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Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. You can see it from the ground, a little dirty, a little noisy from the traffic, and sometimes even a little alarming, thanks to the anti-Falklands/pro-Malvinas encampment in there. You can hold onto your bag like there’s no tomorrow, and take a photo of the Casa Rosada through the metal barriers that may or may not be up.
Or you can see it from on high, in your swimsuit.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Madrid Hotels / Spain Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / Design Hotels / Unico Hotels / Rooftop Pools / → All Tags
It’s also the latest addition to the Design Hotels portfolio, and part of the Spanish Unico hotel group, which has two other hotels – one in Barcelona, one in Madrid – so you know it already has cred. Add to that that it’s the first five star hotel on the Gran Via (for reals) in an equally grand building from 1917, and it’s an appealing prospect.
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Ignore the Simpsons-style clouds, and have a look at the architecture. Pretty nice, right? Even nicer when you consider where this is: the Ciudad Vieja of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
There aren’t many hotels in the Ciudad Vieja, and there are even fewer with rooftop terraces. But this is the view from the Alma Historica Boutique Hotel, which opened a month ago in a historical mansion on Plaza Zabala, the tranquil, second square of the old town.
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We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Almost immediately since it opened in 2010, the Gansevoort Park Avenue attracted the glam crowd of both film and fashion. The Gansevoort has had it all from the get go--seductive interiors, a close-to-everything Midtown location with killer city views, and a nightlife that starts and ends on the rooftop. But maybe the rooftop was getting a little too much play as the hotel has now totally revamped their top floor space.
Here's how the rooftop looked before the renovation. Keep reading to see what it looks like now!
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Mingalabar! All this week we've been focusing on one of the fastest changing hotel scenes on the globe: Burma, or Myanmar. (For Burma or Myanmar, see here - as fence-sitters, we'll be using the two interchangeably throughout the week.) We’ve already covered your hotel basics, and looked at Yangon: its most expensive hotel, its most historic hotel and its weirdest. Today, we're moving north, on the road to Mandalay.
This looks like a river, but it isn’t just any river. This is the Irrawaddy River, one of the most evocative names in the world (the Mississippi, the Danube, the Nile, the Irrawaddy, etc etc) thanks to the likes of Rudyard Kipling, who referred to it as the Road to Mandalay.
This is the view from the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Ayarwaddy River View Hotel in Mandalay, Burma (the river bisects the country; Ayarwaddy is the current government's spelling). Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay is far more frenetic and modern than Yangon. Stay in the city center, as we did our first night, and you’ll probably wish you hadn’t come. Staying on the Irrawaddy, however, is like sleeping in a different city.
From the rooftop – and from the river-facing rooms – you can see fishing boats, trawlers, and the little cruisers going up and down to Bagan. You can see people washing in the mornings, and the sun setting over the hills in the afternoon. In the evening, look out the other side at the city – there’s a lively temple right behind the hotel.
This is an instance when you’re really paying for location – our entry level room was $100, with a city view (a river view would have been $20 more). The room itself was basic, three star standard – definitely not on a par with other $100 we stayed at in Myanmar. But the location was everything, and hey, they throw in a free ‘traditional’ puppet show on the roof every evening.
Unlike New York, the list of rooftop bars in London isn’t that long, and even fewer can boast floor-to-ceiling windows with river views and outdoor space for al-fresco lounging and drinking, but Rumpus Room has both.
It doesn’t feel this long, and yet it feels like forever – the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago in November, and the city is marking the anniversary on November 9 by lining up 8000 helium balloons along a 7.5 mile stretch of the old border between east and west.
Obviously no hotel wants to be seen to be taking advantage of an event of such historical importance, but the Hotel de Rome has drawn up a pretty sober package, valid November 7-10.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall package includes three nights accommodation and breakfast, a three hour private guided tour of Wall-related sites, a trip to the Asisi Panorama near Checkpoint Charlie, and a two hour Trabi tour (in an iconic East German Trabant car). They’ll also throw in champagne and currywurst as you watch the balloons on the 9th from the hotel rooftop terrace.
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If there’s one thing that’ll get us on a plane to Athens, it’s a designated selfie spot. We jest, of course – but the idea of a designated selfie spot was so
horrifying compelling that during an afternoon in Athens last week, we had to go and see it for ourselves.
The selfie spot is at the Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square (Athens' main square), though to our relief, when we asked at the concierge desk where to find it, they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. To save you the mortification of trying to explain the concept of a selfie spot to an Athenian - right there in the cradle of democracy, literature, philosophy and everything else that selfies run in the face of - just head to the rooftop bar and restaurant.
The selfie spot, it has to be said, is incredible in the flesh. Of course, an Acropolis view in Athens is no big deal - the majority of hotels have them from rooftop terraces, if not from the rooms themselves. But most Acropolis views are not like this (the only one that comes close, we reckon, is the Hilton, which is a little further out of the city center). The Grande Bretagne not only dominates the skyline around it, meaning you’re looking straight at the Parthenon, but glance to your left and you’re looking straight at the Greek Parliament, with the Evzones soldiers trooping around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.
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Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.
But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.
The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.
[Photo: SPG Greece]
Just as London was sweltering through one of the stickiest days of the summer so far, did Ace Shoreditch open its rooftop bar and terrace last night, crowning its nearly year-old European venture on the hotel’s 7th floor together with a number of meeting spaces.
Running along virtually the length of the building, the terrace offers views ranging from the City (you can see the famous Gherkin in the above shot) to St. Paul’s, the Barbican, Centre Point at Tottenham Court Road, and the far north.
It’s a tale as old as time: You get a pool. Your neighbor gets a pool. You add a hot tub. Your neighbor adds a bigger hot tub and builds a deck. You build a bigger deck, add a grill the size of a Buick, and throw a massive summer block party that becomes the talk of the neighborhood for generations hence. Your children’s children will tell tales of these kebabs.
Pool Wars: Suburbia Edition.
City hotels aren’t immune from wanting to keep up with the Joneses. So we can't help but wonder if last summer’s rollout of Rooftop @ Revere, the Revere Hotel Boston Common’s swanky seventh-floor hangout for sipping, sunning and swimming, was a contributing factor to the Colonnade Boston Hotel's splashy redo of its rooftop pool.
This summer’s heightened Colonnade experience still boasts the city’s only outdoor roof top pool. (The Revere’s pool is in a glass-enclosed annex to the terrace.) But added to the scene are billowing white cabanas available for private rental, a 12-seat full service bar, and plenty of chic new lounging areas set upon oh-so-tropical bamboo flooring.
You’ll be able to tipple pitcher cocktails with your fellow sun worshippers, and nibble on a new rooftop food menu that includes spicy rubbed swordfish tacos and Regina Pizzeria pies. (At this point, presumably, you’re already bathing suit-ready.)
Boston are you ready for this jelly?
Jell-O shots: they’re not just for parties in your parents’ basement anymore!
On Saturday, May 17, the swanky lounge Rooftop @ Revere will reopen for the season, inviting hotel guests and local glitterati (read: drunk girls in strappy heels) to sip, sun, and swim on a spacious and sunny terrace with skyline views on the seventh floor of the trendy Revere Hotel Boston Common.
If you've had a chance to draw yourself some tan lines during last year’s inaugural season, you know some of what to expect: shady white cabanas offering a hint of Miami gloss; oversized, fantastical statues that bring a hint of the local art scene; and cute staffers serving light bites and pouring drinks while outfitted in Pret-a-Surf, a fashion-forward surf and swimwear line co-designed by the entertainment editor of Vogue and famed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s studio manager. (In other words, they’re totally photo-ready for #selfies.)