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First Look at Mama Shelter Los Angeles, Opening on May 15

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1557 Wilcox Avenue [map], Hollywood, CA, United States, 90048
March 27, 2015 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

Voilà! At last, we have a room photo of the forthcoming Mama Shelter Los Angeles located in the heart of Hollywood.

We've been tracking this hotel's progress since we first learned of its existence (and exact location) back in August. But now, you can finally begin to plan your night with Mama in LA.

Room rates will start at $139 a night on May 15. Currently, booking is not working on the hotel's website but we expect that to be in action very soon.

The ground floor of the hotel is set to be a free-flowing reception area, lobby, bar and restaurant (from chef Benjamin Bailly of LA hotspots, Petrossian and Fraiche) while upstairs there will be just 70 Thierry Gaugain-designed rooms spread out over six stories, but tricked out with king beds and 27-inch iMacs which will serve as the room TV. As you can see, the rooms are very much like other Mamas, complete with those funky nightstand lampshade masks. (Hello Burt and Ernie!)

Mama Shelter Los Angeles will also have an outdoor rooftop gym which we kinda can't wait to see in action. #workoutselfieoverload

Want to learn more about this Mama? She's already "written" you a "letter." Here it is in full below.

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Starwood Says the 'Suite Life' Can Be Yours and at a Discount

March 26, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

For those looking to kickoff the spring season in style look no further than Starwood, as once again it’s time for their annual Suite Week promotion over in New York City. The fun started earlier this week and runs through April 7, as room packages, discounts, and other goodies call all be yours—and at a discount.

Offers include a 30% discount on rates, complimentary WiFi, early check-in and late check-out, and plenty of other goodies depending on the property. Of course getting away now would be great, but even if you book now during the promotion you can enjoy the fun later—through March 24, 2016.

Many of the Starwood properties in New York City are getting in on the fun, so think of spots like W New York locations from Union Square to Downtown, plenty of Westin prosperities, and even The St. Regis New York—complete with that new Bentley fleet. Even properties in Hoboken and Jersey City are getting in on the fun as well.

In addition to the discount on rates those visiting the W New York can score a 30% discount on all Bliss Spa services, a Bliss welcome gift, two complimentary signature cocktails, complimentary breakfast for two, and even free parking. Other properties are offering up things like welcome drinks, discounted tickets, and free breakfasts for two.

So there you go—looking for a suite and some savings in NYC? Give a click over to your favorite Starwood property, and enter those credit card digits.

[Photo: W New York | Facebook]

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Who's Charging Resort Fees in Miami? Pretty Much Everyone

March 25, 2015 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ah, Miami. Sun, fun, mojitos and...resort fees?

Yes, sadly most hotels in Miami are charging those dreaded and annoying resort fees. According to ResortFeeChecker.com, 100 hotels in Miami have resort fees and the average fee is around $20.04 a night. That's about the same as Vegas' ubiquitous resort fee average.

But Miami is also home to two resort fees that exceed $100. Yes, you read that right. Those resorts are the Provident Luxury Suites ($107 a night) and The Fisher Island Club (also $107 a night), both of which are located on the extremely ritzy Fisher Island.

We've decided to list the resort fees of some of the most chatted about Miami hotels here on HotelChatter. Hide your wallets!

These fees are per day, plus about 20 percent tax, so the final cost will be a little higher than the number you see here. These fees usually include internet access, and additional amenities and services on site like beach chairs and access to the fitness center. (At the Surfcomber it includes iced coffee!)

But not everyone is charging a resort fee. We applaud the Loews, The W South Beach and The Setai for being resort-fee-free. (Never mind that rooms are hovering at $1,000 alight right now.)

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The W Bellevue to Open in 2017, Conveniently Next to The Westin

March 24, 2015 at 7:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last year we gave you three top hotels to consider in Bellevue, Washington for "luxury, location and design", one of which was the Westin Bellevue. But in a couple of years, you'll be able to check out the Westin and the upcoming W Hotel in one stop.

The W Bellevue Hotel, which was announced this morning will be built on Bellevue Way between NE 4th and NE 8th Streets, and adjacent to The Westin Bellevue.

