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Have you got a book to finish writing but can't quite find the right setting to do it in? Consider The Standard East Village.
Once again, the hotel and The Paris Review have partnered up to put a lucky novelist up in a queen room room for three weeks this July (they did a similar stint in January.) The guest/writer will also get daily continental breakfast and unlimited coffee. Alas, you still need to put down a credit card for incidentals.
There are a few other caveats--namely, you must already have a book under contract with a publishing house (not your own self-pub shop) and you need to have at least a description and some sample pages of the project to show before the May 1 application deadline. But still, three weeks in Cooper Square, totally gratis? Sigh. If only we started shopping our hotel blogging memoirs sooner.
Not a writer, but still want to spend a night at the Standard East Village? Rates start at $375 a night in July.
[Image: The Paris Review]
Calling all party people who have day jobs as graphic designers. Gansevoort Hotels is hosting a design contest for a new logo for their traveling VIP lounge called Goodnight Gansevoort.
This after-hours pop-up will be appearing at "some of the hottest parties, festivals, and events around the world" and thinks of itself as a "lifestyle standard for the young, bold, and beautiful. Already, Goodnight Gansevoort has worked the Sundance Film Festival and some parties in Toronto.
And now it wants a new logo from some of its potential lounge attendees. You can submit your design on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your logo design with the hashtag #GoodnightGansevoort or on the Gansevoort NYC's Facebook page here.
Public voting will be done on the logos and from those, Gansevoort will choose the winner. The prize includes not just having a logo that all the party people will see but also a three-night stay for two at a Gansevoort of your choice in NYC. Break out the Photoshop now!
The Yotel in Times Square has always been a fun hotel (remember their opening party? And don't forget about the Yobot) but we're especially digging their new Interactive Lego Wall which allows guests to get crafty with the bricks, and maybe even win a free stay.
Located on "Four", the 30-foot long installation encourages guests and visitors to make their own Lego sculpture and then spread the word via the hashtag: #mylegomasterpiece. Yotel is collecting snapshots of the block creations here. The Cunard ship might be our favorite.
Aside from showing off your Lego skills, hashtagging your photo will also enter you into the Yotel's contest to will a three-night stay in a cabin room with an outdoor terrace and hot tub. Full details can be found here.
The Lego Wall at Yotel will be up until March. It's actually doing double-duty as both a fun, interactive installation and a temporary construction wall. Behind the wall, the hotel is working on a new Club Lounge and a new dining area, to be unveiled March 2nd.
Head over to Conde Nast Traveler for a whole slideshow of photos.
We made our New Years' resolution to stop peddling the self-indulgent promotional packages hotels have been trying to disguise as "deals," and that goes for all aspects of marketing in the industry. There are so many "contests" out there that we don't really know what to do with, ones that revolve around liking a page on Facebook -- which we get -- but the problem is that there is nothing more, nothing left up to the person participating. We're at the end of our editorial rope as it pertains to those empty "contests" with "randomly selected" winners. The end!
That said, when we see something creative that someone can win by putting forth a good effort, by earning it as opposed to random luck, we are happy to pass it along. You still have to go on Facebook to enter the Godfrey Hotel in Chicago's contest -- we don't have a problem with that so long as it is only part of the process -- but you control your own destiny in this one (by the way, are we making ourselves clear here?).
The hotel doesn't open until February, but they have rolled out an "element branding concept." Basically, there is a periodic table at the conceirge's desk, and each square refers to something within the hotel or city. Io 4, for example, represents the hotel's I|O Urban Roofscape that's located on the 4th floor. Other examples are Wd (wedding), Bd (bed), Am (amenities), etc.
Hilton Hotels are back with their creative approach to making going away for vacation a top priority. At the end of last winter, the chain wanted you to get away and now they want you to do it again; by staying at, of course, a Hilton property.
This week marks "International Use it Or Lose It Week", marking six weeks to go until we bid a fond adieu to 2013. Along with this celebration, the possibility of losing unused paid vacation time looms and Hilton doesn't really want you to relinquish this hard-earned benefit.
Diagnosing some imaginary (or not-so imaginary) working symptoms of vacationitis like Yellow Post-it Fever and Replyallgia, Hilton has gone pretty creative. If you feel like you might be coming down with any of these ailments, you can seek a consultation at the hotel's vacation website appropriately named, Vacation Care Center. A cheeky, self-triage of your workaholic needs will also enter you into a contest to win a weekend getaway at a Hilton property.
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Nevertheless, this hotel is a feast for the visual senses since the restored building marries vintage charm with edgy design and comfort. Named after the year that Kodak launched their first box and roll camera which, coincidentally, was the same year the building was built. Freaky!
With little doubt, the hotel's public spaces and rooms are an Instagrammers dream, 1888 is planning to attract even more "snap happy" guests with an Instagram contest.
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Renaissance Hotels wants you to ignore the “Do Not Disturb” sign and discover what’s behind door #1. It could be Cee Lo Green.
