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On a recent jaunt to Portugal, we discovered what we thought was a great split-hotel package that allowed guests to experience two sides of the country: A few days in Lisbon and a few days on the south coast soaking up rays. For travelers who are adventurous but still desire structure, the concept takes out a lot of the planning but still leaves you more independence than, say, a full-on "put your bags outside the door before you go to sleep" tour operator type of thing.
Since being introduced to the idea last month, we've been thinking about where this "best of both worlds" partnership might be a good fit in the States. Despite driving distances and train services being what they are in our country in general, we were able to come up with a bunch of places where this type of package could go over well (some of which have tried it at times in the past). Think San Francisco with Napa or Sonoma, Denver with Breckenridge, Park City with Salt Lake, New York City with the Finger Lakes/Hamptons, or Philly with Atlantic City.
We focus on the latter in this column for two reasons: 1) While visitors to San Fran or Denver most likely already have their sights set on wine country and the mountains, we're not sure many realize how close Philly is to the shore and 2) Atlantic City could certainly use a little love these days, and a package that gave city dwellers the chance to check out Atlantic City, a place they've certainly heard about given all the press Revel has attracted the past two years, could help boost tourism.
Hyatt Union Square New York and Hyatt 48 Lex have partnered with awesome e-hail phone app that connects passengers looking for a ride with willing drivers, Uber (kind of like the Airbnb of the transportation world). And now both hotels are offering an über-cool package going by the name Uber-ific.
Guests that book the Uber-ific package by March 31, 2014 will receive an Uber Black Card for a $20 Uber credit (valid only for new users), free WiFi and 4 p.m. late checkout. If you are so savvy that you already have an Uber account, you are welcome to give the Black Card to a friend.
The offer is available until March 31. 2014 and rates start at $309.
Love it or hate, there's no escaping Halloween. Might as well get into the spirit, we say; don a ridiculous outfit and dance (and drink) the night away at one of these hot hotel Halloween parties.
The Refinery's Penthouse Freakshow Rooftop Halloween Costume Party offers a four-hour top-shelf open bar from 9 pm to 1 am, sounds by The Baldwin Sisters, live performances, and small bites by Executive Chef Jeffrey Forrest. The bash takes place on the rooftop (13th floor!) and tickets cost $125; available here.
Everyone's a critic when it comes to politics, so the Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C. and The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown have created the "Live Like a World Leader" package where guests can see what it's like to be a heavy decision maker and the perks that go along with it.
For a mere $10,000 you can play president, ambassador, governor or chief of your country of choice for two days at either location, and get serious red carpet treatment.
Here's some of what you can expect:
Hotel Packages / London Hotels / Dorchester Collection / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Cars / Hotel Cocktails / → All Tags
While The Dorchester London is tempting cognac connoisseurs with its rare Louis XIII flights, sister hotel and neighbor 45 Park Lane has a suggestion for car aficionados, particularly those with a penchant for the luxury Rolls-Royce kind. And lest you be concerned, there are cocktails involved too.
Book yourself into the Penthouse Suite at the 45-room hotel and you’re handed the keys to a brand new Rolls-Royce Wraith for the afternoon, the latest model carrying the illustrious British RR badge (we’ll forget about that whole German ownership thing for a second). After tooling around town, two specially made Wraith cocktails await in Bar 45, which are also made with Rémy Martin Cognac, with a choice of VSOP, Coeur de Cognac and XO.
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Polo season is in full gear in the UK and will be starting soon enough in the rest of the world. Whether it’s polo-inspired cocktail menus, training with the polo pros or exclusive access to top matches, these hotels want you to experience polo paradise.
Three of the world’s top polo matches take place in Argentina, so it’s a pretty big deal there. The new bar at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires pays homage to the sport and to the revered Argentinean polo team, La Dolfina. However, the Pony Line Bar and Lounge may be clad in brown leather and have a riding motif throughout, but it ain’t a sports bar as you know it to be.
It’s more for the urban sophisticate who wants to try the housemade chorizo and oxtail empanadas to go along with his or her artisanal locally-produced Stallion beer than the Bud Light and wings crowd. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that—we like a good stack of salt-and-pepper wings as much as the next guy or gal. We’re just sayin’.)
If you want to get an even bigger taste of the game, as a hotel guest you can visit La Dolfina Polo Ranch to learn more about the sport and why Argentina is reputed to be so good at it. Rates start at $595 in October.
Having rain interrupt your vacation is a bummer, and if you're traveling to Puerto Rico during hurricane season (basically now through the end of November) there's a pretty good chance of that happening.
Never fear, though, La Concha Renaissance Resort in the Condado area of San Juan has got you covered with its "Weather Proof" package.
The Lowry Hotel in Manchester is trying to spice up the life of business travelers with a new program called the Ultimate Cycling Experience that lets them get behind the bars at the Manchester Velodrome, an Olympic-sized cycling fast track.
The package is meant as a team-building exercise for companies and groups to treat their employees/members during a business trip. The Lowry Hotel has partnered with the National Cycling Center to offer a one-hour training session with a professional biking coach to help riders learn how to tackle the banked track. Participants are then allowed to race against each other in a one-lap time trial. After, the group gets an "awards ceremony" back at the Lowry in the form of a three-course dinner.
It's US Open time again and that means lots of strapping young tennis players are soon to arrive in New York looking for a place to stay. Reigning champion, and hotelier, Andy Murray has got his sorted -- he says he's staying in the same place as last year, which, we seem to recall him saying, is someplace "quiet."
Since we love us some glamping, we were excited to learn last year that there was going to be an option closer to home than the African bush, with Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs opening Cresto Ranch, a set of eight en-suite luxury tents four miles downriver from the main resort.
Open since June 1, and until October 31 for its seasonal closure, Cresto Ranch has partnered with Muddy Shoe Adventures to allow you to get your glamp on and have a ‘transformational adventure’ at the same time. What that means, we’ll tell you.
Hotel rooftop parties are always fun and we've let you know where to go for a great time. But what about picnicking high in the sky with a view of Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge to boot?
That's what you'll get when you buy the Rooftop Picnic Package at the Z Hotelin Long Island City. Just 15 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, the 100-room hotel is presenting what we think is a pretty cute way to spend the day. Plus, they have rooftop parties at night, so you get double the fun!
Choose between two menu options--Gold or Platinum and get the following items:
Gourmet Sandwich: Tomato/Mozzarella, Roast Beef and Horseradish, Turkey or BLTA
Cheese and crackers, marinated olives, potato salad or bag of chips, fruit assortment, bottled water, chocolate chip cookies
Roast Chicken or Smoked Salmon
Cheese and crackers, marinated olives, mesclun green salad or Caprese salad, pasta salad, fruit assortment, bottled water, brownie
Rates for the package start at $225/night for a Queen Room, picnic set up for two between 10am and 5pm and games to play while picnicking. Also, free transportation from 59th St. to the hotel is available.
Just want to make a day of it? Book the picnic separately. The Gold package is $60 for two and the Platinum costs $75 and includes a bottle of red or white wine. (BTW, we suggest splurging on a bottle of bubbly if you're getting the picnic package--it just the right thing to do!)
Somehow we envision a whole bunch of fall proposals about to happen..hmm.
Package is available until October 1, 2013. Book by calling 877-256-5556 and using code PICNIC or online via zhotelnyc.com and using code ZPIC for gold menu and ZPIP for platinum.
[Photo: Chanize for HotelChatter]
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You probably already know about Kimpton Hotels' brand-wide yoga program but, in New York City, they are taking it further with a new Urban Outdoors Menu that launched last week.