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It’s the start of the magical cherry blossom season in Washington DC and it's also HC’s unofficial “Bathroom Tuesday”. So what better way to celebrate both than highlight a hotel with a stunning bathroom that will give you views of the city’s natural pride and joy?
The baths at the swank Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. are filled with glossy marble and have both separate shower and deep soaking tubs. Some rooms and suites (those are the ones you’ll want for this time of the year) have views of the Washington Monument. And if peeping the cherry blossom trees while you’re having a soak in your tub isn't enough, you can always turn on the in-bath television.
Yes, we really wish every shower in Vegas featured this crazy contraption. So what is it?
Well, it's a Vitamin C infused shower head that is found in one of the brand new Stay Well rooms at MGM Grand. These rooms are tricked out with the new furniture, bedding and technology that all MGM Grand rooms feature as part of the property-wide renovations but the Stay Well rooms also have a bunch of goodies the regular rooms do not. Like air purifiers, wellness lighting in the bathrooms (they give a shot of melatonin), funky nightstand sleep machines and these vitamin shower heads.
We'll have an in-depth tour of the Stay Well rooms next week but we will say now that we came to Vegas feeling as if we were on the cusp of a cold and right now, we're feeling pretty fantastic.
Best of all, this room, with taxes and resort fee included only cost us $114 for the night.
[Photo: Juliana Shallcross for HotelChatter]
Last week, we asked you about hotel check-in rituals, and received quite an assortment of responses. Today, we're focusing on hotel bathing rituals: what are yours?
Having visited a number of hotels, we've seen our fair share of hotel bathrooms. And we've bathed in them plenty, too. But one thing that always confronts us upon checking into a new hotel is whether we indulge in a full-on bath, or just stick to the regular ol' shower.
Sharing a cramped NYC apartment as we do (save that story for another day), baths aren't a luxury we normally enjoy. But then again, we prefer the quick, in-and-out efficiency of showers anyway, and don't usually feel like straying too far from our routine.
But what about you? Is a hotel room automatically synonymous with hour-long, classical music-serenaded, rose-petaled sessions in the tub? Or does it depend on the hotel?
Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Showers / Sofitel Hotels / Luxembourg Hotels / Photo Gallery / HotelChatter Reviews / Free WiFi / Hermes Toiletries / → All Tags
Our travels recently took us to the tiny country of Luxembourg, the only remaining sovereign grand duchy today. Landlocked between Belgium, Germany, and France, and with Grand Duke Henri as its current head of state, Luxembourg has one of the highest Gross Domestic Products (GDP) per capita at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), making it one of the richest countries in the world.
Having recently done our share of cubicle-dreaming over the possibility to win a round-the-world trip with Sofitel Hotels & Resorts and researching our accommodation options, we ended up at the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal, overlooking the old town of Luxembourg and the Pétrusse valley.
Be aware that there are two Sofitels in Luxembourg City; Le Grand Ducal and Europe. The Sofitel Europe is on the Kirchberg Plateau, a business area with lots of offices and European Institutions about 2km from the city centre. If you don't have a reason to be in the area, we'd probably pick the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal for location and ease of access to the old town.
What's not pictured is the full-force water pressure that this humble shower is capable of. The glorious, strong water pressure that seemed to immediately cure us of jet lag when we touched down in Sydney after 24 hours of travel recently.
Seriously, we don't think we've ever experienced such good water pressure in a hotel before. And we're talking anywhere in the world.
A shower after all those hours on a plane (in coach!) is always a relief, but this was transformative. We landed around 7:30 a.m. but after a nice long shower here, we were able to get ourselves out and about in downtown Sydney for the entire afternoon. (And we all know that staying up and adjusting to the new timezone also works wonders on jet lag.)
Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Showers / Tryp Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Smart Hotels / Hotel Snapshots / → All Tags
Hotels can get so focused on sexing up the bathrooms sometimes that they forget to give a little thought to practical, useful little features that make bathrooms an easy, pleasurable experience. And we're not talking about friendly toilet seats that rise to "greet" you or TVs in the mirrors.
