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A tragic story emerged this week about the death of an 11-year-old boy due to carbon monoxide poisoning in his Best Western Plus hotel room. Unfortunately, it was made even more tragic when authorities revealed that the same exact room had been responsible for killing another two guests—also from carbon monoxide poisoning—back in April.
(TIME magazine's 'Hotel Horror' headline was pretty spot on, if you ask us.)
Tests confirmed an "elevated level of carbon monoxide in the room," and the hotel has been shut down for the time being—but the question that keeps circling in our head is: could we be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning in our hotel room, too? How would we even know if the levels were high? After all, carbon monoxide is deadlier than other gases because it can't be seen or smelled.
So, to ease our anxiety, we've done a little research that ought to help us (and you) sleep peacefully next time you check into a hotel room. Here are five facts about carbon monoxide poisoning all hotel guests should know:
Boston Hotels / Boston Bombings / Hotel Emergencies / Hotel Tragedies / Boston Marathon Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The investigation continues into Monday's horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon with no clear answer as to who did this and why. Yet the "how" has been uncovered as Boston authorities say two pressure cookers were placed in backpacks along Boylston Street and loaded with nails, ball bearings and black powder and triggered by egg-timers.
Hundreds of victims are recovering in area hospitals while the mourning process has begun for the friends and families of the three killed by the blasts, including 8-year-old Martin Richard.
As for the hotels near the blasts, since the FBI investigation is still ongoing, they aren't allowed to resume operating until that's complete. Right now, The Lenox is still closed through tomorrow. The Mandarin Oriental has reopened but with limited services.
We've also learned that The Charlesmark Hotel has been shuttered as well with the Boston Globe reporting that its lobby is "splattered with blood." The hotel was hosting a Marathon viewing party when the blasts occurred. From The Globe:
Mark Hagopian, Charlesmark’s operating partner, said he was on the hotel’s patio when the first explosion occurred about 35 feet away. “It was like a cannon,” he said. “We knew something was wrong."
A report in the Daily Mail also showed that a piece of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of the Charlesmark.
Over at The Taj, a guard was spotted holding a submachine gun in an example of extremely beefed up security at hotels and other public places. A Twitterer posted this photo from another Boston hotel:
Sadly, this is probably going to be the "norm" in Boston over the next few weeks.
If you were in Boston and staying at a hotel on Monday, send us your story. (Anonymity assured if you'd like.) Similarly, if you work at a hotel in Boston and want to share how your property handled the crisis and the chaos, please let us know!
[Photo: Dan Suslavich/Facebook]
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UPDATE 3:18pm The Lenox Hotel has sent HotelChatter a statement about yesterday's events and their current operating status. For now, they are no longer taking any new reservations. We've posted their statement at the bottom of this story.
UPDATE: 12:50pm ET: The Mandarin Oriental has reopened so guests can retrieve their belongings. We've posted their update at the bottom of this story.
The morning after the senseless bombings that rocked Boston Marathon yesterday has yielded no answers as to who did this or why. What we do know so far is that two bombs exploded near the finsh line, killing three people including an 8-year-old boy and injuring many, many, more. The area around the "crime scene" has been cordoned off and the streets are nearly empty.
As far as Boston hotels, The Lenox Hotel on Exeter and Boylston, right where the explosions happened, tweeted around 7am that they were finally able to let their guests back into the hotel after having been evacuated shortly after the blasts. The Mandarin Oriental, just a block away from the Lenox on Boylston, still was not open to guests. The Fairmont Copley, while on lockdown for most of yesterday, did not get evacuated. They've been tweeting several times today letting everyone know their staff and guests are all accounted for.
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A terrible scene unfolded at the Boston Marathon today after explosions were reported near the finish line, injuring multiple people. The news is ricocheting all over social media (as of 3:26pm) including FourSquare founder Dennis Crowley who is tweeting from mile 26 but there is not much to go on right now as to why this happened and exactly how many people were injured.
We did, however, see a tweet from @AmelieBenjamin a sports writer for the Boston Globe which said the media hotel is on lockdown. That would be the Fairmont Copley Plaza which is on St. James just a few blocks from the finish line and the explosions. Benjamin tweeted that no one is allowed to leave and reporters are stuck in a hotel ballroom watching news coverage of a scene that's unfolding a block away from them.
The Fairmont has also updated its Twitter feed with the following message: "Explosions reported on Boylston Street. Only hotel guests and colleagues allowed into the building at this time." We've also seen a tweet saying the Lenox Hotel was being evacuated as well.
We'll be updating this story as it unfolds but keep Boston in your thoughts today.
