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Hotel Reviews / Photo Gallery / Luxury Hotels of the World / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Hotel Butlers / Free WiFi / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.
1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.
2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.
Three more tips below!
Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel Reviews / Hotel Indigo Hotels / Indigo Hotels / IHG Hotels / Rome Hotels / St Petersburg Hotels / → All Tags
Reviews look solid, particularly for St Petersburg Tchaikovskogo: free soft drinks in the mini bar, a “master of Thai massage” and excellent customer service (by no means a given in Russia) are what people are focusing on.
A room tonight will set you back 6800RUB ($199), though they drop in July to 4900RUB ($143). That’s up on the 4000RUB lead-in price on opening, though still great value for Russia.
To all the hotels out there that still insist on charging for WiFi, consider this comment we just received:
Earlier this month I stayed at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley which provides WiFi in the room for $12.99 a day!
When I questioned this they told me that I had the option of using the free WiFi in the Lobby, which didn't help me when I needed to check my email while still in pajamas at 6:00AM.
Other than the WiFi situation the hotel was great, but it's the only reason I need to ensure I never book this hotel again.
It's a shame that they will lose my future business over a ridiculous WiFi fee, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one.
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / National Park Hotels / Zion National Park Hotels / Utah Hotels / → All Tags
Serene mountain views and the rush of a Virgin River at Driftwood Lodge; a HotelChatter Review
When visiting Zion National Park, many choose to experience this majestic slice of the Great Outdoors, well, outdoors. There are three campgrounds to choose from and, during the height of the summer, reservations are typically a must. Even the "off" season can get quite crowded given the right circumstances.
If your idea of roughing it, however, is staying in a budget motel, there are many to choose from in the adjacent town of Springdale, Utah. Dubbed "The Gateway to Zion," the town's main road, which leads straight to the national park, is dotted with name-brand motel chains, independent lodges and quaint inns. Many are located one right after the other. A bit of Internet sleuthing caused us to choose the Driftwood Lodge for a two-night weekend getaway.
Arriving on a Friday evening as the sun set, the Driftwood Lodge made a postcard-worthy first impression. The lodge, actually a collection of newer and older stand-alone buildings, was aglow in the last rays of light as a majestic mountain ridge and endless blue sky towered in the background.
The main building, right on Zion Park Boulevard, serves as the lobby and check-in was effortless. Renovated in 2013, it fit within the lodge theme, however, a very sanitized version. Wood floors, brick walls, brightly colored area rugs were all present but lacked a lived-in rustic appeal. A completely nit-picky observation, we know, and nothing a few throws and some random chotskies couldn't overcome.
A cheerful representative greeted us promptly and quickly imparted the lay of the land (how to get to our room, where to find the passcode for the free WiFi and a reminder to turn in our room keys at the end of the stay or face a $5 per card fee) before sending us on our way. No bell service was offered, but none was needed. It should also be pointed out that the front desk isn't staffed round-the-clock, however, someone is always available via telephone for emergencies.
Yesterday, we had a good chuckle over the hotel manager who left jerky responses to guests on TripAdvisor. He ended up being sacked but it turns out he's not the only one, ahem, "keeping it real" on TripAdvisor. A fan on our Facebook page alerted us to a TripAdvisor response from the "Directeur Général" of Hotel Claude Bernard Saint-Germain in Paris:
What a terrible hotel. We stayed with our 10 year old daughter and had booked a triple room. On the hotel website, the pictures of the rooms were very nice, with one double bed and a real single bed. Pictures showed a new renovated room, which was also described in the text. Pictures are attached of the opposite. When we checked in we got the tiniest room, with 2 twin beds and a foldable extra bed was squashed between the beds. VERY disappointed. We immediately consulted the receptionist who couldn't assist. The next morning we tried again, with reference to management. But no management was present. Breakfast was very continental, but that was what we paid for. One thing is for sure, we'll never stay here again!
And here is what the Directeur Général wrote back:
Madam, I find your note and your comment very severe and your judgement partial.
Keep reading below to see more of his responses!
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Auckland Hotels / New Zealand Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / → All Tags
Harbor-side rooms and plush rooms at Sofitel Viaduct Harbour; a HotelChatter Review
Spending a few days in Auckland sounds like a dream, but once you start to look at hotel options, you might get a little discouraged since the city doesn't have much selection. With limited international hotel brands that we can trust, we settled on Sofitel Viaduct Harbour but didn't expect some harbor living during our visit.
After a winding trip through the sleepy streets of the city's entertainment district, we finally make it to a mid-rise building situated directly on the inner-harbour surrounded by yachts and sailboat masts. With a sleek, tiled lobby that featured a handful of reflection pools, we struggled to be anything but awed by the framed view of the private mooring docks beyond the lobby. Then after a speedy check-in process, we were off to our room.