We're talking about circles cut out of the shower door that make it so that you can turn on the water without getting yourself all wet. Genius! That's what the bathrooms at Tryp Times Square offer, and we thought it was so original we had to take a quick little snapshot of the appliance in use.*
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In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we will feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
One of the best things about social media is how quickly it can turn one individual's "Kodak moment" (does anyone even use that expression anymore?) into a shared experience for people all over the world.
In the case of @Niki_Leondakis, better known as the President and COO of Kimpton Hotels, this burst of color she snapped from her room at Nine Zero in Boston is quite possibly the cutest floral display we've seen in a while, not to mention the best use of flowers in a bathroom. And don't think we haven't seen our share of flowers. Or bathrooms, for that matter.
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"You can't handle the tooth," 63-year-old Steven Tyler joked to Matt Lauer on the Today Show earlier this morning, when the rock star phoned in from South America to explain his recent injury. Apparently, the singer was battling "food poisoning" (yeah right, and his daughter Liv Tyler is actually an Elf Princess) when he lost his balance and fell face first into the shower floor.
Tyler was staying at the Bourbon Hotel in Paraguay, and thanks to his tour manager, located a nearby hospital to stitch up his eye, re-align his face, and fix his broken tooth. Now, that must have been a pretty heavy fall. And knowing what we know, Mr. Tyler can be a little accident prone. So we have to wonder. Who do you think suffered more damage: Steven Tyler's face, or the shower stall?
Maybe we don't want to be part of this Club anymore
You know the feeling. You get off a long flight to a far-off country, reach your hotel, feel the relief flooding over you as the place seems nice, and you’re checked into a nice room, and then hit the shower in an attempt to slough off the jet lag.
Hopefully, though, you won’t know the feeling that came next for a friend of ours last night when he checked into the Club Hotel in Singapore: the water was lukewarm. And stayed lukewarm while he ran it in the hope that it would heat up. It didn’t – and it still wasn’t hot enough to shower in.
At about 7pm, he called down to reception to let them know the water wasn’t hot. For two hours, they tried to fix it, to no avail. At 9pm, they offered to move him to another room – which had the same problem. They tried another – ditto. The staff told him there was a problem with the water heating throughout the hotel. No sh*t Sherlock.
Bathroom Tuesday continues!
Just when we thought hotels had figured out all the ways to pamper us, we happened upon a peculiar and peculiarly delightful little in-room amenity at the Park Hyatt Shanghai: foot showers.
Walking around the gritty streets of Shanghai can get downright dirty, so of course when you retire to one of your stratospheric rooms on floors 79-93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center (it used to be the world’s highest hotel before the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong opened in March), you want to wash all that grime off before exploiting your room’s other amenities to the fullest, in particular the free WiFi and the fact that it’s the only hotel in the city that filters its water so it’s safe to drink.
Yes, it's another example of fugly carpeting in hotels. This time the offender is the new PH Towers by Westgate in Las Vegas whose hallway carpeting hurts our eyes. Although, we quite liked our stay the hallway rugs were rather garish, if not a blatant ripoff of the carpeting at Vdara, just in fuglier colors.
But it may not be fair to call this hotel carpeting fugly. Compared to the room's shower curtains, it looks quite lovely. Is our next series to be on Fugly Hotel Shower Curtains? We sincerely hope not.
Pic of offending shower curtain after the jump.
We do love a good shower when we're away from home, so it's really no wonder that we've been slightly obsessed with the cocoon spiral showers of Donovan House. But if you're not anywhere near Washington DC and still want to test out these kinds of showers, we've received another tip: head to the Dolder Grand in Zurich, Switzerland.
Yes, as well as being very green after their recent renovations, the Dolder Grand is also home to similar showers. The only difference is that they call them snail showers because the shape is like a snail shell. Fair enough, but snails seem to have a few negatives going for them, and we're happier with the cocoon spiral label, to be honest. Just the same, we'll be happy to test these showers out for style next time we're passing through Switzerland.