“W Bellevue is being designed with a unique narrative that represents our Eastside community,” says Kemper Freeman, Chairman and CEO, KDC, the developer behind the project. “The hotel’s cutting-edge design brings our community’s heritage into modern times with a contemporary interpretation of the joy and wonder that we all feel in a welcoming lakeside summer house. This hotel will truly represent all that we celebrate about our community and will bring an amped up W energy to Bellevue.”

Right now, the hotel is planned to have 245 guest rooms, including 25 suites and one Extreme Wow suite; FIT, a state-of-the-art workout facility; three restaurants and bars, one of which will be outside on a terrace with modern porch swings and a pool table; a library stocked with pulp fiction novels; and an oversized fireplace commonly found in traditional lodges, but with a W twist.

We can't wait to see what that twist may be. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until 2017. Still, this is exciting news because it's the irst new W Hotel for the United States in a while. The W Philadelphia which was announced a few years ago won't open until 2018.

[Rendering: W Hotels]

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Hilton Huanying is Taking Off, Here's What Chinese Guests Can Expect

March 24, 2015 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Back in 2011, Hilton Worldwide began welcoming the emerging class of Chinese travelers with their Hilton Huanying program, which itself means “Welcome” in Mandarin. In the nearly four years since it was introduced, the program has grown from 30 Hilton hotels to 113 in 32 countries and 65 cities. Hilton Huanying has also "huanyinged" over a million independent Chinese travelers at not just Hilton Hotels but also Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton.

Because of this popularity, and the expected growth of Chinese travelers around the world (to about 200 million travelers by 2020), the offerings of the program are expanding as well.

When it first launched, Hilton Huanying gave Chinese guests a welcome letter in simplified Chinese at check-in, tea kettles ands slippers placed in the guest rooms, dedicated Mandarin channels on the TV, along with a few traditional Chinese breakfast offerings downstairs such as congee and dim sum.

Today, guests will still get all of the above but the breakfast offerings have expanded and more importantly, Hilton will offer 24-hour translation phone service in case a Mandarin-speaking Hilton team member is not on site.

Best of all, the program is at no extra cost to the Chinese traveler. Not a bad deal.

Below are some photos of what the Huanying presentation looks like at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront Hotel and the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a property that sees around 800 Chinese guests within a specific three-week window, and many more throughout the year. This Hilton Hotel was also one of the first Hiltons to begin offering special services for Chinese guests in 2008. These services later made up some of the official components of the Hilton Huanying program.

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Soon Keyless Entry At Fontainebleau Miami Beach Will Allow You To Phone It In

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4441 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
March 24, 2015 at 12:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

The magic that is keyless entry is nothing new, but we can’t help but feel a little chill at check-in when we learn that it’s an option.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is the latest property to get the pieces in place before flipping the switch, as they’ve partnered up with StayNTouch to enable mobile check-in among a few other tech treats.

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More Private Member Club Hotel Rooms at The Arts Club London [Updated]

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 40 Dover Street, London, United Kingdom, W1S 4NP
March 24, 2015 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

First The Hospital, now The Arts. London has its share of private members clubs, and here is the second one this year that is not just adding hotel rooms to its facilities, but allowing non-members to stay the night, too. [UPDATE: Turns out, our understanding of how the hotel rooms at The Arts Club are going to work, along with what is reported elsewhere, was not correct. Speaking again to the reps of The Arts Club, hotel rooms will only be available to members or guests of members. So if you want to check into The Arts Club, better sign up for membership or start cultivating an inside contact...

The Arts Club on Dover Street (just off of Piccadilly in Mayfair, a minute walk from Green Park) will be adding 16 rooms and suites by the summer. Guests will have access to all of the Club’s facilities, which includes three restaurants, a garden, and a nightclub. In contrast to The Hospital Club (further east just around the corner from Covent Garden), the rooms here will be much bigger, with suites going up to over 1,000 square feet.

Above a rendering of one of the rooms: high-gloss hardwood floors, some subtle greys and blues, and a touch of Art Deco to its design. Its feel reminds us a little of what we’ve seen at The Beaumont, don’t you think?

