Tag: Hotel Reviews

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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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An Inside Look at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

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  Site Where: 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C 0B9
May 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

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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Hotels Are Still Living and Dying By TripAdvisor (But They Need To Let It Be)

May 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM | by | Comments (5)

A few months ago, we wondered whether hotels were abusing TripAdvisor. We’ve done a couple articles about how hotels can be annoying in their attempts to get us to review them online. Managers have asked their employees to post phony positive reviews, and we've personally been offered a free upgrade/cash for a positive review post-stay. Shady business? You betcha. But you know what? It brings a smile to our face.

Correct us if you disagree, but the silver lining in all of this review warfare is the amount of power held by the consumer. According to Market Metrix, 93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are influenced by online reviews. Hotels are clearly desperate to get good feedback published online, and problems that were once able to be swept under the rug are no longer limited to shouting distance. "Word of mouth," good or bad, has never been such an understatement as online reviews reach the eyes of thousands. In this, we certainly take great pleasure. Today, every ordinary Joe possesses the power of the press.

That said, we want to go on the record and note that all the aforementioned desperation is really, truly, starting to annoy us. Why not just let it all happen organically? We (customers) know TripAdvisor exists, and it is our choice whether we want to post our thoughts publically or not. Hotels should focus on providing a pleasant experience, and the rest will take care of itself -- there's no need for the constant begging. Honestly, it comes off rather pathetic in our eyes. We'll write what we want, when we want, if we want -- thank you very much.

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Bangkok's Hotel Muse Might Be Our Guiding Spirit For Retro Travel

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  Site Where: 55/555 Langsuan Road, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok, Thailand, 10330
May 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM | by | Comment (1)

With all of the sleek and modern design we've seen in hotels lately, there are few places that have us longing for the romance of vintage travel from the days of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Luckily, M Gallery's Hotel Muse hits the spot.

The memorable hotel brings back the mystery of retro travel and plops it right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, where it's not uncommon to see buildings from yesteryear neighboring towers from tommorow-land. The hotel is a little different in that it's housed in a new building made to look vintage, with a whole lot of turn-of-the-century flair.

Walking into the lobby were were greeted by dark wood panels, sexy lighting and iron work that would make a Paris Metro stop blush. The theme doesn't stop in the elevator. It extends onto the floor and into the room, where we felt like we stepped back to a time when alcohol was illegal and people dressed up to fly the friendly skies.

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From Panther To Pool: Public Spaces At Mandarin Oriental Paris

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  Site Where: 251, rue St. Honoré, Paris, France, 75001
April 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Having shown you what it’s like inside a deluxe room and what’s on the dog menu at Mandarin Oriental Paris, we’re completing our round up with a brief look at the public spaces today.

Walking into the hotel from rue St. Honoré, you’ll enter the main lobby, which is dominated by deep grey marble and a gold leaf ceiling. Reception is to your left, with the hotel courtyard straight ahead. During the warmer months there's outdoor seating, but the catwalk that runs through the middle was dominated by, in fact, cats when we were there, with red, black, and polished aluminium panthers as a temporary art display.

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More Thai Talk: Inside the W Bangkok

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  Site Where: 106 North Sathorn Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10500
April 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we gave you a sneak peek into Bangkok's shiny new W Bangkokand now we'll pull back the bejeweled curtain and show you the glam rooms. Being in a world-class city, you can expect a new hotel to have all glitz and shine; the W Bangkok doesn't fail the 'come to the party' test with its rooms fit for a jewel smuggler.

From the moment we stepped foot in the door, we knew we were somewhere special. Not only did we notice that 'new hotel' smell--it welcomed guests just 2 months ago--we may have been blinded by the shimmer and sparkle of the rhinestones, like everywhere. We will admit, we like a hotel that can successfully use lots of bling and, in true W style, this hotel has pushed the envelope.

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W Bangkok Wows, Leaving Us Wanting Way More

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  Site Where: 106 North Sathorn Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10500
April 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

What could be better than sexy design, familiar, yet thoughtful amenities, all the pizazz you can imagine and that new-hotel smell? Not much and that's why we are absolutely loving everything about recently opened W Bangkok.

Here's a little peek into the glam that is one of the city's newest hotels hotspot. Everything you expect from the edgy brand and more featuring glass block room dividers, rich jewel tones and more sparkles than any hotel room we've stayed in, these are the digs that inspire home renovations that fail to hit the mark.

There is a little part of us that feels like we'd been teleported from Southeast Asia to a jewelry gallery mixed with a prize fighters house. Stay tuned for a full review and pics of all of the little touches and pieces of sparkle from the lobby to the room. In the meantime, just simmer in these sexy snaps.

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak for HotelChatter]

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Mercy! We Look Inside the Swank Mandarin Oriental Paris

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  Site Where: 251, rue st. Honoré, Paris, France, 75001
April 15, 2013 at 9:20 AM | by | Comments (3)

It’s clear that dogs may be living large at Mandarin Oriental Paris, but what can a guest of the non-canine variety expect? How does the Asian luxury brand translate in this most French of settings, a block or so away from the Tuileries and the Louvre museum?

We’ll start by taking you inside a Deluxe Room, which is the step-up category from an entry-level Superior, and after which there is a range of options among the 99 rooms and 39 suites until you get to the Royale Mandarin Suite. The latter, a sprawling 2,700 sq ft, two-story affair, we saw in the midst of some pretty serious construction to insert, of all things, an elevator. Because really, when staying in the most expensive suite in the hotel, who wants to take the stairs?

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Have a Lofty Experience at Sydney's Park8 Hotel

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  Site Where: 185 Castlereagh, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2000
April 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've all walked into a hotel room and our excitement for a creative and unique experience is shot down when we find a boring old room. On a recent trip to Sydney we laid our head at Park8 Hotel and even after the swipe of our keycard, the smile was never wiped off our face. We felt like we had our own little loft apartment in the middle of the city, just steps away from Hyde Park and the shopping district.

This little gem of a boutique hotel from 8 Hotels is quirky and fun, but still maintained what we expect when we stay at a hotel. We were fortunate enough to score a one-bedroom loft that was more like we were couch surfing in New York than staying in a hotel chain. The suite has two-stories of windows flooding the rooms with natural light and showcasing brag-worthy views of the inner city and the park's giant figs trees.

With the bedroom on the second floor, the rooms have ample living space allowing for a late night television session on the couch without messing up the bed. A kitchenette stocked with full-size bottles of Aussie wine, a few craft ciders and cold-pressed juices kind of mimicked our own refrigerator at home.

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