Tag: Hotel EmergenciesView All Tags
A lot has happened since we last wrote about the situation in Bangkok. Back in January, we looked at how hotels were impacted by the anti-government protests; fast forward five months and one regime change later and the headlines about whether it is safe or not to visit Thailand continue.
We just had a brief stop in the city last week and here’s what we found:
- Hotels continue to operate as normal, though it was much quieter than we’re used to – official figures aren’t available, but visitor numbers and occupancy are down.
- Life seems to continue as normal as well; if you hadn’t known about the events of the past few months, you probably wouldn’t notice anything at all in most places.
New York got snowed in again last night (and so did 48 other states) but this morning the doorman at The Algonquin in NYC was hard at work, squeegee-ing the street in front of the entrance. (Now that's a squeegee Giuliani would approve of!) Here's a description from the hotel's Facebook page about how the hotel dealt with the storm:
Well the most recent snow storm was a combination of heavy snow, rain and wind. The Algonquin engineering team stayed atop the mess through the course of the storm to be sure that passage on West 44th Street was safe. Doorman Jermaine Clark wanted to make certain that the entire area was safe for guests and is seen using the squeegee on the street to clear any remaining slush and debris. You really have to appreciate that sort of dedication, so typical of the spirit found at The Algonquin.
Meanwhile, downtown at The Ace Hotel, the doorman put their new parkas to work:
Ay, yi, yi. We hope warmer weather comes in soon!
Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
You will have likely seen the recent news coverage of ongoing unrest and anti-government protests in Bangkok, including the state of emergency declared last week. The Thai capital is one of the coolest cities in Asia, and a crazy good destination for awesome hotels at great prices, so it's always been on our list of places we recommend going to.
But what about now? How does the current situation impact Bangkok hotels and how are they dealing with it? We reached out to a few to see what’s what.
First of all, both Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Muang Airport (DMK) are open as normal, and the government has opened Tourist’s Friend Centers at both and key places in town to offer support to travelers.
The airport rail link, BTS Skytrain and MTR public transport are up and running; they will also be less impacted by traffic and potential road closures. All major tourist attractions (the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Temple of Dawn) are also open.
A few months ago, we talked about how hotel phones seemed unnecessary as most everyone has cell phones these days. But the story behind this Change.org petition has us seeing the hotel phone in a whole new light.
According to the petition, Kari Renee Hunt was staying in a motel with her three children when her estranged husband barged in, ambushed her while she was in the restroom and killed her. During the struggle, her 9-year-old tried to call 911 but was repeatedly thwarted by the hotel's "Dial 9" function which requires uses to dial a 9 to get an outside line. While Kari's daughter knew how to call 911, she didn't understand that she needed to dial 9 in the motel room.
Every hotel has different phone systems, some which include an emergency button like the Hard Rock Seminole's phone, pictured above. We've seen other phones advertise that guests dial "0" for the operator or the front desk in case of emergency. But in smaller hotels or motels like the Baymont Inn and Suites where Kari was staying, the phones don't have these emergency options. And that's what the petition is hoping to change.
Titled "Kari's Law", the petition is asking Congress to make it a requirement for all hotel and motels to be updated to E911 systems which would allow a 911 call to connect to a 911 operator without having to dial 9. You can go here to sign the petition. So while no one is ready to throw out the hotel telephone just yet, it's clear that if a hotel does do this, they need to have an emergency option available.
Stranded Traveler Rates / Snow Storms / NYC Hotel Week / Hotel Weeks / Hotel News / Hotel Emergencies / Hotel Deals / → All Tags
Uh-oh. Snowpacalypse is happening again for the East Coast. Weather reports are predicting up to 18 inches of snow and freezing temperatures. Already, 2,000 flights have been cancelled at Boston's Logan Airport and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has already declared a State of Emergency. Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has closed three major New York highways from midnight tonight until 5am Friday morning.
But there is a silver lining here. Hotel discounts! In Boston, The Charles Hotel in Cambridge has a special rate for travelers of $159/night. Go here to book. In NYC, Hotel Belleclaire is offering rates of $129. Go here to book.
Coincidentally in NYC, Hotel Week begins tomorrow and runs through January 12th, giving guests seriously low rates at hip hotels. Here are few we like:
UPDATE 1.3.14: A few more hotels have offered up special rates this week.
In the aftermath of Haiyan, the category five typhoon that hit the country almost two weeks ago, tourism officials in the Philippines have been urging visitors to return. Tourism is, after all, a major contributor to the Philippine economy, providing work for more than 10 percent of the population.
We received the following updates about the status of resorts in some of the most popular tourist areas:
Hotel Emergencies / Airport Hotels / Airline Hotels / Hotels Near LaGuardia / Hotel News / Southwest Airlines / → All Tags
Once again, another scary airplane accident has happened here in the U.S. This time it was a Southwest Airlines plane whose nose gear collapsed after landing at LaGuardia Airport in NYC yesterday at around 5:45pm.
Reports say eight people were injured and were taken to area hospitals, although, fortunately, none of the injuries appear to be too serious. Yet because of the crash the airport was partially shut down for the rest of Monday evening, leaving folks flying in and out of LGA searching for a hotel room.
The bad news, aside from the obvious news of the plane's mishap after landing, is that most of the hotels in the immediate vicinity of LGA are, um, a little lacking. There are no cheap and chic airport hotels here. Cheap? yes. Chic? No, definitely not.
However, the good news is it seems Southwest did put up their stranded passengers in hotels. We also don't see any other evidence of blatant price-gouging by area hotels. So maybe hotels are starting to learn from these disasters after all. Or maybe LaGuardia's just small beans compared to JFK and EWR.
Anyways, here are a few tweets we thought we worth pulling out:
Hotel Emergencies / Airport Hotels / Airline Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Best Western Hotels / → All Tags
We hoped it wasn't true when we saw the tweet below stating hotels were price gouging after the Asiana Airlines tragedy. We could say we were surprised, but as we've found out just last year during the middle of tropical storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, these things do happen.
But we wanted to find out who would take advantage of such a horrible situation, with so many passengers delayed (many for multiple days) and needing hotels. Surely hoteliers have learned this type of behavior wouldn't go unnoticed?
Hotel Emergencies / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / Best Western Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / Hotel Deaths / Hotel Safety / → All Tags
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.
Hotel News / Boston Bombings / Hotel Emergencies / Boston Hotels / Hotel Tragedies / Fairmont Hotels / → All Tags
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: firstname.lastname@example.org— 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.