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If you had to pick your favorite hotel poolside cabana anywhere in the world, where would it be?
To be honest, it's not something we've ever given much thought to (seen one cabana, seen 'em all)—until, that is, we visited the fifth floor garden terrace of Singapore's Parkroyal on Pickering the other week.
We mentioned last year, before it opened, that the hotel would drip with tropical gardens, and indeed, it is certainly one of the lushest hotels we've seen in a while. Wild flora grow up and down the building's exterior, creating a sort of "secret garden" 120 feet above ground.
This effect is best seen from one of the poolside cabanas—large, sturdy structures that look like human-size birdcages—that are built right on the edge of the fifth floor terrace. Mini-worlds unto themselves, the cabanas are furnished with mountains of pillows and cushions so that once you've entered and plopped down on the floor (preferably with a cold Tiger beer in hand), you never want to leave. Ever.
Wahoo! After a long rough winter, the unofficial kick-off of summer has finally arrived. Wherever you're headed this Memorial Day Weekend*--the Shore, the Hamptons, Las Vegas, Nowhere, etc.--we're sure you're bound to encounter a swimming pool or two. And as it turns out, we've got swimming pools on our mind too. Here are 7 of our favorite American Hotel swimming pools. Perhaps you will end up at one of them this weekend?
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Should You or Shouldn't You? A HotelChatter Review
We decided it was high time to check out one of the newest hotels that make up Vancouver’s skyline, the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Opened in 2010 for the Olympics, this beautiful “ode to glass” building is not only chic, but is a happening destination unto itself.
Check-In: We took advantage of the hotel’s car service and had a great chat with our driver about the hotel and living in Vancouver. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by dapper doormen whose uniforms can best be described as a cross between Armani and 1940s movie gangster in a very fashionable grey. It was a very good start.
As we were ushered into the long, cool and white marble lobby we noticed immediately the hotel's bespoke Indian Jasmine fragrance. Our driver, who was part of the concierge team, never left our side. Once given our keys we were escorted to our room, passing the serene-but-not-for-long Lobby Lounge that spans the entry space.
Room Reaction: We entered our room on the Fairmont Gold floor and were immediately dazzled by the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Vancouver harbor and port. We were introduced to the iPad2 waiting for us and the hi-tech lighting system (which also controls the drapes) with its pre-set mood makers – Day, Evening, Relax – and in the bathroom, there’s a setting for Groom or Spa.
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Jimmy Buffett's brand new Margaritaville casino is probably the biggest news in Atlantic City this summer (Governor Christie is even scheduled to attend the opening event tomorrow.) But further down the boardwalk, there's another hotel celebrating a grand opening of its own.
Revel knows how much its guests like to, er…..revel, so to keep the party going from dawn till dusk, they've decided to open up HQ Beach Club, a day-time sequel to their popular HQ Nightclub. Located at boardwalk-level, the club will be open to guests and non-guests (cover charges will vary depending on the day), and doors will open as early as 10am.
That's right: you can show up straight after breakfast and start off your day drinking in a cabana by the pool. Ain't life grand?
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If you have difficulty trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, then we have two pieces of advice for you: one, stop trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, and two, definitely don't visit the new rooftop pool at the Revere Hotel, where attractive female employees will be prancing around all summer long in matching swimwear outfits designed by Pret-a-Surf.
The checkered hot pants, striped bikini tops, and nautical-themed jerseys that you see above are the new staff uniforms up at Rooftop @ Revere, which debuted last week.
As hotel uniforms go, we like the breezy, New England look—certainly racier indeed than the silk embroidered robes we saw in Bangkok, yet tamer than the W New York Downtown's double-breasted tuxedo shorts.
And if you fancy yourself (or your loved one) dressed up like one of the Revere cocktail servers, then all you have to do is head down to the lobby retail shop, and pick out some matching Pret-a-Surf attire of your very own.
While North America prepares for Memorial Day (the official yet unofficial kickoff of summer), South America is all but finished with its pool season. But that doesn't mean we can't look south for some inspiration. After all, Chile boasts the world's largest pool -- so big, you can sail on it.
At 3/5 of a mile long, The Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile is the length of 20 Olympic-size pools and holds 66 million gallons of seawater over an area of about 20 acres. Not impressed? How about the fact that the pool reaches depths of 115 feet! That's like, incredible, right? Hang on to your sunglasses.
The mega-pool is estimated to have cost about $1 billion to build. A filtration system draws water directly from the sea -- there just ain't a hose big enough to fill this sucker with fresh water. Because of its sheer size, the cost of upkeep is about $2 million a year according to the Daily Mail.
