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Singapore Hotels / Hotel Tea / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Lobbies / Afternoon Tea / → All Tags
The other day, we met a friend for tea in Singapore. To get there, we entered a hotel lobby, walked past the reception desk, down some steps, and found ourselves in a long, corridor-like lounge area enclosed by floor-to-ceiling windows, with a 42 1/2 foot long bar.
Promptly at 3pm, we were led to our table, a low-slung divan wedged around a coffeetable in an intimate corner of the bar. Behind us, stunning waterfront views of the Bay. Above us, a silver-haired gentleman in a tuxedo began tinkling the ivories, while jacketed waiters whizzed by, and more and more folks showed up to rendezvous at the promenade-style bar.
Unknowingly, we had stumbled into one of Singapore's most vital social traditions: Afternoon Tea at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Hotel Toys / Hotel Swag / Hotel Lobbies / Hotels Doing Good / Singapore Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
You know those people who can't walk by a pet store without coo-ing over the adorable puppies in the window? Or, say, walk around a mall without popping their head in every darn shoe store? Well, that's pretty much us when it comes to cute teddy bears, and we totally fell for this little guy on a recent spin through the lobby at Singapore's Fullerton Hotel.
Dubbed the "Fullerton Bellhop Bear," he is one of four collectible stuffed animals being offered by the iconic hotel.
The complete Fullerton Bear collection includes: The Fullerton Postmaster Bear (referencing the hotel's history as a former post office), The Fullerton Bellhop Bear (pictured), The Fullerton Bay Ship Captain and The Fulleron Panda Plush Bear.
And just in case you're rolling your eyes right now at the frivolity of this post, keep in mind that the sale from each bear goes towards supporting two charities chosen by the hotel: Mainly I Love Kids (MILK), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF- Singapore). The fundraising initiative started last year with just the Postmaster Bear, but due to its popularity, the hotel debuted the other 3 bears this past April.
Summer is almost here, and as many folks start planning their annual pilgrimage to the Big Apple, we thought we'd offer some tips on where to book a hotel—and save ton$$ of money—in NYC's hottest borough du jour, Brooklyn! Jay-Z and Beyonce sightings not guaranteed.
Hotel BPM: Modern, clean, and super affordable, the Hotel BPM is Brooklyn's first music-themed hotel, owned by an internationally-known DJ. It opened last summer with starting rates of $139/night, and luckily, prices haven't gone up too much since then. Right now, with their 21-day Advance Purchase special, you can find rooms this summer starting as low as $171.75/night—even better, the hotel just launched its in-room dining menu, available 24/7.
Two more cheap Brooklyn hotels after the jump!
Hotel Bars / Hotel Wine / Wine Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
In our experience, hotel bar wine lists can be hit-or-miss. You either show up in the lobby ready to drink a mediocre (and, often, overpriced) glass of vino, or you go on Yelp! and find the nearest best-reviewed wine bar or bistro. Easy.
But over the past year, Sheraton has been changing things up with their exclusive (and verrry popular) Sheraton Social Hour. The program, which partially debuted last year in select Sheraton hotels, is awesome because it allows Sheraton guests to sample top-notch wines that have been given the thumbs up by Wine Spectator magazine.
Unsurprisingly, the program was a hit. So much of a hit that, as of yesterday, Social Hour has officially been rolled out to all 430 Sheraton hotels around the world.
Sheraton hotels and resorts in Hong Kong, Bali, Edinburgh, Santiago, New York, Waikiki—pretty much everywhere in the world, actually—all celebrated the launch with a 24-hour "toast around the world" (if you don't believe us, just type in the hashtag #sheratontoast on Instagram, and be prepared to see photos from the biggest, most extensive global wine fest ever known to man).
What Is This / Atlantic City Hotels / Casino Hotels / Trump Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Games / Hotel Casinos / Hotel Snapshot / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels 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.
But we had to stop and do a double take while wandering around the lobby at Trump Taj Mahal the other day. At the bottom of the escalators, right next to the Baccarat Pit, we spotted what appeared to be a giant children's playpen—then we remembered where we were, and dismissed that thought. Bright, shiny beach balls scattered around a life-size tic-tac-toe board.
But who was playing? Were we allowed to jump in? What the heck was this thing anyway?
We've been in some hotels that take their art very seriously and some that prefer to make the design as minimalist as possible. But recently, we came across some cool framed art hanging in the lobby of our hotel using different variations of their room-keys to create a larger, more interesting object d'art. If this isn't reason enough to open your eyes when rushing from the front desk, to the elevators, to your room, we don't know what is.
Upon check-in, the hotel gives you a randomly selected card with very little knowledge that it's part of the larger picture in four different series. Once we saw the other cards, we were immediately envious of the other keys, but didn't have the guts to ask for a cooler one; you're not supposed to keep them, remember! It did give us the idea that it would make for a fun Guess The Hotel entry.
