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Sure, enjoying a luxury hotel is easy if you’ve got the $$$ to burn that it takes to stay the night. But let’s face it, that’s not always the case, so we love to find ways to sample a hotel for a fraction of the cost of checking in. Who said you needed to be an overnight guest anyway?
We found the perfect alternative at Hotel de Russie in Rome, where rooms will easily go for $800 a night and up, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a Hollywood star or two (Pitt, Clooney, they’ve all stayed here). Just off of Piazza del Popolo, on designer store-lined Via del Babuino, the de Russie hides a beautiful – and particularly tranquil – courtyard and garden behind its façade, where you can take a quiet break from the hours of strolling through the Eternal (and sometimes frenetic) City.
Yes, the food prices on the menu of Stravinsky Bar will make you look twice (hello €35/$43 sandwich!), and even a latte set us back €8 ($10), but that did come with free WiFi, for two hours, which worked across three devices. We caught up on email sitting close to a terrace heater (it was out of season) and listening to the jazz music coming from the bar.
Growing herbs on a rooftop? Been there, done that. It was our first post-college apartment, man. It was pretty tight. But then we realized our Doritos budget was climbing higher than the cable bill, and our roommate started dating a cop, so…
Oh, never mind. Apparently the Copley Square Hotel is growing very different kinds of herb on a new rooftop garden that it rolled out this summer. Basil, thyme, tarragon, mint and rosemary are all sprouting up atop the Back Bay property, and they’re plucked fresh for starring roles in a new herb-focused cocktail menu at its restaurant, Xhale.
There, tarragon is combined with grapefruit for a summery take on a gin & tonic. Rooftop basil is muddled with blueberries in lemonade, and then spiked with rum for a refreshing “Crush.” And chef Alex Deamicis is using the garden’s thyme to create a simple syrup that is combined with honey and whiskey. All sound intoxicating.
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They had us at mimosa garden.
Really, there’s not much else you need to know. Ok, maybe: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is opening two outdoor venues just in time to catch that blazing summer heat. One is called Terrat, and is, unsurprisingly, a rooftop terrace. So far, so blah – what five star hotel doesn’t have a rooftop terrace?*
The other one, though, is called Mimosa Garden, which the hotel describes as “a lush courtyard oasis” on the Passeig de Gràcia, the main thoroughfare of the modern Eixample district. It opens every summer and was designed by Bet Figueras, the landscape architect who also did Barcelona’s Botanical Gardens. It’s shaded by olives, cypresses, holm oaks and oleanders, as well as lavender bushes and mimosa trees. See, they mean actual mimosas. But we’re pretty sure you could enjoy a mimosa under the mimosa trees. That would be nicely meta.
Yet even though we thought the work would be done by now a tipster who rolled by the hotel last week said a lot of the lobby area was under construction. However, there is a brand-new and very lovely garden open by the side entrance, complete with Standard cruiser bikes and the upside down Standard sign.
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During our recent trip to Copenhagen we stopped in at, what looked to be, a Moroccan palace but in reality turned out to be the swanky Nimb Hotel.
Nimb is located in Tivoli Gardens (don’t be fooled – Tivoli is swarming with great restaurants and bars, not just kids and candy floss). From the outside the hotel looks like it’s a theme park ride: You expect cars with little kids and unhappy parents will emerge from within and the faint strains of “It’s A Small Palace After All” can be heard. However, once you enter the sanctity of the lobby, you find that it is, indeed, a theme park of sorts – one made for design-loving hotel geeks.
When Nimb Hotel first opened in 1909 it wasn’t a hotel at all, but a building that first housed a bazaar and a restaurant. In 2008 it was decided that a hotel should be created and Nimb Hotel was born.
There are plenty of pics for you in the photo gallery!
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If your first thought is 'Mojito!' when you see this picture, then you're on the right track.
Since last summer, the Westin New York Grand Central has quietly been working on a modest but respectable rooftop veggie garden way up on the hotel's 41st floor. Located smack in the middle of midtown (the Chrysler Building is so close you can touch it), it seems like an unlikely place to be growing…well, anything. But urban farming is trendy these days, and a hotel's gotta go what a hotel's gotta do, right?
383 feet above Manhattan, ten dirt-filled tubs with arugula, mesclun lettuce, rosemary, heirloom tomatoes, and "mojito mint" are being overseen by the hotel's Executive Chef, Brian Wieler (pictured), who tends to his green leafy sprout-lings like a proud dad. And not one to cut corners, Chef Wieler has also ensured the garden is 100% organic, with only organic plants, soil and fertilizer being used. And now, as spring gets going, he is starting to harvest some of the mini-crops.
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Well, the Tribeca Film Festival has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the fun's over in Tribeca for the rest of the year. Hardly! We've got our eye on the Greenwich Hotel—and now that summer is on the way, we're ready to pay a visit to the hotel's guests-only Courtyard.
Situated next to the Drawing Room, the Courtyard (pictured) expands on the Greenwich's whole retired-archaeologist-living-in-the-English-countryside vibe, with quaint stone benches, hanging lanterns, and ivy creeping up the brick walls. A Front Desk agent we spoke to called the space "quite stunning."
Of course, guests are the only ones who can actually access the Courtyard. But wait! Didn't we just hear about a new space inside the hotel that's become available to non-guests? Why, yes, as a matter of fact...
Much of the hype around the SLS South Beach has been over the food truck or the Kravitz Design Inc-ified bungalow by the pool. But there's one other aspect of the new hotel that sbe founder Sam Nazarian is pretty excited about--the front terrace.
Here's what Nazarian told us about the space that is still shaping up along Collins Avenue:
Hotels by definition need to be additions to the community—a place where people congregate, have meetings, people celebrate special occasions, a place where business is done. Like at SLS Beverly Hills, or at The Redbury in Hollywood, that’s what we’ve been planning for SLS Miami Beach – it’s a place where people can come.
The Berkeley is drawing people to its gym, and not for its treadmills. The Knightsbridge hotel transformed its gym and spa's terrace into a lush British countryside, complete with birch trees and lavender, in the middle of the city.
And instead of burning calories on the elliptical, you can order from a picnic menu, which includes blanket-friendly fare like iced tea and strawberries and cream, while you pop a squat on the secret rooftop garden.
Recently, we spent a few days in Shanghai at the behest of the PuLi Hotel in the western Jing’An business and park district. As the muggy heat in the city became unbearable we thought we’d just enjoy a quick refreshing cocktail at the hotel’s Long Bar, but instead, we decided to check out their newly opened Garden Terrace.
While hotels have opened their rooftops for alcohol-fueled summer fun, the Palmer House Hilton is choosing to offer chili peppers, heirloom tomatoes and basil instead of beer and cocktails on its 25th floor. The Chicago hotel recently unveiled its new 2,000-square-foot garden rooftop.
The hotel decided to plant some veggies and herbs to be used in its restaurants, Lockwood and Potter's Lounge, for a garden-to-table culinary experience. Plus, Lockwood will feature a daily "Chef's Garden" menu item for breakfast that will feature ingredients grown on the rooftop.
Eco-Friendly Hotels / Eco-Hotels / Green Hotels / Hotel Gardens / Embassy Suites Hotels / Chicago Hotels / → All Tags
The Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront wanted to wear its eco-consciousness like a flashy Lady Gaga getup, so it decided to put up a 720-square-foot indoor living green wall—the largest in Chicago—right in its lobby.
Okay, it may not be as much of a spectacle or as carnivorous as Gaga's meat dress, but the giant standalone wall is made of 3,840 plants, including the hardy neon, rabbit foot fern, aboricola and rex begonia.