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The Newest Lifestyle Brand, 'Jaz In The City,' Will Open in September in Amsterdam

March 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

On the ever-expanding bandwagon of hip, urban lifestyle brands, Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts is officially getting on the bus with Jaz in the City, opening September 1 in the hipster city of Amsterdam.

This is the third brand for Frankfurt-based Steigenberger Hotel Group (after Steigenberger and InterCityHotel) who are mostly "Hotels made in Germany," with expansion planned in other parts of Europe, Egypt, China and the Middle East. Plus more in Germany.

For the Jaz in the City debut in Amsterdam, expect to be immersed in eternally hip Dutch culture and in particular, the music scene. While the Jaz web site has few renderings at the moment, when you "get down" to it, the overall message is pretty clear. Get down.

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Only in Belgium Will You Find a Hotel with a Chocolate Laboratory Downstairs

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  Site Where: Rue du Marché aux Herbes 110, Brussels, Belgium, 1000
March 20, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Chocolates at turndown are all well and good, but here’s a hotel that’s going a step further – a chocolate store and workshop. This could only be in Belgium, of course – and it’s at the new NH Brussels Carrefour de l’Europe.

The hotel was previously a Best Western, but was taken over by NH this month. It’s in the Grasmarkt – a pretty square of medievalish buildings in the old town (though it’s very touristed, quite noisy, and even a little bit drunky – and most of those old buildings are now hotels). You’re right at the foot of the hill that leads to the Royal Palace, and a quick walk across from the Grand Place.

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Get Pumped: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Will Open on June 5

March 18, 2015 at 4:46 PM | by | Comments (2)

Commune Hotels & Resorts is getting very close to opening the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel , a 241-room lifestyle hotel in the Michigan Ave nabe and it will be quite the spot.

The historic Venetian Gothic tower, first built in 1893, has been under major restoration and renovation for the past two years We first profiled the plans for the building back in 2013 when contributor Nina K. Hahn peeked at what Harstone Plunkard Architecture and Roman and Williams had in mind for the place, as well as snapping what the spot looked like before it went under the knife.

Yet throughout the renovation process, the teams have kept much of the building’s 19th architectural elements such as the bas-relief woodcarvings on the fireplaces, stained glass windows and marble staircases.

Keep reading for a look at how the building used to be and for a sneak peek at the all-new guest rooms!

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A New Hotel Fee May Be Coming...For Taking Too Long of a Shower

March 18, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | Comment (1)

Like the looks of this shower? Don't get too attached.

Could there be any worse news for those of us that love a nice, long, hot shower, especially when we're on the road? We wish this were a bad dream but alas, the days of long showers - in hotels - may soon be over if the EPA has its way.

It appears the government wants to get in the shower with us and monitor how much water we use. A $15,000 grant has been issued to the University of Tulsa to devise a device that will track the water usage per guest room similar to a utility meter. Just the mention of the word "meter" suggests another possible charge to our hotel bill.

The wireless device would be attached to the shower head and transmit data to a central "water gestapo" in the hotel. We're not sure what (or if) adjustments are made based on how many people are sharing a guest room - key word sharing?

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Hilton Worldwide Will Free The WiFi for All HHonors Members in August

March 17, 2015 at 2:11 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's been broughten.

Hilton Worldwide will begin offering ALL members of their HHonors program free WiFi starting in August. Additionally, HHonors Diamond members will receive premium WiFi complimentary starting in the second quarter of this year.

Currently, only gold and diamond members of HHonors can receive free standard WiFi. Average WiFi rates in-room at Hilton are about $12.95 a day while premium WiFi is $16.95 a day.

Hilton finally joins the ranks of Starwood, Marriott, and Hyatt who began freeing the WiFi for their loyalty members late last year. (But if you're keeping score, IHG was the first to do it for real in July 2013.)

You will have to book your room with Hilton to get the free WiFi and obvi, you need to be a member of HHonors but Hilton has also made the WiFi free for members who book through corporate travel partners, an advantage over other hotel brands.

Let the countdown to August begin!

[Photo: HotelChatter]