See if you can figure out where we were from the clues below. If you think you know, take a guess in the comments section and we will reveal the hotel's identity next week.
Here are your hints...ready go!
· The hotel is mix of East and West, considering the brand and location.
· It is one of few major international hotels in the city as well as one of the tallest buildings in the city's 'skyline'.
· The city itself is considered one of UNESCO's 'Creative Cities' which fits well with their use of key card art.
· With a perfect proximity to the local Night Bazaar, there is most certainly nothing bizarre about the warm service and iconic smiles you get here.
After a questionable example earlier this week, we feel the need to cleanse our palate with something a little more refined in the hotel art category. Luckily, we came across the perfect example recently at the equally refined Four Seasons Bangkok.
Enter the airy lobby and walk straight ahead to the grand staircase in front of you, behind which you’ll find a stunning mural commissioned especially for the hotel. Hand-painted on Thai silk, it depicts in extraordinary detail the ascent of the Chakri Dynasty to the throne of Thailand.
We should preface this by saying: we don't consider ourselves mooches. Far from it. We're loyal, paying, upstanding hotel guests. However, in all our years of hotel sleuthing, we've picked up a few tricks on ways to use a hotel without ever actually staying there as a guest. You'll be amazed at all the things you can get done (or not) without ever setting foot in a room.
So, without further ado, here's why you should go to a hotel the next time you have to…
Use a printer: Whether you have some urgent Facebooking to do, or simply need to print out a boarding pass, many hotels have business centers that you can use for a small fee—or, if they're nice, for free.
Freshen up: Three reasons you're better off sneaking into a hotel bathroom rather than the nearest Starbucks? One, they're cleaner. Two, there's usually music playing. And three, they're cleaner.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Hotel Lobbies / Guess the Hotel / Hotel Design / Hyatt Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
It's Guess The Hotel revealed!
Better late than never, as they say. And we will go ahead and say it about the Hyatt Union Square, which (finally) made its big debut last week in lower Manhattan—about, oh, twenty months behind schedule.
But that's okay, because after taking a quick look inside, we're happy to report that locals (and guests) seem to have already taken kindly to the new hotel. Just days after opening, the lobby scene was abuzz with guests spread out on the white sofas, bartenders pouring drinks, and the healthy 'ding' of elevator doors sliding open.
Though it's not open yet, we could spy the hotel's South American-inspired restaurant, which officially opens May 15, and which will feature a dramatic wooden art installation, made of discarded bed frames, hanging from the ceiling (the sculpture is visible from the lobby).
And speaking of weird art hanging from the ceiling, in case you haven't already guessed, the mystery hotel we showed you yesterday with the strange turd-looking objects hanging over the bar is in fact the Hyatt Union Square.
Read on to see another photo from the lobby!
As anyone who has ever stayed at a Kimpton hotel knows, 5-6pm is the magic hour, when all Kimpton lobbies across the country break out a few bottles of vino and let guests guzzle gratis. (It's a tradition we can really get behind.)
Manhattan's Ink48 has faithfully been pouring glasses of red and white each evening since the program launched several years ago. But now, the hotel is giving other Kimpton properties a run for their money with a new menu of local New York wines, which will be served during wine hour on Wednesdays throughout the month of May.
Hotel Design / Manhattan Hotels / NYLO Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Hotel Bars / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Earlier this month, we included NYLO New York on our list of 5 Manhattan Hotel Openings In 2013. And it's pretty obvious why: the Stonehill & Taylor-designed guest rooms, with their navy color scheme, local artwork and Hudson river views, are pretty easy on the eyes.
But this week, the hotel leaked some more deets on the public spaces: namely, LOCL Bar, featuring a rectangular zinc bar surrounded by a piano lounge, library, and sidewalk cafe. The latter will be accessible through a large glass garage door (keep in mind that this building dates back to the 1900s, when it was known as the upscale Wellsmore apartment building).
Honoring that history, the hotel has chosen to keep an original fireplace in the library, as well as importing an ornate 1920s French elevator system for the lobby.
We came across an article published earlier last week on the Santa Monica Mirror that described a woman who showed up at the Loews Santa Monica at 1am, asking for a room. The hotel had availability, so they asked for a credit card, and the woman handed over (what she claims was) her credit card. Which was declined.
That's when things got strange. Apparently, instead of just walking away, the woman demanded a free room, and when that request wasn't granted, she simply went to sleep on one of the couches in the lobby.
Now, we've been through plenty of hotels where the lobby was big enough to house our apartment several times over. And we often thought, 'What if we just dozed off for a couple hours in the lobby a couple of hours, then set off on our way?' We'd certainly be saving ourselves lots o' cash, and the hotel would be none the wiser!
We're not saying what this (probably deranged) woman did was right—in fact, the hotel ended up calling the police and she was arrested and taken to jail. But we are wondering: have you ever slept in some part of the hotel that wasn't your room? Was it on purpose? Did you get caught?