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We’ve become accustomed to NYC's The Mark hotel going above and beyond when it comes to offering deluxe amenities to its guests, whether that be their Airport Concierge service or even loaning out fab MacLaren strollers so you don’t have to lug your own.
Now they’ve taken it a step further. We’ll preface this by saying since we’ve introduced our Fantasy Friday section, we realize there’s a whole lotta travelers out there with deep pockets and a love for special service. We’re trying to get there. Lord knows, we are.
So, that’s why we can now appreciate The Mark’s new collaboration with Bergdorf Goodman. The program is designed for the traveler with luggage mishaps (stop checking bags, people!) or in need for a last minute outfit for an event (example--we needed a ballgown in the 11th hour while at another hotel and had to fend for ourselves).
Hotel Tips / Housekeeping / Hotel Housekeeping / Reader Tips / Hotel Services / Hotel Maids / → All Tags
After 40 years at the Fontainebleau, we bet Willie knocks twice, even three times!
So we had a moment yesterday. OK, it was a bit of a meltdown, if you want to get technical. We were at wits end wondering why we were seemingly targeted for housekeepers worldwide who would bust in our hotel rooms after just one knock. We whined at the injustice of it all, and asked the universe what was the official protocol on such things.
Well, the universe (aka a poster named "Wunderkind") took the time to gently school us on the ins and outs of Hotel Housekeeping 101 and we thought it only fitting we share that education with you fine folks.
Read on for Wunderkind's explanation (edited for lengthy/clarity) and what you should do to avoid hotel invasions, and the reason you may get one anyway (hint: they think you might be dead, dude).
Miami Hotel Mambo / Sweet Suites / W Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Birthdays / Hotel Services / → All Tags
Last year, the hotel celebrated its second birthday with an exclusive bikini design; this year, it's giving us much more than a skimpy swimsuit. That is, if you splash out on a suite.
Even the entry-level rooms at the W South Beach are sexy, but if you really want to do it up in style, you can now opt for one of 26 VIP suites, which were handpicked to come with a slew of added perks and goodies.
Hotel Cocktails / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Services / Hotel Bars / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We love that hotels have embraced the cocktail culture and have upped the game with superlative sippings that make ordering a simple gin and tonic an embarrassment these days.
No, folks are getting fancy, not only at the bar, but they've brought it to the hotel room, too. Take the In-Room Cocktail Program at The Surrey Hotel, a swank hotel on New York's Upper East Side. They go a step further than bringing you the ingredients to make cocktails in the comfort of your room. They'll do it for you.
Dial room service and a well-trained and dapper mixologist from the hotel's Bar Pleiades will select a pint-size bottle of the booze of your choice—from Grey Goose vodka to Hudson Baby bourbon—and bring it to your room via a silver-tray topped wooden cart.
Oh, we love that they even have hard-to-find Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer on hand to create authentic Bermudian Dark n’ Stormy’s. Using said cart that holds mixers, muddlers, and the fixins', the bartender creates your first round of drinks.
Chinese Amenities / Chinese Menus / Fairmont Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Services / → All Tags
Early this year, the China National Tourism Administration put out a report saying that more than 77 million Chinese travelers are expected to take a trip overseas in 2012. Now we may not be math wizards over here at HotelChatter, but even we know that 77 million travelers = 77 million potential hotel guests.
Being the savvy hoteliers that they are, Fairmont Hotels announced last week that they are introducing a new “Chinese Menu Program.” Now, that may sound just a tad uninspired, but we think the program really just needs a better name!
Fairmont has already introduced authentic Chinese food to its menus worldwide as part of, what we’re going to rename as, their “Gong Yíng” program (which, according to our unreliable online Mandarin dictionary, means “to welcome respectfully”), so if you want chicken congee for breakfast, you can do that. Plus, they’ve brought in a variety of loose leaf teas including authentic white, black, green, oolong and flowered teas locally sourced by Toronto tea experts, The Metropolitan Tea Company.
Sleep-inducing elixirs, old school nightcaps, snore-no-more pillow – order it up come bedtime at Conrad Chicago
Sleek lounges, raging rooftops, hot restaurants, glorious spas -- the list of reasons we love and frequent hotels goes on and on. But at the end of the day, there’s one important reason we need hotels: sleep. If a hotel doesn’t deliver on restful, dreamy, slumber, all its day party perks are for naught. Seems an obvious point when you’re in the hotel business, though many a hotelier misses it.
But there are those that get it spot on, like Conrad Chicago hotel, where we recently spied a Sleep Menu that had us looking forward to bedtime like never before.
