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Hotel Snapshot / Hamilton Island Hotels / Great Barrier Reef Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Australia Hotels / → All Tags
Dramatic in a very Jurassic Park-esque manner, these gates guard the entrance to qualia, the luxury resort set on the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands off the northeast coast of Australia.
While the gates in the 1993 Spielberg classic provided a close up with some very large – and lethal – species, qualia gives you access to the biggest single structure made by living organisms: the Great Barrier Reef, as well as everything else that you make the (invariably lengthy) journey out here for: sun, sand, azure blue sea, and 60 luxurious pavilions, or as qualia translates from Latin, ‘a collection of deep sensory experiences’.
And you can get yourself easily in the picture: just step behind the frame (or ‘Selfie’ space as the hotel calls it) that hangs from one of the wooden beams in the lobby of this wool-storage facility turned hotel in Sydney's Pyrmont district, snap away, tag it #1888Hotel and it will appear on the screens near reception.
Since we know you’d much rather look at hotels than us, we’ll let the lobby itself have its close up, which has various seating areas (including a small restaurant section), a living tree, and a set of glass elevators that take you up through the four-story atrium to one of the 90 bedrooms.
When was the last time you sat inside the lobby of a major city hotel, sans open windows, and heard birdsong? Yeah, we couldn’t remember either, but it’s exactly what happened to us at Rosewood London last week. Our first reaction was one of dismissal, but when it persisted and we went exploring, it turned out to be real (admittedly, that made us feel a little bit better about our own sanity).
Make your way through the rose-bronze entrance gallery, which we still unreservedly love, turn left past the reception desk and by the set of elevators you’ll find a cage with finches and budgerigars. It’s one of many unexpected little things you’ll find around the hotel, now open just shy of two months on High Holborn, an area between the West End and the City that is rather incongruously being relabeled as “Midtown” by, among others, Mayor Boris Johnson.
Singapore Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Rooftops / Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Cabanas / → All Tags
If you had to pick your favorite hotel poolside cabana anywhere in the world, where would it be?
To be honest, it's not something we've ever given much thought to (seen one cabana, seen 'em all)—until, that is, we visited the fifth floor garden terrace of Singapore's Parkroyal on Pickering the other week.
We mentioned last year, before it opened, that the hotel would drip with tropical gardens, and indeed, it is certainly one of the lushest hotels we've seen in a while. Wild flora grow up and down the building's exterior, creating a sort of "secret garden" 120 feet above ground.
This effect is best seen from one of the poolside cabanas—large, sturdy structures that look like human-size birdcages—that are built right on the edge of the fifth floor terrace. Mini-worlds unto themselves, the cabanas are furnished with mountains of pillows and cushions so that once you've entered and plopped down on the floor (preferably with a cold Tiger beer in hand), you never want to leave. Ever.
Singapore Hotels / Hotel Tea / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Lobbies / Afternoon Tea / → All Tags
The other day, we met a friend for tea in Singapore. To get there, we entered a hotel lobby, walked past the reception desk, down some steps, and found ourselves in a long, corridor-like lounge area enclosed by floor-to-ceiling windows, with a 42 1/2 foot long bar.
Promptly at 3pm, we were led to our table, a low-slung divan wedged around a coffeetable in an intimate corner of the bar. Behind us, stunning waterfront views of the Bay. Above us, a silver-haired gentleman in a tuxedo began tinkling the ivories, while jacketed waiters whizzed by, and more and more folks showed up to rendezvous at the promenade-style bar.
Unknowingly, we had stumbled into one of Singapore's most vital social traditions: Afternoon Tea at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Hotel Amenities / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Desks / Historic Hotels / Hotel Snapshot / → All Tags
Here's something you're not likely to find at too many other hotels in New York City (or anywhere, for that matter): an old-fashioned embosser, bolted to a desk at the brand new High Line Hotel.
We think the embosser perfectly sums up the historic, literary vibe of the guest rooms, which all have custom-built furniture, classic novels, and hand-picked antique rugs. As writers, we could happily see ourselves holing up in here, typing away at our antique wooden desk as the light streams in from the east-facing window.
Despite the plethora of old-school amenities here, the embosser is hands-down our favorite feature of the hotel, and one can be found in every single guest room.
