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No, the W Barcelona hasn't turned into one of those European shopping malls with cars being raffled off by pretty women in tight dresses. The answer is pretty simple, actually: Starwood is gearing up to announce a new partnership to sponsor the Mercedes-Petronas Formula One team, and just in time for the press conference tomorrow, an actual formula one race car has been put on display in the lobby, for guests to admire.
We're used to just seeing cool art, a cocktail bar, and maybe some of that weird signature W grass in lobbies. But a race car? That'll do nicely!
Contrary to alarmist reports last week, the Hotel Ritz in Paris did not burn down during that random fire that broke out along Place Vendome. True, the hotel was covered in large amounts of black smoke but we now know the hotel's interiors are safe...until the hotel closes down this summer to make way for its planned renovations of course.
A French reader emailed us the latest info on the fire:
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Though we don't know what exactly goes into converting a British car to fit fit US driving standards, we're grateful the work's already been done by Langham Boston. Eager to show off their imported London-style taxi, the hotel has started a promotion which will award a plane ticket to London, plus a three-night stay at sister hotel the Langham London, to anyone who spots the taxi on the streets of Boston and posts a photo onto the Langham's Facebook page.
Sound easy? Well it's about to get easier. As you can tell from the above photo, the taxi has been painted a bright, though still rather elegant, shade of pink, in honor of the hotel's signature color. So now, instead of just hunting through Boston for a rare model of car with the steering wheel on the wrong side, now you'll be hunting for a rare model of car with the steering wheel on the wrong side, and one that happens to be pink. Already, this contest sounds a lot easier than the art thief tournament going on in Melbourne.
We're not going to lie; this autumnal weather makes us want to do two things: drink lots of hot "seasonal" beverages and ride mopeds around on quaint cobblestone streets. Fortunately both of these can be had in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and even at your hotel if you choose the right one. For sure, we know two properties in the Dutch capital that rent Vespas right from the front desk: Hotel JL No. 76 and Inntel Centre.
Of course if you're unwilling to fork over around 40 Euro/day for the privilege of breezing by the masses of cyclists in the city, you can always join them with a bike rental.
Know of any other hotels with Vespa rentals? Let us know in the comments below!
We don’t usually mix wine-country getaways with fancy cars—after all, we’d never advocate drinking and driving—but a recent experience at the tony Carneros Inn in Napa has us thinking that cars and carafes (with a driver!) might just be our new favorite mash-up. That’s because this luxury resort is one of only four in the country that has partnered with Audi to have a couple of primo vehicles that will shuttle guests around the property.
Most hotels would be satisfied with just having a luxury Jaguar ride onsite to squire guests around town but the 51 Buckingham Gate Hotel in London has gone all out with the first-ever Jaguar Suite, set to open in September.
The 1,832-square-foot, two-bedroom residential-style suite is the result of a new partnership between two TATA-owned companies, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and of course, Jaguar. So what's inside?
Well, Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum and his designers have taken materials from the cars--leather, metal and high gloss veneer--and worked them into the suite like the sleek wood panelling in the entry, the Jaguar damask that lines the bedroom walls, a clean-fuel fireplace that looks like the Jag's rear window and get this, custom-made Jaguar wallpaper. Let the Shaguar jokes begin!
It's Amsterdam Week over at our sister site Jaunted, so we're going a little Dutch ourselves. In Amsterdam, hotels don't just have one or two bikes available for rent. They have a whole rack ready and waiting out front. Biking is a way of life, it's how you commute, have fun, exercise and socialize. Therefore it's pretty easy to lay down the extra 13 Euros to take out one of the Hotel JL No. 76's bright orange Beicks and spend the day getting purposefully lost in Amsterdam's web of canals and bike lanes.
The Beicks used are standard Dutch city bikes, with wider tires for navigating cobblestones and tram tracks, but outfitted with a big black basket perfect for toting home wedges of cheese and bouquets of flowers and pairs of wooden clogs and bottles of Amstel or Grolschaka the makings of a pretty good time.
Starting this fall, Club Level guests will have exclusive access to 100% electric smart cars, which will be branded with the hotel's logo (though, better that than Frank Gehry's nearby fish sculpture).
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The electric supercar was brought to the hotel the other day as part of a special event that started in the Omni's Roger and Hammerstein suite (Note to self: must check this one out) and ended outside with an up close inspection of the green roadster.
While it was just select guests of Omni's Select Guest loyalty program who attend the special event, the car is available for hotel guests who earn Black level status (that takes about 20+ stays a year.)
If you've got the need for speed, you'll have extra incentive to stay at the SLS Beverly Hills and The Redbury. The hotels, which are part of SBE Hotel Group, now have speedy new BMWs that are available for guest use.
SBE is partnering with BMW to offer guests the company's latest rides. At SLS Beverly Hills, you can take a seat in an ActiveHybrid 750Li (see above photo), which is considered the world's fastest, street-legal hybrid on the market. So at least you'll be green while speeding down Rodeo Drive to do some shopping. At the Redbury, you can choose from the ActiveHybrid 750Li or the 550i Gran Turismo. Talk about tricked out!
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When you stay at the InterContinental San Francisco, you can use a Zipcar, from the eco-friendly car-sharing program. But you won't get just any old ride; you can drive the new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which isn't available for purchase till 2012.
The hotel offers eight Prius Plug-In Hybrids in its Zipcar fleet and a smart charging station, which is easily accessible in the porte cochère by the main entrance.
Checking out hotel cars is one of our favorite internet trolling past times so we've become rather immune to luxury hotels that offer Rolls Royces, Lamborghinis, Maybachs, BMWs and Mercedes for their guests to ride in. But this car option at the Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf is kinda different.
The new hotel has a black four-door, chauffeur-driven Porsche Panamera on hand to ferry guests around town. A sexy Porsche is not quite what we'd associate with Hyatt--maybe for their sister brand Andaz but either we're digging it. However, this porsche just for cruising only. For airport pickups, guests can choose between a Mercedes Benz S-Class or a BMW 7 series for up to three people or a VW van for up to seven people.
Up in the rooms, the sexiness continues with vibrant artwork, high-tech amenities like plasma screens and heated floors, rain showers and separate spa tubs. Rates start around 200 euros a night.