Tag: Hotel NewsView All Tags
Hotel Openings / Florida Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple TV / → All Tags
All right, so here we go: Apple TV is digging its heels in the hotel industry.
When The Pearl, a 55-room luxury resort, opens in July on Rosemary Beach Florida, it will offer Apple TV in all its rooms. Is it ironic that an establishment on a beautiful stretch of beach is upgrading your television-watching ability? Totally!
We've hashed out our torn opinions about the value of in-room technology and its effects on the art of travel, especially when it drives up the room rate, but we do know that there are many travelers who will be quite pleased by this news (some of us included!). For those who've just come out of hibernation, Apple TV will allow you to stream shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix right to your hotel room.
We know it doesn't look like much now, but this shrouded warehouse building has some big shoes to fill in the future. If all goes to plan, by the middle of next year, this vintage brick structure will get a new makeover and become Australia's first Tryp by Wyndham.
Tryp Brisbane will bring an edgy and locally-inspired design to Australia's third largest city. Situated in the city's Fortitude Valley area, guests will be within walking distance to the area's hottest nightclubs, boutique shops and trendy restaurants. But if you don't want to leave the hotel, the lobby will feature a ground-floor restaurant and hip bar, that's posh enough for Brisbane's elite scene as well as gives travelers a taste of the local nightlife.
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).
When we first uploaded the above photo into our story, we worried that it was upside down*; then we realized it actually didn't matter because disoriented, confused, and slightly dizzy is exactly how you're supposed to feel at Bar Oppenheimer, a new pop-up bar that debuted this week inside Hôtel Americano.
Bar Oppenheimer is located in the basement of the hotel via a narrow cement staircase behind the hostess stand in the lobby. There's no sign, no big door with a velvet rope, not even a hint of the bar's presence anywhere in the hotel.
(However, that may be a good thing because when you eventually find it—as we did, after five minutes spent aimlessly wandering down hallways and opening emergency exit doors—you feel like you've stumbled into a secret room that no one else in the hotel knows about.)
The truth is that lots of people in New York know about this place. It was designed by Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger, who felt a desire to recreate his neighborhood bar in Germany, also called Bar Oppenheimer, in the basement of a Manhattan boutique hotel. Cool, right?
For more photos of the triply black-and-white striped bar, read on!
When we heard Karl Lagerfeld was going to be involved in the design of Sofitel So Singapore, our minds were racing with questions: would there be chocolate versions of muse Baptiste Giabiconi to take a bite out of? Would Choupette be luxuriating around the lobby, recovering from its strenuous private-jet lifestyle (and tweeting about it)? Would the Kaiser himself take centre stage near the entrance, giving side eye to anyone who deigned coming in wearing - dare we say it - crocs? So many possibilities…
Naturally, we had to use the opportunity of being in Singapore to walk by the construction site on Robinson Road, but in order to ensure we got all the scoop for you, we also stopped by its pre-opening office for a chance to sit down with the hotel’s General Manager and Director of Sales. Read on for more on what’s being prepared behind the building’s neo-classical façade, scheduled to come together for a November 1st opening.
If you thought the only exciting thing about Cassa Hotel was its abrupt re-branding into a Viceroy hotel last year, you're wrong. It turns out that the hotel's proposed restaurant, BLT American Brasserie is causing even more drama than the hotel itself—and it hasn't even opened yet!
Chef Laurent Tourondel created a lot of buzz when he attached himself to the hotel back in 2011. He was famous for his BLT restaurants, so that's what we all expected to open at Cassa. And as of last February, that was still the plan.
However, nothing ever happened, and the other day we received an anonymous tip that the "BLT coming soon" sign has been removed from the hotel.
Fairmont Hotels / Monte Carlo Hotels / Celebrity Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Nobu / Hotel News / → All Tags
Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa andChef Philippe Joannès, the Executive Chef of the Fairmont Monte Carlo
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has been a busy man this year. Aside from running his chain of Nobu restaurants around the world and opening his first hotel in Las Vegas, he's carved out some time in his frenetic schedule to open a pop-up restaurant at the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
Open from now through June 9, the pop-up Nobu is serving lunch and dinner daily inside the hotel's existing restsaurant, l'Argentin Monte Carlo. A special terrace has opened up just for the Nobu tables too, allowing guests to take in the killer views of France, Italy and Monaco while noshing on the Nobu specialities such as Black cod yuzu miso, the Wagyu gyoza, and the King crab leg with shiso salsa.
A few months ago, we wondered whether hotels were abusing TripAdvisor. We’ve done a couple articles about how hotels can be annoying in their attempts to get us to review them online. Managers have asked their employees to post phony positive reviews, and we've personally been offered a free upgrade/cash for a positive review post-stay. Shady business? You betcha. But you know what? It brings a smile to our face.