If you're wondering just what you'll be embossing, each device contains a brass plate imprinted with one of the hotel's five logos. Yes, that's right—five logos. Overkill? Maybe. But then again, when you can boast about having a custom desk embosser in every room, why not five? Heck, why not twenty?
A hallway mural at The Milford New York
The re-designed rooms at The Milford New York (formerly the Milford Plaza) have been finished for almost a year—and their new look is bright, colorful, and very fresh. But one of our favorite parts of the re-design can actually be found in the hallways.
In an attempt to show tourists that there's more to NYC than just the Empire State and Central Park, each floor has been assigned a different neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, with vivid depictions of picturesque spots in places like the West Village, or the Lower East Side.
What's so cool about the images, though, is how life-life they are. Above is a hallway mural depicting Balthazar Bakery, a well-loved spot in Soho, which when we first saw it, we thought we were staring into a time-space vortex that opened a portal from Times Square to Prince Street. It was as if we could walk right in and grab a baguette!
What Is This / Atlantic City Hotels / Casino Hotels / Trump Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Games / Hotel Casinos / Hotel Snapshot / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
But we had to stop and do a double take while wandering around the lobby at Trump Taj Mahal the other day. At the bottom of the escalators, right next to the Baccarat Pit, we spotted what appeared to be a giant children's playpen—then we remembered where we were, and dismissed that thought. Bright, shiny beach balls scattered around a life-size tic-tac-toe board.
But who was playing? Were we allowed to jump in? What the heck was this thing anyway?
Beach Hotels / Photo Gallery / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Snapshot / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.
Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!
We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.
Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.
More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.
Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!
Sweet Suites / Shanghai Hotels / China Hotels / Indigo Hotels / Photo Gallery / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Next up in our Sweet Suite series is this gem from the Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund. Now, we've fallen in love with this place before—specifically, the lobby, with its book-lined shelves, curvy walls, and that lonely yellow bicycle.
But today, we're heading upstairs to the Glamour Suite, which is one of three "Icon suites" located inside the hotel. How did this one get to be so glamorous, you ask? The designers had originally wanted to create three major suites (Shanghai past, present, and future), but the hotel decided to "take things to the next level," and ended up naming the suites Shanghai Deco, Shanghai Glamour and Shanghai Future.
As you can see from the photos, everything—from the mirror-paneled nightstand to the turquoise couch to the marble martini bar—is way over the top. But in a good, life-is-short-so-why-not? kinda way.
The fixtures are designed to "reflect contemporary Shanghai's glamour".
They're also meant to make you feel more glamorous. For example, if you suddenly get inspired to throw a private cocktail party, you can gather in the 12-seat dining room, which has giant windows overlooking Pudong. On top of that, there's also an outdoor terrace that can hold up to 20 people, with views over the Bund.
Panama Hotels / Hotel Art / Photo Gallery / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Design / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Art Appraisal / → All Tags
It was sheer luck that we happened to catch up with the General Manager of Tántalo Hotel in Panama City several months ago. We were visiting Casco Viejo for lunch, and when we ended up (on the recommendation of several locals) at Tántalo Kitchen, the hotel's ground floor restaurant, we figured we'd better ask for a tour.
A few of the things Tántalo has going for it are: an excellent location right in the heart of Casco Viejo; a hip, young crowd constantly streaming through the doors all day long, and, most importantly, a truly tantalizing collection of murals, photographs, paintings and quirky furniture scattered around the entire hotel.
There are only 12 rooms total, and each of them boasts its own unique design, such as the second-floor Octopus Room, whose walls are covered by the long, curly tentacles of a giant blue and white octopus. One of the tentacles even holds up a sign reading 'Pipi Room,' pointing the way to the bathroom.
Celebrity Scoop / Reality TV Hotels / British West Indies / Anguilla Hotels / TV Set Hotels / Hotel Snapshot / Caribbean Hotels / Resort Hotels / → All Tags
Anybody catch last night's Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo? If so, you might have noticed the gals were far, far away from their Georgia digs, and kicking back at a luxury resort in the British West Indies.
Ani Villas in picturesque Anguilla was the stunning backdrop to last night's drama-packed episode. The luxury property is all private butlers, private chefs, and private speedboat transfers from the St. Martin airport. Name any amenity required for a luxury getaway, and they've got it.
But this is reality TV, so the minute the Hurricane Housewives touched down in the tropical paradise, the drama began to unfold.