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Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Hotel Chocolate / Hershey Hotels / Pennsylvania Hotels / → All Tags
Last week we told you about the chocolate-making classes at Jade Mountain and the chocolate massages at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Could the hotel chocolate theme get any better? Yes: at the Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania.
The hotel is, of course, part of the chocolate extravaganza that is Hershey PA, The Sweetest Place On Earth™, and the spa has chocolate all over the place, from cocoa massages to a chocolate-dipped coconut immersion wrap.
But it’s the edible chocolate facial that’s really sparked our imagination. Yes, edible. Chocolate. Facial.
The hotel is, as the name suggests, where the Sacher Torte cake was invented, and as such there’s a subtle-yet-classy chocolate theme in the hotel, from the inroom toiletries to the spa and its signature Time to Chocolate treatments, using the Sacher’s own line of chocolate beauty products, made from the same cocoa beans as the chocolate icing for their Sacher Torte. And yes, they smell divine.
There are four treatments to choose from, starting from A Symphony in Chocolate, which lays on a steam bath, cacao bean peeling massage, chocolate body mask and a final chocolate massage over a 110-minute period. The other three - A Dream of Chocolate, A Taste of Chocolate, and A Sensation of Chocolate - are 60-minute combinations of two of the Symphony’s elements: so scrub and body mask, scrub and a chocolate rub down, and body mask, scrub and chocolate body care.
A hotel with its own cocoa plantation? Pretty cool. A hotel with its own cocoa plantation that organizes weekly tasting sessions of the inhouse chocolate? Even better.
A “chocolate laboratory” is the newest amenity at St Lucia’s Jade Mountain, in which you can learn how to make your own chocolate. Pretty good, and not too expensive at $45 per person for an hour-long session.
But better still are the new “chocolate sensory tastings”, held every Tuesday at 10am. You’ll get to taste all incarnations of chocolate and soon-to-be chocolate, from the cocoa bean to cocoa mass; and after you’ve put in all that hard work, they’ll reward you with Emerald Estate (the house label) chocolate bars and homemade truffles.
Oh, and the tastings are free.
Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.
The subject of chocolate has many times filled our stories, as hotel pastry chefs from around the world show off their talents and compete for our hard earned calories. The Four Seasons Hotel Milan, not to our surprise, goes the extra mile (or pound) in its very own creation of an entire room devoted to and made of chocolate. This is a feature of the hotel’s Il Brunch del Teatro and being so totally unique and off the chocolate charts, is this week’s Funky Friday.
The chocolate room has been a popular display since 2008, each year presenting a different theme. This season, Pastry Chef Johannes Walk created The Chicolate Room, celebrating fashion and glamour. It is gorgeous and a perfect fit, so to speak, for Italy’s capital of all things design.
We're hearing another snow storm's coming in and that's making us want to cuddle up with something hot and body-warming (get your mind out the guttah!). A cup of hot chocolate would hit the spot, but not some old packet of Swiss Miss, which is all we have access to right now. Sigh.
So, we're doing what we always do, daydreaming about something decadent--namely the Haut Chocolat from the Four Seasons Vail where it's 9F. And boy, do they serve it up right! The ingredients arrives in a French ceramic pot and presented on a silver tray at the hotel's Fireside Lounge.
The drink is prepared tableside, and to make it thick and rich, your server muddles Valrhona chocolate with steamed milk, then pours the mixture over two giant hand-made marshmallows and a chocolate lattice that begins to melt from the liquid heat. But that's not all. Then it’s topped with whipped cream and chocolate streusel. Then they go OTT and add chocolate shavings and even more whipped cream. The price for this indulgence? $16.
We're thinking it's snuggle time now, don't you?
[Photo: Four Seasons Vail]
We know we can't be the only ones who pay serious attention to the dessert options in a hotel before booking a room there. And whether that's a new donut shop at the Four Seasons, or wine-paired girl scout cookies, all we really care about is getting our daily sugar fix.
But as it turns out, New York is a particularly good place to visit if you're a choco-holic. And we're not just talking about the M&M store in Times Square...
