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Actors Navid Negahban who plays terrorist Abu Nazir, and Nazanin Boniadi, who plays CIA analyst Fara Sherazi, were joined by former CIA Directorate of Operations Jack Devine, and journalist and former government official John Miller (hunky Damian Lewis, alas, was not present). Together they discuss the television series as well as -- amongst other things -- issues of national security, interviewing Osama bin Laden (Miller in 1998), representations of strong female Muslim characters on television and plotholes.
"There's no cell phones allowed in CIA buildings," Miller pointed out. "However, I've learned that every time I see something on the show and say that would never happen, I read about it in the New York Times six months later." Yikes!
Guests staying on the Club Floors were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and mingle afterwards during the Sheraton Social Hour while sipping on Sheraton Selects wines.
Hotel Events / July Fourth Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Food / Celebrity Hotels / → All Tags
Food has been one of the main attractions over at Eventi Hotel since 2010, when they opened a fancy-pants food court called FoodParc next to the lobby. So it's kind of fitting that the hotel will be hosting a July 4th hot dog eating contest, next month featuring none other than Takeru Kobayashi, the world's greatest hot dog eater.
This is great news for Kobayashi fans who usually have to trek all the way out to Coney Island to watch their hero scarf down wieners (his personal record is 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes).
The event will be hosted at the outdoor plaza in the back of the hotel, where Kobayashi will compete with seven other "acclaimed competitive eaters." We still can't believe that some people make a living in this world as "competitive eaters," but hey, if it pays the bills…
Tech Hotels / Brooklyn Hotels / Hotel Parties / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel News / Hotel Events / Hotel Tech / → All Tags
The other week, we were reading an article in New York mag about Brooklyn's Northside Festival, a neighborhood-wide music, movie, and tech festival that gets underway tomorrow. We mainly glossed over the parts about sponsorships and tickets sales and how it will be "unlike a traditional music festival," but one line in particular caught our eye, about a "hacker challenge" set to take place at the Wythe Hotel.
Not being hackers ourselves, but endlessly amused by the concept of them, we asked the hotel to elaborate a bit.
It turns out the Wythe will indeed be hosting a two-day technology conference (this Friday and Saturday), including an event called the "Hackathon," which is every bit as awesome as it sounds. According to the hotel:
"Essentially, Northside Next Festival hosting a panel/team building session at Wythe (in the screening room) on Friday night about the future of healthcare. Then, over the next 24 hours, members of the NYC hacking community will move to Third Ward [a nearby arts community center] and work to build apps to help people to engage with their healthcare in a more meaningful & regulated way."
Sound geeky enough for you? If hacking—or watching people hack—is your thing, then plan on moseying down to the Brooklyn hotel this weekend for a eyeful of keyboard-tapping and code-writing. We also recommend breaking up the day with a nice cold drink on the Wythe's sixth-floor rooftop bar. We have a feeling the crowds will be right up your alley.
Hotel Anniversaries / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Deals / Hotel Events / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Over in Manhattan, New York Hilton Midtown is celebrating the big 5-0 by launching a new website that fills people in on the hotel's colorful history (did you know this was the first hotel to replace keys with keycards? Yeah, neither did we!).
But there's more happening here than just reminiscing over old black-and-white photos (see above).
Another component of the birthday celebrations are what the hotel is calling 50 Random Acts of Hospitality, which calls for New York Hilton Midtown employees to "engage in random acts of hospitality". In case you're wondering just what that means, the acts will include: offering complimentary room upgrades, handing out umbrellas on rainy days and helping guests score tickets to local attractions and events.
In other words, everything a hotel is supposed to do anyway.
Time for a little bit of Thursday fun as we check in on some unique events taking place at hotels around the world. We're used to seeing properties offer special events including concerts, conferences, and cocktails, but now and then we come across happenings that truly capture our attention.
Today, we've rounded up some gladiators, Scottish marksmen, and dogs without a home. Our gut tells us the dogs will fly off the shelves, but the three-day hunting spree? We're a wee bit skeptical.
Sometimes hotels create events and offers purely for publicity rather than profit, and we're curious to see how much interest these events gather.
Have no idea what we're on about? Read on for details!
Caledonian Macnab, The Caledonian: This classic Edinburgh hotel is offering a package that allows "competitors," aka you, to take part in a Scottish sporting contest they call the Caledonian Macnab. There are three stages to the contest that takes place over the course of three days amidst Scottish landscape. Participants are challenged to catch a salmon (day 1), shoot a brace of grouse (day 2), and "stalk a red" deer (day 3). Fishing, shooting, and stalking sounds like a mancation if we've ever heard one, but is the Caley really a bachelor party type of crash pad? We think not!
Easter Hotels / Peninsula Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Conrad Hotels / Kid-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Events / Hotel Decorations / → All Tags
Nobody does a holiday better than a hotel but the Peninsula Chicago has really gone out of its way for Easter again this year.
