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This New York's Millenium Hilton bathtub overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge.
Today is supposedly the last day of winter. But looking outside at our snow-covered car, we think “what a bunch of bunk!” Mother Nature has bamboozled us. And unless we wake up tomorrow with daffodils in our yard and bunnies hopping around the neighborhood, it’s time for Calgon to take us the hell away.
That’s what Bathroom Tuesday’s are about—luxe hotel lavs where you can have a deep soak (yeah, yeah we know some of you aren’t down with the tub) filled with tiny bubbles. Maybe there’s a flute of bubbly and a good book involved to complete the unwinding process and take the chill off this last (hopefully) cold day of the season.
Looking to wash the day away? Here’s a little photo (and video) inspiration to set yourself up right tonight.
One of the New York openings we're most excited about this year is The Quin, a 205-room luxury property located on West 57th St, two blocks from Central Park and one block from Carnegie Hall (we've walked by ourselves, so we know).
But here's another thing for the Quin to brag about: it'll be the first hotel in New York to offer "Fresh" toiletries in all the guest rooms. Whoopeee!
For those of you uninitiated into the world of hotel toiletries, Fresh is a French boutique skincare line that uses yummy—and, err, fresh—ingredients like sugar, milk, soy and rice in all their products. They're one of our absolute faves.
It’s the start of the magical cherry blossom season in Washington DC and it's also HC’s unofficial “Bathroom Tuesday”. So what better way to celebrate both than highlight a hotel with a stunning bathroom that will give you views of the city’s natural pride and joy?
The baths at the swank Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. are filled with glossy marble and have both separate shower and deep soaking tubs. Some rooms and suites (those are the ones you’ll want for this time of the year) have views of the Washington Monument. And if peeping the cherry blossom trees while you’re having a soak in your tub isn't enough, you can always turn on the in-bath television.
Yes, we really wish every shower in Vegas featured this crazy contraption. So what is it?
Well, it's a Vitamin C infused shower head that is found in one of the brand new Stay Well rooms at MGM Grand. These rooms are tricked out with the new furniture, bedding and technology that all MGM Grand rooms feature as part of the property-wide renovations but the Stay Well rooms also have a bunch of goodies the regular rooms do not. Like air purifiers, wellness lighting in the bathrooms (they give a shot of melatonin), funky nightstand sleep machines and these vitamin shower heads.
We'll have an in-depth tour of the Stay Well rooms next week but we will say now that we came to Vegas feeling as if we were on the cusp of a cold and right now, we're feeling pretty fantastic.
Best of all, this room, with taxes and resort fee included only cost us $114 for the night.
[Photo: Juliana Shallcross for HotelChatter]
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
As if we didn’t have enough paranoia to occupy our everyday living, we learned that an employee at the Omni San Diego was caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Spies like us? We don’t think so!
The creep in question was the hotel’s Chief of Engineering, who'd been with them for five years and no doubt had studied the ins and outs the property before deciding that the free-for-all lav was the place to catch people off-guard and with their pants down. Literally.
If you equate urinal cakes, public parks, and the sound of toilets flushing with the pinnacle of luxury, then, boy, does Japan have a hotel for you.
Artist Tatsu Nishi (the same man who recently created a living room in the middle of New York's Columbus Circle) has built a one-room hotel inside a public toilet in Osaka's Nakanoshima Park. He's calling it "Nakanoshima Hotel." And before you go thinking it's just some fanciful, high-concept, bunch of art baloney, keep in mind that this is an actual hotel that costs 10,000 yen ($125) per night, and includes a proper bed, shower, and separate bathroom for hotel guests.
There's even a desk! Because, after all, everybody does their best thinking in the bathroom.
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We've had our fair share of Japanese hotel adventures, though we never quite tire of hearing about the country's unique taste in budget accommodations. Starting at around $38/night, these places are ideal if you have little cash to spare but need more than just a washing machine-sized capsule.
RocketNews has put together a handy list of the best amenities offered at Japanese budget hotels, explaining in 26 concise bullet points all the useful little extras that get thrown in, like free internet, free toiletries, free water, hand-written notes from housekeepers, pillow menus, origami souvenirs, and air purifiers. Oh yeah, and high-tech toilets.
Which got us thinking...where in the US can we find similar types of amenities?
We know how lonely it can get in hotels sometimes. In fact, just the other week we (quite enjoyably) watched a 25-minute tutorial by celebrity chef G. Garvin, dispensing wisdom on, among other things, how to keep things interesting when you're on the road.
You know who we won't be taking that kind of advice from? Steven Rinella. The guy in the picture above, spearing a chunk of unidentified barbecued meat with an orange pocketknife, who recently told NPR host Kris Boyd that he occasionally butchers the odd deer right in his hotel bathroom.
Though he did make sure to point out that he always lays down a sheet of plastic on the floor. Ah, good. Don't we all feel better now?
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We spy with our little eye...something that's weird and unsettling.
Never one to back away from the odd or the outlandish, Standard Hotels have launched a new ad campaign that's running in highbrow magazines like Apartamento, ArtForum, Interview, Paper Magazine, and V. The content? Pretty people doing not-so-pretty things like drooling, peeing, and sticking their heads in other people's shirts.
"The purpose of this advertising is to bring a degree of sophistication."
The J House in Greenwich is a swank boutique hotel that opened in May inside a former HoJo. TripAdvisor reviewers so far have had nice things to say about it, like the service is excellent, rooms are super-clean, modern decor, nice pillows, etc.
Well, last week, it got peed on. According to Patch, a "very intoxicated" man was arrested at the hotel on Thursday night after three witnesses saw him drop trou and urinate all over the lobby. Which didn't make us laugh as hard as when we remembered that, yes, we've stayed at this hotel, and, interestingly, one of the first things we commented on about the room was the high-tech Neorest R 550 Dual Flush 1.6 GPF Japanese toilet. It even came with a remote.
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There’s just something about those little (and sometimes big!) bottles of shampoo, shower gels and lotions that we adore and can take back home without feeling guilty. Lately, some hotels are getting even fancier with their offerings (no more boring Aveda!) by partnering with interesting boutique brands.
The latest to tickle our fancy is InterContinental Hotels' new Agraria line. It’s actually one of the oldest and largest American luxury home fragrance company, which makes us smile that the company appreciates a boutique classic. The products made their way into rooms this month and will be in all 169 properties by January 2013.
Lemon verbena, Agraria’s number one scent, has been chosen for the hotels. The brand, which was born in San Francisco in the ‘70s, uses natural ingredients, plus its packaging uses recycled paper and is 100% biodegradable.
Bonus: If you’re a InterContinental VIP guest, you’ll get a special “Sweet Dreams” Agraria evening turndown service with a gift of either homemade lemon verbena cookies to a take-home lemon verbena TasselAire, unique perfumed tassels that can be used as room fresheners.
Over the weekend, a family wedding drove us out to the Hamptons, where we booked a room at the quaint 1708 House, a 15-year-old bed and breakfast whose building dates back to—you guessed it—1708. Joe Biden, Kristin Davis (that's Charlotte from Sex and the City), and even Bill Marriott have all stayed here as guests.
Some of the B&B's main selling points include a small patio that connects the different wings of the house (perfect for afternoon tea, which is served complimentary every day, buffet-style), a charming dining room with the original wooden ceiling beams, and a hammock in the backyard.
But it's what we discovered in Room A that made us even happier: a gigantic bathroom with marble finishes, a wide jacuzzi tub with separate shower stall, Molton Brown toiletries, and the largest vanity we've seen in a hotel since moving to New York.