HotelChatter Special Contributor Eric Rosen takes us behind the pastry counter at Le Royal Monceau in Paris as he demonstrates the make-your-own millefeuille option diners have for dessert.
Located in an airy private dining room off the lobby lounge area, La Cuisine is the hotel’s main restaurant, which, in addition to the rest of the hotel’s dining outlets including the upscale Italian Il Carpaccio, is overseen by Executive Chef Laurent André who worked with Alain Ducasse for 14 years before joining Raffles. The pastries (which we’ll get to in a moment) are the domain of renowned French patissier, Pierre Hermé.
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Divorce is maybe the one scenario where a hotel bar—rather than the room itself—might prove more useful. Well, that's where we'd end up, anyway.
Not so for the seventeen (and counting) Dutch couples who have found success through a new marketing ploy known as "Divorce Hotel." Over the weekend, the NY Times reported on the bizarre new service, which has been launched by a Dutch entrepreneur named Jim Halfens.
Hot on the heels of Divorce Hotel's European success, Halfens is now attempting to introduce the concept to hotels in New York and Los Angeles—though no word yet on which ones in particular. Our one suggestion? No tiny boutiques! If this is going to work at all (and we're not entirely convinced yet), we're picturing monster places like the Westin Bonaventure and Marriott Marquis Times Square. Basically, the bigger, the better.
We all agree that it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd when it comes to providing five-star amenities for guests who now expect that luxury toiletries, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and iPod docking stations are de rigueur at five-star properties. What’s a hotel to do to up the ante?
Well, if you’re the newly-opened Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, Morocco you house a private jet to shuttle your guests to and fro – from the Marrakech airport, from airports around the world or to other Oetker Collection hotels, such as Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Le Bristol Paris, Hôtel du Cap Eden-Roc located on the Mediterranean at the tip of the Cap d’Antibes, and Château Saint-Martin & Spa in Provence. This means that you can zip over to Paris to shop for the day and then be back in Marrakech in time for a sunset swim in your private pool at the Palais Namaskar.
For the airplane geeks, because we know you’re out there, the plane is a 14-seat Dassault Falcon 900 LX jet fitted out with a dining table, king-sized bed and surround-sound music system. The decor is in keeping with the design of the hotel – a beautiful combination of elegant European and modern Moorish design. Renowned French-Algerian designer and former associate of Philippe Starck, Imaad Rahmouni, is responsible for the exquisite architecture of the hotel.
While we've been busy tracking the new hotels opening in London for the Olympics, we've completely forgot about what the existing hotels will be doing when the Games are in town. However, The Berkeley has commandeered our attention with their latest Olympic-inspired offerings--synchronized swimming lessons.
The hotel has partnered up with Aquabatix, an award-winning synchronized swimming team who will host a weekly master class during July and August in the hotel's open-air pool. The lessons will be available both to hotel guests and the general public.
Learning key movements of the sport, such as the “egg beater kick” and “sculling,” those enjoying the fun and athletic class will be able to perform a complete routine following the 90-minute lesson. The session is completed with a choreographed routine set to accompanying music and attendees are special given Berkeley swimming caps to take home.
With all the hubub leading up to the Oscars last night, we can't help but have movies on the brain. But since this is HotelChatter and not MovieChatter, we'll have to keep our film discussions to either movies filmed in hotels or watching movies in hotels. So we decided to go with the latter. More specifically, we want to talk about how expensive in-room movies are these days.
During our weekend trip to Scottdale a few weeks ago, we found ourselves perusing the in-room movies just for kicks. (Ok, and maybe because we were a little too tired to take on the town.) After we got over the novelty of perusing "still in the theater" movies, we were flabbergasted by how much these movies cost.
While there were some older (and not very good) movies available for $4.99, most of the newer releases were going for $16.99 plus tax. Some were even going for $19.99. Take a look at the movie options we encountered in the gallery below.
When we were checking out the W Scottsdale yesterday, our guide pointed out the hotel's bottled water selection, found in all the rooms.
On offer was two types of Fiji water ($3 and $2), a bottle of Smart water ($6) and one Nestle water ($1). But members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program actually get bottled water for free. (Just one and it's the cheaper Nestle kind.)
This free water perk used to be available to the elite tiers of the SPG program but now it's free to all members, even those who sign up on the spot. So, is this a nice perk for members, regardless of the member status, or a clever way to sign up the especially parched to SPG? You decide. Just remember, SPG's new perks go into effect on March 1.