Correct us if you disagree, but the silver lining in all of this review warfare is the amount of power held by the consumer. According to Market Metrix, 93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are influenced by online reviews. Hotels are clearly desperate to get good feedback published online, and problems that were once able to be swept under the rug are no longer limited to shouting distance. "Word of mouth," good or bad, has never been such an understatement as online reviews reach the eyes of thousands. In this, we certainly take great pleasure. Today, every ordinary Joe possesses the power of the press.
That said, we want to go on the record and note that all the aforementioned desperation is really, truly, starting to annoy us. Why not just let it all happen organically? We (customers) know TripAdvisor exists, and it is our choice whether we want to post our thoughts publically or not. Hotels should focus on providing a pleasant experience, and the rest will take care of itself -- there's no need for the constant begging. Honestly, it comes off rather pathetic in our eyes. We'll write what we want, when we want, if we want -- thank you very much.
Late last month, HotelChatter ambled by the upcoming Peninsula Paris only to find that much of it was still under wraps. Yet last week, we got the chance to meet stateside with some GMs and execs from Peninsula Hotels and we've got a few new things to chatter about with you.
Let's get the big news out of the way now--the hotel is opening in 2014. So we won't get inside their rooms this year. Triste! BUT when the hotel does open, it's going to have some crazysexycool technology--especially these proprietary bedside tablets which will not only control everything in the room from lights to temperature but will also allow you to stream TV channels from around the world.
Hotel News / Hotel Booking Sites / PointsHound / Airline Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / → All Tags
Regardless of your approach to cashing in the hotel and airline loyalty points you accrue during your travels, one thing we can all agree on is that we want more of them. We've seen partnerships between industries before that helps to earn points even when we're not staying or flying -- such as credit cards -- but outside of the initial bulk reward one gets for signing up, the accumulation is anything but swift. Unfortunately, the $100 we spend at the grocery store every two weeks isn't going to get us very far in the way of a free ticket or night's stay.
So, what else is out there to aid in our crusade? A new booking engine recently launched known as PointsHound seeks to unite a myriad of loyalty programs, and although it's in the early stages of its operations, we think it has potential to really be a useful tool. Put simply: the site allows you to earn airline and/or hotel points when you book a hotel stay through the site.
When you sign up for PointsHound, you enter in your account information for the loyalty programs you're enrolled in. Right now, the site is partnered with the hotel reward programs of Hilton Honors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Priority Club, and Starwood Preferred Guest. For airlines, it works with United Mileage Plus, Etihad Guest Miles, Virgin America Elevate, American AAdvantage, Baltic Miles, Club Premier KmP, Delta Skymiles, Hawaiian Miles, and US Airways Dividend Miles. You can also link your Best Buy Reward Zone account if you'd prefer to buy gadgets instead of earning more travel opportunities.
The Kimpton Palm Springs will be an entirely new build hotel on North Palm Canyon Drive with 190 hotel rooms and a rooftop bar and pool, a first for the area. There will also be a "chef-driven restaurant", over 24,000 square feet total of event and meeting space and great views of Mount San Jacinto State Park from all angles. Oh and don't forget about the nightly wine hour and the free WiFi for Kimpton InTouch members!
We've got a ways to wait as the hotel won't open until 2015 but knowing Kimpton, it will be worth it. In the meantime, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is still set to open in the Fall. Admittedly, we're more of Kimpton's target clientele than Hard Rock but a new hotel is a new hotel!
Either Cameron Diaz has been reading HotelChatter, or she's got friends who keep a close eye on the NYC hotel scene. The Jade Hotel is still brand new (it officially opened just over two months ago) but that didn't stop the long-legged beauty from stopping by this past weekend.
The NY Post spotted Diaz hanging out at Grape & Vine, an intimate cocktail bar and bistro located behind the lobby. According to the spy:
"The bar area was so crowded, but Cameron and her friends sat right in front of the bar and joked around with the bartender . . . Most people were dressed up, but she was in a T-shirt and jeans, wearing flats with her hair up."
The article goes on to say that she "graciously spoke to a guy who was trying to flirt with her." We can't imagine ever trying to walk up to Cameron "Something About Mary" Diaz and asking for her number, but it's nice to know if we ever do see her in a hotel, we'd have a shot.
Meanwhile, we wonder if she surprised the bartender by ordering one of the bar's secret, off-the-menu cocktails that we wrote about last month. Or maybe her visit inspired them to name a whole new drink after her…
Diaz, who's in town filming scenes for her next movie, The Other Woman, didn't spend the night at the hotel (despite her admirer's best efforts, we're sure), but if you feel like resting your head in a place Cameron Diaz likes to hang out, rates here start at $280/night.