The Viceroy: Would you "slog it for days/weeks eating Takeout Chicken in front of the TV in your unders" in this room?
We love design and architecture superteam Roman and Williams for their work at Ace Hotel New York, Standard NYC and Viceroy New York. But we are also rather taken with their excellent, often unhinged and grammatically erratic, Facebook page (category: counselling and mental health) where they give their uncensored take on everything from architectural news to hairdos and, now, hotel reviews -- of hotels they designed!
In case you're at work or reading this on your phone, allow us to tell you what's happening in this video above.
Holiday Inn has made a commercial featuring a nervous-looking guest* and a lovely looking lady with a guitar. The guest tells the lovely lady what he liked about his recent stay at the new Holiday Inn at Newark Airport in New Jersey and she puts his review to song. It sounds funny! It is not.
It's a little annoying and forced and at three minutes, is way too long for us to be voluntarily be watching video on our computer. Maybe if Tenacious D was singing the review we would be more entertained. However, the point has been made. Holiday Inn wants us to "Change Our View" of their brand (especially after they put a billion dollars into relaunching it) and we've certainly done that with this hotel.
The answer? TRUE.
We tend to do a lot of griping here about hotel WiFi--the cost of it and the speed of it--but there's another reason why guests may leave a hotel ticked off--noise.
Online hotel reputation management experts, ReviewPro, have found that noise is the most common complaint in online hotel reviews for 20 cities. And you know what? We totally believe it because we've found ourselves using the white noise app on our phone more frequently during hotel stays.
ReviewPro did some serious number crunching and review-site trawling to come up with these findings. They analyzed 2,532,461 consumer reviews published during the prior 12 months for 5,683 hotels in the following cities: Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Cape Town, Dublin, Istanbul, London, Lyon, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris, Rome, Saint Petersburg and Sydney.
Interestingly, Cape Town had the best average online reputation followed by Melbourne and St. Petersburg. London and Rome, however, were below average. Eep. But also, not surprising.
After noise, complaints about elevators and smells ranked 2nd and 3rd. After that, air conditioning and heating systems were also given twice as many negative mentions as WiFi.
HotelChatter Reviews / Washington DC Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
Is the Melrose Georgetown as sweet as it sounds? A HotelChatter Review
We hadn't had a chance to check in on the Melrose Georgetown Hotel (formerly The Melrose Hotel) since its multi-million dollar renovation was completed in April this year, so when we needed a room in DC and the Melrose showed up on HotelTonight for $149, we grabbed it.
The hotel is a couple of blocks from Foggy Bottom - GWU Metro station, on the blue and orange lines. If you are coming from Union Station you have to change once, at Metro Center, from the red line. But once we arrived, check-in was quick and easy. Within two minutes of walking through the lobby, we were in our room.
Has any other site in the industry gained more attention over the past few years than TripAdvisor? Consumers use it for research, hotels live and die by it, and there's a whole lot of concern about whether anything on the platform can even be trusted.
Although it's been an active policy for two years, the way TripAdvisor deals with hotels who have undergone significant renovations is now just beginning to go under the microscope, further raising questions of trust when it comes to the reviews we see, and apparently don't see, on the site.
Currently, if a hotel can prove it has made structural changes, such as a property overhaul of some kind, it can submit building permits and other construction notices to TripAdvisor in order to get related bad reviews taken off the site.
And the renovations really have to be significant -- putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls won't cut it. For example, if Hotel ABC had a number of bad reviews relating to its out-of-date bathrooms, the hotel can get the reviews removed if it shows they have installed new ones in the rooms. Other major changes, such as buyout or brand overhaul, are also eligible criteria to qualify for a clean slate.
Photo Gallery / Martha's Vineyard Hotels / Massachusetts Hotels / Island Hotels / Hotel Reviews / Hotels with Fireplaces / → All Tags
There's a new show on TV. It's called The Vineyard, on ABC Family, and it's a bit like if The Hills moved to an island off the east coast; to Martha's Vineyard, to be exact. Don't watch the show unless you enjoy following the drama of Blake Lively lookalikes with junior high problems, but the show is at least good for its scenery. The camera seems especially infatuated with the Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse and the sprawling Cape Cod cottage behind. That, dear readers, is no cottage but the largest hotel on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View Hotel which boasts its own collection of cottages and one of the only large, heated outdoor swimming pools on the island.
Originally opened in 1891, the Harbor View and its famous expansive front porch has had plenty of time to become a summer tradition for families. Of course if you're not the Obamas, the Clintons or one of the many millionaire or billionaire estate owners on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View is the affordable way to enjoy a large property complete with a daily list of activities and amenities (s'mores! veranda yoga! harbor cruises!).