UPDATE 4:08PM: CNN tweeted that indeed the Lenox Hotel has been evacuated. We're trying to track down more info. Also, a HotelChatter contributor is currently at The Ames Hotel where they are checking everyone's room numbers before they can get into the hotel. He says sirens are still going off around the area.
4:31pm: Time reporter Andrew Katz tweeted that another "device" had been found in front of the Mandarin Oriental hotel (Below.) Lots of hotels are reported to be on lockdown.
Boston scanner: "EMS is reporting another device" in front of Mandarin Hotel— Andrew Katz (@katz) April 15, 2013
4:52pm: The Fairmont Copley has expanded their statement on Facebook:
An explosion was reported at the finish line of The Boston Marathon, two blocks away from the hotel. At this time, only guests and colleagues are being allowed into the hotel, and per the direction of the Boston Police those already in the building are encouraged to stay inside. The St. James Room has been set up for people to relax and get in touch with loved ones. All hotel colleagues are safe and our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic incident.
5:01pm: Conde Nast Traveler just ran this update with statements from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about "stepping up security." CNT also reports that NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said security at hotels and other "prominent locations" was also being increased.
5:14pm: The Lenox Hotel have tweeted a statement. Does not give details about evacuation but they are doing ok.
Thank you for the outpouring support and well wishes. It is times like these that unite a community and bring us together.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
5:27pm: USA Today Hotel reporter Barb DeLollis tweeted that many Boston hotels are no longer taking reservations.
Some Boston hotels tell me they've stopped taking reservations.Stay tuned for my story later. Email me with tips: email@example.com— barbara delollis (@barbdelollis) April 15, 2013
The blasts killed two people and wounded more than two dozen, according to the NY Times.
6:35pm: The Mandarin Oriental has tweeted back at us saying everyone at their property is ok.
Meanwhile, President Obama addressed the nation saying, ""We still do not know who did this or why, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this."
6:53pm: Guests are still unable to return to the Lenox Hotel which is across the street from where one of the devices exploded. Many of the guests are leaving questions about their rooms on the hotel's Facebook page but the hotel tweeted these statements this evening. It looks like their Twitter feed to go for more updated info.
We will be updating everyone every 2 hours and appreciate everyone's understanding and patience during this horrific time.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
To all of our guests asking about when they can return, luggage or future stays- We will let you know as soon as we know.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
7:14pm Just found this Twitpic from @LeahBoston who snapped it while at the Mandarin Oriental Boston a few hours before the explosions.
8:01pm: We've confirmed that the Mandarin Oriental was evacuated as a precaution. A third device had been found outside the hotel. We will update when we hear when guests can return to their rooms.
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Think about this: a few members of a hit sitcom get stuck in an elevator and still have access to social media. Can we expect anything other than hilarity and showboating? Probably not. This is exactly what happened when some cast members from the hit TV show, Modern Family were stuck in an elevator during a charity event at the Sheraton Kansas City.
Julie Bowen, Eric Stonestreet, and Jessie Ferguson got cozy with nine other people in the hotel elevator on their way to an event benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Kansas City, Stonestreet's hometown. The group were stranded for almost an hour and took to Twitter and Vine reach out to the free world for help.
Marathon Hotels / Hurricane Sandy / Hotel Woes / Hotel Emergencies / Marriott Hotels / Hilton Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
The Marriott admits they asked Hurricane Sandy guests to make way for marathoners
The 43rd New York City Marathon
is was scheduled for Sunday, but it’s now been cancelled. The news was leaked Friday afternoon by Charlie Rose who Tweeted the decision from an interview with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. That tweet was soon taken down, but the news had already spread over the internet like wildfire within minutes and a release was quickly put up on the New York Road Runners' website.
It’s no coincidence the decision corresponded with the huge uproar and resulting petition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Road Runners to shut down or postpone the race. Many questioned having a New York marathon when Hurricane Sandy's downed power lines, messy mass transit, damaged and destroyed homes and businesses, plus a mounting death toll seemed more of a priority for the city.
Add insult to injury—some New York hotels had asked guests to vacate their rooms in favor of in-coming marathoners.. People who had been using hotel rooms as temporary refuge were facing eviction.
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InterContinental Times Square reports availability and computers in every room to keep you connected!
More Hurricane Sandy reports continue to pardon the pun, flood in, concerning people losing power and being forced to evacuate their homes. We’ve learned that many made their way in to cities rather remain in suburban and rural areas. Why?Better chances of having power thanks to hotel generators or getting it restored quicker at friends homes in a cosmopolitan area than in their own environments.
Last year, we were disheartened to discover that hotels had taken advantage of Hurricane Irene upheaval and raised their rates for those who needed to stay put a while longer before they could leave town. There was this eyebrow raising $999 deal in Brooklyn that made us fall over.