They’ve just launched the “Discovery Doors” online contest which they describe as a “new interactive film-based digital gaming experience.” We like gaming as much as the next guy or gal, so we couldn’t resist gettin’ all interactive with Renaissance and tell you how it plays.
The online game is directed by award-winning director Jason Zada, creator of the oh-so-creepy Take This Lollipop Facebook phenom. You enter the lobby of a real life Renaissance hotel filled with a cast of characters who give you keys to unlock doors that have a surprise behind each. We’re not going to tell you what those surprises are, but to give you an idea of the coolness factor, for the contest kick-off Renaissance Hotels surprised an unsuspecting family at the Renaissance New York Hotel 57 with an intimate serenade. When they opened their door they entered a room full of candles, flowers and Cee Lo Green.
The contest is appropriately titled "My Travel Turning Point," and entries so far have encompassed a wide range of experiences—from a road trip in South Dakota (as pictured above) to scuba diving in Hawaii to stumbling upon Brussels' Old Market Place, strewn with 1 million begonias.
As with any of these types of contests, the real opportunity here is to brag about all the cool places you've been, while doing your best to make the trip seem somehow meaningful. (As travel addicts ourselves, we know that most of the time, we just travel to travel—any life lessons learned along the way we just count as a bonus.)
And speaking of bonus, we bet you're wondering about the prize, right?
TownePlace Suites is offering five grand prize packages of $1,000 and 10 free hotel nights. Kinda worth it, if you ask us. How else do you plan on financing that camel trekking expedition in the Sahara? Or whatever other trip you have coming up, you crazy jetsetter, you…
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Summer tis the season for hotel contests, and Marriott got things kicked off last week when it announced its Pinterest five-day giveaway. One in four Americans said that they're going to spend more on travel this summer than the previous five years, but wouldn't you rather get stuff for free? We certainly like free, and we'll take anything, really, regardless of whether it's a bedside bottle of water or five nights on the house.
Feeling lucky? Here are a few rings in which to toss your hat:
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Ok, so you probably didn't win the $600-million Powerball drawing this past weekend, but we've got another contest for you to enter, this one with a bit better odds.
Marriott is giving away a customized trip to one of its eight tropical resorts in the Marriott Caribbean & Mexico Resorts collection, which include resorts in Aruba, Cancun (2), Puerto Vallarta, Curacao, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas. If you win, you get a five-night stay, daily breakfast for two, and a $200 resort credit at your choice of the above destinations.
How do you win? First, you follow Marriott Resorts Pinterest page and create a board on your Pinterest profile named “My Marriott Resorts Vacation.” Then, you find the "Pin Your Dream Vacation Board" located on Marriott's page and repin one image from each of the five categories (resorts, destinations, activities & amenities, dining and shopping) in your "My Marriott Resorts Vacation" board. Then dust off your hands and put your feet up -- this will automatically enter you in the contest.
The cookie monster's favorite hotel brand, DoubleTree has just launched a new travel-themed social media site called "DTour." Why should you care? Because to promote it, they're giving away six all-inclusive trips around the globe. Yup, free!
The DTour site is like a digital scrapbook, allowing users to post their own stories, photos and videos onto an interactive Google map—thus sharing their travel tips for a particular destination, and possibly being inspired by the experiences of others.
To enter the contest, all you have to do is upload your video onto the map.
According to a promotional video posted on the site, DTour (which was developed in partnership with Google and lives on a YouTube channel) aims to "redefine the way you plan and share your travels" and offer "inspiration to help plan the trip you've always wanted to take."
Some of the travel tips are kinda useful, like a Seattle video showing a 2-acre mountain bike trail built under the I-5. Though others are a little more questionable: do we really need to be cruising the Chicago River with some schmoozy travel talk-show host? Or watching a rerun of a Lonely Planet video about music venues in Nashville? (We'll go ahead and answer that one for you: nope.)
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Fly over the Pacific Ocean just before popping the question, thanks to The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica.
June is just a month and a half away and you know what that means--wedding season kicks off once again! (Yay! Boo! Uggggh.) But for hotels, the wedding season is practically a year-round thing. So if you're looking for the right way to propose, or if you're in the midst of planning a destination wedding or even if you're just looking for the chance to get a free wedding, start with these three hotels right here:
· The Shore Hotel Santa Monica: The Ocean Avenue hotel, practically an aisle march away from the Santa Monica pier and beach, has put together the Proposal By The Shore package which gives lovebirds a private helicopter ride over iconic LA landmarks with a special landing at a private and secluded spot overlooking Malibu beach. Once that's over a gourmet dinner will be provided on the beach at sunset with a personal beach butler, where presumably the question should be popped. (Sorry, ring not included.) The next morning, guests are treated to a massage at the holistic Tikkun spa nearby. Starting at $1,399, the package also includes overnight accommodations (of course) and a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. The package must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. Call the hotel at 800-599-1515.