's May. It's time for us to sip dranks on the rooftop of a cool hotel that has glorious views of the place we happen to live in or visiting at the moment. Don't hate us for being selfish and not being more concerned about global warming. We have priorities!
So we declare that Rooftop Season Has Officially Begun. Weather gods need to get on board (or the hotels will just put out heat lamps, whatevah, it takes).
The places listed have recently opened, want to let the sunshine in, and help you let your hair down. And you don't even have to be a guest to partake in the fun!
Here's where we want to tipple at some top rooftop bars around the world.
Atlantic City Hotels / Hotel Parties / Hotel Bars / Hotel Beaches / Hotel Pools / Hotel DJs / → All Tags
Jimmy Buffett's brand new Margaritaville casino is probably the biggest news in Atlantic City this summer (Governor Christie is even scheduled to attend the opening event tomorrow.) But further down the boardwalk, there's another hotel celebrating a grand opening of its own.
Revel knows how much its guests like to, er…..revel, so to keep the party going from dawn till dusk, they've decided to open up HQ Beach Club, a day-time sequel to their popular HQ Nightclub. Located at boardwalk-level, the club will be open to guests and non-guests (cover charges will vary depending on the day), and doors will open as early as 10am.
That's right: you can show up straight after breakfast and start off your day drinking in a cabana by the pool. Ain't life grand?
It’s midnight when we return to the Fairmont Pacific Rim after a night out on the town in Vancouver. When we walk into the Lobby Lounge, the place is overflowing with well-dressed lookers--locals, guests and residents of the hotel. And we know why.
Yes, it’s partly because of the atmosphere – West Coast cool with loads of glass, some woody features and a clean white background overall – but mostly, ladies and gentlemen, it's because the cocktails are to die for.
We took it upon ourselves to try a few of the bevvies on order but we kept coming back to the seriously tasty Absolut Beta Martini. This cocktail was created by the oh-so-charming head bartender Grant Sceney. With it, he won the Absolut Vodka Martini Competition and is carrying the flag to compete in Sweden. If it’s not the winner, we think the competition’s fixed.
The cocktail is both tart and sweet but with complex flavors that make it impossible to discern any one element over another. If you think you have the wherewithal to re-create it yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
Boston Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Pools / Hotel Bars / Hotel Uniforms / Hotel News / → All Tags
If you have difficulty trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, then we have two pieces of advice for you: one, stop trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, and two, definitely don't visit the new rooftop pool at the Revere Hotel, where attractive female employees will be prancing around all summer long in matching swimwear outfits designed by Pret-a-Surf.
The checkered hot pants, striped bikini tops, and nautical-themed jerseys that you see above are the new staff uniforms up at Rooftop @ Revere, which debuted last week.
As hotel uniforms go, we like the breezy, New England look—certainly racier indeed than the silk embroidered robes we saw in Bangkok, yet tamer than the W New York Downtown's double-breasted tuxedo shorts.
And if you fancy yourself (or your loved one) dressed up like one of the Revere cocktail servers, then all you have to do is head down to the lobby retail shop, and pick out some matching Pret-a-Surf attire of your very own.
Hotel Bars / Hotel Wine / Wine Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
In our experience, hotel bar wine lists can be hit-or-miss. You either show up in the lobby ready to drink a mediocre (and, often, overpriced) glass of vino, or you go on Yelp! and find the nearest best-reviewed wine bar or bistro. Easy.
But over the past year, Sheraton has been changing things up with their exclusive (and verrry popular) Sheraton Social Hour. The program, which partially debuted last year in select Sheraton hotels, is awesome because it allows Sheraton guests to sample top-notch wines that have been given the thumbs up by Wine Spectator magazine.
Unsurprisingly, the program was a hit. So much of a hit that, as of yesterday, Social Hour has officially been rolled out to all 430 Sheraton hotels around the world.
Sheraton hotels and resorts in Hong Kong, Bali, Edinburgh, Santiago, New York, Waikiki—pretty much everywhere in the world, actually—all celebrated the launch with a 24-hour "toast around the world" (if you don't believe us, just type in the hashtag #sheratontoast on Instagram, and be prepared to see photos from the biggest, most extensive global wine fest ever known to man).
When we first uploaded the above photo into our story, we worried that it was upside down*; then we realized it actually didn't matter because disoriented, confused, and slightly dizzy is exactly how you're supposed to feel at Bar Oppenheimer, a new pop-up bar that debuted this week inside Hôtel Americano.
Bar Oppenheimer is located in the basement of the hotel via a narrow cement staircase behind the hostess stand in the lobby. There's no sign, no big door with a velvet rope, not even a hint of the bar's presence anywhere in the hotel.
(However, that may be a good thing because when you eventually find it—as we did, after five minutes spent aimlessly wandering down hallways and opening emergency exit doors—you feel like you've stumbled into a secret room that no one else in the hotel knows about.)
