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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.
Hotel Pulitzer is a quirky hotel that's part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection and is comprised of 25 restored canal houses from the 17th-and 18th-century. Being in this hotel is akin to staying in a living maze. For a true workout, at check in say you don’t need help with your bags or in finding your room, and watch the getting-lost antics commence.
One other thing to note: The hotel has a wonderful changing art gallery, so if you get lost while going from your room to the restaurant, you’ll have plenty to see and ponder.
The Hotel Pulitzer is made up of different canal houses that are all joined together so room size may vary greatly even within the same category. Let’s just say that our Deluxe Room was a bit on the bijou side of the scale, at a mere 180 sq ft. This was too small for travelers trekking across the Atlantic for a few days, but rooms in this category do go up in size to approximately 320 sq ft. But they do have lots of character – ours had original wooden ceiling beams and French doors that opened onto the garden (although we did have to move furniture to open both of the doors!)
Although eccentric, and full of Old-World charm, there are some modern shout-outs here. The lobby had a soft reno earlier this year and is an up-to-date vision in black-and-white with plenty of sit and chill-out areas. Right off the lobby there's an Espresso Bar with lattes so foam thick, one is simply not enough. We spent an entire afternoon sipping on them in the attached garden, consisting of separated areas to eat, drink and read.
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We’ve previously gone so far to say that we coveted the furniture in some of the rooms at Hotel Indigo enough to want it for our own apartment (that was in Shanghai, and public spaces do not disappoint either). So when we had a chance to peek into a room that relatives were staying in at Hotel Indigo Tower Hill London, we were eager to check out if it lived up to our expectations.
On the exterior and the public spaces we can be brief: they’re not particularly inspiring. Architecturally, the hotel is nothing to write home about, and the small lobby with its red-granite tiles feels a little clinical. A single elevator serves the 6 floors, which only have a total of 46 rooms.
It's one thing for your hotel to have its own swimming pool or, if you're seeking to get "out in nature," perhaps a pond or lake for boating. It's entirely another thing for that hotel to boast a waterfall in its side yard.
Well, that's actually the case at Washington's Salish Lodge, a small five-star retreat 30 minutes outside of Seattle. While it's all Pacific Northwest-typical dark leather couches, wool and stone on the inside, the exterior of the main building is awash in the green and granite of the raw parkland and Snoqualmie River, into which the Snoqualmie Falls drop.
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Guess the hotel revealed!
Alright, then. For anybody who guessed Tryp Times Square after seeing Friday's mystery QR-coded mirror, you are correct! The two-month-old hotel is keeping right on top of its tech amenities with free WiFi in all the rooms, a pioneering hotel meetup app known as LobbyFriend, and of course those smartphone-friendly mirrors...
Now, we're taking a look inside one of the brand's signature Family Rooms, of which there are 23 in the hotel. While other signature suites like the Fitness Room and the Media Room might appeal to gym freaks and video gamers, these oversized loft-style suites are perfect for families traveling together, or a group of friends who just all want to hang out and scan mirrors together at the same time.
Scroll down for our photo gallery!
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...a ping pong table! And real live guests are playing!
We've all been
a little a lot curious about what changes might be coming to the Standard East Village, ever since it officially took over the Cooper Square Hotel in December. So far, the place looks kinda the same. Same curved glass tower. Same outdoor terrace. Same cramped rooms.
But one new bit of Standard-ization has brightened up the whole lounge...
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No? Well, that's because you've never spent a night at Ritz-Carlton's
over the top opulent Reserve Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand. Comprised of 54 villas set along the Andaman Sea, every inch of the resort is pure luxury—from the feng shui-inspired welcome pavilion to the cathedral-like bathrooms.
The above shot shows a bathroom entrance in one of the Ocean Pavilion villas (these bad boys go for around $550/night during the summer season). The painted double doors alone are pretty impressive, and peeking inside, we love how the scalloped porcelain sinks are set in the middle of the room like a shrine. But the fancy faucets are only the beginning of what Phulay Bay's bathrooms have to offer...
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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 pics 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 commemorate our favorite "Twitpic of the Week." Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
We don't know exactly what might have prompted this awesome public display of nerd-dom (Star Wars convention? Flashmob? Family reunion?), but we are so very glad @k4ng took the time to capture these saber-wielding Jedis in the lobby of the Renaissance Austin. And what better place: with all the rooms looking down onto the lobby, pretty much every guest had front row seats to the show!
On our last visit to Austin, most of the hotels were full up with SXSW musicians, filmmakers, attendees and media types. But clearly, the real magic happens about a month later...
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Well, how about that. Construction hasn't even finished on London's 95-story iceberg-inspired tower, The Shard, which will house the Shangri-La Hotel—and already we've gotten a sneak peek at the building's killer views from a daredevil who climbed a ladder to the top.
Urban explorer Bradley Garrett, who literally has a PhD in 'breaking into places,' was out on one of his nocturnal raid missions and decided to share some photos he took from the 76th (and currently highest) floor of the tower. He even got to touch the red light at the top of the crane—an accomplishment he calls "incredibly exhilarating."
As far as we're concerned, he's overshot things a bit, as the hotel itself is only set to occupy floors 34 to 52. But if this is what it's like just twenty stories above, then we remain confident that views from the actual rooms will be pretty frickin' awesome. No word yet on hotel rates, but they're likely to cost significantly more than what Dr. Garrett paid.
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Many parts of the U.S. are having mild winters but that doesn't mean it's hotel pool weather everywhere. Up in the snowy mountains of Alberta, Canada, you can swim all winter long--even if it's minus 40 outside.
We were skeptical when we first spotted this outdoor pool at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge last week. It is heated, of course, but look at those mountains! And the snow surrounding the pool edge!
Lucky for us, it wasn't minus 40 as it has been recently in Jasper, but the temp was still hovering in the mid-30s. Of course, curiosity got the better of us and we dragged ourselves out of our snow boots and parka and into a swimsuit.
Admiring the herb garden from the trashcan. Posh!
Posh, we often think, is a state of mind, not just a clear cut economic thing, and our recent visit to the Hotel Del Coronado made us think that, while the trendy hotels of the Gaslamp District may be giving her a run for her money, the grand dame could still teach them a thing or two about detail.
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Eagle eyed and not so eagle eyed readers of HotelChatter will have noticed that we’re tech fans when it comes to hotels. We’re fans of free WiFi, we always like electrical outlets near the bed, and extras like iPads make us more than a little excited.
Hence we were overjoyed when we arrived at the brand new Ravella hotel at Lake Las Vegas, 40 minutes from the Strip, yesterday, to find not only was there free WiFi throughout the hotel (although, to be fair, if you’re staying there, it’s classed as a perk of the resort fee), but also, that they’d actively set up a space in the lobby for people to sit and browse the net.
”Connectivity” is one of the three central tenets of the philosophy of Dolce Resorts, which owns the hotel, and one third of the lobby/lounge area is devoted to that theme. As such, there are two flatscreen TVs on the wall (they’re a decent size now, but they’re going to be replaced with something bigger, apparently) showing CNN and MSNBC with a sofa, several small tables around it, and this, the crowning glory: a table that seats eight with two iPads to share.