Tag: Hotel Reviews

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Set Adrift on Budget Bliss at the Driftwood Lodge at Zion National Park

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  Site Where: 1515 Zion Park Blvd. [map], Springdale, UT, United States, 84767
April 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Check-In

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.

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'Your Note is Rude': Another Hotel Manager Gets Snippy on TripAdvisor

January 15, 2014 at 5:35 PM | by | Comment (1)

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!

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Spending Some Time With Auckland's Sofitel Viaduct Harbour

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  Site Where: 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland, New Zealand, 1010
November 26, 2013 at 2:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Check-In
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.

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Roman and Williams are Now Giving Out Hotel Reviews

Where: 120 West 57th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
November 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

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!

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Holiday Inn Wants to 'Change Our View' With Their Musical Reviews

October 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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True or False: A Noisy Hotel Will Upset Guests More Than Bad WiFi

September 26, 2013 at 2:58 PM | by | Comments (4)

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.

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One Night in DC at The Melrose Georgetown

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  Site Where: 2430 Pennsylvania Avenue NW [map], Washington, DC, United States, 20037
September 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM | by | Comment (1)

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.

Check in
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.

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TripAdvisor Stands By 'Clean Slate' Policy Despite Criticisms from Hotel Watch Groups

Where: Various Locations
September 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Heritage with a Capital 'H': Inside The Harbor View Hotel on Martha's Vineyard

August 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

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!).

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The Palace Hotel is an Oldie But Goodie in Copenhagen

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  Site Where: Raadhuspladsen 57, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1550
July 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM | by | Comments (2)

What's It Like Inside a Nordic "Palace"? A HotelChatter Review

If you've not been to the Nordic city of Copenhagen , we gotta tell ya, their hotel scene is hopping with some real beauts! We've just returned and we're eager to share our hotel observations with you. First up is our take on the Palace Hotel Copenhagen. (Stay tuned for other Copenhagen Hotel Scene stories in the coming weeks!)

The 169-room Palace Hotel Copenhagen (formerly a Le Méridien and now owned by Scandic Hotels and part of the Preferred Hotel Group) originally opened in 1910 by a butcher who had a dream to own an “international” hotel. Anders Jensen hired young architect Anton Rosen to design the hotel, both inside and out, from the furniture to buttons on uniforms. Rosen’s Art Nouveau aesthetic still carries on today because subsequent designers hired to update and modernize the hotel from top-to-bottom in 2008 were insightful enough to ensure that the Palace Hotel nodded “hey” to its roots.

So let’s get to it. Plenty of pics below!

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The Mansion House Inn Proves Martha's Vineyard Can Be an Affordable Island Escape

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  Site Where: 9 Main Street [map], Martha's Vineyard, MA, United States
June 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

The island of Martha's Vineyard certainly has a reputation. One, it's known as a playground of the rich and preppy. Two, MV is a favorite vacation destination for presidents, specifically Clinton and Obama (and, in the past, the Kennedys). Because of this reputation combined with the history of the island, it's believed that the island doesn't offer much in the way of affordably luxurious, amenity-rich accommodations. Not true! The Mansion House is proof that the island has more than tiny B&Bs with giant price tags.

Mansion House is at the center of the town of Vineyard Haven, which boasts most of the year-round population on the island. This means there's plenty shopping, dining and sights within easy walking and biking distance. We recommend a stroll down to nosh on lobster rolls and clams at The Net Result, and a visit to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, where President Obama shops with Sasha and Malia.

Since the Mansion House offers year-round accommodation in 48 rooms, rates vary greatly, usually from $99 to $309 as a start.

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Let's Talk About Vine and Instagram Videos for Hotel Reviews

June 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

It has been said that 10% of all photos ever taken were taken in 2012. What of 2013, then? Will this be the year the same is said for videos, after the launch of Vine and, just yesterday, Instagram Videos?

Already we've noticed how the super-short films can play into travel marketing. Airlines figured this out nearly immediately but, as usual, hospitality is having a little rougher time adapting to the new social media medium. In-room hairdryers just aren't as dynamic as jet engines, you know?

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