The truth is that lots of people in New York know about this place. It was designed by Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger, who felt a desire to recreate his neighborhood bar in Germany, also called Bar Oppenheimer, in the basement of a Manhattan boutique hotel. Cool, right?
For more photos of the triply black-and-white striped bar, read on!
Either Cameron Diaz has been reading HotelChatter, or she's got friends who keep a close eye on the NYC hotel scene. The Jade Hotel is still brand new (it officially opened just over two months ago) but that didn't stop the long-legged beauty from stopping by this past weekend.
The NY Post spotted Diaz hanging out at Grape & Vine, an intimate cocktail bar and bistro located behind the lobby. According to the spy:
"The bar area was so crowded, but Cameron and her friends sat right in front of the bar and joked around with the bartender . . . Most people were dressed up, but she was in a T-shirt and jeans, wearing flats with her hair up."
The article goes on to say that she "graciously spoke to a guy who was trying to flirt with her." We can't imagine ever trying to walk up to Cameron "Something About Mary" Diaz and asking for her number, but it's nice to know if we ever do see her in a hotel, we'd have a shot.
Meanwhile, we wonder if she surprised the bartender by ordering one of the bar's secret, off-the-menu cocktails that we wrote about last month. Or maybe her visit inspired them to name a whole new drink after her…
Diaz, who's in town filming scenes for her next movie, The Other Woman, didn't spend the night at the hotel (despite her admirer's best efforts, we're sure), but if you feel like resting your head in a place Cameron Diaz likes to hang out, rates here start at $280/night.
If bartenders these days are to be believed, Prohibition was not the dangerous, skeevy, Mob-controlled booze era that history books and Hollywood movies have shown us. No, no – cocktailing during Prohibition was sexy and elegant, and when a bar today really wants to prove its mixology credentials, it rolls out a special Prohibition cocktail menu. The latest one to do so is The Georgian, Santa Monica’s distinctive Deco hotel and former hangout of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and other Hollywood greats.
Casino Hotels / Margaritaville Hotels / Jimmy Buffett / Atlantic City Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Don't pretend you haven't been counting down the days to the opening of Jimmy Buffett's new Margaritaville Casino in Atlantic City. From your cubicle at work, you've fantasized about biting into a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on the boardwalk, or playing blackjack on one of the brand new Margaritaville-themed casino tables.
Well, the wait is almost over.
Just over a month since Buffett announced plans to team up with Wyndham on a new St Thomas resort, things are gearing up in Atlantic City for a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. The new venue will sit inside the 942-room Resorts Casino, and its entrance will be marked by a sculpture of a giant blender. (Yes, you read that right.)
Meanwhile, outside, its oceanfront Landshark Bar, will be Atlantic City's first-ever year-round full-service bar and restaurant on the sand side of the Boardwalk.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Openings / Langham Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
Though we gave you a heads up about the change last fall, Langham sent out a formal announcement late last week, confirming that tomorrow, May 7, the former Setai Fifth Avenue will become Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. The announcement mostly tells us what we already knew, except for a few minor details. It turns out the hotel will indeed undergo some cosmetic changes—including new permanent artworks, updated decor, a Chuan spa, and a new lounge/bar concept.
And good news for folks visiting NYC this week: the opening of the new lounge, featuring a menu by former Maialino chef Jeffrey Seizer, coincides with the re-branding of the hotel tomorrow. So come hungry!
(For those of you wondering about the fate of the hotel's celebrated restaurant, Ai Fiori, rest assured. It's staying put for now.)
Remember the other day, when we made a list of things to do in a hotel that don't involve staying overnight, and one of those things was getting drunk at the hotel bar? Well, that's one thing you won't be able to do at Les Rois, a 183-room hotel in the Egyptian waterfront city of Hurghada.
CNN reports that on Saturday, a special ceremony took place marking the hotel's transition to become Egypt's first non-alcohol hotel.
In a gesture of the hotel's commitment to staying dry, owners actually lined up bottles along the bar and smashed them. Subtle, huh?
The ceremony was attended by a Sunni cleric, hotel management, and the hotel's owner, who said the aim of this all is to "provide a new kind of tourism." Indeed, the government has recently cracked down on the number of alcohol licenses that are issued to restaurants and hotels, so this could very well be the first of many hotels in Egypt going booze-free.
Prior to the change, the hotel had two bars and an English-style pub.
When traveling, it's always important to show respect when it comes to others' religious customs, though we gotta say: we can easily see this "no-alcohol hotel" initiative severely backfiring when it comes to luring more tourists to the country. When was the last time you made a point of vacationing somewhere because there was no booze? Yeah, we thought so.
Do you support these new measures? Is a booze-free hotel some place you would ever consider staying? Share your thoughts below!