The luxury hotel on North Michigan Ave has decorated a MINI Cooper with bunny ears, a pink nose and whiskers and a poofy tail. The bunny mobile will ride around Chi-town with Peter Cottontail and the Peninsula mascot Peter Bear passing out candy and toy Peninsula bears (dressed up in their Easter finest) to kids throughout the city. So parents, if a car pulls up with a bunny and a bear looking to give your kid some candy, it's actually ok to let them.
Back inside the hotel, the Lobby restaurant and The Children's Lounge will feature children's activities and of course, an Easter egg hunt. Looking for a last minute room at the hotel this weekend? Rates start at $350 a night.
Hotel Screening Rooms / Hotel Movies / Boston Hotels / Hotel Events / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Boston's newest hotel, The Revere, is enticing guests with a new "dinner and a movie" program called "Reel Chefs" in which award-winning local chefs pair their favorite movies with a multi-course themed menu to match the film. Count us in!
To kick it off, Jamie Bissonnette, the head chef and owner of two top Beantown eateries, Coppa and Toro (not to be confused with Richard Sandoval's successful Toro Toro brand), will be showing up on March 19 to whip up four dishes he's calling "Pinxtos of Power," "Truffle Shuffle," "Chester Copperpot Pie," and "Rocky Road." And in case you didn't already guess, Bissonnette's movie of choice will be 80s cult classic The Goonies.
The best part of this new series? The venue. As we noted last year when the hotel was announced, The Revere is attached to Theatre 1, a state-of-the-art movie theater with ambient lighting, nifty projection and audio technology, and 225 super-comfy seats, each equipped with personal fold-out tray tables. Now, that's what we call dinner and a movie!
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Events / California Hotels / Point Reyes Hotels / Beach Hotels / Fishing Hotels / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
Window washing pulley or ancient repelling gear? Not at Nick's Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages on Northern California's Tomales Bay, where you'll spy the above ropes and hooks once used to haul in crab pots and fishing nets now in the boat shack at the end of the pier. As recreational Dungeness crab season kicks off this fall, more of that crab-fetching gear will be showing up on November 11, when Nick's Cove hosts its inaugural Crab Catch competition and celebration.
Never heard of the Cottages at Nick's Cove? Tucked within the West Marin coast just 50 miles north of San Francisco, Nick's Cove may be better known for its locally sourced California cuisine than its totally charming overwater bungalows, but it's about time we right that equation. Nostalgic and nautical with down comforters and wood burning stoves, each of the 12 cottages comes with either a waterfront location or waterview and names like Nicolina and Bandit's Bungalow. Part coastal cabin and part hunting lodge, each of the cottages are unique, cozy and awesomely kitschy.
The crab catch offers a great time to check out Nick's cottages. But what the heck happens at a crab catch anyway?
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Marriott must be feeling old. In an effort to reach those "younger travelers connected to their digital worlds," the hotel chain has launched a new partnership with Wired magazine.
As part of the initiative, the two brands will be curating various events at Marriott hotels around the country—titled the Wired + Marriott "Culturazzi" Series—including comedy nights, meet-ups, and other "provocative and stimulating" experiences basically designed to get people tweeting and Facebooking about Marriott.
The kick-off event, "Marriott Meetup: Five Startups To Watch," will take place in the lobby of the Boston Marriott Long Wharf tomorrow evening, allowing guests to drink wine, indulge in all the tech-speak they want, and simultaneously admire the results of the hotel's recent $30 million renovation, which it unveiled at the beginning of the year.
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Hot on the heels of Fashion Week, the next big NYC event on everyone's lips is the Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival, which runs from Oct 11-14. Taking place in different venues all over the city, the various food-(and wine-, duh!) related events are a great excuse to indulge our two favorite hobbies: stuffing our face, and hanging out in hotels.Much of the finger-lickin' action will be restricted to a few select places that have made their mark as either a reputable dining establishment, or just a place where celebs like to hang.
Here's a look at what's happening at which hotels, and where you'll want to be staying.
By far, the most active hotel on the lineup is Standard High Line, which will be hosting a total of nine events throughout the four-day festival, many of which are part of a "Wine Seminars" series presented by Food & Wine magazine. And though the hotel will no doubt be jam-packed the entire weekend, rooms are still available, starting at $585/night for a Standard King.
Meanwhile, the following hotels will also get their fair share of the booze-y action...
For starters: will tourists start to see Brooklyn as a viable alternative to Manhattan when it comes to hotels? In the past year alone, Brooklyn acquired five new hotels. And we managed to visit every one of 'em. Here are a few places to consider resting your head next time you visit the BK...
Hotel Events / Langham Hotels / Hong Kong Hotels / Hotel Happenings / Hotel Wine / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong this month, make sure you pack your appetite for fine food. The Langham Hong Kong and Langham Place will be hosting a massive Food & Wine Festival featuring world-class chefs, award winning wineries, and famous industry enthusiasts. The city will become a foodies dream with this culinary journey.
Both Langham properties are playing host to a culinary experience designed for guests that love food, wine and lots of laughter. The chefs from the Hong Kong and Shanghai hotels will work side-by-side with a grocery list of highly-acclaimed chefs such as Benjamin Bayly and Claude Bosi.