This year, a quick call around to NYC hotels, those around airports, and random properties around the country with stranded guests show they have a conscious this time around, and have even thrown in some specials to boot. A win-win it seems.
Here’s what we’ve heard so far (and note: we recommend calling the hotel directly in this case.
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If you had friends or family staying at Le Parker Meridien last night, you may want to give them a call and make sure they didn't end up sleeping in a cave in Central Park. As we predicted yesterday, the hotel was one of the buildings that had to be evacuated due to the rogue crane that was dangling menacingly from the top of the Park Hyatt New York building yesterday.
Though plenty of hotels surround the Park Hyatt building, it seems LPM was the only one to get evacuated by the NYPD. As a result, more than a few bewildered guests suddenly found themselves on the streets without a backup plan—indeed, most nearby hotels were already at capacity. One French visitor told the NY Post: "We don't know where to go."
As of this morning, the hotel remains completely empty, and a Front Desk agent confirmed that the hotel likely would remain that way for the rest of the day.
Jeez. You'd think Le Parker Meridien's resident psychic would have seen all this coming!
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Either Hurricane Sandy has unresolved issues with Hyatt, or NYC construction workers didn't properly secure their equipment like they were supposed to. We're guessing it's the latter.
In any case, earlier this afternoon, a crane on top of One57 (the still-in-progress glass tower that's eventually supposed to become the Park Hyatt New York) got snapped in half by howling 60 mph winds, and is currently dangling precariously over 7th Avenue.
Since further winds could cause the crane to collapse completely and fly off into the air, the NYPD is ordering the evacuation of all buildings surrounding the crane, which includes more than a few major hotels (Hilton New York and Le Parker Meridien come to mind).
Did we mention that One57 is also slated to be Manhattan's tallest residential building? Yeah, this is kind of a situation.
Hurricane Sandy / Hotel Emergencies / Manhattan Hotels / Atlantic City Hotels / Washington DC Hotels / → All Tags
The view just few blocks from the Marriott Downtown
Last weekend, it seemed as if Hurricane Sandy hadn’t worried enough hoteliers in the southern region of the country to do much more than shut down some areas of their hotels,and pull in deck chairs to keep them from flying around.
It’s been quite the different story in the last few days and particularly in the northeast which has been busy dealing with hotel reservation cancellation, extensions, and new requests for guests who can’t leave town or must leave their homes due to evacuation orders. Naturally because of generators, hotels are an easy option for safer ground.
Reports of hotel closures and evacuations dominated the news over the entire weekend. Yesterday on New York’s ABC channel, a reporter told the tale of how a groom-to-be named “Seth” of Great Neck, NY was scheduled to be married at 5pm on Sunday in Tribeca. However, the wedding party and their guests, who were staying at a Battery Park City hotel (we guessed The Ritz, who didn't confirm that particular party), were forced to leave the property by 7pm, as part of the city’s mandatory evacuation order. Add insult to injury, Seth and is bride-to-be wouldn’t be able to leave for their honeymoon today thanks to the cancelled flights which our sister Jaunted is covering extensively.
The scene at the Grand Wailea Maui during the 2011 tsunami
While the country has been preoccupied with Hurricane Sandy, barely a peep has made about the fact that Saturday evening, just after sunset, a tidal wave alarm siren pierced air in Maui's resort area of Wailea. The Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, had declared a state of emergency.
Guests, who had been quietly supping on dinners at tony hotel restaurants were told to quickly finish eating, and other approaching diners were turned away from the reservation desk.
Instructions were swiftly dispensed: The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui told guests to leave their oceanfront villas and head up to the lobby on higher ground by 9 pm while guests with rooms in the main buildings above the 3rd floor were deemed to be above the hit zone and could remain in their suites. A large benefit dinner party of 700 people broke up to allow locals to get to their cars before the lower road along the beachfront hotels was closed down and there was a long line of red tail lights trying to get on to the main road in Wailea.
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With over 7,000 flights to and from the Northeast canceled last night, plenty of folks are suddenly facing the reality of being stuck in a hotel until the storm passes. Hotels, of course, aren't complaining because, hey, business is business. And just like we saw last year, many hotels are going out of their way to offer special discounts to stranded travelers.
But what about the travelers themselves? We did a quick little scan of hotel guest reactions on Twitter, and, for the most part, it looks like people are making the most of the situation, just relaxing in their hotel rooms, while everyone else scrambles to prepare for the 'worst storm of the century.'
· For comedian Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) and a few others, the first order of business was scoping out the minibar for emergency food rations: "Sure hope the mini-bar in my hotel has enough food for the apocalypse. Day 1: peanut M & Ms. Day 2: nut assortment, or maybe Coke." Nothing says a complete meal like candy and soda!