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Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.
Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!
We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.
Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.
More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.
Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!
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It's Guess the Hotel revealed!
We could have picked plenty other parts of LA for our West Coast jaunt this weekend: Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, or maybe, if we were feeling reaallly generous with ourselves, Beverly Hills. But no, we had to be stubborn about it and go after beachy, balmy Santa Monica.
The sun, the sand, the waves, we wanted it all. The only problem was, luck wasn't on our side, and the weather all weekend stayed cloudy and in the 60s.
This gave us a good chance to acquaint ourselves with our room, a spacious Ocean View Suite at the Oceana Santa Monica (ocean views are normally a good thing, but this time it just reminded us how we were missing out on quality sprawled-out-on-the-beach tanning time).
Inside the room, we caught up on work, watched Gladiator on TNT, and even played a few rounds of checkers with our friend. (Yup, that's right! The mystery flip-top checkers board table we showed you yesterday is indeed found at the Oceana Santa Monica.)
Then, just as we were getting ready to check out, we saw shadows start to become defined on our wall, and realized—gasp!—the sun was finally coming out! And just in the nick of time. So we did what any hotel geek would do and scoured the property to take photos of the hotel the way it's meant to be seen.
Click through for our photo gallery of the sun-drenched lobby and pool courtyard!
It’s almost our favorite time of the year, where we get to laze by the pool, sipping on umbrella-topped cocktails. But really, that seems so 1990s, right? Today's bartenders are getting super creative with their libations. We’re already hearing about yummy mixes that have us begging Mother Nature to hurry up with summer already.
It looks like the West Coast has a jump on these tasty treats, so we'll just lust over the pics until they make the rounds Stateside.
From boozy shakes and sorbets, and other goodies, it looks like poolside fun has an alcoholic accent like never before.
Here are some we’re looking forward to trying:
One of the most frustrating things about being a fin-footed mammal, so we've heard, is being constantly confined to swimming in the ocean or sitting on large rocks. But what happens when you want to treat yourself for the day? Get a mani-pedi at the mall, or hop a plane to Mexico, or lounge for hours by a hotel pool?
ABC reported on an intrepid female sea lion who showed up yesterday at the Pantai Inn, an all-suites hotel on the Pacific Coast that calls itself "Balinese-themed." Well, we don't know much about what goes on at hotels in Bali, but here in the US, sea lions casually draping themselves on deck furniture isn't exactly the norm.
Apparently, an overnight front desk worker spotted the creature by the pool around 6:45am, and subsequently alerted his manager, as well as SeaWorld, which promptly sent officials to retrieve the animal. Though, not before the story spread to local news stations. The night shift worker told ABC:
"The sea lion was sleeping on our chair in the courtyard and looking pretty relaxed."
Earlier this week, we talked about all the good things coming (fingers crossed!) to downtown Los Angeles. Today we've got a round-up of some cool new things happening in Los Angeles proper, starting off with this West Hollywood hideout.
SUNSET MARQUIS: The rock star haven that is the Sunset Marquis (the hotel hosted 43 Grammy nominees this year) has begun offering a pool membership for non-guests that will allow use of the hotel's main pool and villa pools along with some other perks like a complimentary one-night stay, a Sunday brunch, drinks at the restaurant or 1200 bar, discounted cabana rentals and discounted spa treatments. The cost for a one-year member ship is $2,000 while a six-month membership can be had for $1,500. Membership is based on availability and the hotel only gives out 20 at a time. If you're not interested in joining, you can pay around $250 a night as a hotel guest and use the pool for free.
Nothing really shocks us anymore about New York Fashion Week, the semi-annual event when models, celebrities, editors and wanabes descend in droves to revel in their fabulousness and take advantage of endless open bars. However, an incident at the Hotel Americano did catch our attention, though mainly because of its ridiculousness.
On Thursday night, according to the NY Post, the internationally renowned fashion designer Kenneth Cole was celebrating at the hotel with his crew after finishing up a runway show at a nearby Chelsea venue. Suddenly, a male employee slipped and fell into the hotel's 4ft-deep plunge pool. Major faux pas! But it was Kenneth Cole to the rescue, as he did some quick thinking and "extended his hand, got [the employee] out, and then they hugged." Aw.
This is one of those rare instances when it's actually a good thing that rooftop "pools" (and we use that term loosely) in Manhattan tend to run on the small side. If Cole's employee had tumbled into the larger pool deck at Gansevoort Park, for example, things might not have gone as smoothly.