Tag: Hotel Reviews

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An Airport Hotel You'll Actually Enjoy: CitizenM Paris at Charles de Gaulle

Where: 7 Rue de Rome, Tremblay-en-France , France, 93290
July 2, 2015 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

Airport hotels with their deserted lobbies, lifeless guest rooms and sad and stranded travelers, can be depressing places, but the CitizenM Paris at Charles De Gaulle airport shattered every airport hotel stereotype from the moment we walked inside.

Natural light streamed in from all sides of the whimsically decorated lobby, which held bright red chairs and sofas, ceiling-height black bookshelves crammed with books and tchotchkes, and subtle nods to airplanes. More refreshingly, there were actual people hanging out in the lobby-- watching TV, working at one of the many tables, having drinks at the bar or reading a book/tablet in a quiet nook.

Given that the rooms upstairs are tiny, it makes sense that guests would choose to socialize downstairs but if you want to hunker down in your guestroom, you'll have a giant king bed, a Samsung tablet next to you that controls everything in the room from the blinds to the TV and mood-lighting, free movies, free WiFi, a narrow desk to work at or to place all your gadgets on for charging, a wide shower berth, and just enough space on the floor to do some squats and sit-ups.

Best of all, the hotel windows are triple-glazed, meaning you won't hear the rumble of the airplane engines unless you step outside.

In short, the world's airport needs more of CitizenM Hotels, which are genuinely fun (and not some forced corporate idea of fun) and make that random layover actually enjoyable.

Here's a quick breakdown of our stay at the CitizenM Paris at Charles de Gaulle:

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Why The Trump National Doral in Miami is Not Just for Golfers

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4400 N. W. 87th Ave. [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33178
June 12, 2015 at 5:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

There's more to Miami than people-watching and partying in South Beach.

A world away from the hectic scene of the beach, and just a few minutes from Miami International Airport sits The Trump National Doral Hotel, an oasis for golfing and relaxation. The actual resort has been open for over 60 years, attracting some of the best golfers and spa-goers, but in 2012 Trump purchased the property and brought the entire 800-acre resort firmly into the 21st Century.

Once we pulled into the private drive, we knew we were gearing up for something a lot more extravagant than just being surrounded by four PGA-level golf courses. The drive circled around an impressive fountain and ended at the equally impressive clubhouse for check-in. Once we were handed our key card and given a map to find our way to one of eight villas all named after some pretty renowned golfers; incidentally we were led to the Tiger Woods villa.

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5 Things Not to Miss at Vermont's On The River Inn

June 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sometimes you just need a little Vermont in your life, and thankfully one of the state’s latest and greatest properties can be found in Woodstock—here’s five things not to miss at 506 On The River Inn.

The Location

If you’re looking for possibly the ultimate bucolic little New England town look no further than Woodstock, and thankfully On The River Inn is just a few miles from town. Along the way pick up awesome sandwiches—and cookies, chips, sides, and drinks (wine too!)—at Woodstock Farmer’s Market, and then pull off an enjoy a picnic on the town green just steps away from just one of the area’s many covered bridges. Boutiques, galleries, an honest-to-goodness general store, and the charm of yesteryear line the downtown corridor, but you’re also only minutes away from other goodies like Long Trail Brewing Company. Sugarbush Farm, and Billings Farm and Museum.

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Down Under, Tables Have Turned: This Hotel Brand in Australia Wants to Review YOU as a Guest

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Australia
April 8, 2015 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

For real. There is a brand of Aussie hotels who want to turn the tables and review YOUR stay and reward YOU for good behavior. Talk about opening a two-way street in the world of arm-chair critics that may or may not be rooted in truth —remember this?

From April 17 to May 31, Art Series Hotels in Victoria and South Australia are performing Reverse Reviews on their guests and plan on naming and shaming those that act like Lindsay Lohan after receiving their room key. Just like the rating sites, the hotel will have an opportunity to reward their guests with 1 to 5 stars.

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Now That Everyone Can Sleep With The Virgin, How Goes It?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash Avenue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60601
February 25, 2015 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been over a month since we slept with the Virgin Chicago and a few things have already changed since we did it.

For starters, Sir Richard Branson came in for a visit. Then on Valentine's Day, the new coffee and wine bar, Two Zero Three, opened just off the entrance of the hotel.

Opening next week is Miss Ricky's All American Diner a 23-hour spot serving "new classics" such as a Great Lakes Reuben, The Biggie Grilled Cheese, Short Rib Pie and decadent donuts and dessert. You can see Virgin CEO Raul Leal's recent tweet for confirmation of such decadence:

The hotel has also rolled out a partnership with Tesla Motors, giving all Virgin guests the option to be ferried around town in a Model S P85D. It's color? Bright red of course. #howVirginsdoit

Now, these things are all fun to talk about, but it's time to see what real guests are saying about the hotel. And for that, we head to TripAdvisor. Even though everyone knows to take TripAdvisor with a grain of salt (seriously awful reviews can never be trusted, neither can the gushing ones) it's still a place all guests go to when thinking about booking a hotel.

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This Hotel Will Charge You $500 for Writing a Negative Review

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 345-349 Union Street [map], Hudson , NY, United States, 12534
August 4, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (2)

UPDATE: The hotel told CNBC the policy was a joke and "It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced." We say, "That's convenient."

UPDATE, 8.6.14: The owner has posted this apology and update on the hotel's Facebook page. While the negative review policy may have been a joke gone wrong, the hotel still has a bunch of other ridiculous policies. Be sure to read those in our story below.

Hotels have been striking back at online guests reviews over the past few years in various ways. The most popular and most sensible way is the constant responding of management to all reviews--good and bad (so long as you aren't a dick about it.) Then, there's the requesting of really bad reviews to be removed from the site, which TripAdvisor has agreed to recently, especially if the property has been renovated since the negative note. Hotels have also gone straight to the guests, bribing them offering them perks during their stay or discounts for future stays if they write a positive review.

But this one hotel in Hudson, New York now has the audacity to charge wedding guests $500 for writing a negative review. Here's the controversial policy in place at the Union Street Guest House:

"There will be a $500 dollar fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH place on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding even if you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.”

The policy is in effect for wedding guests in the area and wedding parties at the Inn, not regular guests (although this a strange distinction to make.) The hotel will also refund the $500 if the review is taken down.

Um, yeah, well now that this policy is being condemned on the news, we can safely say this has back fired for the hotel.

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5 Things to Do at Paris’s Fouquet’s Barrière When You’re Too Jet-lagged to Leave

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 46, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

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!

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Checking In On Europe's Newest Hotel Indigos, Three Months In

June 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been a few months now since the latest Hotel Indigos opened in Europe – Rome in March, St Petersburg a little earlier. How are they doing?

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.

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One Really Good Reason Hotels Should Not Charge for WiFi

April 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM | by | Comment (1)

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.

[Photo: Flickr]

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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1515 Zion Park Blvd. [map], Springdale, UT, United States, 84767
April 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM | by | Comment (1)

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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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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