Downstairs in The Plaza, one of the city's most decadent chocolate havens is FP Patisserie, which offers Francois Payard's signature truffles, tarts, cakes, hot chocolate, and, one of our favorites—peanut butter and raspberry jelly chocolates.
Hotel Openings / Greenwich Hotels / Connecticut Hotels / Hotels with iPads / Hotel Toilets / Hotel Chocolate / → All Tags
Ah, Greenwich, Connecticut, home to finance and insurance companies plus blonde monied madams (both young and old) sporting twin-sets and driving fast cars. Corporate viking GE is in nearby Fairfield, and they also come to play here. So, it's fitting that an old HoJo hotel was torn down to make way for the new J House opened last month care of Brenwood Hospitality Group. We drove our beat-up minivan to the hotel, handed it to the valet with nary a blink, and went inside for a look.
We at Hotel Chatter like to indulge our desires on a regular basis (cake from the Mandarin Oriental Paris, anyone?) and few come any more passionate than chocolate.
The Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok with its splendid setting on the banks of the Chaopraya River is home to a confectionery cornucopia called, simply, The Chocolate Boutique.
The classy signature outlet is located on the lobby level and a heaven for chocoholics. After being greeted at the imposing entrance to the hotel by pith helmeted and putteed doormen, a homage to colonial style, head inside the chandeliered lobby, go forward and turn right and there you see it. The duck egg blue and rich mahogany exteriors and subdued lighting are enticing and suggest the dark pleasures that await.
Valentine's Day Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Andaz Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Chocolate / Hotel Bathrobes / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Sex / → All Tags
Unlike other industries, where it's just about guzzling free candy and wearing too many red cardigans, Valentine's Day is a special time of year for hotels. The January slump is suddenly reversed by couples seeking out romantic getaways, anonymous hook-ups, and indulgent spa treatments. Not to mention special food that puts you in that special mood. Here are our three picks for Valentine's Day hotels in NYC.
Remember when we found out Kimpton Hotels devoted an entire month to flaunt their funky leopard-, giraffe-, and zebra-print bathrobes? And remember how, unless you were a guest, it was kinda hard to get one? Well, that part is still the same. But they're making it more worth your while with a month-long "Robe-mance" package ($269, booking code ROBES) that includes a $25 dining and beverage credit and two robes.
Hotel Christmas Trees / Manhattan Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Holiday Hotels / Hotel Chocolate / Hotel Food / Hotel Desserts / → All Tags
This is the kind of Christmas tree that you do not want to have around the house—because if you did, you'd just end up eating it.
Luckily, this 10-foot-tall beauty, made entirely of chocolate (white, dark, milk, fondant, you name it, it's on there), is on view inside the Jumeirah Essex House, which luckily isn't a place we frequent very often.
The chocolate theme is continued into the rest of the lobby with a weekend-only Chocolate Bar. Boy, this hotel is pressing allll the right buttons. Included in the mouth-watering buffet are a chocolate fountain, assorted truffles and house-made hot chocolate. Tickets go for $35 a head, but if you bump it up to $49, they'll throw in a glass of champagne.
Goodies at the Fifth Floor restaurant in San Fran.
Since Valentine's Day is over, Kimpton Hotels is shifting it focus from lovers to chocolate lovers. The company will celebrate Chocolate Lovers Day on February 17 with free sweets in hotels all over the country.
So in case you didn't get any chocolate valentines, you can get hopped up on the sweet stuff on our new favorite holiday. Plus, Kimpton's hotel restaurants will keep the sugar high going all month long with chocolatey desserts.
Hotel Shops / Hotel Chocolate / Manhattan Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Francois Chocolate Bar / → All Tags
Chocolate lovers, you now have a really good reason for popping into The Plaza.The Francois Chocolate Bar recently took over from Demel Bakery, the Viennese cafe that lasted just two years in the hotel's downstairs retail space.
Though originally billed as a pop-up store, FCB's rapid success at the hotel has led to more permanent residency.
"When we started last month, we didn't know," explained co-owner (and wife of the pastry genius) Fernanda Capobiano, "But the chocolate bar seems to have worked really well." Compared to its predecessor, the design at FCB feels brighter and more open, though its function is essentially the same: a quiet, refined snack spot tucked away inside one of the city's most luxurious hotel shopping malls.