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Members of Fairmont's President's Club can now ride in style as the hotel chain has expanded its partnership with BMW to all US properties and will offer complimentary shuttle service in a BMW 750i Sedan.
Whether you're traveling for business and want to make a flashy arrival at a lunch meeting or just going down the street for a hot dog, it sure beats the hell out of traditional shuttles and taxis. While many hotels now use spacious SUVs to transport guests, this takes the level of comfort (and image) one step further.
Fairmont and BMW seem to be getting along quite well the past few years. This latest roll out is an extension of a program that was initially launched in Canada in 2009, and Fairmont began offering free BMW bicycles to their guests worldwide in 2011.
Membership in Fairmont's Presidents Club is complimentary, so be sure to sign up to take advantage of the swanky shuttle service during your next stay.
It's hard to believe that in 2013, there are hotels that charge for WiFi. We're not talking the budget places, either: while several wallet-friendly chains actually do provide comp internet access, it's the luxury brands that typically nickel-and-dime you for connecting fees, sometimes as much as 20 Euros a day (we're looking at you, Rocco Forte.)
In 2009, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts took a bold move and became the first international five-star brand to drop WiFi charges at all of their hotels, and later did the same for many of their Kerry and Traders brand properties. To keep up with technology—and their tech-savvy guests—Shangri-La last week announced that they are taking connectivity even further by offering free WiFi access in all their hotel cars by the end of 2013.
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Between last Friday and today, we're 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..
We admit, we’re a touch spoiled with some hotels who look askance at tired taxi service and have brought in their own high-class cars to whisk guests to and fro to their desired destination(and for free!).
Do you drive a fast car? Well, they do at New York’s Gansevoort hotels where Porsche Panamera’s transport customers from the midtown Park Avenue South location to the bumping Meatpacking district outpost in seemingly seconds.
Then there’s the Accura's, that will graciously schlep those staying at the W Union Square to any location within a 2-mile radius, gratis. It’s a very popular service though (top-notch shopping is in the vicinity) so make sure you book fast. Oh, and you can find this service at many of the W's across the country, including the W Fort Lauderdale.
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If you happen to enjoy getting your car stolen by delinquent 21-year-old valets, then, boy, do we have a hotel for you. This weekend, Gunner Belcher (what a name!), a valet employed at the Westin Indianapolis, was pulled over at 2am on Sunday morning by cops who suspected he might be drunk driving.
Well, he was.
But what cops also found out was that Belcher, "with glassy eyes and slurred speech," was behind the wheel of a 2007 Bentley belonging to Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne had dropped the car off at the Westin just a few hours earlier, and, around 9pm, Belcher decided it was time to take her for a spin.
To make a bad situation worse, Belcher then lied to cops and told them he was "Wayne's cousin by marriage," which is completely absurd, yet exactly the kind of quick-thinking logic we'd expect from someone on a mindless, drunken joyride through the streets of Indianapolis at 2am on a Sunday.
Without a seatbelt, no less.
With plenty of subway lines still down in NYC, we decided to take a ride around Brooklyn yesterday afternoon on our bike. Lo and behold, cruising down a small side street in Greenpoint, what do we find, but an adorable little boutique hotel tucked away under the Pulaski Bridge, the northernmost section of Brooklyn.
Though we've never heard of it, the Box House Hotel has in fact been open for a year and a half, and is just now starting to get some attention. For starters: the shout-out they got in this weekend's travel section of the NY Times. The Brooklyn hotel scene, says the Times, is blowing up, with certain places (ahem, King & Grove Williamsburg) charging about as much as the average Manhattan hotel.
Our first question, therefore, was how much does a standard room here go for during the off-peak: $159/night. Not bad!
So what's it like inside?
Another month, another celebrity car accident outside a hotel. This time, x17online reports that P Diddy and his chauffeur were cruising near the entrance to the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday afternoon when another driver swerved in front of him, causing Diddy's SUV to slam into the other vehicle.
Unsurprisingly, several photographers were on the scene lickety split, and caught shots of Diddy looking slightly dazed and confused, laying down on the Bev Hills' lawn.
The front of his Cadillac Escalade was pretty smashed up, and as of now it is unconfirmed whether Diddy, his driver, or the other party, sustained any injuries. (Though for the sake of future hotel bathtub music video hilarity, we hope he's ok!)
You gotta hand it to Starwood. When it comes to partnerships, they certainly know how to align themselves with the right brands to make people really sit up and take notice (a few that come to mind: W and Instagram, Westin and Amazon, Aloft and Bud Light...oh, and Pitchfork).
Back in April, St Regis made a lot of guests happy by ordering fleets of the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur model to be "stationed" at their hotels around the world. Now, St Regis New York has decided to take the partnership one step further by creating a dedicated Benley Suite. And it's taking reservations for next month.
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It's coming up on Father's Day, and once again, we're here to make your gift-giving experience go as smoothly as possible. How, you ask? By providing a range of perfect hotel experiences to suit all dad types! From smoking lounges to motorcycles to "sports" manicures (if you want to make a spa treatment guy-friendly, then that prefix is compulsory), we've rounded up six hotels with the best man-centric activities.
So, what are you waiting for? Read on! You've only got six days to book!
Though it's home to three championship golf courses, a shooting school and one of the best father-and-son fishing getaway spots, The Cloister at Sea Island off the coast of southern Georgia has one other man-centric feature that helps it stand out from the rest of the resorts: a Smoking Lounge. The wood-paneled room helped win the hotel a coveted spot on T+L's "World's Best Resorts" in 2006, and provides the ultimate man-cation hangout spot, with cozy leather armchairs, a fireplace, and an on-site Cigar Sommelier to help dad pick out his smoke of choice.
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San Francisco's a pretty green town but when the U.S. Open golf tournament comes to town on June 11, the place will get even greener. And if you happen to be staying at the Four Seasons San Francisco, you just might be the greenest of them all thanks to the Nissan Leaf that's available for you to rent.
Booking the hotel's new Nissan LEAF package will get you a room at the hotel, two tickets to the California Academy of Arts and Sciences, breakfast for two at the Seasons restaurants and complimentary rental of the Nissan LEAF. If you're not familiar with the LEAF, it's a completely electric vehicle which uses no gasoline and can go about a 100 miles on a single charge. And thanks to the LEAF, The Four Seasons is now the city's first and only hotel to have an electric vehicle rental program as well as charging station.
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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.